The first Greenland stamps were privately produced parcel post stamps, actually being what we would call "local" or "carrier" stamps in modern philatelic terminology. Most of these stamps were actually used on packages being sent from Denmark to Greenland. These "parcel post" stamps, used within Greenland and having Greenland town cancellations, are very scarce.
Here is a link to the excellent web-based article that I referenced during the composition of this page.
During the early 20th Century, travel to and from Greenland was extremely difficult, and voyages to the colony were usually only made during the Summer months. During this time, Den Kongelige Gronlanske Handel (KGH), or the Royal Greenland Trading Company, in Denmark, held the monopoly for the transport and delivery of all letter mail and packages to Greenland.
In 1905, due to the increase in the number of parcels being shipped to Greenland, the KGH wished to implement a fee to compensate them for the costs of the transportation of parcels to Greenland. The KGH could not issue their own postage stamps, but they were allowed to issue parcel postage stamps for the transport of packages from Copenhagen to Greenland and (rarely) within Greenland. These privately produced parcel post stamps were not inscribed with a country name. They only bore the Arms of Greenland and the Danish words "PAKKE-PORTO" or "Parcel Postage".
The nine major-denomination-type Greenland stamps shown above were produced between 1905 and 1937.
During their period of use, many varieties of these stamps were produced, with some of them being tremendously scarce and expensive. On the other hand, some of the more common varieties, even today, are quite affordable.
Most of these stamps were typographed on unwatermarked paper with various perforation gauges. A couple of the 1937 issues were lithographed on unwatermarked paper.
On the typographed stamps, the hyphen has squared ends, and the lines in the shield are coarse, uneven, and are inclined to be slightly wavy. Their catalog description details are as follows:
On the lithographed stamps, PAKKE-PORTO is slightly larger, the hyphen has rounded ends, and the lines in the shield are fine, straight, and evenly spaced. Their catalog description details are as follows:
These "parcel post" Greenland stamps were
discontinued in 1938, being replaced by the use of government-issued
Danish and Greenlandic postage stamps.
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