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Stamps of Finland

Commemoratives of 1935-1941

The commemorative stamps of Finland, issued during the period from 1935 to 1941, showcased the "Kalevala", as well as significant events in Finnish history.  A special series of stamps, issued during late 1941, also publicized the "Fight for Freedom" against relentless territorial invasions by the Soviet Union.

The three pictorial commemorative stamps of Finland shown above (Sc. #207-209) were issued on February 28, 1935 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first Publication of the "Kalevala", the Finnish National Epic.

The three designs are as follows.

  • 1.25 M. - Medieval bards reciting the Kalevala.
  • 2.00 M. - Louhi, the Mistress of the North, in the form of an eagle, seizing the Sampo.  The Sampo is a magical device that is said to bring great fortune and prosperity Louhi is a villainess in the Väinämöinen Cycle and the Lemminkäinen Cycle of the Kalevala.
  • 2.50 M. - Kullervo riding into battle.  Kullervo, the only tragic character in Finnish mythology, is the ill-fated subject of the Kullervo Cycle of the Kalevala.

The Kalevala is a collection of epic poetry (or songs), compiled by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884), from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology.  The Old Kalevala, published in 1835, contains 32 poems in 12,078 verses.  The New Kalevala, published in 1849, which most people read today, contains 50 poems.  The Kalevala has been translated into 61 languages, and it is Finland's most-translated work of literature.

The stories often involve the search to obtain a particular object, such as the
Sampo, the most important element of the entire Kalevala.  The main characters in the stories often have to accomplish feats that are sometimes unreasonable or impossible, leading them to failure or humiliation. 

The mythological stories / poems of the Kalevala are extremely complex.   For the visitor that is interested in exploring the
Kalevala and its stories in depth, please follow the Wikipedia link in this paragraph.

The 2 M. denomination commemorative stamp shown above, at the left (Sc. #213), was issued on June 4, 1937 to celebrate the 70th Birthday of Field Marshal Mannerheim.

Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1867-1951) was a prominent Finnish military leader and statesman.  He served initially with the Russian Imperial Army (1887-1917), as a military leader in the Finnish Civil War (1918), as the Regent of Finland (1918-1919), as the commander-in-chief (Field Marshal) of Finland's armed forces during World War II, and as the Sixth President of Finland (1944-1946)

During the interwar years, Mannerheim was also the chairman of Finland's Defense Council, head of the Finnish Red Cross, on the board of the International Red Cross, the head of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the chairman of the board of two banks, and on the board of the Nokia Corporation.  Even today, he is still regarded as the greatest Finn of all time.

The 3.50 M. denomination commemorative stamp shown above, at the right (Sc. #214), was issued on June 1, 1938 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Colonization of Delaware by Swedes and Finns.

The United States also issued a 3 C. denomination commemorative stamp (Sc. #836) during June 1938 to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Swedish-Finnish Settlement at Wilmington, Delaware.  It is shown above.

The four pictorial commemorative stamps of Finland shown above (Sc. #215-218) were issued on September 6, 1938 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Finnish Postal System.

The four designs are as follows.

  • 0.50 M. - Ahvenkoski Post Office in 1787.
  • 1.25 M. - Mail boat in 1700.
  • 2.00 M. - Junkers JU-52 mail plane.
  • 3.50 M. - General Post Office in Helsinki.

The three pictorial commemorative stamps of Finland shown above (Sc. #224-226) were issued on August 30, 1941 to publicize the Recapture of Vyborg.

The three common designs feature the 13th Century Vyborg Castle and the Coat of Arms of Karelia.

Vyborg is located on the Karelian Peninsula in the boundary zone between Finland and Russia.  Over the centuries, the town has been part of the Kingdom of Sweden (1323-1710), the Russian Empire (1710-1811), the Grand Duchy of Finland (1811-1917), the Republic of Finland (1917-1940), the Soviet Union (1940-1941), the Republic of Finland (1941-1944), the Soviet Union (1944-1991), and the Russian Federation (since 1991)

On August 29, 1941, the town was captured by Finnish troops.  However, during the Moscow Armistice of September 1944 and during the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, the Republic of Finland relinquished all claims to Vyborg, and the area was returned to the Soviet Union.

The twelve pictorial propaganda stamps of Finland shown above (Sc. #227-238) were issued on December 31, 1941 with the theme of their Fight for Freedom, during the Continuation War of 1941 to 1944, between the Republic of Finland and the Soviet Union.

The two common designs feature portraits of
Field Marshal Mannerheim (1867-1951) and President Risto Ryti (1889-1956).

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Commemoratives of 1935-1941


Kalevala Title Page
Part 1 of the 1835 Edition

The title page above translates, as follows.

"Kalewala / or the / Old Karelian Poems / of the Finnish People of Ancient Times / 1st Part / In Helsinki, 1835".

The 2 M. denomination stamp shown above (Sc. #220) was issued on May 1, 1940 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Founding of the University of Helsinki.

The 2.75 M. denomination commemorative stamp shown above (Sc. #223) was issued on May 24, 1941 in Memory of President Kyöst Kallio

The design features

Kyöst Kallio reviewing a military band.

President Kyöst Kallio (1873-1940) died from a heart attack on
December 19, 1940, just a few seconds after the photograph used for the image on this stamp was taken.