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Sweden



CURRENCY

1855, 48 skilling banjo = 1 riksdaler.
1858, 100 ore = 1 riksdaler
1875, 100 ore = 1 krona.



Before 1815

Kingdom in northern Europe which in the 17th and 18th centuries was the most powerful of the Scandinavian countries. Union of Sweden with Norway and Denmark, which had been created in the 14th century, was dissolved in 1523 when Gustavus Vasa became Gustavus I. Denmark retained control of some of the southern mainland and the island of Gotland, but, when Gustavus Adolphus came to the throne in 1611, the country quickly gained strength. During the Thirty Years War battles were won against Denmark, Russia and Poland. Sweden gained territory in Europe and its foundations as a major power in the Baltic area were laid.


Gustavus Adolphus was killed at the Battle of Lutzen in 1632 and was succeeded by his daughter. She abdicated in favour of her cousin Charles X in 1654. Swedish power grew over the next 50 years.


Postal service was established in 1636. At first, letters bore handstamps with the letter a or F for 'paid' or 'free'. By 1700 Stockholm had introduced a straight-line marking and this service was extended throughout the country with handstamps for all the major towns.


In the 18th century a system of attaching feathers to the seals of letters was introduced to indicate the need for speed in the carriage of letters. This method was unique to Sweden.


After the death of Charles XII in 1718 Sweden lost much of its German territory but this was regained by the end of the century. During the Napoleonic wars Sweden was neutral but in November 1807 a Swedish division was sent to Lubeck in support of Prussia; it was intercepted by Marshal Bernadotte and the First Corps of the Grande Armee and forced to return to Sweden. During 1808 Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince of Sweden and was allowed to accept.


In 1813 a Swedish army entered Germany and assisted in the defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig. Bernadotte then entered Holstein and forced Denmark to cede Norway to Sweden under the Treaty of Kiel (14 January 1814).


1815-50

In 1818 Bernadotte became King of Sweden as Charles XIV and ruled until he died in 1844, the only one of Napoleon's marshals to have founded a dynasty which exists to this day.


The post office in Sweden continued to develop and as well as its control of Norway also maintained a P0 in Hamburg, which provided the main transfer point for outgoing mails.


1850-71


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 July 1855.



First issue contained the rarest of all European stamps, the 3 skilling error of colour. This stamp, printed in yellow instead of green, resulted from the incorrect value of one stamp being included in a full sheet of the 8 skilling version. Only one copy of this variation is known to exist. A local stamp was issued in Stockholm in 1856 and was valued at 1 skilling, though this was not engraved in the design. On 1 July 1858 the currency was changed to 100 ore = 1 riksdaler and a new issue of stamps in the new currency appeared on that day.


1871 to date

In October 1905 the union with Norway was repealed and the latter became a separate nation. Although stamp issues had been separate, the two postal services had developed together and similarities existed. Sweden remained neutral throughout both world wars and has not joined either of the main alliances since that date.




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