Summary in English
In 2016, the Swedish Cinderella Stamp Society (Samlarföreningen Bältespännarna – SfB) celebrated its 50th anniversary. SfB was founded way back in 1966 in the city of Gothenburg on the West Coast of Sweden. The driving force behind the creation of a society was the late Bo Olsson whose membership number was 1.
A name associated with an old Nordic legend was chosen for the new society. The “Bältespännare” were two fighters tied together and each equipped with a dagger. Like Roman gladiators, they engaged in a life and death battle. If there is any historic evidence for this kind of event is unclear. However, Swedish sculptor Johan Peter Molin (1814-1873) was inspired by the story and created a famous statue showing two fighters. The city of Gothenburg ordered a copy of the statue which has been at its present location in a park located next to the main avenue in Gothenburg since 1863.
When R. W. Lindhé founded his private local post in Gothenburg in 1888 he not only had triangular stamps printed but he also chose Molin’s statue as their design. This was a most successful company which served both private individuals and businesses quite well for a number of years.
It was the late Lars Thornblad who came up with the idea of using the name of Molin’s statue for the new society. In a way, the choice of name can be seen as a homage to the city where the society was founded. Thus a classical local post and its stamps gave the society its name.
In the early years the emphasis was on the collecting and study of the many local posts which have existed in Sweden. Much of the information was published in Bältespännaren, the society’s magazine which is issued twice a year. There have been a number of catalogues listing Swedish local postage stamps but thanks to a number of SfB members they are now fully listed in the FACIT Sweden catalogue.
Other members explored the field of Swedish revenue stamps and after many years of diligent research, it was finally possible to publish listings of both national and local revenue stamps in the FACIT catalogue. This work has continued and many more new revenues have been recorded and catalogued. The collaboration with the publishers of the FACIT catalogues has resulted in excellent listings of a number of charity labels. The latest 2019 edition of the catalogue has a priced listing of early Swedish event poster stamps. Cinderella stamp collecting in Sweden
The collecting and study of Cinderella stamps has a very long history in Sweden. In fact, long before the first Swedish postage stamps were issued in 1855, large Charta Sigillata revenue stamps had been in use. In fact, they were first issued in 1811. They have been covered in detail in Svenska beläggningsstämplar (eller Charta Sigillata) 1811-1880 by Jukka Mäkinen and Per Sundberg. It was published in 2007 by the Swedish Philatelic Federation.
However, the very first person known to have researched Swedish revenue stamps was Henryk Bukowski (1839-1900). In 1886, he published a book called Samling af Svenskt och Utländskt Sedelmynt samt Förordningar, Föreskrifter Rörande Riksgäld, Banco- och Sedelväsen, m.m. The book included the first listing of Swedish stamped paper and revenue stamps.
The first local posts issuing stamps were established in Stockholm and Gothenburg in the late 1880s and the stamps were of course included in most collections at the time. Sweden has had no less than four different periods when privately operated local posts were permitted. In fact, since the early 1990s there no longer is a state postal monopoly and private companies are allowed to deliver all kinds of mail provided that they obtain a permit from the Posts and Telecommunications Authority.
The Swedish railway parcel stamps have always had a following despite their often very simple designs. In 1971, Stig Reidmar and Christer Wahlbom compiled a catalogue listing Swedish railway parcel stamps. Additions to the listings have been published regularly in Bältespännaren. Throughout its existence the SfB has worked hard to publish information about the many areas which are of interest to Cinderella stamp collectors. This has mainly been done in the pages of the Bältespännaren magazine.
Recently an index covering the first 50 years has been published and distributed to all members. It is the work of SfB member Andrew Riddell who is a longtime collector of Scandinavian Cinderella stamps. It can be purchased from the SfB.
In the early years there were plans to establish study groups to research each and every one of the Swedish local posts. A monograph on the Motala Local Post was indeed compiled and published but sadly this project was never continued.
A most ambitious book project reached fruition in 1985 when the SfB worked together with the Swedish Philatelic Federation to publish Agne Hoverby’s book Hälsingborgs Lokalpost. Mr. Hoverby had first owned the highly successful and long running local post in Helsingborg. After selling the Helsingborg local post in 1946, Hoverby acquired the local post in Malmö which was forced out of business by new legislation in 1947. The book gives a first-hand account of the intricacies of running a local post successfully. It is also a valuable contribution to Swedish postal history.
Christmas seals and the Swedish Flag poster stamps have also been listed in the FACIT catalogue thanks to members of the SfB. In 2018, a group was established to prepare a priced listing of some 300 classic Swedish Event Poster Stamps. It is partly based on the research of previous collectors. It was published in the 2019 edition of the FACIT Sweden catalogue and it is expected to create much interest in this exciting field. Many of the classic poster stamps are indeed remarkably beautiful.
It is of course impossible to mention all who have researched the many areas of Swedish Cinderella collecting. The research has mainly been published in the society’s magazine and in articles in the philatelic press. A work on Swedish perfins was published jointly by the SfB and the Swedish Philatelic Federation many years ago. In order to provide a comprehensive guide to Cinderella stamp collecting, an 86-page full-colour booklet written by Lars Liwendahl was published by the SfB in 2015. It is still available from the SfB. Most of the SfB members reside in Sweden but the society welcomes new members from all over the world. Please contact the Membership Secretary/Treasurer for more information:
c/o Christer Wahlbom
179 60 Stenhamra
Tel. 08-560 445 35