Classic Norway

The first two issues of Norway have always held great interest among serious philatelists. The First stamp, an imperf, is one of the most popular in philately. It was printed widely apart so nearly always comes with large margins. It is plateable, meaning that all one hundred of the positions in the sheet have been identified and can be told by examining subtle printing characteristics on each stamp. The cancellations types are plentiful and usually identifiable (most countries for their first issues mandated “killer” cancellations of the Maltese Cross type that were used on the Penny Black. Norway largely used the town cancellations that recorded the date the letter was sent, making for many different cancellation types that are available for collectors). The second issue of Norway, called the Oscars, are four of the most simple and well designed stamps in philately and again are plateable and have a wealth of different cancellations.
The best aspect of classic Norway is price. These stamps are among the classics of philately-the first five stamps of one of the major philatelic countries and issued at the earliest period. They are popular and well designed and have tremendous specialist appeal. And yet, because they were in use for a long period of time, because Norway is a highly literate and commercial country, and because Norwegians tend to be savers and were philatelists from the earliest period, a very high percentage of these stamps were saved. Accordingly, these stamps are quite modest in price. The first five can be had for under $150 in Very Fine quality. The first five US Scott numbers cost $75,000; so you can see why so many specialists have gravitated towards Norwegian stamps.
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