Danish Collectors' Stamps
Denmark is widely considered one of the most prosperous and livable countries in Europe. The Kingdom — which today includes Denmark proper as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands — has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849. Aside from a brief period of German occupation during World War II, it has been politically stable and has retained a policy of neutrality in most major conflicts.
Denmark’s Early Stamps
A national postal service was established in Denmark in 1624. The country was one of the first to use printed stamps, producing their initial issues in 1851. These early stamps, in 4 and 2 rigsbankskilling denominations, featured a distinctive crown, sword and scepter design, and were watermarked with a crown. Today, these issues rank among the most valuable stamps from Denmark’s early period — unused examples of the 2rbs stamp are often valued in the thousands of dollars.
In 1854, the Kingdom adopted a new currency with skilling and rigsdaler denominations. This prompted the release of a new set of stamps, which retained the older design but featured the new currency in a different inscription. Other minor updates followed in 1858 and 1863.
Following the country’s loss in the Second Schleswig War, Denmark issued a new series of stamps in 2s, 3s, 4s, 8s and 16s denominations. In an effort to lift the country’s mood, these prominently featured traditional symbols of the royal family. In 1870, a numerical series was first printed, the design of which would remain in circulation for years to come.
Another currency change, this time to the kroner, necessitated further updates to the country’s stamps in 1873. In 1882, a new series was produced to meet the Universal Postal Union’s requirements for a standardized color scheme.
Denmark in the 20th Century
The 20th century saw rapid growth and industrialization come to Denmark. Some notable issues from this time period include a 1904 series depicting King Christian IX — the first Danish monarch to be featured on a stamp. Another first came in 1912, when the country released its earliest pictorial issue, with a design showcasing the Copenhagen General Post Office.
Other notable pictorials include a 1920 commemorative issue marking the annexation of Northern Schleswig, and a 1927 series featuring a Danish sailing ship known as a caravel.
Collecting Danish Stamps
Any of the issues noted above make an excellent place to begin a collection of stamps from Denmark. With a relatively straightforward philatelic history, building a collection can be extremely rewarding for anyone with an interest in the country. To get started, browse our online store or contact an Apfelbaum, Inc. representative directly. We frequently have rare Danish stamps for sale and can help you find what you’re looking for.