Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sweden issues Castle Stamps

The Swedish Post Office has chosen a selection of castles and palaces as the illustration for theire new international rate postage stamps whose first day of issue is Jan. 28, 2010.Lacko Castle, Sofiero Palace, Ulriksdal Palace, Tjoloholm Castle and Vadstena Castle are all unique and beautiful snapshots of Sweden,” says Stina Olofsdotter, head oldesign at Sweden Post Stamps. The castles and palaces each represent their own era, ranging from the 1500s to the 1900s.

The oldest of the group is Vodstena Castle, architecturally Sweden’s most famous renaissance castle. The construction started in the 1550s. The main building and its strong central tower are surrounded by a moat.

The history of Lack√∂ Castle reaches back into the Middle Ages. The most well-known owner, Count Magnus Gabriel De Ia Gaidie was one of Queen Kristina’s favorites. It was rebuilt in the middle of the 1600s in a modern baroque style.

Ulriksdals Palace was also owned by the De a Gardie family. It was bought in1669 by Queen Hedvig Eleonora. Towards the end of the century, the palace was rebuilt and expanded under the guidance of the architects Nicodemos Tessin the Elder and the Younger.

Up until 1973, Sofiero Palace was a royal out-of- town residence, constructed in the 1860s and expanded with an additional story ten years later. In 1905 the palace was presented to the royal couple Prince Gustaf Adolf — future King Gustaf VI Adolf, grandfather to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Princess Margareta who reconstructed the gardens, adding the famous rhododendrons.

The youngest of the castles in the booklet isTjoloholm Castle, which was built during the years 1898—1904 in the English Tudor style by business man James F. Dickson and his wife, Blanche, based on drawings by architect Lars Israel Wahlman. Tjoloholni Castle was one of the last large castles to be built in Sweden

One new feature of the Swedish Castles & Palaces booklet is that the five stamps are engraved and printed on self-adhesive paper. It is also the premier of an international rate denomination on self- adhesive stamps, a combination that has been sought after by both agents and customers.

All five famous castles from different eras form the motif of the stamps in the new booklet. The castles are well-visited by tourists from both near and far. The stamps were designed by Eva Wilsson and engraved by Nartin Morck. Each stamp has a denominations of 12 Swedish kronor. The cost of the entire booklet is 60 SEK. First day covers are 77 SEk and Collector Sheet’s are 93 SEK.Special souvenir sheet has also been produced. It contains four of the Lacko Castle Stamp and shows and aerial photo taken of the castle by Tore Hangman. The souvenir sheet measures 148mm by 187.5 mm. The cost of the souvenir sheet is 53 SEK.