Sweden Post’s stamp printing works is located in Kista, north of Stockholm circle, and every day it produces millions of stamps with high quality and precision. More than half of all of the motifs during a year are engraved and printed in recess or a combination of recess and offset.
Printing in recess has been a specialty of the printing works for many years and postal organizations from around the work have placed their assignments here, both as direct assignments and as joint issues. The printing works’ greatest asset is its skill in creating end- to-end solutions — handling the entire process from design to the final print and packaging.
This was the deciding factor when Ireland’s postal organization presented the idea of a joint issue with Sweden on the art of engraving and turned the entire production over to Sweden Post’s stamp printing works.
Sweden’s three stamps come as a mini- sheet. The motifs are a silver bowl from the Viking era found in Rute, Gotland, King Erik XIV’s impressive armor and a re-print of master engraver Czeslaw Slania’s (passed away 2005) stamp Ballet from 1975.
The bowl from Rute, Gotland, was found in 1863 by a farmer plowing his field. Beside the bowl there were several pieces of silver jewelry and around 6oo coins dating back to the 10505. Today the bowl is on display at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.
The Royal Armory is home to King Erik XIV’s splendid armor from the middle of the 1500s. The armor was probably forged and manufactured in Arboga, but the decorations were made by a goldsmith in Antwerp in what is now Belgium. The decorations include the Vasa family weapons, shackled prisoners, battle scenes and mythological creatures.
The stamps were designed by Gustav Martensson, Goran Schmidt and Enar Merkel Rydberg. The engravers are Ceslaw Slania, who will be honored posthumously with this issue, plus Lars Sjbbblom and Martin Morck.
Ireland chose to issue only one of the three motifs, the re-print of Slania’s Ballet engraving from 1975. The stamp has a denomination of 55 cents. Sweden Post’s stamp printing works was selected to produce the Irish 16-stamp sheet from start to finish. End-to-end solutions have become something of specialty at the stamp printing works. The Irish postal organization is very pleased with the completed assignment. “We have had an enjoyable and educational cooperation with Sweden Post for this stamp issue,” says Aidan Murphy, Head ofAn Post.