Erik Nitsche: Sweden Postal Relics
Artist: Erik Nitsche
One of the most interesting areas of postal history concerns the different signs and symbols used through the ages to urge the postal carrier to hurry the mail to its destination. Often, the sender would write "haste", "post haste", or "ride for thy life on payne of the gallows" on the letter to express urgency. Just in case the carrier unable to read, drawings of a man dangling from the gallows, or a skull and crossbones. Sweden, however, had the interesting tradition of attaching two small feathers to the letter by a wax seal. This indicated the need for speed in transit. If black and white feathers were combined, this implied "Very urgent. Travel night and day!" In celebration of the worldwide romance of stamp collecting, this artwork Card depicts some relics from Swedish postal history including a postal coach, a pair of postmen from the 1840s and a Swedish mailbox.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day of Issue Maximum Card for the U.S. 22¢ Stamp Collecting stamp issued January 23, 1986.
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