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Europe/Other : Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

 

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PaulL

02 Feb 2017
07:57:15pm
I am curious about a few covers I have from Iceland circa the "occupation" during WWII. The envelopes are all from the US Department of Agriculture mailed to Washington featuring Icelandic stamps with Washington, DC cancellations. I have my doubts they actually ever touched an Icelandic post office though. I read someplace a long time ago that the Americans didn't trust the Icelandic Post Office because of the potential for spying. That would explain the Washington, DC cancellations. If anyone is interested I can post a few pictures of them. And if anyone knows the story behind the US Department of Agriculture and what their involvement was in Iceland and why these covers have only the Washington, DC cancellations. For those curious I have been collecting Icelandic stamps, FDC and singles, for a long time but just tripped across these box I forgot about.

Paul


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Dakota
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02 Feb 2017
08:33:51pm
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

I am also a collector of Iceland stamps. I haven't seen covers like you mentioned. Have you checked with the Scandinavian Collectors Club. Their website is scc-online.org

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nigelc
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02 Feb 2017
08:43:15pm
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Hi PaulL,

That sounds like the normal approach for sending mail to the US in the diplomatic bag.

I believe it would be cancelled on arrival in Washington and would then enter the US mail system.

I agree that the letters wouldn't go through the Icelandic postal system but Icelandic stamps would be used to pay for the mail delivery.


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Guthrum
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03 Feb 2017
06:13:05am
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Before the Americans took over in early July 1941, the British had 'occupied' the country since May 10 1940. I doubt very much if this occupation had anything whatsoever to do with stamp issues, but here is the relevant page from my collection.

Image Not Found

You'll see that the dealer didn't have the key value, which catalogues at many times the price of the other three - one of those annoying gaps. I note also that my final comment is inaccurate, as another set commemorating Snorre Sturluson was issued in November 1941.

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories

03 Feb 2017
09:07:48am
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

A picture would be good, but Niglec is undoubtedly correct. Sounds like a diplomatic bag cover. The diplomatic corps were instructed to use domestic postage stamps of the resident country so as not to circumvent the local postal authorities. The correspondence was then sent to Washington in the diplomatic bag, where the foreign stamps were cancelled with the Washington DC postmark and entered into the US mailstream.

Here is a sample from Ceylon:

Image Not Found

Roy

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"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 7,000 new covers coming October 6."

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories

03 Feb 2017
09:55:14am
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Here is another one from India. These diplomatic bag covers frequently, but not always, carry this handstamp in various formats. I have had them back to as early as the 1910's.

Image Not Found

Roy

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"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 7,000 new covers coming October 6."

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

03 Feb 2017
10:57:56am
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Nigel and Roy beat me to it, but, yes, this is the diplomatic bag travelling outside Icelandic PO, but franked with local stamps, as is customary


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rjan
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03 Feb 2017
09:34:59pm
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

I have been collecting for 60 years and you always learn something new. The process about wartime mail back to the US is fascinating. I never took notice of the British occupation issue either.

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PaulL

04 Feb 2017
06:24:15pm
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Thanks to those that answered. I sort of figured it was somewhat along those lines. However I was missing the diplomatic pouch. Didn't think of that.

Presently I am redoing my floors and somewhere in the midst of all I misplaced the box. I will post them when I figure out what box they ended up in. I have covers from the war with the censor's mark and I believe I even have one that was on a war ship which had no stamp but simply a post mark. I believe that it's in the same box wherever it is. Actually there are some very interesting covers in the box including a few from military academies in Pakistan and then like. However I forget half of what is in there. Got to figure out where it's at and have another look. I remembered about being curious about some of the other ones.

Anyway he renovations is bad enough but today a delivery guy upended about a kilos of sorted out stamps in tubs which went straight up into the air and down all across the room. His response was opps. That was it. He must have missed the class which all Canadians take that says apologize even if you're not responsible. Two weeks work turned into air mail. I came close to committing what can only be described as stamp collector rage. Good thing I was only armed with tweezers. I can imagine the conversation in court... and if I got the right judge I would have walked but I amazed myself, I only swore after he left.

Again I wished to thank all that answered.

Paul

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Dakota
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06 Feb 2017
12:50:38pm
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Hi Paul.

There is a very good online magazine called Iceland Philatelic Magazine. It is published by Brian Flack.

Brian's Email address is flackbp@gmail.com. You can contact him to get on his mailing list.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

07 Feb 2017
10:15:45am
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Paul,

I think we're combining several different ideas here.

diplomatic pouch: where embassy personnel, including military attaches and Marine guards would post their mail to the US (or whereever) using the pouch AND franking their covers with the stamps of the host country (they could also choose to use the host country's postal service)

military mail: all active duty service members were permitted to send mail free frank, so mail from a warship or a base or even a front line unit would have no stamp IF it were mailed first class (as opposed to air mail or with other auxilliary services).

I should also say that the US maintained a base in Iceland during the war. for a bit of history: http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_03.htm see this on our base in Iceland

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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nigelc
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08 Feb 2017
09:09:05am
re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Here are a few Icelandic Christmas seals from around the same time:

Image Not Found

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Author/Postings
PaulL

02 Feb 2017
07:57:15pm

I am curious about a few covers I have from Iceland circa the "occupation" during WWII. The envelopes are all from the US Department of Agriculture mailed to Washington featuring Icelandic stamps with Washington, DC cancellations. I have my doubts they actually ever touched an Icelandic post office though. I read someplace a long time ago that the Americans didn't trust the Icelandic Post Office because of the potential for spying. That would explain the Washington, DC cancellations. If anyone is interested I can post a few pictures of them. And if anyone knows the story behind the US Department of Agriculture and what their involvement was in Iceland and why these covers have only the Washington, DC cancellations. For those curious I have been collecting Icelandic stamps, FDC and singles, for a long time but just tripped across these box I forgot about.

Paul


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Dakota

02 Feb 2017
08:33:51pm

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

I am also a collector of Iceland stamps. I haven't seen covers like you mentioned. Have you checked with the Scandinavian Collectors Club. Their website is scc-online.org

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this post

www.hipstamp.com/sto ...
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nigelc

02 Feb 2017
08:43:15pm

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Hi PaulL,

That sounds like the normal approach for sending mail to the US in the diplomatic bag.

I believe it would be cancelled on arrival in Washington and would then enter the US mail system.

I agree that the letters wouldn't go through the Icelandic postal system but Icelandic stamps would be used to pay for the mail delivery.


Like 
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likes this post.
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Guthrum

03 Feb 2017
06:13:05am

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Before the Americans took over in early July 1941, the British had 'occupied' the country since May 10 1940. I doubt very much if this occupation had anything whatsoever to do with stamp issues, but here is the relevant page from my collection.

Image Not Found

You'll see that the dealer didn't have the key value, which catalogues at many times the price of the other three - one of those annoying gaps. I note also that my final comment is inaccurate, as another set commemorating Snorre Sturluson was issued in November 1941.

Like
Login to Like
this post

BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
03 Feb 2017
09:07:48am

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

A picture would be good, but Niglec is undoubtedly correct. Sounds like a diplomatic bag cover. The diplomatic corps were instructed to use domestic postage stamps of the resident country so as not to circumvent the local postal authorities. The correspondence was then sent to Washington in the diplomatic bag, where the foreign stamps were cancelled with the Washington DC postmark and entered into the US mailstream.

Here is a sample from Ceylon:

Image Not Found

Roy

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 7,000 new covers coming October 6."

www.Buckacover.com

BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
03 Feb 2017
09:55:14am

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Here is another one from India. These diplomatic bag covers frequently, but not always, carry this handstamp in various formats. I have had them back to as early as the 1910's.

Image Not Found

Roy

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 7,000 new covers coming October 6."

www.Buckacover.com
Members Picture
amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 Feb 2017
10:57:56am

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Nigel and Roy beat me to it, but, yes, this is the diplomatic bag travelling outside Icelandic PO, but franked with local stamps, as is customary


Like
Login to Like
this post

"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link. ...
Members Picture
rjan

03 Feb 2017
09:34:59pm

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

I have been collecting for 60 years and you always learn something new. The process about wartime mail back to the US is fascinating. I never took notice of the British occupation issue either.

Like
Login to Like
this post
PaulL

04 Feb 2017
06:24:15pm

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Thanks to those that answered. I sort of figured it was somewhat along those lines. However I was missing the diplomatic pouch. Didn't think of that.

Presently I am redoing my floors and somewhere in the midst of all I misplaced the box. I will post them when I figure out what box they ended up in. I have covers from the war with the censor's mark and I believe I even have one that was on a war ship which had no stamp but simply a post mark. I believe that it's in the same box wherever it is. Actually there are some very interesting covers in the box including a few from military academies in Pakistan and then like. However I forget half of what is in there. Got to figure out where it's at and have another look. I remembered about being curious about some of the other ones.

Anyway he renovations is bad enough but today a delivery guy upended about a kilos of sorted out stamps in tubs which went straight up into the air and down all across the room. His response was opps. That was it. He must have missed the class which all Canadians take that says apologize even if you're not responsible. Two weeks work turned into air mail. I came close to committing what can only be described as stamp collector rage. Good thing I was only armed with tweezers. I can imagine the conversation in court... and if I got the right judge I would have walked but I amazed myself, I only swore after he left.

Again I wished to thank all that answered.

Paul

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
Dakota

06 Feb 2017
12:50:38pm

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Hi Paul.

There is a very good online magazine called Iceland Philatelic Magazine. It is published by Brian Flack.

Brian's Email address is flackbp@gmail.com. You can contact him to get on his mailing list.

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.hipstamp.com/sto ...
Members Picture
amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Feb 2017
10:15:45am

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Paul,

I think we're combining several different ideas here.

diplomatic pouch: where embassy personnel, including military attaches and Marine guards would post their mail to the US (or whereever) using the pouch AND franking their covers with the stamps of the host country (they could also choose to use the host country's postal service)

military mail: all active duty service members were permitted to send mail free frank, so mail from a warship or a base or even a front line unit would have no stamp IF it were mailed first class (as opposed to air mail or with other auxilliary services).

I should also say that the US maintained a base in Iceland during the war. for a bit of history: http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_03.htm see this on our base in Iceland

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link. ...
Members Picture
nigelc

08 Feb 2017
09:09:05am

re: Anyone collect Icelandic Stamps from WWII? I have a mystery to ask about.

Here are a few Icelandic Christmas seals from around the same time:

Image Not Found

Like 
3 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
        

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