The beautiful minisheet Meeting in Valhalla is the Swedish contribution to the Nordic stamp cooperation Top of the World of Stamps. The minisheet features motifs from Nordic mythology.
Against a background of picture stones from the island of Gotland outside the east coast of Sweden we see the stamps The Return of a Warrior and Welcoming Valkyrie. The picture on the left-hand stamp probably shows a dead rider on his way to Valhalla, the dwelling of the god Odin. When Odin thought people had become too many and troublesome he staged a war in the human world. The warriors Odin thought particularly brave were allowed to come to Valhalla after death. To aid him Odin had female warriors, Valkyries, who invisibly took part in the human wars and decided who could enter the house of Odin.
The oldest known picture stones were erected sometime in the 5 century BC and the youngest in the 12 century AD. They were probably homage to the gods and memorials of the dead. The pictures describe myths and legends, but also the everyday life. Over 400 picture stones are known in Sweden today.
Meeting in Valhalla
Day of issue: 26 March 2004
Minisheet format: 105 x 70 mm
Stamp format: 31.25 x 26.60 mm
Originals: A collage of motifs from Gotland picture stones made by Christina Anselm
Engraver: Lars Sjoblom
Design: Gustav Malmfors
Printing method: 1-colour recess, 4-colour offset
Printing works: Sweden Post Stamps, Kista, Stockholm