Common Post Office services were amongst the tasks which were already, in the 1840's, on the most far-sighted Scandinavians' 'wish list'. This hope was never fulfilled; but, gradually, a very far-reaching co-operation has been established among the Post Offices of the respective Nordic countries.
The first results could be noted as far back as 1869. That year bilateral agreements were concluded between Denmark, Norway and Sweden about the exchange of letters, postal orders, trade charges, parcels and newspaper subscriptions.
When the Universal Postal Union was founded in 1874, coming into force from 1st January 1875, the Danish representatives were, therefore, able to announce that an actual postal union already existed among the Nordic countries. The Universal Postal Convention actually sanctioned the right of the member countries of the World Postal Union to form smaller unions and make mutual agreements with the purpose of introducing lower postal rates or otherwise improving postal services among the countries. The Nordic countries have profited extensively by this authorisation.
At the suggestion of the members of the Nordic Union, the Post Offices of these five countries issued stamps with a common design (the Nordic Swans) on the occasion of the Nordic Day in 1956.
The Post Offices in Denmark, Norway and Sweden celebrated the 10th anniversary of the SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) in 1961 with the issue of a stamp featuring an aeroplane. Nordic stamps were issued in the original five countries in 1969 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the postal co-operation (featuring a Viking ship), in 1973 (the Nordic House in Reykjavik) and in 1977 (water-lilies, symbolising environmental co-operation).
Julie Edel Hardenberg
Julie Edel Hardenberg is one of the most interesting young Greenlandic artists. She was born in Nuuk in 1971 and has an MA degree in Art Theory and Communication from the Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Her educational background also includes studies in Finland, Norway and England, and she already has an impressive curriculum of exhibitions, scenography and decorating projects, acknowledgements and honorary offices. Also internationally, she has drawn attention to herself. Lately she was nominated as one of the 50 most promising photographers of the world and participated in a major exhibition "ReGeneration" at the Musee de l'Elysees, Lausanne, Switzerland, subsequently in Galleri Carla Sozzani in Milan, the Apertures Gallery in New York, and finally the autumn exhibition 2005 at Charlottenborg, Denmark.
Below Julie Hardenberg explains her stamp design:
My inspiration for the design of the stamp was drawn from the previously issued joint Nordic stamp from 1956, which then featured five swans. I decided to use the snow bunting as an exponent of the common Nordic theme, as the bunting is a migratory bird and especially visible in northern regions. In this way, it also acts as a parallel to the earlier stamp featuring swans, as the bunting is also represented in all eight Nordic countries.