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Iceland: Revenues: Vacation Savings Stamps - Orlof Overprints  
Thor Thorsteins has written (summarized here): A law dated February 26, 1943, required employers to pay temporary wage earners 4% vacation pay, to be paid in Vacation Stamps at the time of payment of wages. The post office was to issue Vacation Stamps and Vacation Books for the stamps. Both full post offices and the smaller letter collecting stations were to distribute the books free of charge but only full post offices were to sell Vacation Stamps and redeem books for vacation funds. Stamp sales began August 1, 1943. (Vacation pay was initially 4%; 6% from 1957; rising in 1964 to 7% and to 8 1/3% in 1971.) Due to insufficient time to prepare special Vacation Stamps, for the vacation year 1943-44, postage stamps overprinted with the word “Orlof” and values of 10, 20 and 50 aurar; 1, 2, 5, and 10 krónur, were used. It was required that postal clerks sell these stamps to whoever desired them. These overprinted stamps were savings stamps for the next summer vacation period starting May 15, 1944 until May 14, 1945. The wages recipient was to glue the received stamps into his/her book and before going on vacation during the vacation period to present it with accompanying certification for payment at a post office. Overprinting of stamps was performed by State Printer Gutenberg during the period May 16, 1943 to April 13, 1944. Starting in 1944, purpose-designed Vacation Stamps were printed and used up into the 1970s (they are available from Jay Smith and Associates).

Twelve regular postage stamps and seven official stamps were overprinted. They were sold for only about nine months and were then withdrawn. Though printed in quantities of ranging from 19,700 to 158,500, most were printed in quantities of less than 50,000. Quantities withdrawn and destroyed seem not to have been recorded, thus only the original print quantities are known; some stamps may exist in much smaller quantities than the original print numbers suggest. Stamp collectors in Iceland at that time seem to have paid little attention to these stamps; collectors outside of Iceland seem to have been virtually unaware of them until many years later. Because they were not considered to be postage stamps, they got less respect at the time. Furthermore, economic conditions in Iceland during the war years were extremely difficult for many people and thus little money was spent on stamps like these. It seems that no Icelandic stamp dealers stocked them or offered them to overseas buyers. It must also be remembered that the stamps had to be redeemed to get the money for a vacation and that the post office normally destroyed the redeemed stamps. The only mint-with-gum stamps extant were likely purchased by collectors, plus perhaps the odd few found in the desk drawers of small employers. Used examples are rare.

Of all 19 stamps, only three low values (Fish) are seen with any frequency. The vast majority of the stamps are extremely scarce or rare. The Facit Catalog started listing and pricing these stamps in 2007, however, I have absolutely no idea how the Facit editors arrived at the pricing they are using. For the most common three stamps, the pricing is perhaps a little low, but in the right neighborhood. However, beyond those three stamps, the prices make no sense to me. If I have not had nor been able to buy -- and I do try to find these kinds of things -- more than one example of a stamp in 38 years (as of 3/2011), a catalog value of $75 is simply absurdly low. Despite the presence of the Facit listings causing demand to increase significantly -- with no change in supply -- the Facit prices appear to remain unchanged. The Facit values may be a guide to relative rarity, however, they do not reflect the true market value of these stamps.
See the article in the Resources section for more information and images of all the pages in a complete Orlof savings book.

Though the listings below of available items may not include all that you are seeking, please send your want list so that you will be on the waiting list when I can next offer the scarcer stamps.

I am interested in buying these overprints and all Icelandic revenue material.
Vacation Savings Stamps - Orlof Overprints  Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
IMAGES: Hover mouse pointer over image to determine if ACTUAL image of item OR a REPRESENTATIVE sample image of item.
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US$ Never
Hinged

Never HingedNever Hinged
US$
235998
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Orlof Book: Complete 1943-44 ORLOFSBÓK, serial numbered "No 09860". Contains 19 OVERPRINTED STAMPS: 10x 1 krona on 60 aur Gulfoss Waterfall; 4x 10 aur on 10 aur Fish (green); 4x 20 aur on 25 aur Fish (red); and 1x 50 aur on 25 aur Christian X (red). The outer cover of the book is worn and with an ink stain, but the interior pages are all in excellent condition. The stamps are mostly VF with a couple F-VF; under magnification I do NOT see any defects on the stamps. The total of the individual selling prices of the stamps is approximately $3400!!!! The pages of the book include 9 pages of Orlof law and regulations (it would be great if somebody would volunteer to translate this). My understanding is that THIS 1943-44 BOOK IS THE ONLY BOOK IN WHICH THE OVERPRINTED STAMPS WERE USED. In 38 years I do not recall ever seeing another example of a complete book containing any overprinted stamps. The book is rare and contains $3400 in intrinsic value of the stamps (which could be removed and easily sold); it should sell for much more than $3400, however, to keep the book intact I offer it for less than the value of the stamps.
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2950.00

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234949
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #44 (Facit #73) [1 kr Christian IX] Mint Superb, looks LH, but is probably NH with natural gum skips.
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234950
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #83 (Facit #88) [1 kr Two Kings] NH VF.
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235989
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Orlof 2 kr Overprint on Scott #84 (Facit #89) [2 kr Two Kings] Mint VF, no gum horizontal THREE-STRIP. As of 2/2012, the only other mint examples I have had in 38 years are five with-gum stamps. Multiples of the most of the Orlof overprints are very scarce.
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240.00

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235990
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Orlof 2 kr Overprint on Scott #84 (Facit #89) [2 kr Two Kings] Used VF. As of 2/2012, only one of three used examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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210.00

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236799
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Orlof 2 kr Overprint on Scott #84 (Facit #89) [2 kr Two Kings] Used VF centered with violet handstamped cancel, but thin spot and blunted perfs at top. Otherwise would be around $200.
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40.00

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238226
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Orlof 5 kr Overprint on Scott #85 (Facit #90) [5 kr Two Kings] NH Just Fine. As of 12/2014, only the fourth mint example I have had in 41 years.
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Reference
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234953
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Orlof 5 kr Overprint on Scott #98 (Facit #120) [5 kr Frederik VIII] Used Damaged (scuffed, stain, pinhole). As of 3/2011, the only example I have had (in any condition) in 38 years and I have only had a report of one other example (though others certainly must exist). I believe this to be the rarest overprinted Orlof stamp.
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238232
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Orlof 50 aur Overprint on Scott #104 (Facit #96) [10 aur Two Kings, crosses watermark] NH VF. This stamp had by far the lowest printing quantity according to Facit: 14,600, which is less than one-tenth of highest print quantity. As of 12/2014, in 41 years I have recorded having only seven mint (and no used) singles plus a plate block of four; however they seem often to be creased. Wonderful quality; very scarce!
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Reference
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240555
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Orlof 50 aur Overprint on Scott #121 (Facit #137) [25 aur red Christian X] NH Almost Fine (three perf holes just barely touch frameline). As of 11/2018, only the 9th (including this example; 5 mint and 4 used) example I have had in 45 years. This centering is fairly typical for this stamp. Very fresh and bright.
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95.00

Vacation Savings Stamps - Orlof Overprints continued ...   Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
IMAGES: Hover mouse pointer over image to determine if ACTUAL image of item OR a REPRESENTATIVE sample image of item.
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US$ Never
Hinged

Never HingedNever Hinged
US$
240556
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Orlof 50 aur Overprint on Scott #121 (Facit #137) [25 aur red Christian X] NH Almost Fine (three perf holes just barely touch frameline). Though Mint NH, this has a tiny violet probably accidental pen mark at bottom left (very hard to see). I think of it as mint with the pen mark, rather than used with gum -- if it did not have gum, nobody would question that it was a lightly canceled used example (which would sell for just as much in this centering). As of 11/2018, only the 9th (including this example; 5 mint and 4 used) example I have had in 45 years. This centering is fairly typical for this stamp. Very fresh and bright.
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70.00

235980
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Orlof 50 aur Overprint on Scott #121 (Facit #137) [25 aur red Christian X] Used VF. As of 2/2012, only one of three -- and by far the best -- examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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225.00

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235981
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Orlof 50 aur Overprint on Scott #121 (Facit #137) [25 aur red Christian X] Used Just Fine. As of 2/2012, only one of three used examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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145.00

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234956
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Orlof 1 kr Overprint on Scott #173 (Facit #197) [60 aur Gulfoss Waterfall] NH VF.
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236803
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Orlof 1 kr Overprint on Scott #173 (Facit #197) [60 aur Gulfoss Waterfall] Used Superb, with neat handstamped cancel, but short perforation tooth on left side. As of 12/2012, only the third canceled example I have had in 39 years. Otherwise would be around $225.
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65.00

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234957
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] NH Superb. This is the most commonly found Orlof overprinted stamp, however, well centered examples are scarce. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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40.00

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236804
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] NH VF+. This is the most commonly found Orlof overprinted stamp, however, well centered examples are scarce. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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38.00

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239201
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] NH F-VF+. This is the most commonly found Orlof overprinted stamp, however, well centered examples are scarce. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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33.00

234969
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Mint Superb. This is the most commonly found Orlof overprinted stamp, however, well centered examples are scarce. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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28.00

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234970
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Mint Superb. This is the most commonly found Orlof overprinted stamp, however, well centered examples are scarce. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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28.00

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Vacation Savings Stamps - Orlof Overprints continued ...   Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
IMAGES: Hover mouse pointer over image to determine if ACTUAL image of item OR a REPRESENTATIVE sample image of item.
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US$ Never
Hinged

Never HingedNever Hinged
US$
234972
View REPRESENTATIVE Image
Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Mint F-VF, but with crease (not obvious from front). This is the most commonly found Orlof overprinted stamp, however, well centered examples are scarce. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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8.00

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236805
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #221 (Facit #245C2) [10 aur green Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Used F-VF with neat manuscript cancellation. As of 12/2012, this is only the third used example (and the only manuscript canceled) I have had in 39 years. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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130.00

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234958
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Orlof 10 aur Overprint on Scott #223 (Facit #247) [12 aur Fish] NH VF right margin example.
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239202
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #224 (Facit #248C2) [25 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] NH F-VF+. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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58.00

235993
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #224 (Facit #248C2) [25 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Used F-VF with handstamped and dated manuscript cancellations. A dated cancellation on any Orlof Overprint is extremely scarce; I have only had two or three such dated Orlofs in 38 years! As of 2/2012, only one of five used examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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140.00

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235994
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #224 (Facit #248C2) [25 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Used Superb. As of 2/2012, only one of five used examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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110.00

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235995
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #224 (Facit #248C2) [25 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Used VF. As of 2/2012, only one of five used examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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95.00

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236808
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #224 (Facit #248C2) [25 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Used VF with neat violet handstamped cancel. The underlying stamp exists with three perforation types, logically however, the only overprinted version recorded is the last one printed. Theoretically other perforations could exist.
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90.00

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235997
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #224 (Facit #248C2) [25 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] Used Fine. As of 2/2012, only one of five used examples I have had in 38 years. Extremely scarce; used is not priced in any catalog.
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65.00

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234960
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Orlof 20 aur Overprint on Scott #226 (Facit #250C2) [35 aur red Fish, comb perf 14x14 thin tooth at top] NH Superb. Though the underlying stamp exists with two perforation types, the second type was printed after the Orlof overprinting and thus cannot exist with overprint.
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Reference
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Vacation Savings Stamps - Orlof Overprints continued ...   Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
IMAGES: Hover mouse pointer over image to determine if ACTUAL image of item OR a REPRESENTATIVE sample image of item.
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US$ Never
Hinged

Never HingedNever Hinged
US$
234961
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #O16 (Facit #TJ29) [Official 10 aur Christian IX] NH Superb.
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Reference
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236811
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #O19 (Facit #TJ32) [Official 50 aur Christian IX] NH F-VF.
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Reference
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234963
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #O34 (Facit #TJ36) [Official 10 aur Two Kings] NH Superb.
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234964
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #O36 (Facit #TJ38) [Official 16 aur Two Kings] NH F-VF+.
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234965
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Orlof 10 kr Overprint on Scott #O38 (Facit #TJ40) [Official 50 aur Two Kings] NH VF.
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234966
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Orlof 2 kr Overprint on Scott #O48 (Facit #TJ51) [Official 2 kr Christian X] NH VF.
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236814
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Orlof 5 kr Overprint on Scott #O49 (Facit #TJ52) [Official 5 kr Christian X] NH Superb.
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Reference
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