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Sweden: Labels: 1912 Olympics Labels  
Labels are issued for many purposes, including events such as expositions and sport competitions; commercial advertising and promotion; fundraising (usually then called "seals"); propaganda, publicity, and education; non-governmental payment receipts (example: union dues); and series issued for label collectors. (Post-office issued labels will be considered separately.) In the early part of the 1900s, collecting labels issued in series was very popular, with a few issuers publishing albums (but not in Sweden to my knowledge); usually one had to buy a product or visit a store to obtain a label for the album. The term "poster stamps" is often applied to many labels because they are really miniature posters. Labels often look like stamps, but can range from smaller to much larger; from boring and crude to stunning works of art; and from very inexpensive to quite valuable. Some collectors seek labels either for specific thematic appeal or for design elements of the artwork. Swedish labels, in both overall variety and quantities printed, seem to be few and far between compared to the masses issued in many European countries during the early 1900s. (In Scandinavia, Danish issuers were by far the most prolific, with Swedish issuers well behind, and then other Scandinavian countries with many fewer issues. Approvals are available from all Scandinavian countries.) Even the most "common" of labels are usually scarce compared to the postage stamps of the same time period; there are many $5 labels that would be worth $500 if they were postage stamps. It is important to note that, over the years, labels have not received the same level of care usually afforded to postage stamps and thus labels are much more likely to have condition problems. Lesser condition always affects the value, but do not automatically pass up a scarce label for that reason alone; you may never see another example of it.
For the first time in the modern Olympics, an official poster was created for the 1912 Olympic Games. The same design was used to create an official poster stamp (label) design, which in this case is completely true to the term "poster stamp". The label was issued in 16 languages, presumably to cover all the participating countries. The basic design of each label is identical, the text at the bottom is different for each language. While Swedish, German, English, French, etc. are among the most common languages, most other languages are scarce, while some are rare. The labels were sent to the participating countries to be used on letters to help promote the upcoming Games. However, because of the nudity in the image, some countries "rejected" (yet they exist) the labels; China completely banned them. The labels are normally perforated, but imperforate examples do exist -- before buying such be sure that the margins are more than adequate so that it cannot be a trimmed label. While the common languages can be found with gum, no-gum examples (probably applied to envelopes, but not canceled as they were not stamps) are commonly encountered. For the scarcer languages, no-gum, and even damaged, examples should not be rejected -- you may not see an example again for many years, if ever. The perforations are usually cleanly cut, though some rough perforation examples (collectible thus) are seen. However, perforation faults are so typical that they are almost the "normal" quality; examples without perforation faults demand a premium value. NH examples are unusual.
1912 Olympics Labels  Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
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241561
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1912 Stockholm Olympic Games label (poster stamp) with SWEDISH TEXT ("OLYMPISKA SPELEN"). NH with VF centering, but typical short perforations. Unusual variety: The beige ink of the skin areas is instead brown. This was likely either contamination of the ink on the press or poorly mixed ink. I have not previously encountered and example of this color variation. While Swedish is one of the more common languages (English and German are the most common), the color variety is quite exceptional.
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241563
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1912 Stockholm Olympic Games label (poster stamp) with CZECHOSLOVAKIAN TEXT ("HRY OLYMPIJSKE"). NH VF centering and perfect perforations (scarce thus). While this is supposedly not a scarce language, I have only seen a very few Czechoslovakian examples in the last 46 years.
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241562
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1912 Stockholm Olympic Games label (poster stamp) with PORTUGUESE TEXT ("JOGOS OLYMPICOS"). NH with Superb centering and perfect perforations (scarce thus). There is a faint gum bend which is hardly worth mentioning. Unusual variety: There is an orange "+" (hard to see) registration mark in the white area at upper right, to the right of the raised hand. It is rare for a printer to put a registration mark within a printed design. I have never seen this before (on any language of label), but with a sheet size of 81, I probably have not seen enough examples. While this is supposedly not a scarce language, I have only seen a couple Portuguese examples in the last 46 years.
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