In the olden days, the mail carrier blew his posthorn to warn people to get out of the way as the mail coach approached. The posthorn was also handy to have if the mail carrier needed help, was waylaid or was involved in an accident. On approaching the farm where he planned to rest, the mail carrier would blow his horn to tell the farmer to prepare food and a bed for him. The posthorn was an important part of the postman’s equipment at that time and it was a familiar symbol representing status.
Few people could have guessed on 7 January 1872 that an important event in philatelic history was taking place that day. We know that now. The issue of Norway’s first posthorn stamp, the 3 skilling red, was the start of something that was eventually to become the world’s oldest uninterrupted stamp series. Since 1872, posthorn stamps have been issued in three currency units and in about 160 versions. The job of designing the stamp was given to Wilhelm von Hanno (1826-82), a German- Norwegian architect, for a fee of 15 speciedaler. It was not by chance that he chose the posthorn as his subject. The original hunting horn had become a symbol for postal administrations in many countries and it was introduced in Norway in 1730. And, as the architect of many railway station buildings, von Hanno also remembered the significance of rail transport for the postal services. He placed a winged wheel symbolising the railway in each corner of the stamp. After the issue of the legendary 3 skilling red in 1872 and a subsequent series of other skilling values, the first øre posthorn stamp was released in 1877. Krone stamps appeared in 1991 and øre stamps with decimals were issued 1997. When new posthorn stamps with krone values were introduced in 2001, the stamps were given a veritable facelift by stamp designers Sverre Morken and Enzo Finger.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 11.11.2013
Designer: Sverre Morken and Enzo Finger
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Security Print
Colours: 4 Colours
Values: NOK 10, 20