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In 1980 the Danish Post Office had purchased a new printing machine "M4", and the Danish Stamp Printing Office therefore produced a test stamp designed by the Danish illustrator Mads Stage, and engraved by Czeslaw Slania. The first  test label (see the below scan of the preliminary test label) was never released for sale to the public.  

Using the same motif as on the test stamp the Stamp Printing Office has produced a preliminary test label on Danish printing paper. This final label was handed over to DFF (Danish Philatelic Federation) for the support of Danish philately.  

The test stamp was only sold without marginal numbers, and as singles, blocks of four or strips of four.  The total print run was 251.621 stamps.  The label to the left is considerably enlarged to give a better view.  The true size is circa 3 cm * 2 cm. 

The stamp shows an imaginary view of Copenhagen, with the equestrian statue in front of the Royal Palace in the center.  To the left is a small fragment view of Christiansborg Palace (Parliament Building), and to the right a partial view of the Royal Residential Palace (Amalienborg). 

In the upper right selvedge is printed the word PRØVE (= TEST); in the lower left selvedge is printed 1980, and the lower right selvedge reads SLANIA sc. 

A Danish collector, who wishes to remain anonymous to the public, has sent me an interesting scan of the preliminary test label, appearing with selvedge in a corner-block of four. Mr. Erik Jensen (the Danish Postal Museum) in Copenhagen has provided the below information about this sample. The original answer is in Danish, and the translation is by the webmaster. 

 Denmark 1980. Preliminary test label of the Danish test stamp "Equestrian Statue", appearing with selvedge in a corner block of four.

I have investigated the question, and must admit that there is a difference between the test stamp and the "new" copy. The "0" in "1980" appears superscripted in relation to the inscription on the test stamp. Also the letter "S" in Slania appears somewhat smaller than the remaining characters in his name. 

The test stamp is produced on the basis of the final engraving, whereas the engraving of the "new copy" may be considered a preliminary stadium [testing the test stamp]. However, I am a little puzzled that the printing house seems to have set up a cylinder based on the unfinished engraving, but I seem to remember that Post Danmark no longer was in possession of the original cylinder and had to produce a new one when, five years after the production of the test stamp, decided to leave part of the print run to DFF [Danish Philatelic Federation]. 

This assumption is confirmed in the Danish AFA-catalogue that states using the same motif as on the final test stamp the Stamp Printing Office has produced a preliminary test label on Danish printing paper. The final label was handed over to DFF (Danish Philatelic Federation) for the support of Danish philately. The preliminary test label has NOT been released for sale, but in spite of this there could be several good reasons why this has happened (webmaster's addendum: copies of the preliminary label could have been passed on as souvenirs to the involved personnel of the printing office). 

Many thanks to Mr. Erik Jensen, Curator of the Danish Postal Museum, for all help and research. 

In 1968 the Danish Post Office bought a new printing machine with regard to production of steel engraved stamps in 1-3 colours.  In 1969 the post office made an essay-stamp for tests of colours and print, engraved by Czeslaw Slania, which shows the Grundtvig-Church in the northern part of Copenhagen, an impressive architectural monument, built during the years 1921-40.  The architect's name was P.V. Jensen-Klint, who died in 1930.  His son, the Danish architect Kaare Klint, finished his father's work.  The church's exterior is inspired by the organ, the natural musical instrument of a church.  

One of our group members, Mr. Reinhard Schwabe from Germany, has sent me this interesting copy of a test stamp from his own collection, showing only a part of the Grundtvig-test, with the large tree on the left. 

Grundtvig Church test stamp.

Mr. Schwabe informs that the paper is white with
fluorescence. 

Other types are - without church - only the tree (green)  and the sky  (blue) and  - without the sky  - only the tree (green) and the church (brown). The information about the various types mentioned are given by Lothar Heinrich in Stockholm. 

Unfortunately the last two types  are not in Mr. Schwabe's collection. 

If any Slania-collector happens to have copies of the two types mentioned, I will be happy to show them on this page, naturally with full credits to the owner. 

 

The church is named after the Danish priest N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), who with his bright mind and happy mood influenced the Danes in a more positive way than had been the case with the dark-minded Inner Mission, that had been prevalent in Denmark up to his time.  Further Grundtvig initiated the Danish Adult Schools, serving for a better general education of the village-population of his time.   

Czeslaw Slania has also engraved the Danish commemorative stamp at the occasion of the birth bicentenary of Grundtvig.  The stamp was issued in 1983, and is also shown in the Denmark-section, page 10, of this site.  One more stamp of Grundtvig is shown in the Denmark-section, page 4.

  • Denmark 1983.  N.F.S.  Grundtvig.

 

Scott # 747

An important member of the so-called steel-engraving group in Denmark (who introduced the new printing machines with regard to printing steel engravedstamps,  was Mr. Ricardo Sundgaard, Post Master General, whose portrait was also engraved by Czeslaw Slania on a non-postal label.    

  • Ricardo Sundgaard, 26th December 1918 - 12th March 1989.
    Director of the Danish GPO, and a member of the Danish "Steel Engraving Group".

The label was auctioned away on Hafnia01 in Copenhagen in October 2001 for the amount of around 12.000 D.kr., corresponding roughly to 1.800 US-dollars.  Not catalogued. See also Denmark 1973, Scott # 530 

 

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