Oscar I stamps 1857-1861

Nk 4 1856

The postal department expected the first stamp to last two years, and hence they initiated the process of making a new series of stamps already in 23rd of January 1855, just three weeks after the launch of the first stamp.

Of notice, the letters also indicated a need for a denomination of 8 skilling, the double of the first stamp issued, indicating the use of the stamps to foreign destinations and heavier letters. This time there was a wish for using the Kings portrait and the name of the country on the stamp. 

In July 1855 Sweden issued their own perforated stamps, with success, and this seems to have spurred the Norwegian postal department to query their counterparts in Sweden for the production of this new series. 

Nk 5 1856

After some dialogue on essays and production costs, it was decided to enter into contract with engraver P.A. Nymann in Stockholm, 16th of December 1855, ordering the production of 6 million 4 skilling blue stamps and 2 million 8 skilling red stamps. The first delivery of 2 million stamps arrived 5th of June 1856 and another 2 million 23rd of July. The 8 skilling stamps arrived later, in November 1855, produced in total of 2.225.000.

Today these stamps are easily available for collectors cancelled, but as unused they are fairly costly. Especially the Nk5, eight skilling stamp is rare to find in good quality in mint condition. Often collectors must be satisfied with lesser specimens without gum or regummed.

Unused pair with a fold, but still rare.
Nk 2 1857

In Christiania, the capital of Norway in 1855, plans were made to create a local postal service within and around the city borders. This created the need for a 2 skilling denomination. This decision was communicated in July 1856, and the colour was to be yellow. In the production of this stamp we find the colours to vary between yellow orange to deep orange, and first batch arrived 30th of January 1857. 

The stamp was used mainly in Christiania, with the cancellation of 365 or Christiania Bypost (city post), but also found on letters in pairs locally and sent to foreign destinations. As its counterparts, this stamp is not easily found unused with undisturbed gum. 

Nk 3 1857

The last stamp in this series were ordered in 1857, since the need to cover for uneven postal rates increased with more letters sent abroad. Hence a new 3 skilling stamp was considered as a necessary addition. 

The colour of the stamp was decided to ble grey, but only after Nymann had sent colour proofs to show how a grey colour would be differentiated from the other stamps. One expect there is a single sheet grey and yellow, and two blue. All these proofs are perforated 13 on striped paper, with the value 3.TRE SKILLING.3 on them. 

The first stamps arrived 28th of May 1857. Only  1 million were produced, but since most were used abroad, many are still available through the foreign collectors dilligence in keeping them. 

Colours in detail

This series of stamps all have different colours from the printing, since each stamp was produced and sent to Norway in batches over time. 

Be aware that colours on your local screen may vary from the real colour of the stamps. But the differences should enable you to get some indications.

NK 2

The dark yellow is more seldom.

The lemon yellow is chemically altered, and is considered less valuable.


Dark yellow
Lemon yellow

NK 3

The light gray and dark gray are similarly common to be found. Very dark stamps are less valuable.

The pale grey and brown grey stamps are chemically altered and of no real value.

Dark purplegrey
Brown grey

NK 4

This stamp was produced in three periods, with identifiable colour differences. The milkwhite blue stamp is the most seldom one.

Blue in variations. 21-12-1856
Greenish blue. 30-10-1860
Milkwhite blue. 30-10-1860

NK 5

For this issue, we find two colours only.

Brown carmine

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