Faroese Postal History

Charity Seals used in the Faroe Islands

Charity Seals

In 1904 Denmark issued the first Christmas charity seals, a development that was quickly
followed elsewhere, with a view to raising money to assist with children fighting tuberculosis. These seals were sold at all post offices in the Faroe Islands.

Being a success, these continued to be issued annually, until WW2 stopped their supply in 1939.

During WWII as many as 210 Faroe Islanders lost their lives, mainly at sea but also a few on land. At this time there was no public social security net in the Faroes for the widows and dependent children of these lost men. In September 1941 Faroe Islanders living in Denmark and unable to return home to the Faroe Islands issued a Charity Seal with the aim of raising funds to aid those Faroese children left fatherless by the war (Fyri Fadirleys) this initial label, and a subsequent re-issue in October 1943 featured 'Merkid' (the Faroese Flag). These seals were only sold within Denmark and are thus not found on Faroese mail. In March 1945 a second seal featuring 'Mother and Child' was issued in Denmark, however later in the year the remaining copies of these seals found their way to the Faroe Islands where they were sold locally.

During the British Occupation of the Faroe Islands during WWII it was recognised that there was a need to raise funds for more local charity work. As a result, the Faroese Barnahjalpargrunnurin (Children’s Aid Foundation) issued their first charity seals in the Faroes during WW2 and continued to issue seals which were sold through the Faroes post offices until 1975 (along with Danish Christmas seals which were reintroduced in 1945).

Following Postal Independance in 1976 the Danish Christmas seals and the Faroese Children’s aid seals were replaced by the modern Faroese Christmas charity seals, with funds raised still benefitting the Children's Aid Foundation.

Danish Christmas Seals, 1904-1939


Black and white postcard of Aalborg with purple 10 ore numeral postmarked with a faint KOLLEFJORD
Uds postmark (13.02), with a Thorshavn transit
postmark (01.07 Type Bro IIIc) dated 22.12.39 and a Klaksvig receipt cancel (03.05 Type Bro IIc), both tying a 1939 Danish Christmas seal (the last Danish seal issued until the end of WWII).

Danish Christmas Seals, 1945-1975




Card with 70 ore stamp, 1974 Danish Christmas seal, and Pilsner label, with
'M.S. Winston Churchill' hand stamp, addressed to Odense.
Cancel is a straight line

Barnahjalpin Charity Seals
, 1944 - 1975
"Foroyar Barnaheim" is a children's home, which is an independent institution with an executive committee as its highest authority.

Seal numbers are taken from a 1988 DAKA GF10 catalogue.

Blue and Red
Issued 1944

dated 27.3.44

Datestamp No. 01.08
Type Bro IIc

Franked with a scarlet 20 øre King Christian X,
SG 329.

Sent at the Inland letter rate of 20 øre which applied from 10.07.1940 until 31.05.1950

On business envelope  from the firm of Ludvig Poulsen. 

Issued 1945
Blue and Red
Perf 11½

Fri Fadirleys Charity Seal, possibly used in Thorshavn?

Issued 1947
Perf 10¾

dated 17.12.1957

Type Bro IId

Franked with a scarlet 15 øre King Christian X,
SG 329.

The local Postcard rate was abolished from 30.04.1955. The Inland rate of 20 øre applied from 01.07.1952 until 14.04.1963 so this card appears to be underfranked.

Issued 1952
Perf 12x12¼

dated 26.2.54

Datestamp No. 08.03
Type Bro IId

Franked with a 30 øre Frederick IX stamp.

Sent at the Inland letter rate of 30 øre which applied from 01.07.1952 until 14.04.1963

Issued 1953
Type 1 Perf 12¼
Blue background with red border.
DAKA 4 (see above)

dated 15.12.1953

Datestamp No. 01.12(?)
Type Bro IId-3

Franked with a pair of 10 øre Wavy-line Numeral  stamps.

20 øre was the Local Letter rate (50g) applicable from 01.07.1952 until 30.04.1955.

Issued 1953
Type 1 Perf 14¾

dated 07.04.1956

Franked with a 25 øre Frederick IX stamp.

Datestamp No. 01.11(?)
Type Bro IId-2

25 øre was the Local Letter rate (50g) applicable from 01.05.1955 until 30.03.1957 when the Local rate was abolished.

Issued 1975
Type 1 Perf 11
Red background with Blue border (as 1959)

dated 07.09.1977

Franked with a 120 oyru stamp from the 1975 definitive series.

Datestamp No. 01.19
Type Bro IId-8

It is unclear why a 120 øre franking has been applied to this postcard to England as the Postcard rate to countries outside Scandinavia was 90 oyru from 01.04.1976 until 31.10.1977. Posted onboard M/F SMYRIL and the PAQUEBOT cancel applied when the card was datestamped in Tórshavn.

Faroese Christmas Seals, 1976 to date


Other Faroese Charity Labels


Issued 1966

dated 20 DEC 1971

Franked with a 50 øre Frederik IX stamp.

No. 01.Ems.05
Type Ems-4

Sent at the (Inland) Postcard rate of 50 øre which applied from 03.07.1967 until 30.06.1972.

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