Seapost -> Fra Handstamps of Denmark

Fra Handstamps of Denmark

By Mike Dovey

Fra marks are another form of ship letter cancellation and were applied to any letters sent into Denmark from a particular port. All mail received from a port, e.g. Malmo, into, e.g. Copenhagen, would receive a "Fra Sverige / M" cancel whereas any mail from Iceland would receive a "Fra Island" cancel and so on, for all of the Scandinavian countries.

Fra Sverige / M Cancel
A2. "Fra Sverige / M" (Malmo) + Hosking 547A

The first cancellations appeared in 1851 and were all used at Copenhagen for mail from Kiel, Lubeck, Stettin, and Ronne until 1860. Since then the number has quietly risen to around 110 plus, with marks created to cover mail from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Germany, England, Finland, as well as Danish ports.

Fra Tydskland / L cancel
E1. "Fra Tydskland / L" (Lubeck).

There are at least 45 known Fra marks for ports inside Denmark itself, being the biggest area for such cancels, followed by Sweden which has at least 38 known and catalogued marks.

Fra Norge Cancel
G44. "Fra Norge" (Hirtshals).

Following these two areas which have the bulk of the Fra marks, Germany has 13 known marks, Norway 4, Finland 2, Iceland 7, and there is one known "Fra England" cancel which was used from 1929 until 1950+. Some marks were still being used well into the 1970's which makes Fra marks a superb collecting area to get into.

Fra England Cancel
F1. "Fra England" (Thorshavn).


The "Fra" Handstamps of Denmark by H.E.Tester.

Further reading:

Bridging the Sound - The Postal History of the Copenhagen–Malmö Crossing, by Stefan Danielski, THE POSTHORN, November 2000 [pdf].

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