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Otto Sverdrup, 1854-1930

Stamp Info

Name Value
Date of Issue March 26, 2004
Year 2004
Quantity 4,000,000
Perforation or Dimension 13
Postal Administration Canada

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Stamp Price Values

Condition Name Avg Value
Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine Only available to paid users
Used - Very Fine Only available to paid users
* Notes about these prices:
  • They are not based on catalogue values but on current dealer and auction listings. The reason for this is that catalogues tend to over-value stamps.
  • They are average prices. The actual value of your stamp may be slightly above or below the listed value, depending on the overall condition of your stamp. Use these prices as a guide to determine the approximate value of your stamps.

Stamp Supplies on Amazon


Pane of 16 stamps

Quantity Produced - 250,000
Current Purchase Price: Only available to paid users
Original Purchase Price: $7.84
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 28.84 mm x 33.44 mm (vertical)
Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours plus engraving(1 colour)
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: Fluorescent paper
Paper: Tullis Russell Coatings
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Official First Day Cover

Quantity Produced - Unknown
Cancellation Location: Grise Fiord NU
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Official First Day Cover - Plate Block

Quantity Produced - Unknown
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Official First Day Cover - Joint issue

Quantity Produced - Unknown
Original Purchase Price: $5.95
Cancellation Location: Grise Fiord, Nunavut
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 28.84 mm x 33.44 mm (vertical)
Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours plus engraving(1 colour)
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: Fluorescent paper
Paper: Tullis Russell Coatings
Add to List

About Stamp

More than a hundred years after it first travelled through the High Arctic ice, the sturdy sailing ship Fram is returning to Canadian shores, this time direct from a Danish printer. It's part of a unique joint stamp issue between Norway, Greenland and Canada, honouring the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian explorer Otto Sverdrup.

The three stamps in the souvenir set depict a portrait of Sverdrup, the Fram, and a landing boat approaching an Arctic island, possibly in that part of Nunavut now known as the Sverdrup Islands. All are printed in four-colour lithography with one colour gravure, based on images engraved by the Norwegian designer Martin Mörk, whose work is already familiar to Canadians-he created the polar bear engraving for the $2.00 definitive Canada Post issued in 1998.

The Sverdrup joint issue is a complex international production. "There is identical artwork for all three countries," explains Danielle Trottier, Design Manager of Stamp Products at Canada Post. "All the stamps were printed in Denmark by the same printer, with the same design and layout. But each country has chosen to use different stamps, so the souvenir sheets are printed in three different fashions."

Canada Post has issued the stamp portraying the Fram at the international rate ($1.40), so when the souvenir sheet is sold in Canada, the other two stamps appear only as images, without typography or denomination. In Greenland only the landing boat stamp has type and denomination for use in that country, and in Norway, just the Fram stamp and Sverdrup's portrait are denominated.

The same printer, Post Danmark Stamps, has produced for Canada Post a pane of 16 domestic rate (49¢) stamps, using the Fram artwork but with layout and marginal features designed by Canadian Raymond Bellemare.

Bellemare's designs are also featured on three different Official First Day Covers issued in Canada, and he created the cancellation that all three countries will use, with changes to the text for their different languages.

The postal administrations of Norway and Greenland approached Canada Post to join this international tribute. Sverdrup is not well known in Canada, but his travels defined much of our northern geography, at a time when no explorer had yet reached the North Pole. When he began his 1898 expedition on the Fram, he was an experienced Arctic trekker who aimed to explore the northern limits of navigable waters by sailing along the western coast of Greenland and rounding its northern tip. When he found this passage blocked by ice, Sverdrup turned west, and over five years charted a vast area, about 160,000 square kilometres, of islands and ice. The territory he claimed for his country now belongs to Canada, but the Norwegian names remain-Alex Heiberg Island, the Ringnes Islands and others are witness to our shared history.

About the designer
Martin Mörk has also designed and engraved many stamps for Post Greenland. For the Sverdrup stamps, he worked with Morten Stürup, who designed the typography.


Designed and engraved by Martin Mörck.

Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamp Details, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2004, p. 23-24.

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