POSTER STAMPS AND LABELS OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

      INTRODUCTION

      STATISTICS

      UNSOLVED MYSTERIES

      SOLVED MYSTERIES!

       SUMMER GAMES
1894 - Modern Games Founded
1896 - I Olympiad - Athens
1900 - II Olympiad - Paris
1904 - III Olympiad - St. Louis
1906 - Intercalated Games - Athens
1908 - IV Olympiad - London
1912 - V Olympiad - Stockholm
1913 - Berlin prepares for 1916 games
1914 - 20th Anniversary of Rebirth of Games
1916 - VI Olympiad - Berlin
1920 - VII Olympiad - Antwerp
1924 - VIII Olympiad - Paris
      - Post Cards
1928 - IX Olympiad - Amsterdam
1932 - X Olympiad - Los Angeles
1936 - XI Olympiad - Berlin
1940 - XII Olympiad - Tokyo
      - XII Olympiad - Helsinki
      - New Zealand Centennial Games
1944 - XIII Olympiad - London
      - German POW Games
1948 - XIV Olympiad - London

1940 - XII Olympiad - Helsinki
(Cancelled)

Official poster for the 1940 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki

Click on image below to open an enlarged version in a separate window/tab
Click on the DuBois number beneath the image to display technical data about that label.

The 1940 Olympic Games were originally scheduled to be held in Japan, but Japan's war with China, and opposition from both within and without the country led Japan to withdraw in mid-1938. Finland, which had been the runner up for the selection, was then awarded the Games, but the start of WWII in 1939 put an end to that.

Finland had already made significant preparations, including the selection of designs for an official poster and seals, and the designs for a set of postage stamps.

In addition, there were two sets of official poster stamps, one in four languages, the other in seven:

                       
1940-F-1 thru 4

DuBois listing:

A Finnish coastal landscape scene in dark blue; a red disc at the upper left,
with the following texts,in white:

1. German: "Die OLYMPIADE l940 NACH FINNLAND!"
2. English: "The Olympic Games 1940 IN FINLAND!"
3. French: "Les Jeux Olympiques de 1940 a la FINLANDE!"
4. Swedish: "Olimpiska Spelen 1940 TILL FINLAND!"

56x32mm,perf 12 ... each $15.00

(These were a 1936 issue, inviting the Games)

Odd that there is no version in Finnish?
CLICK HERE for an image of a full sheet of the German version, suggesting that each language was printed separately.
CLICK HERE for an image of a full sheet of the Swedish version.

      STILL MISSING

      ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

      UPDATE HISTORY

       SUMMER GAMES
1952 - XV Olympiad - Helsinki
1956 - XVI Olympiad - Melbourne
      - XVI Olympiad - Stockholm
1960 - XVII Olympiad - Rome
1964 - XVIII Olympiad - Tokyo

       WINTER GAMES
1924 - I Winter Games - Chamonix
1928 - II Winter Games - St Moritz
1932 - III Winter Games - Lake Placid
1936 - IV Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1940 - V Winter Games - Sapporo
      - V Winter Games - St Moritz
      - V Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1944 - V Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1948 - V Winter Games - St Moritz
1952 - VI Winter Games - Oslo
1956 - VII Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960 - VIII Winter Games - Squaw Valley
1964 - IX Winter Games - Innsbruck

       OTHER TOPICS
      - U.S. OLYMPIC SHIELD DECALS
      - Workers' Olympics



#1940-F-5 thru 11

DuBois listing:

A round, die cut label, text in seven different languages; vignette,within the outer circumferential text: a flame with line-radiations; "1940 HELSINKI" ("1940 HELSINGFORS" on Swedish version, #ll), below the flame; Olympic rings are above flame. Outer texts, at top & bottom of outer circumference,as follows:
5. Finnish: "XII OLYMPIAKISAT SUOMI" ... $3.00
6. German: "XII OLYMPISCHES SPIELE FINNLAND"... $3.00
7. English: "XII OLYMPIC GAMES FINLAND" ... $2.00
8. French: "Xlles JEUX OLYMPIQUES FINLAND" ... $3.00
9. Italian: "XII GIOCHI OLIMPICI FINLANDIA"... $3.50
10. Spanish: "XII JUEGOS OLIMPICOS FINLANDIA" ... $3.50
11. Swedish: "XII OLYMPISKA SPELEN FINLAND" ... $3.00
Size: 41 to 42mm diameter,overall; vignette: 25 to 34mm.
Color: vignette background is blue with rings, rays, flame, and "1940" in white; inner-flame in blue-outline; text in outer circumference is blue on white

   

#1940-F-12 and variations

DuBois listing:

12. Rectangular label with vignette like Nos. 5 to 11; only text is "1940" at bottom; a blue border line. 28x49mm, perforated ... Rare

Exists on a "printed matter" label ... Rare

TOP ROW - That's the DuBois image on the left, an image from cinderellastamp.com (size=21x39mm overall) in the center, and an image from this page of Juergen Wagner's excellent internet Olympic Games Museum on the right (size unknown). What's the "100 it" on the middle one?

ROW TWO - the second item in the DuBois listing - a "printed matter label."

DuBois says his first item is perforated, so none of these is that one. And HERE is an image of a 1938 Finnish lottery ticket to raise money for the Games, with the same logo, so there could be many items bearing it. (Japan had forfeited the Games in July, 1938, giving two years for Finland to prepare.)

   
#1940-F-13, 14, & 15

DuBois listing:

13. Polish Fund: "10" at upper left corner; "GR" at upper right corner; Olympic rings between 10 & GR; "1940 POLACY NA XII OLIMPIADE" below; Vignette: a Polish eagle in a shield; sides of label are decorative. 27x38mm, perf 12, deep rose & brown violet ... Rare

14. Like #13 but 20 GR and colored rose & green ... Rare

15. Like #13 but 50 GR & colored vermilion & brown ... Rare

3/18/17 - the image above of what seems to be 1940-F-15 turned up on eBay recently, but its colors do not match the description in DuBois. Was he wrong, or is there another version?


 
1940-F-16

DuBois listing:

16. "SCHWEIZ. RUDERVERBAND / FEDERATION SUISSE DES SOCIETES D'AVIRON" above; "OLYMPIADE 1940 HELSINKI" below, on the right; vignette: four oarsman carrying a boat,which is over their heads; artist's mark at lower left: RS. 36x45mm, perf 11.5, multicolored ... Rare




#1940-F-17a thru 17d and 17/aa thru 17/ad

 
Contemporary ad for 1940-17 stamps!

DuBois listing:

U.S. Fund Labels:

17. "AMERICAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HELSINKI - 1940 GAMES - St. MORITZ" above; printer's imprint: "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY" below design; Vignette: a scene from the 1932 Games in Los Angeles - seven runners on the track, in the foreground; background depicts a portion of the stadium with its arched entrances, flags atop the latter, and seats crowded with spectators; a be-ribboned torch to left side; a be-ribboned USA Olympic coat-of-arms to right side. 41x28mm,perf 12, each label of one color only, as follows: a)red , b)green , c)blue , or d)purple ... each: $1.00

17a. Same as #17 but imperf & without gum ... each: $2.50

17 & 17a issued in sheets of 40(5x8), PM4S, perforations pass through selvage which measures 21 mm at top & bottom and 23mm on sides. The following information is printed on the selvage:

Left side-"V OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND. FEBRUARY, 1940."

Right side: "GAMES OF THE XII OLYMPIAD. HELSINKI, FINLAND. JULY 20-AUGUST 4, 1940."

Top: "AMERICAN VICTORY STAMP THE AMERICAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HAS ISSUED THESE OLYMPIC STAMPS TO HELP RAISE THE FUND REQUIRED TO SEND THE FOREMOST AMATEUR ATHLETES IN THE UNITED STATES TO THE 1940 OLYMPIC GAMES."

Bottom: "THE OATH TAKEN BY ALL COMPETITORS IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES. "WE SWEAR THAT WE WILL TAKE PART IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN LOYAL COMPETITION, RESPECTING THE REGULATIONS WHICH GOVERN THEM, AND DESIROUS OF PARTICIPATING IN THEM IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF SPORTSMANSHIP FOR THE HONOR OF OUR COUNTRY AND THE GLORY OF SPORT."

See "1948-London" label nos. 3 & 3a for a reissue of the above items,with appropriate changes in texts & dates. A notable change occurred in 1948 in that the name "American" was changed to "United States"

 
Full sheet of #1940-F-17/ac



#1940-F-18a thru 18d

DuBois listing:

18. "A.F.L.A. OLYMPIC FUND" above; "AMATEUR FENCERS" below; vignette: a fencer,in typical stance; printer's imprint "American Bank Note Co. Litho." a lined margin. 21.5x24mm, perf 12, each label of one color only, as follows: a)blue, b)vermilion, c)gray-green, or d)gray-brown ... $5.00ea

Issued in sheets of 100(10x10),PM4S(one color to a sheet) with inscription in top margin "To further fencing,these stamps should be used on reverse of envelopes ... $1.00 per sheet, prepaid."

(A.F.L.A. = Amateur Fencer League of America)

 


1940-F- 19

DuBois listing:

19. "LATVIJA" in black at bottom of vignette; a large, black panel at bottom of label. 01ympic rings, in green, above the following three-language texts (French, English and German):

"AUX Jeux Olympiques 1940 via les Pays Baltiques / To the Olympic Games 1940 via the Baltic States / Zu den Olympischen Spielen 1940 durch die Baltischen Staaten" - printer's imprint below design on left: "S.L.M. Turisma nodala" - Vignette: a girl in national dress, waving a handkerchief; a landscape scene, mostly buildings, in the background; a white border and a white line between the panel & vignette portions; printer's imprints below. 35.5x62mm, perf 10.25, multicolored ... $12.00

 
1940-F- 20

DuBois listing:

20. "See Europe and the Olympic Games Helsingfors 1940 with Bill Henry and the American Express" - design covers gutters. 38x51mm, imperf. Colors: blue, red, white ... Rare

Note: Bill Henry was a prominent Olympic Historian who published a book in 1948 titled "An Approved History of the Olympic Games"; a 1984 edition was issued, edited by Patricia Henry Yeomans (Bill Henry's daughter) Alfred Publishing Co. Inc., P. O. BOX 5964, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413.


 
#1940-F- 21
A decal?

DuBois listing:

21. "AMERICAN OLYMPIC FUND" in gold letters across stripes, Olympic rings, in a 56.5x20mm panel, in upper portion (Interlaced as on the original Olympic flag). 101x1l6mm (design), 111x122mm (overall), rings are in their usual multicolors, outline around edge & across shield is gold, die cut ... Rare

Inscription on back states, "To send the foremost Amateur Athletes in the United States to the 1940 Olympic Games ... price 50 cents"


CLICK HERE to view a page that lists all the Olympic decals that depict a US Olympic shield.

DuBois listing:

The two following labels were issued in anticipation of the Olympic Games that were scheduled to be held at Helsinki:

 
#1940-F- 22 and similar item

22. A Finnish Souvenir Cheese-Carton Label: "1940 OLYMPIA 1940" across oval-shaped, top of label; "VALIO JUUSTOA OST" at lower left; "RASVAA K.A.45%FETT I.T." at bottom, center; "120 GR. NETTO" at lower right. Vignette: classic statue of discus thrower, in white, in front of gold Olympic rings. 101x49mm (overall), background of texts is red, texts are either white or black, vignette background is gray and has inner white border & outer gold border, outer edge is white with gold inner border ... Rare

(Valio Helsinki Cheese Co., 45% fat, 120 grams, net) An attractive, very Olympian label!

 
1940-F-23

DuBois listing:

23. "Stadig forende OLYMPIC HENRY HANSEN N0RREPORT" red & white texts on a yellow background. Vignette: a green & white triangle with multicolored Olympic rings (interlaced as on original Olympic flag). 29x50mm (design), an imperf maerkat label; "F. E. BORDING A S. KBHVN - MAERKAT NR 22" below design, in black text ... Rare (Danish text: Henry Hansen, Norreport, Copenhagen, Olympic Cycler).

The vignette depicts the logo that is used on "Henry Hansen" bicycles and or motorcycles. A "maerkat" is a registered, numbered Danish label; more information on such labels is available from the author, on request.

DuBois lists this as a 1940 stamp, but I think it belongs with the 1932 items, based on its Maerkat number - 22. The first Danish Maerkat label was issued in 1930, so this stamp must have been issued in 1931 at the latest. See the bottom of 1932 Los Angeles page for more about this stamp and my logic for placing it there.

NOT LISTED IN DUBOIS

 
#1940-F-x2
148x104mm overall
This one's interesting. I found several examples on the www, with no description of size or origin, so I thought it might be a label.
The German text reads:
OLYMPIADE / GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN 1940 HELSINKI / DEUTSCHLAND-FINNLAND / FAND DURCH DEN UNS AUFGEZWUNGENEN KRIEG NICHT STATT
Rough Translation:
(THE 1940 OLYMPICS)
DID NOT TAKE PLACE BECAUSE OF THE WAR IMPOSED ON US

Wow!

Turns out it's a postcard, and I've seen examples postmarked in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on February 18 and 21 of 1941, during International Wintersports Week of 1941(!)

Text on the address side reads as follows:
MOEGE DIE OLYMPISCHE FLAMME LEUCHTEN DURCH ALLE GESCHLECHTER ZUM WOHLE EINE IMMER HOEHER STREBENDEN, MUTIGEREN UND REINEREN MENSCHHEIT
which translates something like
MAY THE OLYMPIC FLAME SHINE THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS FOR THE BENEFIT OF AN EVER HIGHER ASPIRING, BOLDER, PURER HUMANITY.
This text is attributed to Baron de Coupertin, founder of the modern Olympics.

I'll let you absorb all of that for a few minutes.
Ready to continue?

The mind boggles. Is this the Nazi propaganda machine pretending the war was imposed upon them, and that by February of 1941 they had not attacked and occupied Poland (September 1939), Denmark (April 1940), Norway (April 1940), Belgium (May 1940), the Netherlands (May 1940), Luxembourg (May 1940), and France (May 1940)? I guess so.

If anyone has further explanation of this card, please write me - email address at bottom of page.

 
#1940-F-x3
XII ОЛИМПИАДА ФИНЛАНДИА
1940
ГАЛВЕНЪ ПРЕДСТАВИТЕЛЪ
БЮРО ВЪЛГАРИА: АД СОФИА

Translation:
OLYMPICS FINLAND 1940
GALENA PREDSTAVITELA
BUREAU BULGARIA AD SOFIA

Circular label with scalloped edges, Olympic rings
Image courtesy of Philippe Pavard.

Can anyone provide further information about this label? What is or was GALENA PREDSTAVITELA?

Finnish Matchbox Labels


1940 Helsinki - x4


1940 Helsinki - x5 & 6


1940 Helsinki - x7


1940 Helsinki - x8

Images courtesy of Philippe Pavard and the Finnish Sports Museum web site.

RAZOR BLADE WRAPPERS

Not proper labels, but cute. The Finnish Sports Museum website says these date from the 1940 Games.

FAKES

I found these on the www recently, advertised as labels from the 1940 Helsinki Games. and wanted to make sure no one thinks they are authentic labels from 1940 - they are modern fantasies - total fakes.

   
1940 Helsinki - FAKES


TOP

I am indebted to Robert J DuBois for allowing me to use images and information from his Catalog of Olympic Labels on these web pages.

All text and images are the property of the author. Any errors are his.
REWARD! If you have better or additional information about anything shown or discussed here, please email the author.
Email address at bottom of page. Full credit gladly given - your name, ebay ID, web site...

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All text Copyright © 2013, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 07/27/2013
Revised -- 03/18/2017