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

1948 - XIV Olympiad - London

Official Poster and Emblem for 1948 Games in London

World War II was barely ended, and much of the world was still in recovery mode. London carried off the Olympics, but austerely. There were few labels issued in connection with the occasion.

The following poster stamps and labels were issued for the 1948 Games:

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.


#1948-1
DuBois listing:

1. "F.F.B." in panel at top; "JEUX OLYMPIQUES" in panel at bottom. Vignette: Olympic rings. 13x20mm, perf 12.5x13.5, red with white texts. (F.F.B. stands for Fédération Française de Boxe = French Federation of Boxing)

 

#1948-2
DuBois listing:

2. Poland Fund Labels: "POLSKI KOMITET OLIMPIJSKI" across top; value, in ZL, at lower left; "1948" at lower right. Vignette: Olympic rings in middle of label (interlaced as on original Olympic flag) 46x27mm, perf 11; values and colors, as follows: a. 10ZL, red on tan; b. 20ZL, dark blue on tan; c. 20ZL, brown on tan.

      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


 
#1948-3 and 3B
DuBois listing:

3. U.S. Fund Labels: "U.S.OLYMPIC COMMITTEE LONDON - 1948 GAMES - ST.MORITZ" above. Vignette: same as that of No.17 of "1940 - HELSINKI" 41x28mm, perf 12, each label of one color only: a) red, b) green, c) blue, d) purple

3B. Same as No.3 but imperf & without gum ... each $10.00

3C. Same as No.3 but an imperf proof; has wide margins like a die proof and is from a typographic cut distributed for publicity purposes (not engraved like No.3) Black & umgummmed ... RARE

Sheet Format of Nos. 3a, b, c, & d: same as that of No.17 of "1940 - HELSINKI" except for the texts on the selvage, as follows: Left side: "V OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES ST MORITZ SWITZERLAND JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 8, 1948" Right side: "GAMES OF THE XIV OLYMPIAD LONDON,ENGLAND JULY 29-AUGUST 14, 1948" Top: "UNITED STATES VICTORY STAMP THE UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE," etc. as on 1940 issue; Bottom: same as on 1940 issue

Autographed Sheets: Dick Green reported the 1948 sheets in Seal News of April 1948 - "Imperforate proofs exist in the issued colors on ledger stock, ungummed, but these have not yet been released as it is planned to have them autographed for sale at a premium for special occasions."

Further information on such sheets is solicited from the reader. See No.17 of "1940 - HELSINKI" for information on imperforate autographed sheets of that issue (label No.17/a)

MATCHBOX LABELS:


#1948-4


#1948-4x

DuBois listing:

4. Matchbox label: "OLYMPIC GAMES Regd No 117174" above, on left; "SOMEO LAKMIDI" on the right. Vignette, in middle: two youths in a boat; below, in a panel: "SAFETY MATCHES" 49x30mm, an imperf matchbox label, multicolored ... Rare

Note: DuBois had not actually seen these labels, and was misinformed about the text - it's "OM CO LAKKIDI" on the top center label, and "SOM CO LAKKIDI" on the other two in the top image. According to Wikipedia, "Lakkidi or Lakkidi Perur is a small village in Ottapalam Taluk of Palakkad district, Kerala, India"

Further stats from Philippe Pavard:

A) Lakkidi matchbox labels:

OMCO = ORIGINAL MATCH COMPANY
SOMCO = SATTUR ORIGINAL MATCH COMPANY

1) 51x34 / 48x30 / SOMCO
2) 47x35 / 44x31 / OMCO
3) 52x34 / 48x30 / SOMCO

B) Others:

4) 54x36 / 50x32 / SATTUR ORIGINAL MATCH CO SATTUR
5) 50x32 / 48x30 / KRISHNA MATCH FACTORY PAMBADI

(Numbers are dimensions in mm, total first, then vignette.)
   
#1948-5, 5a
and imperf version of 5a

DuBois listing:

5. ISLAND OLYMPIUFORIN 1948 below; printer's imprint below design: WATERLOO & SONS LIMITED, LONDON Vignette: multicolored Olympic rings above a 12x20mm panel depicting a geyser. A double-lined margin around vignette & main text. 20.5x32mm, perf 12.5, blue(except for rings).

5a. Like No.5 but brown & overprinted "SPECIMEN."

5ax. Like No.5a but imperf.


MATCHBOX LABELS:
 
#1948-6   #1948-7

#1948-8
DuBois listing:

6. In Greek: ΠΥΡΕΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΥ ΜΟΝΟΠΩΛΙΟΥ in panel, across top (Piraeus Greek Monopoly); OΛΥΜΠΙΑ (OLYMPIA) vertical text, on left; ΚΛΑΣΙΣ 1 (Class 1) horizontal text, on right; "ALSING LONDON" at lower left; "MADE IN SWEDEN" on right. Vignette: a runner [wearing loincloth] with a torch, a columned court, with Olympic fire, in the background. 48x32mm, multicolored

7. Like No.6., with "SOLO A.G. WIEN" at lower left. 46x31mm, gray, green blue & yellow

8. Design and text like No.7; "333" in lower right corner. 46x30mm, blue & yellow-brown

The issue dates and direct Olympic connection of these matchbox labels are questionable, but the torch runner is a standard Olympic symbol today, so they have a place here, if a bit tenuous. Note, however, that the scene depicted - a torch runner in ancient Greece - is nonsense. The torch and relay were invented for the 1936 Games - READ MORE HERE.

Color varieties of #6:

As regards their date of production (from JSTOR):

In 1926 the Greek representative of Alsing, acting on its behalf and on behalf of the Swedish Match Company, offered to undertake the exclusive supply of matches to the Greek Government for a period of twenty years, the Government by law having a monopoly of the right to manufacture, import and sell matches in Greece.

This contract was subsequently extended to 1954, when it expired.

So these labels could have been produced any time during the period 1926 to 1954. Indeed the design is somewhat archaic for 1948. I found one source on the www that dates them to 1903-1910, though that is prior to the contract mentioned above, therefore questionable.

Format & color varieties of #6
Note that many of these have the text ALSING LONDON printed vertically down the left edge, and MADE IN SWEDEN vertically down the right edge.

Format & color varieties of #6:


New version of #6:
Vertical format, blank background, torch runner with figleaf

(All images for 1948-6 thru 8 are courtesy of Philippe Pavard)

MATCHBOX LABELS:

#1948-9 to 11
DuBois listing:

9. "OLYMPIA" above; "SOLO" at lower left; "B.F.I." at lower right. Vignette: a female swimmer about to dive, Olympic rings below her feet (outside 30x41 mm design panel) 30x47mm, imperf, figure is tan & brown, bathing suit & cap are shaded light blue, texts are white, background & rings are dark blue

10. Like No.9 but size is 32x54mm

11. Like No.9 but "K.S.I." instead of "B.F.I."

Note: No.9 is also listed as No.53 at the "1936 - BERLIN" section. Ernest Trory issued a booklet covering the 1936 labels which states:

"There were also a number of matchbox labels showing a swimmer poised for the start of the race with the word 'Olympia' at the top and either 'SOLO - K.S.I.' or 'SOLO - B.F.I." at the bottom. Many varieties exist. Rampacher lists these as having been produced in 1948 but Pourrat says they are 1936."


#1948-9 to 11

As Trory wrote, there are many varieties of the OLYMPIA diver labels. Twelve are shown at left. Their relative sizes are accurate.

Matchbox labels, DuBois numbers 1936-53 a to c, and 1948-9 to 11: All labels have same basic format and colors, with OLYMPIA at top, female swimmer poised for a dive in middle, Olympic rings at bottom. Dubois lists five varieties, and says there are many more. I have seen twelve distinct varieties so far, which can be divided into seven basic types, as follows:

Type 1 - 57 at top left corner, blank at bottom.
-   Label 1 - DuBois label 1936-53a

Type 2 - 250 at top left corner, blank at bottom.
-   Label 2 - DuBois label 1936-53b

Type 3 - B.F.I. at bottom right, blank at bottom left.
-   Label 3 - not in DuBois

Type 4 - K.S.I. at bottom right, blank at bottom left.
-   Label 4 - not in DuBois

Type 5 - SOLO at bottom left, B.F.I. at bottom right.
-   Label 5 - DuBois label 1936-53 and 1948-9
-   Label 6 - not in DuBois; like label 5, but a bit
            smaller, and the bottom right Olympic ring is lower.
-   Label 7 - not in DuBois; like label 6, but slightly larger.
-   Label 8 - DuBois label 1948-10

Type 6 - SOLO at bottom left, K.S.I. at bottom right.
-   Label 9 - DuBois label 1948-11
-   Label 10 - not in DuBois; like label 9, but same size as label 8

Type 7 - Large label for bulk package, price per 10 boxes
        in German at bottom left and in Czech at bottom right.

-   Label 11 - "57" at top left, not in DuBois
-   Label 12 - "250" at top left, not in DuBois

Philippe Pavard supplied most of these images. Thanks also to Bob Stockel and David Feldman auctions.


The date of issue of labels 1948-12 and 13 is uncertain. The use of "United States" and "U.S." instead of "American" in the texts indicate that they were issued after 1940. The rings on both labels are not in their usual geometric relationship to each other. No.12 may be a re-drawing of shield No.7 that is listed at the "1936 - Garmisch-Partenkirchen" section.


#1948-12
12. "UNITED STATES OLYMPIC FUND" above a large shield. 10.2x13.6cm (shield portion, 10.2x14.6cm, including upper text), imperf, red & blue


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


#1948-13

13. "back the U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM FUND" above shield; "LIFE" in a 12x6mm panel, "SPONSORED BY" & emblem of U.S. Jr. Chamber of Commerce, all below shield. 57x53mm shield, 89x115mm (overall label), design portion measures 64x108mm, red & blue, imperf



#1948-14
DuBois listing:

14. A matchbox label: "FIVE RINGS" above; "SAFETY MATCHES IMPREGNATED MADE IN JAPAN" below. Vignette: multicolored Olympic rings, interlaced as on official Olympic flag. 53.5x33mm, imperf, text is black except for "IMPREGNATED" which is red, background is yellow, a thin, red border-line around edge

NOT IN DUBOIS

Fetes de St Louis pour le Sport - 1946?


#1946-fr

Not quite an Olympic label, but note the five rings at bottom - not in the official configuration, but what else would they mean? .
I dated it based on other stamps on the page that holds it,
but I've lost that image(!) - Can anyone confirm?



#1948-x1

(Olympic rings)
1948 M.O.B. OLYMPIA 20 FILLER (red)
17x21 mm

Hungarian Olympic Committee (Hungarian: Magyar Olimpiai Bizottság, MOB) is the National Olympic Committee representing Hungary.

NOT IN DUBOIS

 
#1948-x2
Design 77x100, White panel 47x19, "OLYMPIC" 43mm

U.S. OLYMPIC FUND decal



#1948-x3

decal - found on the www - stats unknown

FINAL OLYMPIC WRESTLING TRYOUTS
IOWA STATE COLLEGE, AMES IOWA
April 28-31, May 1, 1948


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


NOT IN DUBOIS


MYST-26
D.N.D. - 10 Cts - SIN VALOR POSTAL

D.N.D. = Delegación Nacional de Deportes = National Delegation of Sports, formed in 1941 to promote health and sports in Spain.

I don't see how this can date from earlier than 1945, i.e. post-WWII, so I have placed it tentatively on this page.
Can anyone confirm that?

8/9/16 - Philippe Pavard pointed out this page at delcampe.net (click on QUESTIONS tab) where the seller says "Year final 1940 decade or initial 1950 decade" so that agrees with my guess.


#1948-x4
KLAMPENBORG IDRAETS KLUB
1937-1947

Denmark Poster Stamp
KLAMPENBORG LOCAL ATHELETIC CLUB
1937-1947
Vignette: Olympic torch runner

Image: Constantine Kondyllis carries the Olympic Torch over the first part of the 3000km stretch from Olympia to Berlin for the start of the 1936 Olympic Games. The torch and relay were invented for the 1936 Games - READ MORE HERE.

 
#1948-x4 image on a trading card of the era.
New finds - 12/20/16


#1948-x5
73x64mm


#1948-x6
47x32mm

Matchbox labels.

ΟΛΥΜΠΙΟΝΙΚΗΣ
MADE IN AUSTRIA - 60 ΠΥΡΕΙΑ

OLYMPIONIKIS
MADE IN AUSTRIA - 60 MATCHES

(Dating tentative)


Great Britain issued 4 postage stamps for the 1948 Olympics. Bahrain, Kuwait, Tangier, Morocco, and Muscat issued overprinted versions of those 4 stamps.

Korea issued two stamps


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.
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All text Copyright © 2013, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 07/27/2013
Revised -- 02/09/2017