Danish Post Office bought adquired in 1968 a new recess printing machine to print steel engraved stamps in 1 to 3 colours. Some time after Slania was commisioned to made steel «stamp» to test the machine. This «stamp» shows the Grundtvig Church (Copenhagen), the foundation stone was laid in the southwestern corner of the church on Grundtvig’s birthday, 8 September 1921. Grundtvig’s Church was built in memory of the priest, hymn writer and educator Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783-1872). His significance for Denmark was so great that he simply had to have an extraordinary memorial. It was not until 1912 and 1913, when two competitions were held for proposals, that the architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen Klint (1853-1930) came upon the idea that the right memorial had to be a church.
Sketch Sketch by Slania previous to develope the engraving.
- Time after, Danish Post Office bought in 1980 a new printing machine, called»M4″, and the Danish Stamp Printing Office therefore produced a test stamp designed by the Danish illustrator Mads Stage, and engraved by Czeslaw Slania. Using the same motif as on the test stamp the Stamp Printing Office printed a preliminary test label on Danish printing paper. This final label was handed over to DFF (Danish Philatelic Federation) for the support of Danish philately. The test stamp was only sold without marginal numbers, and as singles, blocks of four or strips of four.
- The total print run was 251.621 stamps. The stamp shows an imaginary view of Copenhagen, with the equestrian statue in front of the Royal Palace in the center. To the left is a small fragment view of Christiansborg Palace (Parliament Building), and to the right a partial view of the Royal Residential Palace (Amalienborg). In the upper right selvedge is printed the word PRØVE (= TEST); in the lower left selvedge is printed 1980, and the lower right selvedge reads SLANIA sc.
- During many time was thought that only exist a couple of variations, but in last three years aprox. (2011-2013) many variations has been found. (Many thanks to John Larson for his research).
(source: Ann Mette Heindorff webpage, investigation by John Larson -USA- and own).
* Note that this classification has been made personally by John Larson, these stamps are not recognized in any catalogue.