5¢ - Blue and black
Printing Method: Flat plate
Subject: A Viking ship
Number issued: 1,900,983
Scott #: 621
Issued: May 18th, 1925
75¢ - $1
No postmark with gum (MH)
$1.50 - $3
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$4 - $9
A sheet of 100 of #621
This issue was distributed to Post Offices in full sheets.
#621 was issued with the following plate #'s
16925-26, 61, 63
A first day cover of #621, May 18th, 1925
The story starts in the 9th Century, during the reign of King Harald Fairhair, when a Viking chief was buried in a ship at Gokstad in Norway. In 1880 the sons of the farmer whose land the burial mound was situated excavated the mound and discovered the ship. A photo of excavation is the first image above. It now resides at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway (second image).
In May 1893, an exact replica was built and sailed from Sandefjord, Norway, to Bergen and onward to Chicago for the Columbian Exposition. A photo of the ship leaving Kongshavn in April 1893 is the third image above. The ship was a star attraction at the exhibition, and a souvenir photo is shown on the fourth image. The source photograph used for the vignette came from the Expo's guidebook, shown in the fifth image.
The replica ship was restored by 'Friends of the Viking Ship' located in Geneva, Illinois, at Good Templar Park (last image). At the time of writing, the ship is looking for a permanent home.