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

SOLVED MYSTERIES!

The items shown here are ones that started out on my UNSOLVED MYSTERIES page, but the mystery was solved, so I moved them here, and to any other page where they belong.

If you disagree with the explanation, or can provide additional information, please email me at

Please refer to the image by the ID below it. All contributions will be acknowledged. Thanks.

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.

3-24-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

     
MYST-02 and MYST-03
TIMBRU OLIMPIC, 50 bani and 1 leu.

The text is in Romanian, and translates "Olympic stamp." These appear to be fundraising seals for the Romanian Olympic teams. But for which year?

3/24/16 - eBay seller "sova" from Romania says these were issued for the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, so I have placed them on that page.
romaniastamps.com agrees, and adds two more denominations!

3-24-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

 
MYST-07

The language is Romanian. This looks like a fund-raising label, but when was it issued? FSSR stands for Federatia Societatilor Sportive din Romania = Sport Societies Federation of Romania, and TIMBRU OLYMPIC = Olympic Stamp The note beside my copy says "Assumed to be 1948"

3/24/16 - eBay seller "sova" from Romania says this was issued for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, so I have placed it on that page. romaniastamps.com agrees!

      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


4-15-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

 
MYST-09
120mm x 28mm
(thanks to Steve Payne for dimensions)
I think the text at left is Japanese for "Olympic".

4/15/16 - I found several eBay listings of these labels, with definititive statements that they are "candy wrappers", and connected with the canceled 1940 Games (though they could have been issued several years earlier, since Japan cancelled its commitment in July, 1938.) Moved to the 1940 Tokyo page.

3-24-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED


MYST-18

Berlin 1936 Olympischesdorf
Map of Olympic village, green and red on white paper

3-24-16 - Steve Payne says these are logos on Olympic stationery - see 1936 Berlin page for examples.

3-24-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED


MYST-19

XI. / Olympia / Berlin 1936 Aug 1-16
Runner bearing torch and branch, colors unknown

3-24-16 - Steve Payne says this is a postcard - see 1936 Berlin page for example.

4-20-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

MYST-28
OLYMPIADE INNSBRUCK - 1939

Decal, found on the www
Was Innsbruck campaigning to host the Olympics?

4/20/16 - I was looking through DuBois for something else, and found this in the section for 1964 - INNSBRUCK Winter Olympics. There's another with the date 1945 (see next item) - apparently the dates were meant to indicate that's what Innbruck looked like in those years?


4-20-16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

(This was on the 1944 page as a mystery item)

I found this image on eBay - it's clearly a decal.


Text:
Olympiastadt - INNSBRUCK TYROL - 1945
(Olympic City - Innsbruck Tyrol - 1945)
2¾" x 3¼"

Innsbruck hosted the Olympics for the first time in 1964, and in 1945 it was still under post-WWII occupation by the French, so this makes no sense.
CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN?

4/20/16 - I was looking through DuBois for something else, and found this in the section for 1964 - INNSBRUCK Winter Olympics. There's another with the date 1939 (see previous item) - apparently the dates were meant to indicate that's what Innbruck looked like in those years?

BELOW, an image of 2 more, from an eBay auction, 1809 and 1940.

4/24/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED!


MYST-30
A fund-raising label?
PRO FINNLAND - 10 Cts. / S.O.C. - C.O.S.
Vignette: Winter scene with hooded archer(?), Olympic rings

An eBay auction item - the seller thought it must originate around 1950, so it could have been issued for the 1948 St Moritz or 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics, but that was just his quess. Can anyone identify the item? "PRO FINNLAND" looks like German to me (no other language uses two n's). "10 Cts." could be 10 centimes, so perhaps it's Swiss? And what are SOC and COS? COS could be "Comité Olympique Suisse" and SOC might be Swiss Olympic Committee? But why English? Can't be German, because Committee in German is Komitee, so SOK. And why would the Swiss committee issue a label promoting the Finnish? Just for the record, the Finnish Olympic Committee is Suomen Olympiakomitea, so again, SOK, not SOC.

HELP!?

4/24/16 - I finally found the answer, via Google - it was issued by the Swiss Olympic Committee in 1939 to support Finland in her battle against the Soviet Union. Full story HERE. So I've put it on the 1940 St Moritz page.

4/24/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED


MYST-25
OLYMPIA ZÜNDER - SOLO - U.A.I.

Matchbox label - Found on delcampe - seller says it was issued around 1936.
Can anyone confirm that?

4/24/16 - Ooops! This is in DuBois, in a section I skipped, that lists matchbox labels most of which have no Olympic connection. It is 1936-54k, and has been moved to the 1936 Berlin page. DuBois says its date of issue is uncertain, but other sources say around 1936.

4/25/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

 
#1936-z4
DEUTSCHLAND / XI. OLYMPIADE / BERLIN / 1936
Vignette: Winged Charioteer

This one's a shocker. It looks like a mass-produced, high-quality label that should have been used everywhere, but this is the first example I've seen, and DuBois does not mention it! I have seen the image as a poster, but never as a label. Is it a cutout from some larger piece? Please send email to address at bottom of page if you own this as a label.

4/25/16 - Philippe Pavard writes
I think that is a (cutout from) a cigarette card by SALEM CIGARETTEN FABRIK GMBH DRESDEN. I also have such a coutout (see pictures below - vignette 55x35).

 


4/29/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

4/29/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

5/30/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED


MYST-13

Stade Dudelange
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Jeux Olympiques
29 Aout 1920

Stade Dudelange was a football (soccer) club from Dudelange, in southern Luxembourg. The semi-finals of the football playoffs at the 1920 Olympics were on August 29, but Luxembourg was eliminated on the 28th. So was this just wishful thinking?

I'm sure there's an interesting story here - if you can enlighten me, please send email to the address at bottom of page. Thanks.

4/25/16 - Philippe Pavard, Frecnch collector of Olympic stamps and sleuth extraordinaire, points out that the "Official Report of the 1920 Olympic Games" published in 1957 gives the dates of the soccer playoffs as August 29 through Sept. 5. NOT August 28 through Sept. 5. (DOWNLOAD HERE - see page 152.) That would explain this stamp, but what about all the other sources that say August 28?

I have found only one other document online that says the football playoffs started on the 29th - the "REPORT OF THE AMERICAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE - SEVENTH OLYMPIC GAMES ANTWERP, BELGIUM 1920" (pdf HERE), and that was published in 1921, so might carry MORE weight, BUT the USA did not compete, and had little interest in the sport at that time, so that gives it LESS weight.

My theory is that the original schedule had the playoffs starting on the 29th, but it was moved back. There was a LOT of disagreement, conflict and controversy surrounding these playoffs, so that might have led them to start early. I am looking for a contemporary newspaper report that would establish the date with certainty.

4/26/16 - Philippe Pavard found the answer HERE - This stamp had nothing to do with the Olympic football playoffs - Dudelange held a special celbration on August 29, honoring their Olympic athletes. Thanks, Philippe!

(If the link above does not work - CLICK HERE for an image of the relevant newspaper advertisement, from the "ESCHER TAGEBLATT - Le Journal d'Esch" on August 25, 1920.)

P.S. - part of the problem was my initial assumption that "Stade Dudelange" meant the football team, when it simply meant the Stadium at Dudelange.

4/27/16 - Unable to find confirmation of the 1920 football playoff dates in US papers (we did not play the game here then, did not field a team), I emailed Karel Stokkermans, a Dutch expert on the subject, and he sent me a link to a Ducth newspaper that confirmed the dates of the football playoff as August 28 through Sept. 5 - just for the record. (Visit Karel's excellent Olympic soccer web site at http://www.rsssf.com/tableso/olympics.html)

#1928-x9
4/28/16 - This was the cachet on a Dutch postcard, but is it also really a label? Great design! Anyone?

4/29/16 - Ooops! I should have translated the postcard - here it is, from a David Fledman auction - the text reads "WAAROM GEEN OLYMPISCHE ZWEM-POSTZEGEL - OMDAT ZWEMMEN VAN ONSCHATBARE WAARDE IS!" "Why No Olympic Swimming Stamp? - Swimming Is Invaluable!"

The Netherlands had issued eight postage stamps for the 1928 Olympics, for Rowing, Fencing, Football, Yachting, Shotputting, Running, Riding, and Boxing - but NOT Swimming! It does seem an odd omission. And the suggested design is in perfect harmony with the ones issued, shown below.


1932-W-x3
"1932" with Olympic rings and (winged?) female figure in Greek robe on a plaque or urn.
(Image courtesy of the Olympic Games Museum.)

The source says this is a label (vignette), but I have not seen it in that form. It does have the Olympic rings.

The same design is stamped in gold on the cover of the official report on the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games:

And it turns out this was one of the official logos of the 1932 Winter Games, used on medals and tickets. I think this image is the back side of a Bleacher Season Ticket - image below.


MYSTERY SOLVED!

6/1/16 - I saw this item on eBay - Greek seller t.ziakas81 listed it with the title "Greek paper emblem (decal) from the 1936 Berlin Olympics."

I emailed him and asked how he knew it dated from 1936, and he replied "Simply because the senior man that gave it to me said that his father had preserved it from that Olympics period."

That's good enough for me! I have added it to the 1936-Berlin page.


MYST-24

ΕΛΛΑΣ
HELLAS - GREECE
Up the right edge:
(??) J&CO - SALONIKI - GERMANY (??)

Found on the www - low-quality scan
WHAT IS IT?
Looks like a decal - has the Olympic rings, but no date.

MYSTERY SOLVED!

This one really had me excited - another image from somewhere on the www. A new find! And a great variation on the poster design.


Mystery label? No, a postcard.

7/1/16 - I found the images below on delcampe.net - it's a postcard created in 1962 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1912 Games.

 

12/21/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED


myst-31
BEST SAFETY MATCHES

Seven Japanese matchbox labels
Horse jumping through Olympic rings

Image courtesy of Philippe Pavard, who says he
was told they are Japanese, and date from 1940,
the cancelled Tokyo Games.

To me they looked Chinese, but a new friend who is Chinese
was able to say the text at the bottom is definitely Japanese,
from the pre-WWII period, so I have added these to the 1940 Tokyo page.

12/29/16 - Mystery solved!

 
MYST-01
HOTEL OLYMPIA, OLYMPIA, GREECE

This is obviously a hotel luggage label, and the hotel just chose to call itself the Olympia. The use of the Olympic rings is probably illegal, but they are not in the standard configuration, so perhaps that makes it acceptable. I could not find the hotel on the www, so presume it no longer exists.
OR?

12/29/16 - Mystery solved!

Nick Dandoulakis wrote:

OLYMPIA was a pretty common name for hotels in Greece. This one was in the area of ancient Olympia, as it says. "Pr. Vasilios Karameros" was the name of the owner. Today there is a hotel in that area named "KSENONAS KARAMEROS", probably a descendant owns it.

Thanks, Nick!


12/30/16 - MYSTERY SOLVED

Booklet cover


#1936-z3
DIE / XI.OLYMPISCHEN / SPIELE / ZU BERLIN / 1-16 AUGUST 1936
Image of runner with torch, light brown and black on tan stock.

Probably a postcard, but the online Olympic Games Museum calls it a vignette, so...???

11/02/16 - The latest Heiko Volk auction shows this design as the cover of a 48-page souvenir booklet of photos of these Games.

12/30/16 - I found another copy of that booklet for sale on AbeBooks.

I consider this mystery solved. Not a stamp.

01/07/17 - MYSTERY SOLVED
Stubs from French lottery tickets.

 
myst-34

This dates back to June of 2016.

I found these in a Feldman auction, asked Philippe Pavard if he knew what they were, he replied "stubs of lottery tickets, because 1/10e ... French Nationale Lottery: 10 tickets with the same number, each ticket is 1/10e"

I decided to add them here now in case someone else finds them and wonders what they are.

02/23/17 - MYSTERY SOLVED


myst-37
CHEONG MING SAFETY MATCHES

Size: the usual small matchbox label size
Five rings in a horizontal row, all with diamonds inside

2/17/2017 - An eBay seller offered this recently, describing it as "Olympic" - I say it is not, those are NOT Olympic rings.

2/23/2017 - I tracked down a Chinese friend who had been out of town, and showed him this image. He says the Chinese text at the top says "Coin Brand Matches" and the text at the bottom says "Made at Cheong Ming Factory." The five rings represent old Chinese coins. The number five has no special significance.

So I can say conclusively, these have no connection with the Olympic Games. Case closed.

02/24/17 - MYSTERY SOLVED

MYST-17
JEUX OLYMPIQUES D'HIVER 1948
St. MORITZ SUISSE
30 JANVIER + 8 FEVRIER
size 139x53mm (2-1/8 x 5-1/2")

But is it really a label?
Could be the imprint cut from a piece of stationery? Here's another example from a recent Feldman auction, and the edges look irregular to me, as though it was indeed cut from something larger:

02/24/2017 - The item below was listed in a recent Heiko Volk auction, with description "Back side partially gummed - 139 x 53mm" and it appears identical to the other two, so for me that proves this is a label, not a cutout. Case closed.


03/18/17 - MYSTERY SOLVED

NOT AN OLYMPIC MATCHBOX LABEL


MYST-38

An eBay seller offered this recently with "OLYMPIC" in the description. Sorry, those are NOT Olympic rings - there are only 2 (maybe 3), not 5. Not Olympic. And what does a tiger have to do with the Olympics, anyway? I'll get someone to translate the text and add that here eventually.

08/11/17 - MYSTERY SOLVED
1964-x36

1964-x36. Large rectangular label
Olympic rings and Japanese flag at top, "XVIII. OLYMPISCHE SPIELE - TOKIO 1964" ("18th Olympic Games" in German) beneath, Color photo image of two Judo wrestlers.

1964-x36 (continued)

The perfs look like they are die-cuts, rather than actual perforations.

Size approx. 51x82mm

This looks to me like part of a sheet of multiple designs, one per Olympiad, but I can find no other examples, so for now I am placing it here, and on the 1964 Tokyo page. Can anyone tell me more?

8/11/17 - I found the First Day Cover above on eBay! The image is exactly the same, and the cover is postmarked October 10, 1964, the Opening Day of the 1964 Games. So the stamp belongs on the 1964 Tokyo page.


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...

Click here to access my web page about the 1936-1951 Poster Stamp Bulletin of the National Poster Stamp Society.

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All text Copyright © 2013, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 04/16/2016
Revised -- 08/11/2017