1894 - Modern Games Founded
1896 - I Olympiad - Athens
1900 - II Olympiad - Paris
      - Vignettes of the 1900 Paris Expo
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
1952 - XV Olympiad - Helsinki
1956 - XVI Olympiad - Melbourne
      - XVI Olympiad - Stockholm
1960 - XVII Olympiad - Rome

1912 - V Olympiad - Stockholm


Official posters for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm

For the first time in 1912, there was an official Olympic Games poster. It was printed in 16 languages, and despite its somewhat controversial design, it was very popular. (I was told once that the original design was even more daring.)

There was one official poster stamp created for the 1912 Games, and in this case it was really a poster stamp - it reproduces exactly the official poster for the 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.

5/13/2019 - Recently I found online at the invaluable website of the LA84 Foundation a pdf of the Official report for the 1912 Games, in English, and while these reports are generally tedious, I scanned this one, and found a notice (page 256) that luggage / baggage labels had been printed for the competitors, in 27 different versions, each with the flag of its country! I assume these were similar to the label for Sweden, #1912-20 below. The only other such label I have seen, though, is the one for the UK, #1912-x6, below, and it does NOT match the decription.

Can anyone provide images of these luggage labels?



*** Full list, with numbers issued HERE ***





1964 - XVIII Olympiad - Tokyo
1968 - XIX Olympiad - Mexico City
1972 - XX Olympiad - Munich

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
1968 - X Winter Games - Grenoble
1972 - XI Winter Games - Sapporo

      - Workers' Olympics

Official poster stamps for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm
#1912-1 to 16

1912-1 to 4

1912-5 to 8
Greek stamp has dates from both Julian and Gregorian calendars -
Greece converted to Gregorian calendar in 1923.

1912-9 to 12

1912-13 to 16
Russian stamp has dates from both Julian and Gregorian calendars -
Russia (USSR) converted to Gregorian calendar in 1918.

At left: Imperf German stamp, sold for $40 9/30/2016. Nice big margins.
At right, perf and imperf.

Above: More Imperfs? But are the margins big enough?
Could they be perfed stamps that have been trimmed?
I think they are genuine.

This one is authentic, at least - imperf horizontally.

A major mis-perforation of the Japanese version.

DuBois listing:

A very colorful set of labels was issued by Sweden to advertise the Stockholm Olympic Games in sixteen different languages. We are indebted to Christer Brunstrom, of Halmstad, Sweden, for the following facts he presented in Stamp Collector, October 7, 1985:

Quite a lot is known about this particular label, because the Organising Committee published a complete report after the Olympics. One chapter deals with publicity materials.

Several Swedish artists took part in a design contest for the official poster (and label). On June 27, 1911, the Organizing Committee decided on a design by the well-known artist, Olle Hjortzberg. The painting shows (symbolically) the opening ceremonies with all the participating nations marching through the stadium holding their national flags.

Posters in 16 different languages were printed and distributed to the participating countries. However, in many countries the poster was rejected because of the nudity portrayed on it. In China its use was completely forbidden.

The poster design was reduced to produce the label. Each sheet was made up of 81 labels. The labels were printed by AB Central-tryckereit in Stockholm.

1 to 16: "OLYMPIC GAMES - STOCKHOLM 1912 - JUNE 29th-JULY 22nd" below;
Vignette above: in a 44mm, black-bordered square,
nude men waving flags of several nations, Swedish
flag is in foreground. 44x58mm, perf 11.5,
Background color is orange, vignette is multicolored.

At bottom, the following texts (plus "1912" and dates)
in three lines of white print:
                                                                          (# printed)
 1. OLYMPISKA SPELEN STOCKHOLM (Swedish) ........ $9.00 ---   554,600
 2. HRY OLYMPIJSKE STOCKHOLM (Czechoslovakian) .. $8.00 ---    40,000
 3. OLYMPISCHE SPIELE STOCKHOLM (German) ........ $3.00 ---   712,800
 4. OLYMPIC GAMES STOCKHOLM (English) ........... $3.00 --- 2,337,000
 5. OLYMPIALAISET KISAT TUKHOLMASSA (Finnish) ... $9.00 ---    43,500
 6. JEUX OLYMPIQUES STOCKHOLM (French) .......... $3.00 ---   651,300
 7. ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΟΙ ΑΓΩΝΕΣ (Greek) ................... $9.00 ---    25,300
 8. GIUOCHI OLIMPICI STOCCOLMA (Italian) ........ $7.00 ---    40,900
 9. OLYMPISCHE SPELEN STOCKHOLM (Netherlandish)  $10.00 ---    47,200
10. JOGOS OLIMPICOS STOCKHOLMO (Portuguese) ..... $9.00 ---    47,400
11. JUEGOS OLIMPICOS STOCKHOLMO (Spanish) ....... $9.00 ---   100,300
12. OLIMPIAI JATEKOK STOCKHOLMBAN (Hungarian) ... $9.00 ---    20,300
13. Russian text ............................... $12.00 ---    89,000

The following have the same design but the text is black:
14. Turkish text, enclosed in a frame .......... $15.00 ---    27,400
15. Japanese text: Seven vertical columns with three to
    seven characters in each column ............ $20.00 ---    27,500 - SEE NOTEx
16. Chinese text: Six horizontal lines with eight [uniform]
    characters in each line .................... $20.00 ---    17,300 - SEE NOTEx

Design as before but imperforate:
3a. As no.3 (German), yellow frame .... Rare
4a. As no.4 (English), yellow frame ... Rare
6a. As no.6 (French), yellow frame .... Rare
8a. As no.8 (Italian), orange frame ... Rare

Note imperf items at left - these are unperforated versions of the actual stamps, NOT the items described by DuBois above (he says there is a yellow frame), which are something entirely different, and somewhat dubious. No one I know has ever seen them. Trory just says there are imperforates of those four languages.
Can anyone provide images of imperfs with yellow frames?

Click on underlined text above for high-res version of each stamp.

CLICK HERE for more information about these stamps, including statistics on numbers printed per language.

NOTEx - 10/3/2016 - Over the years I have seen much confusion about the Japanese and Chinese versions of this stamp. Today I finally asked an expert, someone who reads and speaks BOTH Chinese and Japanese, and he says definitively that DuBois had the stamps swapped, the one he described as Japanese is actually Chinese, and vice-versa. So I have changed the listing, and it is now correct. I swapped the descriptions, as this seemed to me the correct way to handle it. The descriptions now correspond correctly to the images at left.

Of the sixteen languages used to advertise these Games, only Chinese was not represented in the competitions - China did not send a team. Neither did Spain, though Chile had one.

(Section below from Wikipedia)

28 nations competed in Stockholm. Japan appeared for the first time, marking the first appearance of an Asian country at an Olympic Games. Egypt also made their first appearance, as did Iceland, Portugal and Serbia. Chile made its first appearance as a national team with fourteen athletes attending the Games, although it also had one individual entered at the 1896 Games. The first athletes from Armenia also competed, as part of the team from the Ottoman Empire (referred to as Turkey). Serbia's appearance was the only time it appeared at a Games as an independent nation until the 2008 Summer Olympics.

This was the last Olympics where "private entries" were allowed (i.e. not part of a country's officially selected team). Arnold Jackson was one such, winning the 1500 metres by 0.1 second, ahead of an American trio, who were strong favourites, in what was acclaimed at the time as "the greatest race ever run".

and numbers of athletes
Great Britain279
Russian Empire159
South Africa21
Ottoman Empire2
United States174

11/9/2017 - Turkish collector Bariş Karacasu wrote to offer the following transliteration and translation of the text on the Turkish stamp (#14):

1912 senesinde
istokholm şehrinde icrası tekerrür eden ve 29 haziran'dan 22
temmuz'a kadar devam edecek olan beynelmilel olimpiya idman oyunları

In the year of 1912
Ocurring in the city of stockholm
and will continue from 29 june to 22 July
International olympic sports games

Thanks, Bariş.

Note: The late Joseph J. Lohr, a noted dealer in Cinderella material, wrote in Poster-Seal Bulletin* of July 1941: "This seal(referring to No.4, English text) is the colorful poster which gave publicity in 16 different languages to the Olympic Games held in Stockholm in 1912. This poster stamp was, in its first state, the cause of many heated press articles, and I remember when this poster first appeared in the billboards of Munich that certain people could not do enough in protesting and objecting; today the complete set is much sought after!"

* The PSCA Bulletin (Official publication of the Poster Stamp Collectors of America) was co-published with the Christmas Seal and Charity Stamp Society for six months in 1941.

The poster stamp was issued in the same 16 languages as the poster, in varying quantities, all of which DuBois lists. Over 2 million of the English version were printed, while there were only 17,300 of the Chinese version. Like the poster, the stamp's design was controversial, and saw little use on mail.

CLICK HERE to see a 4x9 block of the French version of 1912-6, the French version of this stamp. I am told these were printed in sheets of 81 stamps - 9 by 9.


#1912-17, a, b

17. Austrian Fund Label: "ÖSTERREICH IN STOCKHOLM 1912" below, white text in a decorative, black panel; Vignette above, a runner upholding a victory palm, clouds in background; artist's imprint, below runner: VFL SEIDL; decorative margin around label and between vignette & panel. 24x42mm, perf 11.5, black design on white paper .. $4.00

17a. Same as 17 but selvage tab "4 HELLER" on one edge ...$6.00

17b. Same as 17 but selvage tab "4 HELLER" on two edges (from corner of a sheet) ........................... $8.00

7/9/18 - shown above, the two largest multiples I have seen. Based on the image on the right, my guess is that a full sheet was five by ten.

#1912-18b thru f

18. A Swiss Label:

"OLYMP. RIEGE" (Olympic Squad) in panel at top; VTM (Verband Turnen Mannschaft = Gymnastic Team Union) in panel at bottom.

Vignette, in between panels: a shot-putter in knee-length pants; a lined margin around label. 22x44mm, imperforate, design is black & on the following colored papers:

d)orange ....... all Rare

7/8/18 - new finds:

I still need an image of a, the one on white paper. Anyone?


19.Swedish Matchbox Label:

Upper part - image: Same vignette as on No. 1912-01 (see above); Lower part - text: OLYMPISKA SPELEN STOCKHOLM 1912 Ensämratt för distribution Carl Westerberg; 35x50mm, imperforate, multicolored

Translation of text:
Olympic Games Stockholm 1912 Sole distribution rights Carl Westerberg

Pardon the useless image, that's what DuBois provided, probably a second or third generation copy from earlier sources.


20. A Large Swedish Label: ( luggage / baggage label )

"OLYMPISKA SPELEN" across top; "STOCKHOLM 1912" across bottom; imprint, at lower right corner: "A. BORTZELLS TR.A.B., STHLM." Vignette, centrally located between texts: Swedish flag. 158x115mm(roughly 5,5 x 4 inches), imperforate, red, blue & yellow ..... Rare

Note: The above-listed, oversized label is from Dick Green's "Catalog of Poster Stamps of the Olympic Games."


From an eBay auction, 10/30/18: The label is categorized as number 45 in the catalogue from the Exhibition 2004 in Stockholm Olympic Memorabilia 1912 1956.

2/27/19 - from another eBay sale:
This collection came from a canadian rower who participated in the 1912 stockholm olympics; 1) 4 olympiska spelen stockholm 1912 labels size 4 1/2" x 6 1/4" printed by a. Bortzells tr.A.B. Sthlm; 2) hotel continental stockholm suede 6 1/2" x 4 1/4" litho.Akt.Malmo 4022; 3) 2 white star - dominion s.S. Teutonic baggage room 30 james street liverpool and passengers baggage " hold" label measure 5 1/4" x 5 1/2"; 4) central-hotel berlin ( germany ) gegenuber dem stadt-bahnhof friedrichstraase hugo besthorn; 5) 2 victoria hotel amsterdam 7 1/2" x 2 1/2"; 6) prince george hotel east 28th street new york

I love the encapsulated history of the man's journey.


DuBois decription:

9. A Swedish Matchbox Label: "OLYMPIAN MATCH" at upper left; "MADE IN SWEDEN" at lower left. Vignette: an athlete about to throw a Javelin, a stadium in the background with the flag of Sweden flying and other flags below. 55.5x32mm, multicolored, texts & athlete's suit are red ..... Rare

5/11/16 - DuBois lists this item with the 1908 labels, but as French collector Philippe Pavard just pointed out, the stadium pictured is clearly the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, built specifically for the 1912 Games, and opened in 1912. Why DuBois listed this as a 1908 label I cannot say - perhaps he was relying on an older catalog, and did not think to question it, though he did identify the flag as Swedish, so that should have tipped him off. Then again, DuBois didn't have the www and Google to help him, did he?

But we do, so first, here's a photo taken at the Opening Ceremonies of the 1908 Games in London, showing the stadium built for those Olympics.

Second, here is a photo of the Opening Ceremonies of the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

Note the distinctive towers, visible both in the photo and on the matchbox label. And below is a postcard of the stadium, showing the same spectator stands.

And, just for good measure, here is an image (provided by Philippe Pavard) of a 2012 Swedish stamp commemorating the centenary of the 1912 Games.

So I think it is clear that this matchbox label was issued to commemorate the 1912 Games.


Reproduction (FAKE) of French version of official poster stamp:

The French version of the 1912 stamp is not particularly scarce (over 600,000 printed), but someone took the trouble to create this counterfeit version:

Counterfeit French label
35mm x 46mm (vs about 45x60 for the real deal)

This one has been marked as a fake, and was sold to me (on eBay) as such, AND it's much smaller than the real stamp, so only a total idiot would be fooled. What's the story?


4/11/16 - French collector Philippe Pavard sent these images of 1912 poster stamps from Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. They are inscribed Fête Olympique - Olympic festival (not Jeux Olympique)

62x46mm overall
ESCH s/ALZETTE - 1-2-3-IX 1912
Vignette: Allegorical female at left,
Athelete with iron ball at right

Esch-sur-Alzette held a festival from September 1 to 3 in 1912, including "Olympic" events, and other celebrations. Below is the stamp with five others of the same series or set, showing other events of the festival.


7/2/16 - Philippe sent this LINK to Sept. 5, 1912 newspaper article about the festival, including a report on the athletic events. "Unfavorable weather" but a good time was had by all!

A Mystery?

Hungarian Matchbox labels - History of the Modern Olympics 1894 - 1960

And what's going on here? I found this image somewhere on the www, (I should keep better records, I know), and it puzzled me at first.

Mystery label

But then I recognized those letters "MSZ" and remembered seeing them on Hungarian matchbox labels. A helpful website told me HUNGARY - On post-WW2 labels, look for MSZ (Magyar Szabvany = Hungarian Standard) and 30 or 40f (= forint or filler, their currency).
Mystery solved! Further research yielded this image:

showing the label in company with some others of the 120 (!) members of the set. They depict the history of the modern Olympic Games, with posters, athletes, and events from 1894 to 1960, so they must have been issued between 1960 and 1964.


Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4 
(partial #111)

Swedish postcard - 50th Anniversary of 1912 Olympics

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

Mystery label? No, a postcard.

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




Found on the www


According to Wikipedia, Peter Oehler was a German wrestler, who "competed in the light heavyweight event at the 1912 Games."

Translation of text:
Olympic fighter Stockholm 1912

Grösste Illustrierte Sport-Zeitung
Tosolini's Sport-Magazin

Image above found in a David Feldman auction catalog. The stamps must date from 1913 or earlier, based on the athletes shown. I have images of 14 so far with an Olympic connection, and another 15 that are not Olympic-related, or do not depict named athletes. At right are the Olympic items. CLICK HERE for images of some others. List of the athletes and their accomplishments HERE.

NOTE: All these stamps were published by Tosolini's Sport-Magazin as well - image of some of them HERE.

There could be many more.
Can anyone provide more information, or images of the complete set?

Das Deutsche Auto - Grösste Illustrierte Sport-Zeitung
The German Auto - Largest Illustrated Sports Newspaper

Thanks to Philippe Pavard,,,
and for images,
and for data about the above labels.

Luggage / Baggage Label
187mm x 125mm
Black text on orange paper


Advertising label
56mm x 40mm
Multicolor design with Stockholm Olympic Stadium in background, columns and text in front.


Source: Sports Philatelists International website.

I was dubious about this one at first, but then compared the image with this postcard image of the stadium, and was convinced of the connection to the 1912 Games.


4 Poster stamps
each Approx. 30x50mm
Bicolor design with image of classic nude discus thrower in center, "EXPOSITION INTERNATIONALE DES SPORTS ET DE L'INDUSTRIE" above, "MAI 1912 JUIN VARSOVIE" below. Printer's imprint at bottom.

These are not Olympic labels, but certainly they are related, by the image, and the date - the 1912 Olympic Games were taking place in Stockholm at the same time as this Exposition in Warsaw. So I consider these nice peripheral items.



eBay auction, described as follows:

This is a label on a shipped box from the 1912 Summer Olympic Games, held in Stockholm, Sweden. Box delivered to a Dr. Fries in Stockholm. Box measures 6" x 9" and is in excellent condition. Label is about 5" x 6.2"


A gummed sticker reproducing the Swedish version of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics official poster.

Philippe Pavard acquired this recently, and sent me this image, plus the information that the item's size is 34x47mm (1.34" x 1.85" - about the size of the average matchbox label), and it is gummed.

A great find, but I have some doubts about it. The corners on the right side are odd, especially that notch on the bottom right. Could this have been cut from something larger? Or is it part of a set, one for each of the Olympics through some later date?

12/29/2019 - Two more labels from this set have turned up, one with the 1920 poster image, and one with the summer 1936 poster image. See the 1936 Berlin page for all three and a discussion.

06/17/2020 - still more of these turned up, and they are part of a set dating from 1976 - full story on the 1936 page -


A gummed sticker, described by the eBay seller
Sweden c1912 advertising label for Alcohol free Sports Drink
inscribed Olympics across middle with five images with full original gum, rounded right hand corners.

Actually it is inscribed
Alkoholfri Idrottsbrus
Finaste och Bästa

Alcohol-free Sports Noise[sic!]
Finest and Best

Size 107 x 75mm (originally 110mm wide probably)
4.25" x 3"

V 1912 Estocolmo
Estocolmo = Spanish for Stockholm

10/16/16 - Steven Greiczek sent this image, of a stamp owned by Conrad Graham, with this comment: An unlisted Spanish issue. If I remember correctly the consensus was this may have been issued after the fact so we hadn't included it in the catalog. 22x30. (The catalog he refers to is the "General Illustrated Catalogue of Exhibition & Event Poster Stamps to 1914," Gardiner & Greiczek)

The design looked familiar, so I set the image aside for a few days, and when I returned to it, was sure I had run across it before, and that Steve's suspicion was correct, it was part of a later issue, a set commemorating previous Games. I leafed through the post-1960 section of my DuBois catalog (1960 is as far as I had gone with these pages at that date), and found what I was looking for on the first page of the 1964-Tokyo Games section. Image at right. Full text description from the DuBois catalog HERE
Summary from DuBois:

A Spanish sheet of 25 labels lists the 18 Olympiads which occurred from 1896 to 1964. Winter Games of that era are also listed. 18 of the vignettes consist of circular Aztec symbols and Olympic rings.

I plan to add a page for 1964 soon, and will replace this section with a link there, but for now, this will serve to guide anyone else who runs across the item, and perhaps its siblings as well.

There were no postage stamps issued for the 1912 Games.

There were no winter games in 1912.


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...


All text Copyright © 2013, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 07/27/2013
Revised -- 06/17/2020