In Denmark everybody knows them - the climbing elves, and for many, the real climbing elves are the ones made by Frederik Bramming. The sheet consists of 25 different Bramming-elves, where neither of them has previously appeared as climbing elves. The illustration is a self-portrait of Frederik Bramming, and typically to him it was not to show too much of himself, but bowing to his audience and thank for the attention.
The story of 'The World's oldest Christmas Seal'
The World's first Christmas Seal was issued in Denmark in 1904. And since then a new Christmas seal has appeared every year before Christmas.
In 1903 a postmaster, Ejnar Holbøll sat at his post office in Copenhagen, Denmark, buried in and annoyed by all the Christmas post that gave him so much extra work and contained nothing important beyond greetings for a Merry Christmas. Looking out the window he saw children running around in the snow, sick, cold, shabby and totally without prospect for a happy Christmas. Then he got the idea to make sense to all the Christmas post.
And so, since 1904, the Danes every year have bought and decorated their Christmas post with a little Christmas Seal, from where the money goes to help children in straitened circumstances. The designs done by different artists, changes every year. HM Queen Margrethe the II of Denmark has designed the Christmas Seal, twice - in 1970 and 2003.
Over the years the little Christmas Seal has helped more than 70,000 children, who for one reason or another have difficulties, to a stay at one of 4 Christmas Seal homes. The target audience has changed along with the development of society - from tuberculosis children over postwar malnourished children to lonely, isolated, sad and often overweight children.
Besides being a great support, the Danish Christmas Seal has become a valuable and unique collectible item, which each year creates a stir among collectors worldwide.