Postal services provider Posti on Thursday morning announced that the anticipated Tom of Finland stamps have been made available for pre-order at the Posti Online Shop due to the unprecedented worldwide interest the stamps have aroused.
At 2 pm on Thursday, visitors to the web-shop were greeted with an error message.
“The number of visitors was greater than what we had prepared for,” a spokesperson at Itella told Helsingin Sanomat.
In addition, the spokesperson assured that Itella will keep track of the sales and, if necessary, increase the number of stamps issued. “The idea is that the stamps will be available at Posti shops in the autumn, when they will be released.”
In the meantime, the stamps are available for pre-order at the web-shop with an estimated delivery date of 8 September. Itella will initially print 200,000 sheets, each containing three Tom of Finland stamps.
Tom of Finland was the pseudonym of Touko Laaksonen (1920—1991), a celebrated artist and gay pride icon – as well as a stamp collector. The suggestion to issue stamps dedicated to Tom of Finland was made by the Tom of Finland Foundation and reportedly stirred a heated debate at the Itella's stamp committee.
Laaksonen remains one of the most renowned Finnish artists worldwide, his works being part of the collections of the New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Art Institute and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Anni Lassila – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Photo: Itella / Handout