It is now around twelve years ago since I started to communicate with other binocular collectors on the internet. One of the most frequent questions I have got, is about the Swedish three crowns marking. I also mention the subject in my book on page 71. Until now I could not give a precise answer to the question: When did Sweden start to use the three crowns as a property mark?

My answer used to be: Around 1941-1942. This estimate was founded on markings on collected Swedish military binoculars and other ordnance. On my last visit to the Swedish military archive (Krigsarkivet) however, I was able to locate the right document. Peter Nordström, 1st arkivarie (record-keeper) of the institution, had advised me to check the publication “Tjänstemeddelande för krigsmakten” for the years mentioned.  I found the following document:


Message from the supreme commander.

HQ Fst N:o 6:77 July 10.

Orders about unanimous property marking of ordnance belonging to the armed forces.According to royal decision from the 19. June 1942 the following unanimous property marking of ordnance belonging to the armed forces is valid

1.A property mark, consisting of three crowns, looking as shown below, shall be applied on all ordnance were such a marking can be used. The size of the mark is to be chosen accordingly.

2.On ordnance, were such a mark cannot be applied, other marking can be used. Note that marking with a single crown is only to be used by the royal collections department. Beside the crown mark other markings showing which branch or (and) certain units and so forth can be used. If such special marks have heraldic relevance advice shall be taken from the “ Riksheraldikerämbetet” (King-at-arms). Ordnance in use, which is sufficiently property marked can keep its present markings.

3.Closer orders on how the markings shall be applied will be issued by the army, navy and air headquarters, if necessary after consulting. Note, that the marking of tires and tubes for bicycles and vehicles in use or ordered shall be applied swiftly.