Monday, February 16, 2009

Treasures in recess printing

The item I have selected for today is neither a stamp nor a cover. This is a gift that I received recently from the French postal administration. I think this gift was sent to all subscribers (or regular customers?) of La Poste (actually I got it twice, I don’t know why). This gift is an engraving and a very nice one by the way.

As the title suggests (Trésors en taille-douce), this is a tribute to recess printing. In France there is currently a debated between the philatelic community and the French postal administration about the number of stamps that are recess-printed, French philatelists considering that this number is too low. Situation should improved this year, the number of engraved stamps should increase compare to the previous years. I think that the same debate exists in several countries…

The engraving pictures the design of four air mail stamps. On the first line, on the right side, this is the design of a stamp issued in 1936 and entitled “Plane flying over Paris”. This stamp has been issued in several colors with various denominations. Here is the 85c (it has been issued also in 1f50, 2f25, 2f50, 3f, 3f50 and 50f.

The 50f stamp has also been issued with a specific pink frame, this is the design pictured on the left top corner of the engraving. This stamp is very famous and is called the "50f burelé". Here it is.

These stamps have been engraved by Achille Ouvré (1872-1951), a French illustrator and engraver. He is famous mainly for his work on illustrating books. In 1934, at the age of 62, he engraved his first stamp, that is the first small size recess-printed stamp. He has engraved around 40 stamps afterwards.

The second line of the engraving pictures stamps engraved by Pierre Gandon. Pierre Gandon (1899-1990) is a very well known French engraver who has engraved his first stamp in 1941. He has then realized a very high number of stamps for the French postal administration but also for foreign posts.
Here are the two stamps pictured on the engraving, the first one has been in 1947 (I already showed this stamp
here) and the second one in 1949.

These stamps are extremely beautiful, aren’t they?

(The pictures of stamps on this article come from Phila Exchange website).

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