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Austrian 1946 Cathedral Stamp Engraved by 10 Engravers  
 

 
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
282 Posts
Posted 11/11/2013   08:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add 65170 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In 1946 the Austrian PO had the Staatsdruckerei produce a set of engraved stamps relating to St Stephen's Cathedral. One value (at least) had its design engraved by no less than 10 different engravers in their own style. It is fascinating to see the subtle differences between the engravings.

Aside from sharing their output with you, I pose a question. When I recently obtained these items they had already been cut-down into singles from, it is assumed, a single sheet bearing all of the black prints. Does anyone know the origins of this item, please? I would love to see the paperwork that must have accompanied the stamp sheet.

There is what to me seems a mystery. The names at the foot of each 'stamp' have been printed in letterpress and are heavily "punched" into the page, with the tell-tale debossing on the reverse, but this is not the query.

The stamp designs are all totally flat without any hint of the raised feel and appearance of intaglio on the face, but the quality of each line is excellently rendered. Similarly, there is no letterpress debossing on the reverse, so what process might have been used?

Any assistance would be gratefully received.

GLENN























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United States
5875 Posts
Posted 11/11/2013   8:47 pm  Show Profile Check smauggie's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They appear to be proofs to me.
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APS Member #: 222539 AAPE, Maplewood Stamp Club (MN), Northern Philatelic Society, US Philatelic Classics Society, Auxiliary Markings Club, Canal Zone Study Group, Minnesota Postal History Society
Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
1361 Posts
Posted 11/12/2013   03:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AnthonyUK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It could be that the work in question was tendered and the engravers in question submitted as part of the tendering process their respective work.
A really interesting glimpse at the process behind making a stamp and a fantastic comparison of some of the greatest engravers work.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1947 Posts
Posted 11/12/2013   06:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rohumpy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you look at the baby's head and the woman's head, there appear to be some distinct styles of engraving. Some are definitely more realistic than others.
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
282 Posts
Posted 11/12/2013   12:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 65170 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Many thanks to respondents, thus far. The human face is supposed to be the most recognisable of all imagery, hence its extensive use on engraved banknotes to assist with the detection of counterfeits.

I therefore fully agree with ROHUMPY about the face of the Madonna and Child having "distinct styles of engraving" and having now looked more closely at each face, I fear that a couple are quite amateurish!

So, I set about finding the statue online taken from a similar angle. (Image has been manipulated, as the statue is bronze and therefore quite dark. It was also in colour.)

You can make your own mind up as to which engraver achieved the best result for the faces.

Incidentally, the country name at foot appears to my eyes to be virtually identical on every engraving, leading me to believe that this portion may have been engraved by a letter engraver, as was often the case.

Indeed, De La Rue (at least) would never allow a single engraver to produce an entire design of a stamp or banknote, lest they were kidnapped and forced to recreate an engraving. Instead, they would use a portrait, letter and vignette engraver and "rock-in" the portions of the design into a single die.

GLENN

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Czech Republic
558 Posts
Posted 11/13/2013   08:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
65170 - Glenn, thank you for your images of both the trial engravings and the statue making comparison possible.

Great material indeed: 10 engravers dealing with one and the same sculpture/design and the winner re-doing the engraving to fully satisfy the designer.

Would there be someone specialising in Austrian stamps on this knowledgeable Forum to answer your questions regarding the origin of the items and the printing process used in reproducing the engravings? Thanks.

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Edited by florian - 11/13/2013 10:12 am
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Canada
4406 Posts
Posted 02/13/2014   12:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Glenn, I asked about these on a German language forum
which has many Austrian stamp collectors.

And here is the answer:

diese Drucke sind Ausschnitte aus einer Bildtafel im Anhang des Buches,
100 Jahre Österreichische Briefmarke, Verlag Österreichische Staatsdruckerei (1950).
Gedruckt auf Kartonpapier, ausgeführt in Lichtdruck.


They were cut out from a page in a book called 100 Years of Austrian Stamps,
published in 1950 by the Austrian State Printer.
Printed on Kartonpapier which I suppose could be translated
as cardstock or cardboard.
Print method Lichtdruck would be collotype ( heliography, heliotype, photoengraving, phototype)

There is also a a quote from the book.
See here
http://www.briefmarken-forum.com/t5...edruck#41883
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
282 Posts
Posted 02/14/2014   02:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 65170 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lithograving: Many thanks indeed for pursuing this on my behalf. I am delighted to now know the source of my items - and the printing process! Florian will be similarly delighted.

GLENN
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Czech Republic
558 Posts
Posted 02/14/2014   08:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
lithograving - Just splendid. Thank you ever so much.
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