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Who Engraved This Stamp?

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Valued Member
United States
350 Posts
Posted 12/10/2018   2:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Louise411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I hope this site keeps going and no "Bottom Liner" tries to end it.I for one just found it and have often wondered about these people.They are specialized artists. So I want to know if the Vatican keeps engravers for there Christmas stamps or prints the Famous paintings that are often on them? And some are embellished with a beautiful gold finish, how do they do that?
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Valued Member
New Zealand
27 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   6:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This stamp is from the West Berlin 1959 set honouring the President, Theodor Heuss. The set had five values, with the lowest three values printed by typography and the top two values printed intaglio.
The Michel catalogue gives no information about the engraver, only that the designer is "Cordier". Stanley Gibbons strangely gives no information about the designer or engraver, despite detailing both for all other releases in that era. I would presume the same engraver did both the 40pf and the 70pf values.

Does anyone know who would have engraved the dies for these two stamps? I have included a picture of just one of them, Mi. 185, SG. B181 40pf blue. The Scott numbers are 9N168 and 9N169.

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Edited by indigo - 03/23/2020 6:53 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
29894 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   9:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Designer : R. Gerhardt
Engraver : E Falz
corrected, see below.

Stanley Gibbons Postage Stamp Catalogue
1963
Part ll
Foreign Countries Europe and Colonies
Pres Heuss Germany : Berlin
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Edited by rod222 - 03/23/2020 11:10 pm
Valued Member
New Zealand
27 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   10:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you rod222 for taking the time to look it up for me. I don't have your 1963 edition of SG part 2 but I do have the later edition from 1970, "SG Postage Stamp Catalogue, 1970, Europe and Colonies". The scan from my edition (below) shows the engraver information printed underneath the Heuss issue, not above. I believe that information relates to the next stamp issue, the stamp SG B183 for the anniversary of the Berlin airlift. In the SG catalogue the designer and engraver (if any) information always precedes the issue. At least it does for all the others I can see!
I also have a copy of the SG specialised catalogue for Germany (Part 7, 9th edition) from 2011 and the additional space in the catalogue layout makes it a bit more obvious that the designer and engraver information you gave is for the next stamp, and the information for the President Heuss set is missing.
I can't find anything in Michel Germany, or their Germany Specialised but that could just be my poor German skills.




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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
29894 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   11:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Indigo,
I stand corrected. Duly noted, I should have known that, used that catalogue for years.
Thanks for being so courteous in your correction.

The quest continues......

FYI Entry in Michel Deutschland Katalog 2000
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Edited by rod222 - 03/23/2020 11:19 pm
Valued Member
New Zealand
27 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   11:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rod222,
You are welcome. I should have pointed out a further clue. It was the German practice during that era for engraved stamps to have the name of the designer at the bottom left of the design and that of the engraver at the bottom right. When the same person did both the name went in the middle. I am sure there were exceptions, but it was like that on all the engraved stamps I looked at. You can see the Gerhardt / Falz combination in tiny letters at the bottom of the SG B183 Berlin Airlift stamp, but nothing at the bottom of the one for President Heuss.

Possibly because the lower values of the Heuss issue were printed by typography (buchdruck) they decided to omit the names but then this of course doesn't really explain why they are not included on the top two values. Even the 70pf stamp had a print run of 10 million so it wasn't some afterthought. I remain hopeful that another catalogue, most likely in German, will have the information.
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
4661 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   11:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Borek (W. Germany) and Minkus (USA) catalogs are not useful here. No information on engravers and designers in these.
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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
29894 Posts
Posted 03/23/2020   11:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A stab in the dark.
The vignette remains consistant with the 1954 design of Theodor Heuss
Designer : Max Bittrof
Would that lead us anywhere?

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Valued Member
New Zealand
27 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   12:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you bookbndrbob and rod222 for your ideas. The Michel catalogue tells us that the designer for the 1959 issues is "Cordier" (for both the West Berlin set and the similar West German issue), whereas for the 1954 sets the designer is Max Bittrof.

The catalogue also tells us that unless specified otherwise in the selvedge, the printer is both cases is the Berlin State Printing Works (Bundesdruckerei) so presumably the engraver is one of those people whose names appear on other engraved stamps of the period.

Possibilities are:
G. Schulz
L. Schnell
E. Falz
H. Fuchs
H. Braband
P. Nowraty

It is just odd that although the engraver is specified for all other issues it seems to be missing on these. In other cases where the designer is not known (such as Mi. 110 and 111, the East German Uprising issue) the catalogue puts an explicit "?" for the name of the designer (meaning "unknown") so I wonder why they haven't done that for the engraver I am chasing?

The designs for the 1959 issues are based on the photographic portrait of Prof. Dr. Heuss done by Liselotte Strelow. The famous photograph is shown below, the image taken from the website of the Frauen-Kultur-Archiv. On that website the photograph is dated 1957 so unless that date is incorrect it would not have been used for the 1954 series.

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Edited by indigo - 03/24/2020 12:59 am
Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
29894 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   03:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Correct again, Indigo.
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Valued Member
New Zealand
27 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   04:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rod222,
When you put the two stamps side by side as you have so nicely done, it really stands out that the 1954 series was much more beautifully engraved. The background and shading around the head is much better in the first stamp, and his face has an odd striated effect in the second stamp that doesn't catch the shades on the skin the way the first one does.
Whoever it is who engraved the two values in the 1959 set, they don't exhibit the skill of the previous engravers.
It may be that the records kept by the printer simply don't show who engraved the stamps in which case I will just leave things as "unknown". Those involved would still be alive and may remember what went on but if it isn't recorded in a catalogue somewhere, no amount of diligent hunting on your part or mine will settle the question.

As an aside, not directly related to the engraving question, while looking into your suggestion about the designer I found an online discussion of the work of Liselotte Strelow at the Frauen-Kultur-Archiv in Düsseldorf. As part of the discussion they describe how the adoption by the post office of her photographic image was a huge boost to her career. To illustrate the point they show that 1957 photo (which they say is now simply known as the "Heuss photo") next to a picture of ... one of the 1954 stamps!

I am sure you and I will be smiling at this one, even if we haven't yet put our finger on the "house engraver" of the State Printing Works who did the deed.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
5020 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   11:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
According to Michel 1991/92 edition the stamp was designed by M.E.Cordier and engraved
by Egon Falz (1932 - 2010)


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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
29894 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   1:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lithograving........

2 things I do not understand
Willi Seidl ?
E Falz ..........."StTdr" ?

Image translation by Yandex
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Edited by rod222 - 03/24/2020 1:23 pm
Valued Member
259 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   1:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stTdr = Stichtiefdruck, i.e. intaglio

Funny to see Yandex translate Bogen (sheet) into Bow.

The portrait used for the stamp was an engraving of President Heuss by Willi Seidl.

Search in below link for the word "Heuss."

http://meltonpriorinstitut.org/page...uage=Deutsch
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Edited by NSK - 03/24/2020 1:56 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
29894 Posts
Posted 03/24/2020   1:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks NSK
...and for the "bow"
Still, not bad for an image translate in my books.
I like the way it keeps the format.
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