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Need Help Translating German Color Names

 
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Posted 06/16/2018   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add BrentAbba to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm working through some color listings for classic Bosnian stamps and have a few German color names that I can't seem to translate. Can someone help with:

resedagrun ('gray green' ?)
flaschengrun ('bottle green' - what color is this supposed to look like?)
kadmiumgelb ('cadmium yellow' - but what color is that?)

Brent

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Posted 06/16/2018   5:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Reseda" in English is the mignonette plant, a European species. The color was marketed by Volkswagen as a car color. If you google "mignonette green", you'll see the color swatch.
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Posted 06/16/2018   5:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
https://www.briefmarken.de/images/P...Englisch.pdf

Color info and translation starts on page 8
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Edited by revstampman - 06/16/2018 5:51 pm
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Posted 03/25/2020   05:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have looked at the excellent publication "The Michel Stamp Catalogue: An Introduction for English-Speaking Readers" whose link is given above.
On pages 9 and 10 there are listed a great many German colour names along with their English equivalents. But one quite common prefix has me stumped - the use of "Mittel". By itself, the word mittel is fairly simple to translate, meaning middle, central or average, but what does it mean when used as a prefix to a colour name?

By way of example, what would be the difference between braun and mittelbraun?

And where would mittelbraun fit in the spectrum of

hellbraun
lebhaftbraun
braun
dunkelbraun
schwärzlichbraun
schwarzbraun

I was prompted to ask by trying to sort out a few of the Famous Germans series from the 1960s, and finding the very pretty 20pf stamp (J.S. Bach) described as being of colour:

mittelbraunrot bis lebhaftbräunlichkarmin

Mind you, with just shy of 100 million printed I would expect a few shades.


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Posted 03/25/2020   06:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
indigo,

Michel doesn't show examples of mittel- colors in its color guide, but I tend to think of them as an average of the base color. By that, I mean that if I saw mittelbraunrot, I would look for a color matching braunrot.

If you don't have a copy of the Michel color guide, they can still be had pretty cheap on eBay. Here's a sample of one of the brown pages.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
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Posted 03/25/2020   4:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you PostmasterGS for the scan, it is very helpful. I will certainly buy the "Farbenfuhrer" from Europe but it may take a while to arrive.
I see the guide is arranged in rows, every row ranging from the palest (hell-) at the left to the darkest (schwärzlich-) on the right. The two prefixes that are quite commonly used in the catalogue, but aren't in any of the rows in the guide, are "Mittel" and "Schwarz". We will assume that for some strange reason the editors mean mittelbraunrot is exactly the same as braunrot, but why they use one term instead of the other remains mysterious.
I am guessing that schwarz- is somehow a darker version still than schwärzlich- and would be one more step off to the right of the chart. In my experience of the Michel catalogue, the schwarz- usage is more prevalent than the schwärzlich-. Another possibility is that like the use of "mittel-" they use schwärzlich- and schwarz- interchangeably, but I hope not.
Having said that, I do like the layout of their color guide - I just wish it were more explanatory. I have included pictures of the old and new SG colour guide to show that the old style was to hold the stamp over the guide, and nowadays we hold the guide over the stamp.


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Posted 03/25/2020   6:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Germania to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
BrentAbba, I have never seen those color descriptions used for German stamps. I have Michel color guides going back to 1922 and those terms are not used.

Indigo, the Michel color guide is not quite as useful as it would appear to be and what little use it has is only good for German stamps. Here is how the description for the different tones is set out (this is for "rot" but the identical schema is used for all hues):


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Posted 03/25/2020   7:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add indigo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wunderbar! Thanks Germania, that really does explain things very well. The picture above has all the prefixes and shows nicely how they go from lightest to darkest.
It would seem my guess is wrong about the use of "Mittel-" and I will just go with the Michel definition that places it between hell- (pale-) and lebhaft (bright-). The sequence blackish-red, black-red and red-black makes great sense too.

To identify a stamp properly, and understand the catalogue, you really need to know the order of each shade, but of the 11 possible names only five are illustrated with four not illustrated and two (the shades of white and black) illustrated elsewhere. On that ratio I would be paying nearer €200 if they showed the lot so I will be grateful it is only €98!
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Posted 03/29/2020   10:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BrentAbba to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Glad to see this thread get a bit more attention. Just a few follow-ups.

Thanks to bookbndrbob for the link to car colors, it gets me an idea of the color, but I'm always cautious applying real world coloration to stamps. (The bricks in my house vary a bunch, so which one do I pick to equate to 'brick red' as it appears in the Michel color spectrum?

revstampman, I have already reviewed the Michel guide for English speakers, but hadn't found equivalents to the colors I'm trying to match. It was quite helpful in getting the majority matched up, though, and is a good resource to point out to others using the thread.

Germania, I am going to follow up with a post showing the section of my 2016 Michel Austria Specialized Catalog that includes the list of colors.
This was the source of my green questions (resedagrun and flaschengrun)

The kadmiumgelb entry comes from my 1981 copy of 'Osterreich 1850-1918' specialized catalog by Ulrich Ferchenbauer. Considering he uses the Michel numbering scheme, and his color names are generally a match for that catalog, I assumed he drew from an earlier edition of that catalog for his own compilation.

Just so everyone's on the same page, this is the series of stamps I'm specifically looking at.

Thanks for everyone's help so far.
Brent

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Posted 03/29/2020   10:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BrentAbba to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And here are two catalog extracts with my problem Bosnia colors.

First is page 504 from the 2106 Michel Austria Specialized.

Second is the page 574 extract from Ferchenbauer.

Brent

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Posted 03/29/2020   7:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Germania to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
brentabba, I did some more research after reading your last post. The Deutsches Reich Michel 44 (the 50 Pf "Pfennig" stamp) listing shows the resedagrün color as an old-style color designation. The color today is lebhaftolivgrün bis lebhaftgrünoliv.

I can't find anything on flaschengrün. And neither color is listed in any of my 14 different Michel color guides.
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