You know cynical when you mentioned John le Carré I right away remembered the BBC TV production Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which was shown here in Canada in the early eighties I believe on CBC. Great stuff, I loved those spy stories then, not so much now since the Cold War ended and the threat gone.
Alec Guinness as George Smiley, now that's acting.
I have to try and find a nice engraved stamp of Goethe.
That stamp by Colombati on Eleonora Duse is absolutely stunning. I could easily hang a large version on a wall and become lost in her sad, perhaps longing expression. Wow!
I had no clear idea who she was, so as is usual with this marvelous hobby, a search had to be done to find out more. Apart from a long career as a famous actress, on July 30 1923, she became the first woman (and Italian) to be featured on the cover of Time magazine.
A link on engravers, passed on to me by Roos, may prove interesting to some of you, altough, I suspect that most of you already have it:
cynical & lithograving - Last autumn I treated myself to a month-long John le Carré DVD marathon, courtesy of Netflix, including: TTSS, Smiley's People, A Perfect Spy, and the Spy who came in from the Cold. I would enthusiastically agree that Sir Alec was a first class actor.
Perf14 - For me, one of the best aspects of this hobby is the educational opportunity it affords. I had never even heard of "Duse" before I encountered that moody and bluesy Colombati stamp.
Here are images of some well-designed stamps engraved by another ace USA vignette specialist, Joseph S. Creamer, Jr., who was active from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s. Enjoy!
Henry David Thoreau, designed by Leonard Baskin (1922-2000), sculptor and graphic artist, lettering by Robert G. Culin, Sr., issued on July 12, 1967, Scott No. 1327.
Wood ducks, designed by artist Stanley W. Galli (1912-2009), lettering by Culin, issued on October 24, 1968, Scott No. 1362. This one is obviously partly lithographed, but I think it is quite beautiful anyway.
Lithograving - those beetle stamps are absolutely great. As a teenager I was into collecting insects and I used to draw beetles as a preference, but mine never looked to as good as those, not even close! :)
The Thoreau is a great engraving, but if I had that one hanging on my wall, I might have to shoot myself - what a depressing expression!
The little girl is beautiful, but how we have changed - just looking at the word "retarded" really grates on me. Political correctness has done its job very well!
Perf14 - Yes, I'm afraid we now live in a "challenged" age, in more ways than one. And as for the crazed expression on Thoreau's face, I suppose that's what living alone in the woods without the internet for a year will do to you. P.S. I have visited Walden Pond, and it's not exactly out in the wilderness.
lithograving - What lovely creepy crawlies. Here's another image of an engraved stamp featuring a big, big bug: Goliath beetle, engraved by Jean Pheulpin, and issued for use in Togo on May 5, 1955, Scott No. 330.
Thanks Perf14. Yes PCism is something I've been struggling with for the last few years and it seems to get worse as I get older. Many times I have to think hard if a particular word or phrase is suitable or whether (heaven forbid) I have offended someone or something. Anyway back to stamps before I say something that might get me in trouble here.
This 1948 semi-postal set was issued to commemorate 80 Years of the Künstlerhaus and portrays famous Austrian Artists.
Four different engravers worked on the set. Ranzoni & Lorber have already been mentioned before on previous pages here.
There is nothing about Herbert Toni Schimek (1905-1982) on the net.
Hubert Woyty-Wimmer was born 1901 in what is now Roumania but at the time of his birth was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After WWII he engraved stamps for the Austrian State Printer but left Austria in 1950 and worked for Thomas De La Rue until his retirement in 1965 when he returned to Vienna and died in 1972.
lithograving - Splendid facial hair on all those gents!
While we're visiting Austria, here are images of seven more stamps designed by Adalbert Pilch and engraved by the magnificent Rudolf Toth (1918-2009), some of which everyone here may not have seen yet.
Capercacaillie, issued on May 20, 1959, Scott No. 640.
Reservoir, issued on March 26, 1962, Scott No. 676.
Forests Set, issued on October 12, 1962, Scott Nos. 685-87. Lowlands
Fir & Larch
Schubert, issued on November 17, 1978, Scott No. 1095.
George Arthur Gundersen (1910-1975) was a Canadian stamp engraver and designer, and the art director of the British American Bank Note Company from the 1950s until his retirement in 1974. During a two-year stay (1948-1950) at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, he engraved 11 USA stamps, including one celebrating U.S.-Canadian friendship. Here are images of seven of Gundersen's engraved USA stamps showcasing his talent for rendering fine details. Lettering engraving was done by J.S. Edmondson (961, 983, 987 & C46) and E.H. Helmuth (966 & 984); lettering on 974 uncredited.
Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, designed by noted Mexican artist Leon Helguera (1899-1970), and issued on August 2, 1948, Scott No. 961.
Mt. Palomar Observatory, issued August 30, 1948, Scott No. 966. One of my personal favorites; it's a natural high.
Juliette Gordon Low, issued on October 28, 1948, Scott No. 974. Down to earth?
Puerto Rico Gubernatorial Election, issued on April 27, 1949, Scott No. 983.
Annapolis Tercentenary, issued on May 23, 1949, Scott No. 984.
American Bankers Association, issued on January 3, 1950, Scott No. 987.
Diamond Head, Hawaii, issued on March 26, 1952, Scott No. C46. Often used to ship fresh flowers to the mainland.
Pilch and Toth were a great team and together worked on dozens of Austrian stamps. IMO Rudolf Toth should be included in any list of the the top 15 engravers. His engravings were usually very fine lines compared to the coarser appearance of some other engravers.
The most prolific Canadian engraver was ofcourse Yves Baril. Yves Baril has engraved 146 Canadian postage stamps all for the Canadian Bank Note Co Ottawa, 6 for the United Nations and 11 for the United States. As well, all Canadian bank notes issued from 1955 to 1996 display his engravings.