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Pillar Of The Community
Czech Republic
594 Posts
Posted 10/17/2012   09:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
lithograving – Viewing your breathtaking images of the 1963 Folk Art stamps, I was stunned by the details, the colours and the facture achieved through the diestamp print process and made manifest in your presentation of them. Just a pity you have not got the 2 Kčs top value. I am so happy I might get up and right away run to the post office with a mint complete set to post it to you just for the pleasure of seeing it on the monitor in such splendour I have never witnessed as yet.

I do admire your postings of excellent specimens of different provenance as well as those of your close partners nethryk, AnthonyUK, Perf14, etc. A pity again they can unexpectedly disappear one day or another as it happened to Perf14's postings, lost to the engraved stamp enthusiasts as well as to prospective candidates of this branch of inspiring stamp collecting.

Certainly not an expert on engraving, just a mere lover of personally selected, artistically designed, finely hand-engraved, and excellently printed W/W stamps, I derive much of my inspiration from your reflexions on the influence of stamp printing methods and print presses used by various printers, adding to it the effect of different engraving techniques practised by stamp engravers. Just consider the following:

If the design to be engraved is a photograph, a painting, or an original shaded drawing, the engraver has to first transform it into a system of lines, interrupted lines, dots and cross hatching in a model six times (eight times with engravers working for the Austrian State Printing Works) the size of the postage stamp.

Engravers such as Karel Seizinger and Jan Mráček engraving Czechoslovak stamps did their models more or less in outline only and finished the fine details of the engraving on the very die, their artistic feeling guiding their hand. This was the technique of the famous French engravers, too, most of them, moreover, engraving their own designs.

Most of Czechoslovak postage stamp engravers starting with Bohumil Heinz, however, first did a detailed drawing of the model in lines, dots and cross hatching, which was six times the size of the future stamp. Its mirror image was then photographically transferred in appropriate reduction onto a die where the engraving was a faithful reproduction of the above detailed line-drawing. This was Slania's technique, too, as described by Yves Beaujard in the March-May 2008 issue of the Phil@post Catalogue.

I agree with your point concerning the development of individual engravers during their careers. Let's only remember that engravers depend on the design they are to transpose into a stamp engraving: their task is to reproduce faithfully the designer's work, neither adding anything to nor subtracting anything from it. When working from a photograph, Czeslav Slania was able to perform miracles, he enjoyed nearly absolute freedom to demonstrate his superb talents his stamps immensely benefitted from. Much the same goes for his works based on paintings, his aim being to remain faithful to the original. His only limit was the type of print presses available, to which he perfectly knew how to accommodate his style.

Thank you ever so much for your grand postings.
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Edited by florian - 10/18/2012 04:13 am
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/17/2012   10:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

is this Inuit harpooning a walrus in a kayak?

Stampgal, not that it really matters but the emphasis in
that quote should have been on the word kayak
not walrus. Sorry for my poor grammar.

Florian, good point you make that even Slania
was limited by the type of press employed to print
his engravings.

One only has to compare the Swedish engraved stamps to Danish ones
to see a big difference, at least to me anyway.
I believe that it was in the late sixties PFA Stamp Printing Works
acquired new presses which produced stamps with sharp, clear
lines which almost jump out of the paper.

Slania's Swedish stamps from the sixties look much different IMO
then from the seventies on mainly due to the presses used to print them.

Of course the 10 colour (6 recess, 4 offset) Goebel press intalled
by the PFA in 1983 added a new dimension in printing.
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Posted 10/18/2012   08:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nethryk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Marina Silyanova worked as an engraver for Goznak (the USSR's, and now Russia's, government printing organization) during the 1980s. Here are images of four examples of Silyanova's engraving skills on stamps designed by various artists and issued by Russia (USSR).

- nethryk

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891-1953), Russian composer, pianist and conductor, designed ny Vladimir Nikitin, and issued on April 23, 1981, Scott No. 4931, Zagorski No. 5112.

Krushjanis Barons (1835-1923), Latvian folklorist, writer and editor, designed by M. Ozolin, combined engraved and lithographed, and issued on October 31, 1985 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Barons's birth, Scott No. 5404, Zagorski No. 5605..

Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765), Russian polymath, scientist and writer, designed by A. Tolkachev, and issued on November 19, 1986, Scott No. 5509, Zagorski No. 5710.

Grigory Andreyevich Spiridov (1713-1790), Russian naval commander and admiral, designed by Vladimir Koval, and issued on December 22, 1987 as one of five stamps in an Admirals souvenir sheet, Scott No. 5623a, Zagorski No. 5832.

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Edited by nethryk - 10/18/2012 08:17 am
Pillar Of The Community
Czech Republic
594 Posts
Posted 10/18/2012   08:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
lithograving - I am sorry, my English language skills are rather limited. Not being a native speaker of the language, I am always fumbling for expressions and correcting my mistakes, which I usually become aware of on the monitor the next day even if I had been rewriting things before I posted them.

What I meant to say was that I believed Czeslav Slania had only been faithfully reproducing Jens Rosing's or Frederick Holm's designs just as Ferdinand Lorber had done the same for Rudolf Junk's, Wilhelm Dachauer's, Carl Franz Bauer's or his own even though the engraver's own work may get more elaborate or simpler, better or worse, in time. Good engravers, however, always see to it that they should not detract anything from or add anything that does not belong to the designer's original design.

I remember the engraver Josef Herčík's self-accusing words reporting Karel Svolinský's wife's protest against Herčík's rendering of her husband's designs for three values of the 1973 Flora set in sharp contrast with those other three engraved by Ladislav Jirka, which she praised. She reproached Herčík for distorting her husband's work into his own while praising Jirka for interpreting it faithfully.

Yes, the thing you brought to light in this very thread: print presses and master printers operating them play a major role in what stamps coming out of them look like. There is a world of difference between stamps of Austrian, French, Spanish, Belgian, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, U.S., Canadian, Australian, British, Czech, etc. provenance, and it would be interesting to compare presses, methods and other factors that have an effect on their final product. Pity so little has been published so far.

Take print cylinders: the French used chromium-plated copper ones in their T.D. 3-/6-couleurs rotary presses, the Czechs use chromium-plated steel ones in their Wifag rotary presses (while using chromium-plated steel plates in their Waite & Saville diestamp print presses), and you can tell the difference and recognize the provenance of their products at first sight, be it a stamp printed in France for Iceland or one once issued in Albania, Bulgaria, Ethiopia or North Viet-Nam but printed in ex-Czechoslovakia.

Where does your info on the 10-colour Goebel press installed by the PFA in 1983 come from, rare and elusive as it is? Thank you for it.
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Edited by florian - 10/19/2012 04:33 am
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Posted 10/18/2012   5:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@ florian : first of all there is nothing wrong with your English as a matter of fact it's excellent.
Very academic and full of technical information regarding print methods and engravers which I have not been able to find anywhere.

Also the little insight in the relationship between the designers and engravers even affecting their wives. Totally priceless as they say in the credit card commercial.
One question though. The floral set you're referring to was the 1973 issue for the Olomouc Floral Show, Scott 1890 - 189. Correct?

I think you are absolutely correct also about being able to tell apart different countries printers' style at just a glance.
Not all but most.
Take for instance the Austrian State Printer's stamps over the years. Whether they printed engraved stamps for Austria, Lichtenstein, Vatican, UN etc they all had a certain similarity about them.
How should I say; a certain look I suppose.

This is what's so great about stamp collecting, everyone gets something out of it.
Some love the design or thematic, some specialize in errors or perfs , watermarks, cancellations etc etc etc
Some are only in it for the financial angle like everything is about How much is it worth ? Good luck to them too.
My favourite time wasting at this hobby is finding out about engraved stamps & engravers and also
print methods or techniques whether recess engraving, typography, photogravure. offset/litho, embossed etc.

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/19/2012   12:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Where does your info on the 10-colour Goebel press installed by the PFA in 1983 come from

I found this in the June 1983 PFA BULLETIN.

The first stamps issued from this multicolour recess/offset press were in the booklet Stockholmia 86 II.
Scott 1502 - 1505, Michel 1288 - 1291, June 6, 1984.

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Pillar Of The Community
Czech Republic
594 Posts
Posted 10/19/2012   09:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
lithograving - Do you still remember my "mercantile paper" flat plate presses? Just my way of expressing myself in English. Beware of it.

Yes, you're quite right about the 1973 floral set. Thank you for pointing out my mistake and specifying the set. I've corrected the year of issue in my text already.

By the way, Prof. Svolinský's wife certainly knew what she was talking about - that was not a case of meddling in her husband's affairs. Engravers certainly cannot afford to interpret artist designers' works in a way that transforms them into their own no matter how much such intervention might seem to enhance the original creation. Josef Herčík, a prestigious engraver, got no other chance to engrave Svolinský's designs.

Telling apart different countries' printers' style at just a glance. You're right again: not all but most. And you sort of have to expect it, of course.

My only case when there was no such expectation on my part was that of the Rwanda 1966 Nyamilanga Falls stamp which, considering its facture, produced in me an instant feeling that it must have been printed by the Austrian State Printing Works, and consequently I had been able to identify its engraver signed as R. T. as Rudolf Toth. All that later confirmed by nethryk. Naturally, the look of this printer's products is so characteristic that you can't be mistaken even if a stamp produced by them all of a sudden and quite unexpectedly appears in Africa.

And yes again, stamp collecting is a perfect hobby. I've never regretted having quietly and enjoyably spent time with stamps for 70 years, even if stamp collector numbers are now rapidly diminishing practically everywhere. Fortunately, one of my grandsons asked me only last week whether I had remembered to get a particular stamp he liked and which appeared last year. I did, even though I only select a few pieces that appeal to me from among new issues which are now suffering from overpriced overproduction often on the cheap.

However, I am not a regular philatelist who is into all sorts of varieties, aiming at a complete collection in one respect or another. I do not collect stamps for investment but for the enjoyment of the aesthetically beautiful in stamps, which have appealed to me since I was 5. I particularly enjoy stamps that bring back memories, evoking in you your own experiences of history, art, foreign lands, all the world's beauties, joys and sorrows. All that being projected on the screen of your mind and making all sort of associations appear through the stamp creators' art.

So I pick and choose what to include into my mini-collection always trying to avoid having too much of any good thing. If there is a set consisting of several values of the same design I select just one of the low denominations I like best, seeing to it that it is MNH, well-centered, with full perfs, in pristine condition. But I do understand my fellow collectors.

Thank you very much for the copy of the info on the new Goebel press published in the June 1983 PFA BULLETIN. This is what I am interested in, too. The years 1964 and 1983 are mentioned in it. That's something specific and reliable. Great. Have you got anything similar for other countries?

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Pillar Of The Community
4698 Posts
Posted 10/19/2012   6:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My collecting habits are similar to yours florian when it comes to condition.
I also would like pristine specimens but it's not always possible so
I try to collect the best qulity I can. But I have in the past crumbled up stamps which
I considered just junk. Like why keep garbage.

Anyway talking about printing presses here is an exerpt from a 1967 Swedish Post Office brochure
listing the different rotary presses bought by the SPO over the years.

Benjamin R. Stickney, USA used between 1920 - 1938

Goebel AG, Darmstadt, Germany 1938 - until at least 1971 any additional info someone?

Winkler & Fallert, Berne, Switzerland 1949 - 1964

The three above were all single colour steel-engraving presses
but the new one was a :

3 colour steel-engraving Goebel 1964 - ?

These first two below showing Gustaf VI Adolf definitives were printed either by the 1938 Goebel or 1949 Winkler
As it says in the brochure, there was no difference in the print run of either.

Scott 438 1952 no imprint

Scott 506 1957 with imprint SE engraver Sven Ewert

This one below was printed by the 1938 Goebel

Scott 653A 1971 with imprint CS engraver Czeslaw Slania

And the last two showing Carl XVI Gustaf definitives printed by the 1964 3 colour Goebel using
of course only one colour.
What a difference in appearance. Same engraver, therefore it must be the printing presses. No?
If anyone has any different opinions or facts I would love to hear them.

Scott 1071 1975

Scott 1074 1980

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Pillar Of The Community
4698 Posts
Posted 10/20/2012   4:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Czechoslovakia issued this set in 1967 for the Word's Fair in Montreal, Canada, EXPO67.

Jindra Schmidt engraved the 30h & 60h

Bedrich Housa 40h

Ladislav Jirka 80h and 1Kc

Josef Hercik 1.20 Kc and the souvenir sheet

All are printed multicolour steel engraving

Scott 1460 - 1466

Compare these to the one issued by the host country and ....

Canada Unitrade (Scott) 469

well there is no comparison.
Now one can't really fault the engraver Yves Baril he did excellent work, don't forget from the mid fifties to
the late sixties he alone engraved almost all of the stamps issued by the Canadian Bank Note Co.

Not like in Czechoslovakia where they had at least half a dozen excellent engravers working at one time
and more learning their trade.

Part of the problem was the printer and the printing press used.
CBNC at that time was only capable of producing bicolour engraved or tricolour when combining 1 colour steel with 2 colour lithography.
This of course changed in the late sixties when Canada Post began tendering from 2 additional printers
British American Bank Note and Ashton Potter.
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Edited by lithograving - 10/20/2012 4:02 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/20/2012   5:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Austria issued this stamp in 1982 as part of the annual Modern Art in Austria series representing a work by the artist Ernst Fuchs.

Here is a link to some of his stuff which kind of reminds me of Dali's art.

Fuchs apparently wanted to show a self portrait but was disappointed
when informed that no living person except the Austrian President could be portrayed on a stamp.
This rule had now been changed as it has for many countries.

He set out not only to design but also to engrave the stamp even though he
had no experience in this field.
He said that he was offered advice from the engravers at the State Printers some of
which he followed but mostly he went his own way.
I wonder what Rudolf Toth was thinking watching this guy whittle away.

Portrait of a girl. The first and last stamp engraved by Ernst Fuchs

Scott 1230

Combination print : 1 colour steel engraving, 1 colour photogravure.

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Pillar Of The Community
1137 Posts
Posted 10/21/2012   2:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jorgesurcl to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
CHILE 1892. Engraved by Douglas S. Ronaldson. Printed by American Bank Note Co.

Ronaldson born in England (1825) and died in New York (1902)
Although it is well know for being a engraver of frames and lettering, he also engraved images.
He worked for National Bank Note Co., American Bank Note Co,. and BEP
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Pillar Of The Community
Czech Republic
594 Posts
Posted 10/22/2012   08:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
lithograving - I have not been able to have a look at your most interesting postings until now because I only use my grandchildren's computer while they are at school and I do not do so at weekends either if they are studying. Now I may need some time to digest everything so useful and new to me.

Great info on the succession of the Swedish rotary presses.

The third Swedish press Winkler and Fallert (made in Bern, Switzerland and used in Sweden between 1949 and 1964) was made by the same producer as the press WIFAG (= WInkler & Fallert AG) which came into use in its first version in Czechoslovakia in 1952 and was capable of combining 1 colour steel engraving and 1 colour photogravure. WIFAG printings can easily be recognized by a new type of perforation different from that of the Stickney printings (I don't remember the exact gauges but you can easily tell the difference comparing the perforations of engraved stamps printed before 1952 and afterwards).

To study the differences in the 1952, 1957 and 1971 printings of the Swedish definitives it might help to place them side by side.

The vertical background lines in Sven Ewert's 1957 stamp look cleaner, sharper, less "fluffy", the ink here does not run as much as in the 1952 printing which was horizontally lined. Note that both of Sven Ewert's engravings of the King's portrait are different in various details.

(By the way, here the Princess Grace and Grace Kelly stamps issued simultaneously both in Monaco and the USA come to mind. Slania worked out two slightly different engravings to suit the different printers' presses.)

The identical design was engraved in a totally different way by Czeslaw Slania in the 1971 printing. Slania used his technique of drawing a detailed model of the design in lines, dots and cross-hatching first and faithfully reproducing this detailed line-drawing of his on the die then.

As Yves Beaujard put it (see above): "J´admire beaucoup le travail du graveur Czeslaw Slania, un maître en la matiere, un pur représentant du style des gravures suédoises qui se caractérisent par leur aspect classique, tres XVIIIe. C´est une technique ou le dessin est élaboré en amont de la gravure précise. La gravure est l´accomplissement minitieux du dessin. Une méthode particulierement efficace pour les portraits officiels."

But note again the difference between the 1975 and 1980 cross-hatched backgrounds of the King's portrait. The latter is again "fluffy" but not that in the 1975 issue. A thin, poor-quality, running ink perhaps?

I like the bright red and blue tints of the Canada Expo 67 stamp done in two printing runs. What make of press was it printed on and what does Unitrade mean here?

Expo67 Montréal. I was 30 then and I particularly liked the fairy tale 80h value.

Thank you for the link to Ernst Fuchs' works and your info on how he produced his stamp. I found it very impressive and enlivening the Austrian stamp production putting it side by side with the Danube Girl, the Lieber Augustin, the Little Man in the Wineyard and the Window stamps in my collection (the last one by my almost exact contemporary Karl Korab - born about a fortnight ahead of me - bearing a Czech name: koráb = ship). I might also include the Power Station stamp - when I come across one in fine condition - because of its colour combination.

Thank you very much for the inspiration you provide.

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Edited by florian - 10/22/2012 09:01 am
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/22/2012   6:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Florian thanks again for a most interesting critique concerning engraving techniques.
You're right the differences would be more noticeable when the stamps are viewed side by side like this.

Actually I didn't notice any difference in the cross hatching background of the two Carl XVI Gustaf definitives
until you pointed it out. Wouldn't Slania have used the same master die and only re-engraved the numeral values?

You are probably right about ink quality causing these discrepancies,
or maybe it's my scanner.

As for the printing presses used by CBNC or any of the other Canadian printers, I have no idea.
Canada Post doesn't release technical information like that when announcing new issues compared to for instance the United States Postal Service

where you can see that Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd (formerly a Canadian printer) used a Mueller Martini, A76 press

Regarding your question about Unitrade, it refers to the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps which is licensed to use Scott numbers but goes into much greater detail in varieties etc, all and all an excellent catalogue.
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Pillar Of The Community
Czech Republic
594 Posts
Posted 10/23/2012   06:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
lithograving - Your scanner is working to perfection. The keys Ctrl and + pressed and your images viewed side by side, everything can now be compared to good advantage: the same master die engraved by Slania, the very thick ink of the correct viscosity in the 1,10-Kr value creating raised sharply defined ridges on the stamp contrasting strikingly with the low-quality ink in the 1,50-Kr value causing ink blots especially in the squared background and occasionally even in the King's hair and face. At least in my opinion, which can be wrong, of course.

Sven Ewert's 1952 and 1957 engravings of the same portrait design do now clearly show minute differences in the execution of the portrait, both of them in sharp contrast with Slania's 1971 - in Yves Beaujard's words XVIIIth-century - facture. Sven Ewert probably worked in Karl Seizinger's manner unlike Bohumil Heinz and Czeslaw Slania. (And again, the ink problem here but not in Sven Ewert's 1957 stamp.)

You've been invaluable again. Thanks a lot.

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Edited by florian - 10/23/2012 06:41 am
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/23/2012   10:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nethryk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Engelien Reitsma-Valença (1889-1981) was a Dutch artist and engraver who as a teenager began learning the trade of diamond cutting from her father. Reitsma-Valença studied drawing at the State Academy of Fine Arts, and also engraving and graphic arts under Dutch artists Pieter Dupont (1870-1911) and John Aarts. Here are images of four examples of portraits of Dutch cultural celebrities, all designed and engraved by Reitsma-Valença, and issued by Netherlands as semi-postal stamps to benefit social and cultural projects.

- nethryk

Aritius Sybrandus Talma (1864-1916), editor of Heritage and Christian social leader, issued on May 1, 1936, Scott No. B87.

Everhardus Johannes Potgieter (1808-1875), literary critic and editor of the influential monthly magazine De Gids, issued on May 11, 1940, Scott No. B124.

Aagje Deken (1741-1804), writer and poet, issued on May 29, 1941, Scott No. B136.

Jean Franc#807;ois van Royen (1878-1942), printer and General Secretary of the Dutch Postal Services, issued on August 1, 1947, Scott No. B178.
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Edited by nethryk - 10/23/2012 12:59 pm
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