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19th Century Swiss -- Embossed?

 
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Valued Member
United States
305 Posts
Posted 09/04/2010   4:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Gaff to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
New lens for the camera, a 35 mm macro, which should be fun to use for some detail work. To break it in, here are some photos of a trio of Swiss (Scott #53, 60, 61).

The detailed photos are of the 5c from 1881.

I'm interested in the printing method. The front and back surface of the stamp appear ridged and uneven from the pressing and inking process.
Is this an example of embossed printing?




Back of stamp:
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Pillar Of The Community
750 Posts
Posted 09/04/2010   8:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Edwin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
cool pictures I feel kinda dizzy if I scroll thru them fast, love the new lens
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Valued Member
United States
428 Posts
Posted 09/04/2010   9:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ldhaber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
According to my copy of the Zumstein catalog, this series is listed as being printed via Praegedruck, which translates as being embossed printing. This was also the first set of Swiss stamps that were perforated.

This series of Sitting Helvetia follows the imperforate series of Sitting Helvetia in which there was a silk thread embedded in the paper. The silk thread needed to be eliminated since it got in the way of perforations and also caused the printing process to be too expensive. Consequently, there was some degree of experimentation going on here.

They utilized a control mark into the stamp, after printing, which is an impression (embossing) made into the stamp. In this case, the control mark is a Swiss Cross inside an oval. This was a security device intended to serve the same purpose as a watermark. They also tried different papers.

At least one of the stamps you are looking at is from the second varietial group for this series, issued after 1867 and what is notable about them is that the paper used is thinner than for the preceding variety from 1862. As a consequence of being thinner, the stamps shows more of an embossed nature. More so that the first group of varieties in this series which had a thicker paper. I am not sure whether the 5 c stamp (and 10c?) from the third group of varieties is thinner than the preceding group, but it did have blue and red fibers in the paper. More security.

The printed technic used was typography with the white portions of the stamp being in high relief. I think we might term this intaglio. They used a flat bed, hand press.

Others might know more about this and might correct any errors I've made.

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1720 Posts
Posted 09/04/2010   9:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, these were embossed.
Nice quality on that macro lens! What body do you use. I realy need to replace my Zeiss and Nikon SLR's with Good digitals. For now I use my Daughters Cheep Nikon for Digital pic's.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
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Posted 09/04/2010   10:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For our purposes it is "close enough" to equate intaglio with line engraving, which leaves raised lines of ink. Typography gives a result that presses the design into the paper. That, combined with the embossed control mark, gives these stamps a lot of depth.

At least this is my understanding...
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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
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Posted 09/04/2010   11:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent thread, I have enjoyed reading.
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Posted 09/05/2010   12:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gaff, that lens does a nice job. Have you looked into focus stacking software? I've taken a look from time to time, but I haven't taken the leap. Helicon is the software I checked out the furthest, but there are others, including freeware/shareware.

The depth of field that you can produce is uncanny. You'd swear someone was using a $20,000 camera.
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Valued Member
United States
305 Posts
Posted 09/05/2010   3:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gaff to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What body do you use?



I have an Olympus E-410: an entry level DSLR, but it has been a really fun to use. Also the smallest (or was the smallest) DSLR on the market, which means not having to lug around a heavy piece of equipment. I've been very pleased so far. This lens is a 35mm macro, made for traditional SLRs, mounted on my unit using an adapter. I have to manually adjust the aperture size and manually focus since it is an older lens, but this extra control opens opportunities. It's the first lens that I have bought, aside from the 2 lenses that came with the camera.

CJD: I have yet to get into imaging software, beyond iPhoto that came installed on my mac laptop. Focus stacking software is not something I have heard about, but I can imagine that it would be incredibly powerful.

ldhaber, et al: thanks for the info. It really adds to my appreciation of these stamps.
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Valued Member
United States
305 Posts
Posted 09/05/2010   3:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gaff to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
the control mark is a Swiss Cross inside an oval.


Yep: found it. Also present on the "numeral" stamps from 1882 that I picked up: #69 and #71 and #73. Will try to get an image later...
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Valued Member
United States
428 Posts
Posted 09/05/2010   3:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ldhaber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

the control mark is a Swiss Cross inside an oval.

Yep: found it. Also present on the "numeral" stamps from 1882 that I picked up: #69 and #71 and #73. Will try to get an image later...


You will also find the cross in oval control mark in many of the Standing Helvetia issues.

Also, don't want to make you, crazy but there are two types of these control marks, one is a fatter cross than the other. Not sure about the Scott numbers but in Zumstein these denote different catalog numbers, maybe not number but rather actually letter suffixes. Distinguishing between the control marks can be difficult at first.
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Rest in Peace
Netherlands
963 Posts
Posted 05/25/2018   1:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Galeoptix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gaff,

after all these years I stumbled over the Sitting Helvetia and I was just so doubtful about their being embossed! According to all Swiss sources [Zumstein Special] they have a combintion of typography and embossing...


I do NOT believe that - these stamps are simply printed in typography and depending on the type of paper [MORE than the 2 recognized by Zumstein!] you have traces of 'embossing" at the back BUT there was NO embossing as a separate printing method!

It is strange that during 150 years NO philatelist has ever expressed his/her doubts before ;)

greetings, Rein

PS

http://www.baslertaube-forum.ch/sch...7.html#36232
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Edited by Galeoptix - 05/25/2018 1:56 pm
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