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Member postings for Michael Chambers

Here is a list of all the postings Michael Chambers has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
01/09/2015 16:16:02

I'm afraid I've been rather preoccupied with other things over the last year or so and so have not been able to participate in the blog but I'm delighted that it is still going strong, thanks particularly to CNA and Adrian. As CNA says, it's great that the blog has now had over 100,000 hits - there is clearly a lot of interest in the subject.

I've also been following Adrian's expanding blog on the work of stamp engravers which will be an invaluable resource for collectors.

As Adrian mentioned I did have an article in Stamp Magazine in the last issue on the impact of Art Deco on stamp design. I actually wrote this quite some time ago but it has only now appeared.

I hope to have more time to devote to philately in the near future!


Thread: Guess the stamp
06/12/2013 15:38:32

Hungary 1965 60f. It shows a study for a fresco that Leonardo did of the Battle of Anghiari which sadly has been lost although some think the fraesco lies under another fresco by Vasari in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

Thread: Rudolph Toth
30/11/2013 17:20:30

And I particularly like this portrait of the great tenor, leo Slezak. Toth really captures the sense of mischief for which Slezak was renowned. At the end of Lohengrin, Slezak was waiting for the boat drawn by a white swan that bears the hero away. When the machinery went wrong and the swan instead sailed past without stopping Slezak turned to the audience and asked 'What time is the next swan?'


30/11/2013 16:52:52

I promised to put up some examples of his work that I realy like. He seems to have had a particular affinity with music as around half of his portraits are of composers or musicians. And they show him at his very best. Here are four famous composers





Thread: Sem Hartz
30/11/2013 15:55:36


Thanks very much. I enjoyed your profile of Sem Hartz. He was clearly a man with very decisive opinions! Here are a few more of his Luxembourg stamps.

hartz 1.jpeg

hartz 2.jpeg

hartz 3.jpeg

Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
27/11/2013 15:07:22

Thanks, cNA. I like that stipple effect, too.

As I understand it, Ranzoni's father wasquite a well known painter , specialising in landscapes and associated with the Vienna secession. I don't think he ever did anything with stamps.

Thread: Rudolph Toth
27/11/2013 14:51:19

Some great stamps! I have all of Toth's Austrian stamps and will put up some of my favourites.

As far as I am aware he didn't do much philatelic work outside Austria. I think he did a Royal Weddding stamp for Liechtenstein in 1967 but I'm not aware of much else. Does anyone know of any other work outside Austria?

It's worth mentioning his long-time collaborator, the designer Adalbert Pilch. Together, they formed possibly the greatest designer/engraver team of them all.The following information from the web gives a brief account of Pilch's life and achievements:

Adalbert Pilch (16 February 1917 in Vienna, Austria – 10 December 2004 in Tulln) was an Austrian painter and graphic artist.

The works of Adalbert Pilch include paintings, drawings and illustrations. He became well known for designing postage stamps. In 1937, after graduating from school, Pilch took up studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the master class of Wilhelm Dachauer, with whom he was close friends until his death. From 1940 to 1945 he was enlisted and was at first deployed to Russia. Later he was sent to Lapland, Italy, Greece, and Yugoslavia as a painter for the German war museums. He married in 1942.

In 1945, after the end of the Second World War, Pilch started illustrating newspapers and was consulted for collaboration on textbooks and murals. He created more than 4,000 illustrations for children's and young adult's books and textbooks. Secondary, he worked on the appraisal of old farmhouses, hammer mills, mills, and saw mills by order of the Federal Museum of Lower Austria. He portrayed former and acting Federal Presidents of Austria, as well as Presidents of the National Council, Traffic Ministers, and Director Generals of the postal service. He devised 200 drawings for theWar Museum at Vienna.

From 1950 on he was a member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus. In 1953 he received public attention due to a special exhibition of approximately 50 of his works, while in 1956 he got the first order for designing Austrian stamps.

His "Hunting Series" (1959), the Europe Stamp (1960), the series "Olympia 1963" and "UPU 1964", as well as the commemorative stamp "Die Kunst der Donauschule" (The Art of the Danube School; 1965) got international acknowledgment. During his life, Pilch designed 318 stamps for the Austrian post, 30 for the Principality of Liechtenstein and one stamp for Israel. The stamp he created in 1965, "Die Kunst der Donauschule", was elected the "most beautiful stamp of the world".

In 1968 Pilch moved to Mauerbach near Vienna. In 1970 he was promoted to Professor. He displayed his opus at several exhibitions until 2000. Pilch spent his last year of life in the nursing homeTheresiaheim in Tulln.

Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
25/11/2013 11:32:04

I recently got hold of this set of portrait engravings by Hans Ranzoni for Austria. Dating from 1934 they are possibly his earliest philatelic work. As 90% of portraits on Austrian stamps in the 1930s, 40s and 50s were the work of Ferdinand Lorber they are also a bit unusual. I really love the spareness and expressiveness of Ranzoni's style. His subjects ereally come alive.

ranzoni 2.jpeg

ranzoni 1.jpeg

ranzoni 3.jpeg

ranzoni 4.jpeg

ranzoni 5.jpeg

ranzoni 6.jpeg

Thread: Pierre Gandon
25/11/2013 10:32:24

Some very interesting thoughts on die proofs, etc. I wasn't aware of that article on Monaco either but it helps to explain the copious amount of Monaco 'die proofs' on the market.

In general, I see a great many die proofs advertised for sale and a lot of them are certainly very attractive and tempting. They would look very good in my collection. But then I think if there are numerous die proofs of a particular stamp on the market how can they all be genuine. Indeed, how did they come to be on the market in the first place. I'm not prepared to part with quite large amonts of money for potentially dubious material. In the absence of some sort of authoritative guarantee of authenticity -and there seems no mechanism for achieving this - this is a market that I tend to avoid.

Sadly, I'm not sure if I would even trust some leading dealers in this area as I have observed quite a few selling copious quantities of dubious material from Monaco and elsewhere, oftren for hundreds of pounds.

Edited By Adrian on 25/11/2013 10:43:12

Thread: Guess the stamp
25/11/2013 09:21:39

I think it's one of the hundreds of lions on the Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing. But the stamps are not from China itself but from from Taiwan / Republic of China. 1992. 12.00

Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
21/11/2013 21:54:05

Thanks, Adrian. That's brilliant. My knowledge of Dutch, Belgian and Swiss engravers is sadly lacking. I've been trying to sort out the work that Austrian engravers did outside Austria, a lot of which was for Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Very happy to share with you and anyone else interested in due course.

21/11/2013 17:13:27


Sorry for the delay in getting back - a bit busy with other things at the moment. I think it's a good to have threads for particular engravers. As you say, it would make it easier to trace relevant information in the future.

Incidentally do you know anything about - even the nationality - of the following engravers:

S L Hartz

G Broux

P Schopfer

I see from your Engraver blog that Schopfer also worked for Switxerland and his first name was Pierre.

Thread: Guess the stamp
21/11/2013 16:40:16

A tough one but I think it is Frombork from the historic towns series of 1960. 80GR.

Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
12/11/2013 21:03:11

I think anyone even vaguely interested in stamp design / engraving will know that the most prolific engraver of all time with over 1000 stamps to his name was Czeslaw Slania. However, I suspect very few people are aware that the second most prolific engraver was Jacques Combet who engraved almost as many as Slania. In fact, I think his name has scarcely been mentioned on this thread. As I've just acquired the set of 18 stamps that he engraved for Andorra (illustrating altar screens) around 1970 I thought I show a few of them :

combet andorra 1.jpeg

combet andorra 2.jpeg

combet andorra 3.jpeg

12/11/2013 20:52:34


Sorry. I've never heard of a G Harrison and I had no idea either that there were so many engraving Harrisons. Amazing!

12/11/2013 20:49:23


Many thanks for posting your grandfather's booklet. This is absolutely fascinating. he was clearly involved in engraving some of the great British Empire classics. It's often very hard to pin down who the engravers of these stamps were as the security printers operated in such secrecy and so this kind of information is invaluable for collectors. I've always had a particularly soft spot for the Kelantan stamp which is often referred to in jest as the 'chef's head'. I really appreciate your sharing this.

Thread: Guess the stamp
03/11/2013 20:17:40

I couldn't place it in French colonies and so I thought about Belgian colonies and I think it is the 1923 5fr definitive of the Belgian Congo, also overprinted for use in Ruanda-Urundi.

Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
02/11/2013 14:33:01

I've learnt a lot about modern engraving / printing techniques from recent posts - many thanks to everyone for all that. Going back to Bickel these two 1956 stamps from Luxembourg were designed and engraved by him and apparently produced in recess by Courvoisier:

bickel 1.jpeg

bickel 2.jpeg

Whilst on Bickel I'd just mention that he produced some nice work for Liechtenstein as well. Here are a few examples:

bickel 3.jpeg

bickel 5.jpeg

bickel 4.jpeg

28/10/2013 07:27:31

Hi Louise

I'm afraid I don't have any information beyond that given earlier in thr thread. Just a thought. As Downey & Co. still exists and has been going for over a hundred years there may be records at the company that might help.

Thread: Guess the stamp
24/10/2013 14:24:02

I think it's the Portugese castles series from 1946, 50 escudo. All the stamps were engraved, I think, by K Bickel who has featured quite strongly in the engravers thread.

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