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Member postings for Neville Lawson

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

Thread: New French Marianne stamp being chosen
29/10/2018 23:44:02

I've been coming across more and more Mariannes as I leaf through my catalogue. They make an excellent topic - from the feisty and determined ones, like the Gandon, to the delicate beauty queen chosen by Hollande. And the Dulac, the Cheffer, the Luquet, the Cocteau, the Briat. The new one - Marianne engagee is another winner, I think.

I notice also that they keep on appearing - either commemorated, or in another design as though they're endorsing something, like the constitution or the anti-aids campaign, or Europe. I'd like to get one of the 2008 booklets of 12 different Mariannes.

She deserves an entry in Adrian's database at least!

Thread: Sem Hartz
22/10/2014 07:32:36

Hello again

I've been looking at the work of Sem Hartz, and I see he did some stamps for Belgian Congo. This led me to look up Belgian Congo in the catalogues, and I'm struck by the range of subjects and the number of different stamp values - and lots look to be engraved. 1923 - 24 values, 1928 - 15 values, 1931 - 18 values - etc etc - all this from Gibbons.

So, some questions - how could they afford to produce so many recess printed stamps? who was writing all those letters to use the stamps? the locals? or were there armies of ex-pat Belgians writing home all the time?

And of course, which stamps did Hartz engrave? From the illustration in Gibbons, the 47 Slavery abolition commem look like his stuff, and were done by Enschede. Any others?

Thread: New forum board on engravers and engravings
10/10/2014 17:59:43

It does indeed help, Adrian. Thanks v much for your patience with my questions. And thanks to Stanley Gibbons for indicating the printing method, even if not always the name of the actual engraver.

My engravers collection is growing steadily. I now have stamps from US, France, Austria, Czechoslavia and Scandinavia, engraved by CA Brooks, Chaconas, Cheffer, Decaris, Delpech, Derrey, Fajt, Felver, Fenton, Franzen, Gandon, Hercik, Hipschen, Jirka, Lokke-Sorensen, Lorber, Luca, Morck, Morken, Nefe, Piel, Roule, Schmidt, Seidel, Svengsbir, Toth and Wallhorn. And yes, I have about 100 stamps of Slania - haven't decided which to include. I've also got about 5 pages of sets of Czech stamps from the 50s and 60s - can't bear to separate them! My next target is Hartz and assorted Polish stamps, including Slania's early work. And Manley - that'll be the first Commonwealth stamps since the 70s when I started collecting - then it was Newfoundland. For some engravers I only have a very few stamps, others quite a lot (Decaris, Gandon, and the Czechs).

My wife thinks I'm getting obsessive. She may be right!

08/10/2014 19:12:26

I’m a bit embarrassed to reveal the depth of my ignorance, but could someone please explain the meaning of the different references in SG catalogues to the printing process that I’ve been thinking of as “engraved”. I’d like to know what I’m collecting!

In SG Czechoslovakia, there’s “Recess* “ - explained as a combination of recess printing and photogravure. Is this the same as “engraved”? It first appears in 1954. Or are these stamps not quite pukka?

In SG Poland there’s “recess and typo” in 1957. The term “recess and photo” also appears in Austria. And there’s “recess and litho”.

SG Luxembourg has an issue (SG301) marked “Des by J Meyers. Recess.” But who engraved it? Likewise SG317.

Hope someone can shed a little light on this.

28/09/2014 16:08:59

20140928_142243[1].jpgThanks to you both, Paul and Adrian, for your comments, info and suggestions. I've decided to stay with the stockbook for the present, though I can see it's not good when it comes to rearrangements.

I've reviewed my little collection, and have started to record the dates of production for each stamp - this enables me to see the gaps in my collections. I haven't sorted them alphabetically by engraver, but the stamps will be in date order, and I'm leaving gaps for the not yet found items. So far I've sorted Gandon, Decaris, Jindra Schmidt and Piel. I'm learning as I go along!

Thanks to Paul's explanation, here are pics of the Gandon pages before and after. As you see, I've gone to 2 pages because I can see there are some significant omissions (Sabine and Liberte, as well as the card players). So I'm also looking around to fill the gaps. My Schmidt stuff is all from the 1950s! And he worked up to the 80s.

Somehow the pics have appeared at top and bottom! I'll get it sorted eventually!!

Lots to find out, and lots to do. Neville


27/09/2014 10:32:12

Hello there

My little beginner's collection of engraved stamps is growing steadily. I now have a question about how to organise it.

So far I've got stamps by 25 different engravers - about 15 or 20 of some (eg Decaris, Gandon, Toth, Jindra Schmidt) and only a few so far of others (like Hipschen, Durrens, Manley and Sverre Morcken). I began with my own collections of French and Austrian stamps (Gandon, Piel, Decaris, Toth, Nefe etc), then moved to Czech stamps/engravers (Fajt, Roule, Svengsbir) and most recently to US stuff by Felver, Chaconas, Brooks and Fenton. I have lots of others to add - the names of Hartz, Bickel and of course Slania come to mind.

I keep the stamps in a black page stock book, with a page or a half page for each engraver. I've cut out simple cards with the engraver's name and dates of birth and death. Then I use cut down post-it notes to indicate for each individual stamp the year in which it was produced - I find it interesting to know how old he or she was at the time, and whether the stamp is from the start of the engraver's active time or later on. I now think it's interesting to know what the issue was about - commemorating someone or some event - so ... a bigger post-it note.

I was all ready at this point to attach a couple of pics to show you how things look – Toth with post-its and Gandon without. But I can't just now figure out how to add the pics, so I'll push on without them!

I did think I should limit the number of stamps per page to about 10, so lots of black space, and thus good impact. I quickly realised that I'd be spending lots of my money on stock books, so I now allow the pages to get a bit more crowded. So far the pages aren't in any particular order - and they'll probably stay that way as moving the stamps, labels and post-its is a bit tiresome.

I've looked at the Albums pages on this site (and on some others too) in the hope of seeing how others organise their collections and the info about the individual stamps - but I haven't found much. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Thread: What do you collect?
22/09/2014 08:01:35

Thanks for this, Paul. I'll start saving for next year, and I'll check out the bigger local events. The nearest occasional fair tends to have only 2 dealers, with mainly GB and C'wealth.

But there is always eBay, eBid and Delcampe!

20/09/2014 09:10:52

Well, I did go to Stampex, and Julia was right about the age profile. It was a quite successful visit - I found quite a lot of stamps from different countries that featured on my lists. At one stand, the dealer was hugely impressed by my simple computer generated lists - done as a table with columns for year, issue, face value, and various notes. I thought they were unremarkable, but he said he was used to collectors with illegible scribbles in little note books. Anyway, I found quite a lot of stamps I wanted, from France, Sweden and USA. And I finally found Decaris's Senegal girls, the ones celebrating town twinning. I thought this would be the last Decaris stamp I'd get, as I already have quite a few, but I kept on coming across his work with its distinctive style - think I'll keep on adding more.

It was very noticeable that postal history was by a long way the most popular area - covers everywhere. Should it be Coverex?   Again and again when I asked for European stamps, I met blank looks. And the American dealers all said they hadn't brought any stamps - only covers. I couldn't find anyone with a US catalogue when I wanted to find a very attractive engraved stamp from the 60s - Fenton's blue birds. I had to furtively hunt through a second hand Scott on the Prinz stand, under the disapproving eye of Mr Prinz himself. The Dutch dealer I spoke to had never heard of Sem Hartz, and then tried to sell me a Dutch specialised catalogue, in Dutch, which he didn't have but which he'd send. When I declined he became very interested in something else and I moved on.

Anyway, it was a good day out, I have lots of stuff to sort through and I've bought SG Benelux on Amazon.



Edited By Neville Lawson on 20/09/2014 09:12:08

Thread: I'm leaving/FORUM SAVED
16/09/2014 07:24:03

I'm really sorry to hear that you're leaving, Julia, but I hope you'll enjoy your new job. I'm a relative newbie, but I've much enjoyed reading the posts and I'm sure I've learned a lot from the forum, which you've steered with an expert hand. We'll miss you. I'm sure you'll be successful!

So we'll have to migrate elsewhere if we're to continue our conversations - but where? Does SG maintain forums, under GSM aegis? Or do we have to go to Australia or USA?

Thread: What do you collect?
15/09/2014 22:09:38

Hi Adrian

Good to hear from you again. And thanks for the suggestions - I like the idea of focussing on Sem Hartz. This brings me back to the perennial question - how to find his work. Especially as from what I see, it wasn't the practice for him to include his name on his stamps, like the French and Czech engravers. Does your BlogSpot entry for him actually list all his stamps - or just the ones he did for Netherlands and Luxemburg? I suppose I'd better get hold of the SG Benelux catalogue.

I did consider the Childrens Fund issues and may take a closer look at them.

I like the idea of a clear theme - be it a set period or reign, a designer/engraver or a particular issue over the years.

And yes, I will take along my other wants lists - all of them. that'll be France, Sweden, Iceland and of course the engravers. As for little Laos - I have two problems. First I'm a bit sad that all the used I've found are CTO - not many appear to have been postally used. I did check on literacy rates at one point. My second hesitation is a bit political. What was the life of the common people of the country under the regime that preceded the communist takeover actually like? Am I collecting the propaganda of some rather questionable rulers??

Heigh ho! At Stampex I hope also to track down Decaris's sexy ladies of Senegal - the ones supposedly celebrating town twinning.

Thanks again for your ever helpful comments, and .. bye for now!


13/09/2014 20:05:19

Hello people

I'm going to London's Autumn Stampex next week. I'm an ancient bloke (70, actually) with very little money to splash about.

I began collecting in about 1973 and it's been on and off since then. I've relatively recently revived my interest in collecting - my structured collections are France 1900-1940, Sweden King Gustav 5, Iceland 18900 - 1944 (independence) and some modern Greenland and Faroes. Lots of gaps!

I began a Laos collection recently (the kingdom 1951-75), and I've also been looking out for good engraved stamps having read some forums about engraved stamps.

I also have some very incomplete collections, the result of dalliance with Latvia (1918-1938) and some Finland 1900 - mid 40s, with some modern used sent to me in the course of a rather random exchange arrangement with a Finnish collector. So you can see it's a rather inchoate assortment of stamps.

I've been considering starting yet another strand of collecting - this time Netherlands stamps from the period of Queen Wilhelmina - 1898 - 1948 I think. I have a few of the many definitives already, but there's a lot remaining to be collected.

So I need to decide. Do I spend my limited resources on filling gaps in the Iceland, Sweden or France collections,? Or do I try to get more Laos stuff - there's lots to look for.

Or do I boldly embark on a Netherlands collection, which looks like it can be quite expensive - lots of commems.

I could always start a Denmark collection - keeping it to the Baltic!!

Waddya reckon, folks??? Your thoughts welcome.


Thread: Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?
13/08/2014 11:47:14

Hello everybody

I've been collecting by engraver - in a v small way - since I discovered these forums. I got some v helpful advice from you in May this year. I've now embarked on the hunt for stamps by about a dozen engravers - and growing all the time.

Along the way I've come across some very attractive stamps of Laos. The stamps issued during the last years of the kingdom - 1950 - 1975 - are interesting because they show a lot of stuff about the country, its wildlife and its people. I'm sure some are engraved by French engravers - there was a mention once, either here, or on another very big forum I've found.

Can anyone tell me how to ascertain which stamps of Laos during this period were engraved - or is it a matter of looking for the engraver's name in the bottom corner? Or buying a SG specialised SE Asia catalogue? My local library has the latest SG all word 6 volume cat, but that doesn't show the engravers.

Incidentally it's interesting that under the kingdom there was such a plethora of stamps depicting the life of ordinary folk. I recently happened to look at the stamps of India in the period 1920 - 1960 and found that under British rule the stamps showed mainly portraits of the King, whereas after independence, the British monarch seems never to have appeared again. Laotian kings were more prepared to let the common people on to their stamps. But perhaps that was as far as their democratic leanings went!

Anyway, I'd welcome some info about engraved stamps of Laos 1950-75.

Bye for now - Neville

15/05/2014 23:38:18

Thanks, Adrian. I've ordered an SG catalogue (2002 edition) from abebooks. Looking forward to checking out Czech stamps - thanks for that recommendation. I've read lots of pages of the Stamp Community forum, as well as all of this one, to get some ideas - and I've made a great list of engravers whose work looks really interesting - mainly European, with a couple from USA. And I've moved a load of old stamps to clear a nice big stockbook. My first pages are started- Toth, Nefe and Gandon . It's strange to disregard sets and countries.

So, armed with SG catalogues for France, Scandinavia, Austria, and Czechoslovakia and for USA a Linn's Almanac, I feel ready to go.

15/05/2014 08:57:31

Hi all

Does the Michel catalogue tell you if stamps are engraved and if so, who the engraver was? I know SG does.

Bye for now - Neville

07/05/2014 07:14:31

Thanks Adrian for this latest suggestion. The stamps of Fajt that you show are beautiful - love the mouse.

I'm still struggling with the problem of finding engraved stamps - I mean identifying which stamps are engraved so I can choose the ones I like. I've read through all the thread, and have made a great list of the engravers whose work really impressed me. I have SG catalogues for Scandinavia, France and Austria/Hungary -these all show the engraver's name. The library has the big 6 vol SG world stamps, but that doesn't give engravers or even indicate which stamps are engraved. The magazines will cover new issues, but for older other European or US material (Piel's Andorra issues and various other like USA or Lichtenstein and Lux'bg for example) I'm stuck. I guess I have to look out for old catalogues as well as old stamps. One final thing - the thread contributors often give Scott numbers - esp re US stamps like the excellent Hipschen and Felver - but dealers use SG numbers.

Anyway, I'm undeterred and pressing on - today I'll experiment with a scanner! This takes me to the edge of my comfort zone.

27/04/2014 09:47:48

Thanks for this very speedy reply, Adrian. Lots to think about, and I can see the sense in starting where I am now, drawing on my present collection (or motley assortment). For the moment I'll take some time to read this thread - all 64 pages of it! There's lots of info, and lots of stamps to look at, showing the work of a lot of engravers from all over. I've already chanced on some v interesting postings and I'm sure it'll be time well spent. I have also seen another forum elsewhere on engraved stamps, with similar discussions and loads of scanned stamps to look at.

As well as Scandinavia I am also quite interested in Austria, and I have a number of pre and post war stamps. So far I've collected with a defined beginning and end, but perhaps it's time to rethink that and look at new issues as well as the older material. I did briefly in the 1980s buy new issues of Austria and Sweden and I found there was some really good stuff coming out. On a practical level I need to think about how to keep the stamps and how to arrange them - by country or by engraver. Up to now I've favoured stock books with black pages, but I don't want to have to move stuff as the collection grows. Maybe it'll have to a ring binder so I can add pages in the middle.

Anyway, these are things I need to mull over - meantime thanks again for your welcome!


25/04/2014 22:57:25

Hello everyone

Can I please ask for a bit of advice? I’ve been considering a new direction for my small scale collecting. Hitherto, intermittently over the last 25 years, I’ve collected a number of European countries and periods – dual kingdom Iceland, Sweden Gustav V, France 1900 – 1940 as well as bits of Latvia, Faroes, Greenland and Finland. I’ve always liked engraved stamps – lots of Scandinavian, and Austrian too. I did consider collecting Czeslaw Slania, but he produced over 1000 items for loads of different countries, which makes it a bit daunting. So perhaps I could tackle another, less prolific, engraver. Up to now I’ve preferred used stamps to mint, but I suppose that may detract from enjoyment of the actual stamp design. I just like stamps that have done their job. One more point - I can’t spend much money or time.

If I go down this road, can anyone suggest possible subjects? And when I’ve chosen an engraver to collect, how do I find out what stamps that engraver produced – though I think there are some very erudite websites that could help with that. And if my chosen engraver worked for lots of different countries, would I need to buy specialist catalogues? I have an old Yvert and a Facit, and SG Scandinavia and France already.

Any advice would be welcome!


Thread: What do you collect?
28/03/2014 20:54:21

Hi, it's me again. In my first post I mentioned things I don't now collect, so I'd like to add that I'm currently collecting Sweden used - Gustav V, 1907-1950. I like to work on a defined period - ~I did try some new issue collecting early on, but quickly realised that it's by definition completely open-ended . So it's been Gustav, and also France 3rd republic (in practice 1900 - 1940). And Iceland 1902 - 1944, till it became a republic. What is it about Sweden's use of colour that make their stamps so striking? So bold, and from the 1920s onwards.

I've only collected used since I heard a speaker explain his view that mint stamps are really only labels till they've done their job. I could agree with that, so it's been used since then.

I began back in the 1970s, with Newfoundland mint. I liked the royal portraits - Newfie has the only stamp with Prince John on - the epileptic son of George V (I think). He died at about 16, in about 1917. Next it was Faroes new issues mint from the 70s - but again, open-ended. Also Greenland mint from the same period. I liked the engraving. This led me to subscribe to a new issue service for Austria and Sweden, for the engraved stamps - but I stopped this after a few months. I dallied with the 4 Kings, and briefly with Finland. I considered collecting the Victorian 1/2d stamps - but lost the enthusiasm. A few Latvian items came my way - the banknote and map stamps, but not for long. I'd have liked to collect PNG, except that it's a bit too expensive. The early issues were very striking. Sarawak's Brookes stamps are also quite interesting.

As you see, it's been quite a journey. I remain very impressed by engraved stamps, they are real works of art- esp Czeslav Slania. Sorry if that's not the right spelling.

I'm not a very active collector now, but I add to my collection most months, even if it's only a couple of items!

14/03/2014 18:51:50

Hi, I'm Neville, also a newbie here.

I started collecting about 30 years ago, and have accumulated a quantity of assorted stuff, a lot of which I really no longer want. Does anyone have any ideas of how I can dispose of my unwanted stamps? They are of no real value - just stuff from album pages bought at fairs over the years till I stopped collecting, which was about 20 years ago! Too good to bin, but no sale value. Perhaps some young collector would be interested? I'm talking about some early European definitives, some French art stamps, some USA, post war Finland, some modern Faroes, Greenland, Sweden and Austria, some post war Latvia and Lithuania (map and banknote stamps), some Newfoundland ... you get the picture?

I'll probably want to keep some collections, but there is this old stuff as well. What to do?

Your ideas welcome. Neville

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