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Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?

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Michael Chambers17/04/2013 21:15:03
277 forum posts
255 photos

One of the finest current engravers is the Norwegian Martin Morck who has done work for many different countries and you may want to take a look at his superb website

For those interested in collecting his work there are illustrations of every stamp that he has produced.

What is fascinating, too, is to hear about his work in China. We all now that there are only a handful of engravers left and most of them are over 50. However, one country that, perhaps surprisingly, is seeking to buck the trend is China. The Chinese are keen to produce more engraved stamps and Martin Morck is now spending two or three months each year in China training some ten engravers. That's one of the most encouraging developments that I've heard about for a while. He has himself produced two sets of stamps for China over the last couple of years. It looks as though the future of engraving could be Chinese!

Michael Chambers21/04/2013 15:41:27
277 forum posts
255 photos

Czechoslovakia and its successor states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have one of the proudest traditions of stamp engraving and there is a very distinctive Czech / Slovak engraving school. There is a really excellent and comprehensive website which gives full details about engravers, designers and others from those countries. The site can be viewed in Czech, German and English. The following should take you to the English version


Michael Chambers21/04/2013 16:16:32
277 forum posts
255 photos

I was looking at some other very good threads on engraving and I was very interested to see that someone had worked out who have been the most prolific engravers. The top ten are apparently:

Slania 1035

Combet 650

Betemps 584

Phelupin 477

Haley 469

Decaris 446

Bequet 439

Jumelet 425

Gandon 422

Hercik 418

The number given, incidentally, refers to the number of images engraved. Some images, particularly defintives were repeated many times. If you look at the total number of stamps including those with repeated images then things change quite a bit. For instance, Gandon's total shoots up to 688 in the light of all those Marianne definitives.

What is striking is that with the exception of the Pole, Slania, and the Czech, Hercik, then all of the other top ten are French. I think that must be due to the fact that a lot of French engravers had opportunities to engrave not only for France but for French colonies, overseas territories and Francophone countries like Andorra and Monaco.

A bit surprising, too, that no Austrian engraver is in the top ten. However, one Austrian, Wolfgang Seidel, does come in at number eleven with 400 engraved stamps.

Adrian21/04/2013 19:15:56
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

That is an interesting list. It must indeed be the larger region that French engravers could work for which influences this top ten. My initial thought was that Austrian engravers usually only did one or two designs in a whole set so that might hold back their tally. That would then also explain why there are hardly any Czech(oslovakian) engravers included. These, too, often worked on a single stamp in larger sets. But then, the same occurred quite often in France I believe, so that won't be it.

On a separate note: one of the dealers at the Scottish Congress I attended this weekend had loads of proper die proofs of numerous French territories signed by their engravers. I came across Combet, Pheulpin, Hertenberger and a few others. Alas no Piel, who still manages to steal my heart every time I see his work, so I did not buy any of them (was broke as well at the time, for it was near the end tof my time there hat I noticed them). Great items though and I already regret not getting out my debit card!


Michael Chambers23/04/2013 10:24:28
277 forum posts
255 photos

I think die prooofs are an interesting area.There always seem to be a lot of Slania die proofs on ebay.

I also came across a site of someone who has a particular interest in first day covers signed by engravers including some very nice ones signed by Jules Piel. See link below:


Michael Chambers23/04/2013 10:46:10
277 forum posts
255 photos

In his latest Guess the Stamp Adrian put up one of my favourite stamps, the irish stamp from 1956 of Commodore John Barry. As he says this very attractive was engraved by Hubert Woyty-Wimmer. In that same year Woyty-Wimmer also produced three of the Greek Royal Family set, a set which must rank as among the finest of their kind. The other stamps in the set were also beautifully engraved by De la Rue ( I don't know who by) but here ate the three by Woyty-Wimmer:

Constantine I

George II

Paul, Fredericka and Constantine

George 1IIconstantine 1.jpeg

george ii.jpeg

paul, frederick and constantine.jpeg

As for Woyty-Wimmer he was an Austrian engraver (although born in Rumania) who lived from 1901-72. He engraved a good number of Austrian stamps in the 1940s and 50s. Rather confusingly, in the SG catalogue he is listed as just H Woyty. perhaps they dropped the Wimmer bit to avoid confusion with another engraver of that time, George Wimmer.

Anyway, he obviously worked a good deal outside Austria. I gather that he also designed the 1951 United Nations World Unity 20c stamp. If anyone knows of other non-Austrian stamps he produced I would be really interested to hear.

Michael Chambers24/04/2013 23:45:43
277 forum posts
255 photos

Thanks for the photograph and information about Hibert Woyty-Wimmer. I came across this obituary of him following his death in 1972.


1972 saw the passing away of Prof. Hubert
Woyty-Wimmer. Collectors of Austrian post-war stamps
will be familiar with his name - he designed a number
of stamps for the Second Republic, and engraved many

In the middle fifties he moved to London, and
began to work for Thomas De La Rue, for whom he
designed many banknotes and other securities, and in
whose employ he also designed and engraved a number
of postage stamps. Best known is his work on the early
United Nations issues he created the "Freedom Flame"
emblem later used on many other stamps, and among his
lesser-known works are the dies for the 1956
Commodore Barry issue of Ireland. He died on August 1,
1972, and is buried in Graz.

Hubert Woyty's family came from the Bukovina, now
part of Roumania, but at the time of his birth forming a
section of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father had
been in the Imperial Army, and the family had been, as he
told me "raised amongst horses". With the dissolution of
the Empire, he moved to Austria, and had been educated
at the famous monastery of Melk on the Danube.

Before the war he engraved numerous superb bookplates
and other small graphic work for private patrons, but
after service in the Army (he came back to a devastated
Vienna in 1945) he joined the staff of the Austrian State
Printing Office, winning the competition held to
determine the best available engravers in Austria, with a
fine rendering of the Madonna, later used in the St.
Stephens' Cathedral set of Austria, 1947.

His active philatelic engraving career spanned the years
1945 to 1965, when he returned to Vienna. Bitter family
disputes about house property in Vienna, and chronic
ill-health of long standing which ultimately proved fatal,
troubled the end of his life. He was, and will remain, one
of the very finest engravers of securities. Details of his
pre-war career can be found in Thieme-Becker's "Lexicon
der Bildenden Kuenstler" in all major public libraries.

Acknowledgement: Mr. Edgar Lewy. 1972

Adrian25/04/2013 09:11:45
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

I was trying to dig out that 1947 Austria stamp mentioned in the obituary, but turns out I don't have that set. So instead, here are my two favourites of that 1950s Greek Royalty set. Not engraved by Woyty-Wimmer, but by an as yet unknown engraver of De La Rue's.

Queen Olga:


and Queen Frederika (look how beautifully done those eyes are!).


Adrian25/04/2013 14:34:52
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

Thanks cNA. I've found the set on ebay and will get it in so I can show the stamps here.

Julia Lee25/04/2013 14:37:23
2047 forum posts
1002 photos
127 articles

A little bird (the flatplan) tells me an article on the Future of French Engraving, by one M. Chambers, will be in the next issue, which goes to press tomorrow.

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