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Which engravers / engraved stamps do you most admire?

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Neville Lawson25/04/2014 22:57:25
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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!

Neville

Adrian26/04/2014 12:23:54
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Hi Neville!

Great to welcome another convert to 'engraver collecting'. Looks like you've already got a bit of a starting point for trying to work out what you'd like to do.

Yes, collecting Slania can be a bit daunting, though not impossible. You could, of course, always opt for a more recent Scandinavian engraver. Marcel Mörck springs to mind immediately. He's done, and is still doing, some beautiful stuff.

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Seeing that you already got a bit of a Scandinavian collection: why not sort them by engraver (most names are mentioned in the bottom right hand corner) and just see which engraver's stamps you like most. After all, you've got to like someone's stamps to enjoy collecting an engraver's work.

Collecting living engravers could be more fun because the stamps will usually be cheaper and easier to get, and you never know, you may even meet the man/woman one day!

With regard to literature: if you have a Scandinavian SG, then you'll be fine, as that will include I would say at least around 90% of all the information you need. Other than that you'd need to keep abreast of new issues if you're collecting an engraver who is still at it. A subscription to Stamp Magazine will solve that problem, because the New Issue guide in the mag does include engravers' names as well, if and when known.

And you can of course always regularly check out my own website, which is becoming a database of all the world's engravers and their work. You'll find it by clicking HERE. A word of warning though: I have not yet much Scandinavian material on it so don't be fooled into thinking it's a small area to collect!

In general you could say that the easiest countries to focus on are those who include the names of their engravers in the design. I'm thinking of Scandinavia, France and territories, Austria, Czechoslovakia before and after break up, Poland. British Commonwealth is notoriously difficult, but from your existing collection I gather you're more European focused anyway, so that's a plus.

Mint or used is really just a matter of taste. All I would say is that to enjoy the work of an engraver, you'd need to find lightly cancelled stamps which do not detract too much from the artwork. There's a challenge for you!

Enough to ponder, I would think! Let us know how your'e getting on and if you've any more questions: fire away!

Neville Lawson27/04/2014 09:47:48
19 forum posts
3 photos

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!

Neville

Adrian03/05/2014 11:42:20
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Here's one more thing to mull over: if you're looking for not too expensive stamps, why not opt for a Czechoslovakian engraver? I have just uploaded a short biography of Vaclav Fajt on my site, which you'll find HERE.

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It also includes a fairly complete list of his stamp work, to make things easy for you!

smiley

Neville Lawson07/05/2014 07:14:31
19 forum posts
3 photos

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.

Julia Lee07/05/2014 15:23:25
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2047 forum posts
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I can usually troubleshoot scanning without too much difficulty, especially if the make is an Epson.

Usually one can ignore all the options on screen except 'Resolution' (75 for web, 300 for print) and the big button marked 'Scan'.

Then you just have to work out where it's saved the images...!

Adrian10/05/2014 10:31:22
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1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

sg170.jpg

Not bad, eh, for a man who is famously quoted as never having engraved a satisfactory portrait of The Queen!

This is Nigel Alan Dow and I've just uploaded a short biography of him on my blog, which you'll find HERE.

Neville Lawson15/05/2014 08:57:31
19 forum posts
3 photos

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

Adrian15/05/2014 12:02:36
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1828 forum posts
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Hi Neville,

They used to, but as far as I know they don't anymore. Takes up too much space probably. I don't have any really recent ones, but my Michel catalogues for Europe date from 2002 to 2006 and none of these have engravers' names included. The odd 1980s Michel catalogue that I have did still include engravers' and designers' names.

Neville Lawson15/05/2014 23:38:18
19 forum posts
3 photos

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.

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