DATABASE: Jacky Larriviere

Jacky Larrivière was born in Colombe, France in 1946. As a child he enjoyed trying to copy his favourite comic strips and that eventually led to his school teacher guiding him towards the Ecole Estienne. There, it was by pure chance that Larrivière enrolled in the engraving class. He took up an immediate liking to the work and graduated four years later, in 1965. Military service followed and after that Larrivière found it rather hard to find any work. Eventually, he ended up engraving jewellery, which was not what he had expected but the experience did give him a lot of confidence. Having to engrave precious jewellery makes one aware of having to be extremely careful and precise, which are valuable character traits for any engraver!

Only a couple of years later, in 1972, did Larrivière hear through a friend of his, Claude Jumelet, that a place had become available at the ITVF, the French government printing works. He managed to get the position and that was the start of an illustrious career. Within a couple of months, Larrivière had engraved his first ever postage stamp, a value from the 1972 Olympic Games set issued in the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas. As happens so often, Larrivière had to work on French Territories’ stamps for a couple of years before being allowed to move on to engraving stamps for France itself. Larrivière’s first work on a French stamp was the Ceres stamp of the ‘Arphila 1975 Stamp Exhibition’ set. But, being regarded as a retoucher rather than an engraver, he was not allowed to have his name included in the stamp design. And so, his first officially engraved and name-checked stamp for France is the 1984 Europa stamp, which is still one of his favourite works. 

Larrivière not only engraved but also designed the stamp, although that almost never happened, for when the Europe-wide design competition was held for this stamp to mark the 25th anniversary of the European Post and Telecommunications Conference, the French authorities conveniently forgot to ask the lesser engravers to submit any designs. 

It was actually Monaco who, having forgotten about the competition completely, only realised with one more week to go that they still had to come up with a design. In blind panic they asked both Jumelet and Larrivière, who had already done more work for them, to submit stamp designs. Larrivière won the competition which improved his profile no end. Larrivière not only got the chance to engrave the Monaco version of that Europa stamp, but also the French version. He finally had had his breakthrough and would be allowed to start working on engraving more French stamps. 

By now, Larrivière has engraved over 300 stamps. He may not have any French definitives bearing his name but he has done a lot of work on the recent commemorative issues that mark the 50th anniversaries of the various French Marianne series of old. Larrivière engraved those marking the anniversaries of Marianne d’Alger in 2004, Marianne de Dulac in 2005 and Marianne de Gandon in 2006.

As a fervent fan of recess-printed stamps, Larrivière is a member of the ‘Art du timbre gravé’, an organisation which promotes the use of the recess-printing technique. Though he will admit that some stamps printed by a combination of processes, such as intaglio and offset, may look exceptionally good, it is always a compromise of the two processes which usually has a detrimental effect on the intaglio part. Larrivière therefore very much prefers stamps that are completely printed in recess as these will showcase the art of the engraving best.

And it seems the industry agrees very much with him for it is his recess-printed stamps that have yielded the most prestigious awards. The 1999 stained glass window from Auch Cathedral even won him two accolades: the stamp won the Grand Prix de l’Art Philatelique in France in 1999 and was also chosen as the best stamp during the Government Postage Stamps Printers Congress in Rome in 2000.

This article was first published in Stamp and Coin Mart of February 2013 and is reproduced with their kind permission. 


French Territory of the Afars and the Issas, Olympics
Ivory Coast, Postage dues
Ivory Coast, Inauguration of Pasteur Institute Abidjan
Laos, Mythology

Cameroun, Inauguration of Satellite earth station
Central African Republic, Moon flight of Apollo 17
Congo, Olympic games Munich
Gabon, History of flight
Gabon, Kinguele hydro-electric project
Gabon, 25th anniversary of Declaration of human rights
Laos, Ceremonial dress
Laos, Lions international
Laos, Space aspects
Laos, Leporsy bacillus
Laos, Boy scouts
Laos, Interpol
Malagasy Republic, Lemurs
Mali Republic, Help the handicapped campaign
Monaco, Amateur theatre festival
Tunisia, Tunisian red crescent
Wallis & Futuna Islands, De Gaulle

Cameroun, Inauguration of Yaoundé-Ngaoundere line
Congo, Conquest of space
Dahomey, Arphila 75
Laos, Mythology
Laos, UPU (two issues)
Laos, Flora
Laos, Beetles
Monaco, Red cross

Congo, Ancient money
Congo, Celebrities' anniversaries
Dahomey, International women's year
French Polynesia, Aviation
Laos, Mineral riches
Laos, Chinese new year
Laos, Women's year
Mauritania, Rock carvings at Zemmour
Senegal, Technical education

Benin, Juvarouen 1976
French Polynesia, Olympics
Monaco, Drug abuse campaign

Cameroun, History of aviation
New Caledonia, Old Nouméa (42f)
Niger Republic, Protection of fauna
Senegal, 1st anniversary of Dakar industrial zone

French Polynesia, Ground receiving station
Monaco, Charles Perrault
Tunisia, 40th anniversary of April 9th revolution

French Polynesia, Sir Rowland Hill
Mali Republic, World judo championships
Monaco, Salle Garnier (two issues)
Monaco, Year of the child

Iceland, Fauna
Mali Republic, 350th death anniversary of Johannes Kepler
Monaco, Guillaume Apollinaire
Monaco, Kiwanis convention

Iceland, Famous Icelanders
Monaco, National flag
Monaco, Northern Polar regions

Monaco, Europa
Monaco, Discovery of Greenland

Monaco, Europa
Monaco, Whales protection

Andorra (French), Europa
France, Europa
Monaco, Europa
Monaco, Auguste Piccard

France, Art
France, VE day
Monaco, Oceanographic museum

France, Technical Museums in Mulhouse
France, Saint Vianney
Monaco, Europa
Monaco, The Olympic diver
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Fishing

France, Red cross
French Polynesia, Tools and weapons
French Polynesia, Air (Gauguin)
Monaco, Europa
Monaco, Anniversaries

France, Europa
Monaco, Olympics
Monaco, Congress centre
New Caledonia, Traditional Huts
St. Pierre et Miquelon,  Ross Cove

France, French revolution (two issues)
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Ships
Monaco, Grand prix of magic
Monaco, Europa

France, Fishes
Monaco, Antony Noghès
Monaco, Automobile club
Monaco, Penny black
Monaco, Europa
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Fungi
St. Pierre et Miquelon, De Gaulle 1940
St. Pierre et Miquelon,  25km race
St. Pierre et Miquelon, De Gaulle 1890-1970
Wallis & Futuna Islands, Ships

France, Red cross
France, Adhesion of Mayotte
French Polynesia, Phila Nippon 91
Monaco, Europa
Monaco, Prince Pierre foundation
Monaco, Treaty of Péronne
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Old views
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Music Society
Vatican City, Bishops' assembly

France, Expo 92
France, Europa
France, Declaration of 1st republic
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Sailing race
Monaco, Olympics
Monaco, Columbus exhibition
Monaco, Pierre de Coubertin
Monaco, Stamp museum
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Columbus

France, Red cross
French Polynesia, Jacques Boullaire
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Animal biology laboratorium
Monaco, Europa
Monaco, Olympic Committee session

France, Franco-Swedish relations
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Hydrographic and oceanographic service
Monaco, Olympics
Monaco, Magic grand prix
Monaco, Vintage car collection
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Natural Heritage
Vatican City, Pope John Paul II's journeys

France, Stamp day
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Southern flounder
Monaco, Rotary international
Monaco, Amateur athletics grand prix
Monaco, nature protection
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Geological research
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Francoforum

France, Ramoge agreement
France, André Malraux
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Lycopodium magellanicum
Monaco, Magic festival
Monaco, Ramoge agreement
Monaco, UN children's fund
Monaco, Stamp issuing office
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Miquelon

France, Pompidou centre
France, Art
France, Stamp day
France, Moutier d'Ahun monastery
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Spiny lobster
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Poa kerguelensis
Mayotte, New airport
Monaco, Paintings
Monaco, Princess Charlotte

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Ranunculus moseleyi
Mayotte, Mariama Salim
Monaco, Football championship
Monaco, Expo 98

France, Introduction of euro
France, Art
French Polynesia, Tattoos
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Festuca contracta
Monaco, Philexfrance 99
Monaco, UPU
Monaco, Monaco 2000

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Explorers
Monaco, Olympics
Monaco, Ramoge agreement
New Caledonia,  Bernheim Library
Wallis & Futuna Islands, Overseas Monetary Institute

France, Tourism
France, Jacques Chaban-Delmas
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Ships
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Bryum laevigatum
Monaco, Belgica 2001

France, Metz cathedral
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Cabbage
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Geographical society
Monaco, Flora and fauna
Monaco, Accobams
Monaco, Debussy's opera
New Caledonia, Exploration of coast of New Caledonia

France, Yonne's St Pierre church
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Port Jeanne d'Arc
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Man wearing furs
Wallis & Futuna Islands, Alain Gerbault

France, Civil code
France, Marianne d'Alger
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Iceberg
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Sailor's grave
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Penguin holding mask
Monaco, St Dévote
Monaco, Amphibians
Monaco, Marco Polo
Wallis & Futuna Islands, First Flight

France, Tourism
France, Raymond Aron
France, Marianne de Dulac
France, The Annunciation
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Studer Valley
Vatican City, The Annunciation

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Charles Vélain
St. Pierre et Miquelon, Dugue farm

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Southern opah
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Astronomy at Concordia Base

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Ridge scaled rattail

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Programme Macarbi
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, 50th anniversary of Antarctic Treaty

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Programme CRAC-ICE

France, Notre-Dame Royan
France, Henri Péquet
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Plane crash on Juan de Nova

France, Europa
French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Snail

French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Summer algae

France, Edouard Nieuport


France, Illustration for philatelic document for Mulhouse technical museums issue

Engraving for Art du Timbre Gravé