Proper blog

Hello everyone!

I hereby would like to welcome you formally and heartily to my 'new' blog on stamp engravers.

As you may know, it is not exactly that new, but so far I have mainly used it to build up a database of stamp engravers. However, now that my spell as blogger on the Stamp Magazine website has come to an end, I thought I'd better incorporate a 'proper blog' here as well. You'll find all future entries under the label 'Chat'.

I'll be blogging about my daily (?) dealings with this most fascinating of subjects: stamp engravers and their fabulous work. Think that's a restrictive subject for a blog? Well, I have you know (though I'm probably not telling anything new here) that engraved stamps span from 6 May 1840 to this very moment and almost all countries in the world have at one time issued some engraved stamps. So methinks it's rather a broad subject, which is one of the reasons why it so appeals to me, being very much a world wide collector.

And so, today you find me enjoying my latest purchase, which arrived yesterday:

They are die proofs of the 1903 French Somali Coast definitive issue. The design, depicting Somali warriors, is engraved by Benjamin Damman. I haven't finished updating my French database yet, but I can't remember seeing this name before. Does anyone have any info on this man, whether he engraved any more stamps? I know he also engraved the other two designs in this set, but I haven't yet got any copies to show you.

The actually issued stamps include the names of both designer and engraver in the centre bottom of the design.

I do not have a complete set of these and most copies that I have are horribly off-centre so I think I'll try and locate some better copies, to make up a nice Damman page. They are the high values of the set but there are only six to collect (three with coloured vignettes, and three with black vignettes like the 1f shown here), so that shouldn't prove too painful, I hope. The final three stamps in this design, issued in 1909, are not recess-printed, so I don't need to add those to the collection.




  1. An interesting blog. Wish I had found it sooner.
    I've been putting together a collection of African French colony stamps for about 12 months, focusing on the stamp designers ( rather than engravers - but often they are one and the same).
    Damman also designed and engraved the 1903 Zebu and Traveller Tree series for Madagascar. These proved controversial in that the design was quite heavily criticised. Someone in the Madagascar Royal family ( I think from memory) objected and they were soon replaced by the Traveller in Sedan Chair series .
    If I find any fuether examples of Damman's work I'll post here.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Pete! I've just started entering data on France and territories, so all Damman's work should be uploaded within the (hopefully) not too distant future, although it is a massive task, with so many engraved stamps.


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