Saturday, 22 February 2014

More on Ewert

Yes, I'm still working on the stamps of Sven Ewert, although I have by now moved on to Denmark. The well-known Danish designer, Viggo Bang, was much enamoured with Ewert's work and the two developed a long and successful partnership as designer/engraver of many Danish stamps. One of the best known is the 1948 definitive set portraying King Frederik IX.

I remember it being in all the kiloware I had as a young lad, and I do remember them all being red or brown. In fact, I remember all Danish stamps being either red or brown, which is of course highly unfair because now that I have the whole set, I find that many different colours were used. It's probably just that these did not feature that often in kiloware, I suppose because they were for the more unusual postal rates.

Anyway, while studying them, I found out that they exist in three types, something which makes my collector heart always skip a beat! And so we have a Type I, which can be distinguished because it is the only type without an outline on the right-hand side of the king's face. Only one stamp is a Type I stamp, and that is the 20 öre red.

Here is a blown-up detail of the king's face:

Now type II was used for a few more values, though still not many. Its main characteristic is that the king's face now does have an outline:

But we should also look at the king's tunic. Again, I have blown up the bit where we can see that the lines on the tunic (the fat, diagonal ones) are single lines.

This is important to look for, because we also have a Type III, which has double lines in the tunic. You can see this most clearly in the lines under the button:

This Type III was used most often, and exclusively on all values of 35 öre and up. Some of the lower values, though, do exist in various types, so there's lots to look out for!

What I'm wondering, though, is whether all these types would have been the work of Ewert. I would think they are retouches to the original die, for if a whole new die had been engraved, more changes would have been visible. So would Ewert have been recalled time and again to improve his engraving or would printer's staff have done the job? I suppose we'll never find out...


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