Saturday, 26 July 2014

Marianne de Lamouche

Yes, as you can surmise from the title, I'm still very much working on France's engraved stamps. And once again, what I thought to be true, turns out not to be so. I was going to write about how easy it is to distinguish the two types of Marianne de Lamouche stamps, engraved by Claude Jumelet. The original stamps, still printed the old-fashioned way, and the later version, produced with the aid of computers.

Type I
Turns out that no Lamouche stamps whatsoever have been produced the old-fashioned way. In fact, these particular Mariannes have the (dubious?) distinction of being the first ones to be printed with the aid of computers. That is to say, the original die is still hand-engraved, but transferring that original die to printing plates is no longer done with a transfer roller but with a computer file. The die gets scanned and the subsequent computer file is fed into an engraving machine which engraves the printing plates or cylinders. Just as well that I read an article on that before filling this blog with nonsense!

Type I
But there are definitely two different types. The first type has thick and slightly fuzzy lines, reminiscent of traditional engravings. The second type has thinner, very clearcut and more mechanical lines of engraving, very much giving a lifeless feel to the whole thing.

Type I

Type II
So what is the reason behind the different types? Wel, apparently, the French Post used two different engraving machines to make the printing cylinders. Their existing machine, which produced the first type, and a new machine, named Epikos, which obviously has a totally different way of engraving.

Type II

Now I'm not the technical type so I don't pretend to even half understand what's going on but anyway, this is as much as I could comprehend from the article which, by the way, you can read HERE. You have to scroll down a bit and you have to be able to read French, but other than that, you're okay. If I've really missed or misunderstood things, do not hesitate to correct me!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a display page to tear up and write up afresh.


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