Saturday, 2 August 2014

Marianne de Gandon

I'm not sure if I had already told you this but someone at my local stamp club asked me if I could show some of my Mariannes at the next meeting in September. So I started off thinking I'd do a display on Marianne de Gandon. Only to find it wasn't easy to fill ten pages, so I later decided to show a number of different Mariannes. But that left me with a good range of Marianne de Gandon items I would no longer use, so I'll show some of them here instead.

The set was introduced in 1945 and consisted mainly of stamps printed by letterpress. But there were five low values printed in recess and also four high values of a larger format printed in recess. Both designs were engraved by Pierre Gandon.

In 1949 the design was used again, for an issue marking the centenary of French stamps.

Now I've always  assumed that the 1945 and 1949 versions were the same, but the other day I managed to get hold of a die proof of these stamps, and when I looked more closely I noticed it had been sold to me as being a 1949 die proof.

So now I'm no longer sure what's going on. Cue: my good friend John who helped me out before with the Marianne de Dulac gif. He has made some more for me so we can all have a look and see how many dies there have been. Thanks John!

First up we have a gif showing the 1945 stamp (red) paired up with the die proof (brown). So there should be differences between these two, IF a new die was made for the 1949 set and IF the seller's info is correct.

Then we have a gif of the 1949 stamp (blue) and the die proof (brown), so again with all the caveats, these should be identical.

Finally, we have a gif of the 1945 stamp (red) and the 1949 stamp (blue) and these, too, should be different.

John and I both agreed that there seem to be noticeable differences in the vertical line of the F of RF and the G of Gandon may also hold a clue. The problem, however, is that one of the images is the die proof. Now die proofs are by nature much sharper than the eventual stamp, because it is a printing of the original engraving whereas a stamp image has gone from original engraving to transfer roller to printing plate, so there's a lot of possibilities for things to slightly change.

Anyway, I wouldn't dare call this one so maybe one of you will have clue, or maybe some Gandon expert will read this and simply know what has happened at the time.

Staying with 1949 for a bit longer, we have these beautiful labels based on the Marianne design, but engraved by Charles Mazelin.

They were issued for the exhibition marking the centenary, and they come in twelve colours/shades. Apparently, on each day of the exhibiton a new colour was issued. They look gorgeous on a page; see for yourselves!

Okay, one more: in 1995, booklet stamps were issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the design, engraved by Jacky Larrivière.

The two stamps (with and without surcharge) were multicoloured, but souvenir sheetlets exist which are printed in monochrome, so they make a nice addition to the set. La Poste has been issuing these for years now: so-called 'gravures' which are made with the original die.

There's a few more items to be had, which is no surprise for the Marianne de Gandon series is one of the most popular of all Mariannes. So here's one final final one, issued in 1980 and engraved by Pierre Forget.


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