Combet the French letter engraver

I was leafing through the latest auction catalogue from Christoph Gärtner, on the lookout for anything special, interesting or out of the ordinary, when I bumped into a couple of lots of die proofs which caught my eye. Among those lots were a few progressive die proofs that I always find intriguing. But these ones were even better because they were signed. And not by the engraver!

Image courtesy of

We're talking about the 500fr value from the 1955-1959 definitive set issued in St. Pierre et Miquelon: a stamp depicting a Douglas DC-3 over St Pierre Port. Now that stamp was designed and engraved by Albert Decaris. But the die proofs in the auction are signed by Jacques Combet! Just as well he clarified the situation himself by adding 'gravure lettre'.

Image courtesy of Christoph Gärtner

Now we would usually associate frame and letter engravers with stamps issued in the Americas, and this is the first time to my knowledge that we have different engravers working on either the vignette or the lettering on a French stamp! Quite fascinating, yet I'll have to give this one a miss...

Anyway, some good news: my article on Karl Bickel will be published this Spring in Gibbons Stamp Monthly! I'm really looking forward to seeing what it will look like when finished and in professional layout. So keep an eye out for that if you can.

Also, up to now I've been treating you to weekly chats, but I find more and more that when I start a new little project on the Sunday, I hardly ever have enough information to write these Saturday chats and show you something interesting. So I've decided to let go of regularity and just come up with something new once I've actually got something. That will still be more or less weekly, have no fear, but just not as punctual as it used to be. There is a 'follow by email' possibility somewhere on the right-hand side of these pages, which does what it says on the tin, that is that you get notified of all new entries, and otherwise you'll just have to come back often and check the site for anything new.



  1. I look forward to your Gibbons article!


    1. Thanks, Matt! If I'm not mistaken, it'll be in the March and April issues (which will be out in Feb and March).

  2. Adrian,

    I really enjoy this blog and check in

    You are doing a tremendous job in making
    collectors aware of engraved stamps, engravers and
    stamps in general.

    Thank you for all your efforts


    1. Thanks very much, Martin, for your compliments! Sometimes you don't hear for months from any readers and you start to worry slightly whether anyone actually reads it at all, so it's always good to get some feedback!


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