Pheulpin's elephants

A major part of Jean Pheulpin's stamp legacy forms his engravings for Laos. Pheulpin stayed true to his French territories work, even after he had become one of the engravers for the mother country. There's quite a few beauties to be found in the 1950s in particular, all enhanced by that slightly mysterious south-east Asian splendour.

Arguably his most famous set from that lot would be the 1958 set depicting Laotian elephants. And that's not just me talking: Pheulpin won the Grand Prix de l'Art Philatélique for that set, so its beauty is generally acknowledged.

Luckily, it is also one of those sets for which colour proofs are relatively widely available. I've managed to pick up a few through the years, but there's many more. Most of them are monochrome which is quite good. Although the colours used for the actual stamps are quite beautiful, some stamps do suffer a bit because of that enormously bright red used on some values, especially on the 10c.

The colour proofs were made with the printing plates, but it is also possible to find proofs made with the actual master die, though these are quite a bit more expensive. I only got the one, which probably went cheap because it's a cut-out rather than the whole thing. However, it does provide us with a crisp and clear print, so I thought I'd better go for it anyway.

Looking through the Laos catalogue once again, while writing this, I'm once again sorely tempted to try and get all those Pheulpin stamps in. Who knows, maybe I'll give it a go! But in the meantime, I'm preparing to upload his biography which, with any luck, should appear on your screen next week.

His was the final biography ever to be published in my now defunct Stamp Engravers column in Stamp & Coin Mart, so there's another accolade for him.



  1. These truly beautiful. I like multi-colour engraving but I agree with you re the red. Will have to look for a set.


Post a Comment