The French Post has a way of promoting their stamps which yields surprising items for us engraver lovers to collect. Nowadays, they issue these rectangular items (almost like strips) with a monochrome intaglio print of newly issued stamps. These are fun to collect and never expensive. We're told that they are made from the original engraved die, so that is good as well. But be warned: these 'gravures', as they're officially called, are computer engraved when they represent stamps which weren't engraved in the first place.
Not so long ago, though, the French post issued Philatelic Documents, which were even more interesting for us. They not only included that monochrome print of the stamp, but also extra engravings, usually by the same engraver. And, what's even better: if the original stamp was not engraved, the stamp image on the document usually was, and more often than not this was a hand-engraved image!
Have I lost you? Well, take a look at the 1992 Red Cross stamp issued in France, the one with the birdies. It is a stamp printed in photogravure. The philatelic document for this issue includes a lovely engraving of the Samaritans, engraved by Eve Luquet.
That same document also has a monochrome image of the stamp itself, and it is engraved. The name of the engraver (that same Ms Luquet), appears on the top right.
To top it all: there even exist die proofs of that engraved stamp by Eve Luquet!
Ah yes, life can be complex but so wonderfully exhilirating.