Our local stamp club has a packet which I get as well, even though there's often not much in it for me. But the one I got yesterday was filled with Soviet goodies so I had a field day! Those Soviet stamps are so often ignored or overlooked and yet there are many gems to be found. Especially those many military portrait stamps are fantastic. I was lucky to find four new ones, all from 1974, which I'll gladly share with you here.
Of those four, the one I like least well is this one portraying Marshal F I Tolbukhin, engraved by Ivan Mokrousov. The stamp was issued to mark his eightieth birth anniversary. I find the engraving of his face a bit hard and sterile, though I must say I am slightly warming to it.
But this military portrait is much more to my liking. Here we have Admiral I. S. Isakov, engraved by A. Tkachenko, also issued to mark his eightieth birth anniversary. The face has somehow much more expression, and seems to be more lifelike.
When I first saw this stamp portraying the educationalist K. D. Ushinsky, I really had to check to see whether it was an engraved stamp. Maybe it was just because of the soft colours, but from 'afar' it looked like a photogravure stamp. But it isn't. It's completely engraved, by Tatyana Nikitina. Beautifully done, and the detail of the beard especially is wonderful.
But the one I like best is this stamp celebrating the birth centenary of Lenin's brother D. Ulyanov, engraved by Vladimir Smirnov. I think it's his eyes that do it for me. What wonderful expression!