Change and Chile

You may have noticed this week that I've implemented a few changes to this blog. I'm thinking of ways to make this blog a better experience for everyone. So I'm changing the labelling of the posts, from SG part names (which were basically just handy for me while I was still ploughing through them for information) to engraver names. That way it will be easier for you to find the posts dealing with your favourite engraver. I don't think, however, that I will include each and every engraver, for there are hundres, but just the ones that get mentioned most often. After all, you still have the general search option as well, to find any engravers you want.

I've also decided to add 'galleries', of each engraver's work, to make this blog more visually attractive. These will be updated frequently so come back often to check out your favourites! Again, I won't do this for each and every engraver, and have decided to leave out the frame and lettering engravers, whose work can still be seen on their database entries.

Finally, I've decided to keep the biographies I've uploaded separate from the actual database. So that's another ongoing process. The engravers column in Stamp & Coin Mart is now coming to an end, so we'll have to see whether I can get any other editors interested in a similar engravers column. But I've written some 50 in total and I haven't uploaded them all yet so you will be spoonfed some more info in the coming weeks and months, have no fear.

One thing I'm still thinking about is how to deal with auction issues. I first thought to do separate posts for these, with an 'Auctions' label, but I also quite like them as part of the galleries. That way, I can still include information on whether the items sold and if so, for how much. But then there is probably no need for an 'Auctions' label? This would then only lead you to all the galleries anyway, so while writing this I think I'll just discard with that label.

Your suggestions as to what is lacking or what could be improved on this blog are of course always welcome!

Okay, on to Chile. I've spent the past week looking at José Moreno Benavente, the Chilean master engraver. When doing so, one immediately stumbles upon the books that the Chilean stamp printers Casa de Moneda issue every decade, entitled Memoria. These books deal with all aspects of the printing firm and the great thing is that they're very proud of their stamps and their engravers and usually include special sheets with engravings.

I managed to get a few from the Memoria book dealing with 1964-1973. They were all engraved by Moreno Benavente. The first one is one with a familiar and often used pattern: a selection of previously issued stamps.

What is special about this one is that it also includes (top right) an unfinished die for a stamp commemorating Francisco de Miranda. The stamps was never issued.

The other two sheets are special engravings made to mark the death and birth anniversaries of Andrés Bello and Cardinal Caro respectively.

The engravings are based on the actual stamp designs issued at the time.

I'm trying to get the stamps to match these sheets, but so far haven't got any of them in, so I can't show you these yet. But I will at a future date. What I found was that every time I locate one of the stamps, I find there's more special sheets to go with these stamps or sets, so eventually this could turn into quite a reasonably sized collection. Obviously, Moreno Benavente was the printer's main engraver for quite some time as it seems almost every special sheet issued has been engraved by him.

To be continued!