Mörck's boats

It is safe to say that Martin Mörck likes his boats. In real life as well as on his stamps. Over the years he has produced some really nice ones, especially when depicting the old sailing ships of previous centuries. It seems that those old ships are an ideal subject for engravers, what with all their rigging and sails and what have you.

I quite like the Swedish set from 2008, with four different sailing stamps. The set has the extra bonus that the Swedish Post produced a special black print (or should that be brown print?) of the engraved parts only. That's always great as it makes one admire the engraving talent even more, though I must say that these stamps are a good example of how two different printing processes can work well together.

However, I would say my favourite sailing item from Martin Mörck is Sweden's 1992 Europa set titled "In Columbus' Wake".

Not so much because the design and / or engravings are even more outstanding than Mörck's other work, and also not really because of the black print that accompanies this set as well.

No, it is because the set induced me to buy yet another pane of the same issue.

Do you want to know why? Well, it is a matter most curious! According to the brochure 'Våra Frimärksgravörer', issued by the Swedish Post, "...the technique got in the way of a large engraving on the same plate...", whatever that may mean. It's not like it's the most enormous pane of stamps ever seen. But anyway, it resulted in Mörck engraving three separate dies for the three stamps of the pane. These were then transferred to the printing cylinder with the transfer roller.  So far everything normal, but then Martin Mörck stepped in again to engrave the lines linking the three stamps, on the actual printing cylinder! Most unusual. Apparently, there were 36 panes on a cylinder, so he had to engrave the same lines 36 times. Needless to say there are differences to be found, which you can see clearly on the blown up bits of the above three panes:

In theory one can collect 36 different panes which would all have their own individual lines. I don't think I'd be tempted to go that far, but I'm glad I've at least got a few to show what was going on!



  1. Great blog! I have the Europa mini-sheet and I had no idea about the engraved joints. Great info!



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