BIOGRAPHY: Jaroslav Goldschmied

Jaroslav Goldschmied was born on 14 August 1890.

Goldschmied engraved his first stamp as early as 1925, it being the engraved version of the Masaryk definitive design introduced that year. He disappeared completely from the scene after that one stamp and only re-emerged in 1940, after the engraver Karl Seizinger had left Czechoslovakia for Yugoslavia in at the end of 1938 and the engraver Bohumil Heinz had passed away in May 1940.

The difficulty in attributing his early work to him is that he may have been a skilled engraver, but he relied on others to do the preliminary drawings for him. This could be the designer of the stamp but quite often it was a fellow colleague, Jindra Schmidt, who did this for him. With official records not divulging any information, some stamps may well have been attributed to Schmidt rather than to Goldschmied.

We therefore rely on signed material to guide us in this, although this may sometimes be more confusing than clarifying. There is, for example, a presentation sheet of the 1942 definitives for Bohemia and Moravia. These exist in three sizes which are all included on the sheet. The smallest size, represented by the 1k and 1k20 values, have been signed by Schmidt, with the other two sizes signed by Goldschmied. The SG catalogue gives Goldschmied for the engraver of the complete set, and it has been suggested that Schmidt signed these sheets as the creator of the drawings. But the annotation in pencil reads 'Rytinu zhotovil', which means 'Engraving carried out by', which might imply that it was Schmidt who engraved the smaller size definitives.

Maybe slightly less confusing is the case of the 1944 St Vitius's Cathedral stamps, again of Bohemia and Moravia, which has been discussed on the Stampcommunity forum some years ago. These stamps are generally attributed to Jindra Schmidt, but there is some evidence to suggest it may well have been Goldschmied who engraved these. Goldschmied often used to sign his engravings with a hidden G somewhere in the design. And exactly such a G has been found on the St Vitius's Cathedral stamp. Again, official records do not clarify anything so we'll probably never know.

Courtesy of the Stampcommunity website
After the war, Goldschmied became part of a team of engravers for Czechsolovakia, engraving many stamps in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He remained active until the very last, with his final engraving, a value from a set marking the Sixth Winter Spartakiad of Warsaw Pact Armies being issued in February 1977, the year Jaroslav Goldschmied passed away.

You will find Jaroslav Goldschmied's database HERE.