BIOGRAPHY: Rudolf Stang

Rudolf Stang (1831-1927) was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, and attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Arts Academy Düsseldorf), known for its expertise in engraving, from 1845 to 1857. From 1884 to 1901, Stang was professor at the Dutch Rijksacademie (Royal Academy of Visual Arts) in Amsterdam.

When the Dutch PTT suggested that the famous Louis Mouchon should engrave the die for the 1898/9 Dutch high value definitives, printers Enschedé pointed out that he was only famous for his letterpress engravings, rather than those for recess-printing, so that their choice, Professor Stang, was the better one. The Dutch PTT acquiesced but then Stang stated he couldn't possibly engrave the die because he was too busy with other work. In the end he did agree to engrave just the portrait, and Enschedé employed Willem Steelink to engrave the ornamental frame.

Stang's first engraved die, based on photographs of the queen without a diadem, were considered rather unsatisfactory. Luckily for him, halfway through the whole drawn-out design process it was decided to use photographs of the queen's diadem. Although at first it was suggested to no longer make use of Stang's services, Enschedé did in the end sided with Stang, stating that the failed first attempt was mainly due to unsuitable reference photographs. 

Stang therefore got the chance to create a new die which was submitted on 25 June 1898. This die was accepted on 7 July, with changes requested of the mouth and the dots on the neck. Professor Stang made the requested changes to the portrait and also implemented the final changes to the inscriptions. This die was submitted on 29 July and accepted on 13 August.

Stang would go on to engrave one more stamp issue: a portrait of Muzaffer ed-Din on a 1903 definitive set for Iran, also printed by Enschedé.

You will find Rudolf Stang's database HERE.