Archive for the '-print: intaglio' Category

with a suit of armour / 甲冑をまとって

March 30, 2014


6 April 1970, Sweden
Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson (1282–1318)
design & engrave: Heinz Gutschmidt

I did not post any stamp for a month and a half – I had been living with a great anxiety about my first long trip to Japan since I had medical treatment last September.  I had my Meningioma, a type of tumour, removed in a long operation. It had been growing for many years just behind of my left eye.  After that I had Gamma Knife surgery, a type of radiotherapy treatment.  When the doctor said I was OK for long flights, I booked my trip to see my family and friends, who had been concerned about me.

Psychological preparation before the departure was more difficult than the bag packing – Anyway, I did make a trip, saw loving people and got back to home.  I could not contact many people who were worrying about me – but it was all I could do to complete this first mission after half a year, without fainting or getting worn-out too badly…  I needed a full suit of armour and a crested horse ( my partner who supported me during this trip ), really.





flower and horse / 花と馬

February 13, 2014


5 September 1975, Czechoslovakia
Biennial Exhibition of Book Illustrations for Children
“Horseman” by V. Munteanu
design & engrave:  J. Schmidt

OK, tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day – already!  Time flies.  Although I am still featuring horses, yet a flowery one for tomorrow.  But somehow, this horse has eight legs and the man on it has a gun…

Anyway, have a happy Valentine!



bugle horn and horse 3 / 馬と角笛 その3

February 10, 2014


20 February 1986, Sweden
350th Anniversary of Post Office
designer: G. Österlund
engraver: Z. Jakus

The delivery man is blowing the bugle horn with all his might, and – very rare to see a horse with scary eye.



bugle horn and horse 2 / 馬と角笛 その2

February 9, 2014


15 November 1958, Romania
Centenary of First Romanian Postage Stamps
design & engrave: S. Zainea

Celebrating 100 years of postage stamps – and the bugle horn and horse were the main delivery method still at that time.


horsepower mail coach / 三馬力の郵便荷車

January 23, 2014


28 September 1971, Sweden
engraver: Czesław Słania

Speed was one of the reasons why horses had been used for transportation, obviously.  So, they were the main motive power for the postal services, too.

This great piece of work by the engraver Czesław Słania shows, the express-speed of a three horsepower wagon with postal horn mark on.  You may hear the creak noise together with the clatter of hoofs.




rural landscape and horse / 田園と馬

January 20, 2014


8 June 1946, Sweden
Centenary of Swedish Agricultural Show
designer: O. Sköld
engraver: S. Ewert

According to a book titled “What on Earth Happened?”, churches owned horses and cleared a lot of woodland, then rent those reclaimed land to farmers – that was the largest force of destruction of ancient forests in the Medieval Europe.

This Swedish stamp is showing a mother horse and a pony in the agricultural field – it rather looks peaceful now, though.



ploughing horse / 鋤を曳く馬

January 10, 2014


17 January 1994, Sweden
North Sweden Horses
designer: L. Hasselberg
engraver: L. Sjööblom

About 6000 years ago, the ancient people started to domesticate horses.  Around 10th century in Europe, people started to use horse powered plough and that helped to speed up cultivation.  Until the tractors were invented in 19th century, horses provided power for agriculture and supported increasing population on the earth.

North Swedish horses have long mane and gentle eyes in these stamps.



dark days.. / 昼も暗い、、

December 23, 2013


12 February 1953, Iceland
“Reykjabók” manuscript with candle
design: S. Jónsson

It was stormy day today and even at noon I needed a desk lamp to read.  I imagined how dark the inside of a house was before electricity was invented – and even worse in parts further north than here in London.

I found a candle light reading picture on an Icelandic stamp and the rumpled book is a manuscript from 14th century.



winter solstice / 冬至キャンドルナイトは?

December 22, 2013


4 May 1970, Denmark
25th Anniversary of Liberation
designer: P. Christensen
engraver: C. Slania

Today is the winter solstice day.  I have been looking for information on ‘Candle Night‘ – a series of campaigns for saving energy by switching off all electric lights between 8-10pm on the summer and winter solstice day.  It seems the campaign was finished in 2012 and is not happening today.  Why??  It’s very nice to spend time with candle light!

This Slania engraved stamp is imitating a wood carved print – primitive and toasty.

今日は冬至。あれ?今年は「100万人のキャンドルナイト」のことをツイッターとかFace Bookで見ないな〜と思ったら、10周年だった去年で終わったのですね。世界的なキャンペーンになって、近年は東京タワーほかたくさんの建物のイルミネーションが消されたのに、どうしてもっと続けないのかな。ろうそくの火で過ごす時間は素敵なのに。


African intaglio prints / アフリカ凹版切手

September 24, 2013


1962 Gabon
grapefruit & coconut

Many African stamps have influences from their old suzerain country and many intaglio stamps are made with the influence of French postal history.  In my ‘print: intaglio‘ topic, I featured five African stamps in the last three months.

These stamps are made with a creative sketch style engraving and a radical shape.  They look exotic and seasonal.

アフリカの切手からは、植民地時代の宗主国の影響が強く読み取れます。このガボンからの切手はフランスの凹版切手の影響が強く、「print: intaglio」のここ3か月に掲載した5種類のアフリカの切手もすべて元フランスの植民地の発行でした。


hair comb 2 / 髪に櫛 その2

September 20, 2013


2 June 1947, Martinique ( overseas region of France )
designer: Lemagny / engraver: Achille Ouvré

I looked in my collection for any African hairstyles with combs – not from Africa, but I found this one from the French island of Martinique in the Caribbean Sea.  This lady’s fabric decoration is connected to her hair by a slim comb.

In the exhibition of “Origins of the Afro Comb”, you can learn about modern Afro Combs which are used to celebrate African identity of emancipated slaves in those Caribbean islands as well as in the USA and Europe.

ケンブリッジで観た展示会『Origins of the Afro Comb』に出てくるような櫛が描かれた切手はなかったかな?と探していたら、カリブ海にあるフランスの海外県の島マルティニークから発行されたこの切手がありました。髪に巻かれている布が、細身の櫛で留め付けてあります。

Origins of the Afro Comb』展では、黒人奴隷としてカリブ海やアメリカ、ヨーロッパに連れて来られた人たちの末裔が人権や生活を守る行動を起こした時に、故郷であるアフリカの文化を伝えたスリムな櫛を象徴として使ったことが展示されています。

backstroke / 背泳

August 20, 2013


1965 Mali
African Games at Brazzaville

One more swimming stamp from Republic of Mali, issued for a celebration of African Games in the capital of Congo.  Another simple intaglio stamp with vivid colours and dynamic movement.


beach holidays / 海の夏休み

August 17, 2013


7 March 1957, Canada
Canada – All Seasons Playground
designer: Laurence Hyde / engraver: Yves Baril

Another visual chill-out from Canada, where I found many cool stamps are from.  The girl is having great time in the water!


I like these crisply engraved single coloured stamps with geometrical expression of water.


designed by Laurence Hyde / engraved by Silas Robert Allen



diversity in Tour? / ツールにも多様性?

July 23, 2013


27 Feburary 1960, Togo
Olympic Games, California & Rome
designer: M. Shamir / engraver: Claude Durrens

The Tour de France 2013 winner Chris Froome is Kenyan-born British and he says that he wishes to inspire young cyclists from Africa.  To celebrate the future diversity in this sport, I feature this mellow coloured yet crisp stamp from Togo.

By the way – it is a terrible choice of picture in the BBC article – is it only me that thinks so?



in the water / 水の中

July 19, 2013


29 Jan 1962, Niger
‘Protection of Wildlife’
design & engraving:  Jacques Combet

It has been 10 days since ‘the real summer’ arrived.  The indoor temperature is gradually rising – but last night we had a nice cool breeze and I felt refreshed as if I am dipping myself in the cool water.

This stamp from Niger is showing the water surface as the central horizon and depictes above and below the water with two different green colours.  An African Manatee looks cool and content.



orbit of satellite / 衛星の軌跡

April 29, 2013


6 October 1965, USA
Centenary of International Telecommunication Union

Crisp intaglio stamp from the USA on the same theme as the 1965 ITU – expressing its 100 years progress with Morse code and the tracks of communication satellites.  The Morse code can be read… itu itu itu and itu.  A simple yet well designed stamp, I would say.


and satellite transmission / 衛星通信の登場

March 25, 2013


1965 France
Centenary of International Telecommunication Union
design & engraving: Albert Decaris

The last stamp which is showing a Telegraph key – this one shows the history of telecommunications, all-in-one.  The aerial in front of the dome is called a Helical antenna, which was built for High frequency radio communications before the usage of satellites.

I like this way to apply the traditional printing method of intaglio, for picturing the historical and the latest technology, together with lots of stars ( and satellites ) in the sky.  Designed by the same engraver as this stamp, one of my top favourites.



electrical telegraph / 電信機

March 17, 2013


13 October 1954, Japan
75th Anniversary of Admission to ITU
designer: Yutaka Yoshida
engraver: Tsuneo Kasano

After the Croatian QR code stamp, I remembered this one, in a similar layout with mysterious lines and dots.  The centre picture is an early electrical telegraph receiver.  In the top bar, between two small squares, are Japanese Morse code, which says ‘ko ku sa i’, which means ‘international’.

Although there is a similarity in the first impression between this and the QR code stamp in the previous post, this one has far higher density in its stamp design.  I admire this old ‘stampness’ and joy of magnifying.





2012年10月に日本郵趣協会から発売された『ビジュアル日本切手カタログ vol.1』に、この図案のフチを囲む記号が説明されています。左が「キネン」、右が「デンキ」拡大している下は「ツウシン レンゴウ カメイ 57 シウネン」と右から読むようです。

World Meteorology / 世界気象機関

February 8, 2013


23 March 1962, Taiwan
’2nd World Meteorological Day’
designer: Tsai Cheng-lun, Wen Hsueh-ju & Yen Ki-shih
engraver: Pao Liang-yu, Chen Lien-huei & Li Pin-chien

The World Meteorological Organization was established in 1950, as a specialist agency of the United Nations for meteorology, succeeding from the International Meteorological Organization from 1873.  It is no surprise that people tried to share meteorological information from that early time – yet cross-governmental actions towards climate change started a lot later.

Last year I visited Taiwan for the first time, and would love to go back again.  I met a lots of intellectual, diligent and polite people there, and the country has a rich vein of stamps of my favourite type!




year of the Snake / 祝・巳年

January 3, 2013


13 June 1964, Finland
General Assembly of World Medical Association
designer: O. Vepsäläinen
engraver: B. Ekholm

Happy New Year to everyone!

2013 is the year of the Snake.  As shown on this stamp, the snake ( or the serpent ) is the symbol of wisdom or medical care – the energy of life in ancient Inca and Indian worship, and the Greek and Roman herald’s wand of Caduceus.  Long, spiral and ‘kune-kune’ as we say in Japanese.  We have to learn from this animal, for endurance of life, avoiding obstacles in a smooth and quiet manner.




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