Inside Linn’s: Master engraver Czeslaw Slania
By Charles Snee
The Oct. 18 monthly issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Oct. 4. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Oct. 2. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers.
Master engraver Czeslaw Slania
“When one thinks about engraved postage stamps and asks the question of who the most productive stamp engraver of all times is, the first person who comes to mind is Czeslaw Slania, a distinguished Polish artist who was born in this month 100 years ago,” writes Armagan Ozdinc in a special feature article about Slania’s remarkable life and prodigious philatelic output. Slania designed and/or engraved 1,080 unique motifs that appeared on a total of 1,547 stamps issued by 32 postal administrations. Of these unique motifs, 1,047 were hand engraved by him on a steel plate and printed in intaglio. Although known primarily for the stamps he engraved, Slania also engraved 42 banknote designs for 10 countries. He also engraved, printed and perforated a series of labels picturing world heavyweight boxing champions.
Celebrating France’s Art series that began 60 years ago
In Philately of France, Larry Rosenblum showcases the beautifully engraved stamps from France that picture works of art. The Art series, which began in 1961, has benefited from advances in intaglio printing technology. As Rosenblum explains, “The enabler of the series was a new press that produced stamps by a process known as TD6. TD stands for ‘taille douce,’ the French term for engraving, and the six indicates the maximum number of colors that can be printed.” Rosenblum provides a useful primer on the TD6 process (which requires the engraver to make two dies, each of which can print up to three colors) before taking readers on an engaging guided tour of the Art series. If you enjoy the intricacies of engraving and stamps with great eye appeal, be sure to read the entire column.
Counterfeit United States postal cards, part 2
Part 1 of Ken Lawrence’s detailed Spotlight on Philately column about counterfeit U.S. postal cards was published in the Sept. 20 issue of Linn’s Stamp News. It concentrated on the efforts of U.S. postal officials to create a postal card designed to thwart counterfeiters, and how the subsequent discontinuation of security features precipitated a wave of counterfeit postal cards. In part 2 Lawrence resumes his review with counterfeits of postal cards of the late 1880s and early 1890s and continues with counterfeits of postal cards issued during the mid to late 1890s. He also looks closely at E. Louis Smith, who produced huge quantities of counterfeit postal cards before his capture and confession in early 1902.
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