I have previously written two blogs studying the printing issues surrounding the France 1948 reissues of the 1946 Luxembourg Palace issue, designed and engraved by Albert Decaris. I think I have finally grasped the processes involved in creating the reissues, thanks to the help of a reader of the blog. Thanks Florian.
Okay, let's try to finally put the printing issues faced with the 1948 reissues to bed. I previously discussed the basic principles of intaglio printing, so I won't go into it all again. Click HERE for the blog. What I will do is elaborate on that process, which, I hope will finally explain why the 1948 Luxembourg reissues look different to the original issue in 1946. It has to do with the process required to create an altered reissue.
Here is a brief summary of what happens...to the best of my knowledge. A transfer roller or 'relief' roller is created from the master die. This 'relief' roller then has the alterations made to it. The raised or 'relief' portions that need to be changed are removed from the roller. Then this 'relief' roller is hardened, and used to create a secondary master die. It is on this secondary master die that the new values are created (by an in-house engraver). Then a transfer roller with the new value is created. It is these processes on top of further use by the transfer roller to the printing plate which can, over time, round the edges of the sharp lines of the engraving, having the effect of blurring the image somewhat.
Also, as I stated in a previous blog (you can find the link above), the ink choice for the 15f stamp contributed to the blurring effect. The consistency of the red ink was quite thick and therefore more difficult to wipe away any excess, which ended up on the paper, effectively blotting the image.
I am the first to admit that I am the farthest thing removed from a printing expert as there ever can be, but I am slowly learning all the lingo etc... I do hope my rambling narrative of this process has not been too tiresome for you. As I said in the 'About Me' page, the purpose of the blog is to chronicle my learning journey, so I'm bound to get things wrong at times. But that's the fun of a hobby in my eyes.
Until next time...
Stay Decaris Crazy!