It has only just recently occurred to me, even though I've been seeing the evidence for ages, that Albert Decaris designed and drew/painted a huge number of FDC cachets for France. In philately, the term "cachet" refers to "a printed or stamped design or inscription, other than a cancellation or pre-printed postage, on an envelope, postcard, or postal card to commemorate a postal or philatelic event" (Wikipedia). In Decaris' case, all the cachets he created were beautiful illustrations directly relevant to the stamp on the envelope. And contrary to my initial thoughts, the stamps he created cachets for were not always engraved by him.
But it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I started realizing the sheer volume of cachets with his name to them. To date I only have a few of these lovely cachets. In fact, I recently wrote a blog featuring a cachet for Decaris' Television FDC issued. 16 April 1955.
This is a great cachet, but it is only a molecule upon the tip of the iceberg! Here are just a few I found on just one - yep, one! - page of a search on Delcampe. Please note that none of these images are mine. All have been borrowed from Delcampe (if any of these images are yours and you would prefer them removed, please let me know and I will happily remove them).
Above are three very lovely examples of the artwork of Decaris. But he didn't stop there. He also did full-sized illustrations for First-Day issue postcards. And in a way, they are even more gorgeous!
So here is my dilemma. Do I simply ignore these gorgeous pieces of art? Or do I begin a sub-set within my Decaris collection to incorporate Cover Art and Postcard Art? The problems that I foresee with such an undertaking would be the massive number of items and how to store them (since covers are somewhat bigger than stamps). Added to this there were often more than one different cachet design for one particular stamp, further increasing the volume. Also, how do I know what is available to collect, particularly taking into account the last point? I have yet to find any resource available with a full list of cachets by Decaris, so I may never know if I have a full set. Unless I work out a way of creating my own catalogue, which would present its own challenges. This idea I might leave to discuss in a future blog.
So what to do??
Until next time...