Monday, 28 March 2016

Monaco 1953 - Goncourt Brothers

I am a writer and I am passionate about books. So I'm always on the look out for stamps relating to authors, writing and books. One of my stamp collections includes all things Sherlock Holmes. My pulse especially quickens when I come across engraved stamps that slot into these interests. Last night I came across an absolute beauty.

This truly gorgeous stamp was issued by Monaco on June 29, 1953 to commemorate the publication of the Journal des Goncourt, 1851-1896 written by the brothers Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. This sibling writing duo collaborated on several novels, but they were perhaps best known for their diaries, which provide the reader with an intimate glimpse into the world of French literary society of the late 1800's.

The stamp was engraved by Pierre Gandon, the renowned French engraver. And he did a sterling job on this one. It is based on a book-plate for the journal, which was designed by Paul Gavarni. The etching for the book-plate was done by Jules Gancourt (I'd like to thank Natalie for providing me with information on the book-plate). The image on the stamp - and book-plate - depicts a hand, presumably belonging to one of the brothers, caressing the manuscript of the journal. There are two fingers on the manuscript, one for each brother. And each finger is pointing to the initial of one of the brothers. Two quills standing poised to be picked up and used to scribble a few insightful words and a row of books in the background add a creative feel to the image. All in all, a fantastic composition that will most certainly take pride of place in my collection.

Until next time...

Stay Engraver Crazy!


  1. Beautiful stamp indeed! Have you seen the new Shakespeare stamps yet which will be issued soon here in GB? I know they're not engraved but I really like them. They're criticised for boringly just showing words, but I think their simplicity makes them wonderful. I will surely get a set and maybe more to use on my mail.

    1. I haven't seen that set yet. I'll look it up. It sounds nice. Better than the latest Aussie stamps on offer.