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Valira Torrent:   Contents | Subject index


Perforation image from Serif Art Gallery. © Serif Inc, 1996

Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 41, pp4-6 (Apr 1995).

Copyright notice

French Bureau
Proofs, Essays and Imperforates (Part 6)

by David Lamb & Alec Jacques

1983/-- Definitive Issue

(Yv 316/24, 335/7, 346/7, 356/7, 390/1, 410/11, 436/7)

General Comments

The 1961/71 definitives were replaced in 1983 by a new series in a single design, showing the ancient Coat of Arms of Andorra. This Coat of Arms was formerly sited in the wall of the House of the Valleys in Andorra la Vella, near to the left of the main entrance door. It was moved to its present position to the right of the door when the building was "restored" in 1963.

All values of this issue are normal postage stamps; the designation "airmail", previously used for high values, having being abandoned. During the course of this issue, however, the word "POSTES" was replaced by "LA POSTE", in line with the re-designation of the French postal service. The first two values to be affected by this change were the 2f20 and 2f50 issued on 26th October 1991.

The designer and engraver of this issue was Cécile Guillame.

Die Proofs

Unlike earlier issues, die proofs exist for each value. They measure 160 x 130mm, and carry a fancy embossed seal with the words "IMPRIMERIE DES TIMBRES - POSTE" around the perimeter and "CONTROLE" at the base. The seal measures 28mm and shows a hand printing press at its centre. As before, the number of each proof produced is strictly controlled and is limited to 18 only. They exist in several different colours.

It is a possibility that the 10c die was the "master value" for all the others. A complete set of nine proofs (Yv 316/24) has been seen, and only the 10c lacks the engraved name "GUILLAME" in the design see illustration below:

Die proof of 10c value   Detail of 10c value
  Die proof of 30c value   Detail of 30c value

The other eight die proofs incorporate the name of the designer engraver and, therefore,were presumably made from the finished die for each value. Die proofs of subsequently issued values have been seen, however, without the name "GUILLAME", so this conclusion is not beyond doubt.

It is a peculiarity of this issue that the name "GUILLAME" is engraved separately on each individual die, so that each value shows small variations in this inscription; members who do not have die proofs can easily see this by looking at the issued stamps.

As mentioned above, the die proofs of eight of the first nine values all have this name duly inscribed on them, the exception being the 10c value. Die proofs are believed to exist for all subsequent values, although full details are not at present available. Those that have been seen - 1f90, 2f20 and 10f - all lack "GUILLAME", and it is presumed that the other values are similar.

Check-List

(inscribed "POSTES")
5c deep sepia Ancient Coat of Arms EA G
10c slate grey EA G
20c slate grey EA G
30c slate grey EA G
40c slate grey EA G
50c green EA G
1f slate grey EA G
2f slate grey EA G
5f deep blue EA G

3f

EA G
20f EA G
10f blue EA G

4f
EA G
15f EA G

1f90 black, plum EA G
2f20 black, plum EA G

2f10
EA G
2f30 EA G
(inscribed "LA POSTE")
2f20
EA G
2f50 EA G

2f40
EA G
2f80 EA G

Colour Trials

These do not exist for this issue as their manafacture and distribution had ceased by 1983.

De Luxe Proofs

The usual single proofs exist for all values up to and including the 2f20 and 2f50 issued on 26th October 1991. The booklet pair of 1987 (1f90 and 2f20) also exist in a collective proof - the number printed is believed to be 25 examples. This is the first collective proof of a definitive issue since that produced in l946.

In 1993 the production of épreuves de luxe ceased, and they were transformed into "blocs gommés"

Check-List

5c, 10c, 20c, 30c, 40c, 50c, 1f, 2f, 5f Yv 3l6/24 (9)
3f, 20f & 10f Yv 335/37 (3)
4f & 15f Yv 346/47 (2)
1f90 & 2f20 (booklet pair) Yv 356/57 (2)
2f10 & 2f30 Yv 390/91 (2)
2f20 & 2f50 Yv 410/11 (2)
Collective proof 1f90 & 2f20 (booklet pair) Yv 356/57 (1)

all the above proofs inscribed "IMPRIMERIE DES TIMBRES-POSTE-FRANCE"

Blocs Gommés

Bloc gomme

Bloc Gommés (see illustration) appear to have been printed from partially-inked cylinders, and are on the same kind of gummed paper used for the normal issued stamps. Their method of production is thus similar to that used for the imperforate copies, from which they would be indistinguishable if they were cut out of the sheetlets.

The first definitive values to be produced in this way were the 2f40 and 2f80 of 1993. As shown, they bear an appropiate description in Catalan and French, as well as the imprint "IMPRIMERIE DES TIMBRES-POSTE-FRANCE" (type 'd' as illustrated on page 11, Bulletin No 40 ), even though this had become known as the "ITVF" (Imprimerie des Timbres-poste et des Valeurs Fiduciaires, France) since 1990!

Check-List

2f40 & 2f80   Yv 436/37 (2)

Imperforates

All values exist imperforate with the exception of the 1f90 and 2f20 booklet pair of 1987. They are all printed in small blocks of four, surrounded by albino impressions as previously described (see page 10, Bulletin No 35 ).

Check-List

Yv 316/24, 335/7, 346/7, 390/1, 410/11, 436/7 (20)

NOTE: As this issue is still current, further values will probably be added when postal rates change.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 7

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Andorran Philatelic Study Circle / Hon. Librarian: E. J. Jewell / apsc@free.fr /
Updated 18th September 1998