Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 37, pp5-8 (April 1993).

Copyright notice

French Bureau
Proofs, Essays and Imperforates (Part 3)

by David Lamb and AlecJacques

l944/51 Arms and Views

(Yv 93/137)

General Coments

In l944, the second set of definitives were issued to replace those released twelve years earlier. The designs were more simplified in appearance, and consisted of the Andorran Coat of Arms for the low values together with four pictorial designs. The Arms type was designed by Robert Louis and engraved by Jules Piel. The remaining four types were all designed and engraved by Achille Ouvré, with the exception of the new Andorra la Vella type which was designed by Lucas. No other details are known of Monsieur Lucas, whose name only fleetingly appeared on the stamps of France itself as the designer of the Amiens Cathedral issue of l944 (Yv 665) and on an unissued Liberation essay.

Die Proofs

From the evidence available to us it appears that, whereas the first pictorial definitives were produced from undenominated master dies, all the pictorial values of the l944 issue derive from one of four denominated master dies as follows:

Arms 10c
St Jean de Caselles 1f50
House of the Valleys 2f40
Andorra la Vella 4f50
Councillor Bonell 50f

This is suggested by the fact that proofs of these dies exist with the design complete, including a value, but with the name of the engraver, Ouvré (or Lucas - Ouvré on the Andorra la Vella type) missing from the design. Proofs also exist, of course, of the completed dies. All other die proofs for all other values, including subsequent incomplete proofs, exist only with the name Ouvré (or Lucas - Ouvré) engraved on the die. The only known example of a proof with a blank-value undenominated die is in the St Jean de Caselles design, but that too bears the already engraved name of Ouvré.

Note: the above includes updated information published in Valira Torrent, no 38, p9

Why this method of production using denominated master dies was adopted is not known. This whole question is presently the subject of correspondence with the Musée de la Poste in Paris, and any outcome will be notified in a future bulletin.

Certain proofs show portions of the paper-makers watermark (see page 5, Bulletin No 35), and these are noted in the check-lists. BFK RIVES is the watermark most often encountered in this series.

Although Yvert lists this issue in two parts, both Stanley Gibbons and Michel list all values in one straight run. To understand both the reasons for the issue of the various values (which do not concern us here) and the sequence of the proofs, it is better to regard it as consisting of six different series issued over six years. That is how we have dealt with it, as will be seen further below.

One further oddity concerning this issue is the existence of "multiple die proofs", consisting of two values printed in a vertical pair. The normal die indentation (see page 5, Bulletin No 35) is 700 x 800mm, yet these "multiples" contain two dies each measuring 700 x 400mm. Why they are this size and, indeed, why these proofs were produced is a mystery. In addition, certain of the impressions are albino - occasionally inverted! One has the uneasy feeling that Monsieur Ouvré was just having a little fun.....  The values affected (St Jean de Caselles - 1f, 1f20, 2f; House of the Valleys - 3f, 4f; Andorra la Vella - 5f, 6f, 10f; Councillor - 15f. 20f) are all the additional values of the first issue, except the 6f which is from the second issue.


(Issue I - 1944) (abbreviations as Bulletin No 36, p10)
value colour design details
10c black Arms EA G
10c light brown EA GD
10c brown black EA
10c dark blue EA
10c blue EA (ARCHES wmk)
10c red brown EA
10c scarlet EA
(proofs of the 30,40,50,60,70 & 80c not known)
- chocolate St Jean de Caselles EE
1f20 bright blue EA G
1f50 black EE GS (1er êtat)
1f50 brown lake EA GS
1f50 deep blue EA G
1f50 violet EA
1f50 brick red EA
1f50 green EA
1f50 black EA
1f50 purple brown EA
1f50 sage green EA
1f50 dark red EA
1f50 indigo & dark blue EA
1f50 purple & blue EA
1f50 black & dark green EA
2f40 black House of the Valleys EE GS (1er êtat)
2f40 deep blue EA GS
2f40 black EA
2f40 blue EA
2f40 light & dark brn EA
2f40 indigo & deep blue EA
2f40 light brown & green EA
4f50 sepia Andorra la Vella EA
4f50 red brown EE GS (ler êtat)
4f50 scarlet EA
4f50 deep maroon EA
4f50 dark blue EA
4f50 bright green EA
4f50 violet & blue EA
4f50 maroon & blue EA
4f50 brown & olive EA
50f red brown Councillor EA GS
50f emerald green EA
50f dark green EA
50f violet EA
50f red EA
50f blue EA
50f light & dark brown EA
50f blue & slate blue EA
An imperforate 50f blue exists on ungummed greyish paper;
it is not known whether this was printed in sheet form,
or whether it is a proof printing which has been cut down in size.
Multiple Proofs
above below details
1f blue St Jean de Caselles 10f albino Andorra la Vella EA G
1f20 green St Jean de Caselles 2f orange brown St Jean de Caselles EA G
3f claret House of the Valleys 4f green House of the Valleys EA G
6f green Andorra la Vella 1f albino St Jean (inverted) EA G
15f red brown Councillor 5f turquoise Andorra la Vella EA G
20f green blue Councillor 10f orange brown House of Valleys EA G

Multiple proof


(Issue II - 1945/6)
value colour design details
2f50 blue House of the Valleys EA valeur gravée par M. Dufresne
25f blue Councillor EA valeur gravée par M. Dufresne
The 5f & 10f Andorra la Vella were colour changes so no proofs required;
also there is no known proof of the 40f.

Multiple Proofs

A collective proof in black is known with the following stamps :- 2f50 House of the Valleys, 5f & 10f Andorra la Vella, and 25f & 40f Councillor. This is not to be confused with a similar épreuve de luxe (see under De Luxe Proofs).


(Issue III - 1947/8)
value colour design details
1f30 ** blue St Jean de Caselles EA
3f50 ** blue House of the Valleys EA
4f50 brown EE (MARAIS wmk)
4f50 blue EA (MARAIS wmk)
12f black Andorra la Vella EE
12f chocolate EA
18f black Councillor EE
The 4f House of the Valleys, 6f Andorra la Vella and the
20f Councillor were colour changes so no proofs required
** these two proofs were prepared following postal rate
increases in March l947. Tariffs were again altered four
months later, thus rendering these two values obsolete,
and the stamps were not issued, although some were printed.


(Issue IV - l948/9)
value colour design details
8f sepia Andorra la Vella EA (BFK wmk)
15f carmine EA
The 12f Andorra la Vella & 25f Councillor were colour changes only.


(Issue V - 1949)
value colour design details
1f black Arms EA
4f black St Jean de Caselles EE
5f black House of the Valleys EE
8f black EE


(Issue VI - 1951)
The 5f House & 15f Andorra la Vella were colour changes only
No proofs are known of the 3f St Jean, 6f House, 18f Andorra la Vella and 30f Councillor values.

Colour Proofs

No colour proofs have been recorded for these issues.

De Luxe Proofs

During this period two changes occurred. Firstly, after the end of 1948, the semi-transparent protective overlay was discontinued. Secondly, in the October of 1949, the overall size of the proofs was reduced from 15.75 x 12.75 to 13.00 x 10.00cm. This latter change was not noticable in this issue until 1951, there being no proofs issued since the new releases of March l949. Single proofs exist for every stamp. There are also six multiple proofs, the stamps being in the issued colours. These are rarely seen on the philatelic market. All proofs have the official control punch and the inscription "Atelier de Fabrication des Timbres-Poste. PARIS" at base.


Single proofs 15.75 x 12.75cm
with overlay
Yv 93/118, 121, 125, 127, 129, 133 and 135 (33)
Single proofs 15.75 x 12.75cm
without overlay
Yv 119, 122, 123, 128, 130, 131 and 136 (7)
Single proofs 13.00 x 10.00
without overlay
Yv 120, 124, 126, 132, 134 & 137 (6)
Multiple proof Arms Yv 93/9
Multiple proof St Jean de Caselles Yv 100/3
Multiple proof House of the Valleys Yv 104, 106/7
Multiple proof Andorra la Vella Yv 108/9, 112
Multiple proof Councillor Yv 114/5, 118
Multiple proof  House/Andorra/Councillor Yv 105, 110, 113, 116 & 117


These exist for all values issued from 1944/6 inclusive. They exist in sheets of 50 (Arms) or 25 (Views) stamps.


    Yv 93/118 (except 108A) (26)

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