I have only just started building my deducted Pierre Gandon collection. Less than a couple of weeks, actually. It all started one day while I was perusing the Philouest website, which if you haven't already taken a look I would strongly suggest doing so. It is packed with great info. One interesting feature is that it has the number of stamps each engraver has worked on for France. Now being someone who likes a good challenge I looked to see which engravers ranked the highest. Decaris is right up there with a shade over 200 stamps. As my followers will know, I have a blog dedicated to my Decaris collecting journey already.
So who else was there? One name really stood out from the pack with 369 French stamps to his name. Pierre Gandon. I am assuming that this number is a list of all his stamps, such as the many Marianne defiinitives, not just engravings. But I'm not 100% sure on this. This will be something I'll have to look into. This number does not include the stamps he engraved for French Territories, which I am led to believe is an even larger number than what he did for France. This prolific engraver intrigued me. I am currently working my way through collecting Czeslaw Slania's enormous body of work and also that of Albert Decaris. So I thought why not three times the charm. I am labeling this epic journey My Big Three.
I was pleasantly surprised when I looked through my engraved stamps that I already had a good start to my Gandon collection. But what I really wanted to give it a good kick-start was something signed! Enter the mighty Internet. After a bit of a browse I found one that was within my scanty price-range. I checked a few more expensive examples first to ensure the signature looked right. There's probably only a remote chance that someone would bother forging a signature of an engraver, but in this day and age you can never be too careful. The signature did seem quite legit so I forked out a little cash.
The signature adorns a 1975 Arphila FDC, issued 9 November 1974. The over-sized stamp was designed and engraved by Gandon from a painting by Alfred Sisley, titled Canal du Liong. The cover hasn't arrived yet, so all I have is the seller's scan. Not ideal, but it gives you an idea of my purchase.
I really look forward to its arrival. I now have a signed item. My collection hath begun!
Until next time...