Genesis of the stamp
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The process to produce an intaglio-printed stamp is the following: a draftsman (who may or may not be the engraver) generates an original design. After its acceptance by the French postal administration, the original design is photographically reproduced on a mid steel plate (generally of size 70 x 80 mm), in the exact size of the stamp and in reverse.

The French Stamp Printery (I.T.V.F.) supplies this plate to the engraver who uses the photography to produce the primary die by means of calibrated chisels. A chisel is a small square or elongated diamond-shaped steel bar with a wooden handle which allows to engrave intaglio all the elements of the representation by removing shavings. The engraver uses a stereo microscope to allow the relief perception of engraving. Intaglio printing gives nuances of grey