I believe it was the Dutch engraver Sem Hartz who once said when talking about recess-printed stamps that they are the gentlemen among stamps. And how true is that! He had just as outspoken an idea about multicoloured stamps: rubbish! In his view a well-engraved stamp only needed one colour. So he would hopefully have been pleased if he could have seen this post of mine, for it will feature nothing but monocoloured recess-printed stamps!
I'm still ploughing through the stamps I got from my friend Paulo, you see, and there's quite a few of recess-printed stamps among them. The set that I like in particular is the 1966 set to mark the Tercentenary of the Solemn Promise to Our Lady of Luxembourg. In plainer English this means that in 1666 the Mother of God was chosen as Patron Saint for the City of Luxembourg.
The stamps are engraved by abovementioned Sem Hartz and are absolute gems. He seems to have a bit of a fussy style, but there's so much to see on these, it's absolutely amazing. However, as usual, they look better in real life than in scans, but there you go.
Not being an expert at all, it is great to see that even within engraving there are different styles. Compare the two stamps shown above with the two coming up next.
These two were also issued in 1966. They seem to be very French in nature. No wonder I suppose, for they were engraved by the Frenchman René Cottet. I don't know what makes them French in style, is it the whiteness around the image, or is it maybe just the subject matter?
Yet another different style can be found in this 1980 stamp portraying Jean Monnet (yes, him again, which is why I was doubly pleased with this stamp as it fits in my Peacemaking collection!).
A very modern stamp and yet so well executed that for me it still proves good old Mr Hartz right!