New Stamps from France

Ironworker Art

france craft stampThis stamp of the series “Métiers d’art” follows the two stamps issued in 2016, the “stone sculptor” and the “jeweler”.  The ironworker carries out works such as grids, stair railings or decorative objects, shaping the hot metal by beating it with a hammer on an anvil.But not only this; it is a craft that is practiced with ancient methods, but also with more contemporary processes, Steaven Richard, ironworker of art, imagined the visual of the stamp. The visual consists of a corner piece and an acanthus leaf, and in the background a piece of hammered metal that illustrates this new know-how.

Issue Date: 03.04.2017 Designer: Richard Steaven Process: Taille Douce Size: 40.85 x 40.85 mm Values: 0.73€

France- Canada Joint Stamp Issue

france canada joint issueOn April 9, 1917, four Canadian divisions joined forces and assaulted. At the cost of several thousand deaths, they manage to take control of the 145 rating on April 12. The crest is undoubtedly one of the strategic points of vital importance for Germany.  The Vimy Memorial honors the memory of Canadian soldiers who died in France during the First World War.

The block of stamps: Vimy Memorial by Walter Seymour Allward. On the left the set of two statues (situated between the two pylons) represents two men, the first carrying a torch, the one in front holds his head thrown back, his eyes closed, his right arm extended towards the other personage, He bulges the torso in a posture of sacrifice. It symbolizes the spirit of sacrifice, in reference to a poem of the Great War.On the right, three statues of men, two stand proudly while the third, kneeling is breaking a sword on a stone, this set is called; The defenders, it is located at the foot of the stairs of the Memorial.

Issue Date: 10.04.2017 Designer: Sarah Bougault Process: Offset, Taille Douce Size: 130 x 85 mm Values: 2.15€

Chemin des Dames

france chemin stampsIn 1917 between Soissons and Reims, the Chemin des Dames, a vast sector of the front to the north of the Aisne river between Pinon to the west and Berry-au-Bac to the east, is at the heart of military events. General Nivelle launched the offensive on April 16 and counted on surprise to win a decisive victory. His plan was an intense artillery bombardment to destroy the first German lines, infantry troops in number, protected by artillery fire, including tanks to the east.Nothing happened as planned. Poor weather, muddy land exposed by bombing, German enemy on overhanging terrain or sheltered underground networks, made the offensive, which lasted 48 hours maximum, would continue for weeks. On 16 and 17 April 1917, many fighters from the African colonies were hired and attacked around Vauxaillon-Laffaux and Paissy-Hurtebise. The Senegalese Tirailleurs – “the black force” used by Nivelle because “it was better that it is the black blood that flows in the front line to spare the white blood” – lose more than half their numbers.

The white troops were not spared. On 16 April, the French Schneider tanks committed themselves for the first time to this war, around Berry-au-Bac. Handy, quickly spotted, they bog, are destroyed or break down. The fighting continues all along the front, all summer and until October. The French and German troops competed for the plateaux, the Plateau of California, which dominates the village of Craonne on the eastern part of the Chemin des Dames – and the caves. The Dragon’s cave will be taken over by the Germans on 25 June. The failure of this offensive provoked immense discouragement among the French soldiers. Today the Dragon Cavern is a museum space dedicated to the First World War. Nearby is a set of statues by Christian Lapie commemorating the participation of Africans in the offensive.

At the bottom of the block: on the top left, the California Plateau Observatory, on the right the Dragon Cavern Museum and the statues of Christian Lapie, in the middle a Schneider CA1 tank, on the left: Senegalese sharpshooters, on the right: Soldiers in the Dragon’s Cave.

Solicited by La Poste, François Boucq agreed to realize this block of two stamps.Famous draftsman and comic book writer, alone on humorous, absurd or delusional stories, or in collaboration with writers, François Boucq has already illustrated the Great War in Paroles de Poilus or to accompany the story Fire of Henri Barbusse. For us, he has put in pictures, in ink and watercolor, the soldiers of the Chemin des dames and the place of memory that is the museum of the Dragon Cavern.

Issue Date: 18.04.2017 Designer: Stéphane Humbert-Basset Process: Heliogravure Size: 200 x 95 mm Values: 1.10€

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