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FRANCE
1996

French Heroes of Detective Fiction
Héros français du roman policier


Scott B670-B675, B675a booklet pane
surtax for the Red Cross, explanations (below) in booklet
designed by Marc Taraskoff, photogravure,
22 × 36 mm, 50 stamps to the sheet, 3F.
October 5, 1996, perf. 13
#B670
Rocambole

Héros de ces romans-feuilletons que les lecteurs de journaux s'arrachaient au siècle dernier, Rocambole était tellement populaire qu'il a donné sa nom à un adjectif passé dans la langage courant: rocambolesque. Capable de tous les méfaits, ce personage peu recommandable, créé par Pierre-Alexis Ponson du Terrail (1829-1871), savait cependant prendre le parti du faible contre le fort.

Hero of serial-novels which newspaper readers devoured in the last century, Rocambole was so popular that he gave his name to an adjective which has passed into the current language: rocambolesque [fantastic, incredible]. Capable of any misdeed, this not-so-commendable personage created by Pierre-Alexis Ponson de Terrail (1829-1871), would, however, take the side of the weak against the strong.


Rocambole FDC

#B671

Arsène Lupin

Le gentleman cambrioleur était un aristocrate du coeur, le "Cyrano de la pègre" pour Jean-Paul Sartre, qui ne détroussait les riches que lorsqu'ils l'avaient mérité. Champion du travestissement, Arsène Lupin jouait tous les rôles et usurpait toutes les identités. Son créateur, Maurice Leblanc (1864-1941), a consacré une cinquantaine de romans à cet éternel aventurier.

The gentleman burglar was an aristocrat at heart, the "Cyrano of the underworld" for Jean-Paul Sartre, who only robbed the rich when they deserved it. Master of disguise, Arsène Lupin played all the parts and usurped all the identities. His creator, Maurice Leblanc (1864-1941), devoted about fifty novels to this eternal adventurer.


Arsène Lupin FDC

#B672

Rouletabille

Comme Lupin, Rouletabille était un adepte de la mystification et des transformations en tous genres, qui entraînaient le lecteur dans d'inextricables aventures. Ce perspicace détective amateur, très populaire au début du siècle, fut rapidement abandonné par son auteur, Gaston Leroux (1868-1927), au profit d'un autre héros, Chéri-Bibi.

Like Lupin, Rouletabille was skilled at mystification and transformations of all kinds, involving the reader in inextricable adventures. This perspicacious amateur detective, very popular at the beginning of the century, was quickly forsaken by his author, Gaston Leroux (1868-1927), to the profit of another hero, Chéri-Bibi.


Rouletabille FDC

#B673

Fantômas

Homme du monde élégant et sportif quand il ne porte pas sa cagoule, Fantômas se transforme en féroce criminel dès qu'il se glisse dans son habit noir. Créé en 1911 par Pierre Souvestre (1874-1914) et Marcel Allain (1885-1969), ce génie du mal terrorisa des générations de lecteurs et fut porté de nombreuses fois à l'écran.

A sportsman and elegant member of high society when not wearing his mask, Fantômas transforms himself into a ferocious criminal as soon as he slips into his black outfit. Created in 1911 by Pierre Souvestre (1874-1914) and Marcel Allain (1885-1969), this evil genius terrorized generations of readers, and was often brought to the screen.


Fantômas FDC
#B674
Maigret

Sa silhouette massive et son éternelle pipe sont entrées dans la légende. Créé dans les années trente par Georges Simenon (1903-1989), le commissaire Maigret incarne par excellence le policier humain, qui s'imprègne des situations pour les dénouer de l'interieur: "Il guettait la fissure, le moment où derrière le joueur apparaît l'homme," écrivait Simenon de son héros.

His massive silhouette and eternal pipe have become legendary. Created in the '30s by Georges Simenon (1903-1989), Chief Inspector Maigret is the incarnation par excellence of the humane police officer, who soaks in situations to unravel them from the inside: "He watched for the crack, the moment when the man behind the player appeared," Simenon wrote of his hero.


Maigret FDC
#B675
Nestor Burma

Gouailleur, volontiers cynique, farouchement indépendent, drôle et charmeur... bref, typiquement français: c'est Nestor Burma, le "privé" par excellence, créé par Léo Malet (1909-1996), le père du roman noir français. Son chef-d'oeuvre: Les Nouveaux Mystères de Paris, où Burma explore l'un après l'autre quinze arrondissements de la Capitale.

Cocky, ever cynical, savagely independent, funny and charming... in short, typically French: Nestor Burma, the "private eye" par excellence, created by Léo Malet (1909-1996), the father of the French black novel. His masterpiece: New Mysteries of Paris, where Burma explores one after another the fifteen districts of the capital.

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Nestor Burma FDC

monochrome red and black
"Official Engravings"

Les Gravures Intaglio - Stamp Engravings

Les Gravures Officielles Intaglio are the famous "black print proofs" that are created using the same process employed to make currency and banknotes. These official engraved proof prints of every French stamp are printed on Velin d'Arches archival paper in strictly limited editions -- only a few thousand copies of each. As proofs, they capture the genius of each stamp in engraved currency-like detail.
To create the proof, an engraved die of the original stamp is used. For stamps that were not originally engraved, a special engraving is made. In that case, the Gravure Officielle Intaglio, is the only engraved version of the stamp!
Thanks to Bill Huey and Loic Marchat for help in locating this information.



 
detail
An essay is any design, or part of a design, essayed to or produced by a government (or established mail carrier) for a stamp, and differing in design in any particular from an officially issued stamp. There are die essays, plate essays, and forms of experimental essays, as well as unfinished or incomplete designs that may form a part of a finally approved design.
Fundamentals of Philately, by L.N. Williams,
1990 Revised Edition. (The French Marianne Issues)


Souvenir Folder


First Day Covers


Rouletabille


Fantômas


Nestor Burma


Arsène Lupin


Rocambole


Maigret



Rocambole


Arsène Lupin


Nestor Burma


Rouletabille


Fantômas


Maigret



as postage to Armenia


For an interesting, well-illustrated article (in French), on this issue and other Detective Fiction on Stamps, click on the cover for the complete article in a (large) pdf file - readable with the Acrobat reader.

Le Monde des Philatélistes,
Octobre 1996 - L'Officiel de la philatélie
n° 511 - 27 F.


Rocambole first day card


Fantômas first day card


Nestor Burma first day card


Arsène Lupin first day card


Rouletabille first day card


Maigret first day card