Questions for someone who really really really knows French Stamps.

I have a fantastic collection of French stamps. And really really thought I knew French.

Moi, j'ai une collection de tembres Francais magnifiques , assai grande, avec beaucoup de tembres les plus recherches. J'ai passe un sejour de trois ans a Paris, il y a longtemps, mais, je crois, ma Francais c'est okay.. J'etais un Parisgot, qua?

It's been 44 years since i lived in Paris, but I thought my French was still Okay. I have a great collection of French Stamps, and I have the latest Yvert & Tellier.. and I never had problems with it before.. Now I have two questions:

1. I have Y 7 T ;POSTE AERIENNE Numero 6, and the colors for that stamp are bleu (blue), outremer (ultramarine) and outremer vif (bright ultramarine) . And I have several versions of that stamp tat would fit under each of those colors. I also have one specimen that is black. It is color not listed in Y & T. Have I discovered a singular new stamp that is worth millions?

2. Years ago I bought a collection that had, among other things, Y & T numero 1555. ( Actually three sheets of 25 each) The person I purchased ihe stamps from was an experienced collector and why he had three sheets of this stamp, which was an ordinary one franc stamp, The stamp depicts a prehistoric cave drawingI of horse like animals and cost one Franc when it was printed. had no idea, and he has since passed on so I can't ask, however Y & T lists three varieties, one of which is imperferate, which I do not have, one which has "Cheval de droite sans zebrures " (horse on the right has no zebra stripes) and one has "Piquage a cheval" which i translate as "stiches on the horse." I sense that my last translation was perhaps not correct because stiches on the prehistoric drawing of a horse sounds unlikely.
Can anyone who speaks better French than me tell me what might be a better translation for Piquage a chival. And if you have that stamp can you show me a photo of what it looks like?



  • 13 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added

  • Piquage a cheval = mis-perforated.
  • George,

    Fantastic!! thanks1 It did not help that the stamp had prehistoric horses as it subject matter, or that its other variety talked about zebra stripes on a horse.

  • And in Austria, they have zebra stripes on cows.
  • edited May 2022 0 LikesVote Down
    This is the Lascaux Cave issue of 1968, part of the long running art series. Both varieties and the imperf are listed in Maury as well.

    "Cheval" means horse, but it is also a French term for stamp, or the piece of paper. I think it might have been a term used by printers. So piquage a cheval is any stamp with perforation problems.

    The other phrase is actually referring to the horse on the right in the design. If that horse is missing his stripes, it is a printing flaw..

    Of course. I could be wrong and often am. But I'm used to it....
  • As for the first issue, the airmail stamp. Maury references the ultramarine and bright ultramarine issued in 1930 and the blue variety in 1931. The blue is really, really dark, and any contamination of the ink might yield a black color. There are some French stamps that have special black proofs, but I do not think this is one.
  • « à cheval » means « straddled »
  • Thank you, Jacques. I reallly am often wrong.
  • Wow! I am impressed by all of you. I llived in Paris for three years and I purchased stamps at the Marche de Puce, and I did not know "chival" meant "stamp" or "straddled with a" or thet the phrase meant "misalligned perferations."

  • Être à cheval = être assis entre deux chaises (sitting between two chairs) when one cannot decide whether to do action A or action B.
  • Être à cheval sur les principes = to be a stickler for the principles
  • edited May 2022 0 LikesVote Down
    Follow up on my horsing around.
    I looked for the right hand horse to not have stripes. I looked for perforations where they shouldn't be any. I looked for no perforations. I did not find anything I was looking for. My question,"Why should an experienced collector have three sheets of this stamp in his collection" Answer: keep looking. Maybe there is something there I haven't seen yet. Or maybe he just likes horses.
  • edited May 2022 1 LikesVote Down
    1. If he sold, he may have had extra copies just to sell.
    2. If he was strictly a collector, he may have bought some larger lots of stamps and received multiple copies inside of these lots. Happens to me a lot.
    3. Forgot he had one and bought another one, then another one, then another one.. Also happens to me a lot.
    4. Possibly something yet unseen.
    5. He liked horses.
Sign In or Register to comment.