Notes from the Past


As carving tools are produced for working in wood, so burins are made for engraving in steel.

The engraver works with a selection of sizes and shapes, using the tool much as a wood carver uses his chisels, only on a much smaller scale and in a very much more demanding way.

It is often forgotten that the engraver must work in actual size and in mirror image, which makes the beautiful results often achieved all the more remarkable.


The term "malburin" is applied to the printed result of a slip of the engraver's burin.

It usually occurs when an intaglio or recess-printing plate is being touched up for some reason.  The effect is the printing of a deformed line or other obvious deviation from what was intended.

It is a tribute to the skill of engravers that more of these accidents do not exist. 

- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume One A-F and Volume Two G-P
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted November 16, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

Note:  If the link isn't returned the first try, try again.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.