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stamp printers by country


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Bibliographies by Country Letter:

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Intro Page

   = Understood to be a current stamp printer.

  First postage stamp issued: 1852.

N. V. Grafische Inrichting Johann Enschede en Zonen, Haarlam.
Now trading as
Joh. Enschede Stamps BV, Haarlam.
Founded:  1703.
Abbreviation known by:
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1864 for The Netherlands..
Main printing process(es):
Litho, recess, thermography, die-cut, gravure, blind embossing, hexachromic stochastic screening

Printer Izaak Enschede (1681-1761) founded the company on 21 June 1703 upon registering with the Printers Guild in Haarlem, making it one of the oldest printing houses in Europe.  
Izaak was succeeded by his son Johannes (1708-1780), which is abbreviated to "Joh." in the name of the company. Johannes was responsible in 1727 for producing the company logo that was in use until the recent past. It is known as a "spider's head" imprint, although exactly why is not obvious to your compiler when looking at the design. Family members have been around in varying capacities to this day with the archivist still an Enschede. 
The Various Trading Names and Periods of Use

            Izaak Enschede 1703 - 1743

            Izaak & Johannes Enschede 1743 - 1761

            Johannes Enschede 1761 - 1777

            Joh. Enschede en Zonen 1777 - 1932

            Joh. Enschede en Zonen NV 1932 - 1972

            Joh. Enschede en Zonen BV 1972 - 1992

            Joh. Enschede [Holding] 1992 - 2003

            Koninklijke (Royal) Joh. Enschede 2003
Security Printing Commences
It was 1796 when they realised that the complicated background patterns could be made-up by using music type, with its many arabesque-like symbols that could be made-up by using music type. Enschede commenced security printing.  


Its first banknote appeared in 1814 and continues to print the latest Euro notes for five countries.  


Stamps depicting King William III were added to their portfolio in 1866 and, again, they continue to print this product for many countries, albeit that it takes second place to banknote production.  

Enschede apparently maintains a very large collection of stamps that it has printed, as one might expect, but perhaps surprisingly it also maintains full sheets from competitors as a means of keeping-up with technological innovations.  

The British Connection

Enschede started printing the 8p definitive stamps for Great Britain in 1979 as an emergency measure at a time when British industrial relations were at a low and strikes were a real threat to continuity of supplies. It is known that other stamp values could have been temporarily transferred to The Netherlands if circumstances had demanded.  

The relationship continues with Royal Mail. 

Current Stamp Production

Enschede currently produces stamps for over sixty countries but in 2001 it was dealt a severe blow when it lost the Dutch Post Office three-year contract to print most of The Netherland's stamps and products to Walsall Security Printers of the United Kingdom. A Post Office spokesman at the time stated that the main reason for transferring production was a "combination of production price, logistic costs and printing quality."

Fasprint, Leiden.  
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1972 (Embossed gold foil) for Togo.

Groenoordhallen Exploitatie Maatschappij B W de Zwygerln, Leiden.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1927 for Switzerland.

Nederlandse Rotogravure Maatschappij, Leiden.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1923-29 for Netherlands.

Rijksmunt, Utrecht.
English language translation of name: The Royal Mint.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1852 for The Netherlands.

Verschueren, Antwerp.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1914 for Belgium.

The (3) Merode stamps were printed in Antwerp by Verschueren. With most of Belgium already captured by the Germans, the printer continued all through the war to produce counterfeit stamps from original plates accidentally left behind by Belgian authorities!