France 2000-2005

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Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) is remembered as one of the most erudite men of his time. A universally renowned botanist and agronomist, he contributed to Diderot's Encyclopaedia and was a President of the Academy of Science. Less known, yet equally remarkable are his interest and research in maritime subjects. Scientific consultant to the naval minister Count de Maurepas from 1730, Duhamel du Monceau was the author of seminal and innovative developments, backed by such fundamental treatises as The Art of Ropemaking (1747), Elements of Naval Architecture (1752), Means of Preserving Sailors' Health (1759), and A General Treatise on Fishing (1769).  

In 1739 Duhamel du Monceau was appointed inspector-general of the French navy. Fully aware of master shipwrights' lack of scientific instruction, in 1741 he founded at the Louvre the school for students of naval engineering and architecture, the precursor to the naval engineering school. 

France 2000. Bicentenary of birth of H.L. Duhamel du Monceau

All the leading naval engineers and architects of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including Groignard and Sané, emerged from its ranks. 

His collection of model ships and dockyard machines which he bequeathed to King Louis XV in 1748 can be regarded as having laid the foundations for a national maritime collection. 

He remained the curator of the Marine Room until his death in 1782. 

  • France 2000. Bicentenary of birth of H.L. Duhamel du Monceau. Design Véret Lemarinier, engraving Pierre Albuisson. 

Nevers is the capital of the department of Nièvre, in central France, on the Loire and Nièvre rivers. The city dates from the Gallic era; Caesar made it a military depot. 

In the 6th century it became the capital of the duchy of Nivernais, and in 1538 it became a territory ruled by the Clèves and Gonzaga family. In 1659 French statesman Cardinal Mazarin bought it for his relatives, the Mancini. Landmarks include the Visitandine Convent where Bernadette of Lourdes died in 1878; the Cathedral of Saint Cyr, destroyed in World War II; and the Church of Saint Étienne, the duke’s palace. 

In 2000 the 73rd Philatelic Congress took place in Nevers, and this lovely stamp was issued, showing a faience jar from the 17th century on the background of Porte de Croux. 

  • France 2000.  73rd Philatelic Congress in Nevers. 

France 2000. 73rd Philatelic Congress in Nièvres

Nièvre Vase. Report First sketch for the Nièvre Stamp Artist's Proof of the Nièvre Stamp
  • France 2000.  The Report, the first Sketch (maquette), and the Artist's Proof of the stamps. Images © Timbres Magazine. 

During a transition period in 2001 all French stamps had two denominations, in Francs, and in Euro. 

France 2001. Jean Vilar

Jean Vilar was a French theatre director, who founded his own theatre company in September 1943 "The Company of Seven", where he also directed his first show "Dance of Death" by the Swedish author, August Strincberg. 

In 1947 he established the Festival of Avignon, and in 1951 he became the head of Théâtre National Populaire, where his goal was to attract an audience of at least 2.500 every night at very affordable prices. 

  • France 2001. Jean Vilar. Design Marc Taraskoff, engraving Pierre Albuisson. 

Besançon is a city in eastern France, capital of Doubs Department, on the Doubs River. It is a farm-trade, cultural, and manufacturing center, noted for the production of timepieces; other manufactures include processed food and textiles. Points of interest in the city include Roman ruins (notably of a triumphal arch and an amphitheater), the Cathedral of Saint Jean (mainly 12th-16th century), and several buildings in the Spanish Renaissance style. Besançon is the seat of the University of Franche-Comté, moved here from Dôle in 1691. 

An important Gallic center, Besançon later became a Roman military outpost. It was made an archiepiscopal see in the 2nd century AD and became a free imperial city in 1184. Besançon passed, with Franche-Comté, to the French crown in the 1670s. It is the birthplace of the writer Victor Hugo. 

Design Jean-Paul Cousin, engraving Pierre Albuisson. 

France 2001. Besançon

  • France 2001. Besançon 

Note: From 2002 all French stamps only have denomination in Euro.

Georges Perec (1936-1982) was a French novelist, poet, essayist, dramatist, and literary innovator, who gained fame with his formally complex and puzzling works after the nouveau roman had lost its experimentalist freshness. Perec's most famous books include La Disparation (1969, A Void), a 300-page novel written without the letter 'e', and La Vie mode d'emploi (1978, Life: A User Manual).

France 2002. Georges Perec

Georges Perec was born in Paris into a family of Polish Jews. He was the only son of Icek Judko and Cyrla (Schulewicz) Peretz, who had emigrated to France in the 1920s and settled in Belleville, a working class area in Paris. 

When the war broke out, Perec's father enlisted in the French army and died in 1940 of untended wounds "after being wounded in the abdomen by machine-gun fire or a shell splinter.'' Other members of family, including Perec's mother, were killed in the Nazi concentration camps. Cyrla Peretz was first taken to a camp in Drancy and from there she was probably sent to Auschwitz. 

  • France 2002. Georges Perec. Design: Marc Taraskoff after a photograph by Anne de Bruhnoff.  Engraving: Pierre Albuisson. 

Isère is a mountainous department in southeastern France. The elevation of Isère ranges from 134 m (440 ft) at the bed of the Rhône to 4,082 m (13,392 ft), over an area of 7,431 sq km (2,869 sq mi). The north of Isère is an agriculturally poor lowland region, while the south is an Alpine region with broad, fertile valleys. 

Isère has two navigable rivers, the Rhône and the Isère rivers. The department of Isère possesses an alpine beauty that draws tourists to the area year-round. Isère was formed in 1790 from part of the old province of Dauphiné. 

The Church of Notre-Dame de a Salette (Isère) was erected in 1852, six years after the Holy Virgin had appeared before two young shepherds, and is today an important pilgrimage for people of all Christian faiths. 

France 2002. Notre-Dame de la Salette

  • France 2002. Notre-Dame de la Salette. 

Mulhouse (in German Mülhausen) is a city in eastern France, in Haut-Rhin Department, on the Ill River, in Alsace, near Germany. Mulhouse dates from the 9th century. In 1308 it became a free imperial city, and in the 16th century it was allied with the Swiss Confederation. 

France 2003. Mulhouose

In 1798 the city voted to join France. It was under German rule from 1871 to 1918, when it was returned to France. In 2003 the Fédération Française des Associations Philatéliques (FFAP) held its 76th conference in Mulhouse, and this stamp was issued. 

Pierre Albuisson tells about this issue, that he was inspired by the Bugatti from the National Automobile Museum. 

The sepia colours that dominate the stamp, are the existing ones of the tower in the background; the blue colours of the Bugatti (from the Schlumpf Collection) makes an outstanding contrast in the stamp and lifts it out of the ordinary. 

  • France 2003. Mulhouse. 
Like the fore-mentioned Besançon, Pontarlier is located in the Department of Doubs, and with 837 meters of altitude it is one of the highest cities of France. 

The Alpine region offers plenty of sports facilities, including skiing. 

The primary theme of this issue being Architecture, Pierre Albuisson has created this interesting stamp giving an impression of the typical Germanic baroque architecture of the city, which has approximately 20.000 inhabitants. 

  • France 2003. Pontarlier. 

France 2003. Pontarlier

George Sand (1804-1876) is the pseudonym of Amandine Aurore Lucile, Baronne Dudevant. She was a French novelist of the romantic movement, whose irregular life and many love affairs shocked Parisian society. Sand was born in Paris on July 1, 1804, the daughter of a French army officer named Dupin who was descended from King Augustus II of Poland. Most of her childhood was spent in the country at Nohant, in Berry, except for a convent education in Paris. 

She married Casimir Dudevant, a country squire, in 1822, but soon became bored and left her husband. In 1831, she moved to Paris and joined a group of distinguished artists that included the French novelist Honoré de Balzac and the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. 

France 2004. Bicentenary of Birth of George Sand

She became celebrated both for her writings and for her romantic liaisons, particularly those with the French poet Alfred de Musset and the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin (see previous page). 

An unknown writer has said about her that "there is something voluptuous about this woman and her apparition", which Albuisson has interpreted perfectly into this stamp that was issued for the bicentenary of her birth. 

  • France 2004. Bicentenary of Birth of George Sand. 

According to a message from the Federal Office, dated 31st October 2004, it was announced that the design for the stamp Nancy 2005 has been chosen. It is a nocturnal, panoramic view of Place Stanislas, with two se-tenant labels bearing the inscription "78th Congress of FFAP". In 1983 Place Stanislas was designated World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

  • France 2005. Nancy 2005. 

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Published June 2005. Revised 08-feb-2007
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