It was common during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that important people from the government embossed their stationery. This was usually made using an embossing die made of either iron, copper or bronze.
I was lucky enough to find 2 fantastic pieces of history: the embossing dies for Bernardo Soto and Tomás Guardia. Both of them presidents of Costa Rica during the 1800’s.
The first embossing die belonged to Bernardo Soto. Born in 1854. President in 2 terms from 1885 to 1888. In which decreed the creation of the Asilo Chapuí, the national lotery, the national museum and the national library.
It consists in a round iron die (with a screw on the back). On the front it has Costa Rica’s coat of arms and it reads: Bernardo Soto below it. On the back there’s a legend that reads: “STERN 47. Passage Panoramas”. All this point that this was made by Stern Graveur in Paris. Also it has an engraved number “1141” on the back pin.
The other embossing die belonged to Tomas Guardia, president in 2 terms. From 1870 to 1876 and from 1877 to 1882. During his terms approved a new constitution, abolished death penalty and started the railway to the Atlantic.
The die consists of a rectangular iron piece that on the front has Costa Rica’s coat of arms and it reads: General Tomas Guardia below it. Also it’s numbered “9296” on one side.