FFE Journal - Fakes Forgeries Experts

Articles from FFE #4

Engraved Forgeries – Identifying the forger

FFE #4

Engraved Forgeries - Identifying the forger

Class: TR

Carl Walske

Engraving has been used less frequently than other means for producing forgeries. Most forgers have not made engraved forgeries of the same stamps, and it is possible, but not always, to identify individual forgers. The article reviews forgers including Jeffryes, Oneglia, Wada Kotaro, Gebrüder Senf, Cividini, and Winter, and their work. The piece concludes with notes on the forgeries of octagonal issues of Ceylon by Jeffryes and Oneglia.

New South Wales. The twopence 'EMU' postal forgery

FFE #4

New South Wales. The twopence 'EMU' postal forgery

Class: TR

A. Ronald Butler R.D.P.

A forgery recognised first as a variety in 1897, and despite its shortcomings, listed unpriced as a perforation variety by Stanley Gibbons for almost fifty years. Unlike the genuine two penny Emu, the forgery is lithographed and printed on unwatermarked paper. It is scarcer, but not rare, and it is worth 1000 times more than the genuine stamp. The writer reviews the genuine stamps and then examines the forgery. Means of identification are shown, and the perpetrator considered. No unused examples are recorded, and all bear genuine postmarks between March and May 1895. Based on a study of 25 examples, all are likely to have originated from post offices in Sydney. These are listed.

The forgeries of the classic stamps of Hungary

FFE #4

The forgeries of the classic stamps of Hungary

Class: PH

Gábor Visnyovski

Hungary used stamps designed and produced in Austria when they were first used in the Dual Monarchy. In 1871 stamps were issued valid only in Hungary, first printed in litho, and later in the same year, in recess. The same design, printed in letterpress was used for postal stationery, but a small issue of envelopes was printed in litho, and these were in use for a few months. The author considers forged handstamps on pre-stamp material, forged Tokay roulettes and bisects, and Hungarian cancellations on the 1867 issue. The characteristics of litho and recess printing are discussed, and forgeries in litho, distinguished by the regularity of their perforations, and made from postal stationery are examined. The forged 2 Kreutzer litho made from postal stationery is referred to and distinguished from the genuine. There is a recommended literature list.

Novelties from the forgery workshop

FFE #4

Novelties from the forgery workshop

Class: PH

Rolf-Dieter Jaretsky R.D.P.

Fakes made from original material with additions are dangerous; the military post of the Second World War is no exception. The author inspected two items at an auction before inspecting the rest of a large consignment of military mail at an auction. Suspecting that 50% was doubtful, he bought the entire consignment with a right to return it if false, and submitted it to Hanfried Müller, an expert who declared all items to be fakes. These included winter parcels, airmail express cards, Danzig post and service marks, and airmail authorisation stamps. Items showed postmarks sharing the same date, and similar characteristics, from different units, and examples of the faking process are shown.

The manipulation of Czechoslovak Siberian legion material

FFE #4

The manipulation of Czechoslovak Siberian legion material

Class: PH

Andrew Cronin

In 1919 three stamps inscribed VOJENSKÁ POŠTA were produced for the Czechoslovak Siberian legion, in denominations of 25 and 50 kopecs and 1 rouble. They were unnecessary since military mail passed free. The circumstances of mail produced by the legion are described. Since some cards carried no markings, they were later improved with genuine cachets and stamps, and also complete fabrications were made. Additional stamps and surcharges were also made at the time. The author records the range of abuse and malpractice in a comprehensive article, and examines the actions of Captain Antonín Novotný and J. Rössler-Oàovský. Addresses appearing on manipulated material are shown.

Three unusual covers

FFE #4

Three unusual covers

Class: TR

Herbert H Moll

Coincidence can give rise to suspicion. Three Peruvian covers are described. Two have serially adjacent certificate numbers, one from 1858 is thought to have a suspect postmark, another from 1873 may be good, and a third has the same postmark as the second, but from 1872. The problem is that all have identical handwriting although there is fifteen years between the first and the last.

Norway local post forgeries

FFE #4

Norway local post forgeries

Class: PH

Björn A Schöyen

Local posts flourished in Norway until 1888 when the Norwegian Post Office was granted a monopoly. The last local post closed in 1913. In Norway there was a collector and self appointed expert with superb material, a high reputation, and a great deal of knowledge. At the end of 1990 three Norwegian philatelists discussed the increasing number of previously unknown local postal history items. An obviously manipulated item was discovered, the police were involved, an investigation took place, a trial ensued, followed by a large fine and a confiscated collection. Over 100 faked handstamps are known, and an example of a manipulated item is dissected. Be wary of high priced local post items, and disregard certificates issued by H. Aarbogh.

Ægean islands 1912-1922: an overview and brief survey of forged overprints

FFE #4

Ægean islands 1912-1922: an overview and brief survey of forged overprints

Class: TR

Giorgio Migliavacca

Libia, Rodi, Simi, Cos, Stampalia, Calimno, Caso, Lipso, Patmos, Piscopi, Nsiros, Scarpanto, Leros and Karki. Overprints on Italian stamps (2c, 5c, 10c, 15c, 25c, 40c, and 50c) were made for Libya, and for the Dodecanese Islands in 1912. Discounted pricing in the Dodecanese is discussed, as is the production and high quality of the overprints. To meet philatelic demand large quantities were produced, and following strong demand further overprinting took place with no reduction in quality. The issue of the stamps, subsequent overprints and the actions of the Italian post office are examined. Forgeries date from the late 1920s to the 1950s, and since the material is generally inexpensive, it appears they were intended for the packet market. Extensive illustration and exposition follows covering twenty pages.

A miracle: Wenden No I “on cover”

FFE #4

A miracle: Wenden No I "on cover"

Class: PH

Harry v Hofman BPP FRPSL

From 1862, and not Wenden number 1. This stamp inscribed WENDEN'sche KREIS-BRIEF POST in blue and white was a trial. Essay, proofs or other trials have been seen in black on pink. A cover was offered to an auction house with the supposed "Essay", postmarked Wenden and Riga. Close examination reveals the date to be 1875. The errors made by the forger are listed, and the "Essay" shown to be from a coloured label commemorating the 100th anniversary of Wenden stamps. Item withdrawn.

The forged “Nationen” covers

FFE #4

The forged "Nationen" covers

Class: PH

Egil H Thomassen R.D.P.

Norwegian airmail covers bearing the red handstamp BEFORDRET pr. NATIONENS FLYVEPOST Kr-sand - Kr-a 19-21 JUNI 1920 were flown from Kristiansand to Kristiania and are found postmarked 19th-21st June 1920. Others marked BEFORDRET pr. NATIONENS FLYVEPOST Kr-a - Kr- sand 19-21 JUNI 1920 are found mainly in violet, with a few in red. In 1941 the auctioneer of OslofilatelistKlubb became suspicious of a cover handed in for sale. Examining five covers revealed four forgeries and the trail led to an individual who was prosecuted and found not guilty of acting illegally for monetary gain. It is not certain how many such covers were produced and the writer details how the forgeries can be identified.

Forgery (marked with faux) and falsification of the Europa-Cept-Andorra (Spanish) Mi.No. 71, issue year 1972

FFE #4

Forgery (marked with faux) and falsification of the Europa-Cept-Andorra (Spanish) Mi.No. 71, issue year 1972

Class: TR

Jürgen Straub

Andorra issued a EUROPA-CEPT stamp in 1972. Following speculation the price rose and forgeries were produced. The forgeries are line perforated, and printed in offset litho, contrary to genuine stamps. FDC marked FAUX have had this removed and are offered on the philatelic market. The article describes the distinctions between genuine and forged items.

Forged postmark on the Saar miniature sheets 1 and 2 of 1948

FFE #4

Forged postmark on the Saar miniature sheets 1 and 2 of 1948

Class: TR

Jürgen Straub

A wide margin between prices of mint and genuinely cancelled examples of the Flood Disaster Relief Fund miniature sheets from 1948 encourage the forger. The article demonstrates simple tests which distinguish between forged and genuine examples.

Indonesia – are all inverted and double overprints indicated in catalogues genuine?

FFE #4

Indonesia - are all inverted and double overprints indicated in catalogues genuine?

Class: TR

Giel J. Bessels, Peter F.A. van de Loo

The Netherlands expert committee was asked to examine overprints from the republican Indonesian period from 1945-49 on the 10 cent stamp of the Dutch East Indies bearing the crowned head of Queen Wilhelmina. The two types of this stamp are described as are the overprints on the same stamp during the Japanese occupation from 1942-45. Double and inverted overprints appeared in 1983. In 1998 examples were submitted to the Dutch expert committee who concluded that they were forgeries. More have been discovered since, and the details of the forgeries and their distinction from genuine stamps are set out.

Expertising Postal History

FFE #4

Expertising Postal History

Class: PH

Edric Charles Druce

In considering expert groups advising juries at World and FIAP exhibitions the writer asks questions about items of postal history. Does it look right, is the stamp genuine and is the rate right are three important questions. Four covers are considered in this context, Jeffryes' forged Sydney views, an eight pence Laureate which is genuine but doesn't belong, and analysis of a certificate follow. The writer is disturbed where certificates of genuineness are issued to genuine items for the wrong reasons and with the wrong postal history conclusions. Two items from Australia to the United Kingdom are considered in this context.

Provenance is a guarantee of authenticity. True or False?

FFE #4

Provenance is a guarantee of authenticity. True or False?

Class: PH

Charles J.G. Verge, FRPSC

Inclusion in great collections of the past does not guarantee that an item is genuine. A double weight cover with two genuine six pence stamps (Scott and SG #2) sent from Canada to New York in 1851 was expertised in 1997 and 1998, and one of the stamps was certificated as not belonging. It had been in a series of star collections. A second item described as posted on 2nd February 1855 with twelve six pence (Scott #5), and in three "great" collections, is shown to be from 1858. The writer urges collectors to have a questioning mind, and to seek expertising before an expert team requests it.

The small queens of Canada – examples of good and bad

FFE #4

The small queens of Canada - examples of good and bad

Class: PH

Charles J.G. Verge, FRPSC

Examples of bisected and imperforate Small Queen issues of Canada are shown. The bisected two cents from 1886 was unauthorised, but is good. The imperforate 2 cents used in 1897, might be right, but isn't. Certificates are required for all unusual usages for this issue.

Sicily 1859-60. A fake cover and four genuine ones

FFE #4

Sicily 1859-60. A fake cover and four genuine ones

Class: PH

Francesco Lombardo, AISP MRPSL

A Ferdinand II cover from Sicily to Florence is shown with a five Grana vermilion stamp. The canceller, the postmark, the rate and the ink are all wrong. There was no ship on the date in question, and there should have been postage due. The cover is discussed and four genuine items are illustrated and explained .

Postmarks. Genuine, false, or both?

FFE #4

Postmarks. Genuine, false, or both?

Class: TR

Erwin Steinbrüchel

With reference to Switzerland, but acknowledging that his conclusions must be true for other countries, the author considers postmarks. He distinguishes between postmarks which served a genuine postal purpose, and "postmarks" printed on stamps for philatelic purposes. The latter may be contemporary or backdated, and different ink may be used. Forged and faked postmarks are addressed including those made by ink jet printer or photocopier. Extensive description and illustration, accompanied by discussion of the characteristics of printed postmarks is supplemented by proposals on pricing items cancelled for purposes which were not postal.

New fakes on the Italian market

FFE #4

New fakes on the Italian market

Class: TR

Georgio Colla Asinelli

Dangerously deceptive forgeries of Italian stamps are illustrated. These include the 20 Centesimi green wedding issue of the Kingdom of Italy, and others, which are described. The technique of the forger involves bleaching low values in the same size and perforation, and printing on the resulting blank paper. The writer refers to forgeries of French stamps emanating from the same print shop.

About the double overprints of Poland – Michel 131 DD

FFE #4

About the double overprints of Poland - Michel 131 DD

Class: TR

Heinz Erwin Jungjohann

The methodology for the 1919 overprinting of Mi. 99, the 7½ Pfennig Germania stamp, with new values and Poczta Polska in Posen to produce Mi. 130, 131 and 132 is described. The consequential double overprints are explained. The types and plating the stamps is described, and Mi. 131DD is divided into two types.

Genuine – but what?

FFE #4

Genuine - but what?

Class: PH

Ernst M. Cohn

The writer distinguishes expertising stamps from expertising postal history. In the latter case two otherwise identical covers may in fact be quite different. With reference to mail carried by smuggler, mail cart, balloon, and by diplomat from Paris in the siege of 1870, and by courier from Budapest to Aachen or air and submarine from the USA to Germany in the First World War, the postal history of a series of covers is revealed. Expertising covers, in the sense of extracting their true postal history, demands broad knowledge, art and science. Experts like these deserve the highest philatelic esteem.

The ‘Chameleon’ cover

FFE #4

The 'Chameleon' cover

Class: PH

Peter Meyer

Three Brazilian covers with 90 Réis Bulls Eye and PARANAGUÁ cancels are described. The first is from 1973 sold as genuine but described by an expert subsequently as a creation to deceive collectors. A second, which may be the same, was sold in the same year. In 1988 a third appeared, and on expertising was described as a fake. In 1991 the same cover came into the hands of the author. The first and the last are in fact the same cover with later additions. Both are illustrated, and the deception and errors described.

FFE #4

'In dubio pro reo' in expert certification?

Class: Other

Felix Winterstein CPhH

Contrary to the principles of Roman Law which determines that where there is doubt favour the accused, in expertising the opposite must be the norm, which is that doubt goes against the accused. The author casts doubt on expert judgements which in their neglect of care and prudence fail to protect the purchaser and shift the burden of proof from the expert to the collector.

Alterations by R.E.P. Maier to pre-adhesive letters of the Netherlands

FFE #4

Alterations by R.E.P. Maier to pre-adhesive letters of the Netherlands

Class: PH

H.W. van der Vlist

The article lists and illustrates the fakes, forgeries, "improvements" and manipulations of Raul Eduard Philip Maier who was tried in the Netherland in 1963. These affect many items from the Dutch East Indies. Maier's stolen and embezzled letters are found in collections throughout the world.

Identifying genuine Buenos Aires “barquitos” – The surest way

FFE #4

Identifying genuine Buenos Aires "barquitos" - The surest way

Class: TR

Mario D. Kurchan

The Buenos Aries "barquitos" or little ships are extensively forged. The stamps can be plated and an entire plate reconstruction of the 2 Pesos is illustrated. Photographic reproductions exist; therefore paper and size are two other tests to be used. These are explained and illustrated.

The first Zeppelin-mail forgery

FFE #4

The first Zeppelin-mail forgery

Class: PH

Dieter Leder

The story that the first mail carried by Zeppelin was on the four hour fourth flight of LZ 3 on 25th September 1907 when mail was dropped over Romanshorn in Switzerland is shown not to be true. The flight details are reported and the improbability of a mail drop explained. The postcard sent to the USA by the mechanic Laburda and marked "This card was found in a field at Romanshorn2 is shown to be an ordinary postcard, probably posted at the harbour Friedrichshafen in Germany, on 27th September, and that the manuscript addition making it the first Zeppelin mail, is a forgery. Rate, postmark, and language are the key elements in disclosing the forgery, together with historical context.