FFE Journal - Fakes Forgeries Experts

Articles from FFE #5

FFE #5

Fakes, forgeries and youth philately

Class: Other

Michael Madesker R.D.P., FRPSL, FRPSC

The F.I.P. Commission on Youth Philately has an internal expertising committee for Youth exhibits. The article warns that forgeries in Youth exhibits are mostly augmentations, such as improved postmarks, heightened colours and the addition of addresses to previously unaddressed material. Of greatest concern is the use of undesirable issues, and the commission advocates the use of catalogues to avoid these. Wrongdoers in the lowest age group are unlikely to be punished, rather they are educated. The other age groups are subject to the same sanctions as seniors.

Japanese forgeries of non-Japanese stamps

FFE #5

Japanese forgeries of non-Japanese stamps

Class: TR

Varro E. Tyler † A.I.E.P.

Kamigata, a Japanese dealer in the 1890s and 1900s forged Asian stamps for sale to tourists. Some were deceptive. He also forged non-Asian stamps. At first it was believed that these were imported and resold by him. In 1954, in a publication limited to 18 copies, and bearing 20 actual examples, it was demonstrated that these were his own productions. The author was sent a copy in 1986. Some are cancelled with partial circular cancels bearing the letters IMITATION. Most designs are crude. The article lists examples seen from 27 countries, and asks for readers to provide further information.

Mulready facsimiles

FFE #5

Mulready facsimiles

Class: PST

Alan Huggins R.D.P., A.I.E.P.

The author describes Mulready facsimiles produced by six publishers. All are illustrated, and are easily distinguished as forgeries since all lack the Dickinson security threads. However facsimiles by Brinkman have been seen exhibited as originals; hence the article and illustrations.

20 MR 76 Forgeries of the city post of Istanbul

FFE #5

20 MR 76 Forgeries of the city post of Istanbul

Class: PH

Otto Hornung R.D.P.

Beware the date 20 MR 76 on covers of the Istanbul City Post. With an eminent background in Turkish philately, the author began his collection of the Istanbul City Post which ran from 1870 to 1884. One cover described was dated on arrival, 30th September 1868 or 69. There was no city post at this time, and the City Post hand stamp was dated 20 MR 76. At Corinphila and ISFILA in 2001 two more covers with the same date were seen. These are not new forgeries, and the covers were genuine before the forger "improved" them. One other manipulated cover is described and all are illustrated.

Forged registered letters Liepäja – Ventspils, 1945

FFE #5

Forged registered letters Liepäja - Ventspils, 1945

Class: PH

Harry v Hofman FRPSL, A.I.E.P. Wilhelm van Loo BPP

Simultaneously at many auctions in 2000, registered covers from 1945 in Latvia appeared. These were franked with overprinted Courland stamps together with Reichspost, particularly commemorative, stamps. Given the state of the war and the "Courland Encirclement", these are unbelievable, but they also have attributes which allow them to be shown as forgeries. These include identical handwriting in addresses, incorrect and anachronistic address forms, and incorrect frankings. Auction houses in Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland indicate that these are all from the same source in Berlin.

Modern techniques help everyone

FFE #5

Modern techniques help everyone

Class: Other

Dieter Leder

On the use of computers in expertising. With a computer a scanner and graphics software overprints on Finnish ZEPPELIN 1930 are compared. The methodology is described in which one overprint is overlaid on a known genuine overprint in a step by step guide.

Large Hermes heads of Greece: 1861 Paris print final proofs sold as issued stamp

FFE #5

Large Hermes heads of Greece: 1861 Paris print final proofs sold as issued stamp

Class: TR

Michael Tseriotis A.I.E.P.

The large Hermes heads of Greece were engraved in Paris by Albert Barre. A perfectionist, he made a large number of final proofs which are hard to distinguish from the issued stamps where both have no gum. The only guarantee of an issued stamp from the 1861 Paris printing is that it has gum. Over many years gum has been added to proofs by dealers and swindlers to allow them to sell them as issued stamps with full gum. Some with smooth and thin gum are easy to detect. Others are very dangerous. Degrees of rarity are described for each value. There are few single examples with false cancellation. Multiples larger than a pair are rare. A 20 lepta block of four offered with a first day cancellation in Greece was determined by comparison to be the same as an unpostmarked item described as a final proof in Switzerland in 1992. At almost the same time another, falsely cancelled block of the 10 lepta was offered in Athens. The source was the same and is under observation. Great care is to be taken in buying used 1 lepton stamps in singles or in multiples.

New German postal forgeries part 1

FFE #5

New German postal forgeries part 1

Class: TR

Wolfgang Maassen BPP, Wilhelm van Loo BPP

There have been forgeries designed to defraud the German post office for many years. The situation was bad in the 1990s. Offset printings of current stamps had flooded the market prior to September 2001. The author considers the situation unlikely to improve. Five stamps are examined and illustrated: Mi. 1756; Mi.1939; Mi.1935; Mi. 2013; and Mi. 2026.

Serbia 1866/80. Franked newspapers, genuine and fake

FFE #5

Serbia 1866/80. Franked newspapers, genuine and fake

Class: PH

Jovan Velickovic A.I.E.P

Serbia newspaper stamps from 1866/9 and 1869/80 used on whole newspapers or complete fronts are rare. Six examples recorded over twenty years are considered, four of which are forgeries. The rates and usage are described, and the degrees of rarity are discussed, as is the reason for this situation which include the ephemeral nature of newspapers and the exigencies of war. The "Bosanski Vjesnik" from 13th August 1866 is described and illustrated, and considered to be a forgery. Misuse of genuine cancellers is known between 1890 and 1930, and the canceller used here may be an example. The "Seljak" newspaper advertisement is described as it meets all of the tests for genuineness: the item is from the right time; the rate is correct; the address is correct; the printing of the stamp is from the correct time; a missing piece of paper from the edge of a fold is found on the reverse of the stamp. The "Srpske Novine" dated 20th January 1873 is addressed to a non-existent bank, and false, while another copy dated 23rd December 1873 is correct. The "Radnik" of 31st March 1872 was a 'star' item, but in the opinion of the author, notwithstanding certificates, is false. The canceller is from the wrong period, and the stamps are not tied. Another copy of the same newspaper from 3rd March 1872 is known but has not been examined by the writer, despite a request for a colour copy. Finally a "Srpske Novine" dated 26th November 187? has stamps which are not tied and not from the right time. The author believes that a bundle of "Radnik" newspapers were found and have been used to create forgeries.

Tampering

FFE #5

Tampering

Class: TR

Alfredo Navarra Payá A.I.E.P.

Manipulated copies of the Spanish 1865 12 Cuartos imperforate with inverted frame, and the unissued imperforate 4 Cuartos pale blue are considered. Sperati bleached the centre of the 12 Cuartos and reprinted it inverted. The first subject of the article was produced in a similar way and its distinctive characteristics are described. The origin of the 4 Cuartos is explained, and single stamps are described, both genuine, in pale blue (Type I), and with perforations cut off, in darker blue (Type II). A cover bearing the darker blue, type II stamp, lifted, replaced with clipped perforations, but genuine postmark is illustrated. The colour and type are wrong, and there is a gap around the stamp between the edge and the canceller where the perforations were removed.

First issue of Kingdom of Saudi Arabian stamp (proclamation of Amir Saud)

FFE #5

First issue of Kingdom of Saudi Arabian stamp (proclamation of Amir Saud)

Class: TR

Mohammed K. Safdar

The characteristics of genuine and forged examples of the 1934 Proclamation of Emir Saud as Heir Apparent of Saudi Arabia, are listed in tabular form. All are illustrated.

Suriname: Princess Wilhelmina forgeries

FFE #5

Suriname: Princess Wilhelmina forgeries

Class: TR

Richard Wheatley FRPSL

International cooperation leads to a mystery being solved. The writer purchased six Surinam used Princess Wilhelmina stamps, correctly described as forgeries, and allegedly produced by a chocolate manufacturer for advertising purposes in the 1920s. The printing process differs from the original and the perforation is not the same. Research demonstrated these to have been produced in Lausanne by a French forger and that the number of forgeries in circulation probably equalled the number of genuine stamps. The literature mentioned no postmark. These were cancelled and the canceller was reconstructed and reproduced in The Netherlands Philatelist. Three other cancels were revealed in correspondence from the USA, Scotland and The Netherlands, but no chocolate manufacturer.

Argentina 1862 issue, 15c. without accent on the U of Republica

FFE #5

Argentina 1862 issue, 15c. without accent on the U of Republica

Class: TR

Mario D. Kurchan A.I.E.P

The two types of the 1862 Argentina "small shield" issue are described. In position 51 of the 15 centavos the U in Republica appears without an accent. 375 sheets were printed, and estimated 90% have been lost, leaving this is one of the rarest Argentinean stamps and thus a target for forgers. The Sperati forgeries are shown with one other, and the tell tale signs of the genuine stamp are reproduced from the Kneitschel catalogue.

Forgeries of handwritten indications on old letters

FFE #5

Forgeries of handwritten indications on old letters

Class: PH

Paolo Vollmeier R.D.P.,A.I.E.P.

Modern additions to early letters are illustrated, the writer regrets that genuine letters have forged additions, such as the Cross of St Andrew and the Gallows, to make them more interesting to postal historians.

San Marino – An altered cover and a “phantasy” cover

FFE #5

San Marino - An altered cover and a "phantasy" cover

Class: TR

Vito Salierno

In the early days of postal history covers were manipulated by the removal of unsightly stamps and the addition of interesting values to make three and four colour covers leading to incorrect rates. Two are considered here. One from 19th November 1862 from San Marino to Venice is shown in its original and manipulated state. The other was probably produced by a German dealer Otto Bickel. It bears three Italian, six San Marino, and a Sardinian stamp. The stamps complied with no known rate, the Sardinian stamp was invalidated on 31st December 1863, but the cover arrived in Saltzburg despite being a philatelic fantasy.

Faked entires from Venezuela 1859-1872

FFE #5

Faked entires from Venezuela 1859-1872

Class: TR

Kurt E. Kimmel A.I.E.P.

Six manipulated items which have been offered for sale, and sold, as genuine are described. The first a 2 Reales bisect with a false postmark, the second with an additional r Reales stamp, the third with an incorrect franking including an added bisect and added "handstamps", and the fourth with an impossible postmark. This example, the fifth and the sixth are addressed to "Gaden and Klipsch", Bordeaux. This archive is the source of many items with added adhesives, and great care is essential. The fifth item has a forged canceller distinguished by incorrect lettering and the last has added adhesives, genuinely postmarked, but not on this cover. The author warns that most mixed frankings are dangerous, that most mixed franking HAPAG covers with Venezuelan stamps are manipulated, and should be treated with caution, even when offered with certificates. Expert knowledge, and reference material are required if the collector is to judge the material and its certification correctly.

The ten most important Canadian fakes for the last 30 years

FFE #5

The ten most important Canadian fakes for the last 30 years

Class: TR

Richard Gratton FRPSC, AEP, A.I.P.A., AQEP

Ten modern fakes of Canadian stamps with missing colours or perforations from 1971to 1992 are illustrated and described. The information is summarised in a table together with numbers of genuine and forged examples known to the author since 1988. Article in French.

Faked postmark on Michel DR No 429 with railway postmark

FFE #5

Faked postmark on Michel DR No 429 with railway postmark

Class: TR

Jürgen Straub

Following reports of forgeries of Mi. 429 and 434, a check on examples known to a collector revealed a forged LEIPZIP-HAMBURG BAHNPOST canceller for Z. - - 84 8.2.30. The writer warns that it must be suspected that this canceller is in private hands, and that further fakes are likely.

Forgery of the 1948 West Berlin Michel Nos 62 and 63

FFE #5

Forgery of the 1948 West Berlin Michel Nos 62 and 63

Class: TR

Jürgen Straub

Forged examples of these stamps are described and their characteristics listed in a table. The forged examples are the 20 and 30 pfennig values. The writer suspects that the 10 pfennig value may appear as a forgery since these set purchased contained a genuine and two forged stamps. Perforations differ as does the appearance under UV light.

Faroe Islands 1941

FFE #5

Faroe Islands 1941

Class: TR

Carl Aage Møller A.I.E.P.

A genuine 10 øre Franco Betalt cover to Thorhavn was expertised by the writer. Following its sale in two auction houses, it was consigned by Arne Damkjær for sale in Switzerland. A further FRANCO BETALT mark with manuscript 30 and registration labels had been added. At the request of the writer it was re-expertised, signed FALSCH, and removed from the auction. The cover is illustrated in its original and manipulated states.

Greenland 1921

FFE #5

Greenland 1921

Class: PH

Carl Aage Møller A.I.E.P.

A parcel card with 10 øre Pakke-Porto stamp belonging to a German collector was sold at auction to Arne Damkjær. The 10 øre stamp was removed and four stamps of the 1905 issue were added and cancelled with a forged postmark. It was wrongly issued with an expert certificate and consigned for sale in Switzerland. At the request of the writer it was re-expertised, signed FALSCH, and removed from the auction. The card is illustrated in its original and manipulated states.

Denmark/Greenland 1937

FFE #5

Denmark/Greenland 1937

Class: TR

Carl Aage Møller A.I.E.P.

A parcel card bearing a 40 øre caravelle stamp was sold as part of a collection in Germany in the early 1990s. After purchase by Arne Damkjær 3 copies of the 20 øre Pakke-Porto stamps were added, date and weight were changed and the manipulated item submitted for expertising to the writer, who issued a certificate in 1996. In 1907 Eric Wowern issued a certificate indicating that the card might be a fake. After being unsold at several auctions it was offered in Switzerland and the writer offered to re-expertise the item. Further examination revealed the deception and it was expertised as a fake, and removed from the auction. The card is illustrated in its original and manipulated states.

The riddle of the Cavalla surcharges of 1913

FFE #5

The riddle of the Cavalla surcharges of 1913

Class: TR

Andrew Cronin FRPSL, TM, A.I.E.P.

Bulgarian stamps were surcharged with Greek values by hand in Cavalla following the Second Balkan war of 1913. The background to the issue is explained and the "dramatis personae" listed. The literature of 1919-20, and later, is referred to, and two conflicting versions of events relating to the production of these stamps are revealed. The article considers these two versions using the evidence of the material, and reaches conclusions which are set out. The conclusions are that there are genuine covers and cards which went through the post to their destination. Desirable and rare. There are surcharges of the Toccos second printing on pieces or official Bulgarian postal envelopes "cancelled with the connivance of postal officials in Cavalla". Of doubtful philatelic value. There are forged surcharges on pieces or official Bulgarian postal envelopes with forged cancellations. Philatelically valueless.

The engraved forgeries of Ceylon revisited

FFE #5

The engraved forgeries of Ceylon revisited

Class: TR

Chris Harman, Patrick Pearson R.D.P., Carl Walske

An article in FFE 4 (pp6-8) sought to identify the makers of forgeries of the Ceylon octagonal stamps. The present article notes that all forgeries of the Ceylon octagonals previously illustrated are by George Kirke Jeffryes, whose activities are described. Forgeries by Jeffryes and Erasmo Oneglia of Turin are considered and described in detail with reference to archive material at the Royal Philatelic Society of London. The research is summarised and listed for material known to have originated with both of the forgers. References to earlier publications and research are included as footnotes.

“Mythical” falsification of frankings

FFE #5

"Mythical" falsification of frankings

Class: PH

Emil Rellstab A.I.E.P.

Expert opinions demand that the distance travelled and the weight of a letter are verified, and that the period of use of the stamp is known. Two examples demonstrate this. "Zürich 4" was valid only within urban Zürich. Mail to destinations outside this area cost 6 Rappen. A folded letter with a single "Zürich 4" addressed to Kloten is clearly wrong, but has an expert history going back 50 years. It was not until 1989 that it was shown to be a forgery. A cover from Niederglatt to Zürich with a bisected and single 5 Rappen stamp was sent on 24th April 1855. From 1st January 1852 the rate was 10 Rappen, and no fractional rate values existed after this date. The cover was withdrawn from circulation at the beginning of 2000.

Some Italian States fakes and forgeries

FFE #5

Some Italian States fakes and forgeries

Class: PH

Paolo Vaccari

Seven covers from Italian states are described. Each has been illustrated in Vaccari Magazie, and each has been manipulated in some way by the removal, replacement or addition of stamps, by "improvements" in postmarks or paper or by the addition of forged postmarks. Covers are shown and described in full from The Duchy of Modena, The Provisional Government of Parma, The Papal States and The Provisional Government of the Romagne. Illustrations are shown in each case before and after manipulation.

Liberia – Forgeries of SG 328-31

FFE #5

Liberia - Forgeries of SG 328-31

Class: TR

Luciano Varaschini

2 Cent and 5 Cent Liberian stamps were locally overprinted 1 Cent and 2 Cents respectively in 1916. There is speculation as to why this was necessary, and this is discussed. There were eleven types of surcharge with the eleventh being the most rare, and it has thus attracted the attention of forgers. The characteristics of the forgeries are described, and it is noted that all cancelled to order (CTO) examples are forgeries, since this cancellation was made in London, and only mint stamps were sent to Liberia. Most forgeries are CTO, but are still a threat to collectors due to the many types of CTO used on Liberian stamps.

The counterfeit of the E.T/ÓÌÕÔÍÇ overprint

FFE #5

The counterfeit of the E.T/ÓÌÕÔÍÇ overprint

Class: TR

Michalis E Tsirónis

In May 1919 Greek forces occupied Smyrna. For a brief period Greek stamps were overprinted. Following approval for the overprint on 13th June, it was rescinded on 14th June resulting in a very short period of use, and small number of stamps in total. The overprints are described in technical terms and genuine copies are compared with the forgeries both in text and detailed illustration. A bibliography is provided.

Pre-adhesive fakes

FFE #5

Pre-adhesive fakes

Class: PH

Edoardo P. Ohnmeiss ASPOT

With greater interest by postal historians in the pre-stamp period, the writer proposes that this period is divided between the period of manuscript markings, namely the Precursory period, and the use of handstamps, namely the Pre-adhesive period. Examples from the latter period, the handstamps of the Napoleonic postal departments in Italy are presented. These were in use for many years after the occupation had ceased. Rarity of some handstamps from the Napoleonic period has caused forgers to change dates on material used after 1814. These can be demonstrated under UV light or from internal evidence of contents. Nine covers with false DÉBOURSÉ handstamps have been identified, and identification of these is discussed. The use of historical and postal analysis of DÉBOURSÉ handstamps is explained, and significant differences in size between the genuine and false marks are pointed out.

The 80 days of Zara. Zara – a report on the period and its history

FFE #5

The 80 days of Zara. Zara - a report on the period and its history

Class: TR

Emil E. Ludin A.I.E.P.

The complex origins of the overprints on Italian stamps in Zara (Zadar) from September to December 1943 are explained. This closely written explanation examines the various stories that have grown up around the 90 day issue, and demonstrates the truth or otherwise of these stories. The wartime history of the town, its evacuation, and subsequent rôle in the war are chronicled. The setting used for the overprint was broken up under supervision after the printing process was complete. This makes expertising easier since reprints and different settings do not exist. From November and December 1943 significant quantities of fakes were circulating, particularly in the USA. Identification of the forgeries is explained, both through observation of letter shapes, and through the use of UV light, as is their certification. The diagonal overprint ZARA is reported to be a fantasy.

Imperial Russia: forgeries of coat of arms stamps with inverted centre

FFE #5

Imperial Russia: forgeries of coat of arms stamps with inverted centre

Class: TR

Zbigniew S. Mikulski A.I.E.P., Ortwin Greis A.I.E.P..

Many Imperial Russian inverted coat of arms stamps are very rare, there are forgeries and fakes, and preliminary expertisation is essential before purchase. Cut out and inverted centres are easily detectable using magnification, preferably by microscope. Forgers now use advanced techniques including cleaning off and reprinting the centre. Nine examples from a reference collection were found to be false, and the characteristics of these forgeries are described in detail. Collectors are warned about the unscrupulous use of words such as "essay, rarity, proof and unique item". These printing forgeries from the East for collectors in the West are supplemented by others using cut out techniques to be described in a later article.

Australia the story of SG 0126a

FFE #5

Australia the story of SG 0126a

Class: TR

Krysztof Ceremuga A.I.E.P

Australian stamps were overprinted "OS" during 1931-33 for official use. In 1999 a five pence orange brown overprinted stamp was found on small multiple watermarked paper rather than C of A watermark. After catalogue listing by Gibbons and Scott, a fanfare in the press, and special display at Australia 99, the author's certificate states that the stamp is forged. The article demonstrates how his opinion is reached. The overprint in this position on genuine stamps is described; the colour of the ink, the postmark, and the fact that the postmark is under the overprint demonstrate that the stamp is a primitive forgery.

Australia the story of SG 0126a

FFE #5

Australia the story of SG 0126a

Class: TR

Krysztof Ceremuga A.I.E.P

Australian stamps were overprinted "OS" during 1931-33 for official use. In 1999 a five pence orange brown overprinted stamp was found on small multiple watermarked paper rather than C of A watermark. After catalogue listing by Gibbons and Scott, a fanfare in the press, and special display at Australia 99, the author's certificate states that the stamp is forged. The article demonstrates how his opinion is reached. The overprint in this position on genuine stamps is described; the colour of the ink, the postmark, and the fact that the postmark is under the overprint demonstrate that the stamp is a primitive forgery.

SCADTA under the magnifying glass

FFE #5

SCADTA under the magnifying glass

Class: PH

Dieter Bortfeldt

SCADTA stamps have always been of interest and there are many forgeries, some of them before 1940, others from 1979-90. Renewed recent interest, and high prices have provoked a new wave of forgeries, especially those bearing the provision "R" hand stamps. The writer has examined 80 such covers and considers only 10% to be genuine. The article lists, explains and illustrates in twelve pages examples of these forgeries.