Corrected Overprints

When stamps got overprinted by hand errors or mistakes occur. I think about mistakes that are not what Ashford/Tchilinghirian describe as “human factor”, like: more or less pressure, angle variations, different mixtures or more or less diluted inks used. I also do not think about the Serebrakian “freaks” like putting four identical overprints on one stamp. What I am having in mind is putting a 3r HH overprint on a stamp were normally only 5r HH overprints would be. Done by a clerk who just used the wrong overprinting device by mistake. Back then, rules (T&A call it schemes) applied which basic stamp was used for a certain overprint. One example is the use of the 3r HH overprint on stamps with 3 Kopeck and 5r HH on stamps with 5 Kopeck face value. This changed sometimes since each time a new issue was prepared they checked the stamps in stock and decided on what to use and they had also to use the stamps were the face value did not respond to a new overprint value. Over the period of the HH ¬†Monograms (Ruble overprints) seven (7!) different issues were produced – according to Ashford/Tchilinghirian. There are several known cases of corrected overprints described by T&A and Ceresa. These stamps are not listed in Michel but you can find them in the Liapin catalog with quite high price tags. A last remark: you can also find rare so called OTC (over the counter) productions were overprints would (for a fee) be put on stamps where they did not normally belong. Since this was done officially, the OTC stamps could be used postally and are “legit”, so to speak.

Recently I bought (for quite a lot of money) two stamps of the 3r HH on 5 Kopeck stamp, corrected to 5r HH.

5r on 3r on 5 kop corrected

The overprints are clear to see, the 5r beeing of type 2. This stamp is part of the second HH monogram issue. Type 1 and Type 3 of the 5r HH overprint were introduced later.

T&A report that a small quantity of the 5 Kopeck stamps were mistakenly overprinted with the 3r HH monogram but the error was detected and no false stamp was allowed to leak out. Even if the quantity was small they obviously decided not to destroy those stamps but to correct the mistake and use them anyways. There must have been a real shortage of stamps since they valued them so much.

As T&A also writes, the 5r HH overprints was applied in a way, that the 5r part of the new monogram was placed gap of the 3r HH monogram and the new HH as less visible as possible. Probably so that the appearance of the corrected stamp was as clean as possible. This matches to the scan of my stamps.

I wonder how scarce this stamp really is. What was the small quantity in numbers? Does someone own a used copy of this stamp? Did it got used? Was it worth the effort to correct this small quantity of stamps?

Addendum

Ray, it is great to hear from you. I checked the picture of the block of four from you book and made a scan. If you compare the position of the 5 regarding to the horns and bolts my impression is that this is a different stamp. Also the ink at the border seems to be missing on your stamp. It would be something if some of those stamps have found their way to me ūüôā

5r on 3r on 5 kop comp ceresa

Also the 5 does not touch the 3 like on the lower two stamps.

Posted in Ruble | 1 Comment

Fake Cancels – Some Examples

While browsing a collection a dealer sent me to check I found a couple of forged Erivan cancellations. It is always useful to have some examples in order to train the eye and for comparison.

Type 1 Erivan 30 9 20

The first one was quite prominent in the collection. The date figures are way to big and the ink is unusual, too watery. I found no impression where the type character was readable. Where the date was readable it showed always 30.09.1920. All overprints beneath the cancel are fake too. It looks like the ink of overprint and cancel are identical.

fc 5 erivan 30 9 20_1

fc 4 erivan 30 9 20_1

fc 7 erivan 30 9 20_1

fc 6 erivan 30 9 20_1

Some forgers love to produce cut out pieces to make the forgery more convincing and probably also more valuable for selling.

Type 2 Kohl-Type Erivan

This forgery matchs the so called Kohl type forgeries. The clear outlines of the overprint and cancel are typical.

fc a 28 7 20 erivan_1

Type 3 Smudgy Erivan

The cancel is very unclean and ugly. It is easy to see that this is a forgery. The date figures are wrong too. The overprint is one if the “better” forgeries with the second zero not raised above the “ground line” being the easy giveaway.

fc b erivan 31_1

 Type 4 Thin Erivan

A dangerous forgery. Overall impression: thin lines, watery ink. The date figures show the characteristics of the genuine cancel. The 100r HH overprint is fake too. The 100 Rubles are not bad, just the feet of the “1” tilts to the wrong side, but the HH part is totally different from the genuine one.

fc c erivan 20 a_1

 Type 5 Unkown Cancel Type k?

At first the cancel does not look that bad. Especially the left part which is easy to see on the plain background.

100r HH 2x cancel erivan k small

But the overprint is fake and that means the cancel can not be genuine.

100r HH 2x cancel erivan k detail lines

The zeros (“0”) tilt to the wrong side and the second zero is not rised enough. The “r” is too wide open.

Posted in Forged, k60k, Ruble | 1 Comment

Nice Stuff At Raritan

Raritan is one of the auction houses were you can find Armenian items almost every time. The current auction #70 hold some interesting lots. Most prominently three collections to which I will give some remarks.

Lot #250 Surcharges on the Soviet issue Collection

Nice stamps with no obvious forgeries. 47 items with starting price 475 USD is 10 USD per item which seems not too expensive. Some uncommon variants are included, also some stamps with cancellation.

Lot #254 Surcharges on the First Constantinople issue Collection

A really interesting Lot with many uncommon stamps, lots of readable cancellations and also my personal highlight: 15 Goldkopeck narrow on 250 Rubles stamp. When Ashford and Tchilingharian wrote there books back in 1960 they did not list this stamp. Ceresa did describe it in his books and today is the first time I have seen one with a genuine looking¬†cancellation. This means the stamp has been used and is not “only” some OTC (over the counter) or back office production that never has seen real postal. I would happily pay 100 USD for this stamp alone.¬†The cancel is also one of the more uncommon ones making the item even more “adorable”. With a starting price of 700 USD for 50 items the price for each item is a bit higher then in Lot 250, but given the amount of interesting and not common stamps there is, to my mind, room for some bidding.

254F raritan lot 2016

Lot #255 Collection on Album Pages

This collection of 162 stamps is priced with only 200 USD which gives a kind of low rate of 1,23456 (LOL) USD each item. While browsing the pages of the collection I could see a lot of forgeries but also genuine overprints. The low starting price shows the auction house detected this too and decided not to go with some fantasy starting price like some others do from time to time.

All together a good job of Raritan on those lots and I am looking forward to see how much each lot will achieve in the end.

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The Erivan Pictorials

I am working on a sub page presenting the stamps and overprints of the Erivan Pictorial Issue. You can find it on the mene right under Stamp Issues or you follow this link: The Erivan Pictorial Issue

This is work in progress.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Armenian stamps used in Georgia

Armenian stamps, created by applying handstamped overprints on Tsarists stamps, were used as base stamps for issues in Georgia and Transcaucasia. A further overprint was applied to create a new issue.

In case of the Transcaucasian issue in April 1923 a star overprint was used.

star on framed Z on 1 rub small

The stamp shown features an E.6 type framed Z overprint. On the back side is a genuine mark of the Soviet Philatelic Association which shines through at the lower right corner. The stamps with the star overprints where used mostly in Baku since there was a shortage of stamps at this time. A couple of different Armenian stamps with star overprints exist. Like most material from that time the star overprints have been massively forged. The historical circumstances of the star issue (remaining stock from all three members of the Federation were requested and sent to Tiflis for overprinting/stamping) suggest that no over the counter productions or rare overprints were used. If you find unusual overprints in unusual colors, it is most likely fake.

The Georgians used Armenian stamps as part of a¬†somewhat “enigmatic” (like Ceresa called it) issue in 1923. It probably was an emergency issue and so far has been only reported to be used in Tiflis.

15000 on 5rhh on 15 kop

One of the open questions about this issue is why the overprint is only 15.000 rubles when postal rates at this time go from 75.000 rubles for a local postcard to 500.000 rubles for a foreign registered letter [Ceresa]. The Liapin catalog (which represents Zakiyans research) as well as Ceresa only list the 15.000 rubles overprint on the 5r HH on 15 Kopeck. Other combinations are most likely fake. If you own those please send me a scan. Even if the chance is very slim, it is still possible combinations exist that were previously not known.

Here are scans I got from a reader of this blog which show unusual Armenian overprints (red ink!) and are fake.

sg0001 sg0000

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Forged cover on ebay

A reader of my blog sent my the link to an auction with the question what I think of that item. So let us take a look. ebay cover fake alexandropol x

The seller uses a low starting price – which is a bit strange. But perhaps he got it cheap and is unsure about covers from Armenia. He describes the cover as very scarce, which indicates in my eyes that he thinks the cover is genuine.

s-l1600 (1)

The front side looks a bit unclean on the left side, but paper and handwriting look legit. It is addressed to Tiflis. I do not like the registration label – it is probably genuine itself, but looks like it was not part of the cover back then. The cancel is also a bit off.

s-l1600

The backside show several stamps and the Aleksandropol cancel is seen with he “b” character. This is not one of the usual types used then and when you look at the front side you see the “x” instead of an asterisk. I have seen that one! Here is a blog entry I made about that cancel.

s-l1600a

The receiver cancel of Tiflis is probably genuine Рat least the part not on the stamp. You can see how unclean the part is where it enters the stamp.

s-l1600b

If that is not enough, the overprints are crude forgeries too. This “hollow” version of the 100 r HH overprint is really ugly.

Posted in Ebay, Delcampe and Co, Forged | 1 Comment

Thoughts about new lots at Raritan

The current auction (#68) at Raritan lists some lots from Armenia. While the some (e.g. the pictorial color proofs) look genuine, there are others which are outright fake or dubious.

The framed Z on 1 Kopek should always be examined with great caution. The base stamp was used for the k60k overprint. Tchilinghirian/Ashford do not list this overprint on the 1 Kopeck stamp. The only possible reason for an existing item would be an over the counter production. I have not seen a genuine one so far.

299

Even with the low resolution of the scan it is obvious that that is a fake overprint.

It is not as easy with the cover and the newspaper items.

Let us start with the cover. The script and paper look legit. General appearance is like a genuine item.

307

When looking more carefully, doubts arise. The cancel on the front side looks quite uneven, but I would still give it the benefit of doubt.

307a

The big giveaway is the backside. The 35K overprints are fake (wrong shape and ink) and the cancel is wrong. The part from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock is probably genuine but the remaining 3 quarters are clearly forged.

307b

Conclusion: genuine stampless cover with added forged stamps and cancel.  You need not to be an expert for Armenian stamps to see this.

More complicated are the newspaper items. They should generally be viewed with caution. It is always a temptation for forgers to make a valuable item from several cheap original ones. My experience with the newspapers is: genuine newspaper + genuine stamp + genuine overprint and forged cancel (at least the part on the paper).

Here an example.

308

A pity the resolution is so low. I think the auction houses could do better. They need to make a scan either way and why not provide a link to a high resolution scan as download? That would be not much extra work and is an excellent service for all potential customers.

I do not like the appearance of the cancel in general, but even with the low resolution given you can see the wrong shape of the character “she”.

308a

In my opinion the other newspaper items are at least doubtful, most likely forged. More could be said with better scans or the items on my desk.

Take care!

Posted in Forged | 2 Comments