Fake item at Raritan

A blog reader asked my about my opinion regarding this item currently offered at Raritan.

This looks like a typical official document. The Etchmiadzin cancel shows a date stamp reading (most likely) 4.8.22. I am always skeptical when seeing these bureaucratic documents with a non fiscal stamp.

The scan is not really good. Too low res. There is potential for improvement. If I ask a buyer to spend 400 bucks upwards for an item – and we all know forgeries are not rare in the world of Armenian postal items – I would certainly see it as my duty to provide a good scan. Let us say at least 600 DPI.

My conclusion (from the bad scan): stamp and narrow “2” overprint are genuine. Cancel is fake and stamp added to the document at a later time.

If Raritan or the buyer can provide a better scan I offer to recheck this item for free!

Additional thoughts

The time stamp of the cancel reads 4.8.22. This falls in the period of the gold kopeck issues. Postal rate at that time was – according to Ahsford/Tchilinghirian – from May to August 1922 at 3 to 4 Kopecks for a letter. The overprint itself (2 on 500 rubles) belongs to the third gold kopeck issue, which was produced in and used from January 1923. Again this leads to the conclusion that the stamp was added later.

Posted in Ebay, Delcampe and Co, Forged | 2 Comments

Forgeries on ebay

I do not often browse the ebay listings anymore. While you can find genuine material, it takes browsing through an overwhelming amount of forgeries and uninteresting stuff.

Here some highlights of the bad kind.

All cancels fake. Most of the base stamps forgeries.

 

I can see one genuine overprint.

Quite high price tag.

 

I think there is not a single stamp with a genuine overprint.

And you can spend a lot of money on worthless forgeries.

 

Posted in Ebay, Delcampe and Co, Forged | 2 Comments

Crude Forgery – Postcard with added stamps

A reader sent me this picture of the latest work of the forgers. Not nice. And the card is wasted too.

This card is listed at newauction.ru and got a price tag of 1.500 rubles. I guess this is one of the cheaper forgeries.

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The 100r HH overprint on an unperforated 5 Ruble stamp – more examples

The discussion about the stamp brought two more scans from blog readers.

Here is an example in a rather grayish ink.

opsimos-small

All characteristics of the genuine overprint are present.

opsimos-detail-small

I think this overprint is genuine.

 

Here is the scan of the second example. The base stamp is perforated, so it is not really the same rare combination.100rhhon5r

The overprint should be the same though.

100rhhon5r-detail

While I can find a lot of correct details the overall impression is irritating. It looks like the HH part is optically disturbed like being seen through a lens. There are also details I don’t like (second zero not smaller). For a final decision I need  a better scan or the stamp in my hands. When I get the stamp itself I can take measurements and rule out alterations resulting from the used hardware (scanner etc.).

So keep it coming. This is free “scan opinions” for your stamps.

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The 100r HH overprint on an unperforated 5 Ruble stamp – a rare combination

Recently I did an opinion for a stamp which is now in the Corinphila auction:

armenien-84-vs-small

This is a rare stamp. Other collectors know this too and one wrote me when he saw the stamp listed at the auction. Included within the email was a scan with several similar stamps – some from his collection. It is always interesting to get feedback like this. For instance, I can get a “feeling” how much of those stamps exist. Sometimes all overprints have a similar appearance, which hints that perhaps only one sheet or part of sheet was used for overprinting. The scan showed four examples of the 100r HH overprint, three times on unperforated 5 Rubles stamps.

The first stamp from the scan

2hh-100r-on-5-rub-imperf-1

The overprint looks genuine. The ink is different in comparison to the stamp from the auction. Less fluid and a bit weak. For a last judgement I need a better scan or the stamp itself.

The second stamp from the scan

2hh-100r-on-5-rub-imperf-2

A nice multiple. The appearance is different in comparison to both of the other examples. The ink seems to be very fluid when looking at the HH part. All the finer details are washed away. Still the 100r part looks rather sharp. The 100r part also shows the characteristics of the genuine overprint (raised “0”, tiliting).

The overprint is not genuine. I will discuss the major flaws with the help of this enlarged fragment. Arrow indicate the interesting points.

2hh-100r-on-5-rub-imperf-2-detail-arrow

  1. No gaps. All characteristic details of this point where the lines of the two characters meet are missing.
  2. The top of the line is too thick.
  3. There is a horizontal gap in the line (additional to the distance between the two characters).
  4. The foot of the “1” is too thick and strong.

The third stamp from the scan

2hh-100r-on-5-rub-imperf-3

A little bit weak but clean looking overprint. The 100r part has the raised “0” and correct tilting. But the HH part shows errors.

2hh-100r-on-5-rub-imperf-3-detail-arrow

  1. The left end of the “S” is wrong. Not round enough and too much space to the “hook” of the line above.
  2. The hollow line of the “S” shows characteristic narrowing at the point were it crosses the lines of the other character. This narrowing is missing here
  3. Same, perhaps even more prominent here.

The forth stamp from the scan

2hh-100r-on-5-rub-perf-4

The ink is stronger and fluid here, making a smudgy impression. The 100r part again shows the correct characteristics. The HH part is hard to tell. I would not rule out a genuine overprint here. For a final conclusion a better scan and taking measurements is necessary.

That leaves us with just one genuine stamp from this scan.

Compared to other collecting areas, you are able to buy the rarities of Armenia for little money, it seems. I am looking forward to learn what the auction will achieve as price tag for this stamp.

PS: I got scans from another reader. Way to go! 🙂

gregorys-fs

Here are two more stamps. The left one with a very fluid ink the right one with weaker ink but still a quite clear impression.

I think the left one has definitely a fake overprint while the right one looks ok to me. When comparing both overprints one beside the other it is possible to see the differences quite easily. All of them are not due to the different ink or manual applying (human factor as Ashford/Tchilinghirian called). Click on the image and then on “full size” to get an enlarged view.

gregorys-detail-left-right-arrows-and-blue

  1. The horizontal line of the genuine overprint is not straight, but goes down in the middle.
  2. The hollow space in the upper part is to wide on the fake overprint and the top line is not hooked enough.
  3. The bulge of the genuine overprint goes up quite a lot. The fake overprint fails to do this correctly.
  4. The “tail” on the genuine overprint starts more to the left (in comparison with the fake one) and the bends more and ends in the distinct shape.

There are more differences in the 100r part but not as clear to see. The second “0” shape is wrong, also the foot of the “1”. The latter one could also be due to the ink being so fluid.

PPS: I add a comparison of the overprint of the multiple. If you see the HH overprint remember it is made from two Armenian characters laid one over the other. When following the lines of each character (red and blue) you can easily see where the forger failed. There are even gaps in the character lines.

comp-multi-and-greg-ls-rs

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Cover with doubtful Erivan d cancel at Raritan

This cover is being offered at the current Raritan auction.

321When the stamp is placed so clean and nice away from the text I am always curios: was it added later? Because the scan is really low res I will give it the benefit of doubt but I am quite certain that cancel is fake. It also looks more like a revenue document then a letter. But since I cannot read the text I am not sure about this.

321-cancel

You can see how bad the resolution is. In my opinion the auction houses should offer good scans as part of the service so here is some room for improvement. But back to the cancel. The serial character “d” is not showing its typical form with thickening of lines where the “up strike” and the main bode touches. Also the “swing” at top is too thin and missing its thickened part. The dot between month and year is missing too and since the impression is quite clear it should show.

Now I need a high res scan.

 

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Fake Cover at Feldman Auctions Nov/Dec 2016

Once and again Armenian items find their way in large auctions. Here is an example of a cover in the current David Feldman auction:  feldmann-fake-cover-2016

While the cancel looks nice and clean (it is fake too) the 100r HH ruble overprint is a very crude forgery.

feldmann-fake-cover-2016-detail-100r-hh

When I check the 100r HH overprint the first thing to look at is the base line of the “100r” part of the overprint. The genuine overprint always shows a raised second “0”. You can easily detect 80-90% of all the 100r forgeries with this. Of course there are more errors. The zeros are not tilted, the foot of the “1” is wrong and the shape of the “r” is also wrong.  But fake is fake, there is no need to go into more detail once you find the first error.

For more information see my article about the 100r HH overprint in this blog.

Besides this, the lilac “Z” overprint beneath the 100r HH actually looks good. A pity the forger destroyed this nice stamp.

Now that it is clear the cover is fake, let’s check the cancel more thoroughly.feldmann-fake-cover-2016-detail

It looks clean and nice. Only detailed inspection shows it is a dangerous forgery. The characters “ERIVAN” are to narrow, the line of the date is not even (it goes up to the right side) and the dot between month and year is missing. Not easy to see if you cant compare directly with a genuine one. I got another card with this fake cancel and a single stamp (charity issue) with an identical 100r HH fake overprint and this fake cancel. I think there are also differences in the upper hook of the serial character compared to the genuine cancel, but I need a better scan or the item itself to really check this.

The description of the auction lot mentions a Holcombe certificate. This is either fake too or another case of the “universal experts” entering terrain there are not really familiar with.

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