Raritan Auction #79

Again there are several lots with Armenian stamps and items in their auction. Here are my thoughts on some of them. Let us start with the newspaper items. I am always quite skeptical when I see them.

The newspaper with the Alexandropol Zhe cancel

This time with a better scan than usual. It allows checking more details.

The cancel shows the 10.02.1923 as date. Stamps with this 5(k) overprint where used at this time. Tariff is below the rate of letters at this time.

I do not like the ink. It is very untypical. The horizontal bars on the left cancel look very unclean, especially where they meet the inner circle right under the “k” of Aleksandropol. Also the “noise” (small dots) all over upper part of the right cancel. It looks like printed with a modern device and then the left one “improved” by hand (painting).

A check with the real cancel reveals some mistakes where the second star “*” is located. The small areas that do not match could be due to not using a scan from my calibrated device in the same resolution.

Conclusion: The cancel is forged. The forger used a genuine examples of the cancel as base.

The newspaper with the Erivan cancel

A low res scan.

The interesting part: the two stamps with the cancel. The resolution is way to bad to be helpful. Even the overprint is only a heap of large pixels. The date cannot be read. The description of the item gives 1920 as year.

Conclusion: A very doubtful item. My guess: an Erivan “d” cancel which was forged a lot.

The reduced Erivan to Tiflis letter

Again a low res scan.

The stamps are with a date from the 16.12.1920. At least the left one. I do not like the overprints, but the resolution is very low. The ink of the cancels is not too bad (see newspaper item) but I still think this is a forged cancel. On the left stamp the ink of the last character of the city name goes right into the outer border. A tariff of 125 rubles is way too much for the end of 1920. In December 1920 Soviet Armenia was established and they forbade the use of Dashnak stamps.

The receiver cancel looks genuine but no date can be seen. Perhaps the reducing of the letter helped to achieve this, perhaps it is random.

Conclusion: The stamps do not belong to the letter: Fake.

The late 1920 Erivan to Tiflis letter

Another low res scan.

This is not one of the usual cancels. The date figures look totally different in comparison to the other Erivan cancels. The serial character is not readable. The only possible match would be “g”. This is a very scarce cancel. I do not have enough examples of the Erivan “g” cancel. If someone can provide scans – I would be quite grateful.

The stamps add up to a 250 rubles franking which is way too much for end of 1920. It all looks kind of messy but since the scan is low res there cannot much to be done. I do not like the overprints. The date of the receiver cancel looks also a bit fishy, especially the “20”.

Conclusion: Fake item.

The lilac 100r HH overprint

This overprint was not done in lilac. The ink is not similar to other lilac overprints. The shape looks good though. The scan is bad.

Conclusion: Forged.

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One Response to Raritan Auction #79

  1. trevor pateman says:

    I wouldn’t buy any of these items. The stamps added to newspapers seem to have been tied with a limited number of fake cancellations – for Alexandropol where the serial always looks obviously wrong. In the ARTAR catalogue these fake cancels can be found illustrated mixed up with genuine cancels and it is worth studying all the illustrations there.
    The newspaper fakes were being sold in quantity during the 1990s – a large number were made in either Armenia or the USA. Some newspapers have the ownership cachets of the archives from which they came.
    The items you illustrate include things I think of as older forgeries. On the reduced envelope, genuinely used stamps may have been present on the large part of the cover removed.

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