Not long ago I bought this nice letter piece from a seller located in Armenia. The cancel is rare and so I thought the money on this is well spent.
The stamp has the secret marks of the genuine print and the overprint too is looking good. What made me stop was the cancel. It looks kind of unclear and uneven. While the times were difficult and due to the many hand made overprints and emergency issues one is prone to accept unclear and distorted prints. At rare and smaller local stations perhaps even more. At least to a certain amount. A nagging feeling of doubt started and did not vanish.
When I stumbled upon this piece with two instances of the same cancel, I instantly thought: now I have something to compare. About time for research. Besides, this document certainly looks genuine. It is also way to too ugly and cheap to fake to.
The cancels in detail.
I also checked Zakiyan. There are nine Etchmiadzin cancels (without Armenian script). Out of those it could only be type 13 (due to position of left asterisk -star – character).
The problem here is, that Zakiyan draw those cancels by hand. This way its not possible to use this images for complete comparison purposes. But luckily I got another document for this.
By now you have probably seen it already by yourself. The cancel on the stamp is a forgery.
Some points in detail:
– the outer borderline on the genuine cancel is thicker than the inner circle – this is not true for the fake one
– the upper horizontal line is blotted (double)
– the digits of the date are warped and not as exact as on the genuine cancel
– the characters of the name of the post station are wrong
In the last months I have seen a lot of these doubtful cancels – primarily on cut pieces – on ebay and Co. Most of the time from sellers in Armenia.
Here an example that is currently listed.
It is clearly fake too. Be very careful with those items.
Postscript: Another fake cancel fresh from the internet.