Chassepot Issue (also Paris Issue) 1920


The complete issue in tree different designs. Many stamps exist in different shades. Gum is often cracked and varies too. Mass reprints of all values exist.


Many variations, trials and printer waste exist. Special care is necessary to not confuse the specials of the originals with the specials of the reprints, which are not nearly as valuable. Many specials of the reprints are actually plentiful. You can buy some of them in complete sheets for small money.

Here some examples. Many more are in the famous so called Book of Proofs.

Essay of the 10 ruble without figure of value and currceny.

Very rare and not in the book of proofs.

3 ruble in wrong color, imperforated and with another value in another color printed on the back side

15 ruble imperforated

Imperforated stamps of the original printing are rare!

40 ruble color trial

50 ruble fantail

100 ruble stamps with inner printing in gray color

100 ruble stamps with double print of the inner section

100 ruble stamp with misperforations


The first five stamps were overprinted in pairs and send to the UPU for recognition. The UPU never officially reacted and later those stamps found there way into the stamp trade. The book of proofs contains pairs of stamps with specimen overprints till 15 rubles, but not on higher values! Specimen overprints on higher values are not described in the literature and I strongly believe they are forgeries.


The stamps from 1 to 15 rubles were overprinted and used for fiscal purposes. Many documents with used examples – with the exception of the 3 rubles stamp – exist. The status of the latter is not completely clear. The overprints were later forged. All known sources only describe the usage of these overprints on the lower values. Overprints on higher values are forgeries. No used piece on a genuine document is known!


Mass reprints of all values exist. The print is often unclean, the border lines on the left side to small, the numerals not completely inked and the distances between the stamps in the sheets is wider. The frame of the designs from 25 rubles onward are bigger (1 mm higher).


Like with the original printing, many variations exist. Most are much more common in comparison to the variations of the originals.

Here some examples.

5 ruble reprint pair imperforated in between

5 rubles multiple imperforated

Imperforated stamps of the reprints are plentiful.

70 rubles imperforated and inner section upside down

This stamps is plentiful as reprint, but rare as original.

Book of Proofs

The so called Book of Proofs is one of the famous rarities of the Armenian philately. I let a part of a document I got when I bought this book speak for itself. If there really are only six of these books, I cannot say. But one thing is sure, its rare.

Here is the cover and three sample pages.

And the certificate from Mr. Behr.