The so called Paris issue or Chassepot issue (the name of the printing works in Paris) was never brought into use since once it arrived in Erevan, the Armenian communist had taken over and the Dashnaks who ordered this issue for their first republic no longer holded the governmental power. Some of the stamps – which are quite beautiful design-wise – were later (around 1923) overprinted and used for fiscal purposes. The overprints used were also used on “pure” fiscal Russian stamps. So far genuine overprints are only known for the lower values (see Tchilinghirian/Ashford and Ceresa). Overprints on higher nominations have appeared – first reported on the US market – but so far I did not see a genuine one.
Recently I got hold on some of the overprint forgeries (mainly ex Ceresa). Closer inspection shows how those forgeries were made. Now I need some of the doubtful overprints on the higher nominations to check if the forgeries are identical. Offers welcome! I only need them for a week or less.
The first two stamps are Russian (Zsarist) fiscal stamps, all others are Paris issue.
The overprinted stamps are on a faked letter piece. The ink is wrong, size, and appearance are good. This one is highly doubtful, almost certainly a forgery. Sometimes genuine stamps are used for fake documents.
The Russian fiscal stamps are not forged quite as often. In this case the overprint is genuine.
Same story here. A nice example for comparison.
The ink is watery and the impression unclean. This is a forgery. Perhaps a rubber cancel was made for this. The drawing is correct which leads to the assumption that digital reproduction techniques were used for producing the fake stamp device.
The stamp is ex Ceresa and a nice example for a so called digital forgery. The drawing is accurate, the size and features correct, but no traditional ink was used for the print. My guess is a laser printer was used. The “ink” spreads in little dots. This leads to a very unclean appearance when magnified.
Finally a genuine overprint on a stamp of the Paris issue. Those stamps are quite rare. Extra care is necessary when documents which these stamps appear. Forgers tried to add some items to the market since the extremely rare genuine documents could not saturate the demand.