Forgeries of the Fiscal Overprint on the Paris Issue stamps

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.

Here are several samples in a reduced resolution, just like you will find them on the internet and in auctions. Can you spot the genuine and the fake ones?samples #

The first two stamps are Russian (Zsarist) fiscal stamps, all others are Paris issue.

Things get clearer when high resolution scans are made.h+z 123456 #


h+z 6The 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.





h+z 4The Russian fiscal stamps are not forged quite as often. In this case the overprint is genuine.







h+z 5Same story here. A nice example for comparison.








h+z 1The 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.





h+z 2The 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.





h+z 3Finally 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.




Here is a scan of the part set ex Ceresa – all fake. The 15 rubles stamp from above (#5) is from this set. Again no genuine example of the overprint on higher values.incl set trevor ceresa small


This is a genuine fiscal document with a strip of fiscal stamps.fiscal document 1923 full small


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One Response to Forgeries of the Fiscal Overprint on the Paris Issue stamps

  1. I agree fully with all stephan’s comments and his identifications. My collection of genuine Armenian Fiscal documents including this issue has been on the market for 4 months but there is little interest!!!!

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