Thoughts about new lots at Raritan

The current auction (#68) at Raritan lists some lots from Armenia. While the some (e.g. the pictorial color proofs) look genuine, there are others which are outright fake or dubious.

The framed Z on 1 Kopek should always be examined with great caution. The base stamp was used for the k60k overprint. Tchilinghirian/Ashford do not list this overprint on the 1 Kopeck stamp. The only possible reason for an existing item would be an over the counter production. I have not seen a genuine one so far.


Even with the low resolution of the scan it is obvious that that is a fake overprint.

It is not as easy with the cover and the newspaper items.

Let us start with the cover. The script and paper look legit. General appearance is like a genuine item.


When looking more carefully, doubts arise. The cancel on the front side looks quite uneven, but I would still give it the benefit of doubt.


The big giveaway is the backside. The 35K overprints are fake (wrong shape and ink) and the cancel is wrong. The part from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock is probably genuine but the remaining 3 quarters are clearly forged.


Conclusion: genuine stampless cover with added forged stamps and cancel.  You need not to be an expert for Armenian stamps to see this.

More complicated are the newspaper items. They should generally be viewed with caution. It is always a temptation for forgers to make a valuable item from several cheap original ones. My experience with the newspapers is: genuine newspaper + genuine stamp + genuine overprint and forged cancel (at least the part on the paper).

Here an example.


A pity the resolution is so low. I think the auction houses could do better. They need to make a scan either way and why not provide a link to a high resolution scan as download? That would be not much extra work and is an excellent service for all potential customers.

I do not like the appearance of the cancel in general, but even with the low resolution given you can see the wrong shape of the character “she”.


In my opinion the other newspaper items are at least doubtful, most likely forged. More could be said with better scans or the items on my desk.

Take care!

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2 Responses to Thoughts about new lots at Raritan

  1. The newspaper forgeries have been in circulation since the1990s (at least), with forged ERIVAN canels as well as this rubbish Alexandropol cancel (which you can see more clearly in the illustrations in the ARTAR book . Some of the newspapers have a cachet of the Museum of the Revolution in Ervivan from which I guess they were removed. I first saw them in Paris 20 years ago where a travelling Armenian dealer with a suitcase of stuff was selling them to naive collectors.

  2. I agree fully with all the conclusions made about these dangerous forgeries offer in auction. Ray Ceresa

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