Covers at Raritan – some first thoughts

No 77 of the Raritan auction lists some interesting items. Here are my thoughts to each one.

1. The picture postcard with the early date

The picture postcard looks quite clean but I do not like the framed Z. They look very untypical. The tariff could be ok – 30 Kopeck for postcard just matches with the 30 Kop overprint on the postcards that were made in November. However, the framed Z overprinting started in November-December 1919 with first the small types (E.1) and also at the beginning in violet ink. While it is not too hard to find a postcard with framed Zs in early 1920, finding them from December 1919 is not that easy and a November PC would be really difficult. And then at the start of November… Extremely unlikely. Another (bad) sign is the first stop after the day of the date which is not on any other Erivan “d” cancels I have seen.

2. The Erivan to Batum cover

The next one is a cover with a franking of 8 Rubles. The tariff for letter was 5 Rubles in March 1920. Registered is most likely twice as much so this is a bit in between. The Erivan “d” cancel (most likely “d”) shows the correct stop after the month and no stop after the day which is correct. The overprints on the stamp are looking good. The Batum cancel also shows the correct (typical) gap and ink .

3. The Alexandropol cover with the combined overprints

The next cover was sent from Alexandropol on the 29.8.2?. This should be a “0” since the inland letter rate was 10 Rubles from October 1920 and went to 25 Rubles in November 1920. I would expect this to be higher at the end of October but we have no exact dates here. Kars fell to the Turks at the 30th of October and Alexandropol a week later.

The cancel on the frontside looks a bit uneven (6 o’clock) but the resolution is really bad.

The backside shows another cancellation and two stamps with combined overprints. Again the resolution is really bad, but I do not like the looks of the framed Z and the 5.

4. The newspaper item

The last item shows the notorious newsletter item with the added stamp and the forged cancellation. The shape of the serial character is the easiest to spot give away.

A much better analysis could be mad with a better scan, for a solid check I would need the items in my hands.

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One Response to Covers at Raritan – some first thoughts

  1. trevor pateman says:

    In relation to item 2, the ALEXANDRPOL cancel on the front is almost certainly genuine but the cancel on the back almost certainly forged. If you do a letter by letter comparison the differences are obvious and typical of a family of forgeries in which the letters of the forged cancel tend to be smaller and weaker than on the original. My guess is that this was a 1921 stampless official cover, the forger taking advantage of the ambiguity between a 1920 and a 1921 possible date

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