Let’s start with a statement: Cancels besides Erevan or Aleksandropol are a rarity on stamps of the Dashnak period [Ceresa]: namely framed and unframed Z overprints on Tsarist stamps. So when I got this stamp for certification, I was quite excited.
The cancel has all the characteristics that are typical for a genuine imprint.
This is a fine example of the Igdyr * * a cancel – here used on the 20.2.1913. Ashford lists this stamp as Type 3 – the bigger one of the serial “a” cancels with the 28mm diameter. Zakiyan show it as Type 8 in his latest book. But neither Zakiyan nor Ashford or Tchilinghirian or Ceresa report this cancel on Dashnak stamps.
The stamp itself shows an unframed Z on 3 Kopecks. Michel number is 31a and the catalog value – if genuine – would be 170€. This is for used with the most common cancellation – Erivan or Aleksandropol.
But here is this stamp with an Idgyr cancellation. Igdyr is a small town 50 km away from Erevan, over the river, located on the plains right before Mount Ararat. It was part of the first republic but on October 20, 1920, the Turks occupied it and the territory would not be regained later.
A usage in Igdyr would seem to be possible. However, the unframed Zs appeared not before 1920. A cancellation in 1913 is not possible.
The unframed Z itself shows not the typical ink of the genuine overprints, and the shape is also incorrect – especially visible on the “handles” of the Z.
This clearly is a forgery. The unframed Z was applied at a later time. Remains the question, why would a forger do this? Perhaps he was aware of the rarity of the combination of cancel and overprint? We do not know. Still, it is nice to have a genuine imprint of the Igdyr cancel.
PS: The “1” of the “1913” year can clearly be spotted on the enlarged fragment.