The Samovar

Western Army Eagle Forgeries

jshealy - 3/3/2011 at 21:00

The March issue of the APS journal, page 238, has an article on Western Army stamps. On page 238, the author shows a genuine stamp, and the he goes on to describe two forgeries.

I believe Dr. Ceresa, in an early version of his handbooks (I believe Volume 3, parts 16-18) on page 116, shows this stamp and identifies it as one of three forgeries.

I think these are inconsistent. If I have read this these two things correctly, I am asking whether there has been new information on this issue discovered, that would change Dr. Ceresa's conclusions?

Have I made a mistake in my reading?

Genuine vs forgeries

cec71 - 3/3/2011 at 21:57

The original description of genuine vs forgeries was based on the article by Varro in an AP article published in 1983. See citation p 240. The genuine and forgeries in that article conform to the current photos shown.

jshealy - 3/4/2011 at 17:21

Thanks. I don't have a copy of that article, but I looked to see what I do have. What I do have is a copy of p. 433-34 of the APS journal, May 1984, in which (after considering some more information, and comments from Dr. Ceresa) Mr. Tyler wrote: "In the meantime it seems reasonably safe to assume that the item designated as genuine in my May AP article is really the Type 1 forgery, and that the Type 1 forgery described there is the genuine stamp."

If this 1984 statement expresses the latest opinion on this issue, then I am thinking of contacting the editor about the inconsistency. Please let me know of any new information on this issue. I would like to read it, and maybe reclassify some of the stamps in my collection. In that case I wouldn't contact the editor.

cec71 - 3/6/2011 at 09:24

Did Ceresa have any comments on this issue in his series of monographs on forgeries? I could not find any mention in my index of these? Will get a copy of the follow up APS article you noted.

darwin67 - 3/7/2011 at 10:31

Varro Tyler, in the Linn's publication Focus on Forgeries (pub.2000), reinterated his statement of 1984. When I read the recent AP articler I also was struck by the contradictions.
I wonder if the author was aware of Tyler's published retraction of his earlier opinion?

darwin67 - 3/15/2011 at 08:32

I just noticed that Leon Finik is currently offering both perforated and imperforate sets of Western Army stamps for sale. These are the types that Tyler, in his 1984 retraction, stated were genuine.

cec71 - 3/16/2011 at 09:54

In the Progress Report published by Tyler in the May 84, AP he states,"However, if you believe this present article will provide a final, definitive answer to the question of the identity of the genuine and forged stamps, YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED (capital letters my addition).
Each should classify these stamps as they wish.

cec71 - 3/16/2011 at 21:40

Also in the Progress Report Tyler suggests an analysis of the genuine/forgeries by color and type of paper. A Letter to the Editor of the American Philatelist might be helpful to prod the author the disputed article to do an analysis of the forgeries by paper etc. as he did on the genuine issues. Possibly this could further the separation of genuine and forgery.

igorfmyask - 4/13/2011 at 01:38

Varro Tyler was right in his first publication.

There are documents in the Hoover Institution Archive related to this issue. In according to documents chief of West Army Public Relation Division A.K. Remmer ordered postal and revenue stamps at Gotz' Litography in Berlin. About 9-10 million stamps were prepared but seized by German police together with plates after Avalov-Bermondt started offensive attack on Riga. The only 160,000 stamps (both postal and revenue) survived becouse they were in possetion of captain Gershelman who had to deliver them to Latvia. Looks like Gotz wishing to recovery money he spent, prepared new plates, printed some amount of stamps and sold them to Hanover dealer so Gotz' forgeries became considered as genuine stamps. Of course Dr. Ceresa did not know this story when he wrote his handbooks because the documents were published in Russia in 2003.

jshealy - 4/15/2011 at 15:11

This is new information and very interesting.

Thank you.

Genuine vs type I and II forgeries

cec71 - 4/28/2011 at 21:20

This additional information still does not help to ascertain which are the genuine (original or first printing) and which are the "forged" (reprinted or reengraved stamps). If the printer produced new plates then do we assume the original or first printings were the genuine and the new plates are the forgeries? Looks like which came first the chicken or the egg?

Dr. Ray Ceresa - 8/23/2014 at 10:37

I have now amassed about 2-3,000 copies of this issue including many sheets.

Abrief summary is as follows:

Original issue appeared in about 1930 ( I purchase my first copies at 4 for a penny in 1934 and still have the very same stamps with flour and water paste still on the backs). Printed on thin semi -translucent gummed paper.

Reprints on a variety of papers from 1932 onwards.

Printing from new set of plates by the original printers. (originally identified as F1 forgery with the reshaped P)

Reprints on the same variety of papers from 193 onwards (probably at same time as regional reprints to meet the demand for the issue).

50 kop blue with very worn plates and retouched on every position of the plate giving 100 subtypes

A printing of 1 kop. in brown from a new plate with 50 stamps. (This is not a half sheet but a new printing by the original printers). Paper has creamish colour tinted by the brown ink.

The scarce F2 forgeries not easy to spot.

The F3 forgery very common appeared about 1938

Collectors forgeries prepared by photocopying or scanning (genuine or forged) always on normal white paper for photocopiers or printers.

My digital forgery printed on white office paper (prepared for fun and for comparison.

All the above issued imperf.

Later varius perf. varieties appeared from other sources.

If there is sufficient interest I will scan selected items.