The Samovar

Dubious 7R, Sc #40

David Jay - 3/19/2016 at 12:50

Have a look at this lot; 371446016997

It has a certificate from someone I've not heard (which doesn't necessarily mean anything). One can't measure or measure the perfs from the image.
However, it seems to me that the ornament at top right is not correct, per the Lobachevsky catalog. Also, the cancel is conveniently across the "T" at left, so it is hard to judge this detail.


IvoSteijn - 3/19/2016 at 13:56

I'd never heard of this "Professional Stamp Experts" outfit who issued the certificate. From their website, their chief area of activity is grading the condition of US stamps. They don't even mention foreign stamps... On their list of Experts I don't see a single name that inspires confidence when it comes to Russia, so I'd disregard the certificate completely...

Both the seller and these Professional Stamp Experts are based in California.

Andrey - 3/20/2016 at 20:41

I cannot see any problem with that particular stamp. Stamp looks OK to me.

Re: certificates. I saw a few issued by this company that misrepresented the Russian stamps that they were issued for.

David Jay - 3/21/2016 at 01:15

Andrey - the stem appears to be in the wrong place in the ornament, top right. isn't that pretty indicative?

Andrey - 3/21/2016 at 06:43

David. Here are 2 images. 1st is of the stamp in question, 2nd is one of the genuine from my inventory.

Please clarify what do you mean by "stem appears to be in the wrong place in the ornament"

rossica40-1 right top corner.jpg - 77kB rossica40-2 right top corner.jpg - 90kB

Andrey - 3/21/2016 at 07:09

I also made for you 2 scans of the right top corners of Sperati and Fournier forgeries

rossica40  right top corner sperati.jpg - 98kB rossica40  right top corner Fournier.jpg - 85kB

From Rossica 94-95

David Jay - 3/21/2016 at 23:57

Seems like The Lobachevsky catalong needs to be reissued.

Attached is the description of the Fakes of Sc #40, from the Lobachevsky Catalog, published in Rossica 94-95. The stamp offered on ebay appears
to have the wrong number of feathers as well as having the ornament wrong at top right. You can see that the detail quite clearly in the Fournier and Sperati forgeries.

I learned how to expertise Sc # 39 and 40 from Norman Epstein, who taught me a lot.

Attachment: Sc#40.pdf (238kB)
This file has been downloaded 159 times

Andrey - 3/22/2016 at 05:39

Lobachevsky catalog is correct.

Rossica illustration needs to be corrected.

Here are 2 comparison scans of the stem connections (from Rossica and from original Lobachevsky catalog published in volume 15 of the "Sovetsky kollekzioner")

lobachevskiy-rossica.jpg - 70kB lobachevskiy-original.jpg - 263kB

RE: stamp offered on Ebay has correct number of feathers at eagle's wing: 14 !!!!.

David, it is genuine stamp.

an ex Feberge copy

David Jay - 3/23/2016 at 20:30

Here is a copy I purchased from Corinphila, out of the
Faberge collection. I've posted it before, and everyone thought
it was genuine, as I do.

Scott #40 - Genuine_UR.jpg - 73kB

Andrey - 3/24/2016 at 12:44

Yes, it is genuine as well as Ebay item from the 1st post.

David Jay - 3/24/2016 at 15:10

I think yours is genuine, the other not.

Andrey - 3/24/2016 at 21:23

David, if Ebay stamp is not genuine, than we found an old "forgery", existence of which was hidden for many years...:)

David Jay - 3/24/2016 at 23:13

Well, there are more varieties of the forgeries than usually described, because the forgers were not
all that consistent. One has to look at the paper, the perfs, the size of the design, and all the details.
I found, for example, previously unknown fakes of the Finish equivalents of this issue. I described these in some Rossica volume in 1980s or 1990s. So yes, finding previously undescribed fakes is not that unusual. There were not very many of this stamp issued, maybe a few thousand, yet there are always a few on ebay. Obviously, almost all fakes.

By the way, I should thank you for pointing out the inadequacy of the Rossica illustrations. You are right that this should be updated.

Andrey - 3/25/2016 at 13:43


There are probably unknown old forgeries of $# 40 exists somewhere, I am not lucky enough to see or find one.

Back to the stamp from eBay, I will repeat once more, it is genuine one.

I am attaching the full image of it just to have it in this topic.

40 for rossica trimmed.jpg - 432kB

Maxime Citerne - 3/28/2016 at 13:21

Just a short comment on the certificate issuer.

I had a few written interactions with its representative (Caj) in the past. Basically they are the leaders of that nonsense scheme of grading stamps (you know, that super ultra common 10$ modern stamp that is slabbed in a box, described as 98XXX and then get sold for 500$...). Their way of doing business basically comes from the coin world.

I have seen several cases where their judgement about quality was very inadequate.

Like Sismondo, they try now to emit certificates on everything that pass through their hands (recently tried to enter the business certification of Chinese, German and Australian stamps...). Not serious in my opinion.

I would eventually trust one of their certificates for a US stamp (not on cover). Certainly not trustable for Imperial Russia material anyway.