The Samovar

Another dodgy seller on ebay

verny - 5/13/2018 at 12:30

I have recently seen a new dodgy seller appear on ebay. (antoniostamps is the ebay name) he is selling a lot of 'rare' colour errors that look to me like chemically altered stamps. They include items from Tsarist to medern and even a block of 'soldiers Kopeck' charity stamps. this block is interesting as if you look carefully at the scan you can see ghost letters where the red text is supposedly missing. A similar effect can be seen on a Lenin miniature sheet supposedly missing the red colour. he has also been offering imperforate items and 'proofs/essays' that set alarm bells ringing together with the usual Denikin rosettes instead of numbers bogus issue sold as 'proofs'.
I have contacted him regarding some items but received no reply. he also has negative feedback from a French collector which translates as 'Seller is a crook stamps are all false'. I have as usual in these cases reported some of the items to ebay but they never take any of them down. ca change!

IvoSteijn - 5/13/2018 at 20:02

All those "color varieties" look like simple bleaching to me (sunlight or chemical). I also see the usual array of fake Soviet proofs.

verny - 5/14/2018 at 10:59

My thoughts exactly. There seems to be a new cottage industry out there with new sellers popping up like mushrooms after the rain, each offering a range of fantasy proofs and varieties selling a batch and then never listing again only for similar material to pop up a month later under a new seller name.
Besides the chemically altered items and fake proofs there is a new range of faked overprints appearing. These all look to be digitally scanned from an original isolated from their background and then printed onto the basic original stamps - often inverted or partial prints.
Apart from the amazingly crisp definition it is also possible, from the small imperfections in the original, to spot that the same original overprint has been used to produce varieties on a range of values. So for example the same star overprint copied from say a 20K arms is reproduced digitally on not only a 20K but also on a 15K in double print, inverted, partial etc etc.

Another scam being operated arises as a direct result of ebay policy. Ebay allows the sale of fakes and reprints as long as they are marked as such. Some sellers are thus marketing reproduction colour trials etc as 'spacefillers for collectors' - described as reprints to comply with e-bay policy but not marked in any way on the items themselves. This of course means that after the initial sale they are in circulation completely unmarked as bogus items. I have already seen these items appearing in dealers stocks with no indication as to their proper status.

By allowing the sale of forgeries unmarked as such ebay has opened the floodgates.