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Author: Subject: Its back again!
David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 15:05
Its back again!


The alleged 20 #3 on cover:

lot 110116860890

http://cgi.ebay.com/Russia-1858-20-Kopeken-blue-orange-with-...

I asked the seller for better scans. He replied promptly, which means either that he doesn't understand this is a fake, or he has a low estimate of the intelligence of American philatelists.

There are three scans. Lets start with the front.
Ivo mentioned last time that the accounting marks did not sort with the stamp being applied. Note that the blue Prussian rail mark really appears to say "25 Aout 1858", unless it has been cleverly altered from 1868. If this is true, then the stamp shouldn't be on the letter at all, since franked foreign letters were not allowed until 1864. the stamp looks a bit hard used, like maybe a pen cancel was removed to accomodate the probably fake cancel. The cancel is well done -- correct number of dots, some of which show the charcteristic feature of being inked around the edges and not in the middle. So perhaps the cancel is genuine, and only the dots on the envelope were added? For future reference note the fold at top.
at the top of the letter.
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 15:08
Oops! too large


In cut down form.

No3oncover2_small.jpg - 182kB
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 15:21
Now the back


Here we see a Moscow cancel 25 July 185(?)8. Looks to me like it has been altered from 1868. This is ironic, since a stamped letter would be more credible going to France in 1868 than 1858. Note
also that there was no Moscow mark on the front -- why not?. I'm dubious that this Moscow mark was even in use in 1858 -- perhaps Gary can comment on this point? There is also no obvious reason why a letter should be posted and cancelled at Taurogen (a border office, as indicated by the cancel on the stamp) then be sent to Moscow. By the way, can someone confirm that this is 9 (Taurogen), not 6 (Odessa?) There is certainly no reason why a stamp would have been added at the border post office, since it was not legal to prepay with stamps for letters abroad -- this presumably only have been done by an ignorant sender at the point of origin, presumably Moscow.
The length of time between the Moscow mark 25 July (6 August by the modern calendar and Prussia (25 August) is also suspiciously long.

No3oncover1.jpg - 164kB
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 15:31
And the other mark on the reverse


Just noticed that the faint mark on the reverse which should be a Paris receiver looks like ??/A__?/1868, presumably Aout. Certainly not 1858. Perhaps someone with more experience with French postmarks can clarify, but I see no evidence of "Paris" on this mark. I think it says "Etranger" at top and something starting with
"T" at the bottom left, but this could be wrong. This all suggests to me that the front and top back flap of the letter don't belong together at all -- note the strange fold at the top in the previous scan.

So now lets look at the certificate in the next post.
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Gary
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 15:38


The Moscow 5th Dispatch office marks are not recorded before 1860. This one looks like a good mark from the 1860s with the year probably altered. For comparison, here is a good 5th DO mark from 1868.

mosk-1868.jpg - 7kB
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 15:51
Now the certificate..


I'm suspicious that the cert has been joined from two pieces that don't belong together, maybe two pieces of genuine certs, or perhaps the bottom was made to order. Note the heavy fold (what a coincidence), just before the statement of whether it is genuine (echt). The phrasing of the top (my wife tells me) is such that the bottom could say that it is genuine (as it does) or a total forgery, which seems to be the case. The top also claims that the receiver is "Joinville le Pont", which is highly dubious. The top also does not date the letter. It is possible, of course, that the cert is a forgery from beginning to end. Mikulski claims that there are only 15 letters with this stamp in existence. The only one used after 1864 that I know of was in the Mikulski collection and was sold last year. This is not it... The estimated price was also $20,000, so no knowledgable person would offer this letter starting at $2000.

No3oncover3.jpg - 170kB
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IvoSteijn
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 17:39


Quote:
Originally posted by David Jay
I'm suspicious that the cert has been joined from two pieces that don't belong together, maybe two pieces of genuine certs, or perhaps the bottom was made to order. Note the heavy fold (what a coincidence), just before the statement of whether it is genuine (echt). The phrasing of the top (my wife tells me) is such that the bottom could say that it is genuine (as it does) or a total forgery, which seems to be the case. The top also claims that the receiver is "Joinville le Pont", which is highly dubious. The top also does not date the letter. It is possible, of course, that the cert is a forgery from beginning to end. Mikulski claims that there are only 15 letters with this stamp in existence. The only one used after 1864 that I know of was in the Mikulski collection and was sold last year. This is not it... The estimated price was also $20,000, so no knowledgable person would offer this letter starting at $2000.


Not sure why you're dubious about the receiver. "Joinville-le-Pont" seems quite probable, from the bad strike.

I have no reason to doubt any of those details of the letter. It's addressed to Joinville-le-Pont, the transit and arrival amrks look fine, except there's been heavy tampering with the year in at least two of the postmarks. I just believe the stamp doesn't belong on it, and was added later.

I have no experience with Buehler's certificates, so it might be a genuine certificate from a bad expertiser. If it is then they should take his tweezers away from him because it's a pretty blatant fake.
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/20/2007 at 17:48


Ivo --

You are right about the receiver - I was trying to read it starting in the wrong place. the hazard of not having the item in hand.
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Gary
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[*] posted on 4/21/2007 at 07:57


If this letter were indeed processed in Moscow for dispatch to a foreign destination, we should see the following type of mark on the reverse up to 1860.

Moscow-1856.jpg - 11kB
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Gary
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[*] posted on 4/21/2007 at 07:57


For similar items after 1860, we should see a mark similar to this one.

moscow-1861.jpg - 13kB
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jlechtanski
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[*] posted on 4/21/2007 at 10:26


According to Dobin, the Prussian boxed P.38 was first used 1.1.1862.
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[*] posted on 4/21/2007 at 10:47


For a comparison of the Odessa 6 and Tauroggen 9 dotted cancels see Rossica Journal 63:

http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?s=rosj&m=hd37J&a...
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Lacplesis
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[*] posted on 4/23/2007 at 17:58


Seller has withdrawn the auction by himself.
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