The Samovar

Detecting forgeries of 1922 Child Semipostal

davpot - 5/27/2007 at 19:48

Just wondering if anyone could add any additional ways to detect forgeries of the 1922 "Philately for the Children" set.
One entry here on the site mentions the lack of a crosshatch in the "A" of the 3rd line of overprint, but are there other visual signs one should be aware of? This set is really expensive and I, just today, detected forgeries on an auction site using the above test. Comments most welcome. Frankly, Im scared to death of Russian overprints!!

jlechtanski - 5/27/2007 at 20:11

Some closeups from a Cherrystone Auction - see lots 1017-1023

Gary - 5/28/2007 at 06:00

A couple of items on eBay

jlechtanski - 5/28/2007 at 12:06

Two more examples from a Raritan Auction:

Does anyone have an image of a known forgery?

mvarfolo - 5/29/2007 at 22:57

I'll throw in a few points, based largely on Vovin's book 'Expertization of Russian Stamps" and on generally acquired observations. I have only one fake B24 to post in the forgeries section, not much of forgeries collection to boast about, but Ebay provides plenty on occasion. It's an interesting issue with plenty of forged examples, I'm sure folks with deeper inventory may have more samples to share.
Also, please feel free to add/correct.

And I'm by no means "an expert".

Anyway - first, there are two printings - the first printing overprint is grayish-black in color, when magnified you can see some inclusions in the paint. The additional printing(s) has/have an overprint dark black in color, the contours are very well defined.
Does anyone know for sure how many official additional prints were really done - I'm not sure, so I put this in possible plural.

Vovin mentions 5 types of forgeries (out of gazillion)

a) inverted overprint - basically clearly different in letters and in their position to one another. Highlights - wider, more round 'C's in RSFSR, 9 is right under D in "detyam", should be more on the left, 8 is under "ya" in "detyam", in original it is between "e" and "t", etc. And no dash at all before "detyam"
b) inverted overprint - also no dash before "detyam", letters are roughly made. The positioning is closer to original, but plenty of discrepancies. Highlight - 'L' in Filateliya - the legs are not parallel. All the letters in "detyam" are of a very different style as compared to original. You'll notice rather quickly - they do look quite different, so moving on to forgery #3...
c) regular overprint - quite better made. Circles in "F" from "filateliya" are wider and more round, letter "d" in "detyam" is shifted way to the right (should be somewhat above 19 in the date. Letters in Filateliya are a bit larger and more thin, compared to original.
d) onverted overprint - no dash before detyam. Letters are of thicker print. Highlight to easily identify - 22 is shifted way to the right. In the original - should be directly under letter "M" in "Detyam".
e) Probably the closest one to the original. inverted overprint.
it is less defined and clear as compared to the original.
Dash is one mm longer 3.8, instead of 2.8-3mm as in the original.

In all good examples dashes in the date are 2.5mm in length. Forgeries are all over the place with this feature, typically their dashes are much longer.

Also - the overprint was done via manual typographed method, so there are bound to exist varieties in the original, sometimes, quite significant. So it is not recommended to look at shape of "2"s, "8"s' for example when determining authenticity.
Letter R in RSFSR can be positioned somewhat differently. However, other letters don't shift much in relation to each other.
There is one stamp in the original sheet that has no dash - so... the absense of dash is not automatically bad thing. Need to look at the rest of the features.

There are dozens of different forged variations. But this info is hopefully enough to start identifying them more successfully.
It would be great to have a good squeaky clean reference copy. And looking at these five examples above - you get the idea where and how the world of forgeries is different.

I am quite sure the inkjet varieties extremely close to the original currently exist also. But then - it's the inkjet, with all its characteristics.

Then there's forged cancellations and oddly enough - forged perforations (crudely made - check the stamp size...).

Well, hope it helps somewhat.

jlechtanski - 5/30/2007 at 14:33

Zagorski mentions one reissue made from new plates because the orginials were defaced.

He mentions the following varieties:

Original issue:

narrow figure "8" - 4 stamps per sheet

wide letter "D" in DETYAM - position 2


narrow figure "8" - 10 stamps per sheet

shortened dash before figure "8" - position 8

open second letter S in RSFSR - postion 17

no dash after figure - position 19

One of the stamps illustrated in the Raritan auction looks like the narrow figure "8"

davpot - 6/9/2007 at 20:14

Here are 4 examples of used overprints. I wanted to run these by the board and see if anyone sees an abvious fake.
I see some "gray" overprints and the As all are crosshatched. I did not a different "8" on one. You may see it in the 2nd example from the left. Please speak up if you dont like what you see or vice versy!
My thanks to all! I got the dealers OK to return if these are dodgy. (phew!) My impression is that they are OK, but here I am......begging....

russki4.jpg - 228kB

davpot - 6/10/2007 at 10:08

I thought Id mention that the blue and red values show vivid network watermark (crosshatching) on soaking (to remove old hinge) The other values did not. Is this of note or normal?

msmike - 6/10/2007 at 12:03

As you might notice, the is an difference is each of them. The "1" in the each of the stamps is different, the "8" in the 2K and the 5K. Personnally, I am cautious of each of them and would have to see them in hand to be sure. Then I could check them against my forgery file. The cross hatching doesn't concern me. It should be there on all the stamps. Some of them could get darker with age. But someone else would have to tell you if the cancels are forgeries.

Gary - 6/10/2007 at 12:17

The cancels are Moscow from the 35th postal office, serial A. The date is 22.(1 or 10 or 11).1923. Although I have no examples after 1917, the star at the left is lower relative to the date bar than similar marks pre-1917. But that in and of itself means nothing by 1923.