How to generally detect West Australian stamp forgeries.

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How to generally detect West Australian stamp forgeries.

Post by Browny »

As western Australia is my collecting interests, I have seen a growing number of forgeries passed of as the "Real Thing"!

This particularly applies to ebay, however many collections unknowingly have them within.

Thought I'd show a scan of the real and forged together so people don't get stung.

LEFT STAMP = FORGERY

Image


There are some obvious differences, that when noted, you can usually tell at a glance if genuine.

1. SQUARE 'U' in Australia. (On forgery, the U has squared corners, where-as genuine is rounded)

2. The size is ½mm too big in both directions on forgery.

3. The forgery has 2 light, parallel scratches runningvertically down from under 'P' of postage to adjacent to the swan's breast.

4. Forgery has a squared foot.

5. There are a few types of generic forged cancels on the swans, however the majority are cancelled with a 4 ring circle which is quite distinctive. (shown below in block)

Image

Also apparent are the obvious perf differences, background shading, and no watermark paper utilised. (many types!)

Please note that this is a generalised summation of some of the distinctive features of the common Spiro/Fournier forged swans, and that there were other types forged with different characteristics than those mentioned above.

Hope the above helps.

Cheers.
Browny.

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Post by ozstamps »

There are quite a lot of WA swan forgeries.

The WA Study group handbook thankfully lists most of course. :idea:

The Spiro are very crude thank goodness.

The most dangerous commonly encountered one I have ever seen is an imperf 1d black that was REALLY tough to pick ... do you have one of those to scan browny?
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Post by ozstamps »

Speaking of faked WA .. .these are the inverted centres ..

one
of these below is the best fake I have ever seen, and fooled the greatest collectors, dealers and experts for many decades:

Guess which one is the fake? BEFORE you click on the link below: 8)

ImageImage

Full details here:


https://www.glenstephens.com/snmay06.html
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Post by COLIN »

Thanks Browny

this type of information is always appreciated and very interesting.

Rgds

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Post by GlenStephens »

The one Sperati forgery I've never owned is the WA £1 Orange QV. I tried to buy the Baillie copy last year but was under-bidder. It sold for $1000s. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

The way you pick it apart is that it is BETTER than the government issued stamp, as he touched out some tiny dots of orange colour the government left on the plate!

ALL collectors should carefully read up on Jean Sperati - https://www.glenstephens.com/sperati.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sperati was the greatest stamp forger of all time.

His work was routinely passed as GENUINE by Expert bodies for decades.

He was a trained chemist and worked out how to print over the TOP of cancels and make it undetectable he had done so.

It was so good the BPA spent an absolute FORTUNE to buy his material after he died - much of it no-one had a clue he had made.

They paid abut 10 million of today's dollars.

I sold this 2/6d BNG shown below a while back.

It was a Sperati forgery.

Perversely, the stamp has an old 1939 Royal Philatelic Society London Certificate (signed by keeper of the Royal Collection, Sir John Wilson!) saying it is a genuine SG #14b (today this has been re-numbered by Gibbons as SG #16 - Cat. £2,500).

That Certificate and opinion is wrong, and again shows slavish obedience to Certificates can be costly, as the fake is worth MORE than a genuine SG #16!

It is a Sperati forgery, and is quite possibly the only one now existing. Interestingly the Certificate is dated well BEFORE Sperati's activities became widely known.

Image

His material was so totally dangerous the British Philatelic Association decided to protect philately and purchased his "stock" and printing blocks etc in 1953, for a sum said to be $US40,000 - an absolute fortune half a century ago.

As a valid comparison of what $US40,000 would buy in that era, Harmers London sold the entire 'T.E Field' collection of Australian Commonwealth in 1948 for £7,500.

It contained masses of proofs, essay, and mint £1 and £2 Kangaroos by the bucket-load - block after block after block - pages of them, and dozens of used. The finest collection of the Commonwealth ever offered, it would readily sell for over TEN MILLION today if offered for the first time.

Sperati was so good, a mailing of 18 forgeries addressed to Spain was seized in 1943 by French Customs who has them assessed as being all genuine.

He was arrested on a charge of 'exporting capital' estimated at being worth 300,000 Francs without a permit, and was summonsed to appear in court. Exporting forgeries was at the time legal if sold and identified as such, and free of duty or taxes.

Sperati would "sign" each very lightly on the reverse "facsimile" with easily erasable pencil, thus complying with the law! Sperati made fools of the Authorities in the long court trial by forging three more identical sets of the same 18 stamps in question, and tendered them to the court!

The Judges were impressed, dismissed the capital export change, and levied a token fine for "disturbing the normal routine of the French customs service." ( !! True !! )

Sperati was a master craftsman, and produced very small numbers of meticulous masterpieces, rather than the masses of low quality JUNK quality material manufactured by Panelli, Spiro Brothers and Fournier etc.

He had an intense interest in chemistry and associated areas, so he was able to make his fakes from GENUINE stamps. This was a very dangerous technique, as the paper, size, cancel, perforations and indeed some of the design were all then 100% genuine.

-----------------------

I have this unique £1 Tasmania Sperati £1 on my rarity page on offer for $4,000. 10-15 times the value of a genuine. 8)

The design is printed OVER the (genuine) cds.

https://www.glenstephens.com/rarity.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image

The same small cancel was common for Hobart as Browny's nice lot below for sale here shows:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=4082" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Image

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Post by COLIN »

Glen

thanks, this subject is fascinating.

Rgds

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Post by jeneralist »

Ok, so here's a WA penny black with swan wmk and does not appear to be a Spiro forgery. But is it one of those harder to identify forgeries?

Let me know if a more detailed or larger scan is needed...

Jeneralist

Image

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Post by GlenStephens »

Image


Looks 100% genuine to me. 8) 8) 8)
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Post by Browny »

Hi Jeneralist. Looks Kosher to me also. :D

3 generous margins, 4th close but full. only drawback is thin bottom left corner.

Glen, I havent seen one of those 1d black you speak of. Love to find one! :)

Wouldn't the lack of watermark be a giveaway in detecting if forged or not :?: :?

Following is a 1d black forgery as described above, along with a crude 1854 4d, and 1857 Hillman 6d Litho fake.

Image

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Post by GlenStephens »

Browny .. your central 1d black was the one I alluded to I imagine.

It was on piece with the fake cancel over the U ... so lack of wmk not readily a clue.

DARN convincing when on piece!

Especially when compared to those rather comical 6d Hillman's!
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Post by jeneralist »

Glen/Browny,

Thanks for that - yes, a thin in the corner and the signoscope shows a small thin under the swan's neck as well, but probably the best copy I'll ever own.

:D :D :D

Jeneralist

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Post by dm57 »

Another quite clever forgery.......Glen or Browny you'll have to fill in the gaps as I have no idea who the forger is



Image

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Post by GlenStephens »

dm57 - are you sure it is not watermarked?

At first glance my guess is a colour faded or sun changeling 6d red violet or that group?
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Post by GlenStephens »

Image

Here is a genuine 1d i sold recently.

The 6d above is well engraved, but does not match. A clever forgery tho, if it is one!
Last edited by GlenStephens on 13 Jan 2008 16:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Browny »

There's also been many forgeries created of the overprints on the West Australian swans.

Below shows a differentiation of the 'One Penny' O/p on the 2p yellow.



Image

LEFT = GENUINE
1. Genuine stamp has o/p on SG55, crown/CA watermark, perf 14.
2. Middle stamp is a genuine stamp with faked overprint. ALL perf 12 stamps with this overprint are forgeries.
3. Spiro forgery with overprint.
4. There are many faked overprints on the genuine perf 14 SG55. These are distinguishable by differences in measurements within the letters of the overprint.

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Post by Browny »

Hi DM57.........nice example! :)
I have a similar one, but imperf.

It is my belief that these forgeries were crafted by Panelli.
The telltale signs are the 'cloverleaf' corners, and break to underside of beak.
If yours is perf 14, then that will also confirm the forger as they are only known in that size perf.

Here's my imperf one:
Image

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Post by dm57 »

GlenStephens wrote:dm57 - are you sure it is not watermarked?

At first glance my guess is a colour faded or sun changeling 6d red violet or that group?

No watermark that I can see Glen.....but I can't see much at all at the moment....racked with the flu....I'll recheck in a day or so.......the swan has no foot though and the X in six is rather large and a slightly different shape.

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Post by dm57 »

If yours is perf 14, then that will also confirm the forger as they are only known in that size perf.


Thanks Browny......very interesting....I'll check the perf size in a day or so also........I love these forums :D :D

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Post by Kev »

Browny wrote:There's also been many forgeries created of the overprints on the West Australian swans.

Below shows a differentiation of the 'One Penny' O/p on the 2p yellow.



Image

LEFT = GENUINE
1. Genuine stamp has o/p on SG55, crown/CA watermark, perf 14.
2. Middle stamp is a genuine stamp with faked overprint. ALL perf 12 stamps with this overprint are forgeries.
3. Spiro forgery with overprint.
4. There are many faked overprints on the genuine perf 14 SG55. These are distinguishable by differences in measurements within the letters of the overprint.
Oops - sent in error - real one coming.
Do not how to delete!

Kev.
Last edited by Kev on 13 Jan 2008 16:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Kev »

Browny wrote:There's also been many forgeries created of the overprints on the West Australian swans.

Below shows a differentiation of the 'One Penny' O/p on the 2p yellow.



Image

LEFT = GENUINE
1. Genuine stamp has o/p on SG55, crown/CA watermark, perf 14.
2. Middle stamp is a genuine stamp with faked overprint. ALL perf 12 stamps with this overprint are forgeries.
3. Spiro forgery with overprint.
4. There are many faked overprints on the genuine perf 14 SG55. These are distinguishable by differences in measurements within the letters of the overprint.
G'day Browny,
How can you identify the 3rd as a Spiro forgery? Is it just that the margins are seem out of whack?
Cheers, Kev.

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Post by Browny »

Hi Kev,
The 3rd stamp has the features listed in the first post in this thread: Namely:

1. SQUARE 'U' in Australia. (On forgery, the U has squared corners, where-as genuine is rounded)

2. The size is ½mm too big in both directions on forgery.

3. The forgery has 2 light, parallel scratches runningvertically down from under 'P' of postage to adjacent to the swan's breast.

4. Forgery has a squared foot.

Cheers.
Mal.

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Post by Kev »

Browny wrote:Hi Kev,
The 3rd stamp has the features listed in the first post in this thread: Namely:

1. SQUARE 'U' in Australia. (On forgery, the U has squared corners, where-as genuine is rounded)

2. The size is ½mm too big in both directions on forgery.

3. The forgery has 2 light, parallel scratches runningvertically down from under 'P' of postage to adjacent to the swan's breast.

4. Forgery has a squared foot.


Thanks Mal,
Understood. Now to commit to memory!
Cheers, Kev.
Cheers.
Mal.

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Post by snaws »

Glenn wrote.

The one Sperati forgery I've never owned is the WA £1 Orange QV.

I tried to buy the Baillie copy last year but was under-bidder. It sold for $1000s.
Glenn i was an under bidder on that lot also.

As i bid from the web site the scan and description were very poor

I guessed that the forgery was the unused wa perfin stamp.The other two examples were the genuine stamps?

I think there are a lot more of these around than previously thought.

It's just they are very hard to pick out from the genuine stamps.

here is one of mine it is an unused perforated OS.

The main difference is the dots missing from around WEST AUSTRALIA.

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Post by GlenStephens »

snaws I really doubt Sperati did any OS (or WA) and I doubt he did any that were not cancelled

.. I'll check when I get home Monday. :)
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Post by mikestein »

fascinating and informative thread. Thanks to all!

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Post by crosscrescent »

While I will probably not dare to venture collecting these
(if I ever have that kind of dough)
I enjoyed and am enjoying following this thread.
Thank you all for sharing these scans.

Cheers

Andrew

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Post by alltorque »

Great thread people....
Now I have to go check my WA stock....
Have bought a few overprints lately and they might need a going over to see if I have the real thing....
Cheers...

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Post by snaws »

Hi Glenn
I found the print out from the Sotheby's auction and the Sperati forgery was the unused £1 orange-brown perforated WA.

The auction description reads.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1902 £1 ORANGE-BROWN PERFORATED WA UNUSED.

DESCRIPTION

Reproduction Signed in pencil and B.P.A. cachet 45 on the reverse; some gum. Also a used example of the genuine stamp,S.G. 128 and 128a


The quality of the scan doesn't allow you to see any detail. :x

You also mention you doubt he did any that were not cancelled.

The £2 kangaroo on map is known and priced both unused and used in the Aust Commonwealth Specialist Catalogue.

If you have any further information on the Western Australia £1 sperati forgery i would be very interested. :lol:

Regards snaws
Regards snaws

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Post by SimonDunkerley »

The 1d black in question above (Jeneralist) is a genuine stamp. The detail in the engraving is genuine and very different to any known forgery, as is the printing.

The 6d brown is certainly a forgery and believed to have been made by Panelli as mentioned already.

Sperati did a number of mint/unused forgeries, although I have seen three examples of the WA £1 forgery over the years, I am not aware of any perf OS forgeries that he did.

I do have a collection of WA forgeries and when I get a chance will put some of them up here.

Simon Dunkerley

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Post by dm57 »

Hi Simon

I would love to see some more forgeries,especially the 1 Pound side by side with an original.

Hi Snaws.....I have posted my scan for comparison to your OS version and can't see any difference except an outer frame break at top above the R....both appear identical even to the flawed P....unless I'm not seeing something.

So do we both have originals or forgeries?.....I would like to think forgery from a $$$$ point of view but instinct tells me otherwise......either way I haven't a clue.

Back to the experts.

Dieter


Image

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Post by admin »

Dieter .. no way known did Sperati do that one.

That is concentric ring CTO cancel from a presentation sheet.
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Post by dm57 »

admin wrote:Dieter .. no way known did Sperati do that one.

That is concentric ring CTO cancel from a presentation sheet.

Thanks for that.......am madly seaching for a scan of a forgery(without luck so far)

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Post by dm57 »

Now I'm pretty sure this one's a forgery

Image

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Post by Kev »

dm57 wrote:Now I'm pretty sure this one's a forgery

Image

G'day dm57,
Received 3 times! Must be right!
Cheers,
Kev.

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Post by OttawaMike »

I dunno. The first two look like fakes. The third one could be genuine. :shock:

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Post by dm57 »

what happened there?.....can someone get rid of 2 of those fakes please

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Post by admin »

Any square bottom U of Aust is a fake. :idea:
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Post by crosscrescent »

Admin wrote:
Any square bottom U of Aust is a fake.
....getting squarely to the bottom of this fraud detection thing. :wink:

Cheers
Andrew

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Post by snaws »

Hi dm57

Sorry but your £1 is definetly not the Sperati forgery.

The genuine stamp has small dots around WEST AUSTRALIA

Mainly in the E of WEST and in the U and between the US of AUSTRALIA there are other dots also but these are the main ones to look for.

Some positions of the sheet do not show all dots as clearly as others so all dots must be missing not just one or two.

Here is the genuine stamp top only showing the dots.


Here is the stamp I showed in my post above missing the dots.


dm57 sorry the break above R of WESTERN is from the scanner or mount not a break.

Regards snaws
Last edited by snaws on 20 Jan 2008 17:28, edited 1 time in total.
Regards snaws

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Post by admin »

As I posted elsewhere the way you pick the WA Sperati £1 is that it is BETTER than Govt issued one, as he retouched out those tiny colour specks. :)
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Post by dm57 »

snaws wrote:Hi dm57

Sorry but your £1 is definetly not the Sperati forgery.

The genuine stamp has small dots around WEST AUSTRALIA

Mainly in the E of WEST and in the U and between the US of AUSTRALIA there are other dots also but these are the main ones to look for.

Some positions of the sheet do not show all dots as clearly as others so all dots must be missing not just one or two.

Here is the genuine stamp top only showing the dots.

Regards snaws

Thanks for that snaws......I was looking at so many dots and they were all the wrong ones......

it's very clear and distinct when explained and shown what you are looking for.....a great little lesson...thanks again

Dieter

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Post by dm57 »

admin wrote:As I posted elsewhere the way you pick the WA Sperati £1 is that it is BETTER than Govt issued one, as he retouched out those tiny colour specks. :)
He sure did quality work.....that's for sure ....... another great bit of info now filed in my memory banks......thanks :D

Dieter

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Post by ozstamps »

Sperati was a genius. :idea:
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Browny
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Post by Browny »

Here's a 2p blue Panelli forgery, similar to 6d browns above.
I've been on the lookout for one of these for ages. 8)

Had to buy a largish collection to acquire this one stamp, but its great when you find something you've been looking around for isn't it! :D :D

Interestingly, this one is perf 13, and my previous understanding is that its usually perf 14. :?
Also it has a GB type cancel reading A03 which I havent seen on a forgery previously.
Anyone else seen this type of cancel on a WA forgery?

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OttawaMike
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Post by OttawaMike »

I believe A03 is Georgetown, British Guiana, is it not?

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Browny
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Post by Browny »

Thanks for the info OttawaMike!

Have checked SG, and A03 is definitely British Guiana.

The cancel on this WA forgery is a type 2, horizontal oval oblterator.

Now only need a genuine cancel to compare them :!: :roll: :wink:

Cheers.
Browny.

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dm57
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Post by dm57 »

dm57 wrote:
GlenStephens wrote:dm57 - are you sure it is not watermarked?

At first glance my guess is a colour faded or sun changeling 6d red violet or that group?

Finally got back to checking Glen and definately no watermark.

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dm57
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Post by dm57 »

dm57 wrote:
If yours is perf 14, then that will also confirm the forger as they are only known in that size perf.


yep Browny you are correct....perf 14.......that 2d blue forgery of yours is a stunner.....I like that!.....glad you managed to find one.

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skilo54
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Re: How to generally detect West Australian forgeries.

Post by skilo54 »

Hey Guys :)
I have really enjoyed reading this tread, extremely helpful to a new guy like me! After reading it I decided to track down a few of my Western Australian Swans to try and see if I could determine their authenticity? The three are the ones I inspected, and through process of elimination (squared U, thin scratches vertically from P, and size) I think they may be real. Each stamp also appears to have a watermark, I am unfortunately not knowledgeable enough or equipped to truly identify them the way I have read about on other posts on Stampboards. The 2 penny swan has a differently shaped watermark than the 6 pence and 1 penny Swans, which look like the shape of the printed swan, just a smidge larger? As for the cancels, again I plead ignorance, as I really haven't even thought about trying to learn about those yet :lol: :oops: :lol: They don't appear to be of the 4-ring type, so that is good, right? If any of you more advanced members could have a look an tell me if they are forged or real and approximate value I would be very appreciative!:D Oh, and does "C.P.O." mean Central Post Office? Just curious?
Thanks for your time and feedback guys and gals!

Have a Grate(ful)Day!
Skilo54


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Re: How to generally detect West Australian forgeries.

Post by Global Administrator »

Skilo -- all 3 totally genuine.

The "CPO" -- is actually G.P.O.. :)
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Click HERE to see superb, RARE and unusual stamps, at FIXED low nett prices, high rez photos, and NO buyer fees etc!

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