While we do not want to condone the practice of forging stamps, it is however interesting to learn the story of Jean de Sperati, the greatest stamp forger of all times! De Sperati (1884-1957) was born in Pisa, Italy, but grew up in France. His family was in the printing business, and he became a printer and engraver, eventually becoming a master forger of stamps.
Just as the design and fabrication of postage stamps is an art, one might say that the forging and faking of them is as well. Familiarising ourselves with the different methods employed can help to not be fooled by them. Here are a few ways counterfeiters go about altering stamps.
|Real or fake? At top is the unique genuine British Guiana Penny Magenta, and on the bottom is a very similar stamp described by experts as a forgery.|
As with any object of value, stamps attract the attention of some dishonest individuals. Just like in the world of currency and of fine art, one has to be on the lookout for forgeries and fakes. In fact, only twenty years after the issuing of the first stamp in 1840 did the first forgery appear. It is probably every collector’s greatest nightmare to discover that a well-loved and valuable stamp is actually a fake.
Mr. F. Maynard Sundman, innovator of the stamp approval business died October 31st 2007, in Littleton, New Hampshire at the age of 92. Mr. Sundman, a well-respected and admired figure in the philatelic world has even been called «a giant in the hobby» by Mike Laurence, former editor-publisher of Linn’s Stamp News. Mr. Maynard patriarch of the Littleton-Mystic companies was in the business for over 70 years, and we all owe a lot to his passion for stamp collecting.
Revenue stamps, unlike postage stamps, are used to collect taxes or fees on various items and to show that these taxes have been paid. Revenue stamps have been used for years by federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as various other organizations. They have been used in virtually every country of the world and are still being used in some.
Obviously, one of the most appealing aspects of postage stamps is their design. Thousands of different designs have been created since the issuing of the first stamp in 1840 by Great Britain, which depicted a bust of Queen Victoria. What is involved in choosing a design? Well, different things come into consideration.
The first question which I am always asked when I say that I am a philatelist is: How much are the rarest stamps worth? This is an intriguing question for many, since rumours abound which state that some of these tiny pieces of paper are worth a tidy fortune. In point of fact, it’s true! Some sales transactions have been known to be in the millions of dollars. Why do these stamps hold so much value? Well, each has its own little history making it unique and famous.
On May the sixth 1840, the «One-Penny-Black», the first postage stamp, was introduced to the world by Great Britain.The appearance of this stamp would revolutionize the world of communications.Following a postal reform by Minister Rowland Hill, postal fees would now be paid in advance, instead of being paid upon receipt of delivery.