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BREMEN Forgeries

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Detection of forgeries

ATTENTION: many forgeries exist! I will essentially follow the book 'the forged stamps of all countries' by J.Dorn in describing the characteristics of the genuine stamps. The stamps of Bremen were reprinted from new plates (and can thus be considered as forgeries) by the same firm that printed the genuine stamps: G.Hunckel. They were then offered by the dealer E.W.C Bredemeyer as 'reprints' or 'remainders'. Other forgeries also exist (even some modern 'proofs' made by Peter Winter).

3 Grote

1. In the genuine stamps there should be a small dot above the crown

1: dot above crown

2. The shade line outside the shield is straight at the top

2: straight shade line Forged stamp! No dot above crown and no straight shade line!
(Left genuine, right forgery)

3. There are two white circles in the large figures '3' at both sides of the shield.

3: two white circles in the '3'

Note also, that in the genuine stamps, the top of the key does not touch the frame of the shield. In the following stamps, there is no dot above the crown, so these stamps must be forgeries!

3 black, forgeries? 3 black, Bredemeyer forgery? Forgery!

(This forgery was probably sold by Fournier, the cancel 'BREMEN 20 6 * 3-4' in a rectangle can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries')

3 black, forgery!
(Reduced view)

(A forgery with inscription 'FALSCH', = forgery in German, and red 'FALSCH' overprint)

5 Grote:

1: dot in the corners

1. There should be black dots in each of the corners, outside the frame lines.

Forgeries, examples, no points in the corners:

5 g black on lilac perforated

(I have seen this forgery with a 'FRANCO' cancel with no containing box)

Even forged letters exist, example:

I suspect the above forged letter to have been made by Peter Winter (or Fournier?), a similar 'ST.P.A. 29 7 BREMEN' cancel can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' (even though the value 5 g does not appear in his 1914 pricelist).

(Non issued stamps with inscription 'Marken')

A non-issued (initially believed to be a misprint) exist with inscription 'Marken' (with 'n'). This stamp was prepared, but refused by the postal authorities. The printer then sold these non-issued stamps to a stamp dealer. These non-issued stamps are not very rare. I have also seen this stamp in cancelled condition (which is of course forged).

a Peter Winter forgery
(a Peter Winter forgery)

The above stamp is a Peter Winter forgery, it can easily be detected by the rouletted perforation.

(Sperati forgery, type A)

7 Grote:

1. The 'b' of 'Sieben' is open at the bottom.
2. The lines of the shield can still be seen above it.

1: The 'b' is open at the bottom 2: Lines above shield

3. The 'M' of 'Marke' is cut off by the containing label.
4. Due to bad printing there are dots in the letters of 'Marke'

3 'M' outside label and 4: dots in 'Marke' 5: ornament in outer frame

5. The ornament is continued into the frame line at the right hand side of the stamp.

Examples of forgeries:

Forgery! Bredemeyer forgery, obtained from the forgery site of Bill Claghorn
(Bredemeyer forgeries?)

(Other forgeries)

(A Sperati forgery)

5 Sgr green


The imperforated stamps are of a different type than the perforated stamps.
The Claghorn site says:

Original is lithographed on stone, in yellow-green, moss green and bluish-green, on soft paper.
1. The upper right circle consists of two concentric circles.
2. The shield containing the word BREMEN is joined to the center piece. There is a break in the line under the B which curves up and joins the B.
3. There is a dot in the ornament at the left and no dot in the ornament at the right.
4. The outline on the second border ornament on the right from the top, is thickened.
5. There is a dot on the left and the right in the lower part of the central oval.
6. There are shade lines above the 5 but these are faint on type 1.
7. The end stroke of the R is lengthened.

(Probably a forgery)

(In this stamp, the '5' and 'Sgr.' are quite different, forgery?)

(Sperati forgery)

I've been told that the above stamps was made by Sperati, I have no further information.


A very primitive forgery of the 5 sgr in the wrong colour, blue:

(Forgery in wrong colour)

2 Grote orange:

Probably genuine!
(Probably genuine)

Bredemeyer forgery, obtained from Claghorn's forgery site Forged!

1. In the 2 Gr genuine stamps the 'A's of 'STADT' and 'AMT' have a small dot between the legs of the 'A'.
2. There is also a dot in the 'P' of 'POST'.
3. Two dots can be seen in the lower and upper part of the 'S's of 'STADT' and 'POST'.

1: Dot in 'A' 2: Dot in 'P' 3: Two dots in 'S'

4. Furthermore, there should be a curl in the ornaments at the upper right hand side as shown below:

4: Curl below ornaments in upper right corner

More primitive forgery:

(There are only 19 ornaments in the ellipse surrounding the key in this forgery, I believe a genuine stamp has 24 ornaments)

I have seen these forgeries with a rectangular 'BREMEN' cancel (undecipherable) and a double circle town cancel (also unreadable).

10 Grote black:


1: '0' open, 2: white spot in '1' 3: different '1' in upper right corner 4: Flat '0's at the bottom

1. The '0' of the '10' in the upper left corner should be open in the genuine stamp
2. There is a white spot at the middle of the '1' in the '10' of the upper left corner
3. The '1' of the '10' of the upper right corner has a smaller upper part than the others
4. All the '0's in all four corners are flat at the bottom.

(This forgery has the leaf-ornaments different in the corners; different number of lobes, I have also seen this forgery with a square cancel but I couldn't read the text inside, Fournier forgery)

The above forgery can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries', it should be mentioned though, that a forgery of better quality also can be found in this same album.

(Another forgery)

A Peter Winter forgery of the 10 G stamp

Fournier forgeries:

The forger Francois Fournier also made forgeries of the stamps of Bremen. The following forged cancels were used by him:

Fournier's forged cancels, reduced sizes

'BREMEN 5 8 5-6' in a double circle
'ST.P.A. BREMEN 29 7' in a double circle
'BREMEN-BAHNF. 84 67 11-12 V' in a single circle
'BREMERHAVEN 7 ?' in a double circle
'BREMEN 20 6 * 3-4' in a rectangle
'BREMEN 20 10 * 7-6' in a rectangle

If anybody has pictures of these forgeries, please contact me!


Peter Winter forgeries:

Some forgeries in the wrong colours:

(Peter Winter forgeries of proofs?)

The forger Peter Winter made some 'proofs' in different colours. I have seen 5 sgr black on lilac, 5 sgr black on yellow, 2 g green, 2 g black on yellow, 2 g black on lilac, 3 g green, 3 g black on lilac, 3 g black on yellow 10 g green, 10 g black on yellow and 10 g black on lilac. These forgeries were made in the 1980's, so they don't have the 'old' look.

The above forged 7 g stamp on letter has been totally faked by Peter Winter. Everything is forged, the letter, stamp and postmarks. The letter is adressed to 'Messieurs Pansan et Montgolfier', it further has the written text 'Einschreiben'. Note, that the same forged letter (same text!) has also been used by Peter Winter to generate a forged letter for Wurttemberg (see there)!

I presume that the next forged letters were also made by Peter Winter:

Note that the same(!) letter is also shown above (with different locations of the cancels, stamp etc.).


A nice website on Bremen can be found on: http://people.freenet.de/jfeldhusen/Bremenmarken.htm (in German).

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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