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George(s) CARION; STAMP FORGER

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George Carion as illustrated as a drawing in The San Francisco Call, Thursday, August 6, 1896 during his accusations in San Francisco. An almost identical photo appears in La Revue Francaise des Collectionneurs of 1904.

Georges Carion was born in Paris in April 1858 (source: La Revue Francaise des Collectionneurs of 1904). According to 'Philatelic Forgers, their Lives and Works' Georges Carion was a stamp forger. He started of in Paris in 1879 with the firm Carion & Emden (Jules Emden).
He then went to Tahiti, where he was forced to leave after some scandal over forged Tahiti overprints.
He then moved to San Francisco in 1894 (I've seen a letter from 1895 with address P.O.Box 2457 San Francisco) to follow Jules Emden who moved there earlier (according to the La Revue mentioned above, La Revue mentions the year 1893 for Carion's departure to San Francisco). Indeed a merchant Jules Emden, age 27, from France together with a certain merchant Lucien Emden, age 32, are listed as passengers on an immigrant ship of 7 August 1893 from Havre, France to New York (see https://immigrantships.net/v5/1800v5/lachampagne18930807_01.html)
His most famous forgeries are the "COCHINCHINE" overprints. He also made forged overprints of Obock (see V.E.Tyler; 'Philatelic Forgers, their Lives and Works'). Carion went back to France afterwards in 1899. I've seen a used letter from him addressed to Rudolf Friedl in Austria in 1896 from 83 Rue Lemercier Paris (not Lemergier as erroneously stated in Philatelic Forgers by V.E.Tyler, see the image later on). In 1901 he was doing business as George Carion (without "s") from 29. Rue Legendre Paris. I've seen a letter from 1941 with Geo Carion, from the address 21, Rue Nollet, Paris (17e). The article in La Revue Francaise des Collectionneurs of 1904 does not mention anything about his 'dubious' activities, but does mention that he has a great collection of rare stamps from Hawai and the French colonies (especially Tahiti).


Letter to Georges Carion P.O.Box 2457 San Francisco forwarded to #1621 Broadway Alameda from September 1897.

The text of 'La Revue Française des Collectioneurs' of 1904 (which is more like an advertisement for Carion than anything else):
Notes Biographiques
M. Georges CARION
Né à Paris en avril 1858, M.Georges Carion était encore sur les bancs due Collèges lorsqu'il commença à prendre goût à la philatélie, presque aussitôt il remarqua le parti qu pouvait tirer des timbres un commerçant adroit et travailleur.
A douze ans, il traitait déja des affaires importantes.
En 1884, il publia une petite feuille technique, Le Bulletin Mensuel des nouveautés, et en 1885 : La Timbrologie. Faute de temps, il dut cesser, à son grand regret, la publication de ces périodiques.
Il s'adjoignit pour son commerce en 1888, M.Jules Emden qui partit pour San-Francisco où M.Carion all la rejoindre en 1893, c'est dans cette ville et à partir de cette époque, qu'il acquit une célébrité philatélique quasi-mondiale.
Il fut tour à tour: Expert de la Société Philatélique de San-Francisco, de la Southern Philatélic Association, des Philatélic sons of America, membre d'honneur du Métropolitan Philatélic Club de San Antonio, vice-président de la Columbian Philatélic Society, vice-président de la League of American Philatélists, vice-président des Canadian Philatélic Association, membre de l'American Philatélic Press Association et de nombreuses sociétés.
En 1899, il rentra à Paris, rapportant un superbe stock de timbres rares particulièrement d'Hawai, Tahiti, etc..
M.Georges Carion n'est pas seulement un Philatéliste distingué, il est encore écrivain conscencieux et chercheur souvent heureux, il produisit un grand nombre d'études scientifiques due plus haut intérêt, reproduites par une foule de journaux.
Il s'ets fait une spécialité des timbres des colonies françaises dont il possède un assortiment des plus variés et qu'il est le premier à avoir spécialisés. Sa collection de Tahiti contient des variétés très rares et excessivement peu connues, peut-être un jour aurons-nous le plaisir d'en donner la primeur à nos lecteurs.


A letter from him addressed to Rudolf Friedl in Austria in 1896 from 83 Rue Lemercier Paris (not Lemergier as erroneously stated in Philatelic Forgers by V.E.Tyler).


Advertisement of Carion in the Annuaire de la Timbrologie of 1890, with Madagascra, Tahiti and Guadeloupe offers..


A genuine French Colonies stamp. However the signature at the back is from "G.CARION PARIS", Georges Carion is known to have been involved in a scandal with forged Tahiti overprints, this might be one of these forgeries?


20 c stamp postage due stamp of Tahiti with a Carion dealer mark, could be a forgery?


Bogus 'COCHINCHINE' overprints on postage due stamps of the French Colonies, made by Georges Carion. I have seen this overprint on the values 5 c black, 10 c black, 15 c black, 20 c black, 30 c black, 40 c black, 60 c black, 2 F brown and 5 F brown. The forged cancel on this issue is "CORR.... 1 AVRIL 94 SAIGON" in brown. The other cancels might be genuine?


Two Carion advertisements in the 'Evergreen State Philatelist'. His names is spelled George in the first and Georges in the second advertisement. In both cases an image of the COCHINCHINE stamps is placed at the left hand side.


Advertisement of Carion in the Montreal Philatelist Vol.1 No. 7 page 30, praising the Cochinchina forgeries he made..... An interesting section mentions: "When required, a written guarantee covering the authenticity of the stamps, surcharges and cancellations; to the extent of the full amount paid for these stamp and without any limit of time will be given, so you have no risk whatever."


Letter from Carion of 1902 from the address: 29, Rue Legendre, Paris.


A letter from 1940 with address 21, Rue Nollet, Paris (17e), in which he still advertises his 'rare' "COCHINCHINE" overprints.

Carion forgery!
The above stamp of Diego Suarez is a forgery of Carion. He made and sold 'proofs' of french colonies.

The Western Express Blacks Express were also forged by Carion. The following text can be found on http://www.westerncoversociety.com/library/expresses/expresses_52.htm:
Most collectors of western material consider all Black & Co.'s items to be recent fabrications. All of the known covers are addressed to Samuel Grosh or Reynolds & Co. (considered to be part of the Tandler correspondence) and have a genuine red Wells Fargo Sacramento hand stamp applied to a stampless cover. The Black & Co. Express franks were believed to have been added to deceive buyers by Georges Carion, a Bay Area stamp dealer; however, Wiltsee in his "Pioneer Miner and Pack Mule Express" (p106) notes that it operated between Sacramento and San Francisco but gives no information on its background.
(See also 'Philatelic Forgers their Lives and Works' by V.E. Tyler for more information, he used genuine letters addressed to the Tandler firm to apply additional forged cancels).


Carion forged envelope 'Samuel Grosh' envelope of Wells Fargo with added forged 'Black & Co' cancel.


Most likely Carion forgeries of the 'Tandler collection'. Genuine envelopes of the
Wells Fargo & Co with additional cancels added to them.


Every now and then Carion got himself 'into trouble'; for example in the "Evergreen-State Philatelist" (Page 53), the following text can be found:

From
the present indications Mr. Georges Carion seems to be able to clear himself from certain
charges made to his detriment some time ago.

A little further on page 58, one can read:

We, the undersigned Philatelists, feeling- that a great injustice has been
done to Mr Georges Carion of San Francisco, by the large publicity
given the false statements of the "Societe Francaise de Timbrologie" first
published in the " Revue Philatelique Francaise," do now solemnly protest
against and condemn the miserable action of the said Society, and request
all honest philatelic papers to give the largest publicity to this protestation.
   *E. Gesvret
   *Henry Y. Crocker
   *Wm. H. Crocker
   *R. H. Willcox
    W. H. Zobel
    Walter C. Lown
   *Geo. F. Manned
   *F. S. Kordt
   *Wm. Klinger
    H. W. Grantly
   *Frank Koenig
   *G. H. Luchsinger
   *A. H. Weber
   *Y. H. Makins
    Geo. H. Burkhard
   *Roy B. Bradley
    W. H. Hollis
    C. M. Daiss
   *Robert E. Cowan
    W. G. Sylvester.
*American Philatelic Association Members.

 


Also, in "The Ontario Philatelist " (Vol.1, No.6 September 1896 p. 42.) some 'suspicious' activity of Carion can be found. I hereby reproduce the text of this article in full:

CHARGES WITHOUT PROOF
They Caused a Great Sensation Among Local Stamp Collectors
Georges Carion has Received a Letter of Exoneration from New York
from the San Francisco Call of August 20
About two weeks ago one of the greatest sensations in the history of the local philatelic or stamp-collecting fraternity was produced by the publication of certain charges made against Georges Carion by his ex-clerk, George M. Schiller.
The latter claimed that he had entrusted to his former employer a consignment of French colonial stamps valued at $400, and that Carion had taken certain valuable stamps from the books in which they were fastened, and had substituted counterfeits and inferior specimens.
Schiller followed up this remarkable accusation by securing a search warrant for Carion's premises, with the object of recovering the alleged missing stamps, but the search was without result.
Meanwhile, Carion, in the presence of reliable witnesses, sealed the stamps, among which were alleged to be the counterfeits, in an envelope, and forwarded them by registered mail to the consignors, the Scott Stamp and Coin Company (limited) of New York city, with the following letter :

SAN FRANCISCO AUG. 5, 1896.
Dear Sir : I have sent by registered mail the four books of French colonies, which you had sent on approval to Geoge M. Schiller, and from which I have retained stamps to the amount of $14.91, which amount I will remit by next mail.
Please examine the stamps very carefully, as Mr. Schiller has insinuated that
some of them have been substituted or replaced by poor or less valuable specimens. Please acknowledge receipt of stamps to Mr. Schiller, and let me know at once about the matter.

This brought forth a prompt reply from the New York firm, and one which Mr. Carion and his friends consider a complete refutation of the charges made by Mr. Schiller. This communication follows :

SAN FRANCISCO
Georges Carion, San Francisco, Cal.
DEAR SIR : We have received your letter of the 5th, and also the tour approval books of French colonies stamps by registered mail. We find your statement of account is correct, the net amount of $14.90 having been removed.
We have looked through the books, and so far as we can remember, and to best of our belief, the stamps remaining in the books are those which were originally there. As requested we, shall write Mr. Schiller to that effect.

In view of this exoneration of Mr. Carion, mystery shrouds the motive by Schiller and leaves, the latter in a rather peculiar position. Mr. Carion is inclined to look upon his ex-employe's action in a charitable manner, and attributes it to a hallucintation.


Literature

http://www.westerncoversociety.com/library/expresses/expresses_52.htm
"The Ontario Philatelist " (Vol.1, No.6 September 1896 p. 42.) can be downloaded from http://www.archive.org
"Evergreen-State Philatelist" (Page 53) can be downloaded from http://www.archive.org


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer