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FRANCE, Napoleon III forgeries

Return To Catalogue - France Napoleon III issues - France overview - Cancels on this issue

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Some primitive forgeries:

In the above forgery of the 25 c it can clearly be seen that the top part with 'REPUB FRANC' and the bottom part with the value, is attached to it. In this way, the forger could 'add in' the top and bottom part as desired without changing the central design. This forgery was recently offered on E-bay (as such). Note also that the lettering is different from the genuine stamp. Also note that the 'B' just below the head, typical for the 'REPUB FRANC' issue, is missing in the 10 c and 25 c. Next to it is a forgery of the 1 F of the next serie apparantly from the same forger (could this be Spiro?). The moustache is different from the genuine stamps in the above forgeries.


In the above stamps a 25 c and 1 F of this forgery is found printed together with a Ceres stamp of the same value. This proves that these two stamps were made by the same forger.

Sperati forgeries

(Sperati reproduction 'C', enlarged size)

(Sperati reproduction 'G', enlarged size)

Sperati reproduction of the 1-franc stamp of the 1853 issue, cancelled. This was produced by Jean de Sperati, the "Master Forger" and first appeared in 1947. His forgeries are very dangerous. Sperati made fifteen different reproductions of this stamp, this one is referred to as Reproduction 'C' in the British Philatelic Association's Sperati book. It has a 'constant cancel' on it, meaning that the cancel on this reproduction is always the same and is always in exactly the same place on the stamp. This occurred because Sperati copied a genuine cancelled stamp, and his reproduction process reproduced both the stamp and the cancel. It has been handstamped 'Sperati Reproduction' on the reverse by the B.P.A.

Sperati forgery! Sperati forgery! Reproduction 'D' Forgery! Sperati reproduction 'E' Sperati forgery, reproduction 'H'

Other Sperati (a famous forger) reproductions: The second stamp is listed as reproduction 'D' in the British Philatelic Association's Sperati book. Sperati used a photo-lithography technique to produce his forgeries. This particular forgery is a reproduction of a cancelled stamp, so Sperati had to cancel this with the same cancel that was on the original. This is called a constant cancel, as every reproduction has the identical cancel in the identical location on the stamp. This can be used to identify the forgeries of Sperati! The reproductions A, B, C, D, H and I can also immediatly be recognized by their cancellations.

Sperati forgery
(A tete-beche Sperati forgery)

Forgeries of the 5 F stamp:

Spiro forgery of this stamp:

Spiro forgery!

The genuine stamps are always perforated nicely 13 1/2. This forgery (I believe this is the forgery described in 'The Spud Papers') is perforated very badly and is the easiest way to recognize it. The '5' and the 'F' are printed afterwards in the genuine stamps and can therefore have a slightly different shade of colour from the rest of the stamp. In this forged stamp the '5', the 'F' and the rest of the stamp have the same shade. The inscriptions of the forgery are too thick, aswell as the greek border and the dots in the corners are too large also. There is a cedilla below the 'C' of 'FRANCAIS' in the genuine stamps, but this is absent in this forgery (difficult too see in the above image). There are other small differences between the genuine stamp and this forgery.

(Left genuine, right forgery)

Peter Winter forgery:

The above forgery was made by Peter Winter (about 1980). I've only seen it with the cancel 'VERSAILLES 2E/28 AVRIL. 71', but I believe other cancels exist.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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