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FRANCE CERES TYPE, Sperati forgeries, part 3, Bordeaux issue

Return To Catalogue - Ceres type stamps - France Ceres type Sperati forgeries, part 1 - France Ceres type forgeries, part 1 - France Ceres type forgeries, part 2 - France overview - Sperati forgeries

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Sperati used a few genuine cheap stamps, bleached out the design (with the cancel remaining intact) and reprinting it. However, the majority of the forgeries of France made by Sperati are total forgeries, thus the cancel was also forged. The paper used by him is very close to the paper of the genuine stamps. I know that Sperati made forgeries of the 10 c, 15 c, 40 c and 1 F values of the 1849 issue (several 'reproductions'). He also made forgeries of the 2 c, 4 c, 20 c, 30 c and 80 c 1870 Bordeaux issue. More images of Sperati forgeries (including tete-beche forgeries) can be found at: http://www.seymourfamily.com/rfrajola/Sperati/speratiindex.htm (Richard Frajola). Most of the images shown here have 'SPERATI REPRODUCTION' in violet printed on the backside together with a number (of course, Sperati did not sell his forgeries like this, these marks were applied by the British Philatelic Association). Source of the distinguishing characteristics: The work of Jean de Sperati Part IV, 1954 British Philatelic Association.

For Sperati forgeries of other values of the 1849 issue click here.


2 c Bordeaux issue

Reproduction 'A'

Reproduction 'A' (zoomed-in from a die-proof).

Reproduction 'A' has the following distinguishing characteristics: the 'C' of FRANC' has a long upper tail, there is a white dot besides the pearls at the height of the chin in the left hand side of the stamp. There is also a white dot behind the head and another one near the pearls at the right hand side (just below the center of the stamp). The following cancels were used by Sperati:
'LE HAVRE 5E 29 SEPT. 71 (74)'
'MARSEILLES 7E 18 JANV. 71 (12)' (see image above)
and the following numeral dot cancels: '359' (see image above), '807', '2660' and '3151'.

Image obtained from a Sotheby auction
'Proof' of a Reproduction 'B' of the 2 c value with constant cancel.

Reproduction 'B' has a constant cancel 'TOULOUSE 4E 14 JUIN 71' and can thus easily be recognized.

Image obtained from a Sotheby auction
Reproduction 'C'

Reproduction 'C' is a block of four stamps. It exists unused or used (with cancel '2145'). The distance between two stamps is 1.7 mm vertically and 1.8 mm horizontally in the genuine stamps. The Sperati reproductions are placed 2 mm away from each other (vertically and horizontally). The upper left stamp has an extended left leg of the "A" of "FRANC". There is a colored dot above the "E" of "REPUB" in the lower right stamp. Also a cancelled block with a "LE HAVRE LE PORT 3E 19 DEC 70".


4 c Bordeaux issue

Sperati reproduction of the 4 c value. This partial dots cancel is always placed in the same location. Other cancels are placed in different locations.

Image obtained from a Sotheby auction
Sperati forgery with 'LE HAVRE 3E/9 DEC 70 (74)' cancel

Sperati made two different reproductions of the 4 c value, but both values have the following common distinguishing characteristics. There is a sink in the outer frameline above the 'AN' of 'FRANC'. The large circle above 'ST' of 'POSTES' is badly done. The following cancels were applied by Sperati:
'LE HAVRE 3E 9 DEC 70 (74)'
Small numeral dots cancel '1792'
Large numeral dots cancel '1090', '2145', '3219' and partial cancel (this partical cancel is always in the same position see image above).


20 c Bordeaux issue

Sperati made a forgery of the rare Type 1 of the 20 c value of the Bordeaux issue. There is a white space in the background pattern just below to the left of the 'F' of 'FRANC'. The circle that surrounds the pearls has two breaks: one below the 'P' of 'REPUB' and another below the 'RA' of 'FRANC'. A white scratch is coming out of the front of the neck of Ceres. The pearl that is situated above the 'C' of the left '20 C' has a rather large white spot to the upper left of it. I have also seen a die-proof in blue of this forgery. The cancels used by Sperati on this forgery are: 'BORDEAUX 2E 17 AOUT (X)', 'MILLAU 1 23 AVRIL 71. (41)' and the following numeral cancels (large number): '359', '822', '861', '918', '1539', '2360' (as shown above), '3151' and '3171'.


30 c brown Bordeaux issue

Two Sperati reproductions exists of the 30 c value. Several cancels were used on both types:
"LE HAVRE 5E 29 SEPT 71 (74)"
"LE HAVRE LE PORT 3E 19 DEC 70" (see image below)
"MARSEILLES 7E 18 JANV 71 (12)"
Numeral dots cancels: "359", "807" (see image below), "822", "861" (see image below), "897", "918", "1539", "1945", "2145", "2240", "2360", "2660", "3151", "3171" (see image below), "3219" and "3539".

Reproduction 'A' of the 30 c value

Distinguishing characteristic of Reproduction 'A'

The pearls at the right hand side are joined together in Reproduction 'B'. The lower left cross-ornament has a white spot on top of it.

Reproduction 'B'

Distinguishing characteristic of Reproduction 'B'.

The pearl shown above is joined to the outer circle in Reproduction 'B' (this is also a mark of the genuine stamp of the specific sheet position on which Sperati took based his forgery). There is a brown color spot above the left '3'.

Several cancelled Sperati forgeries

Another 'proof' of Sperati in the value 30 c of the Bordeaux issue:

(Sperati 'proof' front and backside)

Although this cancel 'COMINES 21 JANV 71 (57)' is not mentioned by the British Philatelic Association, it is a Sperati forgery. Possibly a genuine bleached out lower value was used to make this forgery.


80 c Bordeaux issue

Again two reproductions exist of the 80 c value.

Image obtained from a Sotheby auction
Reproduction 'A' with constant cancel (left) and Reproduction 'B' (right)

Reproduction 'A' always has the same cancel: a anchor dot cancel with additional 'AS.' in the upper left corner of the stamp.

Sperati Reproduction 'B'(?) of the 80 c

Reproduction 'B' exists cancelled or uncancelled. On top of the 'C' of 'FRANC' there is a scratch. The following constant numeral cancels are known: '253', '359' and '3151'. Although the above forgery is definitively a Sperati forgery (it has the 'SPERATI REPRODUCTION' mark at the backside), it is not listed. I'm not sure if it is really Reproduction 'B'.


For more forgeries of the France Ceres type (1849-1875), forgeries, part 1 or France Ceres type forgeries, part 2.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer