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MONACO 1885 - 1890

Return To Catalogue - Monaco 1891 onwards - Miscellaneous - France

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The principality of Monaco was ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 10th century. It was annexed to the Sardinian Kingdom from 1815 to 1861. French stamps were valid until 31st March 1886.

("2387" cancel: Monaco)

Before 1860 stamps of Sardinia were used. From 1860 to 1885 the stamps of France were used. The french stamps can be recognised by the small number cancel "4222" before 1876, or the large number cancel "2387" (Monaco) and "7571" for Monte Carlo afterwards.

('Normal' Monaco cancels on stamps of France)

Forged Monaco cancels exist on early stamps of France and Sardinia (Serrane guide).

1885 Prince Charles III facing the right, inscripition "PRINCIPAUTE DE MONACO"

2 c violet 10 c brown 15 c red 25 c green 40 c black on red Genuine Genuine

  1 c green
  2 c lilac
  5 c blue
  10 c brown
  15 c red
  25 c green
  40 c black on red
  75 c black on red
  1 F black on yellow
  5 F red on green

These stamps have perforation 14 x 13 1/2.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 c * *  
2 c * *  
5 c ** **  
10 c *** ***  
15 c *** **  
25 c R ***  
40 c *** ***  
75 c *** ***  
1 F RR RR  
5 F RR RR  


Many forgeries exist of this issue, for example at least 8 different forgeries of the 5 F value. The forgers Champion and Fournier have made forgeries of this issue. The Serrane guide mentions forgeries from Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Paris, Marseilles etc, and mentions that there are two forged stamps for each genuine 1 F and 5 F stamp on the market. Literature: 'Les Timbres-Poste de Monaco La Serie Charles III' by P.G. Almasy (1945). This book describes the forgeries in detail (I haven't read this book myself).

The above forgery doesn't have the right perforation. The genuine stamps have perforation 14:13 1/2.

Forgery described in Album Weeds:

I believe the above stamps are the forgeries described in Album Weeds. The perforation is 11 1/2. Before the "P" of "PRINCIPAUTE" there is a "2" alike ornament which is quite unlike the genuine stamps. The names "DUPUIS" and "MOUCHON" just below the lowest line of the stamp are absent. These forgeries are (always?) cancelled with "MONACO PRINCIPAUTE 2E/22 JANV 87". If my information is correct, this forgery is known as the 'Turin forgery' (possibly referring to the forger Oneglia?). The Serrane guide mentions Geneva forgeries by M. (Mercier?) which were subsequently improved in Turin.

I've been told that this is a Turin forgery of the 5F value, could this be such and improved Oneglia forgery?


Other more deceptive forgeries:

Several forgeries with the same cancel: "MONACO PRINCIPAUTE 5/4 AVR"

Several forgeries with the same "MONACO 9/6 JUIN PRINCIPAUTE" cancel. The perforation does not match in the corners.

Other forgeries:

Fournier (Geneva) forgeries

Forged stamps and cancels used by the forger Fournier on his forgeries (pictures taken from a Fournier Album)

Examples from this album (Fournier sold his forgeries perforated)

The perforation does not 'match' in the corners in the Fournier forgeries. This example has forged "MONACO 3E/17 MARS 91 PRINCIPAUTE" cancel

Two other forged 5 F stamps with this "MONACO 3E/17 MARS 91 PRINCIPAUTE" cancel.

The forged Fournier cancels are:
"MONACO 4E./13 NOV. 85 PRINCIPAUTE" in a double circle
"MONACO 3E/17 MARS 91 PRINCIPAUTE" in a double circle
"MONACO 3E/27 DEC 89 PRINCIPAUTE" in a double circle
"MONTE-CARLO 4E./12 OCT. 87 PTE DE MONACO" in a double circle
"MONTE-CARLO 4E/11 90 PTE DE MONACO" in a double circle (month to be added later?)
"MONACO 86 PRINCIPAUTE" in a double circle (date and month to be added later?)
"PRINCIPAUTE DE MONACO */16 87" in a single wavy circle

In the forged 'Monte-Carlo' cancels, the word "CARLO" is placed too high up. In the 'Monaco Principaute' cancels, the vertical bar should be below the space of the "NA" of "MONACO", but in the Fournier forged cancels it is placed under the "N".

The "OL" (origine locale, bottom 3rd cancel from the left on this Fournier Album page) was used by Fournier on these stamps (but the genuine "OL" cancel was only introduced in 1902 in Monaco). See https://www.franceandcolonies.org/philatelist/204.pdf for more details. Other forged "OL" cancels also exist.

Probably Fournier forgeries of the 40 c and 1 F stamp with a "MONACO 3E/ 27 DEC 89 PRINCIPAUTE" and "MONACO 3E/17 MARS 91 PRINCIPAUTE" cancels as found in the Fournier Album.

Forgery with "MONTE-CARLO 4E/11 90 PTE DE MONACO" in a double circle (month "MARS" added later?)

I've been told that this 5 F stamp is also a forgery.

5 F forgery with defective perforation and different "5 F"s.

Forgery that I presume has been made by fading out the values of a genuine 15 c stamp and printing '5F' instead.

Image obtained from a Sotheby auction
Sperati forgery of the 75 c; it has a forged "MONTE CARLO PTE DE 6E 9 OCT 86" cancel. Otherwise, the design is very deceptive. Another cancel that Sperati used is "MONTE CARLO PTE DE MONACO 3E 29 JANV 97" (see for example the BPA book for an example of this cancel).

Imperforate or perforated blocks of four stamps of the 1 F and 5 F values are forgeries of Marseilles (Faux de Marseille), they are sometimes offered as reprints.

Envelopes in the same design, example:

(Reduced size)

Other postal stationery exists: I have seen 1 c green, 2 c brown, 5 c blue, 10 c brown on blue, 10 c brown on yellow, 15 c red, 15 c red on yellow, 25 c black on lilac and 25 c green on lilac.


Monaco 1891 onwards

Stamps - Timbres-Poste - Briefmarken

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer