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Erasmo ONEGLIA FORGERIES, Introduction, Part 1


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Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the catalogue;
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Erasmo Oneglia (1853-1934) was an Italian forger in the late 19th century from Turin ('Papetier Editeur 14 Place Victor Emanuel I 14'). He is famous for his engraved forgeries, but he also made photo-lithographed forgeries. Many of his forgeries were previously attributed to the forger Angelo Panelli. The engraved Oneglia forgeries are usually 'overinked'. When Oneglia applied a watermark on his forgeries, it is very clearly visible. His watermarks are impressed instead of being real watermarks (or oil impressed watermarks). Oneglia also collaborated closely with A.Venturini and E.Spiotti. The exact relationships that these forgers had is not clear up to this day.

His forgeries include stamps from the Australian States, Baden, Belgium, Belgian Congo, Brazil, British North America, British West Indies, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Verde, Ceylon, Chile, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Italian States, Luxemburg, Malayan States, Malta, Monaco, Nevis, Portuguese Guinea, St. Helena, Spain, Switzerland, Roman States, Thailand, Tuscany, Two Sicilies, United States and Confederate States of America. Some of his forgeries were erroneously attributed to Angelo Panelli. According to the book The Oneglia Engraved Forgeries Commonly Attributed to Angelo Panelli by Robson Lowe and Carl Walske (1997) 788 forgeries were made from 30 countries by Oneglia. He also worked for, or with, A.Venturini and other Italian forgers, such as Spiotti and Imperato.

Most forgeries made by Oneglia were printed one at a time (or at least with very large margins), with some exceptions such as the second issue of Newfoundland, which were printed in row of 6, all 6 values below each other. Also the Monaco forgeries appear to have been printed in blocks.

His last known 1906 pricelist (which was written in broken French) is reproduced by me and I have added images of the forgeries I know were made by him or which I suspect to have been made by him. I also have softcopies of the 1898 and 1899 pricelists (there were more pricelists for other years, see the Lowe and Walske book). This Oneglia pricelist was copied by Edoardo Spiotti (same title even) in 1897; this more or less indicates that Spiotti was selling the Oneglia forgeries, or at least that there was a very close collaboration between these two forgers.

Oneglia forgeries appear to be relatively rare, much rarer in any case than the products of Spiro and Fournier.

I'm trying, on the basis on the cancels, printing style and the Lowe and Walske book to reconstruct which actual forgeries Oneglia offered in his pricelist. There are some choices that I had to make that I'm not 100% sure off and some entries had to remain blank though.... I hope that in future, these empty spots can still be filled.

Oneglia forgeries, introduction, part 2
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Abyssinie" to "Bulgarie du Sud"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Canada" to "Cap Vert"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Datia" to "Fidji"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "France" to "Gwailor"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Hambourg" to "Joniennes"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Luxembourg" to "Mauritius"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Majunga" to "Malacca"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Naples et Sicile" to "Orange"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Parme"to "Sungei-Ujong"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Saint-Vincent" to "Terre-Neuve"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, "Turquie" to "Zululand" and "Madeira" + "Pahang"
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, Supplement, part 1
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, Supplement, part 2
Oneglia forgeries, 1906 catalogue, Supplement, part 3

These Gambia forgeries, most likely made by Oneglia, are also known as Spiotti forgeries.


On his 'simpler' forgeries often a bogus cancel was used. The most common of them is the bars with "1" or the bars (a Victoria cancel) or the bars with "G" cancel. This cancel was then used on forgeries of many countries. There are a few other bogus cancels which were also used. On other forgeries (probably later in his 'career'?), he actually forged a genuinely existing cancel. Although his latest 'in preparation' forgeries from 1906 still had the simple bar cancels. It seems that on his Italian States forgeries Oneglia always used genuine looking cancels, as far as I can judge.

1 p green
Genuine bars with "1" cancels of Melbourne, Victoria, for comparison. Strangely, I have not seen this "1" cancel being used on Oneglia's forgeries of Victoria.

An often used forged cancel was the numeral "1" Victoria cancel (often blur or only partial) as shown next:

Oneglia forgery?


Cancel with an ellipse, consisting of lines and in the center a "G"(?) which is usually very blur.

Both the "G" in bar cancel and a "SINGAPORE" cancel.


Oneglia forgeries, introduction, part 2

Literature: The Oneglia Engraved Forgeries by Robson Lowe & Carl Walske (1996, 104 pages)

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer