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Return To Catalogue - Samoa 1887 onwards - Samoa (German colony)

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the catalogue;
contact me if you want to purchase it.

Samoa is an island in the Pacific.

1877 Private post of W.E. Agar, inscription "SAMOA EXPRESS"

Genuine Genuine

  1 p blue
  2 p red (non issued)
  3 p red
  6 p violet
  9 p brown
  1 Sh yellow
  2 Sh brown
  5 Sh green

(Sheet of 1 p stamps, note the imperforate borders, reduced size)

(Left upper corner of this sheet)

Image obtained from a Sandafayre auction
Sheet of genuine 3 p stamps; always at least one side is imperforate.


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 p R R  
3 p RR RR  
6 p RR RR  
9 p RR RR  
1 Sh RR RR  
2 Sh RR RR  
5 Sh RRR RRR  
Reprints of all values c c  

Reprints (and remainders):

Reprints, all with "APIA OCT 11 SAMOA" cancel.

WARNING: Most of these stamps are reprints or forgeries! The genuine stamps are always imperforated at one or two sides (except for the 1 p which also exists perforated all around). Reprints were made perforated all around or with imperforated sides. If my information is correct there is a small dot just below the "M" of "SAMOA" and the dots above the "M" and "O" of this word are placed lower. Some remainders seem to have the same characteristics. I've seen totally imperforate (i.e. all four sides) remainders.


According to the below listed website six different kinds of forgeries exist. There must be 16 pearls in the upper half-circle. The pearl under the center of the "M" of "SAMOA" and the two pearls immediatly to the right of it are closer together than the other pearls. The next forgeries have the pearls very regularly:

Forgery! Forgery?

Also, the "S" like ornament above the "P" of "POSTAGE" has its lower part sticking out too much of the label below it. It is more or less covered in the genuine stamps. These forgeries are said to have been made by the forger Nino Imperato (Genoa, Italy) somewhere in the early 1920's. They exist with various forged cancels. Also note the strange shape of the ornaments in many places, for example just below the "XP", the curly ornament is too squeezed (an easy test!).

The following stamps are Fournier forgeries, they can be recognised by the right leg of the "M" of "SAMOA", it is bent instead of straight. Furthermore the line of dots above "SAMOA" has a dip between the "M" and "O" of this word:

Fournier forgery!

Different subtypes of the 3 p and 5 sh, the "P" of "POSTAGE" is going through the left border, final "E" of "PENCE" touches the border in the 3 p and the final "S" of "SHILINGS" touches the border to the right of it in the 5 sh.

(Distinghuishing characteristics of the Fournier forgeries)

Forged cancel made by Fournier 'APIA 1-2 00.10-11V *(SAMOA)*' (used for the German stamps) and 'APIA 1 21 85 SAMOA' (reduced sizes, images taken from a Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries).

This numeral "12" cancel can also be found in the Fournier Album. It was also used on forgeries of the Cook Islands.

(I've seen several misperforated 2 Sh values of these forgeries)

Other forgeries with cancel. In the 5 Sh the last "S" of "SHILLINGS" is touching the label to the right of it.

According to 'The Forged Stamps of All Countries' by J.Dorn another forgery with cancel 'APIA 1-21-85 SAMOA' in a double circle seems to exist. I have never seen this forgery myself. The other forgeries of this issue are rare and are described in the website http://www.filatelia.fi/forgeries/samoa-express.html. (this website does no longer seem to exist....)

The forger Oneglia also offers the whole set of 8 forgeries for 2 Francs in his 1906 pricelist. I do not know at this stage which forgeries he offered.

Some other rare forgeries (sorry for the bad quality of the images)

Forgery, image obtained from http://www.rumseyauctions.com/auctions/chapter/44/119 (only copy of this 1 p brown error color known?)

Very dubious item. Apparently a Taylor forgery according to: http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.sg/2015/08/SamoaandtheExpressReprintandForgeries.html Both this and the above 1 p misprint resemble the illustration in L'Ami des Timbres of 20 November 1877, page 194. There is a dot behind "PENNY" and the ornament besides the "S" of "SAMOA" starts of horizontal instead of slanting.

Literature: 'Forgery & reprint guide 5-6 Samoa Express, a guide to the identification of forgeries, forged overprints, reprints, forged or doubtful postmarks and other problem stamps', compiled and published by J.Barefoot (investments) Ltd.
Website with more information: http://www.filatelia.fi/forgeries/samoa-express.html.


Samoa 1887 onwards

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer