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Lucian (Lucien?) Smeets; STAMP FORGER

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Lucian (Lucien?) Smeets was a stamp forger from Brussels Belgium around 1910(?). I have not much information about this forger. Like Sperati he bleached out low value stamps (mainly from Ceylon) and then printed a new design on it, thus creating a forgery with correct paper and watermark (but usually leaving a cancel of Ceylon on a stamp of another country!). .

He might have been part of the 'Belgian gang' in Brussels, consisting of Vanderberghe, Smets and Delsiune (note the spelling of Smets!) as mentioned by Le Postillon Revue Philatelique of 1912, page 248. The following list is given there, which was translated from the Berliner Briefmarken Zeitung:
Belgium: 5 Fr (I presume the 1869 issue?)
Ceylon 1910 2 Rupees red on orange, CA watermark, the paper is too thick
Fernando-Po, 1900, 50 c de Pes on 4 c orange. Color too orange instead of yellow, the basic stamp is also forged, not just the surcharge.
French India, 1904-06, 5 F violet, too pale. (There was some doubt by Le Postillon about which stamp The Berliner was talking).
Gibraltar, 1886-87, 6 p violet
Great Britain, 1880 2 Sh brown and 1883-84, 9 p green (see images below)
Hong Kong 1905 5 $ green and lilac, multiple CA watermark, the crown is different from a genuine stamp
Italy 911, 10 Lire, watermark crown.
Lagos, 10 Sh brown.
Portuguse Guinea 1881, 10 R yellow
St.Christopher, 1903, 5 Sh olive and violet
Seychelles 1897, 1 R 50 c black and red
Spain, 1854 2 Realies red and 5 Reales green, dimensions of the stamps are too small.
Surinam 1898, 10 c on 25 c, a very deceptive forgery
Roumania Jubilee issue, rather badly printed.

Forgeries made by bleatching out the design of a 2 1/2 p Great Britain stamp and printing on it a forged 9 p design with 'BA' corner letters. The paper, watermark and cancel are genuine. It is thought that these forgeries were made by Lucian Smeets.

Smeets Gambia forgery with the Ceylon stamp that he used and a zoom-in.

Smeets also made forgeries of the Gambia 1904 King Edward VII 2 Shilling stamp (with genuine Crown CA watermark and perforation 14). He again removed the design of a cheaper Ceylon Queen Victoria 5 c stamp and replaced it by the Gambia design. The cancel "RAMBUKKANA" gives it away (this cancel is a Ceylon cancel and could not be removed).

Smeets forgery of the 1 Sh value of St.Lucia, made by bleaching out a 5 c Ceylon stamp and reprinting the St.Lucia design. The Kotagala (Ceylon) cancel is still present.

Smeets forgery of the 5 Sh value of St.Vincent, made by bleaching out a 5 c Ceylon stamp (shown to the right) and reprinting the St.Vincent design. The Ulapane and Kurenegala (Ceylon) cancels are still present. The original design can still be vaguely seen in the value tablet (see the zoom-in).

A Leeward Islands forgery, made by the same procedure (the Hanwella Ceylon cancel is still clearly visible).

In a similar fashion, he also made forgeries of the Queen Victoria 1R50 stamp of the Seychelles, see http://www.fipfakesforgeries.org/fip/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Lucien-Smeets-forgeries-42.pdf for more information.

Forgeries of the Seychelles also made from erasing cheap Ceylon 5 c stamps.

Here a forged 8 c with Ceylon "TALAWAKELE" cancel. The design is quite crude when compared to a genuine stamp.

Genuine British Honduras 2 c stamp used to make forged 1 Pound Sierra Leone stamps (presmuably the stamp shown here).

Smeets is also known to use the above shown 2 c British Honduras stamp, erase the country name and value and print a Sierra Leone 1 Pound stamp on it.

With 'FAUX' overprint With 'FAUX' overprint With 'FAUX' overprint
Smeets forgeries of Grenada. He used a genuine stamp (most likely 5 c Queen Victoria of Ceylon), from which he bleached the image and reprinted high value British Colonies on it. Most of his forgeries still have the towncancel from Ceylon in tact. The "ST.DAVID'S D JY 25 9 GRENADA" cancel seems also to have been forged by him. Sometimes this cancel is visible together with the Ceylon cancel. The 10 Sh should have an open value shield, but some of the forgeries above have lined value shields.Note that the same forged "ST.DAVID'S D JY 25 90 GRENADA" (now with year "90" instead of "9") was also used on the provional 1883 issue. I presume that this forgery was also made by Smeets.

Smeets also made forgeries of the 1901 and 1904 issues of Serbia. A description can be found in 'Focus on Forgeries' by Varro E. Tyler. He also made some forgeries of Hong Kong (no images or information available right now) and Nevis (http://www.bwisc.org/Bulletins/b186_200009.pdf). The Nevis forgeries were apparently again bleached out stamps from another British colony (to get the correct watermark, perforation and paper) and reprinted with the Nevis stamp design.

The site http://www.bondskeuringsdienst.nl/hh48.pdf furthermore mentions a possible 5 Gulden Wilhelmina 1896 Netherlands forgery which was probably made by Lucien Smeets. Two forged Smeets cancels "SITTARD 24 MEI 07 1-2N" and "AMSTERDAM 28 MEI 98 10-11.N" are also shown there (unless he also erased the image of genuine stamps here and kept the cancel?). The booklet of P.F.A.v.d.Loo also mentions this forgery.

Some mass produced forgeries from British Solomon Islands, made by Lucien Smeets:

A 'misprint' was made by Smeets of the 50 c Sarawak 1899 stamp, in which he erased the red value from the 50 c POSTAGE POSTAGE stamps and printed a green 50 c value on it.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer