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WESTERN AUSTRALIA Spiro/Fournier Forgeries

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Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
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A very useful exhibit on forgeries of Western Australia can be found on the Internet made by Jeff Trinidad (a series of scans from an exhibition, see http://www.jystamps2000.com/WA-Forgeries/). I'll here give a brief summary of the forgeries shown there, added with some more information:

The forgers that made forgeries of Western Australia are: the Spiro Brothers (1864-1880), Francois Fournier (1904-1917), Peter Winter (1986-1987), Harold Treherne (1902), Georg Zechmeyer and Angelo Panelli (1923, actually produced by Oneglia). Some of these forgeries can be found with "FAC-SIMILE", "FALSCH", "FAUX" etc. on the back or frontside (these words all mean forgery of course).

In this section Spiro/Fournier forgeries are described, for Western Australia other forgeries, click here.

Spiro/Fournier forgeries

The most abundant forgeries are those made by Spiro. They were also sold by Fournier (I think he purchased them from the Spiro Brothers). Pictures of them can also be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries'.

Some examples:


Forgery! Forgery!


The "W" of "WESTERN" has very pointed bottoms in this forgery (in the genuine stamps it has flat bottoms). Furthermore the "E" and the "S" are quite thin compared to the genuine stamps and the "U" of "AUSTRALIA" is quite blunt. Note also the typical cancels on these forgeries (although the concentric 4-ring cancel does seem to exist on genuine stamps when they were send to the UPU; the genuine cancel has thin rings).

I have seen the following values (some values even in whole sheets!):

1 p black (imperforate)
1 p black (perforated: 12 1/2 x 13 1/4 or 14 x 13)
1 p red (vermillion, imperforate, rouletted or perforated: 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 or 12 x 12)
1 p brown (bistre, perforated: 12 1/2 x 12 1/2)
2 p orange (imperforate or perforated)
2 p yellow (imperforate or perforated)
2 p blue (imperforate or perforated)
4 p red (carmine, perforated)
6 p brown (imperforate or perforated)
6 p violet (perforated)
6 p green (imperforate)
1 Sh green (perforated)
"ONE PENNY" on 2 p yellow (stamp and overprint forged)

Typical cancels on Spiro/Fournier forgeries:

(Cancel similar to the ones used in British colonies, but with a blank center)

(So-called oval killer cancel, mostly found on 1 p stamps and this surcharged stamp, picture obtained from above mentioned website)

Forged Spiro stamp and forged overprint

This is a typically Spiro cancel, used on many of his forgeries.

(Concentric circles, reduced size, picture obtained from above mentioned website)

A whole sheet of Spiro forgeries of 5x5 stamps with 4-ring cancels.

This concentric cancel was never used on genuine Western Australian stamps.

Forged 15 bars cancel with '3' in center

(15 bars with '3' in center, reduced size, these 3 pictures obtained from above mentioned website)

This forged postmark also seems to exist in blue. In the genuine cancel the middle arm measures 2 mm, while it only measures 1 mm in this forgery (information obtained from the above mentioned website).

(Genuine 15-bars '3' cancel)

(Postmarked with some lines)

Bo * Tuk cancel.

The above forgery has the ring cancel which can be found on many forgeries. In addition somebody has added a "BO * TUK" cancel, probably to make it look more appealing. I have seen the same cancel applied on a forgery of St.Helena and on one from the Bahamas.

A page from a Fournier Album containing forgeries of Western Australia (Australie Occidentale in french):

(Part of a Fournier Album, reduced size)

I do not know if the ring cancel was actually used on forgeries of Western Australia (most Spiro forged ring cancels have 4 rings and no dot instead of three rings and a dot shown above). I've seen other Fournier Albums with forged 6 p blue, 4 p red, "ONE PENNY" on 2 p yellow and 1 p brown stamps.


Other forgeries similar to Spiro forgeries:

Another forgery of the 1 p with a numeral cancel "905" and a 2 p with a strange squarish cancel. These forgeries resemble the Spiro forgeries, but the beak of the swan is shorter. Note the German "FRANKFURT A/M 11 4 74 5-6" cancel on the 1 p. I've seen this cancel on a forgeries of other countries as well. Some stamps from another country are clearly printed to the left of it. For example a Newfoundland 6 p Queen Victoria stamp(?) on the one with the Frankfurt cancel. The same "905" bogus cancel on Sierra Leone, St.Christopher, Nevis and British Honduras


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer