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Return To Catalogue - Western Australia Spiro/Fournier forgeries - Western Australia - Western Australia miscellaneous - Australia - Railway stamps
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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).
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'. Click here for Western Australia Spiro/Fournier forgeries
I think a similar forgery in the value 2 p orange is described in Album Weeds. The letters are different from the genuine stamps. The eye of the swan is black (instead of white with a black outline). The "S" of the "SIX" is truely badly done in the 6 p value. I've seen them with a "408" numeral cancel or a concentric rings cancel.
I've been told that these are Spiro forgeries of the 6 p stamp:
Picture obtained from above mentioned website, reduced size, with a "408" cancel.
I think this is the first forgery of this stamp mentioned in Album Weeds; The swan has two wings, which are pointed (in the genuine stamp only one wing can be seen and this wing is rounded). The background behind the swan is white (in the genuine stamps there are some coloured dots). The genuine stamps should have watermark 'swan', this forgery has no watermark. Since the first stamp has a '408' cancel as in the Treherne forgeries, presented next, these forgeries might actually not be Spiro but Treherne forgeries.
Panelli 2 p blue forgery and 2 p yellow forgery, also a 4 p imperforate forgery.
(Forgery with watermark, I suppose this is one of the Panelli forgeries)
4 p with impressed "C A Crown" watermak (see second image with sideways illumination)
(Forgeries by Panelli, images obtained from the above mentioned website)
(Impressed watermark on this forgery, image obtained from the above mentioned website)
The above forgeries are deceptive. The bottom of the first "E" in "WESTERN" is quite thin. The "G" of "POSTAGE" has a tail. In the 6 p value, the "X" of "SIX" is misshapen in the above forgeries.
Forgeries with impressed forged swan watermark
Treherne forgeries? First two pictures obtained from above mentioned website It looks more like Oneglia forgeries to me (in his 1906 pricelist he specifically states his forgeries have a swan watermark).
The above forgeries with two 4 p stamps (one inverted) were made by Peter Winter, they are quite modern (made around 1980). It seems that the whole letter is reproduced using photo-lithography. The images are obtained from the above mentioned website. Note, that the text is the same in the above letters, only the position of the stamps and cancels varies. These forgeries were sold by the 'Pro Phil Forum' in Germany. Note that Peter Winter did not realize that the frame was inverted, not the center!
Winter also sold these inverted center forgeries not on letter, examples:
Winter forgeries with normal and inverted center.
(Forgery with strange "S" and "G" in "POSTAGE")
Forgery of the 6 p
This must the the second (and last) forgery of the 6 p described in Album Weeds. The leaves at the right side of the swan are higher than the tail. This tail is divided into two parts at the end and points towards the "A" of "AUSTRALIA" (it should point towards the "T"). This forgery is printed more clearly than the genuine stamps. The "I" of "SIX" is placed in front of the breast of the swan in the genuine stamps, here it is placed too far to the right. In the genuine stamps, there are some white lines around the octagonal frame (inside and outside), but there are no such white lines in this forgery. Album Weeds says this forgery is uncancelled, but the above stamps is cancelled with a violet grill cancel. The 2 p appears to have been made by the same forger.
Other forgery of the 6 p. Although not entirely the same, this forgery appears to have been based on a illustration in Le Timbre Poste by Moens from 1863, page 20 (second image). In the Catalogue Descriptif des Timbres-Poste crees de 1840 a 1870 by Arthur Maury, a similar illlustration is given.
Other forgery of the 2 p
Forgery of the 4 p, the lettering is different from the genuine stamps, compare for example the "S" of "POSTAGE". The background is very regularly dotted.
Forgery of the 2 p in black, made by Georg Zechmeyer, I've also seen it in other colors (see second image). The "U" of "AUSTRALIA" is too narrow, the corner ornaments are very primitive. The cancel is most likely printed together with the stamp, since I've seen another Zechmeyer forgery with exactly the same cancel in exactly the same location, although the black on yellow stamp has the cancel in a slightly different spot.
Another very primitive forgery
Forgeries with inscription "TVO PENCE" (with "V" instead of "W")
Relative well done forgery of the 1 p.
Another forgery of the 1 p value.
Some kind of modern facsimile, when zoomed-in the design clearly shows it is made up out of tiny dots.
There seems to be a forgery of the 1 Sh 1854 issue, it has no watermark (the genuine stamp has watermark swan). In the genuine stamps, the "G" of "POSTAGE" looks like a "C", but here it really is a "G" with a very long tongue. This tongue almost touches the "E" of "POSTAGE". I have no picture available right now.
The surcharge "ONE PENNY" on 2 p yellow is many times more valuable than the 2 p yellow without this surcharge. It is no wonder that many forgers have tried to increase the value of a genuine 2 p yellow stamp by applying a forged overprint.
This surcharge was only done on stamps with perforation 12 1/2 (watermark 'CC'). So any stamp with the above surcharge on paper watermarked 'CA' or perforation other than 12 1/2 must be a forgery. The above stamp has perforation 14! Therefore it can easily be recognized as a forgery (forged overprint). Some other forged overprints on genuine stamps:
(Forged overprints on genuine stamps, picture obtained from above mentioned website)
(Spiro forgery with forged surcharge, reduced sizes)
For more info on these Spiro forgeries click here.
In 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' an example of a forged '1/2' overprint can also be found (for an image see above under Spiro/Fournier forgeries; to be used for the '1/2' on 1 p yellow probably). I don't know if this surcharge was used much by Fournier, but I have never seen a forgery with such a Fournier surcharge.
I've been told that these are "London" forgeries, I have no further information.