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PARMA: 1852 and 1857 issue

Return To Catalogue - Parma 1859 issue - Italy

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:
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Currency: 1 Lira = 100 Centesimi


With thanks to Lorenzo, (check his excellent website on Italian States!) who kindly set some of his images at my disposal.

An grand duchy in Italy until 1860 when it was united with Sardinia (Italy). It was composed of the two duchies of Parma and Piacenza.

1852 Arms of Bourbon, Inscription STATI PARM, imperforated

5 c black on yellow, image thanks to Lorenzo 5 c yellow, image thanks to Lorenzo Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo 25 c black on purple, image thanks to Lorenzo Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo

  5 c black on yellow
  5 c yellow (1854)
  10 c black
  15 c black on red
  15 c red (1854)
  25 c black on lilac
  25 c brown (1854)
  40 c black on blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
5 c black on yellow ****** 
5 c yellowRRRRR 
10 c****** 
15 c black on redRR*** 
15 c redRRR 
25 c black on lilacRRR 
25 c brownRRRRR 
40 cRRR 

Cancels:

Album Weeds says there are three types of cancels:
1) A rectangle with crossed lines inside (about 1/4 size of a stamp),
2) a circular postmark and
3) name and date in large capitals (no frame)

Genuine 15 c black on red 10 c black
(The three types of cancels)

Other cancels exist, for example the 'griglie a losanga' or lozenge with lines:

5 c black on yellow, with cancel Verdastra or greenish cancel

Forgeries:

First forgeries

The above forgeries have two dots behind 'PARM' as a ':'. This is probably a Spiro forgery (Filatelie Informatief May 1985 p 7010-3). The cross on top of the crown is almost below the 'I' of 'STATI'. The white circle is nearer to the left hand side frame than to the right hand side frame. The top of the fleur-de-lis is touching the circle above it (in the genuine stamps it does not touch). The lines behind the fleur-de-lis are much less coarse than in the genuine stamps. The cancels are circular or as on the last two stamps (about the size of the stamp, a similar real cancel exists, but about 1/4 size of the stamp). This is the first forgery described in 'Album Weeds' and it is also described in 'The Spud Papers'. There are much less lines in the circle than in a genuine stamp.

Fournier also offers the above forgeries in his 1914 pricelist for 1.50 Swiss Francs (he offers 6 values as second choice forgeries). It should be noted that Fournier also offered first choice forgeries of this issue (see later)

 

Second type of forgeries:

15 c red, forgery Forgery!

I think the above stamps must be the second forgery described in the book Album Weeds. The cancel of the first one doesn't correspond to the cancels used in Parma. There is only 1 line of shading between the circle and the top of the fleur de lys symbol (should be 2). The cross on top of the crown is nearer to the 'I' than to the 'P' (it should be exactly in the middle). The background behind the crown looks different than the originals (should be regular fine points). There should be 4 pearls in each of the outer arches of the crown (the above stamp has 5 ) and 3 in the inner arches (the above stamp has 4). The dot between 'STATI' and 'PARM' is more like a '-'. Note also the thick line between the circle and the crown (in the genuine stamps it is much smaller). The left side ornamenal border only has 7 1/2 elements, in the genuine stamp, there are 8 1/2 elements (this is an easy test).

Fournier's 'first choice forgeries'

It should be noted that Fournier also offered first choice forgeries of this issue; 3 values, a 40 c black on blue, 5 c yellow and another value (I don't know which value). They were offered for 1 Swiss Franc in his 1914 pricelist. Among them there are tete-beche forgeries of the 40 c value (only the 15 c is genuinely known in tete-beche).


(Probably a Fournier forgery)

I suspect that the above 40 c stamp is such a Fournier forgery. In my opinion, the '4' should be open instead of closed. The background behind the crown is quite defective. There are some very characteristic vertical lines in the background just above the central circle in the 40 c value. In the 'Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' I have seen a 5 c value with 'BORGO 6 FEBR 59' cancel. However, the 5 c seems to be a quite different forgery (it doesn't have the same distinghuishing characteristics). The above shown 'PD' cancels are not shown in the Fournier Album (though similar 'PD' cancels from Switzerland were forged by Fournier).

Other forgeries:

The above forgery of the 40 c has lines as a background behind the crown, it should be small dots! I think the 25 c is made by the same forger, but I cannot distinguish the design.

In this forgery the 'A' of 'STATI' is too broad and the value '40' doesn't resemble the genuine stamp. Furthermore there is no cross on top of the crown, instead there is a pearl.


(Reduced sizes)

The above forgeries have the side ornaments different, there are only 5 turns of the Etruscian pattern on each side.


(left and right frame ornaments are different from the genuine stamps)

In the above forgery the ornaments (Etruscian pattern) are different in the left and right frames. Also the circle does not touch the side frames. It is very blotched, I think this is the fourth forgery described in Album Weeds.


(Reduced size)

Another forgery with wrong side ornaments is shown above, this is especially clear in the left bottom corner, the Etruscian pattern stops at the left hand side (in the genuine stamps it stops at the right hand side).


(Senf forgery)

Senf made a forgery of the 5 c yellow stamp. This forgery was distributed with stamp journal the 'Illustrierten Briefmarken Journal', No 14 (16 July 1887) as an 'art supplement' or 'Kunstbeigabe'. The forgery always bears the word 'Facsimile' on top.

Album Weeds give still three more types of forgeries, besides the ones shown here.

 

1857 Arms, Inscription DUC. DI PARMA, imperforated

15 c red Certified genuine 25 c brown

  15 c red
  25 c brown
  40 c blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
15 c RR 
25 c ****** 
40 c***R 

For the specialist:

The 15 c stamp has been printed in sheets of 72 pieces with two different types: 71 pieces have the usual type and only one (the 27th of the sheet) presents some differences on the number "15", among them the tilted bar of the number "1" and the horizontal trait of the number "5" .A small curiosity should be noticed: all the 15 do have a small interruption of the horizontal line of the label, above the number "15" (sometimes hardly visible though on unclear stamps).(information obtained from Lorenzo).

The 25 c was also printed in two different types. The first one has the number "25" at the same distance from the upper and the lower label and it can be found in 63 samples of the sheet (made up of 72 pieces) while the second one has the numbers slightly lowered and the label broken over the number "5", it also presents in addition a small color trait in the two right lower laurel leaves. The differences between these two types are small and sometimes hard to see.

The 40 c also has two types. These are quite easy to see; the "0" of "40" is large in the first type while in the second type it is narrow. The first type occurs 52 times in a sheet and the second type 20 times:


(Small '0' and broad '0' in '40')

This and more information can be found at the website of Lorenzo.

Typical cancels:

Typical cancel

Forgery detection

There must be 30 horizontal lines in the central shield (counted on the left side). Note the specific shape of the 'A' like ornament below the shield.

Forgeries, examples:


(Note the strange 'Fleur de lis' in the center of the stamp)

The 'Fleur de lis' in the center of the stamp is quite different from the genuine one. The 'A' just below the ellipes is much too broad. There are many more little differences in this forgery. A quick look at the cancels can condemn this forgery at once (even though, I have seen them being offered as genuine). I have also seen this forgery uncancelled and with a very convincing cancel: 'PARMA 15 MAG...':

Other forgery:

The value inscriptions are much too small in the above forgeris. The lower part of the 'fleur de lys' is too small compared with a genuine stamp. The leaf and acorns (or whatever it may be) on the left are touching the border. Note that there are three acorns, instead of two. In the genuine stamps, the right hand olive leaf has a small olive in it, this forgery lacks this olive. This forgery is the first forgery described in Album Weeds.


(Could these stamps be the second forgery of Album Weeds?)

Album Weeds describes a second forgery; this forgery is blotchy, with the stop behind 'ECC' being more like a rounded dash.

Fournier also offers these stamps as second choice forgeries in his 1914 pricelist; two (? I think it should be three) values for 1 Swiss Franc. I don't have any pictures of these forgeries right now and I also don't know how to distinguish them from genuine stamps.


(Another forgery)

A very deceptive forgery exists (according to 'The forged stamps of all countries' by J.Dorn) with the 'P' in 'PARMA' broken in the main stroke and a square dot after 'DUC' instead of a round one. I have never seen this forgery.

For the 1859 issue of Parma click here.


Newspaper seals

Example (tax on foreign newspapers?):


(Inscription 'GAZZETTE ESTERE PARMA CENT .9')

This is actually a cancel and not a stamp.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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