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ROMANIA (Moldova - Wallachia)

1858-1864

Return To Catalogue - Rumania 1865-1871 - Rumania 1872-1920 - Miscellaneous

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The most famous stamps of Romania are the famous “Bull’s Head” stamps of 1858. Actually, those stamps were issued by the Principality of Moldova (Moldavia). In 1859 Moldova was united with the Principality of Wallachia to form Romania. At that time Transylvania was still under Austro-Hungarian occupation. In 1916, Romania declared war against Germany and Austro-Hungary. After the war, Transylvania and Bucovina became part of Romania.

Before the Romanian postal administration was established (and a short period of time after that), Austrian, Russian, Greek, and French post offices existed in Romania. Austrian and French post offices used their own stamps. The last foreign post office in Romania was officially closed in 1869. Along the Danube River, the Austrian DDSG Company operated its own postal service, mostly for parcels rather than letters, and several stamps were issued. The railway hetween Constanta and Cernavoda was operated for a short period of time by a British company and also issued stamps (scarce, inscription 'LOCAL-POST D B S R Kustendje& Czernawoda', ). During WWI, part of Romania was occupied by German, Austrian, Bulgarian, and Turkish troops. Several sets of stamps were issued or overprinted. Genuine covers bearing these stamps are rare. At the end of WW1, Romanian troops administered Galitia (now in Ukraine) and several Austrian stamps were overprinted (these are rare on genuine cover).

In 1919, the Romanian city of Timisoara was under Serb and Romanian occupation, and Arad under French. Each administration issued its own stamps, the French ones being the rarest. Commercial covers bearing those issues are rare and seldom offered.

1858 (July) Bull's head (symbol of Moldova) in circle, imperforated, cyrillic letters

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
Images reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com


A genuine stamp on cover, offered on an E-bay auction

  27 p black
  54 p blue
  81 p blue
  108 p blue

From the approximately 24,000 stamps issued, only 724 survived, with only 89 on cover. They are considered as one of the world’s rarities.

 

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
27 pRRRRRR 
54 pRRRRRR 
81 pRRRRRR 
108 pRRRRRR 

The Bull’s Head issue was reprinted twice, and can easily be recognized, because they are printed on different papers than the originals. Since these stamps are very rare, many forgeries exist, examples:

27 p black, forgery, the ear points to the 'C' 54 p blue, forgery Forgery! Forgery! Forgery! Forgery!

even in the wrong colours and values:

wrong values and colours

wrong value! forgeries!


(A forgery of the 81 p with very small ears)

This forgery was sold on a prestigious Internet auction:


(A forgery made by Peter Winter in the 1980's)

According to Album Weeds another bogus value of 120 Paras gold on white exists. A forgery exists with a genuine cancel of Jassy (made with the help of a fraudulent postal employee). The circle of genuine stamps has a diameter of 19 1/2 mm except for the 108 p which has a diameter of 20 mm (The forged stamps of all countries by J.Dorn). More on the idenfication of forgeries of the bull's issue can be found at: http://hem.passagen.se/utions/bull/truebull.htm. From Billigs grosses Handbuch der Fälschungen (Wien 1938) we can learn that for the genuine stamps the following characteristics should be met (see the above website for pictures of these characteristics):

For the 27 p black:

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
(genuine)

1. The top of the second O in 'PORTO' is thinner
2. The ends of the 'C' in 'CKPNCOPN' almost touch each other, there are vertical lines at the end of this 'C'
3. Right horn of the bull points towards the foot of 'P', the right line of the horn is thicker
4. There are 3 lines on the nose, right line somewhat longer, it does not touch the other lines
5. White dot or line in right hand side of posthorn
6. The '7' has an upward 'hook' at the bottom
7. The top of the '7' has a very long downwards pointing line
8. In the left hand side of the horn (the ellipse) should be black squares on a white background
9. The first 'O' in 'PORTO' should be open
10. The left ear should point towards the base of the 'T' of 'PORTO'
11. There are square dots in the mouth of the posthorn.

There is a quite deceptive Fournier forgery that doesn't have the upward hook.

For the 54 p blue

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
(genuine)

1. The left horn should be curved and point towards the empty space between the 'O' and 'C'
2. The 'C' of 'CKPNCOPN' is almost closed as in the 27 p.
3. Lower left leg of star above the bull's head should be prolonged
4. Curved horn pointed towards right part of foot of P
5. The rigth ear points towards second leg of the 'N'
6. The outer circle is broken just below the left hand side of the posthorn.
7. There should be dots inside the mouth of the posthorn and no vertical or horizontal lines.

A deceptive Fournier forgery, exist, however, I don't know what it's distinghuishing characteristics are.

For the 81 p blue:

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
(genuine)

1. The left curved horn of the bull point to the right hand side of the 'O' of 'PORTO'
2. The top-ray of the star points to the left foot of the 'K'
3. There is a black dot at the right hand side of the star
4. The right horn of the bull points to the 'P' of 'CKPNCOPN'
5. The right ear of the bull starts with a horizontal line (at the bottom of the ear to the right)
6. There is a line at the right hand side of the bull's nose (on the nose)
7. The '1' of '81' has a 'hook' at the top
8. The 'P' of 'PORTO' is extended with a line at the bottom
9. There is often a break in the left ear
10. About 10 rows of dots inside the mouth of the posthorn (and no lines)

A Fournier forgery with almost all the characteristics of the genuine stamps exists. It doesn't have the extended line at the bottom of the 'P' of 'PORTO', and there seems to be a dot instead of a line at the right hand side of the bull's nose.

And finally for the 108 p blue:

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
(genuine)

1. The star is open at the left top side
2. the 'K' ends with a curved long foot
3. the first 'C' of 'CKPNCOPN' is almost square at the bottom
4. Two lines forming an arrow point down at about one third of the nose (seen from the top)
5. the '1' of '108' has a long foot at the right hand side pointing slightly downwards
6. The left ear of the bull points towards the second 'O' of 'PORTO'
7. About 8 horizontal rows of dots in the mouth of the posthorn (and no lines)

A Fournier forgery exists, without the curved long foot at the 'K', and the left horn thicker than the right horn (from the bull's point of view).

 

1858 Bull's head 2, imperforated, inscription 'PORTO GAZETEI' or 'PORTO SCRISOREI'

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com Genuine, retouched at the top Genuine? Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

  5 p black (for newspapers)
  40 p blue
  80 p red

These stamps were issued in 1858 on bluish wove paper and in 1859 on white wove paper. The head of the bull's doesn't touch the posthorn in any of the values (the forged stamps of all countries by J.Dorn). The 5 p is very rare in used condition.

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 pRRRRR 
40 pRRRR 
80 pRRRRR 

Forgeries, examples:

5 p black: How to recognize a genuine stamp? The genuine stamp is printed on very transparent paper (Album Weeds). There is a gap in the top of the 'P' of 'PORTO'. The 'O' of this same word generally has an opening at the top too. The left hand side of the top part of the 'T' of 'PORTO' also has a gap. The star above the bull's head is 6-pointed and open at the bottom.

The next forgeries have crescent shaped (bent inwards) horns of the bull, also the loop of the horn is too big:

Reduced size
(Forgeries)

Other forgeries exist of this value, for example one with a very small loop of the horn and one with the all the words touching the border.


(Other forgery, reduced size)

40 p blue: In the 40 p the star above the head of the bull should be open at the top and should have 6 rays. The '4' should also be open at the top.

Forgery, star not open
Forgery, star not open

In the above forgery, the star is not open and the ears are different among other differences.

Forgery, star not open and '4' closed, only 5 rays in star
6th forgery of Album Weeds, star with 5 rays only, cow has human nose

The above forgery is the sixth forgery described in Album Weeds; It is printed in dark blue, the star has 5 rays instead of 6. The bull has a human nose, there is no central line in the ring of the posthorn. There are lines in the mouth of the posthorn slanting downwards. The '4' of '40' is closed at the top. The left eye of the bull (from our point of view) is closed. It bears a cancel of parallel lines.


(Forgery)

In the above forgery the 'P' touches the 'I' in the right bottom corner. Furthermore the ears of the bull are different. One ear is pointing towards the 'R' of 'SCRISOREI' instead of the 'C' of this word.

Forgeries on letters also exist, example:


(zoom in)

(Other forgery, very blur in light blue)


(Forgeries, probably made by the same forger, reduced sizes)

80 p red: In the genuine 80 p the horn is never connected to the bull's head.

Forgery, only 5 rays in star
7th forgery of Album Weeds, 5 rayed star, horn and bull connected

In the above forgery the horn is connected to the bull's head (I presume this is the 7th forgery described in Album Weeds)! Also the genuine stamp has 6 rays in the star, this one only has 5. The 'R' and 'I' of 'SCRISOREI' are joined in the genuine stamps. The horns of the bull point between '8' and '0' and towards the the left lower corner of the 'P'.


(Forgery with Jassy cancel, reduced size)

There exist more deceptive forgeries of the 80 p stamp.

 

1862 Bull's head, eagle (symbol of Wallachia) and posthorn, imperforated

  3 p yellow
  6 p red
  30 p blue

These stamps were partly hand struck (2 varieties) and typographed from plates (40 varieties). The hand struck stamps have irregular distance between them. The typographed ones always have a constant distance between them. These stamps exists printed sidewards to one another, as shown in the two pictures above. Unused stamps are much more common than used stamps (especially the 6 p).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
3 pRRRR 
6 p**RR 
30 p***** 

How to distinguish forgeries? The characteristics of the genuine stamps are (Album Weeds):

3 pa yellow: The octagonal frame exists of two seperate lines (however, often blotched together). The word 'FRANCO' measures almost 14 mm and the letters are not more than 1 3/4 mm high. There is a white patch at the top of each of the wings of the eagle.

Album Weeds describes 4 forgeries; In the 1st forgery, the eagle's wing near the 'C' of 'FRANCO' is completely coloured, the 2nd forgery has the word 'PAR' very slanting, the 3rd forgery is in orange-brown colour and has the word 'SCRISOREI' is slanting. Finally, in the 4th forgery the star above the head of the bull has 6 rays (instead of 5) and the frame around the stamp is composed of three lines (instead of two).


4th forgery of Album Weeds, reduced size, extra frame line, note the bogus cancel

6 pa red: The octagonal frame exists of two seperate lines. There is a stop after each '6' and each 'PAR' (and sometimes behind 'FRANCO'). The star has 5 rays. There exist non-issued stamps of 6 pa in lilac-red with forged cancels.

Album Weeds describes 4 forgeries; In the 1st forgery the shading in the posthorn is different from the genuine stamps. The 3rd forgery has the frame composed of three lines (it should be two lines) and there are no stops behind both the '6'. The 4th forgery is equal to the 3rd one, but with a stop added behind the lower '6' and other minor differences.



4th forgery of Album Weeds, extra frame line, third picture reduced size

30 pa blue: The octagonal frame exists of two seperate lines. There is a stop after each '30' and 'PAR'. The eagle's wing touches the ear of the bull.

Album Weeds describes 3 forgeries of the 30 pa: The 2nd forgery has the frame composed of three lines (it should be two lines) and the star has 6 rays (instead of 5). The 4th forgery is equal to the 3rd one, but with some minor differences.


2nd forgery of Album Weeds, reduced size, extra frame line

I have my doubts about the following two stamps, forgeries?:


Modern forgeries(?) with 'PAR' too large


Interesting websites and literature:

http://come.to/romaniastamps/

http://hem.passagen.se/utions/bull/truebull.htm

http://membres.lycos.fr/dgrecu/DM1.html; Romania, A short postal history of Romania, by Dinu Matei, Calgary, Canada, First published in 'Calgary Philatelist', issue #29, April 1998, pp.3-7.

http://membres.lycos.fr/dgrecu/

Literature:

  1. Billig's grosses Handbuch der Falschungen (in German) Rumanien I (Moldau - Walachei)
  2. Rumänien, Rumania Die Ochsenkopfen der Moldau, The Bull's heads of Moldavia: Fritz Heimbuechler, 415 pages, German English bilingual, 1994.

The Romanian Classical Postmarks 1858-1872

In various towns, different colors of ink were used with the cancelling devices at different times. Album weeds gives some indication of the cancels used, if any, on both the genuine stamps and on the known forgeries. However, this book contains mistakes here. For example, it states that the postmarks used on the genuine 27 parale stamp are usually red while those on the first type of forgery are blue.

The following information was found on http://membres.lycos.fr/dgrecu/bib01s.html, I would like to thank Dan Grecu who has let me use his text.

Used between 1858-1872, the classical postmarks were classified by Kiriac Dragomir as:

1) Double circle "Small MOLDOVA" cancels 1858-1865 (BAKEU, BERLAD, BOTUSCHANI, DOROHOJ, FOKSCHANI, FOLTITSCHENI, GALATZ, HUSCH, JASSY, MICHALENI, PIATRA, ROMAN, TEKUTSCH, WASLUI);

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
Bakeu, Berlad, Jassy (3x) and Fokschani MOLDOVA cancels, the above images were reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

  1. Idem, without the word "MOLDOVA" 1861-1865 (FOKSCHANI, BOTUSCHANI);
  2. Late "JASSY" with antiqua "MOLDOVA" 1862-1865;

2) Double circle "Large MOLDOVA" cancels 1859-1867 (ADJUD, BOLGRAD, FOKSCHANI, JASSY, ISMAIL, KAHUL, T.FRUMOS, T.NEAMZU, T.OKNEI);

  1. Idem, FOKSCHANI without "MOLDOVA" 1861-1865.

3) FRANKO + place cancels 1859-1865 (BACEU, BERLAD, BOLGRAD, BOTOSCHENI, DOROEHOI, FOKSCHANY, FOLTICHENII, GALATZ, HUCHII, JASSY, ISMAILU, KAHUL, MICHAILENI, NIAMTZU, OKNA, PIATRA, ROMAN, TEKOUTCI, VASLUI);


(Franco Roman)


Franco Jassy: certified genuine


'Franco Kahul' cancel

Genuine

4) Rectangular JASSY cancels with "Curtains" ("Small Curtain" 1861-1865; "Large Curtain" 1864-1865);

5) Double circle cancels with "Star" ornament 1862-1872 (25 cancels);


(reduced size)

6) "Grid" cancels ("Princely Grid" or "Grid with Stars" 1865; "Simple Grid" 1865-1901; "Double Grid" 1869-1871);


(Reduced size)

7) Double circle cancels with "Arabesque" ornament ("Simple arabesque" 1862-1868, 5 cancels; "Rich arabesque" 1865-1880, 50 cancels);

Image obtained from a Sandafayre auction


(Reduced size)

8) Double circle cancels with time indications: "In the morning" and "In the evening":


(Reduced size)

  1. with "DIMINEATA" and "DUP'AMIADI" 1867-1870 (BUCURESCI, 2 pairs);
  2. with "DIM" and "SERA" 1869-1877 (28 cancel pairs).

9) "Small cancels" 1870-1883 (27 cancels);


(Reduced sizes)

10) "Thimble" cancels 1871-1892 (77 cancels);

11) SCULENI / ROMANIA border cancel...1860-1869... and CHILIE fluvial cancel 1867-1878.

Fournier forged cancels:

Fournier also made forgeries of the cancels (be careful, since they resemble actual cancels of Romania), examples of the forgeries taken from a Fournier album:


(Fournier forged cancels)

I have seen: Double circle: 'GALATI 4/9' and ornaments, 'BUCURESTI 8/6' and ornaments, 'GALATI 3 58 MOLDAVA', 'JASSY 10 8 FRANCA'. Single circle: 'BACAO 19 JUN 71' and elliptic cancel '* FRANCO JASSY *'

 

The Romanian Classical Postmarks 1872-1910

The following information was found on http://membres.lycos.fr/dgrecu/bib04s.html, I would like to thank Dan Grecu who has let me use his text.

Between 1872-1910, the postclassical postmarks are catalogued by Kiriac Dragomir as follows:

1) Simple circle cancels 1873-1893 (with six different ornaments: "Star", "Brooch", "Cross", "Maltesian Cross", "St.Andrew Cross", "Acanthus");

2) Double circle with 3-line date cancels 1874-1899 (with the same six different ornaments);

3) Double circle with linear date cancels 1881-1912 (with ornaments: "Star", "Brooch", "Cross", "Maltesian Cross", "Acanthus");

4) Double circle with linear date cancels with "Post Trumpet" ornament 1894-1953;

5) Miscellaneous cancels:

Other cancels, such as rural cancels exist.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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