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Edoardo SPIOTTI Forgeries

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The forger Edoardo Spiotti from Genoa (Italy) was an Italian stamp forger specializing in Italian States forgeries. I have not much information about him and I have also not been able to find any forgeries made by him.

A letter send by Spiotti with inscription "Libreria Editrice E.SPIOTTI - GENOVA".

In The London Philatelist 5 (1896), pages 287-288, the foreword of his catalogue was reproduced in English:

It will be recollected that we recently described a dangerous forged blue Naples seen by Mr. Castle during the Geneva Exhibition ; and it seems from a modest little catalogue that we have received, that this particular work of art is only a sample of the wares that this Italian Chevalier d'Industrie is capable of turning out. For sublime and concentrated impudence the following sentences from the Preface deserve placing on record :
" Many amateurs, not being able to complete their collection, because they are unable to find the genuine rarities, or on account of the expense, abandon Philately. This is very dangerous for both collectors and dealers, and in order to remedy this, the imitations here catalogued—which are so like the real stamp as to be almost undistinguishable—have been issued by the editor. Many of these imitations are bought by societies and Philatelic clubs to instruct their members." Very likely ; but not in the sense that this miscreant means ! The catalogue includes all the Italian States — " used " and unused—with 50 c. supplement, if on the entire letter. The Naples Arms, blue or rose, all values, and the Cross, can be supplied either on ordinary paper, or, at a higher figure, on the "paper of the real stamps of 2 grana, faded out, real watermark, and obliteration."
It includes the current " Italian stamps, genuine, with imitation surcharge, Colonial Eritrea," and the same as regards all the Estero series. The English Colonies also figure bravely—Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Mauritius, Gambia, and others—while the St. Helena are furnished with long and short bars, etc. Payment, needless to state, must always be in advance ; but the manufacturer will exchange his wares (made in Italy) against rare postages stamps either per 1000 or per kilo. In fact he would take anything, like any other highway robber. Complete isolation is the only cure for such rascality, and it is to be regretted that there is no Italian Old Bailey. Unless some means can be conceived to stop this wholesale forgery, the market will be flooded with dangerous imitations ; and in the case of the blue Naples Cross, with its varying centre, they will be especially likely to deceive many inexperienced collectors. We will attempt something, even if we achieve nothing.

It appears from the above list that a large part of the forgeries offered above were also in the Oneglia pricelist (for example the St.Helena with long and short bars). Edoardo Spiotti seems to have published a pricelist with forgeries: "Catalogue des imitations des timbres-postes d'Italie et anciens duchés ...: Leur valeur, couleur, date d'emission et prix de vente" in 1897. I have not seen this pricelist. It looks very similar to a pricelist with similar title by the forger Oneglia (issued in 1899): "Catalogue des Imitations des Timbres-Postes d'Italie et anciens duchés, Bresil, Cap de Bonne Esperance, Gambie, Iles Joniennes, Maurice, ecc ecc. Leur valeur, couleur, date d'emission et prix de vente ". This confirms that Spiotti was selling Oneglia's forgeries.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer