Return To Catalogue - Basel - Geneva - Neuchatel - Winterthur - Zurich - Switzerland overview
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: .
Many stamps of the first issued and cantonal stamps can be found on the website http://www.ghonegger.ch/ (with many beautiful pictures of the rarities of this country).
Actually these stamps were used in Geneva, but they are known as the Vaud issue.
4 c black and red 5 c black and red (1850)
The 4 c and the 5 c are identical, except for the figures of value. The 4 c was introduced first (22nd October 1849), but only after a few months the postal rate was changed to 5 c (22nd January 1850). The figure '4 c.' were manually changed to '5 c.' on sheets of 100 stamps. Therefore 100 types of the 5 c exist (only 1 type of the 4 c exists). The 4 c is therefore considerably more valuable than the 5 c (about 80 stamps on cover are known to exist). All 100 types of the 5 c can be found in the book 'Distinguishing Characteristics of Classic Stamps; Europe 19th Century' by Hermann Schloss. In each of the 4 corner stamps of the sheet a red dot can be found in the center of the red cross.
(Red dot in the center of the cross of the corner stamps)
Value of the stamps
vc = very common c = common * = not so common ** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon R = rare RR = very rare RRR = extremely rare
Cancels are rosettes in several designs in red or black, a grid in black or five thick bars in black. (source: 'Album Weeds'). Furthermore I have seen a 13 lined diamond shaped cancel of Geneva. Examples of cancels:
The rosette shown in the left stamp was used from 22 October 1849 to 22 January 1850. The rosette of the right stamp was used from 23 January 1850 to 31 December 1850. From 1st of January 1851 to 16 January 1851 this right rosette was used in the colour black.
I've also seen a so-called 'Eidgenossige Raute' (federal grill cancel) on a 5 c value.
How to detect forgeries? The genuine stamps have a broken upper left corner, the top and the side lines do not meet (this seems to be the easiest test to detect forgeries, according to Album Weeds). There should be seventeen turns of the ribbon of the posthorn just below the cross (many forgeries have a different number of turns). Also note the position of the four solid black dots at each side of the value label. Many forgeries seems to have difficulties in reproducing the exact location of these dots. The white cross has NO black outline. Other checks are: the scroll-work of the left side of the stamp touches the foot of the 'P' of 'POSTE', but not the head of the 'P'. The scroll-work on the right side touches the bottom of the 'E' of 'POSTE'.
At least 17 different kind of forgeries exist (in the early 20th century and probably many more today).
The above two stamps are forgeries, note that they have exactly the same cancellation at the same place!
Two forgeries with 'S' slanting forwards; the 'C' after the value is too large
Forgery on letter:
(Forgeries with 'FACSIMILE' overprint, note the low 'C' in 'LOCALE')
Compare the position of the ornaments in the left upper corner (under the 'PO') with a genuine copy. These forgeries do NOT resemble the Fournier forgeries as shown in 'The Fournier album of philatelic forgeries'. Did Fournier make more than one type of forgeries? I have seen a whole sheet (5x10) of both values of these forgeries (already pre-cancelled), in the left lower corner of the 5 c sheet a tete-beche stamp (=upside down) can be seen (see picture above). The cancels always seem to be one of the above (grid, lines or rozette, all in black, but I've also seen a red rozette and a blue grid cancel).
In the above forgery, the lines on the posthorn are oblique. Also, there is no dot behind the '4 c'.
In the following forgeries, there is a black line around the red circle and around the white cross; in the genuine stamps there are no such black lines.
(Extra line below value label and black outline on cross)
I think the above forgeries are the first forgeries described in Album weeds; there are only 12 turns of the ribbon, there is a black outline on the white cross and on the red circle. A horizontal line can be seen between the value label and the bottom of the stamp (there is no such line in a genuine stamp, see enlarged pictures above for more details).
I have seen a sheet of forgeries (see picture above) where these forgeries are printed together with the first Winterthur forgeries.
The lower right and left ornaments are too far down in the above forgery. There are many other differences with the genuine stamps. I have seen this forgery with a cancel consisting of black parallel bars.
Sperati produced 2 different forgeries of this stamp, the left
one is listed as Reproduction 'A' by the British Philatelic Association, the right one as Reproduction 'B'.
Sperati forgeries are very difficult to recognize in general, the differences with genuine stamps are microscopic (even experts were fooled at first!). They are quite expensive.
Peter Winter forgeries:
(A Peter Winter forgery, the design is correct in every detail, produced around 1980?)
These Winter forgeries also exist on fake letters:
The cancel on these forged envelopes always seems to be: 'GENEVE 25 MARS 50 8 1/2 S' (in red). Another Winter forgery with a black rozette cancel:
There are also forged 4 c stamps, made by erasing the '5 c' from a genuine stamp and then replacing it by '4 c'.