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VENEZUELA Forgeries of the first issues 1859-1865

Return To Catalogue - Venezuela - miscellaneous

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Check out the excellent website on Venezuelian stamps, its locals and forgeries http://www.mystamps.net, made by Williams Castillo. I would like to thank him for setting some of the information available to me.

Forgeries of the 1859 issue

For the specialist; these stamps were issued in a fine and a coarse impression.

Forgeries, there are 7 different kind of forgeries known, examples:

Spiro(?) forgeries:

This cancel with dots was never used in Venezuela, any stamps with such postmarks can easily be recognized as forgeries. This is probably the most common forgery. I think these forgeries are made by Spiro. Fournier also offers these forgeries in his 1914 pricelist as second choice forgeries, he asks 1 Swiss Franc for 4 values (I presume this includes a 1/2 r yellow and red?). They can also be found in 'the Fournier album of philatelic forgeries'. The label with 'LIBERTAD' is placed too high and it is not curved enough. The background consists of crossed lines (instead of vertical lines only as in the genuine stamps).


Lower front leg of horse is pointing towards 'D' of 'LIBERTAD'

In Album Weeds another forgery is described having the dots cancel. In this case the word 'LIBERTAD' is placed too high in its label. Furthermore the crossed tails of the cornucopiae are exactly placed centrally under the 'EZ' of 'VENEZUELA'. Could the above 2 r brown forgeries be the ones mentioned there? Note that the lower leg of the horse is pointing towards the 'D' of 'LIBERTAD', while it is pointing towards the 'A' of this word in the above Spiro forgeries.

Second forgery of Album Weeds

The second forgery described in Album Weeds has a white stop after the word 'VENEZUELA'. The crossed tails of the cornucopiae are exactly placed under the 'ZU' of 'VENEZUELA'.

Third forgery of Album Weeds

'C' of 'CORREO' is smaller than the 'O' and the 'Z' of 'VENZUELA' leans over to the left.

Fourth forgery of Album Weeds

It seems that these forgeries were seized by the government of Venezuela and then sold to collectors. The 'O' of 'CORREO' is broken on top.

Other forgeries


(Forgery?)

I've been told that the above stamp is a forgery, however, it looks quite convincing to me. The only thing I can say is that the white space between 'CORREO DE' and 'VENEZUELA' looks quite large.

More information can be found on http://www.mystamps.net/venezuela/identificacion/escudos01.html (in Spanish, made by Williams Castillo, 7 different forgeries are listed here).

Could this be the fourth forgery mentioned by Williams Castillo?

The word 'VENEZUELA' and the band that surrounds it, are narrower than in the genuine stamps. The word 'LIBERTAD' occupies almost the whole containing label.. The right banner finishes in the lower corner and the left, almost in the corner.


(Forgery? Similar design as postage stamps, but with ornaments at the sides and bottom)

 


Forgeries of the 1861 issue

Twelf different kinds of forgeries are known. Among them with inscription 'CORREO VENEZUELA' instead of 'CORREO DE VENEZUELA' exist. A bogus value of 1 real also exists (sorry, no picture available yet).

In the genuine cuarto and medio stamps, a dot can be found between the two outer frame lines behind the 'A' of 'VENEZUELA'. In the next table the number of pearls at the left hand side, the bottom and right hand side can be found for the three values:
 Number of pearls
valueleftbottomright
1/4 c161619
1/2 c151718
1 c151618

 

More information can be found on http://www.mystamps.net/venezuela/identificacion/escudos02.html (in Spanish). All twelf forgeries are described here. Williams Castillo says about these stamps "As a general rule, almost all used copies of this series are fakes... They were specially issued to be used on magazines and other printed material between Caracas and UK by decree. In fact, I've seen only one used copy, on piece (a newspaper), and it was pen cancelled showing a three waved lines accross the stamp."

First forgery of Williams site:

On Williams' forgery site an uncancelled forgery can be found. The horizonatal division line of the shield is straight instead of being slightly curved. The second 'O' of 'CORREO' appears to be a 'D'.

Fourth forgery of Williams site:

In the above forgeries, the upper right ornament seem like a laid down 'C'. The head of the horse is very much separated of the division line above it. The lower right corner of the shield almost touches the label with 'LIBERTAD'. In the 1/4 c the word 'Cuarto centavo' is written too large.

Fifth forgery of Williams site:

Image obtained thanks to Williams Castillo

The word 'CORREO de VENEZUELA' is written in very small letters. The tips of the cornucopias seems a hart shape. The lower tip of the shield touches the containing label of the word 'LIBERTAD'. The size of the stamp is larger: 17.75 mm x 21.75 mm.

Sixth forgery of Williams site:

The number of pearls in the above forgery does not correspond to the genuine stamps. The leafs at the right are far away from the pearls on the right border.

 


Forgeries of the 1863 eagle issue

There are 13 different kind of forgeries known. How to recognize genuine stamps? All values have a different number of pearls around the circle containing the eagle (see table below).
valueNbr of pearlsOther characteristics

1/2 c

55 (56?)

45 vertical lines behind the stars
Central star is under the 'R' of 'FEDERACION'
Secret mark: vertical line in the central pearl on the left side of the circle

1 c

57

43 vertical lines behind the stars
Central star slightly to the left of the centre
of the 'R' of 'FEDERACION'
Secret mark: vertical line in the central pearl on the left side of the circle

1/2 r

49

59 vertical lines behind the stars
Secret marks: dot in pearl above eagle
and vertical line in most left pearl

1 r

52

45 vertical lines behind stars, (all very waved)
The central star is underneath the RA of FEDERATION.
The eagle has an open beak.

2 r

53

51 vertical lines behind the stars
Secret mark: line in one of the pearls on the left hand side
Secret line in one of the left pearls (see image above)
The 'R' of 'REAL' is exactly underneath the 'Z' of 'VENEZOLANA'. No ornaments next to the both end stars. 'S' of 'REALES' look like a 'Z'. Extreme right star nearer to frame than extreme left star.

Forgeries:

Spiro forgeries:

This cancel with dots was never used in Venezuela, any stamps with such postmarks can easily be recognized as forgeries. I have seen all five values of this particular forgery. There is no dot behind the value and there are no secret marks. Fournier also offers these forgeries in his 1914 pricelist as second choice forgeries for 1.25 Swiss Francs (all 5 values). These forgeries can also be found in 'the Fournier album of philatelic forgeries'. The 1 r forgery is also described in 'Focus on forgeries' by Varro E. Tyler. I've seen a whole sheet of 25 (5 x 5) forgeries of the 1 c value.

Second forgery:

In this forgery the pearls of the circle are ellipses. This is an easy way to recognize it. Furthermore, the 'D' of 'FEDERACION' resembles a 'O' and there are background lines between the label containing 'VENEZOLANA' and the bottom part with the value. Finally there is no dot behind 'DOS REALES'.

Official reprint(?):


(Reduced sizes)

The above forgeries have 52 pearls around the circle instead of 49, the 'N' of 'FEDERACION' is much wider than in the genuine stamps. This stamp is sometimes considered as a reprint. There is a dot in the highest pearl (the secret mark as in the genuine 1/2 r stamps). The central star is placed under the 'RA' of 'FEDERACION'. Note that this stamps is referred to as 'genuine type 2' in Album Weeds. This forgery is only known in the value 1/2 r. There are many controversies about this stamp. Some say it is a genuine stamp some said it is a postal fake (to fool the postal authorities). Fact is that this stamp WAS really used in postal service.  

Seventh forgery of the 1r of Album Weeds

1 R blue

There are 50 pearls in the circle in the above forgery (should be 52). The secret marks are absent. The birds head has a small dot at the back. The 'R' of 'REAL' is exactly below the 'O' of 'VENEZOLANA' (the 'O' should be above the vertical stroke of the 'R'). There is also a 1/2 r of this particular forgery.

Other forgery

There is no dot behind 'REAL' in the above forgery.

More information can be found on http://www.mystamps.net/venezuela/identificacion/aguilitas.html (in Spanish).

Sixth forgery mentioned by Williams Castillo:

The stars have the very sharp tips and they almost hit the central circle. The cap of the liberty is very white. The left leg lacks feathers in the lower part.


(The central star is under the 'R' of 'FEDERACION' instead of under 'RA')


(Another forgery of the 1 c stamp)


(And another forgery of the 1/2 r and 1 r values)


(A forgery of the 1/2 r blue; this is the wrong colour!)

 


Forgeries of the 1865 arms issue

Spiro forgeries(?):

Forgery! Note the strange dotted cancel!

This cancel with dots was never used in Venezuela, any stamps with such postmarks can easily be recognized as forgeries. The banner with 'DIOS Y FEDERACION' is too short (it should extend beyond the shield, but in this forgery it doesn't). Fournier also offers these forgeries in his 1914 pricelist as second choice forgeries for 1.25 Swiss Francs (for all 5 values together). They can also be found in 'the Fournier album of philatelic forgeries'.

Other forgeries


(Forgeries, reduced sizes)

In the above forgeries, the first 'E' of 'VENEZ' has the same direction as the 'NEZ', in the genuine stamps it should be slightly inclined backwards to the 'V'. Also the colours are wrong in the above specimens. The inscription reads 'CORRE ODELO SEE', there is no dot behind the first 'E' of 'E.E.U.U.' and finally there is a hyphen in front of the 'C' of 'CORRE', which is not present in the genuine stamps. This forgery is the third forgery of the 1/2 c value described in Album Weeds.

There also seems to exist some forgeries with inscription 'EEUu' (smaller last 'U') and some other forgeries with inscription 'ADIOS' instead of 'DIOS'. Again another forgery has the inscription 'SIOS' instead of 'DIOS'. In again antother forgery, the words 'DIOS Y FEDERACION' are illegable and there is a white space in the lower part of the shield. In the last forgery the thick line in the upper frame is missing, the right side of the cornucopia is missing, the letters 'E.E.U.U.' are wider and the letters 'ON' of 'CONDEDERACION' are larger. I have no picturs of the above forgeries.

Postal forgery


(Reduced size)

I've been told that the above stamp is a postal forgery, I don't have any further information about this stamp.

More information about these stamps can be found on http://www.mystamps.net/venezuela/identificacion/octagonos01.html (in Spanish).


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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