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Europe/Other : Serious question to collectors of Poland

 

Author
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Harvey

I think, therefore I am - I think!

01 Jul 2019
07:17:07pm
I have collected Poland for a long time, since about 1972, and have an excellent collection. My collection has a cutoff of 1985 so I can eliminate a lot of the recent over production. My question concerns the prolific reproduction of the older issues, especially the many overprints. In many cases I avoid mint stamps to cut down on repros but this is certainly no guarantee since I believe the early stamps were sometimes reproduced so they could be used at the time. Many of the repros are old ones and show the sign of use. I'm not looking for people to send me the many sites that supposedly help identify repros since, as you know, they are very hard to identify with any level of confidence. One result of all the fakes is that prices for old Poland stamps are falling. I know that my dealer that I have been using for a very long time only charges a small fraction on catalog for questionable stamps. He pays very little for them since he can't say for sure what they are - I really wonder if anyone can. This is mainly a question for the serious collector of Poland - are you starting to think like me and only consider these stamps as potential album fillers that you will not pay much for? I notice the beautiful collection of AntoniusRa on his site and wonder if even he can be sure what is there! If you are, how can you tell the real from the fake? Again, this is only a comment from a collector, please don't send me a bunch of web sites - I've seen them all and they are very confusing! I still enjoy Polish stamps, especially BOB, and I'm not going to let all the possible fakes put me off!!
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SForgCa
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01 Jul 2019
10:09:51pm
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

All the Eastern Block countries have large amounts of forgeries, fakes and bogus stamps.
The period from 1918-1922 when many overprints were made are all to be considered with suspicion.
Poland was probably the number 1 target of forgers since overprints are the easiest to fake. Many bogus overprints were also created. Overall, the fakes far outnumber the originals.
Czechoslovakia and in particular Romania were havens for forgeries of existing stamps.
With Poland there is no simple method to check the overprints except to have access to the original plate diagrams and careful measurements of the overprints. Some are easily spotted and most are not.

The problem is compounded by the fact that fakes continued to be produced into the period from 1950 to 2000 using lithographic and typographic means.
Modern fakes using apps like Photoshop are used to make very accurate dies. Fortunately the inking process is easily spotted.
Looking at some of the Poland exhibits, fakes abound.

Conclusion: unless you have access to plate diagrams and are prepared to spend a lot of effort measuring and comparing, cheap album fillers may be the only solution.

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"https://stampforgeries.blogspot.com/"
Snick1946
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APS Life Member

02 Jul 2019
10:06:28am
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

I've collected (among other areas) Poland since the 1960's. This is an issue I have come to terms with pretty much by doing as the last poster suggested, getting acceptable space fillers. I have two pages of Cracow overprints and still am not sure of many of them. I've marked some on the back so when my collection is broken up there won't be any issues. I also place a page in my album with notations calling attention to questionable items. This is one of many countries I collect and I feel this is better than having to spend a lot of time and frustration. I know purists will be shocked, but this is what works for me.

I have my collection in ten binders on 'K-Line' album pages, now out of print. Those pages ave a lot of detail on the early issues.

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Harvey

I think, therefore I am - I think!

02 Jul 2019
11:13:15am
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

It's good to know that others are thinking the same as I do - treat them as album fillers and don't over pay. I have a written comment at the top of several pages in my stamp albums that says "reproductions abound in early Polish stamps" - actually that's pretty much what Scott says. As I said, the stamp dealer I use pays minimal amounts for most early Poland and charges me a small percentage of catalog. It will eventually drive down the values of these stamps, it seems to be happening already. I see some people on E-Bay still trying to get big prices for early Poland and not being able to move their stuff. I'm the person with the inverted overprint on Romania RA2 who doesn't have a camera set up yet. I imagine that is a fake as well. Why someone would bother to fake a cheap stamp is a mystery to me. I paid almost nothing for it years ago! Have a good week everyone and happy July 4th to all the Americans out there!!

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"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. Yogiism"
SForgCa
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02 Jul 2019
12:41:32pm
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

" Why someone would bother to fake a cheap stamp is a mystery to me."


Forgeries fall into 2 main types, those to fool collectors and those to defraud postal authorities.
The collector type generally are targeted at the more expensive issues.
The postal ones target the more common general consumer types hence the less expensive ones - this is what we see today and has become a major issue.
Note that neither of the above are the only options as almost any stamp regardless of value might have been forged.
For Romania, although there are genuine inverted ovpts. most are fakes along with a good supply of Bogus non existing inverts and overprints.
They are sold as rare unlisted varieties


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"https://stampforgeries.blogspot.com/"
nigelc
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02 Jul 2019
02:53:01pm
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

Another big class of forgeries were those created for the collector packet trade especially in the early 20th century for low value stamps from exotic territories.

Events in the Russian Civil War seem to have been a particularly rich inspiration for many of these forgeries whether of genuine issues from Azerbaijan, North Ingermanland etc. or of bogus or unissued stamps such as the Western Army eagles and the White Russia set.

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it

03 Jul 2019
03:11:25am
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

Harvey, I've studied the Cracow overprints to some extent and have pretty much have concluded that without years of study, proper identification is, at best, hit and miss.
All of the overprints are not the same for all of the stamps in the series which really complicates identification. I compare the stamps I have with certified ones as well as known forgeries and take my best guess. Of course the stamps with low cat values are more likely to be legit but not always. They are one of the most difficult series to identify and there are only a few people in the world who could be trusted with the task. I am not a big fan of overprinted stamps in general because of the relative ease of fakery and so I don't spend much on them unless they have been certified or I can comfortably identify them myself.

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mitch.seymourfamily.com/mward/collection/mapindex.html
Harvey

I think, therefore I am - I think!

04 Jul 2019
08:12:48am
re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

AntoniusRa I think one of the best stamp identifiers is your amazing site! How someone can accumulate such a great collection in one lifetime is a mystery to me! I'm going to follow the following with Eastern European stuff. Don't pay a lot for them and don't assume anything!!!

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"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. Yogiism"
        

 

Author/Postings
Harvey

I think, therefore I am - I think!

01 Jul 2019
07:17:07pm

I have collected Poland for a long time, since about 1972, and have an excellent collection. My collection has a cutoff of 1985 so I can eliminate a lot of the recent over production. My question concerns the prolific reproduction of the older issues, especially the many overprints. In many cases I avoid mint stamps to cut down on repros but this is certainly no guarantee since I believe the early stamps were sometimes reproduced so they could be used at the time. Many of the repros are old ones and show the sign of use. I'm not looking for people to send me the many sites that supposedly help identify repros since, as you know, they are very hard to identify with any level of confidence. One result of all the fakes is that prices for old Poland stamps are falling. I know that my dealer that I have been using for a very long time only charges a small fraction on catalog for questionable stamps. He pays very little for them since he can't say for sure what they are - I really wonder if anyone can. This is mainly a question for the serious collector of Poland - are you starting to think like me and only consider these stamps as potential album fillers that you will not pay much for? I notice the beautiful collection of AntoniusRa on his site and wonder if even he can be sure what is there! If you are, how can you tell the real from the fake? Again, this is only a comment from a collector, please don't send me a bunch of web sites - I've seen them all and they are very confusing! I still enjoy Polish stamps, especially BOB, and I'm not going to let all the possible fakes put me off!!

Like 
3 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. Yogiism"
Members Picture
SForgCa

01 Jul 2019
10:09:51pm

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

All the Eastern Block countries have large amounts of forgeries, fakes and bogus stamps.
The period from 1918-1922 when many overprints were made are all to be considered with suspicion.
Poland was probably the number 1 target of forgers since overprints are the easiest to fake. Many bogus overprints were also created. Overall, the fakes far outnumber the originals.
Czechoslovakia and in particular Romania were havens for forgeries of existing stamps.
With Poland there is no simple method to check the overprints except to have access to the original plate diagrams and careful measurements of the overprints. Some are easily spotted and most are not.

The problem is compounded by the fact that fakes continued to be produced into the period from 1950 to 2000 using lithographic and typographic means.
Modern fakes using apps like Photoshop are used to make very accurate dies. Fortunately the inking process is easily spotted.
Looking at some of the Poland exhibits, fakes abound.

Conclusion: unless you have access to plate diagrams and are prepared to spend a lot of effort measuring and comparing, cheap album fillers may be the only solution.

Like 
3 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

"https://stampforgeries.blogspot.com/"
Members Picture
Snick1946

APS Life Member
02 Jul 2019
10:06:28am

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

I've collected (among other areas) Poland since the 1960's. This is an issue I have come to terms with pretty much by doing as the last poster suggested, getting acceptable space fillers. I have two pages of Cracow overprints and still am not sure of many of them. I've marked some on the back so when my collection is broken up there won't be any issues. I also place a page in my album with notations calling attention to questionable items. This is one of many countries I collect and I feel this is better than having to spend a lot of time and frustration. I know purists will be shocked, but this is what works for me.

I have my collection in ten binders on 'K-Line' album pages, now out of print. Those pages ave a lot of detail on the early issues.

Like
Login to Like
this post
Harvey

I think, therefore I am - I think!

02 Jul 2019
11:13:15am

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

It's good to know that others are thinking the same as I do - treat them as album fillers and don't over pay. I have a written comment at the top of several pages in my stamp albums that says "reproductions abound in early Polish stamps" - actually that's pretty much what Scott says. As I said, the stamp dealer I use pays minimal amounts for most early Poland and charges me a small percentage of catalog. It will eventually drive down the values of these stamps, it seems to be happening already. I see some people on E-Bay still trying to get big prices for early Poland and not being able to move their stuff. I'm the person with the inverted overprint on Romania RA2 who doesn't have a camera set up yet. I imagine that is a fake as well. Why someone would bother to fake a cheap stamp is a mystery to me. I paid almost nothing for it years ago! Have a good week everyone and happy July 4th to all the Americans out there!!

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. Yogiism"
Members Picture
SForgCa

02 Jul 2019
12:41:32pm

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

" Why someone would bother to fake a cheap stamp is a mystery to me."


Forgeries fall into 2 main types, those to fool collectors and those to defraud postal authorities.
The collector type generally are targeted at the more expensive issues.
The postal ones target the more common general consumer types hence the less expensive ones - this is what we see today and has become a major issue.
Note that neither of the above are the only options as almost any stamp regardless of value might have been forged.
For Romania, although there are genuine inverted ovpts. most are fakes along with a good supply of Bogus non existing inverts and overprints.
They are sold as rare unlisted varieties


Like
Login to Like
this post

"https://stampforgeries.blogspot.com/"
Members Picture
nigelc

02 Jul 2019
02:53:01pm

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

Another big class of forgeries were those created for the collector packet trade especially in the early 20th century for low value stamps from exotic territories.

Events in the Russian Civil War seem to have been a particularly rich inspiration for many of these forgeries whether of genuine issues from Azerbaijan, North Ingermanland etc. or of bogus or unissued stamps such as the Western Army eagles and the White Russia set.

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
AntoniusRa

The truth is within and only you can reveal it
03 Jul 2019
03:11:25am

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

Harvey, I've studied the Cracow overprints to some extent and have pretty much have concluded that without years of study, proper identification is, at best, hit and miss.
All of the overprints are not the same for all of the stamps in the series which really complicates identification. I compare the stamps I have with certified ones as well as known forgeries and take my best guess. Of course the stamps with low cat values are more likely to be legit but not always. They are one of the most difficult series to identify and there are only a few people in the world who could be trusted with the task. I am not a big fan of overprinted stamps in general because of the relative ease of fakery and so I don't spend much on them unless they have been certified or I can comfortably identify them myself.

Like
Login to Like
this post

mitch.seymourfamily. ...
Harvey

I think, therefore I am - I think!

04 Jul 2019
08:12:48am

re: Serious question to collectors of Poland

AntoniusRa I think one of the best stamp identifiers is your amazing site! How someone can accumulate such a great collection in one lifetime is a mystery to me! I'm going to follow the following with Eastern European stuff. Don't pay a lot for them and don't assume anything!!!

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. Yogiism"
        

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