The weekend’s mail brought a pleasant surprise to my in basket: Vol. 17 of the popular Fakes Forgeries Experts series that gives the reader an insider’s view of the fascinating world of expertizing.
These large-size softcover books gather a broad selection of essays detailing new discoveries of fakes, developments in the methods used to detect forged stamps and postal history, as well as the history behind the creation of these deceptive objects.
In his introduction, editor Jonas Hallstrom provides an overview of the subjects to be discussed, noting that of the 22 authors represented, 13 are making their first appearance in this latest volume.
Hallstrom emphasizes how much more accessible technology is today, which makes it much easier for collectors to learn and apply expertizing techniques to their own material.
“In the past collectors very often needed philatelic experts to assist in order to detect material restored or forged,” Hallstrom wrote. “The technology revolution has really changed this and today we can very often practice and build knowledge ‘independently’ from experts. Reading FFE is one way of building knowledge.”
Among the more fascinating discussions is Paul Linde’s review of using digital microscopes and UV light to detect hidden repairs to stamps, such as repaired perforations or paper replacement.
In a similar vein, Robert Odenweller unveils retroReveal, a free online program that can be used to reveal hidden images, such as erased markings or very faint cancellations.
John Barwis dilates even more on the technology theme, with what he calls “a general overview of the analytical methods now available for detailed study of philatelic materials.”
Barwis focuses first on paper, a subject he has studied for many years. He explains how various equipment can be used to study paper characteristics such as thickness, stiffness, permeability and composition.
Also highlighted are several nondestructive methods for determining ink composition on stamps.
Forgeries take center stage in a number of articles. Among the more interesting are John Horsey’s review of the forgeries of the well-known £5 orange Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and Jaromir Petrick’s summary of the forgeries of the 1876-78 Small Tiger Head issues of the Kingdom of Kabul (Afghanistan).
Most of the articles focus on stamps from the classic period. However, this does not mean that fakes and other altered stamps aren’t a problem in the modern era. Quite the contrary.
Linn’s U.S. Stamp Notes columnist John Hotchner weighs in with a look at counterfeits of the 1967 13¢ John F. Kennedy sheet stamp. He discusses “information on the record about how the [Kennedy stamp] counterfeits were discovered, and how the counterfeiters were tracked down and prosecuted.”
Likewise, Gunnar Dahlstrand showcases the forged stamps of Sweden during 2003-13.
Fakes Forgeries Experts Vol. 17 is available for $85 plus $3 postage from Leonard H. Hartmann, Box 36006, Louisville, KY 40233; or visit Hartmann’s website at pbbooks.com, e-mail email@example.com.
Additional volumes in the series also are available from Hartmann.
blogWhen this cover was listed on eBay in mid-September, it didn't take long for some knowledgeable collectors to recognize this piece of postal history for the gem that it is: an early trans-oceanic survey cover for a Pacific route that included Midway Island, which would become famous as the location of a pivotal 1942 naval battle during World War II. Read More ›
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.