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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional volumes in the series also are available from Hartmann.
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
August 14, 2015 09:46 AMWill the United States Postal Service issue a Christmas stamp this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic television musical special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
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.