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Friday 4 March 2011
We All Make Mistakes :)
At the top, a cover which appeared in a recent auction and for which I entered a bid (unsuccessfully).
Underneath, my "Reference" cover which tells me what the genuine JELGAWA "a" looks like.
Umm ... on the cover at the top, the "a" slopes to the right ; on the cover at the bottom, the "a" is more upright. The top cancel is forged and is the commonest (and very old) forged Jelgawa cancel, applied here to stamps with forged overprints.
Not only is the "a" different, the formation of other letters in the cancel is different too (try the final "A" of LATWIJA.)
How did I make the mistake? I worked from memory instead of taking out my Reference cover and comparing it to the cover in the auction. It's some time since I occupied myself with Western Army stuff (which I find exhausting anyway) and I should have known better than to bid impulsively.
How do I know that my Reference cover is reliable? Here is a picture of the back:
Here you will see the attestation of the Jelgawa postmaster, dated 11 Oct 1919 and underneath the further attestation of the dealer Koningsfest dated 4 April 1921. These guarantees are both reliable. In addition, I have a stamp on piece with what I am telling you is the genuine JELGAWA "a" cancel and this piece is signed HOFMANN BPP (that's Harry von Hofmann, author of the numerous Handbooks on Latvian philately). See below: