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Wednesday 20 July 2011

Expertising Russian Civil War Issues

Anyone who has met me at a stamp show will know that I keep most of my stock in small boxes with about 100 to 150 items in a box. Today, I sat at home and went through my Russian Civil War box which was a mess.

In fact, the Civil War is a real problem for me. There is no one reliable expert who covers all of the Civil War range (Baltic armies, South Russia armies, Siberia) and for some areas there is currently no one who offers a fast, cheap service.

Some signatures I count as reliable or generally so: Romeko, Mikulski, Soviet Philatelic Association (for Siberia), Riep (for Baltic armies), von Hoffman (also for Baltic armies), Dr Jem ( generally reliable), Dr Ceresa, Borek, maybe others that I can't think of right now.

For unsigned material, it is not a great problem with basic stamps - Denikins, Chita issue, Blagoveschensk issue, Belarus National Republic and so on. The Denikin forgeries are rare and very good, but I reckon I can identify them from the gum. Chita and Blagoveschensk issues appear not to have been forged. I can do the BNR issues for which there are a couple of fairly poor forgery types.

For overprints, it's a nightmare. For some issues - Kuban, Kolchak - genuine stamps are much more common than forged ones. This is not true for Western or North Western Army stamps.

Used copies are usually genuine and forged cancellations are mostly well-known and illustrated in Dr Ceresa's Handbooks. So often I start from whatever used copies I have and use them to check the mint stamps. But it can be a slow business.

Anyway, the Box looks a bit better at the end of the day than it did at the beginning. I will have it with me in September on my stand at London STAMPEX. Tomorrow, another Box to tidy.

1 comment:

  1. For the Far Eastern Republic "DVR monogram" overprints there's a fairly quick and easy way of spotting forgeries. Sadly, it only works for the low values, and not for the ones with a new value (e.g. the 7k/15k), but that means it works for most of the more expensive stamps of this issue. I'll be happy to give you the details if you like.