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Thursday 22 April 2010

Stamps of Armenia, Stamps of Azerbaijan, Stamps of Georgia

Quite often, I am asked who can expertise stamps from the 1919 - 1923 period like those listed above.

The short answer, at present, is No One. There are very knowledgeable collectors and dealers who can give reliable opinions, but there are no accredited experts with - for example - AIEP or DBPP status. And because there are no major collector societies uniquely dedicated to these areas, there is some risk that the AIEP or DBPP will end up recognising someone who actually can't do the job properly. It has happened before.

The expert opinions which can be generally relied on are those of dealers or collectors or experts who are dead or retired. None of them can help with the new forgeries which have appeared in the past twenty years, some of which are dangerous and have even been written up in collector journals and given medals. They also appear in serious auctions and not just on ebay.

My own practice is to consult knowledgeable collectors where I am not sure. But when I am sure, I will give my own opinion in writing and, if asked, I will (rather reuluctantly) sign in pencil.

I was lucky as a novice dealer that I was able to acquire much of Tchilingirian's Armenia from Ray Ceresa, who bought it all when it was auctioned at Robson Lowe; much of Ceresa's and Voikhansky's Azerbaijan; and much of Ceresa's Georgia, which included ex - Faberge material. Studying these collections helped me understand what to look for when I was trying to add to my stock.

As a novice dealer, I was also the victim of travelling salesmen selling new forgeries. But I studied them, and I wrote up my findings in the journals. I am more careful now!


  1. Probably best way to avoid fake material from this countries - will be just to purchase postally used, on cover that really traveled!

    best regards

  2. Thats not really a good idea. Covers are very rare, really expensive and have been forged too.

    Kind regards,