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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Collect Transcaucasian Federation Stamps!

I am sure that some collectors avoid the areas I specialise in just because there are so many fakes and forgeries. And I have been Blogging a lot about fakes and forgeries.

If you want to collect something in my area where there are few or no forgeries, try the neglected Transcaucasian Federation pictorial issues of 1923. Just 17 stamps in the Stanley Gibbons listing.

There are no forgeries of the basic stamps or (to my knowledge) of the two overprints, since the overprints are on basic stamps which are at least as scarce without overprints as with.

I haven't yet seen a forged cancellation, presumably because there is no stamp which is really common mint and really scarce used.

However, there are challenges. Not all the stamps are equally common. Some are very scarce mint (for example the 3 kopeck) and some are quite scarce used (for example the 40 000 rouble or the 1 kopeck).

There are imperforates, ungummed, from remainder stocks but these turn up in very unequal quantities - making the three sets is hard!

Finding stamps with Georgian and Azerbaijan postmarks is easy; with Armenian cancellations, it's much harder - here a forger might be tempted. But Georgian cancellations are almost always of TIFLIS/TBILISI in Cyrillic or Georgian script and Azerbaijan cancels are 90% + BAKU. So there is a challenge in finding and identifying other cancellations. There is NO favour cancelled (CTO) material. The Bolsheviks were hostile to the idea at this period, associating it with speculation.

Covers will cost you 100 euro upwards and often look attractive. There are virtually no philatelically-inspired covers.

Sound attractive? Well, I have decided to bring my entire Transcaucasian stock to London STAMPEX where you will find me up in the Gallery area from 15 to 18 September inclusive. Or you can email me: trevor@trevorpateman.co.uk

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