... Estonian Forgeries ...

Mi #1



The so-called "Flower Design" issues (Mi #1-4) have large variation in colour, and the printing quality of the originals is very poor. There are large numbers of different forgeries on the market, and it is very difficult to be sure that you actually have an original stamp in your possession. Generally, original issues have a more even colour application with fewer spots. The forgeries have more uneven colour application with numerous spots and rather uneven contours of edges and letters [1].

The most important characteristics to distinguish originals of the 5 K issue (Mi #1) from forgeries of Jaan Lubi are [1]:

  1. PAPER: Original issues are characterised by a compact surface structure with few loosely attached fibers, while the forgeries have a less compact structure with several loosely attached fibers.

  2. COLOUR: Both the originals and the fakes have varying colours from rose to brownish rose, but the forgeries have an uneven colour appliction with numerous more richly coloured (darker) spots as well as scattered white spots.

  3. The frame lines between the upper and lower corner fields have even width, and are mostly separated from the flower petals on original stamps. The forgeries have uneven frame lines that are mostly connected with the flower petals.

  4. The flower petals are even and symmetrical all over the design on originals, more unsymmetric on the forgeries, with lines frequently wider.

  5. The flower petals are mostly separated from the central "Eesti Post" field and the 5 K fields, resulting in fairly even edges. On the forgeries the petals especially on the vertical edges touch the central field resulting in a very indistinct edge.

Forgery (Type D)

During his studies, Erik Sjoegren discovered that all the Jaan Lubi forgeries were made of 4 different types with clearly distinct characteristics [2]. The first issues (Flower design) were printed simply in blocks of 4, while the later issues were printed in bigger sheets of 4x4, 4x5 and 4x6 issues, probably due to increased demand. In all these printings, however, only 4 distinct types are found in different combinations within each sheet. These types are designated A, B, C and D in the following.

The Lubi forgeries of the first Estonian issues (Flower design) were printed in blocks of 4 in the following layout:


At present, I can only show the identifying characteristics of Type D of this issue [2]. Sjogrens descriptions are made from blackprints of original plates. The different forgeries in my collection have very uneven colour application, however, and few of them seem to completely fit his descriptions... More information will follow later...

Type A:

   1. Distinct narrow space to the right of the central field
   2. Broad space above central field as no lines of petals touch the central field from above
   3. Right "5" below deformed and right "K" below distinctly leaning

Type B:

   1. Uppermost cental petals with very narrow lines
   2. Petal lines above "ES" in "EESTI" are joined
   3. Distinct petal lines at the upper right corner of the central field

Type C:

   1. Central petals below between the 5K fields joined with the frame
   2. Right "K" below with horizontal feet
   3. Petals above "TI" and especially at the right upper central field corner are joined with the central field

Type D:
  1. Distinct horisontal top of right "K" above
  2. Distinctly leaning and deformed right "K" below
  3. Extra long "S" and very short horizontal line of "T" in "POST"

Furthermore, here are a couple of MINT forgeries that do not seem to be made by Lubi. One of them is rather skilfully drawn, but has thicker petal lines that the original, while the other has generally very poor quality:


  1. E. Sjogren: "Distinguishing features of Jaan Lubi forgeries of Estonian stamps I", Eesti Filatelist #28, 1982
  2. E. Sjogren: "Distinguishing features of Jaan Lubi forgeries of Estonian stamps III", Eesti Filatelist, 1987