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 .
The most important characteristics to distinguish originals of the 15 K issue (Mi #2)
from forgeries of Jaan Lubi are described below .
Note that the sample pictures do not seem to show a Jaan Lubi forgery!
During his studies, Erik Sjoegren discovered that all the Jaan Lubi forgeries were made of 4 different types with clearly distinct characteristics . 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, maybe due to increased demand. In all these printings 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 cannot show any clear samples of these different types. Sjogrens descriptions are made from blackprints of original plates. The different forgeries in my collection have very uneven colour application, however, and none of them seems to fit his descriptions... More information will follow later!
1. Petals between the two 15 K fields have thick lines and are almost totally joined to the frame.
2. Narrow even space above central field as no lines of petals touch the central field from above
3. Distinct petal lines to the LEFT of the central field
1. Point after left "K" below almost invisible
2. "1" in left "15" above without foot
3. Very broad petal lines in the left corner below
1. Very broad and frequently joined petal line to the RIGHT of the central field
2. Figures to the left below are broad and uneven
3. Small petals in the left corner below have very narrow lines
1. Short middle line in the first "E" in "EESTI"
2. "S" in "POST" is broad below
3. "1" in "15" to the left below almost without head and damaged below
Furthermore, here are a couple of other mint forgeries that do not seem to be made by Lubi, either. Both have generally very poor quality: