... Estonian Forgeries ...

Mi #3



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 35 K issue (Mi #3) from forgeries of Jaan Lubi are [1]:

  1. PAPER: Original issues are characterised by a compact, slightly glossy surface structure with few loosely attached fibres, while the paper of the forgeries is not, or nearly not, glossy, with a higher number of raised fairly loosely attached fibres. The colour of the paper is generally somewhat more white on forgeries than on originals.

  2. COLOUR: #3 has the most variation in colour of all the Flower Design issues, varying from brown to grey. The forgeries, however, have a red-brown colour that is clearly distinguishing from the originals. The colour application on originals is even in fields and lines, while the forgeries have unevenly coloured lines and fields.

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

  4. The flower petals are very regularly designed on originals, frequently more irregular on the forgeries. The forgeries of #3 have, however, more regular design than #1 and #2.

  5. The flower petals are mostly separated from the upper corner fields and the vertical edges of the central "Eesti Post" field, resulting in fairly even edges. On the forgeries the petals are frequently indistinctly separated from these fields. 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 the 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:


These four different types are here shown together (note the colour differences!):

The following explains the main characteristics of these four types [2]:

Type A:
  1. Short vertical appendix to the left of the numeral field
  2. Both small flower petals at the upper right corner of the "EESTI POST" field are open below
  3. The small petal pairs along the right frame touch, or almost touch, the frame

Type B:
  1. Farily even and narrow lines in petals in the upper right corner and in the upper central area
  2. The letters "PO" in "POST" are thicker and larger than "ST"

Type C:
  1. Thick joined lines of small petal pairs at the upper and lower right corners of the "EESTI POST" field
  2. Thick blunt "petal" at the right of the numeral field
  3. Lump on central field above first "E" in "EESTI"

Type D:
  1. Uppermost petals between the corner fields are distinctly joined with the frame
  2. Narrow white space above the numeral field
  3. Petal lines above "ES" in EESTI are distinctly joined
  4. Lower leg of second "E" in EESTI is distinctly inclined


  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