... Estonian Forgeries ...

Mi #4



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 70 K issue (Mi #4) from forgeries of Jaan Lubi are [1]:

  1. PAPER: Original issues are characterised by a compact, slightly glossy surface structure, while the forgeries have a less glossy surface with higher number of raised fairly loosely attached fibres.

  2. COLOUR: Originals have a green colour with varying amounts of yellow in it. The forgeries are green with a rather rich supply of yellow. The colour appliction of originals is fairly even in fields and lines, but several white spots occur. The forgeries have a fairly uneven colour application in fields and lines, and the white spots are as frequent as on originals.

  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, more unsymmetric on the forgeries, with lines frequently wider.

  5. The flower petals are mostly separated from the vertical edges of the central "EESTI POST" field and the upper corner fields, resulting in fairly even edges. On the forgeries the petals are frequently indistinctly separated from these fields.
  6. The upper horizontal frame of the "70" field is very distinctly separated from the petal lines above on originals, less distinctly separated on forgeries (see below!).

Forgery Type B

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, 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 can only show the identifying characteristics of Type B of this issue [2] (with my own observations added). Sjogren's 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 fit his descriptions... More information will follow...

Type A:

  1. Top line of "T" in "EESTI" is not distinct
  2. Thick "7" in "70"
  3. Petal lines below the central field have equal distance to the edge of the field

Type B:
  1. Distorted head of "P" in "POST"
  2. One small petal above right corner of central field distinctly joined to the field
  3. Petal lines to the upper right of the central field joined to one large "lump" of colour
  4. Distinct white space above the "70" field

Type C:
  1. Almost no free space above the upper frame of the "70" field
  2. Petals to the left of "POST" are narrow and distant from the left outer frame
  3. Uneven left edge of the central "EESTI POST" field

Type D:
  1. Upper margin line of "70" field is not horizontal
  2. Petals in the right upper corner have narrow lines
  3. The small petals to the left of the "70" field are distinct and separated from the corner field below

  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