Latvia

Airmail & Semi-Postal Airmail Forgeries   (Click on images for a larger picture)

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Characteristics of the genuine stamp

1. Note the size of the dots – forgeries tend to be smaller
2. The A & T are joined at the base – rarely in forgeries
3. The small spines number 3 – forgeries have less or none
4. Full curl in ornament – forgeries have a short curl
5. Note the size & shape of the frame ornament.
6. Note the shape & inclination of the 2
7. Note the size and curls
8. Note the shape & size – forgeries tend to have a featureless large blob
9. Note the shape inside has a space all around – forgeries generally are filled in
10. Note the shape of the middle – forgeries seldom show this distinctly if at all.
11. The S does not touch the frame as it often does in forgeries

1921 Series
1921,July 30. design by Prof R.Zarrins in triangular form showing an airplane over Riga. Printed in sheets of 120, perforated or imperforated. Watermarks – wavy lines and once in a sheet – PACTIEN LIGAT MILIS.
This denomination is in Rubli. Apparently the imperforates were not ordered in this manner but are sheets that remained unfinished due to technical difficulties at the printing offices – doubtful as later issues were also imperforate.
There was allegedly a Postal Administration order that these stamps were to be used only on airmail letters and postcards, but the stamps were used on all items of mail.

Quantities issued; 10 Rub. 110,400, 10 Rub. Imperf. 15,000, 20 Rub. 329,796, 20Rub. Imperf 15,000.


Sc# C1 (emerald) and C1a 1928


Sc# C2 and C2a 1928

1928 Series
The design of the second issue is the same as the first but there are 3 stamps in Santimi denominations with some color differences.
Only perforated stamps were issued with 20,000 of each on August 28th 1928. The 10 & 25 Sant. were valid until August 31st 1940, the 15 Sant. until November 16th 1936


Left Sc# C3 1928 Dark Green Genuine
Right forgery
1. Small dot & no curl on the ornament tail
2. S touches the frame
3. Section of tower incorrect
4. Bottom ornament lacking curls in ends
5. Bottom serifs of A & T are not joined|6. All the frame ornaments are crude


Left Sc# C4 1928 Red Genuine
Right forgery
Unless faded, color is wrong being more pink than red.
1. Small dot & no curl on the ornament tail
2. S touches the frame
3. Section of tower incorrect
4. Bottom ornament lacking curls in ends
5. Bottom serifs of A & T are not joined
6. All the frame ornaments are crude


Left Sc# C4 1928 Dark Blue Genuine
Right forgery
Unless faded, color is wrong being more ultramarine than blue.
1. Small dot & no curl on the ornament tail
2. Section of tower incorrect
3. Bottom ornament lacking curls in ends
4 . Bottom serifs of A & T are not joined
5. All the frame ornaments are crude


Another forgery probably from a different source
1. The flower corner element lacks the small spines
2. The A & T are not connected on the bottom.
3. The S touches the frame.
4. The frame decorations are lacking
5. The 2 of the 25 appears slanted.

1931 Series
1931, January 10th, the third series are again the same as previous but on paper with a swastika watermark appearing in normal and reversed positions.
Perforated stamps are found in 103/4 and 111/2
Quantities issued; 10 Sant. 411,800, 15 Sant. 260,800, 25 Sant. 20,000.
There is some speculation that there were a few imperforates issued for archival purposes.

1931 Semi-postal Airmail – Latvian Home Guard Series
On December 5th 1931, The government printing office issued 15,000 sets each of the 10, 15 and 25 Sant. perforated 103/4 and imperforated conventional stamps with a overprint “LATVIJAS AIZSARGI”
They were high value and were quickly forged, either the overprint or the whole stamp.


1931 Sc# CB3


Left 1931 Sc# CB3a
Right Forged stamp and fake cancel
Small dots, S touches frame, Top corner decorations missing small spines


1931 Sc# CB4


Left 1931 Sc# CB4a
Right forged stamp with fake cancel
Small dots, S touches frame, Top corner decorations missing small spines


1931 Sc# CB5 & CB5a

1932 Semi-postal Airmail – Latvian Home Guard Series II
On June 17th 1932, a new design by J. Sternbergs was issued with the same surcharges as the previous one.
There were 12,500 perforated sets of each denomination and 7,500 imperforated.
There are records of further speculative sets being issued for collectors.


Above, Sc# CB6, CB7 & CB8

1933 Latvia Africa Flight
1933,August 20. Issue to finance the  flight to the former colony of Courland, Gambia by pilot Pulins.
Imperforated and overprinted in black “LATVIJA – AFRIKA “, and “1933”
Also surcharged “50” or “100” on the high values.


Left Sc# C9


Left Genuine Sc# C10
Right forgery
1. Small dot
2. L & A joined
3. A with short leg
4. K & A koined
5. Ornament missing small rays
6. & 8. Area filled in
7. Large ornament
9. Short serif & not curved


Genuine Sc# C11


Left Genuine Sc# C12
Right forged stamp & fake overprint – same reasons as the 15 Sant. Above
The overprint is better but very weak and letters are thin


Left Genuine Sc# C13
Right forgery all the reasons of the previous 2 forgeries


Cover with complete series

1933 – Disabled Aviator Fund Series
1933, June 15. Charity issue with surcharge for the benefit of air disaster victims.Stamps in triangular form with various designs:
3 sant.- monoplane,by T.Zalkalns.
7 sant.- map with airplanes by O.Pladers.
35 sant. – map and planes by Melups.
Printed in 2 colors
imperforated – 8420 sets, perforated – 10,420 sets.
Watermarks – inverted SWASTIKA.
Given their very high franking were not used very much for mail and most ended up on covers of a “speculative” nature.
Dealers purchased large left over stocks for a fraction of their face value.


Genuine Sc# CB18 & CB18a


2 forgeries, the left one some of the lettering and symbol issues are noted.
On the genuine the dots are squarish and not round as on the forgeries.
The right one is the wrong color and the cancel appears to be fake.


Genuine Sc# CB19 & CB19a


Forgery
The tower and building on the right are crudely drawn.
The letters on the bottom are not legible.
The 19’s are almost blotted out.


Left, genuine Sc# CB20
Right – very crude forgery


This one may a variety as the color is too light. The cancel appears fake.