1921 Aero-Targ

1921 Aero-Targ Forgeries

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These semi-official airmail stamps were issued for the Poznan Trade Fair in 1921.
The Aerotarg company had an agreement with the Polish Ministry of Postage & Telegraphy that in addition to the normal postage rate there would be an additional payment for airmail by using these stamps.
The stamps were designed by Wilhelm Rudy whose  initials W.R. are on the stamps.
An advertising label was attached, inscribed T.A.B.R.O.M.I.K., for the vodka factory TAdeusz BROnislaw MIKolajczyk.


Michel Listing

The agreement was for the period of the Poznan Trade Fair in 1921 on three routes:
Poznan – Warsaw and return
Poznan – Gdansk and return. Return mail is in doubt.
Poznan – Lodz and return
There is speculation that no flights between Poznan & Lodz were made.

The first flights from Poznan to Gdansk and from Poznan to Warsaw were on 29 May 1921 There were daily return flights till 16 June 1921 inclusive.
Postmarks after 16 June 1921 are presumed to be forgeries.

The Aerotarg stamps were obliterated with a special postmark produced by Aerotarg, in black or dark orange, depicting the arms and the name of the town, date and time. Postmarks in green, red, violet, grey-black are forgeries.
The correct postmarks are shown below. The cancels of LODZ & KRAKOW apparently were never used.

They were perforated 11¼ and 56 stamps per sheet. Estimates say 50,000 sheets of each were printed.. The stamps were roughly lithographed and many small defects in printing are visible.
These rates were agreed upon;
Letters up to 20gm – 25mk
Letters up to 250gm – 100mk
Postcards – 25mk
Printed paper up to 250gm  – 100mk
Printed paper up to 1000gm – 200mk

After the expiry date, collectors were looking for copies and the prices started to climb.
Within a year forgeries of the 100mk (Type I) appeared followed by the 25mk a few years later and a new 100mk (Type II) forgery.
Reprints appeared only a few months after the expiry date.

Genuine

1. The top of the shield is large
2. The roof is curved
3. The left side of the tower is larger than the right side.
4. 2 lines are joined.
5. The dot is over the “E”

Forgery
This forgery was difficult to find and appears to be fairly uncommon.

1. Small top on shield
2. Flat roof.
3. Both sides equal.
4. 2 distinct lines.
5. Dot over the “R”

Genuine

1. This is a main trait. The wheels face in the same direction as the plane and are tucked under the wings.
2. This shape has a flat top that only slightly protrudes above the horizon.
3. Note this letter which has a curved appearance,
4. The letters are uneven.
5. The “WR” is straight and uniform.
6. Long serif on the “1”.
7. The sky has strong horizontal and vertical lines.
The sample is probably a reprint which has the traits og the original.

Forgeries
There are 2 types of the forgeries, the initial one soon after the issue expired and one a few years later.
I was unable to find any Type I on auctions. The Type II however, was VERY plentiful and accounted for about 50% of the 100 or so listed of this value.

Type II

1. Wheels are noticeably turned to the left.
2. Top is more curved and higher.
3. Letter is facing front.
4. “0” is slightly slanted to the right. The “1” is more slanted to the left. The spacing is larger.
5. Letters are fairly even.
6. Letters are uneven, the “W” appears slanted.
7. Short serif on the “1”
8. Background not well defined.


Type II block

Type I
I did not find any Type I. The traits to look for follow;

The wheels are turned to the left but not as much as the Type II (right)


The Type I “R” has a flat top opening. The “O” is oval shaped.


There are minor differences in the numbers. The main trait is the letter which shows the complete folds, the Type II has broken lines.

Reprints
The 25mk was printed on yellow-cream paper instead of yellow-gray.
The 11.5 perf has smaller holes.
The tab is smaller, generally less than 5.6 mm as opposed to 5.7 to 5.9 mm for the original.
Often but not always, perforation guide marks are visible at the top and bottom right and/or left sides.
Perforation errors are generally found on the reprints.


The guide lines are visible on the reprint above with missing perfs
The 100mk has less reprints.
The paper is greyer and the color of the stamp is blue as opposed to the grey ultramarine of the original.

100mk reprint

Covers
Genuine covers are not easily found and should be certified by a recognized expert in this field.

This cover appears to be genuine
It has the required general postage. The Aerotarg stamps look genuine as do the cancellations.

This one is probably fake as it has no required standard postage.