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During World War I, Zarki belonged to the district of Dabrowa.
On August 27, 1918, the Zarki city council requested permission from the officer in charge of Civil Affairs to issue a local post.
On September 18, 1918, the city council requested permission to collect delivery payments and issue stamps.
The district military command issued permits on September 30, 1918 and requested 5 stamps of each denomination as samples.[
The post began and ended operation shortly after in October, 1918, only having issued one stamp design featuring the Zarki Catholic church.
It is proposed that either postmaster Peter Franczak directed the efforts or that well-known stamp dealer Szlojme Abramsohn (Abramson) persuaded Franczak and authorities to begin the post.
Subsequent events regarding forgeries show that Abramsohn might have been motivated to do this for his own financial gain.
Delivery service was established with rates denominated in Heller (h) , the currency of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that occupied the region at the time.
Delivery rates were 3h for newspapers and postcards, 5h for letters, and 12h for registered and express mail.
Genuine and forgery comparison
Many articles mention the more visible details but this often tend to create more confusion.
Below, genuine left, forgery right.
The above is generally described as the “standing vs. the kneeling person” which can be very difficult to determine.
It is much easier to note that in the genuine, the left person is taller than the far right one but the opposite in the forgery.
This is generally described as the “tilted vs. the inclined crescent” but depending on the inking it is not easy to spot.
Actually in the genuine the crescent continues horizontally along the bottom in the forgery it looks more like a normal shorter crescent.
This may be difficult to discern on certain examples.
There are of course several other points but they may not be clear on all samples.
Genuine stamp with the 3 areas of identification shown
Forgeries are very plentiful. I would say 95% on auction sites are forgeries.
Many generally reputable sites have forgeries for sale.
All forgeries that Abramsohn printed used the same design, so forgeries of all nine original issued values share the same properties.
Forged sheets contain alignment marks that are not present on genuine sheets. These are visible only on certain portions of the sheet.
1918, October 10
The first edition of stamps.
Lithography, drawing 21.8 x 40 mm. Perf. 11 1/2 • Print in sheets 1O x 5. Circulation: approx. 10,000 items of each values, half of which was used for reprinting
Values 3h (blue), 5h (red), and 12h (olive-green). There are 2 very minor varieties of each value.
1918. October 18
Reprinted edition in connection with doubling of delivery fees.
With a red or purple stamp applied once on each pair of stamps. Total issued about 5000 of all values.
The stamps were hand-stamped in pairs with the new values of 6h (blue), 10h (red), and 24h (olive-green)
The 6h and 24h values used a red hand-stamp, while the 10h value used a violet hand-stamp. Hand-stamp values using incorrect colors have been identified as forgeries which seems to bear out the samples I have seen.
1918, 24 November
Final edition of stamps.
New colors and new values. Lithography. Withdrawn on October 28, 1918. Circulation:
approx. 5,000 units of each values
Values 6h (violet), 10h (green), and 24h (orange) without hand-stamps.
There are 2 very minor varieties of each value.
Genuine Zarki cancellations are 36mm in diameter, while forged cancellations are 34mm in diameter. Also, the spacing between the inner and outer circle is 5.2mm in diameter in the genuine cancellation and only 4.5mm in forged cancellations.