1919 Western Army Eagles

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This issue has had a great deal of coverage and associated errors.
The stamps, although generally unlisted, were produced as originals, reprints and forgeries in vast amounts so few world wide collectors are without them.
Initially the originals vs. the forgeries were characterized by counting the number of dots on the sides, however the issue is more complex than this.

The issue consisted of the 10 values  from 5 to 75 kopecks. The design, featuring a Russian double-headed eagle, was lithographed in sheets of 100, 10 x 10  on thin,  hard,  white, semi-transparent paper without watermark.
The stamps as first issued and intended for use were imperforate. Later some were privately perforated at 11 or 11.5 in both smooth and rough perfs. Bogus cancellations are common and to meet the stamp packet trade requirements, reprints from the original plates were made possibly by the original printers.
There is some speculation that the original plates may have started wearing out and eventually found their way to the forgers.

This is were it gets really complicated as 3 types of early reprints have been identified.
To compound this there are later reprints that may be from very worn plates or reproduced plates. These late reprints show their wear and come in various shades, papers as well as compound perfs.

This is probably a late printing

It would seem that counting dots or if the tail touches the line may not be the solution.
Bogus postmarks appear mainly on originals. There are also bogus overprints of various types as shown below.

The actual forgeries fall into 3 main categories with multiple sub-types. They are easily distinguished from the originals and reprints. It appears that 3 different forgers were meeting the packet trade demands.

A comparison of the 3 main forgeries with the genuine on the left
or at least as best as I can determine from a host of available information


Type I Forgery
These forgeries come in a variety of sub types that differ in paper, color and perforations.
The O in the lower word is squared instead of rounded.
The value tablet has a straight top instead of a dimpled curve.
The flag ornament near the “я” is rounded instead of pointed.
The last letter of  Русская has a rounded top instead of a flat top.
The dots for the side chains are small.
The 2nd and 3rd leaves at the top lack shading.
The K in the right KON has a long top arm.
The 5 kop. value, has no white lines on either side of the “5” in the Type 1.  It is present in the other forgeries.


A genuine 5kop showing the white lines on each side of the 5


Typical Type I forgeries


Type II Forgery

There is an extra line around the inner shield on the eagle’s chest.
The bars to the right of the name are smaller and less distinct than on the genuine.
There is no horizontal bar on the cross of the crown.
The flags and top dots are smaller than the original.
The right KON tends to be thicker than the original
It is the least common of the forgeries and is found imperf and perfed 11.5 both smooth and rough.


Probable Type 2 forgery


Type III Forgery
This is probably the best overall\forgery
The central arms has a significant white space around it. This is the most significant trait.
The leaf at the top right joins the reversed “D”.
The clean white scepter is unbroken by shading and shorter than the genuine.
The right hand acorn does not have a horizontal bar .


A pair of Type 3 forgeries