British Columbia

British Columbia Forgeries

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The forgers of British Columbia include Andre Frodel, N. Imperato, Erasmus Oneglia, Senf brothers, Jean de Sperati, Spiro Brothers and Panelli.

Andrzej Frodel, farmer, stamp forger, who would come to be known as André Frodel in Canada, was born in Lvov, Ukraine, worked in the Hungarian State Bank Note Company before World War II, gaining an extensive knowledge of stamp papers and lithographic inks.
After the war he was part of the Polish Resettlement Corps in the United Kingdom. As a veteran of the Polish forces, and by marrying a family friend who had earlier immigrated to Canada, he was able to obtain a grant of land near Iddesleigh, Alberta, under the Canada Veteran’s Land Act, and immigrated to Canada in 1948.
The small farm failed to prosper, so Frodel and his second wife (his first wife had died during the war) sold the property in 1956 and moved to British Columbia. In B.C., Frodel drew on his expertise in inks, lithography and paper to eke out a modest living by altering stamps with such skill that only those knowledgeable on particular stamp issues could identify them as fakes.
Some who knew Frodel and who have written about him allege that Frodel’s intention was to make a living by demonstrating his skills for the interest of philatelists, rather than to engage in fraud, and that he was not complicit with some unscrupulous dealers who sold his work as unaltered stamps.
The facts that Frodel earned small sums from these efforts, and that experts in the postage stamp issues involved were unlikely to be fooled, are used to support this view.
The techniques that Frodel used to repair, reperforate, regum, and otherwise modify stamps are unknown, as is the extent of his production in this area, and the portion of it that entered the market as genuine.

1860 Vancouvers (note spelling) Island and British Columbia Joint issue


Crude forgeries, author unknown, right may have a Fournier cancel

1865 Vancouver Island

1865 Vancouver Island

Some of these forgeries are excellent.

Here we have a prominent auction house item that reportedly went for a size able sum.
It is now claimed to be a Sperati forgery because of the white dash in the 5th left top square.

Left Sperati, right, genuine

However, on closer examination, there are a few other discrepancies which are more apparent.

Left, forgery has a tall U, right, genuine

Left forgery, uneven squares and lines, right, genuine

Sperati forgery

Left, forgery dot between N & C, right, genuine

Left, distorted letters, right, genuine

Left, forgery, mouth distorted, thick trailing line, right, genuine

Sperati Forgeries with his known 35 cancel

Spiro Forgery, crude example
1. Thick letters touching the frame
2. The Ten Cents is not well centered
3. The bottom corner elements have thick lines
4. The crown is lacking in details
5. The eye is too small
6 Too much shading under the chin
7. Uneven frame lines
8. Letters touch the frame
9. Typical Spiro guide lines are visible in perfs

1865-67 Issue

The 3p blue Genuine with notable features

Note an important feature of this series is the serif on the lower part of the G in POSTAGE

Spiro Forgeries

This forgery is very mediocre.
1. Wrong color
2. Pearls too small
3. No stars in lattice
4. Ornaments before & after value crude
5. Dots in V replaced by dashes
6. Very poor lettering
7. Lopsided arch in crown
8. Many others

Another Spiro slightly better than the one above
1. Pearls are very large
2. Background lacks stars in corners
3. 7 diamonds at base of crown instead of 6
4. Flower has petals separated from flower

All the attributes of the one above.
1. Wrong color
2. C is almost closed
3. No 10 after CENTS
4. No dots

Full sheet of Spiro forgeries

Senf Forgeries

Typically Senf forgeries are noted with “Falsch” = False but not always.

Panelli Forgeries

Backgrounds are decent but surcharges are too large.
Note how clean the cancels are.

Frodel Forgeries

These are quite decent
1. The background lattice top left is narrower than the right side
2. The tip of the crown does not touch the outer circle.
3. The crown lacks detail

Comparison of backgrounds – forgery in the center

These are slightly better than the previous but the background is still crude.

Bartlett Sales Sheet

Bartlett used this letterhead to promote his remainders of Canadian provinces that he had acquired in 1896. The ‘Bartlett’ forgeries were cut out from the letterhead and perforated by other forgers. The perforation was originally indicated with a thin black line, which can in most cases still be seen in the forgeries.

Unknown Forgeries from eBay

Unknown Forger

The following all come from the same forger. Note that all the surcharges are typed wrong , no end numeral and some the first numeral is not spelled out.