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
1865 Vancouver Island
Some of these forgeries are excellent.
However, on closer examination, there are a few other discrepancies which are more apparent.
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
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
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
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
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.