1921 2nd Definitive Issue

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This set was designed by S. Khatchadourian and printed by the Yessayan Printing Works in Constantinople at the same time as the First Yessayan set. The series was intended for use as Obligatory Tax stamps for Famine Relief, along the same lines as those issued in Azerbaijan.
There were 16 stamps – eight different design each in blue-black and carmine. As with the First Yessayan set, only some were issued and then only with surcharges.
These stamps are difficult to find except for the 100r, 10,000r and 20,000r. These particular stamps were not overprinted and presumably found their way back to Moscow and then to Western markets.
The Lyapin 2009 catalog reflects the CV on these stamps

Below a complete original set

The secret marks that identify originals.
Unfortunately the reprints also have them


Woman spinning.
size 36 x 25 mm. 162 per sheet (estimated)
Secret markings:
In the top corner the inside frame line runs long.
The vertical inside frame line runs long by 0.3 – 0.5 mm.
The bottom frame line is open on the right side


Stork in upwards flight.
Size 21.5 x 34 mm. 210 per sheet (estimated).
Secret marking:
The right vertical frame frame has a break measuring 0.2 – 0.3 mm.


Refugees in a cart.
Size 36.5 x 25.5 mm. 162 stamps per sheet (estimated)
Secret markings:
In the dark square top right letter square lines run out of the border from the top and bottom on the left side.


Woman getting water.
Size 22.5 x 35.5 mm. 210 per sheet (estimate)
Secret marking:
In the dark square value square,  a line extends to the border from the upper right side.


Railroad and train.
Size 35 x 24 mm. 200 stamps per sheet (estimated)
Secret marking:
between the two upper, horizontal line there is a 2 mm slanted line


Horseman with weapon.
Size 39.5 x 25.5 mm. 162 stamps per sheet (estimated)
There is an error: on the right hand side after the value,  is printed
instead of
Secret markings:
In the upper left corner, the upper left line runs long .
The frame of the illustration comes out of its borders on the left side.


Eagle with outspread wings.
Size 37 x 25.5 mm. 162 per sheet (estimate)
Secret markings:
2 mm horizontal lines on both sides of the eagle’s head inside the frame lines.
In the upper square, the upper right line runs long by 0.3 – 0.4 mm.
NOTE the bottom letters that look like N’s. The distortion and roughness seen is not in the forgery.


Shepherd with cane.
Size 25.5 x 39 mm. 144 stamps per sheet 9 (estimate)
Secret markings:
Near the horizon of the oval border, a short line extends out of the ornament.

Originals, Reprint I, Reprint II and Forgeries

There are 2 actual “reprints”; one made by Yessayan by re-setting the 8 values onto just two sheets yielding 147 stamps and a 2nd one by Yessayan by re-setting all values onto just one sheet.
Both have the “secret” marks.

Reprint I
The first reprints are on a white paper which is either without gum or with a good white gum. These are very similar to the originals and differentiation is difficult.
There were essentially prepared just for the stamp trade. It would seem that none can exist with a genuine surcharge as they were not sent to the capital.

Above, First Reprints

Reprint II
Second reprints are always gummed and the gum is yellowish. Overall these have a  weaker color due to missing areas. The plate yielded 74 stamps.
The majority of fake overprints tend to be on the 2nd Reprint.

a 2nd reprint sheet, there would be 2 extra stamps.

It is noted that there is only one forgery type which was apparently copied from the reprints.
However in the samples below there is a noted difference between the gray and red forgeries.
Forgeries are generally poor in detail quality with thick gum and grey paper. Apparently, the red forgeries are scarce.
The forgeries aside from the lack of detail are easy to spot as the secret marks are missing and unlike the reprints, the outside frame lines are very strong.

Below, Red & Gray forgeries






I mentioned the difference between the the red & gray forgeries, this can mainly be seen in the value tablet and the gray forgeries having more detail.

The top 2 are the original left and reprint right.
The letters are identical but the frame line gets much weaker.

The lower 2 are the gray forgery left and the red one right
The letters of the gray one have obviously been modified and look cleaner than the original. Note the pronounced frame line.
In the red one, the letters are not well defined and very different from the gray forgery
No article makes note of any difference other than the reds being scarcer. However I believe that these are distinct forgeries either by time produced or by whom.

Distinguishing between the 4 states

Top – Original , Reprint I
Bottom – Reprint II and Forgery
Aside from the gum and paper differences mentioned before, the reprints gradually lose details and have more white space but retain the secret marks.
The forgery lacks details and is noticeably rougher, no secret marks and has a strong frame line.
There is a good possibility the forgery was made from a Reprint II and not the original.

More originals compared to reprints Type II




This is a complex subject and I can only make basic comments.
Each genuine stamp and overprint has many forgery variations.
Genuine overprints are only found on originals and the overprints on forgeries don’t match the originals.
Reprints with overprints are always forgeries.

Genuine  and reprint forgery

Overprint forgeries on reprints abound on all types of auctions be they the general ones or well known auction houses.
The lot below listed at about $150

Of interest – it appears that any with this blue star mark are always genuine. Perhaps applied by the printers.