FRANCE, Postage due stamps 1859 issue, inscription 'CHIFFRE TAXE a percevoir'

France taxe

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1859 Number, imperforated

10 c type 1, image obtained from a Harmers auction Postage due 10 c black Type 2, Bordeaux issue Type 2 Postage due 25 c black Postage due 30 c black Image obtained from a Harmers auction Certified genuine (cleaned) 60 c blue

  10 c black (2 types)
  15 c black (2 types)
  25 c black
  30 c black
  40 c blue
  60 c brown
  60 c blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
10 c; type 1 RRR RR Type 1 (lithographed) accent on 'ā' more horizontal, issued January 1859
10 c; type 2 *** *** Type 2 (typographed) accent on 'ā' more vertical, '1' different, issued March 1859
15 c; type 1 *** *** Type 1 (typographed) accent on 'ā' more vertical, issued 1863
15 c; type 2 R RR Type 2 (lithographed) accent on 'ā' more horizontal, Bordeaux issue (1870)
25 c R *** Issued 1871
30 c R R Issued 1878
40 c RR RR Issued 1871
60 c brown RR RR Issued 1871
60 c blue *** R Issued 1878

These are the first postage due stamps issued in the world. I've seen an unissued 60 c black; and another unissued 20 c black (both RRR).

Unissued 60 c black stamp.

Non issued 20 c stamp, destroyed by cutting it into half.

A sheet with 15 c "Bordeaux" stamps, note the damaged plate in the upper right part of the last stamp in the 9th row. See also: The full sheet consisted of another two panes of 50 stamps each arranged in the same manner (above is shown the one part only).


I know that forgeries of these stamps exist, however, I have no information on how to distinguish them. Examples of forgeries (by the way, I'm not 100% sure that all the above stamps are genuine):

(Forgeries of the 10 c, 40 c and 60 c)

Probably forgeries, the 'O' of 'POSTES' is perfectly round. The 'ā' has a downward tail in this forgery type. I don't think this cancel (parallel bars or concentric rings) was ever used on genuine stamps of France.

Highly dubious 10 c value, most likely a forgery.

A bogus issue: 20 c black

Two 15 c forgeries pasted on a piece of a letter.

This looks like a forgery to me, note for example the strange "c" in "percevoir".

Dubious 60 c item. The bottom of the "p" of "percevoir" points to the left bottom corner.

I've been told that this is a forgery as well.

Two other very dubious items, note the white space inside the "0" of the 10 c value.

Two 15 c forgeries with very bad lettering.

Fournier forgeries

Fournier offers 4 values for 2 Swiss Francs in his 1914 pricelist. I've seen a 15 c Fournier forgery with a forged "PARIS 6E/21 FEVR. 70 R.DU PONT-NEUF" cancel in a Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries.

10 c and 60 c Fournier forgeries as taken from a Fournier Album of Philatelic forgeries. In my view, in the 60 c forgery, the "6" is less fat than in the genuine stamps (especially in the left central part).

Page of a Fournier Album with French postage due forgeries.

(Fournier forgery?)

40 c forgery. I've been told that this is a Fournier forgery, but I sincerely doubt so.... Other sources say that this is a reproduction made for the Expo in Nice. The central inscription is badly done (compare with a genuine stamp).

Schröder forgery

The forger Oswald Schroder made a forgery of the 40 c value. I have never seen this forgery myself. It seems to imitate the lower left corner of a stampsheet.

Sperati forgeries

Sperati made forgeries of the 10 c, 40 c and 60 c brown values.

Sperati forgery, from a die-proof
Sperati forgeries of the 10 c value

The Sperati forgery of the 10 c value (lithographed) exists unused, used and also as a die-proof. The following cancels were used by Sperati on this forgery:
"BORDEAUX 23 FEVR 59 (32)"
"LA ROCHELLE 27 MARS 59 (16)"
"MARSEILLE 26 JUIN 59 (12)"
"MONTAUBAN 12 FEVR 59 (12)"
"NIORT 9 JANV 59 (75)"
"NIORT 25 AVRIL 59 (75)"
"ST GAUDENS 23 FEVR 59 (30)" (see image above)
"VIERZON 3 JANV 59 (17)"
"OR" in a small circle

Sperati forgeries of the 40 c value

This forgery has a white spot in the right bottom corner of the "0" of "40" (as in the genuine position of which Sperati copied it from). The cross-bar of the 'A' of 'TAXE' is almost broken. Die proofs in black also exist of this value. Sperati made reproductions in three different shades of blue. Sperati made used and unused reproductions of this stamp. The cancels Sperati used on this issue are:
"ANGERS 4 JANV. 73 (47)"
"BAR-LE-DUC 19 NOV. 71 (53)"
"LANNION 2E 20 MARS 73 (21)"
"LA REDI 4E 21 AOUT 72 (32)"
"LUXEUIL 3E 9 FEVR 73 (69)"
"PARIS 3E 7 NOV 71 (60)"

Two Sperati forgeries of the 60 c brown value

Sperati made uncancelled, cancelled and die-proofs in black of the 60 c brown value. The color shade is too brownish (should have been more greenish brown). There are small white dots in the "60" which have been copied by Sperati from a genuine stamp at a particular location in the sheet. A small white dot can be found below the "E" of "TAXE". There is also a brown color spot in the left side of the "E" of "CHIFFRE". Cancelled stamps always bear one of the following cancels:
"BAR-LE-DUC 3E 19 NOV. 71 (53)"
"BEAUMONT S.... 2 E 3 MAI 72 (72)" (see image above)
"LE HAVRE 2E 5 AVRIL 72 (74)"
"LE HAVRE 1E 19 JUIN 72 (74)"
"ORLEANS 5E 20 JANV 72 (43)"
"PARIS 3E 7 NOV 71 (60)"

A mystery label with inscription "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE CHIFFRE TAXE 25 c" in black.

France Postage Due Stamps, 1881 onwards

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer