Return To Catalogue - Rumania 1858 first issue - Cancels on the first issues
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The most famous stamps of Romania are the famous Bulls Head or "Cap de Bour" stamps of 1858. Actually, those stamps were issued by the Principality of Moldova (Moldavia). In 1859 Moldova was united with the Principality of Wallachia to form Romania. At that time Transylvania was still under Austro-Hungarian occupation. In 1916, Romania declared war against Germany and Austro-Hungary. After the war, Transylvania and Bucovina became part of Romania.
From the approximately 24,000 stamps issued, only 724 survived, with only 89 on cover. They are considered as one of the worlds rarities. Another source (http://www.rpsl.org.uk/moldavia/index.html) says that 778 stamps survived. The stamps were issued on 21 July 1858, but the first known date is 29 July 1858. The last known date of use is 31 October 1858. The stamps were hand-printed in sheets of 32 stamps (4 rows of 8 stamps).
The Bulls Head issue was reprinted twice, and can easily be recognized, because they are printed on different papers than the originals.
Since these stamps are very rare, many forgeries exist, examples:
This might be the forgery mentioned in Le Timbre Poste of 1874 by Moens (No.138 page 48); It is described how someone from Bucharest found back the printing stone and offered reprints. However, the 'reprints' are different in design and are thus ordinary forgeries. Notably, the second 'O' of 'PORTO' is too round, the star is too small, the '2' too large and the '7' slanting too much. The right horn of the bull points to the 4th character of the word above it (instead of to the 3rd character); it should point to the 'P', not to the inverted 'N'-character.
Two forgeries of the 108 pa with bogus dots cancels.
Very deceptive forgeries of the 54 pa value, both with 'ROMAN 11 12 MOLDOVA' cancel. In my opinion, the '54' is slightly different (top part of '5' too short, right hand side of '4' slanting forwards).
Two forgeries of the 54 pa, one in green and the other in blue. Apparently based on the same design. The '4' of the '54' is closed.
Forgeries made by the same forger.
Three forgeries of the 108 pa value, with a very large right eye. The forgeries appear to be slightly different, but clearly inspired by each other. The third forgery is the most convincing.
even in the wrong colours and values:
Forgeries in different colors and non-existing values, made by the same forger.
Forgeries with very short horns on the bull. These two forgeries were made by the same forger. I've seen the 54 pa with the erroneous cancel 'GALATZ 15 9 MOLDOUA' (Moldovia is misspelt).
Forgeries of the 27 p value, made by the same forger. The posthorn touches the circular frame line below it. I've seen such a forgery in blue sold as genuine on an Internet auction. I've also seen an orange 27 p stamp in this design (again with a red boxed 'FRANCO' cancel'). It also exists with a red 'FRANCO JASSY' elliptic cancel. The last letter is rather badly done (the 'N' like character in 'SKRISORI'. Next to it the same forgery and a forged 81 pa value on a piece of a letter.
A forgery of the 81 p with very small ears. Also note the empty space at the bottom of the posthorn with two dots inside. It (always?) seems to be cancelled with part of a large circle. Also a 108 pa forgery, possibly made by the same forger?
Oneglia(?) forgeries; note the very big ears.
Forgeries, all made by the same forger. Often appearing with the cancels "GALATZ 1/10 MOLDAVA" or "BOTUSCHANI 28/? MOLDOVA"
I've seen a similar forgery of the 27 p being offered as 'genuine' for 10,000 US$ on an Internet auction..... This is the third forgery of the 27 pa listed in the Billig handbook on forgeries.
Photographically reproduced forgeries.
A cleverly done forgery, pasted on a letter:
Zoom-in of the forgery
Forged stamp on letter.
This forgery was sold on a prestigious Internet auction as genuine:
The '4' in the above forgeries is closed.
(A forgery made by Peter Winter in the 1980's)
Possibly other products made by Peter Winter.
Reproduction of a 27 p stamp on a minisheet for the Salon der Philatelie in Hamburg in 1984.
Zoom-in of this minisheet
Modern forgery (1980's?) originating from Romania according to the Heimbuchler book. Often with cancel 'WASLUI 29/8', 'GALATZ 26/8' or 'JASSY 7/7'.
Similar modern forgery with 'GALATZ 26/8' cancel.
Sperati forged cancel 'BOROHOJ 24 10 MOLDOVA' and Sperati forgery of the 108 pa value (black 'proof' in this case and blue 'normal' stamp). According to the BPA book this forgery only exists with a red 'JASSY 23 ? MOLDOVA' cancel. There is a small break in the right lower side of the outer circle next to the posthorn.
Sold as genuine, but in my opinion a Sperati forgery.
Forged cancels made by Sperati.
In 'The Stamp Collector's Magazine' of 1874 the
following text can be found referring to January issue of 'Le
Timbre Poste 133 page 6' by Moens (in French, can be downloaded
The January number contains some interesting observations on the forged stamps of Moldavia. A fresh batch has come on the market, and the better to catch the unwary, they are all obliterated, but fortunately the precaution adopted by the forgers has its weak point. The obliteration consists of the words GALATZ, 1 AUG., 1855 (in blue) ; but the year is never found in the true postmarks, and what is more, the stamps were not issued until November, 1858, and, therefore, none can exist with an 1855 cancellation ; thus, these forgeries carry their condemnation on their faces. M. Moens a long time since stated that the Jassy post-office had counterfeited its own stamps, and sold them as genuine ; he has now discovered that that dishonest speculation was carried on by Mr. Rosemblum, an ex-employe at the Jassy post-office, who pretends that he received his stamps from an ex- postmaster, M. Paratinkiewize. Probably, these new counterfeits are nothing but a fresh series of Rosemblum varieties......
Le Timbre Poste says these cancels have been found on the 81 pa and 108 pa values and the 5 pa values of the next issue. I anyone has an image, please send me a scan. The name Rosemblum might have been Rosenblum (as in The American Journal of Philately when referring to the above Le Timbre Poste article).
According to Album Weeds another bogus value of 120 Paras gold on white exists. A forgery exists with a genuine cancel of Jassy (made with the help of a fraudulent postal employee). The circle of genuine stamps has a diameter of 19 1/2 mm except for the 108 p which has a diameter of 20 mm (The forged stamps of all countries by J.Dorn). More on the idenfication of forgeries of the bull's issue can be found at: http://hem.passagen.se/utions/bull/truebull.htm.
The following text was found in The Philatelic
Record June 1901, page 171, concerning a certain forger Anghel
Antonescu. This forger is also mentioned in Maple Leaves
15 (6), December 1974 as a stamp forger (I have no further
"A Would-be Forger. The following charming order was, according to the Revue Philatelique sent to a colour-printer and die-sinker at Rouen. We take all the more pleasure in publishing this highly - interesting correspondence, as it gives us the opportunity of making known the name and address of the party in question. Anghel Antonescu, 42, Cales Mosilor, Bucarest (Roumanie). " BUCAREST, I5.iv.1901." Dear Sir,Having seen your advertisement in the Echo that you are a maker of cliches for postage stamps and undertake colour-printing, I take the liberty to ask you whether you can make forged postage stamps, because I could give you an order for all the Roumanian stamps of 1858-1866, excepting the 30 parale of 1862 and the 20 parale of 1865. I want 500 of each value, i.e., of 11 sorts, 5,500 stamps in all. In replying whether you can execute this order kindly state your price. " Awaiting your answer,I remain, Yours very truly, Anghel Antonescu."
The street name should probably have been Calea Mosilor instead of Cales Mosilor.
Rumania 1858 second issue
http://come.to/romaniastamps/ or http://www.romaniastamps.com/; an enormous amount of interesting data for the Romanian stamp collector.
http://membres.lycos.fr/dgrecu/DM1.html; Romania, A short postal history of Romania, by Dinu Matei, Calgary, Canada, First published in 'Calgary Philatelist', issue #29, April 1998, pp.3-7.