Return To Catalogue - Adrien Champion

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A.Venturini was a forger from Italy in the early 1900's. He lived in Pisa, Turin and Florence.

According to "Philatelic Forgers, their Lives and Works" by V.E.Tyler, he made (or at least sold) forgeries of Swiss Cantonal stamps, French and French Colonies postage dues, Spain, Baden, Monaco and Tuscany. He also sold Spanish and Portuguese colonies forgeries. If anyone has more information, please contact me! Also, according to the same source, he might have obtained his forgeries from Oneglia.

In The London Philatelist 10, 36-39 (1901) we can read that Henri Bauche (i.e. Adrien Champion) was brought before the magistrate for selling dangerous forgeries made by Venturini. The following text can be found there:
"These forgeries of the Cantonal stamps have been known just about six months, and photos of some of them have been given in the Vertrauliches Korrespondenz Blatt. They comprise double Geneva; 5 c. Geneva, black on green, and green on white ; Vaud, 4 c. and 5 c. ; Neuchatel, Winterthur, Poste Locale, Type 40 ; Zurich, 6 r., Type 5 ; and probably also Zurich, 4 r., though this has not yet been seen here. They come from Italy, and are made by Venturini at Pisa, who also makes 1 and 5 fr. Monaco, high values French Tax Stamps, inverted heads of Spain, etc. He sells them, as forgeries, at 1 to 1 1/2 marks each, either unused or postmarked, and a number of shady dealers, like A. Champion, who is now in Italy, have spread them broadcast over France and Germany. No doubt now they are trying England and America. The forgeries are photogravures, and are therefore very good imitations ; but there are still points by which they can be recognised, although the 6 r. of Zurich is so good that the paper is almost the only test. It is really most unsatisfactory that nothing can be done to stop the making of these first-class forgeries."

In the same source, it is mentioned there that the 4 c Vaud stamp is too wooly and indistinct in all its lines. The dimensions of the double Geneva are wrong. The background of the Poste Locale does not tally with the No.40 on the plate, from which it has apparently been copied. Also, the cancels are all wrong (it doesn't say what is wrong exactly). It also says that Champion tried to sell 'Tretio' error stamps or Sweden, while he was arrested in London.

In the Philatelic Record of March 1901 (page 54) the following text can be found on the arrest of Adrien Champion when he tried to seel Venturini forgeries in London:
"Recent Swiss Forgeries. A successful attempt has been made during the past month by a foreigner now in custody to palm off on stamp dealers in London a number of forgeries of Swiss Cantonals. In most cases the forgeries are wonderfully good, and must be classed amongst the most dangerous yet produced, as they have been made by photography. They differ very slightly in size from the genuine. The envelope stamp (Gibbons number 6) is slightly larger than the genuine ; but all the others are fractionally smaller ; the double Geneva, of which we have seen used and unused copies, are exactly 1mm. smaller than the genuine. They are rather a paler yellow green than is generally found on the original. They also show a few minor differences, the most prominent of which are on the right-hand half—the lower beak of the eagle does not touch the wing, which it should do. The 4c. Vaud, of which we have also seen used and unused copies, is slightly darker in colour, but this forgery is easier to detect, as the figure " 4 " is not quite correct. The Post Locale without frame is an attempt to be number 40 on the plate, but on comparison differs slightly in the background. Collectors and dealers are indebted to Mr. Peckitt for his prompt warning to be on their guard."


Forgery of the 50 B Papal States stamp. The forged cancel 'VITERBO 6 DEC 67' is identical to the one found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries'. In the book 'Roman States Forgeries' by F.J.Levitsky and F.A.Jenkins this cancel was actually attributed to Venturini. V.E.Tyler in "Philatelic Forgers, their Lives and Works' mentions that Venturini offers his printing plates for 20 Marks each.

(Forged Fournier cancels of Italy, taken from a Fournier Album; reduced sizes)

The cancel 'ROMA 17 AUG. 66' can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' as shown above. In the book 'Roman States Forgeries' by F.J.Levitsky and F.A.Jenkins the cancels 'ROMA 1 DEC 68', 'CIVITAVECCHIA 10 NOV 67' and 'VITERBO 6 DEC 67' were actually attributed to the forger Venturini.

Probably a Fournier forgery with a cancel 'BADEN II 25 OCTO 1850' in a double circle with posthorn at the bottom, identical to the one found in The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries. In http://www.pro-philatelie.de/faelschungen/altschweiz/14I%20slg-mb-fournier.jpg a similar forgery can be found with 'POSTE LOCALE' inscription (imitating type 28); it is there mentioned that it was probably made by the forger Venturini and later sold by Fournier.

Venturini-Fournier forgeries as taken from a Fournier Album.

Other Venturini forgeries of Switzerland.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer