I recently was trolling on E bay and came across some German 3rd Reich stamps (which I collect),with over prints-even some occupied countries overprints.I thought excellent and when to go on reading the item description and then in red but right the way down the description were the words copy/counterfeit/fake.I was disappointed.IN the photo of the reverse there is a small printed word copy.IT looks like they are period stamps with the fake OPs applied-maybe in period ink also.How it is possible to tell for sure between the fakes and the genuines? I would be interested to find out.Cheers
Quote: These should really be called obliterations rather than overprints.
Which is a totally accurate characterization. For a short period of time after the end of WWII, postal service had to resume using outdated postage. Many cities/regions used the Hitler definitives as postage but obliterated his face with an overprint that would identify the city of origin.
Unfortunately, there dozens of varieties of both legitimate and fake or fantasy overprints just like what LB1 posted. These overprints are their own area of specialization and require much study.
Thanks for the replies-no I am aware of obliterations by the allies-I am meaning for example the stamps from Bohemia/Moravia that have "Wir ist frei"-the stamp has grapes on it.I have seen some and was just wondering.They are not the overprints on the Hitler Heads incidentally-they are regional as in Ostland,Ukraine etc.Thanks to all of you who replied.I am still trying to work out how the forum works.How does one post a picture/image?Thanks :D
IT says Wir sind frei to be accurate and is this set of 3 stamps identical to this picture I found.I note various reputable auction houses sell them and that there seem to be lots of propaganda O/Ps-but how does one know if some modern day forger has not obtained original period stamps and then used a modern reproduction SS stamp for example and stamp the stamp, increasing its value significantly etc.ON E Bay I saw one seller selling a pile of Hitler heads with O/Ps I had never seen and was keen on-then I noticed far down in the E bay description of item that they were "copies/fakes/counterfeits".This was not in different colour type either or bold-rather disingenuous I think.Any thoughts on the matter please? Thanks
"Wir sind frei!" overprints are from the Reichenberg-Maffersdorf and Rumburg regions of the Sudetenland. Genuine copies of certain values can be quite rare, so forgeries are common.
As to your larger question of how to tell if overprints are genuine, there is no easy answer. Even if you have access to forgery manuals, exemplars, and speciality publications, there are still those that really require hands-on examination and an experienced eye to detect.
See my previous post 'Germany - Sudatenland and Alsace Lorraine Overprints' in 'World Modern Stamps/Mint and Hinged.' (Sorry, haven't figured out how to link to a previous item.) I believe these are genuine.
Thanks everyone for your invaluable replies.It is a shame that forgeries exist-why though is a question I wonder, and if there could possibly any other reason than trying to add value to the stamp/s to rip off some buyer/dealer perhaps?I know that they were propaganda tools and also reinforced their territorial possessions of the relevant areas also. So it is a tricky one.The stamps that are found om postal covers though would in most cases be genuine?Generally the ink was a purpleish blue and also black ink of the same tone as indian ink?I have seen a simple SS stamp(it just says Waffen SS)on a banknote(on eBay) which was in red ink.It looks good but I am wary.I have been fortunate thus far.
Kiwimike-----some stamps can't be determined from a scan that is on your computer if they are fake or real. They need to be held and tested before anyone can say its a fake.Some Switzerland fakes are only determined by the type of paper not by design or color . Every advance collector has been bitten by a fake or forgery ,its all in the learning process of becoming a expert .