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Northwest Russia: Army Of The North Stamps

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Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 09/07/2011   5:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add BeeSee to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The Russian Army of the North was one of the anti-Bolshevik groups, more or less derived from Estonian forces, that fought in the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) area. General Aleksandr Rodzianko was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces in February 1919. In May they captured Pskov, Gdov and Yamburg (now Kingisepp) in northwest Russia, only to lose them shortly after.



The stamps seem to have been used from September to December 1919. I do not know who used them; the army, civilians, or both.

Subsequently the Army of the North was merged into the larger Army of the Northwest.

Scott lists a set of five stamps, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 50k. The initials OKCA in Russian stand for Special Corps, Army of the North. See listing below, from the 2009 catalog.



Here are examples of the set I have, cancelled. They are probably CTO. The paper varies from very thin almost transparent, to thick yellowish.





Forgeries exist but I am unsure how to distinguish them from genuine.

Comments appreciated!

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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS

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United States
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Posted 09/07/2011   6:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All 5 of your stamps are genuine; don't know how to tell if the cancels are genuine or not. I'm a little tied down this evening. If nobody chimes in this evening (US time), I'll try to point out what to look for tomorrow.
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Edited by khj - 09/07/2011 6:05 pm
Rest in Peace
Canada
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Posted 09/07/2011   6:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks K. I am glad to know at least the stamps seem genuine.

Here is another 50K Army of the North stamp I have, it is printed on paper so thin, it shows through the back. It is NOT an offset. The pencil mark on the back was applied by a previous stamp abusing owner.

Front (first), Back (2nd):

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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
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United Kingdom
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Posted 09/07/2011   7:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nigelc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have these five values each in a forged sheet of 100.
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Nigel
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Posted 09/07/2011   9:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The first value, at least, looks just on the edge of being questionable, based on Tyler's book. In the scan I'm seeing, the circles around the values aren't clearly double all the way around, and the left 5 looks like it might touch the circle. No?

I'd feel more comfortable commenting on a larger scan, but I wonder...
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Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 09/07/2011   9:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
CD, here is a better scan. I would think that due to the cheap quality of paper and other factors may cause bleeding and such, so perhaps many stamps from a single sheet could look different. I will scan more later, as I got a nice bunch on eBay for next to nothing.

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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
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Posted 09/08/2011   12:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 5k stamp is still genuine, just slightly overinked, but definitely genuine. The "5" touching the circle is a secondary test, not a primary test. The double circles around the 5 (rather than a single thick circle) is a far more accurate test.

The LAST picture you show of the 50k stamp -- that is definitely a forgery. The 50k shown in your original post, that stamp is genuine.
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Posted 09/08/2011   12:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
the circles around the values aren't clearly double all the way around

They don't have to be doubled all the way around. Overinking will sometimes fill in part of the circle and also result in the "5" touching the circle. However, if any part of the circle is noticeably doubled, then the stamp is genuine. On the forged stamps, it's a solid circle all the way around.
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Posted 09/08/2011   01:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fincbob2451 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello, This thread could not have come at a better time for me. I bid on mu first Russian Army stamps last night and I have a concern. I have never dealt with these stamps before but as I am a sucker for imperf stamps I bid on them anyway. Later I looked at an article about them on Wikipedia. I said that there are probably more forgeries of these stamps than there are genuine. If these are not genuine the monetary loss will be minimal. The disappointment will be that they are forgeries. I took some scans off the auction site and hope you can give me a reasonable guess as to their aythenticity.. I hope there are not too mant scans, if so I apologize.
Thank you as always
David

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Posted 09/08/2011   01:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fincbob2451 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here are the other scans. I apologize for the lack of clarity but they came off the auction site.





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Greece
204 Posts
Posted 09/08/2011   03:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vasia to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
BeeSee,

your Army of the North (OKCA) stamps appear to bear the cancellation of Moloskovitsy, a village and railway station on the Narva-Petrograd line. This station was captured by the NW Army on 12th October, 1919 (during its second offensive) and lost again to the Bolshevik forces on 7th November. During this brief period of time, it served as the HQ of the NW Army.

Experts on the area (Rosselevitch, Epstein: see below) seem to agree that this postmarking device remained among the NW Army staff after the evacuation of Moloskovitsy and was used for cancelling-to-order stamps in sheets and fabricating "postally-used" covers. This would explain back-dated copies, such as the ones with a September date among your stamps (15k and 50k), clearly falling outside the span of the few weeks of occupation of Moloskovitsy.

There are interesting articles on this issue in older Rossica Journals (Rosselevitch, #55, p.26 and Epstein, #124, p.62). You can find the full text of the articles in the archived Rossica Journals in the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) database - just type "rossica" in the search bar and go to the Journal archive (sorry,, I can't give the URL's here).

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Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 09/08/2011   09:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the information Vasia. You supply such valuable information here, you better hurry up and reach 50 posts so you can post URL's!

Here is the URL for the Florida digital collection for Rossica:

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235

Here is a direct link to text search:

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/rosj/text

I will have to peruse this on the weekend.

fincbob2451, very nice South Russia stamps, I hope you get them.

K, thanks for the additional information. I notice that in the batch of Army of the North stamps I have, some have very sharp printing, while others have blurry printing, so I guess (and from reading on the net) that most of the blurry ones are forgeries. It would appear that fincbob2451's are genuine?

Edit: I put a direct link to the list of all volumes of Rossica.

What great information!
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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
Edited by BeeSee - 09/08/2011 12:29 pm
Valued Member
Greece
204 Posts
Posted 09/08/2011   12:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vasia to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
BeeSee,

although I never really cared much about the OKCA stamps, I kept 2 sets in a stockbook: one genuine, one forgeries (as per my notes).

Genuine:



Forgeries:



I think the differences are quite obvious!

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Edited by vasia - 07/28/2017 1:10 pm
Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 09/08/2011   2:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Those scans are really helpful Vasia. That would seem to indicate this example of the 15k yellow on thick paper that I have is genuine.



Any idea what the tiny text says above the "1919". I know the top says "Postage Stamp" in Russian.
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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
Edited by BeeSee - 09/08/2011 2:05 pm
Valued Member
Greece
204 Posts
Posted 09/08/2011   4:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vasia to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The inscription above 1919 reads: "fifteen kop." and respectively on all other values.

By the way, Alexander Epstein indicates the following about the paper used for printing this issue:

The 5k and 10k stamps exist ONLY on wove paper.
The 50k stamp exists ONLY on pelure (i.e extra thin) paper.
The 20k stamp exists on both types of paper, in about equal proportions.
The 15k stamp also exists on both types of paper, but the pelure paper is extremely scarce.
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Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 09/08/2011   5:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I WAS wondering about the paper. I will check my stock when I get home.

Vasia, you say the 15k stamp also exist on pelure paper and is extremely scarce - your example above appears to be on pelure; is it so?
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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
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