A fraudulent imitation of a genuine stamp. there are two principal types: the postal forgery, made to deceive the Post Office, and the philatelic forgery, made to deceive collectors. For postal forgeries, especially used on cover, there is a keen demand from specialists. A special type of postal forgery is the propaganda forgery, made to be smuggled into enemy territory and there used by secret agents or Resistance workers. Stamps of enemy or enemy-occupied countries were forged by the authorities in Britain in both the First and Second World Wars, though in the former case it seems unlikely that they were used for the purpose for which they were intended. Other items sometimes described as propaganda forgeries are imitations of enemy stamps never intended for postal use but in which the design is distorted for propaganda purposes; for example stamps in which Hitler's head appeared as a skull. These latter are better described as propaganda labels.
Philatelic forgeries of rare overprints or rare postmarks have sometimes been applied to perfectly genuine stamps; in such cases the complete item may be termed a fake.
- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's EncyclopaediaPublished 1966Posted February 10, 2000
Index of 508 Notes from the Past
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