Notes from the Past

A Book to Detect Counterfeits

A few years ago I received a fine and useful publication from Nice, France, from a man who had been obliged to remain in hiding during the German Occupation.  He had spent his time in the interim in the writing of this book.  It was not published until after France was liberated when he could again venture forth without fear of having the arm put on him by the Gestapo.  The book detailed the signs by which genuine stamps could be distinguished from the numerous counterfeits.  It covered the early European issues, and approached the subject from a new angle -- it listed the identifying features of the originals, did not go into long descriptions of the counterfeits.  Hermann Schloss wrote this book, and he is, presently, a resident of the United States.

Now these notes are not intended to tout a house publication, but Lindquist Publications has just published the German States section of the book ("Distinguishing Characteristics of Classic Stamps"), and thus Mr. Schloss's work becomes available to those who never had an opportunity of acquiring the original French edition.  German States stamps are somewhat out of my line, but I recognize it as a good book.  It will make no difference to me whether you get the book, or don't, but I think, if you collect German States issues, it will make a lot of difference to you.  There are so many counterfeits, of ancient and recent manufacture, and all so different, that it is not safe to depend upon certain faults to tell-tale variations by which some counterfeits can be detected.  The counterfeiters are clever, and they can read, too, and there have been innumerable instances where many of these faults and distinguishing points were quickly corrected.

Therefore, a familiarity with the features of the genuine is the essential knowledge one first needs in order to separate, accurately, the good from the bad.  If more collectors would spend a few dollars for a good book, they would save themselves money and a great deal of grief in the future.  Price, $3.50, to be ordered directly from the editorial offices.

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
December 4, 1948
Posted July 31, 2000

Editor's Note:  Editor's Note:  See also Detecting Counterfeits - New Book.

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