Why do Philatelists collect forgeries… on purpose? For almost as long as there have been stamp collectors there have been those forging stamps, so prevalent was it before the high quality illustrated catalogues and albums we enjoy today that we still find old stamp albums containing many fakes. Some are so crude to be laughable having relied on a written description of the stamp from perhaps a collectors magazine, others are fiendishly clever with the undisputed champion forger of quality being the ‘great’ Jean de Sperati who even fooled philatelic experts of the day. Another was Angelo Panelli who sold forgeries made by others but produced his own excellent items by the expensive engraved process. Other forgeries altered official stamp- issuing policy, it is believed that El Salvador’s first issue was withdrawn when forgeries of it produced for collectors appeared. Most stamp collectors enjoy adding something unusual to their albums and the history of some of the distinctly ‘dodgy’ characters who sold them can prove equally enchanting.
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