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We have recently been offered large quantities from several sources of the local Przedborz stamps reported in issue #12 (948). Both unused and used copies, the first in sheets and the latter on piece, some with Austrian Etappenstempel, have all proven to be dangerous forgeries. We advise extreme caution in the acquisition of Przedborz stamps. Unfortunately lack of time precludes us from expertizing these stamps.1
- As seen above, the first Przedbórz forgery warning was published by the Gebrüder Senf stamp dealership in its Illustriertes Briefmarken Journal (IBJ), five days after Armistice Day, 1918, and less than eleven months from the first appearance of these local delivery stamps. A description of how to separate "Eagle" stamps from at least some forgeries was published in 1919, Issue 4 (probably late February, 1919)
My friend Hagen Hanke says that during WWI Gebrüder Senf was able to maintain excellent communications with Eastern Europe, and was the #1 source of philatelic material for places like Russia, the Baltic countries, Poland, Ukraine, etc.
- Gebrüder Senf (named after the Senf brothers, Louis and Richard
) was a well-known Leipzig dealership that published its own catalogs3,
albums and periodicals much like Scott, Gibbons, and others did.
If you read German, you can read 135 years of Gebrüder Senf.
Don't use Google translate, because Senf means Mustard in English, and the resulting computer translation is incomprehensible.
- Like Scott, Gibbons, etc, Gebrüder Senf issued reprints, "facsimiles",
"specimens" and perhaps forgeries to meet the philatelic demand. See Doc M. Pepper's website
on their U.S. Newspaper Stamps facsimiles starting in 1884.
I also have a page showing some of their "specimens" and "facsimiles".
Gebrüder Senf probably deserve some credit for identifying their
facsimiles & specimens as such, so as not to deceive their customers and the
broader collecting public. I suspect most dealers were not so truthful.
They also expertized stamps, which is why they said "don't send them [Przedbórz] to us!" See their listing in the Stamp Forgery Guide, under "S" experts. (Scott & Gibbons are also listed as expertizers in the Stamp Forgery Guide.)
- Earl P.L. Apfelbaum, Inc. has a fascinating introduction to the evolution of the stamp album, in which he credits Senf with producing one of the best of the European stamp albums.
1. The image has been "Photoshopped™" so that the journal name and date adjoin the warning. In the actual journal, the warning is at the bottom of the page.
Thanks to Helmut Blaschczyk for the above translation.
2. Louis was actually Wilhelm August Louis Senf [1852-1940]; Richard was actually Emil Louis Richard Senf [1855-1941].
According to 135 years of Gebrüder Senf, the company stayed in business until 1953, but at a reduced level (no catalogs, IBJ, albums [?],etc.).
- According to Die Philatelie im 'Dritten Reich', the last Senf catalog was published in 1943, two years after Richard Senf died. Contrary to the above article, this book has no mention of Gebrüder Senf existing after WW II. (Thanks to Helmut Blaschczyk for all this.)
3. See a postcard
advertising their 1907 catalog: 1.50 Mk for the postal stationary catalog, 3.50 Mk for the stamp catalog, and 4.50 Mk for both in one volume.
My stamp club was more interested in the front of the card, shown here
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Last modified 20 Sept. 2015