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Latvia map stamps - forgeries

Type 1 forgery. Printed on the same O16 Bausk maps used for genuine stamps; 12 rows of 28 stamps; imperf; very poor print quality. Many sources note a fourth [blurry] star around the sun on the right, opposite the star on the left. The genuine has three stars.

This is the most common map stamp forgery and the easiest to detect. It may date from the early 1920s. It is somewhat scarce, but full sheets are sometimes available. These forgeries are usually sold as forgeries at a premium price.

type 1 forgery, block of 4

Type 1 forgery, block of 4, magnified.

type 1 forgery, mapside corner

Type 1 forgery, mapside with the upper right corner inscription, magnified.

Type 2 forgery. Blocks of 10x6, printed clearly on forged German military maps in black with brown contour lines [map type Ia]. Each block has six clichés of 10 stamps in 5x2 format and no selvedge. The second stamp in the first row of each cliché has four stars, versus three on the genuine. The Hofmann handbook notes that the forged frame lines are thinner than the genuine.

The maps used include K18 Telsze [1915], and a map from the adjoining corners of L17, M17, L18, M18, both shown below. These blocks are sold as genuine. Individual stamps could be hard to identify as forgeries. It may have been printed in Latvia in the 1980s. It is quite scarce.

Type 2 forgery, one cliché, the uppermost 5x2 stamps from a block of 60. The second stamp in the first row shows a fourth star, to the right.

Type 2 forgery, mapside reduced, left corner, map K18 Telsze, 1915. The K18 Telsze on genuine stamps is dated 1914, and has a different margin inscription. Flaws like the partly unprinted area on the lower left corner in this example are unknown on genuine maps.

Type 2 forgery, enlarged, upper left pair from block of 60, showing the fourth star clearly in the second stamp.

Type 2 forgery, center of forged map showing adjoining corners of maps L17 and M17 above L18 and M18. Note the vertical line between the Lxx and Mxx pieces and the less visible horizontal misalignment of x17 and x18 [about 1/5 of the distance from the top]. Plostiņš calls this third forgery type and says the colour is lighter than the genuine and that the numeral 5 on the forgery is somewhat different. Please report other maps with this forgery.


Type 3 forgery. Hofmann's handbook notes a third forgery appearing in 1995 with crude offset printing on both the stamp and map, on soft paper. This is Plostiņš [1979] second forgery type.

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Created 2002-08-01; last update Fri, 2010-02-05
copyright © 2002 to 2010 Bill Apsit.