Archive for July 2004

Good News for Conference

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Thu Jul 29, 2004

Good Morning,
I’ve received today a positive answer from the dean of Esib who will
give us a conference room.
So the subjects until now are:
a- M. Tony Helou for what to collect in Lebanon stamps
b- Lebanon_Philately group: compilation of different methods for
detecting original/doubtful sheets/stamps with presentation of the
group (please Bassem M. if you prepare the introduction).
c- M. Moustapha Assad: Stamps History in Lebanon (subject to be

What do you think of a round table on promoting the Philately in

We still need:
a- two subjects (in order to have a two hours conference)
b- date/time around 24th August
c- mailing list
d- other ideas.
e- smiles :)

bonne jorunée de Paris
Elie A.

About Stamps Classical Forgeries

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Tue Jul 27, 2004

Good afternoon,
in order to be complete about the (stamps not the sheets) forgeries
that i am putting in the photos section:
a) all of them were produced in the early sixties.
b) all the period of late thirties to early fifties is covered.
c) all the stamps are easy to recognize as they were poorly or
imperfectily forged. (Bad lines, names bad written, errors in
reproduction, …)
d)As far as i know they were all cancelled and washed by the
forgerer. No stamp in mint state exists in the market.
e) the forgerer & comps were arrested.

à votre service

Elie A.

Lebanon Conference …

Reprint of Lebanon Philately Sun Jul 25, 2004

Hi All,

Here is my advice regarding the Conference..

1. Do not think big, although there are numerous collectors in
Lebanon, most big names will not give their time to attend. Many
big shots prefer to either sponsor clubs on their own (where the
members will talk about the mightly collection of the owner) or
simply stay away.

2. We have witnessed public philatelist shows sponsored by Liban
Post (by Mr. Shafeek Talib) on 4 different occasions, and the man
did not take the time to INVITE all the Lebanese collectors.. The
reasonis that most collectors would have ridiculed his show !!!
Lets face it, when Lebanese meet, there will only be ridicule and

3. If you all prefer to have a Gathering in force then we can do
so.. But it has to be a gathering of people rather than
collections.. Auctions make no sense as the people attending
already have what they want. Beginners !!! They do not exist…
From the South of Lebanon to its North there exist only ONE
beginner !!!!!!!!!.

4. I can get you venues in LAU, AUB, LIBAN POST, Ministry of PTT,
virtually any venue in or around Saida. I can get sponsors, I can
get Rotary International to participate en-force. I can get top
names to cover the event too.. Media is also an easy task. But you
have to think about what would happen when we all start talking
about forgeries !!!! It will not be a nice topic in the newspapers
the second day…

Lets meet, but lets meet behind closed doors at first.. Trust me
people, i know what will happen..

My 2 cents..


Lebanon Conference …

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Sun Jul 25, 2004

The focus should be on promoting the hobby and to get beginners
interested. And most important is to make it fun and exchange friendship
and ideas. That is what philately is about.

It is not a glamorous hobby, that’s why a university setting
is probably the best best for the 1st time. Universities have a diverse
age group with possible free time.

I am not surprised at the low number of collectors in Lebanon. But I think
the interest can be higher with more exposure. (Benefits are more
tangible on the long term)

Also one more thing to consider: a govt. sponsored special cancel for the
event is always a plus.

About 4 years ago I happened to be in Italy on a business trip. There were
signs all over when I was driving in Milan advertizing a philatelic
conference. So I went to it, although, as a visitor, it was not in my
This type of larger effort requires the local city govt. to make
nice professional signs, post them 5-6 blocks around the event for a whole
month before the event. One can always invite other countries to exhibit
their new issues.
Just some thought for the future. The toughest part is the majority of us
are expatriates, so it will have to be a large effort by those on location
in Lebanon.

- Elie

Lebanon Philately Conference

Reprint from Lebanon_Philately Sat Jul 24, 2004

Re: [Lebanon_Philately] Lebanon Philately Conference
At 07:36 AM 7/24/2004, Elie I. Mourad wrote:>Well to really make it successful wouldn’t you want to plan at least a
>year in advance. Maybe add an auction and dealer booths.An invent this year could also serve to organize and promote next year’s
event so that next year’s event would be better attended. Anyway I see
such an event as a continuous effort that gets better every year rather
than a one shot deal.

On Sat, 24 Jul 2004, aouad_e wrote:
> > All suggestions are welcomed: subjects, where, when, language, …
> >
> > So do not hesitate to shell us with your opinions.

Beyond getting together to show off collections, buy and sell, I think
there is a need to organize Lebanon philatelists and philately. How many
times have you looked at the philately page on the Libanpost web site and
thought, what a shame. If you don’t already know, the page consisted for
the past many years of a simple form to submit your name and interests to
LibanPost. That’s it. You never get any feedback. Speaking of which,
whatever happened to:

Did their rent expire? Currently you get an IDM page instead.

So I would emphasize the organizational aspect for this meet, to promote
the creation of a Lebanon philately advocacy group.

An old theme that the government my be interested in is to advertise
tourism through philately.

Another worthy goal is to create a reference material web site, not unlike
Elie M. excellent web site with a broader scope and with Q&A for newbies
and experts alike. Perhaps there can be an interactive feature where
anybody can submit a question that gets answered by a list of (more expert)

Back to the conference, you need first to determine the intended
audience. The audience could be:

- Philately hobbyists and professionals
- Philately retailers, those licensed by the government to sell stamps in
- Philately consumers including small and large businesses

If business (retailers and consumers) is involved then this raises the
level of interest and participation.

Can we get the government to demo future issues?

Can we get designers of Lebanese stamps to attend and talk about their craft?

Can we get printers of Lebanese stamps to attend and talk about the past
and future of stamp printing, quality control, etc.?

Another idea is to create an adjoining workshop of some sort with classes
for both newbies and more expert hobbyists.


Lebanon Philately Conference – Continue

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Sat Jul 24, 2004

Good Evening,
Thanks for Bassem & Elie M. for their remarks.
The idea for this summer is cultural and is oriented to have lectures
on various subjects concerning Lebanon Philately in an afternoon.
We can have also an exposition of various stamps of Lebanon.
It is for philatelists and for dealers to begin somewhere.
I think that Bassem has given a good number of ideas of lecturers and
subjects on the end of his post.
This meeting can be a preliminar to have a Lebanon Stamps exposition
next year which should be more both commercial/cultural.
For the place i’ll check with the Esib (Ecole des Ingenieurs de
Beyrouth) if they can lent us a conference room. All other
suggestions are welcomed for the place.
For the date it can be around 20th august in order to have some time
to prepare the conference but especially to send invitations &
The minister of communication should be invited as it is
the “coutumes” in Lebanon.

Still waiting for other suggestions from all of you even if you
cannot come.
bonne soirée.
Elie Aouad

Lebanon errors and forgeries

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Tue Jul 20, 2004

Thanks Bassem for taking the initiative and creating this group.

Here is some information that everyone might find useful.

Lebanon overprinted issues.

- According to Yvert 1936 specialized edition, there is
a large number of errors produced in clandestine
printings (supposedly these are prepared using the
original inks and plates at the time of issue). Yvert
1936 states that it only lists errors that have reached
the general public through the post office. Even with this
restriction, there are too many Lebanon errors. I personally
collect all errors that have been produced using original
inks and plates. It should be emphasized that errors
prepared in clandestine printing using original material
cannot be distinguished from other “genuine” errors. The
only source that I know to distinguish them is Yvert 1936
edition. Maury lists errors that are not listed in Yvert
1936. It should be noted here that Yvert 1936 is not exhaustive
and there are errors produced in official printings that
are not listed in Yvert 1936. These have been identified
by later studies done by collectors. Typically, these
are not major double/inverted overprints, but rather minor
errors that have to do with spacing and defects with
individual letters.

- To spot forgeries, you should have reference material.
Forgers typically do not have reference material, the
patience or the knowledge needed to prepare truly good
forgeries. For the GRAND LIBAN and Gd Liban overprints,
forgers do not have in general access to french stamps
without overprints, so forgeries are typically double
overprints rather than inverted overprints (it is easier
to get the overprinted Lebanon stamps, than the orginal
french stamps). This does not mean that forgeries of
inverted overprints were not made (one example is the
Ronsard stamp. One forgery I know has narrow distance between
the arabic 4 and “al-kabir”). Some time ago there was a
number of the french period errors with double and double-one-
inverted overprints that are all forgeries in my opinion.

Assuming you have enough reference material (large blocks
or panes of normal stamps), you can spot forgeries by
comparing the original stamp to the stamp with the error.
Typically, each position has some small defect in the overprint
that can be used to identify it. Also, the base stamp itself
typically has some small variations. The first step is to
identify the plate position of the overprint. Then, you
would want to make sure that the base stamp itself is the
correct plate position. For double overprints the plate
position of the base stamps should be the same as
the same plate position for the overprint. Also, the two
overprints should be the same (have the same defects).
One cannot rule out the possibility that the paper
can shift and that the two overprints do not match, but
this is the exception and very uncommon. For inverted overprints,
the plate position of the base stamp is not the same as that
of the overprint. For stamps that are printed in panes
of 50, the plate position of the base stamp should be 50-x
where x is the plate position of the overprint. In my collection,
I have “expertized” almost all my french period errors using
the method described above. Note that there are other things to
look at like the ink and the impression, but usually, if the
plate positions match, one can be confident. The forger does
not have usually the knowledge or material
to prepare forgeries that take into consideration plate
positions. One should keep in mind that some stamps had
multiple printings in which case one would have to have
reference material for all printings in order to decide
that a particular stamp is a forgery.

Some sellers can be quite obstinate though. In the past,
I have pointed to some sellers on ebay that what they are
selling are forgeries based on comparisons to blocks I have.
For example, I have to panes of 50 of the Ronsard stamps
(of which there was one printing). A seller once told me
that my sheets might be forgeries and his single stamp
genuine. While this is true in principle, in practice,
forging a whole sheet with different defects in every
position is highly unlikely especially for cheap Lebanese
stamps (I have seen in the past forgeries of whole
sheets of expensize hong kong stamps).

Hopefully, this is helpful (for some of you, this old news).

To be continued …..

Rida Bazzi

Again & Again about forgery & naming

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Wed Jul 14, 2004

Hi everybody,
concerning email of all_stamps about forgeries: it is no doubt that
we have forgeries or artificial stamp printings since 1924 until mid
We have a lot of catogories concerning exchanging forged materials:
a- forgerers, God has mercy of their souls;
b- sellers.

In much of the cases sellers do not know that they are selling forged
1- i’ve already bought on ebay scott pages with lebanon stamps. a
year later i was classifying (finally) the stamps. i found some
forged stamps of the mid fourties having circulated (i have put some
of them in the photos section).
2- Some classical cheap souvenir sheets are still being sold: union
des libanais, pope paul visit, 1959 games. Sellers do not know that
they are not the original ones: catalogues are not occurate, there is
no documentation and information do(es) not circulate. We are trying
in this group to give this sort of information.
3- For ovpt stamps, Moustapha is right that in the past french
officiers made artificial printings. In this case what do you
consider these stamps: forged? No it is not, at they were printed by
the officiel imprimerie: they are aurhentical artificial stamps. And
persons who sell them cannot know unless they are experts.

As a conclusion: in case of doubt do not buy or ask for information
or expert signature or a receipt. For expensive items buy from a well-
known dealer or reseller.
Be sure that a bad seller will be recognized quickly as “la bouche à
oreille” will function.

Regards from Paris.


Spotting the Fakes

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Thu Jul 8, 2004

Hi All,

I cannot consider my self an expert but in my never ending war
against forgeries and forgers i have developed an eye for spotting
whats weird and whats not.

In general the paper that the forgeries were printed on is by far of
lower value and quality. The ink differs by far as well, the
forgerers must have had a difficult time spotting the exact colors
so they settled for the second best.

I have seen entire albums of so called (errors) all forged, but
these are just tooooooo easy to identify. Just compare these
(especially the overprints) to any old cover you have ot any old
stamp. The difference is dramatic..

Being a dealer i had to take care and never accept funnies circulate
through me, so i refrain from dealing with errors unless their
source is reliable.

I can conclude and say that the market is NOT flooded with fakes..
Fakes are still being circulated on very limited scales, at least 3
sources in the world must be considered a DANGER to deal with but
the rest are by far safe.

I must also stress that the French Mandate era errors are not
considered FAKES by many collectors. We all know that French
officers deliberately orchestrated these fakes and thus people
collect some of these (they are cheap any way) the danger lies
within the 1960s onwards fakes which were done in Lebanon spanning
to this day…. These are the items that pose the serious threat.

Have a great day all.


Forgery: Sofar Congress

Reprint from Lebanon Philately Thu Jul 8, 2004

a-White colour instead of yellowish
b-208*146 insted of 206*143
c- Green stamp: vert-citron istead of green
d- . of P.Koroleff missing for all stamps
e- h of Beyrouth in green stamp is incomplete
f- external lines of stamps are distrupted
g- Writings & horns are rather violet instead of dark blue
h- Writings & horns show border pixels
i- . of arabic libnan is missing
j- distances between stamps are not good.