Friday, 1 July 2011

Fournier forgery. North Borneo 1883 50c stamp.

The top item is a Fournier fogery with a fake postmark. The one below is genuine and you could argue that it is not as good looking.  The distinctive difference apart from the different tone of the paper is the letters "PERCO ET PERACO" (I persevere and I achieve) in the coat of arms are not centered in the band. Most of these letters touch the top or the bottom of the band. Did Founier do it on purpose to distinguish his facsimiles from the real thing? 
Francois Fournier (1846-1917) operated as a forger in Geneva. It was postulated that unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not seek to defraud the public. He described his material as fasimiles and promoted it to collectors who could not afford to purchase genuine items and to the uneducated collectors as a preventative measure against being deceived by dishonest stamp dealers. But that does not explain why he forged relatively common and cheap stamps as well, such as the small stamps of the 1888-92 issue.  
They are now very collectable.
Search google for "The Fournier Album" to see some of his other creations.
Update I have included the Fournier $1 partner stamp which I lifted from ebay. This looks decidedly bogus. Note the same date 23 Jun 1886

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