Legitimate, illegal, abusive or what else?
Victor MANTA, PWO
A good friend of mine forwarded to me an email from a stamp collector who had some suspicions and who wanted to know more about some stamps from Congo, issued in 1992. I display below only the imperforated stamp and the associated miniature sheet.
Looking at the pictures we learn, among other things, that these airmail stamps were issued in 1992 to commemorate the Barcelona Olympic Games, that the printer was Impressor S.A. and the designer was J. Delarue.
Let me try to find out more about these stamps.
- The suspicion that these are illegal stamps falls quickly if we look at the list of stamps denounced to the UPU by different postal organizations worldwide, list found for example here (choose Circulars 1996 - 2003 from the menu). We see that the first stamps on the list were denounced back in 1996, and therefore our stamps from 1992 cannot fall into this category.
- A catalogue can tell us more about their presumed abusive character. I considered an old Scott 2008 and quickly found out that D.R. of Congo didn't issue then, like some countries today, huge quantities of different postal stamps. For this reason, I wouldn't call them abusive stamps.
- I didn't find these stamps listed in Scott 2008, which could be a first sign that something could be wrong with them, but not necessarily, because other similar stamps are listed (see below an example, Congo P.R., 1993, Scott C416 - C417).
I learned that our stamp is listed in YVERT TELLIER but only the stamp (Poste aérienne N° 416) and not the miniature sheet.
- The name of the Swiss printer house Impressor S.A. is for a long time and deeply associated in my mind with some suspicious activities, about which I wrote already in 2002. One problem was that Impessor S.A. had the right to print any quantities of MS, imperforate stamps and imperforate MS and to sell them through dealers on the philatelic market. By the way, it is the only printer mentioned in an UPU illegal stamps Circular, and probably not by chance in one that refers to illegal stamps of Democratic Republic of Congo (see here).
All in all, I would classify these stamps in the general category of fraudulent stamp issues.
About the author. Victor Manta is the founder and the current president of the PWO. He is mostly interested in thematic (topical) stamps and in the philately on the Internet. His philatelic sites were multiple awarded in web sites philatelic competitions. He is also a well-known philatelic journalist, who published numerous philatelic articles on the web and in printed magazines.
Published: October 4, 2017. Last update: October 12 , 2017.
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