A reader with an interest in philately sent the following item to us by e-mail:
One of the specialties in Estonian philately is the history of Estonian stamp forgeries, the forgeries being closely associated with political and administrative changes associated with opportunities presented by wartime conditions.
The first wave of Estonian forgeries was in the early 1920's, when Estonia (and the other Baltic States) started their own postal systems which among many other thing) meant the introduction of their own postage. There is always a demand by collectors all over the world for stamps from "new" countries. This demand for cheap used stamps was satisfied in Estonia by an enterprising engraver and his con-man partner (Siimson and Kull). They printed the new issues by the thousands, canceled them with fake Estonian chancellors, and then sold them to dealers worldwide. The fakes make an interesting study since there are several varieties of each stamp. Other forgers later appeared, and mostly did the same thing.
It was later in the 1920's that the pair started making forgeries of the more expensive air mail stamps, both unused and "used". They also made some nice envelopes with the airmail stamps canceled with the Estonian postmark of the town of dispatch together with the receiving postmark of the foreign destination town.
We wonder if there are any readers out there with an interest in stamp collecting, who could add to this tale. And were there any similar stories doing the rounds after Estonia regained independence in August of 1991?
History tells of Estonian stamp forgeries