Classic German States stamp forgeries are a problem for collectors and specialists. Many early German States postage stamps are scarce and a bit costly in mint condition, and most of them are extremely rare and very expensive in used condition, especially those of the less prolific postage stamp issuing states. This is fertile ground for the forger, and in the late 19th Century, they were busy at work, creating copies of these classic issues. It is very sad, but the majority of the German States material that I have seen in Worldwide collections over the years, is usually made up of forgeries.
Bavaria, Württemberg, and Prussia are fairly safe for the collector, as far as authenticity, as they were very widely used and are readily available at affordable prices today. Some of the later Bavarian and Württemberg postage stamps, however, do have an issue with faked cancellations or favor cancellations, with the scarcity of used postage stamps. They will be addressed in another article, on "Cancellations", in this section.
Collecting the other states requires a major financial investment. Careful study should be made of the available literature on detecting forgeries for this specialty, such as the Serrane Guide, described in the Forgeries category page.
Some examples of the forgeries that I have are shown below.
Here is a PDF file of the Lubeck page from my German States collection. Having a few reference forgeries with one's specialized collection can actually enhance the appearance of the display and provide a valuable comparison tool for detecting similar forged postage stamps.
Return to Stamp Forgeries from German States