When it comes to stamp forgeries, the 1859 Issue of the Roman (Papal) State of Romagna, was one of the most prolifically counterfeited. In the Serrane Guide, 10 different types of forgeries are indicated for this tiny state that, in its history, issued only NINE postage stamps, and all of them in a single year.
Years ago, I did a philatelic study of the forgeries of Romagna, utilizing the Serrane Guide and sundry other references. I have converted the five page study to PDF's, located below, which you can open, view, and save for a reference.
One of the scariest of the forgery classifications, in the files below, is that containing the Fournier forgeries. I have a great array of those, featuring forged stamps, fake cancels, and even a faked strip of three that is tied-to-piece!
The only way I would
ever recommend collecting this state, or any other of the Italian states, that would be safe for most
specialists, would be to collect authenticated stamps, or
authenticated covers. From what I have seen over the years, I would
speculate that probably most, if not all, of the off-cover used examples
of Romagna stamps have FAKE cancels. The prices for used examples in
the Scott Catalog suggest that this may be true!
Do YOU HAVE your Serrane Guide yet? If anyone collects any of the European kingdoms of the 19th Century, forgeries are a common problem. By having the proper reference materials on this subject, the collector will be able to avoid a lot of disappointment and wasted money.