The most famous forgery of the Netherlands, the 1 cent telegraph stamp with inverted value, will be offered in our 221st auction. The middle of the stamp has been cut out and then very competently replaced upside-down. Since the existence of this stamp was known it has long been regarded as genuine (in the most recent Yvert catalogue it is still priced at €40,000!), but when it was presented to the expert committee of the NVPH in 1993 the fake was exposed.

The stamp appeared for the first time in the 4th Ferrary auction in June 1922 in Paris. Philipp von Ferrary was of Austrian nationality but lived his entire life in Paris. After the death of his father at the end of the 19th century Ferrary inherited a vast fortune that he used in part to build one of the largest collections in the history of philately. Many of the most famous rarities sat for the first (and last!) time together in one collection, such as the British Guiana One Cent Black on Magenta, Sweden Three Skilling Yellow, the Hawaiian Missionaries unused two cent and the only envelope with both "Post Office" Mauritius stamps. In 1917, Ferrary had to flee from Paris because of the First World War and his Austrian nationality, leaving behind his collection. Not long after that he died in Switzerland. The collection was seized by the French authorities as war reparation and auctioned in the 1920s.

The telegraph stamp remained out of sight after the first sale in 1922, to appear again in 1993 in a Dutch auction. Then it was also found to be a forgery. In October 2010 the stamp was sold for the last time in Amstelveen in the second part of the Klaassen collection (Corinphila Auction 208, result incl. premium €2,660).


Result telegraph stamp in our 221st auction:
Lot 1877 -  €3194 (incl. premium)