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The GermanStamps.net Collection

Germany & Related Areas, 1872 - 1945

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WWII War/Propaganda Forgeries

Marshal Pétain Forgeries

During World War II, the British printed propaganda leaflets and newspapers and inserted them into the French postal system using counterfeit French postage stamps printed by the British Political Warfare Executive.

The stamps exist in perforated (“A” suffix”) and imperforate (“B” suffix) varieties.

The counterfeit stamps are of four designs — Mercury, Iris, Pétain with hat, and Pétain without hat.

There are numerous easy-to-spot printing differences between the originals and the forgeries.

The 30 cent Pétain forgery (MiNr. 39) is of much better printing quality than the original, and has minor differences in the shading lines, particularly in the moustache.

MiNr. 39

The 50 cent (MiNr. 40) Pétain forgery can be distinguished by the addition of a period after the engraver’s mark at bottom right, and a break in the vertical lines within the moustache.

MiNr. 40

The 70 cent (MiNr. 41) and 1.20 Franc (MiNr. 43) Pétain forgeries can be distinguished by a lack of shading at the point of the chin, and broken lines at the corner of the mouth. and moustache.

MiNr. 41 (MiNr. 43 has same distinguishing characteristics)

The 1 Franc (MiNr. 42) Pétain forgery can be distinguished by a lack of shading within the tie, a lack of shading at the point of the chin, and broken lines within the moustache.  It also has a slightly smaller perforation, approximately 14.5 x 14 instead of 14 x 13.5.

MiNr. 42

The pink 1.50 Franc (MiNr. 44) Pétain forgery is a bit of an oddity.  Only two perforated sheets (80 stamps total) are known to have been produced, and L.N. & M. Williams, in their definitive work Forged Stamps of Two World Wars, indicated these two sheets were perforated 14 x 13.5, and the distinguishing feature is a lack of space within the value text (as with the MiNr. 45).  This is echoed by SGM Herbert Friedman (Ret.) in his seminal work, Propaganda and Espionage Philately.

However, this copy is different.  It has the other distinguishing marks of a forgery within the design of the stamp (as with MiNr. 45 & 46), but does not have solid value text, and has 14.5 x 14 perforation.  It is signed by Mayer as a genuine forgery.

MiNr. 44

The brown 1.50 Franc (MiNr. 45) Pétain forgeries can be distinguished by a lack of lines within the ear, a hollow eye, a break within the lines of the moustache, a larger blank space at the corner of the mouth, and a space within the value text with solid-filled text instead

MiNr. 45

The 2 Franc Pétain forgery can be distinguished by a lack of lines within the ear, a hollow eye, a break within the lines of the moustache, a larger blank space at the corner of the mouth, and a space within the value text with solid-filled text instead.

MiNr. 46

Set Date(s)

1941

Watermark(s)

None

Album Page(s)

Marshal Pétain Forgeries

During World War II, the British printed propaganda leaflets and newspapers and inserted them into the French postal system using counterfeit French postage stamps printed by the British Political Warfare Executive.

The stamps exist in perforated (“A” suffix”) and imperforate (“B” suffix) varieties.

The counterfeit stamps are of four designs — Mercury, Iris, Pétain with hat, and Pétain without hat.

There are numerous easy-to-spot printing differences between the originals and the forgeries.

The 30 cent Pétain forgery (MiNr. 39) is of much better printing quality than the original, and has minor differences in the shading lines, particularly in the moustache.

MiNr. 39

The 50 cent (MiNr. 40) Pétain forgery can be distinguished by the addition of a period after the engraver’s mark at bottom right, and a break in the vertical lines within the moustache.

MiNr. 40

The 70 cent (MiNr. 41) and 1.20 Franc (MiNr. 43) Pétain forgeries can be distinguished by a lack of shading at the point of the chin, and broken lines at the corner of the mouth. and moustache.

MiNr. 41 (MiNr. 43 has same distinguishing characteristics)

The 1 Franc (MiNr. 42) Pétain forgery can be distinguished by a lack of shading within the tie, a lack of shading at the point of the chin, and broken lines within the moustache.  It also has a slightly smaller perforation, approximately 14.5 x 14 instead of 14 x 13.5.

MiNr. 42

The pink 1.50 Franc (MiNr. 44) Pétain forgery is a bit of an oddity.  Only two perforated sheets (80 stamps total) are known to have been produced, and L.N. & M. Williams, in their definitive work Forged Stamps of Two World Wars, indicated these two sheets were perforated 14 x 13.5, and the distinguishing feature is a lack of space within the value text (as with the MiNr. 45).  This is echoed by SGM Herbert Friedman (Ret.) in his seminal work, Propaganda and Espionage Philately.

However, this copy is different.  It has the other distinguishing marks of a forgery within the design of the stamp (as with MiNr. 45 & 46), but does not have solid value text, and has 14.5 x 14 perforation.  It is signed by Mayer as a genuine forgery.

MiNr. 44

The brown 1.50 Franc (MiNr. 45) Pétain forgeries can be distinguished by a lack of lines within the ear, a hollow eye, a break within the lines of the moustache, a larger blank space at the corner of the mouth, and a space within the value text with solid-filled text instead

MiNr. 45

The 2 Franc Pétain forgery can be distinguished by a lack of lines within the ear, a hollow eye, a break within the lines of the moustache, a larger blank space at the corner of the mouth, and a space within the value text with solid-filled text instead.

MiNr. 46

Set Date(s)

1941

Watermark(s)

None

Album Page(s)