A SECTION OF THE
Identification of forgeries. Information on stamp expertising.
Russian definitive stamps
of the 1908 type diagonally overprinted "Occupation Azirbayedjan" continue to cause
confusion. It must first be pointed out that the whole stamp issue is,
without any doubt, a bogus one. Still even bogus issues usually claim to
have been used in some existing country. Many collectors seem to believe
that the stamps in question were intended for the Russian occupation during
WW1 of Azerbaijan, a Caucasian province of the Empire.
However, until the March 1917 Revolution in Russia the Transcaucasian
provinces were a normally governed region of the Empire. It was not under
occupation. But later in the same spring Turkey occupied the whole of
Transcaucasia for a year. After that all the three countries were
independent until the Bolsheviks took them over in 1920–21. The stamps
first appeared on the philatelic market in May 1917.
Nobody has claimed that the Turks produced such an overprint – it
just would not have made sense. So where were these stamps "used"? The
answer is: in the, lesser known, Persian province of Azerbaijan. There were some
Russian-English troops there until the autumn of 1917, but it was not really an occupation. Their task was to assist the
Persian government by
combating Turkish forces that had penetrated
into Persia also.
Catalogues of the early 1920s and the Kohl handbook "correctly" attributed
the stamps to this Russian-British expedition force and some of its officers, but already at that
time the issue was suspected to be bogus. Still today some catalogues at
least mention the Occupation Azirbayedjan issue, and Yvert listed the stamps in full without a
caution at least in 1982. Sometimes the "correct" country is
mentioned, sometimes not.
The capital of this Persian province was Tabriz. In order to represent "proof
of use" some stamps and covers were cancelled (by favour) with the postmark
of the Russian consular post office at Tabriz. However, confusion is caused
by stamps and covers postmarked with an entirely forged datestamp of Baku of October
1917. Maybe the purported origin of the stamps were forgotten by the time the
faked postmarks were applied. Stamps for Caucasian Azerbaijan republic appeared only
in 1919. Finally, the bogus overprint itself has been forged
11.2006–2010 by G. Kock
earlier cases, worldwide. More forgery
Address of this page: www.filatelia.fi/forgeries/azerbaijan.html
Back to top.