PART OF THE
Information on stamp expertising & identification of forgeries.
SALLI, A FINNISH
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RUDOLF SALLI, a technician, was
born on 6 March 1901 in Vaasa and died on 9
May 1966 in Helsinki (Pakila). In the 1920s he was convicted three times in
the USA before returning to Finland in 1932. Here he committed new crimes
and spent most of the decade in prison. During the war he was in jail again,
but was exempted from front-line service. In 1945 Salli was wanted by the
police, but it looks like he was not prosecuted for the stamp forgeries. In
1947 he was, however, convicted of treason having worked as an undercover
agent for the Americans after WW2 (Juha Pohjonen, Maanpetturin tie, Otava
2000, pp. 43–52).
On 16 March 1994 Rep. Richard W. Pombo [CA-11] introduced to the 103rd
Congress a bill (H. R. 4045) to confer United States citizenship
posthumously on Rudolph Salli, a native of Finland who was employed in the
service of the United States during World War II. On 3 February 1987 and on
6 November 1985 Rep. Norman D. Shumway [CA-14] had introduced similar bills
(H. R. 937 and 3702). No bills were passed. There
is also a post-war file on him in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library.
Fennica no. 8–9 1972 p. 216 Jaakko Kemppainen vividly tells about his
encounters with Rudolf Salli who in early 1945
had travelled from Helsinki,
where he lived,
to the Vaasa region to peddle his fakes. They were the 1 mk 1928 Exhibition
stamp with watermark in position 2, a good forgery of the overprint, and a very
successful complete forgery of the 1931 Pro Filatelia commemorative. (The
"2" of the overprint differs, the "s" of "utst" appears to be upside down,
and all serifs are almost worn off.)
Salli also had his exhibition overprint applied to previously commercially used
ordinary (wmk. position 1) copies of the 1½ mk definitive. His two roulettings
for the Pro Filatelia forgery are either considerably wider or narrower than the original.
made a poor attempt at the 1856 10 kop. (squared zeros with thick upper
and lower curves, thin paper). All forgeries, except the 1½ mk, were mint
(some of the 10 kop. with ink lines).
forgery was reported to the police and made public by a dealer in Helsinki in May (SP-lehti
no. 6 1945 p.
130). In June 1945 Salli was arrested in Stockholm as a drug
trafficker (cocaine) while marketing his stamp forgeries there, but he
escaped from the prison. Salli could
not have been charged with forgery of foreign stamps. The Swedish police had seized a
total of several hundred items: 10 kop. stamps, unused 1928 Exhibition 1
mk wmk. 2, used copies of the same 1½ mk wmk. 1, and unused Pro Filatelias (SP-lehti
no. 10 1945 p. 172 and no. 11–12 1945 p. 197).
Finland Rudolf Salli was well known by the police, and they tried to confiscate all forgeries purchased
here. One collector
got back his eight Pro Filatelia stamps (now marked "RTK") only nine years
later. (The police dropped the case?) Thus the forgeries attributed to Salli are very rare and sought after by specialists.
11.2006–2011 by G. Kock
Majlund, more forgery
Address of this page: www.filatelia.fi/forgeries/salli.html
Share certificates of Finnish stamp shop companies.
Finnish philatelic experts.