The International Association of Philatelic Expertizers (AIEP) has released the 19th volume of its peer-reviewed publication Fakes Forgeries Experts (FFE), which includes an article by Canadian researcher and philatelist Ken Pugh.
Since publishing his first article on philatelic forgeries in the late 1970s, Pugh has become one of Canada’s most prominent experts on fakes and forgeries from around the world. He’s the author of 36 books in his series on the fakes and forgeries of British North America and Canada as well as five books on Buenos Aires and others on Uruguay, Serbia and the Belgian Congo. Each book is between 50 and 150 pages, making for nearly 4,000 pages of reference material on philatelic fakes and forgeries from the world over.
“You can imagine how much material is out there to keep me busy writing,” said Pugh, at a meeting of the West Toronto Stamp Club (WTSC) in October 2016, when he travelled from his home in Vernon, B.C. for a three-night series of presentations.
“Believe me, there’s a lot of fakes and there’s a lot of forgeries,” he said, warning: “If you collect anything in BNA, that area has fakes and forgeries in it.”
Pugh’s article in the latest volume of FFE is entitled “Keeping One Step Ahead of the Fakers,” in which he lauds the Video Spectral Comparator (VSC)-6000—something he calls “The Oh-My- God Machine.”
The VSC-6000 is a digital imaging system that can forensically examine a range of items, including stamps and other philatelic material. It allows the Greene Foundation’s expertization committee to identify items suspected of having cleaned cancellations; altered or enhanced postmarks; counterfeit overprints; repairs or sealed tears; and removed or altered colours.
“That’s a game changer,” said Pugh. “You guys are so fortunate to have this resource.”
According to Pugh, only three expertizing committees around the world have a VSC-6000 on hand. These include the Toronto-based Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation; the Philatelic Foundation in New York; and the Royal Philatelic Society London.
FIRST VOLUME FOR NEW EDITOR
Since 1998, the FFE has been an annual publication (excluding last year, when it was put on hiatus for the highly anticipated World Stamp Show in New York). This year, newly appointed fourth editor Vincent Schouberechts compiled 16 articles highlighting recent discoveries.
OTHER ARTICLE TOPICS
Other subjects addressed in FFE No. 19 include the connection between Paris and Poland No. 1; the forged Crown covers of the Portuguese Colonies; and the post-war cancellations on Luxembourg stamps, among others.