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The Rare Jean de Sperati Postage Stamp Forgeries Of:

The Australia 1913 £2 Kangaroo, Tasmania 1892  £1 QV,

BNG 2/6d Lakatoi, GB 1880 2/- Brown QV,

And the Western Australia 1902 Orange £1 QV.



All the Sperati Stamp Forgeries listed on this page are all SOLD.  Some like the Tasmania £1 and the £2 Kangaroo have been through my hands several times.  Contact me if you seek Sperati Forgeries from this region as I am the “go to” person for them it seems! 



Page From BPA Sperati Handbook that also illustrates this exact stamp above.


  Tasmania £1 1892 Green and Gold Queen Victoria "Tablet" SPERATI  FORGERY:   "Used" with a genuine circular cancel, "Hobart Tasmania APR - 1901", and is the ONLY example of this stamp ever seen by most large dealers I have mentioned it to, or shown it to.  This exact stamp I have in stock is illustrated in the BPA superb book on the Sperati forgeries, and the excellent Harold Bynoff Smith 'Forgeries' volume.

It is believed to have been a "one-off" attempt, and Sperati it seems abandoned the idea of making more copies, after this absolute perfectionist decided he could not 100% accurately colour match the green colour of the "real thing". A ton more detailed background on Sperati and his amazing forgeries is found at -

A quite cruddy looking copy of the £2 Sperati Roo sold at Stanley Gibbons Sydney on November 28, 2007 for
$A4,770, so my $4,000 for this is a BARGAIN!  Just LOOK at how UGLY that stamp was! - £2 Kangaroo is by far the most "common" of the four Pacific region Speratis, as about two dozen exist - mostly "used".  So this possibly unique Tasmania example has to be a blue-chip bargain at 20% UNDER that price - $A4,000.  Comes complete with the original Bynoff-Smith album page, and photocopy of the BPA London Sperati handbook page on this stamp, showing this is the exact example illustrated in there.  Also has a 2013 Photo Certificate #10237. $A4,000

UPDATE -  I bought the only other example known of this Tasmania 1892 £1 Tablet stamp Sperati Forgery at the Sotheby’s Gawaine Baillie Auction in 2007. It was one of the new USED stamps in his £20 million collection, and many of them had been not seen for many decades. That stamp with genuine Launceston Duplex cancel is shown below. With the reverse of the Baillie stamp, showing the numbered BPA “Sperati Reproduction” horseshoe violet handstamp, and is signed on reverse in pencil by Jean Sperati



The Sir Gawaine Baillie Tasmania 1892 £1 Tablet stamp Sperati Forgery



The Sothebys Lot card, as purchased by me in Baillie auction.  




I also have just sold another very rare Sperati Forgery.  The rarest Great Britain single face different un-overprinted postage stamp,  the always fiercely sought after 1880 2/- Brown.  The normal stamp is a rarity, SG 121, and is grossly under-priced at £4,200 as a quite tiny number were printed, and most were thrown away on the parcel wrappings they were used on.  A boring little brown stamp on brown parcel wrapping seemed to appeal to no-one at the time to teat off and retain. 

The replacement VERY large sized bright 1883 high values were a different story.   Even its same design counterpart the 2/- blue was always far more popular.  This Sperati used forgery is as always brilliantly done, and how you’d pick it as a fake is a mystery.  This example came from Bynoff-Smith, and this exact stamp is illustrated in the Bynoff-Smith superb  ‘Forgeries’ volume on British Commonwealth stamps.  (Ditto for the Tasmania 1892 £1.)

It was priced at only $A1,750 and this was only a % of catalogue for the genuine,  a very cheap way of buying a Britain SG #121, most especially the rare Sperati forgery of it!   It was the only example of this forgery I have ever owned or seen offered, and the price in the UK may of course be somewhat higher than this - I have nothing whatever to guide me in this respect as SG Specialised does not price it!   The famous 1/- green QV "Stock Exchange forgeries" (not done by Sperati) of which many 100s - possibly 1,000s exist, sell for almost this sum each, and are fully listed and catalogued by Gibbons.



Stamp Forger Jean Sperati and wife Marie-Louise in 1915



Jean de Sperati is universally regarded as the finest and most dangerous stamp forger ever to have lived.  He was born Giovanni Sperati in Pistoia, Italy, and died in 1957, living most of his life in France, but always held an Italian passport, and identified as being Italian.

His mother and 2 brothers forged stamps (one was a stamp dealer in Italy!) so from an early age Jean Sperati was exposed to stamp fakery, and it later became his full time career.  

Sperati’s material was so dangerous the British Philatelic Association (BPA) decided to protect philately and purchased his “stock” and printing blocks etc in 1953, for a sum said to be $US40,000 - an absolute fortune half a century ago.  

As a valid comparison of what $US40,000 would buy in that era, Harmers London sold the entire ‘T.E Field’ collection of Australian Commonwealth in 1948 for £7,500.   It contained masses of proofs, essay, and mint £1 and £2 Kangaroos by the bucket load - block after block after block -  pages of them, and dozens of used.  The finest collection of the Commonwealth ever offered,  it would readily sell for over TEN MILLION today if offered for the first time.

Sperati was so good, a mailing of 18 forgeries addressed to Lisbon Portugal was seized in 1943 by French Customs who had them assessed by local Exports as being all genuine.  He was arrested on a charge of 'exporting capital' estimated at being worth 300,000 Francs without a permit, and was summonsed to appear in court.  Exporting forgeries was at the time legal if sold and identified as such, and free of duty or taxes. 


Sperati would “sign” each very lightly on the reverse “facsimile” with easily erasable pencil, thus complying with the law!  Sperati made fools of the Authorities in the long court trial by forging three more identical sets of the same 18 stamps in question, and tendered them to the court!  New Experts were called who agreed they were all fakes.   The Judges were largely convinced, but he received a conviction, but due to his age, was only fined.

Sperati was a master craftsman, and produced very small numbers of meticulous masterpieces, rather than the masses of low quality JUNK quality material manufactured by Panelli, Spiro Brothers and Fournier etc.  He had an intense interest in chemistry and associated areas,  so he was able to make his fakes from GENUINE stamps.  This was a very dangerous technique,  as the paper, size, cancel, perforations and indeed some of the design were all then 100% genuine.

Sperati started a personal stamp collection - the "Livre D'Or" (Gold Book).  These were his own forgeries that were “Guaranteed Genuine” by a wide range of highly respected dealers or experts.

Some stamps in his famous album contained as many as six different signatures or Guarantees of authenticity. The "Livre D'Or" would eventually contain 125 different expertised stamps.  I understand the BNG Lakatoi shown above was among them.

Sperati is best known in Australia for his excellent 1913 £2 Kangaroo forgeries of which about two dozen are in collector hands.   Despite the relatively large number available of this particular fake,  they still sell for many $A1000s each and are highly sought whenever they are offered.  They are catalogued in the latest ACSC at $7,500 “used”  which is $A2,500 MORE than a genuine 1913 £2 Roo is catalogued at  -  and that is of course Australia’s most valuable regular issued postage stamp. (‘Mint’ Sperati Roos are in ACSC at $17,500 - $7,500 MORE than a genuine mint £2 1913 First Watermark Kangaroo!)

Prestige Auctions in Melbourne realised over $4,000 for an ordinary used example in their 24 January 2004 Auction shown below.  And prices have continued to rise ever since.  Showing just how strong Sperati prices are right now.  Along with ALL high end Kangaroo stamps.  As you can see this copy has a machine cancel - a clear impossibility for a heavy parcel!  This was originally a ½d Green Kangaroo which had the green colour bleached right out  - but Sperati left the postmark intact.  


Jean Sperati £2 Kangaroo forgery stamp - cost  $A5,400 in October 2014



Sperati Kangaroo forgeries get high prices globally, not just locally.  On October 7, 2014, Robert Siegel Actions in New York sold the Sperati forgery shown above for $US3,750 hammer price. With the nasty 15% “fee” added, and their obligatory 3% credit card fee, it cost the buyer $US4,443 plus shipping - AND to Australia, Siegals charge a minimum $US50 shipping for a single stamp - I kid you not.

Let no-one ever complain about MY mailing costs! Australian banks also now charge local buyers a 3% gouge fee to use any card overseas, and convert at a bad rate too, so that “$US3,750” bid will have cost a local buyer around $A5,400 on their account at the time.   

A lot of money for a STAMP FORGERY!  Full ACSC cat for a genuine used £2 1913 First Watermark Kangaroo is $A5,000 (SG 16 - £3,750) and retail, you would pay less than $A5,000 for a superb example. So the fake is worth far more than a rare genuine stamp. It is most likely a World Record Price for a total stamp forgery – can anyone think of a higher price from anywhere?  




This £2 Kangaroo was the ONLY stamp of the Australian Commonwealth ever forged by Sperati.   There are three other stamps from the region he is known to have produced, and I am proud to offer two of these three right here on this website



   Left - my very attractive Sperati ex Gray at $4,500.   Right - Appalling looker just sold by SG Sydney Nov 28 for $4,770!  



1913 £2 Roo Sperati FORGERY -  ex Arthur Gray Collection;   Choice looking "used" example of the remarkable forgery created by Jean de Sperati, who made his forgeries by "fading out" genuine used lower values.  This ensured the stamp had a genuine watermark and cancellation and perfs.  He then printed the forged impression by 2 colour photo-lithography managing somehow to get the ink UNDER the cancellation.  

Dated 1913 "N.S.W." c.d.s., well centered and nice margined, and as the Gray cat called this example: "extremely fine and rare".   A trivial re-inforced corner perf not mentioned in Shreves description.  It is estimated that only two "mint" copies are known, and about two dozen "used" copies - according to ACSC.  With "Sperati Reproduction/114" handstamp on reverse from BPA.  (Indicating the Sperati different type, not number of them made!)  ACSC cat $5,000

In the large section dedicated to Sperati forgery items at the Sotheby's Gawaine Baillie sale in January 2007, the Australian 1913 £2 Sperati Kangaroo die proof brought £3,720 (then = $A9,300 - a world record price for any individual Sperati forgery item.  Several of these exist.  After that sale Sperati is RED hot.  This stamp shows perfectly the main characteristic of the forgery ... the fine white line from Melbourne to the "UN" of "Pounds".  Sperati's forgery skill was so great, this looks as good or better than the issued £2.  For complete details on the Gray sale, click -

A quite cruddy looking copy of this £2 Sperati just sold at Stanley Gibbons Sydney in late November 28, 2007 for $A4,770, so my $4,500 is a BARGAIN!  Just LOOK at how UGLY that stamp was! -

 I was delighted to read in the April 2007 'Stamp News'  that in Rodney Perry's detailed review of the 849 lot Gray sale, he rated my purchase of this as among the 10 best value buys of the entire sale.  Pointing out rightly these sold for that price a decade ago, well before the massive rise in Roo values overall.  These Speratis have in the past always sold for a LOT more than normal 1913 £2 used roos, so these should really be $8,000 type items today.  Read a lot more about the amazing Jean Sperati here - -  and a real bargain at well under the out of date ACSC price - $A4,500

(This Stamp now SOLD.  Info has been left on this page here 'for the record' of other students of Roos and Sperati. )





I was about to mail the Arthur Gray Sperati £2 Roo Forgery I had bought back from the New York sale in 2007, when Arthur Gray popped by for a chat. He kindly endorsed in pen, the Shreves New York lot card, to the buyer from me: “Tim, enjoy the Sperati as much as I did - Regards, Arthur Gray.”




UPDATE to this £2 Roo Sperati Story -  above is a NEW type of £2 Roo Sperati Forgery stamp that I bought via Arthur Gray’s Estate.

Dr. Geoffrey Kellow, RDP, is the Brusden White ACSC Editor, and agreed 100% with me this is a definite Sperati Forgery, and has the “fuzzy” print quality, and confirmed today he will make a listing of this interesting new unreported sub-type in the next ACSC.  I’ll try and pen a piece for the ACCC Journal, to update the data base on this stamp.

The ACSC notes say “about two dozen” £2 Sperati used forgeries are recorded.  They generally sell for $5,000 and up, depending on condition - many are defective, as the heavy bleaching Sperati did, weakens the paper fibres of course. This new discovery I sold already at a rather modest price, but being a unique type, it clearly should be a ~$15,000 ACSC listing.

Geoff Kellow showed me a £1 Brown and Blue Kangaroo, with a similar looking but different date UK “POSTED AT SEA” cancel that Arthur Gray owned.  Arthur told me a few years back he had this, and felt it must certainly be a Sperati.  Gray also owned a £2 CofA watermark Sperati fake that was also hitherto unrecorded.  I have a CofA Kangaroo with the same flaw, I am checking into further.

Until this year it was believed the only Sperati forgery was one specific £2 type on the 1913 First Watermark paper.  Now, we have a confirmed second plate on £2, a 100% Kellow confirmed £2 Sperati forgery on CofA watermark paper, and a likely £1 Brown and Blue Sperati, all reported in a limited time period.

So once again I must repeat - “The last word will NEVER be written in Philately”.  Open and enquiring minds can and do still turn up exciting and valuable new finds, even a Century after they were created.  I love my job - EVERY day is different to the previous one!  A ton more data on this new £2 Sperati forgery Kangaroo discovery is here  -




Western Australia 1902 £1 QV Top Value – the rare SPERATI forgery proof:  A few of these (6 of each max, Robson Lowe stated existed - ) On thick card from the BPA, and marked, as all were with the oval “SPERATI REPRODUCTION” handstamp in violet. (The BPA 60 years back paid a FORTUNE to buy all the Sperati stamps and proofs, to mark them, and keep them off the main market.)

Sperati only made 4 forgeries from Australasia. The £2 Kangaroo, Tasmania £1 Tablet, BNG 2/6 Lakatoi, and this WA one.  All 4 stamps sell for MANY $1000s each. The last colour proof of this stamp I saw offered was 6 years back - and was invoiced for $A3,728.  I am probably the only dealer in Australia to have owned 3 of these 4, and the WA is the only one that has eluded me!  They are terribly rare, and a $4,000 item easily. The Sperati is BETTER than the issued stamp as he touched out small tiny ink spots the lazy printer left on the original plate.  $A600  (Order as stock number 418YC)   


All the Sperati Stamp Forgeries listed on this page are all SOLD.  Some like the Tasmania £1 and the £2 Kangaroo have been through my hands several times.  Contact me if you seek Sperati Forgeries from this region as I am the “go to” person for them it seems! 



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Most 4 figure items like these on this page only appear at Public Stamp Auction.  You THEN need to pay 15-20% extra on top of the hammer price - for the nasty, nasty "Buyer Commission".  As well the associated GST taxes then added to that commission, and then GST added on the postage and handling and insurance etc.  AND then often another 3% on top of all that, to use a credit card like Amex or Diners!  So your invoice can often be 25%-30% MORE than you bid, if you pay by cards.

These commissions pay for the MASSIVE overhead of the auctions. Their dozen or so staff, Director Fees, fancy rented buildings, Deluxe catalogues, and $2,000 a page full colour ads in magazines all around the globe etc.  I have none of this overhead.  I work on my own - from home.  No rent, no staff, no fancy catalogues or $2000 ads. Just fast turnover and low prices, and a “done on the CHEAP” old-school website as you can see!

All prices on this page are nett - NO extra taxes or commissions are added to the price.  KNOW in advance what you are up for!  And I NEVER charge buyers extra for using their credit cards.  NEVER.  That is absurd, insulting, and pure gouging, but the world’s leading auction houses seem to all hate Amex cards, as you will doubtless realise. Use them FEE FREE for my offers.

In my near 40 years full time selling stamps, I have hardly auctioned one stamp.  I do not believe in it.  My huge website, due to clever links and marketing, gets far more visitors than most large local auctions, and always has.  Coming up to FORTY MILLION visitors is living testament to that.  I am pleased to sell direct - at fair sensible prices, so you know EXACTLY where you stand. You buy direct off me, and YOU the customer get the savings.

And as many of my clients are overseas, remember EVERY price here is in AUSTRALIAN dollars.  Go check how cheap these "Pacific Peso" prices really are on:  And most importantly, the way I ship, you generally avoid the nasty UK 20% VAT - and the similar European and NZ and Canada import and GST taxes etc.

As with ALL my sales, payment is tailored to suit YOU.  If you see something for $A1,000 that will mean a divorce case if you buy it outright, I am happy to do a “Lay-By” or layaway.  I can debit your credit card 4 debits of $A250 or whatever suits. There is NO price penalty whatever for you to use this system - even if you use credit cards. Just let me know what suits.  Happy reading!  Glen 

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