Ebay Item # 2910583236 is an interesting example of an APEX Certificate that is completely erroneous. Here is the description for this lot:
The APS Certificate reads: "Germany - local issue, Michel No. V2III, unused, no gum, genuine, pin hole."
The certificate number isn't legible, but it was issued on Aug. 13, 1997 (at a time when Dr. Bohne was still expertizing German locals for APEX, even though he was ill and would die the following year).
A more correct description of the lot would be:
"Germany - COD label soaked from a cover, worthless". I communicated my opinion on this to Mercer Bristow and Robert Lamb on Feb. 7, 2003.
The listing for this issue in Michel (2008 edition) is as follows:
1945, end of July. Triangular COD label used as fee paid label. Three various types, amount of fee entered by hand in red or blue ink; "Nachnahme" crossed out; shorthand handstamp in various positions; line perf. 11½ (Type A I and II) or imperf. (Type I).
|Type A I:||
"Nachnahme" in Antiqua typeface, above that the amount of the fee and below that the word "Remboursement", line perf. 11½
"Nachnahme" in Fraktur typeface, amount of the fee in one or two of the lower corners, with "Remboursement", imperf.
"Nachnahme" in Fraktur typeface, above that the amount of the fee, without "Remboursement", line perf. 11½
|V 2||15 (Pf)||black on brownish red|
|A I||Type A I, perf. 11½||350,||300,||600,|
|I||Type I, imperforate||400,||350,||700,|
|II||Type II, perf. 11½||350,||300,||600,|
|V 2 III||
Figure of value missing (Type A I and I)
|V 2 IV||
"Nachnahme" in Antiqua typeface, not crossed-out, red figure of value in lower left corner, imperf.
|V 2 V||
Like V 2 IV, however "Nachnahme: in Fraktur typeface
|V 2 VI||Like V 2 V, however two figures of value in red||,||,|
|V 2 I/III||
Pair, one stamp without figure of value, "Nachnahme" not crossed out
Michel numbers V 2 IV - VI are postally-valid reprints produced in the Nov. 1945 to Jan. 1946 timeframe for dealers and collectors.
OK, let's look at the stamp in question. The scan isn't very good. Here's the best I could do with it:
For comparison, here's a genuine copy of Michel V 2 AI (to see a cover, click here). The line through "Nachnahme" and the shorthand stamp are present, although faint.
Allegedly, this is Michel V 2 III. Therefore, the following should be true, per the Michel description:
1. Should be type I (imperf.) - nope, this is Type II (which only exists perf.).
2. "Nachnahme" should be crossed out - doesn't appear to be.
3. Validating shorthand handstamp should be present - doesn't appear to be.
Three strikes and you're out!
For those not familiar with the shorthand handstamp, here's the story.
Every Grossraschen provisional stamp was "validated" by a (usually) purple handstamp of unintelligible squiggles. Actually, the squiggles are German shorthand and translate to "Correspondence in German shorthand desired". (See the 46th Congress Book (1980), pages 38-39, for more information.) Here's a scan that clearly shows the shorthand stamp near the bottom (Michel V31, the crossed hammers are drawn by hand rather than handstamped):
Oh yeah, the alleged V 2 III should either have gum or a cancellation. This example has neither. Not exactly damning, except that it suggests how this "stamp" was produced:
Now, how difficult would it be to soak the Nachnahme label off of this cover and submit it for expertizing as V 2 III like the above non-existant imperforate Type II:
Or this one, which really does exist without figures of value (V 2 III/Type I). It would not be terribly difficult to cross out "Nachnahme". The shorthand stamp might be a bit harder to fake. But who knows, maybe the expertizer won't care.
Now, who can tell me what's really interesting about this cover?
© Jay T. Carrigan, 2003-2009