Jean de Sperati

Jean de Sperati (* 14. October 1884 in Pisa; † 27. April 1957 in Aix les Bains) was one of the most famous stamp counterfeiters of the world. His falsifications were so good that even stamp examiners from its time them as genuinly certified. By occupation it was printer and engraver. Due to its outstanding ability the motive to copy the paper as well as the pressure he Rubens of the Philatelie " was also called.

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childhood and youth

Jean de Sperati was born 1884 in Italy, spent however the majority of its life in France. Already in its youth in Pisa and later in France he began with the stamp collecting. It was particularly interested in addition in the printings of the time at that time as well as in at that time the recent photography. Used possessed a picture postcard factory as well as a paper factory. Thus Jean de Sperati attained numerous photographic, pressure-technical and chemical knowledge. This were the bases for its further career than stamp counterfeiters.

the first falsifications

the first attempts stamps to copy arrive to Jean de Sperati unusually well. It acted thereby around valuable marks of San Marino, which were explained all together of stamp experts as genuine. Thereupon Sperati began with numerous further copies of valuable stamps from the whole world. Developed far over 500 masterly falsifications out over 100 different expenditure areas.

1942 turned out the stamp counterfeiter for the first time in its life in conflict with the law. A consignment with declared value from Sperati to Portugal was intercepted by the French tariff. It contained several falsified German stamps. Jean de Sperati was indicated because of bad capital export. It protested however its innocence. He explained to the police that it concerned with the allegedly valuable rare pieces out of Germany only copies, which he had made. Thereupon the police called for the best stamp experts of the country, in order to clarify circumstances. These came to the judgement that it concerns with all stamps originals and was expressed valuable these. Edmond locomotive pool of broadcasting corporations from Lyon held the presidency of the experts . Jean de Sperati could convince the police however still of the falsehood of the rare pieces, thus it was accused however of fraud. The process against it took place in April 1948 .

the process it tried

to explain 1948 Jean de Sperati to the court that he did not have fraudulent intentions with sales of the stamps. It feels as an artist and not as a counterfeiter. Further he explained to the court that he would have only forgotten the stamps as falsifications to characteristic he this however in the future would retrieve. Actual was it like that that it had offered the rare stamps for approximately 1% of the normal market price and so to the simple collecting tank to these rare pieces had help. Jean de Sperati was condemned nevertheless by that Paris criminal courts to one year prison, 10 ,000 francs fine as well as to 300,000 francs Sühneleistung. Those Paris criminal courts condemned it not due to the imitations, but because of its “fraudulent intentions”.

after the verdict of guilty

Jean de Sperati did not have due to his high age, it was already over 64 years old, in the prison. it sold finally its remaining falsifications as well as all prints to 1954 to “British the Philatelic Association” for an enormous sum of money. He withdrew himself thereafter perfectly from this business and promised never again a stamp to falsifying. By the sales of all of its falsifications and prints to “British the Philatelic Association” he wanted to prevent in addition that someone comes into possession derselbigen and could it copy. Three years later Jean de Sperati at the age of 73 years died.


to work the stamp falsifications of Jean de Sperati to the best ones to the world. Many of them schlummern surely this very day undiscovered in so some collection. Jean de Sperati falsified the most valuable rare pieces of the Philatelie excluding. He did this with inimitable precision, how she was ever reached by hardly another counterfeiter. Sperati falsification is not today by any means worthless. They are regarded of Philatelisten as special collecting objects and to obtain often high prices. Other stamp falsifications are however worthless. Jean de Sperati paid attention when falsifying the stamps also much to the local choice of the postmark. Thus it copied only postmarks of larger cities.


  • Robson lion and Carl Walske: The Work OF Jean de Sperati II, The Royal Philatelic Society London, London 2001
  • Varro E. Tyler.: Philatelic Forgers: Their live one and Works., Linn's, the USA 1991

see also: Stamp falsification

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