Dealer and Expert Marks

It is not uncommon for higher value stamps to be "expertized".  This process involves having the stamp examined by a recognised expert who then gives an opinion about the stamp's authenticity.  The expert will issue a certificate expressing his opinion, and, if he feels the stamp to be genuine, may also add an expertizing mark to the back of it.


Note :  This is very obviously a "work in progress".  Any assistance that you can provide to add to this resource would be much appreciated!


 

General Comments about Expertizing

Not all experts are equal :  Some people call themselves "experts" or issue their own "certificates", but these are of no value at all unless they are generally recognised by the philatelic community as a whole as being a bona fide expert.  One of the objectives of this list is to distinguish between experts and non-experts.

Dealer Marks and Expert Marks :  Not all marks on stamps are from "Experts".  As likely as not, the marks may be from dealers, and signify little more than the stamp was sold through that dealership at some time (but whether it was sold as "a good fake" or "a guaranteed genuine example" is anyone's guess!).  Dealers would put their mark on stamps in part as free advertising, and also so that if a stamp was returned to them they could be certain it was the same stamp they had sent out (eg on approval).  In some cases, dealer marks are almost as good as Expert marks due to the very high standards of the dealer, and in some cases, Expert marks themselves aren't very valuable!  :)

Experts are sometimes wrong :  Experts give an opinion about the authenticity of a certain stamp, but that is all it is.  I am aware of at least two situations where respected experts made mistakes.  Of course, a good expert's opinion is most likely to be correct 99.9% of the time, but if the stakes are very high, and/or if there are some ambiguities, it pays to solicit opinions from more than one expert.

Experts don't value :  An expert will merely express an opinion about the authenticity of a stamp, they do not give an opinion as to its value.

Mystery Marks :  Do you have any dealer/expert marks?  Send them in for identification!

Note - Click on the images for larger versions


Alcuri, Paul J
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.

Appears to be located in Canterbury, England, and says was established in 1945 and certificate here was dated 1986.

Brun, A
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.

Is believed to be located in Paris and to have been active at least prior to 1986.

Buchsbayew, Paul
A person living in New York.  Nothing is known about this person.
Bulat
John Bulat is an expert on Ukrainian stamps, and the author of an excellent book on Western Ukraine.  He is a member and certified expert of the UPV (Ukraine Philatelisten Verein) and is thought to still be alive.
Brun
Calves, Roger
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.
Diena
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.
Dobin, Manfred
A senior member of the Russian philatelic community and author/editor of several books.  He resides in St Petersburg and primarily covers the pre-adhesive period in Russia.
Eisold, Lothar
A person living in Lahr, Germany claiming expertise in the period 1857-1960.
Hofman, Harry von
This gentleman lives in Hamburg and claims expertise in Latvia and Russia.
Jem, Dr
Dr. Paul Jemchurin (also spelled Jemtschurin, etc.), is (was?) a highly-regarded expertiser of Russian stamps. His guarantee is one of the very few very reliable ones for Civil War stamps. There are at least two different Dr Jem marks.  He died some years ago.
Kasterin  
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name (it is a Russian name that has been transliterated) and that they issue red expertizing marks on the back of stamps.
Krischke  
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue black expertizing marks staying KRISCHKE BPP on the back of stamps.  This mark was sighted on a 1941 Latvian overprint of a Russian stamp.
Mikulski
A gentleman in St Gallen, Switzerland, who is a highly regarded and recognised expert on Russian (and probably other) stamps.

He adds a mark to the back of stamps and issues a numbered dated certificate complete with a photo of the examined stamps.  I have sighted a certificate dated 18 July 1995.

Pfenninger
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.
Pohl
Waldemar Pohl.  At one time he had a humongous collection of 1920-1922 Postmaster Provisionals which is now believed to be in the Cherrystone Vaults.  He died some years ago.
Pritula, Vsevolod V
A gentleman living in Moscow.  Has had various articles published.  Nothing much else is known about him.
Richter
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.
Rohr
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.
Romeko
A firm in Paris, known to have been active from the 1930s through at least December 1962.

They claim to specialise in Russian stamps as well as Eastern European stamps with a war theme.  They add a mark to the back of stamps and issue a numbered dated certificate that includes a color picture of the stamp.

The name of the company was formed by taking the first few letters of both founders - ROckling and MEckel and the word "KOmpanie".  For our purposes, the principal expert was Serge Rockling (also spelled Rochlin, Rocklin, etc), who died "quite a while ago".  His mark is considered primarily a dealer's mark rather than an expert's mark, but since he also functioned as an expertizer and because his judgment is very highly regarded, it is a moot point.  It is his signature that can be seen on the certificate shown here.

Soviet Philatelic Association
Nothing much is known about this expert other than the name and that they issue expertizing marks on the back of stamps.

They have occasionally been associated with fraudulent issues and so their expertizing should be considered with skepticism.

Sredinsky  
(also spelled Schredinskii, Shredinskii, etc.) He was the "Evil Mastermind" behind the fraudulent issues of the Wrangel Refugee Post, and some issues of South Russia, and who happily forged lots of stamps when living as a dealer in Paris. For some stamps, a Sredinsky mark is more like a guarantee of it being forged than of any authenticity!
Stolow
There were two Stolow brothers who originally had a stamp shop in Berlin, but later one ended up in Munich and the other in New York.  The Munich shop is believed to still be open.  This is considered more a dealer mark than an expert mark.  These people have been implicated in some fraudulent stamp alteration/creation on a number of occasions.
 

 

 

Acknowledgements :  Thanks go to Dr Ivo Steijn for his generous assistance in the preparation of this page.  Of course, all errors remain crassly mine alone.

This page last modified on May 15, 2010