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The UPU Illegals

Issues falsely claimed to have been issued by theĀ Haitian postal service

In days gone by, the nefarious attempted to defraud collectors by altering existing stamps to make them appear as more valuable varieties and errors. In the 19th century, philately was plagued by a lack of information and many claims of "new" discoveries turned out to be nothing more than the work of a unscrupulous dealer and a nearby firm with easy access to a printing press. Many of these forgeries, fakes, and fantasies are now considered quite collectable.

Due to a variety of circumstances, at present, new Haitian issues are not often released. The lack of new issues flowing from Haiti onto the worldwide philatelic marketplace has proved too tempting for some. A number of fantasy issues are being marketed claiming to be from Haiti. Aptly termed "Album Weeds" by writers in the late 19th Century, these modern releases bear none of the charm of the old attempts, but have a similar goal - separating the collector from their money. The items seen appear to be primarily topical in nature. They are colorful, come in unused or "used" condition (CTO) with a fraudulent, printed cancel purporting to be from Haiti.

While it is not the policy of this Society to advise collectors what they should or should not collect, we do wish to make certain that the philatelic community realizes these colorful issues are nothing more than privately-produced gummed or ungummed labels which were never sanctioned by Haitian postal authorities. The vast majority have never seen the shores of Haiti, but they have been denounced by the Haitian authorities to the Universal Postal Union, which has termed them as "illegals", that is, items produced without authorization, claiming to be something that they are not.

The dissemination of these labels has been widespread in the stamp collecting hobby. So that you may better recognize these when you come across such offers by sellers who are not aware of the original source of such material, we will report the illegals tracked to date. Additional items will be added as they become available.

 


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European Artists


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2016