Technically, each stamp of Vilnius I and II issue is “one-of-a-kind” and is so collected. Genuine full sheets of 20 stamps (5×4) can be viewed to show stamp positions.
View complete sheet of First Vilnius issue 10 sk stamp (Mi, Sc 1) and 15 sk stamp (Mi, Sc 2).
Lithuania 1918 First Vilnius Issue (Mi, Sc 1-2)
Letterpress printing (relief printing) technique was used for printing early Lithuania (Scott 1-8 & Michel 1-8). Because of this (high pressure printing) the stamp’s image is pressed into the paper. This is clearly visible when looking at the back of a genuine stamp. Many forgeries of the provisional Vilnius Issues (Scott 1-8 & Michel 1-8) are poor photolithographic copies characterized by white paper or yellowish and uniform letter type.
One well-known forgery of the First Vilnius issue (Mi, Sc 1-2) with inverted “h” has backstamp LATFIL (Latvia Filatelija) (ebay Apr 2008).
Another known forgery of the First Vilnius Issue (Mi, Sc 1-2) also with inverted “h” has backstamps NZ and Dr. Hirch.
Another very crude forgery also with inverted “h” is shown below is a poor photolithographic copy of the Mi 1 Sc 1 (ebay Dec 2008)
Lithuania 1918 Second Vilnius Issue (Mi, Sc 3-8)
Upon close inspection, we found this forgery of the Second Vilnius issue (Sc 3 position 9) which has a backstamp A. ROIG Barselona. There are a number of distinguishing characteristics of this fake stamp – a thicker paper and lack the definition, sharpness, and precise shape of typeseted circles and letters ( e.g. letter “t” in Lietuvos) (Philatelic club, Vilnius, Jun 2009).
Tip – Click to see larger image and side-by-side comparison together with a genuine Mi, Sc 3 position 9.
Another forgery of the Second Vilnius Issue (Mi, Sc 3) is characterized by different typeset used (see e.g. for “10”) (ebay June 2014).
Another forgery of the Vilnius Second Issue (Mi, Sc 4) is characterized by yellowish paper and different typeset used (see e.g. “15”) (ebay Dec 2008).
Another forged stamp of the Vilnius Second Issue (Scott 7) is characterized by yellowish paper and different typeset used (see e.g. “40”) (bought from a stamp dealer at the AmeriStamp Expo/Texpex Feb 2009).
Tip – Click to see larger image and forgery characteristics in details.