During the decades we have collected and studied these stamps, especially the de Mérode stamps, we were always surprised to see how many forgeries were presented by traders and on (even well-established ) auctions. Even the relatively easy detectible false stamps with closed Q in the word BELGIQUE are presented as being authentic , and referred by as " the second print of Antwerp, while those forgeries with open Q are referred to as "the third print of Antwerp".
What is the reason for all this?
- There are so little authentic stamps that traiders can't offer them in sufficient quantities to cope the buyers.
- A lot of collectors are to quickly satisfied and want simply to fill in the preprinted frames in their albums without searching themselves for the authentic stamps.

Why are the two forgeries not real stamps and how do we obtain the criteria to say that the stamps are authentic ?
1) Only stamps, printed with the original lithografic stones under control of representatives of the Belgian postal autorities, and ment to serve as payment for postal services, are authentic stamps. They were send to the different postal offices and used on authentic stamped envelopes. Furthermore an additional charge per stamp was committed to the Red Cross.

2) To obtain the criteria for distinguishing the real stamps from the forgeries, we depart from letters who have really been posted and delivered. Hereby we take notice of all the verifiable details of the letter to establish the authenticity of the letter and therefore of the stamps put on it.
Using the characteristics of the authentic stamps as described by Vervisch and co, we can inspect each single stamp and put forward new characteristics like gum, placing of the stamps in the sheet etc. Using these principles one can recognise without any doubt the real stamps, exception made for the 10 c little Albert.

Now we give THE INSPECTION - TREE FOR DE DE MÉRODE STAMP

5c

10c

20c