We have detected a worriyng and growing presence in some nonprofessional, online auction sites of fantasies imitating Republican local war tax stamps. Some of these values were listed by Luis Alemany in the Sofima-Fesofi "Catálogo de los sellos «locales» emitidos durante la guerra civil española 1936-1939" (Correos y Telégrafos, 1995) and by Julio Allepuz in his "Catálogo de los sellos locales de la guerra civil española 1936-1939", Cataluña, Tomo I (Edifil, 2011), because when those works were printed it was not known that the mentioned stamps were only inventions. A short number of pieces of these values were in the market when the catalogues were written, and this lead the authors not to suspect about the legitimacy of these pieces now proven spurious. The responsible of these printings was cautious enough to keep 99.9% of his production in storage, up to the point that specialists didn't have reasons to think such extremely scarce stamps were fantasies, and they graded them with R and RR in catalogues. Even prestigious auction houses were confused (at least two recent auctions of major Spanish auctioneers included these inventions, removed from the catalogues when they were noticed those stamps were spurious)

The affected issues are those from Alió (Tarragona), Bràfim (Tarragona) Gavà (Barcelona), Llavanera (unexistent town, possibly Sant Andreu de Llavaneres in Barcelona), Sarrià de Ter (Girona), Solsona (Lleida), Tàrrega (Lleida), Terrassa (Barcelona) and Vilabella (Tarragona). All the war tax stamps of these towns are inventions, except those from Tàrrega listed by Allepuz in page 270 in volume I of his catalogue. All other Tàrrega issues are fantasies not issued during the civil war. Terrassa issues listed in Allepuz catalogue are also legitimate (pages 206 to 210) except number 13.

Generally, these fantasies have no gum (despite some of them are gummed), perforate or imperforate, with several colors and face values, most of them not listed in any catalogue. They are usually roughly perforated using a pin and they all share a similar pattern: typographic designs and mention of the supposed year of issue, something really unusual in local war tax stamps. They are also all printed on the same type of paper, in cream or green blue colors.

Their face values are usually the same in the different sets, and they have a range from 5c to 1.5p. It is very likely that all these fantasy issues have the same face values, and it is possible they gradually appear in the market despite not being detected yet.

They were printed between 1960 and 1970 in a printer in Tarragona province, but it was not until 2017, when the archive of the promoter of these fantasies was sold, that these pieces flooded the market in industrial quantities.

We present below a compilation of the fantasies we have seen so far. All the values can appear perforate or not, with or without gum, and in a great variety of colors and papers. We just record the general type and values we know up to the date of each fantasy:

1- Alió (Tarragona)

Inscription: ALIÓ 1937 / CREU ROJA / face value.

Values 5, 10, 15, 25, 30 & 40 cts.

Some values listed under FESOFI-SOFIMA-CORREOS catalogue with numbers 1/4 and under Allepuz with numbers 1/4.

2- Alió (Tarragona)

Inscription: ALIÓ 1937 / CREU ROJA / Assistència Social / face value.

Values: 5, 10, 15, 25, 30 & 40 cts.

Some values listed under FESOFI-SOFIMA-CORREOS catalogue with numbers 5/6 and under Allepuz with numbers 5/6.

3- Bràfim (Tarragona)

Inscription: Ajut als Infants / Tuberculosos / face value / Bràfim / Segell Municipal

Values: 5, 10, 25, 50, 75 cts & 1 pta.

Some values listed under FESOFI-SOFIMA-CORREOS catalogue with number 1 and under Allepuz with numbers 1/2.

4- Gavà (Barcelona)

Inscription: LLUITA ANTITUBERCULOSA / Assistència Social / GAVÀ 1938 / face value

Values: 5, 10, 15, 25 & 30 cts.

Some values listed under FESOFI-SOFIMA-CORREOS catalogue with numbers 1/2 and under Allepuz with numbers 1/3.

5- Llavanera (Sant Andreu de Llavaneres?, Barcelona)

Inscription: Ajuntament Llavanera / face value / AJUT

Values: 5 cts

6- Sarrià de Ter (Girona)

Inscription: Sarrià de Ter / face value / Segell de Guerra

Values: 5, 10, 15, 25, 40 & 75 cts.

Some values listed under Allepuz with numbers 1/3.

7-Solsona (Lleida)

Inscription: Segell de Guerra / SOLSONA / 1937 - 1938 / Assistència Social / i Lluita / Antituberculosa / face value

Values: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 & 50 cts.

Some values listed under FESOFI-SOFIMA-CORREOS catalogue with numbers 1/4 and under Allepuz with numbers 1/4.

8-Tàrrega (Lleida)

Inscription: TÀRREGA 1937-38 / Pro Infancia / Tuberculosa / face value

Values: 5, 10, 50, 75cts, 1 pta & 1.50 pts.

9- Terrassa (Barcelona)

Inscription: FRONT ANTIFEIXISTA / Solidaritat amb els caiguts! / face value / TERRASSA / CAMPANYA D'HIVERN / 1938-1939

Values: 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 cts & 1 pta.

10- Terrassa (Barcelona)

Inscription: FRONT ANTIFEIXISTA / Solidaritat amb els caiguts! / face value / TERRASSA / CAMPANYA D'HIVERN / 1938-1939

Values: 5 cts.

Listed in Allepuz, number 13

11- Vilabella (Tarragona)

Inscription: Assistència Social / VILABELLA / face value

Values: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 & 30 cts.

Some values listed under FESOFI-SOFIMA-CORREOS catalogue with numbers 1/2 and under Allepuz with numbers 1/4.

Now see them all togheter and note obvious design coincidences and shared typographic composition (the cheapest one to print):

fantasies.jpg

A final tip: none of these "stamps" have ever been seen on cover. If you want to check the legitimacy of a stamp you doubt about, see if you find it on cover. If you find it discard your doubts. If you don't find it continue doubting. If you need help, contact us.

For more information, see LABARGA, Pablo (in collaboration with Julio Allepuz and Carles Prats): "Reciente aparición de fantasías filatélicas relacionadas con la guerra civil española", Revista de Filatelia nr. 558, April 2018, pages 290-293.

Carles Prats, June 4, 2018