Forensic Experts

Every forensic expert who examined the stamps and every piece of scientific equipment used has, without exception, unanimously and unequivocally confirmed that the three stamps have not been faked.

The cover has the full support of world-recognised scientists. Readers are invited to look at the scientific images and read their testimonials.



In  view of the fact that the three stamps on the Victor Hugo cover originate from a re-engraved Plate 73, the required opinion is the following:

Have the five visible right-hand 7s on the three stamps been faked from existing 3s or are they genuinely printed numbers?


The right hand panel from a plate 73 stamp and the right hand panel from stamp SK on the Hugo cover


Make no mistake the faking task required is of undoubted mammoth proportions and it is impossible to imagine how it could ever be done successfully and without it being detected.

Clearly what is under investigation in this case is tampering to paper and the addition of a pigment in order to fake a number 7. This is no different to altering a number on a document, cheque or deed. The fact that we are investigating three stamps is completely irrelevant. The faking principle remains the same.

And in this respect philatelic expertise in the line engraved stamps of Great Britain and the printing and plating methods of Perkins Bacon is also of complete irrelevance.

Forensic scientists who specialise in the field of document authentication are undoubtedly the qualified experts to go to for a founded and substantiated opinion. Their opinion is based on professional experience and both the correct use and correct interpretation of scientific equipment and findings.

Many will agree that the books can always be rewritten when new evidence is to hand and this is indeed the case with the stamps on the Hugo cover. See “The Documented Repair Date of 1868” link on this site which provides evidence that grounds do exists for new thinking.

Christopher Harman RDP Hon FRPSL on behalf of the Expert Committee in his lengthy Plate 77 article in July-August issue of The London Philatelist went through the totally pointless act of citing pages and pages of detailed documented data on the printing and plating methods of Perkins Bacon from 150 years ago, data which in any event can always be corrected or rewritten when new evidence comes to hand as is demonstrated on this site.

Detailed text and data such as that published in The London Philatelist can not, in any way, demonstrate that any physical alterations have taken place.

All possible methods of faking have now been ruled out and dismissed scientifically.

The discovery of the Victor Hugo cover has certainly opened new grounds for research on the 1958-79 issue.


The stamps on the Victor Hugo cover have been examined by a large number of forensic experts and at the following scientific organisations all of whom have found no evidence whatsoever of any faking:

1-  Professor Allan Jamieson: Director of the Forensic Institute, Glasgow

2- Robert Radley MSc, C Chem, FRSC, FCSFS, FSSoc Dip, FAE, RFP., The Radley Forensic Document Laboratory

3- Professor Gene S. Hall, Ph.D., Analytical Chemist: ICPMS, FT-IR, Raman, and XRF Laboratory Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University

4- Tom Ray: Microscopy Laboratory Manager, The Reading Scientific Services Laboratories (RSSL)

5- Dr. Hans Hagemann: University of Geneva

6- The Microscopy and Analysis Suite; University of Bath

7- Department of Chemistry, University College London


The following scientific equipment was used:

1- Foster Freeman VSC6000 comparator

2- Conventional UV and IR light examinations

3- Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in both topographic and back-scattered modes

4- Raman spectroscopy

5- X-ray fluoroscopy (EDXRF)

6- Profilometry and surface topography

7- Confocal microscopy

8- Light microscopy

9- FT-IR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy)


For further information, please refer to the images and the testimonials pages on this site.