This is the start of a new website which is solely concerning the non famous stamp forger:

Plácido Ramón de Torres (1847 – 1918)

When in 1840 in England and about 10 years later in most of the European countries adhesive stamps were introduced as a medium for prepaying mail, nobody could foretell, that collecting those items would be one of the new hobbies of the century.

In a dossier previous to the introduction experts had warned, that there would appear counterfeits to defraud the postal administration. However, they could not imagine that 20 years later philatelic forgers had outnumbered the deceivers of the postal system.

The young Spaniard had grown up in Italy where his talent as lithographer was discovered by one of the first Italian stamp dealers Elia Carlo Usigli (1812 – 1894). This multi-talent, editor, bookseller, antiquarian, etc. became his patron.

He intuited what the quickly increasing market created by the new hobby demanded: illustrations of the old and newly issued stamps.

With the help of his international contacts Usigli offered and sold Torres’ first works to his Belgian colleague Jean-Baptiste Moens, who was the first in using them for his magazine-illustrations. The proofs and leftovers of their fabrication were converted into forgeries by putting them in stamp packets.

Those “minor forgeries”, mostly of low and cheap values could and can be found in the old 19thcentury catalogues. But how to detect his “major forgeries”, fakes of whole, often expensive issues?

Gerhard Lang-Valchs was lucky enough to discover after years of research the clue to detect many of his forgeries: the “errors” or sometimes “jokes”, deliberately introduced not only in his illustrations, but also in his forgeries of stamps and cancels.

Gerhard Lang-Valchs Vita:

borne: 11.5.1951 in Dudweiler (Germany);

Highschool for History, Theology, German and Spain

If you have some information or links and like to help, please send them to, who is acting as technical support for this site.

To get a first impression what we are talking about, you will find a collection of Torres-items here. 

All of the pictures of this catalogue are expected to be faked. The size of the original PDF is 102 MB, so quality and size had to be reduced. During the next months you will find the items with clear pictures in comparison between fake and original published here.

But this will require some additional time


Here you will find and article as an introduction in this topic (mainly about Spanish stamps) in netherland and French language

Recently published: The Hawaiian Footprints of a European Stamp Forger (Under Construction!!!)