To the Gentle and Interested Reader
My first encounters with Plácido Ramón de Torres years ago were really deceiving.
A manual of Spanish philatelic forgeries presented, among many others, a dozen of fakes he had made, nothing more.
And the great American expert in stamp forgers, Varro Tyler, dedicated in his book Philatelic Forgers only about 20 lines to his life and work confirming, seemingly, the mediocrity and reduced importance of this widely unknown stamp dealer.
Some years later, when preparing my doctoral thesis about aspects of the modern history of Andorra, I came across once again with him.
A recommendation letter to the chief of the local Andorran administration suggesting to relay on his services to organize a not yet existing postal administration, signed by an ancient Spanish minister, was a surprise and made me wonder.
But as this initiative did not come to a happy ending, it was of no further interest to follow his footprints.
The third approach was, finally, more successful. I found photos of the two first editions of his world-catalogue published in Italy. Looking at the different stamps depicted on the front-page of his catalogue, I began to suspect, that the illustrations of three of them could represent forgeries. So, my interest was finally awoken. Once convinced by further research, that I was on the right trail, I met with my late friend, Don Alfredo Navarro, an old fox and expert for Spanish stamp forgeries to consult him about Plácido, his work and my suspicions. I still remember very vividly the comments and laughter, when showing him a recently acquired sample of Torres’ Spanish stamp album and catalogue, about the weird and unconsciously emerged idea, the 29 images of its front- and rear-page could be all illustrations of his supposed forgeries. And the craziest thing was the suddenly rising freaky idea, the more than 1000 illustrations of the interior pages might be fakes as well.
The answers to dozens of requests for help in the search for those fakes, sent to philatelic experts all over the world, were more than deceiving. My exposed hypothesis was in other careful words qualified as an absurd idea born in an insane mind.
Until I could not get, after months of research mostly on the internet, the first proofs, that some of the “insanely supposed“ forged items really existed, I was not able to get but compassion. Now that I can present hundreds of his forgeries, things have changed. It is, in my opinion, not yet hazardous to postulate and to be convinced, that the majority if not all of the album illustrations really exist or at least existed one day. And there are even more.
Those and a lot of other surprising results of the research will be presented in this book. I’ll try to let the reader take part of the progress of the discoveries made hoping the tale is able to transmit part of the fascination I felt.
Rearpage of Torres Album