Carl Walske was among the leading collectors and researchers of philatelic forgeries. For over fifty years, he studied the forgeries of stamps and their forgers, and was particularly interested in the production methods used for various forgeries and in the relationships between forgers. He was well known for his work in identifying new types of Sperati forgeries, and was perhaps the greatest student of Jean de Sperati, the most dangerous forger in philately.
Born on June 2, 1922 in Seattle, Washington, Carl served with the United States Navy in the Pacific during 1943-45. In 1951, he received his PhD Degree in Nuclear Physics from Cornell University, where he studied under Nobel-prizewinner Hans Bethe. He started his career at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, and later served as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy. His career also took him overseas as Scientific Advisor to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty talks in Geneva, Switzerland and to scientific advisory positions in London and Paris. In his last job, as President of the Atomic Industrial Forum, he promoted the peaceful uses of atomic energy. Carl retired to Seattle in 1987, where he passed away peacefully after a short illness on May 30, 2009.
Carl wrote many articles on forgeries and forgers, and also co-authored (with his good friend, Robson Lowe) two critically acclaimed books; The Oneglia Engraved Forgeries, Commonly Attributed to Angelo Panelli (1996), and The Work of Jean de Sperati II, including Previously Unlisted Forgeries (2001).
Carl was a member of the American Philatelic Society and the Collectors Club of New York. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London.
He leaves his wife Marjorie, daughter Susan Cabiati and son Steven, whom he also enticed into philately. He particularly enjoyed sharing philately with his son, but frequently complained that the study of forgeries and postal history were at opposite polar ends of philately.
When asked to explain his low-profile professional and philatelic persona, he explained that he tried “to gain my reward through self-respect rather than public recognition; to expend effort as an offset to my limitations.”
Steve Walske (June 9, 2009)