Swaziland 1889 1d carmine – genuine or forgery – Part 1

Armed with the amazing book I just acquired, “Swaziland Philately to 1968” by Peter van der Molen and specifically chapter 3 of the book by John Kaupe, I’m ready to start working through my collection of 1889 stamps of Transvaal overprinted Swazieland.

I’ve decided to start this journey on the 1d carmine stamp (SACC2, SG1). Reasoning behind this selection is that only one comb with perforation 12.5 x 12 was used for the genuine overprint so I was hoping it would be one of the easier stamps to work on.

First step I followed for this stamp is to check the perforation on all of them. I used a perforation guide but it can be easily checked by just counting the holes.

  • For 12.5 x 12 the stamp is genuine and the overprint should be checked;
  • Any 1d overprinted “Swazieland” with 12.5 x 12.5 is definitely forged.

I’ve accumulated 17 of these 1d stamps over time, without really ever checking the perforation or overprints.

The perforation measurement was quite a quick exercise and it didn’t take long to determine that 4 of the 17 stamps were definitely forgeries due to their 12.5 x 12.5 perforations.

Here are the 4 forged stamps:

Swaziland 1889 wrong perforations forgeries

Here are the 13 genuine stamps where the overprints now need to be checked:

CS-1889-1d-rightperfs-a CS-1889-1d-rightperfs-b CS-1889-1d-rightperfs-c CS-1889-1d-rightperfs-d

The colour of a genuine stamp is a pale carmine while the reprint is a brighter colour. The difference is quite significant and easy to notice, these were all scanned with the same scanner settings.

In Part 2 of this series I will look at the overprints on the 4 forged stamps and see if I would’ve been able to identify them as forgeries by only examining the overprint. Share

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