Swaziland 1889 1d carmine – genuine or forgery – Part 2

In this post I’ll be looking at the 4 stamps identified as definite forgeries due to the overprints being applied on the reprint issue with 12.5 x 12.5 perforation rather than the original comb print with 12.5 x 12 perforation.

Here are the four stamps:

Swaziland 1889 wrong perforations forgeries

As a personal exercise, the idea is to check if these can be identified as forgeries by only looking at the overprints:

Here is the high resolution versions of the forged overprints from left to right:

CS-1889-1d-forged-ovpt-a CS-1889-1d-forged-ovpt-b CS-1889-1d-forged-ovpt-c CS-1889-1d-forged-ovpt-d

First step in verifying genuine overprints is to check if all measurements between different letters fall within the determined lower and upper limits. Peter van der Molen’s book taught me to measure from the middle of the vertical strokes of the letters rather than from the actual sides as this eliminates under- or overinking variances.

I firstly check the S – d measurement that shoud be between 12.75-12.9mm with most common being 12.8mm. Stamp 1, 2 and 4 fails this test only measuring 12.6mm. I use the ruler tool in photoshop on a zoomed in version of the overprint to quickly do these measurements. The a-n measurement on these 3 stamps also fail the test being only 6.8mm and below the acceptable range of 6.95 – 7.1mm. These measurements and the letters are consistent with the Enschede forgery of the overprint.

Stamp 2 (bottom left above) is more of a challenge as it complies to the 12.8mm overall measurement and the letters look quite authentic to me. The intermediate measurements however including (S-n, w-l, a-n, l-n) all just fall slightly outside the acceptable limits. This overprint made me realise how carefully the overprints on the correct stamps will have to checked as the variances can be very minor.

John Kaupe shows many examples of forgeries (originally described by Pirie and also his own identified forgeries). These are often clear forgeries based on individual misformed letters (e.g. a serif on the a). I’m very new to this but I can’t spot any very obvious errors. Looking closely I do feel the differences between the first a and second a and also the thin accurately shaped lines going into the vertical stroke of the d are indications of a forgery.

For me the main lesson from this exercise – there are VERY GOOD forgeries out there. Share

In part 3 I’ll start checking the overprints and comb perforation matching of the 13 potential genuine overprinted stamps.


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