Fakes and Forgeries from the Philatelic Foundation’s reference collection
By: Larry Lyons

May 8 , 2012

Larry Lyons was our speaker for May, on the subject “Fakes and forgeries from the Philatelic Foundation’s reference collection.”  Larry brought a great deal of material with him that evening, showing almost every possible type of fake, forgery or counterfeit example pertaining to U.S. stamps and postal history.

Larry started his talk by describing the differences between various terms such as: bogus, forgery, counterfeit, etc., and then discussed the different forms of fakery encountered at the PF.  This was followed by a seemingly endless display of faked material, including:  forged Postmaster Provisionals; fake “paid” on 10 cent 1847 issue; Sperati forgeries of the 10 cent 1847 issue and the 5 cent NY Provisional; and many covers with 5 and 10 cent 1847 stamps tied by fake cancels.  Many of these covers were produced by John Fox and, in fact, Larry showed many examples of the actual devices used to make these fake cancels!

Other highlights included: strip of four one cent eagle carrier stamps tied on cover; 5 and 10 cent 1847 issues used together on cover; one cent 1857 issue with paper scraped to look like a Type III stamp; 1857 ten cent green stamp with part of design painted in; bisected three cent 1851 stamp tied by fake cancel; bisected 12 cent 1851 issue tied by “Steamship” cancel; Pony Express cover with fake cancels; examples of 90 cent blue stamp tied by fake cancels; two cent postal forgeries from Chicago; and several Pan American series stamps with faked inverted centers.

There was no doubt that Larry’s presentation was extremely educational, entertaining and actually scary!