Fabulous fakes
By: Louis Grunin

May 1 , 2003


Figure 7: The 30 cent cover to Algeria is rated as Paid 12, as the U.S. credit to France for a single rate cover, not the 30 cents seen, which would represent a double rate (Hargest Table 16). Careful examination of the back also shows that the date is 1866, not 1860, so that the stamp was demonetized. What was probably originally on the cover was a 15 cent Lincoln. This type of substitution is typical of French forger Zaretskie.

Figure 8: This Confederate period cover to Bordeaux with the too dark black New Orleans cds is the correct color cds (used only for a few weeks in 1861), but the wrong black shade; however, again we find the NEW 3 YORK indicates an unpaid single rate via the British Cunard line’s Arabia, departing New York on the 13th and arriving at Queenstown on the 23rd, as denoted in the French cds. Here a stamp has been added to a stampless cover. The stamp may have previously been used on a genuine cover and substituted here with the new fake strike superimposed as indicated by the odd strike of the ‘E’ in Orleans and the ‘a’ of La, as well as the fuzzy nature of the letters on the adhesive compared with those on the cover.

Figure 9: This is an 1860 cover with a black U.S. MAIL /PACKET/NATCHEZ oval handstamp (K380), which is also known in blue in 1857. Here it is found in a rare form on a letter going transatlantic on the Cunarder Europa, departing Boston May 30th and arriving in Liverpool June 9th, with a red ’19’ U.S. credit to England for transit out of the 24 cent rate. The problem is that the right stamp has been removed and a plate 3 stamp substituted for a damamged plate 1 12 cent. Unfortunately for the forger, plate 3 was not available until June 1, 1860, the EKU as the two earlier 1859 ex-Moody covers are forgeries in that the plate 3 stamps did not originate, as well as this one with a forged black killer tying it. The left plate 1 stamp belongs.


Figure 10: This City Despatch cover is dated September 8, 1842 during the U.S. City Despatch period when the Greig adhesive, as here, needs an octagon ‘U.S.’ to validate it. A pen ‘R’ killer will not do it.