The reader will understand that the forgeries now to be described are counterfeits of the Azores surcharges, on genuine Portuguese stamps.
The surcharge is in black, except the 5 reis of 1870, perf. 12%, which has it in carmine. Values up to 100 reis, imperf.; up to 240 reis, perf.
Surcharge, Type 2; 94 x 2J mm. This is only found on the 25 reis, rose; perf. 12 1/2.
Surcharge, Type 3; 12×3 mm.
This is another scarce one, cataloged only for the 5, 10, 25, and 80 reis.
TYPE I.—This measures 14x3mm. The C, O and R are narrow, and the head and tail of the S are fairly close to the body of the letter. The white inside of the o measures only 3/4 mm. across its widest part. The ends of the C are cut off quite square, and the cedilla under that letter is fat, and nearly touches the c. The top of the A is rounded, and both side-strokes are of equal thickness; the cross-stroke is nearly as wide as the side-strokes, thus leaving a very tiny, uncolored triangle inside the top half of the letter. The bottom limb of the E is slightly longer than the other two limbs, which are of equal length.
TYPE 2.—This is a much smaller surcharge, measuring only 9 1/2 x 2 1/2 mm. As mentioned above, there is but one stamp—the 25 reis, perf. 12 1/2— on which it is found.
TYPE 3.—This measures 12×3 mm., and is only found on the 5, 10, 25, and 80 reis, perf. 12 1/2, as already stated.
The surcharge, in all cases, is indented into the paper.
Surcharge 14 x 3 mm., as in Type 1 of the genuine. The top of the A is very broad, and cut off square. The C is narrow, as in the genuine, but the head is cut off obliquely, instead of being square, like the end of the tail. The cedilla is more clumsy than in the genuine, as its tail is too thick. The feet of the R seem to be on a slightly lower level than the rest of the letters. The E is taller than any of the other letters, and all three limbs are of equal length. The S looks much smaller than the E. The cross-bar to the A is thinner than the side-strokes, and the triangle in the upper part of it is too large.
Surcharge 14 x nearly 3 mm. This is in very intense black; the ink looking dull and rough, as compared with the smoothness of the genuine. The top of the A is cut off square, and the cross-bar is considerably thinner than the side-strokes. The uncolored triangle in the top half of this letter is a mere dot, as the top is blotched. The cedilla is of a fairly good shape, but it is firmly joined to the C. All three limbs of the E are of exactly equal width. The S is not at all squeezed together, and the line forming that letter is decidedly thinner than the rest of the surcharge.
Surcharge 14 1/4 x a little more than 3 mm. The A has the large, uncolored triangle in its top half, as in Type 4, hereafter described, but the surcharge is intended to imitate Type T. The c looks slightly top-heavy, as the lower part is not so fully rounded as the top part, and the top end is cut off very slightly obliquely. The cedilla is a long way from the c; quite twice as far off as the genuine. The O is exceedingly narrow, the uncolored center is not more than about 1/2 mm. across, in its widest part. The central tongue of the E is slightly shorter than the other two limbs. The S seems to lean a little to the right, and the slope of its center is much more upright than in the genuine. The ink is patchy, and shows many white places. The surcharge is not at all indented into the paper.
This looks very thick and clumsy. Surcharge 14 x nearly 3 mm. The A is cut off square ; the ends of the C are rounded ; the cedilla is firmly joined to the c; the center of the 0 is hardly 1/2 mm. across, in its widest part. The center limb of the E is shorter than the others. The impression is greasy.
Surcharge 14 X 3 1/2 mm. The A is quite square at the top. The cedilla to the C is a sort of oblique dash, equally thick all its length. The lower limb is a little larger than the upper one. All three limbs of the E are of equal length. The s is thick, and the top and bottom parts squeezed together, so as almost to touch the body of the letter. Half a millimeter too tall does not sound much, but it makes the surcharge look almost double the size of the genuine. It is not indented into the paper.
Surcharge 13 3/4 x nearly 3 mm. The A is rounded, like the genuine, but the central tongue is too thin, and the triangle in the top of the letter is too large. The top end of the C seems to be rounded, and the bottom end cut off square. The cedilla does not touch the C, but it is too thick at the bottom. The center of the 0 measures nearly a millimeter across. All three limbs of the E are of equal length. The surcharge shows white patches, where the ink has not taken. I cannot give further details, as my specimen (50 reis, imperf.) is rather heavily postmarked; but it will be noted that the surcharge is too small each way, though not very much.
The surcharge is rather more than 14 x nearly 3 mm. The A is square at the top, and the uncoloured triangle in the top half is represented by an upright oval dot. The C is of a peculiar shape. If the blank space between the ends were filled up, it would form, not an O, as in the genuine, but a thing more like a D; i.e., the ends point slightly outwards. The three limbs of the E are of equal length. The s is thicker than the other letters, and the bottom end is rounded, instead of being cut off square.
Surcharge 12×3, i.e., an imitation of Type 3 of the genuine. I have no genuine copy of this surcharge, which, it will be remembered, only exists on the 5, 10, 25, and 80 reis, perf. 12 1/2; so my notes will not be very reliable. My only specimen is on the 240 reis, i.e., a bogus variety. The A is square at the top, and crossed very low down, so that the triangle is large. The top and bottom of the E are very wide apart, and the cedilla, which is joined to the C, is curved up, so as to be like a miniature J. The center of the 0 measures 1/2 mm. across. The lowest limb of the E is decidedly longer than the others.
Issues of 1871-80. Surcharge, Type 1, as above described. Surcharge, Type 4; 13 1/2 x 2 1/2 mm.
Type 1 was employed from 1871 to 1875; Type 4 from 1875 to 1880
Type 1 has been already described ; I need not, therefore, repeat the details. In Type 4, the surcharge measures 13 1/2 X 2 1/2 mm., as stated.
The lettering is very slightly, but perceptibly thinner than Type i. The C, O, and R are wide and square- looking. The cross-bar to the A is thinner than in Type i, and the uncolored triangle is decidedly large. It is slightly rounded at the top, as before. The cedilla is further from the C, and points more vertically downwards than Type I. The center of the O measures nearly a millimeter across. The S is more open than in the first type. The bottom limb of the E is longer than the other two, which are of equal length. Ten wide, square O will enable the amateur to distinguish this type from Type I very readily. The surcharge is indented into the paper.
The surcharge measures 13 1/2 x 2 1/2 mm., as in Type 4 of the genuine, but some of the details are from Type 1. The cross-bar to the A is thin, but the triangle in the letter is small. The bottoms of the A and R are rounded, instead of being cut off square. The cedilla is very thin, and is joined to the C; it is longer than the genuine. The white center of the O is very narrow, only about 1/2 mm. across, in the widest part. The surcharge is not at all indented into the paper, and there are (as in almost all the forgeries) white parts, where the letters have failed to print completely.
The surcharge measures 13 1/2 x 3 mm. The white center of the O is nearly 1 mm. across, in its broadest part. There are two easy tests for this forgery, that will render further description unnecessary; i.e., the cedilla is shaped exactly like a tiny balloon, without a car. It is firmly joined to the C, and points straight downwards, instead of sloping to the left. The other test is the E, which has its top limb even longer than the bottom, and the central tongue is a short, round lump. In both types of the genuine, the top limb and the central tongue are both exactly the same length, while the lower limb is distinctly longer. The lettering is all thicker than either type of the genuine.
The surcharge measures 13 3/4 x 2 1/2 mm. All the letters are wide, and much thinner than the genuine. The inside of the O measures fully 1 mm. across, in its widest part. The cedilla is wedge-shaped, and slants to the left. There is a large triangle in the top of the A. This forgery is evidently imitated from Type 2 of the genuine. The s is wide, as in Type 2. In some respects it looks better than the second forgery, but, of course, the shortness of the lettering condemns it instantly. It is not at all indented into the paper.
The surcharge is 14 1/2 x 2 1/2 mm. The A is rather squeezed up, but all the other letters are wide, and the type is very thin. My specimen is heavily postmarked, but the cedilla seems to be a large, transverse oval ball. The C is much too wide open, the two ends being more than 1 mm. apart, though they are only about 1/4 mm. apart in the genuine types. The inside of the O measures 1 1/2 mm. in its widest part. The middle tongue of the E is much shorter than the top limb, and the S is not so tall as the E. The lettering, in this case, is indented into the paper.
The surcharge is 14 x 3 mm. This is an imitation of Type 1. All the letters are narrow. The cross-bar to the A is thicker than the left-hand stroke. The cedilla is an oblique stroke, the same thickness for its whole length, instead of being like a clumsy comma. The white inside of the o is very narrow, being barely 1/2 mm. across in its widest part. All three limbs of the E are of equal length, and it looks taller than the S. The top limb of the s points vertically downwards, instead of to the right. The surcharge shows through very plainly at the back, in my specimen (oily ink ?), but it is not indented into the paper.
Issue of 1880-82.
Surcharge, Type 4; 13 1/2 x 2 1/2, as described above.
Surcharge, 13 1/2 x 2 3/4 mm. The A is square at the top, with a thin cross-bar, and a very large triangle in the top half. The feet of the letter are both rounded, instead of being cut square. Both ends of the c are rounded, and the cedilla is pear-shaped, and points directly downwards. The inside of the o is badly shaped, being wider at the top than at the bottom, measuring 1 1/4 mm. across the widest part. All three limbs of the E are of different lengths, the top one being the longest, and the central one the shortest. The tail of the S curves inwards, towards the body of the letter, much more than the head does. The whole surcharge is very much thinner than either Type i or Type 4; the E, especially, being barely half the thickness of the E of Type 4. It is very slightly indented into the paper.
Surcharge 13 1/2 x 3 mm. The A is nearly square at the top, with both feet rounded. The triangle is large. The top of the C is rounded; there is a dent in the outline, at the top left corner, where it joins the vertical stroke. The cedilla is firmly joined to the C; it is pear-shaped, and points directly downwards. The center of the 0 is badly shaped, as in the first forgery, and measures just 1 mm. across, in the widest part. The inside of the top of the R, which is like a rather square O in the genuine, is, in this forgery, a rather rounded triangle. The top and bottom of the E are of equal length, while the middle tongue is very much shorter. The S is of the same shape as the first forgery, both ends being rounded. The surcharge is not indented into the paper. One peculiarity of this forgery is, that, when looked at under the microscope, all the letters appear to have a thin black outline, all the way round, inside and outside, with the body of each letter filled up in lighter ink.
From: ‘Album Weeds’, 3rd edition by R. B. Eareé. 1906