Engraved in taille-douce, varieties as above, watermarked with a star, which is usually very distinct. There is a square ornament in each corner of the stamp, and the lower corner of each of the upper ornaments touches the outline of the oval, opposite to the c and N of CEYLON, but neither of them encroaches across the outline. The coronet is composed of alternate crosses pattée and things which look like shamrocks, though the latter may be some leaf or flower emblematic of the island. The last cross and the last shamrock, towards the back of the head, are smaller than the rest, or rather placed on a lower level; and the coil of hair at the back of the head stands up high above these last two ornaments. The Queen’s forehead is distinctly convex or rounded, and the lower lip does not project so far as the upper one. There are two curls of hair, of almost equal length, hanging down from the back of the coronet; the outer one comes down almost to the level of the heavy shading of the base of the neck. Following the curve of the word CEYLON, there will be seen two lines of white dots, formed by spaces in the lathe-work of the background, but they are not very prominent; and inside these again there are two other lines of dots, a little less distinct. There are only eight jewels, of various shapes, to be seen in the lower band of the coronet. Inside each end of the POSTAGE label there is a small, eight-pointed star, and, from each corner of the label, two oblique lines run towards the star, so that each end of the said label looks like an incomplete miniature copy of the corner-ornaments of the old English black (and red) 1d. stamps.
Lithographed, the id. on yellowish-white or on blue, the others on yellowish-white wove paper, no watermark. One of my specimens of the 1d. is very badly perf. to represent the 1861 issue. I have not seen the 6d. on blue paper. The square ornament in the left top corner of the stamp encroaches right across the outline of the oval, above the C of CEYLON, but the corner of the other ornament does not even touch the outline of the oval, above the N of that word. The ornaments on the coronet appear, at first sight, to be all crosses pattée, but they are not exactly alike. The last two are quite as tall as the rest, and the coil of hair at the back of the head does not stand up so high as they do. The Queen’s forehead is, in some copies, slightly hollowed in the center, and the lower lip projects, if anything, slightly further than the top one. The two curls hanging down from the back of the coronet are very badly drawn; the inner one is barely half the length of the outer one, and the outer one only hangs down level with the chin, instead of nearly to the thick shading at the base of the neck. There are two very prominent lines of white dots following the curve of the word CEYLON, and there are two other lines of white dots inside these, and nearly as distinct. All these ovals can be seen at a glance. There are twelve jewels round the base of the coronet. There are small stars at the ends of the POSTAGE label, but eight points cannot be made out, and the oblique lines are absent. In these forgeries, Her Majesty has been favored with a very forbidding cast of countenance by the designer, though she looks very amiable on the genuine stamps.
Genuine.—One or two of my copies of these unperforated stamps bear some shapeless blotches by way of obliteration, but all the rest are postmarked with 76 and 101.
Forged.—22, 54, 62, 100, 101; also a pen-stroke.
I have taken all these stamps together, so as to avoid having to describe each value separately; but it will be understood that the lower part of each of the genuine differs from the others, according to the value. However, they are all alike in the parts taken for description, and the above tests will suffice for the detection of any of them. The engine-turning of the originals has been very well copied in these forgeries, and I cannot imagine how the forgers managed to prevent the fine lines from running together and making a solid background.
Engraved in taille-douce, on stout, white wove paper, varieties as above. The Queen’s head is on a ground of crossed, oblique lines, the said lines being wavy. The outline of this oval of crossed lines can be seen all the way round, even near the top of the chignon. The rest of this central compartment is filled in with fine, parallel, horizontal lines, all very regular; and nine of these lines can be counted above the top of the T of POSTAGE, including the top outline; and there are eight of these lines between the bottom of the oval and the bottom of the inner frame. The ornaments on the coronet are two crosses pattére, and two fleurs-de-lys, alternately one of each. The front cross pattée is in profile, and there is a colored line drawn down it, close to the front edge. If prolonged downwards, this colored line would cut the pearl below it almost exactly into two equal parts. There is a similar pearl below each of the other ornaments; they are slightly graduated in size, the front one being the largest, and the fourth and last one the smallest, being not much more than a half-pearl. The front pearl projects noticeably beyond the profile of the front cross pattée. There are 20 lines of shading down the back of the neck, and the whole of the rest of the face and neck is entirely covered with dots, except the lower lip. The face has a pleasing expression, the chin curves well forward, and there is a very distinct hollow between the chin and the lower lip. The white octagonal line, surrounding the central design, has all its angles and corners sharp, and not rounded at all.
These are remarkably good, and very likely to deceive. Engraved in taille-douce, on yellowish-white wove paper, unperforated, or nicely perf. 12. It is singular that the forgers should have chosen an impossible gauge of perforation, after going to so much trouble in other respects. Both the perforated and unperforated stamps are “watermarked” with a star, which is, I understand, made by considerable pressure with an oiled die. The watermark is very plain, looking at the back of the stamp, but hardly visible when looked at through the stamp. I have specimens in slightly brownish-rose, and in rose-red, inclining to orange-red. The crossed, oblique lines of the oval ground, on which the Queen’s head is placed, are straight, instead of wavy. The outline of this oval is not continuous, being broken for the upper part of the chignon, which projects beyond it. This is a noticeable test, but requires the microscope. The horizontal lines above and below this oval are not very well drawn; there are seven above the T of POSTAGE, and seven also below the bottom of the neck. There is no line down near the front of the front cross pattée, and the pearl below it does not project beyond the front of the coronet. The jewel under the first fleur-de-lys is badly shaped, and more like a diamond than a pearl. The last pearl to the right is as large as the others, and a complete round, instead of being a half-pearl. There are about 15 lines of shading down the back of the neck. The upper and lower lips, and part of the front of the neck, have no dots upon them. The face has a rather sulky expression, the chin is very retreating, and there is no hollow between the chin and the lower lip. The white, octagonal line, surrounding the central design, has some of its re-entering angles rather blunt, especially the one over the 0 of POSTAGE.
Forged.—Very like 76, but with the lines running the other way.
Engraved in taille-douce, like the 4d. just described, varieties as above. The details are the same as in the genuine 4d.
This, like the forged 4d., is an excellent counterfeit. My specimens are all unperforated. Engraved in taille-douce on moderately stout, hard, white wove paper, watermarked with a crown as before.
The crossed, oblique lines, in the oval ground, behind the Queen’s head, are straight, as in the forged 4d. The outline of this oval can be traced all the way round in this counterfeit. There are 8 horizontal lines above the T of POSTAGE, and 7 below the bottom of the oval. The left- hand cross pattée on the coronet has a line on it like the genuine, but the line slopes too much, and is drawn only along the top arm of the cross, instead of right down to the pearl. The pearl itself, in all my specimens, happens to be covered by the postmark, but, as far as I can make out, it does not project. The other pearls are only partly outlined, and thus run into the ornaments above them. There seem to be only 19 lines of shading down the back of the neck, and they are very scratchy and irregular, whereas, in the genuine, they are the exact continuations of the rows of dots across the neck. There does not seem to be any shading on either lip. The eye is looking rather downward, instead of straight forward. The mouth, chin, the expression of the face, etc., are all very like those of the forged 4d.; but there is a strong, dark outline to the front of the profile, from the forehead to the chin, which does not exist, either in the genuine or the forged 4d. In the genuine 9d., the curl at the back of the head curves slightly outwards, so as to point directly towards the top corner of the last E of PENCE; in this forgery, the curl hangs almost straight downwards, so as to point distinctly towards the C of PENCE. The Queen’s chin is not quite so retreating as in the forged 4d., and there is some indication of a slight hollow between the lower lip and the chin.
Compared with the one just described, this is a mere caricature. Poorly lithographed, in yellow-brown, on medium, very hard white wove paper, the face’ of which has been stained a brownish-yellow, to give age. It is roughly perf. 13, no watermark. The oval on which the Queen’s head is placed is almost perfectly solid at the bottom, though the upper part shows indications of crossed oblique lines, which appear to be straight instead of wavy. This oval is extremely dark, compared with the horizontal lines outside it, so that, when the stamp is held at arm’s length, the complete oval is visible, whereas, in the genuine, and in the first forgery, at that distance, the oval cannot be distinguished from the horizontal lines. Of these horizontal lines, there are only 6 above the T of POSTAGE, not reckoning the line under YL of CEYLON, which is the same thickness as the rest in this forgery, but very much thicker in the genuine. There are only 5 horizontal lines above the bottom of the oval. The front cross pattée on the coronet is not quite in profile, but what a photographer would call “three-quarter face,” showing part of a circle in the center. There is no vertical line drawn down the front to the pearl. The pearls are all the same size, and the front one does not project beyond the coronet. The dots on the neck are continued, as dots, to the back of the neck, instead of merging into lines. There seem to be about 16 or 17 rows, but they are very faint and indistinct. The whole of the face, except the lower part of the cheek and chin, is free from dots. The face has a sad look; the profile of the nose begins as though it were going to be Wellingtonian, but from the middle to the point it is straight. The mouth is tightly shut, and the outline of the upper lip is quite vertical, instead of curving outwards. In the genuine, the hair runs up to the very front of the coronet. In this forgery, there are two small patches, above and below the corner of the eyebrow, and no indication of any other hair till just above the ear. The chin is very retreating. The white octagonal line, separating the central design from the lettered frame, and which is such a conspicuous feature of the stamp in the genuine and in the first forgery, is hardly noticeable in this counterfeit, and badly drawn. In the word CEYLON, the two ends of the C are tapered, instead of being as thick as the rest of the letter; the bottom leg of the E is no longer than the top one, and ends in a sort of ball; the O touches the angle of the frame below it; indeed the horizontal line of the frame has been drawn slightly into the body of the O. In the word NINE, the letters NIN are all perfectly parallel with each other in the genuine, but in this forgery the top of each N slopes towards the top of the I between them, and the lower limb of the E is decidedly longer than the upper limb, whereas in the genuine the upper limb is rather the longer of the two.
First Forgery.—A mark something like 76, but with the lines running the other way; also pen-marked.
Second Forgery.—Some shapeless blotches.
I fancy I have seen an 8d., similar to the first forgery of the 9d., but I am not quite sure, as it was some years ago.
Engraved in taille-douce, on stout, rather hard, yellowish-white wove paper, watermarked with a star. The lines of the design stand out only very slightly from the paper. The Queen’s head is on an oval of crossed oblique lines, so closely set as to appear almost solid, unless looked at with the microscope; the lines are wavy. The oval is outlined on the left side, but on the right side it seems to melt almost imperceptibly into the next portion of the design, which is slightly lighter in color, and consists of horizontal lines, rather thick, perfectly regular and parallel, and placed very close together. In the portion above POSTAGE, there seem to be seven of these horizontal lines, and eight in the portion below the neck. The front point of the neck does not touch the edge of the oval. POSTAGE is on a solid label, but the label is hardly any darker than the rest of the background. The engine-turning in the frame which contains name and value-labels is not continuous, but is interrupted, each side, by a set of (about five) short, thick horizontal lines, serving to join the angles of the outer and inner frames together. Below this, on each side, but especially noticeable on the left side, the engine-turning, besides the usual fine lines, has a lattice-work of thick lines. This lattice-work on the left side reaches to the beginning of the value-label; there are two thick lines running down from right to left, and three from left to right. The right side is similar, but not so distinct. These broad lines appear to be laid over the fine lines of the engine-turning. The profile of the Queen is not outlined. The name and value-labels are also not outlined, being formed, apparently, by cutting away the engine-turning of the background. The stamps are set very close together horizontally, being barely three- quarters of a millimeter apart. (I do not know whether they are equally close together vertically.)
Like the engraved 4d. and 9d., this is an excellent counterfeit, and is likely to deceive any but a very old hand. Apparently engraved in taille-douce, on white wove paper, rather thinner, and much whiter than that of the genuine, though the face of the stamp has a faint greenish tint in my specimen, owing to imperfect wiping of the plate.
When it first came out there was no watermark, but I have lately had a specimen which bears a rather nice-looking watermark (as seen from the back). This has apparently been done by pressure with an oiled die. The outline of the watermark shows distinctly in pale yellow, on the back of the stamp, but is hardly visible when looked at through the stamp. The dark lines of the stamp have been so strongly forced into the lines of the plate, that they appear sunk at the back of the stamp. The said lines stand out from the paper very conspicuously in front. The oval containing the portrait is very dark, with a strong dark outline all round, and is composed of straight, crossed, oblique lines, much more distinct than those of the genuine, and the horizontal lines immediately outside the oval are thin, scratchy, and irregular. In the portion above POSTAGE, ten of these horizontal lines may be counted, but below the neck they are so irregular and blurred that I have not been able to count them; there seem to be about twelve of them. The front point of the neck touches the outline of the dark oval. The solid label containing POSTAGE is distinctly darker than the rest of the background. The lines joining the angles of the outer and inner frame together, between the name and value-labels differ much from the genuine. That on the left has seven thin, horizontal lines (exclusive of the outlines of the frames); and that on the right, instead of the horizontal lines, has some indistinct markings resembling “& D W.” There is no trace of the lattice-work below these two portions of the design. The profile of the face is out- lined with a fine line, and the name and value-labels are also very distinctly outlined. The stamps are set much further apart on the sheet than in the genuine, being exactly one millimeter from each other, both vertically and horizontally.
I do not know anything of the history of this forgery, but the measurements just given would seem to point to a continental origin for them.
Engraved in épargne, on wove paper, varieties as above. The letters of CEYLON are a considerable distance apart (3/4 mm., or more), and the O of that word is circular, with a dark, circular center. The E of ONE has its central tongue much shorter than the upper and lower limbs. The Y of PENNY has its arms widely spread open; and the whole inscription, ONE HALF PENNY, is in very clearly-cut block lettering. The dark base of the neck, where it is cut away, extends from back to front, but it is, of course, of varying width, and, in the widest part, six dark horizontal lines can be seen, counting both upper and lower outlines. The back outline of the neck, from the base to the hair, stands out prominently from the background. Of the horizontal lines in the background, seven may be counted, from the top of the central circle to the front point of the coronet. The easiest test is the curl of hair hanging from the chignon. This curl hangs down perfectly straight, so that, if it were lengthened, it would touch the right side of the G of POSTAGE. I am not able to give any further tests, as the only counterfeit that I possess is very faint, and partly covered by the post- mark, so that very little of the design is clear.
Poorly lithographed, in very pale grey-lilac, no watermark, perf. 11 1/2. The letters of CEYLON are much closer together than in the genuine; the I, and o almost touch, and the other letters are less than 1/2 mm. apart; the O is a transverse oval, with a rather shapeless, dark oval blotch in (lie center. The central tongue of the E of ONE is as long as the upper limb; the arms of the Y of PENNY are a good deal squeezed up, and the whole inscription, so far as I can make out, looks ragged. The dark base of the neck, where it is cut away, is of solid color; no lines of shading are to be seen in it, and the front part of it decreases to a mere outline. The back outline of the neck does not stand out at all from the background. From the top of the central circle, to the front point of the coronet, there seem to be only four horizontal lines of shading. The curl, at the back of the head, slopes to the right, instead of hanging straight down; and it points towards the end of the E of POSTAGE.
1867 & 1868. Three Pence, rose.
Engraved in épargne, on rather stout, hard, and somewhat glacé wove paper; varieties as above. The diamond-shaped jewels along the base of the coronet seem to stand out well from it. The face is shaded all over, except the front of the forehead. The large pearls on the top of the coronet are shaded almost all over. The letters of the word CEYLON do not touch the outline of their containing-label anywhere, and both name and value are in beautifully clear and clean cut letters. The colour of the stamp is a bright rose, or rose-pink.
Poorly lithographed, in a very washed-out lilac-pink, on very white wove paper, very thin; pin-pricked 12 1/4; no watermark. The ornaments along the base of the coronet appear to be oval holes, instead of diamond- shaped jewels. The face is white, all round the mouth. The large pearls on the top of the coronet are only slightly shaded; at least three-fourths of each pearl are left white. The c of CEYLON touches the bottom of the containing-label, and the Y and L touch at the top. The whole stamp has a blurred and indistinct appearance, very different, from the genuine.
Forged.—62, 100, 101; also one like 54, but very much smaller, and with the lines thinner.
Engraved in épargne, on white wove paper, CC, perf. 13. This need not delay us very long, as the forgery is decidedly poor, compared with the very clear-cut original. The shading on the nose does not reach to the front edge, leaving a narrow line of white all down the profile of it. The lower lip is of normal shape. A considerable portion of the ear is plainly visible. The ornaments on the coronet are: pearl, thistle, pearl, shamrock, pearl, thistle, pearl. The three diamond-shaped jewels in the lower part of the coronet are distinct. The band of the coronet at the back of the head contains 5 lines running along it, including the two outlines. The horizontal lines of shading on which the head is placed, are beautifully drawn and quite clear; they do not come to the edge of the containing-circle, but leave a ring of white between them and the circular outline, quite as broad as the next ring of white, which runs under CEYLON and above POSTAGE. There are 14 horizontal lines, from the top of the central circle to the top of the chignon, the uppermost curl of the chignon reaching to the top edge of the fifteenth line; and there are 43 similar lines from the bottom of the circle to the tip of the curl below the chignon, the curl touching the forty-fourth line. The front peak of the base of the neck comes to the very edge of the horizontal lines, and the lowest line of shading on the front of the neck, runs very nearly to the front of the peak. The letters of CEYLON are very clear, and so are those of POSTAGE. The R of FORTY is not much more than 1/4 mm. from the end of the label.
Forged Poorly lithographed on fairly stout, white laid paper, no watermark, pin-perf. 11 1/2 x 12, irregularly, in oval holes. The paper, of course, is sufficient to condemn this production. The front of the nose is shaded by about 9 oblique lines, which seem to join the background. There is thus no line of white along the profile of the nose. The lower lip is twisted all out of shape, and has a most peculiar look. There is an indistinct blotch, to represent the ear. The ornaments on the coronet are very indistinct and blotchy; the one to the right looks like a cross pattée. The diamond-shaped jewels along the base of the coronet are also very indistinct. The band of the coronet at the back of the neck has only a single colored line along its center, beside the outlines. The horizontal lines of the central background are blotchy and broken, and they run together in several places. Part of the way, especially above the TAGE of POSTAGE, they are drawn right up to the colored lines surrounding them; and, even where they do not actually touch the circle, there is only the very tiniest space of white between the ends of the lines and the outline of the circle. Thus, above POSTAGE, there is only one white line, instead of two of equal breadth. There seem to be about 12 horizontal lines from the top of this central circle to the top of the chignon, and 40 from the bottom of the circle to the tip of the lower curl of the chignon. The white peak of the front of the base of the neck does not come to the edge of the horizontal lines, and the shading lines on the neck do not run into the peak, but leave it as a white patch. The letters of CEYLON are very ragged and thin; those of POSTAGE are somewhat better. The F of FORTY is more than 1/2 mm. from the end of the label.
Genuine.—1, 49, rather smaller; 64 (I have this with A, B, and 42 respectively, in the center).
Forged.—A portion of what appears to be 58. Also a small oval, about the size of 22, but with some unreadable letters in the center, instead of bars.
Engraved in épargne, on fairly stout, hard, white wove paper, watermark CC, perf. 14, as above.
The diamond-shaped jewels, along the base of the coronet, stand out well from it, as in the 3d. of the last issue. The front pearl on the coronet points to the right side of the O of CEYLON. The horizontal lines of the background do not show through either the first or second pearl. After the first pearl there is a thistle, after the second pearl a shamrock, and after the third pearl another thistle. The band at the back of the coronet, which passes from the top of the ear to the back of the head, under the chignon, shows three clear dark lines along it, in addition to its two outlines. The top curl of the chignon is a sort of arch, with a good deal of white showing on the left side ; the bottom curl hangs down very little lower than the level of the bottom of the band of the coronet behind the head ; indeed, it only reaches down far enough to touch the second horizontal line of the background, below the bottom corner of the said band. The face and bust are shaded all over, except the front of the forehead ; the eyebrow is formed by six strong, parallel curved lines. The horizontal lines of the central oval do not touch the dark line of the said oval anywhere, but stop short, leaving a narrow white space, of equal width all round. The bottom of the S of POSTAGE is no nearer to the outline below it than any of the other letters, and the vertical stroke of the T of that word is not carried beyond the cross-bar.
Lithographed, on very stout, very hard, yellowish-white wove paper, rather nicely perf. 12, no watermark. The jewels along the base of the coronet look like dark, oval holes. The pearls do not seem to be solidly joined to their stalks, like the genuine ones are, but are more or less separate. The front pearl points to the middle of the N of CEYLON, and the horizontal lines of the background can be distinctly seen, drawn through the first two pearls. The ornament after the first pearl bears only a very faint resemblance to a thistle; the ornament after the second pearl looks rather like a small pattée on a stalk; the ornament after the third pearl is something like a thistle, but is much too tall, reaching fully as high as the fourth pearl, whereas the genuine only comes up about the center of the said fourth pearl. The band of the coronet, at the back of the head, only shows two dark lines along it, besides the outlines, and these two lines are almost wedge-shaped. The top curl of the chignon is formed by three roughly-concentric circles, with a dot in the center, and the horizontal lines of the background can be partly traced through it, though this is not the case in the genuine. The bottom curl is too long, hanging down level with the fifth horizontal line below the bottom corner of the band of the coronet. The nose is almost perfectly white, and there is also a patch of white at the front point of the neck above the Y of NINETY. The eyebrow is formed by one heavy dark line. The horizontal lines of the background touch the dark outline of the oval most of the way round. The bottom of the s of POSTAGE very nearly touches the outline below it, and the tail of that letter has a serif, though head and tail are both alike in the genuine. The. vertical stroke of the T of this word is carried up above the cross-bar, and is joined to the upper outline of the oval. The colour of my single specimen is very much paler than the genuine, being pale grey, rather than greenish-drab.
I have lately seen the 8 cents of this issue with forged compound perforation, 14 x 12 1/2. The perforation at the top and bottom is, of course, genuine, but the side-perforations are forged. The fake is exceedingly well done, and the only test that I can give is that, in the genuine, a well-centered specimen shows a fair space of white on both sides, between the perforations and the side-outlines of the stamp, and, if the specimen is not well-centered, there will be a broad space of white between the perforations and the outline of the stamp, either on the right side or on the left. In this forgery there is no margin either side, but the perforations just touch the outline each side. Another peculiarity of my specimen of this fake is every alternate dent, down the left side, is cut in very slightly deeper than its neighbor, but of course I cannot say whether this is always the case.
Issues of 1863-8, surcharged SERVICE in black or red. These stamps were prepared for use, and sent out to the Colony, but were never employed. I mention them here, because they are occasionally to be met with postmarked, and my readers will understand that the postmarks were either surreptitiously obtained, or are forgeries. I have a specimen of the 2s., CC, properly cancelled, and with the surcharge forged in red letters on the top of the postmark. As the genuine are only still-born stamps, it is not worth while to describe this forgery further.
From: ‘Album Weeds’, 3rd edition by R. B. Eareé. 1906