Beautifully engraved in taille-douce, on thick, yellowish-white wove paper; machine-perforated 12; very cleanly cut. Moens gives the perforation as being 14, but this is a mistake; at any rate, all the copies I possess, or have ever seen, are perforated 12. The groundwork, behind the whole design, is composed of exceedingly fine, parallel, horizontal lines, quite straight. The shafts of the right-hand spears are all dark, without any white on them at all. The spear-head, last but one on the left side, has a double point; indeed, it looks as if there were two heads, one a little behind the other, and slightly to one side of it. The bottoms of the ornamental leaf-border, encircling the shield, project below the bottom of the value-label, showing five ornamental curls below it, of various shapes. There are four spear-heads to the right, and three of them are very much longer and thinner than those on the left, and of a different shape. At the bottom of the shield, there is a trefoil-shaped ornament, the center peak of which is perfectly distinct, and as large as the other two, though darker. The three-cornered piece of sea, between the mountains and the distant ship, is shaded all over with fine, horizontal lines. The central star is a good way below the bottom ends of the little wreath above it; the stars at each end of the row do not touch the inner outline of the shield; and all the five stars are of exactly the same size and shape. On each side of the trefoil-ornament, at the base of the shield, there is a sort of cup, from which the thick side-leaves issue; each of them is encircled by five microscopic pearls. The word PORTE has the top stroke of the T, and the projecting ends of the E, very thin. The outer ends of the two labels, containing CORREOS DE COSTA RICA, are shaded with vertical lines, before the C of CORREOS, and after the A of RICA. There is some little space between the two inner ends or corners of these labels. In the highest value, there is a little, four-leaved flower on each side of the words UN PESO, having a little white dot at each of the four angles, where the petals join one another.
Of this I have all but the 2 Reales. Lithographed, pretty well done, on rather thin, and very soft, yellowish-white wove paper, nicely perforated 12 1/2. I may mention that this is about the best perforation that I have ever seen on a forgery. The shafts of the right-hand spears are all white, along their centers. There is no double point to any of the spear-heads on the left-hand side. There are no ornamental curls, projecting below the bottom of the value-label, at the base of the stamp. There are four spear-heads to the right, but they are of the same shape and size as those on the left. The center peak of the trefoil, at the base of the shield, is very small, and hardly to be seen. The three-cornered piece of sea, below the distant ship, is very slightly shaded in the broad part, and perfectly white at the small end. The central star comes too close to the ends of the little wreath at the top; the outer ones on each side touch the inner border of the shield; and one of the lower points of the outer star on the right-hand side is much too long. There are no pearls round the cups, on each side of the trefoil, at the base of the shield, their places being supplied by short lines of shading. The word PORTE has the top stroke of the T, and the projecting ends of the E, as thick as the perpendicular strokes of those letters. The outer end of the label, containing COSTA RICA, is shaded like the genuine; there is no shading on the outer end of the label, containing CORREOS DE; and the inner ends or corners of the said labels almost touch each other. The bottom label, in the UN PESO value, has a double line round it, which is not found in the genuine; and there are only three white dots round the right-hand flower, and two round the left-hand flower, at the ends of that label.
Of this I have a full set. Poorly lithographed, on thin, hard, very white wove paper; badly pin-perf. 12 1/2, or sometimes unperforated. The groundwork, behind the whole design, is composed of horizontal lines, like the genuine; but they are irregular, and wavy, instead of being straight. The right-hand spear-heads are the same size and shape as the left-hand ones. These left-hand ones are so faintly drawn that they are hardly visible; and not one of them has a double point. The bottoms of the leaf-border, encircling the landscape, project below the base of the value-label, almost exactly like the genuine, though there seem to be only three ornamental curls. The pearls on the cup, to the right of the trefoil-shaped ornament, are all jumbled together, and cannot be counted; and there are five pearls on the left-hand cup. The three-cornered piece of sea, between the mountain and the distant vessel, is shaded nearly all over; but there is a white patch at the lower point. The upper point of the central star comes up too close to the ends of the little wreath above it, and almost fits into the space between the said ends. All the stars vary slightly in shape; and the right-hand one is at some little distance from the inner outline of the shield, whilst the left-hand star almost touches the border of the shield, on the left-hand side. The letters TE of PORTE are like the genuine, only not so clearly cut. The outer ends of the labels, containing the words CORREOS DE COSTA RICA, are correctly shaded; but the inner end of the right-hand label is rounded, instead of being cut off square; and the outer end of the same label ends in a curious sort of upward hook, not in the least like the genuine, where the end runs under the leaf-ornament to the right of it. The little wreath at the top touches, with both ends, the oval containing the figure of value, which is not the case in the genuine. The shafts of the right-hand spears are dark, like the genuine. In the highest value, there is no little flower, either before or after the words UN PESO.
This appears to be exactly similar to the last, except that the value at the top is written PORTE I PESEDA, and at the bottom UNA PESEDA. Of course it will be understood that there is only the one value; and I think that very possibly this was originally the high value of the set last described; but that the forgers, on finding out the mistake which they had made of UNA PESEDA instead of UN PESO, printed it correctly, and thus made up the set as above.
Of this I have only the i real and 2 reales. Rather well lithographed, on thin, hard, white wove paper; percé en scie, or saw-perforated 13. This is a very unusual sort of perforation for forged stamps; and of course I need hardly say that no genuine Costa Rica stamp was ever so perforated. There are only three spears on the right-hand side, and no double-pointed one on the left. There are too many curls projecting’ under the base of the label at the bottom of the stamp; they seem to be all run together, and twelve projections can be counted. There are lines of shading, instead of pearls, round the cups from which the ornamental leaves issue, at the bottom of the shield. Nearly the whole of the triangular piece of sea, between the distant vessel and the mountain, is white. The central star does not come under the middle of the little wreath, as it does in the genuine, but is too much to the right. The right-hand star is badly shaped. The labels containing the words CORREOS DE COSTA RICA, are not shaded at the outer ends; they are a good distance apart, and the right-hand label ends in a very large, upward hook. The easiest test for this forgery is in its having only three spears, instead of four, on the right-hand side; and the saw-perforation will also condemn it.
Genuine.—61; also a very tiny edition of 42, without numerals; also lettering in a frame, something like 74, but with the corners cut off; also what seems to be part of a large, double oval; also something similar to 58; also a pen-stroke.
Forged.—84 (the most usual); 62; also something like 49, but with lettering in the middle; also a small, pointed oval (not illustrated), with thin capital letters in it. 99 per cent, of the forgeries have 84.
The one great failing in all these forgeries is their want of clearness. In the genuine, every line comes out clearly and sharply cut; but the lettering of the counterfeits is ragged, and the design “cottony”. Nevertheless, these frauds are extremely common, and to be found in the collection of every youthful amateur.
Bogus Official Stamps
The surcharge, OFICIAL, found on some of the genuine stamps, is bogus.
1 Real, yellowish-brown.
If printed in the proper color, this would be an extremely dangerous forgery. Very finely engraved, in taille-douce, on medium, hard, white wove paper, perforated 13, not very well. The inner corners of the labels touch, between DE and COSTA. The left-hand star almost touches the curl of the leaf to left of it; and the second and third stars from the left very nearly touch each other; while the two right-hand stars are too far from the rest, and from each other. In the Fleur-de-lys ornament, above the R of REAL, the top point is very much smaller than the side ones. There are only three pearls to be seen on each of the little cups, out of which the side-leaves issue. The top stroke of the T of PORTE is broader than in the genuine, but not very much. I trust these tests will be sufficient; but the stamp has been copied remarkably well.
The numeral, in each case, is surrounded by a line, as in the annexed illustration, in the same colour, nearly half a millimeter from it. The 1, in its tallest part, is very nearly 9 1/2 millimeters high, and the 2 is 8 1/2 millimeters high. From the beginning of the C of CTO., to the center of the stop, there is a distance of 10 millimeters; and from the beginning of the C of CTS., to the center of the stop, there is a distance of 9 millimeters.
Forged and Bogus
There are several other values besides the genuine. They are, of course, surcharged on genuine stamps:
- 1 cto., 2 cts., 5 cts.; surcharged, in red, on the 1/2 real, blue.
- 10 cts., surcharged, in black, on the 2 Reales, vermilion.
- 20 cts., surcharged, in red, on the 4 Reales, green.
The figures of value are small, with no line round them. They are all 3 millimeters high; not one-third of the height of the genuine! From the beginning of the C of CTO., or CTS., to the center of the stop, there is a distance of 10 1/2 millimeters.
From: ‘Album Weeds’, 3rd edition by R. B. Eareé. 1906
See also –> Spud Papers – Costa Rica