Badly lithographed, on thick, very soft, coarsely-wove paper. The groundwork behind the bust is composed of crossed, vertical and horizontal lines. This is very plain on the left side of the stamp; but near the back of the head the lines are so dark, and so very close together, that the background appears almost solid, or uniform. The nose is broad all the way down, and rounded at the tip. The eyes are very large, the pupils round, the eyelashes well marked. The eyebrows are far apart, so that there is a good space across the base of the forehead. The coat is shaded with strong, oblique lines. The hair is rather curly, and is brushed away, so as to show a large space of white at the side of the head. There is a stop after each of the letters C. s. A.; but the one after the S is not quite so plain as the other two. There is no stop after the word TWO, either on the left or on the right side of the stamp. The ribbon at the bottom of the stamp, containing the words TWO CENTS, appears to be folded into a sort of bow in the center, between the two words; and the S of CENTS goes right up to the forked end of the ribbon, so that the fork absolutely cuts into the S. In the word POSTAGE, the head of the P is too high up, the cross-stroke of the T is very thin, and the G is of the usual type. The ribbon containing TWO CENTS is very wavy.
Coarsely lithographed, on thick paper, very hard. The feel of the paper is almost like that of exceedingly thin card, quite different from the soft paper of the genuine. The groundwork behind the bust is composed of horizontal lines of shading; and this will serve as a very easy, instant test. The nose is thin, pinched up, and acutely pointed at the tip. The eyes are very small and piggish, and the pupils small, and irregularly shaped. The eyelashes cannot be made out. The eyebrows almost meet over the nose. The coat appears to be composed of solid colour; but some of the lines can be seen on very close inspection. The hair sticks up almost straight on end, and there is a lot of it on the temples, which are bare in the genuine. There is no stop after any of the letters C S A; but there is a very plain one after the TWO on the left side of the stamp. The ribbon at the bottom of the stamp is almost straight; the centre appears to be folded on itself, but without any indication of a bow; and in the middle fold there is a very distinct L, which does not exist in the genuine. The forked end of the ribbon on the right side is quite clear of the S of CENTS. In the word POSTAGE, the P is like a D, the cross-stroke of the T is as thick as the rest of the letter, and the G has a most peculiar tail, extending almost to the bottom of the E.
The forgeries do not seem to be very common. I have only seen two copies; but they were very clean and new in appearance.
Lithographed, on rather thick, soft wove paper. The background, behind the portrait, is composed of crossed, vertical and horizontal lines, but they are set so very close together that it almost requires a micro- scope to see that the background is not solid. Both corners of the shirt-collar are very distinct. The beard is small, and appears to be partly hidden beneath the necktie. In the word POSTAGE, the dark spot of shading in the P is just like a D; the shading of the O goes almost to the top and bottom of the letter; there is a white dot above the A, and a small white blotch after the E, level with the center of it. The letters ON of CONFEDERATE almost touch each other. The last s of STATES and the E of AMERICA are altogether out of shape and deformed. There is some shading on the cheek, and a line near the side of the mouth, giving Davis the appearance of having very high cheek-bones. There is a slight line, marking the hollow in the center of the upper lip; but it is so slight as to be hardly noticeable.
Lithographed, on very similar paper to the genuine; also on thin card- board. It is found in red. , and in French grey, as well as in blue and green. I suppose I need hardly say that the red and the grey are altogether bogus colors, and may be at once set aside as false, without further examination. The design of this forgery is remarkably good, and might easily deceive anyone who had not a genuine copy to compare; and some specimens look almost better than the originals. I do not know where it was made. The background, behind the figure, is of crossed, vertical and horizontal lines, like the genuine, but not quite so close together. The chief difference between this counterfeit and the originals is that the designer of it has made a mistake in his copying, and evidently taken the left corner of the shirt-collar to be part of the beard. (When I say “left” I mean the one which would actually be the left if it were a real bust.) Thus there appear to be two wedge-shaped patches of white, hanging from the chin; and these are very distinct, and will serve as good tests of this imitation. These wedge-shaped patches give the beard an unduly prominent look, and it seems to come over the necktie, instead of beneath it. In the word POSTAGE, the dark spot of shading in the P is perfectly oval; the shading of the O does not go near to either the top or bottom of the letter; there is no white dot over the A; and no blotch after the E. The letters ON of CONFEDERATE are the same distance apart as the other letters of that word. The last S of STATES and the E of AMERICA are properly shaped. The dimple in the upper lip is very strongly marked; and the portrait does not appear to have high cheek-bones.
This is a very poor imitation, not to be compared with the one just described. It is found in blue, green, and also in red, like the first forgery. The portrait is not like that of an American at all. The beard and necktie are so indistinct that it is almost impossible to make them out. The eyes, instead of being directed forward, appear to be slyly looking over the shoulder. Only the right side of the shirt-collar is visible (left side of the stamp). The background, behind the figure, is of very coarse, crossed lines. The words POSTAGE FIVE CENTS are in thin letters, instead of the very large, fat letters of the originals; and the words CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA are so small as to be almost unreadable. Altogether this is a wretched attempt, and I think I need say no more about it.
Lithographed, on very thick, hard wove paper. This forgery is only a slight reminder of the design of the originals, and hardly seems to have been copied from them at all. The face is rather more like that of Jefferson Davis than the last forgery; but the background is composed of horizontal lines only, which will immediately condemn it. I have only seen this forgery in green; a fit emblem of those who could be taken in by it.
Genuine.—All my copies are cancelled with a very large circle, containing the name of the post-town, the month, and the day of the month.
Forged.—The forgeries are mostly unused ; but I have one copy which has what appears to be a part of the large circle upon it, though there is no lettering in the circle. Of all the forgeries just described, the first is the only one which may be called dangerous; the others are very poor, and not likely to deceive.
Lithographed, on wove paper, a little thinner than that of the 5 c., and slightly surfaced in the unused copies. The background, behind the figure, is composed of crossed, horizontal and vertical lines, even closer together than in the 5 c. The mouth is darkly shaded, which makes Madison look as though he had a mustache, but there is not one in reality. The high cravat and open shirt-front of the Georgian era are very white and distinct. The coat appears to have a stand-up collar. There are twenty-one scallops round the central circle; the ones immediately below CONFEDERATE STATES and immediately above OF AMERICA being very much more distinct and prominent than the others. Outside these scallops, there are five stars on the right hand, and four on the left. Each of these stars has four points, blunt and indistinct. There is a white circle in the middle of each star, and a dark spot in the center of this. I must state that these stars are not at all easy to make out; for at a first glance they appear to be white balls or rings, instead of stars. The S and G of POSTAGE are both misshapen. The words TEN CENTS are in fat, squeezed-up letters; and the S of CENTS is like a reversed Z. There are two very distinct colored lines under TEN CENTS.
Lithographed, on very thin wove paper. The background is an easy test for this counterfeit, as it is composed of coarse, horizontal lines only, instead of the fine, crossed lines of the genuine. There is a mustache, rather small, but perfectly distinct. The dress is very poorly copied, as Madison appears to have a stiff stock and cuirass, instead of a cravat and shirt-frill; the cuirass, of course, does duty instead of a coat. The central circle is surrounded by twenty-six scallops; the side ones being very nearly as distinct as those at the top and bottom. Outside these scallops, there are five colored rings on the right-hand side, and four on the left, each having a blotch of lighter colour in its center; these do not, in the smallest degree, resemble the stars of the original stamps. The S and G of POSTAGE are of the normal shape ; the words TEN CENTS are in thin, block letters; the S of CENTS is correctly shaped. There is only one colored line under the words TEN CENTS.
Genuine.—The genuine stamps bear the cancellation mentioned above, but sometimes they are obliterated merely with a pen-stroke.
Forged.—I have not seen any of the forgeries cancelled.
Engraved in épargne; varieties of paper as above. The upper lip is well shaped, with a very strong, vertical hollow, or dimple, in the center of it. The nose is straight, and not like the Jewish type. The eyes look to the right of the stamp. The horizontal lines of shading in the background are set so very closely together as to make the whole background look dark; but the hair, on the left side of the stamp, especially in the London print, is plainly distinguishable from the background. The white centers of the four stars in the inner corners are all of the same size and shape. The C of CONFEDERATE, and the last S of STATES are both at the same distance from their respective ends of the containing- label. The first T of STATES is slightly taller than the other. The S of CENTS is quite upright. The line running round the stamp is dark, and well-defined.
Lithographed, in pale, greenish-blue, on thin wove paper, smooth, but not glazed. The nose is very decidedly Jewish in shape, which is a good test for this counterfeit. The upper lip appears to have been crushed in, so as to give the President a sort of hare-lip. The eyes appear to look almost at the spectator. The horizontal lines of shading in the background are farther apart than in the genuine, and quite pale; so that the bust appears many shades darker than the lines. The white centers of the stars in the bottom corners are smaller than those in the top corners, and the center of the right-hand bottom star is not round like the rest. The C of CONFEDERATE is nearer to the left border of the stamp than the last S of STATES is to the right border. The first T of STATES is no taller than the second T. The s of CENTS seems to be falling over to the right. The line running round the outside of the stamp is very faint, and would hardly be noticed on a first inspection.
This is a marvelous production, and I took it to be a reprint when I first saw it. Lately (1903) I have met with it in large quantities, in sheets of 100, 10 x JO. Except for the colour, it might deceive almost anybody.
Engraved in épargne, in pale, very greenish-blue, on thin, white wove paper, ungummed. The paper is as thin as the stamps of the London print, and the whole appearance is that of the London print, except that the paper is not glazed. The design is copied, line for line, with great accuracy, the chief test being the F of FIVE. In the genuine, the central tongue of this letter projects fully | mm. from the upright stroke, being about half the length of the top stroke, and very nearly the length of the central tongue of the E of CENTS. In this forgery, the central tongue of the said F is very short,—hardly a quarter of the length of the top stroke, and decidedly shorter than the central tongue of the E of CENTS. The outer, colored line down the right side of the stamp is distinctly thicker than the white line immediately to left of it; whereas, in the genuine, the white line is decidedly thicker than the outer, blue one. The sloping line, above the corner of the mouth, stops short, in the genuine, before reaching the curl of the nostril; but, in this counterfeit, the said line is carried up to join the nostril. The hair on the right side is very little, if at all, darker than the lined background, so that the one can hardly be distinguished from the other; but in the genuine, especially the London print, which this forgery imitates, the hair is quite distinct from the background. Some of the specimens on the sheet show a distinct serif to the head of the C of CONFEDERATE, others have a block-letter C, with head and tail alike. I trust the short-tongued F of FIVE will be enough to betray this dangerous counterfeit.
Genuine.—1, very large, with name, and date of month, but, usually, not the date of year. Also a word or words in writing.
First Forgery.—My specimen is not cancelled.
Second Forgery.—I have seen no postmarked copies.
Genuine Engraved in taille-douce, on rather thin wove paper. The oval of crossed lines, immediately behind the head, is very much the darkest part of the stamp. The profile of the beard almost forms a right-angle with the neck where it joins it, and the beard itself runs a little up the side of the face. The strong line which outlines the cheek-bone has a second, lighter line, parallel with it, and both lines slope away from the corner of the mouth, and point towards the middle of the base of the neck. The front of the base of the neck goes to the very edge of the dark, oval background of crossed lines. The S and T of POSTAGE do not touch each other at the top; and the O of that word has its central line of shading extending almost from the top to the bottom, very nearly cutting the letter in two. The word CENTS is nicely drawn, each letter being of the same size as the rest. In the inscription on the left side of the stamp, the T of THE is not mixed up with the boundary of the containing-label; and the E of that word is an ordinary Gothic E, just like the others. In the inscription on the right-hand side of the stamp, there is a very small OF, in tiny, block letters, between the words STATES AMERICA; but though so extremely small, it can be readily seen with a microscope, or, indeed, with a good pair of eyes either. In varieties (a) and (b), the ornament to the left of the 10 contains four very heavy bars of shading; and the similar ornament, to the right of the S of CENTS, has also four bars in it. In the retouched varieties, there is some extra shading outside the four bars, in each case. The outlines of the various ovals in the design are drawn perfectly true, without any wavering or unsteadiness. The outline of the label containing CONFEDERATE STATES forms the outline of the stamp on the left side, as far as the words extend; and the outline of the label containing STATES OF AMERICA, similarly, forms the outline of the stamp on the right side, as far as the words extend.
Poorly lithographed, on stout wove paper; no gum. The oval of crossed lines, behind the bust, is very pale, and does not show off the portrait at all. There is a rounded hollow where the beard joins the neck. The front of the base of the neck does not come to the edge of the oval of crossed lines. The S and T of POSTAGE touch each other at the top, and the 0 of that word has its central line of shading not nearly reaching from the top to the bottom of the letter. The word CENTS is very badly drawn, and this will be, perhaps, the easiest test for this counterfeit; the C is much smaller than the other letters, and the N is very straggling. The T of THE is mixed up with the border of its containing-label, so as to be hardly readable; and the E of that word is a very poor attempt at a Gothic E, and not like the others in the word CON- FEDERATE. In the inscription on the right-hand side of the stamp, the OF between the words STATES AMERICA is represented by a couple of dots; I suppose the counterfeiter could not make the word out, or could not draw such tiny letters. The ornament to the left of the 10 contains four thick bars and one thin one; the similar ornament to the right of CENTS contains five thick bars. The outlines of the various ovals in the design are wavy, almost as though they had been drawn by an unsteady hand; and they are very different from the firm, smooth lines of the genuine. Although there are so many differences between the genuine and the forged, still this counterfeit might deceive. However, if my readers will remember that it is a lithograph, and the genuine ones are taille-douce engravings, they need not be taken in.
This is an atrocious caricature, and not likely to deceive any but the merest tyro. Typographed, in dull ultramarine, on very thick, white wove paper, ungummed. The groundwork behind the head is of vertical lines only, which is an easy test. The beard is a semicircular tuft, just beneath the chin, and there is no hair at all on the front of the chin or the side of the cheek. There is one strong line running down from below the eye to the corner of the mouth. The front of the base of the neck does not reach the boundary of the central oval. The central dark part of the o of POSTAGE is not a nice oval, like the genuine, but slopes to the left at the bottom, and the top and bottom of the letter are much thicker than in the genuine. The little OF after STATES is too large, and the F is a good deal larger than the O. The O of CONFEDERATE is a plain letter, instead of a Gothic one. The outside of the stamp has only a very faint resemblance to the genuine, as the corner scroll-work is inside the outline of the stamp, instead of outside it, and there is an extra white outline outside the two side-labels. I think the above details will be abundantly sufficient for the detection of this counterfeit, which looks very new.
Genuine.—As before; the day of the month being sometimes written in. Also 29. Also a mark like 96, but larger.
First Forgery.—Mostly uncancelled, but this counterfeit may be met with, bearing the words P.D., in thick, largish capitals.
Second Forgery.—My specimen is uncancelled.
Engraved in taille-douce, varieties as above. I notice that both varieties are the same price in my publishers’ catalog, but I should have thought, judging from my own small experience, that the thick paper stamp must be very much scarcer than the other. The nose of Washington is well formed, and straight, and his forehead is very lightly shaded, so that it is impossible to see where the forehead ends and the wig begins. The cravat and shirt-front seem to be all in one piece, as there is no division-line between the two. The background, behind the bust, is composed of very distinct, vertical lines of shading. The numerals 20, at the top of the stamp, are printed very much darker than any other part of it. The coat stands out well from the background, and it is shaded with very thick, oblique lines, which are quite distinct. The Gothic inscription, THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, is also distinct, and in good-sized letters. The part of the lower ribbon, immediately behind the word TWENTY, is almost totally devoid of shading, so that the word stands out plainly.
Badly lithographed, on thick, hard, white wove paper. The nose is a mere caricature, being knocked all to one side; and the mouth is very badly shaped, instead of being almost a straight line as in the genuine. The forehead is darkly shaded with horizontal lines, and the wig is perfectly white, so that it contrasts strongly with the forehead, as in our illustration, which rather resembles this forgery in many respects. There is a dark line, dividing the cravat from the shirt-front. The background, behind the bust, seems to be solid; though there are indications of shading in one or two places. The coat is perfectly invisible, owing to the darkness of the background. The 20, at the top of the stamp, is no darker than the rest of the design. The words CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA are very faint, and almost unreadable; the lettering is much thinner than in the genuine. The ribbon is a good deal shaded behind the word TWENTY, SO that the letters do not stand out from it, and the last T is just like a Y.
Genuine.—The originals, when postmarked, bear the name in large circle, described above.
Forged.—The forgeries are not obliterated.
This is not a forgery, as some collectors seem to fancy, but simply a stamp that was prepared for use and never issued. Of course, I need not say that any postmarked specimen bears, of necessity, a forged cancellation.
Engraved in epargne (?), on thin, highly-glazed, yellowish-white wove paper, brownish gum. The colour is a brownish-orange. The background of the central circle is very dark, and looks solid, though it is composed of horizontal lines of shading, set very close together. The portrait reminds one of the pictures of Beethoven, the hair on the right side of the face (left side of the stamp) is so very wavy as to be almost curly, and it hangs down level, each side of the face. The mouth is well-shaped, closely shut, and rather stern-looking. The two corners of the white collar are very Gladstonian, and project forwards. The letters of CONFEDERATE STATES are all of equal size, and the C of CONFEDERATE and the last S of STATES are nearly equidistant from their respective ends of the top label, the S being a little further from the end than the C is. The top limb of the E of ONE is shorter than the bottom limb. The colored line down the right side of the stamp is very thin,—far thinner than the white line to left of it; and the same is the case with the colored line down the left side of the stamp, and the white line to right of it.
Typographed, on very thick, white wove paper, white gum. The colour is a lemon-yellow. The background of the central circle is very light, and the horizontal lines of which it is composed are very easy to see, and too far apart. The portrait is very Jewish, and the eyes seem to be set too close together. The hair on the left side of the stamp hangs down very low, so as almost to touch the shoulder; it is only very slightly wavy, and reminds one of the hair in the pictures of Liszt. On the right side of the stamp the hair is much too short, as it does not hang down much below the level of the middle of the nose. The right side of the top of the head (left side of stamp) is one large patch of white. The mouth is a curious shape; it appears to be open, showing a very white row of upper teeth. The corners of the collar appear to turn down, but this may be an optical delusion. The C and O of CONFEDERATE are decidedly smaller than the rest of the letters, and the E is much closer to the left-hand end of the label, than the S of STATES is to the right-hand end. The top and bottom limbs of the E of ONE are of equal length. The colored line, down the right-hand edge of the stamp, is very nearly as thick as the white line next to it.
Provisional Local Issues
These are not quite so numerous as the locals of the Northern States, but still there are quite enough of them to dishearten the average collector, who possesses little experience, and, perhaps, less money; for many of these provisionals are somewhat dubious in character, and nearly all of them are very expensive to buy. As I said before, I have not been able to procure many of the undoubted originals; for I find that collectors, as a rule, are not particularly fond of lending valuable stamps out of their albums, and thus I cannot give a description of all the forgeries in my possession. To show how numerous the latter are, I subjoin a list of the contents of a packet received some years ago, from a dealer in the Northern States, who was, I am sorry to say, rather too well known as a vendor of falsities. The stamps all look very new and fresh, and I think that a good many of them were then lately issued; but I recognize a few, which I used to know long before even the first edition of this book appeared. The forgeries in the said packet are:
- Athens, Ga.; red, blue, mauve
- Bucks Richmond Express; 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 cents. (Bogus.)
- Baton Rouge, La.; 5 c., on green, blue, and orange papers
- Charleston, S.C.; numeral in garter; 5 c.
- Charleston; fort in center; 1, 2, 5 c. (Bogus?)
- Confederate States; flag; 10 c., green, blue, black. (Bogus?)
- Confed. Blockade Postage; 25 c., brown ; 50 c., green, black on red; 1 dollar, blue, green, brown, red, mauve. (Bogus ?)
- Columbia, P.O.; 5 c., blue on white, red on blue, red on white, red on orange.
- P.O. Columbia, S.C.; 5 c., blue on green, red on blue, red on orange
- Florida Express; mauve, red, blue, green, brown, also red on green
- Fredericksburg; 2 c.
- Greenville, Ala.; 5 c., 10 c.
- Houston, Texas; 30 c.
- Knoxville, Tenn.; eagle; 5 c., green on green, red on orange
- Knoxville, Tenn.; numeral; 10 c., blue.
- Livingston; 5 c.
- Macon, Ga.; 5, 10 c.
- Madison; 3 c., green on white; 2 c., blue on green
- Memphis; numeral; 5 c.
- Mobile; 2 c , 5 c.
- Nashville; small numeral; 5 c., 10 c.
- Nashville; large numeral; 3 c.
- New Orleans; head; 20 c., blue, mauve, scarlet
- New Orleans; numeral; 2 c., blue, red; 5 c., brown, red, mauve.
- Petersburg, Va.; 5 c., blue
- Rheatown, Tenn.; 5 c., red
- Richmond; crossed cannons; black, blue, also red on green
- Richmond; flag; 5 c., red, green. (Bogus ?)
- Savannah; 2 c., 10 c.
- Selma, Ala.; 5 c., red, blue
- Sparta, Ala.; 2 c., 5 c., 10 c.
- Statesville, N.C.; 3 c., brown, blue, also red on blue.
- Weldon; 5 c.
- Wilmington; 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 c. red.
All these labels are, as I said, very new-looking, have plenty of gum at the back, and most of them were then probably new concoctions. Of course it will be understood that some of the stamps here named never had any existence, except in the too-fertile brain of their forger; but many of them are counterfeits, more or less good, of undoubtedly real stamps, most of them of great rarity. Of the Livingston, for instance, I never saw but one copy, which was in the possession of Mr. Atlee more than thirty years ago; but, as far as I remember at this distance of time, the imitation in my forgery-album is an exceedingly good copy of the genuine. I fancy that the list here given will show that it is almost an impossibility for an average Englishman to write a description of the endless number of counterfeit Confederate locals. However, as many of the genuine ones are only to be found treasured up in the collections of our leading amateurs, it is extremely improbable that any of my readers will ever be offered specimens of the rarest of them; so I need say no more about them, except to suggest that none of these stamps should be accepted, without a certain guarantee from some irreproachable authority.
These are the rectangular stamps, with figure of value in the center, under the word PAID, surrounded by eleven stars. This same design, with the necessary alterations of name, etc., is found on the stamps of Athens, Nashville, etc.
5 Cents, vermilion.
Lithographed, rather badly, in yellowish-vermilion, on thin, grey laid, and thick, yellowish-white wove papers. There is a comma after CHARLTON, another after KNOXVILLE, and a colon after TENN. The word PAID is level with the H of C.H. CHARLTON. The letters XV of KNOXVILLE are joined together at the top. There are eleven large, five-pointed stars round the central oval.
* This stamp has been reprinted, in chocolate, on bluish wove paper, also in red-brown, on white wove, and in scarlet, on white laid paper.
Lithographed, rather better than the genuine, on thin, white wove paper. There is a full-stop after the word CHARLTON, a full-stop after the word KNOXVILLE, and a full-stop after TENN. The word PAID is level with the C of C.H. CHARLTON. The letters XV of KNOXVILLE are not joined together anywhere. There are eleven small, five-pointed stars round the central oval.
10 Cents, green.
This stamp is the same as the 5 cents in design, except that the value is altered. The tests are exactly the same as those of the genuine 5 c.
This stamp is the same as the forged 5 cents, except that the value is altered. The tests are exactly the same as for the forged 5 cents.
This is the stamp, without name of issuing town, inscribed PAID, M.C. CALLAWAY, with numeral in the center, crossed by the word CENTS, as in the illustration here given.
Lithographed, in pale greenish-blue, on thin, white wove paper. The N of CENTS is very thin, the letters E, T, and S are thick, and the c is very thick. The front bottom corner of the 2 is blunt, and the dark line round this numeral is unbroken, except just under the T of CENTS, where there is a little flaw. The stars in the circle are very large, and the rays are fat, and not very acutely pointed. The star to the left of the C of CENTS is on a considerably higher level than that letter. The D of PAID is very square. The first L of CALLAWAY comes nearer to the bottom of the stamp than the second L does. The white lines of the plaid groundwork are all perfectly straight and parallel. Of those running obliquely down from right to left there are fourteen complete sets of four, with three lines at the left-hand top corner, and two at the right-hand bottom corner. Of those running obliquely down from left to right, there are fifteen complete sets of four, with three lines at the right-hand top corner, and none at the left-hand bottom corner.
Lithographed, in dark blue, on rather stout, hard, white wove paper. All the letters of the word CENTS are about the same thickness, except the N, which is thicker than the rest, instead of thinner. The front bottom corner of the 2 is very sharply pointed;, there is a very slight flaw in its outline, under the T of CENTS, and a very distinct flaw at the top, near the ball. The star to the left of the C of CENTS is very much below the level of that letter. The D of PAID is properly shaped. The second L of CALLAWAY comes as near to the bottom of the stamp as the first L does. Some of the white lines of the plaid groundwork are wavy and irregular. Of those running obliquely down from right to left, there are fifteen complete sets of four, with three lines at the right-hand bottom corner. Of those running obliquely down from left to right, there are fourteen complete sets of four, with three lines at the right-hand top corner, and three also at the left-hand bottom corner.
This is the ugly stamp, with PAID 5 MEMPHIS, TENN. on a sort of plaid ground. The originals are poorly done; and one of the forgeries is considerably better-looking than the genuine.
* This has been reprinted, in pale red, on very white, ordinary wove paper.
Lithographed, in a sort of carmine-vermilion, or in red, on stout, and on thin, yellowish-white wove paper. The plaid groundwork will have to be carefully examined, as the chief test of the genuine is to be found there. Counting the white lines which run from the left-hand top to the right-hand bottom, there are ten whole sets of four lines, with a half set at each end. Of the lines which run from the right-hand top to the left-hand bottom, there are ten whole sets of four, with a half set at the bottom. A portion of the red part of the groundwork generally touches the top of the P of PAID, making it look as though the up-stroke had been carried too high, so as to show above the level of the rounded part. The D of the same word is of the proper shape. The figure 5 has its lower curl projecting too far, with a very large ball at the end of it. The inside of the hollow of the 5 is so filled up with the white lines that, at first sight, it might almost be supposed to have a solid white background. There are thirty-eight scallops round the outside of the stamp, and some of them are very much blotched, though they are all about the same size and shape.
Lithographed, on rather thin, wove paper, the tint of the stamp being almost exactly the same as that of the genuine. There are ten sets of four white lines running from the left-hand top to the right-hand bottom, but there are three lines, instead of two, at each end to fill up. There are ten whole sets of four lines running from the right-hand top to the left-hand bottom, with two lines at the top, and three at the bottom, to fill up. The P of PAID is an ordinary block letter, with the up-stroke level with the top of the rounded portion as usual. The D of the same word is almost square. The figure 5 is almost exactly like the genuine, but the white lines inside it are not so conspicuous. There are thirty-eight scallops round the stamp, but they are too large, too regular, and too light in colour, and not at all blotched. I should call this a dangerous forgery.
Lithographed, in rose-carmine, on thick, soft, very white wove paper. There are only nine whole sets of four white lines running from the left- hand top to the right-hand bottom, with a half set at each end. There are ten whole sets of lines running from the right-hand top to the left-hand bottom, without any parts of sets at the ends. The up-stroke of the P of PAID shows slightly above the rounded portion, but only very slightly. The outline of the D of the same word is perfectly rectangular, without any rounded corners. The lower curl of the figure 5 gets far too thin towards the end, and the ball at the end of the tail is absurdly small for the size of the figure. The inside of the hollow of the figure shows almost as much colour as white, because the lines are too far apart. There are thirty-eight scallops round the stamp, but they are of all shapes and sizes; and those on the right are so blotched and out of shape as to be hardly counted. This forgery is very poor.
Poorly lithographed, in scarlet, on stout, hard, white wove paper, ungummed. There are ten sets of lines running from the left-hand top to the right-hand bottom, with, apparently, only one line at each end; and ten sets running from the right-hand top to the left-hand bottom, with no line at the top, and only one at the bottom. The head of the P of PAID runs into an oblique patch of the red of the groundwork, so that it looks as if the up-stroke had been made very much too high, and had then been bent over to the right. A large blotch of red partly fills up the hollow in the body of the 5, but this blotch is absent in the genuine. The right foot of the A of PAID is enlarged by a blotch of colour, and there is a similar but smaller blotch, which projects from the right top corner of the 1. The head of the P of MEMPHIS is solid in my specimen, but it may be only heavily printed. It has a round white dot in it, in the genuine. The scallops round the outside of the stamp are so very badly done and so blotchy, that they cannot be counted.
Genuine.—1, very large, containing name in large, wide capitals, and date.
Forged.—All my forgeries are uncancelled.
There is a 2 cents, black, of this type, of which I have a forgery, but I have not been able to obtain a genuine specimen, with which to compare it. This 2 cents is decidedly scarce; Scott prices it at 50 dollars.
Lithographed, on thin, white wove paper. The ornament in each corner is a sort of flower, of four long, pointed petals, with the divisions in the center, where the petals touch each other, very plainly marked by blue lines. The name, MOBILE, is in fat letters, exactly two millimeters high, and the distance between the outer edges of the two vertical strokes of the M is one millimeter and a half. Between the upper outline of the stamp and the top of the word MOBILE, there are two thin lines of background to be seen, as the lettering only reaches to the third line. There is one clear line of the background visible, between the bottoms of the letters of the name and the lower outline of the containing-label; the letters of MOBILE all resting on the second line from the bottom. The lettering of POSTOFFICE (all in one word) is very clear and distinct. The vertical stroke of the P is very close to the end of the containing-label; i.e., not a quarter of a millimeter from it, and the end of the E is almost as close to the other end of the label. The horizontal lines in the background of this bottom label are very pale, as compared with the lettering; so that POSTOFFICE stands out well from the background. The background of the side-labels is perfectly solid, without any blotches of white. The letters of PAID and CENTS are all cut off sharply square; the C and s of CENTS are at equal distances from their respective ends of the label. The outline of the central star is not broken anywhere; the side-points just touch the inner outlines of the side-labels. The 5 is very large, and reaches to within half a millimeter of the junction of the outlines of the two lower rays of the star; while the head of the numeral goes well up into the top ray, and the re-entering angles of the side-rays come within three-quarters of a millimeter of the front and back of the 5. This numeral is an ordinary 5, except that the end of the head-stroke is cut off bluntly and obliquely, instead of tapering to a point. The sailors (or whatever they are) in the top spandrels have handsome features, and clustering or curling hair. The one on the left has a large, white turn-down collar, and a dark necktie in a sailor’s knot; he is holding across his breast an object which looks like a long-shanked dumb- bell. The sailor to the right is similarly attired; his two hands are very distinct, and holding a horizontal bar. The lady in the left lower corner has long hair; her arms are close to her sides, and she is looking towards the bottom of the 5. She is standing behind the head of a large anchor, on which her hands seem to be placed. The figure on the right is Ceres, with her sickle, which she is holding up with her right hand, so that her arm is across her chest, and the sickle is high above her left shoulder. Her features are distinct, and she is looking down at a plough, which is below the bottom of the star.
Lithographed, on very thick, very white wove paper. The ornaments in the corners are clumsy, four-pointed stars, perfectly white all over. This is an easy test. The name is in thin, irregular letters, rather less than two millimeters high, and the distance between the outer edges of the vertical strokes of the M is rather less than a millimeter and a half. There is only one clear line of shading between the tops of the letters of MOBILE and the upper outline, and the said upper outline is very little thicker than the lines of shading; whereas, in the genuine, the outline is much thicker than the shading in the label. Below the name, and between it and the lower outline of the label, there are two lines of shading to be seen, as far as the B, and one line for the rest of the distance ; that is to say, the letters MOB rest on the second line from the bottom, whilst the other letters rest on the first line from the bottom. The lettering of POST OFFICE (in two words) is very ragged, the letters FFI being specially imperfect. The vertical stroke of the P is rather more than half a millimeter from the end of the containing-label, while the E is somewhat nearer than this to the other end. The vertical stroke of the P slants over slightly to the right. The horizontal lines of shading in this bottom label are so dark that the lettering does not stand out from them at all clearly. The background of the side-labels contains many white blotches, and there are two of them, looking like a colon, just after the T of CENTS. The bottom of the T of CENTS is cut off fairly square ; otherwise all the letters of PAID and CENTS have their ends, or tops and bottoms, as the case may be, more or less rounded, CENTS is placed too much to the right, so that the S is much closer to the end than the C is to the beginning of the containing-label. The outline of the central star is widely broken below the 5, and also to the right of the head of that numeral. The side-points do not touch the outlines of the side-labels. The 5 is much too small; the top of the head is exactly on a level with the upper outlines of the side-rays of the star, instead of going up into the top ray. The bottom is about one millimeter from the (broken) re-entering angle of the lower rays. The re-entering angles of the side-rays do not come within a millimeter and a half of the front and back of the 5. The numeral is an ornamental 5, with little flat places cut in the body, instead of being smoothly rounded. It is thick throughout, and has no ball. The end of the head-stroke is cut off perfectly vertically. The figure in the left top corner is like a shield, with a cross on it, and a man’s head sticking out of the top of the shield; there are no arms or hands, the features are dots, and the clustering locks are absent. The sailor to the right has no arms or hands, and no collar. There is a cross in front of him. His features are dots, and the clustering locks are invisible. The lady in the left lower corner has her arms almost akimbo; her face (features three dots) has a despairing expression, and she appears to be gazing up at the I of PAID. At her feet there is an oval shield, bearing a white cross. The figure in the right lower corner is very indistinct; it looks rather like a man in long robes, with one dot for features, a skull-cap, a cape or tippet, no sickle, and the arms hanging down. There is no plough below the bottom of the star. I might have given many other points of difference, but the above will be amply sufficient.
This is much more deceptive than the other. Lithographed, on very thick, hard, very white wove paper, ungummed. The flowers in the corners are like the genuine, except that they are somewhat thinner. The name is in thin letters, rather less than 2 mm. high; the width of the M is the same as in the first forgery. There is only one line between the tops of the letters of MOBILE and the outline above them, and the outline is very little thicker than the other lines, as in the first forgery. There are two horizontal lines below the name, in addition to the thick lower outline. These two lines can be seen all the way across; but in the first forgery, there is one line clear all the way, and part of another under MOB, as before stated. POST OFFICE (two words) is in thin, but tolerably regular letters. Below the bottom outline of the stamp, all my specimens of this second counterfeit show a thick blotch, extending from under the T of POST to the beginning of the I of OFFICE, with an extra thickening of the blotch under the OF. This does not exist either in the genuine, or in the first forgery. The P and E of POST OFFICE are as far from the ends of the containing-label as in the first forgery, but the P is upright. The A of PAID, in the genuine, is splayed out, so that there is a distance of fully 2 1/2 mm. between the outside corners of the feet of it; in this forgery the A is squeezed in, and only measures if mm. across the bottom. The I comes down very decidedly lower than the D, instead of being quite level with it. In the word CENTS, the letters are of the same width throughout, but in the genuine, the back of the C, the vertical stroke of the E, the oblique stroke of the N, the vertical stroke of the T, and the oblique part of the S are all thickened; and, moreover, the C of the genuine is an ugly letter, but it is part of a nice, regular oval, in this forgery. The 5, in size and position, is very like the genuine; but the tail ends in a real ball, instead of a sort of reversed comma. The figure in the left lower corner is a man, in a long, flowing robe or cloak, and a white shirt-front; he has three dots for features. As in the first forgery, he has a shield at his feet, with a cross on it. There is no anchor to be seen. The figure in the right lower corner is a lady; she has her right arm apparently behind her, and her left arm is hanging down. There is no sickle in her hand, and no plough below the bottom of the central star.
Genuine.—29, the outer circle 25 mm. across, the inner one 14, with MOBILE, ALA., in large, thin, block letters, between the circles, and date in the center.
I have only been able to obtain the 5 c., brown, but I believe that both it and the 5 c., rose, are exactly the same in everything except colour, so that, in that case, a description of one will hold good for both.
Engraved in épargne, on bluish-grey wove paper, rather hard and thin. There is a large comma after the word NASHVILLE, a colon after TENN., and a comma after NISH. The white line under PAID is equidistant from the bottom of that word and the top of the 5. The upright stroke of the P in PAID is too short, making the letter look almost like a D. Both the lower points of the w in the postmaster’s name are cut off square. The C of Mc is a small capital, with the usual head. The head of the I in NISH is too large on the right-hand side, and the tail of that letter is too large on the left-hand side. The two upright strokes of the H of NISH are far apart. In the word TENN., the first two letters are a good deal larger than the last two.
At present I have only seen the 5 c., red, but no doubt it also exists in the other color. Lithographed, in carmine-red, on very thick, green wove paper. There is a little upright, oblong stop after NASHVILLE, a similar one after TENN., and a full-stop after NISH. The line under PAID is nearer to the bottom of that word than it is to the top of the 5. The P of PAID is properly shaped. The left lower point of the w is cut off square, but the right one is pointed. The C of Mc is a small (or “lower-case”) letter. The head of the I in NISH is properly formed; the tail is not perfect on the right-hand side. The top of the s in the same word is very much larger than the bottom. The upright strokes of the H in this word almost touch each other; and the top and bottom-strokes extend right across the letter, though they are short and separate in the genuine. All the letters of the word TENN. are of equal size.
I have not a copy of this, but I believe that it is the same die as the 5 c., with the necessary alteration in the value. At any rate, if my readers possess a stamp answering to the following description, they may know that it is a counterfeit.
Lithographed, in bluish-green, on white wove paper, rather thin and soft. The whole of the outer frame is rather smudged in the printing. There is a full-stop after NASHVILLE, an upright, oblong stop after TENN., and a full-stop after NISH. The white line under PAID is close to the bottom of that word, and a long way from the top of the 10. The 1 of 10 is taller than the o, and the top of it is damaged. The letters of the word TENN. are all of equal size.
Lithographed, on thin, white wove paper. The lower front corner of the 2 breaks into the white circle surrounding it, and the point of the tail is curled up until it touches the white line round the back of the numeral. The ornaments on each side, between PAID and CENTS, are evidently cotton-pods, and the three pointed ends of the calyx, or cup-shaped part, holding the cotton, are very distinct. There is a white full-stop between the words NEW ORLEANS, and the letters are large and perfect. The R of RIDDELL, at the top of the stamp, is imperfect; and there is a distinct full-stop after that name, both at the top and bottom of the stamp. There is also a full-stop after each of the initials J. L., at the top and bottom of the stamp. The colored line, running round the whole stamp, is at some little distance from it, and does not touch it anywhere. There are many little differences between the genuine and forged, in the ornamental spandrels, but they are difficult to describe without a diagram.
Badly lithographed, on very thick, wove paper. The lower front corner of the 2 does not touch the white circle round it, and the point of the tail does not touch the white line round the back of the numeral. It is impossible to say what the ornaments are, between the ends of the labels containing PAID and CENTS; and only the central point of the calyx can be made out. There is a white hyphen between the words NEW ORLEANS, and the O is simply a white blotch. The stop after the initial L at the top is misshapen and blotchy; the R is tolerably correct in shape; the last L looks something like an I. There is no stop after the J at the bottom, and none after RIDDELL, and the R is smaller than the rest of the letters. The coloured line running round the whole stamp is very close to it, broken, irregular, and touching the stamp in several places. The easiest test for this forgery will be found in the hyphen between NEW ORLEANS, and the white blotch, instead of an o, in the latter word.
Lithographed, varieties as above. I have only a few specimens, so cannot give particulars as to the different types. The tail of the 5 ends in a large white ball, as thick across as the broadest part of the numeral. Inside the hollow of the 5, there is, as mentioned above, a very distinct, small white 8. The 1 of PAID, if prolonged upwards, would pass between the letters RL of ORLEANS. The O of the latter word is almost circular. One of the points of the ornament in the left-hand upper corner extends right under the initial L of the postmaster’s name. The ornament in the left-hand lower corner is a sort of leaf, more or less like the one in the right lower corner, but the shape of these leaves seems to be different in the different types. In any case, the part of the left-hand leaf which runs up towards the P of POST is not in the least like a four-pronged fork, or an arm and hand with four fingers. There are nine little dots above the upper J. L. RIDDELL label, and eight very much larger dots below the lower J. L. RIDDELL label. The upper dots are often blotched, but the lower ones show the white centers very plainly. One of my specimens, on white wove, has the whole of the lower label blotched into one solid mass of colour, so that name and dots are alike hidden. Whether this is a reprint, or only a hastily-printed original, I cannot say. The tops of the letters ID in the lower RIDDELL are not joined together. Except in very blotchy specimens, the whole shape of the cotton-pods, each side of PAID, can be distinguished. The S of ORLEANS is at some distance from the end of the containing-label.
Lithographed, in brown on white wove, rose on white wove, mauve on yellowish wove, and brown on blue wove paper. The mauve stamp is on very thick paper, but all the others are on thin. The tail of the 5 ends in a very small white ball, much too small for the size of the numeral. There is no 8 inside the hollow of the 5, though the brown on blue has an indistinct blotch there, which is wanting in the other copies. The I of PAID, if prolonged upwards, would cut into the L of ORLEANS, except in the brown on blue, which is like the genuine in this respect. The O of this latter word is oval, and badly formed. The central point of the leaf-ornament in the left-hand upper corner of the stamp does not extend beyond the initial J. of the postmaster’s name. The ornament in the left-hand lower corner is in three separate pieces, the outer one being exactly like a four-pronged dinner-fork, with a stout handle, or like a hand and arm, with four fingers. This is an easy test, and is very distinct; it is not in the least like the leaf-ornament of the genuine. There are only eight little clots between the top border of the stamp and the upper label, containing J. L. RIDDELL; and the similar dots at the bottom of the stamp are of the same size as the ones at the top, and generally solid. The s of ORLEANS very nearly touches the end of its containing-label. It will be seen, from the foregoing remarks, that the forgery of the brown on blue differs from the rest in several points; but I have not thought it worthy of a separate description. The brown on white is the best forgery, but of course I need hardly say that the red and mauve stamps are in altogether imaginary colors
This is the same as the first forgery, except in the details now to be given. Lithographed, in brown, on thinnish, white wove paper. It is a redder brown than that of any of my genuine specimens. There is, as in the genuine, a small, distinct, white 8, inside the centre of the 5. The O of ORLEANS is fairly circular, but bulges out towards the bottom of the I of the upper RIDDELL. The central point of the leaf-ornament in the left top corner reaches a little further than below the stop after the upper J. The S of ORLEANS has a broad, colored background, and this background goes very close to the end of the containing-lab.
Typographed, on rather stout, yellowish-white wove paper. The whole pattern of the stamp is composed of little ornamental bits, which, for want of a better name, I shall call “trefoils.” The trefoils above w. E. BASS, P.M., point downwards. This is the easiest test. PETERSBURG is in much larger letters than VIRGINIA. The v of VIRGINIA comes exactly centrally under the T of PETERSBURG, the first 1 under the left foot of the E, the R under the right foot of the E, the Gunder the right foot of the R, the second 1 centrally under the s, the N under the first stroke of the R, the last I centrally between the letters BU, the A under the last stroke of the U, and the stop under the first stroke of the R. From the center of the vertical stroke of the p to the center of the G of PETERSBURG, the distance is, as nearly as possible, fourteen millimeters, while the distance from the center of the V to the center of the A of VIRGINIA is seven and a half millimeters. The P of POST is two millimeters high. From the center of the vertical stroke of the P, to the center of the E of POST OFFICE, the distance is fourteen millimeters, and to the stop, fifteen millimeters. The 5 has a very short head, not very much curved, and blunt at the point, not nearly as wide as the width of the letter, The name, w. E. BASS, P.M., is put centrally in the containing-oblong.
Lithographed, in pink, and also in Prussian blue, on very thick, very white wove paper. The trefoils above w. E. BASS, P.M., point upwards, towards the 5, instead of downwards, towards the name of the postmaster. PETERSBURG and VIRGINIA are in letters of exactly the same size. The v comes under the space between the letters ET, the I under the space between the letters TE, the R a little to the right of the center of the E, the G a little to the right of the center of the R, the I centrally under the S, the N under the B, the I under the first stroke of the u, and the A under the space between the letters UR, and the stop under the tail of the R. From the center of the first stroke of the P of PETERSBURG to the center of the G, the distance is a little more than thirteen and a half millimeters; while the distance from the center of the v to the center of the A of VIRGINIA is nearly nine millimeters. The P of POST is two and a half millimeters high. From the centre of the vertical stroke of the P of POST OFFICE to the E, the distance is fifteen millimeters, and, to the stop, sixteen millimeters. The 5 has a long head, much curved, and sharply pointed; it reaches back almost as wide as the body of the figure. There is a blotch to the left of the 5, about level with its head, and under the O of POST, which is not found in the genuine.
The wide discrepancy in the measurements above given would lead one to suppose that the forgeries are very unlike the genuine; but, as a matter of fact, their appearance at first sight is not bad, barring the mistake in the row of trefoils, above the postmaster’s name.
Genuine.—A large, single circle, thirty millimeters across, with PETERSBURG VA following the curve, and DEC. 27 in the center, struck in blue.
Forged.—Both pink and blue are uncancelled.
From: ‘Album Weeds’, 3rd edition by R. B. Eareé. 1906
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