Forged Stamps of Alsace

“Album Weeds”

by R. B. Eareé

1870-1871. Numerials

1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20 & 25 Centimes


Engraved in épargne, on moderately stout, white wove paper, perf. 13 1/2 x 14 1/2. The lettering, value, and inside edge of the colored border are all more or less sunk into the paper, and very distinct. The network of the background is not at all prominent, so that it does not interfere in any way with the inscription. The E of POSTES has its upper, central, and lower tongues drawn out into sharp points ; while each E of CENTIME (or CENTIMES) has them all quite blunt. The left- hand edge of the upright stroke of the P of POSTES is 3 mm., or even more, from the inner edge of the frame.

Second Forgery

I think there is a full set of these, but I am not quite sure. They may be easily detected by the curious, misty appearance of the (inverted) net- work, which looks almost as if the paper had moved in the very act of printing. They are lithographed, on rather soft, white wove paper, with very regular graining, perf. 13 1/2. The little tongues of the E of POSTES are much blunter than in the genuine, and the P of that word is hardly 2 1/2 mm. from the inner edge of the colored frame.

First Forgery

Of this I possess only the 2 c., and have never seen any others; but there may be a full set. Very badly lithographed, on thin, hard paper, imperforated, or pin-perf. 13 1/2 x 13, very badly. No portion of the design is sunk into the paper, and the whole stamp is dreadfully smudged. The network is much too dark, so that the lettering does not stand out from it. The E of POSTES has all three tongues blunt. Of the lower inscription, only the letters CENT are readable ; the rest are smudged. The P of POSTES is only 2 1/2 mm. from the inside edge of the frame. This coarse forgery is not likely to deceive anyone who has once seen the genuine stamps.

Third Forgery

These are commonly called “reprints,” but, as the type of the inscriptions had to be reset, they are evidently what philatelists would call, or ought to call, “forgeries.” They were made for a Hamburg dealer in 1885. They are said to be always with inverted burelé, but I fancy I have seen one or two with normal burelé, and these would probably be accidents. They are engraved in épargne, like the originals, with the same perforation, 13 1/2 x 14 1/2 The chief test is the P of POSTES, which is only 2 1/2 mm. from the edge of frame, instead of 3 mm., or more.

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