Forged Stamps of Hannover

“The Spud Papers”

by Atlee, Pemberton & Earée

1850-51. Coat of Arms

1 Ggr, 1/30, 1/15 & 1/10 Thaler


The 1 G.GR. blue has for watermark a kind of “Oxford frame.” All the others have a wreath of oak leaves, usually very plain and distinct. The gum on all the stamps of this issue is of a dark rose tint. There is a stop after the word KIN on the 1 G.GR. This is a mistake on the engraver’s part; but it is fortunate for us, as it affords one test for the detection of the forgeries, which have no such stop. The head of the unicorn is tolerably well-shaped, except that he need not have opened his mouth quite so much; and there is a little dot to represent the nostril. The crown on the head of the lion resembles a baron’s coronet; his tongue is curled upwards at the end, and his mane comes well up over his cheeks, nearly to his eyes. The harp in the royal arms has four strings. The shield containing the figures of value has a point in the center of the top, which is partially covered by the motto-scroll. The thin inner-line of frame never touches the thick outer one in any part. In good specimens, the figures of value on the shield are slightly embossed, owing to the pressure of the die. There are other minor differences; but these are the chief.


Lithographed. No watermark, white gum. No stop after BIN in the I G.GR. Head of unicorn like the open beak of an eagle. No dot for nostril. The crown on the lion’s head is of an indescribable shape; it is something like a crescent laid flat, with one horn longer than the other. His tongue ends in a knob curling slightly downwards, and there is no mane on the cheeks. The harp has only two strings when any are visible at all, but in most copies the instrument is merely a blotch. The point at the top of the shield of value just touches the motto-scroll above it, but is not covered by it. Thin inner line of frame often so blotched as to touch the outer one. Being lithographed, there is no trace of embossing on any of the stamps. Printed in sheets of 25, and sometimes postmarked with an imitation of the genuine postmark, but without the central date-figures.

1853. Value & Crown

3 Pfennige. Rose



Typographed (?) on white wove paper, backed with rose-colored gum. 32 vertical lines in central oval. Design very distinct, and very little hidden by the burele pattern. There are 4 of the vertical lines between outside of oval and H of HANNOVER. The letters of value (EIN DRITTET SILBF.RGROSCHEN) are small, and do not nearly fill up the space between the boundary lines of the scroll. None of the letters run into one another. Printed in deep dull carmine.


Lithographed, on very badly made white wove paper, un- gummed, no watermark. There are only 29 lines in the central oval. The whole of the design is very much blotched, the letters frequently run into each other, the first E of SILBERGROSCHEN has a flaw at the top -(visible in all copies), and the burele pattern is so heavy and coarse that the design of the stamp is almost hidden by it. The H of HANNOVER touches the third line of the central oval. The letters of value are large, and almost touch the scroll at top and bottom. Printed in dirty rose-pink, and postmarked with HANNOVER in double circle, but no date. This stamp is not calculated to deceive; the absence of the rose gum, and the number of the lines (29 instead of 32) in central oval, afford a ready means of detection. The paper on which the forgeries are printed looks as though bones, and old iron, and tarred ropes, and all kinds of rubbish, had been ground up to make the pulp, besides the old rags which are ordinarily used for that purpose.

1859-61 King George V

1, 2, 3 & 10 Groschen


These stamps, though not marvels of art, are, nevertheless, very carefully engraved The fine lines behind the king’s head are perfectly distinct, and never run into each other, though so close together. The pearls round the head are large, and close together (there are 88 of them, but unfortunately, there are the same number in the forgeries, so this is no test), and the king’s nose is strongly aquiline, with a line of shading from the eye nearly to the point. Outside the circle, between it and the border, there are two of the vertical lines of the groundwork to be seen on the left hand side, and one on the right. The lettering is moderately clear. Rose gum.


Lines of groundwork have a ragged look. Pearls round the head very small, and apparently a little distance apart. The king’s nose is rather snub, and only a slight touch of shading by the eyebrow. Between the outer circle and the outer line, there is only one of the vertical groundworklines to be seen on either side. The lettering is blotchy, and looks as if it had “run”. The gum is white. In these stamps, I have found it exceedingly difficult to give such tests as will enable a collector, possessing only one specimen, to decide at once whether that specimen is genuine or forged; for, though there are many differences between the genuine stamps and their imitations, I must, in justice to the forgers, say that these differences are very slight. The forgeries just described comprise both the yellow and the bistre 3 Groschen.

1863. Value & Crown

3 Pfennige. Green



Lithographed, and rather blotched; 32 lines in the oval. The legend on the scroll is often almost unreadable. Rose gum on the unperforated copies; when the gum is white, the stamps are perforated en arc.


The great mistake of the forgers has here been to lithograph their stamps too well; so that the forgeries look better than the genuine specimens. As before, the chief test is, that there are only 30 lines in the oval. Imperforate, with white gum.

1864. Coach Horn

1/2 Groschen. Black



10 small pearls and 1 large one outside the crown to right; and 9 small and 1 large to the left. Inside the wide mouth of the posthorn are 17 lines of shading. The jewels round the lower rim of the crown are oval. The paper is creamy white.


11 small pearls and 1 large one outside the top of crown to each side. Inside the mouth of the post-horn there are only 13 lines of shading. The jewels round the rim of the crown are round. Paper very chalky white.

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