Spud Papers – Antigua

Album_Weeds_Antigua11862-73. One Penny.


There are several varieties of this stamp, varying in the colour, perforation and watermark. The one intended to be imitated by the forgers is the orange-vermilion of 1867, with star watermark, and perf. 14 to 15 1/2, compound. Engraved in taille-douce (?) on pinkish white paper. The groundwork is composed of strips of two patterns of engine-turning disposed alternately, nine in all; each strip separated from its neighbor by a fine white vertical line, and the central strips of course more or less hidden by the head. The two outer strips have 17 very prominent diamond-shaped dots running down their center. One of the inner rows (having the same pattern) shows one of these spots just where the hair springs, on the forehead below the coronet. This spot is a trifle larger than any of the others. The body or band of the coronet is jewelled in two rows,—the top one being of pearls, and the lower one of a few oblong jewels. The lower half of the Queen’s ear is visible. The face and neck are shaded all over, and there is no shading behind the face on the background, except just beneath the chin.


Perf. 13. Lithographed on yellowish paper, no watermark. Groundwork of dots to represent engine-turning. The 17 dots on the outer rows are not at all conspicuous, and, at a first glance would not be noticed. Where the hair springs in front of the forehead beneath the coronet is a dim blotch, not at all resembling the sharply-defined dark spot in the same place on the originals. The band of the coronet is jewelled with two rows of pearls, but there is one of the oblong jewels to be seen, below the second cinquefoil. There is an indistinct mark where the ear ought to be, but it would require a very strong effort of imagination to resolve that mark into an ear. The lower part of the cheek, and the back of the neck are heavily shaded (I do not refer to the dark shading on the background behind the neck, as that is common to both genuine and forged), and the upper part of the cheek, below the eye, is left unshaded. The background is shaded behind the front of the face.

Album_Weeds_Antigua21862-73. Six Pence.


Engraved in taille-douce (?), same die as the above.


Lithographed, perf. 13. Same matrix as forgery of penny; no watermark. Very pale chalky green, on very white paper.

N.B.—It will be seen that I have put a note of interrogation against the description of the engraving of the genuine stamps. Mr. Pemberton, in his new catalogue, states that these stamps are typographed, but I cannot help thinking that they are taille-douce, especially as they show all the marks which Dr. Magnus gives as being the tests of taille-douce. All the original stamps of this colony bear a postmark consisting of lines forming an oval, with a numeral, or numerals, in the center. The forgeries are postmarked with a rectangle of dots, somewhat larger than the stamps.


From “The Spud Papers” by Atless, Pemberton & Earée, 1871-1881.


LupSee also —> Album Weeds – Antigua

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