Spud Papers – Danish West Indies

Spud_DanishWestIndies11874. 7 Cents, Lilac and Yellow.

I think this stamp need not detain us very long, as the absence of the crown watermark and of the hyphen in the word DANSK-VESTINDISKE will serve as ready tests for the forgeries; though I ought to do the forgers the justice of acknowledging that, in other respects, they have turned out a very decent imitation of the genuine.


Engraved in épargne on thickish white wove paper, watermarked with a crown; perf. 13 1/2. (Moens gives it as 14.) The middle of the horizontal stroke of the figure 7 in the centre of the stamp is bowed upwards. The small 7 of 7 CENTS is an exact copy, in miniature, of the large central figure. If a rule or straight-edge be laid along the down-stroke of the small 7, it will pass through the O of OER. There is a very distinct hyphen between DANSK and VESTINDISKE. Round the central figure is a wreath of barley.


Lithographed, on thinnish white wove paper, unwatermarked; pin-perf. 13. The middle of the horizontal stroke of the central 7 is bowed downwards. The small 7 at the bottom of the stamp is not at all like the central one, and resembles a schoolboy’s first attempt at a 7. The down-stroke of this small 7 is so much sloped that, if a straight-edge be laid along it, it will pass altogether to the right of OER. There is no hyphen between DANSK and VESTINDISKE, and the wreath of barley round the central figure looks more like a wreath of thistle buds than anything else.


The genuine stamps are postmarked with five concentric circles; the forged bear an imitation of late 19th century British postmarks, without the central figures.

The genuine are backed with a white crystal gum; the forgeries are ungummed. In the genuine, the central figure and other parts are slightly embossed, as is the case with all the blank parts of an épargne engraving; the forgeries, being lithographs, do not show any trace of this embossing.


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


LupSee also –> Album Weeds – Danish West Indies

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