Spud Papers – Serbia

Spud_Serbia10Spud_Serbia11 Spud_Serbia121866. 1 ,2 , 10, 20 & 40 Paras.


Engraved (?) in colour on white wove paper. There are 77 pearls round the head of the Prince. In the central circle there are 16 white lines on the right of the head, and 19 on the left, counting in both cases, from the bottom of the circle beneath the neck. There are 49 wavy lines above the value label. The hair is short, and rather curly. The nose is well shaped, and of a Grecian character. The p of POSHTA has a well-marked bar across the top, and so has the P of PARA, in most copies.


Lithograped, on thick, soft white wove paper. There are only 59 pearls round the head. In the central circle there are 16 white lines on the right, and 17 on the left, counting from the
bottom. There are 42 wavy lines above the value label. The hair and beard are cropped as closely as though the illustrious Michael III. had just returned from an enforced sojourn in Newgate. The nose is snub, and vulgar looking. The P of POSHTA has no bar across the top, and looks like two capital I’s placed side by side. The P of PARA has no bar across the top either. The reader will understand that all these stamps are from the same matrix,
differing only in the figures of value; and this is true of both genuine and forged. The figures of value themselves differ considerably in the genuine and the counterfeits, but I have not judged it necessary to point out the differences, because the tests already given are amply sufficient. I may say, however, that in the genuine, the figure beneath the head is generally the largest in all the values; but in the forgeries, the four corner figures are usually larger than the one beneath the head. The forgeries are all imperforate, whilst the originals are found with small or large perforation; and in the case of the I and 2 paras, imperforate as well. The genuine stamps are postmarked either with a circular date-stamp, or a straight line of large capitals. The forgeries are obliterated with a large square of dots.

The inscription, in English letters, runs K. SRESKA POSHTA, which means, I believe, “Royal Servian Postage”. I must confess, however, to knowing little of the Sclavonic dialects beside the mere alphabet, so I will not vouch for the correctness of my translation.

Upon the same principle that we may admire the escapades of Jack Sheppard, or the daring robberies of Dick Turpin, we must accord praise to the forger of the current Servian, for the details of the archetype have been so closely copied as to render the differences between it and the facsimile more easily explainable by comparison than description.

Spud_Serbia1Spud_Serbia2Spud_Serbia31869. 1, 10, 15, 25, 35, 40 and 50 Para.




In the genuine, the inscriptions are bold and stand out well. The first letter in the upper band has a thick top stroke extending beyond both uprights; in the forged, the connecting- line is very thin, in some cases quite absent. The third letter in the original consists of three upright strokes at equal distances apart, joined at the base by a horizontal line, which extends slightly beyond each of the two outside up-strokes. This letter in the forgery is a miserable abortion, the first upright slanting away from the others; the stroke joining these perpendicular lines is very thin, and in many specimens the first stroke stands by itself, without any connection with the remainder of the letter. The bottom line does not extend from beneath the third upright. The T and A are without foot-lines in the impositions; in the genuine, they have them.

The same idiotic expression, for which the originals are so well-known, has been reproduced with tolerable exactness upon the forged; only that upon the latter, the Prince has been made to look as if he had received a first-class flogging, and had not quite recovered the effects of it.


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

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