1857. 90 Cents, perf. 15.
Engraved in taille douce. Moderately dark blue, of a somewhat ultramarine shade. Background of portrait composed of exceedingly fine horizontal lines, set very close together. Face shaded all over with dots and lines. Cravat shaded nearly all over. Five cords of right epaulet and two of left visible. Seven white lines on right breast, and eight on the left; the eighth line passing behind the button. Footstrokes of T and A in POSTAGE touch each other, T in CENTS properly shaped. Paper slightly bleute in front.
Lithographed, perf. Very dark indigo blue. Solid background. Forehead unshaded over left eye; and white patch all down the nose, to the very tip. Cravat perfectly bare of shading all down the front.
Only four cords, or tassels, of right epaulet to be seen, and one of left. Eight white lines on right breast; and nine on the left; the ninth touches the button, T and A in POSTAGE do not touch at the bottom. T in CENTS has its left limb hanging down twice as far as the right. The paper is the usual chalky white. Printed in sheets of fifty; cancelled with a penstroke; and ungummed. As regards general appearance, if the unlearned amateur meet with a copy coarsely perforated, on very white paper, with a very dark background, and a staring white cravat, he need not stop to examine any further; but, gently murmuring his watchword of “Spiro”, he can pass on, with untouched pockets, rejoicing in the fact that, for once, at any rate, he has had sense enough not to throw away good money on worthless rubbish! I have a particular grudge against this forgery; for with it, or one very similar, I was completely sold, in the early days of my collecting.
From “The Spud Papers” by Atless, Pemberton & Earée, 1871-1881.