All the stamps of Venezuela have been extensively imitated.
The originals (particularly of the highest and lowest values), are generally so poor in colour, indistinct in details, and smeared in execution, that it is difficult to arrive at any decision as to whether the three are from one drawing or not. A careful examination is of little use, as the stamps of one value apparently vary among themselves. We will, for the sake of convenience, place all the values under one paragraph, as they are alike in all principal points.
All the upper lettering clear, and without any speck above E of first word; E of DE not very distinct, Z of Venezuela under RE of CORREOS. A of name at some distance from end of label. All the letters of motto and of value even and well-formed. Horse on lined ground. General execution nicely carried out, but usually spoilt in the printing. The originals are always on thin white paper. The imitations are on paper of a stouter quality, or else upon some with a bluish tinge.
All from one stone, with value added, E of CORREO has a white spot above, Z of Venezuela under the EO of CORREOS, and the A of the first-named word close to the side. Final letter of LIBERTAD small, above the line of other letters, and somewhat like an o. Horse on an almost white ground. Lettering of value, except in the 1 real, very uneven and bad. Background of stamp coarse.
Upper lettering thick, with C near to the side, and almost touching the top pearl. The shield does not touch the riband. Horse on a ground of fine lines. The ends of the riband and the bow touch the pearls.
Upper inscription of thin letters, with first at some distance from side. Left side of riband goes against the shield. Horse of an extraordinary shape, upon a ground of lines wide apart. The ends of the riband and the bow at foot are considerably above the pearl border.
Horse upon a ground of fine lines, D of motto close to the end of riband. Leaves upon right side of shield close together, and looking like a single member of the cactus family. Left side of bow touching the pearls; and right side almost so. Letters of value thick, with the dot of 1 full and distinct.
Horse as in the lowest value, D of LIBERTAD at some distance from the end of riband. A marked space between the bow at foot and the pearl border. Lower lettering thin and “squat”. Very small dot to 1.
C of CORREOS almost touches pearl beneath; sheaf in shield distinct. Pearls continuous upon both sides, LIBERTAD commences at some distance from below side of shield. Bow beneath small, and with both ends touching pearls.
Upper lettering as in the other values. Sheaf in upper part of shield nothing but a shapeless blur. There are no pearls upon the right side nearest to the ends of riband, L of motto begins beneath the perpendicular line of shield.
This value is generally in such a washed-out condition, that it is difficult to trace the original design. The central star is at equal distance from the upper portion of frame and the circle. There is no ornament inside of frame next to star, on either side.
Stars very much as in the 1/2 c.; the central one a shade to the left of the R above, and near to the upper line. Side of frame, almost as in the 1/2 c., but with a little additional stroke above on the right, and an extra dash below on the left. The upper corner of bend of riband on the left, almost goes against the frame.
Of this value there are two types, but the following will apply to both. The central star, and the next on the right hand, are on one level; the latter, therefore, being close to the frame. Left side of riband touches the inner line of frame.
The third star from the left, and the central one, are level; the first-named is directly under the E, and is nearer to the second star than to the middle one Riband, as in the 1 c.; on the right side of frame is a small bent stroke, nearly on a line with the last star.
Central star touches frame. The extreme right-hand star is nearer to the frame than is the one upon the left. There is no portion of ornament at the sides of frame next to the end stars. S of REALES is somewhat like an immature z.
First Set of Forgeries.
Eagle rather carefully drawn, and each bead in circle distinct and equal; stars large, and side ornaments extending all the way down; stop after value; riband inscribed VENEZULANA. In those later printed, the stars are much larger, and the whole appearance coarser.
Second Set of Forgeries.
Eagle well drawn, but too wide across the breast; stars of same size as in the genuine, and presumably copied from those on the 1/2 c. stamp. The ornaments at sides extend all the way up, with a slight break after the three dots above and below. On a line with the last star on both sides, is a portion of the pattern of frame; a stop after value, and the riband correctly inscribed VENEZOLANA.
Third Set of Forgeries.
This is the commonest, and by far the worst. As it is here figured, a further description is not necessary; suffice it to add that, in the 1/2 Real, there is no dot after value; and that, in the 1 Real., the period is on a line with the top of L.
From “The Spud Papers” by Atless, Pemberton & Earée, 1871-1881.