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Csa Forgeries And Facsimiles - An Appreciation

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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
6525 Posts
Posted 02/13/2013   10:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jamesw to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
We all know the difficulty in collecting Confederate States stamps. The world of CSA collecting is fraught with forgeries and fakes, and that discourages a lot of collectors. Personally I find the brief history of the CSA postal service fascinating and have slowing been collecting the stamps over the last couple of years.
Interestingly my first CSA turned out to be a Springfield forgery/facsimile, but that didn't deter me.

Recently I was on line searching for Confederate stamps and I was discouraged, on one site, by the plethora of facsimiles listed. I sometimes wonder if there shouldn't be a separate area on these online auction sites just for these things.

But I noticed most of the fakes I was seeing were from a single dealer, so I checked him out. No pun intended, but the rest is history.

Not only did I find a wide variety of Springfield fakes (these were printed from the 1930s on, by the Tatham Stamp Co. of Springfield Mass. for use in their books about CSA postal history. They are a story unto themselves), but I also found many others that looked, well, absolutely terrible! I realized these weren't Spingfields, they were real forgeries.

Confederate forgeries date back to the Civil War itself, and after, when everybody who could tried to make a few bucks here and there scamming the post office or stamp collectors, or both. I recognized several of the crudely produced stamps from articles and websites I'd seen.

So, I was intrigued. And I bought! For literally pennies a stamp (or believe me I wouldn't be wasting my time) I was able to, first, complete my Springfield Facsimile collection.




The variety of quality in the Springfields is amazing. Some show amazing detail while other look as if they've been photocopied over and over again. The later editions have 'facsimile' printed on the back, and some are numbered. This collection is a combination of early and later editions. The second stamp from the left on the second row is the first CSA I bought, but I thought I'd include him here with his new friends.

As mentioned above, these were created by H. E. MacIntosh, owner of the Tatham Stamp and Coin Co. to be used in his Tasco booklet. The booklet gave a history of the Confederate postal service, and the stamps were created to supplement the text. But MacIntosh's images were not taken from the original stamps, but from images published by Confederate expert August Dietz. The images were used without permission, and eventually Dietz confronted MacIntosh and informed him of his copyright infringement. The Tasco stamps were then marked on the back with the word 'Facsimile' and later still numbered, to avoid a lawsuit.
These stamps were printed in full sheets of 25. The booklet containing singles sold originally for 35.

Still of little monetary value, and widely available on eBay and other sites, but they make an interesting side story to Confederate postal collecting.

In my next installment, we'll see how horrible some of the forgeries looked. It's hard to believe they could fool anyone.
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Edited by jamesw - 02/13/2013 11:04 am

Pillar Of The Community
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6525 Posts
Posted 02/13/2013   10:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
These next stamps, actual forgeries were produced during and following the Civil War. The incredible variation in style and technique make on wonder how many of these could fool anyone. But many did, and ended up in collections the world over, believed to be the genuine article.

What I have are forgeries by

J.W. Scott. I've found very little definitive information about this forger, except he is also credited with forging the stamps of Hussey's Special Message Post. I don't believe he is the same J. W. Scott who founded the now ubiquitous Scott's Cataglogues. Web references to the forger Scott are vague (that I can find) and he will obviously take more research. This stamp has also, in the American Philatelist, been credited, possibly, to S. Allan Taylor, whose stamps can be seen below. They certainly bear a resemblance in style and technique.




Samuel C. Upham, a dealer of ptent medicines in Philadelphia. He was one of the earliest and most prolific of counterfeiters, starting in 1862. His purpose was supposedly patriotic, attempting to "depress the assets of the Confederacy". Upham's 'stamps' were widely distributed, so widely so that he is often credited with popularizing CSA stamp collecting in the beginning.



S. Allan Taylor was born in Scotland in 1838. He was the leader of the 'Boston gang'; a group of forgers located in Boston. Besides being known as a highly prolific philatelic forger, he also produced the first stamp publication in North America, The Stamp Collector's Record, in 1864.



A Birmingham forgery, believed to have been created in Birmingham England, these are interesting because of their sharper line quality, compared to the original lithographed Confederates, which makes it look like it was created by line engraved intaglio. The Birmingham forgeries were known to have been produced in green, blue, red and black.



and several unknowns...




The left hand stamp in this last group can be found online.
The other two I haven't been able to track down just yet. The blue 5 Jefferson Davis in this group (on the right) may be a Springfield, but I have doubts. There are slight variations that make me think it has more nefarious origins. The higher quality of this 'stamp' leads me to suspect it may be by Jean de Sperati (1884-1957), among the most noted stamp forgers of the world. Research will tell.
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Edited by jamesw - 02/13/2013 11:40 am
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 02/13/2013   11:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The paper quality on these forgeries varies quite widely, and you can see, two even have what are no doubt fake cancels.

So there's my new thrill. They may actually be facsimilies of forgeries, I'm well aware of that. I've never seen the real thing in the flesh to compare. But they certainly make a great basis to start studying this 'darker' area of philately.
No one is safe when it comes to CSA stamps. But for literally a few cents a piece I've got the beginning of what could be a fascinating study.
The hunt begins!

Note:
These stamps, the forgeries, I've been able to identify, for the most part from Dr. Kimbrough's amazing website.

http://www.jlkstamps.com/webpage/index1.htm

as well as this other terrific site www.csafakes.com

Also with notes from The American Philatelist, January 2011 and the harrybassfoundation.org

There are other books on philatelic forgery available out there, and I will be on the look out for them, to further the research.

Thanks for looking. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
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Edited by jamesw - 02/13/2013 11:42 am
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Israel
6191 Posts
Posted 02/13/2013   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Londonbus1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent stuff James !

You mentioned the Tasco Booklet having singles,


Quote:
The booklet containing singles sold originally for 35.


my booklet [T7] has blocks of 4 and is an insert for a version of volume T6.










The envelope of Type T7 also comes in blue. I am still looking for type T6, all versions.

Londonbus1
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Israel
6191 Posts
Posted 02/13/2013   2:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Londonbus1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
james...you mentioned the reproductions 'going for pennies' but I have never seen that. I just checked a number of sites, both dealers and auctions and they are anything but pennies.

Who is your supplier !
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United States
532 Posts
Posted 02/13/2013   5:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jobi01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The JW Scott is the JW Scott who established the Scott catalog
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Canada
6525 Posts
Posted 02/13/2013   6:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent, thankyou jobi01. I couldn't find any info online directly linking the two, so didn't want to make that leap.
So the man responsible for the catalogues many of us rely on began as a forger.
Innnnnnteresting!
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Valued Member
69 Posts
Posted 02/14/2013   12:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I95 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Jamesw,
In your second post, the first stamps, often misidentified as J.W.Scott products, are actually S.A.Taylor products. The printing block used to make the stamps was first used by Ferdinand M. Trifet of Boston in Vol 2 of the America Stamp Mercury (1869) in an article written by J.M.Chute. Trifet, Chute and Taylor were all part of the "Boston Gang" of forgers. Scott acquired a copy of this printing block but does not appear to have produce any forgeries with it. Scott is suspected of making other Confederate forgeries, including the "New York Forgery".

The middle stamp in the last row is likely to have originated in Europe/ Germany the stamp similar to the printing block used in a stamp album I have, the 1884 3rd edition "Briefmarken Sammelbruh".

The last stamp shown, the five cent blue, appears to be genuine.


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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
6525 Posts
Posted 02/14/2013   09:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This gets better and better. Thanks for the clarifications I95. As I mentioned, this is a new area for me, and I'm here to learn.

Those three stamps you point out were identified as JW Scott on the csafakes website, but alternatively identified in American Philatelist as Taylor. But that's why we use multiple sources and cross reference, right? At least that's what my English teacher wife keeps trying to drum into our daughters.

I do need to find good reference material. One book that keeps popping up is 'Philatelic Forgers, Their Lives and Works' by Varro E. Tyler. When I can I'll have to hunt down a copy.
I've also just found the website for the Confederate Stamp Alliance

http://www.csalliance.org/csa-10.htm

One site that looks promising.

As to the last stamp, if it turns out to be genuine, that's an extra bonus. But I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.

Many thanks.
Always learning.
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Edited by jamesw - 02/14/2013 09:19 am
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Posted 03/08/2013   9:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Picked up another forgery. This was listed on eBay as an authentic CSA. I sent the seller a note pointing out how it was an obviously forgery, and he very rightly withdrew it from sale.
Never one to miss an opportunity I offered to buy it from him, and I think he was happy to be rid of it.



Listed on csafakes.com as a possible Upham forgery. It is obviously a fake in the crudeness of the rendering, and the use of woodcut printing instead of lithography.
The paper is a quite heavy bluish stock with vertical laid lines.

http://home.comcast.net/~kr.baker/c.../fakes11.htm
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
979 Posts
Posted 03/08/2013   9:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spain_1850 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was always afraid to ask dealers about selling me something that I recognized as a forgery fearing they might think I'm just trying to get a genuine stamp cheaply. I always give as much information as I can to support my opinion, being that I'm not a paid expert (at anything, really!)
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Rest in Peace
United States
7097 Posts
Posted 03/09/2013   12:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm really enjoying this thread James! Thank you!
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Rest in Peace
United States
7097 Posts
Posted 04/01/2013   1:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
James, I bought you a stamp for your confederate forgery collection.
Do you want it?


This is NOT an April's fools joke and I'm totally serious. Let me know please? lol -Jeff
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Edited by I_Love_Stamps - 04/01/2013 1:58 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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6525 Posts
Posted 04/01/2013   9:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Jeff. Sure, if you don't want it, I'll take it off your hands. I recognize it as a Global World Phantom reproduction. Modern stuff, but fun, as long as you didn't pay too much for it.
Let me know what you're looking to get for it. Maybe I've got something you'll like we can swap.

By the way, I'm thinking that chasa is right about that CSA forgery you are bidding on. Looks like a #12.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
6525 Posts
Posted 04/01/2013   9:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
By the way, here's another interesting CSA website.
This lady has been collecting Confederate since she was a teenager. And seems to know a thing or two.

She's got some of the stuff I've shown above pegged as illustrations from an 1894 Scott catalogue. Goes to show you, there are many different opinions out there about this stuff.

http://www.webuystamps.com/index.html

http://www.webuystamps.com/DWLibrar...cott.jpg.jpg

Research, research research!
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Rest in Peace
United States
7097 Posts
Posted 04/02/2013   03:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
James, I got it for like a dollar or two so I'm not much worried about any swaps...I seen it and wanted to look it over because I was reading an American Philatelist magazine on the subject of these and went looking for how they was presented at market and lo & behold I found one! It was harder than I actually thought it would be for a fantasy issue but was thought real at one point and actually listed for a time in catalogs..unbelievable huh? If you want to know which issue ask and I'll get it out.
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Edited by I_Love_Stamps - 04/02/2013 03:19 am
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