Scott #9 Altered with added margins.
I bought this stamp on EBay for $20 as a genuine #9 that had been rebacked to give the stamp a better appearance. Below is an analysis that will determine if the rebacking is detectable and what signs give it away.
The next four images show the back of the stamp in white light, ultraviolet light, in fluid and in a Signoscope Watermark Detector.
Fig 1 shows the back in white light and as can be seen the outer margins are slightly darker that the rest of the stamp. The ultraviolet view in Fig 2 again shows the outer margins are different. Fig 3 has the stamp face down in watermark fluid and the outer margins are lighter when compared with the darker middle. This says that the outer margins are not socking up fluid as fast as the middle. Fig 4 shows the view using a Signoscope watermark detector which highlights differences in density or thickness of the stamp being examined. The view from the Signoscope is telling me that the outer margins are slightly thicker than the rest of the stamp.
So far, from the evidence seen, it looks like this stamp has had added margins rather than a complete rebacking. To see a complete description of rebacking and added margins please see How to Detect Damaged, Altered, and Repaired Stamps by Paul Schmid, pages 13 and 14. Another indication that material has been added to the margins is that one can “feel” the ring of paper with a gentle touch of a finger.
Fig 5 is an enhanced view of Fig 1 showing the added ring of paper that was used to add to the margins.
Also seen in Fig 5 is the remains of a manuscript cancel that is not visible from the front – more on that later.
The following images are magnified views of the added margins edges as seen from the front (Fig 6 through Fig 8) and back (Fig 9 and Fig 10).
Fig 11 shows the front of the stamp in ultraviolet light and in this wavelength there is no hint of a manuscript cancel but the added margins show up as a dark ring around the stamp.
As mentioned above Fig 5 shows evidence of a manuscript cancel and Fig 12 shows a close up of the suspected pen cancel.
In conclusion it can be seen that this stamp has had margins added to enhance its appearance as well as a manuscript cancel that has been washed away and replaced with a fake town cancel.
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome..
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