Suspect Scott #31 Used Single.
I bought this stamp on EBay as a known fake and it came with a label that states “#35, Used, design painted in at left edge to make fake #31, SCV $65”. A Scott #31 is a fairly rare stamp and catalogues for $1250 used. The design of the #31 is Type I which means that all of the left side ornaments are complete including the three pearls just below the first scroll that curls upward. The #35 on the other hand is a common stamp with a catalogue value of $65. The design of the #35 is Type V which means most of the left side ornaments are cut away resulting in pearls that are missing altogether or just one is present. At first I thought that I could use foil on the left edge to see where the engraving ended and determine the design type but alas the engraving is not very deep like on the Washington/Franklins so I could not get enough detail to positively prove that the left hand side had been cut away. I had to resort to direct observation to determine the design type. Below are two images taken from Ebay listings of a known #31 and a #35.
What follows are close up images of the left side ornaments of the fake stamp.
As can be seen in these two pictures the ornaments just don’t look right. Below is a really close up views of the lower left hand ornament.
Everything to the right of the red line is a strong color green with the color going deep into the paper. Everything to the left of the red line is a different shade of green and the color just barely affects the top fibers of the paper. This is a strong indication that someone attempted to paint in the cut away ornamentation in order to simulate a more expensive Scott #31 Type I but the job was not done well enough to pass close inspection.
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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