Suspect Scott #353.
As you can see the A.P.S. has ruled that this stamp is
indeed a genuine Scott #353 whereas I said in all probability it was a
fake. Looking back on my analysis all I can say is I may have let myself
get way too cautious after the failed analysis of the suspect
#352. Live and learn.
If real this is a modestly expensive stamp with a Scott Catalogue value
of $220.00 used. The Experts Book states that the #353 is often faked by
adding perforations at left & right and trimming top & bottom a
Scott #344, adding perforations at left & right to a Scott #344S or
trimming perforations off at the top & bottom of a Scott #332.
A check of the watermark reveals a reversed double line mark that reads
horizontal. The horizontal watermark eliminates the possibility of the
suspect stamp being a #332a booklet pane single. The image below is a photo
of the watermark taken with my Safe Signoscope watermark detector. The
double line "S" can be seen in the upper left corner.
The height of the suspect is 25mm, exactly the ideal
height of 25mm. According to The Experts Book height is not a determining
value for the #353.
Now for the perforations. I did a flip comparison of the
perforations and they line up very well - see image below.
I also compared the suspect perforations directly with the
perforations of a #424 block of four which is perf 12. which I did not
do on my previous failed analysis of a suspect
These two images show the suspect stamp on top of the
#424 block, the suspect has been rendered slightly transparent for
clarity. As can be seen in these two images the suspect stamp's perfs
are a near perfect match to the #424's perfs.
These two images are the suspect again placed on top of
the #424 but with a higher magnification and the suspect is not been
made transparent. Again the suspect's perfs are near perfect matches for
the #424 perfs.
|The following images are high magnification
shots of the suspect placed next to the separated edges of the #424
block. The only thing that gives me pause is that some of the suspect
perf tips look too flat and too uniform in height. The #424's perf tips
on the other hand tend to vary in height and appear more fuzzy
|I also took a look at the cancels and how they look when
they cross a perforation and in all cases the cancel ink goes all the way to
the edge of the perforations - see the images below. This is not an
indication of genuineness - see my analysis of
a #352, I used the fact that the cancels went all the way to the
edge and said that the suspect #352 was genuine.
The cut edges are next, I've looked both edges over very carefully and
can find no evidence of them being trimmed down, there are no indications of
perf pits of any kind.
In conclusion: I'm not going to go out on a limb as I did on the Scott #352
analysis and say that this suspect #353 is genuine only because of the look
of the perf tips, in my opinion this is a #344 with added perfs at left and
right. I'll be sending this stamp out for expertizing
with the A.P.S. in the next day or two.
Reference material used:
- The Expert's Book. A practical guide to the
authentication of United States stamps. By Paul W. Schmid.
- How to Detect Damaged, Altered and Repaired Stamps. By Paul Schmid
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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