Suspect Scott #R155
I bought this stamp on Ebay some time ago as a suspected fake overprint. Doing a Google search returned no websites or articles that remotely mention the possibility of there being fakes of this overprint. This makes sense because the stamp itself is dirt cheap cataloguing for $0.35 unused. The un-overprinted stock need to make a fake is greatly more expensive with the Type III carmine Scott #267 cataloguing for $5.50 unused hinges and $16.00 for MNH examples and the Type III pink Scott #267a catalogues for $20.00 unused hinged and $65.00 never hinged. Type IV printings of Scott #279B-f and –g were also used to make overprinted stamps but these two are also more expensive without the overprint than with cataloging for $10 and $50 for unused hinged singles and $27.50 and $150.00 for MNH singles. Who in their right mind would take a $65.00 #267a slap an overprint on it and knock the value down by 100 times?
I did a search of the Philatelic Foundation certificate database and found five examples, all singles and all with opinions of genuine. I downloaded the image of the stamp given certificate #508558 and sized it to be the same size as the scanned suspect strip. I then overlaid the suspect on the certified genuine stamp and found that the suspects overprint matches the certified overprint – no surprise there, see image below.
The color of the overprint is supposed to be blue and the suspects overprint is indeed blue.
The only other things to check are the watermark and what type the stamp is. The watermark is double line “S U S P”, normal, that reads horizontal.
Only Type III and Type IV stamps were used to produce the overprinted stamp. The triangle in the upper corners is the best place to determine the type of the stamp. A Type III or Type IV triangle has horizontal lines that are weaker than the main body of the image and the border around the triangle is clear of any horizontal lines, see example below.
An image of the suspect’s corner triangles shows that it is definitely a Type III or Type IV.
Type IV printings of Scott #279B-f and –g were also used to make overprinted stamps but the suspect does not show any of the signs of being a Type IV stamp - i.e. the lengthening of the hairline, the extra shading dots in the ear lobe, the shading lines extending slightly into the oval by the U in United.
Conclusion: in my opinion the suspect is a genuine #R155 strip of four with the top stamp previously hinged and the bottom three stamps are MNH. As to color it could go either way, but I’m leaning towards a pale shade of carmine.
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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