Suspect Scott #456
This is a suspect #456 a perf 10 vertical coil, rotary press, Type I on single line watermarked paper with a catalog value of $170.00. This stamp is not flagged in the Experts Book or on the 1847usa.com website as a candidate for being faked. I figure it is not flagged because there is not any fully perforated rotary press stock which can be trimmed down to make a coil. My reasoning for checking out the stamp is there are two other perf 10 vertical coil rotary press stamps it could be confused with – the #493 which is a rotary press, Type I on unwatermarked paper with catalog value is $4.50 and the #494 which is the same as the #493 except it is a Type II design with a catalog value of $2.50. Given the large disparity between catalogue values it would be wise to see for sure which stamp the suspect really is.
The suspect is a rotary press printing and is perf 10. As for a watermark there is a dodgy looking suspect watermark in the upper left corner but it does not match up to any combination of single line watermarks as seen through my 22mm X 25mm cardboard cutout template – not a good start.
Next thing to do is determine what type the stamp is – Type I or Type II. For reference I took close-up images of the distinguishing features of each type from unused #483 and #484 imperforate stamps that I have in my collection. Knowing that the suspect is used it is possible that some of the features needed to determine type are covered by the cancel. It is very important that all the features be examined in order to determine the type of a stamp.
First feature is the toga rope and button.
The next two features are the line between the lips and the two shading lines in the chin:
The next feature to look at is the two shading lines in the lock of hair to the right of Washington’s ear.
The next feature to look at is the shading lines above the eye and eye brow.
The last area to look at is the inner portrait oval between the toga button and Washington’s pony tail.
From the seven features that were looked at five showed the traits of Type II characteristics while two features were covered by the cancel and no determination could be made as to what type they were.
Conclusion: it is my opinion that the suspect stamp is a Type II #494, perforated 10 vertically, on unwatermarked paper and is not a #456 Type I, perforated 10 vertically, on single line watermarked paper.
Reference material used: The Expert’s Book. A practical guide to the authentication of United States stamps. By Paul W. Schmid.
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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