Suspect Scott #349
The catalog price for this stamp is a modest $100.00 and can be faked by adding perforations to #344, #344E or trimming perforations off of #332 and #332a. The watermark is faint but I could just make out the right side of a "U" on the left hand side of the stamp but the "S" that should be to the right of the "U" is invisible. Because the watermark reads horizontal the suspect stamp can't be a #332a booklet single or else the watermark would red vertical. I tried to get a photo of the watermark but but it was impossible due to the faintness of the mark - the camera could not pick it up.
The straight edges are next, the left edge is straight, smooth and has "soft" feel to it as mentioned in The Expert's Book. Hard to explain but I'm at the point now where I'm just get the feel for genuine straight edges vs. edges made buy using a pair of scissors or razor blade. The right edge is wavy and rough. I measured the width and found that it varies between 20 3/4mm to just under 21mm. The Expert's Book states that:
"This issue was hand-assembled from individual strips of twenty, thus paste-up pairs were at times considerably out of register. (snip) Therefore, the cut edges of genuine paste-up pairs can have a considerable wavy appearance at times, and they can measure considerably less than the ideal width of 21.5mm"The right edge gives me pause, I can't find any perf remains that line up with my Perf 12 reference - a Scott #405 block of four. Below are a couple of close-up images of the left and right edges.
Perforation comparison with known genuine perf 12. The reference I use for perf 12 comparison is a Scott #405 block of four, below are images of the suspect stamp overlaid on top of the #405. The suspect stamp has been rendered transparent.
In conclusion, I believe the suspect stamp is in fact a Scott #332 from the left margin with the right hand perfs trimmed away. I'm sending the suspect to the A.P.S. to be expertized.
Reference material used:
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.