Riverside Stamps

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Suspect Scott #349

UPDATED!

 

I just got back the results of the A.P.S. examination and I was correct in my analysis that the stamp was a #332 that had been trimmed on the right side. The only thing I missed was that it was a booklet single that had been altered. if more of the watermark was visible I would have seen that it was reading vertical and not horizontal.

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.
The two images above are of the left edge and the two images below are from the right edge. Notice the difference between the right and left 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.

As one can see the top perforations do not align very well with the reference.

I also compared the top perforations with a genuine Scott #332 and again the alignment is noticeably off.
Just for giggles I compared the #332 top perfs with the #405 and found that the alignment is very close to perfect with only slight variations.
I also compared the bottom perfs of the suspect in the same manor as the top and found the alignment to be much closer.

The perf holes appear to be identical in size and show all the signs of being genuine - slightly oblong, consistent fibers in one location etc.

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: 

  • 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.