JOBI Philatelic Services:  Fake U586b


Bill Lehr

UPSS 5469

Copyright August 29, 2002


This article published in The Philatelic Reader, Vol. I, Issue #3, 1 October 2002, Dick Gunderson, editor, pps 4-5

This article published in Postal Stationery, Vol. 45, # 3, Whole # 330, May-June, 2003


Accidental Fake” Resurfaces


Several accidental fakes (at least two) have been released, one at a time over several auctions, through an auction house located in Canada.  The fakes have been described as Scott catalog # U586b with a Naples, Florida corner card.



  The copy in the author’s possession is a genuine mint UPSS # 3615-48A (a small window envelope) with corner card and fake surcharge.  Details of the original discovery and of the creation of these accidental fakes follow.



The first class mail rate change of 1978 resulted in the use of the non-denominated A series envelopes and the issuance of the 15-cent stylized Uncle Sam’s Hat envelopes.  Existing stocks of both the 13-cent Liberty Tree envelopes and of the un-issued 16-cent USA envelopes were revalued to 15-cents and subsequently issued.  Government printed corner cards were not available on the revalued envelopes.


March, 1979:  Drs. Barrett & Claypool, optometrists in Naples, Florida, sent several boxes of the 15-cent Uncle Sam’s Hat envelopes to a local printer for the addition of corner cards.  A revalued USA envelope with a copy of the corner card was provided as a sample with the instructions to “print them exactly the same way.”    The printer duplicated both the corner card and the surcharge adding both to the stock of 15-cent Uncle Sam’s Hat envelopes.


Stamp collector and patient of the optometrists, K.L.W. Brown, received his bill in one of these mistakenly revalued envelopes.  Brown expeditiously paid his bill and arranged to purchase some of these 15-cent revalued to 15-cent envelopes.  Discovery of two more boxes and their subsequent purchase and examination by Brown raised Brown’s suspicions.  Every surcharge was printed at the exact same distance from the corner card and with the exact same inclination.  Investigation led Brown to the local printer and to the printer’s proof which included the surcharge.  Postal authorities became involved but decided not to take action since the unauthorized surcharge “was an innocent mistake with no intent to defraud.”  Approximately 2,000 of the accidental fakes were produced.  According to Brown “all unused envelopes were turned back to the United States Postal Service.”


There are two genuine varieties of the stylized Uncle Sam’s Hat revalued error.  The first variety is known used, a US Postal Service size 10 regular envelope with “star” USA (47) watermark, only one copy known, with a Houston postmark.  The second variety is a US Postal Service size 6 ¾ regular, un-canceled envelope with the printed address of the Oahu Country Club, Honolulu, only one copy known.  Both varieties are undervalued in the 1990 issue of the UPSS Catalog of 20th Century Stamped Envelopes and valued by a “dash” in the Scott 2002 Specialized Catalogue.





K.L.W. Brown, 15c Uncle Sam Envelope ‘Revalued to 15c’, S.P.A. Journal, vol. 42, # 4, DEC 1990, pps. 221-223

F. Fishburn, 15c Uncle Sam “Revalued to 15c”, Postal Stationery, vol. 23, # 5, SEP-OCT 1981, pps 130-132

F. Fishburn, More on 15c Uncle Sam “Revalued to 15c”, Postal Stationery, vol. 24, # 6, NOV-DEC 1982, pps. 162-163

A.P. Haller, editor, Catalog of the 20th Century Envelopes and Wrappers of the United States, UPSS, 1990, pps. 226-230, 248

Stevens, Henry, email RE:  U586B, December 15, 2000, 10:17 PM



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