JOBI Philatelic Services
© APR 2007
Published in: Postal Stationery, Journal of the United Postal Stationery Society, Vol. 50, # 6, Whole # 363, NOV-DEC 2008
Black Jack Forgeries: 4th Nesbitt 2¢
Creation of a 2¢ drop letter rate and the end of the carrier fees resulted in a need for a way to pay the new 2¢ postage rates. New 2¢ adhesive stamps and stamped envelopes were issued. The stamps and the envelopes both pictured Andrew Jackson. Both the stamps and the envelopes were printed in black ink. These issues have been nicknamed the “Black Jacks”.
The Die 22 forgery type 1.1 is from the
The Die 24 forgery was offered on eBay as genuine. I saved a scan after being outbid thinking this was an interesting die variety but realized it was a forgery while working on this article.
Die 22: inscribed “U.S. POSTAGE”; normal “2”s
Scott U46, W47/UPSS 102, 104
Victor M. Berthold, in the 1911 Bartel’s Catalogue, described the genuine Die 22:
Head of Jackson facing the left; solid letters with numerals of value at sides
Design consists of two concave and convex curves, of which the first two form the upper and the second two the lower label. Each of these two curves meet in a point. The sides of the design are a pointed oval consisting of the sections of a large circle. The inscription in the upper label is “U.S. POSTAGE”; in the lower “TWO CENTS” with the figure “2” in the ovals at the sides.
Horizontal back stroke of figure 2 starts 3 mm. from end of down stroke.
There are 7 working die varieties of Die 22. Types 3 and 5 are found on envelopes only; types 1, 2, 4, and 7 are found on wrappers only. Type 6 is found on both. Envelopes are made from buff, laid paper. Wrappers are made from dark manila either horizontally or vertically laid paper. All varieties exhibit watermark 1. The down stroke of the “2”s merge with the base stroke. Dimensions range from 22 ½ or 23 X 25 ½ or 26 mm.
Genuine Die 22T5
Die 22FGT1.1 Die 22FGT1.2
The Die 22 Forgery Type1 was first described by Charles A. Nast in the December 1909 issue of the Stamp Journal. Nast described the distinguishing features as “U.S. POSTAGE” is much larger, especially the “O”; an overall jagged and splotched appearance.
The Die 22 Forgery Type1 appears to be modeled from a Die 22 Type 5 working die but the high “S” in “POSTAGE” and the low “E” in “CENTS” are exaggerated; the back of the hair is vertical at the top of the head; there is an extra divot in the back of the head just below the vertical hair; left side of the upper label is larger than the right side; the upper label is out of alignment with the lower label; the point on top of the upper label is open; “W” of “TWO” appears to be on stilts; both numerals “2” are misshapen
Die 22FGT1.1 coarse lettering and border lines; the right figure “2” is larger than the left figure “2”; the back of the hair is somewhat curved; the top bar of the “E” of “CENTS” is the longest; the tip of the nose is rounded; the bottom most point is blunt; the “G” of “POSTAGE” looks more like an open “Q”. The Die 22FGT1.1 measures 22 ¾ mm. wide.
Die 22FGT1.2 less coarse lettering than in Die 22FGT1.1; “A” of “POSTAGE” is almost closed; the ball of the left “2” appears to be round and hanging straight down, especially compared to the right “2”; the tip of the nose is somewhat pointed. The Die 22FGT1.2 measures 22 ¾ X 26 ½ mm.
Die 22FGT1 is reported printed in black on buff and in black on manila, wove papers. Both T1.1 and T1.2 forgeries are similar enough to suspect a common origin. Execution suggests a German source. Perhaps the same source of many of the 2nd Nesbitt “German” forgeries?
reprinted from Postal Stationery, Vol. 20, No. 4
The Die 22 Forgery Type 2 was first described by J.M. Kinabrew, Jr. in Postal Stationery, Vol. 20, No. 4, Whole # 191, in 1978. Kinabrew described the distinguishing characteristics as frame and lettering are well done, printed head is bizarre, surface printed in black on dark buff wove paper. This T2 surface printed forgery bears a strong resemblance to the surface printed forgeries of the Reay (or Plimpton?) issue as well as to the surface printed forgery of Die 79 from the 1883 Plimpton & Morgan issue. No attribution for the surface printed forgeries has been found.
The Die 22 Forgery Type 2 appears to be modeled from a Die 22 Type 3 working die where the “O” of “POSTAGE” is the highest letter. Both figures “2” slope downward to the right. Facial features, including hair, eye, eyebrow, nose, lips, and ear are outlined in color. The “G” of “POSTAGE” is extremely open resembling a “C” with a tail or a lower serif.
Die 22FGT2 Surface printed forgery (the head is not embossed); frame and lettering well done.
The Die 22 Forgery Type 2 is printed in black on dark buff wove paper.
Die 23: inscribed “
Scott U48, U49/UPSS 106, 107
Genuine Die 23 Distinctive “2”
Collin and Calman describe the genuine Die 23 in their 1900
Scott Catalogue of Stamps, Envelopes and
Wrappers of the
Similar to the preceding (Die 22) except that the numerals of value are thinner and more spread. The tail (of the “2”) starts sharply from the end of the down stroke and does not curve back with it as in Die 22. Messrs Tiffany, Bogert & Reichert give two varieties.
Die 23 is known printed on both buff and on orange laid papers. There are no known forgeries of Die 23 reported or observed.
Dies 24 &
25: inscribed “
Scott U50-W57/UPSS 108-119
Tiffany, Bogert, and Rechert, in the Stamped Envelopes, Wrappers and Sheets of the
Are both of the same general design as Dies 22 and 23, Two Cents, but have the upper inscription changed to U.S. Post. There are numerous sub-varieties as the dies vary from 26 ½ to 24 ½ mm. in width, and slightly in height. These may be divided into two general classes, Die 24 including all broad varieties, and Die 25 all narrow varieties.
Die 24 measures 25 mm. or less in width with the top label measuring 16 ½ to 16 ¾ mm. wide. Die 24 is known printed in black on buff, orange, and dark manila laid papers. There are 16 working die varieties of Die 24.
Die 25 measures 25 ½ mm. or more in width with the top label measuring 18 mm. wide. Die 25 is known printed in black on buff, amber, orange, manila and light manila laid papers. Die 25 is also known printed in black on orange, buff, and light manila wove papers. There are 25 working die varieties of Die 25.
Genuine Die 24T1 Genuine Die 25
There are no previous reports of any forgery of Die 24 or
25. The forgery shown above appears to
be based on a genuine Die 24 Type 7. The
upper ribbon is out of alignment with the lower ribbon; both numerals “2” tilt
downward to the left;
The author would appreciate reports of additional forgery
varieties of any
Berthold, Victor M.
Bartel’s Catalogue, United States Stamped Envelopes, 1911
Collin, Henry and Calman, Henry L.
Catalogue of Stamps,
Envelopes and Wrappers of the
Harrison & Bacon
Envelopes and Wrappers of the
Pages 34-36, Plate IX, X
History and Catalogue
of the Stamped Envelopes of the
Kinabrew, J.M., Jr.
Forgeries of the 19th Century
Postal Stationery, Vol. 20, No. 4, Whole # 191, 1978
page 119 (w/photo)
Kloetzel, James E., editor
Scott 2007 Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue
Analysis of the Steve Dawson Specialized Collection of U.S. Postal Stationery Forgeries, self, 2003
Mintz, Allen, editor
Catalog of the 19th
Century Stamped Envelopes and Wrappers of the
pages 43, 192-201
Nast, Charles A.
Stamp Journal, Vol. II, No. 12, DEC, 1909
Nast, Charles A.
Weekly Philatelic Gossip, Vol. 25, No. 7, Whole # 834, 1937
Sloane, George B.
Stamps, Vol. 68,
No. 3, Whole # 879,
Tiffany, Bogert, and Rechert
Wrappers and Sheets of the
pages 21-23, 65
Wells, Leighton E.
Forgeries and Imitations of
Stamps, DEC 29, 1945