Many Faces of the Die 11 Forgeries
By Bill Lehr
© MAR, 2005
Die 11 (Scott type U12) is the ten cent bust of George Washington, star die, from the 1860 Nesbitt printings. Die 11 is printed in green on white laid paper and on buff laid paper. Reprints of Die 11
are known on vertically laid paper
only. A genuine Die 11 measures 20 X 24
mm. and has six-rayed stars; one point of each star appears to touch the inner
There is one major type of Die 11 forgeries reported and observed. Type 1 depicts a bust of “George Washington” and six pointed stars. Existence of Type 2 forgeries (Benjamin Franklin and five pointed stars) is unknown. Similarities in the busts depicted on Type 1 forgeries of Dies 9, 10, and 11 seem to indicate a common source for these forgeries.
Both U32 and U33 are scarce as entires and only slightly
less scarce as cut squares. Mint entires
of U32 and U33 were featured in the Shreeves
Philatelic Galleries sale of the Whitington
collection, DEC 13, 2003.
Type 1 forgeries:
Bust of “George Washington” has a grotesque head (long nose, heavy eyebrows).
Back of the head bulges as if swollen.
Neither star touches the inner oval; left star is close to the outer frame line.
Printed on wove paper.
Measures 21 X 25 mm.
The Die 9FGT1 was attributed to Engelhardt
Die 11FGT1-1 (short neck)
No Die 11 Type 1-1 forgeries have been observed. Reports are ambiguous. Numbers are reserved.
Die 11FGT1-1.1 Hooked nose. Not observed. Number reserved.
Die 11FGT1-1.2 Big nose. Number reserved.
Die 11FGT1-1.3 Very big nose. Number reserved.
Die 11FGT1-1.4 Extremely big nose. Number reserved.
Die 11FGT1-2 (long neck)
Common characteristics of Die 11FGT1-2
The neck measures approximately 2 mm.
There is a discernable bow on the queue.
Front of the bust exhibits a minor upward hook.
Top rear of the head is concave.
Nose is arched.
Base of the bust differs from the genuine.
The stars, especially the right star, often have a dot of color inside of the star(s).
Neither star touches the inner oval.
“E” of “TEN” is large.
“A” of “POSTAGE” is narrow and appears closed at the bottom.
Known both with and without fake cancels.
Die 11FGT1-2.1 There is no dot of color in either star. Large bow on the queue. Observed printed in pale green, green, medium blue, slate blue and dark blue. Also reported printed in red and in blue. Printed on both white and on buff paper.
Die 11FGT1-2.2 There is a dot of color in the right star only. Observed printed in green, red, and dark blue inks. Also reported printed in pale green and in slate blue. Observed printed on white, buff and amber buff papers.
Die 11FGT1-2.3 There is a dot of color in both stars. Not observed. Number reserved.
Type 2 forgeries:
No Type 2, Franklin head, forgeries have been observed or reported for Die 11.
Nomenclature for Die 11 forgery identification follows this format:
Die # F(or)G(ery)-Type-Class-Sub-variety
Properly speaking, forgeries should be referenced to the genuine Die number. Design, ink color and paper color may make it possible to ascribe Scott/UPSS catalog numbers to forgeries. All Die 11 forgeries printed on white paper correspond to UPSS 64/ Scott U32. All Die 11 forgeries printed on buff paper correspond to UPSS 65/ Scott U33.
Additional varieties or paper colors may be waiting to be discovered. The author is interested in examining any additions to the forgeries presented above.
My gratitude to collector Steve Dawson for
the loan of his collection of
In addition to the usual catalogs, the following articles have been of assistance:
Vol. 28, No. 4, Whole # 359, p 116
Collin, Henry and Calman, Henry L.
A Catalog for Advanced Collectors
American Journal of Philately
Second series, Vol. XII,
Die Making and Notes on 1860 Second Nesbitt Issue
Vol. 71, No. 6, pps 423-25
(reprint from Stamp Journal, Dec. 1909)
Weekly Philatelic Gossip
XXV: 250 1937-38
Cut Square Forgery Collection Helps Research
Linn's Stamp News
Vol. 73, No. 3732, p 8 2
Hotchner, John M
Who Made Such Crude Fakes of Cut Squares?
Linn's Stamp News
Vol. 74, No. 3779, p 6 2
Kinabrew, J.M., Jr.
Correspondence to Varro Tyler
Re: German? Forgeries of the star dies.
No. 39, OCT 1939
Sloane, George B.
Tyler, Varro E.
Focus On Forgeries # 337, Scott U26
Linn’s Stamp News, 2000
Counterfeits of the Star Dies
Vol. 42, No. 1, Whole # 39, pps 13-14
Vol. 43, No. 2, Whole # 317, pps 29-31
Undersander, Dan & Starkey, Gary
Vol. 44, No. 1, Whole # 322, pps 4-6
Youngblood, Wayne L
Fake Stamps Not Always What They Seem
Linn's Stamp News
Vol. 63, No. 3241, p 44