JOBI Philatelic Services:
More Accidental Fakes!
UPSS # 5469
This article published in Postal Stationery, Vol. 45, No. 5, Whole # 331, p140
More Accidental Fakes,
and an Accidental Forgery, Too!
Fakes and forgeries are an unfortunate, but are a frequently fascinating aspect of collecting. Strictly speaking, fakes are genuine items that are deliberately altered to increase their value. Forgeries are items deliberately produced to defraud the collector. But history shows that “deliberately can sometimes be replaced by “accidentally”.
Strange, but true, “accidental” fakes and forgeries of
1907/1916 Mercantile Issues
Advertising has always been important. Early envelope contractors provided a wide selection of sizes and colors for the discerning postal patron. Schedules, essentially posters, bearing either genuine samples or facsimiles of the embossed stamped envelopes were frequently provided to Post Offices to encourage sales.
The Mercantile Corporation, as the new envelope contractor, provided schedules to the Post Offices featuring full size lithographic reproductions (facsimiles) of each envelope size and denomination available. These schedules were printed in color. The dies and the colors used are identical to those of the genuine issued envelopes. A number of these schedules were converted to “cut squares”. The cut squares made from these schedules were heavily utilized by the packet makers. Some of these cut squares have even been offered as proofs. Cut squares made from these schedules are essentially “accidental” forgeries. These forgeries can be identified by the lack of embossing of the stamp. The forgeries otherwise match the genuine stamps in all respects.
Newspaper wrappers are occasionally confused with letter
sheets. But newspaper wrappers
masquerading as window envelopes?
Newspaper wrappers with window cutouts, but no glassine inserts, are
known. These accidental fake “windowed”
wrappers were privately created by a small newspaper firm operating in
3543/U554, 6¢ Moby Dick, die 193
The 6¢ blue Herman Melville-Moby Dick stamp envelope was printed only on plain-front small size (POD # 6 ¾) envelopes. Large size (POD # 10) envelopes have been observed bearing an image of this stamp. The stamp images were actual cut outs of the stamp imprint taken from the genuine small size envelopes. These accidental fakes were created by an enterprising secretary who decided to salvage the postage from four of the genuine Moby Dick embossed-stamped envelopes (believed to have been rendered useless due to typing errors).
These items illustrate three types of accidental fake and one incident of accidental forgery. Perhaps there are more of these “accidents” awaiting disclosure.