New Rectangular Forgeries

From The Postage Stamps of J&K Simplified by Dawson & Smythies, pp 33-35.

The forgeries of the New Rectangulars are not many if the Brighton forgeries are left out. This chapter deals with those made while the stamps were current or just after they became obsolete, either by some members of the general public in the State to defraud the Post Office or by subordinate postal officials for sale to collectors.

Of the first class there are four single-die forgeries, two each of the ½a and 1a. The first ½a forgery was in use for only one or two months, from December 1889, being very quickly replaced by a second and much better executed forgery. It is slightly too large, and the white design and lettering is much too broad. It was printed in orange and dull rose watercolour on thin wove paper; in the former colour it is very rare, while only two specimens are known in the dull rose. It was passed through the Indian Post Office at Srinagar only, as shown by the cancellations on the only known used copies.

The next forgery is fairly often met with, but it is by no means common. It was printed in orange or orange-red watercolour, first on thin wove and then on thin laid paper. The impressions are always blurred, but it is the right size. The most distinguishing mark is the appearance of the oval band between 12 to 2 o'clock, where the white frame lines are exceedingly crooked; there is also a character in the band between 4 and 5 o'clock that looks like a large D, as described by Masson. This forgery has been found on covers between 8 February and 18 March 1891, with the Srinagar Indian PO cancellations.

The next forgery is a 1a printed in oilcolour in greenish-slate on medium wove paper. The impression is much larger than the genuine stamps. Only three copies are known, all with the barred-L of the Indian Post Office at Srinagar.

Only one unused specimen is known of the second 1a forgery, printed in bright rose watercolour on thin wove paper. It was attached to the 1892 court file of a case in which a State subject was prosecuted for forging stamps, all the rest of the stock having been destroyed by order of the Court. Sir David Masson obtained it from the Chief Justice. Chronicle the single-die postal forgeries:

Dec 1889½aorangewaterthin wove
Dec 1889½adull rosewaterthin wove
Feb 1890½aorange(-red)waterthin wove
Feb 1890½aorange(-red)waterthin laid
?1agreenish-slateoilmed hard wove
18921abright rosewaterthin wove

The second class of forgeries consists of six single-die forgeries in all the denominations, plus a plate forgery of the 8a, with eight different types. Masson considered that the die forgeries were made by subordinate postal officials shortly after the suppression of the State Post Offices and so were sold direct to collectors and dealers, and were never in the Treasury stock, as had been the sheets produced from the forged 8a plate. The forgeries are usually found when genuine three-circle postmarks, the large size Registered type of Jammu dated 18 OC being by far the most common. The four lower values have a broad border all round of solid colour, which condemns them immediately unless the specimen has been cut close. Later on the borders were reduced in width by about two-thirds, but still they are considerably thicker than the outer frame lines of the genuine stamps. Comparison with the latter is the best test. The 4a and 8a are easily recognisable, the former by not having the cluster of white dots at the top of the inside oval, above the word Mahsūl, the 8a by the small white circular character in the band at 1 o'clock touching the character on the left, instead of being equidistant between the character on either side. In both the 4a and 8a the imitation perforation lines of white dots are irregular and crooked.

The 8a plate forgery has eight different types in two rows, with broad solid colour borders. Impressions are always very blurred, and the dotted lines very crooked. They can be found with both genuine PAR and REG and forged three-circle postmarks. Specimens are known, however, genuinely used on parcel post forms. Many sheets of this forgery were found amongst the Government remainder stock in the Treasuries in 1894, having apparently been substituted for genuine 8a sheets.

Chronicle the following single-die forgeries in printers’ ink on thin fine or coarse wove papers. The 8a plate forgery has both watercolor and oil varieties.

broad borderblack¼a, ½a, 1a, 4a, 8a
black (on white)2a
dull blue8a
red½a, 1a, 4a, 8a
red (on white)2a
red (on green)2a
red (on yellow)2a
yellow-green1a, 4a
dull green8a
corrected borderblack½a, 1a
red (on white)2a
red (on green)2a
plate forgery 1892?black, dull violet-blue, red8a

A few words of warning may be given here with regard to the faking of genuine stamps. New Rectangular stamps fiscally used, with pen and ink cancellations, and sometimes cleaned stamps masquerading as unused turn up. Of course the watercolour stamps cannot be cleaned, but occasionally an effort was made to turn a common denomination into a rare one by altering the figure of value, e.g. the ¼a black Kashmir turned into a ½a. We have previously mentioned the circular 4a ultramarine converted into the more common 1a ultramarine [under mistaken assumptions about the respective values] with the horizontal curve of the value being painted in with chinese-white. Forged postmarks are sometimes met with, as are stamps cancelled-to-order with genuine postmarks.

Brighton Forgeries

From The Postage Stamps of J&K Simplified by Dawson & Smythies, p 35.

The so-called Brighton forgeries form a large group of comparatively modern imitations [~ 1901-02] of all the Jammu and Kashmir dies and plates, produced by a photographic process from actual stamps, and so most of the types are absolutely correct. The circular and old rectangular forgeries can be recognised at once by the papers they are printed on, none of which resembles the genuine native and European laid papers. They can be found in both water and oilcolours on pelure wove or laid, white laid, thin white or toned laid, wove, or bâtonné, and on thick surfaced white or coarse grey wove paper.

The New Rectangular forgeries are somewhat dangerous. The 1a is not known, single copies of the ½a and 2a are too small, as the sheet of the former is 1.5 mm too short and that of the latter is 2 mm to narrow and 3.5 mm too short. The other sheets are correct in size. The papers consist of varieties of wove, one or two of which are like the original papers. The 2a was printed on white wove as well as on yellow tissue paper. All sorts of fancy colours can be found, e.g. the 4a and 8a in bright rose, orange, and chestnut; the 2a in orange, plum, bright rose, scarlet, and marone.

► Obliterations and Postmarks.

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