Forgeries, Imitations, Zanies

Most of the items on this page are not really good enough to qualify as serious forgeries, and might better be called “imitations.” The following links take us down this page. The NR table of New Rectangular forgeries is taken from Séfi & Mortimer.

Circulars   Old Jammu   Old Kashmir   New Rectangulars   NR Table


½a Circulars

Forgeries of this type we call “the snake” on account of the prominent rendering of the name “Kashmir” in the lower-right part of the inscription. Another distinguishing feature of the general type is the anomalous single ring around the edge.


The specimen on the left is in black oilcolor on rather thick, toned laid paper. The example on the right, spuriously cancelled, is on native paper. Other colors occur, including notably a lurid yellow-green.

1a Circulars

This denomination would seem not to be so popular among forgers, but there are several zanies afoot. We may steal an image or two from eBay one of these days.


4as Circulars


Scared you? A zany mirror-image 4as deep blue oilcolor on thick coarse native paper. These also come in several colors.


And another pair of mirror-impressions of a different type on thick toned wove papers. They are also reported in black, grey, and brown.


Jammu Forgeries

The Jammu Plate. Legitimate blocks of four are almost non-existent, so anything that comes in this form is almost guaranteed to be a perpetration of one kind or another. The blocks come in many colors that often defy nomenclature, and on a variety of papers. The demeanors come both sharp and scatty, the latter often embellished with fake cancellation in manuscript nagari. I am told that the Jammu-plate Brighton forgeries of early-1900s vintage also come in full block form (we’ve never knowingly seen an example) so it is worth keeping in mind that a fake block of good design might be one of those, which are of some collector interest due to their antiquity and evident scarcity. Séfi & Mortimer chronicle their own findings.

The Iron-Mine facsimile. Here is a cereal-box novelty item derived from the schematic in the Gibbons catalogue. It is also found in black ink, which is almost collectible as a higher-order novelty item on account of its relative, perhaps even absolute, scarcity. The reds often come in multiples on a coarse wove paper and was sold by the kiloton in the 1990s (so folks tell me) with corresponding fare for the rest of the J&K types and that of several other Indian States. All are based on the pre-colour illustrations in SG. Even as those older catalogues fall into general disuse, there is no pressing need to give examples, for they are simply not confusable with anything interesting.


½a Kashmir Single-Die Forgeries


½a green oilcolor on stout white wove. The image is a b/w illustration from Séfi & Mortimer. Other oilcolors reported by these authors are a black on thick toned wove, a carmine-red and a deep green, both on thin woves.


The type on the left was clearly inspired by the famous Le Timbre watercolor forgery, which seems to be rather scarce nowadays (we have never seen a copy for sale). These imitations of the forgery, which were taken from the Scott catalog, come in a number of colors, including dull violet, ochre, teal, black, pale green, as well as the pinky thing shown above. The scan on the right, clearly a fine contribution to civilization, looks to be a forgery of the forgery of the forgery. Do we have any fourth- order forgeries?


Visitors’ Plate Forgeries


On left, a ¼a forgery with a mirror-reversed SPECIMEN overprint obscured by an obliteration, presumably on purpose. The design of the stamp is variously wrong. This great zany is in the Lunn collection. On right, a ¼a black on thick wove paper. Here the design itself is mirror-reversed. The Image was taken from Séfi and Mortimer plate 52.


New Rectangular Forgeries

The types shown below are mostly of the older period single-die forgeries, which are found in broad-border and modified-border sub-types. The eighth-anna does not appear (indeed was little forged at all save for a rare Brighton in bright yellow). A few of the recent facsimiles of the illustrations in Stanley Gibbons are included as a bleak gesture, but are not tabulated in the forgeries table at the bottom of the screen.


½-anna Denomination


Single-die forgeries, oilcolors on thin wove paper. The scans above contrast the broad-border and modified-border types. Since the broad border was a noticeable defect, these are sometimes found cut close (see the orange below). The cancellations are also faked. A distinctive feature among several of these faked Jammu 3-rings is the large-E in STATE.



Above: More of the broad-border and modified-border type, but these colors are not listed in Séfi & Mortimer, and may not come in cancelled form.


Novelty items based on the illustration in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue.

Two late bogus, but cleaner productions on coarse, brownish thin wove.


¼-anna Denomination

Though he reports seeing copies, Masson (II, p. 21) could not illustrate the single-die forgery in the ¼-anna denomination in any color. It does not seem, however, to be scarce, witness:


Broad-border type of the ¼a brown on thin wove paper. Séfi & Mortimer also list a black of the same sort. The Dogri writing in the oval is variously wrong.



Modified-border type of the ¼a red and lilac-brown. Some mayhem was caused the left-side border in the modification, and are easily recognized by the unsquare upper corner. Séfi & Mortimer recognize only the red.



Late types. A few of the cheap and nasties made from the illustration in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue. Modern facsimiles such as these are not listed in our checklists.


1-anna Denomination


The 1a red and yellow-green single-die broad-border forgeries on thin wove paper. The 3-ring REG cancellation on the second item is not legitimate, though some 3-ring cancellations found on these forgeries are authentic. The 10-bar cancel with the illegible center may be authentic. These forgeries also appear with the modified borders.



These are both subject #14 on the 1a-plate, but the white is too expansive as if they were produced from images of images in a photographic process. All that suggests “Brighton,” but for the fact that there are no Brighton forgeries attested in the 1a, acccording to Mortimer and Séfi. So we advance these as candidates for such.



And two other types. In the second a “corkscrew” replaces the sun in the lower-left corner. Another two types of 1a forgeries are pictured on p 172 in Staal.


2-annas Denomination


Broad-border type of the 2a red, deep carmine, and orange-red on very thin paper, possibly the yellow pelure of the Séfi & Mortimer listing. Here they are glued to piece.


Modified-border type of the preceding species. Being on yellowish-toned coarse wove or green-toned (non-pelure) papers, they do not appear in the Séfi & Mortimer listing.


The preceding type cancelled with different Nowan Shahr 3-rings. The second item is very thin yellow-toned paper glued to a piece.


4-annas Denomination


Single-die forgeries in black and red on thin wove paper.



Cancelled varieties of same in yellow-green and olive-green, the latter with one of the Nowan Shahr rings seen above.


8-annas Denomination

The higher 8as denomination has attracted more than its share of forgery, the higher denomination perhaps bringing in more illicit revenue than the others for the same effort. In addition to the usual run of broad-borders, Brightons (some of which are difficult when presented as single copies) and facsimiles of various sorts (none shown here) there is the awful and beloved 8a-pane forgery that is often regarded as a watercolor forgery in its purple version. It may be that this pigment, though somewhat water-soluble as many of the blue class of rectangulars are, is not a true watercolor.



Monstrosity in wove. Above, just the left half of the 8as-pane forgery (subjects #1,2,5,6) of the New Rectangulars composite plate. An illustration of all eight subjects can be seen in Staal p. 173. Some forgeries in this class have been successfully through the mails (ref. Sé & Mortimer).


From the 8a-pane forgery, both #4 in the pane in slate-blue and dull grey-violet on thin wove. The Jammu 3-ring is also faked.


And another pair in dull vermilion and black on thin wove, again not soluble in water. The black item shown here is position #7 in the pane, a famous pane position, for in the original the Dogri element -la- in the border inscription was omitted in error (as first pointed out in print by F. Staal), but here in the forgery it was unwittingly restored (look around the 8 o’clock position).





Broad-border single-die forgeries in the 8as. An oft-cited characteristic is the little circle (Dogri retroflexed ţ) at about the 2-o'clock position. In the forgeries this circle nudges the adjacent Dogri element, whereas in the originals the circle is better-centered. Séfi & Mortimer speak of four types in black, red, dull green, and dull blue. The array shown here would suggest that some type of deep aqua (for want of a term) and a range of violets might augment the received listings. No listing we have seen refers to modified borders in the 8as.


New Rectangular Forgeries (after Séfi)
single die¼a blackoil?thin wove
single die ¼a brownoilthin wove
modified¼a Indian redinkthin toned wove
modified¼a lilac-brownoilthin wove
single-die½a black  oil?  thin wove
modified½a blackoil?thin wove
single-die½a scarletoilthin toned wove
modified½a scarletoilthin toned wove
modified½a red-orangeoilthin wove
modified½a dull greenoilthin wove
single die1a blackoil?thin wove
single die1a vermilionoil  thin toned wove  
single die1a yellowish-greeninkthin wove
single die1a grey-greeninkthin wove
single die1a dull greeninkthin wove
modified1a blackoil?thin wove
single die2a blackoil?white pelure wove
single die2a redoilyellow pelure
single die2a deep carmineoilyellow pelure
single die2a orange-redoilyellow pelure
single die2a redoilgreen pelure
single die2a redoilwhite pelure
modified2a greenish-blueoil?yellow-toned wove
modified2a redoilwhite wove
modified2a redoilgreen pelure wove
modified2a redoilyellow-pelure wove
modified2a redoilgreen wove
modified2a redoilcoarse yellow wove
single die4as blackoil?thin wove
single die4as redoil  thin toned wove  
single die4as yellow-greeninkthin wove
single die4as olive-greeninkthin wove
single die8as blackoil?thin wove
single die8as violetsoilthin wove
single die8as dull violetoilthin wove
single die8as orange-redoilthin wove
single die8as dull greeninkthin wove
single die8as deep aquaink?thin wove
pane8as blackoil?thin wove
pane8as dull vermilionoil?thin wove
pane8as slate-blueoilthin wove
pane8as dull grey-violetoilthin wove

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