GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

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David Benson
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by David Benson »

Glen,

re
Both stamps were Pooh-poohed by the "establishment" in their home countries as "fakes", when science later showed both are undoubtedly genuine
.

Have you got any literature that states they the 3sk. was " pooh poohed " as a fake? From what I recall the only contention was that it was a proof that was unintentionally included in ordinary stock.

I can't recall ever seeing anything that the British Guiana was ever " pooh poohed " only the copy that was " found " in Germany a few years ago. I am not sure of what is meant by "queried in the past" as I am not sure what he means by past, 19th, Century or 20th. Century.

p.s.
Pooh-poohed by the "establishment" in their home countries
I doubt if you meant in British Guiana.

Capt. Odenweller's sold his world renown collections of Samoa & New Zealand many years ago and I am sure he had other collections although I can't recall what they were.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by David Benson »

Glen,

just for the record on twisting remarks,

this is what he said,

Finally, the tre skilling banco and the British Guiana 1 cent black on magenta surfaced paper have both been queried in the past, but both have been rather well acquitted of the doubts raised about them.

this is what you said,

i.e. his comments agree entirely with mine - and refute your curious view. Both stamps were comprehesively Pooh-poohed by the "establishment" in their home countries as "fakes", (in Sweden by NINE alleged "Experts") when science later showed both are undoubtedly genuine

He did not say anything about about being queried as fakes, he said queried,

could we leave the subject of comparisons as I have my view and you have yours and get back to whether they are genuine or not,

David B.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered co

Post by admin »

David Benson wrote:
Have you got any literature that states they the 3sk. was " pooh poohed " as a fake? From what I recall the only contention was that it was a proof that was unintentionally included in ordinary stock.
Sorry David, I had assumed (wrongly, it is very clear) that you may have actually READ my referenced several times, and current "Stamp News" article. :D

Seeing it is very clear you have not, it follows others may not have either, so I post the relevant section below, so other members as well as yourself may acquaint themselves with the FACTS on this stamp's history re "Experts" and their most virorous denunciation, as you clearly were unaware of them. :idea:

I'll add I have done more research on that Tre Skilling Banco stamp than anyone in the English speaking world I'd guess.

And that research CLEARLY shows the stamp was HEAVILY branded as FAKE by the highest levels possible in Sweden - even as recently as in the mid 1970s!

Anyway hopefully this will be the thing you learn today from stampboards! That NINE alleged Swedish experts publicly branded the Tre Skilling Banco an outright FAKE.

https://www.glenstephens.com/sndecember04.html

As I posted earlier here, 2 Swedish based FIP Judges told me in MEL last month there seems no doubt TODAY in informed Sweden philately that the stamp is genuine.

I asked why, and was told - "As science today is MUCH better than it was when the "Experts" in the 1970s made their decision."

Odenweller agrees with me the situation with this and the GB Plate 77 cover are similar.
=====================
https://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust09.html

Another alleged "Fake"

I have written in the past detailed research articles on the Sweden 1857 'Tre Skilling Yellow Banco' - one is here - https://www.chohthu.notlong.com

Again highly controversial, and again no-one has a clue as to EXACTLY how this stamp came to be. Or if it is genuine - or not.

In 1974 it was exhibited at the stand of Frimarkshuset A.B. the well known Swedish dealers, at 'Stockholmia 74'.

The stamp was then offered to the Swedish Postal Museum for purchase at $US1,000,000.

The curator Gilbert Svensson had always suspected it to be a forgery, and arranged for it to be handed over to a group of nine Swedish stamp "experts" to examine.

NINE experts say "FAKE"

These "experts" concluded it was a fake - possibly a fake of the original stamp that some of them also thought was a fake anyway!

They stated that one third of the stamp was of a different paper type than the rest.

And it differed in exterior appearance from early photographs.

A "fake" worth Millions?!

One of the experts Friedrich Schaffer pointed the finger at original dealer owner Lichtenstein as the forger/creator of this 'fake'. The experts publicly claimed the story of the original Backman sale in 1885 was a lie.

In "Stamp Collecting" May 1975 it was stated that photo-micrographic tests had shown that the forger bleached a genuine lightly used 8 Skilling Banco to rid it of colour, and then printed a fake 3 Skilling stamp image on top. (i.e. the technique always used cleverly by Jean Sperati.)

After all these damning reports, owner Berlingen and Frimarkshuset A.B. then paid for a very detailed scientific and X-Ray report in 1975, by a Professor of Medial Biophysics, on the paper and ink etc, which pointed they claim, to the stamp being a genuine colour error.

So who really knows? The 'Tre Skilling Banco' allegedly sold in 1996 for a world record Swiss Francs 2.87 million ($US2.3 million) to Hans Lernestål, a Swedish dealer.

The stamp was not offered with a Expert Certificate of any kind in the 1990 or 1996 Auctions - indeed I do not believe any Expertising Committee at any time has ever given it a Certificate as being a genuine error of colour.

The stamp has been crudely re-perforated along the top, and has a sizeable slit at the side .. neither mentioned at all in the 1990 David Feldman auction - which had a deluxe catalogue issued for just this one stamp!

So Abed Najjar might take heart from that story.

Nine "experts" all decreed the Sweden "Tre Skilling Yellow Banco" to be a fake, yet science apparently proved it otherwise, and even with no Certificate it still sells for millions at auction!

Image[/img]
David Benson wrote:
I can't recall ever seeing anything that the British Guiana was ever "pooh poohed" only the copy that was " found " in Germany a few years ago.
Yes the genuineness of the accepted British Guiana certainly was disputed. :mrgreen:

From the same article - https://www.glenstephens.com/sndecember04.html
===============
"At one point, controversy broke when it was suggested that the 1¢ stamp was a "doctored" copy of the magenta 4¢ stamp of the 1856 series, which was VERY similar to the 1¢ stamp in appearance. These claims were disproven.

In late 1998 a German opera singer by the name of Peter Winter claimed to have a second 1¢ magenta. Winter's tale was that he had met a Romanian dancer, called Mia Corojeanu, whose grandfather had worked as a valet for Grand Duke Alexei Michailovich.

Corojeanu told Winter that the Grand Duke - a keen philatelist who was a member of the Royal Philatelic Society, London - had given the stamp to her relative and it had stayed in the family. As she needed money Mia sold it to Winter for just under 10,000 Deutschmarks.

Doubts were raised because Winter had been known in Germany for producing a large number of copies or forgeries of stamps and philatelic material. He also had the second British Guiana 1¢ magenta repaired as it had a tear down the left hand side.

The alleged second 1¢ magenta has twice been before the Expertising Committee of the Royal Philatelic Society London - in 1987 and 1999.

The committee's verdict in January 1999 was: '1¢ Black on magenta - imperf. - used is not SG 23, but it is a 4 cent stamp faked to resemble a 1 cent, extensively repaired and mounted on backing paper'.

Contrary to this, experts in Germany and Switzerland - Herr Rolf Roeder and the philatelic auctioneer David Feldman respectively - have stated that they believe Winter's 1¢ magenta to be genuine.

Whether it is or not remains to be seen, but if it is it will become one of the great modern philatelic finds. Current owner is Peter Winter's son who received it as a gift on his 21st birthday in 1992.

As they say .. the last word in NEVER written in Philately!

Image

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by Abed H Najjar »

Several members have asked, out of curiosity, how I came to own this cover.

The answer is simple and known to many I have spoke to personally. I discovered the cover in a collection of Great Britain and Channel Islands stamps and postal history, housed in albums and stockbooks and annotated in German or Flemish.

The collection was purchased at auction on the continent some ten years ago or so.

This in my view is a great testimonial to its authenticity.

At the risk of repeating myself I must add this point. Who on earth would wish to expertly fake THREE plate number 77 stamps on a tatty cover in such a wonderful way and leave it to be discovered by someone else?

The facts are that this cover and the stamps on it are genuine beyond doubt. The five forensics reports that I have all prove this.

I am amazed at how the experts and students of line engraved stamps think that one can ever tamper to such an extent on such fragile paper in five different places and on three stamps and not leave a sign that could be detected if not by the human eye then by the barrage of serious forensic investigations that were thrown at it.

It really defies any logic. There is just no way any forger can do that.

The way I see it is, had I accepted the opinions of the five different experts and expert bodies, then this philatelic gem and the wonderful philatelic story behind it would have both been consigned to the dustbin for all time.

I suppose the easy way out today is to declare anything out of the norm a fake. Thank God for pragmatism and serious philately.

Abed H Najjar

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by stampmann »

Abed H Najjar wrote:The way I see it is, had I accepted the opinions of the five different experts and expert bodies, then this philatelic gem and the wonderful philatelic story behind it would have both been consigned to the dustbin for all time.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered co

Post by GlenStephens »

Image
Thanks for sharing the history of where the cover came from Abed. :D

I am sure many had wondered that, and original source provenance like that is always most helpful when adding up all the pieces of the jigsaw.

It removes any grey area from the equation. (Like being bought on ebay for a few $100 - "belonged to my sainted Grandma - honest" etc)

So if you have had it for 10 years, all this cunning alleged faking went on at least that far back.

I guess we can rule out laser beams and micro technology then. :)

I just mused today on the POSTMARK placement on this trio.

I do not think in the 450 posts so far on this thread, anyone has raised it specifically?

When I look at the trio, is is clear the postmark is just over some of the second "7s" - which if this cover's stamps are stated to be fake, must clearly be all adjusted too.

Faked either by pasting in clean number 7s cut from other stamps, or painting out the existing "3s" (or whatever number the conspiracy theorists might insert here!) in every case, and somehow painting in a "7" in the 3 cases.

In the latter case, the ink of the painting in would need to match the surrounding 140 year old red ink precisely in every way, and could not of course leach into the stamp paper, and through to the back.

And just painting in red is not the full deal .. as the red is if fact showing underneath small portions of the white original paper. So a glob of red paint will not suffice. And a wake up call here -- this latter 7 is about 1mm x 2mm in TOTAL size to be forging here.
Image
And the WHITE ink then used to paint in the "7" would also need to match the 140 year old PAPER as of course the "7" is not white ink at all, but un-printed upon stamp paper.

So the faker needs to take his original number 3, cunningly disguise it into a "7" so somehow, and magically make that altered '7' look like it is the original white paper, and only paint in the red bits around it that is surplus to requirements.

Both the above scenarios are stated to have occurred - by different "Expert" Committees.
So lets for a charitable moment assume one of these scenarios DID occur.
Then we need to look at this photo and accept the black CANCEL ink also needed to be painted or drawn in over the pasted in, or painted in, fake number 7s. And for starters just the correct amount of postmark painting needs occur.

Now as the cancel is IN the area of the latter "7s" but is not heavy, that would be actually be a lot harder to achieve than might be thought.

And of course be in black ink around 140 years old, of PRECISELY the identical colour and chemical composition used back then. (Unobtainable today I'd imagine, but why let minor reality checks derail us here.)

So we are further asked to believe that some of the latter 7s here are fakes . . whether pasted in or painted in, and the applicable cancel in the region is also faked, either painted or drawn in.

And we are further asked to believe that a barrage of high tech ink and paper and chemical detection lab equipment notices or detects NONE of this alleged forgery, neither does high microscope magnification.

And then after all this magnificent forgery work, the cover is cunningly smuggled into a large general collection in Europe, and the buyer pays no premium to buy it.
Is this was a "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" segment .. would anyone believe a WORD of it?!

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by gavin-h »

Abed H Najjar wrote: I suppose the easy way out today is to declare anything out of the norm a fake.
...and then wait for a controversy to be stirred up...

...and then wait for members of the committee to be "approached privately"...

...and then have the item resubmitted...

...and then declare it genuine.

Why would ANYONE want to do business with such a body of people :?: :?: :?:

And why would ANY of their opinions have ANY validity :?: :?: :?:

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

Exactly, Gavin

I have a couple of things I've been considering having expertized by them. There's no way I'm going to bother. I'm not one of the old boys' club. I'd frankly rather have no cert than one of their brainless bad ones.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered co

Post by Highlander »

You can always get one off eBay you know
Image
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SG44-Plate-77-Mint-PRINTED-COPY_W0QQitemZ330352819181" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

75p with one hour to go and no takers!
Long interest in stamps from Great Britain. Avid collector always after good pre 1930 lots

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

A mint copy of position JI exists? (Yes, I know that's a reprint. What are they reprinting from?)

Greg

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

Same seller has a quite convincing reprint of a used position QC:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330352819210" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Greg

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by norvic »

Greg Ioannou wrote:Same seller has a quite convincing reprint of a used position QC:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330352819210" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Greg
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

I've thrown low-ball bids at them both. Might be fun to try to plate them, or see how they were faked.

Greg

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by PeterS »

It's kinda moot because someone outbid me. Funny!

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered co

Post by stampmann »

Highlander wrote:You can always get one off eBay you know
Image
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SG44-Plate-77-Mint-PRINTED-COPY_W0QQitemZ330352819181" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

75p with one hour to go and no takers!
Off subject I know but this is one of the many reasons that I have not sold on Ebay for 5 years.

Does anyone with any reputation want to be associated with these kind of sellers...Doesn't even accept returns.

Whether a reprint or fake stamps like this do nothing to help Abed's case but only fuel the sceptics!
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered co

Post by GlenStephens »

Image
Like the Sweden Tre Skilling Yellow, this stamp also has a controversial history. But is NOT unique.

https://www.scc-online.org/old/ph05feb.pdf

Reading the interesting article above, I smiled and thught the story was not unlike this Plate 77 cover!

Conspicuous by its absence from listing or even mention in major catalogs, e.g., Scott, Gibbons,
Michel, and Yvert, is an especially interesting and relatively rare Iceland Í Gildi overprint color variety.

This is the controversial 16-aur stamp, perforated 14x13½, overprinted in red instead of black. The stamp is often referred to as one of the Í Gildi "Ferrarities," having first appeared among the collection of well known stamp collector Philipp la Rénotière von Ferrary.

It was accompanied there by three other red instead-of-black surcharge color varieties (on the perforated 14x13½ 50- and 100-aur stamps and on the perforated 12¾ 10-aur stamp), which were lumped into the same "error" category and thought to be unique.

Unfortunately, Ferrary's massive collection, which was auctioned off in the early 1920s following his
death in 1917, included not only some of the world greatest rarities, but many fakes as well.

As a result, for many years thereafter, all four of these red-surcharged varieties were viewed by many prominent Iceland philatelic experts, including Lundgaard in his 1941 unpublished report and subsequently by Pihl in his 1946 publication, Islands Frimerker, as outright fakes.

et, etc,

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by gavin-h »

This seems to have gone very quiet in the last few weeks - is there any news :?:

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

My name is Richard Debney and this is my second post on any chat room board anywhere in the world. (The first was my introduction a few minutes ago) I have been referred to in two posts on this board concerning the GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover? I have only recently found this board, hence this post.

I attended a meeting at The Collectors Club in New York on September 16, 2009 when the item was discussed and where I met Mr. Abed Habib Najjar for the second time and Dr. Gene Hall for the first time. They are both delightful gentlemen.

At that meeting Mr. Najjar placed on public display a report from a handwriting authority identifying the two Expert Committees (formerly referred to Expert Opinion "A" and Expert Opinion "B") who both came to the same opinion that the item was faked. These were the Expert Committees of The Royal Philatelic Society London ("A") and The Philatelic Foundation in New York ("B").

I am a former 15-year employee (expert) at The Philatelic Foundation and have been a consultant to them since 1979. Additionally I have been employed in both the London and New York offices of both Stanley Gibbons and Harmers.

In "The Collectors Club Philatelist" March - April 2009 issue I wrote a three and a half page rebuttal to Mr. Najjar's 29-page article that appeared in the September - October and November - December 2008 issues. I divulged my personal connection to the issue there since I wrote the prevailing opinion at The Philatelic Foundation.

Whilst the stamp is universally referred to as a 1d red, its basic color is that of a lake red. At five places (each covering the second "7" of "77") on the three stamps there are distinctive areas of a yellowish rose-red color approximately 1.5 mm in diameter. They are visible to the naked eye but are glaringly apparent when using one of the new "white light" 10X magnifiers.

Mine, and the ones used at The Philatelic Foundation are from LiFaTeC USA LLC (http://www.lifatec.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). These, the yellowish rose-red areas, of course, are evidence of alteration, the one thing that the item cannot show and survive to be a genuine Plate 77. It took my trained eye less than five seconds to spot the variation in color.

This variation in color was described by me as the "smoking gun" in the rebuttal article. It is my contention that the forensic/scientific examination of the item confirms rather than contradicts my observed opinion and the opinion of The Philatelic Foundation.

A word about repairs/alterations in general. There is some wonderful work out there, such as this, which shows nothing in ultraviolet light. For more examples of this I would refer you to "Fakes Forgeries and Experts No. 1," (a publication of the A. I. E. P.) and an article entitled "Wondrous transformations" by Albert Louis and Karl Albert Louis.

The stamps on the part cover plate to Plate 73, identified by the positions of the check letters, and the constant flaw in the upper-right corner of stamp lettered "SK." This is readily acknowledged by Mr. Najjar. It was described by me in the rebuttal article as "the icing on the cake." There is no logical explanation of how any stamps that plate to Plate 73 can be amended on the plate to those of Plate 77.

Any amendment directly on the plate would likely result in a recess causing printing in colored ink rather than the necessary printing in "white." Any re-entry on the plate of a complete new stamp subject after burnishing would not result in check letters which plate to Plate 73, since these were added individually and were the last step in the plate-making process prior to hardening.

This is a fascinating subject but as far as authenticity is concerned there is really nothing to talk about.

Richard Debney

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by ozstamps »

capetriangle wrote:
At that meeting Mr. Najjar placed on public display a report from a handwriting authority
Welcome to this board. :mrgreen:

Your thoughts on this cover you have made very clear in a detailed 'Collectors Club' article we have linked to here previously.

So your firm stance on it is very well known, and you have placed on the public record elsewhere that you were a vocal member of the PF "Expert Committee" who openly declared this cover a forgery.

The very obvious question is - what in summary did this new report released this week say - that you refer to above, .... and who was the author, and what are his formal expert or scientific credentials - if any?

We all agree science is all about proof .. was there any proof in this new report, of the extensive fakery you have strongly alluded to being evident on the cover, that supports your very strong view?

If there was, perhaps you may be so kind as to summarise it for us here - who were not lucky enough to be able to attend this meeting? :?:

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by mozzerb »

ozstamps wrote:
capetriangle wrote:
At that meeting Mr. Najjar placed on public display a report from a handwriting authority
...

The very obvious question is - what in summary did this new report released this week say - that you refer to above, .... and who was the author, and what are his formal expert or scientific credentials - if any?
Yes, that statement did kind of leap out -- although from the way it was phrased it sounded like this report was something undertaken to identify the committee members!

I presume that if Abed Najjar was displaying it, it is something he commissioned, although I fail to see in what way an analysis of the handwriting on the cover could say anything useful whatsoever about its authenticity.

So yes, a bit of elucidation here from either Mr Najjar or Mr Debney would be helpful. Gentlemen?

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by David Benson »

Richard Debney,

thank you very much for your comments.

It is good to see a member of the expertising committee make a comment and the information was most elucidating especially regarding the changes of tone around the plate number areas. I find it hard to believe that scientific analysis didn't mention the changes in the past but I believe you that it can should give many people grave doubts about the authenticity of the item especially with modern technology creeping into manipulations which would not have been available in the past.

I presume other members of your expertising committee have the same feelings about the item although I still believe that a secondary opinion would be advisable and hopefully a full explanation of why the item did not pass would be given instead of a few simple words such as " not genuine ".

David B.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

Interesting seeing the two adamant opinions on either side. You'd think a glance at the cover would resolve this one, but obviously it isn't that clear-cut.

I'm intrigued by that fibre optic 10x magnifier that Richard used. I remember being shown something similar but less high-tech by Chris Weeda many years ago, and it magnified beautifully. The website he linked to shows the magnifier, but says to call to ask about the price, which isn't encouraging.

The scientific study revealed six patches of the cover where that was a barely detectable trace of some element -- the places where the six diamonds with the second 7 in 77 appeared. One side claims that trace is evidence of tampering, the other that it is evidence of recutting on the plate.

So far, the "it is genuine" side has the better of that part of the debate, because they've shown how (chemically) it could result from recutting. I'd be curious to see how the "it's a fake" side could show how the same evidence reveals how (chemically) it is evidence for a specific type of fakery.

On another front, I bought reprints of those two "plate 77s" that were going for a quid apiece on eBay. They are unused JI (centred low and slightly to the right) and used QC (also centred low and slightly to the right). The reprints are lousy quality, useless for any proper study. They seem to be reproductions of images from an auction catalogue. I've asked the seller about the origin of them but didn't hear back. The images are good enough to be sure they aren't manipulated 177s. They aren't good enough for much else.

Greg

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by gavin-h »

Greg Ioannou wrote:The scientific study revealed six patches of the cover where that was a barely detectable trace of some element -- the places where the six diamonds with the second 7 in 77 appeared. One side claims that trace is evidence of tampering, the other that it is evidence of recutting on the plate.
Then again, they might both be wrong and it might just be where several generations of experts' fingers and tools have prodded and poked to try and see if the second 7s were added later :idea:

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

gavin-h wrote:
Greg Ioannou wrote:The scientific study revealed six patches of the cover where that was a barely detectable trace of some element -- the places where the six diamonds with the second 7 in 77 appeared. One side claims that trace is evidence of tampering, the other that it is evidence of recutting on the plate.
Then again, they might both be wrong and it might just be where several generations of experts' fingers and tools have prodded and poked to try and see if the second 7s were added later :idea:
The cover is a recent discovery (or, if Richard is correct, creation). So no generations of experts' grubby little fingers.

Greg

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by ozstamps »

The thread clearly states earlier on, the cover was purchased on the continent in an album of material written up in Flemish, contained in a large mixed lot, about 10 years back.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by stampmann »

Greg Ioannou wrote: The cover is a recent discovery (or, if Richard is correct, creation). So no generations of experts' grubby little fingers.

Greg
I have also heard that it has been around for a few years.
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by ozstamps »

Abed H Najjar wrote:
Several members have asked, out of curiosity, how I came to own this cover.

The answer is simple and known to many I have spoke to personally. I discovered the cover in a collection of Great Britain and Channel Islands stamps and postal history, housed in albums and stockbooks and annotated in German or Flemish.

The collection was purchased at auction on the continent some ten years ago or so.

This in my view is a great testimonial to its authenticity.

At the risk of repeating myself I must add this point. Who on earth would wish to expertly fake THREE plate number 77 stamps on a tatty cover in such a wonderful way and leave it to be discovered by someone else?

The facts are that this cover and the stamps on it are genuine beyond doubt. The five forensics reports that I have all prove this.

I am amazed at how the experts and students of line engraved stamps think that one can ever tamper to such an extent on such fragile paper in five different places and on three stamps and not leave a sign that could be detected if not by the human eye then by the barrage of serious forensic investigations that were thrown at it.

It really defies any logic. There is just no way any forger can do that.

The way I see it is, had I accepted the opinions of the five different experts and expert bodies, then this philatelic gem and the wonderful philatelic story behind it would have both been consigned to the dustbin for all time.

I suppose the easy way out today is to declare anything out of the norm a fake. Thank God for pragmatism and serious philately.

Abed H Najjar

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by stampmann »

The trouble is that this thread is now so long one forgets what has been previously posted and re-reading takes an age :roll:
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

Glen, mozzerb, Greg and others

At The Collectors Club meeting in New York on September 16, 2009 Mr. Najjar placed on display in front of the frames on the right-hand wall actually two reports. The one I referred to in my post was from a handwriting authority.

What was surprising to me was that the identities of the two Expert Committees were disclosed, facts that at one time I thought were being withheld. I am not being coy here, but I cannot remember, to save my life, the name of the author. The report was, I believe, spiral-bound and about a quarter of an inch thick.

Other than noticing the identities of the two Expert Committees involved, I spent very little time with the report and neither Mr. Najjar or Dr. Hall referred to it or the other one in their illustrated talks.

The other report was bound differently and slightly thinner but other than that I cannot remember anything about it.

Sorry to have been no help here.

Regarding the LED "white light" magnifiers, they are wonderful and I believe that they retail for approximately US $275. I know I paid US $180 for mine, through the professional courtesy of The Philatelic Foundation and a prominent Californian stamp dealer. One of the members of the BPA Expert Committee has playfully referred to it as the 'Sword of Damocles.'

Because of the cost I guard mine like a hawk, transporting it only in a 'bubble plastic' pouch. Strangely, at the meeting, I spoke to Dr. Hall about it and we offered it to Mr. Najjar in order for him to examine his part cover. I was a little surprised when he turned down the offer.

Kindest regards to all

Richard Debney

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Abed H Najjar »

.... and we offered it to Mr. Najjar in order for him to examine his part cover. I was a little surprised when he turned down the offer.

I feel compelled to make a comment here. I was NEVER offered any implement to examine my cover as alleged by Mr Debney. This is a very worrying statement!! However I must add that had he offered me such an implement, and he did not, I would have turned it down.

The way I see it, the stamps have been examined by me using a microscope at 100x magnification to observe upto the level of the paper fibres.

They were also examined by the RSSL using a scanning electron microscope and they confirm that the paper fibre are intact. If Mr Debney damns an item based on 10x magnification and white light, then god help the collector who entrusts his stamps to him for an opinion.

The two reports he mentions were the RSSL report and Robert Radley's report

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

Hmmm. I might pick one up. You see different things without magnification, and a 3x, 10x, 50x and so on. A good 10x magnifier can definitely show you things your naked eye and a microscope won't.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Abed H Najjar »

Thanks Greg

Perhaps you are unaware but I do expertise the early stamps of Transjordan for both auction houses and private individuals. This country abounds with fakes and forgeries and I have written two award winning books on its stamps and postal history.

I am sure you will accept that I do use a wide variety of magnifiers and magnifications to help me with my work.

What we must accept is while 10x magnification is useful, we can not rely on it in order to study the paper fibres which must be tampered with in order to fake this stamp. At 80-100x, you can see the individual fibres, the matrix and the way the ink lies on them.

There is no way you can tamper with these fibres and the pigment on them (both prerequistites of faking) without leaving a trace. 10x magnification as Richard Debney has used on these stamps is totally useless in my view and has been the reason for unjustifiably damning a perfectly genuine item.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

Agreed. My favourite magnifier is 16x, and I wouldn't use it to look at paper fibres.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by PeterS »

After all that has been said here, by both sides of the discussion, I find that (were I a collector of GB and had the funds) I would be prepared to 'take the risk' and buy this cover.

My view is that the scientific evidence appears overwhelming and very difficult ot refute. To suggest vthat 10x magnification gives a clearer view of the authenticity I find to be a little disingenuous. Just because long used techniques have been good enough in the past is no reason to assume that they are good enough today. Not with advances in technology.

I know organisations are often slow to accept scientific advances and have difficulty accepting that long held beliefs and 'knowledge' (as in, we know these stamps came from Plate 73 so they are Plate 73 and have been tampered with) may be superceded by events.

As has been mentioned here, the Australian Halfpenny Green Kangaroo, with sideways watermark, was given a bad certificate when submitted by the late Simon Dunkerly. I am sure a good part of the reason was that no example had ever before been reported (in 70+ years) and so couldn't exist.
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

Mr. Najjar

Firstly, the offer for you to look at the part cover with my 10X glass came from Dr. Hall (rather than directly from me) whilst I was standing on his immediate right with you on his immediate left, during the 'cocktail hour' (officially the social hour) at The Collectors Club meeting.

You may have not understood it or even misheard it, but you certainly, in my opinion, declined something. (one of Dr. Hall's suggestions) I think it is fair to say that since you do not accept the observations made anyway then this situation now becomes mute.

Clearly, since we are poles apart on this, the "smoking gun" argument, I will put that issue at rest. I will, however, place a separate post on the other major question at issue shortly.

Kindest regards

Richard Debney

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by GlenStephens »

capetriangle wrote:
.... this situation now becomes mute.
I feel sure you meant to type MOOT ?

One thing I can assure you of is, that the discussion of this cover will not be "mute" for a VERY long time. ;)

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by GlenStephens »

admin wrote: (on July 29)

Richard Debney from the USA openly fesses up he was on the US "Expert" Committee, and wrote the extra notes on the cover, and does not like the cover:

http://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust09.html

I wrote the prevailing opinion quoted by Mr. Najjar as Expert Opinion "B" and was responsible for the information conveyed to him in the subsequent correspondence. I was aware of the information contained in Expert Opinion "A" prior to writing mine.

.... It is completely my choice to disclose my involvement.

I am completely happy with the opinion and am willing to put at stake my thirty-two-year professional reputation upon it.


My guess is in a few years time, Mr Debney will greatly regret writing the last sentence. We shall see. :)

Moving from the world to MOOT to the present reality, members might note the comment above I made here on July 29, only 2 months back.

Things have moved faster than I thought. And the last par has already proven prophetic it might appear? :mrgreen:

My enquiries to the USA have indicated Mr Debney no longer expertises for the Philatelic Foundation (PF), after ~15 years of having done so. I am sure if that advice is in error he will correct it.

Hopefully Abed will now re-submit his cover to the PF, and have the item re-examined by the new Committee, using the detailed new technical and scientific reports as an aid, that Mr Debney cheerfully admits above he has paid little attention to reading.

I'll make some enquiries and see if I can obtain permission to publish that report here, that the likes of Mr Debney appear disinterested in reading, or even remembering who wrote it.

As has been posted before in this thread by several members, if all Committees retained closed minds when new facts have merged, no new discoveries would EVER be made in philately.

Having an open mind is the hallmark of a good philatelist I have always thought, but that is just a personal view.

I had Arthur Gray over here for most of yesterday, and in conversation he mentioned an Australia based stamp matter he had always felt was not so, was now, via new research, proven entirely to his satisfaction. Great to see leading collectors can change long held views, if a sensible and watertight argument is made. :idea:

For the record Gray feels this GB cover is 100% genuine, and can't understand what all the fuss is about!

True he does not collect early GB, and his view was only formed on looking at the available evidence. He still has the greatest Australian Commonwealth collection ever formed, despite selling off over $7 million of it, via PART of his Kangaroos in New York. So it was interesting for me to hear an outside voice on this, from someone whose stamp knowledge is immense -

http://www.glenstephens.com/arthur-gray-kangaroos.html

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

Hi there:

A quick review of the line-engraving, (intaglio), recess-printing process is perhaps in order.

Diagrammatically in stages:

1. Die - negative - recess

2. Transfer Roller - positive - relief (raised)

3. Printing Plate - negative - recess

4. Stamps - positive - relief (raised)

Hardening occurs between stages 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and after 3.

The "Plate numbers" on the stamps resulted from amendments made to the Transfer Roller in stage 2. Either the engraver's burin or number punches were used on the soft Transfer Roller relief(s) causing recesses in the relief and hence the printing in "white" on the stamps.

The re-entry process involves striking the back of the plate which, of course, slightly raises the recessed area which is then removed by burnishing and polishing. A complete new entry from a transfer roller is then applied to the plate in the transfer press. This is an all or nothing process.

Portions of a stamp design are never re-entered (after burnishing and polishing) due to the practical impossibility of an exact design connection/match. What philatelists have always called "re-entries" are the remnants of the original impression not fully burnished out on the plate. They, of course, are always printed in color.

Re-cutting on the plate also involves recesses and consequently also produces printing in color.

The stamps on the part cover plate to Plate 73, identified by the positions of the check letters, and the constant flaw in the upper-right corner of stamp lettered "SK."

The above argument described by me as the "icing on the cake" simply cannot be refuted, even if you cannot see or accept the argument that the second "7's" have been amended. Any re-entry would result in the loss of the positions of the check letters. Any re-cutting directly onto the plate would also result in printing in color.

Richard Debney

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by GlenStephens »

Richard I am sure if any members need a detailed lecture on printing techniques they will buy and read "Fundamentals Of Philately" - - a highly recommended volume.

Abed himself agrees - and has from day 1 - that these 3 stamps show characteristics of plate 73 stamps. You youlrself agree that he has always stated this.

No-one disagrees with that, in the 500 posts above.

There is no doubt is the minds of most of us that is how the PO sold this block of 3 on cover. With the number 77 showing on the stamps.

Why and how did that occur? Who knows, but those numbers are there and have been there for ~150 years. Most of us except you agree on that.

YOUR argument is that someone forged all those 6 numbers to read '77'.

Correct?

Let's hear more about your theory please on exactly how this was done. All painted in cunningly I believe is the written summary of your "expert" view?

Glen

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered co

Post by GlenStephens »

All painted in cunningly I believe is the written summary of your "expert" view?
Which is a VERY clever thing for that pesky forger to do, as of course the white 77s are not white ink, but are simply the underlying unprinted paper colour showing through. Agree?

Not to mention our very cunning forger then needs to find 150 year old black ink in order to touch up the cancels here and there. Devilishly clever fellow, I'd agree. :idea:

And what COJONES to choose to do all this faking on THREE stamps, when one would have been far simpler - and less easily detected. A brilliant strategic mind at work here.

And selecting a tatty and scuffed part cover was the masterstroke. A nice neat clean complete cover, bearing a single stamp would have been far too obvious for our master forger.

Mr Debney - Maybe you or other "experts" have licked their oily fingertips and prodded and twisted them onto the "77" areas to see if this alleged "painting in" would run or distort -- as it most surely would IF you were correct?

A logical idea to test it with, but clearly no white painted in ink has "run", so this childish "painted in" theory held no weight in the end.

HOWEVER a bunch of folks on various Expert Committees pushing licked fingertips, or even using camel hair brushes dipped into soapy etc, to see if these devilishly painted in "77" numbers 'ran' in water, may well account for the area around them to now fluoresce slightly differently?

I'd imagine that is an absolute GIVEN? But I am no chemist - it just seems logical. :shock:
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

Glen

I will concede "moot" for "mute."

My analysis of the forensic/scientific examination was outlined in the March - April 2009 issue of "The Collectors Club Philatelist" as was the fact that I am no longer an employee of The Philatelic Foundation. (when they were known as Expert Opinion "B") I have been a consultant to The Philatelic Foundation since 1979, continue to be one, expertising for them occasionally.

The work of RSSL was largely replicated and superseded by that of Dr. Gene Hall.

It is true I have no opinion on the work of the handwriting authority.

I agree with you that "Fundamentals of Philately" is an excellent book. The validity of the "icing on the cake" argument still stands to confirm my observations.

I agree that it is a good thing to have an open mind.

As you correctly stated my principle argument was that the second "7's" in five out of six cases have been amended from "3's." As I stated in the article I see five tiny areas of a yellowish rose-red color as opposed to the balance of the stamp in lake red. I believe this was done by smoothing over and painting-in. The color difference can be seen with the naked eye, let alone the 10X "white light" magnifier. That Mr. Najjar and others do not see this does not mean that it is not there.

I refer you to your own post of Tuesday August 18, 2009 and the large central photo showing the single enlarged "77." On my computer I can detect the faintest trace of the yellowish rose-red color over the right "7" in your photo. These traces I did not pick up in "The Collectors Club Philatelist" articles' photos.

If Mr. Najjar sends the item back to The Philatelic Foundation for what they refer to as a reconsideration, then it will be examined by a different group of experts as a matter of policy.

I do have the advantage over you, Arthur Gray and probably practically all of the board members, in that I have actually examined the item.

If Mr. Najjar does not care for the opinions of The Royal Philatelic Society and The Philatelic Foundation why doesn't he submit the item to The British Philatelic Association or to David Brandon, other philatelic Expert Committees.

I continue to be willing to put at stake my 32-year professional philatelic reputation on this item being a fake.

Kindest regards

Richard Debney

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

Glen

Our posts crossed in cyberspace.

You are absolutely correct in that the suspect second "7's" are not white ink, rather uninked paper which has been smoothed over. I have never suggested anything different.

It not ethical for any philatelic expert committee to physically alter the condition of any item passing through its hands.

It is now 12.40 AM in New York and I am going to bed.

Kindest regards

Richard Debney

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by GlenStephens »

capetriangle wrote:

As you correctly stated my principle argument was that the second "7's" in five out of six cases have been amended from "3's."
capetriangle wrote:
You are absolutely correct in that the suspect second "7's" are not white ink, rather uninked paper which has been smoothed over. I have never suggested anything different.

It not ethical for any philatelic expert committee to physically alter the condition of any item passing through its hands.
Aha. The thought process is confirmed. :mrgreen:

Firstly all Committees reserve the right to "lift" and/or immerse any items they receive. That does not "physically alter" anything - unless it is fugitive ink.

I have bought dozens of covers where the stamps have all been removed from the covers and hinged back on in place. Very common practice - as you should know if you have been on an Expert Committee for 15 years.

They would be entirely entitled to paint the "7s" with a camel hair brush etc dipped in soapy water. Even just normal water. A totally obvious first test.

Count Ferrary used to BOIL all his expensive potential purchases in a clear perspex type beaker on a bunsen burner, on a gas flame before buying them. Certainly sorted out the repairs and fakes pretty fast. :lol:

So someone (accordingly to your master theory) has taken 5 or 6 number 3s, and scratched away all the red to make them all number 7.

How do you suggest that is done - looking at the photo below? And leave no disturbance whatever to any paper fibres as the lab report under electron microscopy shows us? (Assuming you have bothered to read the lab reports that is.)

And indeed no evidence of any physical tampering to paper fibres exists from any of the many reports AFAIK.

We are talking about paper here -- interwoven cellulose fibres agreed? Not a block of metal.

Did your forger then get down and somehow weave all the fibres back again, within this tiny 2mm x 2mm area we are talking about? FIVE times.

Oh .. and then the other little minor point .. you need to carefully paint in RED now in all the places it needs to be - correct? So where do you suggest the 150 year old red ink is sourced, that matches exactly the original ink? And defies all scientific methods to detect it.

To make my point again you are seriously suggesting someone deliberately set about doing this master forging of SIX numbers, when they needed really only do two?

Only 1 in fact if they chose a stamp with a real heavy cancel on 1 side. If I was to forge something that would be the obvious choice.
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by fromdownunder »

i think that one of the most interesting issues relating to this cover, which has been asked, but never satisfactorally answered, is WHY would somebody forge such a rarity, on a unique cover, then "hide" it in a somewhat general collection which when sold would only bring a smal % of the "true" value of the item.

Richard, if you can explain to me why somebody would go to such a great effort to forge this item, and then virtually give it away, I might turn to the dark side. Otherwise, there appears to be absolutely no motive to do such a thing.

I need a motive, or some logical reason why somebody would do this, not go for the money, and then snicker in his/her loungeroom, (privately) saying HA! I fooled the philatelic world!

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by gavin-h »

fromdownunder wrote:i think that one of the most interesting issues relating to this cover, which has been asked, but never satisfactorally answered, is WHY would somebody forge such a rarity, on a unique cover, then "hide" it in a somewhat general collection which when sold would only bring a smal % of the "true" value of the item.
Norm,

That one's quite easy to answer: they wouldn't...

...but it's quite possible that the original "collection" to which it belonged was broken up and the significance of the item was lost. Ignorant relatives dispose of stamp collections at boot sales all the time :idea:

Subsequently the item may not have been recognised for what it was - or purported to be - and found its way (possibly in several steps) into the collection where Mr Najjar found it.

Disclaimer - this post in no way is meant to suggest the stamps or cover are not genuine; it is merely intended to provide a theory in response to Norm's question.

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Greg Ioannou »

We're at an interesting point in the discussion, with each side asking questions that the other can't answer.

My inclination is that the cover is genuine, and the piece of evidence I find convincing is the existence of that other cover with a "plate 77" that plates as plate 73. The only evidence against the other cover seems to be that it plated as 73.

But Richard raises questions for which we have no answers. These are in addition to the similar "how could this exist" questions we'd raised earlier. We have no information on how the stamps could have been "repaired" from plate 73 to 77, nor do we know how that could have been corrected back to 73. Or why.

Greg

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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by GlenStephens »

gavin-h wrote:
...but it's quite possible that the original "collection" to which it belonged was broken up and the significance of the item was lost. Ignorant relatives dispose of stamp collections at boot sales all the time :idea:

Subsequently the item may not have been recognised for what it was - or purported to be - and found its way (possibly in several steps) into the collection where Mr Najjar found it.

It is also possible a collector who did not own a SG - as one might often find on the continent, had no idea of the scarcer plate numbers.

It may well have been just an 1856 1d red on cover trio to whomever originally added it.

I'd have zero idea of which margin plate numbers were valuable for a France or Sweden or Spain early issue etc, as I do not own the specialised catalogues.

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Highlander
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plate 77 - newly discovered cover?

Post by Highlander »

As to why someone may forge an item then the Brits on here may remember this family:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7091435.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I don't think he ever ran to stamps though thank goodness.
Long interest in stamps from Great Britain. Avid collector always after good pre 1930 lots

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capetriangle
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by capetriangle »

Glen

What you say about Committees is just not true. The PF will not lift a stamp from a cover or immerse one in water. Should either be necessary the item will be sent back for the submitter to accomplish. Watermark fluid, long and short wave UV are, of course, used.

You are correct about Count Ferrary, he did used to boil stamps. It was in that way that he ruined the color of his copy of the Western Australia 'Inverted Frame.' (L. N. & M. Williams No. IX) The color of his stamp is an electric vivid blue, completely different from the other thirteen copies - a dull greyish blue.

Examination of paper fibres can be a 'double edged sword,' it is possible to use too high of a magnification and be confused by the results. At the PF a stereo microscope is used.

As I have said before, there is some wonderful work out there. If you had ever had the opportunity, as I have had, to examine about 40-50% of the entire population of the Hawaiian Missionary stamps, upon which repairs are endemic, I believe that you would have been amazed at the quality of the work.

There are, for instance, examples where margins have been added and the frame lines drawn in showing absolutely no disruption in the paper fibres and with the added frame lines perfectly matched to the 'turquoise' blue of the originals. Also nothing showed in UV. That the repairs had been made was indisputable, since we had before and after photographs in the archives.

I have already discussed the forensic/scientific examination save the work of the handwriting authority in my article in the CCP. It remains my contention that the forensic/scientific examination confirms rather than contradicts the observed result.

Regarding your photo of the "7" superimposed on a "3," once the area surrounding the "3" is smoothed (sanded, abraded) down to bare paper then "pigment/paint/color/dye or similar" (CCP Mar - Apr 2009 p106) could be painted in to all of the area except the silhouette of the "7" itself.

Could you answer my question regarding the central photo in your August 18, 2009 post?

Kindest regards

Richard Debney
Last edited by Allanswood on 30 Jul 2017 18:27, edited 1 time in total.
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GlenStephens
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Re: GB 1864 1d red - the rare plat

Post by GlenStephens »

capetriangle wrote:
Regarding your photo of the "7" superimposed on a "3," once the area surrounding the "3" is smoothed (sanded, abraded) down to bare paper then "pigment/paint/color/dye or similar" (CCP Mar - Apr 2009 p106) could be painted in to all of the area except the silhouette of the "7" itself.
Smoothed, sanded and abraded and great chunks painted in (with WHAT exactly and sourced WHERE!!!???) and you are trying to tell me it would not be easily detectable?

And somehow do all this David Copperfield magic on 3 stamps - when one would suffice?

Sorry I'll stick with science - and common sense below. Usually a most wise policy in such matters!

As to WA Inverted Swans/Centres - had Ferrary boiled Swan number 'TEN' (now declared a total fake invert - see photo below) it would not have fooled folks for 70 years as it did. Agree?

(You state 13 genuine copies exist .. but I think you'll find it is 15!)

Your Number '9' WA Invert was immersed in a chemical solution in 1923 after being boiled - so Ferrary boiling in water was not the reason it changed shade I'd suggest. A pair of Ozzie dealers with a certain reputation were offering it in the 80s so what they did with it is anyone's guess. :lol:

Indeed your own stamp has variously been offered as "somewhat repaired" in 1928, "3mm small cut .. with traces of mould" in 1980" - which only a year later magically transformed into a "3mm internal paper break not apparent from the front" - so like Abed's cover, it does show opinions can and do change on the same rare piece. :mrgreen:
[Image
A total fake.
GlenStephens wrote:
So someone (accordingly to your master theory) has taken 5 or 6 number 3s, and scratched away all the red to make them all number 7.

How do you suggest that is done - looking at the photo below? And leave no disturbance whatever to any paper fibres as the lab report under electron microscopy shows us? (Assuming you have bothered to read the lab reports that is.)

And indeed no evidence of any physical tampering to paper fibres exists from any of the many reports AFAIK.

We are talking about paper here -- interwoven cellulose fibres agreed? Not a block of metal.

Did your forger then get down and somehow weave all the fibres back again, within this tiny 2mm x 2mm area we are talking about? FIVE times.

Oh .. and then the other little minor point .. you need to carefully paint in RED now in all the places it needs to be - correct? So where do you suggest the 150 year old red ink is sourced, that matches exactly the original ink? And defies all scientific methods to detect it.

To make my point again you are seriously suggesting someone deliberately set about doing this master forging of SIX numbers, when they needed really only do two?

Only 1 in fact if they chose a stamp with a real heavy cancel on 1 side. If I was to forge something that would be the obvious choice.
Image

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