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HONG KONG Queen Victoria; Forgeries

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Spiro forgeries:

Spiro forgeries are quite common. There should be a small white space all across the inner rectangle in the genuine stamps, the coloured lines that form the background of the queen's head stop just before they reach the border. In the forgeries this space is very small or absent. All the copies I have seen bear the cancel 'B62' (different from the genuine cancel). These forgeries are believed to be made by Spiro. The perforation of these forgeries is 12 1/2. The genuine stamps are perforated 14 (except for two very rare stamps; the 4 c grey was also perforated 12 1/2 and the 2 c red was also perforated 12).

Forgery! Forgery!


(Reduced size)

The following forgeries and colour shades are known to me: 2 c brown, 2 c brown imperforate, 4 c greenish grey, 6 c grey , 8 c orange, 8 c brownish orange, 12 c blue, 12 c pale blue, 12 c brown, 16 c brownish yellow, 15 pale brownish yellow, 18c greyish lilac, 18 c grey, 18 c brownish lilac, 24 c green, 30 c vermillion, 30 c mauve, 30 c slate, 48 c rose, 48 c deep rose, 96 c olive grey and the surcharges 16 c on 18 c grey and 28 c on 30 c slate.

Fournier forgeries

Fournier offers the 1 to 96 c; 12 values of the 1862-1874 period, for 2.50 Swiss Francs in his 1914 pricelist as second choice forgeries. I have seen: 2 c brown, 6 c lilac, 8 c yellow, 16 c yellow, 18 c lilac, 24 c green, 30 c violet (looks more like blue), 30 c red, 48 c red, 96 c brown and 96 c grey. I think Fournier offered the Spiro forgeries in his pricelist.

He also offers the 16 on 18 c and 28 on 30 c surcharges for 50 cents both (also second choice forgeries). Finally he offers the 2 c jubilee issue for 1 Swiss Franc.Could this be the following forgeries?:

Sperati forgeries

Sperati used genuine stamps, bleached out the design of a lower valued stamp and printed a new design on it by photolithograpy. In this way, the paper, the watermark and the cancel are genuine. Sometimes he added a forged 'B62' cancel, usually in blue. Only one value, the 96 c of 1865 is known to be forged in two shades of colour: olive green and olive bistre. I don't know how to recognize these forgeries, anyway, they are not very common and quite expensive.

Image obtained from a Cavendish auction Image obtained from a Cavendish auction
(Sperati forgeries)

Image obtained from a Cavendish auction
Sperati 'Die Proof' of the 96 c value with his signature

Oneglia forgeries

The Oneglia forgeries are photoengraved (genuine stamps are typographed) with heavy inking (genuine stamps have nice inking). There are 93 lines in the background (genuine 91 or 92 lines). The watermark is very curde and these forgeries are ungummed. These forgeries are believed to have been made around 1900 (sorry, no picture available).

Other forgeries

I have also heard of a forgery made by the forger Smeets (no picture available)

(I do not know who made this forgery, note the coloured outline of the nose, not present in genuine stamps)

(Some other unindentified forgeries)

Modified 2 c stamp, turned into a rare 48 c stamp

Forgery Genuine
(Left forgery, right genuine stamp for comparison)

(Left 48 c forgery, right example of a 2 c stamp from which the forgery was made)

The above 48 c brown (on the left) is actually a forgery made from a genuine 2 c brown stamp. This was done by removed the word 'TWO' and inserting '48' instead. In the next zoom-in of this forgery, the 'TWO' can still be faintly seen. The characters on the left hand side also do not correspond to a genuine 48 c brown stamp. The forger has added a fourth chinese character at the bottom left in order to make it more resemble a genuine 48 c stamp.

(Zoom in of the previous forgery)

Another forgery?:

What is this? A forgery?

A forged (?) '5' surcharge on a 10 c green genuine stamp:

The '1 Dollar' on 96 c seems to have been forged by applying the '1 Dollar' overprint on a 10 c stamp of the same colour (lilac on red). More information can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/hkpsoc/One_dollar_10c_forgery.html.

(Forged 'Jubilee' overprint)

More on forgeries of Hong Kong can be found in "Hong Kong Forgeries" by Ming W. Tsang; it deals with forgeries of Spiro, Fournier, Oneglia, Panelli and Sperati (including fake surcharges, overprints and postmarks), 1994 (1st edition), 152 pages. Unfortunately I have not been able to see this book myself.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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