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Return To Catalogue - Locals, carriers, postmasters and bogus issues; overview - More US local issues - Taylor forgeries, part 2 - C.M. Seltz (Frederick H.King)

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the catalogue;
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Bogus issues of S.Allan Taylor

Portrait of Samuel Allan Taylor, image obtained from the Canadian Philatelist, July/August 2021, Vol.72, No.4, page 160.

S.Allan Taylor was the leader of the 'Boston gang'; a group of forgers located in Boston (see 'Philatelic forgers, their lives and works' by V.E.Tyler, 1976, for a short review of his life). Taylor operated from about 1862 to 1891 and made many forgeries and bogus United States stamps. Many of these exist printed in a variety of papers and in a wide range of colors.
He first lived in Canada (Montreal) where he got interested in stamps after a visit to
J.A.Nutter. He also issued 'The Stamp Collector's Record' from 1864 to 1867. During this time he was involved in the Baldwin Railroad local stamps scam. He got into an argument with J.A.Nutter over bogus Canadian Bancroft locals. J.A.Nutter made an original design, but didn't like it and ordered a second design. Meanwhile Taylor produced forgeries of the first design. Later he moved to the US (Albany first and Boston later). During the Boston time he initially collaborated with Ferdinand Marie Trifet and later with James M.Chute, Charles A.Lyford, William E.Skinner and C.M. Seltz (Frederick H.King). He was also responsable for some bogus Prince Edward Island stamps. The above information was partly obtained from 'Philatelic forgers, their Lives and Works' by V.E.Tyler.


(Bogus issue made by Taylor with his self portrait: Kers City post, for an imaginary local post in Canada)

The stamps of Kers City Post, presumably a Canadian local post, but in actuality the post never existed and these stamps are completely bogus fabrications of S. Allan Taylor. The man shown here is a self-portrait of Taylor. These bogus stamps must have been issued in or before 1864, since it is already listed in the 'Standard Guide to Postage Stamp Collecting' by Bellars and Davie (issued in London, 1864 by John Camden Kotten), it is listed under New York in this catalogue. I have seen the 2 c blue, 2 c red 2 c brown, 5 c blue, 5 c green, 5 c brown and 5 c red.

Another design for the Kers City Post exists with arms or some kind of hat(?) in the middle:

I'm not sure if Taylor was also responsable for these stamps.

Lee's Dispatch

"Lee's Dispatch 3 c. San Francisco"; red on yellow; reduced size

Letter Despatch

"E.D. Prince Letter Despatch", I have seen this stamp in black on green aswell

(2 c green, slightly different design)

Red J.M.Chute stamp, I've also seen this stamp is the colour blue

(Black and green stamps of J.M. Chute Letter Despatch, reduced sizes)

J.M. Chute was actually a forger (see 'Philatelic forgers, their lives and works' by V.E.Tyler), closely collaborating with Taylor. The above 'local stamps' are presumed to be made by Taylor.

(Little Wanderers Aid Society)

The "LITTLE WANDERERS AID SOCIETY" is supposed to show the portrait of Taylor as a boy. Besides the 2 c grey, 2 c red, 2 c black on lilac, 5 c green, I have seen 10 c red, 10 c black on blue, 10 c blue, 10 c black on red and 10 c black on yellow. The 10 c values has shading over the circles with value indication.

I've been told that the next stamps are bogus local stamps made by Taylor as well. I have no further information concerning these stamps.

(Smith Express)

N.Y.City post with sun, I've also seen a red on blue and black on blue stamps (all in the value 2 c). The values black on yellow and black on lilac should also exist.

Albany Letter Express; this stamp appears to be a mix of the designs of the Pomeroy Express (for the frame) and Boyd's Despatch (for the eagle). It was already reported in 1865. It exists in several colors: black on yellow, black on orange, blue, green, red.

(Bowery Post-Office, I've also seen this 2 c bogus stamp in green and brown)

(Bowery Post Office 2 c green, slightly different type, maybe made by a different forger?)

(Donaldson's Paid Despatch made by Taylor)

"LE BEAU CITY POST", image of a beaver; it exists in brown, light brown and red.

(Tabernacle Fair Post Office: Bogus issue of Taylor)

Besides this Tabernacle Fair Post Office, Taylor also seems to have made a 'Warren Ave. Church Fair P. O.' cinderella in green on grayish paper (sorry, no picture available yet).

Type I Type II Type IIIType IV
"Hourly Express Post Letter Stamp One Cent"; the four types, different colours

The "Hourly Express Post Letter Stamp" is probably made by Taylor. Though I have seen it in the nicely illustrated book 'The world of classic stamps 1840-1870' by James A. Mackay (a picture of this stamp can be found in this book, with the text: '1 c, Hourly Express Post, 1859').
There are four types of this label (possibly other forgers have imitated this bogus issue, or Taylor copied it from another forger).
In type I (shown above), the inscription in "HOURLV" with a "V" at the end and the first "S" of "EXPRESS" is very badly done, there is no "," behind "STAMP" and no "." behind "POST". It exists in blue on white or grey paper.
In type II there are no dots or commas behind the words "POST" and "STAMP" (as in Type I). In the word "POST", the "T" does not touch the frameline and the letters "ST" are not joined at the top. It exists in blue, black on blue, black on yellow, black on orange, black on lilac, black on green and red on yellow.
In type III there is a "." behind "POST" and a "," behind "STAMP". It only exists in black on green color.
Type IV resembles very closely type III, but there is a small break in the lower frameline (below the "CE" of "CENT"). There are other minor differences with Type III. It only exists in black on green paper (the green color is lighter than that of Type III).

("Squire's City Express Post": star in an ellipse)

In the above design ('Squire City Express Post') I have also seen 2 c orange, 2 c brown on yellow, 2 c black on yellow and 2 c violet.

I have been able to find theWarwick stamps below in an old catalogue of 1864, but they could be produced by Taylor (other sources say they are produced by Hussey, probably many forgers were active in this field; only look at the large number of different types for these stamps; there are at least 17 different types):

This forgery type was made by Hussey. A subtype exists with no spur on the bottom of the "2". A very similar type was also produced by (or based on an image by) Moens. A thrid type very similar to the above one has the apostrophe different.

Forgeries made by Hussey, the last image is a reproduction from an image from a Moens catalogue. There are also some varieties in the Hussey type, note that the "I" in "CITY" is placed higher in the first stamp. Also note the "." instead of a ":" above the "R" of "WARWICK" in the first stamp.

These forgeries (except the one with diamond border) were made by the forger Taylor.

(Reduced sizes)

"Warwick's City Dispatch Post 2 c", a local fantasy supposedly to have operated in New York In the 'Standard Guide to Postage Stamp Collecting' by Bellars and Davie, 1864 are listed 2 c black on yellow (chain border), 2 c black on yellow (diamond border), 2 c black on yellow (border of straight lines) and 2 c red. But other values exist (for example the 6 c black on green or 6 c black on red, see pictures above). It must have been made before 1864.

(Bogus Arthur's City Post of Taylor)

Hartford Daily Mail, 1 c violet, I've also seen the values 1 c green, 1 c violet on blue. There even seem to exist two types (I don't know the distinguishing characteristics).

(N.Y.City Post, portrait of Washington, I have also seen this stamp in black and in lilac)

New Haven and N.Y. Exp. Post; many more color seem to exist.

Gunn's Despatch; design very similar to bogus issues of the Charles v.Diemen Hamburg Booten issue. Seems also to exist in black on violet and black on lilac.

I've been told that Taylor also made bogus issues for: Down's Dispatch, Dutch Flat Express, and Page & Keyes City Letter Express.


Bogus Confederate stamps made by Taylor

(Wilmington bogus issue, I have been told these stamps were made by Taylor)

Could be a forgery
Madison Court House forgeries (it is still not clear if the original stamps are bogus or not).

Forged 'Carrier Stamps'

Some forgeries of the Carrier Stamp of 1851 with the portrait of Washington facing the right hand side instead of the left hand side made by the forger Taylor:

I have seen the colours green, brown and blue on yellow (others might exist).

Forgeries made by Taylor

Besides making stamps for local service that had never existed, Taylor also forged real local stamps.

Taylor forgeries of Bouton Manhattan Express, reduced sizes

(Taylor forgery of 'Boyce's City Express Post' with no background lines behind the '2 Cts')

Taylor also made bogus colours of this Boyce stamp (all in the value 2 c): black on grey, black on yellow and black on red.

(I've been told that the above 'Broadway Post Office' is a Taylor forgery of a genuine local stamp)

City Despatch Post (portrait of Washington) forgeries

(Crosby's forgeries, quite closely resembling the design of the genuine stamp, except for the colour)

Taylor forgery!
(Franklin City Despatch post, bogus issue of Taylor)

A forgery of the stamp of the 1847 Franklin City Despatch Post issue is shown above. I have also seen 2 c black on blue and 2 c red in the same design. They don't resemble at all the genuine stamps issued for the Franklin City Despatch.

(Dupuy & Schenk forgery)

(Gordon's City Express forgeries, most likely made by Taylor)

I have seen the above forgeries in the colours black, brown, red, black on violet and black on green.

(Grafflin Despatch Baltimore Taylor forgeries)

I've been told that the above Grafflin Despatch forgeries were made by Allan Taylor. I've seen the colours black, red, brown, green and violet of these forgeries. Of course, any colour other than black is bogus.

"Reprint", dove black on yellow
Taylor forgery of 'Overton & Co Letter Express'

Taylor forgery of a 'Messenkopes Union Square' local stamp

(Union Despatch, horse in circle, forgery of Taylor)

Though not listed in most catalogues, the Union Despatch stamp seems to have existed genuinely in Chicago. The genuine stamp has the same design as the above forgeries; two values exist: 5 c red and 20 c green. According to a Siegel auction, the genuine design has faint vertical lines in the vignette background around the head of the horse. Genuine stamps also show at least a part of the rouletted perforation. Only six 5 c red stamps and two 20 c green stamps are known to exist. I have even seen two 5 c green tete-beche forgeries.
I have seen a red forgery of the Union Despatch printed together with a Boyd's City Express stamps (eagle value 2 c red, same colour).

Robison & Co Taylor forgery

(Russell 8th Ave forgery)

Some bogus Walton & Co stamps made by Taylor. The design is completely different from the genuine stamps. I have also seen the value 2 c red.

Taylor forgery of a Wells Fargo & Co stamp

(Taylor's Westervelt's forgeries)

Dutch Flat Express:

(Reduced size)

Taylor made bogus stamps of the Dutch Flat Express (genuine envelopes in a similar design seem to exist, but I have never seen them). I have seen these Taylor products in many colours: brown, red, brown on yellow, red on yellow, blue on lilac, red on red, black on blue and black on red. They are very similar in design to the Spence & Brown stamps.


Taylor forgeries, part 2

Websites, literature

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/bulletin/015017-9903-01-e.html, information concerning Taylor and his rare first journal: S. Allan Taylor (1838-1913) The Stamp Collector's Record. Montreal: S.A. Taylor. issue no.1 (February 15, 1864).

Philatelic forgers, their lives and works' by V.E.Tyler, 1976, for a short review of Taylor's life.

Other literature: 'Bogus United States Stamps - Produced by S. Allan Taylor' by Judy M. Kersey, published in 1983. 12 pages. I haven't had a chance of reading this book myself.

'Philatelic Fantasies of British North America' by David Sessions (1999), 134 pages. I also did not see this book myself.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer