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PERU Pacific Steam Navigation Company

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Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:

More information about this company can be found at: http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/pacific.html, I quote from this site: "Formed in London in 1838, the company commenced operations on the West Coast of South America in 1840. In 1852 they were granted the British Government Mail contract to the area."

1857 Stamps of the 'Pacific Steam Navigation Company', inscription P.S.N.G.

Genuine! Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com Certified genuine

  1 Rl blue
  2 Rls red

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
1 rl blueRRRRRR 
2 rls redRRRRRR 
Non issued values RR-In other colours than the above mentioned

Picture obtained from an Apfelbaum auction

Both of these stamps were also prepared in blue, red, brown, yellow and green, but never put into use. The 2 stamps were bought by the Peru government from the Pacific Steam Navigation Company and used from the 1st of December 1857 till the 1st of March 1858. These stamps are very rare in used condition.

I've been told that the next stamps are engraved proofs of this issue:


Many forgeries exist. Earee says in his 'Album Weeds': "I really think that the forgeries of these stamps are more abundant than any other counterfeit described in this book". He distinghuishes three types of forged 1 r stamps and five types of forged 2 r stamps.

1 R red yellow

There seem to be at least 8 distinct types of Pacific Steam Navigation Company forgeries. In the genuine 1 Rs stamp the dot behind the 'S' is joined to the shadow of it, in the quite common Spiro forgery there is a clear space between the 'S' and the dot. I don't know if this can also be applied to the 2 Rls stamp.


The above forgeries can easily be recognised. In the genuine 2 Rls stamp the ship is sailing from the left to the right hand side. However here it is sailing from right to left as in the 1 Rl stamp!

Probably Spiro forgeries:

(Spiro cancels, reduced sizes)

(Complet sheet of Spiro forgeries, reduced size)

Another forgery, the ship is quite different from the genuine stamps:

This particular forgery is one the crudest and rarest of the many PSNC forgeries ever produced. I think it is the fourth forgery mentioned in Album Weeds. The ship is sailing in the right direction, but the rest of the design is very crude, for example the inner chain pattern in the ellipse bearing the ship only has twenty-nine links (there should be 49).

Very primitive forgeries:

(Reduced sizes)

I have seen the following values of the above primitively printed forgeries (made in India?): 1 r red, 1 r orange, 1 r green, 1 r blue, 2 r red, 2 r orange, 2 r green and 2 r blue. The ship in the 2 r values is saling in the right direction. They are all cancelled with an English 'B?2' cancel (I can't read the number in the middle).

The next forgeries are also very blotchy, also note that they bear a French numeral cancel:

In the 2 rs value, the ship is saling in the wrong direction again.

Young forgery?

I've been told that the above forgery was made by Young(?), I have no further information.

(A more sophisticated forgery)

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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