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SHANGHAI 1865 Large dragon issue

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Shanghai is a port in China


1865 Dragon, large size

Genuine Genuine stamp Genuine


(Reduced sizes)

  1 c blue
  2 c black
  3 c brown
  4 c yellow
  6 c red
  6 c green
  8 c green
  12 c brown
  12 c red
  16 c red

There exist many types and forgeries of these stamps (20 forgeries existed already in the early 20th century according to 'Album Weeds'). The English numerals in the bottom label exists in so-called 'antique' or 'ordinary' style. I'm not quite sure that all the above stamps are genuine. The genuine stamps should have 7 bristles in the beard of the dragon according to Album Weeds. Note that the outer frame line is thick and broken in the corners. The vertical and horizontal frame in the inner of the stamp consists of of 8 thinner lines.

First forgery (eight forgery of Album Weeds):

Probably a forgery
(look at the strange end of the tail of the dragon)

This is the eight forgery described in Album Weeds. There are many differences with the genuine stamps, such as the lowest part of the chinese character in the upper right corner is sloping downwards (in the genuine stamps it is sloping upwards). The letters 'HAN' of 'SHANGHAI' are joined at the bottom. Most vertical and horizontal lines are unbroken (in the genuine stamps many of these lines are broken).

Second forgery (third forgery of Album Weeds):


(Reduced sizes)


(oblique line in the chinese character)

The above forgeries are the third forgery described in Album Weeds: the 3 characters on the left hand side are the same for all values (they should be different), in the uppermost character, an oblique line can be observed (which is not present in the genuine stamps). There is an unbroken frameline around the central design. This seems to be the most common forgery.

Third forgery:


(Reduced size)

The above forgeries also have the 3 characters on the left hand side are the same for all values (they should be different). I have also seen the 3 cand brown and the 12 cand brown of the same forgery.

Fourth forgery, official 'reprint':


(Official imitation forgery)

Certified official imitation of 1874
(official imitation forgeries, reduced sizes)

Another forgery (the 14th one described in Album Weeds) has the tail split up into 6 parts (it should be 5) and the beard hairs are joining into spikes at the end. There is also a very thick outline around the central design. It is also believed to be an official imitation made in 1874 (but from entirely new engraved center blocks).

The following information was send to me by Chris Rose:

This is an 'official re-issue' of 1871/2, though the basic conditions that apply to all large dragons (outer borders DO NOT meet at the corners; horizontal lines DO NOT cross vertical lines) still applies to the re-issues. The main difference in the re-issues is that the central dragon design has been modified slightly and the dragon's beard now has more bristles. Also, there are two versions of the dragons face, giving each value two different stamps. Only 1, 2 and 3c stamps were re-issued....

 

Fifth forgery:

 

Sixth forgery (sixteenth? forgery of Album Weeds):

I think this is the sixteenth forgery described in Album Weeds. It has a thick outline all around the central design. The sentry-box (the thing below the dragon), has three lines to support it (instead of two). The bristles of the beard are not vertical as in the genuine stamps, but radiating outwards.

Other forgeries:

Probably a forgery


(Reduced size)

For later issues of Shanghai, (later than 1865), click here.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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