Notes from the Past

"Hawaii" Overprints. New Counterfeit

A new counterfeit, far more dangerous than those which first appeared about two years ago, has just been shown to me by Adam K. Bert, of Pittsburgh.  A forged overprint, which is extremely difficult to distinguish from the original, so cleverly is it executed.

Mr. Bert has submitted a vertical strip of five of the 5 value (Scott's No. 648), and the tricksters have attempted to create not only the ordinary overprinted stamps but rare varieties (unknown in the originals) as well, for the center stamp in this strip is without the overprint, and since it seems the intention to overlook very little with a possible sale value, we may subsequently expect to see double surcharges, and probably inverts.

The setting, arrangement and spacing of the words "HAWAII 1778-1928" is about perfect, and the most careful comparison with stamps known to be originals is necessary in order to distinguish it.  Some features of the originals, however, have been overlooked, and at the present I do not care to publish these omissions, since those who are manufacturing this fake may read these notes and remedy the deficiency.

I have seen only the 5 value, but beyond a doubt the 2 was also forged, and attention may also have been given to the Molly Pitcher, Kansas and Nebraska overprints.  The earlier fakes of about two years ago were set up in blocks of four, fairly easy to distinguish because of carelessness in spacing the type, but here is a strip of five stamps which may well indicate that a setting has been prepared large enough to overprint 25, 50 or 100 units at once.  Efforts are now being made to trace the stamps to their source and it would seem to be a matter of interest to the U. S. Secret Service.

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
January 19, 1935

Posted September 20, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

Note:  If the link isn't returned the first try, try again.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.