Notes from the Past

Canal Zone Early Counterfeits

In the first issue of Canal Zone, the three stamps overprinted with a handstamp, "Canal Zone," Scott's Nos. 1, 2 and 3, there are many counterfeits.  Some of them are very deceptive and one brand in particular is frequently seen cancelled and many of these are on covers.  The cancellations are the towns where the stamps were used, and a standard type of long horizontal bars used in the Zone at the time.  In these I could always detect the fraudulent Canal Zone overprint but the cancellations had me baffled because they matched so perfectly the known originals, -- until I discovered that the faked overprints were made while the stamps were in current use (about three weeks during June and July, 1904), and then placed on covers and sent through the mails.  the stock of the genuine issue was limited and sales at the post offices were restricted to small quantities hence the incentive to fakery.  The fakes on cover are usually postmarked at Ancon, and addressed to "Eisemann & Eleta," or "G. Sopardo," at Panama, and the covers backstamped at Panama.  Quite a number of them were used during the period.  In the case of the 2 rose, many of the stamps are on the wrong basic Panama issue, the stamp having the large "Panama" where in the originals only the small "Panama" was used.  So we have interesting fakes, postally used on covers.
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
March 27, 1948

Posted October 5, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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