Scott # 16 & 17

I've accumulated a number of copies of Scott 16-20 and have a difficult time identifying the fakes despite the articles I have read in the journal.
All the examples of fakes I have seen in articles are obvious.
Attached is a scan of 16 & 17.
I believe the postmarks on #17 are fake.
Any comments regarding the stamps would be appreciated.



  • Tom

    this is of little help but I have the same problem.
    The forgeries I have for #16 and #17 are blindingly obvious

    I have authenticated Fournier forgeries of both which I've used for comparison but I still can't really tell what's genuine and what isn't

    Hopefully others will be able to help us both
  • I don't see any fakes here (except for those 5-bar postmarks). All forgeries of this issue are, in fact, obvious - including Fournier's facsimiles (because he reused the clichés he created for the 6c and 24c).

  • Manfred

    thanks, looks like for these forgeries will be obvious unlike the earlier stamps of this type

    If it looks like a forgery - it is!
    If it doesn't look like a forgery - its genuine!
  • If it looks like a forgery - it is!
    If it doesn't look like a forgery - its genuine!
    That pretty much sums it up! :)
  • Manfred

    Thanks for the information
  • I wish all the Liberian forgeries were that easy
  • This also got me thinking

    We call some stamps "forgeries"
    The word in English has particular meaning and implies a criminal activity

    I'm sure some of the forgeries were made and passed off as original/real in order to make money under false pretences

    However, it could be that some were more "copies" than "forgeries"
    I suspect in the 1800's some collectors would simply have been unable to obtain a genuine stamp (either because of cost or simply not available in US/Europe) but would be happy to have a "copy" in the collection just to show what the stamp looked like and to fill a gap. They knew what they were buying was not the real thing

    Any thoughts from anyone?

  • They knew what they were buying was not the real thing.
    This was definitely true for collectors who bought direct from Spiro, Scott and Fournier, who sold their copies as "imitations" or "facsimiles". Others could be added to this list, at least for some of their products, e.g. Imperato.
    However, any unauthorized copy of a stamp (unless it was made by using the original cliché) is called a forgery now, regardless of intent. Personally, I don't like that. For example, I always refer to Fournier's products as facsimiles, like he did. Calling them forgeries isn't fair.

    "Forgery" isn't the only philatelic term that seems to have deviated from its original meaning. For example, what does a "proof" of an inverted center actually prove? That the printer can screw up on demand? Or the fact that collectors will buy anything?
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