Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia 1851 -1860

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Brief Postal History of Nova Scotia

In 1753 Benjamin Franklin was appointed deputy postmaster general for the British colonies. In 1755 Franklin organized the first regular monthly mail packet service between Falmouth, England, and New York, USA, and opened the first official post office in Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to link Halifax with the Atlantic colonies and the packet service to England. A post office for local and outgoing mail had been started by Benjamin Leigh in Halifax in April, 1754.
By 1851 there were deputy general postmasters in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, but the British government still administered the postal system. The provincial deputies were convinced that they could operate the system more efficiently and petitioned Queen Victoria for a transfer of authority. The queen’s approval was dispatched on February 22, 1851, and became effective April 5, 1851.
Nova Scotia releases its first stamps on July 26 1851
In July 1851, Nova Scotia introduces a Registration System whereby a receipt is given to the sender of a registered letter. The letter is also signed for upon receipt by the addressee.
The “drop letter” system is established in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A letter mailed within the city for delivery within the same boundaries is liable to a charge of one penny (1d) per one-half ounce. On 1 March 1854, the penny drop-letter rate is extended throughout Nova Scotia.
From then until Confederation, the provinces co-operated in providing the mail service required, with W.H. Griffin, secretary in charge, reporting to the Honourable James Morris, postmaster general of the Province of Canada. The new, decentralized, co-operative arrangement lived up to the expectation of its advocates. Rates were reduced and volumes doubled in the first year of provincial co-operation.

Of Note: There are mentions of 3p stamps being surcharged 5c and 6p with a 10c surcharge. In all probability these are hand stamps that should have been applied to the envelope and not the stamp. This was to note that the rates paid to the US were equivalent in pence and cents.

Halifax and Dartmouth 1850

The 1851- 53 Issue

Engraved and printed by Messrs. Perkins Bacon and Co. Head of Queen Victoria on the Id, Royal crown and heraldic flowers of the United Kingdom on 3d, 6d and Is. Bluish paper. Imperf. (The 3d, 6d and shilling stamps are similar to type 1 of New Brunswick.)
The I851 issue stamps of Nova Scotia, although printed in several separate printings, were sent to Nova Scotia in only three shipments. The first and second shipments both occurred in the fall of 1851. The last shipment took place in July, 1857.
Although some catalogs list several distinct shades, some historians believe that only the two distinct shades of each value, representing the 1851 shipments and the 1857 shipment, deserve recognition.
In 1853 a one penny value was added to the set. This stamp exists in only one shade from a single shipment made in April, 1853.
The bisecting of the three and six pence stamps was first authorized by Postmaster General Woodgate in October, 1854 specifically to make up the 7 1/2 pence rate to Great Britain. Other bisects were accepted but not authorized. On January I, 1860 Nova Scotia switched to a decimal currency and the pence issue was replaced.

1853 1d

May 12, 1853 Original red brown and proof.

Close-up detail

None that I have seen can be considered dangerous. Most are crudely designed and easily identified.

This forgery is attributed to Oneglia/Panelli ..
The main feature is the dark eyes.
A closer examination if the letters shows discrepancies.

The bottom forgery shows a thin S, slanted O and a slanted crossbar in the A.

A Spiro forgery.
The eyes which are also the key as they are not inclined as in the genuine but level.
The lettering is also taller than the original.

A forgery attributed to Moens.
The eyes are small and barely inclined.
The lines around the head are much more distinct than the original.
The lettering differs also.

The C is closed , the left side of the O is thick and the bottom of the A is closed.
The spacing between the letters is narrower.
NOTE – I do not believe this is a Moens as he had many ventures going on and forgery was unlikely one of them. Even his catalogs have been attributed to an assistant.
It is more probably the Forger B as described by Argenti

Described as a Moens “look-alike” but actually very different
Borders are wider and lettering thicker than the genuine.
The portrait has a sad expression,
Circular pattern behind the head is more pronounced.
Point of the arch in the bottom left corner touches serif of  the 1

A Torres attempt
Nothing is right about this forgery so no comment is required

 1851 & 1857 3d


Above, 1851 Blue & Pale Blue
Lower 1857 Dark Blue


Above, the shape of the genuine elements


Fournier produced a number of 3d forgeries aptly called “The Rainbow Series” since they were produced in a variety of colors.
They are rather crude and do not resemble the original.
The crown is much smaller.
All the background lines are different.
The floral elements do not match the original.

Oneglia Forgeries
The key features are;
The small dash that joins the thistle on the right to the frame (shown below).
The thin dark inner frame line.
The lack of background details.

Spiro Forgeries with typical cancels.
These appear to be the most common forgery
The crown is narrow
The lines surrounding the floral elements are a key feature
The floral elements do not match the original

A block of Spiro Forgeries
Note the broken numeral boxes, this is a type II
The Type I has unbroken boxes and differences in the shape of the letter as shown in the catalog example below. It appears to be\much less common.

A full sheet of Spiro TII

Forger “A”
The name ‘forger A’ was suggested by Nicholas Argenti in his book ‘The Postage Stamps of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia’.
This is an extremely dangerous engraved forgery.
Too much shading in the left ornament.
Base of crown has no lip (the slight extension on both sides).
3’s are too small.
If the letters are compared, one can notice sight differences.

Comparing the Forger A bottom with the genuine top, note;
The angled foot of the T
The straight right foot of the H
The wide foot of the P
The wide top right serif of the N
The shortened tails of the last E

Unlisted engraved forgeries
The florals do not match the genuine
The crown is poorly shaped and shaded
The 3’s are large
The key feature is the large space above the THREE PENCE
Many letters are broken
I have noted the features that are common to both such as the extensions of the frames in the corner and many color dots and dashes that appear in both

This engraved forgery has many features of the one above but the details are clearer.
The large 3’s
Note how the points of the florals do not meet with the frame of the 3’s

 1851 & 1857 6d

1851 Yellow Green & 1857 Dark green

Key features of the 6d are the dashes inside the letters.
Comparison with the genuine issues will eliminate many forgeries.
This series mimics the stamps of New Brunswick except for the 6d where the X is crossed in reverse as shown above.
Note the lines in the 2nd E of PENCE, the vertical one may be short and the bottom one missing.
The N of PENCE and the T of POSTAGE should also be verified.

Forgeries of the 6d

Fournier Forgeries, the obvious differences are;
The flower to the left of the crown has been replaced by something completely different.
The one on the bottom is missing 2 leaves.
The crown is too small.
The lettering is not the same height.
The numerals and boxes are much too small.
The stars are too small and don’t touch the adjacent designs.
The odd background

Oneglia Forgery
Numerals uneven, ball of 6 too oval, some not inclined to the left.
Shading in leaves too strong.
Inner lines of the X and T wrong.
Star frames not pointed.
9 pearls in crown.
2 frames not shaded.
The line from the thistle to the star frame.

Spiro Forgery, the obvious differences are;
The 6’s touch the box and are too thick.
The crown is too small and only 6 pearls.
The lettering is very uneven.
The shading is much too heavy.
The cancel is typical of this forger.

Forger A (right) as described by Argenti
The bottom 6 is larger than the genuine and the inclination is different – see below, forgery on top.

There are some very slight differences in the flowers such as the stem of the top rose does not curve like the genuine.
The base of crown has no lip (the slight extension on both sides).

A full sheet of Forger A

An unidentified forgery that is by far the most dangerous.
The lines in the X do not cross
The numerals are not as sharp as the genuine
The stem of the thistle extends too far
Both the upper O’s are different
The left side of the upper T is more curved

Forger C, rarest of the forgeries, B/W representation above is from a catalog
Forger “C” the producer of , according to Argenti, probably the best forgery of any of the N. B. or N.S. stamps.
However , there are several conspicuous errors
1 . the lines of the X in SIX cross in the wrong direction,
2. The numeral 6 found in each corner of the stamp are slimmer than those in the genuine stamp
3. the stalk of the shamrock is practically straight rather than being slightly curved
4. in used copies the oval grid cancel has only 10 bars and these are continuous, without the normal break in the centre found in genuine cancels.

1857 1/

1857 1/ Red Violet & Dull Violet

Forgeries of the 1/

Forger A or Sperati
This is by far the best and most dangerous of the 1/ forgeries compared to the genuine on the left
Although the author is not determined, the dots in letters is typical of Sperati forgeries.
1. Dot in the top of the E in POSTAGE
2. 2 white dashes between GE of POSTAGE
3. The left foot of the H breaks the frame line below
4. Dot in the top center of the T of SCOTIA
5. Some finer details around the outside of the star frames is missing

Fournier Forgeries
Rather poor with many issues
Same issues as the 3p & 6p
Note the numeral “1” instead of “12”

Oneglia/Panelli Forgeries
12’s are to large & thick.
SHILLING letters are too thin.
POSTAGE is taller.
Top of crown too small.
Telltale line from thistle to star fame.
Flowers & leaves touching diamonds where they should not.

Sanderson Forgery?
Overall, a very crude attempt that should fool no one. All the florals are wrong. The stamp probably originate from printed envelopes.
Considering that the cover below has the required postage, it is probably not an intentional forgery and only a facsimile.

Torres Forgery
Very crude, requires no explanation
It is basically identical to the Sanderson facsimile so it is probably the same source

The 1860 Reprints
The 1860 Reprints are on thin hard white paper with obvious color differences.
The background is much sharper.

Original left, 1860 reprint right

Original left, 1860 reprint right

Original left, 1860 reprint right

Original left, 1860 reprint right

1860 Reprint Proof

The 1890 Reprints
The reprints have thin hard white paper, the colours are slightly different. They were made in 1890 on the authority of Mr. Haggert, the Postmaster General of Canada (estimated 5 sheets of each value). It is noted that the original dies were used.
The 3d is bright blue, very nearly the same colour as the 1857 printing of the original 3d, and the 6d is dark green almost identical with the dark green 1857 printing of the original.
The 1 /- reprint is in quite a different colour to the original; being in a grey black with a tinge of violet

Maritime fakes and forgeries collection – David Sessions
Nova Scotia fakes and forgeries – Mitchell
Nova Scotian Philatelist Journal
The Postage stamps of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia -Nicholas Argenti
BNA Topics, May, 1972 “The Panellis” E.A.Smythies
Album Weeds
Fournier Forgeries Album
Nova Scotia forgeries – Evert Klaseboer
Comparative Stamp Forgery – Claighorn