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Of all the early European stamps, the Saxony 3pf is one of the most desirable.
The 3 Pf. red originally was in tended for use only as a provisional.
New stamps were in preparation, but it took more than a year before the 3 Pf. green replaced it.
The design was not elaborate as a result, and it was an imitation of the first Bavarian stamps.
It went from a woodblock to a lead filled plaster cast. As a result there are many plate faults, differences in sized and print quality as the die was worn with use.
Due to the way it was used by the public, very few used ones remain.
The post order stated that the stamp should be affixed to the upper right hand corner of the wrapper. Instead of doing this, however, the public placed it partly on the wrapper and partly on the subject matter to act as a seal. Most were torn when the wrapper was opened.
500,000 were printed and some 37,000 were destroyed.
Due to its rarity and demand, a who’s who of forgers made counterfeits. In the Freimarken des Königreichs Sachsen (1921), Friedrich W. Dieck mentions Zechmeyer, Goldner, Elb, Fohl, Senf brothers, Thiele & others. A few such as the Martin Schroeder fake (a Leipzig printer) are excellent and only a few differences mainly in the paper are noticeable. Apparently, Fournier used it as his model.
1850. June 29th.
Large numeral in a square.
3 Pf. red, brick, cherry, red-carmine.
Paper: Thick, yellowish or white.
1. Frame line is thinner on the right side.
2. No curved line.
2a. This curved line is broken into sections.
3. The bottom of the “N” is raised
4. A break in the frame line.
5. The top of the “G” is lower than the other letters.
6. A blank Spot.
7. The right side points are quite short.
8. No curved line.
9. Pronounced dot.
10. The right top is higher than the other letters.
11. Curved tail on the “R”.
12. Long lower serif on the “F”.
13. No curved line.
14. The word “DREI” is not evenly spaced in the frame but closer to the bottom.
15. The lower leg of the “E” is longer and there is a large dot below it.
16. 4 curved lines are present.
17. The “S & A” are close together.
18. The right leg and foot are much thicker than the left.
19. The right side of the “H” is higher.
20. 2 blank spots.
21. This line is not perpendicular but tilts slightly to the right.
22. Usually a break here.
Given the die, printing, plate variations and wear, do not expect to find all the above traits
The left eBay seller wants $800 for what he describes as a $5000 rare classic. A genuine in this condition would fetch far more than $5000. The blank spots are missing, “SA” is far apart, no line break top right, “E” in “DREI” wrong
The right one is noted as being a forgery with a selling price of $300!! As a forgery it is only fair at best.
Left eBay seller wants $5000, no letters match the original, color is wrong.
Right also being sold as a valuable classic. It is a good forgery apart from the color, the “E” in “DREI” . the size and shape of the corner elements.
Oswald Schroeder. Excellent forgeries. The “E” in “DREI” is wrong, the right leg of the top “N” is not raised, the top “C” is thin and slanted.
The thin line below the main image is the real trait of this forgery.
These forgeries were made to the order of Engelhardt Fohl of Dresden and were delivered to him. It is for this reason they are called “Fohl’s Phototypes”. It is slightly larger at 19.5 mm. vs., 19.1 mm. for the original and when held to the light, it has a very flat appearance unlike the depth of the original.
A full sheet of reprints, date unknown, Hirschfeld?.
A genuine sheet with some damage was apparently found behind wallpaper many years ago.
Image of the Ferrari sheet
It ended up in the Ferrari collection and has been resold several times since.
Such a sheet in good condition would easily fetch over $1 Million today.
Coat of arms in rectangle.
3 Pfg. Light green, dark green, blue green, yellow green.
Paper: Thin and very thin.
Mi 2I & 2II
12.25 million were printed in 24 editions so there are a lot of variations.
These color variations make them difficult to distinguish.
The Mi 2I has a much higher CV.
Generally it is sharper in detail and more dense in color.
Genuine traits shown on a color proof
1. Right side of the cross is detached
2. The left side of the “H” is taller
3. The right side ornament is much smaller than the left one.
4. The numeral “3” on the right is positioned higher.
5. The right curl is incomplete.
6. The right curl is larger and more open.
7. The right ornament is more curled than the left one.
8. Right ornament is much larger.
9. 7 pearls outside
10. Ornament is detached
11. Ornament is detached
The Seranne guide does however note that there are 2 forgeries.
The main traits of the forgeries are:
1. The foot of the “f” has no serif.
2. The left side of the cross is not detached.
3. The “D” is inclined
4. Variations in the shield
There are “modern” very plentiful forgeries described below
Reprints from Hirschfeld are not plentiful and have some value. There are easily recognized by the very open “C” in “SACHSEN”.
The modern forgeries come in a range of very bright colors and have no value.
Modern forgery template.
Aside from the bright colors that come in many shades, they are very similar to the original.
Of note are the 2 dots that appear to be common traits.
Head of King John I. facing right
1/2 S.Gr. black on grey
1 S.Gr. black on light rose
2 S.Gr. black on light blue
3 S.Gr. black on yellow
2 S.Gr. black on dark blue
Imperforate, colored paper
These are not plentiful and I only have a few examples
Left genuine, right extremely good forgery
there are differences in the head features (esp. ears) and the letters are all too thin
Head of King John I. facing left. Rectangle.
5 S.Gr . orange-brown, various shades of red, chestnut, brown-red.
10 S .Gr . blue, dark blue .
Imperforate. Engraving (copperplate) .
Paper: Thin , very thin, to medium strong.
Color varieties of Mi12
Characteristics of the genuine 5 & 10 S.Gr.
1. The left and right legs of the “N” are thin.
2. There is a wide space here.
3. 3 pearls on the right side
4. The end of the ribbon is quite vertical.
5. A stroke and a pointed section here.
6. Wavy lines.
7. A dot here.
8. Large blank spot.
9. 5 lines here.
10. Note the thickness of the lines.
10a. Note the shape of the ear.
11. A pronounced ridge on the nose.
12. This element has a rounded top unlike the right one.
13. 4 pearls here.
14. 5 lines here.
15. Bottom of the “S” is wider and flatter than the top.
Left genuine, right a good forgery on eBay
1. No ridge on nose.
2. Hair lacking in details.
3. Right “5” is closed at the top
4. 4 pearls top right.
5. Top “H” left side is taller, should be the right side.
6. “N” has a normal oblique stroke instead of a long one.
The 10 S.Gr. is the 2nd most forged item in Saxony.
Middle one is a good forgery, note the shape and size of the bottom “10”, the “0” in the right “10” is too high. It was paired with the 5 S. Gr. fake above for a sizeable sum.
Right, minor differences in letters like top “H” too wide, the left “10” is too small. This is probably a Sperati with the rare full grid cancel.