Antigua Forgeries

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Antigua issued their first stamps in 1862 and the main stamps forged according to Koch & Tedesco were the:
– 1862 6p, 1863 1p Rose & Vermilion, 1879: 4p Blue, 1882: ½p Green and 2½p Red Brown
– Bisect of 1d used as ½p.
– Specimen cancellation of the ½p, 2½p red brown, and 4p blue values of the issue of 1882-86:

Only two different cancels are reported on the 1862-1867 issues. The “A02” barred numeral cancel which was used at St Johns and the “A18” barred numeral cancel used at English Harbor. The English Harbor cancel is much scarcer.

The Early Issues (not in Chronological Order)

Jeens Head Issue 1862 Perf 14-16 No Watermark – 6p Blue Green

Jeens Head Issue 1863-67 Perf 14-16 Watermark Star – 1p Lilac Rose, 1p Dull Rose, 1p Vermilion, 6p Dark Green, 6p Yellow Green

Jeens Head Issue 1872 Perf 12.5 Watermark Crown CC – 1p Lake, 1p Scarlet, 6p Blue Green

Jeens Head Issue 1876 Perf 14 Watermark Crown CC – 1p Lake Rose, 1p Lake, 6p Blue Green

Jeens Head Issue 1884 Series A Perf 12 Watermark Crown CA – 1p Carmine

Jeens Head Issue 1884 Series B Perf 14 Watermark Crown CA – 1p Carmine Red, 1p Rose, 6p Blue Green

Key Plate 1879 Issue Perf 14 Watermark Crown CC – 2½p Red Brown, 4p Blue

Key Plate 1882 Issue Perf 14 Watermark Crown CA – ½p Green, 2½p Red Brown, 4p Blue

Key Plate 1886 Issue Perf 14 Watermark Crown CA – 2½p Blue, 4p Brown, 1Sh Mauve

Identification of the Forgeries

The distinguishing features of the 1872 1p apply equally to the 1862-67 issues below except for the perforations and the watermarks.

Forgery of the First Stamp of 1862

Genuine left , Spiro forgery middle, right unknown forgery
Note on the forgeries that:
The diamonds are indistinct

  1. Heavy shading in front of face
  2. The lettering is coarse
  3. The mouth is incorrect
  4. The oblong jewels are missing
  5. The color is wrong
  6. Wrong cancel for the period typical of Spiro or Mme Joseph

Forgery of the 1863 Issue

Genuine left , Spiro forgery right

  1. The 17 side diamonds are indistinct
  2. The front outside the face is noticeably shaded
  3. Shading is lacking on the face
  4. No diamond besides the lock of hair below the coronet
  5. The nine columns of engine turnings are very crude
  6. The eye & eyebrow are out of proportion
  7. The lettering is not uniform
  8. The cancel is typical of Spiro
  9. The originals are engraved in “taille-douce” (intaglio printing), the forgeries lithographed without watermarks on the issues from 1863 on.

Forgery of the 1872-84 Issues

Genuine left , eBay forgery right
Note on the forgery that:

  1. The diamonds on the engine turnings are indistinct
  2. Heavy shading on the face front
  3. Shading above the eye is too heavy
  4. The eye is too small and white
  5. The engine turnings are crude
  6. The pearls and oblong jewels are indistinct
  7. The shading lines on the face are coarse
  8. The ornaments on top of the coronet are sized wrong and indistinct
  9. The lettering is awkward
  10. The frames are not even
  11. The perforations are wrong and crude

Reference – 4P 1882 Blue Genuine


Forgeries of the 1882-86 Issues

Genuine 1882 ½p Green left, Spiro forgery right
Note on the forgery that:

  1. The shape of the corner elements is obviously different
  2. The header letters are uneven
  3. The frame diamonds are poorly formed
  4. The background lines are not finely spaced
  5. The coronet features are indistinct
  6. The shading on the face is more dots than long dashes
  7. There is a dark line in front of the face
  8. The hair is poorly defines
  9. There is a dot after penny
  10.  Parts of guide line around the frame

Genuine 1882 ½p Red Brown left, $40 eBay forgery right

eBay $100 forgery left, genuine eBay $2100 certified slant foot right
1. The eBay $100 stamp lacks detail and appears more litho than typo
2. Background & face shading and general details are faint
3. Platting possibilities aside, the header is offset to the right
4. The diamonds appear to be larger than the genuine.
5. The “slant foot” is certified genuine and has been given a “value” of $2100. However, there are others to be found and as this is probably a plate flaw. The VF genuine is also showing this slant and realized $150 at a prominent auction.

Genuine 4p 1882 left, Spiro forgery right

eBay $40 forgery left, Taylor forgery right
1. The Spiro & Taylor are obviously very crude and there is no similarity to the genuine. A blue 4p was issued in 1882.
2. The eBay has all the features noted in the 2½p eBay’s. The color is appears wrong but might be a posting issue. The same cancel is seen on other eBay stamps. The diamonds are large, not uniform or well shaped.
3. Generally with the eBay offerings, no mention is made of the watermark.

Other Possible Forgeries

Bisect on a cover, forgery with fake cancel left, imperforate probably cut from a proof right

Postcard cutout left, imperforate forgeries right