Home > Current Issue (Fall 2001) > Modern Indian States postage stamp forgeries
 Introduction | Alwar to Duttia | Faridkot to Kishangarh | Las Bela to Wadhwan


Alwar forgered blocks of 12

Alwar

The genuine stamp is rouletted, printed in shades of brown; the forgeries have been seen in imperf. blocks of 12; deep green and lilac examples were illustrated in the article Alwar: The Postage Stamps and Forgeries.

SG 2; Scott 2: 1 anna, lilac, deep green, yellow green and olive-yellow.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

 

Bamra SG1/Sc1(?) forgery

Bamra

SG 1-6; Scott 1-6: black on coloured paper.

The value is denoted by the last Oriya character; in the forgery this is indistinct and incomplete, but appears to be either '3' (pies = ¼ anna) or a sign indicating 2 quarters of a rupee (= 8 annas). The genuine stamps are printed on yellow (¼ a) or rose (8a) paper; as the forgery is on yellow paper it is probably intended for the ¼ a (SG 1, Scott 1) which is the rarest of the six values of this issue.

SG 8-25; Scott 7-19: black on coloured paper; 'Postage' with capital 'P'.

Genuine left, forgery right.

I have so far seen only one example for this issue, among a collection of Indian States forgeries offered on eBay. Although the English value reads 'four annas' and the paper is approximately the right colour for that value, the forgery is in all other respects, including the Oriya value inscription, an exact copy of the ½ anna stamp illustrated in Gibbons catalogue, which was issued on green paper. Similar forgeries, in which the Oriya value remains 'eka paisa' (1 pice = ¼ anna) but all seven values from ¼ anna to 1 rupee are indicated by the English inscriptions and paper colours, were reported by R.J. Benns in the ISC Handbook for Bamra (1982). As they were printed from a single type-set cliché, the central ornament and the typography remains constant; various papers were used; the two examples illustrated here are on very thin bright rose paper.


Two forgeries (click to enlarge).

Barwani

No modern forgeries noted.

 

Bhopal genuine SG2/Sc2 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG47/Sc65 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG18/Sc14 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG19/Sc15 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG20/Sc16 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG21/Sc17 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG24/Sc30 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG39/Sc37 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG77/Sc74 (click to enlarge).


Bhopal genuine SG52-53/Sc22 (click to enlarge).

Bhopal

D. Owen Davies noted some previous unrecorded forgeries of this State which may date back to the 1960s (India Post Vol. 19/4 No.86: 172-173, 1985). As they seem to have been produced by some photographic process (in most cases it was possible to identify their position on the sheet) they are included here (marked '*'). The shades and perfs. differ from the genuine stamps, as does the embossing which is impressed from the face of the stamps instead of from the back, or between two dies. Genuine stamps have an embossed date at the top, not vertically on the right side as in the forgeries. The paper (with two exceptions) is a meshed wove, coarser than the genuine, and in a cream shade rather than white. The printing is poor, with rough outlines especially at the corners. The forger has in several cases chosen to reproduce stamps which have some recorded variety.

Octagonal inner frames; double outer frame lines

*SG 1; Scott 1: ¼ anna, black; 'BFGAM' for 'BEGAM'
*SG 2; Scott 2: ½ anna, red; embossing upright instead of sideways as in most genuine examples
*SG 47; Scott 65: ½ anna, red; value in one form only (not two, as in SG 1-2); colour good but printing poor. This is actually not a forgery of the original stamp but of one of the official imitations made in 1903-04, which had circular rather than octagonal embossing.

Octagonal inner frames; single outer frame line; 'M' in 'BEGAM' not an inverted 'W'

*SG 17; Scott 13: ¼ anna, black; 'EEGAM' for 'BEGAM', unrecorded in the genuine stamp.
*SG 18; Scott 14: ½ anna, red; forgery also known perforated, not found in the genuine stamp.
*SG 19; Scott 15: 1 anna, purple-brown; also perf. about 3, not found in the genuine stamp.
*SG 20; Scott 16: 2 annas, blue.
*SG 21; Scott 17: 4 annas, bistre-yellow, bright orange; reported both imperf. and perf. about 4 on laid paper, and imperf. on wove paper; the genuine stamp is buff on wove paper. Although Davies stated the design of the laid paper forgeries was identical to SG 21, he identified them with SG 25-26 (Scott 30-31); in those issues, however, the 'M' in 'BEGAM' is an inverted 'W'.

Octagonal inner frames; single outer frame line; 'M' in 'BEGAM' an inverted 'W'

SG 24; Scott 30: 4 annas, yellow. I have seen one example in a dealer's stock, offered as genuine on wove paper (Scott 30b)! One recently offered on eBay was probably another. There is a major pricing discrepancy between Gibbons and Scott for the 4 annas imperf. on wove paper: Gibbons lists it at £650, while Scott's price is $6.50.
*SG 39; Scott 37: 1 anna, purple-brown; stamp taller than wide; value inscription extends into central octagon.

Oval inner frames; corner spandrels of horizontal lines; comma under 'JA' of 'JAHAN'

SG 6; Scott 7: ¼ anna, purple-brown, red; value in parentheses; the genuine stamp is green.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 8-9; Scott 8: ½ anna, purple, blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green; value not in parentheses; the genuine stamp is red or brown.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

Oval inner frames; corner spandrels of concentric lines

*SG 77; Scott 74: ¼ anna, black; 'M' in 'BEGAM' not an inverted 'W'.

Oval inner frames; corner spandrels with white letters; centre line under second 'H' of 'SHAH'

*SG 52-53; Scott 22, 24: ½ anna, red; oblique line below first 'A' of 'JAHAN'; the genuine stamp is black on laid paper. Davies implies the forgery is perforated but does not say so, nor are perforations visible in his illustration. Deschl (India Post 34 (146): 132) noted the imperf. forgeries are produced in smaller sheets than the genuine sheets of 32 stamps.
SG 54; Scott 25: ¼ anna, pink; oblique line below first 'A' of 'JAHAN'; 'N' of 'NAWAB' and 'JAHAN' reversed; the genuine stamp is green.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

*SG 61; Scott 53: ¼ anna, black; no oblique line or 'comma' below 'JA' of 'JAHAN'; the genuine stamp is green.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

Circular inner frames; outer frame lines around each stamp

*SG 67-68; Scott 40, 45: 8 annas, slate-blue, slate-black, grey-black, imperf. and perf. 4 to 5; variety 'HAH' for 'SHAH'; the genuine stamp is blue (according to Scott) or green-black (according to Gibbons).

Circular inner frames; no outer frame lines but stamps connected by lines extending from their edges

*SG 71; Scott 55: 8 annas, grey-black; the genuine stamp is blue-black (according to Scott) or green-black (according to Gibbons).


Bhopal forged sheets.


Bhopal genuine sheet (click to enlarge).

Rectangular frames; coloured letters in corner circles

SG 79-80, 89-90; Scott 76, 84: pink, on thin greyish wove paper. The printing is so crude that it is not possible to read the value (between the corner letters 'C' and 'I'); it is assumed to be ¼ anna as that is the value illustrated by Gibbons, from which this forgery appears to be copied, and the colour of that genuine stamp is rose or rose-red. SG 79-80 and 89-90 differ in having octagonal or circular embossing respectively; the forgery is not embossed but otherwise corresponds to the design of the first of the two stones used for printing SG 89-90 (the only stone used for SG 79-80).

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

Forged sheets of the ¼ anna, red, and ½ anna, black, values have been seen on eBay, printed on buff paper and presumably without embossing; 16 stamps per sheet (4 x 4). They are easily detected as each stamp on the sheet is identical, whereas every stamp on the genuine sheets differs in detail, and the genuine ½ anna sheets contained only 8 stamps (4 x 2).


Bhor fiscal forgery.

Bhor

No modern forgeries of the postage stamps noted, but there are forgeries of the rare frame inverted variety of the 1 anna, magenta, receipt stamp (K&M 151a).

Bijawar

No modern forgeries noted.

 

Bundi SG1/Sc1 forgery.

 


Bundi SG6/Sc4 genuine.

 


Bundi SG11/Sc11 forgery.


Bundi SG13/Sc9 genuine.


Bundi SG15/Sc12 forgery.


Bundi SG17/Sc14 forgery.

Bundi

In the genuine stamps which incorporate the 'katar' dagger in their design, each is drawn separately on the lithographic stone, and there are consequently as many varieties as there are stamps in the sheet. The modern forgeries of the 'dagger' issues all appear to be exact copies, but coloured, of the illustrations in Stanley Gibbons British Commonwealth Catalogue.

'Dagger' issues with shading on blade

SG 1; Scott 1: ½ anna, slate-grey; the dagger touches the right side of the oval; no space between 'Raj' and 'Bundi' in the inscription above the dagger.

SG 2; Scott 1A: ½ anna, slate-grey; no spaces between the individual stamps; the forgeries are printed in blocks of four as in the Gibbons illustration.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 3; Scott 2: ½ anna, slate-grey; dagger short; corner ornaments small; frame lines thick.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

'Dagger' issues without shading on blade; stamps spaced but connected by frame lines

SG 4; Scott 3: 1 anna, red; the forgeries show only part of the vertical frame connections adjacent to the stamp, as in the Gibbons illustration.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 6; Scott 4: 2 annas, yellow-green; the forgeries show only part of the horizontal frame connections adjacent to the stamp, as in the Gibbons illustration.
SG 7; Scott 4: 2 annas, yellow-green; corner ornaments differ from those of SG 4 and SG 6 (Scott does not distinguish this from the previous stamp).
SG 11; Scott 11: 4 annas, yellow-green; similar to SG 7 but with value above dagger and 'Raj Bundi' below.
SG 12; Scott 8: ½ anna, slate-grey, tip of dagger blade touching oval frame.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 13; Scott 9: 1 anna, red; dagger short, with diamond-shaped blade. Reported by Deschl (India Post 34 (146): 132); I have not seen copies. The forgeries are produced in small sheets; the genuine stamps were lithographed in sheets of 100.
SG 15; Scott 12: 8 annas, red; dagger short, with diamond-shaped blade.
SG 17; Scott 14: 4 annas, green; value above dagger and 'Raj Bundi' below; dagger pointing to left.

The 'Sacred Cows' issues

Gibbons lists nine different types of these issues, separated by the style of inscription in the top ('Raj Bundi') and bottom (value) tables; these are not distinguished by Scott. All the modern forgeries seen have inscriptions of Gibbons Type B. Genuine Type B stamps are printed on pellure or thin wove paper. Values 3 annas, 8 annas and 1 rupee have not been seen but may exist. The colours approximate to those of the genuine stamps (except for the 10 annas which is printed in the colour of the 8 annas stamp), but the printing is very blurred; they seem to be produced in sheets of ten.

SG 26; Scott 15: ¼ anna, blue.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 27; Scott 16: ½ anna, black.
SG 28; Scott 17: 1 anna, red.
SG 29; Scott 18: 2 annas, green.
SG 30; Scott 19: 2½ annas, olive-yellow.
SG 32, 32a; Scott 21: 4 annas, green, olive-yellow.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 33; Scott 23: 6 annas, blue.
SG 35; Scott 25: 10 annas, orange; the genuine stamp is olive-sepia.
SG 36; Scott 26: 12 annas, green.

1947 issue

The genuine stamps are perf.11; the forgeries are imperf.

SG 87; Scott 44: ½ anna, blue; the genuine stamp is violet.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 91; Scott 48: 8 annas, blue.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).


Bussahir SG4/Sc4 forgery.


Bussahir SG8/Sc8 forgery.


Bussahir SG24/Sc20 forgery.


Bussahir SG26/Sc22 forgery.


Bussahir SG30/Sc24 forgery.

Bussahir

All the forgeries seen are very crudely printed; in some the inscriptions are barely legible. The genuine stamps were overprinted before use with the monogram of the Director of the State Post Office, in a different colour from the stamp (greenish blue, rose, mauve or lake). As all the forgeries are produced in single colours, the monograms appear to merge into the design and are scarcely visible. Consequently they may be offered for sale as examples of the rare 'without monogram' varieties.

1895 issues, inscribed 'stamp', 'Bussahir State' white on coloured background

SG 1; Scott 1: ¼ anna, pink (on white paper).
SG 2; Scott 2: ½ anna, violet; the genuine stamp is grey with as rose-coloured monogram.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 4; Scott 4: 2 annas, orange (shades); the genuine stamp is orange-yellow.
SG 5; Scott 5: 4 annas, black; the genuine stamp is slate-violet.
SG 6; Scott 6: 8 annas, brown; the genuine stamp is red-brown.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 8; Scott 8: 1 rupee, blue.

1896 issues, inscribed ' postage', 'Bussahir State' in colour on white background

SG 24; Scott 20: ¼ anna, grey; the genuine stamp is slate-violet.
SG 26; Scott 22: 1 anna, brown, yellow; the genuine stamp is olive.
SG 30; Scott 24: 2 annas, orange; the genuine stamp is orange-yellow.

 

Charkhari forged sheet (click to enlarge).

Charkhari

Square designs with a single sword

The modern forgeries of these stamps (SG 1-14; Scott 1-8) are somewhat problematical: although they seem to have been produced by the same method used for the forgeries of other States, and are printed on the same paper in blocks of 12, they are not close copies of the genuine stamps. I cannot explain this unless they are copied from earlier forgeries. The figures of value most closely resemble those of the 1904 issue (SG 10-14; not distinguished by Scott ), which I believe were printed from a single die and consequently all stamps on the sheet are identical in design; blocks of the forgeries also show negligible variation between stamps. The following details of the forgeries distinguish them from the genuine stamps: upper frame line slopes down to the left, almost touching the top of the 'P'; no stop after 'P' and 'O' (in some examples there is a stop after 'P' only) in the top corners; letters of 'CHARKHARI STATE' shorter; stops after 'B' and 'C' (before 'INDIA') indistinct or absent; 'S' in 'POSTAGE' and 'STAMP' very narrow; sword narrower, the shading on the blade less distinct, and its point not reaching to the top of the 'S' of 'POSTAGE'; in the ¼ anna, most of the figure of value is missing.

SG 10; Scott 4: ¼ anna, violet, green; the genuine stamp is violet.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 11; Scott 5: ½ anna, violet (shades).

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 12; Scott 6: 1 anna, violet, green; the genuine stamp is green.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 13; Scott 7: 2 annas, violet, green; the genuine stamp is green.
SG 14; Scott 8: 4 annas, violet, green; the genuine stamp is green.

Two forgeries (click to enlarge).

I have also seen forgeries of the 2 annas and 4 annas, both turquoise on white paper, with larger letters, a longer sword, and a clear stop after the 'P', but with completely different figures of value; these are probably of earlier date.

Two forgeries (click to enlarge).

 

Charkhari forged sheets (click to enlarge).

Vertical designs with crossed swords

There were two issues of the vertical stamps: perf.11, with the right-hand sword crossing the left (SG 15-26; Scott 9-16), and imperf., with the left-hand sword crossing the right (SG 31-44; Scott 22-27). Both designs are found among the forgeries, which are issued in sheets of 32; those with the earlier design may be perforated (about perf. 10½) or imperf.; some have fake postmarks added. In the genuine stamps the swords are wider in the second issue than in the first; in the forgeries they are wider in both types.

SG 16; Scott 10: 1 pice, blue, imperf.; the genuine stamp was issued in shades of greenish blue. The forgery is close to SG 31 (Scott 22), but the letters are smaller and the swords are reversed; examples have also been seen in green and olive-grey, on different paper; but these may be older forgeries.

Genuine left, two forgeries right (click to enlarge).

SG 17; Scott 11: ½ anna red, perf. and gummed.

Genuine left, forged pair right showing handmade perf (click to enlarge). Illustrated genuine is actually SG 25, but Scott doesn't differentiate and the difference is minor.

SG 18; Scott 12: 1 anna, olive-yellow (several shades lighter than the genuine stamp), perf.

Genuine left, forged pair right showing handmade perf (click to enlarge).

SG 34; Scott 23: ½ anna, green, imperf.; the genuine stamp is deep olive. The fake postmarks are dated 29 March 1942, by which date the ½ anna brown was in use.

Genuine left, forged sheet right showing fake postmarks (click to enlarge).

SG 35; Scott 23A: ½ anna, brown, imperf. This forgery is the closest match to the genuine stamp; the letters are thinner in the forgery and the paper is more toned.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

 

Charkhari forged sheet (click to enlarge).

Horizontal designs with crossed swords

As with the previous stamps, there are forgeries of this, printed in blocks of 9 on white paper, which are not photographic copies of genuine stamps, and are presumed to have been copied from earlier forgeries; I have seen an example of these with fake postmarks added (also 29 March 1942). The 'O' of 'ONE' is too close to the lower frame line and the swords are very crudely drawn; the 'G' of 'POSTAGE' appears to be an 'S'.

SG 29; Scott 21A: 1 anna, violet, on white paper; the genuine stamp is hand-stamped; the forgery is printed on white wove paper.

Genuine top, forgery bottom (click to enlarge).

Cochin

There are several issues which differ by watermark or paper; obviously it is not possible to know from which issues the forgeries are copied, so alternative catalogue numbers are given; the genuine stamps are perf.12.

SG 1,5; Scott 1,5: ½ puttan, yellow, red; the genuine stamp is yellow.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 3,7; Scott 3,7: 2 puttans, violet.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 12,17; Scott 9: ½ puttan, red; the genuine stamp is green.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

SG 14,19; Scott 11: 2 puttans, violet.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).


Genuine SG45/Sc33.

SG 45; Scott 33: 3 annas, red. Reported by Deschl (India Post 34 (146): 132), produced in small sheets; I have not seen modern forgeries of any of the 'Rajah' issues of this State.

Dhar

Stamps of the first issue (SG 1-6; Scott 1-5), printed on various colour-fugitive papers, were struck with a black, oval handstamp before use. I have not personally examined any modern forgeries of this State, but the three examples illustrated, recently offered on eBay, are certainly suspect. The ½ pice black on red could be genuine, and it is not an uncommon stamp, but there is no genuine ½ pice black on orange (the only value printed on that paper is the ¼ anna). Similarly, the ½ anna value was printed only on magenta paper, not buff.


Genuine top, forgeries bottom (click to enlarge).

Dungarpur

No modern forgeries noted.

 

Duttia SG6/Sc4 forgery.


Duttia SG12/Sc10 forgery.


Duttia SG14/Sc12 forgery.

Duttia

These are printed on coloured papers, approximating those of the genuine stamps, but the circular blue control mark is absent from most of the forgeries, suggesting that they were copied from catalogue illustrations; where present it is black.

Ornamental frame

SG 5; Scott 2: ½ anna, black on orange, black on blue-green, black on cream; the genuine stamp is black on blue-green. Examples I have seen have a blue control handstamp which is about 22 mm in diameter; the genuine handstamp is 24 mm. The second to last Devanagari character (the "n" of "ana") is different in shape from that illustrated in the Gibbons catalogue.

Three forgeries (click to enlarge).

SG 6; Scott 4: 2 annas, black on buff; the genuine stamp is black on yellow.

SG 7; Scott 5: 4 annas, black on rose. There is also a 1 anna black on buff, although no 1 anna value was issued in this design.

Two forgeries (click to enlarge).

Frame of straight lines; inscribed 'DUTTIA'

SG 8; Scott 6: ½ anna, black or red on buff or bluish; the genuine stamp is black on green and occurs in two types, with or without a space between the characters for 'half' and 'annas'; the forgeries are without the space and have the control mark printed in the same colour as the stamp.

Genuine left, forgery right (click to enlarge).

Frame of straight lines; inscribed 'DATIA'

SG 12; Scott 10: ½ anna, black on buff or shades of green; the genuine stamp is black on green.

SG 14; Scott 12: 2 annas, black on yellow.

 Introduction | Alwar to Duttia | Faridkot to Kishangarh | Las Bela to Wadhwan
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