Newspaper Stamps were illegal to own during the time they were in use. This resulted in many facsimiles and counterfeits. I use the term "Facsimile" to refer to reproductions that were not intentionally meant to deceive, and the term "counterfeit" for the items specifically altered or printed to be sold as originals. However I then named my Facsimile manual to cover the "small" newspaper stamps and the "Forgeries" to cover the large newspaper stamps.
Beginning in 1884, Gebruder Senf of Liebzig, Germany, begin producing facsimiles of stamps that were normally too difficult for collectors to obtain. The Senf brothers produced the best facsimiles. There were others. For the facsimiles, I have adopted and expanded the classification system developed by William Mooz and published in The American Philatelist, June 1984.
Some of the different types of facsimiles are as follows. More can be found in my reference work. I am interested in buying or trading. Send me an email to see what I have available.
There are 3 types of paper:
Type I paper is a very thin hard paper, 0.0025” thick, which matches the thickness of the 1875 originals.
Type II paper is soft and 0.0035-0.0040 thick.
Type III paper is soft and 0.0030 thick which matchs the thickness of the 1879 originals. However the paper is very “yellow” and seems to be of poor quality.
FA: " FALSCH" is
present in the design (look at base of pedestal), but there is no overprint. This
edition can easily deceive collectors. There was no 1¢ value of this issue printed, but a
Senf advertisement stamp included in the set (image on right).
Wanted: Very much want a $1.92 to complete my set!
FBa: Overprinted "Facsimile" in upper and lower case letters in black 9 x 1m.
FBb: Overprinted "Facsimile" in upper and lower case letters in blue 9 x 1m.
Wanted: All but $24
FCa: 11 x 1 1/2 mm
"FACSIMILE" overprint in black with serifs.
FCb: 11 x 1 1/2 mm "FACSIMILE" overprint same as FCa but overprint in blue with serifs (Careful, the blue is very dark and hard to tell from black).
FDa: 15 x 1-1/2 mm
"FACSIMILE" overprint high on stamps.
Wanted: 1¢, 8¢, $24
FDb: 15 x 1 mm
"FACSIMILE" same as FDa, but overprint low on stamps.
FE: 17 1/2 mm x 2 mm "FACSIMILE" overprint in purple hand stamp.
FF: 21x2 mm "FACSIMILIE" overprint in color of stamp.
"Facsimile" in upper and lowercase letters in black, 14 x 2 mm, letters without
serifs except for "a".
Wanted: 8¢, 10¢, 42¢
"FACSIMILE" in upper-case letters in black 19 x 1-1/2 mm. Notice this is
not the same overprint as FBb.
Wanted: 1¢, 36-72¢, $1.92-$9, $24, $48, $60
FI: Circular cancellation reading "Lichtdruck Kuhl & Co".
FJ: Circular cancellation
reading "Photographie". .
Wanted: 1¢, 6-10¢, 24-48¢, 846-10¢, $1.92-$3, $9-$60
FM: 14x2 mm "Phototypie" overprint.
FN: Poorly printed on cheap paper with "FALSCH" and "FACSIMILE" worked into design. I am now of the opinion the dollar values of this set do not exist.
FO: Poorly printed with "Faux" worked into the design and "Facsimile" overprint 10 x 3/4 mm (very hard to see). My blacks are overprinted in red, my higher values overprinted in black. William Mooz does not mention an overprint on his blacks at all. Is there a set out there with no overprints and a set with overprints? Contact me if you have information.
Reference works available:
United States Newspaper Stamps: 1875-1885- The Facsimiles
This work is a study of the small newspaper stamp facsimiles. With 100 illustrations, it types and illustrates all the small newspaper stamp facsimiles and the forgers who produced them. Invaluable reference work (See the Home Page).
United States Newspaper Stamps: 1865-1869- The Forgeries
With over 100 illustrations, it types all the large
newspaper stamp forgeries and explains how to tell them apart from each other and from the
regular issues. This is invaluable for the dealer or collector trying to identify the real
ones, and for the specialist trying to organize material.
(See the Home Page.)
In my own album I have grouped the "counterfeits" and "facsimiles" under the general heading of "forgeries." It is obvious that the same forger in some instances made it clear his items were forgeries (by, as an example, adding a facsimile overprint), while at the same time created items with no overprint that appear to be to truly deceive. A Type II and Type VI forgery are illustrated below.