Western Cover Society  
Exhibits | Western Expresses
Fakes
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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Revised: Monday, May 06, 2013


Western Expresses - FAKES Black's Express
Most collectors of western material consider all Black & Co.'s items to be recent fabrications. All of the known covers are addressed to Samuel Grosh or Reynolds & Co. (considered to be part of the Tandler correspondence) and have a genuine red Wells Fargo Sacramento hand stamp applied to a stampless cover. The Black & Co. Express franks were believed to have been added to deceive buyers by Georges Carion, a Bay Area stamp dealer; however, Wiltsee in his "Pioneer Miner and Pack Mule Express" (p. 106) notes that it operated between Sacramento and San Francisco but gives no information on its background.
Black & Co.'s Express
Black & Co.'s Express



Western Expresses - FAKES Grays Express - 1862 to 1863
Wiltsee had a one line listing for Gray's Express stating only that it operated from Coulterville, Maxwell Creek to Mono (most likely Mono Camp in Mariposa County). This route does not support any of the known Gray's covers and no other supporting documents can be found to support existence of this express. The Wells Fargo hand stamps and envelopes appears to be genuine with fake Gray's printed franks added. All of the known covers are addressed to Lucy or Joseph Goldman
Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City, N.T. Jan 2
Above carried by Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City, N.T. Jan 2 to San Francisco. Below cover carried by Wells Fargo & Co. Markleeville Aug 4 to San Francisco. The Gray's Express PAID franks in blue and gray are believed to be bogus.
 Wells Fargo & Co. Markleeville Aug 4



Western Expresses - FAKES Greathouse & Slicers Express
Greathouse & Slicer Yreka Connecting with Wells Fargo & Co

Fake Greathouse & Slicer Yreka Connecting with Wells Fargo & Co handstamp with fake PAID oval; genuine Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Marysville marking on cover to San Francisco. Greathouse and Slicer's Express connected with Wells Fargo at Shasta, not Marysville.



Western Expresses - FAKES Eureka Express Company
West Point Cal. Sep 30

West Point Cal. Sep 30 (1886) to Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, with backstamp transfer markings from Mokelumne Hill, California Sep 30 1886, San Francisco Cal. Oct 2, 1886, and Honolulu H.I. Oct 31, 1886. PF Certificate #0414573 states "the negative blue Eureka Express Co. handstamp has been added to this entire".



Western Expresses - FAKES Langton & Bros. Express
WWells Fargo & Co. Express Mok. Hill

By Wells Fargo & Co. Express Mok. Hill (Mokelumne Hill) to San Francisco. The Langton & Bros. Express Downeyville handstamp is believed to be a fake added in the 1890's by San Francisco Bay Area stamp dealer Georges Carion.



Western Expresses - FAKES D. W. Harrier's Express
D. W. Harrier's Express PAID

Genuine D. W. Harrier's Express PAID. printed frank, cut piece cleverly pasted on WF franked envelope. This fake fooled the likes of many prominent collectors, including Clifford.



Western Expresses - FAKES Rhodes & Lusks Express
Rhodes & Lusks Express Yreka

Made to appear as though it was carried by Rhodes & Lusks Express Yreka to Marysville, where Wells Fargo received it with their Wells, Fargo & Co., Marysville Express handstamp for delivery to San Francisco. Based on information available on Rhodes & Lusks Express, they connected with Wells Fargo & Co in Sacramento, not Marysville. Of the three known covers with this type handstamp, two are going to Tandler and the third appears to have different fonts. Several other examples are listed in the Konwiser 1940 listing, but have not been seen by recent collectors and may have been destroyed in the Lichtenstein fire, if they existed.



Western Expresses - FAKES Rhodes & Whitneys Express
Fake Rhodes & Whitneys Express Weaverville Handstamp

Fake Rhodes & Whitneys Express Weaverville handstamp applied to an otherwise genuine cover carried by Wells Fargo & Co.'s Express Michigan Bar to San Francisco. Another likely Georges Carion fake from the 1890s.

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