Fictitious Reference Collection

//Fictitious Reference Collection
Fictitious Reference Collection 2017-09-23T22:49:58+00:00

Fictitious Reference Collection; Fakes

Swift and Co. Express Fake Address Added

Swift and Co. Express Fake Address Added

A Swift and Co. Express cover was recently up for auction (see scan above), but withdrawn when found to have had a fraudulent address added.  The cover was previously auctioned in 2007 (see scan below) and it was unaddressed at that time.  This cover could come up for auction again.

Swift and Co. Express Original

Swift and Co. Express Original

Submitted by: Scott Prior WCS #1505
Posted: September 23, 2017

Hunter & Co. Mud Springs Counterfeit

Hunter & Co. Mud Springs Counterfeit

This Hunter’s hand stamp is a counterfeit, probably added to this Tandler correspondence cover by Georges Carion about 1890-1900.  See Thomas (2013) page 440, (2017) page 471, for a comparison of the original vs. the counterfeit hand stamps.  This cover was recently offered on eBay.

Submitted by: Scott Prior WCS #1505
Posted: September 23, 2017

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's & Co's Express
PAID 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
Gray's Express PAID franks in blue and gray are believed to be bogus
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.
Gray's Express PAID franks in blue and gray are believed to be bogus

Western Expresses – FAKES Greathouse & Slicers Express
Fake Greathouse & Slicer Yreka Connecting with Wells Fargo & Co handstamp with fake PAID oval
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
Negative blue Eureka Express Co. handstamp has been added to this entire
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
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
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. printed frank, cut piece cleverly pasted on WF franked envelope
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
Made to appear as though it was carried by Rhodes & Lusks Express Yreka to Marysville
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 applied to an otherwise genuine cover
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.
Catalog #: WCS-BP-001
Description: A government envelope with a Wells, Fargo & co. printed frank. A red 25 cent Wells Fargo Pony Express stamp has been added. Addressed to Roseburg, Oregon and canceled with a Wells Fargo San Francisco hand stamp.
Image:
Envelope: 1861 3 cent pink, U35 (buff) #93
Frank: Wells Fargo type-E in black applied top center
Stamp: 1864 Wells Fargo 25 red, sc# 143L9
Handstamp: Wells Fargo type 11-4, San Francisco/SEP 22
Address: Marks & Co./Roseburg/Oregon
Manuscript: Asha Marks/San Francisco/Sept 21 62
Conclusion: # 143L9 is genuine.
# 143L9 has been added to cover.

  • Red Pony stamp was not available until March 1864. This does not correspond with Sept 21 1862 manuscript notes found on the cover.
  • Roseburg was not part of Virginia City Pony Route.
  • Stamp was removed to expose cancel under stamp.
Red Pony stamp was not available until March 1864. This does not correspond with Sept 21 1862 manuscript notes found on the cover.

Red Pony stamp was not available until March 1864. This does not correspond with Sept 21 1862 manuscript notes found on the cover.

This envelope and stamp was donated to the Society from the Basil C. Pearce estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.
Reference Gamett, J. M. Nevada Express, 2002, pp. 29 -58.
Scott, Specialized Catalogue of United State Stamps, 2003
Thorp, P. H. Thorp-Bartels Catalogue of United States Stamped Envelopes,
Century Edition, 1954, pp. 39 – 45.
Leutzinger, J. F. The Handstamps of Wells, Fargo & Co., 1993, p. 191.
Org 04 April 2003
Rev 01 March 2004
Rev 02 September 2004

​​

Catalog #: WCS-BP-002
Description: A government envelope with a Bamber and Blake hand stamp on the front of the envelope and a Bamber hand stamp applied to the back. Addressed to San Francisco, California.
Image: A government envelope with a Bamber and Blake hand stamp on the front of the envelope and a Bamber hand stamp applied to the back. Addressed to San Francisco, California.
A government envelope with a Bamber and Blake hand stamp on the front of the envelope and a Bamber hand stamp applied to the back. Addressed to San Francisco, California.
Envelope: 1854 3 cent red, U10 (buff) #15
Handstamp: Bamber, BAM-101/black, top left front
Bamber, BAM-403/black, centered back
Blake, BAK-800/blue, top right front
Address: San Francisco, California
Manuscript: “Mk 70” applied to back of envelope
Conclusion: The Blake hand stamp is a fake applied by Georges Carion as part of the Tandler correspondence.
  • Manuscript marks on back of envelope are similar to other like marks found on letters that are part of the Tandler correspondence.
  • The fake Blake hand stamp has the following characteristic that differ from the genuine.
  • The V and E in WEAVERVILLE are connected at the top.
  • The serfs form a line over the K.
  • The F in F. W. has a mark between the F and W that points down.
  • The F has a long serf at the bottom.

The fabricator of this cover would have you believe the cover was transported by Blake from Weaverville, down the Sacramento River and landed in the east bay where it was passed to Bamber to carry it across the Bay to San Francisco. A genuine usage from Blake would have passed to Wells Fargo at Shasta for passage down the River and across the bay to San Francisco. Wells Fargo would have delivered the cover within the city. The use of the Blake and Bamber hand stamps over lap in time, but only for a few months at most.

Without the fake Blake hand stamp this envelope is a great example of Bamber carrying an envelope from an east bay source to destination within the city of San Francisco without the assistance of Wells Fargo.

The catalog numbers applied to the Bamber and Blake hand stamps are part of an ongoing effort by the Society to assign numbers to each express mark. This listing will be released in the future.

This envelope was donated to the Society from the Basil C. Pearce estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of factitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org 04 March 2004

Catalog #: WCS-HS-003-1
Description: A government 1887 series envelope with a Central National Bank of Dallas, Texas. corner card. Addressed to El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
Image: A government 1887 series envelope with a Central National Bank of Dallas, Texas. corner card. Addressed to El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
The oval hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine.
Envelope: 1887 2 cent green, U311 (white)
Post Mark: Dallas, Texas June 5, 1890
Stamp: 1864 Wells Fargo 25 red, sc# 143L9
Receiving Mark: El Paso, Texas June 7, 1890
Corner Card: The Central National Bank/Dallas, Texas
Address: El Paso Nat’l Bank/El Paso/Tex
Hand Stamp: Purple oval with Steamship inside
Conclusion: The oval hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine. Seven (7) examples of this type of mark are currently in the Fictitious Collection. They are labeled WCS-HS-003-1 through WSC-HS-003-7.

All covers addressed to El Paso, Texas, during the 1888 to 1893 period that carry any of the below listed colored express mark are considered to be fake. This group of marks may consist of several hundred covers. This group of fakes has been refereed to as the El Paso National Bank Fakes as examples are addressed to the Bank or a person associated with the Bank. All examples have been applied with rubber hand stamp. Known examples consist of, but may not be limited, to the following.

  • A rectangle with NACO/ARIZONA/TRANSIT inside. Found in red and blue. Other colors are likely.
  • An oval with some doubling of the frame lines with STEAMSHIP inside. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • A straight line consisting of PACIFIC EXPRESS CO. with a five pointed star located on both sides of the text Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • An oval with a break in the frame with FORWARDED BY/GREAT WESTERN/EXPRESS inside the oval. Found in red and purple with other colors likely.

This envelope was donated to the Society from the Henry Spelman estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org 04 March 2004

Catalog #: WCS-HS-003-6
Description: A government 1887 series envelope with a Central National Bank of Commerce in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo. corner card. Addressed to El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
Image:  A government 1887 series envelope with a Central National Bank of Commerce in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo. corner card. Addressed to El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
 The oval hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine.
Envelope: 1887 2 cent green, U311 (white)
Post Mark: Saint Louis, Mo. Aug 8, 1890 6 PM
Stamp: 1864 Wells Fargo 25 red, sc# 143L9
Receiving Mark: El Paso, Texas Aug 11, 1890 1 PM
Corner Card: The National Bank of Commerce in Saint Louis/Saint Louis, Mo.
Address: El Paso Nat’l Bank/El Paso/Tex
Hand Stamp: Purple oval with Steamship inside
Conclusion: The oval hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine. Seven (7) examples of this type of mark are currently in the Fictitious Collection. They are labeled WCS-HS-003-1 through WSC-HS-003-7.

All covers addressed to El Paso, Texas, during the 1888 to 1893 period that carry any of the below listed colored express mark are considered to be fake. This group of marks may consist of several hundred covers. This group of fakes has been refereed to as the El Paso National Bank Fakes as examples are addressed to the Bank or a person associated with the Bank. All examples have been applied with rubber hand stamp. Known examples consist of, but may not be limited, to the following.

  • A rectangle with NACO/ARIZONA/TRANSIT inside. Found in red and blue. Other colors are likely.
  • An oval with some doubling of the frame lines with STEAMSHIP inside. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • A straight line consisting of PACIFIC EXPRESS CO. with a five pointed star located on both sides of the text Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • An oval with a break in the frame with FORWARDED BY/GREAT WESTERN/EXPRESS inside the oval. Found in red and purple with other colors likely.

This envelope was donated to the Society from the Henry Spelman estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org 12 September 2004

Catalog #: WCS-HS-004-1
Description: A government 1887 series envelope addressed to El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
Image: A government 1887 series envelope addressed to El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
Envelope: 1887 1 cent blue, U300 (manila)
Post Mark: San Francisco, Cal. Mar 27, 188X 6AM
Receiving Mark: None
Corner Card: None
Address: El Paso National Bank/El Paso, Tex
Hand Stamp: Red rectangle with NACO/ARIZONA/TRANSIT inside
Conclusion: The rectangular hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine. Two (2) examples of this type of mark are currently in the Fictitious Collection. They are labeled WCS-HS-004-1 and WSC-HS-004-2.

All covers addressed to El Paso, Texas, during the 1888 to 1893 period that carry any of the below listed colored express mark are considered to be fake. This group of marks may consist of several hundred covers. This group of fakes are refereed to as the El Paso National Bank Fakes. All examples are addressed to the Bank or a person associated with the Bank. All examples have been applied with rubber hand stamp. Known examples consist of, but may not be limited, to the following.

  • A rectangle with “NACO/ARIZONA/TRANSIT” inside. Found in red and blue. Other colors are likely.
  • An oval with some doubling of the frame lines with “STEAMSHIP” inside. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • A straight line consisting of “PACIFIC EXPRESS CO.” with a five pointed star located on both sides of the text. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • An oval with a break in the frame with “FORWARDED BY/GREAT WESTERN/EXPRESS” inside the oval. Found in red and purple with other colors likely.

This envelope was donated to the Society from the Henry Spelman estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org 12 September 2004

Catalog #: WCS-HS-005-1
Description: A government 1887 series envelope addressed to the El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas.
Image: A government 1887 series envelope addressed to the El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas. Front
A government 1887 series envelope addressed to the El Paso National Bank, El Paso, Texas. Back
Envelope: 1887 2 cent green, U312 (amber)
Post Mark: Dallas, TX. March 10, 1891 8 PM
Receiving Mark: El Paso, Texas March 21, 1891 2:30PM (Most likely March 12)
Corner Card: The Bankers & Merchants National Bank/Dallas, Texas
Address: El Paso Natl Bk/El Paso/ Texas
Hand Stamp: Purple straight line Pacific Express Co
Conclusion: The straight line hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine.

All covers addressed to El Paso, Texas, during the 1888 to 1893 period that carry any of the below listed colored express mark are considered to be fake. This group of marks may consist of several hundred covers. This group of fakes are refereed to as the El Paso National Bank Fakes. All examples are addressed to the Bank or a person associated with the Bank. All examples have been applied with rubber hand stamp. Known examples consist of, but may not be limited, to the following.

  • A rectangle with “NACO/ARIZONA/TRANSIT” inside. Found in red and blue. Other colors are likely.
    • An oval with some doubling of the frame lines with “STEAMSHIP” inside. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • A straight line consisting of “PACIFIC EXPRESS CO.” with a five pointed star located on both sides of the text. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • An oval with a break in the frame with “FORWARDED BY/GREAT WESTERN/EXPRESS” inside the oval. Found in red and purple with other colors likely.

This envelope was donated to the Society from the Henry Spelman estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org 14 September 2004

Catalog #: WCS-HS-006-1
Description: A government 1887 series envelope addressed to the E. B. Bronson, El Paso, Texas.
Image: A government 1887 series envelope addressed to the E. B. Bronson, El Paso, Texas. Front
A government 1887 series envelope addressed to the E. B. Bronson, El Paso, Texas. Back
Envelope: 1887 2 cent green, U311 (white)
Post Mark: Fort Worth, TX. November 22, 1890 7 PM
Receiving Mark: El Paso, Texas November 24, 1890 1 PM
Corner Card: Nov 22, 1890/C. H. Silliman/Fort Worth, Texas (Hand Stamp)
Address: E. B. Bronson, Esq./El Paso/ Texas
Hand Stamp: Purple oval, frame split on left with FORWARDED BY/GREAT WESTERN/EXPRESS inside the oval
Conclusion: The oval hand stamp is a fake and was fictitiously added to inherence the value of the cover for fraudulent sale. The envelope and all other marks are of period and genuine.

This hand stamp is found with a split in the oval frame line. This split can be found on the left side of the oval or the right side of the oval.

All covers addressed to El Paso, Texas, during the 1888 to 1893 period that carry any of the below listed colored express mark are considered to be fake. This group of marks may consist of several hundred covers. This group of fakes are refereed to as the El Paso National Bank Fakes. All examples are addressed to the Bank or a person associated with the Bank. All examples have been applied with rubber hand stamp. Known examples consist of, but may not be limited, to the following.

  • A rectangle with “NACO/ARIZONA/TRANSIT” inside. Found in red and blue. Other colors are likely.
  • An oval with some doubling of the frame lines with “STEAMSHIP” inside. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • A straight line consisting of “PACIFIC EXPRESS CO.” with a five pointed star located on both sides of the text. Found in purple with other colors likely.
  • An oval with a break in the frame with “FORWARDED BY/GREAT WESTERN/EXPRESS” inside the oval. Found in red and purple with other colors likely. This envelope was donated to the Society from the Henry Spelman estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org 26 September 2004

Catalog #: WCS-BP-007
Description: A buff colored envelope with blue Wells Fargo, Stockton and a black Hunter, Mud Springs hand stamp on the front of the envelope. Addressed to Tandler & Co. in San Francisco.
Image: A buff colored envelope with blue Wells Fargo, Stockton and a black Hunter, Mud Springs hand stamp on the front of the envelope. Addressed to Tandler & Co. in San Francisco.
Envelope: Plain buff colored
Hand Stamp: Wells Fargo/Stockton, top right
Hunter/Mud Springs, bottom left
Conclusion: The Hunter hand stamp is a fake applied by Georges Carion. This is a Wells Fargo Stockton to San Francisco carried cover that has a fake Hunter hand stamp applied.
The routing of this cover is wrong and the applied hand stamp has differences when compared to a know good example. The fabricator of this cover would have you believe the cover was transported by Hunter from Mud Springs inEl Dorado County down to Stockton and from that point carried by Wells Fargo to San Francisco. A genuine Hunter carried cover would have passed this cover to Wells Fargo at Sacramento.
Genuine Hunter Express Handstamp Fake Hunter Express Handstamp
Genuine Fake
  • On good examples, the letters in lines one, three, four and five are 3 mm in height. Letters in lines two and six are 2.5 mm in height. On the fake examples in line one the letters in the word “FORWARD” are smaller in height than lines three, four and five. All of the letters on the fake examples are shorter by about .5 mm when compared to the same letters in a given line on a genuine example. For example; the letters in lines two and six measure 2mm when they should be 2.5 mm.
  • The spacing between the letters “R” and “W”, “R” and “D”, and “D” and “E” in the word “FORWARDED” are wider on the fake examples.
  • On the fakes the spacing between the letters “P” and “R” in the word “SPRINGS” is wider than the spacing used to separate the other letters.
  • A close comparison of the letters in the words will reveal some differences in the letters. This is noted in the S’s in “EXPRESS” and “SPRINGS” and the R’s an P’s throughout.
  • The inking of the frame line of the shield is solid on the fake examples. On some examples a doubling of the frame line is present on good examples. This is due to the different materials being used to create the hand stamping devices.
  • All of the known fictitious examples are located on the left side of the envelope, most at the bottom. All examples are well aligned to the vertical axis and fully inked.
  • All known bad examples are found in combination with another express mark, most are in combination with a Wells Fargo mark.
  • A bad mark has never been found on a large, legal envelope or any supporting paper, for example a newspaper.

This envelope was donated to the Society from the Basil C. Pearce estate and is part of the Western Cover Society Collection of fictitious material that has been permanently removed from circulation as part of the Society’s effort to prevent fraudulent sales.

Org, 20 May, 2006