Stamps (Philately)/Fake #405?


Glasgow VA 1912 Post Card
Glasgow VA 1912 Post C  

Washington #405
Washington #405  
This Washington #405 on Post Card from 1912 has very unusual and ragged perforations unlike any I've seen before. The right side could possibly be perforated 12. Could this be a fake? Perhaps it was a #408 Imperf made to look perforated, but to what end? Or is it something else?

Hi Ken,
  Given the postmark and cancellation which tie the stamp to the card, and the 1912 date in the post mark, I've not reason to believe that the stamp is anything other than a 405.  The perforations are not so unusual either.  Top edge tore very close to the base of the perf when the stamp was separated from it's partner above it. This happens, and explains the low perf edges.  Top right and bottom left have pulled perfs, also not unusual really.  In addition, some of the perfs may have chipped over the years.  If the stamp is kept in a very hot, dry environment, then they can become very brittle, and edges will flake away.
  There would be no value in "faking" a 405 from a 408 really.  And to have done so, with the way the cancellation ties it to the piece, would have had to been done before it was mailed.  There would be no advantage in this.  This is simply a rough perfed stamp.  If your only concern is the perforation, it's not really an issue.  Lot of things can result in rough edge perf (using a ruler as a base before tearing, pulling stamp apart without folding the perf to weaken them, can result in all kinds of crazy separations at the end of the day.
The value of a 405 on piece is 30 cents, the value of a 408 on piece is $1, so it's not really worth creating a fake...
Hope that helps,

Stamps (Philately)

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Scott Payton


My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.


30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.

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1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)

Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

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