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Africa/All : Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

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keesindy
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27 Sep 2015
10:06:42pm
I had the Benin Scott #20 to #45 at one time. All were unused, but several had faults. All except two were sold individually a few years ago. Using primarily The Serrane Guide, I had determined that all the stamps except one were genuine. I identified the one exception as a forgery (Fournier if I recall correctly). All except two of the stamps sold. I still have the forgery (Scott #27) and Scott #44.

I had determined that Scott #44 was genuine. The quality of the printing makes it a highly suspect specimen. However, it is perf 14 x 13½ and the usual characteristics for identifying a forgery seemed to match the other authentic stamps in the set.

When I overlay this in Photoshop on a scan of one of the other stamps from the set, the only difference I can detect (other than print quality) is the fact that the frame size of #44 is very slightly smaller in both dimensions—1½-2 mm.

Kim and I discussed these stamps way back in 2010 at BS (or was it still SW?), but our focus was the dealer/expertizer/owner marks on the backs, and the one identified forgery. We didn't discuss #44.

So, before I try to sell this stamp again, I'm looking for opinions on this #44. Am I correct in thinking it's a legitimate stamp? Or not?

Thanks!

Tom

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Jeredutt3
28 Sep 2015
12:34:05am
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

It does not have the Fournier traits, however, print quality is a bit sketchy, the size diff could indicate a different print format ( dry vs wet ) and to me the perfs look a bit suspect as well. Would take some additional verification. I do not know of others who forged this stamp though... Sperati maybe ?

Just my 2 cents

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
28 Sep 2015
12:37:30am
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

It's a forgery, all of the lines of shading are courser than the original. The dots in the back round are also not well formed as the genuine.
My 75c is canceled so this 4c will show better the image.Image Not Found

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michael78651
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28 Sep 2015
12:45:57pm
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

One sure fire means to check for counterfeits of these (and all Navigation and Commerce) stamps is to check the perfs. 13 1/2 x 14 are all counterfeits. Perf 12 are forgeries.

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keesindy
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02 Oct 2015
10:02:33pm
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

Thank you all for your comments! I appreciate the help.

However..........

Both Antonius and Nelson are assuming the quality of my scan is deficient. I can assure you it is not. The quality of the printing of this stamp is awful. What you're seeing in my scan is a very good representation of the actual stamp. Aside from the problems with the lines, many of the background dots are indistinguishable.

I mentioned in my original post that it is this substandard quality of the printing that has me questioning whether the stamp is genuine or not. Unfortunately, I know very little about the printing processes used for stamps and don't know if over-inking or some other known printing problem could have been responsible for creating this unusual stamp.

Given Nelson's excellent summary (which goes beyond what I knew about the forgeries), I'm still inclined to think this is a genuine stamp. If so, it surely demonstrates that quality control could have been better. If it's not genuine, everything except the printing itself was very nicely done! Even the country name is a perfect match when overlaid on genuine stamps from that set. (I can do that in Photoshop and then reduce the opacity of the top stamp enough to seen how stamp details compare when they're lined up on top of one another.)

The quality of the printing surely reduces the value of the stamp and will always raise questions in potential buyers' minds regarding it's authenticity.


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keesindy
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02 Oct 2015
10:06:14pm
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

By the way, I mentioned the one forgery I have in this set. It is #27 and perf 13½ x 14. So, I was incorrect in thinking (in my original post) that it is Fournier. It's obviously Hirschberger.

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Jeredutt3
03 Oct 2015
01:39:17am
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

It was my understanding that hirshberger purchased Fournier's material. From this it now seems two different works totally? What are the differences between the two other than the perfs ?


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khj
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03 Oct 2015
06:21:08pm
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

Tom, you have a pretty incredible memory for a brief discussion from 5+ years ago!

My non-expert opinion is that it appears to be genuine, but the printing is poor quality (maybe from plate wear or gunk). Again, non-expert opinion.

The background dots are definitely not well-formed, but they do follow the sometimes irregular patterns of the genuine stamp.

The only thing that really troubles me is the size difference you stated. But 1.5-2mm difference is pretty significant, given the small size of the stamp. I'm wondering if only your stamp is smaller, or all the 75c stamps were actually smaller from the other denominations of the set? I don't have access to my early Benin stamps to check.

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keesindy
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04 Oct 2015
08:58:06am
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

Hi, Kim!

No, my memory sucks, but I have the stamp images I created close at hand to remind me of that long-ago discussion. With those reminders in front of me, it was easy to go back and search for the discussion itself. If you had asked me when that discussion occurred, I wouldn't have believed it was six years ago!!! Time flies........

Regarding the dots.....For those who want to try this at home, here is how I do this in Photoshop. I place one stamp in a separate layer on top of the other stamp and then align them as closely as possible. I prefer to alter the opacity of the top stamp just enough so I can see the bottom image through the top image, but this isn't necessary. Once the two images are aligned, simply turn the top image layer off and on repeatedly. Differences in the two stamps should stand out clearly. The key, of course, is having access to software that allows the layering of images on top of one another and then also has the ability to get the two stamps perfectly aligned. The latter requires software that makes it easy to move and rotate the top stamp image in very small increments. The key word in that last sentence is "easy." Photoshop (and I suspect Photoshop Elements) makes it easy. I don't know about other software packages.

The problem with this particular stamp is the lack of clarity with the dots. I tried to conduct the above-described test, but it was inconclusive with respect to the dots. The lines, however, as messy as they are, matched very well with other stamps in the set. The one significant difference I discovered in comparing this stamp with others is the difference in the size of the image printed on the stamp paper (not the stamp size itself).

I appreciate your comments, Kim!

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
07 Oct 2015
08:49:59pm
re: Benin Navigation and Commerce forgery? Scott #44

Quote:

"Both Antonius and Nelson are assuming the quality of my scan is deficient"

.
I did not say or assume that. My comment stands as written

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