Forgeries of 8 Cents Surcharge on 2 cents (1883-1884)


The Forgery

Due to its high prevalence, I'm trying to put some records of the forgeries of North Borneo SG2 and Scott #5. Genuine stamp of this surcharge is very rare, and we are uncertain if the surcharge of this issue is ever sold. All perforated 14 stamps bearing this surcharge are forgeries. Genuine stamps must have a perforation 12.

In Stanley Gibbons catalogue, it says that a surcharge without a fullstop is considered a forgery but the essential aspect is actually the perforations. Most of the forgeries on this issue if not all, used the later stamp issues of 1886 which has a perf 14. This particular stamp issue appears from time to time in ebay and other online auction sites and it's very sad that buyers pay for such a high price for this piece of junks. Most sellers are also unaware of this and despite knowing the perforation inconsistencies, could not decide further what it really means. Buying this stamp without any certification of authenticity is like buying an Euromillion Jackpot ticket, your chance of winning is 1 in several hundreds millions.

The Cancels

In the early days of North Borneo philatelic study, there is a doubt as to the status of the vertical 8 cents surcharge altogether. Stanley Gibbons catalogue for example stated that "There is a grave doubt as to the authenticity of No. 2" but since the 1978 edition, the statement is omitted. Although a genuine sample of postally used stamp bearing this surcharge is extremely rare, several cancellations may be used:

Oval of 15 bars - Red brown ink
Oval of 16 bars - Black ink
AC mark in oval - Blue ink

Most forged stamps however, have the forged postmark of 13 or 14 bars in black ink.

NoForgeries NoteRemarks

An interesting vertical surcharge with red ink bars, possibly 15 bars

Fullstop variety.

However, the perforation is 14, which means that this could be a forgery too

Appeared in online stamp auction in 2009, I can't remember which one it was or how much it sells for.

Perforation 14 rather than 12.

Fullstop variety.

Offered at $500!

Note: I actually emailed the seller about this, but haven't got any reply yet, so I suppose "ignorance is bliss"?

Ebay Item No:

Due to end
24 Feb 2010

Notified by Tapiapi on this forged stamp.

Typical Perforated 14 rather than 12

Fullstop variety

Opening bid at
(No bid)

Ebay Item No:

28 Nov 2010

Another forged surcharge of the 8 cents on the 1883 2 cents stamp.

Perforation 14 rather than 12.

Has a fullstop at the end of the surcharge.

Opening bid at
(so far 1 bid)

Ebay Item No:

31 Jan 2010

This stamp has a perf 14 not 12 and appeared in ebay on Jan 7 2010.

Surcharge with fullstop.

Opening bid at
 (1 bid)


Ebay item no: 360223051530

13 Jan 2010
This one also has perf 14 rather than 12.

Surcharge with fullstop.

Appeared in ebay sometime ago with an opening bid of $110. 1 bid.

Another example of mint stamp of this issue.

Condition is excellent only to find out that it's actually a forgery too.

Surcharge with a fullstop.

Same with perf. 14 but without a fullstop.

13 bars cancel, likely to be a forged Sandakan K1 cancel.

Similar to the above example, with perforation 14

No fullstop.

The cancels are very interesting. 3 cancels for one stamp?

Comments are welcomed!


Anonymous said...

The only stamp available for this surcharge was the 2 cents (Transfer A - Perf. 12) that had arrived about Mar 1883.
The genuine stamp must be from Transfer A however it is not easy to determine Transfer A stamps as most had little transfer flaws.
However one important feature is that most Transfer A stamps tend to have cleaner perforations in comparison to those from Transfer B and C (usually ragged perforations and with more Transfer flaws)
The second batch of stamps consist of the 2c, 4c and 8c arrived in Jul 1883.

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