WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FAKE!

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by MJ's pet »

After recent the sale of the Besancon Inverted Swan it is time to revive this thread.

I have found arguments advancing that the Isleham Inverted Swan as a 'handpainted' fake unconvincing.

It sounds like the auctioneers involved panicked and returned the stamp without properly verifying it.

What did the expertisers do in the 1980s - other than stare at the stamp through a magnifying glass?? :idea:

It would be a cinch today to confirm with technology if the frame and postmark had been inked in or if the stamp was untampered with and completely genuine.
Image

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by MJ's pet »

Peter Holcombe, who wrote the certificate opining that the Isleham swan was faked is now dead.

Why does this matter? Well, for starters, a potential world-class rarity is consigned to philatelic limbo/oblivion on the word of a dead man.

Reading his certificate, posted above in Brian Pope's article, makes it reasonably clear that he only looked at it under magnification.

Holcombe may have been good at some areas but he wasn't good at them all. I have seen some Holcombe certs that were plain wrong.

The obvious downside of being dead is that he is no longer here to justify his certificate. (The upside is that he can no longer be sued for issuing a dodgy certificate 8) ).

There is a very obvious case for the Isleham stamp to be re-expertised by a competent scientific body.

This happens in the art word all the time - old masters are frequently re-investigated and re-attributed if the evidence warrants it.
PETER HOLCOMBE

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8TH, 2012

I read today that Peter Holcombe has passed away. Peter was one of the dwindling few of world wide dealer/experts that used to be prominent in the hobby.

Peter was born in England and lived the last thirty years of his life in Switzerland. For most of his life he was an active dealer but for the last few years he was more of an expertiser.

He tended towards the most esoteric regions of our hobby from Greece and Greek area to Chinese overprints and Thailand. He was especially good with British Commonwealth stamps. He issued certificates and signed stamps and was one of the more active expertisers in the world until he slowed down some ten years ago.

Experts like Holcombe, not committees, used to be the norm in world wide philately. The Americans and the British have gravitated away from individual experts to where the Royal, British Philatelic Association, Philatelic Foundation, American Philatelic Expertisation service, PSE are all "committee expertisers" where stamps are supposedly passed on by several experts not one.

The German Bundersprufer system has retained the old system. It is a federation of experts but each area still has one expert and that expert is the one who examines and passes on your stamps. Our system is supposed to be more sure, the idea being that the knowledge of the collective is greater than that of any individual.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Image

Image

Image
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Image

Image

Image
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Image

Image

Image
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Global Administrator »

A Helmich - so fakes or genuine in your view?
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Image


Definitely a fake. The swan is from the wrong position on the sheet. The background to the swan is from the fourth printing, not the clean sharp appearance of the second from which the inverted frame was printed.

When it is magnified up large the lettering is wrong compared to the other inverted frames. Forensic examination under a range of light sources would find one that would show which parts are painted in.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Global Administrator »

Thanks - and your thoughts on the cut-to-shape Number 15 Invert?
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Inverted frame 15, the stamp that Rodney Perry bought in Germany and sold in Australia also appears to be a fake. The lettering appears wrong and the mark that appears on the other inverted frame doesn't show on this one.

A large image at a good resolution would easily confirm this.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Rod Perry »

A Helmich wrote:Inverted frame 15, the stamp that Rodney Perry bought in Germany and sold in Australia also appears to be a fake. The lettering appears wrong and the mark that appears on the other inverted frame doesn't show on this one.

A large image at a good resolution would easily confirm this.
Here is the best image I can provide of IF15 from my auction catalogue. The image was supposed to appear much larger in the printed catalogue, but instructions were lost in the translation to the Printer. The catalogue front cover and catalogue description appear below.
Image

Image

Image
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Image

Image

This second scan is an image of IF4 from Arthur Woo's collection.

Biggest point of difference between the other inverted frames and IF 15 is the internal angle of the frame in the top left corner. Compare where the internal angle meets the first leg of A from LIA.

Other points are the lettering overall and the ball of numeral 6 at the top where it crosses the frame.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Global Administrator »

A Helmich wrote:Image

Image

This second scan is an image of IF4 from Arthur Woo's collection.

Biggest point of difference between the other inverted frames and IF 15 is the internal angle of the frame in the top left corner. Compare where the internal angle meets the first leg of A from LIA.

Other points are the lettering overall and the ball of numeral 6 at the top where it crosses the frame.
Given all the many Inverted Frame copies should be identical in appearance, many of the letters - most especially the O of FOUR are so different I cannot believe it ever passed even the most casual scrutiny - a Blind Nun can see it is faked.
Image

Image
MANY of the other letters and frame margins do not even BEGIN to match the genuines! It would not even get much bidding on ebay these days I'd suggest. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Why a forger would work on a cut to shape example is very strange? It had never been recorded until the Munich auction with no certificate, and with the absurdly low estimate and sale figure of a few $1000s, and has not been seen publicly since being sold here in 1977.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Allanswood »

A Helmich wrote:Image


Definitely a fake. The swan is from the wrong position on the sheet. The background to the swan is from the fourth printing, not the clean sharp appearance of the second from which the inverted frame was printed.

When it is magnified up large the lettering is wrong compared to the other inverted frames. Forensic examination under a range of light sources would find one that would show which parts are painted in.

I don't need forensic testing to tell me what my eyes can see on my monitor. The frame is a different shade of ink entirely compared to the swan. The frame is a darker 'grey-blue' ink and the swan is blue.

Also if we glance at the one Glen just commented on and see the outer frame line thickness at "Australia" on the left... chalk and cheese.

Something must have distorted the photo image from Rod, as I cannot get the 2 samples to match in overall size and shape without distorting the image to make it fit.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Hi Rod

That is also the best image of IF15 that I have. The stamp is owned in WA and every so often I try to get a 1200dpi scan through a third party who knows the owner. I keep expecting it to come up for sale. Screams aplenty. I would really like to lay this stamp in its grave.

Images for comparison are so easy now compared to the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Typos would have been your nightmare compiling catalogues.

Albury instead of Albany.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Global Administrator wrote:
Given all the many Inverted Frame copies should be identical in appearance, many of the letters - most especially the O of FOUR are so different I cannot believe it ever passed even the most casual scrutiny - a Blind Nun can see it is faked.
Image

Image
MANY of the other letters and frame margins do not even BEGIN to match the genuines! It would not even get much bidding on ebay these days I'd suggest. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Why a forger would work on a cut to shape example is very strange? It had never been recorded until the Munich auction with no certificate, and with the absurdly low estimate and sale figure of a few $1000s, and has not been seen publicly since being sold here in 1977.
The O of FOUR is very bad.

Why a forger would use a cut to shape example? A form of bluff. The buyer sees the damage but doesn't see the painted in frame.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Rod Perry »

A Helmich wrote:Albury instead of Albany.
Yes, I can still recall after 41 years the number of Westerners who brought that blooper to my attention.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Allanswood wrote:
I don't need forensic testing to tell me what my eyes can see on my monitor. The frame is a different shade of ink entirely compared to the swan. The frame is a darker 'grey-blue' ink and the swan is blue.
That scan is actually very good for showing the difference in colour. In other scans the colours match. When the forger paints in the frame the colour matches in natural light but if you can get the right light source the ink reacts differently. This is because the ink is rarely the same. Ink can also age differently, so something painted in 50 years can be very different to when originally painted.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by A Helmich »

Rod Perry wrote:
A Helmich wrote:Albury instead of Albany.
Yes, I can still recall after 41 years the number of Westerners who brought that blooper to my attention.

Rod
It shows how people can misread words. Victorians and New South Welshmen can misread it as Albury because that is a town name they are familiar with.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Global Administrator »

A Helmich wrote:
The O of FOUR is very bad.

Why a forger would use a cut to shape example? A form of bluff. The buyer sees the damage but doesn't see the painted in frame.
I still can't believe any buyer seeing it was hitherto unrecorded to the market or literature, and was oddly NOT offered with a Certificate, did not buy it "on Extension", and also compared it to the then many excellent images existing, of known genuine copies. Before buying it, or after buying it, seeing it was soon touted as as a major front cover Rarity.

Even more foolish was the WA buyer 41 years ago, for a then rather huge sum of money, (way over $A100,000 in today's relative value) for not doing ether.

As to WHO faked it, Peter Winter was VERY active, and very good, and located in the Germany area in this era, and this below is his work, and is closer in lettering to the ''Number 15'' fake, than any genuine Invert.
mikeg wrote:Here is the Peter Winter Western Australia 4d Swan inverted frame:

Image
Image

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:I still can't believe any buyer seeing it was hitherto unrecorded to the market or literature, and was oddly NOT offered with a Certificate, did not buy it "on Extension", and also compared it to the then many excellent images existing, of known genuine copies. Before buying it, or after buying it, seeing it was soon touted as as a major front cover Rarity.
Right on cue, Glen, I anticipated you to morph in to attack mode about now.

Your: " . . . also compared it to the then many excellent images existing, of known genuine copies"

Really? "excellent images" . . . in 1977?: such are generally not available now, yet alone in 1977.

Witness A Helmich (a person to whom I defer on Classic W.A.) efforts to obtain a scan of IF15, in his home town, over the decades. Without success, to this very day.

The "best" image of IF15, as mentioned above, by A Helmich, is that provided by me, just today.

The venerable Köhler auctions (established 1913), from whom the stamp originated, had no problem with the provenance of the stamp. Why should I.

Glen, when you place your hand on your heart, Bible in hand, to the effect that you have never made a philatelic misjudgement (it has yet to be proven with IF15, by the way, beyond reasonable doubt, in this analysis, that this is, in fact, the case*), then, and only then, will you have this ear.

(* a physical inspection, alone, is the minimum that will completely satisfy experts)

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod, I am simply agreeing with the long published research view from WA Study Group etc, and others that stamp #15 was probably a fake. Don't blame me - I have NEVER owned it, handled it, or sold it, or ventured a view on it until today, as I had never looked carefully at scans, assuming someone, somewhere had verified it was a genuine stamp at the time in 1977. I have absolutely no horse in the race. :idea:

Rod, you were working out of Melbourne where the great students and Australia States scholars resided, complete with superb libraries, and where the RSPV could one assumes, have readily issued a Certificate as forged - IF asked.

The apparently clueless WA buyer did not bother to ask them either in 1977, and now owns a dud it appears. No wonder he does not want clear scans of it done!

If you are saying none of these very simple resources were consulted when offering a $100,000 type level rarity, that was hitherto unrecorded, and bought cheaply, and came with no cert - I am most surprised.

And NO, to answer your query - I have certainly never offered a stamp of that value - or indeed even 10% of that that figure, as genuine, without taking some basic steps to try and verify its genuineness, where it was very simple to do at a glance, as in this case.
Rod Perry wrote:
Really? "excellent images" . . . in 1977?: such are generally not available now, yet alone in 1977.
I am just as surprised to read your claim there were no good images of the genuine WA 4d Inverted Frame stamps readily available in 1977. Pre internet, MANY superb resources existed with good images.

"Stamps Of Fame" of course was long published by then -
Image
Indeed Williams took a great interest in this stamp and compiled the checklist.

This book below is on my bookshelf as I just bought one for stock. It was published before I was born. It was sitting on your bookshelf, on Kellow's bookshelf, on Jaffe's bookshelf, and the Royal bookshelf, and many others down there in 1977. And doubtless on the Kohler Auction bookshelf in Germany. A quick look by anyone at that page would have convinced them #15 was a bad fake.

It shows a superb image of GENUINE Inverted Frame from the Royal Collection - photos below taken just now with my $100 handheld camera, as I am not damaging the massive and very expensive book to take scans of something you already own.

One can readily tell at a glance stamp the cut to shape #15 does not match this stamp at all. Total mismatch, on dozens of clear point of reference, even from the fuzzy 1977 scan. ALL genuine inverts of course match in all design data points.
Image

Image

Image

Image
O of "FOUR" totally wrong, even on the fuzzy 1977 scan, and many other simple data points. The distance of top of lettering from outer frame on genuines is FAR wider at left than on the forged #15 cut to shape, as can readily be seen. Both are very simple visual tests. No design shading lines on fake in the water lower right, and many other screamingly obvious mis-matches.

No ''physical examination needed'' of either, to say for certain, they do not match in any way. :idea:

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:Rod, I am simply agreeing with the long published research view from WA Study Group etc, and others that stamp #15 was probably a fake. Don't blame me - I have NEVER owned it, handled it, or sold it, or ventured a view on it until today, as I had never looked carefully at scans, assuming someone, somewhere had verified it was a genuine stamp at the time in 1977. I have absolutely no horse in the race. :idea:

Rod, you were working out of Melbourne where the great students and Australia States scholars resided, complete with superb libraries, and where the RSPV could one assumes, have readily issued a Certificate as forged - IF asked.

The apparently clueless WA buyer did not bother to ask them either in 1977, and now owns a dud it appears. No wonder he does not want clear scans of it done!

If you are saying none of these very simple resources were consulted when offering a $100,000 type level rarity, that was hitherto unrecorded, and bought cheaply, and came with no cert - I am most surprised.

And NO, to answer your query - I have certainly never offered a stamp of that value - or indeed even 10% of that that figure, as genuine, without taking some basic steps to try and verify its genuineness, where it was very simple to do at a glance, as in this case.
Rod Perry wrote:
Really? "excellent images" . . . in 1977?: such are generally not available now, yet alone in 1977.
I am just as surprised to read your claim there were no good images of the genuine WA 4d Inverted Frame stamps readily available in 1977. Pre internet, MANY superb resources existed with good images.

"Stamps Of Fame" of course was long published by then -
Image
Indeed Williams took a great interest in this stamp and compiled the checklist.

This book below is on my bookshelf as I just bought one for stock. It was published before I was born. It was sitting on your bookshelf, on Kellow's bookshelf, on Jaffe's bookshelf, and the Royal bookshelf, and many others down there in 1977. And doubtless on the Kohler Auction bookshelf in Germany. A quick look by anyone at that page would have convinced them #15 was a bad fake.

It shows a superb image of GENUINE Inverted Frame from the Royal Collection - photos below taken just now with my $100 handheld camera, as I am not damaging the massive and very expensive book to take scans of something you already own.

One can readily tell at a glance stamp the cut to shape #15 does not match this stamp at all. Total mismatch, on dozens of clear point of reference, even from the fuzzy 1977 scan. ALL genuine inverts of course match in all design data points.
Image

Image

Image

Image
O of "FOUR" totally wrong, even on the fuzzy 1977 scan, and many other simple data points. The distance of top of lettering from outer frame on genuines is FAR wider at left than on the forged #15 cut to shape, as can readily be seen. Both are very simple visual tests. No design shading lines on fake in the water lower right, and many other screamingly obvious mis-matches.

No ''physical examination needed'' of either, to say for certain, they do not match in any way. :idea:
The image of the IF from The Royal Collection book is good, Glen.

The offset enlargement of IF15, from my 1977 auction catalogue, is comparatively poor.

You state above by 1977 there were "many excellent images existing".

You must, therefore, have evidence of those, aside from The Royal Collection. May we see, or be directed to them? They were not available to my peers in 1977.

Interesting you should mention Peter Jaffe, RDP, above.

An underbidder for IF15 in my 1977 auction, coincidentally.

IF15 may be proven to be not genuine, but as of now I doubt any self respecting expert would decisively make that judgement, based upon the best image presently available, that less than optimal image I provided today.

Whatever the ultimate judgement, the Köhler auction house, and mine, believed, based upon the knowledge of the day, that the stamp was what we, respectively, determined it to be.

In the post to which you make this reply, I said:

"Glen, when you place your hand on your heart, Bible in hand, to the effect that you have never made a philatelic misjudgement (it has yet to be proven with IF15, by the way, beyond reasonable doubt, in this analysis, that this is, in fact, the case*), then, and only then, will you have this ear."

(* a physical inspection, alone, is the minimum that will completely satisfy experts)


You replied:

"And NO, to answer your query - I have certainly never offered a stamp of that value - or indeed even 10% of that that figure, as genuine, without taking some basic steps to try and verify its genuineness, where it was very simple to do at a glance, as in this case."

That reply does not address my question. It had nothing to do with value.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
IF15 may be proven to be not genuine, but as of now I doubt any self respecting expert would decisively make that judgement, based upon the best image presently available, that less than optimal image I provided today.
I'd suggest every set of eyes on the planet reading this thread (except you) can readily agree the #XV cut to shape Swan is forged Rod. Even from the old 1977 image, which offers dozens of obvious data points proving it is a very bad fake.

Several have agreed already it is faked.

Let's see if even one reader disagrees. No expertise needed to look at the images above - just average to below average vision. :lol:

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

All concerned

My late father and I have had some experience with IF15 (or IF XV, to use the Williams Brothers' nomenclature) in that we both examined it on postal viewing from Köhler in Hull, England in March 1977.

Now, I was barely three months into my career in philately at Harmers of London at the time and my father was about three years from retirement as a General Practitioner in the NHS.

We both examined the stamp breathlessly and with great excitement as it was only the second time that either of us had held an example of what was purported to be this great rarity. I did not use fluid on the stamp, I simply didn't dare to! Even then a piece of glassine (hinge) fell off the stamp whilst I had it in my tongs (tweezers for the English). I believe I still have it somewhere, possibly with the registered envelope the stamp came in from Köhler.

It never occurred to either my father and I that there was anything amiss about the stamp at that time, it was regarded by both of us as a newly found genuine cut to shape Inverted Frame.

I was wrong!

Now, I had had some experience with expertizing at the time. For instance, in my first week of employment at Harmers, I was able to correct a senior colleague who had misidentified four examples of the Tilted Frame in the current Australasia sale. He had made the same mistake four times and graciously conceded the point when I showed him what the real Tilted Frame looked like from the illustrations of the first and third panes from the 1895 article by E.D.Bacon in The London Philatelist. Announcements were made at the sale.

Now my former colleague and great friend has since gone on to be a stalwart on the B.P.A. expertizing committee and I have never once encountered an incident where we disagreed again in over 42 years (Full disclosure, there was one occasion where we were both wrong together!)

At the sale my father was the direct underbidder on the stamp with 9,000 DM bid (it realized 9,200 DM) on the stamp which had a starting bid of 2,000 DM. Why a 9,000 DM bid? It was all the spare cash Dad had at the time, around £2,200 in his checking account. Subsequent to the sale I had learnt that the buyer, Rod Perry, had a much higher bid. I now consider it lucky that Dad was not more prosperous.

Quite frankly I now have no problem saying IF XV is an absolute counterfeit, based on all the evidence contained in this thread.

However, I do not consider it a "blind nun" mistake.

Kindest regards

Richard Debney

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:I now consider it lucky that Dad was not more prosperous.

Quite frankly I now have no problem saying IF XV is an absolute counterfeit, based on all the evidence contained in this thread.
More than Lucky. :)

Well, your family ended up with one of the few genuines Inverted Frames as a result of missing this one. :mrgreen:

As A Helmich said above, when also agreeing the cut to shape ''XV'' was a fake - everyone in 1977 in Munich apparently focused on how much or little to bid, and whether it was repaired or not, and forgot to ask "is it actually GENUINE!"

Kohlers were a well known firm, and as I posted, for CERTAIN had the Royal Collection book (and doubtless others) in their Library so as to compare it against the facial appearance of genuines, or more logically to seek an EXPERT CERTIFICATE to accompany it.

42 years later, it still appears to not have a Expert Certificate.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

Global Administrator

More than Lucky. :)

I believe in posts in another thread, relying completely on memory, you also claimed to be an underbidder on the stamp in the Munich auction, hence my reference to Dad being the "direct underbidder."

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

Richard ... life moves on - you must be VERY pleased to see what the copy sold for this week at Corinphila! :lol:

I just dug out of my files a fax sent to Greg Pope in WASG re this one - offered by Christies in June 1989. Hopefully Greg used this info in ''Black Swan'' at some point.

THAT one had a RPS London Certificate so was pretty interested. :)

I phoned Elizabeth Pope in New York the head stamp person then.

It was Lot 3454 in a general world sale so almost no-one here was aware of it. I was the Linns correspondent so got free airmail copies and saw the ad below. Absolutely no internet back 30 years back. :mrgreen:

She told me it had a small tear, so that greatly tempered my enthusiasm. It sold for just $US14,500 plus 10%, or $A21,250 at the time my notes say.

Buyer was a UK collector who flew to NYC to view and left behind postal bids.

Vendor was a UK man in his 60s, who sold the balance of his WA via Robson Lowe 3 years earlier. He had withheld the Invert and an Error Of Colour (which sold for $US2640 same sale) Elizabeth understood he had inherited his Fathers collection.

Here is the Linns ad for that sale photocopy from my files - no mention of the RPSL Cert.
Image

Image
Global Administrator wrote:
capetriangle wrote:I now consider it lucky that Dad was not more prosperous.

Quite frankly I now have no problem saying IF XV is an absolute counterfeit, based on all the evidence contained in this thread.
More than Lucky. :)

Well, your family ended up with one of the few genuines Inverted Frames as a result of missing this one. :mrgreen:

As A Helmich said above, when also agreeing the cut to shape ''XV'' was a fake - everyone in 1977 in Munich apparently focused on how much or little to bid, and whether it was repaired or not, and forgot to ask "is it actually GENUINE!"

Kohlers were a well known firm, and as I posted, for CERTAIN had the Royal Collection book (and doubtless others) in their Library so as to compare it against the facial appearance of genuines, or more logically to seek an EXPERT CERTIFICATE to accompany it.

42 years later, it still appears to not have a Expert Certificate.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

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Richard ... life moves on - you must be VERY pleased to see what the copy sold for this week at Corinphila! :lol:

Certainly, I was feeling like the cat who got the cream!

I am sure you meant Brian Pope rather than Greg Pope.

Buyer was a UK collector who flew to NYC to view and left behind postal bids.

Elizabeth Pope was wrong on this matter. The buyer was a New Jersey resident, me, on the telephone from England (at my parent's house in Hull), on behalf of myself and Dad as a partnership, since neither of us had all of the funds to cover the purchase at the time. It was officially invoiced to William A. Fox Auctions, my employer at the time, to obviate any sales tax or credit problems. I had examined the stamp at the Christies office in New York and was aware of the minor faults, the Royal certificate issued to Robert B. Yardley, a former president of the Royal Philatelic Society, London and a member of the famous soap manufacturing company. I also noticed that the stamp had a marginal watermark at left which allowed Dad to identify the stamp as being from the first pane.

The vendor was H.A.V. Bulleid, who apparently bought the stamp in the 1964 Robson Lowe sale which is incorrectly attributed to "T.W. Hall," another president of the Royal Philatelic Society, London.

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Richard

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

Ha! Yes Greg Pope is the Kangaroos Pope. Midnight brain fade. :mrgreen:

I am sure we can forgive Elizabeth for imagining someone with an English accent phoning from England might be British. :wink:

Still have my letter to BRIAN Pope on the details of that one. Well bought at $US14,500 + 10%, looking back. :lol:
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

Regarding the recent 4d Inverted Frame sold by Corinphila for CHF 314,600.

Dad and I always used to nickname this example as the "Italian Auctioneer Copy," since it would seemingly bounce from one Italian auctioneer to another without finding a home in the early 1980s. Then it finally sold for about $200,000 as we understood it, possibly to a professor at Princeton, a man by the name of Enrico Bombieri. Additionally we were of the impression that it was a funny "electric" blue, possibly as a result of Ferrary's boiling. This opinion I have to change as a result of the more accurate color printing in the Corinphila sale.

I do not know the identity of the Besançon collection buyer and would dearly love to find out. No doubt in the fullness of time?

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: the superb FAKE? c

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:
Rod Perry wrote:
IF15 may be proven to be not genuine, but as of now I doubt any self respecting expert would decisively make that judgement, based upon the best image presently available, that less than optimal image I provided today.
I'd suggest every set of eyes on the planet reading this thread (except you) can readily agree the #XV cut to shape Swan is forged Rod. Even from the old 1977 image, which offers dozens of obvious data points proving it is a very bad fake.

Several have agreed already it is faked.

Let's see if even one reader disagrees. No expertise needed to look at the images above - just average to below average vision. :lol:
Mmm, interesting, Glen, that one of a few living people, who have actually handled IF15 in the flesh, had any concerns about the stamp, when in their possession.

I quote Richard Debney above:

"We both [the other party being Mr Debney senior] examined the stamp breathlessly and with great excitement as it was only the second time that either of us had held an example of what was purported to be this great rarity. I did not use fluid on the stamp, I simply didn't dare to! Even then a piece of glassine (hinge) fell off the stamp whilst I had it in my tongs (tweezers for the English). I believe I still have it somewhere, possibly with the registered envelope the stamp came in from Köhler.

It never occurred to either my father and I that there was anything amiss about the stamp at that time, it was regarded by both of us as a newly found genuine cut to shape Inverted Frame.

Quite frankly I now have no problem saying IF XV is an absolute counterfeit, based on all the evidence contained in this thread.

However, I do not consider it a "blind nun" mistake."


"It never occurred to either my father and I that there was anything amiss about the stamp at that time, it was regarded by both of us as a newly found genuine cut to shape Inverted Frame."

Me, likewise, in 1977.

Only you, Glen, and you alone, can be a bespoke expert, relying upon my fuzzy, distorted enlargement of an offset-printed image.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod, I have absolutely no idea WHY you are desperately and repeatedly defending the indefensible here? It is not just ME offering educated "decisive" judgments based entirely off your scan, as you weirdly keep trying to suggest.

Not a single person here has agreed "XV" is genuine. However all members offering a view solidly agree it is a fake.

The WA Study Group and others have suggested Inverted Frame "XV" for years was a fake - nothing new there.

The cut to shape Inverted Frame ''XV'' stamp is a clear fake. Richard Debney - capetriangle who has served on Expert Committees now agrees, based entirely looking at the images posted here on last page. Making a nonsense of your claim below -
Global Administrator wrote:
Rod Perry wrote:
IF15 may be proven to be not genuine, but as of now I doubt any self respecting expert would decisively make that judgement, based upon the best image presently available, that less than optimal image I provided today.
I'd suggest every set of eyes on the planet reading this thread (except you) can readily agree the #XV cut to shape Swan is forged Rod. Even from the old 1977 image, which offers dozens of obvious data points proving it is a very bad fake.

Several have agreed already it is faked.

Let's see if even one reader disagrees. No expertise needed to look at the images above - just average to below average vision. :lol:
Most of us do not need to SEE this stamp in the flesh, to declare "decisively" that it is a fake, ENTIRELY off this scan. :)
Image

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:
I do not know the identity of the Besançon collection buyer and would dearly love to find out. No doubt in the fullness of time?

Kindest regards

Richard Debney
Yes a few prime contenders were mooted above, and word will drift out eventually I am sure. :)
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:Rod, I have absolutely no idea WHY you are desperately and repeatedly defending the indefensible here? It is not just ME offering educated "decisive" judgments based entirely off your scan, as you weirdly keep trying to suggest.

Not a single person here has agreed "XV" is genuine. However all members offering a view solidly agree it is a fake.

The WA Study Group and others have suggested Inverted Frame "XV" for years was a fake - nothing new there.

The cut to shape Inverted Frame ''XV'' stamp is a clear fake. Richard Debney - capetriangle who has served on Expert Committees now agrees, based entirely looking at the images posted here on last page. Making a nonsense of your claim below -
Global Administrator wrote:
Rod Perry wrote:
IF15 may be proven to be not genuine, but as of now I doubt any self respecting expert would decisively make that judgement, based upon the best image presently available, that less than optimal image I provided today.
I'd suggest every set of eyes on the planet reading this thread (except you) can readily agree the #XV cut to shape Swan is forged Rod. Even from the old 1977 image, which offers dozens of obvious data points proving it is a very bad fake.

Several have agreed already it is faked.

Let's see if even one reader disagrees. No expertise needed to look at the images above - just average to below average vision. :lol:
Most of us do not need to SEE this stamp in the flesh, to declare "decisively" that it is a fake, ENTIRELY off this scan. :)
Image
Yes, yes, Glen, whatever you say; as always, you and you alone know what's right.

I'll conclude with your quote above:

"The WA Study Group and others have suggested Inverted Frame "XV" for years was a fake - nothing new there." (my emphasis)

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

No Rod. Not just me. Everyone posting a view on this thread agrees XV is a fake.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:
capetriangle wrote:
I do not know the identity of the Besançon collection buyer and would dearly love to find out. No doubt in the fullness of time?

Kindest regards

Richard Debney
Yes a few prime contenders were mooted above, and word will drift out eventually I am sure. :)
Besançon was a very wealthy, and private man.

His philatelic confidants, for British Empire at least, were Robson Lowe and John Taylor.

We came to meet him as he was a lifelong, childhood friend of one of my Swiss clients, long residing in Melbourne.

Besançon visited my Melbourne office in 1990s, during a visit to our mutual friend's family, and we later visited him at one of his homes in Switzerland.

I never picked him as a man with so important a philatelic collection, which may eventually realise close to nine-figures AU$, and an art collection, reputedly estimated to realise around one billion pounds.

Unassuming best describes Besançon, to my eyes.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

Wow, six posts during a pleasant night's sleep!

My opinion on the authenticity of IF XV changed only yesterday after analysing the work of our poster here, A. Helmich.

Basically for the three reasons:

(i) the lumen of the O of FOUR
(ii) the internal angle where the frame meets the first leg of A of LIA
(iii) the absence of the 'inverted T' in the background below the R of FOUR

Yes, I had heard mutterings, but as I also conceded yesterday, that simply never occurred to either Dad (Dr.T.D.) or me when examining the stamp for couple of hours at most on postal viewing from Köhler in March 1977.

Quite simply the mutterings were simply dismissed as a "no, no, say it ain't so joe!" and "surely I cannot have made such a mistake," as it turns out completely wrongly.

We simply were not thinking in that direction, I was recently out of University and just three months into my philatelic career at Harmers in London.

Additionally, even when examining the stamp we got a phone call from Köhler asking if we had already sent the stamp back to them in Munich. This caused Dad to immediately go to our local Post Office to make the return.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, when IF X came up for sale from the "Isleham" collection at Christies Robson Lowe in New York in March 1987, I looked at the stamp, enjoying the glow that came with the knowledge that this was the third Inverted Frame that I had encountered in person. I cannot remember taking it out of the black card, since I knew full-well that I simply had no chance of being the purchaser or even getting a bid in on this stamp which was to realize $45,000 + 10% = $49,500 at the time.

So again, I did not realize that there was anything amiss about the stamp. I was simply not thinking in that direction. And neither did Scott Trepel, the youngster in charge of the department, who was a fine philatelist, even back then. He did joke with me when IF VIII came up for sale in 1989 that it was nice to be able to offer a real one this time!

Now when the universal substance hit the proverbial fan regarding IF X and it was declared to be a fake, passing into the collection of Carl Walske (father of Steven) and eventually ending up with Arthur Woo, Dad told me that it was an obvious fake which could be seen by simply looking at the lettering and the color of the frame. Again I conceded that that had simply not occurred to me on the casual inspection.

It was only after I left Harmers of New York in 1993 that I became involved with expertizing on a full-time basis, the daily grind of expertizing stamps all day long, at The Philatelic Foundation in New York. This, I did, for the most part of the next 15 years.

An opinion on the purchaser of IF IX (Besançon) at Corinphila. I believe it will turn out to be Dr. Arthur Woo since he has the stated aim and is not likely to be put off by the CHF 10,000 increment above the natural 'quarter million' leveling off point. Time will tell.

Enough for now.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:
An opinion on the purchaser of IF IX (Besançon) at Corinphila. I believe it will turn out to be Dr. Arthur Woo since he has the stated aim and is not likely to be put off by the CHF 10,000 increment above the natural 'quarter million' leveling off point. Time will tell.
A year or three back I'd agree, as he owns near all others in private hands, but hear he is not in great health in recent times?

Joseph Hackney professed a desire to own it, and that is one heavy hitter as you know. :) I recall asking Charles Shreve re the unsold Hackney New Zealand 1850 imperfs what the deal was, (unmet reserve was $US20K or so IIRC) and Charles smirked and said "Mr Hackney certainly does not need the money Glen, I suspect he will just keep them." And he did. :mrgreen:
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

Global Administrator wrote:
capetriangle wrote:
An opinion on the purchaser of IF IX (Besançon) at Corinphila. I believe it will turn out to be Dr. Arthur Woo since he has the stated aim and is not likely to be put off by the CHF 10,000 increment above the natural 'quarter million' leveling off point. Time will tell.
A year or three back I'd agree, as he owns near all others in private hands, but hear he is not in great health in recent times?

Joseph Hackney professed a desire to own it, and that is one heavy hitter as you know. :) I recall asking Charles Shreve re the unsold New Zealand 1850 imperfs what the deal was, (unmet reserve was 20K or so IIRC) and Charles smirked and said "Mr Hackney does not need the money Glen, I suspect he will keep them." And he did. :mrgreen:
My reason for thinking Arthur rather than Joseph was that the telephone bidder was the underbidder and that Joseph has moved away from stamps a little bit in recent times.

It makes little or no difference to me whether I am one of the two or three people in the world to own one of these. The chuckle I get is owning the only one in the Western Hemisphere in either private or institutional hands.

Kindest regards

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by camelspotter »

If I remember correctly, the 3 Victoria high values (£25, 50 & 100 invoiced for 100k SFr + fees) went also for an internet bidder, which I'd say it is unusual. So possibly the same buyer for both? And that would not be someone interested solely in 'inverted frames/swans'.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by MJ's pet »

capetriangle wrote:An opinion on the purchaser of IF IX (Besançon) at Corinphila. I believe it will turn out to be Dr. Arthur Woo since he has the stated aim and is not likely to be put off by the CHF 10,000 increment above the natural 'quarter million' leveling off point. Time will tell.
Another interesting aside to the IFs is that Dr Woo is now 84 years old. I wish him a long and happy life - hopefully he will live to be 100! :D

That said, at some future time an auctioneer is going to have the interesting problem of marketing three (or is that four?) IFs at the same time. :shock:

So the Besancon example may be the zenith of IF prices.

Don't break out the champagne just yet Capetriangle. :D

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

Dr. Woo now owns 5 x Western Australia ''Inverted Frame'' 4d stamps.

For decades, I was always very keen to own the proving piece below, and in the past VERY little importance was placed upon it. On the open market I think the price would greatly surprise many. :mrgreen:
Image
Image
If he ever sells up, one Auction house capable of intelligent and savvy GLOBAL promotion (so disregard Spink for starters!) might well get a great result selling them all in one sale, as individual lots. The next Dr.Woo might emerge. :mrgreen:

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by MJ's pet »

Global Administrator wrote:Dr. Woo now owns 5 x Western Australia ''Inverted Frame'' 4d stamps.
:| In fact Dr Woo owns three: IF4, IF7 and IF11. :|

IF10 is in limbo at least, even Dr Woo calls it a forgery. Makes no sense to include a forgery in the tally.

IF Fragment is just that, a "fragment", and has never counted towards the census examples. It is certainly a philatelically interesting piece tho.

If the fragment counts as a full census example then presumably Capetriangle would be happy to trade his genuine stamp for it? :lol: :lol:

If Dr Woo purchased the Besancon IF then 3 + 1 = 4 genuine examples.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

Yes, Woo owns at least 4 of the genuines, and 1 of the fakes on the listing above.

The damaged strip of 4 is weirdly overlooked by many in the “count” - however it was the “PROVING” find that showed clearly it was the FRAME inverted, and not the centre inverted, as was widely believed for decades.

As I recall, it was discovered AFTER the now traditional "list" was formulated, and is a most important piece in my eyes.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by W5LDY »

The fragment is philatelically important because it proves the stamp is an 'Inverted frame' variety, not to be confused with potential market value, as some already have.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

MJ's pet wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:Dr. Woo now owns 5 x Western Australia ''Inverted Frame'' 4d stamps.
:| In fact Dr Woo owns three: IF4, IF7 and IF11. :|

IF10 is in limbo at least, even Dr Woo calls it a forgery. Makes no sense to include a forgery in the tally.

IF Fragment is just that, a "fragment", and has never counted towards the census examples. It is certainly a philatelically interesting piece tho.

If the fragment counts as a full census example then presumably Capetriangle would be happy to trade his genuine stamp for it? :lol: :lol:

If Dr Woo purchased the Besancon IF then 3 + 1 = 4 genuine examples.
Not so.

Dr. Woo currently owns at least four examples of the real Inverted Frames (not including the possible Besançon purchase), Gartner, King Carol, the ugly one with the piece out and Lord Vestey, the forgery (IF X) and the fragment.

I will post the Williams numbers shortly when I find my reference.

Kindest regards

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

All concerned

Mercifully I found my reference quickly.

The current genuine copies (not including Besançon, IF IX) owned by Dr. Woo are IF IV (King Carol), IF VII (the ugly one with the piece out), IF XI (Gartner) and IF XII (Lord Vestey).

He also owns the established fake IF X ("Isleham") and the unnumbered fragment.

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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Allanswood »

I now have 12 reasonable colour images of the "15" known and also the fragment (16) and am doing an image comparison starting with all the lettering.

When I can figure out the 3 missing ones I'd like to try and get images of them as well.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by Global Administrator »

Greg with your graphic skills, be very instructive to see them all scanned in 1 post. :idea:

I notice the genuines have a small lumpy flaw at inner base, inside that narrow wall U, along with all the other pointers.
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Re: WA 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp: spot the superb FA

Post by capetriangle »

Allanswood wrote:I now have 12 reasonable colour images of the "15" known and also the fragment (16) and am doing an image comparison starting with all the lettering.

When I can figure out the 3 missing ones I'd like to try and get images of them as well.
Greg, the three missing ones, if one of them, is IF VIII, listed as "unknown" in the listing which appears above on this thread, then that is my copy. It has appeared on other threads and is reproduced below.
Image
I hope you find it useful.

Kindest regards

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