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Owlswick Jenkins' halfpenny forgery (Discworld)

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Colin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Owlswick Jenkins' halfpenny forgery (Discworld)
    Posted: 21 October 2013 at 22:13
I have been asked by a collector what the identifying differences are between the completed version of the 'Owlswick Jenkins' halfpenny forgery and the original Ankh-Morpork halfpenny red it is based on.

For non-Discworld stamps collectors, this stamp design was sold as a pane of 4 'coloured-in' forgeries in various states of completion, drawn by me and based on the original illustrations by Alan Batley.

I thought that rather than pass on my recollections it would be more interesting to see what collectors here could come up with - and perhaps impress the enquirer sufficiently that he might overcome his shyness and join our forum!

Any volunteers?  Wink
My Etsy shop - FarFetchedPhilately - is now open again :-)



https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FarFetchedPhilately

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2013 at 00:00
Am I right in thinking there are initials hidden on the artwork somewhere?  Did I read that?

Presumably OJ ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bar Counsel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2013 at 01:36
Correct.

There is a tiny O in the top left corner of the top left corner cartouche, and a J in the top right corner of the top right corner cartouche.

I wouldn't have spotted this myself had Colin not pointed it out personally at a stamp fair where his stamps were being shown.

I think because of the nature of the printing and the size of the letters this may be difficult to spot on some stamps but it is certainly there on mine Thumbs Up


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2013 at 02:32
I have looked for the O and J In the past, and to my eyes are not very distinguishable as letters. That said though, the forgeries do have something extra in the corners even if you cannot make them out.
The large stamp image on the Discworld Stamp Catalogue shows the letters clearly. Too clearly perhaps; could they have been edited in? There is however, no mention on that page of these details, which for stamp identification is a serious omission!
Don’t forget that most halfpenny reds were printed and perfed by Enschede which means bright crisp detail and comb-perfs of 13.5/2cm. A smallish number of halfpenny reds and the Owlswicks were Wincanton productions; less detail and line-perfed 10/2cm. However these two were printed two years apart and printing would have been by different machines. My stamps are not to hand, and I lack the terminology to describe the differences but I believe it is possible to recognise an Owlswick from an ordinary under a magnifying glass. If anybody can confirm that please do
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Murgatroyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2013 at 03:02
Yes, I have the relevant stamps in front of me now, along with my trusty lens. The only issue of the Orange 1/2 P Post office that could possibly be confused with the Owlswick forgery is the Wincanton Perforated issue, (SHS-AM0001-Aw). The perforations on the Bath and Enschede issues are recognisably different, as Steve pointed out. The immediate and obvious difference are the white areas to the left and right of the Post office motto. On the Forgery these white areas are much smaller than on the legitimate stamp. I make the horizontal length of the white area about 0.66 mm on the forgery, Whereas it about 1.33 mm on the real one. 
The other main difference is that the detail is far crisper on the forgery!
I'm going to have to take the tiny O and J in the upper cartouches on trust, as My eyes aren't sharp enough to see them, even with my lens,  but if you're looking for concealed letters have a close look at the cabbages on the Owlswick forgery evidence proof sheet! 
"I've got twenty minutes to save the world and I've got a Post Office, and it's shut." The Raggedy Doctor.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2013 at 06:36
Looking at the Evidence Sheet, an unperforated sheet, and the actual single stamps, the O and J only appear on the final complete stamp; a final finishing touch of vanity by the forger.

I had forgotten the difference in size of the white area left and right of the motto.

For a final difference check the 'scallops' that decorate the frame around the stamp. The originals have a whiter background to them, while the forgeries do have more detail there. Whether this is a print as a result of Owlswick's preciseness or the printing is debatable.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2013 at 02:50
I am interested to read that the artwork reproduces better on the Evidence Sheet than on the gummed paper. Surely they employ the same stamp artwork printed at the same time on the same gummed paper? 

The initials OJ appear in handwriting almost next to the block of four stamps on the Evidence Sheet. I wonder whether that is intended as a clue to look for those initials and therefore whether there are further clues hidden on the evidence sheet that reference anything else on the stamps themselves?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2013 at 04:37
I've never seen those letters before. A difference that is visible to the naked eye is the white corner stones in the top of the building: they are wider in the original, where they reach almost all the way across the first window, whereas in the Owlswick the just reach past the outside edge of the window.
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