Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Are You Interested in Cape Triangles?

If So, You Must Have This Handy Reference!

The Cape of Good Hope triangulars are one of the truly iconic issues of classic British Empire stamps. 

Issued from 1853 to 1864, they were revolutionary in design and were produced in four stages, by three printers on four papers with numerous shades

Stanley Gibbons famously purchased a sack-full of Cape Triangulars from two merchant seamen in 1863. He reputedly paid them £5! 

They are a little more valuable now, with catalogue values ranging from £190 - £100,000 for mint stamps, and £80 to £30,000 for used stamps. The major colour varieties can range from £40,000 used to £160,000 mint.

These catalogue values provide enough incentive for fraudsters to ply their trade, and with today's internet auctions, they have found a ready outlet for their fakes.

What can you do to minimise the possibility of losing your money by paying for fakes? 

My suggestion would be to buy this book!

It is effectively a ready-reckoner to not only spotting fakes, but also correctly identifying the relevant shades.

Firstly, find the colour tab that most closely corresponds to the colour of your stamp

The stamps are listed by printing, with illustrations of all shades with SG catalogue numbers. This alone would be enough to help zero in on genuine stamps.

The facing page to the one shown above illustrates faked and forged stamps of that issue

There are pages for all of the stamps issued, in addition there are also illustrations of Official Reproductions, Plate Proofs, Pairs and Multiples, and Facsimiles.

An added bonus, at least in the copy I have, is a set of facsimile spacefillers!

Privately produced by Greg Allan of New South Wales, the book is A5 size (210mm x 148mm) and runs to 48 pages. It's available from Greg's site Allanswood Postal History. For further information, Greg can be contacted via email here

I heartily recommend this book as it both demystifies a complex series of stamps, thereby making them more accessible, and provides philatelists with the ammunition required to fight off the fraudsters.

Oh, and the price? It's a ridiculously low A$16 + postage. Imagine how much this little book could save you!

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