Lagos SG#29F 10/- Purple Brown, Queen Victoria, 1886 Crown CA Keyplate Issue, A VF Sperati Forgery, Signed by Him
A well centered and rare forgery of this rare classic stamp, of which only 400 were originally issued. This example is expertly done by the master of all stamp forgers, Jean de Sperati.
His work was so good that this stamp is practically indistinguishable from the genuine stamp. The only identifying characteristics are his signature on the back (he signed all his forgeries) and the fact that the ink fluoresces slightly under UV light.
To produce this masterpiece, which has both the correct watermark and the correct cancellation, he took a low value stamp, like a 1/2d or 1d with this cancel, that woud have had a crown CA watermark, and proceeded to bleach out the design. Then, he treated the cancellation to make it porous and then printed the design over top. The porosity of the cancel was such that when finished it looks as if the cancel lies above the design, even though it does not.
Gibbons values the genuine stamp at 1,100 GBP, but many of Sperati's forgeries sell for close to the same value as the stamps he was forging, largely because of how good his work is, and the scarcity of his forgeries. Our price is based on what we have seen similar examples sell for at auction. The example offered here grades VF-76 as follows:
Paper freshness: 5/5
Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5