Honduras Republic: Train Stamps : 1898
Originals, Forgeries, PERMITASE handstamps

The genuine stamps of this issue are not at all scarce but this did not prevent the fabrication of four different forgeries, all intended to defraud collectors, rather than the Honduras Post Office.

Identification of Originals & Forgeries :

We have adopted the designation of forgeries as used by the late Brian Moorhouse. The images below show a full scan and two detail scans of an original (genuine) stamp and the four types of forgery.

timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898
timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898
. . . . . . Original . . . . . . . . . . Type 1 Forgery . . . . . . . Type 2 Forgery . . . . . . . . Type 3 Forgery . . . . . . . . Type 4 Forgery
timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898

Original and Type 1 Forgery : The principal distinguishing feature of the genuine stamp is immediately to the right of the smokestack, where the (dotted) line of the mountain goes from being angled downwards to the horizontal or indeed slightly upwards. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th forgeries, the line is solid, not dotted, a very easy test. On the Type 1 Forgery, which has a dotted rather than a solid line, there is no flattening of the downwards angle of the mountain at the point it meets the smokestack. This is not always an easy test and the Type 1 forgery is a very accurate forgery but it has one other clear distingishing feature, located in the imprint, where the letters 'LIT' are angled upwards and the second 'N' of 'NACIONAL' is much smaller than on the genuine stamp.

Before describing further, we provide scans of the figures '1898' on the genuine (G) and the four forgeries (F1-4).

timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898 timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898

Type 2 Forgery : The stamp is Perf 11; all the others, including the original, are Perf 11.5

Type 3 Forgery : The date above the figure of value reads '1896' instead of '1898'. The centre of the left side of the smokestack is flattened, rather than pointed. Type 3 forgeries are scarce, encountered far less often than genuine stamps.

Type 4 Forgery : The commonest and poorest of the forgeries; 1898 is much too large and there is sharply lined shading of the smokebox door. In addition to the many perforated examples on the market, large quantities of imperforate Type 4 forgeries are also circulating.

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Genuine Stamps : Wove and Laid Paper :
There are eight basic values in the set as well as two 'errors of colour', one common, one scarce. Additionally, the first five stamps in the set are found both on ordinary wove paper and on laid paper (papier couché, Bütten).

Stamps on Wove Paper :
timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898
timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898
timbres-poste sellos postales train stamps Honduras Republic 1898

Catalogues vary in the extent to which they list shades. We list those that we have seen and consider to be significant.

On Wove Paper:
1c Brown (to deep brown, shades) [ . ]
- ditto - Yellow-Brown [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
2c Deep Rose [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
5c Grey-Blue [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
5c Deep Purple (error of colour, 1902) [ . ]
- ditto (shade) - Deep Lilac [ . ]
5c Rose-Red (error of colour **) [ . ]
6c Purple [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
6c Rose-Red (error of colour **) [ . ]
6c Orange-Red (error of colour) [ . ]
10c Deep Blue [ . ]
- ditto - Milky Blue [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
20c Pale Orange [ . ]
50c Reddish Vermilion [ . ]
1 Peso Pale Blue-Green [ . ]

** : It is possible that the 5c Rose-Red and 6c Rose-Red are colour changelings from purple but we have no evidence for this.

The scan shown of the 6c orange-red is the only one that we have seen. It is a shade listed, but unpriced, in Stanley Gibbons. The copy we have seen is ungummed and appears to have a cleaned pen-cancel, not a typical cancellation of the period.

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Stamps on Laid Paper :
Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898 Laid Paper
Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898 Laid Paper

On Laid paper:
1c Yellow-Brown : Vertically Laid Paper [ . ]
2c Rose : Vertically Laid Paper [ . ]
5c Grey-Blue : Vertically Laid Paper [ . ]
6c Pale Purple : Horizontally Laid Paper [ . ]
10c Blue : Horizontally Laid Paper [ . ]
- ditto - Horizonal Pair, Imperf Between (scarce) [ . ]

Colours: In general, the stamps on laid paper are in lighter or more 'pastel' colours than the regularly-encountered shades on wove paper.

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Type 1 Forgeries:
For the forgeries, we are only using simple approximations of colours.

1c Brown [ . ]
2c Red [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
5c Blue[ . ]
6c Purple [ . ]
10c Blue [ . ]
20c Orange-Brown [ . ]
50c Orange-Red [ . ]
1 Peso Green [ . ]

Other imperforate values probably exist.

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Type 2 Forgeries:
1c Brown [ . ]
2c Red [ . ]
5c Blue[ . ]
6c Purple [ . ]
10c Blue [ . ]
20c Orange-Brown [ . ]
50c Orange-Red [ . ]
1 Peso Green [ . ]

Imperforate values may exist.

Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898 Laid Paper
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Type 3 Forgeries:
1c Brown [ . ]
2c Red [ . ]
5c Blue[ . ]
6c Purple [ . ]
10c Blue [ . ]
20c Orange-Brown [ . ]
50c Orange-Red [ . ]
1 Peso Green [ . ]

Imperforate values may exist.

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Type 4 Forgeries: These stamps are always without gum :
1c Brown [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
2c Red [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
5c Blue[ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
5c Purple [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
6c Purple [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
10c Blue [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
20c Orange-Brown [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
50c Orange-Red [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]
1 Peso Green [ . ]
- ditto - Imperf [ . ]

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PERMITASE Handstamps:
A validating handstamp 'PERMITASE' was applied to several Honduras issues in the town of Amapala on the island of El Tigre (Tiger Island) from October 1898 onwards. There is evidence to suggest that this was done on the initiative of the local postmaster, without authority from the Honduras Post Office. The handstamps are found in a range of colours on all the original locomotive values, but we have not seen any examples on the errors of colour, nor on any stamps printed on laid paper, although they may exist. The majority of these PERMITASE handstamps that one encounters are used, except for the 1 Peso values which are usually mint. The handstamp was wider than the stamps and usually covers two stamps. It was typically applied horizontally or up to an angle of about 30 degrees, from bottom left to top right.

Honduras PERMITASE handstamps Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898
Honduras PERMITASE handstamps Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898 Honduras PERMITASE handstamps Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898

The 1c Brown is much the scarcest of the values found with this handstamp. We have listed below the colours of the handstamp that we have seen for each value:

PERMITASE Handtamps :
1c Brown : Overprint in Bright Magenta [ . ]
- Opt in Greyish Magenta [ . ]

2c Rose : Overprint in Magenta [ . ]
- Opt in Blackish Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Black [ . ]

5c Blue : Overprint in Magenta [ . ]
- Opt in Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Black [ . ]

6c Purple : Overprint in Magenta [ . ]
- Opt in Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Black [ . ]

10c Blue : Overprint in Magenta [ . ]
- Opt in Grey-Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Black [ . ]

20c Orange-Brown : Overprint in Violet-Blue [ . ]
- Opt in Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Black [ . ]

50c Orange-Red : Overprint in Blackish-Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Black [ . ]

1 Peso Green : Overprint in Magenta [ . ]
- Opt in Violet [ . ]
- Opt in Violet-Grey [ . ]

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OFICIAL Overprints :
Five values of the genuine stamp were overprinted OFICIAL as were the same five values of the Type 4 Forgery. We are also in possession of one value of the Type 1 Forgery, but handstamped, and have no information as to whether other values exist. This may even be a forgery of the handstamp, perhaps perpetrated by a different forger from the one who produced the stamp?

Genuine Stamps : Overprinted 'OFICIAL' :
Honduras OFICIAL official overprints Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898 Honduras OFICIAL official overprints Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898
The scan at the right shows a control handstamp, applied by the post office, to the gummed side. It portrays the country's coat of arms and is not often encountered on this issue. The image has been darkened to aid viewing.

Genuine Stamps : Overprinted 'OFICIAL' :
5c Grey-Blue [ . ]
10c Deep Blue [ . ]
20c Pale Orange [ . ]
50c Reddish Vermilion [ . ]
1 Peso Pale Blue-Green [ . ]

Cancelled copies of the above set are known but those cancellations that we have seen may well be favour cancels. Few, if any, of these stamps seem to have been used for their intended purpose on mail.

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Type 1 Forgery : Handstamped 'OFICIAL' :
Honduras OFICIAL official overprints Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898

Type 1 Forgery : Handstamped 'OFICIAL' :
5c Grey-Blue [ . ]

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Type 4 Forgeries : Overprinted 'OFICIAL' :
Honduras OFICIAL official overprints Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898

Type 4 Forgery (un-gummed) : Overprinted 'OFICIAL' :
5c Purple [ . ]
10c Blue [ . ]
20c Orange-Brown [ . ]
50c Orange-Red [ . ]
1 Peso Green [ . ]

Honduras OFICIAL official overprints Train Stamps timbres-poste sellos postales  Honduras Republic 1898
We do not list varieties such as the 'overprint double' (shown above) on forgeries.

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POSTAL STATIONERY (Cards) :
There are two basic values for the 'locomotive' postcards, 2c and 3c. They were both also issued with reply cards attached, the outward half inscribed 'CON RESPUEUSTA PAGADA', the reply half 'PARA LA RESPUESTA'. Single cards have neither inscription.

Honduras Postal Stationery 1898 Train entero postale Honduras Postal Stationery 1898 Train entero postale
PERMITASE handstamps were applied both diagonally (as shown) and also horizontally.

Without PERMITASE Handstamp :
2c Orange-Brown [ . ]
2c + 2c Orange-Brown [ . ]

3c Green on blue-green [ . ]
3c + 3c Green on blue-green [ . ]

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Handstamped PERMITASE at Amapala :
2c Orange-Brown [ . ]
2c + 2c Orange-Brown [ . ]

3c Green on blue-green [ . ]
3c + 3c Green on blue-green [ . ]

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