Honduras Republic: Stamps of 1898, including the forgeries and PERMITASE handstamps

Not one of my favourite issues. However, there are numerous forgeries of this issue and I thought it might be helpful to railway thematic collectors to be able to identify them.

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

First I shall list the genuinely-issued stamps. For those unfamiliar with the term, 'laid paper', when held to the light, displays alternate dark and light streaks. With regard to Imperforate stamps, I would suggest that these need to be pairs in order to have any confidence in their being genuine imperfs. Even with imperf pairs, mostly very scarce on the genuine stamps, beware the possibility of an imperf between pair with trimmed perforations, a possible deception, which might be attempted with a damaged imperf between pair.

[ . ] 1c Chocolate-brown to yellow-brown( wove paper ) Yellow-brown on wove paper is scarce
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair( requires confirmation )
[ . ] 1c Yellow-brown on vertically laid paper
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )

[ . ] 2c Deep Carmine-Rose to Rose ( wove paper )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair ( requires confirmation )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair ) ( requires confirmation )
[ . ] 2c Pale Rose on vertically laid paper
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )

[ . ] 5c Grey-blue ( wove paper ) **
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair ( requires confirmation )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )
[ . ] 5c Pale Blue on vertically laid paper
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )

[ . ] 5c Deep Purple - Error of Colour ( on wove paper )
[ . ] 5c Claret - Error of Colour ( on wove paper )

[ . ] 6c Deep Purple to Purple ( wove paper )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair ( requires confirmation )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between horizontally ( vertical pair )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )
[ . ] 6c Pale Purple on horizontally laid paper
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )

[ . ] 6c Orange-red ( per Stanley Gibbons ), dull rose ( per Scott ) - Error of Colour ( see footnote )

[ . ] 10c Deep Blue to Blue ( wove paper ) Blue is scarcer
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair ( scarce )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - double print of whole stamp
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )
[ . ] 10c Deep Blue on horizontally laid paper
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf pair
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between vertically ( horizontal pair )
. . . [ . ] - ditto - imperf between horizontally ( vertical pair )

[ . ] 20c Orange-brown ( wove )

[ . ] 50c Orange-red ( wove )

[ . ] 1 Peso Blue-green ( wove )

** Unusued examples of the 5c on wove paper are something of a mystery. Most of the examples that I see are without gum and in a grey-blue shade, i.e. blue with a hint of grey. However, the very few copies I have seen with gum are bluish-grey i.e. grey with a hint of blue, a distinctly different shade.

Note: The 6c error of colour in the dull rose is a rare stamp. I have yet to meet anyone who has seen this in the orange-red, as listed by SG. However, the 5c error of colour is plentiful, although the paler ' claret ' shade is much scarcer than the deep purple.

The Forgeries:I have followed the designation of the forgeries (Types I to IV) adopted by Brian Moorhouse. The scans are arranged so that you should be able to compare the top or bottom of all four stamps at the same time. The four stamps scanned immediately below, and not quite in the right proportions so as to enhance the important fetaures, are:

Top left: Genuine stamp ...... Top right: Type I forgery ...... Bottom left: Type II forgery ...... Bottom right: Type III forgery
Honduras 1898 - Scan 1
Honduras 1898 - Scan 2
Top left: Genuine stamp ...... Top right: Type I forgery ...... Bottom left: Type II forgery ...... Bottom right: Type III forgery

Some features of each type:
Genuine stamp: The left shoulder of the mountain on the right of the stamp flattens out immediately before touching the side of the loco, making a near 90 degree angle with the loco at the point of contact. The word LIT. in the imprint is regular. The stamps are Perf 11.

Type I Forgery:: By far the most convincing of the forgeries. However, the outline of the mountain on the right is not so well-defined and it meets the top of the locomotive boiler at an angle. The best distinguishing feature is in the imprint, where the word LIT is at a distinct upwards angle, accentuated visually by the shortness of the ' I ' in 'LIT'. These stamps gauge identically to the genuine stamps at Perf 11.

Type II Forgery: These are not encountered very often and are considerably scarcer than the genuine stamps. The outline of the mountain is very heavy, the date (1898) is correct. They are Perf 11 instead of 11.

Type III Forgery: They have the wrong date - 1896 instead of 1898. Mmmm, clearly not one of this forger's better days!

The Type IV Forgery is shown on the left of the scan below. It is a very poor copy. The most noticeable feature is the very large 1898, much easier to read than on the genuine stamps and the other forgeries. There is a very thick line from the right-hand mountain to the locomotive and the paper is too white and is always ungummed.

Which Values were forged? All of the original values on all four types of forgery, but not the errors of colour, except for the 5c Purple which exists in the Type IV forgery only, to my knowledge. However, there are numerous shades and hues in these issues but I have not attempted to list them.

Honduras 1898 - Scan 3

A validation handstamp 'PERMITASE' was applied to several Honduras issues in the town of Amapala from October 1898 onwards (see example, above, right-hand stamp). They come in a range of colours on all the original issues, but I have not seen any examples on the errors of colour, nor on stamps printed on laid paper. The latter may well exist; has anyone seen them? The majority of PERMITASE-handstamped stamps are used, except for the 1 peso values which are usually mint, in my experience. The handstamp was wider than the stamps and usually covers two stamps. It was typically applied horizontally or at angle of up to 45-degrees from bottom left to top right. It comes in a variety of colours.

These stamps are not encountered very frequently and are often unrecognized as handstamps by both dealers and collectors, having an apperance not too unlike a postmark. Examples of the handstamp on the 1c chocolate-brown are very scarce. I have listed below the range of colours of the handstamp that I have seen for each value:

1c - [ . ] Magenta
2c - [ . ] Black, [ . ] magenta, [ . ] violet
5c - [ . ] Black, [ . ] magenta, [ . ] violet
6c - [ . ] Black, [ . ] magenta, [ . ] violet
10c - [ . ] Black (inverted), [ . ] black (upright), [ . ] magenta
20c - [ . ] Black, [ . ] violet
50c - [ . ] Black, [ . ] violet
1 peso - [ . ] Magenta, [ . ] violet

I have also seen a small piece of a 2c postal stationery card with a violet handstamp, inverted, from bottom right to top left.

Official Stamps:
Finally, for this issue, the stamps overprinted OFICIAL in double-lined captials. The five genuine issued values are:
[ . ] 5c Blue
[ . ] 10c Deep Blue

. . . [ . ] - ditto - Overprint Inverted
[ . ] 20c Orange-brown
[ . ] 50c Orange-red
[ . ] 1 peso Blue-green

In addition, I have seen only the following forgeries:
Type I forgery: Only the 5c (although I imagine all five values will probably exist)
Type IV forgery: All five values

Please let me know if you can add to the article - or indeed correct any errors, that I may have made.

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