Thursday, July 11, 2024

Wells Fargo Pony Express 1861-64

This post was established by Henry Wells and William Fargo on July 1, 1852. 
In April 1861 they issued the $2 Red and $4 Green stamps as part of the Trans-Continental Pony Express.
On August 11, 1862 Wells Fargo established the Virginia City Pony Express to serve the mining towns of Nevada and they issued the "CENTS" values. The $1 Red, $2 Green, $4 Black and the shield designs were issued about July 1, 1861 when the rates were cut in half.


The Original Issues
Sc 143 L1 & L2

Sc 143L3 & L4

143L5 Pos 2

1862-54 Virginia Epress Originals
Sc 143L7

Sc143L8 & L9

The Reprints, Bogus, Facsimiles and Forgeries

The Facsimiles
These are modern facsimiles, printed in sheets of ten, in a multitude of colors.
The design of the stamp is very crude, with "WELLS, FARGO & CO." almost unreadable.
Eight of the ten positions have "Facsimile" printed on the back of the stamp.The original source is unknown.

Here is an original sheet

The Reprints
The reprints were made from a new stone in 1897.
Apparently, the company president requested copies to provide family members with the stamps and extras for trades.
It appears many more were produced and ended up with stamp dealers.
They are quite common and somewhat dangerous.
There are many differences with the original, the 3 main ones are:
-The horse's mouth is wide open
-There are no lines of breath from the horse's nostrils.
-The right fore foot is separated in all the reprints

The main feature of these are the denser shading lines and thicker bottom letters. The source is unknown but probably modern.

The Forgeries
First is the very commom forgery attributed to Taylor.
The only problem is that Taylor generally did not cancel his stamps and the color scheme does not match his usual forgeries.

Note the only Bogus non existent $3 value

The next 4 have a 3 pronged tail, a very odd shaped horse head and thin bottom letters.

The next one has traits of the above but letters are thicker.
The head is crudely drawn  
The corner elements are very different.

This next one is extremely crude in all repects

This next one the lines around the bottom are horizontal and not cross hatched.
The letters are thick and almost illegible

The next one the letters are all heavily shaded
The horse head is too small
The hat brim is too inclined

The next 2 are similar to the above but letters are less shaded

The next 2 are from the same forger. 
No cross hatching in background
Odd hat on rider
Very thin bottom letters

In the next one
The lettes are all too thin
Horse head badly reproduced

This is one of the better forgeries
The hat is too white
No cross-hatching in background

The following 2 are from the same forger
Bottom letters too thin Notr the odd looking "RG"
Hat, horse head & tail are wrong

The following has no shading around the top letters
Wrong horse head, hat and 3 prong tail
Bottom letters  too thin
Backgound ia a mis of lines

The next one is a  stamp album cut out

This next one is a crude forgery

The next one was produced for the Shadyside Fall Festival. Dated September 1936

The CENTS forgeries
These do not appear to be plentiful like the dollar ones

The first is noticeably quite rough
Note the vert high tail

This next one is classified as a replica?
The printing is better than the previous one bot still much heavier than the originals

This next one has very similar forgeries in the dollar ones
Rider with slanted hat and horse with spiked tail
I imaging the 10c also exists

The final one is from a 1935 hobby show and is quite good