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Forgeries of the Cruiser 25 de Agosto Issue of 1908

Counterfeits of Cruiser Montevideo Issue of 1908
Couterfeits of Uruguay's stamps depicting the cruiser Montevideo

The protected cruiser Montevideo was made in England by Armstrong Elswick and entered into service with the Italian Navy in 1887. It was purchased for the Uruguayan navy in 1908, initially under the name 25 de Agosto and later as the Montevideo. The significance of the first name is that it is the date of Uruguay's declaration of independence from Spain in 1825.

On August 23, 1908 Uruguay issued three stamps portraying the newly acquired vessel to celebrate national independence. The central design of the stamp was printed using a halftone screen for the first time in the production of postage stamps. When the image is magnified the small dots that form the image can be seen.

The innovative design and interesting subject matter made the popular stamp the target of forgers. The clear and uniform postmarks on the stamps above raise immediate suspicions. The rose, green and ochre frame colours of the forgeries contrast with the carmine, blue-green and orange colours of the originals. Other characteristics such as the dot beneath the "O" in "CENTIMOS" on the low value and the pointed tip of the mountain in the upper right quadrant of the shield top right (The peak is separate from the lower portion of the mountain on the authentic stamp.) suggest that these are forgeries.


Gogin, Ivan. "MONTEVIDEO protected cruiser (1887/1908)." Fighting Ships of the World. NAVYPEDIA. 2015.
     Web. 6 Feb. 2018.

"Italian cruiser Dogali." Wikipeida: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 Aug. 2017
     6 Feb. 2018. Web.

Serrane, Fernand. The Serrane Guide. State College, Penn.: American Philatelic Society, 1998. Print.

"Uruguay." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. 2015.

Tyler, Varro E. Focus on Forgeries. Sidney, Ohio: Amos Publishing, 1993.

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