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Newfoundland "Essay"

by Bonnie & Roger Riga

newf.jpg (13407 bytes)Cinderella philately does seem to love their rogues. A. C. Roessler - as such a rogue - has a lot to answer for to the philatelic world. He put items on the market with doubtful and deceptive provenance. Issues of many sorts and "from" many places came from the fertile and slightly dishonest mind of Mr. Roessler of East Orange, New Jersey. Perhaps that is why collectors today - nearly fifty years after his death - are eager buyers of his products, such as the bogus Newfoundland "essay."

In 1922, Newfoundland commissioned an engraved airmail stamp essay, printed by the company of De La Rue in shades of red-brown (imperforate) or in sepia with black or sepia with blue (perforated 14 x 131/2). In 1931. Roessler offered an embossed lithographed stamp for sale in ads worded to promote the impression that it was the De La Rue essay. It has a red-brown center surrounded by a dark green frame. Apparently perforated 11, the stamp is in actual fact die-cut to produce a perforated edge. This is easily seen since the "perforations" have green edges.

Since the stamp is perforated in the embossing and cutting operation, there can be no multiples of this stamp. Offered in 1931 at 50 cents each, these stamps are now sought by collectors of Aviation topics as well as Canadian collectors and those who enjoy the darker side of bogus philately, and bring prices considerably higher than the one asked by Roessler. That would certainly make him very happy.

This column first appeared in Scott Stamp Monthly and has been edited for online presentation.
This page was last updated July 9, 2016.
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