The Remarkable John E. Lea Forgeries of British Togo.
Set of seven stamps including 5pf, 10pf (2), 20pf (2), 50pf and 2m, each with red "Forged." handstamps and affixed to page, genuine German Yacht stamps with forged Anglo-French overprints closely resembling the Third Setting of the Sansane Mangu find, accompanied by two original documents, first a letter dated Aug. 31, 1915 indicating the receipt of the stamps and "for transmission to the Postmaster General, Gold Coast",
from Mr. Lea of Manchester and signed by Stead Pope the District Surveyor for Posts & Telegraphs (later to become the Postmaster General of the Gold Coast), second a typed letter from Accra dated Sept. 16, 1918 from the Postmaster General's Office in Gold Coast to Mr. Lea stating "...to inform you that the Stamps have now been obtained from the Court files and are enclosed herewith"
A REMARKABLE GROUP OF FORGERIES, WITH ORIGINAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, THAT WERE USED IN TRIAL AND LIKELY LEAD TO THE CONVICTION OF THE FORGER. A UNIQUE AND KEY PIECE FOR AN AWARD-WINNING EXHIBIT OF TOGO.
Mr. Lea who was a prominent stamp dealer in Manchester, was to discover these were actually forgeries and provided these to the authorities in the Gold Coast as examples of the forger's work. Unfortunately, court records from the Gold Coast are no longer available and no report of the trial has been found. We presume the forger was caught and convicted as these were obtained back by Mr. Lea from "the court files" in 1918.
The forgeries suggest the work was done by someone with close links to the Catholic Mission and Lome Post Office. Three (one 20pf, 50pf and 2m) have closely overlapping Lome datestamps. The underlying datestamps were dated prior to this Setting and the 2m clearly shows "14" for the year.
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