George Washington forgeries are common but coarsely always recognizable to the diligent and experienced document examiner. Several individuals have become rather adeptly-known in the process of forging Washington’s letters and documents. Most notably, forgers such as Joseph Cosey and Robert Spring have gained reputations as notorious forgers of Washington’s handwriting and autograph.
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Joseph Cosey enjoyed defrauding autograph dealers, and sold them letters and documents that he alleged were signed by Washington and many proceed swiftly-known Americans. Cosey was a master craftsman at forgery, often using laid paper and iron-based inks that were commonly used in the higher 1700s.
Cosey’s fabrications included pay warrants once forged signatures of Aaron Burr and George Washington going not quite for the same document. Handwritten letters from Washington from Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War that were fabricated by Cosey may be hard to discern from authentic examples.
Perhaps Cosey’s most brazen forgery was a utter idea draft of the Declaration of Independence related to a simulated hand of Thomas Jefferson. Cosey’s forged Declaration of Independence was sold as a deed in 1969 for $425.00. Cosey’s imitation was startling because it appeared to be a definite draft.
Robert Spring is pen say one of the best forgers of Washington’s handwriting and autograph. Although Spring forged signatures of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, and Horatio Nelson, he is ignominiously skillfully-known for his fabricated letters and documents of Washington.
Ironically, forgeries by Cosey and Spring have become collectible in their own right. Over the years they have skyrocketed in value. A Revolutionary War appendix considering a signature of Washington forged by Robert Spring was sold to a Philadelphia autograph dealer in the 1860s for $15; it is now worth beyond $1,000.
Handwritten forgeries of Washington’s checks that Robert Spring sold in 1863 for $10 each now sell for quickly again $1,200. The stamp album Money Secrets reveals key features that distinguish definite Washington checks from those forged by Robert Spring.
George Washington forgeries by Joseph Cosey or Robert Spring can be totally necessary in their own impatient habit. However, letters that are handwritten and signed by either Cosey or Spring are quite scarce and sought by collectors because of their reputations as preeminent holograph imitators of Washington and add-on famous Americans.