Tuesday, July 9, 2024

What are Printed Precancels on 1898 Documentary Revenue Stamps? A Primer Part Four


Some collectors, in particular the black hole of revenue collectors, Morton Dean Joyce, were interested in collecting what might be called "sub-varieties" of printed cancels.  (I refer to Joyce as a black hole as he seem to have acquired first rights to most revenue material over his collecting lifetime and had the money to buy it all and mostly did -- I'll write more about Joyce's collection of these printed cancels later).  I guess I'm a bit guilty of interest in these more in-the-weeds items, particularly when they are dramatic like the first two examples below.  I'm continuing to use the Chicago & Northwestern cancels as examples.

C&NWRy 1901with the cancel torqued to the left roughly 45 degrees:
C. & N-W. Ry.


The cancels above and below result from errors at the time of printing.  The sheets of stamps were fed into the press incorrectly, resulting in a visually dramatic errors.  Unlike the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the cancel printers couldn't throw out the error sheets without paying for the stamps, so my guess is that these sheets were sent from the printers to railroad with everyone in full knowledge of the error for use on bills of lading.  Both of these stamps were in Joyce's collection.

C&NWRy no period 1900, cancel split horizontally:
C. & N-W. Ry.


C&NWRy 1900 with the 14th dash missing:
C. & N-W. Ry.

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Above and below are two more items from Joyce's collection.  The cancel errors or varieties, however, are different in their origin from the first two stamps above.  These cancels have issues with their type, that may have come from an error in typesetting, or more likely, transient damage to the press.  Persistent plate errors or varieties can be interesting and fairly collectible.

However, inking issues or flaws may also occasionally affect the appearance of a cancel.  The stamp below displays an inking variety with the period after "Ry", which appears not as a square but as vertical dash.  The stamp immediately above shows the period after "Ry" to be a box that is only filled in on the right side.  These errors are highly variable, subject to individual interpretation, and should be considered of little philatelic signficance in my opinion.

C&NWRy no period1899, last dash a period:
C. & N.-W. Ry.


Over the course of the next few weeks this site will examine many more examples of the different types of varieties and errors shown here.

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