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General Philatelic/Identify This? : Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

 

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

19 Jul 2015
03:12:43am
Greetings All. I was sorting out some more of my collection tonight when I came across the following stamp. It has a strange cancel mark on it, almost like the cancel was burned in to the stamp. It has made the stamp hard to read underneath and so I am not really sure what it is I am looking at.

As usual, any help anybody can offer is greatly appreciated! On to the stamp:

Image Not Found

Thanks,

Paul.
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Guthrum
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19 Jul 2015
05:07:20am
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

It's a Belgian (see the 'B' top centre) Railway Parcels stamp from 1949, SG no.P1279. Gibbons further adds that the locomotive depicted is an "1875", which will mean much to railway enthusiasts, as will the significance of "T.29". Our experts will no doubt tell you all about the cancel, and once again apologies for not having a Scott number.

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bulldog
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19 Jul 2015
05:42:38am

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re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

The town cancel at the top is ANS, and yes it is a Belgian Railroad Parcel post stamp. The stamp Q312, 2 franc deep ultra.
Terry

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N/A
michael78651

19 Jul 2015
08:54:50am
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Belgian parcel post stamps often have heavy cancels like that. What is probably making it look like it was "burned" into the stamp is the acid in the cancellation ink that is reacting with the paper.

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Bobstamp
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19 Jul 2015
10:43:39am
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

I've always assumed that such stains surrounding elements of cancellations were the result of oils in the ink, not acids. Acids certainly do damage stamps My understanding is that the gum of the Hindenburg stamps on this German cover contained sulphuric acid which almost immediately began to oxidize the paper of the stamps and the paper to which they were attached:

Image Not Found

Certainly the damage to the Hindenburg stamps is of a different character than the stains coming from the Belgian cancellation.

Bob

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Bobstamp
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19 Jul 2015
01:27:36pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

@NL1947:

The Scott catalogue listing for Germany C57-8 refers the collector to this note in the listing for B68:

"Because the gum on No. B68 contains fulfuric acid and tends to damage the sheet, most collectors prefer to remove it. Catalogue unused values are for sheet and singles without gum."

It's rare to see C57-8 in mint condition or on cover without significant toning; the same stamps on cover have often damaged the envelope as well.

Bob

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nl1947

19 Jul 2015
02:20:47pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Interesting
I had not come upon this notation
I knew of 19th century Austrian stamps having certain chemicals in the gum that discolored the stamps.
Older stamps printed in reds have an oxidation issue.

The sulphuric acid may be left over from the manufacture of dextrin (a common component with gum arabic).
It is usually neutralized but may not have been in these few cases. The Germans were pretty good chemists so I doubt this was done on purpose.

Sulfuric acid loves to remove the moisture so eventually the stamp itself would break down if enough acid is present.

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Guthrum
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19 Jul 2015
05:38:35pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

To return to the stamp, here is the Wikipedia reference to Ans where it was so thoroughly cancelled:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ans

(I had thought it was an abbreviation for 'Anvers', or Antwerp as we call it in the UK.)

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michael78651

19 Jul 2015
06:27:27pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

"Older stamps printed in reds have an oxidation issue."



It is sulphurization, not oxidation. The ink pigments are not metal-based.


Bob, thanks. I was trying to think of oil in the ink as well, but this morning it wouldn't come to mind.
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nl1947

19 Jul 2015
08:38:29pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

""Older stamps printed in reds have an oxidation issue.""



""It is sulphurization, not oxidation. The ink pigments are not metal-based."



Modern inks are very complex and generally no longer metal based.

However, not so for 19th century inks. A recent analysis of Penny Reds disclosed the following:

"elements in the red rose ink contained Hg (mercury), S (sulfur), and Pb (lead).
The high concentration of Zn (zinc) is due to ZnO, a white pigment in the paper. Other elements such as Al (aluminum), Si(silicon), Ca (calcium), and K (potassium) are due to fillers in the stamp paper. Iron (Fe) is perhaps due to trace impurities in the water used to make the paper pulp"


The sulfur & iron would be most prone to oxidation as the others do not readily react with oxygen.


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michael78651

19 Jul 2015
08:49:46pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Sulfur does not oxidize, and there is not enough iron in the inks to oxide enough to cause a change in color. It is the sulfur in the ink that reacts to atmospheric elements like cigarette smoke and other airborne pollutants that cause the sulfurization.

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

20 Jul 2015
02:27:42pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Thanks for the information Guthrum and others, as well as the link to Ans. The "B" at the top of the stamp had escaped my notice. For some reason I thought it might have been a stylized number '8', partly hidden by the cancellation. Then Railroad Parcel Post never occurred to me either. I thought it was some type of railway or train commemorative.

I learn so much here! Thanks,

Paul.

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michael78651

20 Jul 2015
02:50:12pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Not a commemorative, but it definitely fits in a railroad topical. Belgium has many stamps just like that with all sorts of different locomotives. Makes a very nice display.

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

20 Jul 2015
05:44:16pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

I went online and had a look for the SG stamp number Guthrum had mentioned earlier on. Funny thing, is the one that came up on the Stanley Gibbons' website has a much cleaner cancellation than mine. See below:

Image Not Found

I see it was cancelled in Bruxelles (Brussels) though, so perhaps different ink was used in different locations?

Paul.

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michael78651

20 Jul 2015
07:06:51pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

The amount of ink on the canceller will have an affect on how heavy the cancel is.

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

21 Jul 2015
03:26:35pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Good to know Anglophile. Thanks,

Paul.

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pedroguy
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21 Jul 2015
04:00:36pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Various Belgium Cancels on Railway Parcel PostImage Not Foundst Stamps

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

21 Jul 2015
05:30:25pm
re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

I don't see any there cancelled in "Ans". Maybe mine is one in a million! Big Grin

Paul

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Cattywumpuss

The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
19 Jul 2015
03:12:43am

Greetings All. I was sorting out some more of my collection tonight when I came across the following stamp. It has a strange cancel mark on it, almost like the cancel was burned in to the stamp. It has made the stamp hard to read underneath and so I am not really sure what it is I am looking at.

As usual, any help anybody can offer is greatly appreciated! On to the stamp:

Image Not Found

Thanks,

Paul.

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"It was like this when I found it, I swear!"
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Guthrum

19 Jul 2015
05:07:20am

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

It's a Belgian (see the 'B' top centre) Railway Parcels stamp from 1949, SG no.P1279. Gibbons further adds that the locomotive depicted is an "1875", which will mean much to railway enthusiasts, as will the significance of "T.29". Our experts will no doubt tell you all about the cancel, and once again apologies for not having a Scott number.

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bulldog

19 Jul 2015
05:42:38am

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re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

The town cancel at the top is ANS, and yes it is a Belgian Railroad Parcel post stamp. The stamp Q312, 2 franc deep ultra.
Terry

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N/A
michael78651

19 Jul 2015
08:54:50am

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Belgian parcel post stamps often have heavy cancels like that. What is probably making it look like it was "burned" into the stamp is the acid in the cancellation ink that is reacting with the paper.

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Bobstamp

19 Jul 2015
10:43:39am

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

I've always assumed that such stains surrounding elements of cancellations were the result of oils in the ink, not acids. Acids certainly do damage stamps My understanding is that the gum of the Hindenburg stamps on this German cover contained sulphuric acid which almost immediately began to oxidize the paper of the stamps and the paper to which they were attached:

Image Not Found

Certainly the damage to the Hindenburg stamps is of a different character than the stains coming from the Belgian cancellation.

Bob

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Bobstamp

19 Jul 2015
01:27:36pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

@NL1947:

The Scott catalogue listing for Germany C57-8 refers the collector to this note in the listing for B68:

"Because the gum on No. B68 contains fulfuric acid and tends to damage the sheet, most collectors prefer to remove it. Catalogue unused values are for sheet and singles without gum."

It's rare to see C57-8 in mint condition or on cover without significant toning; the same stamps on cover have often damaged the envelope as well.

Bob

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nl1947

19 Jul 2015
02:20:47pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Interesting
I had not come upon this notation
I knew of 19th century Austrian stamps having certain chemicals in the gum that discolored the stamps.
Older stamps printed in reds have an oxidation issue.

The sulphuric acid may be left over from the manufacture of dextrin (a common component with gum arabic).
It is usually neutralized but may not have been in these few cases. The Germans were pretty good chemists so I doubt this was done on purpose.

Sulfuric acid loves to remove the moisture so eventually the stamp itself would break down if enough acid is present.

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Guthrum

19 Jul 2015
05:38:35pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

To return to the stamp, here is the Wikipedia reference to Ans where it was so thoroughly cancelled:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ans

(I had thought it was an abbreviation for 'Anvers', or Antwerp as we call it in the UK.)

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michael78651

19 Jul 2015
06:27:27pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

"Older stamps printed in reds have an oxidation issue."



It is sulphurization, not oxidation. The ink pigments are not metal-based.


Bob, thanks. I was trying to think of oil in the ink as well, but this morning it wouldn't come to mind.
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nl1947

19 Jul 2015
08:38:29pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

""Older stamps printed in reds have an oxidation issue.""



""It is sulphurization, not oxidation. The ink pigments are not metal-based."



Modern inks are very complex and generally no longer metal based.

However, not so for 19th century inks. A recent analysis of Penny Reds disclosed the following:

"elements in the red rose ink contained Hg (mercury), S (sulfur), and Pb (lead).
The high concentration of Zn (zinc) is due to ZnO, a white pigment in the paper. Other elements such as Al (aluminum), Si(silicon), Ca (calcium), and K (potassium) are due to fillers in the stamp paper. Iron (Fe) is perhaps due to trace impurities in the water used to make the paper pulp"


The sulfur & iron would be most prone to oxidation as the others do not readily react with oxygen.


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michael78651

19 Jul 2015
08:49:46pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Sulfur does not oxidize, and there is not enough iron in the inks to oxide enough to cause a change in color. It is the sulfur in the ink that reacts to atmospheric elements like cigarette smoke and other airborne pollutants that cause the sulfurization.

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Cattywumpuss

The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
20 Jul 2015
02:27:42pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Thanks for the information Guthrum and others, as well as the link to Ans. The "B" at the top of the stamp had escaped my notice. For some reason I thought it might have been a stylized number '8', partly hidden by the cancellation. Then Railroad Parcel Post never occurred to me either. I thought it was some type of railway or train commemorative.

I learn so much here! Thanks,

Paul.

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this post

"It was like this when I found it, I swear!"
michael78651

20 Jul 2015
02:50:12pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Not a commemorative, but it definitely fits in a railroad topical. Belgium has many stamps just like that with all sorts of different locomotives. Makes a very nice display.

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this post
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Cattywumpuss

The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
20 Jul 2015
05:44:16pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

I went online and had a look for the SG stamp number Guthrum had mentioned earlier on. Funny thing, is the one that came up on the Stanley Gibbons' website has a much cleaner cancellation than mine. See below:

Image Not Found

I see it was cancelled in Bruxelles (Brussels) though, so perhaps different ink was used in different locations?

Paul.

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"It was like this when I found it, I swear!"
michael78651

20 Jul 2015
07:06:51pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

The amount of ink on the canceller will have an affect on how heavy the cancel is.

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Cattywumpuss

The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
21 Jul 2015
03:26:35pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Good to know Anglophile. Thanks,

Paul.

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"It was like this when I found it, I swear!"
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pedroguy

21 Jul 2015
04:00:36pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

Various Belgium Cancels on Railway Parcel PostImage Not Foundst Stamps

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Cattywumpuss

The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
21 Jul 2015
05:30:25pm

re: Strange Cancel Mark On An Unknown Stamp

I don't see any there cancelled in "Ans". Maybe mine is one in a million! Big Grin

Paul

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"It was like this when I found it, I swear!"
        

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