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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Good round cancels

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Opa
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28 Mar 2020
05:14:13am

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Although I do not collect US stamps (at the time) I do like them. I have been thinking about starting a US collection of used stamps: I have noticed that most of them are cancelled with what I like to call bird cage bars. My question is how difficult is it to get a collection say from 1900 to 2000 with regular round cancels within a range of 2 years after issue?
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jmh67
28 Mar 2020
08:24:35am
re: Good round cancels

I'd say: very difficult.

Bear in mind that traditionally the date part of a US postmark is not supposed to go on the stamps. That has its roots in 19th century regulations, and is the reason why there are still duplex handstamps.

Even the Michel catalog from ever so postmark-conscious Germany only gives values for US and Canadian stamps with "killer" cancellations and simply states that items with a date cancel command a premium. That alone should tell us that these stamps with "round cancels" aren't too common.

-jmh

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Opa
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28 Mar 2020
09:01:28am

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re: Good round cancels

I have heard about this regulation that the true cancel must be beside the stamp. I wanted to start a US collection for a while but the cancels always put me off. I will have to think this over. Perhaps very light cancels will be Ok. I really like the National park and Airmail stamps.

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ikeyPikey
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28 Mar 2020
11:28:44am
re: Good round cancels

Some US collectors make a point of collecting SOTN: Socked On The Nose, eg, the CDS (Circular Date Stamp) landed on the stamp.

There is one really good reason to not restrict your US collection to SOTN: completionism.

To get around this, I would suggest a stock book instead of a pre-printed album, so the empty boxes do not grate on you, stare back at you, eat away at your soul, suck the life blood ...

Also, a stock book lets you easily collect multiples (SOTN definitives will outnumber SOTN commemoratives in the wild, so why not in your collection?) or to organize your SOTNs alphabetically by city, or alphabetically by state, or chronologically by date ... okay, that last bit was redundant.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
FrequentFlyer
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28 Mar 2020
12:31:48pm
re: Good round cancels

As a collector of cancels on stamps, I second IkeyPikey's suggestion. As mentioned by previous posters, assembling a complete collection of U.S. definitives and commems would be difficult. My suggestion would be to collect bullseye cancels on U.S. stamps as you find them, make your own pages, and mount them in an organizational scheme that you like. You can do the same for world-wide stamps, for which there is a larger supply. It can be a satisfying approach to stamp collecting, either as a primary collection or as a sideline.

A hurdle to overcome is to find a steady source for used stamps. Some dealers are a little disdainful of them and understandably so as there is less money in them. When I began collecting cancels I was collecting used U.S. stamps and found most of my collection in American Philatelic Society circuit sales books at very low prices. I rarely pay more than .50 for a collectible cancel, but then I don't buy cancels on stamps that command a premium for the stamp iself.

Here are some pages from my Cancels on Stamps albums to serve as examples of the different approaches one can take to collecting cancels:

FF


Being from Iowa I collect bullseyes from Iowa towns:

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Different types of cancels:

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Slogan cancels on stamps:

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Object cancels on stamps, a biplane in this instance:

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keesindy
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28 Mar 2020
01:14:52pm
re: Good round cancels

JMH wrote:

Quote:

"Bear in mind that traditionally the date part of a US postmark is not supposed to go on the stamps. That has its roots in 19th century regulations, and is the reason why there are still duplex handstamps."



This makes your goal more challenging. However, as FF shows in his pages, not impossible.

My impression is that most US collectors who have an interest in cancellations collect covers, but this approach quickly adds to the bulk of a collection and doesn't suit many collectors.

At the risk of offending many (most?) postal history collectors, you could watch for the inexpensive examples of envelopes with stamps and nice cancels and then carefully cut the stamp and cancel from the envelope. This reduces the bulk, but would probably require you to create custom pages for mounting. The varying sizes of your "cut squares" would make page layout more complicated — but possibly more interesting.

You have options. Good luck!

Tom
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lemaven
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28 Mar 2020
01:41:04pm
re: Good round cancels

May have missed it somewhere, but are those nice round cancels OPA likes called "CDS" (circular date stamp) cancels?

I looked through tons of my extra US stamps and found far fewer of them compared to the "squiggly lines".

I also found some other interesting cancels that seem to be more prominent in certain eras. Does anyone have information on what these are called, when/where they were used, etc? Do some people collect these specific types (I imagine there are lots of "specialty" collectors out there).

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Many thanks, Dave.

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Opa
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28 Mar 2020
03:25:29pm

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re: Good round cancels


If I can get stamps like the ones Don and Dave are showing I would be more than happy. I still have 23 years of Canada pages to create and when I´m finished with those I will start my new collection of US stamps. I think I will have a lot to learn about US stamps, this is new terrain for me. But what better place to learn about them then here on SOR.

Thank you very much for the advice and please keep it comingThumbs Up.





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FrequentFlyer
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28 Mar 2020
04:42:38pm
re: Good round cancels

Hi lemaven:

Most people call the cancels on #s 1 & 2 ovals. Sometimes, I refer to them as "racetrack" cancels. Number one has no posting information and is seen most frequently on registered mail. Number 2 is "semi-mute," that is it provides a location of posting, but no date or time. They were frequently used for parcel post or 3rd class mail cancellation. Number 3, I believe, but am not sure, contains the number of the hand canceling device within the post office that it was used. The number is in the "killer" part of a hand canceler. Number 4 is called a target cancel. It was used as a "killer" to prevent a stamp from being reused. One sees target cancels frequently on 19th and early 20th century posting, although, they were use well into the mid-20th century. I have a page or two of these cancels with the exception of #3. I have never collected the numerical cancels.

FF

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Linus
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28 Mar 2020
05:01:16pm
re: Good round cancels

Number 3 came from a duplex canceller device that resembles a carpenter's hammer. See a similar, but different, one below. I handled one of these at a stamp store in Branson, Missouri, USA, asking price $250.

Linus

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(Images from eBay)



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lemaven
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28 Mar 2020
09:15:40pm
re: Good round cancels

Thanks for the info, very useful!

Dave.

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