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United States/Covers & Postmarks : ROYAL MAIL pen cancels

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phos45
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07 Sep 2020
12:41:33pm
I think the philatelic community needs to move beyond outrage and accept that this - however ugly - is the legitimate new reality of postal cancels in some countries. Maybe an extra price column is needed in catalogues for pen cancellations.

Any thoughts ?...

@StanleyGibbons


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sheepshanks
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07 Sep 2020
12:51:07pm
re: ROYAL MAIL pen cancels

It would certainly mean that I could fill a few more gaps but they just look ugly.
My bigger concern is that 5 out of the last 6 UK mailings have not been franked at all. My local post office, to their credit, have stopped using sharpies after I moaned that it made the stamps worthless. So I now have a number of self adhesive stamps still on paper but uncancelled. Again worthless.

Edit. It is like the days when stamps were signed across as a form of receipt, which we don't as a rule collect.

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Harvey
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07 Sep 2020
01:30:21pm
re: ROYAL MAIL pen cancels

I like the older signed cancellations, I think they add a personal touch to the stamp. I don't like the pen "squiggle" cancellations and try to stay away from them if possible.

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 300 categories
07 Sep 2020
02:40:55pm
re: ROYAL MAIL pen cancels

Quote:

"Any thoughts ?..."



Every modern stamp does not need to have value to a collector. If it were a real rarity (like the Irish or Audrey Hepburn ones that appear in our header pictures), a pen cancel would be gladly sought after at some reduced price.

However, for common run-of-the-mill used stamps, another, more attractive one is just around the corner. Some stamps may present a bit more of a challenge, but no different from finding that classic stamp, well centered and neatly cancelled that is just right for your collection.

The hunt for an attractive copy is part of the enjoyment of the hobby.

Roy
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jmh67
08 Sep 2020
01:48:07am
re: ROYAL MAIL pen cancels

What is common and run-of-the-mill, and what is attractive? It appears that fewer and fewer stamps are used anyway, and even some definitives are hardly ever seen on mail.

In the end, a pen cancel is not that different from the wavy part of a machine cancel - it just tells us that the stamp is used, but not when or where. Playing devil's advocate here and putting tongue firmly in cheek: in many cases, a pen stroke is the ultimate "light cancel" ... besides being the ultima ratio of the postal workers who are supposed to cancel any stamp that remained uncancelled.

Not sure whether we need a price column for pen cancels in the catalogs. Perhaps one for legible cancels, and one for anything else. Depending on the countries' rules and regulations for postmarking, differences may be significant.

Aside from the different rules, it ia also remarkable how little technological exchange there seems to be between the various postal operators. Hand roller cancels appear to be common in a number of countries and virtually unknown in others. Some countries use metal handstamps, others rubber ones. Almost every country seems to develop their own variety of inkjet postmarking devices with their own advantages and disadvantages. In some places there are postmarks for the cancellation of unmarked stamps (some with a date, some without), in others they rely on pens. All that needs to be factored in if one wanted a proper valuation of the various types of cancellations ...



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earwaves
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Well, at least I got to have a haircut in the Penny Lane barber shop.
02 Oct 2020
02:51:51pm
re: ROYAL MAIL pen cancels

Unlike Sheepshank's success, I got nowhere complaining to the auction house Kelleher to pressure its local P.O. to stop using damned Sharpies. They may be fine for fake hurricane paths, but not smeared across nice 20th-century commems on a package.

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