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Oceania/Australia : WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

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Horamakhet
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04 Apr 2021
02:09:33am
Hi to all,

CTO is always a bone of contention with all.

The illustrated stamps are common enough in fact I have hundreds used and MNH.

These illustrated examples are different in that everyone of them still has the original gum, but each has a postmark, and I have lots of them as well.

Technically, therefore IMO they are CTO, but I am intrigued as why all the strange postmarks. The Ship Mail joined pair to me would be true CTO, but do the others qualify as well?


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StampCollector
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04 Apr 2021
10:49:15am

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re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Quote:

"For the governments of some countries, selling canceled, unused stamps at a discount directly to stamp dealers has provided additional income."



It's hard to determine when the first CTOs flooded the stamp collecting hobby, but these Australian stamps, if they are CTOs, are probably some of the earliest ones known.

The cancellations surely don't meet the classic CTO cancellation.
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Apr 2021
10:54:18am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

most of those appear to be machine cancels and not the kind one would expect to see as any kind of favor cancel nor bulk defacer.

in the US, sometimes large blocks were cancelled as a way of accounting for payment of dues or BREs or even make-up amounts for discounted rates (pre-sort etc). I don't know if Aussies did the same. Just a thought

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Horamakhet
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04 Apr 2021
09:41:28pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi to all,

It has me intrigued, but I have only heard of the circular postmark CTO stamps in Australia, and even today they are circular.

Maybe these were issued to Government Instrumentalities, but then they don't have the perforations of state or commonwealth.

Did private organizations buy pre-cancelled items in bulk and use them when needed, and perhaps staff and management saw it as a cheap way to obtain stamps illegally for personal use?

Items two, four, five, six seven and eight, remind me of the USA pre-cancels with their bars. To quote a spoonerism, "the thick plottens"

Regards

Horamakhet

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pigdoc
05 Apr 2021
02:17:57pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

I wonder if the stamps could have been applied over cellophane or packing tape. I have frequently seen the situation where gummed stamps applied over tape easily pop loose, leaving most of the gum intact on the stamp. I have even seen strips or blocks of gummed stamps just flopping in the wind when such a parcel is delivered. Hey, no need for soaking!

Is the gum truly 'as issued', or are there any hints that the gum was disturbed?

-Paul

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nigelc
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05 Apr 2021
05:09:52pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi Horamakhet,

This is intriguing.

Could at least some of these have been regummed given the Australian interest (and value) in CTO stamps?

I'd expect these stamps' perfs and margins to be more uniform in colour if they were normally used stamps (and the same if they were CTOs) but I'm no expert.

I've just spent a few minutes staring at my ordinary used duplicates of this stamp and I'm still not sure.

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sheepshanks
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05 Apr 2021
05:39:02pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Maybe this is how it was done.
https://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=20&id=4405
I have never used the actual Stamplift Fluid ( the above uses plain water) so am unsure if it would leave the gum intact or not.

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Horamakhet
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05 Apr 2021
07:35:08pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi pigdoc,


I know what you mean, as I have many decimal Australian stamps, when I have purchased items, that the supplier has sent that way in my collection.

But in the 1940's I have never heard of that happening.

So I don't think that is the answer, but good thought that deserves more research.

Regards

Horamakhet

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Horamakhet
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05 Apr 2021
07:39:26pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi nigelc,

The only time that stamps in that era would have been regummed is for fraud, and then the postmarks would have been totally removed.

The stamps were part of a collection that had belonged to a friends uncle, who acummulated the stamps along with his collection of MNH stamps, so I don't think that is the answer.

I still possibly think that maybe in that era, private companies would buy stamps in bulk and possibly have purchased them pre-stamped, but who knows what the solution is.

Regards

Horamakhet

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Horamakhet
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05 Apr 2021
07:47:55pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi to sheepshanks and all,

I don't think that lifting fluid is the answer, as these stamps are not valuable and are very common. I have more than a thousand of them, plus the ones with the gum.

ALso was lifting fluid around in the early 1940's, particularly in Australia, as these were the war years, and such an item would not be considered a necessary commodity for survival in the troubled years of WWII, I have seen envelopes that have been opened and reversed and re-used and have a couple, and that was common in the UK to save paper, but so far it is a puzzle that needs a solution.

I actually deliberately sacrificed one of the stamps with a real messy postmark and stuck it on paper to see if it truly had its gum, and sure enough it did.

Records over the years do get lost, misplaced, stolen and destroyed, somewhere hopefully there is an answer.

Regards to all

Horamakhet


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gerom
06 Apr 2021
05:43:09am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

You find a disscution about Australia CTO:
www.stampcommunity.org/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=76466

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Apr 2021
10:50:52am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Ronsonol and other lighter fluids leave gum intact, and they've been around for a long time

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Horamakhet
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06 Apr 2021
11:15:54pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi amsd,

True, but lighter fluid and ronsonol will not soak stamps of envelopes, as far as I know.

Regards

Horamakhet

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Horamakhet
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06 Apr 2021
11:19:43pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi Gerom,

I am familiar with that discussion, but it only deals with CTO that are circular.
As said, the Ship Mail one I would say is probably a CTO, but the barred ones I have never heard of, except in USA and Canadian stamps.

Regards

Horamakhet

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jmh67
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07 Apr 2021
01:32:32am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Pauls explanation appears the most logical one to me. Traditionally gummed stamps do not stick too well to smooth surfaces, and when you moisten the gum to stick a stamp on a piece of mail, most of it remains on the back of the stamp (or it would not stick). If anything, the gum on such stamps should appear smoother than on unused stamps.

Stamps cancelled in sheets for accounting purposes usually bear handstamps or roller cancels, or sometimes even penstrokes. It would be awkward to try to fit a sheet of stamps through a cancelling machine.

Martin

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Horamakhet
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07 Apr 2021
02:21:54am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi jmh67,

yes that idea sounds feasible, but in the USA and Canada, don't they put whole sheets of stamps through cancelling machines to do pre-cancels?

The cancels on items two, three, four five and six are very similar, which is why I am suggesting that perhaps in the 1940's companies were able to buy such pre-cancels in bulk.

Regards

Horamakhet

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d1stamper
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07 Apr 2021
01:21:35pm

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re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

What if the stamps had been steamed off an envelope? It would leave the back sticky.




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jmh67
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07 Apr 2021
03:21:53pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Horamakhet,

as far as I know, the precancelling machines in North America were essentially printing presses that processed whole sheets of stamps at once. A cancelling machine usually applies a postmark along the edge of a piece of mail, in order to cancel whole sheets you'd need to fold them which would be a bit awkward and slow.

The cancels on the Australian stamps above look like typical machine postmarks of that epoch. I don't know whether they had hand roller cancels with slogans in "Oz". That might be a possibility for a bulk cancellation. By the way, aren't the last two scans duplicates?

D1stamper,

yes, steamed-off stamps often have gum residues on the back, but unless one is very careful, these are very much disturbed and do not look like original gum any more.

Perhaps a scan of the backs of the stamps would help?

Martin

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Horamakhet
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07 Apr 2021
05:29:02pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi jmh67,

incredible as it may seem, the last two scans are entirely different stamps, that is what first led me the think, that possibly there were bulk cancellations for companies.

It one of those mysteries, unless you have access to original archives, it is hard to prove one way or another.

I have never steamed stamps of envelopes, so I can not say whether or not it would leave them sticky, but it sounds feasible, as I have seen people actually steam open envelopes to read other peoples mail, then reseal the letter, but it looks very obvious that the item has been tampered with when steamed.

Regards

Horamakhet

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sheepshanks
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07 Apr 2021
05:36:35pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

The last two scans show what happens when a stamp is placed at a point on the envelope where it picks up the same portion of a cancellation machine. They will appear different when placed at differing heights or places on an envelope.

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pigdoc
07 Apr 2021
05:44:12pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

You had better look again. Of the four scans posted, the bottom two scans each show the same two stamps. I'm looking at the perforations on the left side of the left stamp in both scans. Identical.

-Paul

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sheepshanks
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07 Apr 2021
07:14:08pm
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Paul you are quite correct, it is a repeated scan.Though I still think they are just ordinary machine cancellations.

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Horamakhet
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08 Apr 2021
02:14:54am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Hi Sheepshanks,

But would they be classed as CTO as they still have the gum on them, The ship mail I would say is a definite CTO although a bit heavy.

Regards

Horamakhet

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jmh67
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08 Apr 2021
04:44:32am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

Presence of gum on a used stamp does not necessarily mean it's a CTO, and its absence does not always mean postal usage.

As far as I remember, CTO stamps (and favour-cancelled ones) haven't been used to pay for postage at all, but bear a cancellation for collecting purposes, either on order from the postal authority or on demand from a customer. Whether they still have gum or not, does not matter (they were sometimes sold glued to sheets of paper, from which they needed to be soaked off). On the other hand, you can have a stamp that's been used for postage, but still has its gum. It could have been cancelled in bulk for accounting purposes or as part of a mass franking, or it could have stuck to some smooth surface and fallen off, but it's postally used nevertheless.

Remember, these are common stamps, there would be little need for CTOs (which at any rate would look nicer, I'd expect), and there is a lot that can have happened to them so that they retain their gum despite having been cancelled.

Martin

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
08 Apr 2021
09:27:41am
re: WHAT CONSTITUTES A CTO

it is essential to use Martin's most recent post as a starting point. Gum doesn't mean CTO and its absence doesn't mean postal use.

could be, but aint necessarily so

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