Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

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Arsdorf
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Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Arsdorf »

Please help identify the Numeral 12 cancel on this Guatemala postal reply-half 3c Quetzal postal card. It is the reply half of the double card, but it was not uncommon for the reply-half to be used by the sender.
Guatemala-Postal-Cards-1893 Todendorf mystery a.jpg
Guatemala-Postal-Cards-1893 Todendorf b.jpg
Guatemala-Postal-Cards-1893 Todendorf c.jpg
I note the following:

Written at San Jose de Guatemala and dated 5 Jan 1893.

Correos Puerto de San Jose 23 Jan 1893 light violet cds.

Transit New York Foreign 9 Feb 1893

Todendorf [Germany] 22 [Feb] 1893 black ink

Numeral 12 black ink

This large numeral cancel is not mentioned in Gruson's The Postal Markings of Guatemala. I am trying to determine whether the numeral cancel was applied in Germany (at Todendorf or elsewhere) or is a fake cancel. I favor the latter explanation.

Thanks for the Board members' help. They never fail!
Last edited by BigSaint on 20 Jun 2024 08:23, edited 1 time in total.
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David Benson
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by David Benson »

Presumably it was applied when the US transit marking was applied in New York,

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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Arsdorf »

Thanks, David.

I think you've solved the mystery. In skimming web sales tonight of covers with New York cancels, I notice the distinctive vertical bars are seen on New York cancels of this era.

I'll sleep well tonight knowing that Stamp Boards has solved another mystery.
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Frank_King »

While it may well be true that this cancel was applied in New York, I have never been able to find any definite confirmation of this. I have done some research into foreign mail markings from New York, but not seen it there.

I have seen it on loose stamps from Curacao and Suriname and on the following cover from the book "CURACAO - An Identification Guide for Cancels" by Dick Phelps. The stamp is from Venezuela, the transit mark is from Curacao. The questions I have (which are the similar as for your postcard) are:

Why was it not cancelled in Venezuela or in Curacao?

Why have I only seen this cancel with the number 12?
Phelpsp33Bar12.jpg
I did ask Dick Phelps, but he did not know where the marking came from. (He has since passed away).
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by teus »

The numeral cancel is most likely a New York supplementary mail cancel. From Linn's stamp news on this subject:
"Mail taken to the pier was canceled with an oval with bars and a number for the pier. This cancellation came in five colors during the 1890s: black, red, purple, blue, and green. Not all mail received these cancellations."
The article is about outgoing mail, but the cancel could also be used for uncancelled incoming mail.

I have a similar cancel with number 3 on a stamp of Uruguay:
USA-Supplementary mail op Uruguay.jpg
So it looks like post from the Caribbean arrived at pier 12 while post from Uruguay arrived at pier 3.
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Frank_King »

Thank you for the additional information. I will be going to a philatelic library next week, and see if I can find a definite reference to this.

I have been wondering about this for about a decade. I wrote an article about 4 years ago which is just being published. In it is an example of this cancel and it would be great if I can update the article with the cancel's origin.

Jan
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Frank_King »

I managed to find exactly one article on these cancels - in the September 1953 issue of the American Philatelist.

The author calls them Incoming Foreign Mail Cancellations and that they were used in New York. He found seven hammers: Numbers 1-6 (apparently used in the period roughly 1870-1893?), and number 12 (apparently used roughly 1893-1914). He found them on the stamps of over 30 different countries. They appear to be fairly scarce as he only found about 200 examples in over 40 years of searching. He did not know if there was any significance to the numbers.

It took about 3 pages of text to say the above, so not much information.

Jan
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by teus »

Below picture is a part of a exhibit of foreign postmarks on Brazilian stamps (see
https://www.brazilphilatelic.org/foreign_cancels.pdf).
It shows a number 7 postmark and the use of number 12 in 1888. Both new info with respect to the American Philatelist article.
New York incoming mail numeral postmarks
New York incoming mail numeral postmarks
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Arsdorf »

Thanks Frank and Teus for the useful information. Here is the New York '3' on an 1881 Guatemalan 10-centavo Quetzal issue from my Guatemalan numeral cancels.
Guatemala-Numeral Cancel 12 NY.jpg
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by Frank_King »

Thank you Teus for the additional information.

I believe that the author of the article I referenced based his dates on his observations. As one can only date these marks accurately when they are on cover (which seem to be rare), his dates must be taken with a grain of salt.

For completeness, I give his images of the marks 1-6, and 12:
IMF cancels from Incoming Foreign Mail Cancellations, by Atherton  (1953)
IMF cancels from Incoming Foreign Mail Cancellations, by Atherton (1953)
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Re: Help Identify Numeral Cancel 12 on 1893 Guatemala Postal Card

Post by billw2 »

I don’t collect foreign but I do collect US covers of this era. You’ll see this on covers that transited the NY foreign mail office; they’d cancel the stamp on any piece of mail that went through there where the stamp wasn’t originally cancelled. It’s not just foreign originating mail, I’ve seen these cancels on domestic stuff too.
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