Wide ranging discussion thread on GB 1882 £5 Orange QV stamp

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Wide ranging discussion thread on GB 1882 £5 Orange QV stamp

Post by ozstamps »

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As chance has it, I have a UK auction house owner here with me today, who had a 16 frame exhibit of the 1882 GB £5 orange he showed me.

He has one of the best showings of these stamps on earth.

He believes near all the "used" £5 were NOT postal used.

Even the "Registered Threadneedle Street" one he has in his collection - shown below. Which he believes were used for TELEGRAM bulk lodgments there, despite the "Registered" cancel.
Image
He has never seen a £5 he is sure has done postal service of any kind. Or seen a parcel label or parcel piece even.

He advised me that about 15% them he has seen, have Edinburgh, Glasgow or Belfast neat cds .. which were used for collection of excise duty (nearly all whiskey) paid by the many distilleries in those places. As was the strip of 3 so used, shown above from his collection.

This stamp was intended primarily for Telegraph use - the "Telegraph" one below he owns has a cancel on it, that if on the "Postage" version would be regarded by many as postal used.
Image

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by ozstamps »

My visitor today confirms the 10/- and £1 Jersey/Guernsey high vals with rubber circular undated cancels were 100% non postal in nature.

My man here today had a Die Proof of the £5 EDWARD .. . which did not proceed as we know.

He says the QV £5 Orange stamp could still be bought until the 1920s .. and said Robson Lowe bought the final sheet!
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by ozstamps »

Just a final piece of info from my £5 Orange expert tutor today. 8)

This was apparently GB's first ever bi-colour high value stamp - the orange being printed in TWO passes (sometime the variance is more obvious than others he says) .. and essays in Black and Orange exist, which he says look stunning!

Also that the corner letters were of a different style to all others as can be seen from the strip 3 above.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by nigelc »

ozstamps wrote:Just a final piece of info from my £5 Orange expert tutor today. 8)

This was apparently GB's first ever bi-colour high value stamp - the orange being printed in TWO passes (sometime the variance is more obvious than others he says) .. and essays in Black and Orange exist, which he says look stunning!

Also that the corner letters were of a different style to all others as can be seen from the strip 3 above.
Image
Fascinating stuff Glen! 8)
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by lbs »

You can read all about the Five Pound stamp here:

http://www.philatelicsannex.org/reference/reference.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Go to the = B = section and read:

Comdr. M S L Burnett "The Five Pound Stamp of GB and its usage" - PDF File (711 Kb)
"Stamp Collecting", October 31, 1974, pp. 473-83.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by ozstamps »

lbs - great piece and he also concurs - re the non postal use of the "Guernsey" and "Jersey" mute cancels - AND that the £5 was ever used postally!
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

Nearly all used GB QV £5 orange are fiscal - payment for telegrams, excise duties, internal GPO accounting, etc. I've examined several hundreds of them and am yet to be convinced any of those seen are postal. A small number of genuinely postally used examples are said to exist. I am told of one on an addressed piece used with other stamps as part of a parcel wrapping.

It would be interesting to know what type of package you could send in (say) 1889 that would require £5. An 1885 'letter' weighing 15 pounds to Europe would get to £5 were it not for a weight limit on letters that precluded that.

To get to £5 of postage, maybe one has to think in terms of something like a heavy, insured package/parcel to Peru. A 'Post Office Guide' from around that period that might have the answer?

Imagine you go into the GPO in 1889 with a package; the clerk looks up his guide and says it will be £5.3s.6d. What weight are you sending to where and insured for how much?

In other words, can anyone specify a package that would have required £5 or more in postage? It doesn't matter whether any such package was ever sent, but was it theoretically possible to use a £5 for postage?

Thank you.
Last edited by county on 18 Jun 2010 05:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by norvic »

Hello John - a tip before the Stampboards police find you:

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5. Through your profile, turn on the option to receive emails from members, then I would have sent this direct instead of in the open.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

county wrote:In other words, can anyone specify a package that would have required £5 or more in postage? It doesn't matter whether any such package was ever sent, but was it theoretically possible to use a £5 for postage?
No weight limit for inland post, although there were size limits (2ft x 1ft x 1ft) -- so in theory a really heavy item (too heavy for the parcel post) could have been sent by letter post and required over £5 postage. It would presumably have to have been something made of metal or rock like a piece of small machinery or a plinth. Although I suspect that something like that would normally have gone by train or carrier.

Mind you, I agree that almost none of the used high values were actually paying postage in the normal sense -- duties or telegraph fees normally, although I have seen values up to £1 properly postally used. They were also used on internal Post Office documents for postage due accounting, so in a sense that's postal usage, but stamps used in that way would never have been near a letter.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by DK »

ozstamps wrote:
Image
He believes near all the "used" £5 were NOT postal used.

Even the "Registered Threadneedle Street" one he has in his collection - shown below. Which he believes were used for TELEGRAM bulk lodgments there, despite the "Registered" cancel.
Image
He has never seen a £5 he is sure has done postal service of any kind. Or seen a parcel label or parcel piece even.

He advised me that about 15% them he has seen, have Edinburgh, Glasgow or Belfast neat cds .. which were used for collection of excise duty (nearly all whiskey) paid by the many distilleries in those places. As was the strip of 3 so used, shown above from his collection.

This stamp was intended primarily for Telegraph use - the "Telegraph" one below he owns has a cancel on it, that if on the "Postage" version would be regarded by many as postal used.
Image
Can somebody then please explain this :

The stamp was inscribed TELEGRAPHS for Telegraph use BUT was altered to read POSTAGE later.
Surely with the change from TELEGRAPHS to POSTAGE meant that there was envisaged a POSTAL USE for this value.

I cannot believe that the Post Office would create a high value stamp inscribed POSTAGE if it wasn't intended to be used POSTALLY !!

If it were produced for POSTAGE & REVENUE surely they would have inscribed it as such!!

Just my 2 cents :wink:

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by aethelwulf »

mozzerb wrote:
county wrote:In other words, can anyone specify a package that would have required £5 or more in postage? It doesn't matter whether any such package was ever sent, but was it theoretically possible to use a £5 for postage?
No weight limit for inland post, although there were size limits (2ft x 1ft x 1ft) -- so in theory a really heavy item (too heavy for the parcel post) could have been sent by letter post and required over £5 postage. It would presumably have to have been something made of metal or rock like a piece of small machinery or a plinth. Although I suspect that something like that would normally have gone by train or carrier.
If you had a small, heavy object such as this, and it was worth the cost of shipping, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a train ticket and deliver in person? Send an office boy, he carries the item in his satchel, and the cost of the ticket + the boy's salary will still come in far less than 5 quid. A fiver was how many days salary for the average worker back then?

Unless there's documentary evidence in the archives, we might never know for sure what the inner workings of the PO were. For instance, people say "it has a CDS so it must have passed over the counter". But what if the accounting dept ordered a steel CDS hammer for themselves in the same style as the PO's had, thinking it would be cleaner or clearer than manuscript 'cancels'.

It seems that acceptance of these stamps as 'postally used' rests with the fact that when one sees a MS or oval-shaped cancel, you cry "fiscal", but if its a CDS, you assume "postal".

As Glen pointed out in another thread a day or two ago regarding early Tassie stamps, manuscript cancels are not always fiscal use, so therefore the inverse could be true and a CDS cancel may not necessarily be a guarantee of postal use.

As another analogy, have you ever noticed that almost all dollar-value Canadian Jubilees with CDS are from Winnipeg, whilst other major cities gave the stamps heavy roller cancels. Rollers for parcels was the norm for Canada, Oz etc, so why was Winnipeg, the main distribution point to the Canadian West, treating stamps so well?

I won't even venture down the road of considering per favour cancels...
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

aethelwulf wrote: It seems that acceptance of these stamps as 'postally used' rests with the fact that when one sees a MS or oval-shaped cancel, you cry "fiscal", but if its a CDS, you assume "postal".

As Glen pointed out in another thread a day or two ago regarding early Tassie stamps, manuscript cancels are not always fiscal use, so therefore the inverse could be true and a CDS cancel may not necessarily be a guarantee of postal use.
Well, I don't assume postal use, at least not for late-Victorian GB surface-printed stamps in the period when they were used on telegrams (from memory 1871-6 and 1881 onwards). I assume a telegraph use for mid-range values (3d-2s) and internal docket use for higher values, although in later years a parcel post usage is also possible. Stamps on ordinary letters would most commonly be cancelled with a barred cancel, squared circle or the like.

It's usually possible to tell the difference between general cds cancels used for both postal and telegraphic purposes, and distinctive internal types used for other things -- e.g. the Glasgow Accounts cds that appears on £5 oranges.

Most of these lovely cds examples appear to come from forms that were shipped out to pulping merchants as (in effect) security scrap, but due to lax procedures, subcontracting, and probably the knowledge that stamp dealers would pay for quantities of stamps clipped from these forms, a lot of them eventually came onto the philatelic market. (That was how the "Stock Exchange" forgeries came to light many years after the events.)
aethelwulf wrote: If you had a small, heavy object such as this, and it was worth the cost of shipping, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a train ticket and deliver in person? Send an office boy, he carries the item in his satchel, and the cost of the ticket + the boy's salary will still come in far less than 5 quid. A fiver was how many days salary for the average worker back then?
Several weeks wages, quite possibly. A bit of Googling gave an average weekly wage of 17s 6d for a farmworker in 1906, although farmworkers were probably at the low end of the scale overall. But the point was to answer county's question: was it even theoretically possible to have a £5 postage rate? Answer, yes.
DK wrote:The stamp was inscribed TELEGRAPHS for Telegraph use BUT was altered to read POSTAGE later.
Surely with the change from TELEGRAPHS to POSTAGE meant that there was envisaged a POSTAL USE for this value.

I cannot believe that the Post Office would create a high value stamp inscribed POSTAGE if it wasn't intended to be used POSTALLY !!

If it were produced for POSTAGE & REVENUE surely they would have inscribed it as such!!
I believe that this is a result of the decision to scrap the separate telegraph stamps in 1881 and just use normal postage stamps instead -- a lot more convenient for your average post office, after all. In fact, I think there was a more general governmental decision to unify the stamp issues and not have separate series for postage, revenue, telegraphs etc. As a result new stamps were usually inscribed "Postage & Revenue", but stamps marked "Postage" could be legally used for other purposes (and vice-versa for earlier stamps). I'm not sure why they didn't make the inscription on the £5 read "Postage & Revenue" -- I suspect aesthetics as much as anything -- but legally it wouldn't have mattered.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

DK wrote:
The stamp was inscribed TELEGRAPHS for Telegraph use BUT was altered to read POSTAGE later.
Surely with the change from TELEGRAPHS to POSTAGE meant that there was envisaged a POSTAL USE for this value.

I cannot believe that the Post Office would create a high value stamp inscribed POSTAGE if it wasn't intended to be used POSTALLY !!

If it were produced for POSTAGE & REVENUE surely they would have inscribed it as such!!
All Telegraph stamps were discontinued in 1881 and normal postage stamps were then used for telegrams. The change from the £5 Telegraph to the £5 Postage was to avoid an anomaly. To have continued with the £5 Telegraph would have left it as the only telegraph stamp available. The change to 'Postage' was just to bring it into line with all the other values.

I do not believe any postal use of the £5 was envisaged at that time. Even if there was the potential for its use on a heavy package, that would be sufficiently large to bear 5 or more £1 stamps. It follows there was no postal need - that is, there were no rational circumstances that made it necessary.

In contrast there was a need for the £5 Telegraph. In 1881 a telegram costing over £32 was paid for with 128 5s Telegraph stamps or more. I guess they wouldn't fit on the form! Six £5 stamps would have fitted had they been available at the time.

Essays exist which are inscribed POSTAGE REVENUE (note not POSTAGE & REVENUE) but the text is in a smaller size and they don't 'look right'. Inclusion of '&' would have made it worse. The issued stamp with just POSTAGE gives a better appearance.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

But the point was to answer County's question: was it even theoretically possible to have a £5 postage rate? Answer, yes.
You say YES, but if it is possible to find a valid postal use for the £5 orange, please can you give an example of what weight package to where. Better still, do you have a relevant postal rates table. Thank you.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by DK »

county wrote: All Telegraph stamps were discontinued in 1881 and normal postage stamps were then used for telegrams. The change from the £5 Telegraph to the £5 Postage was to avoid an anomaly. To have continued with the £5 Telegraph would have left it as the only telegraph stamp available. The change to 'Postage' was just to bring it into line with all the other values.

I do not believe any postal use of the £5 was envisaged at that time. Even if there was the potential for its use on a heavy package, that would be sufficiently large to bear 5 or more £1 stamps. It follows there was no postal need - that is, there were no rational circumstances that made it necessary.

In contrast there was a need for the £5 Telegraph. In 1881 a telegram costing over £32 was paid for with 128 5s Telegraph stamps or more. I guess they wouldn't fit on the form! Six £5 stamps would have fitted had they been available at the time.

Essays exist which are inscribed POSTAGE REVENUE (note not POSTAGE & REVENUE) but the text is in a smaller size and they don't 'look right'. Inclusion of '&' would have made it worse. The issued stamp with just POSTAGE gives a better appearance.
Thanks for the response John. Makes some sense I suppose :)

Makes me wonder why they even persisted with the £5 at all when there was no percieved use for it postally.

If it were for Telegraph use only could they have not used 5 x £1 ? Or were the Telegraph forms not large enough to accomodate that?

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

If it were for Telegraph use only could they have not used 5 x £1 ? Or were the Telegraph forms not large enough to accomodate that?
Indeed it was a matter of space on the form. A £5 stamp takes considerbly less space than 5 individual £1 stamps. The £5 was just twice the size of the £1 Postage available from 1878-1884 and much less than twice the area of the £1 Telegraph.

The £1 Telegraph has an area of 3x 5s Telegraphs so saves a mere 25% on the space of the same face value in 4x 5s stamps.

The forms were not big enough to take a large quantity of £1 stamps so a £5 value was needed. Use of the 32x £1 telegraphs would not have saved much space in the case of that telegram costing £32.2s.0d. (That one required 128x 5s and 2x 1s Telegraph stamps).

Even 6x £5 stamps would have been too large but such multiple use seems relatively infrequent. On the other hand use a single £5 for telegram payments was fairly common. That was the reason for the introduction of the £5 telegraph.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by norvic »

I have other examples of Wilding-era telegram forms with stamps on the reverse as well as the front. Could the Victorian's not have done the same?
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by DK »

norvic wrote:I have other examples of Wilding-era telegram forms with stamps on the reverse as well as the front. Could the Victorian's not have done the same?
... and does anybody have an image of a Victorian Telegraph Form to show us all. An image of one with a £5 attached would be fantastic for our education. One with other denominations on would be nice too :wink:

Cheers

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by DK »

A very interesting article here regarding the early telegraphic history ====> http://distantwriting.co.uk/howthecompaniesworked.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

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DK wrote:
... and does anybody have an image of a Victorian Telegraph Form to show us all. An image of one with a £5 attached would be fantastic for our education. One with other denominations on would be nice too :wink:

Cheers
Pertinax posted these elsewhere - as we can see, VERY limited space to affix stamps -
Image

Image

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

Ian, Billings wrote
I have other examples of Wilding-era telegram forms with stamps on the reverse as well as the front. Could the Victorian's not have done the same?
Ian, good point. If they could use the reverse and 6 x £5 would then fit. However 128 x 5s wouldn't, hence the need for the £5 Telegraph.

I do not have any examples of complete telegram forms from the Victorian period so the above assumes they are of similar size to your Wilding era ones. Neither do I know if use of the reverse was officially permitted at that time - it probably was since that would appear to be essential when several stamps were necessary.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

The Sheriff kindly posted images of the 6d and 1s Telegraph Stationery forms. Their resolution is not quite clear enough determine the cost of addtional words nor any restrictions nor what one should do if your telegram exceeded the 20 words allowed on the 1s form (or 30 on the 6d form). Continue on a separate sheet maybe?

Does anyone know? Thank you.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by DK »

county wrote:The Sheriff kindly posted images of the 6d and 1s Telegraph Stationery forms. Their resolution is not quite clear enough determine the cost of addtional words nor any restrictions nor what one should do if your telegram exceeded the 20 words allowed on the 1s form (or 30 on the 6d form). Continue on a separate sheet maybe?

Does anyone know? Thank you.
From the British Postal Museum and Archive Website ...
Image
The job of Telegraph Messenger Boys was introduced in the 1870s. These boys would deliver telegrams and carry blank forms like the one above for people to send their replies. It cost six pence to send 12 words and a halfpenny for every additional word.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by norvic »

Global Administrator wrote:
DK wrote:
... and does anybody have an image of a Victorian Telegraph Form to show us all. An image of one with a £5 attached would be fantastic for our education. One with other denominations on would be nice too :wink:

Cheers
Pertinax posted these elsewhere - as we can see, VERY limited space to affix stamps -
Image

Image
]/quote]
Used as intended these wouldn't need any additional stamps as they are prepaid.

From Collect British Postal Stationery:
ON 31 July 1869 the Post Office took control of most of the private telegraph companies in the UK. On 5 February 1870 1s stamped forms were issued prepaying a 20 word message. The minimum rate was reduced to 6d for 12 words in 1885. The inland rate increased to 9d in 1915 and to 1s in 1920 being reduced to 6d in 1935......8<.......

In 1872 stamped telegraph cards were issued so that anyone remote from a telegraph office could write their message on the prestamped card, post it in the nearest pillar box to travel through the postal system to an office with telegraphic facilities.
Sadly I don't have anything going back to Victorian times that will tell me what the rates were for inland and overseas telegrams at that time, other than as shown above.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

DK wrote:
norvic wrote:I have other examples of Wilding-era telegram forms with stamps on the reverse as well as the front. Could the Victorian's not have done the same?
... and does anybody have an image of a Victorian Telegraph Form to show us all. An image of one with a £5 attached would be fantastic for our education. One with other denominations on would be nice too :wink:
Complete "top copy" telegraph forms, either the prestamped postal stationery ones or with adhesives, are very rare. As mentioned above, they were basically supposed to be pulped (since customers would doubtless have been very annoyed at the idea that just anyone could see their messages), but stamps made their way to the trade -- I would guess that this was so that the pulpers could show that the job they were supposed to do was done while still making use of the non-message parts of the form with value (i.e. the stamps).

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Post by doug2222usa »

I noticed one of my recent auction catalogs featured early
G.B. on the front cover, and that image appears below.

This auctioneer apparently did not care much about G.B.,
however, as these 7 stamps, several Penny Blacks, various
other key items, and some specialized Channel Islands
material were all unceremoniously dumped into one big
steaming pile estimated at €5000; I don't know what
it sold for (Gert Muller, Ettlingen, 4-6 Feb 10).

The item description said nothing about the cancels, so I
did not include it. At least you have some new material to
look at, several similar to what we've discussed.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mrboggler »

Its an Interesting point Doug,and thats what I am now unsure about now,,

1st ....What VALUE Stamps WERE used on HEAVY parcels.
2nd... Why did the Post Office supply special cancels for the job,

So if they were BOTH used to do the Job they were designed for in the first place,and there must have been a TRUCK load of Heavy Parcels shipped over the years,why is it that every Stamp that comes on the market with a PARCEL cancel is immediatly classed as "FISCAL" how can we tell?
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

mrboggler wrote:So if they were BOTH used to do the Job they were designed for in the first place,and there must have been a TRUCK load of Heavy Parcels shipped over the years,why is it that every Stamp that comes on the market with a PARCEL cancel is immediatly classed as "FISCAL" how can we tell?
Very easily -- the cancels intended specifically for parcel post look completely different. Generally, they're undated (I suspect for the same reason cancels used on printed matter and newspapers were -- because they could be delayed while other mail was handled first if necessary), and most of them come in a few easily recognisable types. Doug's original cancel is indeed a bog standard parcel cancel of the period. The PO of those days had distinctive postmarks for several different types of mail.

However, the point about high values used specifically in the Channel Islands is that many parcels from there were sent under this 'duty pre-paid' scheme. It was paid by high value stamps attached to the parcel post forms along with stamps for the postage, and the whole lot were cancelled together using the same parcel cancels -- even though the high values weren't paying postage, they were paying excise duty. This usage was so frequent that the burden of proof is overwhelmingly the other way -- any high value with a Channel Islands parcel cancel or cds should be assumed to have used in this way unless it can be clearly shown that it wasn't.

After all, actual parcel postage rates weren't that high -- as a secondary discussion on this thread points out, there were few if any postal rates that would actually require a high value, and the stamps themselves were an expensive item to hold in stock. On actual cover, 2s 6d stamps are fairly rare (a few dozen examples maybe), 5s usages are decidedly rare (there's one batch of about half a dozen heavy registered covers to the USA, but apart from that perhaps not more than a dozen over all types), and anything 10s or above is in the '0-3 known' range.

By contrast, telegraph rates could be very high. The more general points being made about non-postal usage refer to cds cancels - the neat steel dated postmarks in general use at counters and in sorting offices. The stamps on telegraph forms and internal accounting documents were cancelled with the standard marks (including registration marks sometimes), and again, on grounds of frequency you should assume that any given high value was used in one of these ways unless it clearly wasn't. (And many lower values, especially if used with a cds in 1872 -- an excellent point by chavander, I hadn't specifically thought about it before but it's right, that is by far the most common date.)

Of the stamps that Doug illustrated from the Muller auction, the QV £1 brown with a boxed cancel is clearly an accounting usage because those marks were 'back office' types. The EVII £1 with Guernsey cds is probably an excise usage. With the others it's impossible to tell now they're soaked off the original paper, but the odds are good that they weren't postal usages in the accepted sense.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by chavander »

What is not generally known is that the GPO (now the Royal Mail) has NEVER had a monopoly on the carriage of parcels an act of parliament prevents this, they only have a monopoly on the carriage of letters through the mails. They are, then as now in competition with other parcel carriers. In Victorian times most if not all the railway companies had a parcel carrying business and also, i think some shipping companies as well as private parcel carrying companies picking up and delivering by horse and cart and canal boats were also used i believe.

In these modern times the Royal Mail still has a parcel carrying service but are in competition with the likes of UPS, DHL, FEDEX etc. etc. etc. but are still holding on to their letters monopoly though this is being nibbled at by some private firms,and the conservative, liberals and labour parties have all been making noises about "privatising the post office" over the past few years.

Getting back to the cancellations under discussion the £1 brown with the box cancel is telegraphically used the small cds cancellation denotes this,the complete telegraph form with canceled stamps attached was eventually sent to the accounts dept. of the GPO where the GPO box cancel was applied.

Although both the postal and telegraphic business`s were owned by the GPO both sides of the business had to be accounted separately so in plain terms it goes something like this:-postal side supply's telegraphic side with stamps for which they charge them a small profit ,telegraphic side uses stamps and makes a larger profit from customer, then returns form complete with stamp(s) back to GPO accounts,accounts then works out profit accrued from telegraphic use takes away the profit accrued from postal supply of stamps from telegraphic profit and put resulting figures into the appropriate column then apply box cancel denoting job done, then off to a paper mill for pulping,only we know that a large proportion "escaped" into the public sector.

Other information could also be gleaned from the telegraphic cancellation and forms such as what offices were doing most business, making most profit/loss, busy/slack periods (forms were addressed dated and timed) types of telegraph sent business/pleasure,sent home or abroad etc. good business sense and useful info for the GPO who were losing vast amounts of money... that's all for now...more to follow...chavander

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

For the £5 orange it is best to assume that ANY cancel is fiscal unless provably postal.

I have examined several hundred £5 oranges. Not a single one is postally used. Only one example comes close. This is on a large envelope along with many if not all the other values available at the time. That cover is very clearly philatelic.

Many £5 oranges have Glasgow or Edinburgh cds cancels. These were used for the payment of excise duty on Whisky by the distilleries and are relatively common with dates up to 1896.

The method of payment of excise duties changed after that date and I have yet to see ANY £5 orange from Glasgow or Edinburgh dated after 1897. If there were any true general postal use of the £5 orange, then they would exist with Glasgow/Edinburgh cancels dated 1898, 1899, 1900, etc. Although not seeing one is not proof they don't exist, it follows that they are either very rare or indeed may not exist at all. I challenge anyone to produce a verifiable copy with such a cancel.

Let me take it further. The £5 orange was available until around 1923. That is an established fact. If there was any postal use, there ought to be copies dated after 1904. Again, if they exist at all, they are extremely rare.

I would be delighted if anyone can produce evidence of any genuine commercial postal use of the £5 orange. If such pieces are as rare as I think they are, then anyone providing proof of such use is very likely to receive an acknowledgement in the book on the £5 orange I am writing and planning to publish.

Thank you.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by doug2222usa »

What is the usage for the £5 "Threadneedle - Registered"
on the auction catalog cover I posted yesterday?

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mrboggler »

I Now concider myself "Fully Enlightened"

Thank you to County, Chavander,and Mozzerb,

all of whom,have explained very clearly, my questions re usage of high value stamps with Parcel cancels.
it all makes perfect sense to me now,

Thank you Gentlemen for explaining it so clearly,

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

="doug2222usa" What is the usage for the £5 "Threadneedle - Registered"
on the auction catalog cover I posted yesterday?
Threadneedle St registered cancels are common. I have several examples. Although the cancel says 'registered', they are still Telegraphic use. Threadneedle St was a major office for telegrams.

Imagine you are a clerk at Threadneedle Street Post Office: you have one of these handstamps for registered mail - you simply use the SAME handstamp to deal with Telegrams. The main difference is registered mail seldom exceeded a few shillings whereas telegrams quite frequently involved use of £5 or more - especially as receipts for bulk telegrams.

To have had a separate handstamp for telegrams would be an unnecessary complication. If there had been a separate canceller for telegrams it would be open to accidental misuse and you would have the occasional 'letter' with a telegraph cancel. The only requirement was for the £5 orange to be cancelled. It did not matter with what.

There are far too many of these for all to be associated exclusively with registered mail. It follows that all (or nearly all) are telegraph use.

Of the many Threadneedle St examples I've seen, all have been off paper. If they had been postal use rather than Telegraphic, then some would still exist 'on piece' probably with other stamps. I have not seen any such examples.

The same argument applies to Lombard St and Gracechurch St registered ovals. It is safest to assume all are telegraph use.

Thank you.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by Global Administrator »

Very interesting discussion.

I might add that county popped in to visit me when in Sydney a few weeks back, and has a very large collection of GB £5 Orange stamps, and has studied them for years. My point is, he knows his stuff. :)

Like Mr Boggler I had no idea until that chat that a "Registered Threadneedle Street" was almost certainly fiscal - ditto the neat "Glasgow" and "Edinburgh" thimble cds that look so nice on these stamps! Such as this trio from his collection.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by chavander »

This was on ebay recently but the seller must have pulled it because it disapeared

Certainly looks postally used to me the oval upright barred 466 cancellation is for Liverpool,Lancashire, England and is a postal cancel and the circular OC 4 83 cds is a standard type postal receiving mark for Cavan,County Cavan, Ireland normally found on the reverse of mail

The distance between Liverpool and Cavan is 320 km (around 200 miles) and would entail a 217 km (135 miles) sea crossing from Liverpool to Dublin then a 104 km (65 miles) by land to Cavan giving the 320 km (200 miles) total journey.

It is unusual that the Cavan back-stamp is on the stamp, but would be perfectly understandable if this was a parcel in a wooden or metal box or wrapped up in sacking or cloth or something like that.

Why would you place the small receivers mark on the rear of the parcel even if you could?, much more sensible to place it on the addressed label which it must have had stuck on somewhere, if there was insufficient space without obscuring the address then place it on the stamp where it would be highly visible and where anybody could see it.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by admin »

As to the cancel, 99% certain a forged numeral over a "Specimen" overprint, from the time when they were worth 'nothing', relatively speaking.

Both crude "zinco" type fakes - should fool no-one with any experience of stamps .. except an ebay Bunny of course!

Let's have the ebay lot number please ... we might be able to save some clueless schmuck many hundred quid I'd guess.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

chavander wrote:Certainly looks postally used to me the oval upright barred 466 cancellation is for Liverpool,Lancashire, England and is a postal cancel and the circular OC 4 83 cds is a standard type postal receiving mark for Cavan,County Cavan, Ireland normally found on the reverse of mail
Yeah, but ... even assuming for the sake of argument that the Cavan cds is genuine, it's a type used for a variety of general purpose jobs at the counter and in the sorting office. There were several examples of probable telegraphic usages with cancels like that in your post on the GB used in Ireland thread, for example. So regardless I don't think it's reasonable to draw any conclusions based on the premise of it being used as a backstamp.

county might have more to say about it, but if both cancels were genuine (the numeral did look a bit odd and the fact that it was pulled is suspicious), it would probably imply an accounting use -- stamped once at Liverpool, then again at Cavan to show it had been checked (or vice-versa), like the £1 with the boxed cancel from the German auction.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by chavander »

If you Google up MADAME JOSEPH FORGERIES there is a wealth of info about these.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by county »

Image
An interesting item.

Let us for the moment assume it is a fake cancel over an erased specimen overprint........

Certainly the bar immediately above the '466' could be hiding an erased Specimen type 9. These specimens are handstamped rather than printed and it is quite normal for the specimen overprint to slope at the same angle as the bars in the numeral. This would allow the numeral to hide the specimen completely as far as the scan shows. It would be nice to have the actual item to check if this is the case. However without access to the item, the scan does not confirm it either way.

The general characteristics show that the item is a blued paper example, SG133, (rather than SG137 white paper). The 1883 cancel is consistent with this. That said, specimen type 9 on blued is the most common specimen type so the most likely candidate for addition of forged cancels. They were dirt cheap 20 or more years ago and are often found without gum. A used £5 on blued however has always been pricey hence the temptation to convert one to the other.

Let us continue to assume it is a forged cancel over a specimen:-

As the forger, having added the 466 cancel to an erased specimen, you now have a perfectly reasonable fine used £5 on blued - certainly good enough to fool most people. You have already created a very marketable entity compared to a relatively cheap no gum type 9 on blued specimen. If that is the case, why bother to add the additional Cavan cds when the Liverpool numeral would already suffice?

A Cavan receiver used in this way is somewhat unusual and is more likely to raise questions than a simple 466 numeral on its own. If that is the case, why forge the cds too? You might argue it was to date it in the blued period but surely Cavan is rather less likely than Dublin?

Is it genuine use?

Why might a Cavan receiver be on the stamp? If the parcel was a sack, it would probably have an address label tied on bearing the £5 (plus maybe other stamps) and the address. Indeed, as already suggested by chavander, there might have been no other place for the Cavan receiver to go - you can't cancel a sack! That all leads to it being plausibly genuine postal use.

I do not have a wealth of 466 cancels from that period to check against and even fewer (that is - zero) for Cavan. For the moment I decline to comment on whether they are 'ZINCO' or real cancels without further research.

Is it accounting use? I have not studied the relationship between Cavan and Liverpool. Is it reasonable to expect there to have been such a tie at that time that might involve a £5 orange? If there was such a relationship, should we not expect a lot more Irish cancels, in particular Dublin, than there appear to be? Maybe an Irish specialist might be able to provide some light on this?

It would be very interesting to have the postal rate tables for 1883. What type of package from Liverpool to Cavan would need a £5? Was it even possible?

If the ebay vendor withdrew it, maybe he has more information on it. I tend not to follow ebay so didn't see it, nor know the vendor ID. Does anyone know who it was?

Postal use of the £5 may exist, but is rare. Maybe this is an example, but without access to the item and further research, I cannot draw a firm conclusion.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by county »

mozzerb said
if both cancels were genuine (the numeral did look a bit odd and the fact that it was pulled is suspicious), it would probably imply an accounting use -- stamped once at Liverpool, then again at Cavan to show it had been checked (or vice-versa)
Image
I would conclude from the scan that the Liverpool 466 numeral was applied first and the Cavan cds afterwards. This would imply it went from Liverpool to Cavan. Whether on a package as postal use or for some accounting reason remains an open question.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

county wrote:I would conclude from the scan that the Liverpool 466 numeral was applied first and the Cavan cds afterwards. This would imply it went from Liverpool to Cavan. Whether on a package as postal use or for some accounting reason remains an open question.
Looks that way, although it's hard to tell just from an image.

I doubt that a parcel would actually get a receiving mark at all (wasn't the reasoning, at least in part, for undated parcel cancels that they could be delayed while other mail was sorted/delivered?) -- I can't remember seeing one, but then you very rarely see parcel wrappers at all! (Labels -- slightly more often.) A tie-on label for a letter post packet might get a receiver, especially if registered.

Incidentally, how many unvandalised Specimen £5's are there left? I presume they would always have been rarer in absolute terms than the used versions (however used).

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by admin »

The Cavan is an absurdly crude fake, and am surprised it has caused anyone to speculate for a nano-second it is not.

Yres had they left the fake "466" it may have fooled some folks, now and again. AFAIK that is a machine applied duplex and of course would never be used on a heavy parcel.

Little wonder that ebay thrives, offering this childish garbage as "used".

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

admin wrote:Yres had they left the fake "466" it may have fooled some folks, now and again. AFAIK that is a machine applied duplex and of course would never be used on a heavy parcel.
Single numerals of that type (genuine ones) were not machine applied. Even duplexes -- the ones with a cds part in addition -- were only nominally so, it was more a case of a mechanically assisted handstamp. The single numerals were used as general purpose fallback cancellers -- not so often used by this period, but a parcel would actually be a fairly typical usage.

Adding an unconnected cds mark to a fake would be an odd thing for a faker to do, but then as has been argued elsewhere, fakers have indeed been known to do some odd things -- you can't really get very far speculating on what they might or might not have been thinking.

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by norvic »

admin wrote: AFAIK that is a machine applied duplex and of course would never be used on a heavy parcel.

Little wonder that ebay thrives, offering this childish garbage as "used".

Glen
Where's the other half of the duplex then, Glen, the part with the date and placename? No wonder people are confused.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by county »

mozzerb wrote
Incidentally, how many unvandalised Specimen £5's are there left? I presume they would always have been rarer in absolute terms than the used versions (however used).
I have analysed a few hundred £5 oranges and of the images and actual stamps accumulated about 10% have specimen overprints. Approximately 10% of these have the specimen erased and a forged cancel applied. If that applies generally, then 1% of all the used £5 oranges out there have fake cancels.

Although specimens are much scarcer than used examples, they have a more limited demand so tend to cost a bit less than used £5 - depending on condition of course.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by admin »

norvic wrote:
Where's the other half of the duplex then, Glen, the part with the date and placename?

Give that man a ceegar!

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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by gavin-h »

county wrote:As the forger, having added the 466 cancel to an erased specimen, you now have a perfectly reasonable fine used £5 on blued - certainly good enough to fool most people. You have already created a very marketable entity compared to a relatively cheap no gum type 9 on blued specimen. If that is the case, why bother to add the additional Cavan cds when the Liverpool numeral would already suffice?
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi V

Post by admin »

Image
A GENUINE use of the 466 .. always quite sharp strikes in my experience. The Bars are always well formed and solid. The "4" on the fake is quite telling, and the side bars are very wrong - the genuine always being thinner.
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Post by norvic »

We mustn't forget of course that Liverpool would have had many different examples of the barred oval 466 canceller, and that as they wore out so they would be replaced. The same happened with the duplex, later.

Question: why would the forger produce something so unlike the one on Glen's cover?

Suggested answer: because he was copying an actual example from a letter or similar. There would be no other reason to have all those holes in the bars.
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Re: Questions about Guernsey "mute" cancel, on GB 1880s Hi Value

Post by mozzerb »

admin wrote:A GENUINE use of the 466 .. always quite sharp strikes in my experience. The Bars are always well formed and solid. The "4" on the fake is quite telling, and the side bars are very wrong - the genuine always being thinner.
I'm not convinced by the numeral on the £5 either, but that one was used about a decade and half prior to the purported date and wouldn't prove the point either way. An office the size of Liverpool would have more than one of the things over the years, probably several concurrently, and they're often of different sizes.

Also, non-sharp strikes of numeral or duplex postmarks are common enough -- not infrequently the strikes are awful! Blurring, or 'holes' and other incompletenesses -- due to inking flaws or irregular surfaces -- are pretty much par for the course too.

If anyone's got a copy of the appropriate volume of Parmenter's series on numeral postmarks, perhaps they could scan and post the page illustrating Liverpool 4VOS numerals?

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