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 Post subject: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:38 pm 
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A lot of controversy has been made regarding the early trial perforations conducted by Henry Archer, especially governmental trial perforations, the like of which was produced before the 28th of January 1854 with stamps on cover which are not thought to exist using die 1 alphabet ll printings.
Should you come across a cover bearing an earlier date than this, then one could be fooled by someone changing the stamp that was originally on the cover and replacing it with a bogus one to suit their needs.
Having said that, I have come across two covers with perforation 16 die 1 alphabet 2 one being posted in Burnley (Lancashire) and one posted in Bury (Lancashire) whereby the cancellation dates are the 1st of July 1853 and the 6th of December 1853 respectively.
IMG_20220410_140346.jpg


IMG_20220410_140644.jpg


I am not claiming that these are governmental trial perforations, due to the fact there is every possibility that the postal worker at the time may have inserted a wrong date slug into the cancelling stamp by mistake, however, finding one might have been a mistake, but to find two of a similar period is quite remarkable.
I forwarded various scans of the two covers to Howard Hughes on the 24⁸/21, and in turn he forwarded them to Ray Simpson to check out the perforations, he confirmed that they were unlikely to have been perforated by the Archer machine.
IMG_20220410_140104.jpg


IMG_20220410_140200.jpg


This was the comment made by Ray at the time >
"I suspect that these are genuine SG 17s that do not belong to these 1853 covers but have been substituted for the imperforate stamps that were there originally. The first step is to get the stamps plated. That should settle the question. If necessary, the postmarks and the tying will need closer examination."

Howard then forwarded the scans to Michael Williams for plating purposes.

These were Mike's findings >
"I've had a good look at these now. RE is not too difficult, as the large gap between RE and SE, along with the 'in-line rather than stepped' alignment of the two impressions, led me to Plate 185 - it is one of only a handful of C1 plates that are aligned straight like this. I attach a scan of the relevant area from the Imp sheet.
SC is a bit trickier, but I think this is also Plate 185, The attached scan includes this stamp too. Again, note the 'in-line' alignment and the mouth of the C pointing slightly upwards. The weakness profile of both sides of TC also fit. The orange shade tells me that Plate 185 is well in the frame, and, because of some large horizontal gaps, as on RE-SE, throughout the sheet it is more commonly found mis-perforated like this, with the check letters at the top, so that fits too.
So, I think both are Plate 185. The December date is almost certainly an error for 1854 and the July date an error for 1855, assuming that the date plugs are the only mistakes! The plate was put to press in July 1854, so the latter date cannot be 1854 if the July 1 is correct."

It would now appear that I have 2 covers with perforation 16 die1 alph2 with stamps attached that was printed in 1854 and cancelled in 1853.
They may not be Archer or Governmental trial perforations, but these two covers are quite unique, as they both appear to have incorrect date strikes which in turn makes them a rarity.
IMG_20220410_140731.jpg


IMG_20220410_140444.jpg


Can you trust a date strike in future ? WM


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:54 pm 
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Wilding Mad wrote:
Can you trust a date strike in future ? WM

WM, The answer is no, I always prefer a collaborating date to confirm.

However before assuming that the datestamps both have the wrong year, I suggest that you need to refute Ray’s suspicion "that these are genuine SG 17s that do not belong to these 1853 covers but have been substituted for the imperforate stamps that were there originally.”

From your scans, I can’t detect a substitution. However I don’t know if there was a hoard of Lancashire covers sent to Oldham’s Town Clerk that included 1854 and 1855 as well as 1853. But if that was the case, that would make it easier for a nefarious character, perhaps decades ago, to make the substitution that Ray has suggested.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 8:07 pm 
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Good evening Winston
At the time Howard was the go-between with Ray, Mike and myself and I did refute Rays suspicion in replying to Howard with the following >
"These 2 covers are certainly a mystery, I can assure you that both stamps were in situ when originally found and have not been replaced as suggested by Ray".
I also mentioned to Howard that Mike noticed an anomaly on the SC stamp with the month being the 1st of July and that plate 185 was not put to press until the 18th of July, therefore based on those 2 facts both the date of the month and the year of 1853 are both incorrect if the stamp is from PL185.
But if the 1st of July date is correct then it cannot be plate 185 and has been printed from a different plate !

I'm glad you concur Winston with the fact these stamps have not been replaced/substituted as Ray suggested, it is obvious to me that these stamps are tied to their original cover and have not been replaced.
IMG_20220410_210540.png


I hope that answers your query. WM


Last edited by Wilding Mad on Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 11:58 pm 
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I think both town datestamps are actually partial strikes of the last digit that happen to look rather like a "3"? I'm fairly sure the Burnley one is actually 1856, and I suspect the Bury one is actually 1858 -- in which case both would be just normal usages.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 2:25 am 
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I am inclined to agree with Admin, though it would be interesting to compare contemporaneous examples of the 6 and 8 with the back stamps under discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:20 am 
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The number 3 in the Burnley postmark/date stamp has a straight top ! How can you compare this to being a 6 ?
The second remark is also hypothetical of the number three in the Bury strike being an eight.
Sorry Maurice & petrod I think you are both mistaken. WM


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 11:29 am 
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It would be quite unusual for SG17s to be used in 1856 and 1858, so I don't think those are the years in the two datestamps as suggested by Admin & Petrod.

But WM's view that the "number 3 in the Burnley postmark/date stamp has a straight top !" is interesting. I see a curve, not a straight top, but if it were straight, I think it wouldn't be a 3. So has WM shot himself in the foot with that view?

I have had another look at how the stamps are tied from the new scans supplied by WM. An oddity is the 4 of the Bury 3HOS numeral is very broad when you look at how it extends onto the cover. Parmenter shows a normal width. R&J do show how a cancel can distort, but it does put a question mark in my mind as to whether the SG17 belongs. Call me a Doubting Thomas, but I favour Ray's suspicion that the SG 17s have been substituted for the imperforate stamps that were there originally.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:59 pm 
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Good afternoon doubting Thomas (Winston), when I said a straight line on the 3, I was comparing it with the other cover as that particular 3 appears to have a more circular appearance to its top.
Let it be clear, nobody is shooting anybody in the foot.
In your previous posting you stated " From your scans, I can’t detect a substitution." I wish you would make your mind up doubting Thomas .

All I can say is that these stamps have not been tampered with and are part of the original cover as seen in the attachments, leading me to believe that an incorrect date slug was used when these covers were endorsed.
In fact, the plot thickens as the back stamp strike on the dispatching office (Burnley) cover appears to have a different month than the receiving office (Oldham).
The month on the Burnley strike appears to be JY (July), whilst the faint Oldham strike of month looks like JA being (January), at least that's what it looks like to me, here are the 2 for comparison. >
IMG_20220415_213531.jpg


what is your opinion ? WM


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 1:05 am 
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Just noticed this thread again ...

Wilding Mad wrote:
The number 3 in the Burnley postmark/date stamp has a straight top ! How can you compare this to being a 6 ?

Burnley.png

As Winston says, looks curved to me? The ink seems to be fading out just as the curve starts, which is why it looks straighish if you don't blow it up -- on the picture above I've added red between the dots that are there to show where I think the ink should have been. The bit outlined in yellow that suggests the diagonal of a "3" is I think just stray ink -- unless these postmarks are really clearly struck they can be a bit of a Rorschach test in interpretation.

As for the 3 or 8 question on the Bury cover, again if you mentally fill in the gaps by continuing the curves it looks an awful lot like the other 8.

I take Winston's point that 1856/8 is late for one of these stamps. However, odd stamps did sometimes hang around in the hands of the public for a surprisingly long time without being used(*), and on balance this seems more likely than the "wrong date slugs" interpretation. Postmarks do sometimes occur with the previous year not having been changed, but usually that's early in the new year. It seems unlikely that an office would still be using one like that as late as July, let alone December, without anyone having noticed in the interim. (The best way to check on that would be to find some other Burnley and Bury covers from 1854. One for the Lancashire postal historians!)

(*) One possibility suggested by both stamps being from the same plate is that since these are pre-addressed covers, they might also have been pre-stamped -- i.e. this was a standard form for some purpose sent out reply paid by the Oldham town clerk. In that case, if they were all stamped at once to be used up over a period, (a) many would naturally be from the same sheet of stamps and (b) could still be being used up a few years later. (I've got some KGV STO/KGVI/QEII cards that seem to have been done like this.) Were there any other covers like them in the batch when you got them? If so, it might be worth trying to plate the stamps on those to see if they're also plate 185, or at least from a small group of plates.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:13 am 
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On looking at the Burnley cover with the date stamp being 1853, the 1, 8 and 5 appear to be evenly spaced as does the 3, but when you convert the 3 into a 6 the spacing is then irregular between the 5 and the 6, therefore I must disagree with your imaginary 6.
Burnley.png


With the Bury cover you are saying that the 3 of 1853 could be an 8 in disguise, to me the number that I see is a 3 and is definitely beyond dispute.
IMG_20220410_140444.jpg


I believe that I have 2 stamps printed in 1854 that were back-stamped on covers showing 1853, due to incorrect slugs being inserted by the clerks in the hand cancels at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 7:14 am 
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Once again, I must concur with admin - it is definitely 1866 on the Burnley item. To my eye there is even a very faint impression of the curve which Mike has accentuated, and the suggested narrower gap between 5 & 6 is only apparent by virtue of an ink smudge on the right of the curve of the lower limb of the 5.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 7:23 am 
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And my answer to the general question about trusting the Victorian dates is “probably yes - as much as you can trust them from any era or country”, always with the proviso that faint or smudgy impressions should be treated with care as we are doing here.


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:41 am 
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Reference your statement made petrod.
Quote:
Once again, I must concur with admin - it is definitely 1866 on the Burnley item. To my eye there is even a very faint impression of the curve which Mike has accentuated,


I am not joining the dots together petrod, as this has already been done by the post office in 1854, or was it 1853 ?

It certainly wasn't in 1866 as you have incorrectly stated, you certainly have an unusual imagination when ascertaining actual facts and images. WM


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:39 am 
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Apologies for my typo. Of course I meant 1856, not 1866


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:44 am 
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Wilding Mad wrote:
It certainly wasn't in 1866 as you have incorrectly stated, you certainly have an unusual imagination when ascertaining actual facts and images. WM
WM, clearly a typo by Petrod. If you read the remainder of his post you will see he meant 1856.
P.S. In typing my draft reply, I made a mistake and put 1956 for 1856! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:51 am 
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POINT TAKEN !!!!

No doubt the post office made similar errors when cancelling these covers at the time.

We all make mistakes, no one is infallible. WM


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 Post subject: Re: CAN YOU TRUST VICTORIAN POST OFFICE CANCELLATIONS ?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2022 1:05 pm 
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Another anomaly I mentioned earlier is to be found on the reverse of the Burnley cover in that the Oldham receiving postmark does not correlate to the Burnley dispatch mark.

The Burnley forwarding mark depicts "JY" for July, yet the receiving office (Oldham) has a faint marking of "JA", indicating January.

Here is an attachment of the Oldham image mark for comparison. >
IMG_20220704_130224.jpg


Was a wrong month also inserted into one of the cancels ?

Or did it take 6 months to travel just over 29 miles ??

Still in the land of make believe, perhaps someone might join a few dots together and turn the A into a Y.
:lol: :lol: :lol: WM.


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