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1800s York PA Postal History Covers

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Posted 04/10/2019   10:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most postal history collectors would not consider the cancel on the postal card to be a "fancy" cancel.

Also, the writing at the left end is typical of "docketing" applied by the recipient of the card, rather than the sender.
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Posted 04/11/2019   12:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add quigngt to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, that is normally where docketing is found but in this case it is not docketing. It is the senders signature which is identical on the message side. I have previously seen A B Farquhar's signature and can assure you that the "docket area" signature is the sender's. I am from York, know a fair amount about him, and even used and still own an old Farquhar sawmill (c1945), so trust me on this one.

The cancel is not at all fancy. And I agree with you so maybe I should probably stop using the term for cancels like this one. But for the record, Cole's book: Cancellations of the Banknote Era 1870-1894 shows numerous simple multiple bar cancels in horizontal, vertical, elliptical and diagonal formats. This card has the elliptical shape with 4 vertical bars and is similar to what is found Cole's book and are often, right or wrong, called fancy cancels. Stampsmarter has a data base of fancy cancels, some with simple bar cancels. Even among pre 1870s cancels there are simple multiple bars defined as fancy cancels. Most of those appear to be hand cut but not all.
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Posted 04/11/2019   12:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add quigngt to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John, I should add that learning is a never ending experience. So if you or anyone else can point me to information on just what is a true fancy cancel, I'd like to have that knowledge.
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Posted 04/12/2019   02:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So far as I know there are as many definitions of the term "Fancy Cancel" as there are philatelists. That said, I think that even among all of that difference of opinion there is a common thread running through it that a fancy cancel is a cancel where a postmaster has used their artistic and carving abilities (sometimes formal but usually naieve)to create an unusual and distinctive design. This results in fancy cancels being things like animals, people, elaborate things, and the like rather than simple killer bars, smudges, and the like.

Another definition that I have seen too often is that sellers describe everything from the 1800s to early 1900s that is other than a plain circular date stamp as being a fancy cancel; while collectors generally believe that something needs to be artistic, unique, and eye catching to be a fancy cancel. In my own case, I am not a collector or seller of these so my outsider opinion goes along with the artistic and unique definition meaning that I would not call some killer bars as seen on the card being discussed a fancy cancel.

In the end, it is up to the individual collector of fancy cancels to decide what they want to put into their collection and whether they want to pay any premium for whatever the cancel is.

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Posted 04/12/2019   08:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It would be interesting to see the message side of the card to compare all of the handwriting. The word "York" on the front appears to be written by two different hands.

I agree with Kimo, there needs to be some effort with fancy cancels. A few bars just isn't fancy no matter what one calls it and the marketplace supports the lack of any premium on these. And if one is writing a book and needs more examples to fill the space, then these types of things are included among the very generic geometrics.

Otherwise it is fancy if I am trying to sell it, just plain bars if I am trying to buy it.

I once sold a silver medal on eBay for my father. He noted it had "tarnish", I countered that it had "patina". He asked the difference. I replied that it has patina if I am selling it, tarnish if I am trying to buy it.
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Posted 04/12/2019   10:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
quigngt

I was going thru my collection and came across this stamped cover:






The notes on the reverse are from one of the previous owners. Personally, I would suspect the stamp was produced long before it was used on this envelope.

Was able to find this info online:

"Mr. Laucks was married May 2, 1900, to
Emma Jane Strack, daughter of Charles A.
Strack, one of the most prominent furniture
dealers and undertakers of York, whose sketch
will be found elsewhere. One child has
blessed this union, Charles Israel."

"History of York County, Pennsylvania. John Gibson, Historical Editor.
Chicago: F. A. Battey Publishing Co., 1886.
_______________________________________________

Part II, Biographical Sketches, York Borough, Pg 50

C. A. STRACK, furniture dealer and undertaker, is a native of York, Penn., born
March 4, 1843, son of Charles A. and Caroline (Funk) Strack. The father was a
native of Saxony, Germany, born in 1810, and the mother was born in 1806. In
1838 the ancestors of our subject emigrated from Germany to America and settled
in Baltimore, Md., and in 1839 removed to York, where subject's father died in
1855. At the age of twelve years our subject began learning the cabinet-maker's
trade under an elder brother, and in this capacity continued five years, after
which he became general manager of the furniture and undertaking business. Mr.
Strack's father was one of the early furniture dealers of York. In 1878 subject
purchased his mother's interest in the business, and since that time has been
doing business for himself. He was married, in 1865, to Mary M. Heckert, a
native of York. Six children were born to this union: Carrie S., Emma J.,
Charles P., Rebecca B., Samuel H. and Fannie M. Mr. Strack is a Democrat, and
has been a member of the borough school board and identified with the numerous
associations of York. He and his wife are members of the Trinity German
Reformed Church."
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Edited by gettinold - 04/12/2019 10:42 am
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Posted 04/12/2019   11:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On the postcard, the vertical 'docketing' I'll call it just for reference, has a date of 1/18 which is 1 day prior to the postmarked day of mailing. That implies it was not done by the recipient as normal.

I agree that York appears differently written.

On the Feb 12th ABN cover, this was a pretty interesting discussion around the Feb 4th date - http://goscf.com/t/62556
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Posted 04/12/2019   11:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
On the postcard, the vertical 'docketing' I'll call it just for reference, has a date of 1/18 which is 1 day prior to the postmarked day of mailing. That implies it was not done by the recipient as normal.


To differ: A substantial amount of docketing written by the recipient repeats the date of the writing of the letter (thus earlier) and is *not* the date of receipt. That is why I asked for a scan of the message side. To get an accurate analysis of a piece of postal history, ALL of the features need to be seen.
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Posted 04/12/2019   11:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's a fair point that one doesn't necessarily know what convention the recipient may be using to docket covers.

I've seen it done by simply numbering the letters in a correspondence.
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Posted 04/12/2019   12:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
txstamp

I didn't realize it was a hot button topic. Glad to see he got $400 for the pair at auction.
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Posted 04/12/2019   12:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I only mentioned it because you had speculated that the stamp was produced long before it was used on the envelope. You can see the rabbit hole that takes you down.
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Posted 04/12/2019   2:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add quigngt to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have to eat crow. "A" is very similar of both sides but the rest, not so much. Placing both signatures side by side makes differences jump out. Here is the reverse so that signatures can be compared. After reading comments that docketing was often the name and date of the sender rather than of the recipient is new to me. I grew up hearing that one of the best ways to learn something was to make a mistake. I just learned something. Thanks for pushing for more information.







As for the fancy cancel comments, I find them to be interesting and helpful since there is such a varied opinion of just what a fancy cancel should be. The seller/buyer terms sound just like car salesmen. BTW, my father was a car salesman most of his life.
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Edited by quigngt - 04/12/2019 3:13 pm
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Posted 04/12/2019   3:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
txstamps

Rabbit hole is right. I had no intention of fighting the fight the other guy fought. The cover has been filed and is likely to be forgotten soon.
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Posted 04/12/2019   3:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's some examples of "fancy" cancels.

More common items which might be considered "fancy" include things like a four ring target or bullseye cancel, such as this one:





Another not uncommon type are the cancels with bars, either in a square or circle, such as this one:





Some of the "fancy" cancels are geometric shapes, such as these:








The more exotic fancy cancels include things such as these:







I've seen sellers on eBay trying to call the negative numerals and letters fancy cancels, but I don't really look on those as being fancy cancels. Here's a couple of examples of these:





There were also some fancy cancels used for a short period in the early 1930's before the USPOD eliminated the practice. Here's an example of those:





Hope this gives you some idea of what a fancy cancel might be.
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Posted 04/12/2019   4:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
quigngt, Thanks for the extra scans. For A B Farquhar's signature, the added "d." under the signature is a very strong indicator that the signature was made by a secretary/clerk signing on behalf of the company.
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