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Are There Any Known Fancy Cancels Among These?

 
 
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Pillar Of The Community

Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 09/18/2019   04:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add stamperix to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,

I have some fancy cancel books which help me a lot with many cancels, but some I don't find them there, like in this topic. Do you recognize any known fancy cancels among these?

Some probably don't qualify as fancy cancels, but other perhaps yes, I see for example a dinosaur head, man with hat, face, cow, palm tree... :). But fantasy is not knowing.


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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1690 Posts
Posted 09/18/2019   3:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Fancy cancel" is in the eye of the beholder. Myself, I would only consider the face, the purple grid, the Flandreau one and the New York cancel as fancy. I recognize none of those, not unexpected, really. The rest are blobs, bad strikes or at best strikes from broken cancelling devices.

There are far too many unrecorded and unconfirmed US fancy cancels even now. "Known" doesn't carry much weight unless its town and some kind of date or range of use is known.

The Flandreau item (cover?) should be better as a South Dakota postal history piece more than a fancy cancel piece.
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 09/18/2019   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you very much. This is the opinion I hoped to get as a help, I also expected that all or almost all of them are not "known" in this sense, but from your experience I can get a better idea of them. There are several books as mentioned, and some have ratings - also for some blobs :). So I asked if anyone came across one of the shown cancels, as sometimes a blob is perhaps more than a blob. The face and the palm tree are indeed items I wanted to keep while some others may find another home one day. The third favourite would have been the man with the hat which has obviously no face but a nice Gamsbart :).

(the Flandreau cover has no interesting writing, address or marking in addition, only a NY receiving on the back, did not think of it as interesting from the postal history point)
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
663 Posts
Posted 09/18/2019   9:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stamperix

I found this one interesting for what it looks like. Doubt it is what it appears to be.



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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1690 Posts
Posted 09/19/2019   02:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Look up "pareidolia".

You have to consider, if this was carved by someone, how were they able to get the fine detail done? These were not done by artisans but by clerks or postmasters that were not necessarily artistic or good designers, and were likely just using a standard pocketknife. Use an easily carved soft/too soft wood and the cancel would last a few days at best.

So, what is this one?

image from Cole

Cole says this is a swan, used at Northampton, Mass. Okay... Turn it 45 degrees. The actual size is about that of a whole Banknote stamp. I've seen a couple of these in scans or real life, but the strikes were just bad enough that if I didn't know this one, I would have thought it to be a freeform ink blob otherwise. And none were oriented right side up, either.

Why don't I think pareidolia is at work here? Because this is another Northampton cancel used from a year or less away:

Now that looks like a swan. Size of cancel unknown, image also from Cole.

This also brings up a second problem of identifying fancy cancels. The outline pictures in reference books are generally tracings and seem to be composites often enough. In any case, they do not necessarily match ones I've seen in scans or real life. I'm guessing based on existing date gaps that there may be similar designs made by the same clerk or postmaster and some of the book illustrations are based on composites rather than similar but distinct designs. Also, wear over time can cause unexpected distortion. Put the eBay sellers that are often really bad at identifying fancy cancels by Cole or other references into the mix and everything gets even more muddled.

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Edited by hy-brasil - 09/19/2019 02:30 am
Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 09/19/2019   04:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, indeed the books don't show the real ones. The example above has some circles so should be found more easily if it was a fancy cancel.

As I mentioned a dinosaur: I don't remember seeing any dinosaur as fancy cancel. They were discovered shortly before that time, so was the topic not prominent at all in society to the time of fancy cancel and so there weren't any?
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