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Strange Marking On #9 60l1l

 
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Posted 06/25/2021   07:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add widglo46 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Does anyone have an idea of what the grid-like marking in the upper right corner of this stamp may be? It doesn't look like any cancellation that I've seen. One dealer told me that maybe it is just a doodle someone made on the envelope 150 years ago. I suppose that is possible, but I would hope there is a better explanation than that. I'm sorry for the low quality image, but I don't have the stamp in hand.
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Posted 06/28/2021   07:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The marks look hand made to me. I guess we could speculated all day about it and it might have been part of a larger doodle. We don't know the position or orientation of the stamp on the envelope but it's an odd position on the stamp to be from the larger doodle and does not seem to run off the stamp. Although, the marks could have continued above what we see.

Interesting that it appears to have a second cancel but that might be an unintentional transfer too. Too bad you don't have the stamp in hand for a better look. What's the source of this scan?

My bet is a tally mark of some sort. Sorry I can't be more definitive.
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Posted 06/28/2021   2:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your input, jconey. I've decided to buy the stamp and I'll post some better scans when I get it. I'll also look at it under the microscope to examine the substance that produced the marking. Do you have any suggestions of what to look for?
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Posted 06/29/2021   07:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I guess I would recommend a couple high resolution scans or shots with the microscope and I'd use Photoshop to get the color registration number for the marks and compare it to the color of the hand cancel first. See if it's close or matches. These look like hand strokes and this scan doesn't look like it but see if there is a depression in the paper at each mark.

If you don't have Photoshop you may be able to eyeball it when you get it. There are some websites with tools that will ID colors too.

Beyond that, it would depend on the level of effort you'd want to put into it. For example, if you were in the DC area the Postal Museum has a nice lab with equipment that could ID the ink without damage to the stamp.

Google image search isn't likely to find anything of value but it would be interesting if another was found with similar marks. I'm still leaning towards tally marks, although tiny. The only other thing that I can think of, and I would really doubt it but 7 marks... did they think this was SCN 7 (type II)? But even with the wide margin, why would anyone mark it that way?
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Posted 06/30/2021   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jaxom100 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From the recut, it appears to be position 80L1L.
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Posted 06/30/2021   10:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
jaxom, nice to see you!
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Posted 06/30/2021   4:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm still waiting for the stamp, but it is supposedly a 60L1L - double recut on top and once on the bottom. This example also shows the crack in the right lower corner. When I receive it, I'll post pictures of the details.

Thanks again for your suggestions, jconey.
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Posted 07/02/2021   9:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have received the stamp and I can post some better images. The unusual markings appear to be of the same ink as the pen cancellation. I'm thinking that the darker portions of the cancel are just oxidized. As for the purpose of the markings, perhaps the postal clerk was tallying something such as total postage on the envelope. I have no idea.

The stamp is a nice example showing the cracks that appeared at this position later in the printing.



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Posted 07/02/2021   10:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've been doing this for many years and I haven't seen anything like that 'mark' before. Your better scan makes it clear that it is pen ink, like the cancel. Somebody made the 7 marks very precisely evenly spaced and of the same length. At least as close as one can do by free hand.

I work in a machine shop and when you first posted it, it reminded me of the mark left when you roll a cylindrical gear, coated with oil/grease, on a flat surface. The 'teeth' of the gear are at a 45-degree angle to the centerline of the cylinder. The marks here are something completely different. Something done by the postmaster. Yes, maybe tallying up something. 7 marks = 7c, but what kind of rate is 7c??? Sounds like an oddball rate, so maybe tallying something else?

Or, maybe just absent-mindedly doodling in a moment of downtime?? Like a junior high school girl practicing making little hearts in place of dots above all her 'i's. Anyone else's guess is at least as good as mine.
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Posted 07/04/2021   09:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Much better scans. Yeah, those are definitely pen marks and might have been from the same pen as the hand cancel but it hard to be sure. I think the circular mark is an unintentional transfer perhaps from another envelope that has a wet cancel places on top of it.

Never seen a mark like that but I'll recognize it if I see another and will make note. Too bad it wasn't still on the envelope, there might have been some clues.
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Posted 07/04/2021   11:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stamp Hunting to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree the new scans are definitely more helpful and add to the confusion. I do concur with the others, pen ink, probably a tally for something.

I would only add that the marks are in the selvage area of the sheet. Postal clerk of the time period most likely used it to keep track on something. Then sold that particular stamp and didn't cut off the selvage. As the others said without the envelope to narrow the possibilities, we can speculate till the end of time. That's my 2 cents, for what it's worth.
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Posted 07/04/2021   3:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ioagoa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Widglo46 --

More speculation here about the hash marks on your 1c blue --

I was told by the person who mentored me on plating the 1851 3c imperforate that back in 1851, the most typical way for the imperf stamps to be sold was for the postal clerk to "pre-cut" horizontal strips of 10 -- row-by-row starting at the top of the pane. The clerk would keep the horizontal strips in their drawer until the stamps were sold to a customer -- at which time the clerk would cut up the horizontal strips as needed.

As an aside -- this explains why we collectors see more horizontal multiples versus vertical multiples.

I am not a plater of the 1-cent blues -- but earlier in this thread there was discussion that your stamp might be position 80L1L (i.e., versus 60L1L). If the stamp actually plates to 80L1L -- then that would mean that 7 horizontal rows were cut off prior to needing to cut off the 8th row for sale and usage.

Following that logic -- perhaps the postal clerk was tallying how many stamps had been cut from the pane as he closed out his cash box and inventory of remaining stamps for the day?

Again -- I am not a plater of the 1c blues -- but now that you have the stamp in hand, I am now curious if you nailed the plate position?

Anyway -- enough of my rambling - just thought I would add more speculation to the mix.

Regards // ioagoa
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Posted 07/04/2021   3:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GMC89 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ioagoa:
Great insight, your comments "ramblings" make good sense, intuitive after I read them. The hash marks , tally marks were made at the same time. I would further conjecture that the clerk was remembering what had passed prior as opposed to tallying as the sales went. In science a theory stands, until a better theory displaces. You stand.
Cheers
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Posted 07/05/2021   08:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Stamp Hunting - I would only add that the marks are in the selvage area of the sheet. Postal clerk of the time period most likely used it to keep track on something. Then sold that particular stamp and didn't cut off the selvage. As the others said without the envelope to narrow the possibilities, we can speculate till the end of time.


This makes a lot more sense to me than the possibility that the postal clerk was doodling on an envelope. However, the fact that no one responding to my post has ever seen anything quite like it leads me to believe that, if the postmaster was tallying something in the sheet margin, it wasn't a common practice.

ioagoa - You had a good idea, but the position of this stamp can only be 60L1L since no other position in the right sheet margin of the left pane is twice-recut on top. The surface cracks in the right lower corner also confirm that position. This makes it more difficult to explain the seven hash marks, but I suppose the postmaster could have been counting whole sheets. It might also explain the location of tally marks, i.e. more or less in the center of the sheet.
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