Any tips for a new user, with StampsX ?
OK, Rod, here goes!
The database is here
Here's what each search box does, though I rarely need more than 1 or 2.Stempel ID (Gerätenummer)
- Cancel ID (canceller number): only used if you already know the number assigned to that cancel in the databasePostverwaltung (Gebiet, Land)
- Postal Administration (Territory, Country): Allows you to narrow the returns by country, etc. The database is setup for use with cancels from around the world, though 99% + of the entries are Germany. I rarely use this field since the various German areas can be complicated and it's easy to accidentally filter out the answer you're looking for if you get the wrong one.Ortsname ohne Zusatz
- Place Name Only (also the only field name that actually gets translated into English if you click the little British flag at upper right to get the English version of the site -- looks like poor web design): town/city name with nothing else (no state, post office number, slogan, etc). This is one of the two fields I use the most.
A break here to discuss the wildcard function and its application, specifically to this field, since it has an Exact Search (Exakte Suche) option. The percent sign (%) is the wildcard, and it works when Exacte Suche is checked. It allows you to define whether you want additional characters before your search term, after, or neither. For example, with Exackte Suche checked
NITZ returns only matches to the exact town of NITZ (which doesn't exist, poor example on my part!)
%NITZ returns only matches where NITZ is at the end of the word (CHEMNITZ, BRANITZ, etc.)
NITZ% returns only matches where NITZ is at the beginning of the word (NITZOW, NITZWALDE. etc.)
%NITZ% is the equivalent of turning off the Exacte Suche, returning results with NITZ anywhere in the word.
Without the Exackt Suche checked, the wildcard doesn't matter. If you enter NITZ, %NITZ, NITZ%, or %NITZ%, without Exackte Suche checked, you'll get a list of places with NITZ anywhere in the name. It could be at the front (NITZWALDE), in the middle (BARTNITZKA), or at the end (CHEMNITZ).
This field is particularly useful if you only have a partial set of letters from the beginning or end of a place name.Ortsname mit Ortszusatz
- Place Name With Suffix: This field is similar to the previous, but is used for the limited number of German places that have a long-form name as well as a short-form. For example, take the short-form name FRANKFURT. Germany has multiple Frankfurts -- could be FRANKFURT AM MAIN (Frankfurt a.M., Frankfurt on the Main River) or FRANKFURT AN DER ODER (Frankfurt a.d.O., Frankfurt on the Oder River). The cancels for these places vary greatly in what words they include on them to differentiate them from the other places with similar names, and this variance makes it hard to find them without this function.
Typing the long-form name FRANKFURT AM MAIN in the previous blank (Ortsname ohne Zusatz) will return only those cancels with FRANKFURT AM MAIN used in long form, missing hundreds of cancels where a short-form such as FRANKFURT A.M. is used. So when the cancels are entered into the database, the person entering the data includes the long-form name in this field. That way, you can search for the long-form name (FRANKFURT AM MAIN) using this field and get all cancels for the town, regardless of which short-form (FRANKFURT, FRANKFURT a.M., FRANKFURT (MAIN), etc.) was used on the cancel.Exakter Text im Stempelgerät oder exakte Teile davon
- Exact text, complete or partial, in the cancel: This is my most used field.
It simply searches for any text in the cancel, regardless of whether it's a place name, slogan, or whatever. If it's text and it's in the cancel, you can search for it here.
So let's say you had a partial of this cancel (stolen from Rod's image on p. 1 of this thread).
You could search here for "Staatstreffe" and you would get 15 results, all varieties of this cancel:
The ability to search across all the text in the cancel makes this the most powerful block in the search form. It's also the one that will sometimes overwhelm you with results, so I often start with this block, then add others to filter the results down further, if possible.Postamt
- Post Office: This one is useful in situations where the city has dozens of POs, and you only want results from one. For example, typing BERLIN in the city blank will get you 19,890 results — so many, in fact, that the database won't show them because there's an upper limit on how many results it will return. Most large German cities with multiple POs had/have the PO number in the cancel as well.
So if you knew the postmark was from PO number 58 in Berlin, you could put "58" in the Postamt blank, and it would only return postmarks from the Berlin N 58 PO. Or, if you only had the "58" but not the city, putting "58" in this blank would return all PO's numbered 58 throughout the database.Unterscheidungsbuchstabe und Symbole im Stempelgerät
- Distinctive letters and symbols in the cancel: This is for returning cancels with a particular symbol or letter, usually the letter assigned to German cancels. Taking the Berlin N 58 cancel above as an example, this canceller was canceller "* g" from Berlin N 58. You could enter "*", "g" or "* g" in this blank to get cancels with the "*" and/or "g" in the results.Erklärungen
- Explanation: This field lets you search the notes entered with the cancel. Not particularly useful unless you can read/write German.Breite (von Außenkante zu Außenkante) in mm
- Diameter of the cancel in mm: useful in that many early German cancels are identical except in their diameter.Stempelsorten (grobe Einteilung)
- Cancel Type (Rough Classification): The database classifies all the cancels into types. There's a lengthy list of types, which you can access by clicking the Stempel Typenübersicht (Stamp Type Overview) link next to this field. This is useful in quickly narrowing the results to only the type of cancel you have. Ex., circle with a grid pattern in the semi-circular segments.geometrische Stempelform
- Geometric Cancel Shape: This is the previous field in even more detail. There's a link (geometrische Formenübersicht - Geometric Shapes Overview) to help you drill down even further on the cancel type, but it's tough if you don't read German.oder Nummer eines Nummernstempels
- Or Number of a Number Cancel: In early Germany, particularly the German States period, they used Nummerstempeln (number cancels). This lets you search using nothing but that number. These are the same numbers listed by State in the left-hand column of StampsX under the Stempelbeispiele
heading.Zeigt min. Bilder echt
- Show only those listings with the given minimum number of photosmin. Bilder falsch
- Show only those listings with the given minimum number of photos of forgeriesFrühdatum (Jahr) größer als / Spätdatum (Jahr) kleiner als
- Start date greater than / End date less than
If voluminous, the search results will be displayed as a simple list. The bolded name is the city, and the capitalized text is the actual text of the cancel. Click an individual entry for the details of that cancel.
If not voluminous, you get all returns with their details already showing.
The individual entries contain a lot of information in addition to that for which you were able to search, including:
Gerät - application method (hand cancel, machine cancel, etc.)
Normale Stempelfarbe - normal ink color
Verwender - user, typically Postamt (Post Office)
Verwendung als - use as (ex. commemorative cancel, arrival cancel, date stamp, posting cancel, etc.)
Schriftart - Font
The fields here are too numerous to attempt to list.
One word of caution WRT usage dates -- the dates aren't always 100% accurate. Those are dates for the examples in the database, not necessarily for the entire range of possible dates for that cancel.
So that's the long version. Let me know if you have any questions as you try it out. I recommend heavy reliance on Google Translate
to help with the German text.