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My current count for the different combinations of obliterators on QV Pine, CC, CA wmks, QV Keyplates, QV Falls, QV Fiscals, and 1903 Badge issues is 1,916 items. Although I am not a collector I have my own form of collection in that I now have 1,602 scanned combinations, and 314 missing for completion. These counts do not include Kingston Head Office “A01” but only cover the town cancels “A27” through to “E”. Included are coloured inks (only blue,and violet) and the two manuscript numbers of “36” and “37” and the possible “A67” on QV 1/- CC Ex Duffus. Bisects are not included as they mainly come on complete cover. In mentioning coloured inks I have seen two examples red “A01” supplied to John Buckner, Florida in the 1980’s. Most elusive, for me, are those which fall on the 1903 Arms issues as I do not have a single scan. Lucky is the collector I sold a wonderful Arms cover cancelled by one of the oblits. many years back. Ideally 106 pages can be allocated for these 1,916 combinations so that all “A27” fall on one page, and blue inks, or manuscripts, have their own pages. Probably the most diverse range are those for Cold Spring “193” - no examples are known on Pine wmks so far (the office opened end September 1874) but extremely rare examples of the QV 2/- (SG.14) and QV 6d orange (SG.23) have been found used at this office. Some offices give me quite a shock when I look at my pages. Probably the worst is Richmond “A79”(J) where I find I have 9 scans and 14 missing scans to complete the page. Added to these 106 pages are pages set up to show examples of the FALMOUTH cds (P11); MILE GULLY cds (P9) SAVANNA-LA-MAR manuscript “X” overstruck “A01”, SAVANNA-LA-MAR cds (P11); brass “½” on QV 2d Pine possibly used Spanish Town; manuscript assisted “A67” used Port Royal; the newly discovered manuscript Manchioneal dated by Kingston cds A/JY 29 76 which all contribute to the obliterator story. Double and Inverted surcharges have been included in the count.

BERMUDA – St. George’s K3 “2” HANDSTAMP I and HANDSTAMP II on the same stamp
(25 April 2020) This newly discovered unique example of the two different K3 “2” duplex obliterators on 1880 QV 4d orange-red Crown CC wmk (SG.20) will challenge the thoughts of every specialised Bermuda collector who imagined that all there is to know about the numerals had already been written. There is undoubtedly a story to be told and only a careful watch of covers and dated stamps might eventually reveal its secrets. The enlarged illustration shows the differing measurements between the top of the tail of “2” to vertical inner bar at right as 4.75mm (handstamp I) and 3.75mm (handstamp II). A clearer test is that the upright serif of the “2” in handstamp II sticks out further to right than top right side curve of the “2”. The current recorded period of the short-lived handstamp II is OC 21 1880 to DE 22 1880 but Ludington Page 139 recorded a second period of use with a single date of AP 14 1889 (not seen by me, and after the K4 series was issued on JA 1 1889). Ludington records use of the handstamp I from JU 3 1879 to AU 9 1888 with alternating bands of both black and blue ink. The established period for handstamp II (only found in black) is flanked by black ink periods of use of handstamp I for JU 25 1880 to OC xx 1880 and MR 2 1881 to MR 20 1882 as gleaned from covers, but there has been no study of “loose” dated stamps to determine whether handstamp I was also being used during the OC 21 1880 to DE 22 1880 handstamp II period.

ST. VINCENT - The delayed opening of the BEQUIA office
The PML handbook Page 97 notes that the population of this small island, 9 miles south of Kingstown and first port of call in the Grenadine chain of islands stretching south down to Grenada, was a mere 969 persons in 1871 and 1,118 in 1881, and states “The reason for the long delay in opening the Bequia office has not been explained but on its eventual opening on 9th July 1894 the old “BEQ” datestamp was available for use there". The neighbouring islands of CANOUAN (population 443 in 1891), MAYREAU (population 283 in 1891), and UNION ISLAND (population 889 in 1891) had their extended cds proofed at the GPO, London on 2nd November 1894 and therefore those instruments could not have been present when the offices opened on 1st October 1894. The PERUVIAN VALE cds was also proofed at the GPO, London on 2nd November 1894 nearly seven years after the Peruvian Vale had been opened, and the long gap plugged by provional use of an obsolete ST. VINCENT inscribed datestamp. There appears to have been no request for an extended BEQUIA cds for the mid 1894 opening, and it is just possible that the postmasters were in a quandery, like at the other Grenadine island offices, as to what to do, or use, during the opening days or weeks until an instrument was at hand. Perhaps Bequia left mail uncancelled for the first 10 days as the ERD for cancelled mail is JY 19 94 with the old “BEQ” datestamp, or was the Kingstown Postmaster well aware that sitting in his drawer for the past 22 odd years was the “BEQ” datestamp that had been presumably been proofed alongside the other abbreviates for the opening of mainland village offices on 2nd December 1872. It is possible that any one of these four islands saw a provisional use of the obsolete circled “PP” in black on DLR QV 1d red (SG.48 grouping) as only a single strike is known befitting a very short period of use.

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