Worldwide Numerical
& Lettered Cancellations

LATEST UPDATE: 2 SEPTEMBER 2003

This section represents an ambitious project — to list in detail the
classical period Numerical and Alphabetical Cancellations of the world. These cancellation types are commonly referred to as Numerical or Alphabetical Oblits (for "Obliterators").

The individual countries and/or postage stamp issuing entities will be entered as their information is collated and verified; they are listed in alphabetical order. Stamp-issuing entities currently detailed in the listing include:

Braunschweig
Mauritius
Netherlands Antilles and Dutch Guiana
Netherlands Indies
Nicaragua
St. Vincent

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BRAUNSCHWEIG The obliterators are in the form of 16-count horizontal lines (bars) in the shape of a small, upended, unframed square, with the numeral designating the post office being centrally located on a plain field.

The vast majority of the numerical oblits were in use during the time period covering the Braunschweig 1852, 1853, 1857, 1861-1863, 1864, and 1865 issues.

  1 Badenhausen
  2 Bahrdorf
  3 Bevern
  4 Blankenburg
  5 Boden
  Boerssum
  7 Braunlage
  Braunschweig (Main Post Office)
  9 Braunschweig (Railroad P.O.)
10 Calvörde
11 Delligsen
12 Eschershausen
13 Fürstenberg
14 Gandersheim
15 Gittelde
16 Greene (to 10 Oct 1865)
      Naensen (from 10 Oct 1865)

17 Gross-Winnigstedt
18 Halle/Weser
19 Harzburg
20 Hasselfelde
21 Helmstedt
22 Hessen
23 Hohegeiss
24 Holzminden
25 Jerxheim
26 Immendorf (to 31 Dec 1860)
      Hehlen (from 1 Nov 1862)
27 Kl.-Rhüden (to Oct 1864)
       Bornum b. Seesen (from Oct 1864)
28 Königslutter
29 Kreiensen
30 Langelsheim
31 Lehre
32 Lutter/Bge.
33 Oker
34 Ottenstein
35 Rübeland
36 Salder (thin Bars)
   
  Salder (thick Bars)
37 Schoeningen
38 Schoeppenstedt
39 Seesen
40 Stadtoldendorf
41 Tanne
42 Thedinghausen
43 Vechelde
44 Velpke
45 Vorsfelde
46
Walkenried
47
Wolfenbüttel
48
Zorge
49
Mainzholzen (from 1 Aug 1857 to 10 Oct 1865)
      Vorwohle (from 10 Oct 1865)
50
Braunschweig (Very Rare)

Reference: Michel Deutschland-Spezial-Katalog 1995 (München: Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH, 1995), 65.

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MAURITIUS From 1848 through 1860, seventeen post offices opened in Mauritius, all using ringed numerical oblits identified as the following towns (and postal districts). Several of the numerical oblits are considered as being rare: "7", "9", "10", "13", "15", and "17".

  1 Mahébourg (Grand Port)
  2 Centre de Flacq (Flacq)
  3 Pamplemousses (Pamplemous)
  4 Souillac (Savanna)
  5 Plaines Wilhelms (Plaines Wilhelm)
  6 Curepipe (Plaines Wilhelm)
  7 Petite Riviére (Black River)[1851]
  8 Ville Bague (Flacq)
  9 Poudre d’Or (Riviere du Remp)
10 Grand Bay (Pamplemous)
11 Moka (Moka)
12 Black River (Black River)
13 Grand River S.E. (Grand Port)
14 Riviére du Rempart (Riviére du Remp)
15 Plaine Magnien (Grand Port)
16 Riviére Seche (Grand Port)
17 Mare d’Albert (Grand Port)

In 1869, the number of post offices were increased and reorganized. They were given a new numerical obliterator, with the designated post office number being enclosed by a lozenge of bars. These new oblits were of two types: (1) with 3 bars above and below the number, and (2) with four bars above and below the number.

The numerical designations ran from "1" through "43", then preceded by the letter "B" running from "B44" though "65". Only several of the new oblits have been identified as to their origin, as the postal system of the time was very primitive, and record keeping was practically non-existent. Those post offices that have been identified include the following;

    1 Port Louis
    2 Flacq
    4 St. Pierre
    5 Plaine Wilhelms
    7 Mapou
    8 Poudre d’Or
    9 Riviére du Rempart
  14 Mahébourg
  15 Union Vale
  16 Rose Belle
  20 Cluny
  21 Curepipe
  22 Vacoas
  24 Quatre Bornes
  25 Rose Hill
  26 Moka
  27 Beau Bassin
  28 Petite Riviére
  32 Pailles
  33 Riviére Dragon
  34 Riviére des Anguilles
  35 Chemin Grenier
  37 Curepipe Road
  38 Midlands
  43 Quartier Militaire
B45 Camp du Masque
B47 St. Julien
B48 Forest Side
B49 Réduit
B53 Port Louis
B64 Seychelles (a Dependency)
B65 Rodriguez Island (a Dependency)

References: Mrs. M. S. Pierce, "Mauritius: Postmarks", Billig’s Philatelic Handbook, Volume VI (Jamaica, NY: F. Fritz Billig., 1946), 88-91.

Rev. H. H. Heins, The Numerical Cancellations of the British Empire, 2nd ed. (London: Robson Lowe Ltd., 1960), 16.

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NETHERLANDS ANTILLES and DUTCH GUIANA The Netherlands Antilles consists of several islands located in the southern Caribbean’s West Indies area: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Martin (the southern section of the island, the northern section being French).

Dutch Guiana, also referred to as Netherlands Guiana or Suriname (the current name), is located on the northern end of the South American continent.

201 Curaçao
202 Curaçao (to 1881), St. Martin (from 1881)
203 Curaçao
204 Suriname (Paramaribo)
205 Suriname
206 Suriname
207 Suriname
208 St. Eustatius
209 Saba

Reference: Speciale Postzegelcatalogus 1996 (s’Gravenhage, Netherlands: De Nederlandse Vereeniging van Postzegelhandelaren, 1995), 626.

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NETHERLANDS INDIES Often called the Dutch Indies, and now identified as Indonesia, the numerical oblits were introduced on 1 April 1873 for usage on first class mail and postage due stamps. The numerical oblit cancelling devices were recalled on 14 April 1893, being replaced by circular datestamps.

Many of the numerical oblits are very scarce due to their short periods of use, and command premiums when found even on the most common of the Dutch Indies stamps

Unless indicated otherwise, the numerical oblits were issued to the corrersponding post offices on the 1 April 1873 date. The first ten numerical oblits, Nos. "1" through "10", are found in two different sizes.

1 Weltevreden
2 Samarang
3 Soerbaja
4 Batavia
5 Padang
6 Cheribon
7 Soerakarta
8 Buitenzorg
9 Makassar
10 Djokjakarta
11 Pasoeroean
12 Bandoeng
13 Tegal
14 Pekalongan
15 Salatiga
16 Ambarawa
17 Pati
18 Rembang
19 Toeban
20 Banjoemas
21 Tjilatjap
22 Poerworedjo
23 Magelang
24 Madioen
25 Grisee
26 Probolingo
27 Besoeki
28 Banjoewangi
29 Kediri
30 Pamekasan
31 Bandjermasin
32 Palembang
33 Amboina
34 Riouw (to 1878)
      Tandjongpinang (from 1878)
35 Muntok
36 Pontianak
37 Serang
38 Anjer
39 Poerwakarta
40 Meester Cornerlis
41 Tjiandjoer
42 Soemedang
43 Indramajoe
44 Yjiamis
45 Kendal
46 Koedoes
47 Bodjonegoro
48 Klaten
49 Ngawi
50 Patjitan
51 Modjokerto
52 Malang
53 Sitoebondo
54 Soemenep
55 Fort de Kock
56 Siboga
57 Benkoelen
58 Telok Betong
59 Bengkalis
60 Billiton
      Tandjong Pandan (later)
61 Singkawang
     
Poerwodadi (after 5 Apr 1880)
62 Menado
63 Ternate
64 Banda
     
Neira (after 1878)
65 Timor (to 1893)
      Koepang (later)
66 Atjeh, 1st Brigade
      (Atjeh F.P.O.)
      Kota-radja (after 1882)
67 Atjeh, 2nd Brigade
      (Atjeh F.P.O.)
       Oenarang (later)
68 Atjeh, 3rd Brigade
      (Atjeh F.P.O.)
       Padanh Pandjang (later)
69 Demak (to 1879)
       Steamship Mail Service,Batavia-Singapore Route
        (1879-1880)
70 Blitar
71 Loemadjang
72 Bondowoso
73 Bojolali (1874-1875)
74 Kotaboemi (1874-1875)
75 Moeara Doea (1874-1875)
76 Tebingtinggi (Palembang) (1874-1875)
77 Lahat (1874-1875)
78 Sebiat (1874-1875)
79 Mokko Mokko (1874-1875)
80 Indrapoera (1874-1875)
81 Rau (1874-1875)
      Loeboe Sikaping (later)
82 Padang Sidempoean (1874-1875)
83 Singkel (1874-1875)
84 Deli (to 5 Jan 1876)
      Laboean Deli (after 21 Dec 1876)
85 Sidoardjo (5 Jan 1876)
86 Japara (5 Jan 1876)
87 Toeloengagoeng (5 Jan 1876)
88 Rorontalo (5 Jan 1876)
89 Singapore Postal Agency (5 Jan 1876)
90 Penang Postal Agency (5 Jan 1876)
91 Soekaboemi (5 Jan 1876)
92 Bandjarnegara (between 21 Dec 1876 and 1 Nov 1878)
93 Djember (between 21 Dec1876 and 1 Nov 1878)
94 Djoewana (between 21 Dec 1876 and 1 Nov 1878)
95 Kraksaän
96 Karanganjar
97 Ponorogo
98 Temanggoeng
99 Wonosobo
100 Langkat
         Bangil (after 1880)
101 Baros
102 Garoet (30 Dec 1880)
103 Krawang (30 Dec 1880)
104 Soebang (1881)
105 Oleh-leh (12 Jul 1882)
106 Edi (12 Jul 1882)
107 Telok Semawé (12 Jul 1882)
        Keboemen (after 1885)
108 Medan (12 Jul 1882)
109 Wlingi (12 Jul 1882)
110 Djombang (12 Jul 1882)
111 Kalianda
112 Goenoeng Toewa (between 1881-1887)
113 Bandar Klipan (to 1890)
         Tebing Tinggi Deli (later)
114 Rantau Prapat (between 1881-1887)
115 Tandjong Balei
116 Boeleleng (small numerals)
         Gombong (large numerals,15 Mar 1890)
117 Bindjei (small numerals, 1 Sep 1890)
         Bangkalan (large numerals)
118 Tandjong Poera (1 Sep 1890)
119 Lasem (1 Apr 1891)
120 Toeren (1 Apr 1891)

References:

F. Fritz Billig, "Netherlands Indies: List of Numerical Cancellations", Billig’s Philatelic Handbook, Volume IV (Jamaica, NY: Billig’s Stamp Co., 1944), 160-161.

Speciale Postzegelcatalogus 1996 (s’Gravenhage, Netherlands: De Nederlandse Vereeniging van Postzegelhandelaren, 1995), 626.

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NICARAGUA: Nicaragua is divided into 16 departmental political divisions: Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales. Estelí, Granada, Jinotega, León, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nuevo Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas and Zelaya.  

The Caribbean seaport of San Juan del Norte, located on the extreme southeast corner of the country at the mouth of the San Juan River, was formerly named Greytown. The town was occupied by Great Britain in 1848, and was the sight of the isthmian crossing terminus during the 1849 "gold rush".  

Square or octagonal framed numeral with letter obliterators were used from the late 1870’s through the mid 1880’s. The "12/J" obliterator has not been positively attributed to a specific post office, as a complete cover or other mailed piece documenting the actual town usage has not been recorded

1/S San Juan del Sur (Rivas)
2/R Rivas (Rivas)
3/G Granada (Granada)
4/J Jinotepe (Carazo)
5/M Masaya (Masaya)
6/M Managua (Managua)
7/L León (León)
8/CH Chinandega (Chinandega)
9/C Corinto (Chinandega)
10/O Ocotal (Nuevo Segovia)
11/M Matagalpa (Matagalpa)
12/J Juigalpa (Chontales) or Jinotega (Jinotega).
13/N San Juan del Norte [formerly: Greytown] (Rio San Juan) 

Reference:
Personal E-Mail Communication: Brian Moorhouse, LATIN AMERICAN
PHILATELY (P.O. Box 105, Peterborough PE3 8TQ, England), 15 August 2003.

WebSite: http://www.Brian.Moorhouse.com
Contact: E-Mail: Brian@Moorhouse.com  

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ST. VINCENT: The coded "Lettered" circular datestamps introduced in the 19th Century included abbreviated town or village designations within the upper portion of the cancel.

Many of these cancels are rated very scarce to rare, the reasons for which can be deduced from the 1871, 1881, and 1891 population census for the various towns and smaller villages.

A     Kingstown, Diameter Types:
        19mm: 1858-1863,          
        19.5mm [Oval "C" in "ST. VINCENT"]: 1863-1866
        19.25mm:1867-1871,
        18.75mm: [Round "C"] 1st Period 1867-1873,
                 2nd Period 1908-1911,
        18.75mm [Narrow "C"]: 1873-1880,
        18.75mm [Slightly Oval "C"]: 1881-1883,
        18.5mm: 1890-1900,
        19.5mm [Round "C"]: 1901-1909)

A     New Adelphi (Diameter 19.5mm (?):
        From 1 July 1913. One example recorded,
        an incomplete "albino" impression.
        Transferred to this office when it opened on this date)

BAR Barrouallie (1873-1884) -
         1871 Population = 1,219, 1881 = 1,252, 1891 = 1,233

BEQ Bequia (1894-1908) -
         1871 Population = 969, 1881 = 1,118

BI   Biabou (1873-1883) -
         1871 Population = 56, 1881 = 98

BU     Buccament (1874-1882) -
         1871 Population = 88, 1881 = 130

C      Peruvian Vale (1888-1894) -
         1891 Population = 56

C     Union ? (1894-1905) -
         1881 Population = 246

C     Bridgetown ? (1905-1908) -
         1891 Population = 149

C    Troumaca (Diameter 18.75mm:
         From 1 April 1910. Transferred
         to this office when it opened on this date)

CA    Calliaqua (1873-1883) -
         1871 Population = 535, 1881 = 578, 1891 = 514

CH    Chateaubelair (1874-1901) -
         1871 Population = 689, 1881 = 646, 1891 = 632

CO     Colonarie (1873-1884) -
         1871 Population = 153, 1881 = 246, 1891 = 157

CUM Cumberland (1876-1902) -
         1871 Population = 130, 1881 = 137

G    Georgetown (1873-1884) -
         1871 Population = 965, 1881 = 1,021, 1891 = 879

K     Kingstown (1872-1892) -
         1871 Population = 5,394

L     Layou (1876-1884) -
         1871 Population = 192, 1881 = 278, 1891 = 490

MES Mesopotamia (1873-1885) -
         1871 Population = 372, 1881 = 383, 1891 = 416

RAB Rabacca (1872-1882) -
         1871 Population = 234, 1881 = 306

ST     Stubbs (1873-1882) -
         1871 Population = 559, 1881 = 779

UE    Union Estate (1873-1882) -
         1871 Population = 224

Reference:

Arthur D. Pierce, J. L. Messenger, and Robson Lowe, St. VINCENT: The Postal History (1762-1965), The Postage Stamps (1861-1897), The Cancellations (1861-1915), and The Revenue Stamps (1882-1887) (London: Robson Lowe Ltd., 1971), 90-116.

 

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