Quality 19th Century U.S. Stamps, Cancels and Postal History
New York City Cancellations On Circulars and Printed Matter, 1870-1878
Post Publication Notes
(Part IV, Page 1) (Weiss Letter, Page 1) (Cover Photo) (Articles Main) (Home)
The initial portion of the Part IV article is dedicated to a discussion of Weiss killer type GE-C6. I present a cover that demonstrates use of this killer on a domestic New York circular. (I have since encountered others.) I state in the article, "Now, if someone can only locate the cover that confirms the use of GE-C6 to a foreign destination!" This cover eventually did appear. Bill Weiss wrote of this cover, "A Controversial New York Foreign Mail Cancel Revisited: The Saga of GE-C6(W3)", in the Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues, November 2002, Volume 54, No. 4, Whole 196, pages 274-275.* The cover is a Scott U76 1¢ lemon entire uprated with a 1¢ Continental issue stamp paying the 2¢ printed matter rate to England. The strike of GE-C6 is clear and immaculate, and the circular is backstamped Wolverhampton, AU30/74 (image). Unfortunately, Bill remains unconvinced by the evidence presented in the Part IV article and by this cover of the NYCM nature of GE-C6: "... it is still not possible to state with complete certainty that the 1875 cover is, or is not, a GE-C6(W3), so my friend John and I will continue to disagree." I will let readers decide for themselves.
The latter portion of the Part IV article discusses my speculations regarding three additional killers, traditionally considered to be NYFM, that I believe may well be NYCM. For killer GE-C-U1(W8) I wrote that Van Vlissegen and Waud reported a single confirming cover (which no current students of NYFM can confirm). More recently, an item appeared on eBay, pictured below, that may shed some additional light on this illusive killer. This piece bears a pair of 1¢ Banknote stamps tied by a clear strike of GE-C-U1. It is impossible to determine whether the original cover was a domestic or foreign mail use. It is also impossible to say definitively that this cover bore only these two stamps. Nevertheless, I am inclined to believe that this piece was originally a foreign destination circular or wrapper, the stamps paying the 2¢ printed matter rate. Now, if we could just locate that confirming cover!
Update 3 (12/4/10)
Another recent discovery provides additional confirmation of my theory regarding the NYCM nature of certain NYFM. The image below is a 2¢ Continental stamp with a partial strike of NYFM killer GU1/GE-EP12.
Notable about this stamp is the partial strike of a red "PAID [ALL]". This is the first copy on which I have ever encountered this combination of killer and PAID ALL postal marking. As I wrote on page 4 of the original article in the discussion of a 2¢ Continental with killer TR-W5Ua and a red PAID ALL, "This strongly indicates that this cancellation saw use on foreign destination circular or newspaper rate mail." My experience with killer GU1/GE-EP12 is that it is most frequently found on the 2¢ Continental, the value most commonly used on foreign destination circulars and newspapers. On the other hand, this killer is rarely encountered on the 1¢ Banknote most commonly used on domestic NYCM. So, perhaps, this is a hybrid NYCM killer intended only for foreign mail. However, I do not believe that this killer found use on first class foreign mail. I have examined the one Weiss-reported cover allegedly bearing GU1/GE-EP12 and conclude that this "worn and difficult to identify" strike (Bill's description) is not this killer. (While it bears certain similarities to GU1/GE-EP12, it lacks the key and most distinct element of the killer, the four negative squares surrounding the center of the cancel. The strike appears to be that of a worn geometric of some kind, just not GU1/GE-EP12.)
Update 3a (12/25/17)
Another example of NYFM killer GU1/GE-EP12 in combination with a red PAID ALL has surfaced. This time it is on a 6¢ Continental stamp. This example further cements my contention that this killer saw use principally on foreign destination circulars and newspapers.
Update 4 (12/4/10)
Bill Weiss was the first to identify killer GE-S1a as a NYFM killer. He illustrates on page 26 of his book the only identified foreign mail use of this rare killer, a UX-5 postal to Denmark with added 3¢ Continental paying a supplementary mail rate and postmarked APR 21, 1877. Since publication no additional foreign mail covers have surfaced bearing this killer. However, three domestic NYCM covers bearing GE-S1a tying a 1¢ Continental stamps, such as the cover illustrated below, have been identified. (One in the collection of a noted NYFM collector bears printed advertising that verifies its New York City origin.)
In addition, several high value stamps, such as the 30¢ Continental illustrated above, have also surfaced. Clearly, GE-S1a presents a confusing pattern of use. I suspect that this is another example of dual use of a NYFM killer as I have previously established for killers GE-EN6, ST-8P10 and ST-8P11. (See Part I of this article, "NYFM Cancellations on Domestic Circulars".) However, in this case I believe the usage is split between domestic circulars and supplementary mail, not regular foreign mail. I tentatively conclude this because the high value stamps that bear strikes of GE-S1a are multiples of the 5¢ UPU postage required for single rate first class foreign letters. (Weiss illustrates a 10¢ stamp bearing GE-S1a.) I admit that this is all highly speculative and continue to search for both positive and negative confirmation of this theory.
* This article and entire copies of previous editions of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society Chronicle are available in PDF format on the society's web site (see Links section of The Classic Cancel). To view them you must be a society member.