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Quality 19th Century U.S. Stamps, Cancels and Postal History

A New NYFM Cancellation Discovery - Post Discovery Notes

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Not long after publication of my article on NYFM killer RE-N9, U.S. Cancellation Club member and The Classic Cancel customer Charles ("Chuck") Collins provided me his analysis of the probable recarving of a number on NYFM killers.  Among them was killer RE-N9.  Chuck observed the significant similarity between the previously verified RE-N1 killer and the newly discovered RE-N9.  The two killers are essentially the same size and, when closely examined, one notes that the tops of the numeral 1 in both killers have identical angulations.  (Ignore slight differences in size or shape of the killers in the scans below.  Differences can easily be introduced by the tracing and scanning processes.)





Moreover, the dates of use of the two killers reveal a progression that strongly suggests their relationship.  The RE-N9 cover dates to late January 1873.  The RE-N1 cover pictured in Weiss* is dated February 8, 1873.  Given these facts and the uniqueness or rarity of these killers, I am very inclined to agree with Chuck's conclusion.  One can only wonder why the postal clerk who carved RE-N9 decided to transform it into RE-N1.  Perhaps he thought that his original carving was just too plain.  Clearly RE-N1 represents a more definitive numeral 1 than its predecessor.

* Weiss, William R., Jr., The Foreign Mail Cancellations of New York City 1870-1878, William R. Weiss, Jr., 1990, page 219.  Weiss notes that the other reported RE-N1 cover, pictured as lot 606 in the Siegel sale of the Van-Vlissingen and Waud collections and dated November 16, 1873, is of questionable attribution.  I agree and believe this to be a poor, late strike of Weiss type RE-L2, the serrated negative H killer.