Circle Cancels

roosevelt 1

I must admit, I don't know a lot about cancels, so when a customer asked about why the circle cancel without a date I did a little bit of research and really didn't come up with a lot of information. I found that some circle cut the fibers of the stamp to obliterate. But this stamp which is a block of 4 just doesn't look like it is cut. So I thought of the hand cancel stamp.

I'm up a creek and was wondering if any of you wonderfully knowledge collectors could help to teach me and my customer the reasoning behind this circle cancel.

Thanks in advance,


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited November 7 1 LikesVote Down
    These have been around in some form or another since the 1860's and are known as 'target killers' or obliterators. The diameter or the number of rings can vary, and some have solid bulls (centers). They are most commonly found in duplex with a circular date stamp attached, or as in your case, in simplex (stand alone). Simplex target devices were often used to cancel stamps paying for registry service since anything with dates, as per postal regulation, are to be confined to the backs of envelopes.

    The types of killers that cut the stamps are known as 'Patent cancels,' and these aren't those.
  • edited November 7 2 LikesVote Down
    In duplex, top cover; in simplex , bottom cover (note greater distance to cds).

    Hudson NY Exhibit-069
  • Wonderful, thank you George. I was on the right track but this makes it so much clearer. You are the best!
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