The Barred Oval #71 Postmark “Brunswick”
Discovery – posted January 2005
The first postmarks introduced for usage in Victoria
were the famous Butterfly types, which first saw service
in January 1850. Within a year, though, postal officials
felt that a change had to be made, as the postmarks
were too small to read. To replace them, fifty new Barred
Oval handstamps were manufactured in August 1851, although
the precise date they came into service is not known.
By 1852 they were in common usage, and with the opening
of new post offices, additional numbers were needed.
Additional handstamps numbered from 51 to 110 were commissioned
in September 1852.
While a few of the handstamps are relatively common,
most numbers range from being scarce to extremely rare.
In fact, Freeman & White, in their landmark book
entitled The Numerical Cancellations of Victoria, published
in 2001, stated that the numbers 45, 71, 84, and 98
had still not been recorded.
This copy of the 6d Woodblock with a clear strike of
barred oval 71 was located in December 2002, in a non-descript
small lot of woodblocks. The seller advised that he
purchased it in 1996 in a mail auction lot of 6d woodblocks,
and its’ significance had been unknown to him.
To date, it is the only example recorded.
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