puntstempel oddities

The purple cancel of "Lijferman" on the 12.5ct. Willem III stamp, with the numeral cancel 84 Laboean Deli

Numeral cancellations: oddities and unusual combinations

A number of alien and peculiar cancellations are sometimes found in combination with the standard numeral cancel in use in the Netherlands Indies. These cancellations were applied deliberately or in error, and include transit and foreign cancels, company and administrative cancels, Dutch numeral cancels, and the marks of forwarding agents. This small display shows a selection of such oddities, including the (slightly less odd) combinations of numeral cancel and the small round cancel (kleinrondstempel).


See also the displays of 'rariteiten' and the Dutch cancels on Indies stamps on the website of Hans Kruse: www.puntstempels.nl

An envelope from the Dutch trading company Pabst & Schoop in Pagurawan near Medan on the east coast of Sumatra. It was posted via the Dutch Indies mail expedition in Singapore (numeral cancel 89) 9 Aug. 1888. Arrival in St Gallen in Switzerland 9 Sep. 1888. A peculiar purple long cancel ties the stamp to the cover. This is not the name cancel of a sub-post office, but appears to be a private name cancel ("E. P. Lijferman", or some such). Such name or company cancels were sometimes applied to stamps, usually on mail from the trading firms, possibly to prevent an illicit recycling of the stamps before they were cancelled by the postal service.

Dutch numeral cancellations on the Netherlands Indies stamps

  5 of Amsterdam

5 Amsterdam with 3 Sourabaija

  204 of Wildervank

45 of Groningen with 2 Semarang

44 s'Gravenhage

Miscellaneous unusual cancellations

Pitcairn and Syme forwarding agent with representations in Batavia and Soerabaija, with numeral cancellations 4 Batavia and 3 Sourabaija

3 Sourabaija + unclear company oval cancel

8 Buitenzorg + Rotterdam small round cancel of 1877

69 Demak + framed 'Na Posttijd'

5 Padang + red London paid receiver

Double cancellation: 4 Batavia + 70 Blitar

84 Laboean Deli + routecancel 'Ned. Indie via Brindise Britschepakketb.'

84 Laboean Deli + French routing 'Modane a Paris' in red

Singapore mute dot cancel with part of 84 Laboen Deli in purple

Singapore GPO datestamp with 4 Batavia

Not with a puntstempel, I know, but the Zurich and Winterthur cancels are surely exotic!

In addition to the numeral cancel 1 of Weltevreden, a red oval company stamp ties the stamps to the cover. The company stamp reads "L. Platon Batavia - Gouvernemente Wijnleverancier". L. Platon was a french trading company and wine retailer at Batavia. This company security mark was a deliberate pre-cancel like the name cancel on the letter from Pabst & Schoop above. Such pre-cancellation of stamps (to prevent the stamps from being taken off the cover and re-used privately) was not formally allowed.


The letter is of the second weight class to Vienna in Austria and franked with two 25 ct. stamps. On the back is a Vienna receiving postmark of 20/11 1883.

Numeral cancellation in combination with the small round cancel

8 Buitenzorg + Buitenzorg kleinrond

108 Medan + Medan kleinrond

3 Sourabaija + Sourabaija kleinrond

108 Medan + Medan kleinrond

4 Batavia + Batavia round cancel

31 Bandjermasin + Bandjermasin kleinrond

115 Tandjong Balei + Tandjong Balei kleinrond

Small company mark applied to postage stamp. Used as security chop from company Zorab, Mesrope & Co. on Boeleleng on Bali. Routed via Soerabaja, Weltevreden, Singapore, Bombay, to British Telegraph Office in Persia.

A company security stamp from Tobacco Company Amsterdam: "Tabak-Matschaapiji Amsterdam - Langkat Sumatra". On postcard from Bindjei to Switzerland 1899.