Friday, February 10, 2023

Barred Numeral Types

There were 4 different barred numeral sub-types used on Queensland postage stamps (for New South Wales (NSW) numerals used in Queensland before 1861 see here)

Left to right: Types 2a, 2b, 2c and 165 duplex

Type 2a
This barred numeral, introduced from 1 January 1874, comprises 9 horizontal bars (3 middle horizontal bars) and was used in post offices only. The numerals vary from 5 to 9 mm high. The lowest number seen is 24 on both Chalons and Sidefaces, and the highest number seen is 316 on a Chalon and 731 on a Sideface. On Commonwealth issues the lowest number seen is 46 and the highest is 783.

Type 2b
This barred numeral comprises 10 horizontal bars (4 middle horizontal bars) was used in post offices. The numerals vary from 5 to 9 mm high. This type was introduced after the Chalon period and is therefore only seen on Sidefaces. The lowest number seen is 37 and the highest number seen is 639. On Commonwealth issues the lowest number seen is 37 and the highest is 634.

On 6 January 1902, 197 type 2b barred numeral obliterators similar to those used at post offices were issued to railway stations for cancelling railway parcel stamps. 

Type 2c
This barred numeral comprises 12 vertical bars (6 middle vertical bars) for use in railway station offices only to cancel railway parcel stamps.

Postal use of railway barred numeral cancellers
Given the co-location of many railway stations and post offices, it was inevitable that railway cancellers (types 2b (10 bar) and 2c (12 bar)) meant for use on railway stamps only, were occasionally also used on Queensland postage stamps; especially as the postmaster was sometimes a member of the railway station staff and had access to both railway and postal cancellers. This usage has also been noted when the railway office was located with a receiving office, the use of the railway numeral being the only implement on hand to cancel postally used items. More information on railway numerals as well as a list of railway types 2b (10 bar) and 2c (12 bar) postally used can be found here

165 Charters Towers duplex 
A number of busier post offices were issued with duplex cancellers, devised to combine the functions of obliterator and datestamp into one implement. All the duplexes issued had a ray obliterator portion with the exception of Charters Towers, which had a barred numeral obliterator portion

Left to right: Charters Towers 165 duplex types a and b

Charters Towers type a is similar to the type 2a barred numerals, although the bars are thicker. Charters Towers type b is unique, comprising 12 horizontal bars in total with 6 narrow horizontal middle bars either side. 

For more information on and examples of Charters Towers numeral 165 duplexes see here

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