Pictorial Postmarks

Hello everyone!

I’ve been trying to find out if other countries besides the US offer Pictorial Postmarks?! Would you please let me know? If so, I would LOVE to trade our US postmarks for yours :slight_smile:

Quick info on Pictorial (Commemorarive)Postmarks:

The US postal service lists biweekly pictorial postmarks available to anyone to obtain. They show you the postmark and the address to which you send a postcard/envelope and they send it back to you with the postmark stamped on it! This service is FREE! I’ve attached a photo of past postmarks.

What I’m asking here is:
1-does your country have something like this?
2-if so, would you like to trade?

Thank you for reading!
Truly, Jennifer


i know that germany, italy and the vatican have these pictorial postmarks. but was difficult to understand their website as it was in those countries languages (german in germany and italian in italy and the vatican). as i live in the usa (as yourself), just wanted to let you know and i have had traded some of these postmarks in those countries in the past. the past 6 SW postcrossing meetups, we have used these pictorial postmarks in the past.
good luck in your collection.


Thank you very much for sharing Sam!

I guess I need to ask someone who can speak Italian and German :slight_smile:

Stay safe! Jennifer

Sending PM…

I already have received pictorial postmarks* from: Austria, Åland Islands, Belarus, Switzerland, China, Germany, France, Hong Kong, India, South Korea and the USA. Hope that helps.

* including philately cancellations, first day issue cancellations, special event cancellations

You may see my received ones here:


Were they just on thé postcards you received through Postcrossing? Or did you mail away for them yourself?

Some I got on official cards and swap / tag game cards… and sometimes I specifically swapped for them.

Sometimes I sent my (outgoing) cards to our cancellation service, but it really takes some time… so I only do it in batches (I don’t use it for officials therefore).


We don’t really have these anymore as far as I know. Only if you buy a first day envelope will it have something like it, but you can’t mail first day envelopes here.

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Hi Jennifer,
In Japan, we have pictorial postmark, or 風景印 (in Japanese). Central post office in every prefecture (like state in USA) will have it, and also several other post offices big and small. So in 1 prefecture, there can be a lot of pictorial postmarks, each will bear the name of the post office. The closest one is 15 min away by car, from my place.

Here’s part of my collection:

It’s free, available within the designated timeline (some change theirs once a year or every 2-3 years). You just have to go there and ask for it to be used for your stamp.
You can write to them and explain you want that postmark, send all the cards/envelopes with stamps for them to stamp it, and provide a return envelope with the correct postal fee for them to send it back to you. Or you can ask them to send it to the address you wrote on each card you sent. I did it once, because I really really like the postmark of a post office in Kyoto. Which is 2 hours away by plane.

Will I trade pictorial postmark?
I did “special postmark” swaps here on the forum, twice. To make it short, both were disappointing.
I prefer to have nice postcard with nice stamps, and the nice special postmark is a plus. I kinda don’t like to get nice postmark but the card and the stamp are not so nice. It’s just my preference.
I got really nice special postmarks through swaps, tags, and official postcrossing, and it was sent with nice postcards and stamps. Better to have it like that, like receiving a surprise, rather than exchange only for special postmark.

I am still interested to do special postmark swap, but it’s not just the postmark that matters, at least to me. It’s a postcard and stamp swap too. :blush:



Sounds like if I want to do it myself from the US, it would take a long time huh? Do you have a website I can check? Just Germany Post or something?

Thank you!

Thank you Maria for the long detailed reply!

I’m so glad Japan has them and that you can mail away for them!

I actually like to match the postcard, the stamps AND the postmark. If you don’t mind, we can do one swap so you can see if you like my style. I mostly decorate my postcards with stickers, washi tape, postage stamps, and rubber stamps. I can look at your profile to see which postcards you like.

Would you be able to share a link of the postmarks available right now in Japan? I do want the postcard to be blank so after you obtain the postmark, i guess you’d have to mail it in an envelope.

Please let me know what you think! Thank you :slight_smile:


I see…So you have to do it in person the day of issue?

Thank you….

The info on special cancelations are published every 2 weeks here. Most cancellations are available for a month after being published.
If you check Online Archiv you can see past issues of the magazine


As an addition to your information: Cancellations are not necessarily published in chronological order. Therefore you need to check a few of the publications, not only the last one.

Germany has two different locations for stamp cancellations that carry different stamps.

First day cancellations always come in two designs and will only be used on the corresponding lick + stick stamp. For self adhesive stamps there is another design. All other special cancellations can be used with every German stamp.


hi @jjltrinity Yes, India post keeps on releasing Temporary Pictorial postmarks along with a special cover, As rarely they release the postmark alone which are available for a day.
Here are the examples.

Here we don’t have any specific schedule released about their avabality, they are usually released anytime and as this are released along with special covers (Envelopes), they are available usually till stock lasts…


Here you can see what postmarks are available here in Austria at the moment:

Album Jänner-Februar 2022 - PostAG

There are also special postmarks, that are always available in certain post offices and they just change the date.

I take my snailmail for special postmarks once/week (today! :smiley:) and if you think you have something I might like I’d be happy to exchange a card with you. @jjltrinity

@Macheng: gorgeous postmarks! :blue_heart:


Hi Jennifer,
I can only obtain for you the special postmark near my place, or other places if I am going around that area
For other places, I would have to go farther, or send them a mail. The cost for that will be: stamp for the postmark + stamp to mail them + stamp for them to mail it in an envelope to you (because you want the card to be blank, not written with your address).
That’s 3x more costly than the postal fee to send a postcard directly to you.

Here’s the Japan Post website that listed all the pictorial postmarks available in Japan. It’s in Japanese. The menu ask visitor to choose which area and which prefecture the visitor wants to check. First page is only the newest update. I am sure there’s more than 50 pictorial postcards in Japan.

I have a plan to go somewhere this weekend and plan to drop by a post office with another pictorial postmark. PM me if you’re interested, for more details. :blush:


@Macheng that’s a well managed page, i Wish India post also had similar page where all postmarks schedules and avabality could have been checked .

Also i am unsure if there were any covid theme or Pandemic theme postmarks released or available in Japan.

Also @jjltrinity This is the Permeant Pictorial Postmark available at my City’s general Post office.

It Shows the Architecture icon of My City


Hi Dev,
As far as I know, Japan Post has never had any special themed postmarks. Apart from the first day postmark when new stamps are issued.
Japan Post had never issued Covid19 stamps either.

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for Germany there are three types. One was already mentioned, it’s the oval type

in addition there are round ones to spefically “describe” a certain city and socalled “ad cancels” which is an additional part / square next to the postmark itself.

Please check my examples:

already described special postmark

special city postmarks

ad cancel

If you want we can swap these