POSTMARKS and CANCELLATIONS across the globe! [NOT commemorative ones]

The postmark from Lismore NSW 2480 Australia is a permanent pictorial type which I use on nearly all my mail - the staff at Lismore post office let me apply it myself. The design was introduced in 1987.

There are currently almost 300 such pictorial postmarks in use around Australia.

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I saw that the Russian one said “международный детский центр”, which means “International Children’s Center” - that intrigued me! Below it says Артек (Artek), and below that is Республики Крым - Republic of Crimea. Anyhow, I searched and see that it was a former Young Pioneer camp and was still a vacation destination after that. More info:

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@Bowyum, thank you very much for this information and, as it’s a picture of one of your cards,
thank you for making the effort of using this special postmark. It’s beautiful and an eye-catcher among all the normal postmarks.

@saintursula, thank you for translating and for your information. It makes pretty much sense now as the sender (normally living in Moscow) was working on Crimea during the summer. They sent me a card showing the Livadia Palace where the Jalta Conference was held in 1945.

Here’s yet another example of Chinese postmarks for domestic mail, which I got from dropping a postcard in the postbox nearest to home in Shenzhen, Guangdong province (as a test for whether the weathered postbox was actually in use…which could be a practical concern as the number of postboxes is dwindling, at least in my city). The design is largely consistent with that of other places in China. Again, the stamp was canceled by a postmark denoting collection (收寄, shōujì) while another postmark of delivery (投递, tóudì) was added beside it. Not sure what exactly the number following the those service words means, perhaps referring to the number of the hand stamp?


As far as I’m concerned, the English version postmark in black color is used for international outgoing mail and I assume every post office is equipped with one. Sometimes I find the English version quite informative as Japanese place names are known to have way too many irregular pronunciations, making it harder for foreigners to guess.
Usually the postage stamps on such a postcard are directly canceled by that postmark only, but in the case shared above, apparently the sender made a specific request, which I also used to do, for the pictorial postmark

(not a commemorative one since it's in permanent use). Pictorial postmarks depict the local monuments or landmarks, not necessarily near the post office but shouldn't be as far off as in another city or district. I believe there's already a dedicated post for Japan's pictorial postmarks. Just to add here, the reddish brown color of the ink for pictorial postmarks is said to be *tobiiro* (鳶色) named after black kites' plumage. Last but not least, the date inside a pictorial postmark follows the convention of Japan's normal postmarks, which begins with the year according the the current era. Typically it would've appeared as R2 for the second year of the Reiwa era, but pictorial stamps don't come with an additional letter plug-in and it wouldn't cause any confusion anyway.



You’ve got a really special card there, from @samquito!!! He’s the one who coordinates our annual meet-ups here in NM. He also creates special cancellations for them as well. That card was sent form the Bosque Post Office, I believe. I find that it’s extremely rare to receive or send a card from your own state. In the 8 years I’ve been a member, I’ve sent 1 card within NM, and received one, only recently from someone in NM, and it was from Sam! I am so honored that I got to receive a card from him!

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I’m also very thrilled to receive one from him!

I think Postcrossing has taken some measure to reduce the possibility that we got an address near us. Also, lots of people prefer not to receive domestic postcards.

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I guess each number corresponds to a post office staff so that when people complain about some irregularities (e.g. unclear postmark, postmarks on the wrong side) it’s easier to figure out which staff is responsible. Perhaps, some numbers are reserved for automated cancellation/incoming mail postmark. I noticed that all handstamped incoming mail postmarks that I have received have a number of 1-3 but all machine postmarks have a number larger than 10.

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Difficult to say without seeing the complete back of the postcard. It could be the advertisement part of a machine cancellation, or it could be a hand stamp used at a promotional event for sending postcards.

I would also prefer postal meters in a separate thread. I’m definitely interested in them, but I think inside this thread it would get too complicated.

Christmas time often results in seasonal cancellations. There are not commemorative, just the advertisement part was changed to a seasonal message.

Netherlands (Amsterdam 101 14-Dec-2020-17)

Note that the US cancellations do not use leading zeroes for single-digit dates (3 instead of 03)
Cincinnati OH 452 03-Dec-2020

Columbus, OH 430 04-Dec-2020

It seems not all processing centers are using the happy holidays slogan, I got one dated 02-Dec-2020 from Milwaukee WI 530 with the normal wavy lines.

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There was no additional stuff. No nothing.

In that case it’s most likely a promotional stamp not intended for stamp cancellation.

I dug out a few more cancellations. :smiley:

First, a new variant of the German inkjet machine cancellation: color pale blue instead of black! I don’t yet know if it’s an accident or if German Post is testing a different color. So far, I have seen only this one instance.
Briefzentrum 60 (Frankfurt am Main), date 18.12.20-21 (18-Dec-2020 9PM) machine letters md

Ireland, inkjet machine cancellation (I know there was also normal cliché machine cancellation, not sure if it is still in use)
right: wavy lines
center: “date stamp” in three lines: location (Athionf or Athlone Mails Center), date (22-Oct-2018), and a number whose significance I don’t know.
left: advertisement, here “Remember to / Use your / EIRCODE”.

Now for some intersting Singaporean machine cancellations. Singapore has only one mail cancellation center with only two cancellation machines, they show C1 or C2 in the date stamp. There was cliché cancellation in the past (which I haven’t yet dug out), what I’m showing today is all inject cancellation.
Regular inkjet machine cancellation: right wavy lines, center date stamp with either C1 or C2 machine number, no advertisement. This is used on most days for the bulk of Singaporean mail.
Example date stamp:
3 DEC 2015 (no leading zero for single-digit days)
C2 (or C1)

For special occasions, left of the date stamp an advertisement space can be added. This is often used for only a few days. All these special advertisements are rgular cancellations: They are used on all machine-cancelled mail during the period of used, and in most cases on both machines (there have been cases where the two machines used a different advertisement each).

50 years Singapore independence, use only in February 2015

World Post Day (always 09-Oct) has been celebrated at least since 2017 with a machine cancellation and at least since 2016 with free postcards issued by Singapore Post. I have cancellations from 2 years and cards from 2 years: World Post Day postcard 2016 and

World Post Day cancellation 2017 machine C2

World Post Day cancellation 2020 machine C1

World Post Day cancellation 2020 machine C2

Another sign of the significance Singapore Post gives to World Post Day is that the re-opening of the General Post Office was placed onto 09-Oct-2017. The letter below has the World Post Day machine cancellation on the commemorative ATM stamp General Post Office (which also makes the letter an FDC), then in the bottom right corner the pretty cancellation of the GPO (this is a regular cancellation, available on any day the GPO is open), and the commemorative cancellation for the re-opening of the GPO.

Then I found an unusual letter. It’s from China (Taiwan), the Taiwanese hand cancellation may be a special one (it’s an FDC cancellation for the ATM stamp from a stamp exhibition). As it was underpaid (9 yuan instead of 13), it got a Taxe-stamp right of the airmail label with manually entered numbers: 4 (missing amount) on top and 13 (correct amount) on bottom. With that information, the destination country Singapore can calculate the missing amount in local currency by multiplying with the correct postage in Singaporean dollars (0.80 SGD). The result (0.25 SGD) plus the fee for underpaid mail (1.07 SGD) = 1,32 SGB is then entered in the Singaporean tax stamp (top center). This happens at the airport where foreign mail enters the country. Then the mail is transported to the postman base of the recipient. There a postage due label is printed and added to the letter and cancelled with the regional base stamp (I have never seen this cancellation on stamps, it seems to be used exclusively for postage due). As the smallest coin still in use in Singapore is 0.05 SGD (5 cents), the postage due amount is rounded to the next full 5 cents, in this case 1.30 SGD. That amount was then collected from the recipient.


It’s a test.


It could probably read “use your”.

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Some more inkjet machine cancellations with advertisements from Singapore.

This one from 2018 with a little reminder to post early for Christmas:

These two from 2019 to celebrate Singapore’s bicentennial:


Thank you, @Cassiopheia ! Oddly enough, even though the ink is a lot paler than the black ink, the date etc. is better readable than with most German black inkjet cancellations. I’ll send out my collector’s items to the three Briefzentren. :smiley:

Great catch, @Oo_Hawkwind_oO! It reads indeed “Use your”. I corrected my post. Thank you also for the other Singaporean advertisement cancellations!

I’m scanning postcards again and found a cancellation from North Korea.


A typical postmark from the Philippines.

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A much cleaner scan of a typical Hungarian hand-issued postmark, showing post office “Budapest 181” (Budapest 181 Posta, located in Budapest Airport T2A), Magyar Posta abbreviation “MP”, Date “2020 02 05” and stamp code “NA” (differs by stamp/office)

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