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

Recently I got this postmark of Chinese post office. I found the shape very interesting.


From French Polynesia:

From Venezuela:

I think all of them have been stamped by hand.

Not sure if you would like to add those above to the first post, @ChristianJ.

Well, just checked and I can’t edit the first post myself.


It’s called a “permanent pictorial cancellation”. These are mostly available at philately bureaus and are not so common.

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Yes, in French Polynesia the mail is hand-cancelled. I’m glad that there wasn’t an idiot to put an ordinary postmark over the Chinese New Year first day cancellation ! (Yes, it happened… :expressionless:)

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Hello I have a question but I am not sure if I am right here. Above it was explained how you can acquire FDC and FDOI from the USPS. Here in the thread there are many posts about stamps. I am looking for people with whom one can enter into an exchange on the subject of special stamps. I imagined it this way: I get letters with special postmarks from the German Post and would send them to interested members here from the forum. Other members in the United States could obtain letters with special USPS cancellations and send them to me. I find letters with special postmarks that were actually also transported by post more interesting than FDC without an address and postal transport. For example, I created this letter myself, had it stamped by the post office and then sent to me:

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Great topic. I always like clear postmarks. Will share some of my collection here :grin:

Cheers, SL Liew

I also upload all my stamp cancellation in my postcard blogs. So can view them there :grin:

@honzuki , wow… you are in French Polynesia… there must be a ton of postcrossers wanting to swap with you… :grin:

I have a question: I have received two types of French Polynesia postcards mailed from
A) contacts who have visited Tahiti and mailed to me

B) contacts who arranged mailing from French Polynesia (not sure if these postcards actually travelled to French Polynesia) and observed two types of cancellations.

Can you please enlighten me a bit of the differences of both cancellations - is the philatelic burea/center in Tahiti where you can get philatelic bureau/centre cancellations?

Type A

Type B


@Saouri All the cancellations on postcards that I have received from Nepal are not clear. This one shows GPO Kathmandu :grin:


The one on postcard A is the ordinary postmark. (By the way, I am surprised to see that kind of wavy postmark on mail from PF, even mailed from Papeete RP, the main post office. I thought that all the mail was hand-cancelled. :thinking:)
On postcard B, you have the first day cancellation on the left and the Philatelic Center postmark on the right. When a new stamp is issued, people from the Philatelic Center go to the main post office to affix the first day cancellation on the stamp that’s issued that day (if you are sending mail with that stamp). I usually only ask for the first day cancellation, and if there is room left on the card I ask for the Philatelic Center postmark as well.
It used to be possible to go to the Philatelic Center to buy stamps and have first day cancellations affixed, for example if you missed the day of issue (you would have to put the card in an envelope, therefore pay double the postage, because the postmark must show the day of mailing), but they moved a couple of years ago and it isn’t possible anymore, sadly.


Thanks for your detailed sharing…

It took me very long to update the whole list again. Thank you for all these submissions! Do you think we can manage to get every country in the world? It would be so cool!

I love how thorough the Chinese postal system is! Although there are inconsistencies in the design et cetera, but that’s not really a big deal! I remember sending a postcard and getting a normal black postmark with the name of the post office and, then, the character 筒 in brackets. I think that’s another way they show that the card was collected from a postbox.

This is a special post office in Guangzhou called Kaleidoscope Post Office. All postcards delivered here will be stamped with this special kaleidoscope postmark! The shape of this post office is also like a kaleidoscope, I just went there yesterday haha


I’ve got this one, which I enjoy a lot :blush:


Here’s a Kyrgyz postmark (I sent the postcard to myself haha, as usual!):

I mailed it at the central post office (Бишкекский почтамт) in Bishkek. The stamp was postmarked in front of me by the postal operator. Can someone please explain to me why it says страховой участок? Usually such postmarks just say the name of the city followed by the postcode (cf. Бишкек 60 for the area under the postcode 720060)… What does this mean? Did they recycle a postmark which is usually used for something else? I hope not aha!

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страховой участок translates to insurance site

At first I thought that it had to do with “insurance”, but it’s actually from страховая почта (something on the lines of “insured mail”, such as registered mail). Участок could be “area” / “section” / “sector”, which makes me think that this refers to a section of the post office where they sort “insured mail”? It’s still a peculiar postmark, as it doesn’t even tell you that it is from Bishkek. It only says Кыргыз Республикасы and страховой участок, with no reference to the city of origin itself.

Would this make sense? I’m not confident enough with my Russian, so I need some Russian speakers who can help me unravel this little mystery!

Bolivia and Mali (Tombouctou) also have hand cancellations with date in red. These two look like the two separate stamps were applied, first the round one in blue and then red with date.


And Canada does not only pencil cancellation, but also pen

While I understand - revenue protection with stamps within Canada - I don’t get why they touch the incoming already cancelled stamps :rage::

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Many rural, smaller post offices in Canada have pictorial, non commemorative cancellations,


but it is annoying when hand cancelled cards are still cancelled by machines


has any one got any south America postmarks?