Triple inverted cancellation error in a casual postcard! [Story time]

I’ve been sending postcards to my cousins from the places I’ve travelled to for many years before I joined Postcrossing.
My aunt, uncle and cousins moved, around half a year ago, to a new house. So I sent a postcard to their new adress to commemorate it and as a kind of the start of a new era with postcards adressed to a new place.
The postcard is depicting an iconic building of the city of Valencia that is in front of where they live.
Well, months passed and said postcard never arrived (mind you, we live ten minutes driving/twenty minutes bus from each other, same city). I just thought it got lost in the mail and didn’t think much of it.
Some weeks ago, my aunt sent me a message. The postcard had arrived!
But oh, how it had arrived.
I know some errors in philately have a name but I have no idea if this has one so I just called it the Triple Inversion. This postcard is has a triple inversion:

  1. Because the cancellation is on the opposite side of the postcard: where the image is and not where the stamp is.
  2. Because the cancellation is on the bottom of the postcard, not on the top where the stamp should have been if it were in the correct side of the postcard.
  3. Because the cancellation stamp in the lower part of the picture side of the postcard is actually upside down, so it is read if you put the image of the postcard upside down.

How cool is that?! I mean, what are the odds of having all those in one (technically it all takes one missplacement of the postcrad in the machine to have them all but let me have this).
And, if somehow the stamp was actually inverted (with the letter and date of the cancellation in specular mode) it would be four times inverted (of course, due to the way these stamps are designed that is -almost- impossible).

Ok, that’s it. i just thought it was so cool and I am low-key jealous that my aunt, that think the postcard is “sweet”, has a neat piece of philately but I love my family and it makes a nice story. I thought I’d share with more postcard nerd here in the forum.
Do you have a similar story you want to share?

:spiral_notepad: Note: I looked through the forum but I couldn’t find a topic about errors in cancellations or inverted cancellations, ect. I am not sure if there is one, but please, redirect this post if I am opening a new front for something that already exist and I’ll move my story there. I am quite new to the forum and apparently, I can’t make tags work, so this post has no tags because they don’t appear.


I don’t know if there’s a name for this error, either, but I vote to name/re-name it Triple Inversion. :raising_hand_woman:

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One time I got a postcard from South-Africa that had a very clear red cancellation, but for some reason when it arrived here it got cancelled a second time by the machine. So now the postcard has a South-African and a Dutch cancellation on the stamp lol.

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I have one with a red round rubber stamp cancellation hitting three of the four stamps, a machine cancellation hitting the same three stamps, a second machine cancellation upside down in the lower left corner hitting no stamp at all and an orange bar code on the text side and on the picture side. After all the smallest stamp is still uncancelled after all this cancellation insanity. Who else could have done thist than United States Postal Service… :crazy_face:


Would you consider no cancellation at all an error?!

And the long gray bar code stickers the US uses? Hate those, but I’ve always been able to peel them off easily.

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Interesting event; I’d have also expected Correos cachet to be on left of the round mark, that is the actual postal cancellation :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

It happened to me many times that manually cancelled covers and postcard, with special and pictorial postmarks, have been ruined :angry: by an overprinted machine cancellation (but not of two different countries like @Mattie07), sign that someone have not followed the rule of not putting philatelic mail into machines.
Italian post offices forward this mail in special separate envelopes to the sorting center, but perhaps someone thinks that it’s easier to put into machines instead of doing a manual procedure.

Sometimes it happened, on mail I sent, that arrives with no postmark, as @Susaninutah.


I hate those stickers in the Netherlands. We have two type of stickers, one with a bar code that can easily be peeled off with no damage, but there is also a sticker that gets put on when the machine couldn’t read the address well enough or something (at least that’s what I believe the sticker is used for)
That sticker is a nightmare to peel off, and either damages the card or leaves an irremovable sticky residue. Nowadays, I try to leave the sticker on, but oftentimes the sticker is very large and covers part of the message :frowning:

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Anyways, here is a picture of the aforementioned South-African postcard which was cancelled by the machine for the second time when it came here for some inexplicable reason. I think it looks pretty neat :slight_smile:


That sticker is for when the mail is sorted wrong, it has nothing to do with the address otherwise. And I wholeheartedly agree with you about this awful sticker!


As far as I’ve seen with my mail, usually Correos uses the big squared “logo” stamp as a cancellation, so it is placed on the stamps, and the round one is set aside. With how massive it is, usually it works as a kind of obliterator, but it is true that not having the round stamp on the stamp allows you to have a neat print and usually the place and date is easy to read.
Ah, well, one for the other…

Also, I find it really cool that in Italy philatelic mail gets a special treatment so it is most likely to get a nice handstamp.


Looks really neat! And you can tell apart very well both stamps and they’re both readable!

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Well, I think it’s not a real cancellation error, but: some weeks ago I received a card from the US.
On the text side there was the sticker from USPS with the code. I’ve had this a lot, so nothing uncommon. But not only on the bottom but also on the top. Well, okay, better twice than none. Then I turned to the picture side. Surprise - another sticker! It seemed thicker than the others so I carefully removed it. And - there was a second sticker! The story continues…while I Was removing the second sticker I saw…the third!
So I had five stickers in total on one card.
I ask myself: why?? :sweat_smile:


I love this.
Maybe someone got trapped in the room with the sticker machine and was trying to call attention by placing too many stickers on postcards. :joy:

The Penta-Post
A Hércule Poirot mystery by Agatha Christie


Or they had a sticker party at the post office.