Smith Elder & Co Precancel

Precancels of Great Britain

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Henry S. King & Co Precancel
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Smith Elder & Co Precancel Henry S. King & Co Precancel William Dawson & Sons 1st Precancel W. H. Smith & Son 1st Precancel Public-Precancel Frank-Precancel Times-Precancel Railway-Precancel Army-Precancel
Smith Elder & Co H. S. King & Co W.Dawson & Sons W. H. Smith & Son 'Public Precancels' Precancel Franking Newspapers Railway Precancels Army Telegraphs
 
Private Telegraphs Booklets T.O.6 obliteration ENT.O.1 Cancel Calendar Embossed Perfin Sloper Contributions
Private Telegraphs Booklets T.O.1 to T.O.6 Anomalies Time frame Embossed Perfins Sloper punch Contributions

 

Embossed

Stamped To Order (STO)

From October 1855 until the end of October 1973, a facility existed to have sheets of paper embossed to order.
These embossed stamps were dated in the British format of day, month, year.
A word of warning: The embossing is sometimes heavy enough to cut through the paper making them rather fragile.
Stamped To Order 1d curl 1 Stamped To Order 1d curl 2 Stamped To Order 2d Stamped To Order 3d Stamped To Order 6d
16/6/63 - STO 1d curl 116/4/73 - STO 1d curl 224/10/87 - STO 2d16/10/82 - STO 3d16/3/93 - STO 6d

In unused condition, these dates are easy to read. In used condition it is not always easy, in this case,
it is sometimes easier to look at the back where the embossed date can sometimes be seen better when at the right angle to the light.

 

Undated

In 1894, the 'date-plugs' started to be replaced by 'florets' and later disappeared completely.
Stamped To Order 2½d Stamped To Order 4d Stamped To Order 6d Stamped To Order 10d
Florets - STO 2½dFlorets - STO 4dUndated - STO 6dUndated - STO 10d

The 6d, 10d and 1s are sometimes 'passed-off' as the adhesive stamps.
The Postal Stationery cut-outs though are without watermark or 'silk' threads and sometimes have a different 'pendant curl' at the back.

 

Advertising Collars

From 1857 to 1888, Companies could use what have become known as 'Advertising Collars' surrounding the embossed stamp.
The true purpose is likely to have been similar to perfin use.

Some were done at Somerset house in the same operation as embossing the stamps (Official issues). These were therefore in the same colour and well-centred.
Others were done later privately and could be in a different colour and often with imperfect centring.
Stamped To Order HN Stamped To Order WHS
OfficialCracked Collar
 
Stamped To Order SSS Stamped To Order 10d
Private - same colourPrivate - dual colour

Notice the cracked WHS collar above. WHS collars were first registered at Somerset House on 29th January 1862. Two collars were used.
One Collar was used for the 1d, 2d and 1s values. It served a long life and became very worn.
The other was used for the 1½d, 3d, 4d & 6d. after heavy use, the top crack started to appear between 16th and 25th March 1867.

I have seen copies up to September 1872, then I have no examples (with or without cracks) until 9th March 1874 with both cracks.
I have examples of both cracks up to March 31st 1883.
This collar was replaced sometime in 1884 with a new type with larger side 'stars'
(Ref. British Postal Stationery, A Priced Handbook of the Postal Stationery of Great Britain, Alan K. Huggins (1970) page 76),
I have a copy dated 20th December 1884. The 1½d looks new also, see below.

A complication is that the cracks are not always visible as it depends how stretched the collar is by the die at the time.

W.H.S. Collar history in brief:

29 Jan. 1862WHS started using collars.
16-25 Mar. 1867Top crack starting to appear on 1½d, 3d, 4d & 6d values.
between Sept.1872 and Mar.1874 Bottom crack appeared (on 1½d, 3d, 4d & 6d values).
1884Cracked collar replaced.
1888Collars discontinued.


Anyone have more information or can narrow the date ranges?

 

WHS with cracked collar WHS with new collar
WHS - worn & cracked dated 31/3/83 WHS - new dated 20/12/84
 
Smith Elder East India Agents Smith Elder & Co Precancel
Smith, Elder - East India Agents Smith, Elder - 65 Cornhill, London

 

Smith, Elder registered an Advertising Collar inscribed 'East India Agents, London' on 23rd October 1857 for 1d and 4d.
They then registered one inscribed '65 Cornhill, London' on 14th July 1859 for 1d and 'collar only' on 8th December 1865.

 

Grindlay & Co. (The Home News) registered the collar only on 12th May 1862.

 

Nine companies used their own advertising collars Officially produced at Somerset House.
Additionally some 48 other companies had Private advertising collars. Some of each group registered more than one collar for successive addresses.

 

Grindlay & Co. (The Home News) is known to have used the precancels of Smith, Elder and H.S.King.
It is quite possible that other companies did something similar and any examples would be both very interesting and highly informative.

Please let me know if you have any.

 

A.K.Huggins gives a list of known dates of dies used with advertising rings.
I show it here with confirmations in blue-green and my additions in violet.

The Home News - Grindlay & Co., London
1d. curl type 1
7.1.63   2.10.63   19.3.64   25.1.65   24.4.65   30.6.66
1d. curl type 2
18.1.67   17.9.67   6.4.69   26.8.72   7.6.77   15.10.79   7.2.80   30.11.81   Undated S.H.
1½d
16.1.80   13.2.80   10.6.80   19.10.80   13.1.81   15.2.82   13.4.86   14.9.86
2d
20.8.62   3.6.63   8.12.63   26.1.65   17.3.65   9.12.65   16.1.68   21.8.68   13.9.68   11.5.69   6.10.69   16.11.69   26.2.72   6.12/78   30.6.79   14.10.79
3d
9.7.62   1.5.63   15.5.63   5.6.63   20.7.63   22.9.63   23.9.63   16.12.63   4.2.64   17.2.64   20.4.64   30.4.64   16.6.64   29.9.64   11.10.64   17.11.64   22.4.65   11.7.65   8.9.65   31.10.65   9.12.65   16.7.66   24.9.66   18.1.67   9.7.67   13.1.68   4.6.68   25.8.68   12.9.68   14.9.68   8.2.69   8.7.69   6.10.69   16.11.69   16.10.71   25.11.72   26.1.74   8.11.74   24.3.76

 

Smith Elder & Co. - East India Agents, London
1d
13.3.58
4d
26.4.62   18.6.62   14.8.62   13.10.62   24.11.62   25.4.63   4.6.63   5.6.63   27.7.63   15.9.63   11.11.63   21.6.64   21.8.64   19.11.64   21.1.65   28.2.65   1.3.65   24.4.65   4.8.65   5.8.65   10.6.65   19.6.65   19.9.65   21.11.65   30.9.65

 

Smith Elder & Co. - 65 Cornhill, London
1d. curl type 1
19.1.60   18.12.61   16.1.62   21.6.62   20.11.62   11.3.63   24.4.63   16.9.63   21.10.63   13.2.64   18.6.64   17.8.64   8.11.64   27.2.65   14.6.65   3.8.65   15.9.65   10.1.66   25.4.66   7.7.66
1d. curl type 2
24.6.67   27.2.69
2d
9.7.61   9.12.61   12.2.62   24.4.62   20.6.62   14.8.62   10.10.62   17.1.63   19.1.63   3.3.63   12.3.63   17.3.63   23.7.63   22.10.63   12.12.63   20.4.64   4.10.64   11.1.65   17.1.65   18.1.65   6.3.65   18.4.65   15.6.65   14.9.65   18.11.65   2.3.66   24.4.66   13.9.66   12.11.66   24.6.67
3d
13.1.66   19.1.66   6.3.66   10.4.66   12.4.66   19.4.66   20.4.66   5.7.66   18.9.66   13.11.66   20.6.67   21.6.67
4d
19.9.65   12.1.66   3.3.66   23.4.66   25.4.66   14.11.66   24.6.67   6.10.68
1/-
28.5.61   13.2.62   15.2.62   13.8.62   13.10.62   28.10.62   21.11.62   24.11.62   16.1.63   18.1.63   9.6.63   21.7.63   27.7.63   16.9.63   15.11.63   14.12.63   20.1.65   19.4.65   20.6.65   29.6.65   20.11.65   5.3.66   24.6.67   6.3.68   6.10.68   6.10.69

 

W. H. Smith & Son - 186 Strand, London
1d. curl type 1
27.2.62   8.4.62   18.10.62   2.12.62   13.12.62   14.3.63   30.5.63   26.6.63   15.7.63   5.10.63   20.11.63   9.12.63   27.1.64   2.3.64   19.7.64   30.9.64   31.12.64   11.5.65   21.9.65   23.11.65   10.2.66   21.2.66   26.3.66   25.4.66   15.5.66   28.5.66   6.7.66   13.7.66   3.8.66
1d. curl type 2
2.11.66   24.11.66   2.2.67   23.2.67   16.3.67   25.5.67   12.7.67   9.8.67   8.10.67   26.10.67   13.11.67   9.12.67   24.1.68   5.5.68   18.7.68   17.10.68   5.11.68   28.11.68   29.12.68   15.1.69   2.2.69   11.9.69   7.2.70   22.2.70   15.3.70   17.6.71   10.2.72   27.8.72   1.11.72   5.7.73   7.11.73   8.11.73   29.11.73   29.12.73   16.1.74   7.2.74   28.2.74   20.3.74   18.4.74   20.4.74   5.5.74   28.5.74   5.6.74   6.6.74   26.6.74   13.7.74   14.7.74   4.9.74   6.10.74   7.10.74   6.11.74   4.12.74   19.12.74   16.1.75   11.2.75   9.3.75   25.3.75   2.5.76   2.6.76   22.7.76   8.9.76   11.11.76   29.11.76   14.12.76   1.1.77   19.1.77   29.1.77   12.2.77   24.2.77   10.3.77   26.3.77   6.4.77   20.4.77   30.4.77   25.5.77   22.6.77   26.6.77   7.7.77   21.7.77   17.8.77   18.8.77   1.10.77   26.11.77   11.1.78   4.2.78   20.4.78   4.7.78   4.10.78   19.10.78   7.5.79   2.7.79   1.8.79   19.8.79   10.10.79   30.10.79   10.12.79   20.12.79   19.2.80   6.3.80   15.3.80   16.3.80   8.5.80   23.8.80   25.11.80   17.12.80   18.1.81   9.4.81   24.5.81   22.9.81   2.12.81   12.5.82   5.8.82   31.8.82   1.9.82   7.10.82   21.10.82   8.12.82   18.12.82   19.1.83   11.6.83   28.6.83   7.7.83   23.7.83   4.8.83   1.9.83   16.9.83   23.11.83   1.12.83   24.10.84   21.11.84   28.5.83[SIC]   Undated S.H.
1½d
6.2.80   7.10.80   16.12.80   20.5.80   22.3.81   26.5.81   26.1.82   2.2.82   11.5.82   15.6.82   9.12.82   10.12.82   1.2.83   31.3.83   19.4.83   12.5.83   14.9.83   7.1.84   15.3.84
1½d - new collar
20.12.84   10.3.85   17.3.85   5.8.85   21.9.85   25.1.86   22.3.86   30.4.86   27.10.86   22.3.87   3.9.87   17.10.87   19.12.87   14.3.88   28.3.88   23.4.88   26.5.88   13.6.88   2.7.88   30.7.88
2d
19.3.62   11.7.62   16.12.62   19.1.63   16.3.63   10.6.63   27.6.63   29.6.63   22.8.63   1.10.63   22.12.63   22.1.64   31.3.64   30.4.64   10.12.64   12.1.65   18.2.65   15.4.65   27.5.65   21.8.65   21.3.66   16.5.66   15.10.66   12.12.66   22.12.66   25.2.67   18.5.67   12.7.67   12.9.67   20.12.67   17.3.68   20.4.68   25.5.68   27.6.68   20.7.68   8.9.68   22.2.69   1.5.69   31.5.69   22.11.69   31.12.69   10.1.70   22.2.70   2.4.70   25.4.70   10.9.70   11.10.70   7.11.70   12.1.71   28.2.71   22.3.71   16.5.71   21.8.71   18.9.71   2.10.71   14.11.71   19.4.72   22.6.72   23.5.72[SIC]   25.8.72   1.11.72   28.1.73   7.7.73   6.9.73   31.1.74   23.5.74   11.8.74   4.9.74   28.9.74   23.11.74   1.2.75   14.6.75   7.7.75   14.9.75   23.10.76   13.12.76   11.7.77   9.8.77   18.12.77   20.9.78   22.2.79   10.11.79   20.12.79   21.1.80   4/3/80   24.4.80   31.5.80   28.12.80   15.2.81   14.2.81[SIC]   31.3.81   17.2.82   29.6.82   9.8.82   5.2.83   7.7.83   20.8.83   10.11.83   11.12.83   4.2.84   6.12.84   21.12.85   22.3.86   5.4.86   21.4.86   6.12.86   9.2.87   22.3.87   31.7.88
3d
14.9.62   16.12.62   1.4.63   28.5.63   1.10.63   3.6.64   20.7.64   18.3.65   11.7.65   20.9.65   21.4.66   24.9.66   22.12.66   22.6.67   19.8.67   7.10.67   11.12.67   4.5.68   10.11.68   1.5.69   3.6.69   8.2.70   25.10.70   13.3.71   29.8.71   22.4.72   4.8.72   19.8.72   23.12.72   24.2.73   7.7.73   1.12.73   22.12.73   31.1.74   23.2.74   9.3.74   30.3.74   20.5.74   28.9.74   7.12.74   18.1.75   17.4.75   12.6.76   19.6.76   3.7.78   10.12.79   22.2.79   5.6.79   21.1.80   15.3.80   15.5.80   28.9.80   12.11.80   16.12.80   31.1.81   9.6.81   25.7.81   1.12.81   1.4.83   4.8.83   15.9.83   20.2.84   3.3.84
3d - new collar
13.10.84   3.2.85   22.4.85   16.6.85   21.7.85   6.8.85   21.7.85[SIC]   20.11.85   30.11.85   14.12.85   29.12.85   16.1.86   26.1.86   22.2.86   9.3.86   5.4.86   6.11.86   23.11.86   14.12.86   15.6.87   11.7.87   28.9.87   17.10.87   26.11.87   20.12.87   10.1.88   17.2.88   10.4.88   31.7.88
4d
11.7.62   27.6.63   6.9.64   2.6.65   12.1.66   15.10.66   25.3.67   11.12.67   3.5.68   25.8.68   8.11.69   11.10.70   7.11.70   12.1.71   16.5.71   15.7.71   4.12.71   30.9.72   28.4.74   6.12.75   11.1.76   11.1.78   2.8.79   24.11.79   6.2.83   16.3.83   20.2.84   3.3.84
4d - new collar
2.8.84   15.9.84   24.10.84   5.12.84   21.7.85   31.3.85[SIC]   14.11.85   3.7.88
6d
17.12.62   11.6.63   28.1.64   5.9.64   10.12.64   4.3.65   21.4.66   8.8.66   11.2.67   6.6.67   14.11.67   21.4.68   28.9.68   8.3.69   13.12.69   11.4.70   19.8.71   8.4.72   6.11.72   13.4.74   8.6.74   26.10.74   21.12.74   20.12.75   2.6.76   2.11.77   7/10/78   9.1.79   23.12.79   11.12.83
6d - new collar
2.8.84   1.6.85   6.8.85   15.2.86   16.6.87   11.7.87   16.11.87   26.5.88   31.7.88
1/-
30.12.75   13.5.76
Mixed - combinations of 2 embossed stamps adding up to 4½d
1½d with ring + 3d(no ring)   -   dated 14.6.80   22.3.81
1½d with ring + 3d with ring   -   dated 16.12.80
2d with ring + 2½d(no ring)   -   dated 9.2.80
2½d with ring + 2d(no ring)   -   dated 31.1.81 (HUGGINS AP38)
3d with ring + 1½d(no ring)   -   dated 7.9.80   13.11.80

 

There are several mixed combinations known, all adding to 4½d.
B, F, H and P obliterations
image courtesy of Cyclamon

 

Some examples are known with manuscript numbers in the middle. Also the scarce T.O. series can be found.
SE 2d with manuscript 294   SE 4d with manuscript 429   SEWHS with T.O.1
Here is 294 on 2d of Smith, Elder dated 18.8.64. The 1d is also known numbered 294, but dated 17.8.64.
Also shown is 429 on 4d dated 12/1/66 The purpose is not known. A. K. Huggins produced a list of these, but these two are not included.
Note the small frame break below 'DE' of 'ELDER' on the 2d. This break rapidly got much bigger, accompanied by a similar gap at the bottom.

The T.O. series is to be found on the W.H.Smith examples and sometimes Smith, Elder. There is disagreements about the precise use of these marks,
but they were issued to the Foreign Branch in 1860 (click on image to find out more).

 

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.
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Last updated 19th. April 2014

©Copyright Steve Panting 2010/11/12/13/14 except where stated.
Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.

 

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