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Author: Subject: When is a mute cancel not a mute cancel?
David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/11/2012 at 00:11
When is a mute cancel not a mute cancel?


The term "mute cancel" is usually understood in the narrow sense of cancels, without town name and usually without date, from the first months of WWI (usually Aug-Dec 1914), when use of such cancels was mandated. They were used in some areas
later in the war, also. However, there are a lot of functionally mute cancels that appear for no evident reason at other times.
Here is the back of a letter (purchased on ebay from one of our distinguished members) sent from the PTO of Brest'-Kuyavski, Warsaw province in late 1913 to Buffalo, New York, where it arrived 7 Nov 1913. Given the multiple US postmarks that agree on the year, we can be sure this really was 1913, not 1914.
The stamps are cancelled by hand in blue ink. If this were an item from late 1914, it would be automatically classified as a mute, and quite a nice one at that. However, mute cancels were not in use at this time. So presumably, the clerk was busy applying the reg'y label on the other side and forgot to cancel the stamps.

Brest-Kuyavski_back.jpg - 326kB
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/11/2012 at 00:14
More of the same


It is interesting that the clerk forgot to apply cancels, because the reg'y label on the front has been carefully written over
with an "R" for registry -- evidently a label in French was not available. Given that the ink on the reg'y label is in black, it seems that the clerk at Brest-Kuyavski did not apply the ink to the stamps, since that ink is blue.

Brest-Kuyavski_front.jpg - 352kB
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Maxime Citerne
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[*] posted on 4/11/2012 at 03:43


Nice item!
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 4/12/2012 at 00:02


Thanks!
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