Mystery Revenue Marking?

Attached is a scan of the 10 cent value of the 1921 definitive series, handstamped with the "BUREAU OF INTERNALREVENUE" fourth provisional series marking. While admittedly no great treasure as such, this copy bears a marking I have not seen elsewhere. Notably, it has a double lined "X" pressed into it. This is very clear on the stamp itself, but you must look closely at the scan to see it. I say pressed into the stamp because it has no ink, but is rather a sharply defined well centered indentation only slightly smaller than the stamp itself. Does anyone have any information on this marking? Is it common? Scarce? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  • Greg -
    I see clearly the top-left-to-lower-right pair of lines, and less clearly the bottom-left-to-top-right. But what is happening horizontally, just below their crossing point?
    It looks in the scan like the paper has been pulled rightwards from the edge at the left side: in other words, like the lines are not pressed but scored, as if by a right-handed person using a point without ink. (Mr László Bíró did not invent his pen until 1931, and production happened much later).
    It also looks to me like the top-left-to-lower-right pair of lines is not a parallel pair, but changes separation, like the horizontal lines that I am seeing.
    On the stamp itself, can you see whether this might be more of a hand-written, double-scored "✱"?
  • Martin,

    Thanks for your response. I should have thought to include a scan of the back. At first I thought it was just that the stamp had been folded across the middle, but close inspection shows the "fold" to be the same style parallel lines. I lean toward your theory that it is likely nothing more than an overzealous clerk's defacing of the stamp. I was fooled by the preciseness of the original "X". Again, the markings on the stamp are clearer than the scan picks up. The opposite stoke of the "X" is much more obvious on the actual stamp.

  • It looks like a cancellation with a pen with no ink.
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