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ST. VINCENT - The "CIRCLE OF DOTS" cancellation
The “Circle of Dots”, as described in the PML handbook Page 129, is only known struck in black ink and only found on the 1880 QV 1d olive-green (SG.29, 60,000 stamps invoiced May 13 1880). Of the 12 copies known to me the key stamp to assist in establishing where this mark was applied is the Ex Messenger copy overstruck black “CA” (at Calliaqua) dated JY 30 81. Only 4 offices were using the black ink pad at this time being Barrouallie, Calliaqua, Kingstown, and Mesopotamia. A chart has been prepared to show the nearest known strikes either side of the JY 30 81 date as gleaned from either “loose” dated stamps or covers. Barrouallie had use of both vertical “A10” and “BAR” datestamp, the Calliaqua “CA” datestamp is so commonly applied on SG.29 that a single dated strike effectively rules out its use at that office, Kingstown had use of horizontal “A10”, GB/40c, “K” datestamp, ST. VINCENT cds, which leaves by elimination Mesopotamia as the most likely candidate. The chart shows no dated strikes for Mesopotamia period JA 12 81 to SP 7 82 (21 months) and Peter Jaffe in a Stamp Collecting magazine 18 November 1950 article (no copy of same retained) reported that there was no Postmaster at Mesopotomia at DE 23 80. Only four strikes of black “MES” are recorded after that date on SG.29 being xx JA 81, 9 JA 81, JA 10 81, JA 12 81 and then comes the “unknown period” until SP 7 82. Mail from the village of Mesopotamia would have continued and initial copies may have been “killed” in manuscript before it was thought to apply the wafer seal impressions. The 9th illustration shows perhaps an early combination. Activity at the other black ink offices is shown for the Mesopotamia unknown period JA 12 81 to SP 7 82.