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BERMUDA – St. George’s K3 “2” HANDSTAMP I and HANDSTAMP II on the same stamp
(25 April 2020) This newly discovered unique example of the two different K3 “2” duplex obliterators on 1880 QV 4d orange-red Crown CC wmk (SG.20) will challenge the thoughts of every specialised Bermuda collector who imagined that all there is to know about the numerals had already been written. There is undoubtedly a story to be told and only a careful watch of covers and dated stamps might eventually reveal its secrets. The enlarged illustration shows the differing measurements between the top of the tail of “2” to vertical inner bar at right as 4.75mm (handstamp I) and 3.75mm (handstamp II). A clearer test is that the upright serif of the “2” in handstamp II sticks out further to right than top right side curve of the “2”. The current recorded period of the short-lived handstamp II is OC 21 1880 to DE 22 1880 but Ludington Page 139 recorded a second period of use with a single date of AP 14 1889 (not seen by me, and after the K4 series was issued on JA 1 1889). Ludington records use of the handstamp I from JU 3 1879 to AU 9 1888 with alternating bands of both black and blue ink. The established period for handstamp II (only found in black) is flanked by black ink periods of use of handstamp I for JU 25 1880 to OC xx 1880 and MR 2 1881 to MR 20 1882 as gleaned from covers, but there has been no study of “loose” dated stamps to determine whether handstamp I was also being used during the OC 21 1880 to DE 22 1880 handstamp II period.