MICHAEL HAMILTON
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Country: Jam numeral pmks Clear
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JAMAICA NUMERAL ADDICTION
My current count for the different combinations of obliterators on QV Pine, CC, CA wmks, QV Keyplates, QV Falls, QV Fiscals, and 1903 Badge issues is 1,916 items. Although I am not a collector I have my own form of collection in that I now have 1,602 scanned combinations, and 314 missing for completion. These counts do not include Kingston Head Office A01 but only cover the town cancels A27 through to E. Included are coloured inks (only blue,and violet) and the two manuscript numbers of 36 and 37 and the possible A67 on QV 1/- CC Ex Duffus. Bisects are not included as they mainly come on complete cover. In mentioning coloured inks I have seen two examples red A01 supplied to John Buckner, Florida in the 1980s. Most elusive, for me, are those which fall on the 1903 Arms issues as I do not have a single scan. Lucky is the collector I sold a wonderful Arms cover cancelled by one of the oblits. many years back. Ideally 106 pages can be allocated for these 1,916 combinations so that all A27 fall on one page, and blue inks, or manuscripts, have their own pages. Probably the most diverse range are those for Cold Spring 193 - no examples are known on Pine wmks so far (the office opened end September 1874) but extremely rare examples of the QV 2/- (SG.14) and QV 6d orange (SG.23) have been found used at this office. Some offices give me quite a shock when I look at my pages. Probably the worst is Richmond A79(J) where I find I have 9 scans and 14 missing scans to complete the page. Added to these 106 pages are pages set up to show examples of the FALMOUTH cds (P11); MILE GULLY cds (P9) SAVANNA-LA-MAR manuscript X overstruck A01, SAVANNA-LA-MAR cds (P11); brass on QV 2d Pine possibly used Spanish Town; manuscript assisted A67 used Port Royal; the newly discovered manuscript Manchioneal dated by Kingston cds A/JY 29 76 which all contribute to the obliterator story. Double and Inverted surcharges have been included in the count.

 
JAMAICA NUMERALS with FORGED CANCELLATIONS
High priced postmarks on catalogued stamps will always attract the forger and it is no surprise that forged cancels exist in all shapes and sizes on GB used abroad stamps. Those wishing to benefit financially from their endeavours have cleaned manuscript cancelled REVENUE issues and applied forged cancels to make them look postally used. Apart from those two groups the village cancels for all of the British West Indies remain largely unscathed (and virus free!). If you look to Bermuda numerals on QV issues you will be hard pressed to find any forgeries as no catalogue value was ever applied to them. Bob Topaz, in the USA, however produced his rarity chart for Jamaica numerals back in 1967, and in 1981 added sterling premiums to all the known combinations. Some of the rarest of the Topaz combinations may not exist at all unless in forgery/fake form as one keen individual took a fancy to forging Jamaica numerals on what would appear to be almost exclusively OFFICIAL issues, many with bluish ink tinge. Whether this was a result of the Topaz pricing, or whether they were prepared to be included in the counts supplied by collectors to Topaz we will never know. I stumbled across these as they appeared in bulk in a Jamaica numeral collection auctioned in the UK which I recognised as belonging to an American collector with initials ABN, possibly a totally innocent party. Around about the same time, perhaps earlier or later, I purchased the Charles Winand collection of Jamaica numerals and noted that a few forgeries from the same stable had found their way onto his album pages. The fakes from the two collections were eventually merged and set aside, and now are presented for the first time. If genuine the group would have been worth a small fortune as most are listed as rare, very rare, extremely rare. For the time being these are held safe, and the illustrations now provided should help to act as a safeguard to collectors in the future.

         
JAMAICA NUMERAL CANCELS
The collecting of cancellations showing full extended village name and full date has always been an attractive proposition, but numeral strikes less so. Bob Topaz, in the USA, completely changed that situation when he contacted all fellow collectors of Jamaica and asked for a complete breakdown of all their numeral cancels on Pine wmk, Crown CC, Crown CA, QV keyplates etc. Armed with all the replies he established a chart which he published in 1967 showing their scarcity and allocated ER (extremely rare) down to C (common) for all the combinations. Later, in 1981, he completed his project by added sterling prices being the premium for fine strikes on top of catalogue value of the actual stamp. Blank spaces in his chart indicated that the obliterator had not been noted and "Topaz unrecorded" was always, and still is, a joy to find. Charles Winand of the UK probably amassed the finest collection of all known combinations but even he with all all years of collecting failed to acquire a single copy of the large vertical "A80" oblit, and not having ever seen one his album page of small vertical "A80" oblits were separated as either small or large if they looked just slightly different! Bozo Ivanovic acquired the Winand collection and kept it intact for many years adding new additions to a stock book rather than mounting them on the Winand pages. Bozo, in turn, sold me the complete collection. Before breaking it up I felt that it should be recorded for posterity and used to illustrate every known combination. Mike Rego prepared the template page for me, and with the help of Paul Hancock, also living in Dorset, scans of all strikes known to us were placed in each square and stepped up in quality when better strikes turned up. Photocopies of the Winand album pages were taken but have never been released. Blank squares show stamps not yet acquired and those squares with "Not Seen" are still Topaz unrecorded. Over 2,000 combinations of numeral/stamp are possible!

 
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