Postage Stamps used in the German Marshall Islands
Type II Cancels on Eagle Issues
Backdated Cancels

by Dirk H.R. Spennemann

The type II cancel has also been used to cancel Eagle Issue stamps (both sch and sh) even after they were recalled from use. This was done by backdating the cancel. It must be understood that a genuine canceller was used, ie that this must have occurred by someone with access to the post office. The contemporary stamp press suspects Felix Becker, father-in-law of the postmaster Carl Domnick, with, or without the latter's collusion. The backdated cancels are recognisable by a number of cancel dates and by a different cancel colour (deep black and oily-sooty appearance instead of a black or grey-black and dry/crisp appearance). However, as Friedemann stresses, the cancel colour alone is not a fool-proof way to determine backdated from genuine. Suspect dates are set out in the table below.[1]

The old and wider numbers (top) for the date and months slugs compared with the new and narrower numbers (bottom)[2]

A series of backdated 3 Pf Eagle series with the Marshall Inseln overprint and the cancel date 26 / 7 01 are illustrated here.

Friedemann asserts that Felix Becker was asked in 1903 separately by two German stamp dealers to cancel 100 sets each of the 3Pfg to 50Pfg Berlin issues with the type I cancel, and to backdate the cancels. As the first cancel had been returned, this was no longer possible. Becker reputedly declined the cancels and offered each of the dealers that he could supply them with the same number of cancelled stamps from his own stock in trade for the samples they were about to send him. This, however, was only a ruse as it was impossible for him to have the stamps in hand (keeping in mind that the Berlin issue stamps had never reached Jaluit). What seems to have happened was that he cancelled to order the 100 sets sent dealer A and sent them to dealer B, while the stamps sent by dealer B were sent to dealer A. These cancels were backdated type II cancels.[3]

The cancels thus created were stuck on yellowish conceptpaper ('Konzeptpapier'), some on sections of white covers, and others on olive grey covers (the so-called 'Becker-Covers'), which is well repesented among the backdated cancels. all backdated cancels use the gresay/sooty ink.[4]

Example of a Type II greasy/sooty cancel (front and back of piece)
Suspect dates of type II cancels on Berne and Jaluit Issues [6]
8.6.00 greasy cancel known; also occurs as genuine cancel date
9.6.00 greasy cancel known
7.7.00 greasy cancel known
10.7.00 greasy cancel known
12.7.00 greasy cancel known
22.7.00 greasy cancel known
24.7.00 greasy cancel known
26.7.00 not listed in Friedemann but large quantity known
28.7.00 greasy cancel known
10.8.00frequentgreasy cancel known; also occurs as genuine cancel date
27.8.00frequentgreasy cancel known
29.8.00frequentgreasy cancel known
28.9.00frequentgreasy cancel known
29.9.00 greasy cancel known
1.10.00 greasy cancel known
5.10.00 greasy cancel known
10.-0.00 missing digit !
18.10.00 greasy cancel known
20.10.00frequentgreasy cancel known; also occurs as genuine cancel date
29.10.00 greasy cancel known
31.10.00 greasy cancel known
8.12.00 greasy cancel known; also occurs as genuine cancel date
28.9.01 also occurs as genuine cancel date

Examples of Type II backdated cancels [Source: e-bay March 2002]

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Bibliographic citation for this document

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). Postage Stamps used in the German Marshall Islands. Cancels-- Backdated Type II Cancels
URL: http:/

Dirk H.R. Spennemann, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, P.O.Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia.

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