Saturday, August 20, 2011

To be or not to be : CTO - The difficult ones 04 a

So far I only posted CTO cancels that are easy to recognise. At least if you have more copies of one stamp, or a couple of stamps from the same series.
Other cancels are so clearly fake, that there's no doubt that they are CTO.
Sometimes, the cancel is even printed along with the printing process of the stamp itself.

Therefore, all titles so far were : the very obvious ones....
Time to expand that group of post, with the 'difficult' ones.

CTO as in really "cancelled to order" or "cancelled on demand".
In many exhibitions or stamp fairs, there's a local postoffice canceling new stamps with a special cancel.
This can be a first day of issue or an exhibition cancel for example.
Those cancels are 'real' but the problem is of course, the stamps aren't always put on a cover.
In that case it would have been an FDC (sent or not).
Many stamps remain unused for postal trafic, but they are cancelled with a special exhibition cancel.
Sometimes, catalogues mention those kind of cancels in their catalogue.

For me, a stamp that hasn't been used for sending something, but cancelled anyhow, is a CTO.
And I try to avoid them in my collection.
Problem with those cancels is that they are very nice.
Mainly cancelled in the capital city of the issuing country. A very clear cancel and a very clear date of cancellation... First when you see a couple of similar stamps, or even a complete set with the same cancel, you'll notice that this can't be a 'normal' postal cancellation. In almost all cases, the stamp has still the original gum too.

Ok, the cancels are nice and clear, and the countries are generally speaking more 'thrustworthy', still it's not my piece of cake.

Let's have a look at some 'fine' examples:

Swiss cancel 1st day of issue - unused stamps

Swiss 1st day of issue cancel - unused stamps

Swiss 1st day of issue cancel - unused stamps
Swiss 1st day of issue cancel - unused stamps

Swiss 1st day cancel - block of 4 - unused stamps
Swiss souvenir sheet - 1st day cancel - unused stamps

Finally the small neighbour, Liechtenstein, affected by the same cancels ...
Liechtenstein 1st day of issue cancel  - unused stamp

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