I had some of these pics in a thread on the Old Stamp Bears, but it didn’t get ported over. So I’m going to redo the thread with better pictures, more detailed IDs, and some additional serpentines I acquired since then. If you have some, feel free to add them to this thread as I’d love to see them!
small single-circle postmark (unidentifiable), docket 68 pen cancel
Scott Finland #4(1860), Type I roulette (1.0-1.5 mm), ordinary paper Facit Finland #3C1Lb(5Sep1864), 3rd setting, light blue color variety. Michel Finland #3A 2016, 2018 Scott catalog used = $200 (2002 Facit has 50% premium for 3rd setting)
Check the Facit catalog number -- don’t you love the European catalog ID systems? Scott and Michel do not distinguish between die settings. In the 3rd setting, the horizontal distance between stamps is 2.3mm. In this stamp, you can see the frame line of the next stamp along the tips of the teeth on the left side.
Alas, someone partially scissored the top and the right -- probably when they cut the stamp off cover to soak! Too bad, because otherwise all the teeth are intact, but because of the scissoring they are not full teeth. There is a huge drop-off in retail value for missing teeth, and still a significant drop-off for anything less than full teeth.
-- small single-circle postmark (HELSINKI?) -- unidentified pen cancel -- appears to have a framed FR.KO. cancel with curved corners (only sloped corners shown in Facit)
Any help with the cancels is appreciated!
Scott Finland #5(1860), Type I roulette (1.0-1.5 mm), ordinary paper Facit Finland #4C1LKb(4Feb1864), 2nd setting, carmine rose color variety. Michel Finland #4A 2016, 2018 Scott catalog used = $57.50 (2002 Facit has 300% premium for 2nd setting, and additional premium for the FR.KO. cancel)
Beautiful serpentines khj, I love the classic look of these stamps. They are frustratingly hard to find with perfect perforations and centring. I believe there is about 20 different/varieties of the serpentines in my album, but only 4 of them without any faults....have to keep looking!
Could it be 'Åbo' (Turku) ? Absolutely beautiful stamp....
Thanks! That sounds like a good guess as the letter spacing would fit. I don't know the practice of the Finnish post offices then, but would they still have used the Swedish name Åbo so many years (c1870) after 1809 (Treaty of Fredrikshamn, when Sweden ceded Finland to Russia)?
Yes, the stamp is pretty, thank you. Unfortunately, there is repaired tear at the top extending down through the "1" in "10.PEN." The repair job is decent, but still noticeable without having to dip in watermark fluid. Also, at right, the 2nd tooth from the top has 2 small tears on both sides of the base.
khj, I have a couple of these in my collection and wondered how these were made. I have tried to google "serpentine stamps" but have come up empty handed. Do you have any articles/websites explaining how these were made.
Sorry, I don't have any specific articles/websites to direct you to. But in a nutshell, they were produced by rouletting (i.e., die-cutting). So not too much different from modern serpentine die cuts.
Obviously these stamps don't have the self-adhesive backing to hold everything together. So in traditional rouletting, the cutting is in "slits" or in this case "curved slits". The stamps stay attached because the paper is still connected at the ends of the slits.
If you look carefully at the 10 pennia stamp 2 posts above, about halfway up each tooth you will see little paper nubs on both sides of each tooth. Those nubs are what are left of the "ends" of the "curved slits".
This is similar to the very earliest serpentine die cuts on US self-adhesive coils, where you would find nubs either on the sides or the tips of the teeth. I still remember how annoying it was to separate -- as a stamp collector, we hate bent or deformed teeth (on people, it's OK, right?). After a short while, the USPS went to clean die-cuts and relied on the paper backing to hold all the self-adhesive stamps together.
Please don't hesitate to post your Finnish serpentines when you have time!
khj - Same as you, I am not familiar with details about Finnish use of their dual language on cancellations. But I am pretty sure I have some cancels made in Swedish language only, can't confirm right now as I'm away from home. Probably keijo would know details?
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