THE DOUBLE-LINED CIRCLE CANCELS OF MELBOURNE
There are 2 distinct types of the double-lined circle cancels of Melbourne and this is an example of Type 1 with distinguishing numbers mid-base between the thick arcs. Time and date are in 2 lines and the earliest date of use was 1.1.1900. Type 2 is very similar to Type 1, but with thinner arcs, and the earliest use was 3.9.1902. These cancels preceded Type 3 which were a single-lined circle with time and date in a straight line, the ‘Commonwealth’ type, with an earliest date of 3.2.1905.
The Type 1 cancel superseded the smaller single-circle canceller on 1 January 1900 and can be found with distinguishing numbers ‘1 to 24' inclusive, mid-base between thick arcs. The 24 individual cancellers were not put into use on a common date, but were introduced in two distinct batches: Numbers ‘1-12' circa 1.1.1900 and numbers ‘13-21' in late January-early February 1900, with the final numbers ‘22-24', later in the 1900 year, probably as required. There was more than a single canceller for certain of the numbers, but this is beyond the scope of this paper.
The emphasis of this paper will be on the Type 1 with number ‘8' at the base, between thick arcs. However, a comparison with the number ‘8' cancels with the thin arcs (Type 2) and the ‘Commonwealth’ Type 3 are shown in Figure 1.
The 1d Victorian postcard shows a Type 1 number ‘8' cancel of MELBOURNE/ PM/ 5/ 1. 3. 01/ 8 and it is addressed to the Collector of Customs, Launceston, Tasmania. Victoria was the only Australian Colony to celebrate the commemoration of the new Commonwealth postally, when a series of postcards was issued on the eve of Federation. The common design of the series features the letters ‘AC’ (Australian Commonwealth) above the coat-of-arms. The stamp impression is the Victorian1d ‘Postage’ design (Figure 2).
The reverse features an elaborate pictorial panel with Queen Victoria, the Duke of Cornwall and York (later KG V who visited Australia in connection with the Federation celebrations) and the Earl of Hopetoun, Australia’s first Governor-General. Below the shields of the 6 colonies, of which Victoria is shown as the largest, there is the inscription: ONE PEOPLE/ ONE EMPIRE/ ONE DESTINY. This postcard has a reception postmark of LAUNCESTON/ A/ MR 4/1901/ TASMANIA, as well as an unusual written message:
Mar. 1st 1901, Collector of Customs, Dear Sir
This is one of the new post cards we use in Victoria. If it would not be asking too much, would you please send me in return a Tasmanian postcard. If you are not a collector yourself you might give this to one of your friends who collects, and they might send one to me. Again hoping I am putting you to no trouble.
I remain yours truly
A.S. Mitchell "Tulliallan"
Esplanade Town, Victoria (Figure 3)
This paper is based on D.G. Davies and G.R. Linfield The Cancellations of Melbourne 1861-1912, December 1980 and G. Kellow Stamps of Victoria, 1990.