High-Value Examples of Rare Machine Cancellations


Part of the fun of collecting is finding a rare item, especially if it has not been recognized as such.

Many of us who collect machine examples look at, and save, a lot of quite common machines. In many cases, these look just like rare items, only the date of use may indicate its rarity.

Unlike famous philatelic rarities, like the Inverted Jenny stamp, a rare machine cancel may not yield sky-high results, when sold at auction. However, there are enough collectors around to bid up the value of a cover, when it is recognized as rare.

Here are some items that brought high auction valuations. If you were looking through a dealer's "dollar box" of covers, would you be able to spot them?

flag cancel

First-ever use of an American Flag machine in Washington, DC. (The flag machines were previously used in Boston.) An additional "plus" is the return address, which is from the first flag cancel dealer (and WW I postal history figure) A. C. "Cap" Townsend.

This cover went at auction on eBay for over $1,420.

flag cancel

Alaska-Yukon Exposition Cancel ($10,350)

flag cancel

Portland, Exposition ($5,462)

flag cancel

Postal Agency, Shanghai ($3,450)

flag cancel

Anniston, Rural ($2,645)

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Updated 30 August, 2020

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