A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Belgium Part A 1865-1912: Cancelled and Socked-on-the-Nose

1870 Scott 33 20c ultramarine 
"King Leopold II"
Anvers Town/Date Cancel
Into the Deep Blue
Belgium seems to have more than their share of great looking cancels and socked on the nose stamps for the classical era. Rather than a straightforward survey of Belgium's stamps for 1865-1912, I thought it would be an intriguing twist to focus on the more interesting cancelled stamps in my collection, and let them tell the story.

There are enough examples, that I will publish this blog topic in two parts. This is Part I.

Yes, in a number of cases, I have stamps that are in better grading condition: but if the cancel is interesting, I will show the stamp, warts and all - bear with me, and hope it is still enjoyable. ;-)

1875 Railway Map of Belgium 
The original blog post for Belgium and Big Blue Checklist is here.

The blog post on the 1849-1866 Epaulettes and Medallions issues is here.

A closer look at the 1865-1912 stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1867 Scott 18 10c slate "Leopold I"
Thicker Paper (Perf 15)
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel: "387" = Walcourt
The first issue in Belgium after the "Medallions 1849-1865", was a five stamp typographed issue (printed in Brussels) with a side portrait of King Leopold I. The stamps of 1865-66 were on thin paper, and were Perf 14 1/2 X 14 (minor numbers). The stamps of 1867 (major numbers) were on thicker paper, and had Perf 15, as this example.

CV is $2+-$20 for four stamps (2017 catalogue).

Of interest, this stamp has a Lozenge-Dot cancel from Walcourt (still a small town today). The Dot cancels were in extensive use in Belgium between 1864-1866, but after 1866, not so much.

1867 Scott 21 40c rose "Leopold I"
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel: "12" = Anvers
Here is another example from the Perf 15 1867 issue with the Lozenge-Dots cancel.

Funeral of Leopold I of the Belgians in Brussels
The 1865-67 "Leopold I" stamps would prove to be the last. as  he died at age 74 on December 1, 1865 (Reign 1831-1865). 

His son (age 30), Leopold II, became king and ruled until 1909.

1866 Scott 26 5c brown "Coat of Arms"
Perf 14 1/2 x 14 (major number)
The "Coat of arms" stamps (three denominations) were issued between June 1, 1866 - 1867, and were intended for use on newspapers and printed matters.

There is an imperforate (1c gray), and 1c gray, 2c blue, & 5c brown Perf 14 1/2 X 14 (major numbers) and perf 15 (minor numbers) stamps.

CV is $10+-$90, with the 1c gray imperforate @ $150. Forgeries do exist.

Note this stamp has both a "Lozenge-Dot" cancel ("82" = Chimay), and another type of "82" cancel.

1869 Scott 32 10c green "Leopold II"
Lozenge-Dot cancel: "374" = Verviers
A typographic issue (Perf 15) for the new monarch was released between 1869-70, and had a side face visage of Leopold II on the five higher denomination stamps. The lower values have a numeral design.

At this time (1869), Town-Date circular cancellations were more common, but the Lozenge-Dot cancel, can still be found: here on a 10c green.

1869 Scott 32 10c green "Leopold II"
Perf 15; Town-Date Circular cancel
Here is a color variation of the 10c green with a town-date cancel. The postmark is for a Brussels substation.

Note the information that is generally provided: date (7); month (January); time frame cancelled ( 6-S?), and year (18?? -incomplete).

Scott does not list any minor numbers for the 10c green shade, but my Belgium 1998 "Catalogues Officiel de Timbres-Poste" has four: green (1869), green-blue (1870), dull green (1873), and green-yellow (1874). My stamp looks like a green-yellow.

Be aware that there was a similar (in design) 10c gray-green issued in 1881, but in Perf 14, and with aniline ink. More about that later.

1870 Scott 33 20c ultramarine "Leopold II"
Anvers Town/Date Cancel
The 1869-70 nine stamp issue have CVs ranging  from <$1 to $10.

Does this stamp look familiar? It is among the SON stamps adorning the top horizontal bar for the Big Blue blog home page. ;-)

1873 Scott 34a 30c reddish ochre
Lozenge-Dot cancel: "12" = Anvers
This stamp shows the thin ice we WW collectors often find ourselves in when making catalogue decisions. I have another 30c stamp of this issue that is clearly more "buff", the 1870 major number color in Scott. This stamp looks more reddish to me, hence the 1873 minor number "reddish ochre" I have chosen for this stamp.

But the cancellation is of the "Lozenge-Dot" type, and an 1873 use would make it the latest use for this cancel in my WW collection. So is this in fact a "reddish ochre" variation? Perhaps, but I do not have the tens of examples that a Belgian specialist could review to make that determination. So, yes, very thin ice. ;-)

1875 Scott 37 25c olive bister
Three more denominations (Perf 15) on "Leopold II" designs from the 1869-70 issue were released in 1875-78.

What a lovely postmark. Too bad I can't find the town. ;-) I read this as "Rhisne", and, in fact, the Lozenge-Dots cancels also list a "311" = Rhisne. Google search fails, other than redirecting me to the "Rhine". Did the town disappear? There are plenty of ghost towns in the U.S. out west. What am I missing?

Of interest, the 1875 Scott 39 5fr deep red brown/1878 Scott 39a 5fr pale brown in the issue is scarce: $1,450 used/$1,700 unused, although "only" $1,000 with no gum. 

Scott has a note that dangerous counterfeits exist. Only 30,000 Scott 39 and 18,000 Scott 39a were printed. The forgery site I linked earlier has a lot of information about these forgeries. 

(Note: This is absolutely a fabulous source site for those interested in WW classical era forgeries. My link will take you to the main page- then go to Belgium, and scroll down. I do not give a direct link, as the website author (who I know) requests that direct links to his forgery discussions not be done without prior approval. I respect his wishes.)

1881 Scott 44 15c olive bister, Perf 14
Printed in Aniline Colors
In 1881, five more stamps using the 1869-70 designs were printed, four of them in colors somewhat similar to previous issues. The good news is these stamps are Perf 14 - the previous issues were Perf 15. CV is <$1-$3.

They were printed in Aniline colors. Some of the previous issues also had stamps printed with both normal ink and at times, aniline ink. The stamps affected include 1869-70 Scott 28-30, Scott 32-33, Scott 35-36; 1875-78 Scott 37-38. These aniline ink type stamps are not detailed by Scott, or broken out separately value wise. They are separately catalogued and valued by my Belgian catalogue.

But we do need to talk about the special handling required for aniline dye colored stamps.

Why? Because the ink, from coal-tar, can "bleed", 

Why was it done by postal authorities?

To prevent that bugaboo - reuse of stamps.

Rule #1: Don't wash aniline stamps, they may bleed through to the back. (Some are more susceptible than others.)
Rule #2:  Become aware of which country's stamps and issues are aniline.
Rule #3: Go through collection, and take out already "bled out" aniline stamps, or use them for educating other collectors.
Rule #4: Find good examples (strong colors) of aniline stamps with no bleed-through for one's collection.

The most infamous aniline dye issue was Great Britain's 1883-84 Scott 98-107. The ten stamps are quite possibly the ugliest stamps ever produced by the British. Because of (excessive) counterfeiting concerns, the stamps were produced in "Double fugitive" ink. Caution! These stamps will lose their color with soaking. The "double fugitive" ink could only be produced in two colors: lilac and green.

Aniline red color is particularly susceptible to bleeding through to the back of the stamp (some Australia Penny Reds).

Some aniline inks will fluoresce.

The Dutch Indies have some water soluble issues during the 1930s.

1883 Scott 45 10c carmine "Leopold II"
Louvain (Station) Town/Date cancel
Four more "Leopold II" stamps, each in a different frame, were released in 1883.

His beard is mid-length - not the "methuselah" like look beginning with the next Belgian issue. ;-)

CV is $2+-$30+.

1884 Scott 50 1c gray"Numeral"
Perf 14, Bruges cancel
Between 1884-85, six stamps were issued: Three stamps, the lower denominations, with the 1869-70 "Numeral" design, and three with a new "Leopold II" visage, each visage in its own frame.

Bruges 2016 - pics from my travels
I happened to be in Bruges in March, 2016. If you like medieval fairy tale cities, then Bruges is for you!

Bruges 2016 Canals
Canals, koffiekoeken and Belgian beer, what more is necessary? ;-)

1886 Scott 56 20c olive/greenish "Leopold II"
Malines (station) cancel
Between 1886-1891, five more stamps were released. The 1888 2c purple brown was a numeral (1969-70 issue design), but the remaining four stamps showed the long bearded Leopold II, with each stamp having a unique frame.

Leopold II
We need to say something about Leopold II. What ever good he did as king was far outweighed in the judgement of history by his callous reputation as the personal ruler (yes, private owner!) of the Congo Free State.

The colonial genocide that he was responsible for, sadly, wasn't the only nadir during the Colonial Imperialism era.

End of Part I. Part II to follow.

Deep Blue
1866-67 "Coat of Arms" issue in Deep Blue
Issue intended for newspapers and printed matter
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 75 pages for the stamps of Belgium for the classical era 1849-1940. All categories and spaces are represented if they are in the Scott catalogue. Very impressive indeed!

1884 Scott 51 5c green "Numeral"
Out of the Blue
What I love about doing these blog posts is the journey (the unfolding of the stamp and historical tales) is unpredictable, and surprising. 

Part II to follow...

Note: Map and historical pic scans appear to be in the public domain. Pics of Bruges are my own.

Comments appreciated!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

French Colonies - Bud's Big Blue

French Colonies: Cochin China, Tahiti
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
French Colonies stamps take BB collectors from the “Offices” to the colonies proper, albeit in a generic way since these issues served several colonies -- Martinique, Guadeloupe, Cochin China, Mayotte, Nossi-Be, New Caledonia, Diego Suarez, Gabon, Malagasy (Madagascar), Reunion, Senegal, and Tahiti. 

I tried to collect one cancel from each, but that’s still a work in progress. The header shows two of them, though, one with a large nick. It raises the question of whether or not damaged stamps should be displayed. I kept it solely because of the Tahiti cancel.

Most colonial stamps follow a progression, and the French colonies as a whole provide interesting tracking of these changes. First are stamps of (or very similar to) the colonizing country’s, followed by overprints on these denoting specific colonies; then come insets inscribed with the colonies’ names on generic stamps. 

About 1900, colonies begin getting distinctive stamps of their own, often with local scenes and people. but designed according to the aesthetic of the colonizing country and having insignia representing colonial dominance -- the “RF” on French colonies’ stamps, for example. King George V was fond of this practice for British colonial stamps. 

By the 1940s some native colonial leaders begin to appear and, in the 1950s and 60s when independence movements were in full swing, former colonies issued stamps according to their own political and esthetic tastes -- hot colors, local leaders, scenery of local importance.

For a display of rarer French colonial stamps, see:

French Colonies census: 20 in BB spaces, 26 on supplement page

Jim's Observations
"French Colonies" here strictly refers to the parts of the French Empire, the colonies, that did not have stamps of their own. For the stamp era we are concerned about, the use was between 1859-1906.

The distinguishing feature of the Colony stamps were, prior to 1880, they were issued imperforate, while the French motherland version was (usually) perforated. The Postage dues (1884-1906) were also issued imperforate, while the French version was perforated.

Nevertheless, identifying Colony stamps is very difficult for certain issues, being virtually identical to a French version. The collector will look at imperforate vs perforate, or color (usually a poor determining factor, but read on), or finding a postmark on a used stamp. 

One experienced collector reminded me that the French mainland imperforate issues date from 1849-1952, while the French Colonies imperforate issues were printed in 1871-1876. So, although the same plates were used, the color tints are quite different for the periods. Compare the colors of the possible French Colonies stamps with the mainland circa 1870+ perforated variety, and the color tints should be similar. A very good tip.

French Colonies Blog Post and BB Checklist

Page 1 (Click and enlarge for examination)



Page 1

Comments appreciated!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Belgium 1849-1865: The Epaulettes and Medallion Issues & Numeral/Town Cancel Identification

1849 Scott 2 20c blue  "Leopold I"
"18 Line" Horizontal Barred "24" Cancel: Brussels
Into the Deep Blue
On July 1, 1849, Belgium issued two stamps, affectionately known as the "Epaulettes" because of said prominence of them on King Leopold I's military uniform on the stamp design, and ushered in Belgium stamp philately.

Some classicists believe the design has never been surpassed, and even today it has a curiously modern feel.

They and their close offspring, the "Medallions", issued until 1865, will get a close look with this blog post.

The original Belgium blog post (with BB checklist) is here.

Because this post will include a list of over 455 Belgian towns/villages that existed prior to 1866, I am including here a rather detailed map of Belgium (sourced from Wikimedia Commons), engraved in 1866, and divided into four quadrants so the map towns/villages will be more easily visible for the reader. If you would like to locate a certain named Belgian town/village that had a post office during this era, refer to these maps!

Left Upper Quadrant Belgium 1866 Map

Right Upper Quadrant Belgium 1866 Map

Left Lower Quadrant Belgium 1866 Map

Right lower Quadrant Belgium 1866 Map

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes - 1 Franc
1849 Scott 1 10c brown "Leopold I"
The lower denomination was the 10 centimes brown, and could be sent on a letter for a distance of up to 30 kilometers (18 miles). (If you didn't know it before, you know it now- Belgium is a small country. ;-)

The issue was engraved in Brussels, is imperforate, and has Wmk 96 - Two "L's" Framed. We will look at watermarks in a bit.

CV for the brown color in Scott (major number) is $100.

1849 Scott 1c dark brown
I believe this is the dark brown color (Scott 1c), and actually has a lessor CV ($85) than the major number (brown). Other colors listed in Scott include red brown (Scott 1a) and bister brown (Scott 1b).

A specialized Belgium country catalogue (1998 Catalogue Officiel de Timbres-Poste: Belgique - in French) I acquired lists nine colors for the stamp!

Production of the 10 centimes and the 20 centimes denomination was 5,250,000 for each.

1849 Scott 2 20c blue 
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "22" Cancel: Braine-Le-Comte
The 20 centimes could be used throughout the country. Note that there is no country name on the stamp, similar to Great Britain's one penny black ( and subsequent British stamps).  In fact, Belgium did not put the country name on their stamps until 1869.

Also note only the French language on the stamp? French was traditionally the language of the wealthy classes and the Belgian government. It was not until 1898 that Flemish (Dutch) received official status alongside French. And no Flemish inscription appeared on a Belgian stamp until 1891.

CV in Scott for the 20 centimes is $50+. There are three minor numbers in Scott for color variations. The Belgian country catalogue I have lists six colors for plate I, and four colors for plate II.

The Epaulettes were officially superseded in 1859, but remained legal until July 1, 1866, when, following his (Leopold I) death, all stamps bearing his portrait were no longer valid.

1850 Scott 3 10c brown
Wmk 96: Two "L's" Framed
But the Epaulettes issue quickly had competition, as the so called engraved imperforate "Medallion" stamps ( because of the circular medallion window with the Leopold I visage inside) were quickly produced starting in October, 1849 with the 40c carmine rose. Rumor has it that Leopold did not like the "Epaulettes" ironically for that reason: he thought they made him look childish.

Anyway, the Epaulettes were gone from the Medallion design.

The three stamp Medallions of 1849-50 consisted of the 10c brown, the 20c blue, & the 40c carmine rose. CV is $60+ & $100 for the 20c blue & 10c brown respectively. They can be found on both thick paper (Papier moyen)  and thin paper (Papier mince).

They are distinguished from subsequent issues by the watermark - two "L's" framed - (Wmk 96), the same watermark as found on the Epaulettes issue.

Top Row:Two "L's" Framed (Wmk 96)
Bottom Row: Two "L's" Without Frame (Wmk 96a)
The watermarks are usually not too difficult to determine.

Wmk 96 (Two "L's" Framed) are found on the 1849 Epaulettes issue and the 1849-50 Medallion issue.

Wmk 96a (Two "L's" without Frame) are found on the 1851-54 Medallion issue.

Subsequent medallion issues (1858-61 Imperforated; 1863-65 Perforated) are unwatermarked.

1851 Scott 6 10c brown; Thick Wove paper;
Wmk 96a: Two "L's" Without Frame 
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "25" Cancel: Charleroi
As mentioned above, the 1851-54 Medallion issue (10c brown, 20c blue, 40c carmine rose) is distinguished from the previous 1849-50 Medallion issue by having the Wmk 96a watermark.

The major numbers in Scott are on thick wove paper (Papier epais). CV is $8 for the 10c brown.

1851 Scott 6b 10c brown; Thin to Medium Wove Paper
Wmk 96a: Two "L's" Without Frame 
The minor numbers in Scott for the 1851-54 issue is for thin to medium wove paper. The Belgian catalogue lists the paper as "thin parchment" (Papier parchemine mince) .

CV is $9 for the 10c brown.

1851 Scott 7 20c blue: Thick Wove paper
Wmk 96a: Two "L's" Without Frame 
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "25" Cancel: Charleroi
CV for the thick wove paper major number 20 centimes blue is $8, quite inexpensive.

I wish I could tell you that it is a slam dunk to tell the difference between thick and medium wove paper. Unfortunately, for me, it is a judgement call. 

1851 Scott 7b 20c blue: Thin to Medium Wove Paper
Wmk 96a: Two "L's" Without Frame 
"18 Line" Horizontal Barred "4" Cancel: Anvers
CV for the thin to medium wove paper 20c blue is $8+.

This might be a good time to bring up the topic of the barred cancellations seen on the Epaulettes and Medallion stamps. Each of the barred cancellations have a number in the center, referring to a specific town of origin. 

The most commonly seen barred cancellations are oriented horizontal to the center number (Bureaux de Perception).

The first grouping was released at the same time as the Epaulettes issue (July 1, 1849). They all have 17 lines for bars, and number from "1" to "135". The exception is "4" Anvers, "24" Brussels, "45" Gand, and "73" Liege, which are 18 line horizontal bars.

Then, beginning August 1, 1850 throughout the "Medallion" era,  "17 line" barred horizontal cancellations numbers 137-175 were gradually added for new villages/towns. Also, nine new villages substituted for older ones on numbers between 6-131.

Finally, beginning January, 1857, "8 line" barred horizontal cancellations numbers 2-208 (69 villages/towns) were added or substituted for previously assigned numbers/towns.

Of interest, the CV for the various town cancellations on horizontal bars do not vary tremendously - 5X at the most extreme. However, the higher numbered cancellations tend to have higher CV's.

There were also vertical barred cancellations as oriented to the center number used during this time (Bureaux de Distribution), but they tend to be more scarce and truly are an area for the Belgian specialist. They initially consisted of "18 line" barred vertical cancellations from "1" to "63" (July 1, 1849). Then, beginning October, 1850, "18 line" barred vertical cancellations numbers 1-145 were added or substituted for previously assigned numbers/towns.

I don't have any examples of the rarer vertical barred cancellations. But if the reader is interested in diving deep into this, seek out a Belgium "Catalogue Officiel de Timbres-Poste" catalogue, or find a copy of the Barefoot booklet (1978) on Belgium Numeral Cancels 1849-1866. The booklet is titled "European Philately 2". A more recent publication available is Obliterations Belges 1849-1910 (B.123).

Luckily, I have both older resources. In a pinch, the reader can ask in the comments section, and I should be able to reply using these sources.

Well, what about identifying the more common horizontal barred cancellations? I suspect the reader would appreciate a listing table of these numbers/towns, so the village/town on the Epaulletes/Medallion stamp can be recognized. A search of the internet did not find a readily available identification table for the WW collector.

Well, luck is with you! I will extract the information from the above sources for the barred horizontal cancellations, and link the numbers with their villages/towns. You will find the table in a special section below (scroll down).

1861 Scott 11 20c blue: 22mm high, 17.5 mm wide, Oval 17 1/4 mm high
1851 Scott 7 20c blue: 21 mm high, 18 mm wide, Oval 16 1/2 mm high
There is a bit of trickery thrown into collecting the Medallion stamps, and that is not all of them are the same size! This information is somewhat buried in Scott, and easy to miss.

The first grouping of Medallions from 1849-1858 are shorter and wider than the second grouping of Medallions from 1861-1865. One will need to be careful, especially with the 1858 and 1861 issue, to differentiate the two sizes. More about that soon.

1851 Scott 8 40c carmine rose
Wmk 96a: Two "L's" Without Frame 
The final stamp for the 1851 three stamp issue with Wmk 96a is the 40c carmine rose.

It is import to identify the watermark, as an identical 1858 stamp is unwatermarked.

I should mention that the 1851 issue is also found on ribbed paper, issued in 1854, and has a much higher CV.

1858 Scott 12b 40c vermilion
Unwmk; 21 mm high
"18 Line" Horizontal Barred "4" Cancel: Anvers
Now comes the issue that is most buried in Scott, with minor numbers yet!

In 1858, a 10c brown, a 20c blue, and a 40c vermilion that are unwatermarked were issued.

They are given minor numbers 10b,11b,12b respectively.

CV is $10+ for the 10c brown and 20c blue, and $110 for the 40c vermilion.

They can be identified from the 1861 unwatermarked issue by the fact that they shorter and wider with less high ovals than the same denomination 1861 issue!

Of course, one needs to be sure these stamps are unwatermarked, as watermarked ones (96a) belong to the 1851 issue. ;-)

1861 Scott 9 1c green
Unwmk; 22 mm high
The 1861 issue is also unwatermarked and consists of five denominations.

They are also taller (22 mm), less wide (17.5 mm), with an taller oval measurement of 17 1/4 mm.

I find that that the "22 mm" measurement specified in the catalogues is often more like 21.5 mm. Still, they are clearly taller than the shorter 21 mm stamps of 1858 and earlier.

The oval (measured from inside the white edging of the oval) does indeed seem to be 17 1/4 mm tall. Recall that the shorter stamps are 16 1/2 mm vertically inside the oval.

The stamps of the 1861 issue, where measurement is important, are the 10c brown, 20c blue, and the 40c vermilion, in order to differentiate form the "shorter" 1858 unwatermarked issue.

The 1c green depicted here was a new denomination for the 1861 issue. The 1 centime denomination was intended for newspapers and printed matter.

CV is $125.

Scott lists three minor number color variations.

1861 Scott 10 10c brown
Unwmk; 22 mm high
The 10c brown only has a CV of $9, so should be somewhat common in collections. Measure this unwatermarked stamp to make sure it is not the 1858 shorter variety (CV $10+).

1861 Scott 10a 10c dark brown
This appears to be the darker brown variety. CV is $11.

1861 Scott 10a 10c dark brown
Strip of Three
The Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue gives values for this issue for pairs, strips of three, strips of four, and blocks of four. The nominal CV for a 10c brown strip of three is $50+, although here no doubt less because the strip is cut into along the top.

1861 Scott 11 20c blue
Unwmk, 22 mm high
Check the height for the unwatermarked 1861 20c blue (CV $9). The shorter 21mm 1858 unwatermarked 20c blue is CV $10+.

1861 Scott 12 40c vermilion
Unwmk; 22 mm high
This is the major number "vermilion" 40c (CV $150), although I do have a minor number Scott 12a carmine rose also (CV $150). The vermilion color stamp was measured to make sure it was not a 1858 shorter variety (CV $110) .

1863 Scott 13b 1c green
Perf 12 1/2 X 13 1/2
All of the issues discussed so far have been imperforate.

Well, that changed on March 31, 1863, with a Perf 12 1/2 issue consisting of a 1c, 10c, 20c, and 40c Medallion denominations (minor numbers in Scott).

On August 6, 1863, the perfs were changed to 12 1/2 X 13 1/2 (minor numbers in Scott).

The 1c green shown here has this perf. CV is $40+. Note that it is usual that the perfs will cut into the design.

Then on May 8, 1865, the perfs were changed to 14 1/2. (major numbers in Scott).

Of interest, this 1c green might show a town circular date cancellation (although the town is unreadable). They came into common use after 1866.

1863 Scott 14c 10c brown
Perf 12 1/2 X 13 1/2
Here is another example of Perf 12 1/2 X 13 1/2, this time on the 10c brown. CV is only $4. Note the perfs are quite off, especially the horizontal perfs here.

In my collection, I also have a Scott 14b Perf 12 1/2  10c brown. It is clearly important to check perfs, as there are three possibilities!

1865 Scott 15 20c blue
Perf 14 1/2
Lozenge Dots "217" Cancel: Liege
Here is a Scott major number 20c blue with Perf 14 1/2.

CV is $3+.

What is perhaps more interesting is the cancel: A Lozenge Dots Numeral variety.

The Lozenge Dots (obviously modeled on the 1852 French "petits chiffres" type) were introduced in 1864, and replaced the bars numeral cancellation. They were used until 1866, when town circular date cancels generally replaced them. There are some 455 numerals/towns known to have been used.

And because I am interested these cancel/town identifications, and it would be an important resource for WW collectors, I will also list these numerals/towns in a section following. !!!

1851 Scott 6 10c brown
"18 Line" Horizontal Barred "24" Cancel: Brussels
Numeral Horizontal Bar Cancels List
At the very beginning of the Belgian Epaulettes issue (July 1, 1849), there were some 135 numeral cancels, each designating a Belgian town. Most of these were of the 17 bar line variety, although significantly, "4" Anvers, "24" Bruxelles, "45" Gand, and "73" Liege were 18 bar types. Then, more towns/numbers were added or substituted after August, 1850 during the Medallion stamp era, bringing the numerals up to 175. Finally, after January 1, 1857, 8 line bar types were added for additional towns or substituted for numbers used earlier. The horizontal bar numerals ended at 208.

This list was compiled by interpolating from two sources: the 1998 Belgium Catalogue Officiel de Timbres-Poste, and the Barefoot (1978) European Philately 2 Booklet titled "Belgium Numeral Cancels 1849-1866". They don't always have the same information. I list here the better/more specific one.

(There is an additional excellent resource that I acquired after I was done compiling the lists:
Gespecialiseerde Catalogus van Belgische Afstempelingen 1849-1910 Catalogue Specialise des Obliterations Belges, -1999.

For those truly interested in pursuing town cancel numbers for Belgium during the years 1849-1910, I highly recommend obtaining this book.)

One can assume that a town has a 17 bar line variety, unless I indicate otherwise. Some towns have multiple bar types that were used, and that will be noted. One can assume that any 8 bar type was used only after January 1, 1857.

Be aware that the Numeral Bar Cancellations were available from 1849 to 1864, when the Lozenge Dots Numeral cancels replaced them.

1851 Scott 6 10c brown
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "56" Cancel: Harlebeke
Numeral Horizontal Bar Cancels List (Continued)

Assume there is a 17 line Numeral Bar Cancel for a town unless indicated otherwise

1 Aerschot
2 Alost (+ 8 bars)
3 Andenne
4 Anvers (18 bar only)
5 Arlon
6 Assche
   Blankenberghe (1855)
7 Ath
8 Aubel
9 Audenaerde
10 Avelghem
11 Aywaille
12 Barvaux
13 Bastogne
14 Beaumont
15 Beauraing
16 Beveren
17 Beverloo
18 Binche (+ 8 bars)
19 Boom
20 Bouillon
21 Brossu (+ 8 bars)
22 Braine-le-Comte
23 Bruges (+ 14 bars)
24 Bruxelles (+ 8, 10, 14, 18, or 26 bars)
25 Charleroi
26 Chatelet
     Chatelineau (1850)
27 Chimay
28 Ciney
29 Courtrai (+ 8 bars)
30 Couvin
31 Deynze
32 Dienst (+ 8 bars)
33 Dinant
34 Dison
35 Dixmude (+ 8 bars)
36 Dolhain-Limbourg
37 Eecloo (+ 8 bars)
38 Enghien
39 Fleurus
40 Florennes
41 Florenville
42 Fontaine-l-Eveque
43 Fosses
44 Furnes
45 Gand (8, +14, or + 18 bars only)
46 Gedinne
47 Gembloux
48 Genappe
49 Gheel
50 Gosselies

1851 Scott 6 10c brown
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "95" Cancel: Perwez
Numeral Horizontal Bar Cancels List (Continued)

Assume there is a 17 line Numeral Bar Cancel for a town unless indicated otherwise

51 Grammont
52 Mabay-la-Neuve
53 Halle
54 Hamme
55 Hannut
56 Harlebeke
57 Hasselt (+ 8 bars)
58 Heer
59 Herenthals
60 Herve
61 Houffalize
62 Huy (+ 8 bars)
63 Iseghem (+ 8 bars)
64 Jemeppe
65 Jemappes
66 Jodoigne
67 La Roche (+ 8 bars)
68 Le fayt 
     La Louviere (1850)
69 Lens
     Overpelt (1853)
70 Le Roeulx
     Farciennes (1856)
71 Lessines
72 Leuze
73 Liege (+ 18 bars)
74 Lierre (+ 8 bars)
75 Lokeren
76 Louvain
77 Maeseyck
78 Malines
79 Marche (+ 8 bars)
80 Marchienne-au-Pont (+ 8 bars)
81 Mariembourg
     Cappelle-au-Bois (1854)
82 Menin (+ 8 bars)
83 Mons (+ 8 bars)
84 Mouscron
85 Namur
86 Neufchateau
87 Nieuport (+ 8 bars)
88 Ninove
89 Nivelles
90 Ostende
91 Pecq
     Frameries (1858 - 8 bars only)
92 Peer
93 Pepinster
94 Peruweiz
95 Perwez
96 Philippeville
97 Poperinghe
98 Puers
99 Quievrain
100 Renaix

1851 Scott 6 10c brown
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "100" Cancel: Renaix
Numeral Horizontal Bar Cancels List (Continued)

Assume there is a 17 line Numeral Bar Cancel for a town unless indicated otherwise

101 Rochefort
102 Roulers
103 Saint-Ghislain
104 Saint-Hubert
105 Saint-Nicolas
106 Saint-Trond
107 Seneffe
       Mange (1858)
108 Soignies
109 Sottegem
110 Spa
111 Spy
       Moustier (1850)
112 Stavelot
113 Tamise
114 Termonde
115 Thielt
116 Thourout (+ 8 bars)
117 Thuin
118 Tirlemont
119 Tongress
120 Tournai (+ 8 bars)
121 Tubize
122 Turnhout
123 Verviers
123A1 Verviers, annexe 1 (1855-56)
124 Vielsalm
125 Vilvorde (+ 8 bars)
126 Virton
127 Vise
128 Waereghem
129 Waremme
130 Wavre
131 Wervicq
132 Wetteren
133 Ypres
134 Zele
135 Zelzaete
136 Mechelen (1850 - According to Barefoot. The Catalogue source says 17 lined horizontal barred "136" number never attributed. Of interest, there is a 18 lined vertical barred "Mechelen Sur Meuse listed in the catalogue.)
       Mariembourg (1857 - 8 bars only)
137 Aeltre (1850)
138 Chaudfontaine (1850)
139 Landen (1850)
140 Brasschaet (1850)
       Herbesthal (1857-8 bars only)
141 Oostmalle (1850)
       Aubange (1857 - 8 bars only)
       Frameries (1858 - Catalogue source does not list.)
       Messancy (1863 - 8 bars only)
142 Westerloo (1850)
143 Ghistelles (1850)
       Lanaeken (1857- 8 bars only)
144 Somerghem (1850)
       Duffel (1857)
145 Oosterzeele (1850)
       Vertryck (1857-8 bars only)
146 Mettet (1850)
       Fexhe-le-Haut-Clocher (1857)
147 Eghezee (1850)
148 Walcourt (1850)
149 Solre-sur-Sambre (1850)
       Erquelinnes (1863)
150 Ruysbroeck (1850)

1861 Scott 12 40c vermilion
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "123" Cancel: Verviers
Numeral Horizontal Bar Cancels List (Continued)

Assume there is a 17 line Numeral Bar Cancel for a town unless indicated otherwise up to 175

Numbers 176-208 exist only as 8 bars cancellations

151 Contish (1850)
152 Plasschenendaele (1850)
       Melle (1857)
153 Bloemendaele (1850)
154 Audegem (1850)
       Plasschendaele (1857 - 8 bars only)
155 Ans (1850)
156 Chenee (1850)
157 Nessonvaux (1850)
158 Esaussinnes (1850)
159 Luttre (1850)
160 Roux (1850)
161 Farciennes (1850)
       Chievre Attres (1857 - 8 bars only)
162 Tamines (1850)
163 Floreffe (1850)
164 Thulin (1850)
165 Jurbise (1850) ( Barefoot source also adds 8 bars.)
166 Brugelette (1850)
167 Chievre Attres (1850)
       Nechin (1857)
168 Ottingnes (1858 - 8 bars only)
169 Templeuve (1850)
170 Nechin (1850)
       Hansbeke (1858 - 8 bars only)
171 Barry-Maude (1850)
       Lens (1858 - 8 bars only)
172 Trooz (1858 - 8 bars only)
173 Denderleeux (1858 - 8 bars only)
174 Antoing (1850)
175 Ensival (1851)

The remaining numbers exist only as 8 bars cancellations

176 Herstal (1858 - 8 bars)
177 Ternath (1859-8 bars)
178 Esschen (1859-8 bars)
179 Buggenhout (1860-8 bars)
180 Gouy-lex-Pieton (1863-8 bars)
181 Laeken (1860-8 bars)
182 Lede (1864-8 bars)
183 Londerzeel (1860-8 bars)
184 Mariemont (1860-8 bars)
185 Seraing (1860-8 bars)
186 Dour (1860-8 bars)
187 Lanklaer (1860-8 bars)
188 Assche (1860-8 bars)
189 Nameche (1860-8 bars)
190 Havelange (1860-8 bars)
191 Wellin (1860-8 bars)
192 Warenton (1860-8 bars )
193 Etalle (1860-8 bars)
194 Glons (1860-8 bars)
195 Bree (1860-8 bars)
196 Paliseul (1860-8 bars)
197 Gosselies-Courcelles (1860-8 bars)
198 Mont-St-Guibert (1860-8 bars)
199 Auvelais  (1861-8 bars)
200 Uccle (1861-8 bars)
201 Anderlecht (1861- 8 bars)
202 Fleron (1862-8 bars)
203 Gilly (1862-8 bars)
204 Jumet (1862-8 bars)
205 Paturages (1862-8 bars)
206 Vieux-Dieu (1862-8 bars)
207 Esneux (1862-8 bars)
208 St. Joose-Ten-Node - 8 bars (Barefoot source does not list.)

End of List

1861 Scott 12 40c vermilion
Lozenge Dots "153" Cancel: Gosselies-Courcelles
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel Town List
On April 15, 1864, a new cancel was introduced, and replaced the bars numeral cancellation. These attractive cancels can be found for some 455 numerals/Belgian towns. They were primarily in use until 1866, when town circular date cancels gradually replaced them. The Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel was formally withdrawn on March 10, 1873. Rather shockingly, the French language Belgium Country specialty catalogue "Catalogue Officiel de Timbres-Poste" does not have a numeral/town list. The Barefoot (1978) European Philately 2 Booklet titled "Belgium Numeral Cancels 1849-1866" does have them. I apologize in advance for not including the accents over the French vowels for this list. My bad.

1 Aeltre
2 Aerschot
3 Alost
4 Alveringhem
5 Amay
6 Andenne
7 Cureghem
8 Annevoire
9 Ans
10 Anthee
11 Antoing
12 Anvers
13 Ardenne
14 Ardoye
15 Arendonck
16 Arlon
17 Assche
18 Assesse
19 Ath
20 Aubel
21 Audenaerde
22 Auvelais
23 Avelghem
24 Aywaille
25 Anvaing
26 Assenede
27 Attert
28 Barry
29 Barvaux
30 Basecles
31 Bastogne
32 Beaumont
33 Beauraing
34 Beeringen
35 Beloeil
36 Berchem
37 Bertrix
38 Beveren
39 Beverloo
40 Bilsen
41 Binche
42 Blankenberghe
43 Blaton
44 Bloemendaele
45 Boitsfort
46 Boom
47 Boortmeerbeek
48 Bouillon
49 Boussu
50 Bouwel
51 Bracquegnies
52 Braine-l ' Alleud
53 Braine-le-Comte
54 Brasschaet
55 Brecht
56 Bree
57 Brugelette
58 Brugges
59 Bruly (Le)
60 Bruxelles
61 Ixelles
62 Bruxelles (Midi)
63 Bruxelles (Nord)
64 Molenbeek
65 Buggenhout
66 Burdinne
67 Basel
68 Baudour
69 Berchem-lez-Anvers
70 Anvers (station)
71 Calmpthout
72 Cappelle-au-Bois
73 Cappellen
74 Celles
75 Cerfontaine
76 Champion
77 Charleroi
78 Chatelineau
79 Chaudfontaine
80 Chenee
81 Chievres-Attres
82 Chimay
83 Ciney
84 Comblain-au-Pont
85 Combines
86 Contich
87 Courtrai
88 Court-St-Etienne
89 Couvin
90 Cruyshautem
91 Couillet
92 Cherain
93 Denderleeuw
94 Deynze
95 Diest
96 Dinant
97 Dison
98 Dixmude
99 Dolhain-Limbourg
100 Dottignies

1863 Scott 14c 10c brown
Lozenge Dots "155" Cancel: Grammont
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel Town List (Continued)
101 Dour
102 Duffel
103 Doel
104 Deux-Acren
105 Ecaussinnes
106 Eecke-Nazareth
107 Eeckeren
108 Eecloo
109 Eghezee
110 Enghien
111 Engies
112 Ensival
113 Erezee
114 Erquelinnes
115 Ertvelde
116 Esneux
117 Esschen
118 Etalle
119 Evergem
120 Esemael
121 Ernegem
122 Haine-Saint-Pierre
123 Farciennes
124 Feluy-Arguennes
125 Fexhe-le-Haut-Clocher
126 Flemalle
127 Fleron
128 Fleurus
129 Floreffe
130 Florennes
131 Florenville
132 Fontaine-l-Eveque
133 Fosses
134 Fraiture
135 Frameries
136 Frasnes
137 Furnes
138 Forest
139 Gand (station)
140 Gand (Saint-Sauveur)
141 Gand
142 Gavere
143 Gedinne
144 Gembloux
145 Genappe
146 Gerpinnes
147 Gheel
148 Ghistelles
149 Gilly
150 Givry
151 Glons
152 Gosselies
153 Gosselies-Courcelles
154 Gouy-lez-Pieton
155 Grammont
156 Grez-Doiceau
157 Grupont
158 Gysegem
159 Gingelom
160 Gand (faubourg de Bruges)
161 Hennuyeres
162 Habay-la-Neuve
163 Hal
164 Hameau
165 Hamme
166 Hamme-Mille
167 Hannut
168 Hansbeke
169 Harlebeke
170 Hasselt
171 Havelange
172 Havinnes
173 Havre
174 Heer
175 Herbesthal
176 Herck-la-Ville
177 Herenthals
178 Herstal
179 Herve
180 Herzele
181 Heyst-op-den-Berg
182 Hoogstraeten
183 Hotton
184 Houffalize
185 Hougaerde
186 Huy
187 Haecht
188 Haversin
189 Marche
190 Heron
191 Ingelmunster
192 Iseghem
193 Isque
194 Jamoigne
195 Jauche
196 Jemappes
197 Jemeppe
198 Jodoigne
199 Jurmet
200 Jurbise

1863 Scott 14c 10c brown
Lozenge Dots "226" Cancel: Louvain
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel Town List (Continued)

201 Lille-St-Hubert-Neerpelt
202 Laeken
203 La Hulpe
204 La Louviere
205 Lanaeken
206 Landen
207 Langemarck
208 Lanklaer
209 Laroche
210 Leau
211 Lede
212 Lennicq-Saint-Quentin
213 Lens
214 Lessines
215 Leuze
216 Lichtervelde
217 Liege
218 Lierre
219 Ligne
220 Lillo
221 Lodelinsart
222 Lokaren
223 Loderzeel
224 Loochristy
225 Looz
226 louvain
227 Luttre
228 Landegem
229 Loth
230 Liege (Guillemins)
231 Maeseyck
232 Maldegem
233 Malines
234 Manage
235 Marbais
236 Marbehan
237 Marche
238 Marchienne-au-Pont
239 Mariembourg
240 Mariemont
241 Martelange
242 Melle
243 Menin
244 Marbes-le-Chateau
245 messancy
246 Messines
247 Mettet
248 Meulebeke
249 Moerbeke
250 Moll
251 Momignies
252 Mons
253 Mont-St-Guibert
254 Montzen
255 Moorslede
256 Morialme
257 Mouscron
258 Moustier
259 Merckem
260 Merchtem
261 Godarville
262 Gammerages
263 Nameche
264 Namur
265 Nandrin
266 Nechin
267 Nederbrakel
268 Nessonvaux
269 Neufchateau
270 Nieuport
271 Ninove
272 Nivelles
273 Nylen
274 Nevelle
275 Neuve-Eglise
276 Obourg
277 Ocquier
278 Oosterzeele
279 Oostmalle
280 Oostvleteren
281 Orchimont
282 Oreye
283 Ostende
284 Ottignies
285 Hamoir
286 Lommel (Overpelt)
287 Oostcamp
288 Jupille
289 Paliseul
290 Paturages
291 Peer
292 Pepinster
293 Peruwelz
294 Perwez
295 Philippeville
296 Plasschendaele
297 Poix
298 Pommeroeul
299 Poperinghe
300 Puers

1865 Scott 16a 40c carmine rose 
Lozenge Dots "63" Cancel: Bruxelles (Nord)
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel Town List (Continued)

301 Putte
302 Pont-a-Celles
303 Quaregnon
304 Quevy
305 Quievrain
306 Ransart
307 Rance
308 Rebaix
309 Libramont
310 Renaix
311 Rhisne
312 Rochefort
313 Roclenge
314 Le Roeulx
315 Roulers
316 Rousbrugge
317 Roux
318 Ruysbroeck
319 Ruysselede
320 Saventhem
321 Sainte-Cecile
322 Saint-Ghislain
323 Saint-Gilles-Waes
324 Saint-Hubert
325 Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode
326 Saint-Laurent
327 Saint-Leger
328 Saint-Nicolas
329 Saint-Trond
330 Sandthoven
331 Selzaete
332 Seraing
333 Sibret
334 Silly
335 Sivry
336 Soignies
337 Sombreffe
338 Sommergem
339 Sottegem
340 Spa
341 Staden
342 Stavelot
343 Stekene
344 Sweveghem
345 Synem
346 Schellebelle
347 Scheldewindeke
348 Tamines
349 Tamise
350 Tempeuve
351 Termonde
352 Ternath
353 Tervueren
354 Terwagne
355 Theux
356 Thielen
357 Thielt
358 Thourout
359 Thuin
360 Thulin
361 Tirlemont
362 Tongres
363 Tournai
364 Tronchiennes
365 Trooz
366 Tubize
367 Turnhout
368 Tessenderloo
369 Uccle
370 Taintegnies
371 St-Gilles (Bruxelles)
372 Roisin
373 Vertryck
374 Verviers
375 Vielsalm
376  Vierres
377 Vieux-Dieu
378 Vilvorde
379 Virton
380 Vise
381 Villers-la-Ville
382 Wasmes
383 Wacken
384 Waereghem
385 Waerschoot
386 Waesmunster
387 Walcourt
388 Wandre
389 Wareme
390 Warnaut-Dreye
391 Warneton
392 Waterloo
393 Wavre
394 Weert-St-Georges
395 Wellin
396 Werbomont
397 Wervicq
398 Wespelaer
399 Westcapelle
400 Westerloo

1865 Scott 16a 40c carmine rose "Leopold I"
12 1/2 X 13 1/2 Perf
Lozenge Dots "374" Cancel: Verviers
Numeral in Lozenge of Dots Cancel Town List (Continued)

401 Wetteren
402 Willebroeck
403 Winghe-St-Georges
404 Wuestwezel
405 Wyngene
406 Weerde
407 Wolverthem
408 Ypres
409 Yvoir
410 Zele
411 Jette
412 Jabbeke
413 Liege (Outre-Meuse)
414 Bruxelles (Rus de la loi)
415 Flobecq
416 Anvers-Bassins
       Bruxelles (rue Rogier)
417 Bruxelles (Josaphat)
418 Lembecq 
419 Saintes
420 Ghlin
421 Blandain
422 Bassilly
423 Ghislenghien
424 Bruxelles (Luxembourg)
425 La Pinte
426 Surice
428 Namur (station)
429 Braine-le-Chateau
430 Olsene
431 Moerhout
432 Ougree
433 Corbeek-Loo
434 Malderen
435 Morgerhout
436 Merxem 
437 Houdeng-Goegnies
438 Melderen
439 Harmignies
440 Vedrin
441 Estinnes-Houlchin
442 Jambes
443 Seneffe
444 Wevelghem
445 Heyst
446 Baestrode
447 Charleroy (fg.)
448 Ledeberg
449 Schaerbeek
450 Cureghem (station)
451 Lincent
452 Remicourt
453 Rosoux-Goyer
454 Mons (station)
455 Bruxelles (rue Blaes)

End of List

1851 Scott 6 10c brown
"17 Line" Horizontal Barred "65" Cancel: Jemappes
Out of the Blue
Whew, that was a lot of "value added" work, but worth it. ;-)

The collector should now know more about the Epaulettes and Medallion issues, and be able to identify the towns for the Numeral Horizontal Bar cancels (1849-1864),  and the Numeral in Lozenge of Dots cancels (1864-1866+) in their collection.

Note: Map is from Wikimedia Commons, and is A. J. Johnson's 1866 map of Holland and Belgium.

Comments appreciated!