Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

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Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Hello everyone,

I would like to ask you a few questions.

One of them: do collectors of Swiss stamps, especially the classical period, hunt for cancellations from small towns as many people do in Sweden or Australia?

Also, what is considered small in Switzerland, especially when we talk of periods of, let’s say, 1870s – 1900s, 1900s till 1920s, and 1920s – 1930s ?

Is a town/village viewed as small when the registered number is under 1000, or 5000?

Kind regards
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by faro »

Before anyone else says so, you need to add sample image(s) with the first post of a new thread (item 9 of the site rules) to provide examples - in this case of what might/might not be included.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Global Administrator »

EVERY new thread MUST have an image, OK?
Image
BROC is small region of about 2000 population and hence cancels will not be common.

Swiss collectors are VERY fastidious about clear complete dated strikes of cancels.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

faro wrote:Before anyone else says so, you need to add sample image(s) with the first post of a new thread (item 9 of the site rules) to provide examples - in this case of what might/might not be included.
These are questions in general, and only general information is expected. I'm looking for opinions and information, without trying to assess anything in particular. How can it be supported by images?
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Global Administrator wrote:EVERY new thread MUST have an image, OK?
Image
BROC is small region of about 2000 population and hence cancels will not be common.

Swiss collectors are VERY fastidious about clear complete dated strikes of cancels.
Thank you Glen for an excellent example. I have no covers, only some stamps. Yet, I've seen a lot of Swiss stamps, and cancels as clear as yours on single stamps happen very seldom.

Regards
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by drkohler »

StampLearner wrote: a) One of them: do collectors of Swiss stamps, especially the classical period, hunt for cancellations from small towns as many people do in Sweden or Australia?

b) Also, what is considered small in Switzerland, especially when we talk of periods of, let’s say, 1870s – 1900s, 1900s till 1920s, and 1920s – 1930s ?
Is a town/village viewed as small when the registered number is under 1000, or 5000?
a) Yes, but more to the point of collecting the various cancel types.

b) Small in the 18th century could be as low as 50?
Today there are 2400 Post offices left and hundreds of smaller ones have been "outsourced" to shops, laundries, etc, and that trend continues.

There is a Schweiz. Verein für Poststempelsammler http://svps-ascep.ch/

http://www.svps-ascep.ch/kataloge/poststellenchronik/poststellenchronik.pdf
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

Hi Stamplearner,

I do collect them, but only on older issues as a sideline to my world collection.

I will add some examples up when I get time or hen the new Stampboards version is up, would love to see what others have- I dont know much about them as I have no literature. DrKohler, that was a really helpful link you posted with a list of post offices for some of the Cantons.

Robert Cragg also has a listing which may help people on his world postmarks site here: http://worldpostmarks.net/HTML%20Countries/Switzerland.htm

Lundy :D
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Hello drkohler,

Thank you for your viewpoint. The main question still remains unaswered though.

What population number makes it a small place in Switzerland in the years I mentioned (1870s till 1920s)?
I checked some place-names on my stamps (not too many) for that period and the smallest I get is around 1000. Is it still large?

Meanwhile, I am very grateful for the useful links.
Thank you so much and best wishes!
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Hi Lundy,

Thank you for your comments.
Also, I do appreciate the link you have provided.

I'd be happy to see your cancels, but the major thing is understanding what is considered a small place in Switzerland in those years.

Kind regards
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

I think this is a difficult/impossible question, as some small village post offices might have a population of 100 but serves 6 other smaller villages of 50 people.... so is the real number 400?

Population in 1900 was 3.3 million and even knowing what post offices there were and population of towns it will be difficult to establish how many they served.

If there is a rarity index anywhere it may help narrow down, I just enjoy building ranges of cancels....

Lundy :)
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by drkohler »

Lundy wrote: 01 Jun 2020 20:54
If there is a rarity index anywhere it may help narrow down, I just enjoy building ranges of cancels....
For the classic period, Swiss collectors usually resort to books by J.J. Winkler (French or German) which are the cornerstoness for cancel collectors. These books occasionally appear at auctions in Switzerland, probably not at auctions abroad. Philabooks.com has the "Handbuch der Schweizer Vorphilatelie 1695-1850" for sale at the moment.

The books have a scarcity scale given to every cancel known (at the time of writing the book).


Since then (1968), a lot more cancels have been found that are not in the books. There are thoughts about "grassrooting" an update of the WInkler books, but this would be a monumental task (translation: "Who is going to pay for it?"). There are "harvesters" (that I know of) that cover the St. Gallen and Tessin cancels, for example.
Baslertaube.com is a Swiss stamp site that has ongoing discussions about the subject.

As for the one unanswered question, the only reasonable solution would probably be to pick a particularly "small sounding" post office and do historical research on the population development of that particular village. Entirely doable (the numbers are recorded somewhere, but finding that somewhere might cost some nerves, and a lot of time in the worst case).
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Lundi,

You suggestion of one post office capable in theory to provide service for a few tiny villages is interesting, but how this can be checked is another question. Yes, finding material to analyse it is the right way, that's what I do, when I can.

Thank you !
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Thank you drkohler for the detailed comment, and also for the forum link.

Unfortunately, I do not speak German, only English and French, besides my native Russian. If you know any good forum where they use French or English, please let me know about it.

Concerning the subject that made me start the thread: I'm not asking for the population figures, as these can easily be found on WIKI where they often show you the precise chart for each decade. I simply want to know what from the collector's viewpoint is considered small for the periods I have mentioned.

For example, I found a couple of cancels from places where at the time of the cancellation there were around 1000 inhabitants. But I do not know, if this is small for Switzerland. That's the problem.

Kind regards and many thanks.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by drkohler »

StampLearner wrote: 02 Jun 2020 08:43 For example, I found a couple of cancels from places where at the time of the cancellation there were around 1000 inhabitants. But I do not know, if this is small for Switzerland. That's the problem.
There is a small village called Juf in the Canton of Graubünden. Its population size has been hovering around 30 people for decades. It has a post office. So there is an example of what "small" would mean. I'd guess at least one such odd place has existed throughout the history of the Swiss postal system (which is somewhat convoluted).

If you want to deep dive, the postal history society might be a starting place, they have a website (in German and French): https://www.postgeschichte.ch/fr/histoire-postale/
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

Also, I think for smaller towns the population in say 1900 may not be obvious eg this Kandergrund postmark I found, current population 805 but there is no figure for around 1900, probably still a small place but difficult to know how small and whether something caused a temporary boom in numbers there for instance in Australia you have small places now gone due to mining or railroads etc

Lundy :)
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Kandergrund postmark 15 x 1904
Kandergrund postmark 15 x 1904
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

Sorry just found, population Kandergrund in 1900 1098

Lundy
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

Just looking through places there were a lot of villages with around 1-2000 people in them in 1900

I think this is Rose - a locality of Avry? which if so had a small population as Avry had 409 people in 1900. With some more looking around maybe you can set some parameters for what you consider a small town eg Tiny <100 Small 100-500 Smallish 501-1000 Medium 1001-2500 Large 2501+ people for example

Lundy :)
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by drkohler »

Lundy wrote: 02 Jun 2020 19:49 I think this is Rose - a locality of Avry?
Yes, Rosé was part of the area eventually condensed into Avry-sur-Matran. As Avry survived as the village name, and not Rosé, we can safely say the population of Rosé was (way?) under 100 people in the 19th century.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

Thanks DrKohler,

That is good to know

The questions from Stamplearner have encouraged me to sort out my postmarks from Switzerland, so once in better order I will start a thread for these

Thanks again

Lundy :)
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

to DrKohler and Lundy:

Thank you so much for sharing information and ideas. I think I now see what small for post offices in Switzerland at that time might be.

Regards
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

I have a few hundred cancels on earlier stamps so I will start a thread and add populations of that time where I can. If others add theirs over time it will help build an overall picture :)

I have nearly finished scanning the postmarks - so hopefully I will get this started later today and post a link here.

Once up and running, please do add your scans too Stamplearner

Lundy :)
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

OK, I will, when a have more than now.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by StampLearner »

Hello !

Here are three Swiss stamps I have found among my very limited 'stock', featuring cancels from places less than 1000 at the time of being obliterated.

The stamps themselves are quite common, yet the cancels, I hope, make them more interesting.

Unfortunately the cancels are not complete, but I have checked the names and found that there are no alternatives to these.

The info on population is taken from WIKI:

EVILARD was с. 800 in 1917 , now - 2674 (Dec. 2018)
...evilard-Swiss.jpg
POMPAPLES was c. less than 400 in 1910s, now - 850 (Dec. 2018)
10_Tell-red.jpg
VUITEBOEUF was c. 370 in 1930s, now - less than 600 (Dec. 2018)
Vuiteboeuf.jpg

This one has two parts of the same cancel that allow to see the full name

I wonder, if there is a reference source to check the scarcity of the Swiss cancels

Regards
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by muruk »

Global Administrator wrote: 30 May 2020 21:45
Image
Just by coincidence. I have a collection I call "Free Towns of the World". I include stamps, postmarks, etc, from any place named "free town" in any language or script. I started this when I lived in Freeburgh, Australia, which was named after a miner from one of the three Freiburgs in Germany.

So for Switzerland, I collect anything from either the city or the canton of Fribourg.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Mitgar62 »

I had a look through my spare 10c red numerals, and found one for Coppet canceled in 1904.

It's a municipality several miles outside of Geneva, but in Vaud canton, in the narrow neck between France and Lac Leman that attaches Geneva canton to the rest of Switzerland.

According to Wikipedia there were 561 people in 1900 and 570 in 1910.

coppet.jpg

I have another one from Coppet dated 1903, but it's rather shabbier than this one.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by aerogi »

I think this is currently called Bazenheid, I am not sure as it looks it was written with an A before.

It looks like a rather small town
DSC_1560bazenheid.jpg
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by aerogi »

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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by aerogi »

Sankt Fiden looks like a part from Sankt Gallen
DSC_1564stfiden.jpg
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by aerogi »

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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by aerogi »

This one is probably not a 'small town', but I want to know more about. It looks at first sight like a parcel post cancel?
DSC_1568Bern.jpg
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by Lundy »

Very nice Aerogi,

I did start a thread to share these:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=90836&p=660 ... s#p6606853

but forgot to add it here!!

I have lots more to add and will try and get some up shortly- If you coudl add yours their too, that would be great!

Lundy :)
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by nigelc »

aerogi wrote: 27 Jul 2020 22:55 I think this is currently called Bazenheid, I am not sure as it looks it was written with an A before.

It looks like a rather small town

Image
Hi aerogi,

Very nice postmarks! :)

The German Wikipedia article gives Bàzehäid and Bàzed as Swiss German versions so I think you're spot on here.

The population was 375 in 2826 and still only 676 in 1900.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazenheid
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by aerogi »

1937 Liechtenstein Michel LI158, Zürich Fraumünster

Zürich is not a small town, but the church 'Fraumünster' might be a rather small location?

It is a bit of a mysterie how this Liechtenstein stamp got canceled over there.
Scan_20211022.jpg
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by drkohler »

Fraumünster is a church dating back to the 11th century. The Fraumünster post office sat next to the church and was opened around 1898. It was Zurich's main post office for the next thirty years. It has since moved to another location, Zurich Urania.

LIechtensteins postal history was initially tightly connected to Austria but moved to Switzerland in the early 1920s.
I'm not sure if Liechtenstein stamps were illegal in Switzerland or not. In any case, the design of this particular stamp looks very similar to some Swiss stamps issued during those years so this could fall into the "sh*t happens" category.
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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by JMH67 »

aerogi wrote: 23 Oct 2021 20:19 1937 Liechtenstein Michel LI158, Zürich Fraumünster

Zürich is not a small town, but the church 'Fraumünster' might be a rather small location?

It is a bit of a mysterie how this Liechtenstein stamp got canceled over there.
...
We'll never know for sure with a loose stamp.

It may simply have slipped through, or it may have arrived uncancelled from Liechtenstein, the Zurich posties noticed it and ran the piece of mail through their canceller. After all, the old UPU rules said something to the effect that uncancelled stamps on mail should be cancelled whenever they were noticed.

As for small locations, in the last few years many smaller post offices have been closed in Switzerland, but they offer last day cancellations (Letzttagsstempel) to interested collectors. Perhaps that's something worth looking into. Check the Philanews magazine on the website of Swiss Post: https://www.post.ch/de/standorte/briefmarken-und-philatelie/briefmarken-sammeln

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Re: Does anyone collect Swiss cancels from small towns?

Post by lesbootman »

aerogi wrote: 27 Jul 2020 23:07 This one is probably not a 'small town', but I want to know more about. It looks at first sight like a parcel post cancel?

Image
Hauptbahnhof = Main railway station so I would suspect that it is a regular cancel for the main railway station at Bern.
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