Early Machine Cancellations and Trials


Pearson Hill Trial: very rare Morning Duty usage.

15125.  1858: 1d star tied to piece by the Pearson Hill second trial, February 9th 1858. 

This strike has Code ‘M’ identifying it as morning duty and

 is considerably rarer than Code ‘A’ the afternoon duty. 

Only TWO full covers are known with Code ‘M’ and this is the first example we have been able to offer.

Used on February 9th 1858, this is the penultimate day of the trial period. 

A rarity.  

Price:  £290.00

Pearson Hill Trial: rare usage on a 2d value.

15126.  1857: 2d SG35 Plate 6, ‘FL’, very light NW corner wrinkle and one short perf at base, 

showing the catalogued variety Spec F7e – double letter ‘L’ illustrated in QV volume 1,

2011 Edition and one of only two double letter varieties on this plate.

Tied to small piece by the Pearson Hill second trial,

December 23rd 1857, Code ‘A’ for afternoon duty. 

This trial cancellation is very rarely found on other than the contemporary 1d value. 

Rare item. 

Price:  £185.00


The Pearson Hill Trial Machines (PHT) reference numbers in the following items are from 

‘Early Experimental and Inland Branch Duplex Cancellations’ by Parmenter et al. 


Duplex Machine Cancellation with number 3 in a diamond. 

1301. 3PHT 2 Number 3 Die B recorded used 15th May 1858 to December 1858:

a unique TRIO of items showing usage and varieties of this rare/very scarce duplex with codes ‘BA’.       

 a.     Printed Invoice to Folkingham, 1d star tied by a fine strike of this cancellation for  August 16th 1858.


b.     Small neat entire from Dover to London, June 2nd 1858.  On reverse top flap an East      

Cliffe udc and as a receiver, a superb strike of the dater part of 3PHT for June 2nd 1858 IN BLACK.

This is an UNRECORDED usage of this dater cds and especially rare used in black rather than red ink.


c.    Wrapper to Kendal with 1d star tied by this 3PHT cancellation but with the code ‘A’ in ‘BA’ missing. 

Parmenter illustrates an example without code letters ‘BA’ for June 24th 1858

The example here has the code letter ‘A’ missing on June 21st 1858.

As seen in example b, the 'A' was present on June 2nd 1858 and 

so it went missing between June 2nd and June 24th 1858.

A remarkable item.

An exceptional grouping that would make a memorable display page.          

Price:  £475.00


3PHT on 1d SG40

  1302. 3PHT  5 Number 3 Die A codes ‘AB’: recorded used  March 25th 1859 to May 20th 1859,

 superb strike for May 4th 1859 on a clean and un-creased envelope to Stroud. 

Recorded used over less than a two month period and

arguably one of the finest extant of this rare trial cancellation.           

Price:   £145.00


3PHT: rare usage on 2d Plate 7

152049.  3PHT 5 Number 3 Die A Codes 'AB': recorded used  March 25th 1859 to May 20th 1859. 

Very fine strike on a clean entire to Farringdon, MAY 6th 1859. 

A rare type as in use for less than 2 months. 

We have  previously only seen this cancellation used on the contemporary 1d and

here it is seen on a 2d SG 45 and from the scarcer Plate 7. 

A very rare combination of cancellation and stamp. 

Price: £245.00

NB: In this early Die, the LONDON is narrow at 14.5mm which was replaced by a wider 16mm in 3PHT 6.


3PHT 6 Number 3 Die A has a wider,16mm, LONDON than in previous trials.

Recorded by Parmenter in use from May 12th 1859 to 19th December 1859. 

His EKD is not illustrated and the earliest used date we can find is for MAY 13th 1859.

Remarkably our EKD has been found on two overseas destination mail and these are offered here.


EKD known overseas usage of 3PHT 6.


 1303. Entire to Paris, written in French, 4d postage paid with four single 1d’s, :

two with faults, but used on MAY 13th 1858 and cancelled by FOUR strikes of 3PHT 6. 

Exceptionally rare overseas usage believed to be one of only two recorded

and the ONLY example with multiple strikes of this very scarce/rare cancellation.    

Price: £250.00


The EKD known overseas usage of 3PHT 6.


1304. Clean envelope, small part of the rear flap missing, to Rhode Island USA with a one shilling SG72

– marginal with the inscriptional folded over the top of the envelope.

A few bluntish perfs on the wing margin but tied by a very fine/fine strike for MAY 13th 1859 of 3PHT 6. 

 Extremely rare item and possibly a unique combination of cancellation and stamp.  

Price:  £325.00


3 PHT 6: Rare usage on 4d SG66 going overseas.


1306.  Entire written in French, to France with a 4d pale rose, SG66. 

Tied by an exceptional strike of 3PHT 6 for September 13th 1859. 

 Rare usage of this very scarce trial cancellation on mail to an overseas destination 

and especially so in such overall fine condition.    

Price:  £245.00


Dater die of 4PHT 2: rare usage as a back stamp


152050. 4PHT 2: the dater portion used, November 12th 1859, as a receiver cds on

a very clean and uncreased envelope from Liverpool to London, fine missperfed 1d SG40. 

This is the first example we have seen of this dater used as a back stamp. 

A superb and rare item. 

Price: £95.00


Rideout Trial: the extremely rare Reversed Code 'SH'

152051.  4d SG66, fine/very fine used, cancelled by a large part cds and part bars of the RIDEOUT first trial, Number 1 Machine. 

From the date, April 16th 1859, this has seven bars at the top: recorded in use from Oct 22nd 1858 to Dec1859.

The code normally used in this period was 'HS' but this example has the code REVERSED ie 'SH'. 

This reversed code has been reported used only on APRIL 16th 1859, by both the London Postal History Group (LPHG),

and by Parmenter in  'Early Experimental and Inland Branch Duplex Cancellations'. 

LPHG reported a pair of 2d plate 7 SG 45 with the reversed code 'SH' again used on April 16th 1859

 and that is the one in Parmenter's publication.

From our researches it would appear that the example offered here

is the only known reversed code on a surface printed value.

A considerable rarity. 

Price:  £225.00

NB: the Number 1 Machine, with 8 bars at the top is known used with the 'SH' code but only on April 21st 1858.


 Rideout Machine Trial: an Unrecorded date of the Reversed Code 'SH'

152052.  1d SG40, tied to a front and part rear flap by the extremely rare REVERSED Code 'SH' for the Rideout Machine Trial,

with 7 bars at the top: the normal 'HS' recorded in use from October 22nd 1858 to December 1859. 

Previously the only other date recorded for the 'SH' code was April 16th 1859 - see item 152051 above.

This is an UNRECORDED date of usage for this extremely rare code. 

Superb item. 

Price:  £285.00

 NB: the Number 1 Machine with 8 bars at the top is known used with the 'SH' code but only on April 21st 1858.


Rideout Trial Machine Number 2

152053.  1d SG40 very fine, tied to a piece by a superb strike

Rideout First Trial Machine Number 2 with Code 'CR'. 

Price: £33.00


Rideout's later Trials

152054.  1d SG43 Plate 95, fine:

cancelled by the Number 2 of the later Rideout Trial

carried out in 1866 and 1867.

 Examples from this later trial are rare. 

Price: £38.50 


Later trial: Inverted Watermark.

151236.   1d SG 43 plate 101:

trimmed perfs at top right BUT has an INVERTED watermark AND

cancelled by the later trial of the Rideout Number 2 Experimental Machine. 

The SECOND TRIAL took place in 1867-68 and

Examples from this later trial are rare. 

Possibly a unique combination of the 1d with this watermark variety and cancellation.

Price: £46.50


Charles Rideout Trial: second machine

15030.  1859: 1d SG40, ‘GJ’, very fine example tied on a clean wrapper to Hull by a superb strike of the

CHARLES RIDEOUT TRIAL machine number 2, with codes ‘CR’, April 15th 1859. 

Lambs-Conduit St udc on top flap. 

Very hard to find this quality of strike on such a neat cover.  

Price:  £115.00


Rideout Trial:  Exceptional strike on a 1d Envelope


1307.  Very clean one penny pink envelope to Newport:

cancelled by an exceptional strike of the Rideout Number 1

Machine Type 1 with the number 1 between 11 vertical bars for July 7th 1859. 

The finest strike we have seen on a postal stationery envelope.

 An Exhibition quality item.

Price:  £225.00 


Rideout Machine: Rare LATER TRIAL 1866.

1308.  Fine envelope to Ledbury with a 1d plate 98 tied by a fine/very fine strike

of the Rideout Number 2 Machine code ‘CR’ for

November 16th 1866 and used early in the later trial period:

the Number 2 Machine trialled sporadically between

October 23rd 1866 and July 10th 1867. 

Examples from this later trial are rare. 

A very fine strike of this rarity and in overall fine condition.  

Price:  £375.00


 Pair 4d SG66: very rare cancelled by Cresswell Stamping Machine

152047.  4d SG66, fine/very fine pair tied to a clean envelope to Germany,

by the London CRESSWELL stamping machine impressions for Code 5 December 8th 1857. 

The envelope has on the front and back various non-overlapping transit marks. 

The Cresswell duplex is numeral '72' with the small,16mm, dater. 

This numeral duplex is only recorded in use only in November and December 1857 and Code 5 is unrecorded. 

The use of this stamping machine ceased on December 31st 1857.

The Cresswell duplexes are usually found on the contemporary 1d on cover and this is

the only example we can recall seeing with a contemporary surface printed value. 

A multiple usage of such a value makes this superb and attractive item very rare indeed. 

Price:  £220.00 

NB: the envelope is in much finer condition than the scan suggests.


Rare usage on 4d SG66 going overseas.


1306.  Entire written in French, to France with a fine 4d pale rose, SG66. 

Tied by an exceptional strike of 3PHT 6 for September 13th 1859. 

 Rare usage of this very scarce trial cancellation on mail to an overseas destination 

and especially so in such overall fine condition.    

Price:  £245.00


Pearson Hill Cancellations: October 1860 onwards

152048.  6d SG70, fine, tied to a clean wrapper to France by a superb strike of the

1PH2DieA cancellation, February 23rd 1861: recorded from October 3rd 1860.

Rarely found on values other than the contemporary 1d and the

first we have seen on this 6d value. 

Very scarce item.

Price:  £75.00 


Azemaar Second Trial: superb example

151568.  1d plate 119:

 tied to a fine banking letter from Frogmorton Street, London

to the Royal Bank of Scotland, by a superb strike of

the second Azemaar machine trial, October 27th 1871.

Small Edinburgh receiving cds on the rear top flap for the following day.

Very scarce/rare so fine.

Price: £215.00


Salsbury Trial Cancellation

152018.  3d Plate 6, SG 103, 'AL':

fine used, cancelled by the SALISBURY, '683', Official Trial Cancellation. 

Initially this type of trial cancellation had four central pins that pierced the stamp as well as cancelling it. 

The later trial had the pins removed and the item offered here has the pins removed.

A very scarce and fine example: the trial was abandoned.

Price: £110.00


Bickerdike Machine Number 1: superb early strike.

151628.  Bickerdine Number 1 machine:

superb strike for May 6th 1899, within the first two weeks of usage.

Clean envelope except for a vertical crease clear of the cancellation. 

The envelope is embossed on the reverse 'City of Birmingham Gas Department. 

Very scarce so fine. 

Price: £43.00


Boston Machine Number 1

151614.  Boston Machine Number 1: very fine strike, February 14th 1901,

on 1d embossed printed Great Eastern Railway Company dividend statement. 

It was redirected and a North Walsham duplex applied for the following day

and a Malvern cds on the reverse. 

Price:  £34.00


Boston Machine Number 3

151613.  Boston Machine Number 3: very fine/superb strike, August 29th 1899. 

Some filing creases but an unusual usage on this 1/2d embossed envelope to Boscombe

and an early usage for this machine. 

Price: £32.50


Boston Machine Number 4.

151625.  Boston machine Number 4:

very fine strike on a clean envelope to Lewes, Sussex.

A scarce 1899 usage for this machine at November 14th 1899.

Some damage to the reverse top flap.

 Price:  £36.50


Boston machine Number 5

151625.  Boston Machine Number 5:

superb strike on a very fine UPU 1d postcard to Westphalia.

An early usage of this machine at August 10th 1899. 

We cannot recall seeing the Number 5 machine used on this type of postcard. 

Price:  £40.00 SOLD


Boston Machine number 6

151610.  Boston machine Number 6: superb strike on envelope to Swansea.

An early example of this machine at September 21st 1899.

Interesting note on the front referring to a credit note for a Japanese Clock, £7-11-0:

a large sum of money in 1899. 

Price:  £39.00

Boston Number 6 Machine

151612.  Boston Number 6 Machine: superb strike on envelope to Launceston, Cornwall. 

The dater has the year reduced to two numbers from the full year, November 26th 1900. 

On reverse a very fine Press Association Limited logo. 

Price:  £39.00


The First Bickerdike Machine: Earliest Known Date

151289. The EARLY TRIAL of the Bickerdike Machine V and R without serifs:

a superb strike on a clean piece with 1d lilac, October 4th 1897. 

This is a new EARLIEST KNOWN DATE for this rare cancellation,

the previous EKD was October 5th 1897.

Very little mail from this trial has survived. 


NB: the apparent browning on the piece is a trick of the scanner.


The First Bickerdike Machine 1897


151524.  Superb strike of the rare Die 1, non-seriffed letterings of V and R,

 on an envelope used locally in London, October 7th 1897. 

Envelope has a small peripheral fault at the top and on the reverse

where there is a partial offset of the cancellation. 

Very little mail was used or has survived from these trial machines. 

Before the discovery of the item listed above and the next, the recorded postmark examples were

from October 5th 1897 to November 26th 1897. 

The example offered here, used on October 7th 1897, is hence one of the earliest known. 

Superb and rare item. 

Price:  £885.00

NB: the envelope is in better condition than the scan suggests.


Latest known usage: Bickerdike Trial Machine.

151525. Piece with a 1d lilac tied by a strike of:

the Die 2 seriffed letterings of V and R.

Larger in size than the Die 1 type and dated November 29th 1897

which is the LATEST KNOWN usage of this rare cancellation. 

Price:  £245.00


Boston Trial Machine 1898

151527.   Very fine strike of this rare experimental machine cancellation:

on a clean 1d pink embossed envelope, opened at the bottom, to Ashford, Kent, September 20th 1898.

The previously recorded dates of usage for this machine are August 27th 1898 to September 30th 1898. 

This example has the dater die variety with the star point pointing upwards.

On the reverse is an Ashford Station Office cds for September 21st 1898.

Only 12 covers and cards are known with this trial cancellation and hence a very rare item.      

Price:  £925.00

NB: a few small age marks at the bottom of the envelope but the browning is a trick of the scanner.

There is a thin straight line indentation above the dater which appears to have been made by the machine.


Earliest Known Usage.


151528.  Piece with a fine strike of the Boston Trial Machine on a 1d lilac. 

this dater die variety has the star point pointing downwards.

Dated August 26th 1898 this is the Earliest Known usage. 

A rarity.   

Price:  £250.00

NB: the browning to the right of the 1d lilac is not as pronounced as in the scan.


Boston Trial Machine: a very early usage.

151529.  A neat and clean piece with an exceptional strike of this trial machine tieing a 1d lilac.

This dater die has the star point pointing downwards.

Dated August 29th 1898, it is only three days after the EKD. 

Superb and rare item. 

Price:  £155.00

NB: the browning at the left is a trick of the scanner.


Boston Trial Machine: used to an overseas destination.

151526.   UPU 1d postcard to MALTA:

 superb/very fine strike for September 8th 1898

with the dater die star point pointing downwards. 

nly 12 examples are known of this Trial Cancellation on a cover or card.

This is the only known example on a postcard to an overseas destination. 

Extremely rare and probably a unique usage.

Price:  £980.00

NB: the overall toning of the card is far less pronounced

than the scan as are the few age marks.


151290.  Bickerdike Machine Number 1:

a brilliant strike for April 29th 1899 on a superb, clean and uncreased envelope

 with 1/2d SG197 addressed to Dublin, no postal markings on reverse. 

The Bickerdike machines, numbers 1-6, were introduced on April 24th 1899

as a consequence of early trials in October 1897: see Item 151289. 

The example offered here is the earliest we have seen and the finest. 


NB; the browning is a trick of the scanner.


151291.  Bickerdike Machine Number 6:

an exceptional strike on a superb UPU One Penny postcard to Sweden for September 25th 1899. 

The Bickerdike machines, numbers 1-6, were introduced on April 24th 1899

as a consequence of early trials in October 1897: see Item 151289.   

Superb item and very hard to find in this condition.



15127.  1861: 2d SG45 Plate 8, ‘II’, very fine tied to an envelope

to Sunderland by the Pearson Hill no.2 duplex, April 12th 1861, leaving a clear QV profile.

The 2d shows a blue diagonal line crossing QV’s head and face

caused by a scratch on the printing plate. 


Last Day usage: Cresswell Machine.

15128.  1857: 1d SG40,‘NK’, tied to a small envelope to Haverfordwest by a Cresswell duplex ‘72’ for December 31st 1857

– the LAST DAY of usage of the Cresswell machine duplexes; Code 8Mg is also unrecorded. 

A rare type and the only example we have seen used on this date.  


Hoster Cancellation.

15129.  1884: 1d lilac tied to an envelope, used locally in London, by a fine early Hoster, Type 11,

machine cancellation, December 10th 1884.    

Price:  £48.00

15130.  1887: 2 1/2d, SG201.  Entire to Barcelona, tied by a hooded circle date stamp, March 7th 1887. 

The Hoster machine cancelled the item of mail well away from the stamp itself. 

Hence a complete and very fine strike of Type 111 for March 7th 1887, was the result of this missed franking.

The stamp was then cancelled by a hooded circle cds.  The SG201, issued Jan 1st 1887, is printed on a blue-green paper used on the early printings,

 the later printings were on the more common blue paper.   Scarce combination of features.    


15131.  1890, 4d SG205: Very fine example with strong original colour, tied to envelope, peripheral faults,

by an almost complete fine/very fine strike of the Hoster Type IX, October 27th 1890.  Sent to Granada,

Nicaragua with the appropriate transit markings clearly struck on the reverse. 

A rare combination of stamp, cancellation and destination.   

Price:  £48.00  SOLD


15132.  1899, 1d lilac on clean un-creased envelope to Ireland: tied by an EXCEPTIONAL strike of the Number 1

BICKERDIKE machine for May 8th 1899 and within the first two weeks of usage. Superb item and rare so fine.


15133. Clean 1d UPU postcard, corner crease, to Germany: superb strike of the Number 5 BICKERDIKE machine, August 30th 1899. 

Message written in German and a scarce usage on this type of card. 



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