History of Expertizing and Catalog Listings- Calvet Hahn

Nov 1 , 1999


Cover Notes :

1)    8/31 on 3 cent cover to Miss Mary J. Cerbin New Britain, Conn. The most probably dates for the Devil & Pitchfork period of usage are Monday, April 16, through Friday August 31, 1866.  The latter date is the day the postmastership of west Meriden, CT changed hands.  Mr. Wallis Bull is the postmaster to whom is attributed the Devil & Pitchfork cancellations.

2)  8/29 on Blackjack cover to A. Morrison MD, Windsor. Although principally found on the three cent rose 1861 (Scott #65), the Devil & Pitchfork cancel was also struck on the 3¢ pink entire (Scott #U58) and in exceedingly rare instances, the 2¢ Blackjack (Scott #73).

3)   A 3¢ rose 1861 tied by a bold August 10 Devil & Pitchfork strike, from the martin F. Blake correspondence.  The Blake correspondence is the largest surviving correspondence bearing the Devil & Pitchfork cancel, and is known to span virtually the entire period of usage of this fancy cancellation.

4)  Very early example (April 17) example of the West Meriden, CT ‘Devil & Pitchfork’ cancellation.  This detail shows the cancel turned slightly clockwise from its normal fixed orientation in relation to the West Meriden postmark.  For approximately the first three weeks of its usage, the Devil & Pitchfork slug turned freely in its sleeve on the government-0issued duplex handstamp device.