Losange de points
|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (August 2013)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2013)|
Losange de points is a philatelic term, used mostly by collectors of French stamps, referring to a specific type of cancel device used by the French Post Office in the 19th century.
Appearance and usage
The cancel appears as a diamond or trapezoidal shaped grid of dots, measuring about 20 millimeters (0.75 inches) on each side, with a set of numbers at its center. The number consisted of anywhere between one and four digits, and was unique to the post office that used it. For this reason, such numbers are sometimes referred to by philatelists as "town numbers."
During the period when the losange de points style of cancel was used, it was typical for stamps to be cancelled with this cancel only. A circular date stamp style of cancel, if possessed by a particular post office, would have been applied to the envelope away from the stamps. Based on existing covers, this appears to have been the practice nearly world-wide at the time. For this reason, stamps from this period are only occasionally found with dated cancels.
Two main types of the losange cancel were used, the "losange à petits chiffres" from 1852 to 1862, and the "losange à gros chiffres" from 1862 to 1876. Distinguishing the two is based largely on the size of the numbers and the size of the dots in the cancel. The dots are noticeably smaller in the "losange à petits chiffres" cancel, and its numbers measured approximately 4 millimeters high. Town numbers between 1 and 4494 are documented. Town numbers from 3704 to 4018 and 4222 indicate use at a French Post office abroad.
The "losange à gros chiffres" style of cancel, by contrast, had numbers twice as big being nearly 8 millimeters tall. Since the overall size of the cancel remained the same, a larger portion of a gros chiffres style cancel consisted of the town number (s). The list of numbers used increased as the number of new post offices opened, with numbers known up to 6449. Town numbers 2387 and from 5079 to 5156 were those assigned to offices abroad.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Losange petits chiffres.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Losange gros chiffres.|
|This philatelic article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|