A new acquisition, one of the coolest revenue fancy cancels, part of a skull and crossbones on an R14c.
Credit for the research on this one goes to Bruce Baryla:
This ‘Skull and Bones’ handstamp was known to collectors of fancy handstamps by its appearance as a ‘sender’s mark’ on covers mailed in 1857 by the ‘Society of Twenty-Two,’ a Yale University based fraternal group associated with the famous Skull and Bones Society.
This same handstamp was used years later as a stamp canceling device. As it turns out, the secretary of the ‘Society of Twenty-Two’ in 1857 was Robert A. Beckwith. He became a photographer and co-owner of the Whitney & Beckwith studio – and he repurposed the handstamp from his college days to cancel revenue stamps.
He has a page devoted to it in his exhibit, shown beneath the stamp.
This particular example is actually very well centered and is a nice stamp in its own right, even without the cancel. The portion of the cancel is sharply struck and unmistakable.
Note that all examples shown below are on the 2-cent orange Proprietary, R14c.
Bruce’s complete exhibit can be seen at http://web.newsguy.com/bruceb/londo…%20Bones.htm
Additional examples I have acquired, each image oriented to show the section of the cancel in relation to the image above: