03 January 2021
Discover more about the postmark that cancelled the world's first postage stamps with this comprehensive presentation, based on a Large Gold Medal winning exhibit, from Howard Hughes, former President of the GBPS.
The Maltese Cross explained
The arrival of the adhesive postage stamp in 1840 led to the introduction of a postal marking used to 'obliterate' the 1d and 2d stamps and thus prevent the stamps being used more than once.
The first cancellations made by these obliterators are known among philatelists as 'Maltese Cross' postmarks, due to the distinctive design of the marking which was similar to the symbol which dates back to the time of the Knights Hospitaller (or Knights of Malta).
Since the first obliterators issued to postal workers were handmade, there was an immediate lack of consistency and so stamps featured a range of designs. Maltese Cross marks also differed around the country, giving today's collectors the opportunity to pursue distinctive marks from cities such London, Birmingham, and Edinburgh, to name just a few.
Maltese Cross video presentation
Enjoy this comprehensive presentation, based on a Large Gold Medal winning exhibit, from Howard Hughes, former President of the GBPS.
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