Large numeral cancels in December 1862

Following a test carried out in Lyon between 20 and 25 February 1862, a new type of cancellation appeared in France: the large numerals. They were based on a nomenclature of post offices that was updated in July 1862.

The first post offices to receive and use these large numeral cancels were those in Algeria in July 1862. Some overseas post offices received and used them as early as October. Post offices in mainland France had to wait until December 1862.

In fact, monthly bulletin No. 88 of December 1862 announced to the post offices that they would be receiving a new cancelling stamp “in a few days” and that they would have to exchange their small numerals with the office in accordance with the new nomenclature.

Some post offices used their new cancellation as soon as they received them, as Monthly Bulletin No. 88 does not specify the date from which they should be used. As a result, they were used as early as December 1862.

In the Nord, 24 post offices used their large numerals between 19 December (the earliest date) and 31 December 1862.

The date of 1 January 1863 is commonly accepted by collectors, but has not been fixed by the authorities.

Extract from Monthly Bulletin No. 88, December 1862.

Early large numerals in the Nord

List of post offices that used their large numerals in December 1862. Date format: DD/MM/YYYY.