This page last updated: 17 May 2022

::: CANCELS - Bars :::

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Scott 28a with black grid to Wini

A local cover bearing two strikes of sqgrid 17-9(thin bars), the square grid of 17mm diameter with 9 thin bars used at Honolulu.

Davey divides BARS into circular grids, square grids, oval grids and fancy devices (his Section 1 Bars, with numbers 1-42). 41 bar cancels are listed here. However, several listings include similar marks from multiple devices so the total number of bar cancels is greater than 41.

Circular Grids are identified here as "cirgrid" followed by the size (diameter) in millimeters and finally by the number of bars. Thus cirgrid18-4 is a circular grid mark, of 18mm diameter with four bars. This same mark is listed as Davey number 2 in Meyer and Harris. If two marks have the same description through the number of bars, further description follows in parenthesis. Thus, cirgrid20-7(uneven), a 20mm circular grid of 7 uneven bars is different from cirgrid20-7(even), a 20mm circular grid of 7 even bars.

Square Grids are listed next, using "sqgrid" followed by the size and then by the number of bars. At least eight cancels are listed in the square grids (sqgrid17-7(thin bars) includes at least two devices and some of the other square grids may represent multiple device).

Oval Grids follow the same model, using "ovgrid" followed by the size in millimeters (top to bottom but orientation is sometimes difficult to determine) and then by the number of bars. This category consists of four marks, only one of which is confirmed by Shaffer and me.

Fancy Grids are listed as "fagrid" with the size next and a description of the mark. My "fancy grid" category contains only one mark (unconfirmed by Shaffer or me), the other (Davey No. 41) having been moved to square grids.

Click here for a study of Circular Grids.


Square grids are not necessarily square. They may be rectangular or diamond shaped. However, the following are classed as "square" grids:


sqgrid11-2 bars
Rarity 1RRRR

2-92 16Aug53

August 16, 1853

Davey unlisted
Shaffer 2-92

Usage: Honolulu, August 16, 1853
Shaffer: "Aug. 16, 1853, on 5 #5 cover. Probably not Hawaiian marking."

I believe the mark probably is from Honolulu. The bars form a rectangle 11mm x 12mm


sqgrid14-2 bars
Rarity 1RRRR

bolt 15Jul72 WCJones

July 15, 1872

Davey unlisted
Shaffer unlisted

Usage: Volcano House, July, 1872, but origin is uncertain.

This "bolt" cancel is 14mm tall and 13mm wide.


sqgrid17-9(thin bars)

Honolulu grids
Estimated 6
Black, red

2-72 grid 7Jul64

July 7, 1864

2-72 w_ Hono 236_11(IV) 26Sep64

September 26, 1864

2-72 75

Hilo grids
Estimated 5

2-72 Hilo grid 2 Oct65

October 2, 1865

2-72 Hilo grid 14Dec82

December 14, 1882

Davey 22
Shaffer 2-72

Usage: Honolulu: from about 1861 to March 22, 1866; red to about the end of 1862, Honolulu use on 1894 issue noted; Hilo: from October 2, 1865 to December 14, 1882 (none seen 1869-1874). Davey also states it was used at Laupahoehoe.
Davey: "Square grid of 9 diagonal bars, thinner than on No. 21 [sqgrid17-7], with 2 small triangles to complete the square, 17mm. Usually black, occasionally red or blue [I have seen no blue strikes]. Found on most early issues; often on the Numerals."
Shaffer: "17mm. Honolulu, from 1861 to March 22, 1866. Red until about the end of 1862. Known used at Hilo, June 16, 1866 to Aug. 1881 (except none seen 1869-1874)."

The Honolulu and Hilo grids were different devices. Their usage periods overlapped and the Hilo mark has somewhat thicker bars and narrower separation between the bars.


sqgrid17-7(thick bars)
Cancel unconfirmed

Davey 21
Shaffer 2-70

Davey: "Square grid of 7 thick diagonal bars, 17mm., blue, later black. On early issues only. Lahaina, 1860's."
Shaffer: reserved 2-70 for Davey 21 but had not seen it.

This reference unquestionably is to sqgrid20-7, the 20mm square grid that otherwise fits Davey's description.


sqgrid18-2 X 3
Scarcity 2

2-91 Grid of squares 14Nov68

November 14, 1868

2-91 Grid of squares 5Dec68

Decemebr 5, 1868

2-91 32

Davey unlisted
Shaffer 2-91

Usage: Honolulu foreign mail, November 14, 1868 to April 22, 1869.
Shaffer: "Found on Honolulu foreign mail covers, Nov. 14, 1868 Dec. 5, 1868." (See Siegel Auction, Aug., 1977, lot 569; Wolffers Auction #103, lot 1546); Wolffers #168, lot 1703; Kelleher Auction #581, lot 1291; Rumsey Auction #65., lot 54.

The images shown on the left seem to come from different devices.


Scarcity 4
Black, blue, green

2-71 Grid Lahaina 17Aug68

August 17, 1868

Davey unlisted
Shaffer 2-71

Usage: Lahaina; 1862-1868.
Shaffer: "7 bars and 2 triangles, 20mm. Blue, Lahaina, known about 1862-1863."

This Lahaina grid is the one Davey mistakenly reported as 17mm
[sqgrid17-7(thick bars)], but only a 20mm square has been identified from Lahaina.


Cancel unconfirmed

2-90 74

2-90 Shaffer rendering

Davey rendering

Davey 41
Shaffer 2-90

Davey: "Square grid of 4 thick bars, each divided into 4 square parts, forming a 4x4 checkerboard, with one quadrant entirely missing; purple. Used on late issues."
Shaffer: reserved 2-90 for Davey 41, but had not seen it.

I really do not think the "tank" cancel illustrated here is what Davey had in mind, but it is the closest I have seen.



ovgrid?-3(divided oval)
Cancel unconfirmed

2-60 Shaffer rendering

Davey rendering

Davey 31
Shaffer 2-60

Davey: "Oval in solid color, with 2 vertical colorless bars crossed by 2 horizontal colorless bars."
Shaffer: reserved 2-60 for Davey 31, but had not seen it.


Cancel unconfirmed

Davey 32
Shaffer 2-22

Davey: "Oval grid of 6 bars, each divided into three parts, 24mm x 26mm."
Shaffer: reserved 2-22 for Davey 32, but had not seen it.


Cancel unconfirmed

Davey 33
Shaffer 2-36

Davey: "Oval grid of 8 bars, each divided into 6 parts." Davey did not record the size.
Shaffer: reserved 2-36 for Davey 33, but had not seen it.



2-37 Shaffer rendering

Shaffer rendering

Davey unlisted
Shaffer 2-37

Shaffer: "About 13 bars. On 5 of 1861-1864." (See Wolffers Auction #72, lot 626).

Shaffer did not record the size, but from the image adjusted to actual size, it would appear to be about 26mm.



fagrid?-6(mirrored "V's")
Cancel unconfirmed

2-61 Shaffer rendering

Davey rendering

Davey 42
Shaffer 2-61

Davey: "Design of 6 bent bars forming V's, 3 pointed upward, 3 downward, with vertices of each group pointed toward each other. Scarce." Davey did not record the size.
Shaffer: reserved 2-61 for Davey 42, but had not seen it.

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