This page last updated: 20 December 2022

::: CANCELS - Crosses :::

Back to Cancels.

Kawaihae 26Apr72 Lyons

This April 26, 1872 cover from Waimea to Lahainaluna via Kawaihae is the same one shown on the main title page for Cancels. Using the reference system adopted on these pages, the marks used to cancel the 2 orange red Scott No. 31a stamp are the cirgrid25-3(3 parts small hollow) and, more relevant to this page on cross cancels, an example of cross25(St. Andrews), the 25mm six spoke St. Andrews cross.

Various offices in Hawaii used crosses or crossroads cancels but it is usually difficult or impossible to determine the origin. There are 19 cross cancels listed here. Many crosses were simply manuscript marks applied with a pen (See Pen Cancels). Cork devices carved with a cross or crossroads were easy to make so many offices had them. Crossroads cancels also were used in San Francisco on foreign mail from Hawaii so some of the crossroads we find on Hawaiian stamps were applied in San Francisco.

Davey created three categories for the cross cancels: 1) colorless crosses, 2) crossroads and 3) various devices in color (his Section 2, "Crosses" with numbers 51-99). His descriptions fail to convey the true diversity of these marks. Cross cancels come in:

  • negative crosses: inked circles with crossing grooves forming four inked quadrants and a colorless cross;

  • circular wedges: inked circles with crossing grooves forming six or more inked wedges and three or more crossing lines;

  • inked crosses resembling a cross, propeller or wheel spokes;

  • rings of V's forming crossroads;

  • hollow circles enclosing inked crosses.

Despite the variety of appearances, the number of these marks is small enough to address them all as, simply, crosses. References begin with cross, followed by the size, in millimeters. Further identifying information is set out in parentheses. Of the various kinds of cancels, this section challenges my description oriented reference system most by taking too many words to give accurate descriptions. Fortunately, cross cancels are few and present less complexity than other sections.


cross9+(Maltese Cross)
Scarcity 4
Black, purple

Davey 99
Davey 551
Davey 552
Davey 553
Shaffer unnumbered

Davey: "Maltese Cross. This is a fiscal marking."

Davey assigned number 99 to the three styles of Maltese Cross cancels used on opium packages. They are studied separately at Fiscal Cancels on the $1 Postage Stamp.


cross16+(negative cross)
Scarcity 4

2-100 Davey 51 rendering

Davey rendering

2-100 cross 100 33


2-100 31a


Davey 51
Shaffer 2-100

Usage: various sizes and styles from 16mm. and up; known from the 1860's to 1880's. Noted on Scott Nos. 31a, 32, 33, 35 and 43.
Davey: "This number covers all the simple colorless crosses formed by the quartering of a cork by two cuts at right angles to each other, leaving four inking surfaces. Seldom evenly spaced; usually of crude workmanship. All sizes."
Shaffer: "Some of these are probably San Francisco marks."

Measurements I have noted go up to 20mm. San Francisco marks noted by Mahoney are quite similar and may account for all of these marks (see Mahoney types 142-145, 149, 151, 159, 160-162, 165-168 and 171). The images I show here one the 6 appears to be Mahoney 149 and the example on the 2 could be Mahoney 143.


cross16+(negative 8 wedge)
Scarcity 4

2-101 Davey 52 rendering

Davey rendering

2-101 21

Scott No. 21

2-101 31a


2-101 32


2-101 33


2-101 77


8 wedge

Courtesy of Gary Spicer

Davey 52
Shaffer 2-101

Usage: various sizes and styles; known from the 1860's to 1890's. Noted on Scott Nos. 21, 31a, 32, 33, 35 and 77. Some of these marks could be San Francisco (see Mahoney types 97-112).
Davey: "Same as No. 51 [cross16+(4 quad negative)], with two additional cuts dividing the surface into 8 sections. 16mm and 20mm."

Davey's rendering of his style 52 shows eight clean segments. The examples I have found are irregular and of varying sizes. Poor prints make it impossible to be certain all of these examples have eight segments. Some of these cancels may have been applied in the United States perhaps at San Francisco.


cross17(V ring)
Scarcity 3

2-105 Davey 63 rendering

Shaffer rendering

2-105 Hanalei circle of V's 30Mar85

March 30, 1885

Davey 63
Shaffer 2-105

Usage: Hanalei, 1885. Noted on Scott Nos. 30b, 35, 39, 42 and 43.
Davey: "Double crossroads of thin lines, formed by notching No. 52 [cross16(8 quad negative)] very deeply."

This mark probably also includes Davey 64 [cross20(V ring)] because the existence of a 20mm size has not been confirmed in studies since Davey.


cross19(4 blade propeller hollow center)
Rarity 1RRRR

Prop 4 not joined 31a

Davey unlisted
Shaffer unlisted

Usage: Unknown origin, 1870's
Noted on Scott No. 31


cross19(8 spoke wheel)
Rarity 1R

Prop 8 40

Davey unlisted
Shaffer unlisted

Usage: Unknown origin, 1880's. Noted on Scott No. 40.


cross20(negative cross notched)
Rarity 1R

2-102 Davey 61 rendering

Davey rendering

2-102 33

Davey 61
Shaffer 2-102

Usage: Origin unknown; late 1860's to 1880's. Noted on Scott Nos. 31, 33 and 39.
Davey: "Crossroads formed by cutting a notch into each quadrant of No. 51 [cross16+(4 quad negative)]; approximately 20mm. Wide variations in size of notches and spacing of cuts."

Compare with cross22(4 notched quads), the difference being in the size. Probably a San Francisco mark.


cross20(negative cross notched & diamond)

cross 20

retroreveal contrast

retroreveal contrast

Davey 62
Shaffer 2-104

Usage: This cancel is attributed to the San Francisco Foreign Mail Department, with a usage period of 1872-1874.
Davey: "Fancy device formed by cutting diagonally across each quadrant of No. 61 [cross20(4 notched quads)], forming a small square superimposed on the crossroads."
Shaffer: Reserved type 2-104 for Davey type 62, but had not seen one.


cross20(hollow circle enclosing 2bars crossed by 1)
Rarity 1RRRR

2-108 Shaffer rendering of Davey 71

Davey rendering

Davey 71
Davey 72
Shaffer 2-108

Usage: Honolulu, 1853; noted on Scott Nos. 1, 2 and 4.
Davey No. 71: Two vertical bars crossed by a single horizontal bar surrounded by circle, 20mm. Found on the 'Missionaries.' Rare in a perfect strike."
Davey No. 72: "Same, with the circle worn away or removed. Found on the 'Missionaries.'"

Five strikes are recorded, two appear to have the circle intact and three do not.


cross20(V ring)
Cancel unconfirmed

2-105 Davey 63 rendering

2-106 33

About 20mm

Davey 64
Shaffer 2-106

Davey: "Similar to No. 63 [cross17(Hanalei V ring)], but thicker lines, 20mm, purple. Common on stamps of 1864 ff."
Shaffer: "I've never seen one."

It is unclear what mark Davey saw, but his statement that this mark is "common on stamps of 1864" is a puzzle. I suspect Davey saw an inking variation of cross17(Hanalei V ring) but his reference to "common" and the "1864 issue" remains suspect regardless. I find inking variations, but on stamps of the mid-1880's and even the Hanalei V's is a scarce mark. The only roughly 20mm cancel I find remotely close to what Davey described is shown on the No. 33, used at San Francisco (Mahoney type 104).


cross22(13 spoke wheel)
Cancel unconfirmed

2-109 Davey 73 rendering

Davey rendering

Davey 73
Shaffer 2-109

Davey: "Wheel of 13 radiating spokes without rim, 22mm. Found on early portrait issues."
Shaffer: Reserved type 2-109 for Davey type 73, but had not seen one.


cross22(negative cross notched)
Scarcity __

2-103 Shaffer rendering

Shaffer rendering

2-103 31a

2-103 Hono crossroads Jan81

January, 1881

2-103 36

Davey unlisted
Shaffer 2-103

Usage: San Francisco, 1860's to 1880's (Mahoney type 152, 158).
Shaffer: "Known on issues of 1870's. Perhaps San Francisco marks."

Similar to cross20(4 notched quads) but 22mm in size and much more common than cross20(4 notched quads). Some marks are difficult to measure.


cross24(4 blade propeller)
Rarity 1RRR

Prop 4 thick

Davey unlisted
Shaffer unlisted

Usage: Unknown origin, 1870's
Noted on Scott No. 33; could be a United States cancel.


cross25(St. Andrews)
Rarity 1RRR

2-110 propellor 6 spokes 26Apr72

April 26, 1872

2-110 Prop StAndre 33

Davey 74
Shaffer 2-110

Usage: Unknown origin, 1870's
Davey: "St. Andrews Cross with horizontal bar crossing the intersection, 25mm., black. Used in the 1860's."
I note it on a Scott No. 31 local cover dated April 26, 1872 (illustrated at the top of this page) and on a No. 33.


cross25(4 blade propeller)
Rarity 1RR

Prop 4 joined 31a

Davey 75
Shaffer 2-111

Usage: Unknown origin, 1860's to 1870's.
Davey: "Propeller of 4 blades, 25mm."


cross25(double crossroads)
Rarity 1R


Davey unlisted
Shaffer unlisted

Usage: Unknown origin, late 1860's. Noted on Scott No. 31a.
See note for cross26(Makawao).


cross25(9 spoke wheel)
Rarity 1RRRR

cross25(9 spoke wheel) 31a

Davey unlisted
Shaffer unlisted

Usage: Unknown origin, late 1860's. Noted on Scott No. 31a.


Cancel unconfirmed

Davey 65
Shaffer 2-107

Davey: "Double crossroads, approximately 26mm. Makawao, 1892."
Shaffer: Reserved type 2-107 for Davey type 65, but had not seen one.

Davey gave Makawao as the source and 1892 as the year of use but gave no illustration. Shaffer interpreted Davey's description of a double crossroads to be the cancel illustrated as cross26(double crossroads). However, that mark was used in the 1860's and probably not at Makawao. Only cross26(double crossroads) and cross25(double crossroads) fit the description of a double crossroads of about 26mm. among the cancels I have seen.


cross26(double crossroads)
Rarity 1R


2-208 Shaffer rendering

Shaffer rendering

Davey unlisted
Shaffer 2-107
Shaffer 2-208

Usage: Unknown origin, late 1860's
Shaffer 2-208: "Known Nov. 1869 or 1868."

See note for cross26(Makawao). Shaffer interpreted the central ornaments in the design to be an "M" (top) and "K" (bottom) [and placed the mark among the letter cancels] but the clear strike illustrated here shows the ornaments are not letters.

Back to Cancels.

Copyright © 1999 - 2022 POST OFFICE IN PARADISE. All rights reserved.