The cancels of Alexandropol

In one of the last posts I discussed a cancel on a stamp which in turn proved to be fake. Another collector sent me a scan of the genuine cancel on a postcard from 1910. While exchanging mails some questions arose.

Generally we assume that when the first republic established and the Dashnaks took position the “old” cancel devices from Tsarists times were used. Since the reign of the Dashanks did not last very long – between the aggressive Turks and the Bolshevists they had at some point choose the lesser evil – we assume that no own cancel devices were produced. For once there are no cancels with Armenian script (or letters) used in this time and, the own stamps (Paris issue) did not reach Armenia in time to be used by the Dashnak government. On the other hand, devices for overprinting the monograms were produced. And what about after 1921 when the times were a bit less demanding and chaotic? Another finding is that some Tsarists cancels were used before 1919 and not after 1919 while other cancel were not used (or we could not find postal items so far) before 1919 but have seen extensive usage after.

Let us check what we can find about the Alexandropol cancels. I checked my collection and can find the following types.

Alexandropol b

zakiyan b 30zakiyan b 35


This one is from a cover. I got the scan from a fellow collector. Date used is 11.04.1910.alexandropol 11.04.1910 - ausschnitt

This cancel is not reported seen on Armenian stamps.

Alexandropol g

alexandropol g cancel 140714 web

Is this a “g” character? Also, this one is not reported on Armenian stamps.

Now to the types used on Armenian stamps. There are three different ones, “e”, “tse” and “sh”.

Alexandropol “sh”



This is the most common cancel. Used on Dashnak overprints and on the later pictorial issues and finally also on the Transcaucasian issue. While I got plenty of imprints on the pictorial issues, the usage with Dashnak stamps seem to be quite rare.

Here an example on Dashnak stamps. The date reads 28.02.20.

alexandropol sh framed z on 25 kop 280220 web

Used on First Constantinople pictorial issue. Date 28.03.23.

alexandropol 10 on 100 28xx23 web


Also on the Erivan pictorial issue. Date 01.03.23.alexandropol sch 50000 on 1000 1x0523 web

And finally on the Transcaucasian issue. Date ?6.11.23.

alexandropol sh transcaucasia web


Alexandropol e


This one is rather rare. It is not on the Ashford/Tchilinghirian list. I found it only on Dashnak stamps. The date is rather hard to decipher but the year is certainly 1920.

alexandropol i z and 5r on 10kop web


I got a handful of more examples – all look like CTO material.

Alexandropol “z”


This one is probably not as rare as the “e”, but still much rarer than the “sh”. Again I found this one only on Dashnak stamps. Date is ??.?3.20.

alexandropol s framed z on 10 rub xx0320 webMy examples look like CTO material.

Who can provide examples of stamps or letters (postcards etc.) who show Alexandropol cancels not listed here?


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2 Responses to The cancels of Alexandropol

  1. GUENIOT Philippe says:

    Dear Stephan,

    First of all, many thanks for your, always, useful posts. Secondly ans as far as I can see, the Alexandropol “b” cancel (the one numbered 35) you reproduce is not the same as the one appearing on the cut off underneath. It looks pretty much more like the one you presented in your January post. The last “o” of the town name is on the same level with the superior horizontal bar, and the letter “b” with the inferior one; which is obvioulsy not the case in the cut-off piece. So are there two alexndropol “b” postmarks? one in use during the tsarist period and another one, still from tsarist origin, during the dashnak period?

    • Stefan says:

      Thanks Philippe. You are absolutely correct. I added a picture of type 30 – which is the correct one. In a comment to the January entry, Ivo said, sometimes (often?) two types of the same character were used. One for incoming, one for outgoing items. When I read his comment, I remembered reading such also a while ago at another place.

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