Cancellation with grille
Cancellation with grille red
Covers with a hand stamp cancellation
Covers with a hand stamp cancellation and cross cancellation.
Letter with 2 of 1 FR.'stamps
Covers with a cross cancellation.
Covers with the "dater" cancellation

Covers with a "cursive" cancellation
Covers with  special cancellation


1 january of Mirande

On august 24, 1848 the French National Assembly, according to Etienne Arago's ideas, had agreed to a law creating a unique price for inland mail. In fact, the law planned the issue of 2 stamps:

  1. 20 centimes (black). It was used for the letters which weight was less than 7.5 grammes.

  2. 1 franc (red - vermilion) for heavyer letters. It is the rarest French stamp.


It had also been decided that the use of stamps would begin on January 1, 1849.
But, in fact, there was a real problem: The administration wanted the stamps to be cancelled with the grille ( that is with a special cancellation) but, on January 1, 1849, no post office ( first class and second class) had this famous grille !

The administration didn't manage to make the "grille" in time !

Of course, the post didn't want people to use stamps twice (or more...). That's why a new circular letter ( published on December 20, 1848) asked the post office directors to use the hand stamps they had in their post offices to cancel the stamps. It also asked them to cancel the stamps as soon as the covers were posted.

But this is not the end of the problems !

The post office directors had noticed that the volatility of the ink they used to cancel the stamps was too big. So that it was very easy to use a stamp again. As a consequence, the post published a circular letter. It asked the post office directors to use printing-ink to cancel the stamps. If they couldn't, they were asked to draw a big cross on the stamps.

an example of cross

The post office directors didn't understand the circular letters in the same way: On January 10, 1849 many post offices were still waiting for the grille cancellation. The directors were carrying on using the " provisional cancellations " but some of them had decided to make "exceptional cancellations". Anyway, in the mind of the administration, the grille cancellation was the only regular way to cancel the stamps.

Covers with the "grille" cancellation. and exceptional cancellation with grille red cancellation