Q89 January, 2011   member 230

Winter Palace Hotel.

I was recently writing up my covers from the Winter Palace Hotel and noticed something a bit different about the HW4 and HW4a postmarks; there is a break in the frame above the "U" of LUQSOR (11 o'clock position). I don't recall reading anything about this minor flaw. Figures 1 and 2 show two blue postmarks (HW4a) from 1923 to 1924 and figures 3 and 4 show a black postmark (HW4) from 1924 and 1927 It does not seem to have been caused by applying uneven pressure on the date stamp for if that were the case then the break most likely would not be in the same position. Figure 2 also extends the latest date recorded for HW4a as shown in The Hotel Study, QC, September 2000, from 7 III 23 to 30 I 24.

Figure 5 shows the HW4 postmark of 29 XII 1931 and it appears that the break has been fixed sometime after 6 March 1927. Applying uneven pressure to the date stamp most likely caused the break at the 7 o'clock position as it varies among the cover's five postmarks.

I have a couple questions. First, are there earlier and later dates with this flaw? Also, are there covers postmarked by HW4 between 1922 and 1927 without the flaw? While the use of HW4 overlapped with date stamps HW3 and HW5 there could have been more than one HW4 date stamp.

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