Stjernestempler (Star Cancels) by Jan Bendix and Jerry Kern. 256 pages, 5 ¾ by 8 ¼ inches, perfect bound, card covers, in Danish, Forlaget Skilling/DAKA, Copenhagen, Denmark 2006. ISBN 87-91932-02-5, $56.50 plus postage from Jay Smith & Associates, PO Box 650, Snow Camp NC 27349.


Lists of abbreviations used in the book, in Danish and English, begin this catalog of the popular “Star” and related cancellations used for many years in Denmark. Star cancels were introduced in the 1860s and continued into the 1950s. They typically consist of a double ring with a star-like symbol in the center ring, and the town name between the rings.

There are three types of these cancels. Type I, also called Taarbæk type, consists of a double ring with a simple star design and the name of the letter collection office. Type II, also known as the Faarevejle type, is similar in design but of larger diameter. The third type is known as Udslebene or starless cancel as the star-like symbol in the center ring is missing. These marks do not carry time or date of the cancellation but simply designate the name of the letter collection office.

This is a priced catalog with values shown in Danish kroner on a stamp by itself and on a complete cover. The most desirable quality is a bulls-eye strike or socked-on-the-nose cancel. These demand higher values than the catalog shows. The listings are alphabetical by town name and include the earliest and latest known usage dates. Some entries also show a side cancel, sometimes found with the star cancel, which has a city name and the cancellation date.

The collecting of Danish star cancels is quite popular and the introductory pages of the catalog include a discussion of fake cancels accompanied by illustrations. This edition includes the latest findings and information about these cancels. A number of the marks are illustrated throughout the catalog including some on covers that are shown in color.


Alan Warren