28 November 2009

Phnom Penh Machine Cancels (II)

(Continue from Part 1)

Generation III

In early 1999 a new cancel was in use when generation II seemed to retire. This new generation III cancel looks similar to generation II, only contents in the die would tell the difference.

In the long rectangular die, the English names "PHNOM PENH" and "CAMBODIA" are now separated by hyphen and the Khmer writings are in comparatively narrow font with no sloped typeface. Inscriptionwise, a very notable difference is the Khmer acronym for "postal centre" is omitted, only city name remains.

The date dial arrangement is the same as generation II. However since 2000 it was getting common to have the order of date & month abbreivation and time swapped:


Philatelist Mr Graham Shaw, in his article "Phnom Penh Postmarks Part 4: 1993-2008" published in the September 2009 issue of journal "Indo-China Philatelist", pointed out that for this generation III cancel "...appears to have been only one time of the day for the formal collection of mail at the central post office, i.e. 9AM". Mr Shaw has a great observation which I did not realize before. I check my collection and would like to make an amendment to Mr Shaw's statement. There are actually 4AM as well, just not often seen. See this 29th June 1999 cover to Germany:

Gernation III was still in use in 2009.

Generation IV
Round dial was back on generation IV cancel which started to service in early 2005. Next to the dial are five wavey killer bars that curve in an upside down way of generation I. Another distinct feature differs from generation I is the new dial bears a single circular edge.

The dial inscribes the city name Phnom Penh in Khmer inside the upper edge and in French "PHNOM PENH. CAMBODGE" on the lower. There is a little mystery right under the date, it is the French acronym "C.A." (for Cabine Arrivée). Its appearance does not make sense as only incoming registered airmail would have cancelled "C.A.".

My wild guess is that generation IV was not intended to cancel outgoing airmail, somehow it joined the service to help out the busy generation III cancel machine, or there was a new location to process mail and so instead of making an additional cancel, it was used with a "no waste" spirit.

In 2007 an error in time indication happened. For quite an extensive period, the time "25h" was shown on the dial. It is not hard to find samples of it.

Generation V
This cancel is the least common. It appears to be in service only in or after 2006 for a brief period. The cancel composes of a round dial which is obviously larger than generations I and IV, and on the right five wavey killer bars, just the same as generation I.


The dial is again bilingual in Khmer and French. This time there is something new, it includes "COD" between the city and country names in French. "COD" is the acronym of "Courrier Ordinaire Depart", it explains the mail is an unregistered outgoing item.

This ends a brief guide to post-1979 machine cancels of Phnom Penh. Information will be updated if I come up with some new discovery.

Click here for part I of this article: "Phnom Penh Machine Cancels (I)".


  1. Nice Posting, I am very interesting in Postal Marking, especially Machine Cancellation.

    How i can get these cover ? :)

    Maybe we can make a trade ?

    best regards.

  2. G'day hqeem and thank you for your message. Would you like to leave a contact so I can reach you privately? Thank you.

  3. Hi, my friend. Your blog is very interesting. Congratulations! Recently it fell into my hands a stamp with one of those 1990s reprints. It is a 20R stamp and there is a kind of satelllite called Venus 3. It also appears the figure 1.500. I would like to send you an image of that because there are two postmarks that make me confused about the real date. Have you got an email account? Thank you in advance!
    Best regards,