Philatelic Study Group:
Hong Kong Security Markings and Perfins

H.W / & Co. no dots after &

Variety with 1 dot after & .

Variety with 2 dots after & .

Following are discussions on the H.W / &  Co. perfin.

Email from Philippe Orsetti  28th August 2001
Dear All,
 After Frank's email below, my theory is falling apart. I have to assume now that all the possibility existed in HK and in Shanghai, therefore only one perforator may have existed. However to have all the combinations, one pin must have been damaged, then repaired then another pin must have broken.
I have added # 34f (HK, 62 holes) and #34g (Shanghai, 62 holes) according to Frank's description in insert.

Email from Rod Sell  28th August 2001
Dear Philippe,
I also do not have an example of  #34  in my collection of 23 H W / & Co
perfins.  I still suspect that all the stamps were struck by the same punch
and that Dick's theory, that sheets were folded or multi sheets punched at
the same time resulting in those at the bottom of the pile missing some of
the pins,  is the most plausible explanation.
The HK & Shanghai hole patterns appear to be exactly the same suggesting the
use of the same punch.  Can you check your example to confirm this.  If this
is the case and because of the fairly large number of perfins in existance I
would think they were all purchased and punched in the same office which I
would think would be Shanghai.
These are very interesting perfins not only because of the varieties from
the 2 cities but also because they appear to have been in use well before we
would expect to find perfins.  The other security markings from this company
appear much later almost conradicting the accepted order of information we

Email from Frank Drake  28th August 2001
Dear All,
 Following Philippe's interesting observation, I have gone through my H.W. / & Co. perfins and list out my findings in the table attached of the various pattern formats of the "&" symbol. Interesting feature from my collection of 29 stamps, is that I don't have any copy with the "pin,space" variety - i.e. type 34 with the HK's B62 obliterator, nor with the Shanghai S1. Uncommon? What frequency breakdown patterns do other members show?
Group II,  H. W. / & Co. Perfin  -  Frequency  Study
Study Size – 29 stamps with the H.W. / & Co. perfin
Treaty Port GpII Type Perfinholes Pattern Survey Remarks
Shanghai             34c       63       Pin, pin      2
                          34b       62   Space, pin      3
                          34a       61   Space, space  5   Most frequent
                           ?          62       Pin, space         No example!!!
Hong Kong        34e       63       Pin, pin       2
                           34       62       Pin, space         No example!!!
                           34d     61   Space, space  8    Most frequent
                            ?        62    Space, pin 4
   TOTAL 24
Not able to determine Shanghai 2
                              Hong Kong 3
                                    TOTAL 5

Email from Philippe Orsetti  27th August 2001
Dear all,
 This perfin is very confusing because it decayed apparently differently in HK and in Shanghai, which leads me to think that there may habe been two perforators, one in HK, one in Shanghai.
I have made a little sketch of "&" otherwise it is too hard to explain. If you look at the sketch, in Shanghai we go from 34b to 34a (I cannot find 34c). On the contrary, in HK we go from 34e to 34d (I cannot find 34). 34c or 34e can decay to 34a or 34d through either 34 or 34b but not through the two routes with only one perforators.
This email may be quite confusing, but you shall have fun sorting through your 34's. Let me know what you find.
 PS: Rod, your # 34c is in fact # 34e, new record (HK cancel)

Email from Frank Drake  4th August 2001

I refer to Rod Sell's request for information in his email of 12 July asking if there are any cds cancel examples with the "H.W / & Co" perfin. In response, I had earlier reported an example with a Hong Kong cds. I have now found an example with a Shanghai cds. Please see scan in the files attached.

What be interesting with this find is that the cancellation on the host stamp is the Webb Shanghai type Fiii, whose features be: 19.45mm - 20mm cds, narrow second "H" of SHANGHAI, rather open "G", top of the index letter "C" to the rim is 6mm ( See HK Philatelic Society's February 2000 Newsletter for more information on this cancellation type). The reverse would show that the perfin type be the "&" without stops variety. This infromation may suggest that this variety was the late use type of the three known variations, and that the additional stops may have been the earlier use varieties but subsequently became damaged and removed/ or broke off.

Email from Frank Drake  16th July 2001

I have gone through my H. W / & Co perfins and confirm that there are three types of this perfin (see scan wh1). I have all three variation types on host stamps cancelled with either the B62 (Hong Kong) or the  S1 (Shanghai) obliterators. Therefore, I concur with Dick Scheper's report finding that the three perfin types were used in Hong Kong, like they were in Shanghai. I also have examples where the distinquishing perforations on the '&' symbol had not undergone a complete perforation and instead has left a dented impression on the host adhesive in that particular area where the perforation should have been. This may indicate that the perforating machine may had encountered problems in this particular location.
 I have a cds example with the H. W / & Co perfin. My example is on a 1891 QV 14c / 30c mauve with a Webb  Hong Kong type Fi, 19.5 mm circle, index F with date FE 18 96 (see scan wh2). This would be a late use for this perfin. Unfortunately, the bottom position of the '&' symbol perforation is outside the stamp perimeter so we cannot use this example to determine which of the three variation types be the late use variety (see scan wh3).
 I have also reseached information on the Holliday, Wise & Co. The company's head office was in England and had branches at CapeTown, Manila, and Singapore. The Company was founded in 1832 by Robert Wise, a ship-master, and John Holliday, a Cumberland land-owner. In 1837, the Company opened at Canton as general merchants. They set up an office in Hong Kong in 1841 abd bought a site at the first land sale in Hong Kong ( Marine Lot 12). Their Shanghai office was opened in 1843 when Shanghai became a Treaty Port. When the two founding members of the company retired, their respective sons entered into partnership and continued with the company businesses. The firm dealt in general sundries, kept a well-equipped machinery department, and acted in several important agencies. After operating for some sixty years, the business closed or was taken over early in the 20th century.
 I hope my contribution be of use to the group members.

Email from Dick Scheper  15th July 2001
I would like to share my thoughts about this HW/&Co perfin by answering the
questions you've asked.

Question 1: Why three different types of this perfin for Shanghai and only
one for HK? The three types being with two stops after '&', then one stop,
and finally no stop.
Answer: In Hong Kong also three types were used.
 In my collection there are three stamps with two stops after '&' (see
attached scan of stamps issued in 1865 and 1884), two stamps with one stop
and 11 stamps with no stop after '&'.

Question 2: Are there any CDS cancels known on these stamps?
Answer: Not on my stamps. The only cancels are 'B62' and 'S1'. I have no
'62B' or cds cancels.

Question 3: Did the perforating pins (for the Shanghai) perforator break off
and thereby resulted in the three variation types being evolved?
Answer: When there are different types(dies) of a perfin involved, the first
thing to know is if the company used more than one perforator or if the
company used one multi-headed perforator making more than one die each time
the perforator was used. In both cases we can find different types of a perfin.
After examining my perfins HW/&Co I am sure all these perfins come from the
same single-headed perforator. It appears that every hole of this perfin is
exactly on the same place in the die. So all the stamps, cancelled in HK or
Shanghai, have been made on the same perforator.
Why three different types then? Did some perforating pins break off? If so,
this most be obvious by looking at the moments the stamps were used or
issued. Early stamps most show a complete die and later used stamps must
show a perfin with less holes.
Let's see.  As I said before I have three stamps with two stops after '&'
(issued in 1865 and 1884), two stamps with one stop (both issued in 1884)
and 11 stamps with no stop after '&', issued in 1863, 1865, 1876, 1880,
1882, 1884, 1885 and 1891. It appears that all three different types were
used during the same period, on stamps issued in the years 1863 till 1884!
(I am curious if your stamps with one stop after '&' fit the same period of

What's the conclusion of all this?
- only one (and the same) perforator was used by this company;
- there was no situation that some pins had broken off after each other.

Why (still) three different types of this perfin, apparantly used the same
My theory is that the two pins after the '&' were a bit shorter than the
Most companies didn't perforate their stamps one by one. Most times a full
sheet of 100 stamps was folded again and again to make one row of ten stamps
next to each other but also ten stamps thick. Then the
perforator was used to perforate ten stamps together in one time. In ten
times all 100 stamps of the sheet were perfinned. When some pins were
shorter then others, the stamps at the foot weren't perfinned by those pins
or only show blind pins.
What's your idea about my theory?

It still leaves another question: Did the company have a branch in Shanghai
or were the perfinned stamps brought to Shanghai by agents of this firm?
It's my believe that the company used the perforator in Hong Kong and that
stamps were brought to Shanghai for use there. The question is: were they
only used by agents of Holliday Wise & Co, travelling between HK and
Shanghai or was there a branch in Shanghai? If so, I suppose that regularly
perfinned stamps were shipped to Shanghai for use in this branch office.
Maybe Frank Drake, after his wonderful research for the AK&Co perfin, can
tell us something about the history of Holliday Wise & Company?

Email from Harmon Fine  13th July 2001
I have obliterators only.

Email from Rod Sell  12th July 2001
The perfin types of  "H.W / & Co".

The perfin was used in HK and Shanghai. When used in HK, there was a stop
after "&" and  the cancel would be either the B62 or the 62B obliterators.
When used in Shanghai, there were three variations; the three types being
with two stops after "&', then one stop, and finally no stop. The
cancellation on those perfins used in Shanghai, would be the "S1"
obliterator. The questions now being asked are:
  1.. Why three different types of this perfin for Shanghai and only one for
HK? Did the perforating pins for the Shanghai perforator break off and
thereby resulted in the three variation types being evolved?
  2.. Are there any cds cancels, whether Hong Kong or Shanghae,  present on
any of the "H.W / & Co" perfin types, or are all cancels on these perfins
only of the obliterator type?
What are your views on these perfins.

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