Thursday, 13 October 2016

Some postmarks on the 1889-1892 low values P&R issue


There is quite a variety of town as well fiscal cancellations on this issue, some of which are very uncommon or rare such as the Silam Post Office intaglio cancellation.


The most common town cancel originated from Kudat followed by Sandakan. Some were used late at Jesselton. Gayah is sought after but not uncommon.


Both these Elopura P cancelled stamps were dated from 1890. I think it indicated that the 10c stamp were initially used fiscally before it were issued for postal use in 1891. The 5c was in use by 1889.

The Gayah cancellation can be found on all values of this set of stamps but an almost complete cds on a pair of stamps like this is hard to find. On the other hand, a GAYA (without the H) cancel would be rare on this set.



Kudat As are normally seen but a Kudat D5 with the Maltese Cross on the 10c blue is not commonly seen on this set.



Surprisingly, I only have one stamp of this issue with a Labuan postal cancellation even though I have a few dozens of other North Borneo stamps with either a cds or a bar cancel from Labuan. The 10c blue has the Received at Labuan fiscal cancellation with a partial date of (NO)V 94.

This is the magnificent Silam Post Office intaglio cancel in blue and is quite uncommon on these stamps. Was this on a postcard to GB or other distant UPU countries? 6c was the postcard rate after July 1891.

The Sandakan 14 bar cancel when applied centrally like this is quite likely to be postal rather than CTO which were usually applied at the corner of the stamp.



This is the modified form of the Sandakan 14 bar cancellation. It is uncommon to find a red Sandakan cds on the same stamp which increases its desirability significantly.

This should be the 17 bar cancellation from Sandakan. There are more than 14 bars seen on this stamp.

This the 19 bar cancellation in greenish blue and with a hint of a red cds at the left lower edge which would have indicated that the 19 bar cancel was from Sandakan.

A mixed franking on piece with the 14 bar cancellation in blue from Sandakan. The original envelope would have cost a good tidy sum of money. 



There are also various official fiscal cancellations on this set of stamps and I also find the Chinese manuscript cancels very interesting.
I have updated the half cent write-up with a full Carame sheet that I bought last weekend. You can see it by clicking here.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

1891 P&R 8c imperf between horizontal pair and forgeries


For some reason this variety of the 1888 8c yellow green stamp is not listed in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue even though most of the low values of this set have similar errors of perforation omission. Perhaps it is very uncommon.

You may say how would I know this is from the genuine stamp and not a Founier or Careme forgery? There are certain characteristics that indicate it is a genuine item. 

In the genuine stamp, there is a coloured dot in the corner as shown and also the coloured background of the Postage & Revenue scroll does not touch the right outside frame line.

In addition there are two dots to the right of S which is usually obvious in later transfers and there is a faint large dot between N and T.

The forgery is actually very well executed. It is a lighter shade of yellow green. But there are a few features that can reliably differentiate it from the real thing. It can be a Carame or a Fournier forgery. It was thought that Carame passed on the printing plates to Fournier and some said that the Carame printings are better. I hope that someday we will have enough knowledge to distinguish between the two types reliably. Just came back from our SSS AGM weekend, I was informed by good authorities that it is possible to differentiate between the two by plating flaws. Plating is not my forte and to me it is a tedious means to an end. While this maybe be feasible with whole sheets, it is well nigh impossible with individual stamps.

There is no coloured dot in the corner here and also the coloured background of the scroll merges with that of the outside frame.

Here the the long rope from the mast is uneven in thickness. There are also other features including the bottom of N in North is wider at the bottom compared to the top. The left lower ornament is centered more to the left and the right lower centered more to the right. Both these two items have gum at the back. With Fournier/Careme forgeries, there is a thin layer of smooth gum whereas in the normal stamps, the gum is thicker and uneven with fissures and cracks. The genuine stamps are also printed on wove paper with distinct pattern of dots when viewed in front of light.

I think this is a Careme printing and is much clearer than the mint Fournier shown above which can be described as fuzzy. The rope from the mast is more even but it still lacks the dot in the corner and the coloured part of the scroll touches the outside frame. Fournier used forgeries would have fake bar cancels similar to the North Borneo 14 bar cancel. Careme items would have fake circular cancels like here or thick bars like the Labuan 9 bar cancel. The perfs are very poor compared to Fournier or it could have been crudely perforated using a fake imperf stamp.

These are two more fakes. The imperf item look like from Carame and the second item from Fournier with differences in printing and colour. Normally extremely displaced perfs like this are fakes because the authentic stamps would have been rejected.

This one appeared on ebay and is definitely a fake using the criteria that that was described at the beginning of this article.

A part sheet of 40 of the forgery from the crude multiperf set which I think is more uncommon than the whole sheets from Fournier.