Sunday, 4 February 2018

Some acquisitions

2017 has been a good year in this respect. But there have quite a few items that I failed to purchase due to the keenness and deeper pockets of fellow collectors. None the less, I have still been able to continue to build up my collection significantly. Some of the items are shown below.

The 1931 set is rightly sought after because it is in many NB collectors' opinion the best designed stamps from North Borneo. I have shown the set and the colour samples before. I have only this value of the specimen set and it is very good to start with the $5 value. 

This is the 1939 set used but I am only showing the high values. It is a very popular item on ebay.

This is the earlier of the BNBC type cancellations from Sandakan D9 and invariably for fiscal usage. It is different from D10 in having the St Andrew's Cross with dots instead of the typical Maltese Cross. The date here of 22 APR 91 is the same as the one shown in Proud's book. It is quite likely that this was a reference copy used in the illustration as it used to belong to a member of the Sarawak Specialists' Society. There are also BNBC type cancellations from Kudat and Jesselton. Kudat is quite uncommon and I rate the Jesselton as rare as I only have one copy after years of looking.

The 1930 AIR MAIL NORTH BORNEO covers went for very good money in last year's Spinks sale. It was somewhat unexpected as the majority were philatelic items and they did not even have the correct postal rate. My cover from Sandakan to Tawau shown here was quite likely used commercially. 

This is my second Beaufort Linotype but not as good as the other one here and also I prefer it on a North Borneo stamp. The BMA issues from North Borneo and Sarawak were eligible for use throughout the BMA territories of North Borneo, Labuan, Brunei and Sarawak when they were temporarily administered collectively as one area after the war from 12 September 1945 to 1 July 1946. 

These are my two from Tenom but they are not clear to make out. They are again on Sarawak stamps.

Sandakan Linotype on a moderately valuable Sarawak adhesive with a date of MAR 1946 30.

I got these two a couple of years back. The Tawao Linotype is quite uncommon especially with clean clear cancellations like these two with a date of 12 MAY 1946.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Straits and Indian stamps used in Labuan

Belated New Year greetings, my readers. Hopefully, this will lighten the gloom of recent days as storm Eleanor battled and destroyed or damaged some of our coastal defenses and cities both in the UK and Europe. We are now braced for an Arctic blast in the next few days bringing more freezing conditions. Meanwhile, the US east coast has been turned into a new Antarctica. I have no doubt this has something to do with unnatural global weather changes. Philately is probably one of most environmentally and climatically friendly pastimes.
The stamps shown below are very special because as far as I know there are very few copies of Straits and Indian stamps recorded used in Labuan before her first stamps were issued in May 1879.

The first item is the Straits Settlements 1867 12c ultramarine used with Labuan K1, the 18 mm circle of diamond dots. The K1 cancellation on Indian, Hong Kong and Straits stamps are invariably in black. However, a used front from Labuan in 1865 to the Rajah Mudah Charles Brooke of Sarawak was recently sold by Spink with a one Anna Indian stamp with the earliest date of use of K1 in red as shown above. It also has the Straits B 172 cancellation as it went from Labuan to Kuching via Singapore.
The Indian and Hong Kong adhesives were apparently stocked by the Labuan post office from 1864 as stated by Proud. But I have also read somewhere that they were brought there by individuals who anticipated the need to write letters. 
The 27 July 1864 was the earliest date that adhesives were recorded as used on the earliest covers of Labuan. This was the first of the three so called "Stafford covers" sent to Edward Stafford in Nelson in New Zealand using Hong Kong and Indian stamps. Edward William Stafford was the premier of New Zealand three times between 1856 and 1872.
The "De Saumarez" cover dated 13 July 1864 marks the transition when adhesives were not used on Labuan mail just before the earliest Stafford cover. Three years later, the Straits Settlements were officially available at the Labuan post Office with the 1867 issue. There are very very few copies of loose stamps of Hong Kong and Straits Settlements used at Labuan known. No loose Indian stamp used at Labuan is recorded. And I have not seen a pre 1879 Labuan cover using Straits stamps.

Refernce: Labuan covers and correspondence to 1879 by Jeremy Dickson which is available from the Sarawak Specialists' Society.