Sunday, 15 May 2011

Paquebot postmarks

I always have a soft spot for paquebots. Paquebot pronounced "pakbo" is a french term for packet-boat. In the 16th century, state letters and despatches were referred to as "packet". Paquebot were essentially mail carrying boats. Later on it was used to describe postal marking which is used for letters mailed at sea for processing at the next port of call. This is often in another country such that the stamps used were not indigenous. Here we have examples of NB stamps processed at Singapore. Paquebot cancellations came into use in 1894. The real Paquebot era happened in the first half of the twentieth century. With the growing popularity of air mail and air travel, ship mail slowly declined.
The rectangular types shown is surprisingly not listed in Ted Proud's book. It is similar to the ones used in Sandakan except the letters are taller. They are probably common as there are 2 examples above as well as 2 more with HK postmarks below.
The 3c railway stamp has a Singapore transit date stamp.
Update This rectangular paquebot franking is probably of HK origin rather than NB.

Here we have paquebots marks and arrival date stamps for Hong Kong.

Paquebot mark that was used in Jesselton around 1936. 5c MBE 1922 with part of a KUCHING cancel. Initially I thought it was HK. Use of the stamp in neighbouring Sarawak would make more sense. Incidentally, Sarawak did not have an issue of stamps overprinted with MBE 1922.

Update Added a dubious looking Hong Kong cancel on a good NB stamp.

Update Added a really nice Singapore paquebot.

A nice Hong Kong cancellation.

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