Thursday, 30 June 2011

Labuan 10 CEMTS

I collected a few Labuan. Noticed this item in my collection a few years ago.I can not remember where I got it from. It was probably part of a mixed bag. It got me excited but unfortunately I have good authority that this is a forgery even though this flaw is probably uncommon. The Labuan Queen's Head stamps are notorious for its forgeries.
Incidentally, I have always considered Labuan to be part of North Borneo/Sabah regardless of  the politics. It is geographically and culturally closer to NB than anywhere else.
Update: I have added a real copy for comparison.The printing is more crisp and is of a deeper shade. The most striking difference is the direction the gaze. In the real stamp, she is looking forwards whereas in the forged stamp she is more looking downwards. There are differences in the chinese scrip on the right. There is a shorter up stroke in the letter N in Labuan. The letter G in postage is less well formed. The 4 rosettes at the corners are also different. The perforations are also ragged

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

North Borneo 1918 6c with wider surcharge

rare ( stamp on right) as only 1 sheet of 100 printed with surcharge 13mm apart. significantly fewer than the $5 and $10 of which 400 copies existed for each value. probably not reflected in the relative catalogue price. took me quite a few years to obtain my copy but has seen it being offered in recent years by good auction houses.
The stamps of the pictorial issue of 1909 were surcharged and the 2c in excess of its value donated to British Red Cross and the Order of St John. 3 consignments were sent from London and 2 lost at sea due to enemy action.

North Borneo Jap Occupation overprints and "duit pisang"

The 1942 Japanese Occupation overprint $1 and $5 are probably genuine but the overprinted war tax 1c and 2c are definitely fakes. The fake overprints are much clearer and looks more recent. They look as if they were printed with an inkjet printer. There are a lot of clever fake japanese occupation stamps out there and some of them are very difficult to authenticate. It is better not acquire any expensive items unless it is clearly certificated.
The 1939 set were overprinted with "single line chops" at Sandakan and Jesselton. They came into use in October 1942 and were withdrawn by the end of  July 1943. They were then replaced by overprinted jap stamps. The war tax stamps  were surcharged in smaller quantities and are consequently very rare especially used on cover.
"Duit Pisang" or banana money so called because of the motif on the $10 note. They were in use throughout Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo. A lot were printed resulting in hyperinflation leading to a severe depreciation in its value. Counterfeiting was rampant. They became worthless following the surrender of Japan. The notes with serial numbers are more valuable as collector's item.

"8" for "S" in Red Cross overprint

I would be interested to know whether anyone else has a similar stamp and whether this "error" is constant.

North Borneo 1916 4c carmine Maltese cross perf 15

The 1916 4c with carmine Maltese cross overprint was not listed in Stanley Gibbons catalogue until about 10 years ago. This is surprising because it was mentioned in the definitive text "The stamps and postage history of North Borneo" part 3. However a perforation 15 variety is not mentioned anywhere.
The Maltese Red Cross overprints were issued in aid of war charities. They exist with vermilion and carmine overprints. The overprinting was carried out by Waterlows in London. A limited quantity of stamps were overprinted. They are consequently  uncommon especially genuinely used or on cover. Copies of this issue with CTO bar cancels are generally considered to have fake overprints. Mint or used stamps with fake overprints can be very difficult to detect.

North Borneo 1943 Japanese Occupation stamps. "Meiji" issue

1943 set of  4c & 8c. I like the colour and design. Though not rare, it took me a few years to get hold of a fresh looking pair. They were printed by the dutch company, Kolff & Co. at Batavia, the colonial name for Jakarta. It was the only definitive issue for British Borneo made by the japanese specifically  to commemorate Emperor Hirohito's birthday. They were first issued on the 29th April 1943 and remained in use until the end of the occupation. The 4c and 8c were respectively the postcard and letter rates.
An event of note in 1943 was the October uprising in Jesselton by local Chinese and Suluks which resulted in the deaths of 40 japanese soldiers. The japanese retaliated by destorying dozens of suluk villages. They rounded up and tortured thousands of civilians and executed 200 of them without trial. Several dozens of suluk women and children were hanged from the pillar of a mosque with their hands tied behind their back and then cut down by machine gun fire.
With regard to the envelopes, both with Kuching postmarks,  I have some doubts as to their authenticity but they look good. All known FDCs of this issue are from Kuching only. SG listed these stamps under North Borneo but they were produced for the whole of  Northern Borneo and probably came into use initially in Kuching, Sarawak.
The stamps of Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo were overprinted for use during the japanese occupation. The 3 countries were administered together collectively as "Kita Borneo". Kuching was its capital. The overprinted stamps from the 3 countries were valid for the whole region. One tends to see a mix of stamps used on envelope. It was said that all spare Brunei stamps were overprinted during this time. They were none left after the war for use during the period of British Military Administration (BMA). Brunei then had to make use of the North Borneo and Sarawak stamps overprinted with BMA. BMA stamps used in Brunei with its various date stamps are quite collectable.