Thursday, 21 June 2012

1886-87 issue part 2

Both stamps with Sandakan postmarks but the second stamp has part of the year missing. It appears that these stamps were used concurrently with the 1888 issue with the amended "Postage and Revenue" inscription. There should be some interesting postmarks found with this issue including Gayah/Gaya, Labuan and the Silam negative seals.

These are latter day cancels by favour by a friendly postal clerk using the Sandakan D11 box type or squared circle cancellations and are best avoided. D11 was in use between 1904 and 1915. There are other dubious cancellations including one that I have seen for "Heligoland"!

The well known one cent error. There is an image of a row of  3 in my previous post in July 2011.

Monday, 18 June 2012

some interesting items from the 1886-87 issue

Apart from the high values, these perforation 12 varieties are the most expensive stamps of the 1886-87 issue. The 1/2 c is particularly rare and very difficult to find used. It is probably still under priced in relation to the 1c. This is despite having the same catalogue value as used in 2000 and nowadays valued at under twice as much.

This issue has lots of flaws. A plating expert might be able to place the position on a full sheet of stamps

              Quite an interesting flaw with the "P" in "POSTAGE" looking like an "R".

                       Both the "S" and the "G" in "POSTAGE" has extra blobs.

Not entirely sure of these corner imperfs. I was hoping that they are perhaps proofs or colour trials as the paper seems to be thinner. The colour seems to be of a different shade as well. And also the 1/2c and the 4c stamps seems to have more or less the same colour. The 2c brown, 8c green and 10c blue are all of a darker shade. They are also on paper with gum.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Field Post Office

The Field Post Office (FPO) used by British forces in Borneo were started during the Brunei Revolt in late 1962 and maintained due to the Indonesian confrontation between 1963 and 1966. There were quite a few FPOs based in the larger towns of Sabah and Sarawak which were gradually withdrawn towards the late 1960s. The ones in Brunei lasted until the early 1980s. It was not my intention to collect this complex area but recently obtained an item by chance.

I bought this postcard for less than £1 thinking it was an unused item. Anyway, it shows a nice view of Jesselton probably from the early 1960s looking from Signal Hill with Kampung Ayer in the distance. It has serrated edge on the left side indicating it was removed from a booklet of postcards.
Imagine my surprise when I looked at the back to find that it was used with a GB stamp. There was no date to the message. Interestingly, it is marked at the top with the word "Forces". Looking at the poor postmark carefully, I can make out the letter (FIEL)D followed by a P(OST) after a gap. It would correspond to a Cave type 3 FPO postmark. The date is also unclear. At the bottom, one can perhaps with a bit imagination make do with the number 1061. FPO 1061 was based in Simangang, Sarawak as well as Brunei where it was used by the 40 Commando squadron of the Royal Marines.
The message appears to be one from father to son. Neil was probably on a training exercise in Sabah. At the end of which he had some time for some R&R (rest and recreation) in Jesselton. The card was bought in Jesselton but posted back at the base.

Brititish Field Post Offices in Sabah:
BFPO 660 Labuan 1964-68
BFPO 663 Tawau  1964-66
BFPO 670 Jesselton 1965-67

Field Post Offices in Sabah:
FPO 154 Jesselton 1965
FPO 166 Labuan 1964-65
FPO 169 Tawau 1964
FPO 450 Tawau 1965-66
FPO 573 Labuan 1963-64
FPO 766 Labuan 1965-68
FPO 1030 Tawau 1964
FPO 1035 Kota Belud , Jesselton 1966
Besides the British, there were also various Australian Field Post Offices.

Ref: Sarawak Journal vol 49 p 93-95

Just another example which I picked up for £1 at a popular fair in London. Sadly, that was probably the last Philatex Fair in London. It has a very clear example of a post WW1 FPO in Milan, Italy. I really like the censor cachet, if only it were in red! It shows that one does not have to spend lots and lots of money for interesting items of postal history.

I know this is not Borneo but how can one resist this? A beautiful $2 dollar Straits stamp with a very clear pre WW2 FPO S.P.501 with a date which was a few months before the war. I wished this piece extends a bit further below to gives us a complete view of the interesting red naval censor cachet.

A FPO SP501 cover. This shows the naval censor cachet very well at the left lower corner. Unfortunately, it is not in red.

This cover has a very nice strike of a Cave type 1 cancellation of FPO 51 based at Brunei. There is an index c above the date. FPO 51 was one of the FPOs allocated to BFPO 605 in Brunei. It is also interesting that the sender's address also referred to the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment where the British troops were housed.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

nice Kudat fiscal/company chops

Just a small reminder that I have not forgotten about North Borneo. These nice markings in turquoise are probably official fiscal markings for documents. I am  not entirely sure and perhaps someone can help.
Looks like a company cancel probably as part of stamp duty for some sort of legal or financial document. We have the letters for Albert W B(or E) (?Company) KUD(AT) B N BC. They are quite collectable. Perhaps one can classify them as part of social philately. This is Albert W Nieuveld of Messrs. de Mattos & Nieuveld, shipping agents at Kudat.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

some interesting cancellations on Brunei

I have a very small collection of Brunei with some interesting postmarks. The above is a D1 in striking bright violet with the year missing which is apparently not uncommon. It is very rarely seen in blue. Also note the "I" in Brunei is situated lower resulting in a slight asymmetry. The year when present is in smaller numerals.
Update This is the same as the Madam Joseph fake fixed date cancellation for Brunei but the date recorded for that is 13 JUL (no year).

                                   Another D1 with the just 2 numerals for the year.

This is a rather intriguing D1 with a foreign postmark which I initially thought to be Labuan. It has the date 2:(30) JY 14 10 with the first letter L and last letter N visible. It does not fit any known Labuan postmark. This is probably either a Malayan or GB arrival cancellation.

We have three D2s in blue with the date 13 NOV 1907. This is one of the "curved" year cancellations. This is a peculiar postmark with another fixed date of 17 NOV 1908. Proud has given this cancellation a possible doubtful status. It has also been described as a reserve date stamp used when other date stamps were not available for what ever reason. It was also probably used for cancelling mint stamps for philatelic purposes. 
The hand stamp was made of rubber which probably accounts for the grainy appearance of the cancellation. It would be interesting to know whether subsequent degradation affected the appearance of the postmark like the the NB Papar D1 hand stamp.

                             A more recent D8 again with part of the year missing.

This is a relatively rare postmark D4 from Temburong, now known as Bangar. Temburong is actually the name of the district. It is usually in violet. Proud gives this a rarity rating of  x 200 which would value it at £1000!! But in reality, one should not paid more than a small multiple of the catalogue price.

This is D5 from Temburong with a rating of x 100 which would give a fancy value of £1200. Again, one should pay a lot lot less than this.
Update I am not sure whether I have interpreted Proud's valuation system in the right way. I have read the section in the preface of his book quite a few times and still not fully understood.

A very nice paquebot Labuan D10 with the D prefix. The known prefixes also include A, B and C. They were used concurrently as different prefixed cancellations can very rarely be seen on the same cover with  slightly different dates. It is thought they denote hand stamps issued to specific postal clerks. Other prefixes may exist as I have come across a prefix E for the Post Offiice Labuan postmark.

Another Labuan D10 but unfortunately not much of the date or prefix. These cancellations were probably used for letters posted at the mail boat as it left Brunei for Labuan and as such can be described as "Late Letters".

This has a Brunei post mark as well. The other cancellation which is probably another Labuan D10 was more of a transit marking for mail passing through Labuan.

This is rather unusual with having both a Brunei and a Singapore postmark. It probably did not reflect paquebot use and was more of an arrival or transit cancellation. A Singapore paquebot cancellation on a Brunei stamp would be extremely rare as the mail normally went through Labuan.