Click on Marcel to see what he wrote about his experience a few years ago on his blog. I was lucky to have a few days as one of the shops also sent me away to come back a couple of days later. It was a strange way of doing business. But in general, the Borneo countries are not popular in Holland. All 5 shops except one that I visited mainly has Nederlands and its colonies in stock.
In addition, there are also 2 street stamp markets a week on the part of Nieeuwezids Voorburgwal street just behind the Dam. The stamp shops are also all clustered around, a few minutes away.
We arrived on the Saturday afternoon when the street market was in full swing. Actually, there were about 7-8 stalls in the open air and a few collectors milling around. The first stall only had coins and paper money. The next stall looked more promising as it clearly indicated it has commonwealth in stock. There were very few Borneo stamps. There were 7 NB stamps in his collection. One has a familiar blue smudge of a postmark. I could not believe my luck. I was feeling really hopeful but the rest of the stalls had nothing of interest to me but good stocks of NL stamps and postcards. Saw a German guy there who also collected NB. So glad that I got there first.
The shop owner was probably a wholesaler. He has boxes and boxes of stuff. Even though he had no other customers, he asked me to go back 2 days later on a Monday. Come that morning and to annoyance of my spouse, we were asked to come back in an hour because he was on the phone. I was not going to give up that easily. It was all very disorganised. The stamps were randomly stored in sheets, envelopes, plastic bags etc in a folder. There were no postal history of note ( no Silam cover!). There were some nice stamps which I selected. I had to buy one of the sheets for a few stamps there, the rest being CTO. He seem to have priced the CTOs the same as normal cancellations. Not as good as I had hoped for but not bad overall in retrospect. Some of the stamps are shown below.
You can see my other 2 Silams here in the August post last year. Also in December, I "borrowed" a wonderful collection of Silam which included the much coveted orange red. You can see it here.
The second stamp also has a red Sandakan ?D3 and a violet fiscal cancel. We do not know much about these early fiscal cancels. It makes one wonder what sort of process this stamp might have gone through.
Here we have part of a Sandakan K4 19 bar cancel. I only noticed since coming back to UK that the overprint has the bottom part of "cent" missing, not an uncommon variety of this overprint and yet some dealers tried to charge a premium.
You can view my previous posts on Elopura here and here.