Thursday, 25 October 2012

Colour Trials of the 1888/1889 high values

These were provided by the printers before the final colour was chosen. They are probably uncommon rather than rare. Being visually attractive, they are therefore much sought after, making a useful addition to any collection. The $2 is available in at least a dozen different colours or shades. Similarly, the $5 and $10 were seen in many colours and some are yet to be listed. A comprehensive description is given in part 1 of The stamps and postal history of North Borneo by L H Shipman. 
Some of the colour trials are also available without perforations in the centre. There is at least 1 centrally perforated $5 with separate cancellations in both halves which led onto a suggestion that there might have been some other use for these adhesives, for instance, as telegram stamps.
It is amazing how fresh and new they look after more than 120 years!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

pen cancels

Pen cancels were the earliest postal markings, even though they were mainly crude lines used to defaced the stamps, before dated hand stamps became available. Later on, it took on a fiscal function. The most attractive pen cancels would have the initials of the person responsible. Some of these belonged to well known individuals who were an important part of the history of North Borneo.

We have a date of 16.3.09 and possible initials or code of PGCH or thereabouts. Any input from readers would be welcome.

A pen cancel with the date 24.3.90 with the possible initials of JHH.

It is rather unusual to have both a pen cancel as well as a date stamp. It is a Sandakan postmark with the same St Valentine's date of 14/2/95.

 A 1894 $10 stamp with both a pen cancel of 6/11/97 and some form of a blue fiscal cancel.

This revenue stamp should have either a fiscal or pen cancel but is also often found with a bar cancellation.

We have a remarkable trio of 1888 3c stamps with both fiscal and bar cancellations. The first stamp has a 17 bar cancel which is less commonly seen on this issue of stamps. These old Chinese script are at best undecipherable but I would welcome any suggestions. The third adhesive has part of a word visible her(?e). It would have been too much to hope that it could be William Treacher as he left service in 1887.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Some interesting Postal Stationary Cards PSC

It has been said that philately is the art of uncovering mistakes and errors!

1889 8c PSC for overseas mail. This unused item has the error of  "inverted 8" at the NW and SW corners. It is not rare but more difficult to find in used condition. This card also exists with surcharges due to changes in postage rates. To date there is possibly only one example of the surcharged card with the error recorded, on a card surcharged 4c.

Well, here is the used "inverted 8" card that I managed to obtain at the auction of the Sarawak Society AGM  over the weekend. It is plainly philatelic without a message. It was posted in Sandakan on 21 MY 1894 and arrived at The Haque in Holland on 29 JUN 94.

An overpaid used item addressed locally. There is no message at the back. Mansfield, Bogaardt & Co was an Anglo-Dutch shipping company with an office in Sandakan. Someone in the company was evidently a collector. 

A philatelic item bearing a 19 bar cancellation. This "eye shaped" cancel is different from the one illustrated in Proud's book in being significantly wider. The card also has a Sandakan D4 in red with a partial dotted circle.
There is a transit cancellation for Singapore at the back and an arrival postmark for Erfurt in Germany addressed to a well known stamp dealer of the time.
It took 7 days to get to Singapore and then arrived in Germany just over 2 weeks later, probably a bit faster than sea mail nowadays.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

some fiscals and a facsimile

A very nice fiscal cancel which should read Harbour Department Kudat and showing the crest of the British North Borneo Company.

This is another fine looking fiscal chop. One can just make out the word "Sandakan". It is possibly of a  government department in origin.
Update I have a suggestion that this could be Mansfield Bogarrdt &co type 3. I am handicapped in not having Ivor Moore's book even though I have been talking to the great man himself this weekend at our AGM.

This is not a postmark with deduction of the words (Sanda)kan N. Born(eo). It should be of a commercial origin.

Besides a good partial Sandakan D10 BNBC cancel, we also have "Darby & Co" in pale pinkish red. This was a British shipping and trading company and possibly later on became involved with rubber plantations.

The chop says Singapore but for what purpose remains a mystery to me.

A $2 revenue perfin stamp with the fiscal cancel of (?Lan)d Office showing a partial date of AU(gust) (19)19. And a "used" $1 revenue perfin but the cancellation is not clear.

A facsimile based on the 1883 50c stamp which was distributed by a french philatelic publication and would be contemporary to the stamp.