Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas treat 3. Undated Double Ring Cancels

The undated double ring cancels were among the earliest of postmarks used in North Borneo. There were 3 post offices which were issued with this type of  handstamps. They were Sandakan, Kudat and Gaya.

A good example on a rather grotty stamp. But beggars can not be choosers! Well, until I get a better example, this 1883 SG3 has and will have pride of place in my album.

This 1883 SG7 is almost certainly from Sandakan as here the cancel was available both in red and blue. Both Gayah and Kudat have only red versions.
What has been described as blue is more likely indigo as seen in this fresh example. Indigo ink pads were sometimes used as an alternative after it was found that the red (or more accurately orange red) ink which was used washed off rather easily or yielded a cancellation that was too faint.

The black double ring cancellation was from Singapore which was used on an adjacent Straits stamp for overseas mail. Otherwise we have SG1 with a very nice Sandakan 14 bar cancellation.

Likewise we have another SG1 but with an AC cancel in blue. We are not entirely sure of the purpose or origin of this cancel. There are 2 main theories. It was thought that it was a company chop of Abrahamson & Co to mark used stamps on cover. But then how could it have been regarded as an official marking for postal purposes? It had been helpfully mentioned to me that the presence of this marking on the very earliest of NB adhesives means the stamp is genuine.
It has also been suggested that the treasurer general of the time, Alexander Cook, was responsible for this marking. Again, the reasons behind it remain obscure. We also have the black Singapore double ringer to mark overseas mail.

Ps I have added an update to my previous post on Airmail hand stamp. You can see it by clicking here.

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