Friday, 22 February 2013

Jesselton paquebot postcard

A philatelic plain postcard posted on board the good ship Kimanis on its way to Jesselton probably from Singapore ? via Labuan. It has a Jesselton postmark of 25 AU 55 which would have been applied at the local post office on arrival and then forwarded to the address in USA. The paquebot marking was the Jesselton SL6 with a value of x 20.
However, there are some inconsistencies with this card. The prevailing rate for a postcard to USA by airmail was 60c and ordinary mail was probably 12c. We have a total of 30c + 2d. Looks like it was overpaid for ordinary mail and the 2d GB stamp was superfluous but got cancelled anyway. By UPU rules, the GB stamp would not have been valid. I presume the Kimanis was registered at Singapore. Singapore stamps could have been used in international waters and NB stamps within the territorial seas of North Borneo. Some of these regulations were difficult to understand and the rules were not strictly adhered to by postal clerks.
The likely scenario was that a passenger on the Kimanis nearing Jesselton decided to post his pre prepared postcard with the GB stamp. He was advised that it was invalid and that he would have to use NB stamps. It was over franked as nobody knew the prevailing rate to USA.
There are disappointingly no arrival or transit markings which might also suggest this is entirely a CTO item. I once bid unsuccessfully for a NB paquebot cover bearing a stamp from India. One wonders how that was possible unless the sea going vessel was flying the Indian flag which would have been highly unlikely. Or was it a case of when in the high seas, anything goes!
Moreover, by convention, the adhesives on a paquebot cover should have been cancelled by a cds and the paquebot marking applied elsewhere. This was later simplified by the introduction of the "paquebot cds", an example of which you can see by clicking here.

The MV (maritime vessel?) Kimanis was built by the Caledon Company at Dundee, Scotland in 1951. There was also a record of a ship with the same name serving North Borneo in the late 19th century.
Kimanis was one of the ships of the Straits Steamship Company that plied the route between Singapore and North Borneo going as far as Tawau. It is a name which is well remembered by the locals with some affection. As a child, I used to fish with friends at the docks around the early 1970s. It was one the names that I can recall. We also had relatives in Lahad Datu who visited regularly travelling on these vessels. The situation was so safe and relaxed in those happy days that it was possible to wander aboard  to look around. I once got lost and almost panicked in case it was leaving dock.

The dock area behind Sandakan central bus station on Jalan Satu. It all looks very different nowadays and there is no such view as the sea was reclaimed and built on.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Some North Borneo paquebot markings

I have tried to place the following cancellations as best I could with measurements of length and height as well as looking at the individual character of the letters themselves. Different towns can have very similar looking paquebot cancellations. It is rather curious that there were no markings of this type for Kudat. The main ports of Jesselton, Labuan and Sandakan have had a few different ones over the years. I have used Ted Proud's classification here. SL stands for "ship letter". The dates given are the ones seen on cover.

This is the Jesselton SL3 with a value of x 20. The only date given in Proud's book was the first of January 1936 which was the date seen on one cover. On the cover, there is a large stop or period after paquebot unlike what is shown in Ted Proud's book. With this information, I have transferred the lower two images from the previous posting and can safely now classified them under Jesselton.

The Jesselton SL5 has dates between 1949 and 1950. This particular stamp created some political controversy when it came out. I shall give more details in a subsequent post.

I think that this unusual blue paquebot cancellation is the Tawau SL3. The shape of the "T" in the first stamp would correlate even though it looks rather different in the second stamp. The recorded dates here are between 1948 and 1955.

This is the Labuan SL7.  There is faint straight line on top which is an artefact produced when applying the hand stamp heavily. SL7 has one recorded date of 27.8.54

These resemble the Sandakan SL7 with recorded dates of between November 55 and January 56.

The Lahad Datu SL3 resembles the Sandakan SL7 with the same type of letters and also the same length of span. But the letters are less tall measuring 3mm precisely. Again we have one recorded date here of 10.2.50

Friday, 8 February 2013

Some Hong Kong and Singapore paquebots

Where the name of the country is not included, it can be difficult to locate these paquebot markings. Proud's book gives some examples of local paquebot cancels and then there is Roger Hosking's book for paquebot cancellations of the world. Both of these are not fully comprehensive. The only sure method is to see them on cover preferably with some normal postal cancellations as well. For explanation with regard to paquebots, you can read my various previous posts by using the search bar above.

These ones were from Hong Kong. There are 2 different types here with the one on the 10c stamp of slightly larger size.

Two Singapore arrival cancels or postmarks which were used to mark paquebot mail.

In Roger Hosking's book, there are 3 very similar paquebot cds from Singapore like this. Fortunately, this is the rarer one which was in use between 1919 and 1924. Apart from the year of 1920 for this stamp, the stroke in the letter Q in paquebot does not extend into the circle.

This is the other similar looking paquebot cds. Notice how the Q in paquebot is different and it has a longer killer bar. This pre war Singapore paquebot cancellation is apparently more common and was in use between 1937 and 1948.

This is the post war paquebot cds for Singapore between 1949 and 1973. It is generally common but perhaps not on North Borneo stamps.

Friday, 1 February 2013

mobile PO part 4

Here are a few PPB registration labels. PPB stands for pejabat pos bergerak which is Malay for mobile post office. This abbreviation was used after North Borneo/Sabah became part of Malaysia. I find it rather confusing as to why the postmarks used on these covers were not the PPB type.
This "modern" stuff is by no means easy to find.
Update I have information that these label may have been remainders used due to lack of the normal labels or the practical decision to use up surplus. Therefore these covers are probably not PPB type. Anyway, the labels are shown quite nicely.

This Tawau PPB1 registration label is not even recorded in the series of articles in the Sarawak Journal. There should be at least 5 mobile post office labels for Tawau  and possibly a few more yet to be recorded.

This Tenom PPB is probably not that common. Again the postmark is not the PPB type. There are at least 3 types including a hand stamp cachet.

This Kudat PPB1 label is again not recorded in the journal. It is one of at least 6 types including one cachet.

This is a nice Kota Kinabalu (Jesselton) MPO 1 label. KK had labels for MPO, PPB and also railway TPO. You can see the misnomer Kudat MTO6 and the KK PPB1 by clicking here.  

Just another nice MPO 3 cancelled cover from Sandakan.

Although overcut at one end, this is at least a commercial cover with a clear Railway TPO1 cancellation.