Friday, 26 April 2013

Labuan centenary handstamp pt 2

The original posting about this handstamp was in August 2012. It was said to be in use for a week even though some authors mentioned a month. You can see it by clicking here. This cover is entirely philatelic and consequently one should not pay too much for it. The handstamp should be relatively uncommon on Sarawak BMA stamps mainly because Labuan would have had its fair allotment of North Borneo BMA stamps. Half the value of this cover is on the 8c carmine stamp.
The Victoria cancellation has the FDC date of 24DE46. Looking closely at the handstamp impressions, I was curious to find that the numeral 4 in 24TH is not clear on most of the stamps and on the orange 12c stamp definitely looks smaller.

 Small "4" in 24TH on the 12c stamp
also "1848" instead of "1846"

Normal "4" in 24TH on the 8c stamp

This is rather surprising being on the same cover and subjected to chopping by the same handstamp device, presumably. The "4" is generally unclear on most of the cancellations. You can also see this smaller "4" as well with the cancellation on the Australian stamps posted in August 2012.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

North Borneo various transport related items

This should be the concluding post of the recent series on the theme of transport which ran over the past 12 weeks!. I have always been fascinated by this area of collecting and should in future have some more other items for viewing and discussion. The following are not the best of cancellations and you would have to trust my judgement in differentiating the various types. It would at least give some idea.

An advertisement in one of the old railway magazines from a locomotive company. The depicted map of North Borneo has fictitious place names such as Bongon in the north and Balmoral near Sandakan! Balmoral is the summer residence of the British Royal family.
Update There was actually an estuary named Balmarol near Sandakan. The map was actually accurate!

The D2 is the first TPO postmark and is one of  three Train P. O. cancellations. This one was recorded from 1915 to 1918.

The Train P. O. D3 came afterwards and is slightly larger in size. It was recorded in use for a little over 6 months in 1920.

These three Train POs are D4 including one in blue which is probably more uncommon. The dates ranges from 1920 to 1923. D3 and D4 are really very similar.

The Mail Train D5 was in use between 1923 and 1928. This one is in blue which is probably less common.

Here we have a Train Mail D7 and a Mail Train D6 consecutively on the same 1925 2c claret stamp. If one looks carefully at this stamp, one can make out a grand colonial type mansion mostly hidden by the fronds of the Travellers' Tree. I failed to notice this building until recently.
D6 was in use between 1929 and 1932.

The D7 was used between 1932 and 1939. It is unusual to find this cancellation in stamps other than the 4c stamp in scarlet.

The Train Mail D8 was the TPO cancellation prewar from 1939 and 1941. It was still in use after surrender to the Japanese until the end of 1942. That is supposed to be the second most uncommon of the "English" cancellations of North Borneo during the JO period after Tawau with a rating of 600.
Again, it is more usual to find this postmark on the lower values including the war tax issues.

Another 2 examples of the Mail Train cancellation including one in blue. It is nice to have it on a railway related stamp. This one is relatively easy to find and I only realised recently that the tall tower depicted is actually the Atkinson Clock Tower which is still standing in KK. The other buildings shown here were presumably demolished by the war.
And also nowadays the Sabah state railway system commences at Tanjung Aru, some way to the south of Kota Kinabalu.

I have quite a few copies of this 4c scarlet stamp with D7. However, on one stamp which is on the left hand side here, there is a "TRAIN" cancellation which does not fit any of the TPO marks recorded. It has similarities to the single circle Train Mail cancellations D9 and D10 used in the second half of the 1950s and early 1960s but does not fit entirely. As usual, it is a rather unclear cancellation which contributed to its uncertain status and origin.

The Jesselton K2  was used for about 11 years from 1925. It was used to cancelled ship mail and late letters.

This looks like the Sandakan K6 which can be described as a "barrel of bars" was used for late letters, ship mail etc. It was recorded in use between 1907 and 1939.

This is clearly a large oval cancel with bars which was recorded in part 2 of the NB handbook to have originated from Sandakan and used as a late letter marking. It was quite likely to have been used for ship or "loose" mail as well. This one most probably predates the Sandakan K6 as my clear copies are on the low values of the 1901-1905 British Protectorate issue.

Well, this one is unrecorded. It is similar the other two but has the bars a lot closer. The stamp is also from an even earlier issue of  1894. It would seem that the last word in philately is clearly not written.

Almost finally, we have the enigmatic 5 bar in an oval K3 from Jesselton. It looks like some sort of ancient religious symbol. It was thought that this was a salvaged "chop" from the japanese occupation period, probably a seal which could have been easily sanded down and then some killer bars fashioned across. Update I am not convinced about this hypothesis until I can see a seal of similar size. The JO seal that was used on Sarawak stamps was about half the size of this cancellation.
K3 was recorded for cancelling "loose mail", late letters, TPO items, ship mail etc. It was used from 1950 to 1955 according to Proud but one of our great NB collectors has it on a 5c 1964 NB overprinted Sabah stamp. It is also sometimes seen on Sarawak BMA as well as NB BMA stamps which would imply a date of use as early as 1945. The BMA stamps were eligible for use throughout British Borneo postwar.
It has always intrigued me that in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue, at the beginning of the section for North Borneo it mentions that a bar cancellation was used at one or two of the smaller post offices until 1949. I think they are referring to this cancellation as I have not ever seen a 14 bar cancel on a post war stamp.
And also there is a letter in 1954 from the district officer in Lamag in the Kinabatangan area to the south west of Sandakan, who wrote that an oval bar cancel was in use before and after the war. It was not clear whether it was just in his area covering Lamag, Sukau and Bilit or similarly in the neighbouring area of Beluran which included Labuk and Sugut. Unfortunately, prewar use of this 5 bar cancel may not have been possible if it were a salvaged japanese chop.

It is appropriate to finish with a picture of the first locomotive called Progress which was used on the North Borneo Railway system.  Volume XV no.16 of the British North Borneo Herald dated 16.8.1897 states that this locomotive was shipped on 25.6.1897 and would arrive at Labuan shortly. "Progress" was a 0-4-2 tank steam locomotive which was built by Alexander Penny & Co, London.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Brunei with Labuan cancellations

These probably represent late letters posted as the boat leaves for Labuan from Brunei. They were not regarded as proper "packet boat" mail and were not cancelled as such on arrival at Labuan. I wonder whether an excess charge was applicable for such mail.

I thought it showed part of D8, the Post Office Labuan cancellation with a year of 1938 which is very curious! D8 was in use between 1910 and 1913.
Update As suggested in the comment, this is actually SL4 in Edward Proud's book. This is a double circle cancellation with the word paquebot at the top and separated from the name below by a simple cross. It would also fit the dates of usage between 1937 and 1941.

A good D9 cancellation with the straits type killer bars. It has a date of 20 JY 1921.

Another D9 with date 6 OC 1922 with also Singapore and China arrival cancellations.

The D10 with the index A and a visible date of ?2 MY 1919.

The D11 with the time of 830 am and a date of 19 DE 1934.

This is a nice piece of 3 Brunei stamps with the Labuan SL11 paquebot marking used in the early 1950s. This would conclude my posting on transport related material from Brunei.
There is still a lot of other similarly themed cancellations not shown such as Brunei's own paquebot cancels, mobile PO or PPBs. There were also some very interesting Riverine POs which I think would be very uncommon especially in terms of postal history. I had sight of one cover so far at our society AGM.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Brunei Lapangan Terbang Antara Bangsa

The Brunei International Airport cancellations are probably not that easily available commercially. They are best appreciated on cover. I do not have D1 yet. The following are philatelically  inspired bearing the name of a well known writer and collector of Brunei material. I have also included D5 from a previous post.

D2 which was in use for a few months between 1974 and 1975.

D3 which was in use in the second half of 1974.

D5 which was used between 1975 and 1983.