Thursday, 27 June 2013

Some Labuan crowns

I like the Labuan crowns. They are handsome looking items but unfortunately a whole load were defaced by the 9 bar cancel used to produce CTO sheets at the London offices. I will try to show the various values with different markings or points of interest.

We have what looks like a Jesselton D3 on top of a probable Labuan cds. It would have been an arrival cancellation. However, these stamps would have been eligible for use in NB and vice versa.

A small part Labuan cds with an attractive part fiscal cancel. The letters looks like "Derry" or "Berry". Does anyone have information of a company of that name trading in Labuan at the dawn of the 20th century?
Update J O Keasberry probably a connection of the Keasberries working in NB, one of which was treasurer and then postmaster at Jesselton. In 1902, J P Keasberry was listed as a contractor, builder and agent on Parit Street, Labuan.

This is another Jesselton cancellation. They are not that uncommon on the Labuan crown stamps but seems uncommon for the other town postmarks of North Borneo.   It may have been due to the natural stronger commercial links between these 2 places.

A Singapore postmark would indicate either paquebot use or a cancellation on arrival. It seems to be common on this stamp as I have 2 other similar copies. At the date here of JU 13/1903, to UPU countries, the postcard rate was 4c and for letters 10c. The latter was reduced to 4c as well in August 1905.

The Labuan D6 (1898-1905) would be the most common cds on these used adhesives.

We have part of a not so clear D8 (1910-1913), the Post Office, Labuan cancellation. It would constitute a very late use of this issue as by 1907, Labuan was administrated as part of the Straits Settlements. The crown stamps were overprinted to reflect that.

Another D6 on the 16c stamp. There should be similar stamps with D7 cancellations as well.

This 25c stamp went a long way around the world to the very rare destination of the Falklands. There is a clear part arrival cds with a nice "Maltese" cross in addition to two part Labuan cancellations.
Update This is likely to be the Port Stanley cancellation. There were only 2 stamps with foreign cancellations in a reference collection of Falklands cancellations and they were both GB. The combination of postmarks on this stamp can be regarded as very rare unless it happens to be a Madame Joseph forgery.
Update It is likely to be a forgery, unfortunately.

We have a trio of mint $1 adhesives. The middle one has the normal perf of 14 and on either are perf 15s. The right adhesive was overprinted as part of SS in 1907. The perf 15 SS is a rare and valuable item.

A rarely seen multiple on piece of the 4c stamp. Again, we have D6 but not clear impressions. If these stamps were left on the cover, the value would have been 20 times or more.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

More Labuan

Nothing rare but may be of interest to some. Good non philatelic postal history of Labuan is costly. The place was not that big or developed and hence the volume of commercial mail tended to be much smaller than the other Bornean territories.

I had a choice of two similar post cards and somehow chosen the better one with 3c uprated by another 1c for the UPU rate to Batavia.  It was posted on 7/NOV/00, transited at Singapore on NO12/1900 and arrived at Batavia, present day Jakarta on 15/NO/1900. There is also a "departure" Labuan CDS of 8/NOV/00.
There is a message in Dutch at the back when I have not deciphered to find out whether it was actually commercial mail.

This is a rather attractive 1914 incoming registered cover from Kiefer, Oklahoma, USA.  It was posted on APR/20/1914 and took 2 days to go to New York where it transited. Then it was more than a month by sea before it arrived in Singapore on 29 MY/1914. It arrived in Labuan on 3 JN/1914. We have a D10 cancellation with an A prefix for probably morning mail. The prefixes A-D for this cancellation has been said to denote time codes for different periods during the day. The prefix could possibly extend to F as is known to be present with D8.
Registered covers are good to collect as they were obliged to have so many markings. The crayon stroke and "2", that I have little idea. And also there is the number 89541. These markings were probably to do with the batch of mail that was processed in the sorting office in New York or Singapore.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Some early Labuan items

I have not shown much Labuan before mainly because my collection is small and good Labuan is expensive and hard to come by. We are also easily detracted by the large amount CTO material. However, there are some items that might be worth sharing over the next few weeks.

This is the K1 cancellation. It is seen in either red or black. I have seen more examples in red which are definitely pleasant to the eye. Black was probably used in the later years and is more uncommon. The lifespan of this handstamp was between 1864 and 1882. It should be perfectly rounded but not in reality due to various reasons of inking, application etc. K2 is very similar but the dots are smaller.

This is K2 which was supposed to have been used for the sole year of 1883 just before the more common 9 bar K3 cancel came into play. The dots are much finer as seen towards the lower part of the cancellation. It should be much less common than K1. I doubt that it is available in red but one never knows.
This is another K2 but not from Labuan. It looks elongated and is more like the dots cancel K2 from Sandakan. The dates would be compatible as this adhesive was issued 1892-93 and the Sandakan K2 was in use 1891-93. This was either used in Sandakan or had received an arrival cancellation. It is an uncommon finding.

This postally bar cancelled 1883 2c stamp has the mysterious AC marking in blue commonly found on the very early stamps of North Borneo. Could it have been an arrival cancel? There are still great unknowns about the nature and origin of this mark. Names bantered about include Abrahamson & Co. and the treasurer general Alexander Cook.
Update The AC cancel was probably allowed to be used for cancelling mail instead of the usual pen cancels during 1883 before official cancellers came into use in early 1884.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Kota Kinabalu Airport cover

This is really very good value for a few quid. Relatively modern cancellations like this were not popularly collected. As a result, they are difficult to obtain, especially with commercially used examples.

The 1971 regional set of butterfly stamps and the earlier 1965 orchid set are in my opinion among the better designed and printed stamps since joining Malaysia. We have here the K. Kinabalu Airport cancellation which was classified as a C1 type postmark in the Sarawak Journal by Eric Jefferies. He did a lot of work on the earlier Sabah postmarks but is now sadly departed.
C1 refers to the size of the circle as well as the letters. He gave an EDS of 28OKT72 but this first day cover has the date of 1FEB71. Probably not in use for many years, but at least we know it was in existence between these two dates.

It came with a booklet describing the subjects involved in the stamps which is an added bonus. You can see a more current version of the KK Airport cancellation in my post in July 2012 by clicking on this link.