Thursday, 5 December 2013
Real Photo Postcards or RPPC
Real Photo Postcards or RPPC are more uncommon than normal photogravure printed postcards as they were not produced in commercial quantities. It is unlikely that an individual item is unique but they were almost certainly printed in limited numbers.
This postcard has a North Borneo stamp with a Labuan D7 cancellation with the date of 21 OCT 1908. It transited in Singapore on OC 26 1908 on its way to Germany. Labuan joined with Straits Settlements the previous year but somehow NB stamps were still valid for postage.
The spelling of the name of this town went through a few minor changes in the early years. Here it is spelled "Lahad Datu" which is the final agreed version. But interestingly, the version used on the concurrent postal cancellation D3 (1902-1909) was "Lahat Datu".
Presently, while awaiting further evidence, I am assuming both these cards were produced in limited quantities locally in Labuan either by an enterprising individual or an actual photographic studio for sale. It is also very possible that these cards were commissioned privately by the sender. This is because there is a short message on the LD card to imply the photo was taken earlier on 13 October 08.
The quality of the images would have been better if produced overseas. It would also have been more expensive. As it stands, they should be incredibly uncommon.