Thursday, 15 May 2014

Some unusual items

There is a barely decipherable slogan on this 1939 adhesive probably something to do with the war but who knows. Suggestions would be very welcome.

The chances are that this is an unusual changeling that I paid 50p for especially with the bar cancellation but I am hoping it is some sort of cancelled proof.

There is a small part Sandakan cancellation at the lower left hand corner. The red bit is the arrival cancellation for registered post in USA and this was some station in LA, California.

Here we have a part Sandakan cancellation. The interesting bit is the boxed cancellation which should read "Not Opened By Censor". But I wonder whether this was an unrecorded prewar cachet from North Borneo. It was more likely to be from Hong Kong or it could be USA as it seems to be seen on mail to USA but passing through HK.

The 2c green has an uncommon Dutch Indies cancellation but the 1c brown is a bit older and a mystery. Both should have been arrival cancellations.

This seems to be some sort of intaglio or negative seal cancellation but it is too unclear to be certain what it is. Still it looks interesting.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

"8" for "S" in Red Cross overprint part 2

One of our readers in Canada has sent me these scans which show what looks like a "8" in place of "S" in CENTS. This is a follow on from the original post in June 2011 which one can see again by clicking the link here.

This is the 3 cents stamp of the set. Mine was the 8c stamp of which I have two possible copies.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

North Borneo Banknotes

I bought these recently as they were reasonably priced and also in fairly good condition especially the 1940 item. Most specimens available tend to be well worn with use.
They were engraved and printed by Blades, East & Blades of London who were also responsible for the production of the early stamps of North Borneo.

This is a 1936 moderately used specimen with the mid line crease and the general toning from handling when folded in the normal way. As with the stamps, it has the 3 written languages of North Borneo which were Chinese, English and Jawi. It has a rather inaccurate depiction of Mt Kinabalu.
The signatories were W A C Smelt, the currency commissioner and  H J R Beckett, the financial controller. Herbert James Rust Beckett was born on 16 November 1885. He arrived in North Borneo in 1911 and was soon appointed District Treasurer at Kudat and 2 years later also qualified as a first class magistrate. He held many posts in the customs and excise as well as the auditing departments. He became the Financial Controller by 1929 and finally the Controller of the State Bank of North Borneo in 1939.

By 1940, the design on the front has been simplified and the back remains the same. It has only the lone signatory of  W A C Smelt. This is a pristine used item with a light crease and mild toning. As such it should carry a significant premium.

WAC Smelt      National Archives
Captain William Anthony Casterton Smelt born 29 September 1895 was appointed District Treasurer at Sandakan in March 1925 and assumed his duties on arriving in North Borneo in May 1925. He was appointed Chief Treasurer in January 1930 after returning from furlough and the chief financial controller a year later.
During the visit of Governor Clifford of the Straits Settlements in June 1928, he was the acting ADC (Aide-de-Camp) or chief of staff to Governor Humpreys of North Borneo. Sir Hugh Clifford was also Governor of North Borneo from 1900 to 1901.
In the New Year Honours of 1946, Smelt was granted an OBE in recognition of his services during internment in WWII, presumably at Kuching in Sarawak.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

North Borneo parcel post customs form

I have not seen one of this before. It would have nice if one could have had the complete form. The back still has much of the adhesive present and it would seem that this was peeled off the parcel but luckily the stamps were not floated off.
This was a "State of North Borneo / Parcel Post / Customs Declaration" form for parcel No 1294 (? for the month) from Sandakan. Unfortunately, the cds is not clear enough to make out the date.
The rate for small packets and small parcels post war was set initially by the BMA at 6c per 2 oz for the Imperial post with a minimum charge of 24c. So at $5.50, we have a parcel here of just under 11.5 pounds  or 5.2 kg in weight baring any under or over payment.

Update 16/10/2014
During the weekend meeting at Bournemouth, there was a complete version of this form. What a remarkable example of social philately. For obvious reasons I can not show it here. It was a similar declaration form on a parcel sent to N Ireland. The contents were declared as tins of peaches, pears, apricots, Lipton tea and bags of sugar etc. This was because of hard times postwar. I presume these items were originally from Australia. It was like sending coals back to Newcastle.

Semporna paquebot ??

This item here needs a lot of answers. Even though relatively recent with a faint date of 29JUN78, it should be fairly uncommon from the small town of Semporna. The word paquebot was typed in the same font as the address. So was it all done on board a boat heading for Semporna?
The red chops for Urusan Pos (Official Post) and Ketua Pos (Postmaster) Semporna seem genuine enough. The sequence of events here if known would be most interesting.

Semporna is a small coastal town on the south east which is famous as the gateway to the world renown diving sites around Sipadan Island.