Thursday, 27 November 2014

Some old maps of Borneo

Some of the old maps that I have accumulated over the past year.

I have a date of 1880 when it appeared in a book or magazine. It was a map of Dutch Borneo and Celebes by G L Funke in Amsterdam and is very probably a lot older than 1880 and probably early 1840s. This is very interesting as it shows the areas under Dutch, Brunei and Sulu influence or rule. Should be pre Brooke as no separate country for Sarawak. It also showed the mythical lake to the east of Kinabalu. Sandakan Bay was noted but no Sandakan on Pulau Timbang. It was probably too small a village or more likely not in existence as the earliest mention of Sandakan town was in the 1870s.

This old map here was about 1840. This is a very detailed missionary map. Again there was only Sandakan Bay noted. So was Sandakan really the "place that was pawned"? It seems unlikely if it was originally the name of the bay. Further south, Mt Madai, Mt Budsilan and Giong Bay were recorded.
On the the west was Abai, Ambong Bay and Pulo Gaya etc but no Tawaran even though this was a very early settlement. Looking carefully, we also have Kina Balu Lake. The Sulu influence on this map extends much further south into Kalimantan including Tarakan. North Borneo would have been very different if Tarakan was included because of the rich oil deposits there.
Of interest as well is the island of Taganak off Sandakan Bay. This was a favourite picnic site for the ruling classes in colonial times. But it was returned to the Philippines even though it is part of the Turtle Islands chain. On a clear day, it can be seen from the Grandview area of Sandakan. 

Somehow have a year of 1862 for this Borneo map of French origin. It was obviously from a magazine as there is a French article on the back about Dyaks and Rajah Brooke. Only a few places of North Borneo are noted here. There is a place called Paytan in the north? The mountain ranges are well demarcated and again looking carefully, there is the lake again, lying just south east of Mt Kinabalu. 

This old French map dates from 1848 and has a lot more names of places especially on the west coast. It also showed a non existent lake near Kinabalu. Sandakan was noted but I am not sure whether it referred to the settlement or bay.  Further south the "Ghioung" area is rather bare. On the west side, "Taouaran" is noted as well as Tampasouk", "Kimmani", Gaya and others which I have not heard of.
The rest of the 4 maps including Labuan, Brunei, Sarawak and Kalimantan are also very interesting. Note the differences in spelling as compared to the modern names.

Update 26 5 2016 Found another old interesting map dating from late 19th century.

Update 17 2 2017 Got this copy of an original map in a museum. Could be 17th century I think.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A few nice fiscals

These are some of the bits and pieces I got this year.

An uncommon block of 4 x $2 reversed JUDICIAL perfins.

This has the rather unusual fiscal stamp of (Sh)ip not respons(ible)/ Tawau whar(f).

I think this is rather beautiful for a Chinese fiscal manuscript cancel.

And this one with part of signature and a date.

Why was there a tax required at the dispensary?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

North Borneo BMA with Labuan AFPO 234 cancels

These cancellations on North Borneo BMA stamps are rather unusual and perhaps uncommon. It is rather faint in violet and should read AIR FORCE P.O. 234. They were from Labuan.

From the 2 enhanced montage of stamps, one can probably see most of this cancellation. The date was 1 FE 46 and towards the lower part one could see a 234. This would correlate with the Labuan Air Force P. O. 234 cancellation and according to Ted Proud and Stephenson Stobbs was used between 12 JU 45 and 1 AP 46. Proud gives this 350 points in terms of value and that of course that depends on the quality of the cancellation. The concurrent Air Force Post Office No 56 cancellation which was probably only used in September and October 1945 is very rare and has been allocated 2000 points by Proud.
Further research shows that AFPO 234 is probably not that uncommon as various covers are recorded as well as cancellations on Sarawak BMA stamps as well. Most of these are probably philatelic in origin, as with this short set. We can assume that most of these material would naturally reside in Australia.

Bristol Beaufighter planes 93 Squadron

The first landing by the Australian Army occurred on 10 June 1945. Due to the lack of suitable ground, the first aircraft of 93 Squadron RAAF did not arrive until July 1945 and the remainder came to Labuan on 5 August 1945. One of the unfortunate consequences of their actions was the sinking of Mia Moanai, the private yacht of the Rajah of Sarawak. There were further mishaps and the squadron was downgraded towards the end of December 1945 and then transferred by March 1946 to Japan. The squadron was disbanded on 22 August 1946.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

1892 1c on 5c slate with raised stop

This would constitute a new finding and is not described in any catalogue that I know off. These provisionals were issued due to low stocks of the 1c which was used for local postcards as well as those postcards to Labuan and Brunei. According to part 1 of The Stamps and Postal History of North Borneo, 20,000 copies were surcharged around July 1892 and there were 4 settings of the surcharge on the 5c stamp.

This is a mint copy and the "stop" or period is clearly raised. Do take a note of the position of the "1" in relation to the "n" below.

Here we have a used pair with a clear Sandakan cancellation. The stamp on the right has the raised "stop" which I did not noticed initially due to the red postmark. The position of the "1" in relation to the "n" below is different to the mint copy. This means that this raised stop variety is present in at least 2 of the 4 settings used in this overprint.

This is from my mint sheet of 50 and is from position R5/2 ie the second stamp of row 5.  Again, this is different setting especially the adjacent stamp in contrast to the used pair which means the raised stop is probably not that uncommon and is present in at least 3 of the different settings for this overprint that we know of. You can see my sheet of 50 in a previous posting by clicking here. 
I would concur that the art and joy of philately would include the uncovering of errors and imperfections.