Wednesday, 24 December 2014

25c "Triple P" and $1 "Albino stop" 1901 British Protectorate stamps

Christmas Gift 3

This is a rather unusual item with duplication of part of the overprint. Two extra "P"s are seen clearly on either side of the overprint. So we have a largely albino overprint on the left whereas the one on the right would be found on the next stamp. It is not listed in any stamp catalogue that I know of.
In addition, we have a rather nice fiscal cancel from Darby & Co. W G Darby was the most wealthy and influential of the expatriates working there. He literally had a finger in every pie. He later on sold out to Harrisons & Crosfield but still retained overall control. He imported the first car into North Borneo, a Chevrolet Baby Grand, in 1914 to take the few miles from his home on Bukit Merah to his office. This was before the Governor had an official motor. There were only a few miles of metaled road which were probably started around 1910.
There is a date for New Year's eve of 31 DEC 1906. Have a Happy Happy New Year!

I was really excited when I found this. Unfortunately it is not an unlisted missing stop variety that I had hope. Instead there is a "stop" or period which is largely albino with an indentation seen at the back just above and to the left of the star of the dealer's mark. Some of these dealer's marks are really interesting.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Two very early Jesselton items

Christmas Gift 2

The following two items from Jesselton have probably the earliest dates recorded from this post office for a adhesive and postal history respectively.

Here is a very clear Jesselton D2 with a date of 26 SEP 00. I have seen one for October but otherwise this is the earliest date that we have so far. Proud gives an EKD of 27 OCT 00. The district officer transferred from Gantian on 10 SEP 00. The treasury moved on 22 SEP 00 and I think this was the date when the post office was opened rather than the earlier date. The post office was an integral part of the treasury in the early days.
There is another later D3 cancellation of JUN 1904 which intrigues. Fortunately it seems to overlay the earlier cancellation. One possible explanation was that this high face value adhesive was on a fiscal document that was later re-endorsed after a loan was paid off.
Please note that I have called this an adhesive rather than a stamp. By definition, a stamp in philatelic terms is an adhesive that had passed through the postal process and "stamped" by a postally valid cancellation.

This is fortunately more straight forward. This postal stationary card was sent from Sandakan to Jesselton with a Christmas and New Year greeting. Fortunately the initial cancellation was not clear and the receiving postal clerk found it fitting to add an arrival postmark. The date of 19 DEC 00 is the earliest date that we know for a Jesselton cancellation on a cover or card. Also note the day 19 is eccentric in this cds.
See another way, this is one of the earliest Christmas card from North Borneo. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

North Borneo 1916 4c on 6c with raised inverted "S"

Christmas Gift 1

In the next few weeks I shall try to do my best to dig out some interesting stuff for viewing.

raised inverted S

Lars Pasboro's copy at Spink sale 2007

Stanley Gibbons lists a variety of this 1916 4c on 6c provisional as 187b and is described as S inserted by hand. It is only known used. However, an image of this variety is very rare as it hardly ever comes up at an auction. This also implies that it is very scarce and the valuation in SG is at best a low estimate. 
After much research, I was able to trace a copy which was sold by Spink in 2007 for a sizable sum. This was from the estate of Lars Pasboro who was from Sweden. He was a very knowledgeable collector of North Borneo philately as well as a keen supporter of the Sarawak Specialist Society. He wrote monographs on the earliest issue of North Borneo stamps as well as the postal stationary cards. The image of his copy is shown above and is used as a reference.
My copy has a part Kudat cancellation with a date of 30 JUL 1924. It is important to note that the cancellation overlays the overprint as fakes are known on used stamps especially of the CTO variety. In contrast to SG and also part 3 of The Stamps and Postal History of North Borneo, I would described this as a raised inverted S rather than hand inserted, the mechanics of how it happened is open to speculation. It would seem to me that the plug was damaged and displaced upwards. The position on the sheet should correspond to that of the normal inverted S. On a block of 50, it would be position 65 and 70 for this value. You can see my other stamps of this issue by clicking here.

I have found further information that may explain the origin of this variety. As evident on a sheet of the 10c on 12c sold by Spink in 2003, the right margin of the upper 2 stamps ie stamps 60 and 70 were folded over at the perforations so that when the surcharge was applied, the "S" was missed as it was applied on the folded margin. The missing "S" was inserted by hand with a handstamp having a solitary "S". On the 4c on 6c, not only was the "S" inserted in an inverted position, it also missed the baseline of the surcharge by about a mm.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Shades of North Borneo

Why are these two 1889 3c stamps having almost the same slate colour as the 5c? Were they unrecorded colour trials or washed or changed chemically? But the bar cancellations look very fresh and would have affected if chemicals were used.
The Fournier and Carame forgeries are usually of a different shade of colour but I am fairly sure these are not forgeries as the corner ornaments are well centred and there is a tiny gap where the right side of the scroll for Postage & Revenue  which does not touch the frame below. There is no gap with the forgeries.

And what about these different shades for the 1889 2c stamp? These 4 fulfill the criteria for genuine copies with good 14 bar cancels. It is impossible to tell whether they were CTO or postally used.

How about these two? Fresh specimens with almost full gum at the back. There can not be more than 1 sheet with this lighter shade. Worth looking out for in my opinion.

PS I have added an update on the Kamigata forgery of a NB/Labuan stamp in a previous post. You can read it by clicking here.