Thursday, 16 April 2015

A consignee's letter and a 1964 combination cover

I find these ship cancellations rather attractive despite being fringe items as they operated outside the official postal channels. A large proportion were made to suit collectors' demand. But nonetheless, they do provide some insight in the commercial scene of the time.

This is a clear cancellation of M.V. "Rajah Brooke" on two 1965 Sabah adhesives. It was sent from the Straits Steamship Company Limited and receives the very nice arrival cachet of The Borneo Company Limited in Kuching with the date of 7 JUL 1966.
Singapore acrimoniously left the Federation of Malaysia on 9 August 1965. But these two stamps were still valid for use by the Singapore postal system until some time in 1967. I wonder whether some Sabah stamp Singapore covers were sent on the fateful day when Singapore left the federation.  
Stamps were probably not an absolute requirement for consignee mail like this as it was purely a private arrangement. So who benefited from the sale of these 2 stamps? The post office, but why, as they had no role in its delivery. 
It is interesting to learn about the histories of these two influential colonial companies. The information is available on Google and so I would not go into any details here.

Two photos of the good ship Rajah Brooke. It was built in 1947 by Robb Calendon Dundee in Scotland. It had a gross tonnage of 2312 tons. The following paragraph was written on a blog.
The ship "Rajah Brooke" usually plied the Kuching-Singapore route. It had 1st and 2nd Class cabins. Before it sailed, there was usually a party held on board, for people (mainly the Europeans in those days) to socialise and get to know each other.The trip from Kuching to Singapore normally took 2 days and 1 night.

There are probably quite a few of these later date combination covers around. But they are attractive and popular. I wonder whether this item reflects commercial mail even though the mixed franking is unusual. I guess it was half and half with a special request from an overseas client. There is an attractive mix of Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak stamps. I shall call this my "SSS" cover!
I shall be on my holidays in the next few weeks. It will be very unlikely that I would be posting until I arrived back in Britain.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Two contrived Retour covers from Menumbok and Papar

I am gradually building up my collection of Retour covers. These two were recent successful post bids from the SSS Tiverton auction. They are relatively modern but still about 40 years old. These Return To Sender cancellations are largely unrecorded. It appears each town post office has its own version. Previously, I thought that the endorsement was made in the GPO at Kota Kinabalu.  

The sender was hoping that the Mempakul post office was still in operation. It was a well coveted cancellation from the early colonial period. Mempakul still exists but it is only a kampung or village. It is part of the sub district of Menumbok. We can see the uncommon postmark for Menumbok here.
Though not clear, this cover was sent from UK late 1973 judging from the Christmas stamp that was used. The cover languished for about 6 months before it was sent back. The corresponding box hand stamp was applied.

We have a similar situation here with this cover to Papar. It was sent at the same time but took till July the next year before it was returned. There are additional crayon pen markings on this cover. A box hand stamp was also applied. It is evident that this is different in having an extra horizontal line in the middle.
The sender of both these covers was member number 197 of the Sarawak Specialist Society, an expatriate who worked for many years in various parts of British Borneo.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Recent acquisitions from the Tiverton SSS spring auction

I was unable to attend the meeting in person and missed out on the displays and banter. Most of my postbids were successful. I was very lucky to have bid successfully for the 1891 1c postage paid newspaper wrapper and a couple of nice uncommon but philatelic Sabah retour covers from Papar and Menumbok. Here are some of the other items.

This is the bottom corner adhesive of a miniature sheet of 9 with composite values of $10 and $5 in the same basic design and colour. This is in a beautiful light green and black on yellowish paper. It was a printers' sample which Waterlow & Sons used as examples of their work to submit to Governments who approached them for quotations.

I have a soft spot for this nice blue Goebilt cds. This one has a complete date of 15 Feb 1923. It was used between 1910 and 1924. I posted a more detailed background to this cancellation previously. You can see it by clicking here.

Here are a couple of philatelic paquebot covers which I bid and won on the cheap. Paquebots are one of my favourite collecting themes.