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.

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