Thursday, 11 June 2015

A Brunei Locals Pead cover

The 1895 issue of Brunei stamps were not without controversy. It is is now generally accepted that they were genuinely issued but were only eligible for local use as Brunei was not part of the Universal Postal Union. But there were also clear money making reasons for their issuance. 

The Pead and Parker covers on 22 JUL 1895 were part of a mass posting to cater for collectors. This was soon after the stamps were available and constituted some of Brunei earliest covers. Pead was an associate of Parker and some said he was a clerk in Parker's office. Parker was a well known commercial outlet or agent for most of Labuan's and North Borneo's CTO output.
The total of covers posted had been estimated at 400, 200 for Pead and 200 for Parker. The registration numbers would have started with 900. The above number is 905 which means it was probably almost the earliest of this batch of 400. Cover 903 was sighted but there is no visual record. The Parker covers probably started with a registration number of 1101. There are likely to be less than 150 of these covers still in circulation.
There is a 18c Labuan stamp which covered for the passage to London. The Brunei stamps were only eligible to Labuan and most of these covers were significantly over franked. When buying early Brunei covers, do make sure the adhesives are tied to the envelope by the cancellation as fake covers exist. 

I have shown the first item previously. See my posting here. The other two were recent acquisitions. The middle adhesive has a partial manuscript inserted date. They all have the same date of 4 AUG 1895 which was a Sunday. Sunday was probably a working day in an Islamic country like Brunei and Friday the normal rest day. The hand writing is different which meant that there were at least 2 postal clerks working at that time. I think they were hand stamping whole sheets for the philatelic trade and felt obliged to clarify some of the unclear cancellation dates.

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