Thursday, 30 July 2015

More North Borneo 1954 1c with extra chimney error

These "extra chimney" varieties are still available on the cheap occasionally. I like errors and it makes this hobby more exciting even though this item is not particularly valuable. It just adds variety to an activity which can sometimes became mundane.

This has a Tawau cds but unfortunately we can not see the year. This error is known on the first printing of this stamp and is not reported on the earlier 1950 George VI version. It would be nice to know whether the error was reproduced in subsequent printing of this very common adhesive.
The subjects depicted in the 1950 and 1954 photogravure sets were almost certainly mainly or wholly based on a series of photos taken by Alan Robson who was presumably in the employ of the colonial administration. Some examples of his work can be seen in the North Borneo Colonial reports between 1947 and 1951. These included drying hemp at Mostyn, 2 scenes of logging operation at Sandakan, Mt Kinabalu-southern aspect and Murut woman playing native musical instrument. In addition, there were also some very nice photographs by J E Longfield who was the Resident of Jesselton. It is quite possible that the Sabah Archives in Kota Kinabalu will have more examples of their work.  

A FDC which I picked up very cheaply. The error is seen in the top right stamp in this block of 4. It was postmarked at Sandakan. My other similar FDC was used in Jesselton. You can see it here and mint and used adhesives here.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A Jesselton and a Tenom Retour cover

I collect Retour covers. I will have to make do with philatelic covers until I can find the corresponding commercial covers which are generally quite uncommon.

This is a Retour cover that was returned from Jesselton. It has the uncommon UNCLAIMED instructional marking which was recorded as used for a short time between February and March of 1938.

The other side shows the back stamp with the Jesselton D24 with a date of 9 MAR 1938.

This is definitely grotty. Was it contrived? I wonder. I do not think there would have been much Retour covers from Tenom. Tenom clearly did not have formal instructional hand stamps around this time in the 60s. There are instructions written in red biro. The back of the envelope have various postmarks from Singapore, Jesselton and Tenom. 
It was despatched from Singapore on 31MAR62 and arrived Jesselton 1 AP 62 and Tenom 4 AP 62. It was returned from Tenom on 10 MY 62 via Jesselton 13 MY 62 and received in Singapore 29MAY62. You can see my previous posts on Retour material by using the search facility at the left hand top corner.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

A Sandakan, a Kota Kinabalu and a Kobe paquebot cover

I found both these covers at a recent stamp and postal history fair. I also bought few other nice items. Very often one drives a couple of hours to these meetings and spent a few hours hunting and find nothing at all. But it is usually good to talk to the dealers who are often nice and forthcoming.

A Sandakan paquebot with a date of 17 AU 63. It was posted on the Dutch ship M S Sinabang and hence the Nederlands stamps. These modern day covers are mostly philatelic as fewer people commute by boat with the advent of modern travel by plane. However the 1962 North Borneo Annual Report mentioned a sea passenger traffic of 135,520. The vast majority of these would have been short haul between towns. I remembered as a child, our relatives from Lahad Datu arriving by ship regularly.
The number of Dutch ship visits to North Borneo ports in 1962 was 122 with a gross tonnage of 674,473. The Royal Interocean Lines which this ship belongs to also visited Australian, Indonesian and Thailand ports. The main reason was the timber trade.  

I have shown a similar cover before with this K Kinabalu paquebot cancellation. This shows a clear date and was posted on a Norwegian ship, the M S Hermod. It was signed by the master of the boat, presumably the captain. This is yet another philatelic item. 
The Norwegian Asia line ran a fortnightly service from Hong and Bangkok to the ports of Jesselton, Kudat, Labuan, Sandakan and Tawau.  In 1962, the number of Norwegian ship visits involved was 317 with a gross tonnage of 859,021, again largely to do with the timber trade.

I have also included this uncommon combination of a Japanese paquebot cover using a Sabah Malaysia stamp found on ebay. It was a Malaysian ship the M V Sentosa from Port Kelang which docked at Kobe Port on 17 November 1993. The Sabah adhesive was eligible for use throughout Malaysia and vice versa. So the stamp was used correctly in this instance.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

More Sarawak paquebot cancellations

These are a group of paquebot cancellations that I bought quite recently and reasonably from the society packet that goes around UK members of the Sarawak Specialists Society. 

This is Kuching SL4 with a range of dates of usage between March 1927 and January 1930.

We have here Kuching SL5 used between January 1933 and September 1935.

This Kuching SL7 is more uncommon as it was used for a few months between August 1936 and March 1937.

Some postwar paquebot cancellations can be quite uncommon. This Kuching SL10 was used for a few months in 1947 and also quite briefly in 1948.

These both have the Kuching SL11 which is relatively easy to find. It was used mainly between 1949 and 1954. It is normally depicted as open ended but very often one end is closed as in the used pair above. This is actually part 2 of the Sarawak paquebot cancellations shown on this blog. You can see the other post by clicking here.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A mint and a used North Borneo SG 2 ??

There are quite a few North Borneo "SG 2"s of dubious origin. The items perforated 14 were derived from the 1886 issue and is quite easy to differentiate. But the ones which were perforated 12 can be difficult. As outlined in my previous post here the genuine copies were from transfer A with generally good perforations. 

I bought the above item quite cheaply from a society stamp packet. It was described as perf 14 but I could see it was actually a perf 12. The question was whether it was genuine. The perfs here are actually quite constant as in transfer A unlike those of transfers B and C. But I failed to plate its position. 
There were other doubts as well. There is the question whether mint copies really exist as it is believed by some serious collectors of NB that the overprint was made ad hoc when purchased from the post office. There are reasons to believe that only the Kudat post office issued this adhesive.
Secondly, there are also fake overprints on genuine stamps. The London gang of Jeffrey, Sapry and Benjamin was thought to be responsible. Close scrutiny of the overprint in the above stamp reveal a couple of discrepancies. The bottom half of 8 is not completely round and flattened on one side. It has been written that this is one of the features of the fake overprint. Secondly there is a slight slant to the horizontal stroke in e of Cents.
So I believe that this is a good fake which would have fooled some collectors and dealers. There were some similar items which were offered in auctions in the past year or so for significant money.

This is perf 14 and is definitely a fraud. It is a great pity as the fake overprint was applied on top of a very desirable orange red 14 bar cancellation. This is the 1886 transfer D stamp. 
Since SG2 was issued at a time when postal cancellers were not in use until 1884, only items with pen cancels, crayon marks, AC mark and overseas arrival or transit cancels such as the Singapore undated double ring and the Hong Kong B62 should be considered as legitimate.