Thursday, 26 November 2015

Some Brunei covers

Brunei covers and especially the commercial ones, should be much more uncommon than those from Sarawak and North Borneo. However, there is no price premium due to less demand and fewer collectors of this country's philately.

This 1922 cover to Kansas, USA probably has the right rate of 12c+12c for a registered item even though this was also the 1923 rate. No postal rate changes for Brunei between 1908 and 1922 were published. It has the registration cachet R1 and Proud D5. The first 2 digits of this cancellation is very often missing contrary to what is shown by Proud. It also looks peculiar as the year digits seems to be pushed to the right side.
The back stamps tell a clear story of the journey. It went to Labuan and then Singapore before making its way to USA. There is a nice clear Labuan D10 with an A time code. It took a total of 46 days to reach its destination.  

Our well known friend, Paul Kiderlen, was sent this cover. But this not his usual Ulm address in Germany. Instead it was sent to Schwabish Hall (the short form Hall was used on the cover) in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Almost all covers to him would have been addressed to him in Ulm in the same state over 120km away. Kiderlen was very active between 1890 and 1910. This is actually a rare Kiderlen item during a time when he might not have been active dealing in postal history.
This is a large envelope bearing the rate 12c first oz + 6c for an additional oz + 12c registration fee. It also has Proud D5 and R1. There is a high probability that this was a commercial item enclosing  a 2 oz stack of documents. As normal, it went to Labuan and then Singapore before going to Germany probably via Brindisi in Italy. The Labuan cancellation is a D9 with smaller letters for Labuan as compared to D10 or D11. The receiving chop for Schwabish Hall is very likeable. 

A desirable but slightly defective Brunei MBE 1922 cover. The rate of 5c+12c was probably underpaid by 1c even though we have no idea what the rates were in 1922. It did not attract a T mark and a postage due which was a pity. It also has Proud D5 and R1. There is a Labuan transit cancel with D10 with a C code. The Singapore arrival cancel is unclear but from the other 2 covers, we know its journey would have taken about 5 days.

A cover showing the 1935 rate of 12c ordinary mail to USA. It has a clear Proud D7 cancellation and the moderately uncommon cachet for the Brunei Post Office.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Some North Borneo Chinese fiscals

At the SSS auction in October, I acquired a small collection of fiscal cancellations. Among them were some with Chinese  writing or the names of Chinese companies in English. Little is known about this particular area of North Borneo philately.

I found this one really attractive. I will have to get some help from one of my learned Hong Kong friends to decipher this one.

Either this is part of a strip of stamps or the other part would have been on some kind of document. What I can not understand is who gets the payment for using stamps this way? If it was some kind of tax or custom duty, where is the official endorsement? It was probably a business levy which was paid by buying stamps from the post office before hand in anticipation. 

It says Received payment with thanks Kong Hiap Hin. The proprietor of this Jesselton business was Li Chi On who was of Hakka origin. His father, Li Shiong Kong, was an early settler in Kudat who arrived in 1888 as a leader of a group of Hakka Basel Christians. Li, the elder, did well in business but passed away in 1921 at the age of 76. The son, Chi On branched out to Jesselton successfully to form one of the largest companies in North Borneo. 

Another fiscal chop from Kong Hiap Hin & Co. and this time applied in green. Li Chi On was educated in English which gave him a clear advantage. He was initially employed as a clerk by BNBC but later on resigned to set up Kong Hiap Hin with Chin Sam Loong. The firm engaged in trading and wholesale as well as acting agent for shipping, insurance, tobacco and liquors. He was a member of the Chinese Advisory Board which represented the interest of the Chinese community as well as a prominent member and philanthropist of the Basel Church. For many years, he was also the secretary of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.   

Ban Guan & Co. was basically a well known Jesselton trading firm in durable goods such as whiskey and cigars. It was run by a proprietor of the same name. It was regarded as quite a reliable firm. The Kinabalu expedition by Major C M Enriquez in June 1925 used them as suppliers. They were also well known as sponsor of the Ban Guan Cup for the races at the Jesselton Turf Club.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Brunei 1908-22 3c Type 1 and Type 2

I seem to be fortunate with my purchases. This pair was bought mainly because I like the Temburong D3 cancellation. But imagine my surprise that the two 3c stamps were significantly different from each other. The 1908-1922 set was issued over a few different years using 2 slightly different plates for printing.

The stamp on the left has the Brunei D4 cancellation but looks like the last 2 digits of the year is missing. This 1908 3c stamp is also Type 1. The second stamp has a very nice large part Temburong D3 cancellation and also is the more uncommon Type 2 stamp issued in 1916. Temburong used a district postmark like Labuk & Sugut and Bangar is the main town.

In Type 1, the lowest line of shading on water is dotted using 2 different plates in the printing process, one for the vignette and a separate one for the frame. This was in the initial printing of the 3c which was issued in 1908.

With Type 2, a single plate was used. It was possible because this is a monocolour stamp. The dots at the lowest line shading are no longer present in this plate. This was a subsequent printing and the stamp was issued in 1916. This is the more valuable type and worth 30x more used. With a Temburong cancel, it is very fortunate.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Labuan D11 cancellation

Showing a bit more Labuan. These are from part a sheet of D11 cancellations that I showed at our SSS meeting during Singapore 2015 World Stamp Exhibition. Usage of D11 (July 1930-November 1941) was when Labuan was part of the Straits Settlements.

Nice pair on piece as well as 2 different stamps which were alongside each other originally on a cover. D11 is very similar to D10 but has an actual time instead of the time code.

I am lacking one value here to make a very nice set. The 1935 Jubilee issue has a very attractive design. Some collectors accumulate the omnibus issues from the various commonwealth countries.

This is also part of an omnibus issue. I am lacking 2 values here but both this Coronation and the Jubillee Straits stamps with Labuan D11 are not easy to come by.