Thursday, 18 February 2016

Recent acquisitions

Here is a selection of some items obtained from various sources over the past year.

The Kudat D1, undated double ring is pretty elusive. This is quite a good partial cancel which is invariably in orange red. It was very likely this cancellation came into use in early 1884 but the only postal history item known is a front piece without any date. The stamp here is a perf 12 and Stanley Gibbons gives the date of issue as July 1883. It is not easy to find perfect perforations on this stamp and the corresponding 8c value.
I thought this is a rather unusual cancellation with the year in 2 digits. As far as I know the dated double ringers before the war all have 4 digits in the year. This is the Lahat Datu D11 with a clear date of 15 JUN 39. Some of these prewar double ringers from the various towns are not easy to find and quite a few can be regarded as rare when compared to much older cancellations.

The immediately postwar linotypes or Straits type cancellations are very popular and generally command good prices. This one from Beaufort can be regarded as one of the less common types. Proud gives it a premium of x 40. D12 was used between 28.4.46 to 1.6.46 and the date on this BMA stamp is 28 MAY 1946.

I got this one from our Sarawak Specialists' Society autumn auction last year together with the Beaufort Linotype among others. This fiscal cancel is very uncommon and for the time being I would have to be contented with this partial cancellation on a good stamp.

The LATE FEE instructional mark was used in the early 1950s principally at Jesselton and Sandakan. Without a cover, it is impossible to know its origin as they all used the same chop, I think. Covers are rare and expensive. 
There will be no post next week as I will be hunting for rare covers among the beautiful fjords of Norway! 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

A few Brunei Ultramar specimens and the Brunei 9 bar cancel

Most naturally, I bought these Ultramar specimen adhesives from a dealer in Portugal. Sets of all new stamps were sent to all member UPU countries. The SPECIMEN overprint should prevent fraudulent use and Portuguese postal authority added an extra ULTRAMAR handstamp for further security.
The phrase en ultramar means overseas in Spanish and these overprinted sets were distributed to post offices of the Portuguese Colonies and are regarded as very uncommon. This handstamp was used between 1910 and 1920 with late uses in the years 1921 and 1923. Between 1911 and 1925 (except 1921 and 1923), the term COLONIAS was used. And in between 1926 and 1931 the term Especimen was used.  These latter two handstamps must be rare as I have not come across any from our territories yet.

These 6 values represent more than half of this 1907 set with values up to $1. The 5c value after the $1 is the second most valuable member of this set of stamps.

This 9 bar cancel of Brunei is not uncommonly found on the low values of the 1907 set but a full strike on a stamp is hardly ever seen. We are still not sure of its function as no covers exist. Alongside we have a full Labuan 9 bar strike on a NB stamp for comparison. The Brunei 9 bar is about half the size.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Brunei JO cover

I am showing this JO item which is probably authentic but one can never be entirely sure. It was philatelic in origin. It was postmarked at Brunei Town which is a bit more unusual as most of these covers tend to have a Kuching postmark. The lack of a censor chop was because this cover did not contain any letter inside. It was sent kosong in local speak. Another likely explanation is that these type of covers never went through the post. They were cancelled by favour and then collected by the owners.

The most valuable stamp on this cover is the is the 2c green and not the 50c or $1 stamps. If one adds up the individual used stamp values here it amounts to a respectable sum which in practice, one would not get at an auction. It is probably more valuable if each stamp is cut out and sold individually on piece but that would have amounted to philatelic vandalism!
The Japanese date here of 17 1 2605 would correspond to 17 1 1945.

Just to point out the variation in the first character Dai or big reading from left to right. I previously thought it was part of a fake cancel. One reliable way to know whether this one line overprint is real or not is by looking at the fifth box looking character Koku. It should have one or two faint small dots at the upper part of the empty space on the right side as seen here. But it is not invariably present. Most of the stamps on this cover do have it.

The other variation is in the colour of the overprint. The one here on the 12c stamp is blue rather than violet. The others are red and black even though I have never seen this overprint in black on a Brunei stamp. You can see the rare red overprint that is in my collection by clicking here.
A few values were printed in red but not found to be satisfactory. This was believed to have been carried out early on in Miri. The ones overprinted later were largely in violet but it can be seen on this cover varies from from light to deep shades.