Thursday, 14 July 2016

Miscellaneous items

This is an uncommon return to sender cover that went to Tawau from Kuala Belait. It was probably not philatelic but wrongly addressed. Borneo Abaca Ltd was registered in 1948 to rehabilitate Japanese abaca or manila hemp estates in Kuhara Tawau. Its capital was held by Harrisons and Crosfield Limited and Colonial Development Corporation. Mostyn Estates Limited was also a subsidiary of Borneo Abaca Limited.
The retour instruction was hand written in common with most post offices in North Borneo in that period except for Jesselton which started using a Retour handstamp in 1949. On its way back to Brunei it attracted back stamps of Jesselton and Labuan. The T 4 cts instruction might have represented a returning charge for the sender.

This is a most unusual cds apparently from Sandakan. The characteristics are completely different to postmarks of that time. The consensus is that it is most likely a fake but one never knows.

The POST OFFICE SANDAKAN official cachet is not commonly seen and is used in official paid mail prewar. There is one from Jesselton GPO as well. It was also correctly endorsed by the postmaster in Sandakan but I can not make out the name. It might have been a Chinese employee as the Jesselton postmaster was Mr Chong Thau En and the Postmaster General was Gilbert Corelli Fenton. You can see similar items in a previous post by clicking here.

A common looking official correspondence between two state forest officers. But this one was addressed to Harry George Keith, the husband of Agnes Keith, the author of Land Below the Wind. There is a very well written and interesting article on the Keiths by Peter Grant at Oak Bay Chronicles. You can read it by clicking the link here.
I shall be taking a long summer break from further posts on this blog. Hopefully, I will have some interesting material by autumn. Thus far, I feel that this blog has largely achieved its purpose in showing the many facets of philately and that of North Borneo in particular. There is much material and knowledge that has been not shared on purpose from fear of unlawful reproduction and forgery. Like in Chinese martial arts, this inside door knowledge is accessible by joining a dedicated organisation like the the Sarawak Specialists' Society which contrary to its name has carried out in depth research of North Borneo, Labuan and Brunei philately as well.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

A much travelled card from Nederlands to Sandakan

I also collect incoming mail into North Borneo. Some of them have interesting journeys before arriving at their final destination like this card here.

This card was initially sent from Zwolle railway station which is a major transportation hub for north Netherlands. It is under an hour and a half from Amsterdam by train. The card was sent in October 1930 by airmail through the KLM Amsterdam-Batavia service which was started in the previous year in September. It was initially sent to the Dutch Indies to a person who had already left town as a radio operator on the ship SS Tjipanas on its way to Japan. The SS Tjipanas served the Java China Japan Packet Line which was also known as the KJPCL. The card arrived at Weltevreden on 10 November 1930 and then Tanjong Priok, also near Batavia, the next day in the Dutch Indies. It was then diverted to Kobe arriving on 27 February 1931 but the ship Tjipanas had already left for Java. 
From Kobe, it went to Hong Kong but was not back stamped and caught the SS Mausang bound for Sandakan. The Mausang arrived at Sandakan on 14 March 1931 according to the BNB Herald. There is a double ring Sandakan cds with a date of 17 MAR 1931 as seen on the second illustration. The SS Tjipanas then came to Sandakan from Samarinda in east Kalimantan on the 20 March 1931 on its way to Japan via Hong Kong and Shanghai. The letter was duly delivered to Mr Geytenbeek courtesy of Harrisons and Crosfield in Sandakan who were presumably the shipping agent.  

A long message in Dutch on the back with difficult to read slanty old fashion script. If a reader can translate, it would be much appreciated.

This interesting lot came with an old magazine photo and also a photo of the ship model in some museum in Holland. There is a brief write up in Dutch but much of what is written above is from my own research. There were two ships named Tjipanas. This particular ship was built in Amsterdam in 1903 and was sold and scrapped in 1932.