Saturday, 5 August 2017

Recent acquisitions

It is about time that I show some good stamps. I bought a good collection of North Borneo recently. There are some really interesting items in it. I shall show some of the others at another time.

This is the 1886 set which is lacking the 4c value which I have elsewhere in my collection. There are two very desirable items in this small group. It does not include the half cent magenta which is moderately valuable. The 1c orange is expensive used. The one here has a part 14 bar cancel but look at the perforations. It is perfed gauged 18 as compared to the normal of 14 for this set. It is not listed by Stanley Gibbons or Steven Tan. There is one mention in an early copy of the Sarawak Journal. The other desirable item here is the 8c green with the light blue smudge of a cancellation. Connoisseurs of North Borneo cancellations would recognised our much beloved Silam cancel. 

These two values were surcharged in September 1886 for revenue as well as postal use. The half cent looks postally used with a part bar cancel and also also part of a red cds which would have been from Sandakan. The 10c adhesive is mint.  

Thursday, 3 August 2017

From Nagoya to Jesselton to Labuan to Kuching

This is a rather interesting cover that was acquired recently. It was supposed to be sent from Nagoya in Japan to Kuching in Sarawak via Singapore but somewhat took a different and a very much longer route.

It was postdated at Nagoya as 11.4.17 using the Japanese traditional date system. Japanese in common with Chinese reads from right to left and so this translates as 17 April in the 11th year of the reign of Emperor Yoshihito in the Taisho era. This era began in 30 July 1912. So the conventional date of posting in Nagoya would have been 17 April 1923.
It arrived at Jesselton (D13) on 20 May 1923 and then transited at Labuan on 27 My 1923 ( D10 time code D) before arriving at Kuching on 6 JUN 1923 (D17). The whole journey took 7 weeks which was much slower than mail from Europe. It probably would have taken about 2 weeks going via Singapore.
The strange thing is there was no regular boat service between Jesselton and Japan. A Japanese ship called on Sandakan monthly and also the Eastern & Australian line dropped by Sandakan between Australia and Japan. It was quite possible this letter passed through Sandakan but did not received a backstamp. The reason why this route was taken remained unanswered but it should be a rare cover in this instance.