I am posting less regularly nowadays because I feel that this blog has fulfilled much of its purpose. It was started initially to show what was a paltry collection which I have had since my early teens. It worked to inspire me to go further, that was to make contact with like minded collectors and to join the Sarawak Specialists' Society. Their journal is a treasure trove of information collected from in depth research of British Borneo ever since the society was formed in 1946. With this knowledge, I was able to buy with confidence and show parts of my collection. A tremendous amount of work and much expense has gone into putting together this collection. Therefore it is rather annoying when images were plagiarized from this blog without acknowledgement and permission. I would not have declined if this courtesy was observed.
Little is known about these JO Tobacco Revenue stamps. They were most certainly printed by the Chinese Press at Kuching during occupation on poor quality paper which was in keeping with the bad economic conditions of the time. I first noticed them when an item was listed in an auction of the Revenue Society. However, in the Frank Bell archive at the Imperial War Museum, there are tobacco wrappers with these stamps attached cancelled by Japanese seals.
Barefoot: South East Asia Revenues (2006)
Barefoot listed 3 values for this assumed date of issue in 1943 but it was probably earlier, when it was realised that there was a need to raise funds locally for the war effort. The economy went into a steep decline as the various countries in British Borneo were completely depended on exports of local produce. No official records of its introduction and use survived but this tax was known to have been introduced in the Philippines during the war.
These are the unused examples of the 4c and 8c which came from sheets that were probably taken to safety as souvenirs after liberation otherwise I doubt they would have survived the tropical conditions for very long.
This is a rare used block of 9 with Japanese seals. There would have been different seals for the various districts for accounting and audit purposes. Notice the separation bars in between stamps at the bottom row. This is mentioned by Barefoot. It is present after 3 or more stamps and likely acted as a perforation guide. Years ago whole sheets of unused stamps were auctioned by InterAsia. I should have taken some scans to confirm this.
I think this 4c has a different seal cancellation to the above. It could be oblong similar to an item in the Imperial War Museum archive in London. The separation bar is seen here on the bottom right.
This war time receipt for quit rent illustrates a peculiarity which is also present on the tobacco revenues. The Japanese/Chinese script reads from the left against the normal convention of writing and reading from the right. We also have the Japanese plum blossom emblem here. It symbolises perseverance and hope, as well as beauty, and purity which was a complete contradiction to what transpired during the war.
A 1944 2 line Japanese Occupation overprint on a 1939 12c stamp with the usual convention of reading the overprint from the right side.
Reference: Lardner, Bernard (2014). Tobacco Stamps issued during the Japanese Occupation. Sarawak Journal v67/3 82-83.