Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Labuan centenary handstamp

Note small"4" in "24TH"

This was a fixed date hand stamp used to commemorate a hundred years since the island was originally given away by the then Sultan of Brunei. He actually agreed to officially cede Labuan on 18 December 1846. But the British flag was not raised in Labuan until 24 December of that year. It is the later date which was used in this hand stamp. It is rather surprising that the example in Ted Proud's book showed a date of DEC 22 which also left out the "TH".
The hand stamp was said to be in use for a month but in Robson Lowe' book mentioned one week. The majority of existing covers were dated 24 December 1946 and were invariably philatelic. Other dates are hard to find. The chop was valid for use on the BMA stamps of both North Borneo and Sarawak. But examples on Sarawak stamps are fairly uncommon and well worth looking out for. The use of this hand stamp on Australian stamps and covers are a bit of a mystery as stamps from Australia were only allowed to be used immediately post war before the availability of BMA overprinted stamps. They were philatelically inspired and there must have had been some laxity in the post office services in those chaotic times.

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