Friday, 15 March 2013

Sarawak Singapore paquebots

Resuming the theme of these weeks, these type of stamps are not uncommon and is an interesting topic to collect. Sarawak has many many rivers and the roads in those  days were almost non existent. Consequently, the bulk of communication and trade was by sea or river worthy vessels. The amount and variety of paquebot material emanating from Sarawak far surpasses that of North Borneo due the larger number of towns and a more advanced trading economy. The following are stamps cancelled by various Singapore paquebot markings.

A paquebot cancellation which was used at Singapore from 1912-17. The stamp also has a normal straits type postmark.

This paquebot cancellation was in use between 1925 to 1936. It is fairly common. The following are more of the same. The completed markings are from Roger Hosking's book.
I quote from an old issue of the Sarawak Journal:
"Before the war each vessel which carried mails, not only internally, but also to Singapore, was, as long as it was on a regular schedule, provided with a posting-box on board, and letters were accepted right up to sailing time."

Update 10 May 2014

This is a rather nice complete cancellation on a block of 4 stamps and another later paquebot cancellation that is also sometimes seen on North Borneo stamps.

This last one does not conform to any of the 3 cds in Hosking's book. However, I do not have the latest edition. It could be an unrecorded cancellation. There are still discoveries to be made.

A cover with the same type of paquebot cds with the date of 24 NO 19(36). It was sent by ordinary sea mail. There is an arrival cancellation for London of 21 DEC 1936 and a pre Christmas slogan.
J C Swayne arrived as a cadet in Sarawak in 1912 and among his jobs was that of postmaster at Sibu. He eventually made it back to England. Not surprisingly, he collected Sarawak and was one of the very first members of the Sarawak Specialist Society.

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