The most common early cancellations came from Sandakan, being the largest settlement and a busy commercial hub. It was the capital between 1883 and 1946.The following were from a small collection that was acquired recently.
I really like this stamp. It has a very rare combination of the modified 14 bar cancel and Proud's D4 in red on this perf 14 1886 stamp. The 14 bar cancel K2 was modified by cutting groves on the handstamp diagonally. Whatever the reason and the need, I am glad they did it as it produces an infinitely more attractive cancellation.
Proud has a date of 19.12.91 to 26.8.93 but as we can see this is clearly dated earlier on AUG 1891. With this combination postmark, I would not feel the need to purchase a correspondingly expensive cover to illustrate usage. I dare not speculate how much the original cover would have cost as there was still a bit of the original envelope adherent at the back.
Update 09 May 2014
Got this one recently. It is very difficult to find combination cancellations like this. It is almost as good as a cover, I think.