In the next few weeks I shall try to do my best to dig out some interesting stuff for viewing.
raised inverted S
Lars Pasboro's copy at Spink sale 2007
Stanley Gibbons lists a variety of this 1916 4c on 6c provisional as 187b and is described as S inserted by hand. It is only known used. However, an image of this variety is very rare as it hardly ever comes up at an auction. This also implies that it is very scarce and the valuation in SG is at best a low estimate.
After much research, I was able to trace a copy which was sold by Spink in 2007 for a sizable sum. This was from the estate of Lars Pasboro who was from Sweden. He was a very knowledgeable collector of North Borneo philately as well as a keen supporter of the Sarawak Specialist Society. He wrote monographs on the earliest issue of North Borneo stamps as well as the postal stationary cards. The image of his copy is shown above and is used as a reference.
My copy has a part Kudat cancellation with a date of 30 JUL 1924. It is important to note that the cancellation overlays the overprint as fakes are known on used stamps especially of the CTO variety. In contrast to SG and also part 3 of The Stamps and Postal History of North Borneo, I would described this as a raised inverted S rather than hand inserted, the mechanics of how it happened is open to speculation. It would seem to me that the plug was damaged and displaced upwards. The position on the sheet should correspond to that of the normal inverted S. On a block of 50, it would be position 65 and 70 for this value. You can see my other stamps of this issue by clicking here.
I have found further information that may explain the origin of this variety. As evident on a sheet of the 10c on 12c sold by Spink in 2003, the right margin of the upper 2 stamps ie stamps 60 and 70 were folded over at the perforations so that when the surcharge was applied, the "S" was missed as it was applied on the folded margin. The missing "S" was inserted by hand with a handstamp having a solitary "S". On the 4c on 6c, not only was the "S" inserted in an inverted position, it also missed the baseline of the surcharge by about a mm.