Thursday, 5 March 2015

Two uncommon early company fiscals

They are both probably rare rather than uncommon. Most examples would be too faint or incomplete to be deciphered easily. That is where photoshop becomes invaluable.
The following were truly two of the pioneering business companies in the very early days of British North Borneo.

This 1891 6c surcharged adhesive shows a faint fiscal cancellation of what should have been that of the British Borneo Trading and Planting Company. They extracted timber on a large scale in the Sandakan area.
The company was formed late in 1886 and started building a sawmill in early 1887 on a site on Leila Road a mile from the centre of Sandakan. The early years were financially quite a struggle and only became profitable in 1898. The name had been changed to North Borneo Trading Company Ltd the previous year. It was widely referred to as NBT and continued trading until 1989.

The China-Borneo Company Ltd was formed in November 1888 to take over the business interests of E E Abrahamson and Company. Abrahamson was an old hand in early North Borneo having arrived there in 1883. They also built a sawmill along Leila Road. He was in charge until he was dismissed in July 1891 for alleged irregularities. W G Darby was left in control and later became the most prominent expatriate business person in North Borneo. The company was eventually wound up and sold to Harrisons and Crosfield at the end of 1919.
It was very unlikely that Abrahamson was responsible for the AC cancellation that is often seen on North Borneo SG1 and SG3. He arrived in 1883 after some years in Sumatra and Malaya and was initially appointed as manager of the firm Messrs. W. F. Garland and Company Civil Engineer and Surveyors. He later became a partner. He went into business and by 1886 established Abrahamson & Co (BNB Herald July 1 1891). The AC cancellation was primarily used in 1883 and probably early 1884 as well before the official cancellers arrived. The treasury general Alexander Cook was the most likely candidate. 

1 comment:

  1. The blue line was put there by companies to stop the theft of stamps for persoanl use.