Thursday, 4 June 2015

North Borneo 1909 18c with Jesselton and Tenom cancellations

The 1909 pictorial set was issued in August with an 18c value. However there was not a need for this value at prevailing postal rates. It was withdrawn within a month and the remaining adhesives surcharged 20c in red. 20c would have been the rate for a registered half oz letter to a foreign country ie 10c+10c. Apparently, 5000 copies were sold to the philatelic trade and a similar amount retained at Sandakan. A small number were dispatched from Sandakan to the other post offices.

So most used copies would have a Sandakan postmark. Used copies from the other post offices are uncommonly seen. Even the Sandakan copies were mostly philatelic as there was little use for this stamp alone. This Jesselton cancelled copy has a clear date of 3 Oct 1910 and is possibly philatelic as I have seen a multi franked cover with this stamp. But it is still quite uncommon.  

This is a little treasure that I found at Europhilex recently. Tenom square circle cancels are uncommon generally. On this 18c stamp I would consider it quite rare. The year of 09 as seen would suggest that it was likely to have been commercially used probably with an additional 2c stamp to make up the rate. I wonder whether I will ever find one with a Beaufort, Lahad Datu or Tawao cancellation or even Mempakul!

There are some copies with a Kudat cancellation in existence including a pair. However this is not one of them. The partial cancel is compatible to a fake Madame Joseph Kuching cancellation.  

A pair of these stamps with the usual Sandakan cds. Most of the used 18c stamps have a small part postmark with just the year visible which I have my suspicions and are most likely cancelled by favour or at worse fake if there is a hint of a prior bar cancel. The two stamps here are in slightly different shades.

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