Thursday, 16 July 2015

A Sandakan, a Kota Kinabalu and a Kobe paquebot cover

I found both these covers at a recent stamp and postal history fair. I also bought few other nice items. Very often one drives a couple of hours to these meetings and spent a few hours hunting and find nothing at all. But it is usually good to talk to the dealers who are often nice and forthcoming.

A Sandakan paquebot with a date of 17 AU 63. It was posted on the Dutch ship M S Sinabang and hence the Nederlands stamps. These modern day covers are mostly philatelic as fewer people commute by boat with the advent of modern travel by plane. However the 1962 North Borneo Annual Report mentioned a sea passenger traffic of 135,520. The vast majority of these would have been short haul between towns. I remembered as a child, our relatives from Lahad Datu arriving by ship regularly.
The number of Dutch ship visits to North Borneo ports in 1962 was 122 with a gross tonnage of 674,473. The Royal Interocean Lines which this ship belongs to also visited Australian, Indonesian and Thailand ports. The main reason was the timber trade.  

I have shown a similar cover before with this K Kinabalu paquebot cancellation. This shows a clear date and was posted on a Norwegian ship, the M S Hermod. It was signed by the master of the boat, presumably the captain. This is yet another philatelic item. 
The Norwegian Asia line ran a fortnightly service from Hong and Bangkok to the ports of Jesselton, Kudat, Labuan, Sandakan and Tawau.  In 1962, the number of Norwegian ship visits involved was 317 with a gross tonnage of 859,021, again largely to do with the timber trade.

I have also included this uncommon combination of a Japanese paquebot cover using a Sabah Malaysia stamp found on ebay. It was a Malaysian ship the M V Sentosa from Port Kelang which docked at Kobe Port on 17 November 1993. The Sabah adhesive was eligible for use throughout Malaysia and vice versa. So the stamp was used correctly in this instance.

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