50th Anniversary of North Borneo Company Stamps Issues (1931)



If someone asks you what's the most beautiful North Borneo stamps issue, you should consider this one as your answer. In fact, this issue is considered by many as one of the most beautiful British Commonwealth stamps design. Compared to the other definitive issues of North Borneo, these stamps are slightly bigger in size and are beautifully engraved in two colours. These stamps are relatively rare and are getting more pricey every year especially in ebay and other private-owned online shops. If you are interested in investing in North Borneo stamps, I think you should consider this one (the other one, I think, is the 1939 issue without the overprint). Today they are still relatively affordable, but who knows how much they would sell in 5 to 10 years from now.


These stamps were engraved by a famous British empire stamp engraver, J.A.C. Harrison (pic), the same person who engraved Britain's seahorses issues, considered as the best design of British stamps since the Penny black in 1840. In 1930s, he joined the Waterlow and Sons and became its main engraver, producing many engravings of the heads of King George V for use in the British colony. For the 50th anniversary of the British North Borneo Company in 1931, 8 stamps were issued, depicting a Murut man (1 cent), the Orang Utan (6 cents), a Dayak warrior (10 cents), Mount Kinabalu (12 cents), clouded leopard (25 cents), the company's badge ($1), and the arms of the company ($2 and $5). Arabic inscription is written on the left side of the stamp and Chinese inscription on the right, reading the value of respective stamp. The engraving at the centre is in black colour, with each stamp has it's own unique frame design, appearing in distinctive colours.

Stamp values
S.Gibbons (£)
Yvert Tellier(€)
Average  (£)
SG 295 (3 cents)
SG 296 (6 cents) 
SG 297 (10cents) 
SG 298 (12 cents)
SG 299 (25 cents)
SG 300 ($1)
SG 301 ($2)
SG 302 ($5)

Stanley Gibbons full set, Mint set = £250, Used set = £700 ["Specimen" set of 8 = £300]
Scott full set, Mint set = $218, Used set = $331.50
Yvert Tellier full set, Mint set = €365, Used set = €415
The Average price is not the mean of the 3 catalogues but rather a general market price (can be misleading)

Specimen set of the 1931 Stamps


Miguel Navajas said...

I'm Miguel Navajas, from Spain. Congratulations for the blog. I'm becoming to collect borneo stamps. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Re:50th Anniversary of North Borneo Company Stamps Issues (1931)
Have you any info on forged post marks for this issue.
I suspect that a few are now appearing on the market.

Marcel said...

There is one known forged postmark on the 1931 issue: JESSELTON double ring cds dated 22 AUG 1931. This is strucked in black ink.

I'm not aware of any other new forgery on this stamp issue, but this is not at all impossible providing the fact that used stamps are about 3 times more expensive than mint stamps. I have Jesselton postmark in violet-blue ink dated 9 FEB 1931. I suspect that this could be a forgery but remains unproven...(Ref January 2011 post)

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