Labuan Registered Cover 1905 (Parker Cover)

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There is not much going on in ebay recently - much the same kind of items except for a few notable and unusual postmarks. The CNY celebration in Ireland as well as other stuffs mean that I spent less time on the internet in the past few weeks, explaining the lack of entry. :) Nevertheless, I'll share with you the most recent cover I acquired - a registered Labuan cover addressed to Mr. Fred Parker. The cover is franked with Labuan stamps of 1904 issue from 4c on 5c. to 4c. on $1 (Complete set of 9). The cover bears the violet Labuan boxed registration mark numbered 2216 and is strucked with a black single ring Labuan cds dated 2 OCT 1905. The stamps are cancelled with the 9 bars obliterator in black. At the back shows London arrival registration mark dated 8 Nov 1905.

The cover is definetely philatelic in nature and quite obviously contrived with the printed address and the "Registered" capital on top left corner. In Stanley Gibbons' catalogue, there is a brief note mentioning this -  "The barred cancels can be found used on 'Philatelic' covers of this issue". I guess the note must be referring to this example. The cover itself is not unusually rare as such, and I certainly have seen at least one other example of similar cover (also franked with the 1904 complete set stamps) also addressed to Mr. Parker. In North Borneo philatelic circle, the Parker covers are quite well-known possibly because they are among the few philatelic covers from North Borneo and Labuan. Some early German dealers concentrated on the earlier postcards (eg. Kiederlen, Adolf Bauer etc) as well as the early North Borneo and Labuan covers. Nonetheless, I find the cover above particularly attractive not only because it is borne to be attractive and collected but also because I don't have many early covers from Labuan.

On a lighter note, I have started casual collection on other philatelic items outside the British Borneo and Malaya states. Some people collect China because of anticipation of increasing prices in the future, I certainly could not afford any of the Chinese stamps, so I'll collect Ireland and Great Britain as well as the works of the master engraver from Sweden, Cz. Slania (deceased). The most recent auction of an inverted overprint on China stamp by Spink reached an amazing realization of GBP 95,000 whereas the inverted India stamp reached GBP 80,000...which means I shouldn't venture on those areas at all, at least not for the time being...:)

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