Sarawak Bogus Stamps


Sarawak Bogus Stamps

People like occasional lies to brighten up the days, provided that they know the truth. There are always makers, takers and fakers around, but a totally bogus issue not resembling the original issue is quite rare. Hitler once said that if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed...This might be the prime motivation of the original issuer of these bogus Sarawak stamps.

These interesting issues of bogus Sarawak stamps appeared in ebay recently with decent ending prices. The seller explicitly mentioned that they are bogus or Cinderella stamps, and yet, as expected, people still bid for them. The reason is that although they are outright bogus and carry no real philatelic significance, they are quite uncommon and therefore of some interests to Sarawak collectors.

According to W.R. Forrester-Wood, several values have been recorded: 2c (green), 3c (blue), 4c (sepia), 5c (vermillion), and 10c (mauve). Other known values include 25c., 50c., and $1. The issue is printed on smooth white wove paper and perforated 11.5.


The stamps depict two sailing vessels: a 3-masted schooner on the left side and a native boat on the right. The background is a mountainous coastline. The stamp consists of a monocolour deisgn, with the value typographed in black. The top frame is inscribed with "SARAWAK" and the bottom frame is inscribed "POSTAGE (value) CENTS". The side frames consist of two pillars surmounted by shileds of arabic (Jawi?) and Chinese writings. The middle pillar bears a diamond-shaped device containing a crescent below and a five-pointed star above.

The stamps may be cancelled with bogus cancellations or remain as mints.

The year of issue remains an unsolved mystery. Perhaps the Sarawak collectors can provide some input...

More about Sarawak stamps. And the updated article on Sarawak bogus stamps.


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