SSS Spring Auction



As the snow melts, spring ushers with blooms of flowers and warm sunshine. April has arrived. 31st of March marked the Sarawak Specialist Society's Spring auction which was unequivocally another successful one by the ever expanding society. It was held in Tiverton Hotel, Devon, UK and comprised of 684 total items being auctioned. It was a pity that although I had planned to join the event this time, something else turned up and I ended up going for some conference in Dublin. Nevertheless, I think that the auction was still worth mentioning albeit superficially so.

The one-day auction ended on 31st March involving 684 items of British Borneo (Sarawak, Brunei, Labuan, North Borneo) and St. Settlements. Sarawak represent almost half of the items auctioned totalling 320 (46.8%), followed by North Borneo/Labuan amounting to 243 (35.5%), Brunei 30 items (4.4%) and the rest including St. Settlement, British forces, and Japanese occupation numbering 91 (13.3%).

At the end of the auction, 484 items were sold (70.8%) while the remaining 200 items remain unsold and should be available for purchase at a reserve price, 14 days post auction. The total amount of the auction reached approximately £36,200 excluding the vendor's and buyer's premiums. Two items stole the show by being the most expensive items on the auction at a stagerring £1,650 each.

The Spotlights:

Although there were many nice items being auctioned, several items proved to be of exceptional quality. These are:

1. Post Office Memo (GDP 3000 -4/08) to J.G. Rowan reading '2 Taxed letters await your applicationat this office. Postage Due 24c', with JESSELTON 7 MAR 1913 B.N.B. cds. On reverse, B.P. 24c POSTAGE DUE tied JESSELTON 8 MAR 1913 B.N.B.
Note: Unfortunately, no photo was shown in the auction catalogue which would be nice for future perusal. The new owner may hopefully share the picture of this philatelic gem. Final Price: £1,650.

2. 1888-97 unissued $2, $5 and $10 unmounted stamps of Sarawak.


Note: These three stamps are valued at £950 each according to Stanley Gibbons catalogue. They were prepared for use but were never issued. Final Price: £1,650. 

3. 1875 THREE CENTS RECEIPT stamp, imperforated colour trial strip of 6 printed in blue with large inscription panel below SARAWAK GOVERNMENT RECEIPT STAMP THREE-CENTS..& Maclure & Macdonald Lithrs London imprint. Final Price: £1,110.

4. 'British North Borneo Herald' newspaper wrapper addressed to EE Abrahamson, c/o China Borneo Co, Sandakan, bearing a superb strike of SANDAKAN ONE CENT POSTAGE PAID cds. Final Price: £800.


5. 1875 THREE CENTS RECEIPT stamp - Lithographic proof in black on thick white paper. Showing coloured line between top front lines above corner C and coloured spot in the curve of C in RECEIPT. Ex-Shipman collection. Final Price: £800.


6. 1934 definitive set (no 'a' nos) in plate proof pairs on gummed paper. Final Price: £600.

7. A fine used example of the 1899 2 CENTS/TWELVE CENTS red, with surcharge inverted. Accompanied with B.P.A. Expertization Certificate dated 28 Jan 1985. Final Price: £575.

8. Sample impression on envelope (Addressed to C F N Wade Esq Sandakan, endorsed by Air Mail) in the upper left corner inscribing 'sample impression' in red. Also a superb strike of boxed Air Mail cachet on the upper right corner . Final Price: £540.


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