Ebay News & Reviews

Looking back in ebay in the last few weeks, many interesting items appeared. There are some rare and expensive stuffs of note. The following are a shortlist of what I find worth mentioning:

1. Forged North Borneo Cover

This cover appeared in March 2012 with a starting bid of US$9.00. Two bidders fought over this 'unique' cover and the winner paid US$21.50. Sold by an Austrian seller, the cover is supposed to be sent from "Borneo" to Prague, Czechoslovakia. Purpotedly sent on "28.XI.1932" from "Borneo", the cover is franked with British Protectorate stamp (in use from 1901 to approx 1905), which apparently also cancelled with an incomplete obliterator of six bars.

The circular cancel is probably not even a cancel but likely to be a pen graffitti on the cover and the stamp itself with amusing design. There is also a nice blue airmail label affixed. Verdict: FAILED forgery!

2. Sarawak's SG1 Forgery

According to W.R. Forrestor-Wood [Sarawak Stamps & Postal History], crude forgeries on Sarawak's SG1 exist in three forms - (a) Brown on yellow perf. 11½, (b) Orange brown on light brown perf. 11½ and (c) Green on white, usually imperforate.

The one above is the green on white issue with perforations, and appeared in ebay on March 2012 and ended with a final price of US$12.50 after 6 bids. This is a straightforward forgery, but did you know that it was used as an illustration of the genuine stamp in the catalogues and albums of an American philatelic company for some one hundred years? [Ref: Barry Floyd, The White Rajahs of Sarawak, A Philatelic & Historical Study]

3. A US$1,500 Japanese Occupation Stamps?

These collection of Japanese occupations stamps of North Borneo and Malaya are supposed to be rare and they did actually reached a final bid price of US$1,500! The question, however, is that the underbidder's bid was only $130. So it looks a bit dodgy because the winner pushed the ending price from $130 to $1,500! Furthermore, clicking at the winner's bidding profile, this was his only bid in the last 30-days which is quite uncommon. I'm not sure what's the seller's reserve price but he did say that it was a low-ish reserve price and that he had no knowledge of the stamps value.

Put that aside, these stamps consist of North Borneo and Malaya Japanese occupation stamps. The North Borneo group consists of what seems to be SGJ16 (Cat £600), SGJ17 (Cat £1600), SGJ33 (Cat £4500), and SGJ20 (Cat £5.50). The Malaya group consists of SGJ297, SGJ305, Perak SGJ250, St. Settlement SGJ149, among others.

The seller mentions that the stamps were given to his wife by her Japanese frriend, Ms. Michiko Watanabe, an Education Minister(?). The stamps were formerly part of her father's collection, Lt. Watanabe, said to be one of the Japanese offficers stationed in Sandakan during WWII. According to the seller, the collection was found laying beneath Watanabe's drawer after he passed away and was subsequently passed to the seller's wife and in turn to the seller. Apparently only these stamps were auctioned in ebay by the seller.

4. North Borneo Postcards

Offered at US$200 each, all of these postcards are quite scarce. They would certainly reach a higher bidding prices if listed in an auction:

The American Consulate, Sandakan, B.N.B

Type of Native Bridge, B.N.B

Daughters of the Woods, Borneo

5. 1932, Sarawak Airmail Covers

This Sarawak airmail cover was sent from Kuching to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia via the first air mail service between Singapore and Australia on January 14, 1932. Franked with Sarawak's 3¢, 10¢ and 50¢ and tied Kuching Jan 13, 1932. Backstamped Singapore Jan 16, Perth Jan 9 and forwarded to Hobart Feb 10, 1932.

Affixed is a light blue airmail label with the words "BY AIR MAIL".


myNBstamps said...

Those North Borneo war tax overprinted stamps are almost certainly fakes. I would need a closer look. They are similar to the fakes that are on my blog.
I am afraid I do not find the story behind it at all plausible. Besides it is not difficult to get hold of a stamp catalogue from a library in Singapore.

myNBstamps said...

I forgot to add that some of the native women in NB and especially in Sarawak were taken advantage of in these photo shoots.

Marcel said...

Thanks for your comment pal! I agree with the Japanese stamps - not only that they look fake, they are also handled in a dodgy fashion. The fake overprints look thicker and darker than genuine overprints...
Yes the women were taken advantage of in those days. If you look closely all three of them are holding something in their right hands, possibly a treat for agreeing to be photographed...just my 2 cents..:)

Anonymous said...

Found this on FB, just wanted to share will you all here :http://www.facebook.com/northborneohistory

Regards to ALL

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