Curious Postmarks


Postmark 1

Only "UL" and possibly "A" can be seen from the cds.
Could this be the "TANGKULAP" postmark?

Postmark 2

This postmark appeared in ebay. Interestingly, there are 3 different
postmarks on the stamp. (1) The blue ink oval for "AC" (2) Black
double ring Singapore P.O and (3) Very faint violet postmark vertically
that possibly writes "ABRAHAMSON", the letter "A" is  vaguely
visible on top of the ship.

Postmark 3

Not sure what postmark this is - Double ring mark with fairly visible
"ITTS.  N" (??) letters.
Postmark 4

Another curious postmark with a boxed red ink.
Can't see any letters or symbol...

All stamps appeared in ebay sometime ago.
Comments are appreciated!

Review of the Spink Singapore Auction 2010: Stolz Collection



In September 26, 2010, Spink Singapore held an important philatelic auction on collections from British Southeast Asia. This includes rare items from Malaya and states, Singapore and British Borneo. A total of 795 postal histories were auctioned and 466 were sold (329 remain unsold). Of these, about 11% represent postal histories from North Borneo and Labuan (86). Some of the collections are very important and have appeared in many standard handbooks, publications and journals.

Cumulative price realisation (excluding buyer's premium) was £584,827. The most expensive item in that auction is an entire, bearing the earliest recorded use of the India 4 annas in the Straits Settlement (1854). It managed to push the price to a jaw-dropping hammer price of S$200,000 (£96,340).

The Spotlights:

1. 1854 India stamps used in Penang

Sold for: £96,340
Description: 1854 (19 Dec.) entire ex the "Heard" correspondence to Canton via forwarding agent, S.M. Lord, in Hong Kong, bearing a magnificent 4a. 2nd. printing pair with part rosettes at foot and wavy lines, or part thereof on three sides, both centrally cancelled by diamond of dots, rated "1/-" and showing, on reverse across join, framed "penang/Paid" d.s. and Hong Kong arrival c.d.s. (1.1). A magnificent cover and a major exhibition item.

2. 1854 India Stamps used in Singapore

Sold for: £38,936
Description: 1854 (22 Nov.) entire letter from Batavia to Greenock, bearing 1a. (4, three touched or cut-into on one or more sides) and 4a. (cut-to-shape), all cancelled by circle of dots (Type K1, one of two recorded) which was applied in Singapore, showing framed "india paid" and London Paid transit c.d.s. (22.1) with, on reverse, framed "singapore/Paid" d.s. in red for December and light arrival datestamp. A very rare and magnificent franking, and a major exhibition item.

3. 1864 Labuan letter with India stamps

Sold for: £38,936
Description: 1864 (3 Nov.) envelope "Via Singapore paid" to Nelson, New Zealand, bearing India 1856-64 4a. black horizontal pair each neatly cancelled with circle of dots (Type K1) with superb "labuan" c.d.s. (Type D1) in red below, showing framed "mis-sent to/melbourne.victoria" h.s. in blue with Nelson arrival c.d.s. (30.1) alongside, the reverse with Melbourne transit c.d.s. (18.1) in blue; a couple of small imperfections though an attractive and very rare early franked cover, being one of only three items bearing Indian stamps used in Labuan.

Check out the auction catalogue here.

Historical North Borneo Covers Auction: Spink Singapore Auction


The Auction

On 26 September 2010, Spink Singapore will be auctioning some of the most exquisite and exceptional postal histories from North Borneo and the rest of British South East Asia (S.E.A) as part of the "Stolz" collection.

Most of the covers are not only extremely rare but also appear in Proud's book under North Borneo section. Some of the notable postmarks include the earliest Labuan cds (type D1) and circle of dots (type K1), Gantian cds, Gayah cds, Labuk & Sugut cds, Lahad Datu blue cachet, Sandakan Postage Paid mark etc.

Some covers are estimated at a mind blowing price of S$80,000-S$100,00. Other covers with small town cancels such as Keningau, Papar, Semporna and Sipitang have mush lower estimated price but still relatively expensive compared to what you would normally be offered in sites like ebay.
1. Labuan Cover (Estimate - S$80,000 - S$100,000)

Note: 1865 (4 Mar.) front to Manila, bearing India 1856-64 4a. black (3) in combination with Hong Kong 1862-63 8c. yellow-buff (3), all neatly cancelled with circle of dots (Type K1), showing superb "labuan" c.d.s. (Type D1) at foot alongside Manila "2" rate mark; a few faults in places though unique, being the only known combination franking of Hong Kong and India stamps used in Labuan.

2. Labuan Cover (Estimate - S$40,000 - S$50,000)

Note: 1864 (3 Nov.) envelope "Via Singapore paid" to Nelson, New Zealand, bearing India 1856-64 4a. black horizontal pair each neatly cancelled with circle of dots (Type K1) with superb "labuan" c.d.s. (Type D1) in red below, showing framed "mis-sent to/melbourne.victoria" h.s. in blue with Nelson arrival c.d.s. (30.1) alongside, the reverse with Melbourne transit c.d.s. (18.1) in blue; a couple of small imperfections though an attractive and very rare early franked cover, being one of only three items bearing Indian stamps used in Labuan.

3. North Borneo Cover with "Gantian" cds (Estimate: S$40,000 - S$50,000)

Note: 1919 (15 Feb.) registered envelope back, bearing 1897-1902 2c. vertical strip of three, a pair and three singles all cancelled with "gantian" c.d.s. (Type D2) and the only recorded example of a crude registration label numbered "106", also showing Labuan c.d.s. (Type D6) for 16 February (showing year date as "19"), 21 February (showing year date as "00") and small part Singapore c.d.s. A remarkable franking and a very early date of use of this rare datestamp.

4. North Borneo Cover with "Labuk & Sugut" cds (Estimate: S$15,000 - S$20,000)

Note: 1906 (12 May) local rate envelope to the S.P.G. Mission at Sandakan, bearing 1901-05 British Protectorate 2c. cancelled with fine "labuk & sugut" c.d.s., arrival c.d.s. (14.5) on reverse; the envelope a little truncated at left and with crease at foot, neither of which significantly affect the appearance of this exceptionally rare envelope, being one of only two covers recorded from this short-lived office.

5. North Borneo Cover with blue seal "Lahad Datu" cachet (Estimate: S$2,000 - S$2,500)

Note: 1897 (Dec.) envelope registered to France, bearing 1897-1902 6c. and 12c. sharing a good "silam post office/Lion/b.n. borneo" intaglio seal h.s. (Type K1) in blue with Modane A Paris T.P.O. c.d.s. (29.1) in red alongside, Sandakan registered h.s. (Type R3) at left, Sandakan (9.12) and Fabregues arrival c.d.s. (30.1) on reverse. A fine and early registered franking from this office.

And many more...

Note: The latest news on the auction may only be released on the following few days after the auction.

Fournier Forgery?


Fournier Forgery!

This stamp appeared in ebay sometime ago and is due to end on the 15 Sept 2010. The postmark is a very attractive, clean Sandakan cds dated 23 JUN 18**. The last 2 digits of the year are unclear but the year is likely to be 1886. Both stamps of $1 and 50c. appear to have the same postmark and date. The Sandakan cds is purported to be that of D3. The problem is, D3 usually appear dotted with many broken lines. There is nothing as smmoth as the postmark shown here.

 The stamp fetches a relatively expensive bid, but I'm not sure whether people are intentionally collecting the forged Sandakan postmark (quite rare) or that they are not aware that it's a forged mark. Either way, we'll get to see the final bidding price soon. :)

Salvaged Mail of 1953 Comet crash


The cover

This cover appeared in ebay a while back, and won by a fellow Sabahan collector. As the ending time got nearer, the bid prices also soared to a final price that's hard to imagine. It is basically an airmail cover from Sandakan to Glasgow, Scotland bearing two 8 cents and two 20 cents stamps. It also bears the interesting hand-stamped mark of "Salvaged Mail//"Comet crash", near Calcutta.//2nd. May 1953" in violet. I think this is the very reason why it is such a rare cover. There is some water staining on the top left aspect due to the effects of the crash and one stamp on the top right corner has been washed off.  We don't know how many more covers from North Borneo flown in the ill-fated Comet flight - could there be more covers?

The Comet Crash

In May 2, 1953, a BOAC comet 1 brought 43 people on board from Calcutta airport to London. It was thought that the plane then crashed 6 minutes after taking off from Calcutta airport due to 'exceptionally' severe tropical storm. This killed all 43 passengers abroad. Historically, this was the third crash of the Comet flight in the first year of the company's operation, and this was followed by a series of other crashes in 1954 as well.

Pic: Similar salvaged mail from Singapore to London.

The Papar Postmark



Papar is a small town in the West Coast division of Sabah, mainly populated by Kadazandusun, Malays and Chinese. There are several interesting postmarks coming from this small town. Examples of the postmarks are as below:


North Borneo Papar 1949 (21 Oct.) envelope to England, bearing 1947 2c. and 1949 UPU 8c. sharing a distorted strike of the papar/north borneo rubber c.d.s. (Type D1), Jesselton transit c.d.s. (24.10) on reverse; the envelope with minor foxing in places and the envelope roughly opened though a good example of this short-lived c.d.s.
Note: The cover is estimated at S$600. The inner ring in the postmark is wavy rather than a smooth circular line as portrayed in Proud's book.

North Borneo Papar 10 Oct 1949 First Day Cover to Jesselton. Bears a single 8 cents stamp of the 1949 UPU design. The cover bears a clear Papar postmark (D1) with its characteristic wavy line of the inner ring as well as slight distortion of the outer ring.
(Ref. Silamstar.)

North Borneo FDC of Papar 1950 (1 Jul) envelope, bearing 1950-52 1c., 2c., 3c., 4c., 5c., 8c. and 10c. with superb strike of the papar/North Borneo c.d.s. (Type D2) in violet.
Note: Appeared in ebay on 23 June 2010. Sold at $23.50. I think this is the good thing about ebay, sometimes you'll get a good bargain on such a good cover and postmark although this is not always the case.

North Borneo FDC of Papar dtaed 1st July 1950. Addressed to Mr. Chong Si Yin of Jesselton, North Borneo. Also shows a very clear and attractive violet postmark of Papar (D2). The postmark is used from 06.05.1950 to 02.07.1951. Inscribed "First Day Cover" 1st July 1950 / Colony of North Borneo at the top left corner. Proud indicates that the postmark is almost always found in violet ink, so perhaps there are examples of this postmark with other colour.
(Ref. Silamstar)

North Borneo Papar 1951 (11 Jan.) airmail envelope registered to India bearing, on reverse, 1950-52 20c. vertical strip of three twice cancelled by papar/North Borneo c.d.s. (Type D2) in violet and additionally tied by Jesselton (11.1), Singapore (13.1) and arrival (16.1) c.d.s.,
Note: The estimated value of the cover is $200. Registration h.s. (Type R1, the earliest recorded date of use) in violet on face panel.

Papar Registered FDC of 16 May 1955 bearing the D3 Papar postmark. A very nice and interesting cover.
(Ref. Silamstar.)

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