Thursday, 3 May 2018

Some RPPCs from North Borneo and others

I am showing some postcards on this occasion. Little is known about the publishers of quite a few of the postcards from North Borneo. RPPC or real photo postcards are very collectible and are relatively scarce due to the limited numbers of each card published because they were more expensive to produce in comparison to their photogravure printed counterparts. 

This postcard has a pencil written clue on the back. It was almost certainly taken on the west coast of North Borneo. The location would most likely be near Kota Belud. The subject material of this series of real photo postcards mostly depict scenes on the west coast. It has a divided back in common with postcards post 1906 and a triangle at the upper right corner. 

This postcard is from the same publisher and it shows the old part of Jesselton with Gaya Street and Beach Street. The Atkinson Clock Tower which can be seen on the extreme right side is a good landmark. The railway is seen to go all the way into Jesselton. The sea is also noticeably much nearer and nowadays with reclamation and development, it is at least 3 blocks away.
Again there is the triangle where the stamp would be placed. In Chai Foh Chin's book Early Picture Postcards of North Borneo and Labuan, these cards were believed to have been published by a group of Japanese photographers based in Singapore. 

This is another postcard from the same publisher and the triangle has been covered by the stamp, as was intended. I think it shows a nice sunset somewhere near Jesselton. 

This is another RPPC and it shows native female porters. The native man was holding an umbrella probably for the benefit of his "Tuan". In the colonial and chartered rule period, government overseers traveled between stations and their belongings and supplies were carried by bare footed native potters, whose diminutive size belies their strength and stamina.
It was sent in October 1939 and has the censored cachet from Jesselton. The publisher is unknown but it has the name Gevaert  at the bottom of the dividing line. It would indicate that the brownish photographic printing card was from Gevaert Ltd which is now part of Agfa-Gevaert, a Belgian corporation. But originally this card also has a triangle at the back as shown on a similar card in Chai's book.

This is an SPG card based on one published by Funk which was in black and white. There were 3 such cards depicting natives of North Borneo published by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Clearly post 1906, they probably dated from the early 1910s. They were not sold in North Borneo.

This is a very nice S W Singapore postcard from the 1960s which I recovered from my wife's schoolgirl collection recently. It shows the curious rock formation at Batu Sapi, an area in Sandakan named after this rock. Batu Sapi translates into Buffalo Rock rather than Cow Rock as cows are not indigenous to North  Borneo. But long ago it was referred to as Batu Gajah or Elephant Rock. The local Chinese simply called it Three Leg Rock. I am afraid it is no longer the idyllic scene as shown above. It used to be a fun picnic excursion site.

My expert contact in Singapore has informed me that there are similar RPPCs with a triangle at the back from Malaya and Singapore which were a collaboration between the Japanese publishers in Singapore and some Chinese photographers of The Federal Rubber Stamp Co. It is not known whether these same photographers took the pictures for North Borneo.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Some uncommon items

I can afford to be brief this month as I am showing you some rather uncommon items. A good picture is as good as a thousand words.

This is the 9 bar cancellation from Brunei of unknown status. It is much smaller than the 9 bar version of Labuan as shown here in comparison with a quite uncommon transit Labuan 9 bar cancellation on a Brunei 1907 stamp. It is not mentioned in Proud's book even though it is not rare. No cover is known. However a clear complete impression like this one is not easy to find. You can see another similar item by clicking this link.

The 1883 50c with the inverted "L" variety is rarely offered anywhere for sale or auction. I had to pay good money for this. Looking closely, it is actually from a damaged printing with the second horizontal arm of "F" missing. This is stamp 42 on a normal sheet of 50. It is very similar to the "DOLLAPS" variety with a damaged "R" with a small bottom remnant present. You can can see this by clicking here. 

There are a few of this small antique 3 variety on offer these few months. It is stamp 24 on the normal sheet of 50. It is very much better when paired with a normal stamp. This one comes with a nice 1983 BPA certificate. I had always wanted this even since I saw it on an auction catalogue from The International Stamp and Coin company of Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s.
I have also updated my post on the Labuan Coal Company.  It has been rewritten and extended with added pictures and also another share certificate, this time of Labuan and Borneo Ltd.