Interesting Labuan cover 1893 to Channel Islands



Labuan stamps on cover remain elusive among the British Borneo philatelic collection. The early covers from this region are very scarce that to see some example of their usage would be a priviledge. The cover above shows the early usage of such stamp. In this example, the cover is franked with 6c. on 16c. stamp of 1891-1892 issue. This stamp off cover is priced at  £1800 in Stanley Gibbons.

The stamp is affixed upside down and cancelled with the 9-bars Labuan obliterator cancel. It is also tied with the Labuan D5 circular cancel dated FE 4 1893. Of note, the cover is addressed to the Columbian consulate, Jersey, Channel Islands - certainly not the traditional postal destination from this region. On the reverse is the seal of the Government of British North Borneo, along with Jersey arrival (Mar 9). Overall the cover is preseved well, although with some toning and stains.

The Fake Japanese Overprints!


Fake Japanese Overprints on North Borneo Stamps

Over the last couple of months, many sets of fake North Borneo stamps with Japanese overprints appeared periodically in ebay. When it first started in mid January this year, many people were more than happy to bid for them, perhaps for reference purposes. The final prices for these forged overprints when they were first introduced in ebay were relatively high, more so than you would expect in genuine mint copies without the overprints. Obviously many people are interested in possessing copies of these 'rare gems'. Some copies are evidently quite attractive and mouth-watering...

Nevertheless, a quick glance on the overprints shows very obvious forgery. The forged Japanese letters are thicker and appear too smooth compared to the authenthic overprints. The ink colour is in stark contrast to the genuine example.

 The seller, sandraa4073, rightfully indicate that the stamps and overprints are not genuine and serve as spacefillers only. This though, was mentioned only in the description in a small letters and not in the heading of the items listed. The heading often read something like "Rare Japanese Occupation Overprint in Mint Selection", avoiding the term "forged or fake". This is potentially dangerous for buyers who don't bother to read the description. The fake Japanese overprints appear not only for North Borneo stamps but also for other countries, notably Malaya, Sarawak, and Brunei among others.

As there is a very limited amount of literature or reference regarding the forged Japanese overprint, it is vital for everyone to get used to and become familiar with the normal authentic overprints. I think it is also important to keep that small grain of suspicions especially when something seemingly very rare appear, especially in ebay. All the stamps shown here are forgeries - I'll keep them for future reference.

Review of the Most Wanted January and February 2011 ebay


"Notable lots/items of January and February 2011"

I have finally managed to spare sometime to post this list due to St. Patrick's Day public holiday in Ireland. Although there are many interesting stuffs and items being listed in the past two months, these are essentially quite common and as such fetched relatively average prices. Some covers and postcards, as expected, reached good final prices. Even though in January there are other lots of MNH stamps that purpotedly reached hammer prices of $800 and $500 etc, these are essentially due to shill bidding and do not represent real legitimate transactions (detail here, seller has been kicked out off ebay!), as such these are not included in the list. Comments are always welcomed.



GBP 315

A nice cover franked with a complete set of the 1909-1923 North Borneo stamps from 1c. to 25c. (without the rare 18c. Banteng). Cancelled with Sandakan cds dated 30 Sep 1911. The date suggests that this might be Sandakan D12. A nice showpiece on cover!

Ended 09.02.2011

SG Cat price




3 bids



This is a black and white real photo postcard depicting the native boys of North Borneo. Sent in 1908 from Sandakan to Mill Valley, Ca, US. At the back shows the 4 cents and two cents stamps overprinted "British Protectorate". Tied with Sandakan cds.
Ended 14.02.2011

SG Cat price ?



5 bids


North Borneo registered cover from Jesselton to Washinton DC, USA. Franked with 4c, 5c, 8c, and 24c stamps of the definitive 1909-1922 stamps issue. Cancelled neatly with the D24 narrow double ring postmark of Jesselton dated 20 Jul 1935.

Ended 16.01.11

SG Cat Price (?)

7 bids



Another black and white real photo postcard showing a picture of some Europeans on a suspension bridge with the forest at the back. At the back, the postcard is franked with the 1c and 3c stamps of British Protectorate. Tied with the Sandakan cds dated 27 Jul 193?. Also sent to California, US. 

Ended 14.01.2011

SG Cat Price



4 bids



A picture postcard showing the North Borneo natives carrying water in large bamboo compartments. This is probably the method of carrying water in those days at least prior to the production of this postcard in 1908. At the back, the postcard is franked with a single stamp of 12c. British Protectorate and tied with Sandakan cds (unclear).
Ended 14.01.2011

SG Cat Price


5 bids

The selection criteria for this list include (a) stamps/philatelic items of North Borneo appearing in ebay, (b) must be available internationally and (c) must be on auction format only.

North Borneo Postcards: A walk to remember...



On January this year, several interesting North Borneo postcards have been listed in ebay. The whole collection is altogether impressive with magnificient frankings on some of the rarest black and white real photo postcards. These fine postcards merit appreciation and it is no wonder the hammer prices were high. Many of these postcards were won by a sole winner except for a number of other postcards. The pictures are all amazing and sheer historical, so I thought I'll post them here for future reference or simply for a closer look and an in-depth appreciation:

1. Sandakan St. Michael Church

2. Native House with Suspension Bridge

3. A Giant Tree in Borneo Forest

4. View in forest with Suspension Bridge

5. Fisherman's Village, Sandakan

6. Native Boys of North Borneo

7. Natives of BNB Carrying water

8. Natives tapping Ruber Tree, BNB.

9. Fashionable Dyak Women, Borneo

10. Dayak Women, Borneo

Enjoy it!