Collecting Advertisement Covers - The Stamps Journal

Collecting Advertisement Covers

There is something quite exciting about the advertisement covers – they are often colourful, historical and gives that classic vibe we seldom feel with any other types of postal history. Collecting them is certainly a niche and a true delight.

 Unlike the early Mulready cover, advertisement covers are quite diverse in their scope and were privately printed by companies. It is an effective way of branding and probably also signals the transition period in economy and marketing in the period.

This one is a cover sent from North Borneo to Cathay Organisation in Singapore

The Cathay cover above for instance was sent from Jesselton to Singapore during the period when Cathay cinema was still in operation in the state. It was the biggest cinema (and entertainment) in Jesselton at the time before being closed down to make way for new modern facilities.

Cathay Cinema North Borneo
Cathay Cinema North Borneo. Credit: Urangsabah


This cover sent from Sarawak shows a vivid advertisement on eye drop with both Chinese and Thai manuscripts.

This one is an advertisement for eye drop with wordings in English, Thai and Chinese. I never quite seen or used this eye drop but I’m sure someone in the 60s-70s have.

This one advertises Capstan Navy cut cigarettes, sent from Johore


Before the health effects of tobacco smoking are known to the public, cigarettes advertisements were rampant and commonplace. The Capstan is a brand of unfiltered British cigarettes made by imperial tobacco and originally launched by W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1894. In 1973, the UK government published a table of tar and nicotine contents of all cigarettes sold in the period with Capstan full strength contained the highest content of nicotine and second highest in tar. This led to its diminishing  demand and subsequently became less popular.

This one advertises on the Erasmic products from hair cream to “kiddy powder”. Sent from Johore to Singapore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *