Jesselton GPO circular dated stamp (1910-14)

Six registered covers bearing the Jesselton GPO cds appeared within the span of 2 weeks (June-Jul 2016) in eBay. Although not the rarest of all GPO markings, they are rarely seen and quite unique because it is the only circular dated stamp without the town name spelled out.

Jesselton

After Mat Salleh burnt Gaya in 1897, the administration centre for the British North Borneo Company was tempJesselton GPOorarily relocated to Gantian, six miles farther up the Gaya bay. This new settlement was abandoned in 1900 and a new site was chosen by Mr. Henry Walker who named it Jesselton after Sir Charles Jessel, who was at that time vice-chairman of the Company.

On 1 May 1905, the post office was separated from the Treasury department and a new post office was then completed in December 1905. The General Post Office (GPO) was then transferred to Jesselton from Sandakan in April 1906.

Jesselton GPO postmark

The GPO circular dated postmark of Jesselton was in used from 11 October 1910 – 7 July 1914 (According to Proud).

Although Jesselton postmarks are quite common in general, the GPO postmark is rarely seen and represent a unique mark as it is the only dated postmark from Jesselton without the town name spelled out.

A bogus Jesselton GPO postmark dated 22 AUG 1911 is known to exist (used by Madame Joseph).

Example of Covers

GPO2

Cover 1: 1913 (16 Jul) Registered cover from Jesselton, North Borneo to Bohemia, Austria. Franked with North Borneo stamps overprinted British Protectorate values 5¢, 6¢, 8¢, 18¢ and 24¢ (total = 61¢) and tied by the Jesselton GPO postmarks. Boxed registration cachet on left lower corner (R2) dated 16 JUL 13 and carried registration number 4570. At the back of the cover, a transit marking of Singapore 22 JY 1913 is applied.

GPO3

Cover 2: 1913 (16 Jul) Registered cover from Jesselton, North Borneo to Bohemia, Austria. Franked with North Borneo stamps overprinted British Protectorate values 1¢, 2¢, 4¢, 8¢ and 12¢ (total = 27¢) and tied by the Jesselton GPO postmarks. Boxed registration cachet on left lower corner (R2) dated 16 JUL 13 and carries registration number 4571.

GPO3Cover 3: 1913 (16 Jul) Registered cover from Jesselton, North Borneo to Bohemia, Austria. Registration number 4575. Total franking = 48¢.

GPO4

Cover 4: 1913 (16 Jul) Registered cover from Jesselton, North Borneo to Bohemia, Austria. Registration number 4576. Total franking = 48¢.

GPO5

Cover 5: 1913 (16 Jul) Registered cover from Jesselton, North Borneo to Bohemia, Austria. Registration number 4577. Total franking = 43¢.

GPO1

Cover 6: 1913 (16 Jul) Registered cover from Jesselton, North Borneo to Bohemia, Austria. Registration number 4578. Total franking = 43¢.

Note the numbering sequence on top left corner from 1-6 sent to the same address. Also note that the first four covers were redirected to another address while the last two covers did not, probably because the receiving post office had gone weary by this time after receiving 6 covers!

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