Labuan stamps

Labuan stamps

Labuan stamps
Sago palm was the proposed design for Labuan’s first stamps

On April 1st 1877, Labuan joined the General Postal Union being the only member among other British possessions without any postage stamps. Under the Union it was necessary to issue them prompting the council to consider the design of its first postage stamp issue.

Although initially the design for the first issue was proposed to be depicting a clump of sago palms, for economic reasons, the queen heads design was finally adopted. The design had been previously used for the stamps of Grenada.

The Queen Heads issue (1879-1894)

Between 1879 to 1894, definitive stamps of Labuan incorporate the engraving of Queen Victoria head. The design is somewhat uncommon and quite unique because of the incorporation of Arabic manuscript in Malay language (Jawi), Chinese and English manuscript, similar to North Borneo stamp issues. Being the Crown Colony at this time, stamps from this period usually bear watermarks similar to those found in Great Britain stamps.

De La Rue despatched the first Labuan stamps on January 3rd 1879 and were officially issued in May 1879. At the date of issues however, there was no post office establishment on the island and the postal service was the responsibility of an official who was also harbour master and paymaster. Frequent shortages and lack of regular supplies from England necessitated various surcharges especially on the early 1880s issues.

Incorporation with North Borneo (1890-1907)

From 1 January 1890 until January 1907, while remaining a Crown Colony, Labuan was administered by the British North Borneo Company. In the early period between 1891-1894, remaining Labuan stamps were surcharged for continued use on the island. By 1894, stamps of North Borneo with colour change were either engraved with “LABUAN” on the vignette plate or overprinted.

Like most North Borneo stamps, a vast majority of stamps from this period were sold to the stamp trade by the Company as cancelled-to-order (CTO), necessitating a third column for pricing reference in major stamp catalogues. Many of the surcharges found on the stamps in this period are similar to North Borneo stamps and were largely for philatelic purposes rather than actual postal need.

In 1896, Labuan celebrated its 50th jubilee of cession of Labuan to Great Britain. Stamps of North Borneo with colour change were overprinted to mark the occasion. The last stamps specifically produced for the colony was issued in 1902-03 depicting a crown as the vignette (1¢ -$1). These stamps were later overprinted with Straits Settlements overprint when Labuan was administered by the Straits Settlements in 1907.

 Straits Settlements Administration (1907-1939)

Stamp Issues

Year
First Issue of Labuan Stamps
Note
1879
 

Labuan SG1

SG1
Labuan SG 2

SG2
Labuan SG 3

SG3
Labuan SG 4

SG4

The first issue

All are perforated 14.

Watermark CA over crown, sideways:

ca over crown

Note: This postmark was used chiefly on long fiscal stamps, therefore a single stamp of Labuan shows only a portion of the postmark.

 


Year
Second issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1880-82
 

Labuan SG5

SG5
Labuan SG 6

SG6
Labuan SG 7

SG7
Labuan SG 8

SG8
Labuan SG9

SG9
Labuan SG 10

SG10
Labuan SG 11

SG11
Labuan SG 12

SG12
Labuan SG13

SG13
Labuan SG 14

SG14
Labuan SG 15

SG15

The second issue

All are perforated 14.

Watermark Crown over CC, (Reversed on 8¢):

Watermark

Note: SG12 has a watermark of SG4. 

 


Year
1883 issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1883
 

Labuan SG 17

SG17
Labuan SG 3

SG18
Labuan SG 4

SG19
Labuan SG 2

SG20
Labuan SG 3

SG21
Labuan SG 4

SG22

1883 issue

All are perforated 14.

Watermark Crown over CA:

crown over CA watermark

Note: The SG22 stamp is inscribed “One Dollar A.S.H.” by hand in red ink. The initials are those of the postmaster, Mr. A. S. Hamilton. It has a watermark of SG10.

 


Year
1885 Issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1885
 

Labuan SG23

SG23
Labuan SG 24

SG24
Labuan SG 25

SG25
Labuan SG 26

SG26
Labuan SG30

SG30
Labuan SG 31

SG31
Labuan SG 32

SG33
Labuan SG 33

SG33

1885 issue of Labuan stamps

All are perforated 14.

Watermark Crown over CA:

crown over CA watermark

 

Note: SG24 has a watermark of SG10.

 


Year
1891-92 issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1891-92
 

Labuan SG 34

SG34
Labuan SG 35

SG35
Labuan SG 36

SG36
Labuan SG 37

SG37
Labuan SG 38

SG38

1891-92 Provisional issue

Untitled

6 cents provisional issue.

Watermark Crown over CA:

crown over CA watermark

Note: The SG36 has the surcharge in red ink instead of black. SG34 in deep purple, SG35 in mauve.

 


Year
1892-93 issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1892-93
 

Labuan SG 39

SG39
Labuan SG 40

SG40
Labuan SG 41

SG41
Labuan SG 43

SG43
Labuan SG 45

SG45
Labuan SG 46

SG46
Labuan SG 47

SG47
Labuan SG 49

SG49
Labuan SG 49a

SG49a
Labuan SG 50

SG50
Labuan SG 50a

SG50a

1892-93 issue

No watermark.

Perforated 14.

Recess-printed by De La Rue.

 

 


Year
1894 issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1894
 

Labuan SG 39

SG51
Labuan SG 40

SG52
Labuan SG 41

SG53
Labuan SG 43

SG54
Labuan SG 45

SG55
Labuan SG 46

SG56
Labuan SG 47

SG57

1894 issue

No watermark.

Perforated 14.

Lithographed in a sheet of 30 by De La Rue.

 Note: De La Rue chose lithography for this issue because of the size of printings and the fact that the stamps were unlikely to be used in Labuan, therefore there was no need for a more expensive printing method against forgery. Incidentally, this issue is probably the most forged of all Labuan stamps.

 


Year
1894 issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1894
 

Labuan SG 62

SG62
Labuan SG 63

SG63
Labuan SG 64

SG64
Labuan SG 65

SG65
Labuan SG 67

SG67
Labuan SG 68

SG68
Labuan SG 70

SG70
Labuan SG 71

SG71
Labuan SG 73

SG73

1894 issue

Perforated 14½-15.

No watermark.

North Borneo stamps of 1894 issue with colour change and overprinted LABUAN.

 

 

 

 


Year
1895 Surcharge on North Borneo stamps
Note
1895
 

Labuan SG 75

SG75
Labuan SG 76

SG76
Labuan SG 77

SG77
Labuan SG 78

SG78
Labuan SG 79

SG79

1895 issue

Surcharges on North Borneo stamp SG83.

No watermark.

 

 

 


Year
1904 issue of Labuan stamps
Note
1904
 

Labuan SG 129

SG129
Labuan SG 130

SG130
Labuan SG 131

SG131
Labuan SG 132

SG132
Labuan SG 133

SG133
Labuan SG 134

SG134
Labuan SG 135

SG135
Labuan SG 136

SG136
Labuan SG 137

SG137

1904 issue

Issues of 1896, 1897-98 and 1897-1901 surcharged with 4 cents

No watermark.

Note: Seen on many philatelic covers cancelled with oval of 9 bars addressed to Mr. Parker.