This week has been an exciting week in eBay with more than 20 rare covers of North Borneo, Brunei, Labuan and Sarawak being offered by a single seller starting at US$0.99 each. Many of the items especially the North Borneo and Labuan covers are rare enough that some of them reached amazing final prices.
Here are some of the interesting items from British Borneo that caught my eye:
1. Registered cover from Sandakan to Washington DC, 1895
1895 (27 May) A nice registered philatelic cover from Sandakan, beautifully franked with various North Borneo stamps 1¢-5¢ (12) and tied by the dotted Sandakan cds (Proud’s D4). Boxed registration cachet on lower left aspect numbered 1. Final price: US$248.15 after 20 bids.
2. Registered cover from Jesselton to Austria with Jesselton GPO cds, 1913
1913 (16 Jul) This one was offered both for bidding starting at US$0.99 and an arbitrary buy-it-now price of US$222.22. It was grabbed less than an hour after being listed. It is a rarely seen registered cover from Jesselton with the elusive G.P.O. circular dated marks. On lower left corner is a Jesselton registration mark and at the back is a transit mark of Singapore.
3. Covers franked with stamp(s) of the 150th Anniversary of the Company
1931 (7 Feb) These two covers were sold separately with the top one ended at a final price of US$144.50, while the bottom one sold for US$202.50. Both of them are philatelic covers and were originally sent to the same person (W.T Wilson of 18 Livingstone Road, Birmingham).
4. Registered cover from Sandakan to Germany, 1895
1895 (4 Dec) A registered cover from Sandakan to Germany franked with the 40¢ on $1 stamp and tied by Sandakan cds (Proud’s D4). Final price: US$162.50 after 10 bids.
5. Registered Labuan cover to Singapore, 1900
1900 (15 May) One of the few nice Labuan covers offered, this is a registered cover from Labuan to Singapore, and tied neatly by Labuan cds (total 14¢ franking). On the lower corners are 2 types of registered marks, R2 on the left and R8 on the right. Final price: US$103.50 after 22 bids.
6. BMA covers with Brunei postmarks
1945-1946 There are seven BMA covers offered with various franking with North Borneo and Sarawak stamps. They are all cancelled with the Brunei 3-line BMA postmarks. What’s interesting is that all 7 covers were addressed to the same person, Francis Newn of Seria, Belait. Final price: US$374 after 25 bids.
7. Labuan registered cover to Singapore, 1897
1897 (18 Aug) This is another nice registered Labuan cover to Singapore bearing multiple Labuan stamps from the 1897 issue including an 8 cents Jubilee overprinted stamp (18¢). Registered marks R2 and R8 on left lower corner. Final price: US$285 after 31 bids.
8. Labuan registered cover to London, 1896
1896 (Fe 23) A nice registered cover from Labuan multiply franked with stamps of 1895 issue (18¢) and tied by Labuan cds (Proud’s D5). Final price: US$ 281 after 29 bids.
9. Registered North Borneo cover to Bohemia, Austria 1916
1913 (23 Sep) A registered cover from Jesselton to Bohemia, Austria. Boxed registration cachet on left lower corner numbered in red ink. Franked with multiple North Borneo stamps (79¢) and tied neatly by Jesselton cds (Proud’s D6). Singapore transit mark at the back. Final price: US$338.22 after 25 bids.
10. Registered North Borneo cover to Sydney, Australia 1894
1894 (29 Mar) This registered cover from Sandakan to Sydney, Australia sold for quite a premium. It is beautifully franked with North Borneo stamps of the 1894 issue and a 10¢ stamp of 1888 issue and tied by oval of bars cancelers (K4). Red-ink registration cachet number 1 on lower left. Multiple transit marks at the back including Napoli and arrival mark in Sydney. Final price: US$565.55 after 21 bids.
11. Registered North Borneo cover to Saxony, Germany 1894
1894 (26 Feb) Registered North Borneo cover to Saxony, Germany franked with stamps of 1894 issue and cancelled by the K4 oval of bars cancellers. Red-ink registration cachet on lower left corner number 4. A few tone spots and faults. Final price: US$213.50 after 26 bids.
12. North Borneo cover from Sandakan to London, 1898
1898 (9 My) Another registered cover from Sandakan to London franked with stamps of 1897 issue and tied by the characteristic Sandakan dotted circular mark. At the back is handstamped the addressee/sender: Ludwig Zissler, Dealer in Foreign Stamps, 98 Charing Cross Road, London. Final price: US$272 after 26 bids.