Thursday, December 22, 2011

To be or not to be : CTO - The dangerous ones 05 a

In this last part of CTO cancels, I will show you 'the dangerous' ones.
Not that they will bite you, but they are dangerous because they don't look 'CTO'.
A catalogue helps to distinguish them, and of course this blog too.

For people who are not familiar with the history of British Malaya, and British North Borneo, I found a great diagram of how those states and islands became united, changed their names, and ended up as Malaysia and Singapore in the end.
I will come back to this diagram and the different states later, but for this post, I only need to refer to "Labuan" and "North Borneo" as you can see in the right hand side of the diagram. Both states are now part of Malaysia.

History of Malaysian stamps history

Labuan was once part of Brunei, but in 1846 it became part of the British Empire, and two years later, it was a crown colony. In 1890 it was annexed to North Borneo - having 'Labuan' printed on the stamps of North Borneo. Between 1906 and 1946 it was part of the Straits Settlements. After being shortly connected to the crown colony of Singapore, it was reunited with North Borneo and bared the name of the crown colony of British North Borneo. This colony was granted self-governance in 1963 and in the same year it became mart of Malaysia.

So far history.
Now to the stamps, and why they are tagged under "the dangerous CTO's".

In 1886 a huge amount of stamps of North Borneo were cancelled.
All new stamps bared the name of "North Borneo" and the new name of the state was now "British North Borneo". All the stamps that were still available got cancelled - officially - with an oval cancel with 9 bars.

9 bars cancel
According to Michel - catalogues, there are also 14-bars cancels. I found those so far only on North Borneo stamps. Michel claims that those 14-bars stamp are forgeries, or that there are forgeries among those 14-bars cancels. However it's unclear to me if all (or only some) 14-bars cancels are forgeries or not.
14 bars cancel

Both cancels are easy to distinguish.

North Borneo - Michel 55 - 57 - 14 bars cancel
Labuan - Michel 62 and 63

Labuan - Michel 70b to 75
Labuan 76 and 77

to be continued ...

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