Thursday, November 17, 2011

Straits Settlements Stamps - Stamps of India Overprinted

The Straits Settlements was actually a group of territories in Southeast Asia established in 1826 under the British East India Company.  In 1867, it became a crown colony and came under direct British control.  While Indian stamps were used prior to 1867, with the status of it becoming a crown colony, new stamps had to be issued.  In the interim however, stamps of India overprinted with a crown and the stamp value of "cents" instead of "annas" was used. In a sense, these can be considered the first official postage stamps that were distinctively "created" for the Straits Settlements (since the previous stamps used were stamps from India) by overprinting it with the new values.

The set contained a total of 9 stamps with  values of 1 1/2cents, 2 cents, 3 cents, 4 cents, 6 cents, 8 cents, 12 cents, 24 cents and 32 cents).  However, only 5 different Indian stamps were used.  These 5 stamps were the 1/2 anna, 1 anna, 2 annas, 4 annas and 8 annas stamp.  The stamps were differentiated by different coloured ink overprints as well as different values:

  •  1/2 anna blue was used for the 1 1/2 cents.
  • 1 anna brown was used for the 2 cents, 3 cents and 4 cents
  • 2 annas yellow was used for the 6 cents, 8 cents and 32 cents
  • 4 annas green was used for the 12 cents
  • 8 annas rose was used for the 24 cents 

For the overprints, the colors used were as follows:

  • Red for 1 1/2 cents, 2 cents and 12 cents
  • Blue for 3 cents and 24 cents
  • Black for 4 cents and 32 cents
  • Purple for 6 cents
  • Green for 8 cents
An example of one of the stamps that I have bought off Ebay showing the 1 1/2 cents stamp(with the overprints in red depicting the crown that sits on Queen Victoria's head and the three half cents value of the stamp) is shown below:
1867 Stamp of India, Overprinted (Perforation 14 and Elephant's Head watermark)

As this overprinting on Indian stamps  was really an interim measure (the new stamps were printed by the end of 1867), not many of these stamps were produced.  An estimate of the printed quantity for the various stamps is shown below:
  • 1 1/2 cents - 40,000
  • 2 cents - 96,000
  • 3 cents - 96,000
  • 4 cents - 32,000
  • 6 cents - 24,000
  • 8 cents - 144,000
  • 12 cents - 24,000
  • 24 cents - 80,000
  • 32 cents - 64,000
The 12 cents and 6 cents are considered rarer and are harder to find.  

It is also not always true that the mint stamp is more expensive than the used stamp.  For example, the 1 1/2 cent stamp was hardly used at all so the used stamp is much more expensive than a mint stamp.  This is one of the reasons that there were actually some amendments made to the 1 1/2 cents during the period of 1867 onwards where the "THREE HALF" was deleted with a "2" written above it.  In the subsequent set of stamps issued, there was also no 1 1/2 cents value stamp anymore.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where to Buy Stamps (Part II)

I wrote about where to buy stamps some time back. In that post, I explored the various options on where one could buy your normal postage stamps (for your snail mail) and also for collectors.  I have been using mainly Ebay for a long time now and have always felt comfortable with it.  But then, I realised that it was hard to get some of the stamps that I was looking for.

Recently, a reader told me about 2 other auction sites that uses an auction method just like Ebay. They are :

  1. BidStart
  2. DelCampe
I must say that I was pretty surprised to find these 2 auction sites because I managed to find some of the stamps that I was looking for.  These were some older Straits Settlements stamps which I have been trying to get my hands on.  And the ones listed on Ebay were not the ones that I were looking for.  

To the reader who recommended this 2 sites to me:
Thanks for recommending this 2 auction sites to me!   I can never thank you enough!

Fiscally Used Straits Settlements Stamps

Part of my senseless buying rampage of stamps over Ebay includes the purchase of these fiscally used stamps featuring two beautiful judicial cancellations on a King George V 25 cents, $1 and $2 stamps.  It seems that there were holes punched into these stamps too to render them used.  Since these stamps were used as revenue stamps, they are really quite worthless in the philatelic sense but people still do purchase them off Ebay.  I think the beauty of them really lies in the judicial cancellation.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Improving Your Stamp Collection - Knowing Your Limits

I have been bidding on Ebay for many stamps lately and I realised that bidding is really done based on a spur of the moment thing.  Sometimes, it isn't simply because the stamp being put up for auction is valuable or anything.  It is just that I want to improve my collection and I really wanted it at that point in time.

Many times, I find myself being outbid by other presumably stamp collectors who somehow seem to have a deeper pocket than mine and who can afford to put up really crazy bids for the items.  It is with this that the realisation that stamp collecting is really about acquisition and it involves stepping over others to get the stamp that you treasure the most.

One thing for sure:  It is good to know your financial limits when seeking to improve or build up your stamp collection.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Straits Settlements Queen Victoria 1883-1891 Definitive Stamps

Just bought an entire lot of Straits Settlements stamps off Ebay and one of the sets includes the Straits Settlements QV Definitive II from 1883-1891.  Have the 2c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 24c and 32c USED.  Please see the scan below.

As I have some duplicates, was thinking that it was possible to actually perhaps sell the extra ones off Ebay.  However, I am not so sure about paying a listing price when there is no confirmation that anyone will actually buy these stamps.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Postal Codes and Mail Sorting

A few days back, I wrote about Singapore's Postal Code system and how it has evolved over the past from a 2 digit code to a 4 digit code and finally to the current 6 digit numerical code.  Searched online for a video on how mail sorting is done and am surprised to realise that it is now almost fully automated with computers being able to analyse even handwriting.  Feel free to watch the video below.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Queen Victoria Straits Settlements Stamps

Look what just arrived in my mail box.  A lovely set of 4 stamps from the Straits Settlements era from various Queen Victoria definitive set.  Seriously, I can't really tell the difference between all the various definitive especially for the King Edward VII sets.  They all look the same to me.  Anyway, here is a scan of the stamps:

I believe the top row (from left) is a 1882 Queen Victoria Definitive 1(b) 8 cents and 10 cents. This is followed by the carmine rose "THREE CENTS" surcharge on 32 cents.  The last stamp is a 1892-1899 Queen Victoria Definitive III 3 cent brown colored stamp.

Do let me know if I got my stamps correctly defined.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Formula One Stamps

I finally bought the set of Formula One stamps that was missing from my 2008 Singapore collection.  The face value of the stamps is $2 each.  So the total face value is actually $4 for the block of 2 stamps.  However, I had to pay a total of $6 because it was no longer available off Singpost's website.

Have provided a pic of the stamps below (not a scan )

I am not really certain that I can appreciate the design of this set of stamps.  It is a bit too modern for me and I don't understand the digital look and feel.  Would have preferred if it was real cars or something depicted on the stamps or perhaps face of some of the drivers.  But perhaps there are copyright and trademark issues.


Related Posts with Thumbnails