Old China Town KL The Malaya Study Group Selangor SG 87

The Malaya Study Group exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia which until 1963 formed the Federation of Malaya, including the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Negri Sembilan and Sungei Ujong, Pahang, Perak and Selangor and the Unfederated States, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu. Many MSG members also collect & study all of modern Malaysia, Singapore, and the island of Borneo, comprising additionally  Sabah, Sarawak, Borneo, Labuan, and the states of Brunei & the peninsular state of Singapore. Study of the whole area so often adds to understanding and appreciation of the philately of Malaya. The Society has a JOURNAL, "The Malayan Philatelist" and a NEWSLETTER supplied free to members, EXCHANGE PACKETS, AUCTIONS and has produced a number of significant PUBLICATIONS on the stamps and postal history of the area.

London Spink Meeting, Members Displays FMS 14th January 2017


Report by Mike Padmore, Pictures by Susan McEwen

Members Displays report by Mike Padmore


Present: Malcolm Clarke, Peter Cockburn, Mac McClaren, Susan McEwen, Dominic Morris, Andrew Norris, Mike Padmore, Gordon Peters, Martin Roper, Len Stanway, Carl Stott, David Tett

Mac McClaren opened with 6 frames covering FMS and Pahang. Frame 1 showed surcharged tiger heads including some with inverted and sideways watermarks and a forged Madame Joseph cancel on a $25 plus 1901 tigers showing both early and late states for the plates. Frame 2 showed WW1 censored covers and frame 3 surcharged ppcs, including one of a tin mine, more than adequately displaying the physical unpleasantness of the hydraulic process.

Frame 3 included an uprated 6 cent postal envelope and a pair of covers with TRAIN LETTER cachets. The material then moved on to Pahang, beginning with ex-Tunisia and ex-Bechuanaland specimens from 1935; the latter, from a 1970s Robson Lowe auction, were both perfinned and handstamped. Mac observed that he thought the striated paper issues carried features which were indicative of being printed by Williams Lea. His display concluded with covers of the 1935 issue, including some wartime ones, one bearing an 8c scarlet, without a clear date but definitely wartime.

Malcolm Clarke’s display was of Jap Occ mail, the first frame being of registered bearing FMS and other labels inherited from pre-war. one included 29 AP 42 cover bearing a SS stamp overprinted with the Okugawa seal and a philatelic cover franked with Dai Nippon Penang overprints. He noted how the occupiers did not discriminate between pre-war admin boundaries and also how Japanese handstamps varied in size.

His second frame included three Hugh & Sons philatelic covers and a large cover from Medan with possibly every stamps available at that PO at the time (23 stamps including 10 Malayan). Frame 3 showed Japanese issues including two Express covers, one franked to 53 cents, a reused cover and one from 3 Sep 45 - very close to the re-occupation, on a prewar registered envelope.

Susan McEwen single frame of Selangor airmails, old mixed with modern.

Mike Padmore showed three frames of material, most of which had been raising queries for him. He opened with mint 1900 provisional overprints to $25, noting that he found it difficult to find used examples with good cds strikes, followed by the 1904-11 MultiCrown CA issues used, which led to a discussion about variations in duty plate colour. These were followed by a number of FMS registration envelopes and registrated covers including a 1926 AR cover from Kuala Lumpur to Kottaiyur and retour, with 17 individual cancels, including both Madras and KL DLO cancels, plus numerous script messages, which included notes of the postman’s five attempts to deliver.

A 1908 Red Band cover posted in Teluk Anson and delivered in Kampar the same day was followed by a 1926 India to Rawang unpaid cover carrying a KL 12cts unpaid cachet and an FMS 12 cents postage due. A couple of cover with dubious cancels - a very late use of a passed for transmission cancel and a TRAIN LETTER cancle not in Proud were agreed to be likely forgeries.
KLM and Imperial Airways airmails folowed, including a 40c IA rate to the UK only in operation for a few months in 1934 followed by early Ipoh and KL machine slogan cancels and a cover bearing a 1932 5 cents FMS Universal “Midget” leaping tiger meter mark allocated J.A. Russell & Co of KL. He concluded with a number of FMS postal stationery items including an uprated 1901 1c reply paid postcard, intact, to Julius Kinze, the philatelic dealer, in Germany.

Len Stanway’s first frame featured 1cent and 3 cent overprints from the time of the stamp shortages, the 1904 watermark change and the 1918 4 cents on 3 cents, presumed a forgery. Also displayed were an mint $250 stamp and an incomplete FMS booklet. Len showed the two different printings of FMS postage dues and a Sola of Exchange for $Mexican 32 drawn on a Seremban Bank and franked with a brown 3c tiger.

Frames two and three displayed 1903 Crown CC large Judicials, to $10, and letter cards and newspaper wrappers, with many specimens.

Peter Cockburn then displayed a single frame of post WW2 FMS postmarks drawn from his BMA collection, including Bidor, Kampar, Lahat, Parit Buntar, Port Dickson and Temerloh cancels (the latter on an AR card).

Gordon Peters opend the final round with Kensitas and HO Wills cigarette cards showing crests, flags and scenes from Malaya. These were followed by 1900 provisional issue to $25, including a block of 3 cents showing the joined TE in the overprint (stamps 16 and 45). Examples of the 1900-1 issue included four covers; one addressed to the Seremban Tin Mining Co. Ltd, in Redruth, Cornwall. This was followed by the 1904-11 issue, again to $25 - a fiscally used plate number block. The 4 cents value showed a scratched key plate (white line under the tiger) on 10 copies. A 1926 cover with a range of explanatory labels giving a variety of reasons for non delivery, including a KL unknown and a P&T 8A, provoked much interest.

Gordon’s fourth frame displayed three booklets from 1909 and 1925, initially costing 97 cents, 73 cents and $1.20 plus FMS Railway Newspaper stamps in two designs in different colours cancelled Tank Road Singapore and, unusually, Kuala Lumpur on a Malay Mail piece. A curiosity was one stamp overprinted “CANCELLED” and with “PLATFORM TICKET” printed on the reverse (price 5 cents).

Frame five featured a 1916-18 set of FMS charity labels, including one on cover, plus a set of four Italian advertising labels, showing a tiger leaping from a 4 cents stamp, followed by a large 1930 cover over-franked with $2.32 (overpaid by 2 cents) and sent airmail to UK via Karachi. Then rubber restriction coupons printed “FMS” but, he noted, valid till 1942, and a cover franked with 15 FMS values and a charity label, posted in Tanjong Rambutan on “Peace & Victory Day”, 19 July1919. His final frame featured material referencing the Malay States Guides, including a PPC and envelope with crest and two Christmas greetings card with SS and FMS flags in colour.

Dominic Morris closed proceedings by observing that an instructive afternoon had been enjoyed by all, with a very wide spread of material on show, despite the relatively narrow focus of the theme.

Report by Mike Padmore







Go to the Members Only Area for the full report, with pictures of each display, and MSG members can join there!


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