Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brunei's Very First First Day Cover 1895

This is my latest pride and joy. I have often seen these in books and catalogs and I have only seen one real one at the Postal Gallery at Brunei's General Post Office in Bandar. When I saw it come up for auction at Spink's and with my recent promotion, I thought I will treat myself. It was listed at around GBP120 but I thought I will put up the bid to about GBP220 wanting to make sure I don't lose it. I won it at GBP180.

This FDC is the first of Brunei's stamps. It had a controversial beginning. Declared as bogus by some as it was printed by a fellow called Robertson who obtained a concession from the Brunei Sultan. Robertson's ulterior motive was to cash in on stamp collections and examples of his letters leave us to no doubt. He did try to run the postal service system in Brunei but by 1902 or 1903, that ran down as well.

Since Brunei at that time did not belong to UPU, the FDC sent to London had to be overprinted with the Labuan stamp as well. That's why the FDC also bore one Labuan stamp. Not all the Brunei stamps are on this FDC, the last 3 high values, 25c, 50c and $1 are not affixed.

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