Sandafayre
Welcome to our site! Advanced Search

The early stamps of Brunei

‘The Abode of Peace’

The American author Harlan Hogan wrote “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Brunei’s first stamps are known as the “Star and Crescent Locals” and were issued on 22 July 1895. They did indeed have a second chance to impress when in 1935, some 40 years later, documents were uncovered that proved that these erstwhile ‘locals’ were in fact official in origin and properly valid for postage within Brunei and Labuan!

We are delighted to offer an interesting range of early Brunei stamps from between 1895 –1922 plus some later issues, up to 1990, in our Hunter’s Sale Number 7236 on the 27th January (Lots 5711-5747). These include many different examples, particularly of those known as the “View on Brunei River” type that first appeared in 1907 and continued, via various issues until 1952.

There were ten stamps in the 1895 “Star and Crescent” set with ten denominations from ½c to 1 British Trade Dollar (SG1 – SG10) which was then legal currency within Brunei. These stamps were typographed on white paper in a number of different colours, with no watermark and perforated between 13-13½. The design shows a five pointed star boldly appearing in the centre of the stamp, beneath an arched crescent under which are a sail boat, a mountain and two palm trees on either side. The set was issued seven years after the Sultan State became a British Protectorate.

Brunei is located on the northern shore of Borneo Island, bordered by the Malaysian state of Sarawak and sharing a South China Sea coastline. The capital of this relatively small country of approximately 2250 square miles (nearly the size of the County of Devon), is Bandar Seri Begawan. Nearby, is the former British island colony of Labuan. For a short period before 1895, stamps issued by Labuan bearing the familiar profile head of Queen Victoria were used in Brunei.

The first stamps were the result of the entrepreneurial inventiveness of the local Manager of the Central Borneo Company of Labuan, and friend of the Sultan, Mr John Robertson. He successfully negotiated a monopoly concession from His Majesty Sultan Hashim, to set up what became an internal domestic postal service with the Company also providing the first post office in the Protectorate. The stamps were printed by Maclure Macdonald in Glasgow.

Whilst the local mail service was described as “erratic”, it was nevertheless a successful attempt to establish an inaugural postal service, one that was only replaced in 1906, four years after Mr Robertson had been transferred to nearby Kota Marudu.

The establishment of an official government postal service in 1906 resulted in an order being placed with Thomas De La Rue in London for the printing and delivery of what was to become known as the “View on Brunei River” type. However the first supplies were delayed in transit from Great Britain and the temporary solution was to overprint 12 different stamps from the neighbouring colony of Labuan with “BRUNEI” in red ink.

Whilst the first issue was met with scepticism, and the second ‘temporary’ overprinted issue sought-after as a potential investment, the “View on Brunei River” design was greeted enthusiastically by collectors and commentators around the world. Featuring a tropical image of a boat navigating along the River Brunei with a native house and moorings on the river bank behind and palm trees and clouds above, this pleasing design speaks from a period when colonial stamps actually showed aspects of the countries that they represented. The colours chosen for each stamp complied with the identification needs of the Universal Postal Union. Brunei officially joined the UPU on the 1st January 1916 and these stamps were the first that could be used without additional stamps or charges beyond Brunei. The later issue of 1910 extended the values to include a $5 carmine/green (SG 47) and $25 black/red (SG 48, see lot 5720).

This basic design did not change but in 1924 new 6c & 12c values were added with a design showing a Karupong Ayer (Water Village) as viewed from the elavated home of the British High Commissioner. Even throughout WWII the Japanese administrators continued the use of these designs as they showed little British influence and it wasn’t until the introduction of a new definitive series in 1952 that the “River View” design was finally retired!

Much has occurred in Brunei since. Her oil wealth and ancient trade links have allowed her to issue beautiful stamps that often bridge western modernity and eastern panache. These beautiful issues, both old and new, still have much to offer the serious collector.


36 item(s) found

Sort By:
Items Per Page:

Lot Number: 5602
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 90
  • Currency guide (USD): 105 - 118
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 1272
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 375 - 400
  • Currency guide (USD): 491 - 524
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5603
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 250 - 275
  • Currency guide (USD): 328 - 360
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5604
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 90
  • Currency guide (USD): 105 - 118
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5605
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 90
  • Currency guide (USD): 105 - 118
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 110
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 45 - 50
  • Currency guide (USD): 59 - 66
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5606
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 200 - 225
  • Currency guide (USD): 262 - 295
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5607
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 250 - 270
  • Currency guide (USD): 328 - 354
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5608
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 500 - 600
  • Currency guide (USD): 655 - 786
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 1273
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 325 - 350
  • Currency guide (USD): 426 - 459
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5609
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 140 - 150
  • Currency guide (USD): 183 - 197
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 111
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 70 - 80
  • Currency guide (USD): 92 - 105
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5610
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 65 - 75
  • Currency guide (USD): 85 - 98
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5611
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 150 - 160
  • Currency guide (USD): 197 - 210
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5612
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 140 - 150
  • Currency guide (USD): 183 - 197
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 1274
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 240 - 260
  • Currency guide (USD): 314 - 341
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5613
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 450 - 500
  • Currency guide (USD): 590 - 655
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 1275
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 45 - 50
  • Currency guide (USD): 59 - 66
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 1276
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 230 - 250
  • Currency guide (USD): 301 - 328
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5614
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 120 - 140
  • Currency guide (USD): 157 - 183
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 112
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 30 - 33
  • Currency guide (USD): 39 - 43
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5615
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 150 - 175
  • Currency guide (USD): 197 - 229
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 113
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 35 - 40
  • Currency guide (USD): 46 - 52
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 114
Closing: 28 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 33 - 36
  • Currency guide (USD): 43 - 47
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 5616
Closing: 21 November 2017

  • Guide price (GBP): 120 - 130
  • Currency guide (USD): 157 - 170
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP


Current Stamp Auctions

Highlights


    We offer thousands of items for sale, here are just a few of our favourites...

  • LUXEMBOURG - 1875 1f on 37½c bistre with

    LUXEMBOURG - 1875 1f on 37½c bistre with "PRANC" for "Franc" SURCHARGE ERROR, Michel 36 II (SG 56a, £8000), mint regummed, variously signed including Schlegel & Richter. Cat €6500.

    Go to item details...

  • CHINA - 1894 24ca rose- carmine Empress Dowager, SG 24, very fine mint.

    CHINA - 1894 24ca rose- carmine Empress Dowager, SG 24, very fine mint.

    Go to item details...