Today in Postal History

Labuan to Ceylon
October 11, 1899

This 3c Victorian reply postal card was sent from Labuan.
Labuan is a small island off the northwest coast of Borneo
between Brunei and Sabah at Teluk Brunei (Brunei Bay).
Labuan was ceded to Great Britain by the Sultan of Brunei in 1846.
It operated as a Crown Colony until 1906 when it was incorporated into the Straits Settlements.
In 1946 it became part of the colony of North Borneo.

The postal card was uprated  with a 1 cent dull claret and black Dyak chief (SG 89).
Interestingly, the stamp used the frame of an 1897 North Borneo 1 cent (SG 92)
and a vignette plate which was engraved in each position with Labuan.
The stamp looks like an overprint but isn't.

There are four Labuan CDS.
The card went via Singapore on October 14, Colombo on October 21,
and on to its destination of Kotagala, Ceylon, on October 22.
Kotagala is in the Dimbula tea producing district about 50 km east of Colombo.
The Dimbula Estate was undoubtedly a tea growing estate.

The message appears to be just a friendly letter with notes about friends and acquaintances.


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