The book is written in two parts. The plating studies by Wm. Batty-Smith are the result of over ten years continuous study of these two issues and their provisional derivatives. (See Chapters 4,5,6, 8, 9 and 10). The postal history was compiled from a wide variety of sources by Neville Watterson over a period of five years, and occupies nine chapters.
The plating was carried out as an entirely independent study, as was that of the provisional overprints. It adds considerably and includes corrections to the original outstanding study, by Forrester-Wood. The postal history has been assembled from original sources. It provides details of both internal and external postal rates and routes and is presented in an narrative form, similar to the style of the author’s book on the Japanese P.0.W. Camps of Borneo.
The book covers the period to 1900, which was taken for general convenience, as it includes the 1899 provisional issues that used the 1871 stamp and three of the 1875 stamps. Studies of these form as much a part of the project as the stamps of the original Issue.
This period must also be considered as the formative years of the postal service, with the personality of the Rajah showing through on a number of occasions. The idiosyncrasies of a man of his character molded the unique nature of the service that developed and settled down to near routine only after 1900. Inevitably the influence of the Post Office at Singapore, as the “Post Office of the Far East” is shown, if only in that Sarawak mail had to pass through the Singapore Post Office and until 1897 had to bear Straits Settlements’ stamps.
The book consists of fifteen chapters and seven appendices, and is complete with a comprehensive index, and a transparent Flaw—finder in a pocket at the back. It is copiously illustrated, with enlarged illustrations of the stamps showing their individual flaws, contemporary photographs, drawings and a map of Sarawak, as well as a set of plates of the various vessels that carried Sarawak mail homeward.
The book is quarto size, (8 ins x 10 ins, or 20.3 cm x 25.4 cm), hard back, with xiv + 330 pages, 22 full page illustrations, 25 pages of enlarged stamps showing flaws, and many others in the text.
ISBN 0 95141951 1 9.
This book has received the following awards:
Stampex BPE 1990: Small Silver-gilt.
Palmerston South, N.Z. 1991: Vermeil.
Tokyo 1991: Vermeil.
Philitex, N.Y. 1992: Large Silver.
Cardinal Spellman Museum 1993: Gold.
Ottawa 1993: Vermeil.
Obtainable from: W. N. Watterson
449 Wellingborough Road, Northampton NN1 4EZ.
Tel. 01604 627323 or E-mail: Neville@at449.fsnet.co.uk