The Orchids and Birds Definitives of Malaysia 1965–70

September 25, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons

On 15 November 1965, the seven state values of the new definitive series were issued for each of the 13 Malaysian states. The seven designs, depicting orchids, were identical for each state, apart from the state name, state crest and rulers portrait where applicable. A first day cover for Sarawak is illustrated in Figure 1, they exist for all states.

The stamps were printed by Harrison and Sons on ‘PTM’ upright watermarked paper, perforated 14.5×14.5, in two panes of 100, 10×10, on a ‘Rembrandt’ sheet-fed press apart from the two most used values, 6c. and 15c., which were printed on a reelfed ‘Thrissel’ press.

Issues were made during 1970 with watermarks placed sideways for a few values of most states, listed below. The first issues were on gum Arabic paper, with some values receiving PVA gum on later reprints. Missing colours, watermark errors and flaws abound, making the issue very collectable.

The issue will be dealt with on a state by state basis. A list of the states (in alphabetical order) is as follows: Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Trengganu. Proofs also exist for Singapore, but these were never issued as stamps because Singapore withdrew from becoming part of Malaysia prior to the issue date.

Many of the values exist as full colour proofs, without black state customisation, black proofs with state customisation only and proofs for all colours combined, as issued, on watermarked and gummed paper. Some of the proofs may be found on Harrison & Sons proof cards in blocks of eight in two columns of four, including a card for Singapore, although these cards are now difficult to find, being seldom offered and few in number – thought to be no more than two each.
The values issued were: 1c. – Kinta Weed (Malay – Anggerek Pensel, Latin – Vanda Hookeriana) 2c. – Bamboo Orchid (Malay – Anggerek Bambu, Latin – Arundina graminifolia) 5c. – Slipper Orchid (Malay – Anggerek Kasut, Latin – Paphiopedilum niveum) 6c. – Forest Bamboo Orchid (Malay – Anggerek Buloh Hutan, Latin – Spathoglottis plicata) 10c. – Scorpion Orchid (Malay – Anggerek Kesturi, Latin – Aracchnis flos-aeris) 15c. – Foxtail Orchid or Squirrel’s tail Orchid (Malay – Anggerek Lilin or Anggerek Ekor Tupai, Latin – Rhyncostylis retusa)

20c. Lundu Orchid (Malay – Anggerek Anak Bulan, Latin – Phalaenopsis violacea) A large number of missing or partially missing colours exist for these issues, indicating that quality control at the printers was poor to say the least.

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Black Naped Oriol, Burung Kunyit Besar on 50 cents
Black Naped Oriol, Burung Kunyit Besar on 50 cents
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