Stamp Detective: Sultan Sir Ibrahim of Johore

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This 1940 stamp from Johore retails for around £5-£10 but in the right condition can command a much higher value, as our regular guide to the stamp collecting market reveals.

Johore is the southernmost state on the Malayan Peninsula.

When the first stamps carrying the name of the state were issued in 1884, there obviously was considerable disagreement about its spelling. Some have Johore with a final E, others indicate the state’s name as just Johor. It seems the sultan’s administration favoured Johore, but from the 1960s, the spelling was just Johor.


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It is likely Sultan Sir Ibrahim (1873–1959) favoured the spelling with a final E.

He served as ruler of Johore from 1895 until his death in 1959. He was an anglophile and spent much of his time in England. In 1940, there was a single 8-cent value featuring a handsome portrait of the sultan. It was recess-printed in sheets of 50 by De La Rue in England.

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This stamp has a current catalogue value of £25 in mint condition, which is far too high. In a recent internet auction, an unmounted mint copy was sold for just £6 which, on the other hand, was a bargain.

The stamp can easily be purchased in mounted mint condition at prices ranging from about £5 to as much as £10.

However, unmounted mint seems to be a different story as offers are few and current prices tend to vary from £12 to about £18. This stamp certainly is a good buy in unmounted mint condition at around £10, but it is important to make sure that the stamp hasn’t been affected by toning, which can sometimes be a problem.