Malaya - Johore State
Sultan Ibrahim 1949 Definitive Issues

Updated - March, 2018

Johore State is on the extreme south of the Malay Peninsula near the island of Singapore. Thru a series of treaties, Johore became a semi-independent state under the Straits Settlements. Overprinted stamps of the Straits Settlements were issued beginning in 1878 until they were eventually replaced by stamps with the image of Sultan Abubakar in 1891. Upon the death of the Sultan in 1895, Sultan Ibrahim was crowned as the new Sultan. An initial set of stamps using a portrait of Sultan Ibrahim was issued in 1896. This set was replaced in 1904 with a series of stamps using a newer portrait. This portrait was used until 1941 when the Japanese captured the territory. After the conclusion of World War II, Straits Settlements stamps overprinted BMA were used until a new set with a new portrait of the Sultan was issued in 1949.

You can identify stamps from the 1949 set by sorting the various colors that evolved during the nine years the set was printed. As many as twelve printings of some of the values were created. This results in a lot of potential color shades to sort. As you will see, not all printings have noticeable color changes, so only the ones listed in the catalogues are shown below. The values that were most heavily printed were the 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 10c, 25c, 50c, $1, $2, and $5.

Many collectors have trouble identifying colors. I find it helps to have a number of stamps to sort rather than just one or two. I place all of the same value stamps on black and then white paper and look at them under a strong light. The color differences tend to stand out when viewed this way. Then it becomes a matter of deciding if a stamp is a darker or paler in comparison to the other stamps in the group you are sorting. When you have isolated the color differences, look at your catalogue reference to see what is listed. Remember there were multiple printings of this set, so there should be some variation in many of the values. You can use the stamps shown below as a reference of what might be found.

All of the stamps were printed on paper watermarked Multiple Script CA. You do not have to sort any watermarks to identify these stamps. However, the 6c issue was accidentally printed with paper watermarked Multiple Script CA with a single St. Edward's Crown inserted into the watermark instead of the crown typically used. This is worth looking for as it is very valuable. See the catalogues for a description of this watermark.

The catalog numbers are from the 2008 Commonwealth King George VI Postage Stamp Catalogue (CW) published by Murray Payne, 2013 Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue (SG) and the 2011 Scott catalog (ST). The historical details are from "The Postage Stamps of the Federated Malay States, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Straits Settlements, Sungei Ujong, and Trengganu" by Dr. F. E. Wood. The print dates are described in the 1968 Stanley Gibbons Elizabethan Postage Stamp Catalogue. You can access the catalogue publishers using the "Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites" at the bottom of this page.

The images were saved in a larger size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details used in sorting them. Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for this page to load.

CW 3 - SG 133 - ST 130
1c Black
CW 4 - SG 134 - ST 131
2c Orange
CW 4a - SG 134a - ST 131
2c Yellow-Orange
CW 4b - SG 134a - ST 131
2c Pale Yellow


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CW 5 - SG 135 - ST 132
3c Green
CW 5a - SG 135 - ST 132
3c Light Green
CW 5b - SG 135a - ST 132
3c Yellow-Green
CW 6 - SG 136 - ST 133
4c Brown
CW 6a - SG 136 - ST 133
4c Light Brown
CW 18 - SG 136a - ST 134
5c Magenta
CW 18a - SG 136a - ST 134
5c Bright Magenta
CW 18b - SG 136a - ST 134
5c Pale Magenta
CW 7 - SG 137 - ST 135
6c Grey
CW 7a - SG 137a - ST 135
6c Light Grey
CW 7b - SG 137 - ST 135
6c Greenish-Grey
CW 8 - SG 138 - ST 136
8c Scarlet
CW 19 - SG 138a - ST 137
8c Green
CW 9 - SG 139 - ST 138
10c Reddish-Purple
CW 9a - SG 139 - ST 138
10c Deep Red-Purple
CW 9b - SG 139 - ST 138
10c Light Red-Purple
CW 20 - SG 139a - ST 139
12c Scarlet
CW 10 - SG 140 - ST 140
15c Bright Ultramarine
CW 10a - SG 140 - ST 140
15c Blue
CW 11 - SG 141 - ST 141
20c Black &
CW 21 - SG 141a - ST 142
20c Deep Blue
CW 21a - SG 141a - ST 142
20c Bright Blue
CW 12 - SG 142 - ST 143
25c Red-Purple &
CW 12a - SG 142 - ST 143
25c Deep Red-Purple &
CW 22 - SG 142a - ST 144
30c Scarlet &
CW 22a - SG 142a - ST 144
30c Scarlet &
Dull Lake-Purple
CW 23 - SG 142b - ST 145
35c Scarlet &
CW 13 - SG 143 - ST 146
40c Scarlet &
CW 14 - SG 144 - ST 147
50c Black &
CW 14a - SG 144 - ST 147
50c Black &
CW 14b - SG 144 - ST 147
50c Black &
Pale Blue
CW 15 - SG 145 - ST 148
$1 Ultramarine &
Deep Red-Purple
CW 15a - SG 145 - ST 148
$1 Blue &
CW 15b - SG 145 - ST 148
$1 Pale Blue &
CW 16 - SG 146 - ST 149
$2 Green &
CW 17 - SG 147 - ST 150
$5 Green &
Deep Brown

This article was written to help you identify your stamps.
Please feel free to ask a question, or include a correction.

Comments or Questions feel free to write
Malaya-Johore Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
Index to KGVI Stamp Description Web Sites
Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites