Malaya - Kedah State
Definitive Issues

Watermarked Multiple Crown CA
Updated - March, 2018

Kedah State is on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula next to Perlis State, Thailand, Perak State and the Indian Ocean. Thru a series of occupations and treaties, Kedah came under the protection of "His Britannic Majesty". Stamps from the Federated Malay States were used until stamps specific to Kedah were printed beginning in 1912.

The 1912 set was printed on paper watermarked with Multiple Crown CA. The stamps from this set were used until 1921 when stamps with the same design were printed on paper watermarked Multiple Script CA.

You can identify this set by first determining the difference between Multiple Crown CA and Multiple Script CA, then sorting color shades and finally identifying double and single plate printings.

The stamps watermarked Multiple Crown CA will have sans serif letters with a crown that is narrow and straight edged. The Multiple Script CA watermark has cursive letters and a crown that is more rounded. You may also want to look for the Crown to the Left or Right versions of the watermark on the larger format stamps. See the images of the two watermark options below for reference. They are shown as normally seen from the back.

Color shades can be difficult to sort, especially when you only have a couple of stamps to compare. They typically occur when the stamps are printed after the initial printing. Today we have computer color matching, but during this time it was done by hand with components that might differ from the original ink formula. I like to place the stamps against black and then white paper and view them under a strong light. The images shown attempt to show the colors, but they do not show them as well as viewing the stamps in person. So use the images as relative indicators.

The color changes for the 1c, 3c, and 4c values plus the new 2c issues were printed using either a double plate or later a single plate. This can be identified by looking at the shading around the center image. The double (key and duty) plates were used on the 1c, 3, and the Rose colored shade of the 4c issues. The single plate was used on the 2c issues a later Rose colored shade of the 4c, and the Red colored shade of the 4c issue. The area around the sheaf of rice is the easiest way to identify the plates. The double plate printing has a softer (less sharp) shading area around the sheaf. The single plate shows a whiter separation between the image and the shading around the border. Since the 1c and 3c were only printed with double plates, and the 2c was only printed with a single plate these stamps can be used to identify the subtle differences. For your convenience, blow-ups of the center are shown in the images below to help you identify the difference between the two printing versions.

Unlike modern stamps which are issued in the millions, definitive sets from this time period were issued very conservatively. I do not have the quantity printed, but would be interested in adding this information to this page if a fellow collector provides it.

The catalog numbers are from the 2013 Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue (SG) and the 2011 Scott catalog (ST). The historical details, description and dates 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. 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.

Watermark Multiple Crown CA
Crown to the Left of CA
Multiple Crown CA
Watermark Multiple Crown CA
Crown to the Right of CA
Multiple Script CA
4c Rose - Double Plate Printing
Note the subtle shading around the sheaf of rice.
4c Rose - Single Plate Printing
Note the whiter shading around the sheaf of rice.
SG 1 - ST 1
1c Black &
SG 15 - ST 2
1c Brown
SG 18 - ST 3
2c Green
SG 18 - ST 3
2c Pale Green
SG 2 - ST 4
3c Black &
SG 19 - ST 5
3c Deep Purple
SG 3 - ST 6
4c Rose &
SG 20 - ST 7
4c Rose
Double Plate Printing
SG 20 - ST 7
4c Rose
Single Plate Printing
SG 21 - ST 7
4c Red
Single Plate Printing
SG 4 - ST 8
5c Green &
SG 4 - ST 8
5c Green &
SG 5 - ST 9
8c Black &
SG 6 - ST 10
10c Blue &
SG 7 - ST 11
20c Black &
SG 22 - ST 12
21c Purple
SG 23 - ST 13
25c Blue &
SG 8 - ST 14
30c Black &
SG 9 - ST 15
40c Black &
SG 10 - ST 16
50c Brown &
SG 11 - ST 17
$1 Black &
Red on Yellow Paper
SG 12 - ST 18
$2 Green &
SG 13 - ST 19
$3 Black &
Blue on Blue Paper
SG 14 - ST 20
$5 Black &

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
Classic Malaya-Kedah Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
Index to KGVI Stamp Description Web Sites
Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites