Malaya - Trengganu State
1921 Definitive Issues

Updated - September, 2018
 
 
Thanks to Barry Moerke and several anonymous donors for help with this site.
 

Trengganu State lies on the East coast of the Malay Peninsula. British influence began in 1910 when a treaty was signed in Singapore putting Trengganu under the protection of Great Britain.

Stamps from Trengganu initially were issued beginning in 1910 featuring the portrait of Sultan Zain-ul ab Din. These stamps were overprinted for a Red Cross issue and later for the Malaya-Borneo Exhibition. Ultimately they were replaced with a new issue with the portrait of his successor Sultan Suleiman beginning in 1921.

The key to identifying the varieties found in this set of stamps lies in the two watermarks, determining the paper types, and sorting the color variations on the 3c, 4c, 5c and $3 values. There were two types of paper used: Chalk Paper was used for the original printings beginning in 1921, and Ordinary (also called Substitute) Paper was used for a couple of printings in 1941. The Japanese invaded Malaya in December, 1941, so the Ordinary paper issues are found primarily used. As a result of the invasion, four new color stamps that were produced were never issued. As always seems to happen, a stock of the unreleased stamps were sold to collectors.

The two watermarks used were Multiple Crown CA which was used for 3 values in 1921 and Multiple Script CA for all the values beginning in 1924. 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. See the images of the two watermarks below for reference. They are shown as normally seen from the back. Only the stamps with two watermark options will have the watermark listed below.

 
 
 
 
 
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
Watermark
Multiple Script CA
 
       
Identifying the paper types is fairly complicated because it is sometimes hard to spot the Ordinary Paper issues. Luckily most of the stamps were printed on chalk paper, so use any of the exclusively chalk paper printings as a comparison. I place the stamps on black paper under a strong light to compare them. The chalk papers will have a better printed image than the ordinary paper issues. The chalk coating improves the ink coating on the paper so you will see a better impression on these issues. Comparing the quality of the printing impression is one way to find the ordinary paper issues. You may also note small black dots in the chalk coated papers if you look at them under high magnification. Look in the un-inked portion to see the dots. See the two enlarged images of the 2c chalk and ordinary papers below for comparison.
 
2c Chalk Paper Issue - Good Ink Impression
2c Ordinary Paper Issue - Poor Ink Impression
 

Many collectors have trouble identifying colors. I find it helps to have a number of stamps to sort rather than just one or two. Unfortunately that can be a problem with more expensive stamps. 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. The four color shades that are catalogued for this set fall into two groups: The 5c and the $3 stamp which are on chalk paper and the 3c and 4c stamp which are initially on chalk and later ordinary paper, so compare the paper to determine these stamps. The 5c you want to find is the same one that was overprinted 2c in 1941, so just compare your 5c values with the overprinted ones to find the color shade. I have seen a number of different shades of this stamp so don't be surprised to find variation.

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 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, descriptions, 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. The revenue stamp listings are from British Commonwealth Revenues by J. Barefoot and A. Hall. My copy was published in 1990, but there are newer versions available. 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 1 - SG 26 - ST 20
1c Black
Chalk Paper
CW 1a - SG 26a - ST 20
1c Black
Ordinary Paper
CW 2 - SG 27 - ST 21
2c Green
Chalk Paper
CW 2a - SG 27a - ST 21
2c Green
Ordinary Paper
       
Un issued Value
2c Orange
CW 3 - SG 28 - ST 22
3c Green
Chalk Paper
CW 4 - SG 29 - ST 23
3c Brown
Chalk Paper
CW 4a - SG 29a - ST 23
3c Chestnut
Ordinary Paper
       
CW 5 - SG 30 - ST 24
5c Rose-Red
Chalk Paper
CW 5a - SG 30a - ST 24
4c Scarlet-Vermilion
Ordinary Paper
CW 6 - SG 31 - ST 25
5c Grey &
Deep Brown
Chalk Paper
CW 7 - SG 32 - ST 26
5c Purple
Yellow Chalk Paper
       
CW 7a - SG 32a - ST 26
5c Deep Reddish-Purple
Bright Yellow Chalk Paper
CW 8 - SG 33 - ST 26
6c Orange
Chalk Paper
CW 8a - SG 33a - ST 27
6c Orange
Ordinary Paper
Un issued Value
6c Slate-Grey
       
CW 9 - SG 34 - ST 28
8c Grey
Chalk Paper
CW 9a - SG 34a - ST 28
8c Grey
Ordinary Paper
Un issued Value
8c Rose
CW 10 - SG 35 - ST 29
10c Bright Blue
Chalk Paper
       
CW 11 - SG 36 - ST 30
12c Bright Ultramarine
Chalk Paper
Un issued Value
15c Ultramarine
CW 12 - SG 37 - ST 31
20c Dull Purple &
Orange
Chalk Paper
CW 13 - SG 38 - ST 32
25c Green &
Deep Purple
Chalk Paper
       
CW 14 - SG 39 - ST 33
30c Dull Purple &
Black
Chalk Paper
CW 15 - SG 40 - ST 34
35c Carmine
Yellow Chalk Paper
CW 16 - SG 41 - ST 35
50c Green &
Bright Carmine
Chalk Paper
CW NL - SG 23 - ST 42
$1 Purple &
Blue
Blue Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
       
CW 17 - SG 42 - ST 36
$1 Purple &
Blue
Blue Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Script CA
CW NL - SG 24 - ST 43
$3 Green &
Red
Emerald Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW 18 - SG 43 - ST 37
$3 Green &
Lake
Green Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Script CA
CW 18a - SG 43a - ST 37
$3 Green &
Brown-Red
Green Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Script CA
       
CW NL - SG 25- ST 44
$5 Green &
Red
Pale Yellow Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW 19 - SG 44 - ST 38
$5 Green &
Red
Yellow Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Script CA
CW 20 - SG 45 - ST 39
$25 Purple &
Blue
Chalk Paper
     
CW 20 - SG 46 - ST 40
$50 Green &
Yellow
Chalk Paper
CW 20 - SG 47 - ST 41
$100 Green &
Scarlet
Chalk Paper
       

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