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 Stamp News September 2003

                                           Woodchip-free Zone      

This issue I have selected a pot-pourri of items unrelated other than by the fact that they have all come across my desk since I wrote the last column. At the very least they may demonstrate that interest can be present in a given cover irrespective of what period it is from.


            Figure 1 shows an attractive use of the KGV 1/4d (C of A watermark) on airmail cover of 26 Feb 1936 from Sydney to Hobart.  The 1/4d is uncommon on cover and as a solo franking is very scarce indeed.  In this instance it meets the combined surface (4d) and airmail (1/-) rates for an article weighing 1½-2oz. Value : $350 (stamp off-cover $10).


            When I first laid eyes on Figure 2  I guessed I had another of the ubiquitous 3d + 6d + 1/- FDC’s of 2 Aug 1937, albeit with the scarcer ‘White wattles’ for the 3d.  In fact this is a commercial cover of 11 Aug 1937 with the three stamps paying the correct airmail rate to U.K. (1/6d per ½oz) and registration fee (3d). The ‘White wattles’ is particularly scarce on commercial cover and this is the first I have seen in a long while. Value : $300 (off-cover $50). 


            The 1953 Produce Food 3d is not common on cover/card. This is explained by it having been intended for (a) postcard rate within Australia and British Empire;  (b) commercial papers and printed matter rates within Australia and Overseas;  (c) newspaper and magazine rates overseas;  (d) airmail fee within Australia;  (e) Forces abroad airmail letter rate.  It is mostly seen used for purposes (b) and (d).  Figure 3 is a very scarce ‘(e)’ usage, in this instance on 10 Jun 1953 from a Serviceman in the Korean War.  TheAUST UNIT POSTAL STN/388cancellation tells us this.  Value : $100 (off-cover 50c).


            The more astute philatelist of Australian philately is aware that the 1/2d Tasmanian Tiger of the 1959-62 zoological series is scarce used on airmail postcard.  Perhaps fewer will be aware that the little 6d Banded Anteater of that series is even scarcer on airmail postcard.  Whereas the 1/2d’s generally were sent to the U.K. and Europe, thereby ensuring a reasonable survival rate, the 6d’s were destined mostly for Asia and the Middle East, where quantities posted would be likely to be much lower as would be the survival rate of those postcards sent.  Figure 4, a Radio Australia postcard sent 8 Jul 1964 to Indonesia, has survived by default.  The addressee could not be located and therefore the card was returned to Australia thus greatly increasing its chances of finding its way in to the clutches of philately.  Value : $100 (off-cover 20c).


            The 1968 25c Intelsat II is a difficult stamp to find on commercial cover and a more desirable example than that shown in Figure 5 would be a delight indeed.  The stamp was primarily intended for the Zone 5 (U.K. and Europe) airmail rate and the combined registration and letter rate within Australia and British Commonwealth.  Our item is something else.  Here the stamp is used 1 May 1969 by a Serviceman in Vietnam to pay the Forces concessional airmail rate (5c per ½oz) plus registration fee (20c).  The envelope is a Military issue inscribed FORCESwhich was at some time altered toFORCE’.  I have seen very few used of the illustrated type. Value : $150 (off cover $2.50).


            The 1972 Primary Industries 35c is a popular and scarce stamp used on commercial cover.  It usually turns up as a solo franking (35c per ½oz) on airmail articles to Zone 5 countries.  Figure 6 shows an unusual usage on uprated 7c Stationery Envelope which has been registered 16 Oct 1972 to U.K.  The 35c pays of course the airmail component and the 50c the registration fee.  The 7c Envelope in fact does no more than act as a convenient medium for the transmission of the contents!  Value : $60 (off-cover $4).

Rod Perry has been a philatelic trader since 1962 and a regular Stamp News advertiser since the 1960s. He founded Rodney A Perry Auction Galleries (now Millennium Philatelic Auctions) in 1971. As a collector he has exhibited nationally and internationally. Rod prefers his used stamps on cover and likens taking a stamp off its original cover to converting a tree to woodchips.