Stamp News September 2004
A gaggle of good reasons to leave stamps on cover
A colourful selection this month to vividly illustrate why stamps are usually best left on original cover. The picture being worth a thousand words I will provide only a bare minimum of comments to accompany the illustrations.
The subjects are of course souvenir or commemorative covers, justly very popular collecting fields, particularly when in combination with a dedicated cancellation which corresponds to the event featured on the cover. Such cancellations are listed and priced in the authoritative handbook catalogue, Australian PictorMarks, details of which are obtainable from your regular philatelic trader. The items featured here however will not be found in that publication for they are commercially used souvenir / commemorative covers, a personal favourite of mine. Such items usually take some finding, but when found are often agreeably priced considering that most are rather scarce. This is because unlike a typical philatelically contrived cover, which by definition will have a higher survival rate, items conceived in the normal course of commerce or correspondence are far less likely to fall in to the hands of someone who appreciates philately.
Figure 1. A 1d red appears at home on this bicoloured patriotic cover
In times when Australia Day was celebrated in July this cover of 1915 sent from Launceston to Forth in Tasmania bears one of the 1.8 billion Penny Reds printed, many of which have survived (not a lot of them still on cover!) to delight generations of philatelists. Value $100 (stamp off cover $1).
Figure 2. 2d Victoria Centenary on not so colour co-ordinated cover
Figure 3. “Back to Donald” week in 1936
“Back to” covers are a worthy addition to a relevant collection of Regional postal history, an interest which more philatelists ought to take up as a sideline to their other philatelic interests. Appropriately used from Donald (Vic) to “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne on 1 October 1936, one could speculate that the purpose was to request some publicity for the forthcoming event. A good use for an otherwise moribund CofA watermark 2d Georgian. Value : $75 (off cover 50c – if you can get it).
Figure 4. Missing colour cover – a novel sideline collection?
A slender volume indeed would be that housing one’s collection of missing colour covers! However, I can’t avoid liking this rather striking error intended for the 1948 Central and Upper Burnett Centenary Celebrations. The error cover was used at Eidsvold (Qld) and the normal at Monto, two of the four towns united in the celebrations. They make a nice page and have saved a trio of otherwise fairly useless stamps from the woodchip pile. Value (the two covers) : $125 (stamps off cover, well, zero).
Figure 5. Another “Back to” cover – 1950 for Mt Morgan(Qld)
This is a good example of how even a damaged stamp can look respectable when on cover. The 2½d has a chunk missing from right side but this is largely irrelevant in the scheme of what you see before you. Covers really can have something going for them, can’t they! Value : $75.
Figure 6. Nice combination of scarce cover and cancellation
Registered souvenir covers commercially used perhaps unsurprisingly are quite hard to find. Fortunately someone at the Electrolux Company kept the incoming mail and in so doing preserved thousands (yes, I have ’em) of often very nice registered covers for we philatelists. Portland West (Vic) is a scarce cancellation (a very good strike is on reverse of cover), and the sender certainly favoured Electrolux in sending them this 1960 little gem for the opening celebrations of Portland Harbor. Value : $100 (stamps off cover close to zero).
Figure 7. Jolly good fun no doubt on a weekend in Gayndah in 1963
Little need to add any comments to this ‘fun’ cover, which ain’t no lemon. Value : $20 (off cover 20c).
Figure 8. More philatelic terminology - an overprinted cover
Those responsible for printing Stanthorpe (Qld) Apple Blossom Week covers apparently overestimated demand in 1962. No doubt a philatelist amongst them came up with the solution to overprint the inscription for reissue of covers in 1963. Value : $15 (off cover 20c).
Figure 9. Not so often seen souvenir cover for Opera House opening
The 1973 Australia Post produced souvenir cover for the Sydney Opera House opening is one of the more ubiquitous philatelic items in the land. Quite scarce however is this souvenir cover produced by the N.S.W. State Government, replete with relevant meter cancellation. And who said meters are useless? Value : $50.