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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 14:31:22 pm 
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I came across this article today, where a Queensland issue on cover in 1909 was taxed by postal authorities in London for having an image of the Queen some 8 years after her death!

Fascinating. Has anyone else heard of this? And does anyone have covers rejected in this way?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 14:50:45 pm 
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What an amazing story .. do you have the link for that Jeremy .. I'll see if I can make size of text larger. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 14:55:21 pm 
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Yes it is amazing.


Last edited by jeremy29 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 15:31:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 14:56:37 pm 
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(Text size now doubled in post #1)

I have written a "Stamp News" piece on this as it has always fascinated me. Posted below.

In fact WA quite incredibly FIRST issued all the 2/6d to £1 high values - many YEARS after Q.Vic had died!

KEVII was near totally bypassed for 10 years by all Colonies here.

=============

http://www.glenstephens.com/snapril05.html

As is generally known, Australia became a 'Commonwealth' on January 1, 1901 - the month Queen Victoria died. For postal arrangements, the amalgamation of the six different state Post and Telegraph services was required. This occurred on March 1, 1901.

That date can be regarded as the date after which any stamps issued, were done so by the Australian Commonwealth Postmaster-General's Department.

However, the Post and Telegraph Act 1901 was not enacted into law until November 1, 1901. Interestingly enough Colonial stamps were never demonetised, and most continued to be valid for use (in any State) after 1901 - indeed were fully legal on any mail until 1968. Many collectors and dealers used them for normal mail to other collectors as low values were very inexpensive.

For near a century 'Australian' stamp issues have been regarded as those commencing with the Kangaroo and Map series in 1913. The ACSC catalogue (correctly) broadly defines them as any stamps issued since 1901.

Some of these state new 'issues' are perforation or watermark amendments of pre-existing designs, but of course there were also a large number of totally new designs issued after 1901.

LONNNNNNNNG live the Queen!


Curiously, despite Queen Victoria dying in January 1901, nearly all stamps on sale across Australia until the Kangaroo series was issued in 1913 featured her image - which itself was over 70 years old.

I have NEVER understood why the next 2 monarchs were not depicted on the letter-rate stamps.

[size=150]A person licking a 1d or 2d Queen Victoria stamp onto every letter they mailed for 12 years after she had died, as there was no other design choice, seems incredibly bizarre. If you lived in Victoria or Queensland or South Australia, that was your only option.

Image
Issued 4 years after the Queen died.


Entirely new designs issued well after her death depicted QV - and not the reigning monarchs King Edward VII or later King George V. The Western Australia 2/6 to £1 quartet were first issued latter 1902 - and all depicted QV despite her dying nearly 2 years earlier.

As were the South Australia vertical 'Postage' series issued late 1902. The 'Thick' postage new design was not issued until 1904. All depicted Queen Victoria.

This £1 orange shade Western Australia top value was not issued until mid 1905. Why they did not use King Edward VII's portrait is a mystery to me.

This FU 1905 dated example illustrated nearby was from the March 19th Prestige Philately Auction.

The youthful image of Queen Victoria is about 65 years old - looking very much like the same portrait used on the 1840 GB 'Penny Black'. Who said women were vain about their photos?!

King Edward VII's Coronation was 9th August 1902. Other than the well known Victoria state £1 and £2 high values, he was not depicted on any other state's postage stamps. (But curiously, was depicted on many Queensland, NSW and South Australia duty stamps!)

There were certainly a number of KEVII finished design essays in existence (as this new ACSC shows, illustrates and prices) with the KEVII portrait, from at least 3 states, but none progressed into issued postage stamps.

The South Australian one recorded as ACSC (E20a) was in fact the design basis for that state's 1902 Duty Stamp series to £10 - or so it appears to me anyway.

Interestingly, the £1 state of Victoria first printing KEVII high value (illustrated nearby) was issued in November 1901, eight months BEFORE his Coronation.

They were only issued as Victoria urgently HAD to have high value 'postage' stamps above 5/- for parcel and telegraph use as the 'Stamp Statute' and 'Stamp Duty' high value issues were demonetised for postal use on June 30, 1901.

So very clearly new designs COULD be created, engraved, approved and printed with quite commendable speed back then - if the PO wished to act. Victoria and Tasmania both also issued KEVII postal stationary. KEVII died in May 1910. The 'Commonwealth Stamp Design Competition' was not announced until 1911.

The King turns GREEN


The £1 KEVII Emerald Green colour trial/plate proof illustrated nearby sold for $A11,650 at Gary Watson's rarity auction in 2004. That was comfortably in advance of the new ACSC catalogue value of $10,000.

Image


The oft-given argument that 'cost' was an object to issue a new design is totally spurious. The Australian States had discovered around this exact time that new and interesting stamp designs were popular - and highly profitable from the ensuing collector revenue.

The 1897 and 1900 large sized 'Charity' issues from 3 different states all quickly sold out. The 1900 Queensland charity pair had only 6,500 sets printed, so it was clearly economical to print even that small a number and make money.

Countries such as Canada and the USA with their obscenely high value sets to $5 in the late 1890s paved the way for the excesses we know too well today. Those sets cost many weeks gross wages for a working man back then, and made an absolute fortune for their respective Post Offices.

No KGV portrait stamps


Even more curious was the Coronation of King George V on 22 June 1911 - and not one adhesive stamp was issued celebrating the accession or reign of this very popular King from any of the Australian states.

KGV was an incredibly keen stamp collector - a fact well known one feels certain, to all colonial Postmasters General. KEVII died in May 1910, so that was the time to work on a new series of KGV designs.

Australia certainly issued a range of 'Commonwealth Of Australia' inscribed postal stationary in 1911 depicting the new King in an attractive series. Lettercards and postcards abounded.

Image
The First time KGV appeared on this continent


The 1911 postcards in fact were in a rather vast collectible array featuring various Royals, design variations, even colour variations, and are termed the 'Coronation' series.

Such an collection would be near impossible to assemble. I today asked Gary Watson, Australia's leading dealer expert on postal stationary if he had even handled a full set, and he said he had not. Nor had he ever seen or heard of one being offered.

He feels a 'complete' set of this 1911 KGV official postcard series would number about 100 different postcards, and to his knowledge only one person, a Melbourne collector, would own a complete or even near complete set.

King George V had opened our first Federal Parliament (then in Melbourne) on May 9, 1901 when titled The Duke of York, as part of a national tour. He was of course then heir to the throne - of Australia, not only of Britain.

One would have imagined stamps depicting him as King would have been most popular with the public, and bureaucrats alike. No future British monarch or reigning monarch had even set foot on Australian shores at that time.

Every state Postmaster General surely was thinking in 1910: 'if I issue a set of attractive stamps depicting this new King, my Knighthood/OBE/MBE may well be assured'.

Trust me - that 'Gong' syndrome was not an uncommon expectation for senior Bureaucrats in Commonwealth countries.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 15:05:15 pm 
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Here is the original article in the Sydney Morning herald, but it doesn't add anything.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15049400?searchTerm=%22not%20recognised%20by%20great%20britain%22&searchLimits=l-title=35

And here is the Argus article referred to :-)

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/10702319?searchTerm=letter%20&searchLimits=l-title=13|||sortby=dateAsc|||l-decade=190|||l-year=1909|||l-category=Article

Fascinating

Here is the text of the letter to the editor in the Melbourne Argus, 16 January 1909, p. 18

Queen Victoria Stamps

To the editor of the Argus

Sir - May I enquire whether it is generally known that the time limit viz six years of the stamp bearing the head of Queen Victoria has expired in England, and that the letters so stamped are treated as unpaid and charged accordingly?

I was made aware of the fact by a relative in N.W. London, who received a letter
from me, dated in November last, for which a charge of twopence was made, as an unpaid letter.

The letter being under weight, and fully stamped, inquiry was made at the nearest sorting office, when the above reason was given. As the stamps of this date bear the head of Queen Victoria, we are in the awkward predicament of not knowing if our English correspondents are to be charged for our letters, in addition to our stamps from Victoria.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 16:11:24 pm 
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Extraordinary :shock:

The cover below was received in London on October 26, 1908. It wasn't taxed. I wonder if this is because the 1d shield stamp is there ?

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Cheers,

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 16:56:49 pm 
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The same was true of Jamaica- they were still issuing new Victorian stamps until 1911 :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 18:04:47 pm 
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It's a little condescending of the British PO to say the stamp is 'out of date' when their British QV stamps were finally invalidated in 1924.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 21:09:23 pm 
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In fact WA quite incredibly FIRST issued all the 2/6d to £1 high values - many YEARS after Q.Vic had died!

Entirely new designs issued well after her death depicted QV - and not the reigning monarchs King Edward VII or later King George V. The Western Australia 2/6 to £1 quartet were first issued latter 1902 - and all depicted QV despite her dying nearly 2 years earlier.


Blame the Victorians! Western Australia wanted the "Swan" on its high values and the correct name for the state. "Western Australia" not "West Australia". And we offered to pay any extra cost to keep the Swan!

It was fortunate that we complained or the Victorians may have issued all our stamps with the Queen!


PS You missed the 2/- value, it also had Queen Victoria.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 22:20:08 pm 
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Allanswood wrote:

It's a little condescending of the British PO to say the stamp is 'out of date' when their British QV stamps were finally invalidated in 1924.


Oddly the State stamps were valid right up until Decimal currency - in 1966.

I added this superb cover to my Rarity Page this week - 1931 to the UK and a NSW stamp with QV was validly used as part postage.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 02:24:13 am 
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Without seeing the original cover(s) it's hard to be sure, but I suspect this is one of the cases where what is printed in the press bears only a vague resemblance to what actually happened! It's not exactly unknown for those writing letters to the paper to have got the wrong end of the stick, or to be disingenuous.

Generally surcharges were based on what the originating post office raised and didn't make assumptions about which stamps were or weren't valid. It's possible that some clerks in GB got it wrong -- some older GB QV stamps up to 1881 were invalidated in 1901, and in a poor light they might have mistaken the colonial stamps for such and assumed that they were out of date? -- but it's unlikely to have been an official national policy.

It's also possible that the wording of the endorsement was in fact "old stamp" -- which didn't mean a stamp that was obsolete, it meant a stamp that appeared to have been used before.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 08:27:07 am 
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A Helmich wrote:
In fact WA quite incredibly FIRST issued all the 2/6d to £1 high values - many YEARS after Q.Vic had died!

Entirely new designs issued well after her death depicted QV - and not the reigning monarchs King Edward VII or later King George V. The Western Australia 2/6 to £1 quartet were first issued latter 1902 - and all depicted QV despite her dying nearly 2 years earlier.


Blame the Victorians! Western Australia wanted the "Swan" on its high values and the correct name for the state. "Western Australia" not "West Australia". And we offered to pay any extra cost to keep the Swan!

It was fortunate that we complained or the Victorians may have issued all our stamps with the Queen!


PS You missed the 2/- value, it also had Queen Victoria.


I believe the matter, indeed, was one of cost, not some arbitrariness on the part of "the Victorians" per se (of course, JB Cooke was not a Victorian in any event. He had to move there to take up his job as Commonwealth Stamp Printer, from Adelaide I think).

The new WA values were slightly remodelled Victorian designs, the dies for which Cooke obviously had access to. The numbers required of the new denominations really didn't justify the creation of completely new dies from scratch (not in those parsimonious and cantankerous times). I don't think the printer could have adapted any existing WA swan die either. Were any of the swan Dies in Perth in any event? Or were they all in England?

As to issuing all the WA stamps as Queens heads, there was no need as the other plates already existed. Methinks the member from WA dothe protest too much. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 17:10:40 pm 
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Bureaucracy and quite possibly unclear directions on what was happening with the stamp issues would most probably be more accurate.

The Victorian Government Printing Office was responsible for the initial Western Australian stamps and also Tasmania. It would have made much more sense to have JB Cooke to have printed them in Adelaide.

He had the correct perforating machines for the De La Rue plates. I doubt he would have made the "West Australia" mistake. The downside for JB Cooke printing them would be a lot less perforation varieties.

The 1d, 2d, 4d, 8d, 9d and 10d denominations were modified De La Rue designs so it was possible. Good candidates for the high values would have been the purple Internal Revenue stamps. It would have been possible to modify them. Even the Victorian pound values could have been modified. At least Edward VII would have been the current monarch.

The plates and dies didn't arrive until late from England until September 1902. Tasmania had received theirs by late 1901. So Western Australia was slack in getting them back. There must have been a request for the full range of high values by WA to cover the telegram rates.

The 2/-, 2/6 and 10/- values weren't exactly urgent. Victoria managed quite well without 2/6 and 10/- during the entire Federal period.

Others thought "West Australia" was incorrect. JG Griffin (Victorian born and bred), local government mayor and councillor in NSW wrote a letter to the Postmaster General querying the wording.

The swan on Western Australian stamps is iconic. Branding as it would now be known. Imagine Coca Cola changing their name to Great Cola.

The PMG in replying to the WA premier, said that the swan wasn't desired by all Western Australians, and that the Empire Patiotic League (Perth WA) had requested that EVII potrait be on all stamps.

Someone trying for Glen's "gong". As the premier replied, "Lyon Weiss is a one (mad)man league".

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 19:38:34 pm 
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Except, of course, that the swan motif was going to have a limited existence (after Federation) anyway. I don't think anybody actually thought that it would take 12 years to come up with a uniform design.

And the swan lived on, anyway, in fiscal stamps. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 20:02:46 pm 
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PeterS wrote:

The numbers required of the new denominations really didn't justify the creation of completely new dies from scratch (not in those parsimonious and cantankerous times).


Sorry, this is not supported by ANY facts Peter!

FIRST we are talking using the current Monarch's image - a priority matter one would surmise. Not a better looking emu or lyrebird - using the new KING we are talking about here.

Second these values were used far more than you appear to imagine.

The WA 5/- green WA alone had 190,000 printed. The 1913 5/- Kangaroo that followed it only has 240,000 printed as a valid comparison.

New art, and new plates were made in this era for TINY print runs.

The Queensland 1900 Charity set has only 6500 sets ever printed! Who decided that was value for money? The cost of creating would have been FAR more than the face value sold. Many fold.

The magnificent NSW 1897 Charity shown below was the first "full colour" stamp in the entire Commonwealth as I recall.

The quite beautiful 2/6d - despite all the work that went into the art, plates, and the then VERY complex printing with gold ink, had only 10,000 done!

Image


So the WA Queen stamp sales were miles above these figures.

The States could not even get stamp design correct enough to have the National map accurate - Tassie was missing on this stamp that was on sale for decades.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 21:06:42 pm 
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Global Administrator wrote:
The Queensland 1900 Charity set has only 6500 sets ever printed! Who decided that was value for money? The cost of creating would have been FAR more than the face value sold. Many fold.

The magnificent NSW 1897 Charity shown below was the first "full colour" stamp in the entire Commonwealth as I recall.

The quite beautiful 2/6d - despite all the work that went into the art, plates, and the then VERY complex printing with gold ink, had only 10,000 done!

Well maybe, but the charity stamps are a red herring here, surely? They were special one-offs for a charitable cause, and the Queensland issue was sold at a big premium anyway IIRC (12x face value?) so weren't far off being high value stamps in terms of cost to the buyer. And again IIRC the return for outlay wasn't exactly uncontroversial and the whole thing created quite a row.

For a regular definitive issue expected to see relatively limited postal use, and for which (cf A Helmich's post) it had apparently taken about two years for the dies already ordered to turn up, and with (presumably) the consideration that the Commonwealth might get its act together to release a national stamp issue at some point in the medium term -- it would surely make sense for them to say "sod it, the same portrait has been used for decades anyway, let's just use the dies we've got"?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 04:45:17 am 
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All the charity stamps issued by QLD, NSW and VIC were sold at a huge premium (12x) to the postage value. They were, indeed, one offs and were all issued under Colonial jurisdiction. The new WA values were issued under Commonwealth jurisdiction and the Commonwealth had relatively few sources of revenue at that time, postage being one of them (within the limits of the book keeping clauses anyway).

The fact that new dies were made for the 2 Victorian high values (£1 and £2) were exceptions (as was the ill fated attempt to create a Commonwealth 9d).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 05:22:04 am 
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Jeremy,


I agree with the comment that the letter was taxed because the stamps had been previously used not because of the design.

The Tax marking would have originally been applied in Queensland and the British Post Office duly charged the recipient.

It shows that you can't believe everything you read in newspapers,

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