This below is how they described it, and they were large professional dealers, and like me, members of the PTS.
"01/04/1936 Australian FDC Opening of Submarine Telephone Link to Tasmania, home made with wrong date."
It is clearly machine cancelled at Perth GPO March 31, (so backdating is not an issue, as with many small town hand cancels) and it will possibly re-write the "FDC" date of this, and is probably worth a great deal more than what I paid.
Back in this era FDC were a generally un-collected novelty. In the entire period of Kangaroo issues from 1913 to 1936 there are only two FDC's recorded - despite the myriad of face values, of changing watermarks, and even many colour changes. No collectors seemed to care.
The same is true of our KGV heads - very few issues have genuine FDCs recorded. For some, the earliest recorded date is often assumed to be the day of issue.
"Mr Wesley", John Gower wrote in 1960's - "prior to 1936 as far as I can remember, "First Days" and the collecting of same, has very few friends among the philatelists at that time. Very few seemed to be interested in that branch of the hobby, and the reason for this I think was on account of no printed or cacheted covers being available to the few collectors who were interested."
Some genius bid $A5,125 for this apparent simple date-slug error on a commercial cover at auction in February 2009, that had a shopping list scrawled across the back. The cover had some of those types of shopping notes erased from face and back the auctioneer advised, and clearly had some tone spots.
There has been no evidence presented by anyone I have seen, that these 1d green KGV stamps existed anywhere in Tasmania on April 30, 1924, much less in tiny Ulverstone! Indeed I do not believe there is any evidence of a cover even with a May 1 date from anywhere in Tasmania. Supporting my date-slug error theory, unless one can be shown. Some KGV heads NEVER went to Tasmania at ANY time, such as the 4d violet of 1921.
However this cover was touted as being cancelled the "DAY BEFORE ISSUE" and was allegedly unique thus -- and the genius bidders pushed it up to $A5,125.
Yet we are to believe tiny Ulverstone had the new stamps on April 30, and sold them - and yet no capital city - or ANY other city in the country did. Hmmmmm. Highly unlikely is my view. Anyway, someone paid $A5,150 for this this rather sad looking thing, and good luck to them when they try and sell it!
The Prestige Philately description for the auction stated in part -
"We expect that a local merchant arrived at the post office late in the day to post a batch of invoices; the 1d green stamps had been placed in the counter-book ready for the next day's business; they were sold to the customer in the normal course of business, release the night before they were supposed to be issued being in the "Who cares?" category."
Hmmm. Well that may be correct. I still aim for a simple date-slug error, very common in small offices as it was done manually, was very fiddly, and mistakes often occurred.
There is NO such chance the Perth GPO machine cancel was likely to be wrong at the GPO at 11.45am. And a simple month or day error was not possible as THREE wheels then needed to be wrong. Clearly the date and date are showing "Perth/11.45am/31 MAR/1936/W.A."
The OFFICIAL release date seems to be agreed by catalogues as April 1.
Clearly this is a day BEFORE. The morning of the day before in fact. March 31, 1936 was a Tuesday -
So very plausible it was used March 31.
The only other question is - was it possible for the stamps to have been at the Perth GPO on March 31?
Well April 1 FDC's of this are not common at all to check against, and are listed in the ASC at $125, and indeed I've seen them sell for far more. There were virtually no illustrated covers at that time for anything (see Gower quote above) - that aspect all largely started later in 1936, mainly with the August 1936 SA Centenary trio, and then really took off in mid 1937.
There seems to be concrete evidence that these stamps WERE at Post Offices March 31.
The new "Australian First Day Covers" book by Michael Moore et al, that I reviewed last month depicts one that is stated to be the first ever John Gower (founder much later of Wesley covers) FDC. (Despite Gower writing that his "first" illustrated FDC was made 5 months later!)
That FDC is illustrated on page 2 and is cancelled April 1, 1936 at remote "Antechamber Bay" on just as remote Kangaroo Island, SA!
As there was only a sea ferry a couple of times a week, from the also remote Yankalilla SA coastal area, to Kingscote Kangaroo Island. Clearly if they were on hand there April 1, they almost certainly would have been at Perth GPO, March 31.
The cover is denoted "First Day Cover" in the same pen hand as the address. And interestingly has "March 1936" at lower right.
If the genius buyer or under-bidder on the rough looking 1d green "Day Early" FDC, would like to send me just 20% of what was cheerfully paid for that, you'll have a REAL "Day Before" cover for your money.