Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

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ewen s
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Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Morning 'boarders,

I mentioned in another thread that I do track some individual items and flights, especially the scarcer TEAL ones.

TEAL flew survey flights in 1393 after WW2 began while it was waiting for the second plane to begin the trans-Tasman service.

I am assuming it was mainly to help in securing a route to England through the Pacific and the Americas now that Europe was beginning to heat up.

This particular one is #879b ($350) in the AAMC and #210g ($250) in the NZAMC.

It is regularly touted as the scarcest pacific airmail and the catalogues state there were only 25 flown. They are priced pretty highly - usually anywhere between $150 and $500.

They appeal to NZ collectors, TEAL collectors, wartime or pacific route collectors, and to top it all off this flight was the first airmail between Fiji and Tonga hence the interest and price.

Here are the five that I have seen come onto the market in the last five years;

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I am not a member of the Pacific Islands Study Circle but saw a discussion there about the numbers of these, link below;

https://www.pisc.org.uk/forum/message/451.html

In this discussion members of the PISC claim ownership of another 5 and I am pretty confidant in saying that they are not included in the images above.

So, that is 10 out of the 25 known.

Do any stampboarders have any other copies? If you do then please add a scan of yours to this thread. And if you're comfortable then can you include when and where you purchased it and the price you paid? If you're not comfortable with that then please feel free to email me.

Cheers,

Ewen
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga by TEAL in 1939

Post by phrag99 »

Brian Jones, in his book "The Illustrated Aviation and Postal History of Fiji" quotes "probably between 25 - 50" flown covers with 10 - 20 signed by John Burgess, Captain of the flight, and he illustrates "the only example recorded" of signatures of both Burgess and his co-pilot Maurice Clark. He couldn't have known that there are covers just bearing Clarke's signature.

Here are two of mine. I'll post the others later (when I can find them - they are in one of my displays!):

Image

Image

There was one for sale on ebay recently.
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Ah, so that's the book referenced on the PISC site. I wanted to ask them but you need to be a paid-up member.

I must admit, I'm finding it hard to believe there were only 25 flown though all the catalogues state this.

Interesting that Burgess is meant to have signed between 20% and 40% of them. I don't think any I show above were signed by him but many must exist, he signed everything else!

The one you mention on ebay is, I think, the one with Craig's signature above
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga by TEAL in 1939

Post by phrag99 »

Sorry, Ewen, not for the first time this week, memory is playing tricks.

My other covers are either Tonga to NZ on this flight, or Tonga to Fiji in 1941 (the first flight in that direction). I have no information on numbers carried on these flights.

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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by Global Administrator »

You guys have cornered the market!
.
Click HERE to see superb RARE & unusual stamps - FIXED low nett prices, high rez pix + NO 20% buyer fees!
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Only two out of the five I show are mine Glen. I've bought a second to replace my old one which is uncancelled.

If any members of the PISC are reading this, could you please ask the posters on the thread linked to above if they could scan their covers and post them here?

We would then have images of 12 out of the 25, unless of course more than this were flown :D
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by phrag99 »

This is the one for sale on eBay:

Image

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fiji-KGVI-First-Flight-Airmail-cov ... 3f451fa169

Status have been asking $US299.99 for months, but no takers!
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Thanks for the scan Alan :D

US$300 sounds a bit steep. Steven Zirinsky has one for $150, shown above, and Complete Stamp Company have been trying to flog one for NZ$500 for years

I think $150 is a good asking price but I'd suggest a little more if signed.

We're up to 13 noted, maybe the survival rate for this 75 year old cover is close to 100%?
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by phrag99 »

Yes, it seems that way, doesn't it?

My experience of first flight covers for other countries is much the same. A friend reckons that no-one has ever thrown away a Zeppelin cover. Perhaps FFC are thought to be much ore worth retaining than FDC?
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by BIGANDYN »

Ewen,

The one I own is available on the PISC forum...feel free to download it if you wish.

If you can't download it from there just drop me an email.

Cheers.

PS message added to PISC forum linking this thread.
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by BIGANDYN »

phrag99 wrote:This is the one for sale on eBay:

Image

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fiji-KGVI-First-Flight-Airmail-cov ... 3f451fa169

Status have been asking $US299.99 for months, but no takers!

Not surprised.....it's way overpriced.

Then again Status have probably included their "commission" in the asking price...that's bound to rack it up a fair bit!
If it ain't broke.....fix it 'til it is!!

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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Thanks Big Andy, much appreciated. Here it is for the record, scan #9 of the 25 covers;

Image

I see Fiji is the next topic at the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society. If it's you giving the talk then best of luck.
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by Global Administrator »

ewen s wrote:
We're up to 13 noted, maybe the survival rate for this 75 year old cover is close to 100%?
Not so sure, as some of these are unusually PLAIN for any FFC. :mrgreen:

To be honest if this turned up in a general lot I'd simply leave it in the next junk box as to be honest I'd not have picked it as a FFC.

Remember I often allow only a few minutes to whizz through a box of stuff from an estate etc, so things like this just do not stand out as being unusual. :idea:
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by BIGANDYN »

ewen s wrote:
I see Fiji is the next topic at the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society. If it's you giving the talk then best of luck.

Cheers Ewen...'tis me :D :D :D
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

I learned something new from the Fiji cover thread, a daily occurrence here :D

Interesting that all the 2d's above are the Type 1 with no 180. Must be all they had at the PO!

Hope your talk went well BIGANDYN
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by Craig »

This cover is listed on Complete Stamp Company's website:

Image

https://www.completestamp.co.nz/stamp.html?id=266762

Apparently it sold for $200.
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Thanks for the scan Craig. $200 is a good price considering it also flew other survey flights and is pilot-signed too.

We've now got 10 shown here out of the 25 noted flown from Fiji to Tonga.
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Here is scan #11 out of the #25 flown. It's for sale in the next Ace Auction, an aerophilatelic extravaganza, to be held at the end of August.
Image
Estimate of $200
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Wondering if any newer members can add to our record of these?

Cheers,

Ewen :D
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

The example above sold last year for AUS $168 plus postage at Ace Auctions. I think that's probably a fair price for what is the nicest copy shown in this thread.

The second cleanest (to me anyway) is the first example on this thread, which I'm offering here for NZ $99 delivered;

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=72611

Also it's a good bump for this thread; any newer members able to add to the visual catalogue here?
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

phrag99 wrote:Brian Jones, in his book "The Illustrated Aviation and Postal History of Fiji" quotes "probably between 25 - 50" flown covers with 10 - 20 signed by John Burgess, Captain of the flight, and he illustrates "the only example recorded" of signatures of both Burgess and his co-pilot Maurice Clark. He couldn't have known that there are covers just bearing Clarke's signature.
Hi phrag,

To confirm, Jones' tome notes covers signed by Burgess and Clark but none by Craig?

Many thanks in advance,

Ewen

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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by phrag99 »

Sorry not to have responded sooner, Ewen. I've been away and have been limited in my internet access.

Just to confirm, Jones states on page 39 "Covers signed by Captain John Burgess from the second survey flight are thought to number around 20/30 maximum. The example illustrated carries the signature of both Capt Burgess and Maurice Clarke his co-pilot, and is the only example recorded carrying both signatures".

Jones does not mention ANY covers signed by Clarke, alone.
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by ewen s »

Thanks for that Phrag, much appreciated :D
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Re: Surveying a Survey - Fiji to Tonga FFC by TEAL in 1939

Post by chrisclifford »

These two covers were obtained from the recent Pacific Island Study Circle auction (ex. Peter Rodda)

Image

Anyone with the remotest interest in Pacific Island philately should be a member!

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