Rodney Perry's "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association" Articles

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Rodney Perry's "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association" Articles

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Rodney Perry's "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association (APTA)" Articles printed in the APTA Yearbooks


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Re: Rodney Perry's "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association" Articles

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Index of "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association" Articles

2009

Dawson A. Vindin. Australia's first philatelic entrepreneur?

2011

Fred Hagen: Early Philatelic Entrepreneur
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Re: Rodney Perry's "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association" Articles

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2009 APTA Yearbook

Dawson A. Vindin. Australia's first philatelic entrepreneur?

The earliest professional philatelic traders in Colonial Australia appear to have been Sydney's Buckley, Blunsum & Co. Edward Buckley is recorded as being in business in the 1860s.

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Figure 1. The dapper Dawson A. Vindon, aged 24

Buckley claims in the New South Wales Stamp Collectors' Magazine, which he first published in November 1879, the firm of Buckley, Blunsum & Co. was established in 1870. The firm originally traded from 7 Little George Street, Sydney, but by 1881 or earlier was at 6 Bligh Street, trading as Sydney Foreign Stamp Depot (see Figure 2).

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Figure 2. Buckley, Blunsum & Co., Australia's first philatelic traders. At age 14, Vindin owned the firm.

In 1880, at the tender age of 12, Dawson Vindin was apprenticed to Buckley, Blunsum & Co. Vindin was obviously gifted in his role, for in March 1882, aged 14, he became proprietor of the firm. In an interview published in the Philatelic Journal of Great Britain, April 1892, titled rather flatteringly, "Mr. Dawson A. Vindin, The Conquering Hero from the Antipodes. His Triumphal Progress.", Vindin provided an account of how he became a stamp dealer at such an early age. No "cash down" was required, and the terms were "in every way advantageous" to a 14 year old.

Vindin, by then aged 24, clearly impressed his interviewer, who claimed him to be "quite the "cock of the walk" among Colonial Stamp Dealers" (later, the interviewer glowingly describes Vindin as "tall and well-built . . . every inch a worthy representative of our sturdy Colonial Cousins"!).

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Figure 3. 1883 cover from Russia, addressed simply "Dawson A. Vindin/Sidney" (sic). 15 years old, and already known to Sydney's Post Office.

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Figure 4. 1884 registered cover to Italy, addressed in Vindin's distinctive hand, showing "Vindin" handstamps front and reverse.

Vindin moved his newly acquired business to 88 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. At age 14, Vindin was Sydney's principal stamp dealer. Further, he promptly became a philatelic publisher. Buckley's New South Wales Stamp Collectors' Magazine had ceased publication with the April 1881, number. Vindin resuscitated the magazine with a new series, launched in August 1882.

Only one edition appeared, followed by a second effort titled New South Wales Philatelist. It could be said that this was twice as successful; two numbers appeared, November 1882 and January 1883. The reach of these magazines must have been international, evidenced by the correspondence from Russia in 1883, and to Italy in 1884, shown as Figures 3 and 4.

August 1887 ushered in a third publishing attempt, Vindin's Philatelic Monthly. This was to become Australia's first regularly published philatelic journal.

The September 1887 issue made the comment "88 Elizabeth-street is now the recognised "Exchange" and meeting place for Sydney collectors, and each afternoon, after four, may be seen the familiar faces of Messrs. Pugh, Van Dyck, Hagen, Dr. Houison and other leading collectors, meeting "in congress" to discuss the latest finds and discoveries".

In early 1888, Vindin closed his city premises and operated from his private home, Philatelia, 15 Cascade Street, Paddington. I have an undated postcard from Vindin, to the Castlereagh Street Solicitor, F. Walker, offering "an Iron Safe - fire proof - for sale 36 x 24 "Acme" make - almost new with stand - price £10".

Displaying a business acumen, which doubtless served him well with his stamp sales, Vindin concluded "Could not possibly accept less as I paid £15 for it about twelve months ago". This postcard may date from late 1893, when Vindin was planning to leave Sydney for London permanently.

One of those "familiar faces", regularly attending Vindin's Elizabeth Street premises, Alfred Van Dyke, was responsible for the infamous reprints of the New South Wales "Laureate" 2d, 6d and 8d, made from the original printing plates.

Vindin in 1887 offered sets of sheets of the three denominations to various English philatelists for £200. Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal of September 1891 exposed these sheets as reprints. In December 1891 Vindin sailed to London to plead his innocence in the matter, and later claimed to have been exonerated from any wrong doing by the philatelic fraternities in Sydney, Melbourne and London. Figure 6. 1894 inscribed Postal card, detailing payment of subscription to Vindin's Philatelic Monthly, in hand of Fred Hagen, who by this time owned the Vindin businesses. Vindin reopened a city shop in late 1889, at 11 Victoria Arcade, 74 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (see Figure 5).

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Figure 5. 1890 registered cover to U.S.A., again in Vindin's hand, when at 11 Victoria Arcade.

By 1891, printed stationery shows him to be at 9 and 11 Victoria Arcade. Fred Hagen had joined Vindin as a partner by this time. Before departing for London in October 1893, Vindin sold his share of the business to Hagen, who then traded as D.A. Vindin & Co. Vindin's Philatelic Monthly ceased when Hagen, in August 1894, launched The Australian Philatelist. Figure 6 shows late use of the Vindin brands just prior to Hagen commencing to trade in his own name, and the launch of the retitled magazine.

Once established in London, Vindin commenced a new publication, Vindin's Stamp Trade Journal, which lasted for only four issues, in 1894. In the final issue, Vindin ruefully commented "we have come to the conclusion that the publishing of a philatelic paper is about the poorest business undertaking a man could possibly enter upon".

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Figure 6. 1894 inscribed Postal card, detailing payment of subscription to Vindin's Philatelic Monthly, in hand of Fred Hagen, who by this time owned the Vindin businesses.

Vindin is not referred to again in the philatelic press, and presumably exited the world of philately, aged just 26. It is fair to say that he had achieved a great deal, in a relatively short career, commenced at such a tender age. Nothing is known of Vindin after this time, not even where or when he died.

Brazil, published in London in 1911, features a supplementary chapter by a Dawson A. Vindin. Could "our" Vindin have gravitated from London to the jungles of South America?
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Re: Rodney Perry's "Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association" Articles

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2011 APTA Yearbook

Fred Hagen: Early Philatelic Entrepreneur

Fred Hagen (1860 -1935) was one of Australia's leading and most prolific philatelic traders and publishers. For around 30 years, from the early 1890s, Hagen was a dominant force in Australian commercial Philately. His advertisement on the back cover of The Philatelic Society of New Zealand 1912 Annual Report, stating "The Leading Australian Stamp Dealers", may have been no idle claim (see Figure 11).

It was stated in 1921 that he had been connected with Philately for over 50 years, although it appears that in the 1870s and 1880s his involvement was more in the nature of a collector. Exchange superintendent for The Sydney Philatelic Club appears to have been his only connection with trading prior to 1891.

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Figure 1. 1890, earliest cover seen addressed to Fred Hagen

In 1891, Hagen was admitted as a partner in D.A. Vindin & Co., announced as officially commencing July 25, 1891. Hagen then resigned as president and exchange superintendent of The Sydney Philatelic Club, and simultaneously retired from collecting, consequent on his having joined the firm, so it was reported in the August, 1891, edition of Vindin's Philatelic Monthly. Also reported was that the firm had purchased his "magnificent collection of New South Wales Stamps - without doubt the finest in Australia". Fortuitously, in this more enlightened age in which we live, collecting and trading are not mutually exclusive pursuits.

Hagen was subsequently persuaded to withdraw his resignations, and continued in his official Club capacities (see Figure 9). An attractive item, Figure 1, a November 11, 1890, use of the N.S.W. 1d + 1d Centenary Stationery envelope, Printed to Private Order (PTPO) for John Robertson & Son, is addressed to Hagen in the hand of Dawson A. Vindin, at his place of business. It would appear Hagen spent time at Vindin's well before the two became partners. This item provides an interesting early link between the respective future partners.

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Figure 2. More philatelic imports?

The "fast-growing business", it was reported in May, 1892, was moving to new premises, and this duly took place from June 1, when 74 Elizabeth St., Sydney, became the new, larger premises of D.A. Vindin & Co. Figure 2 is a March, 1892, use of N.S.W. 1d Stationery PTPO envelope, inscribed for Wall & Molesworth, Customs House Agents, Sydney, to Hagen at King Street, which one could reasonably speculate related to the import of material for the "fast-growing business".

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Figure 3. 1897, early corner advertising envelope

Figure 3 is an 1897 advertising envelope for Fred Hagen at 74 Elizabeth St., Sydney. This style of corner advertisement was used by D.A. Vindin & Co. as early as 1890. From 1897, it was Hagen who guided H.L. White in building his great Australian Colonies collection, donated to the Mitchell Library Sydney in 1917. White's collection of Australian Commonwealth was later purchased by J.R.W. Purves, the Doyen of Australian Philately, and today is incorporated in The Royal Collection. The White collection in the Mitchell Library contains what I regard as the Mona Lisa of all Australian Philately, a truly remarkable cover bearing a host of Western Australia imperforate and rouletted stamps, but I diverge . . .

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Figures 4 and 5. Late 1890s, business booming internationally

The Hagen business was attracting an international clientele from exotic countries by the late 1890s, evidenced by Figures 4 and 5, Stationery cards of 1897 and 1899, from Greece and India. The former advises "I am obliged to send you the 10,000 commems Grecian stamps", which could only have been a consignment of the Greece 1896 Olympic Games series.

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Figure 6. 1898, "The Largest Wholesale and Retail Stamp Dealer in Australasia"

Before departing for London in October, 1893, Vindin had sold his share of the business to Hagen, who thereafter traded as D.A. Vindin & Co. Vindin's Philatelic Monthly ceased when Hagen, in August 1894, launched The Australian Philatelist. Figure 6, Hagen's Aug-Dec 1898 "List of Cash Prices Paid", shows imprint at base "Printed by O. Schulze, 113 Pitt Street, Sydney". Oscar Schulze published volumes 5 and 6 of The Australian Philatelist.

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Figure 7. 1898 Christmas Greetings card to Melbourne contemporary, William Ackland

Sydney-Melbourne friendly philatelic rivalry was not apparent in 1898, if Figure 7, the "With Christmas Greetings" printing of the N.S.W. 1d Stationery card, is indicative of prevailing attitudes. This is addressed to leading Melbourne Trader, William Ackland, and message concludes "With compliments of the season/v truly/Fred Hagen/23-12-98". The balance of the message is "Cards have been gone through & find 5650 good and 11144 bad. Have credited you £2.5.0 and £1.6.6 for the good, bad of no use to me." The emphasis is mine, but I would not read "unfriendly" in to that comment!

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Figure 8. Another "greetings" card from Fred, in 1904

Fred Hagen was apparently adept at sending Christmas cards to clients. Figure 8 is another postcard, on this occasion a more private type, featuring a rather dapper Fred, signed "Fred. Hagen/Dec/04", by which time he was aged early forties.

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Figure 9. 1904 and still Exchange Supt.

It is interesting to note that Fred Hagen was still exchange superintendent of The Sydney Philatelic Club in 1904 (see Figure 9), some 13 years after having been reinstated to that position. Given by that time he owned a thriving stamp business and publication, it is curious that he found time for a seemingly profitless pursuit. It may have been that Hagen saw merit, congenial if not commercial, in retaining a bond with the collector base of his earlier philatelic life.

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Figure 10. 1909, the first of two innovative and distinctive advertising etiquettes

In 1905, Hagen purchased the business of J.H. Smyth & Co., another pioneer philatelic trading firm. A limited company was formed, Fred. Hagen Ltd, and 182 Pitt St., Sydney, became the new trading address. By 1909, a striking advertising etiquette, extolling the new trading name and address, and featuring a Sydney View 1d, was in use, often utilized as a wafer seal for outgoing mail. Figure 10 shows use as a wafer seal on a PTPO Stationery envelope, unusually tied by Melbourne transit cancellation. The earlier printings of this etiquette show the "stamp" with void areas at lower left and upper right, which was "corrected" in later printings. Such attention to detail may have been one of Hagen's strengths?

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Figure 11. 1912, "Established 40 years"

Figure 11, the Hagen advertisement on the back cover of The Philatelic Society of New Zealand 1912 Annual Report, headed "Established 40 Years" (the same claim was made in the 1911 Annual Report). Note also "We hold the Largest Stock of Stamps in Australasia" statement.

The Sydney Morning Herald, June 16, 1921, reported Fred Hagen was entertained by the Junior Philatelic Society of Australia on the eve of his departure for America and Europe. ("Junior" did not refer to age, otherwise Fred may have been in for a rather dull evening). Hagen there claimed to have been "connected with Philately for over 50 years". William T. Trahair had become manager of the firm upon Hagen's departure.

The years of establishment claims, "40 years" (1911-12), and "50 years" (1921) are curious. Given Hagen was born 1860, it is unlikely that he was an "established" trader in 1871, at age eleven. He may have been more generally referring to his introduction to Philately at that tender age. However, Hagen's partner, Dawson A. Vindin, was apprenticed to Australia's earliest firm of philatelic traders, Buckley, Blunsum & Co., Sydney, aged twelve. That firm was established in 1870, and in 1882 Vindin became sole proprietor (aged 14!). Hagen's business was therefore the ultimate successor of the original 1870 firm, which may have provided the logic behind his claims of commercial longevity.

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Figure 12. 1913 registered to Stanley Gibbons, second etiquette type on reverse

Fred. Hagen Ltd became Australasian Agents for Stanley Gibbon Ltd. Dawson A. Vindin had met Charles Phillips, Managing Director of Stanley Gibbons, in 1892. Phillips had bought the firm from founder, E. Stanley Gibbons, two years prior, for £25,000. Figure 12 is a 1913 registered cover to the U.S. subsidiary, Stanley Gibbons Inc., bearing on reverse a tied example of Hagen's second type of etiquette, again utilised as a wafer seal.

Late that year, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 31, 1913, reporting on a spate of break and enters in central Sydney, stated "The stamp dealer's shop of Fred Hagen Ltd., Pitt-street, was entered at the rear, but the thieves found nothing of value on the premises." [my emphasis] Mercifully, for Fred, it would appear the thieves were not versed in the finer aspects of Philately.

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Figure 13. Association with Stanley Gibbons played for all it was worth

Hagen was clearly enamored with the positive influence the Gibbons' brand could bestow upon his business; witness Figure 13, where details of the Agency are inscribed on a Hagen humble perforation gauge, c1915, by which time the firm had relocated to 66 King St., Sydney. Fred Hagen married "well", and appears to have spent his retirement leisurely, and much-travelled. The latest "Hagen" philatelic item I have is of November, 1931, from Madang, New Guinea, addressed "Fred Hagen, Esq.,/c/- Aust Bank of Commerce Ltd./62 Bishopsgate/London, E.C. 2/England".

Rod Perry has been a philatelic trader since 1962.

Rod has been a collector since 1955 and is the only Australia member of the Grand Prix Club International, achieved for this Grand Prix Victoria as AUSIPEX 84.
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