Australian Commonwealth Official CTO stamps discussion

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Australian Commonwealth Official CTO stamps discussion

Post by PeterS »

There is a very long tradition in Australia, starting in pre-Federation times, of producing Specimen sets of current (and often not so current) stamps for collectors.

As is commonly known, the Commonwealth of Australia came into being on 1st January 1901, the first day of the Twentieth Century. On the 1st March 1901 Posts and Telegraphs came under the control of the Commonwealth Government.

For reasons we don't need to delve into here there was no universal 'Australian' stamp issue for 12 years, when the Kangaroo and Map series was issued.

The focus of this thread is, primarily, the Melbourne cancels applied to collectors sets and sets prepared for distribution to dignitaries (such as Members of Parliament).

The first Commonwealth stamps to be so prepared were the new Postage designs of the Stamps issued by the State of Victoria.

CTO stamps were, as far as I am aware, issued in all States. However, only the Victorian stamps had the Melbourne cancel applied.

Please feel free to add your CTO scans to this thread.


= = = = = = = =

Admin 2016 Edit - these are the ACSC preamble pages on the different dates and types of cancels.

The ACSC of course lists and prices all these cancels, on all stamps, in each volume they print. :mrgreen:

Glen

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Last edited by PeterS on 06 Jul 2010 21:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

The first Melbourne CTO cancellation of the Federal period was actually one that had been in use for some time. It would continue into the first issue of Kangaroo stamps and then pretty much disappear.
Image
This was then then highest denomination stamp issued in Victoria. It is on a piece of thin card, probably from a presentation set to MPs, and is a lovely strike of this ubiquitous cancel
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

This cancel was applied to various stamps on many occasions. Here is an example on one of the only 2 'new' stamps issued in Victoria from 1901.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

When the new common design of the Kangaroo and Map was issued in 1913, the tradition of producing collectors sets continued. There was, however, a slight change. Henceforth, all values over 5/- would be handstamped Specimen. The rest would receive a CTO cancellation.

Note that this cancel on the First WMK Kangaroos is the very same as that previously in use, in Melbourne, for at least 15 years.
Image
All the First WMK Specimen sets, for sale to collectors, are dated 'Dec 3 13' (3rd December 1913). Stamps cancelled with any other date, with this cancel type, were presentation stamps and not for the Specimen sets.

5,000 sets were made but, after 10 years only some 1,700 sets had been sold when they were withdrawn and replaced with Third WMK in 1923.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Besides the First WMK Kangaroos this cancel pops up on some early George V heads, such as this line perforated 5d Single WMK.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Practically all Kangaroos and George V heads, cancelled with is particular cancel type, were done in pairs. That is, a cancel was applied across a pair of stamps. Given that there were 120 stamps in a sheet, this required 60 manual applications of the cancel per sheet.

Occasionally, very rarely in my experience, you find an example of the preferred cancel method of the future!
Image
This is probably just a case of 'tired arm' syndrome, but it is much more akin to the later corner cancel type that most CTO cancels of this era. :)

Why corner cancels? somebody obviously realised that you could apply half as many cancels if you applied it over a block of 4, rather than a pair! Pretty quick and on the ball, those Civil Servants! :lol:
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

From the Third WMK Kangaroos onwards there was a new cancel applied for CTO Specimen Set inclusions. This was the Melbourne G.P.O. type, which continued in use for many years.

Just a note of caution regarding CTO Kangaroos. These catalogue, generally, above postally used (due to comparitive scarcity). You need to be very careful to ensure it is the right cancel. Per Favour cancels, even with full gum, exist but do not meet the catalogue requirement.

Also, I very much doubt that any Second WMK kangaroos exist as official CTOs. My primary rationale for this is that the First WMK sets remained on sale for 10 years (having all been prepared in December 1913). New issues (e.g. Engraved issues and George V) were added from time to time, but it was face different values only.

In any event, the Second WMK was very much an emergency, wartime extremity, issue (the paper was intended for George V stamps and resulted in wastage). No Second WMK stamps would have been in stock when it came to producing the new Specimen sets, based on Third WMK Kangaroos.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Melbourne GPO type on 6d Engraved Kookaburra.
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It is interesting to note that this cancel was in use in 1914 and had (presumably) already pretty much replaced the original CTO cancel type (as used on Kangaroos).
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Another example of the new cancel type, on a 4d George V.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by admin »

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The ACSC page of 3 VERY different Melbourne CTO cancels (actually there are at least 4) shows them nicely.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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4d Orange Kangaroo, 1st Wmk.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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5d Chestnut Kangaroo, 1st Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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6d Ultramarine Kangaroo, 1st Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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6d Dull Blue Kangaroo, 3rd Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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6d Chestnut Kangaroo, 3rd Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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6d Chestnut Kangaroo, Small Multiple Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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1/- Emerald Kangaroo, Small Multiple Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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6d Chestnut Kangaroo, C of A Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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9d Violet Kangaroo, C of A Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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2/- Maroon Kangaroo, C of A Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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5/- Grey & Yellow Kangaroo, C of A Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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1/- Emerald Kangaroo os, 3rd Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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10/- Grey & Pink Kangaroo os, 3rd Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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6d Chestnut Kangaroo os, Small Multiple Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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1/- Emerald Kangaroo os, Small Multiple Wmk
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Clive »

Peter S, Rod T,

Aaaah, stamp heaven, another thread for CTO devotees. :D :D

Do either of you have CTOs of the low value roos, say to 3d?

I found the 1d, in particular, to be the hardest of all to find, and even now it just doesn't seem to come up for sale. The CTO values from 4d to 5/- come up fairly regularly, but that humble 1d is a very elusive little critter.
Image
Of course, back then, as today, the 1d stamp was easy to come by so perhaps collectors didn't put so much store on CTO versions of the lowly basic rate stamp but coveted the higher values as that was the only way they would be able to get copies.

Great thread

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Clive,

This is the sole 3d value I have. I don't have value lower in First WMK. My theory is that the low values were easily collected from mail and so were often discarded by purchasers of the Specimen sets.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

The Melbourne CTO cancel wasn't, of course, restricted to definitives. Commemoratives, when they began to appear in the 1920s, were also included in the Specimen sets.

Image

The OS issues were added in an attempt to stimulate demand for the sets.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Of course, the most famous commemorative available in the Specimen sets was this stamp.

Image

In fact, virtually all 'used' examples of this stamp derive from Specimen sets. The existence of the Bridge in the sets was a major selling point well into the 1940s, when all obsolete issues were finally withdrawn from teh sets.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Global Administrator »

Image
This is a full page ad from Australia Post in the mass selling "Walkabout" Magazine from April 1935 ...... that of course included the 5/- Sydney Harbour Bridge, "OS" Kingsford Smith overprints, and Roos up to 2 quid! And they STILL did not sell well. :)

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Hence the scarcity of many CTO stamps today. Here is a set that catalogues quite cheaply but is very hard to find genuine CTO.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Global Administrator »

PeterS wrote:
Clive,

This is the sole 3d value I have. I don't have value lower in First WMK.

My theory is that the low values were easily collected from mail and so were often discarded by purchasers of the Specimen sets.
Very likely true, which of course makes them MANY times scarcer than the 5/-!

The PO cancelled IDENTICAL nuumbers of the values from 1/2d to 5/-.

It seems obvious as you say, that many of the lower values were tossed away by kids as "I already have that one".

Folks forget that it is lcear MOST of the 1913 Roo specimens went to kids as souveniers of the current stamps.

Less so for later year sets, but heavily so for the 1913 issue. I often find them LICKED into cheapie kids albums .. right up to the top value Roos.

Oddly I get $400 readily for a CTO 5/-, and DOUBLE that for the 1913 high value Specimens done in identical number, but when I ask just 5% of that for the (far scarcer) lower values and collectors want to burn me at the stake. :lol:

I argued this case with Kellow for the ACSC pricing 7 years back, and have done so in columns since.

A 1d red genuine 1913 CTO should certainly be $50 or $100 in ACSC - not $25.

Glen

In the meantime, they all keep accumulating in my stockbook until common sense prevails!

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Easier to find is this set.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

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Well not so easy to find in Imprint blocks! I really am unwise to show it as someone here bought it off me, and it is now "misplaced" in my tidy stamp storage MegaMall. :lol: :mrgreen:
Image
1934 1/- Victoria Centenary MAGNIFICENT Ash Imprint Block 4 - with Melbourne CTO cancel: This is the first perf 10½. This rough guage perf on the thick fibrous paper proved nearly impossible to tear up in post offices, without ripping off perfs and chunks of stamps, and it was soon charged to a less fibrous paper and also perforated 11½, designed to tear apart easier.

This one is a Melbourne GPO "CTO" cancel and seems certainly unique in imprint block .... I have never seen one before. These came about as the Miller Brothers dealers conned a full sheet of each issue when they ordered 100 sets of Specimen Packs: "to save the PO staff time tearing them up" and cleverly kept the imprint blocks separate (even for the Specimen Roos) - which otherwise were un-buyable in block form.

Near all "used" Imprint blocks of this era are toned/foxed MINT blocks that have been "improved" with fake edge cancels and the rust cleaned off. The mania for genuine cancel USED pre-war blocks is growing .... most are 100 to 1000 times less numerical than mint. https://www.glenstephens.com/sndecember08.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Global Administrator »

Image
I bought this "Miller Brothers" block of 5/- Roos above ex Arthur Gray and as I recall sold it for around $750 as CTO.

As MUH it is at least TEN times more so it will in time prove to be a superb buy. :D

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

Glen, even allowing for the fact that Miller Bros. managed to get full sheets multiples are still quite scarce. They would have saved and sold things like Imprints and Plate Number blocks, but they are still very scarce.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Global Administrator »

Peter, actually unique in many instances. :idea:

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Clive »

Glen,
I really am unwise to show it as someone here bought it off me, and it is now "misplaced" in my tidy stamp storage MegaMall.
Yes sir, as you say, really unwise. :evil:

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Clive »

Glen,
Oddly I get $400 readily for a CTO 5/-, and DOUBLE that for the 1913 high value Specimens done in identical number, but when I ask just 5% of that for the (far scarcer) lower values and collectors want to burn me at the stake.

I argued this case with Kellow for the ACSC pricing 7 years back, and have done so in columns since.

A 1d red genuine 1913 CTO should certainly be $50 or $100 in ACSC - not $25.
Yes, absolutely. You don't say how many CTO 1d roos you have tucked away in your stockbook, but I'll buy as many well-centred/sound perfs copies that you have for twice the ACSC figure.

And nice copies of the 2d, 2½, 3d and 9d are, in my experience, really hard to track down.

I simply repeat the gist of my earlier question - how many StampBoards members have a CTO 1d red? I've accumulated two in my decades of collecting (and one of them is a bit ordinary).

On another thread there is a 'census' of (halfpenny KGV??) single line perfs, or some such, but I figure a census of CTO 1d red roos would be a real eye-opener.

Clive

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

clive willingham wrote:Glen,
I really am unwise to show it as someone here bought it off me, and it is now "misplaced" in my tidy stamp storage MegaMall.
Yes sir, as you say, really unwise. :evil:

Clive
Clive, think of it this way...Glen has the most secure place in Australia, so it 'aint lost, just misplaced! :)
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

The very toughest set to get genuine CTO, of the 1930s era commemoratives, is the Cable set. I don't have a genuine 3d, just 2d.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Clive »

Peter,

There was a CTO South Australian set sold on eBay just a few weeks ago - it went as cheap and chips, and had me spitting chips because I got home too late to put a bid in.

The CTO Cable set is hard to find, as you say. A regular (and reputable)ebay seller who trades under the name portsea was advertising them quite regularly a few months back; from memory they were going for $10-15, and he at one stage expressed some surprise that they were fetching that much.

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by RodT »

This looks close Peter. I seem to have my fair share of CTOs, which are a byproduct of zealously collecting VFU for many years.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by Global Administrator »

clive willingham wrote:Glen,
I really am unwise to show it as someone here bought it off me, and it is now "misplaced" in my tidy stamp storage MegaMall.
Yes sir, as you say, really unwise. :evil:

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On this ONE occassion I am waiving all storage changes! :lol:

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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

clive willingham wrote:Peter,

There was a CTO South Australian set sold on eBay just a few weeks ago - it went as cheap and chips, and had me spitting chips because I got home too late to put a bid in.

The CTO Cable set is hard to find, as you say. A regular (and reputable)ebay seller who trades under the name portsea was advertising them quite regularly a few months back; from memory they were going for $10-15, and he at one stage expressed some surprise that they were fetching that much.

Clive
Clive, I am sure you have seen it yourself...stamps being described as CTO simply because they have neat corner cancels. I have seen many that, when you explain to people that the cancel is wrong, offence is taken. "Well, it has a Melbourne cancel!" is something I hear often. :)

Not suggesting that these were not CTO however.

BTW, do you have a good SA set yourself?
Peter
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PeterS
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by PeterS »

RodT wrote:This looks close Peter. I seem to have my fair share of CTOs, which are a byproduct of zealously collecting VFU for many years.
Image
Looks OK to me!
Peter
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RodT
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by RodT »

PeterS wrote:
RodT wrote:This looks close Peter. I seem to have my fair share of CTOs, which are a byproduct of zealously collecting VFU for many years.
Image
Looks OK to me!
Thanks Peter. I still have to rummage through the rest of my VFU to see what else is there. I'll post a few more images once done, starting with KGV.
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by RodT »

5d Chestnut KGV, Single Wmk, Die 1
Image
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by RodT »

1d Violet KGV, Single Wmk
Image
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Re: Australian Commonwealth Official CTOs

Post by RodT »

1½d Green KGV, Single Wmk
Image
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