A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New South Wales

1882-91 Scott 63 3p green "Victoria"
Quick History
The HMS Endeavour and Captain James Cook sailed into Botany Bay (now part of southern Sydney) in 1770, and so named the area "New South Wales". The First Fleet of eleven vessels with 192 women and 586 men convicts arrived in 1788 to establish a convict settlement under Arthur Phillip, first Governor of New South Wales. By 1892, 4312 "professional criminals", 766 of them women, had landed at "Sydney Cove". Few had the skills needed to establish a colony. But today's Australian accent derives from the original cockney English spoken by the convicts. And survive they did- eventually forming Australia as we know it today.

The discovery of gold near Bathurst in 1851 brought in 100,000 more people for a total population of 300,000 in New South Wales in 1857. Stamps were introduced in 1850. "Responsible Government" was established in 1856.

In 1901, New South Wales joined with the other colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

New South Wales between Victoria and Queensland 
I should say something about the rivalry of Sydney and New South Wales with Victoria and Melbourne during the latter 19th century. The cultural differences exist even today, as was clear on our extended trip to Australia several years ago. Sydney- bold, brash, outgoing, sunny & surfers. Melbourne- cultured, cafes, much more "English".

What Australians have in common, though, is their love of sports. I became introduced to "Australian Rules Football" while staying with an Australian family, with whom we had become friends, when they lived in the U.S.. They were supporters of the Sydney Swans- even though they lived in Melbourne. It turns out that the Sydney Swans moved from Melbourne many years ago, but loyalty is forever. ;-)

1882-91 Scott 62 2p blue
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for New South Wales 1850-1907, 198 major numbers. I should point out, though, that there are many more minor numbers based on different color, paper, perforations and dies. No doubt the "New South Wales" specialist parses the stamps quite finely, and, probably, the Stanley Gibbons would be a more appropriate catalogue.

Of the 198 major numbers, 31 are CV <$1-$5, or 16%. None of the first 50 Scott numbers (1850-1867) are under $5. Clearly, New South Wales is quite popular with collectors, and the high prices reflect that reality.

Let's do a brief description of the earlier issues.

The first stamps, the so called "Sydney Views" were locally produced in 1850-51. Scott has them with 10 major numbers, but then adds some 79 minor number for color changes, plate differences, and paper differences. CV ranges from $240-$17,000. This is clearly the playground of the well off specialist.

The next issues produced from 1851-55, eleven major numbers, show the Queen with a laurel wreath in her hair. ( The French Emperor Napoleon III tried that on stamps between 1863-70, and that didn't work out so well for the monarchy. ;-)  CV is $50+-$700+.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1877 Scott 58 8p yellow
Wmk 54 - "Small Crown and NSW"
In 1854-55, large square stamps of the queen were produced framed with hexagons and octagons. (This design was variously issued through 1882: an example, an 1877 version, is shown here.) The some 30 major number "Queen Victoria " stamps produced between 1854-1867 have a variety of watermarks: Wmks 49,50,51,52,53. Consult Scott for details.

Between 1871-84, a nine stamp Perf 13 issue with wmk 54 was produced with a more reasonable CV of $1+-$30. The 8p yellow above is a member of that group.

1882-91 Scott 61 1p red
Wmk 55- "Large Crown and NSW"
The eight stamps 1882-91 issue was basically identical to the 1871-84 issue, but now in Perf 11 X 12 and wmk 55. Well, what about the watermarks?

Top row: Wmk 54 "Small Crown and NSW"
Bottom Left: Wmk 55 "Large Crown and NSW"
Bottom Right: Wmk 12 "Crown and Single-lined A"
Shown above are the watermarks for the stamps illustrated for this blog post. Note the smaller vs larger crown difference for wmk 54 vs wmk 55. And wmk 12 has a single lined "A".

1882-91 Scott 66 6p lilac
I should mention that the 1882-91 eight stamp issue also has numerous minor number perforation varieties. I counted 47! The CV for the issue is <$1-$20+.

1888 Scott 78 2p blue "Emu"
For the centenary of the first British settlement in New South Wales, a "One Hundred Years" inscribed six stamp issue was released. Each has a different design. Many consider these to be the first NSW commemorative stamps issued.

The Emu, native to Australia, is the second largest bird now in existence after its cousin, the Ostrich.

Distribution of the Emu in Australia
We found on our visit to Australia that the Emu was a common sight in Nature preserves outside of Canberra.
1889 Scott 82 1sh maroon "Kangaroo"
The iconic "Kangaroo" was featured on the 1 shilling stamp. When we would go to the parks or outskirts of Canberra at dusk, they would be as numerous as deer in Minnesota. And when those big brown eyes looked at you, well, it became quite difficult indeed to order 'Roo at the restaurants. ;-)

1891 Scott 92 1/2p on 1p gray
1892-97 Scott 95 1/2p slate
A 1/2p surcharged stamp was issued in 1891, with a 1/2p stamp then issued as shown in 1892.

1897 Scott 98 1p rose red "Seal", Die II
1897 Scott 98e 1p rose red "seal", Die I
For Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, a three stamp issue was produced.

The 1p rose red is found with two Dies. (Enlarge the image for examination.)
º The first pearl on the upper right of the crown is circular in Die II, while it merges into the arch below for Die I.
º The vertical shading under the fleur-de-lis is clear in Die II, while indistinct with Die I.
º The "S" in "Wales" is less open in Die II compared to Die I.

Since both Die types are inexpensive (CV <$1), you may very well have both Die types in an accumulation.

1897 Scott 99 2p deep blue "Victoria"
1899 Scott 103 2p ultramarine
Included in the Jubilee issue was, naturally, a portrait of the Queen. A deep blue color was issued in 1897, while an ultramarine color is found for the 1899 stamp.

1897 Scott 100 2 1/2p deep purple
1899 Scott 104 2 1/2p dark blue
A deep purple was issued in 1897, while a dark blue color was produced for the 1899 2 1/2p Victoria.

Honestly, not the most flattering portrait.

The deep purple actually is found with two Die types. One can have 16 radiating lines in the star on the Queen's breast (Die II- illustrated here), or 12 radiating lines (Die I). 

1888 Scott 79 4p brown "Captain Cook"
1899 Scott 104B 4p orange brown
The "Captain Cook" design from the 1888 "One Hundred Years" issue is found in a brown color, while the 1899 reissued stamp is an orange brown.

1905-06 Scott 109 1/2p blue green, Die II
1905-06 Scott 109a 1/2p blue green, Die I
The 1905-06 1/2p blue green also has two Dies. (Enlarge for examination.)  Die II has a wide "H" in "Half", while Die I has a narrow "H". As they are both inexpensive ($1), check your collection for both types.

Postage Due 1891-92 Scott J2 1p green
Looking remarkably like the U.S. postage due design (Coincidence? I think not ;-), ten stamps were issued for that purpose in 1891-92.

Official 1888-89 Scott O27 6p carmine "Victoria and Coat of Arms"
Finally, many Officials were issued (40 major numbers) from 1879-1894 by overprinting "O S" on the stamp. Here a 6p carmine from the "One Hundred Years" issue is shown.

Deep Blue
1888-89 Issue Stamps in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 14 pages for New South Wales, and includes spaces for all the major numbers. If one was collecting in depth, especially the earlier issues with their numerous variations, the Steiner would need to be heavily supplemented.

1882-91 Scott 68 1sh black
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, has 1 1/2 pages for New South Wales, and 52 spaces. The other 1/2 page has space for Nossi Be and Nova Scotia. The pages are located after New Hebrides, and before New Zealand.

Coverage is 26%.

There are 18 stamps crossing the $10 CV threshold, with three in the "Most expensive" category ($37+-$50). See the listing in the comments section after the checklist.

If one examines the checklist, one will note there are often a LOT of choices for each space. Some are in the CV "hundreds" range, but for completeness sake, all are included. ;-) I did pick out the least expensive stamp if all the choices are CV $10+, and listed that choice in the comments section.

Have fun!


10 or 12 or 13 or 23, (24),

1854-91 (Perf or Imperf)
26 or 38 or 56 or 65, 27 or 39 or 40,

1856-63 (Perf or Imperf)
32 or 35, (36),

45 or 47 or 52 or 61 or 70, 46 or 48 or 53 or 62 or 71,
 54 or 63, 50 or 55 or 64, 57 or 66, 60 or 68,

77,78,79 or 104B or 113, 80 or 105, 81 or 106C or 115 or 127,
82 or 118 or 130,


95,102 or 109 or 121, 98 or 110 or 122,
99 or 103 or 111 or 123, 106 or 114 or 126,

(Two blank spaces: two choices for the other choices not taken 1897-1906 issues),
97 or 117 or 129, 107,
100, 108 or 128, 104 or 112 or 124,

Next Page

Postage Due

Official Stamps
O1 or O12, O2 or O13, O5 or O15, O7 or O17, O10 or O19,


 O38, O35,


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1854 Scott 23 1p orange ($50)
1854 (Scott 24) 2p blue ($20+)
1882 Scott 65 5p dark blue green ($10+)
1860 Scott 40 6p violet ($10+)
1860 Scott 35 1p red ($10+)
1860 (Scott 36) 2p blue ($20+)
1876 Scott 60 1sh black ($10+)
1891 Scott 92 1/2p on 1p gray ($10+)
1897 Scott 96 9p on 10p red brown ($10+)
1903 Scott 107 2sh6p blue green ($37+)
1891 Scott J5 4p green ($10)
1891 Scott J6 6p green ($10+)
1891 Scott J7 8p green ($37+)
1881 Scott O17 6p lilac ($10)
1879 Scott O10 1sh black ($10+)
1888 Scott O27 6p carmine ($10+)
1892 Scott O38 1/2p gray ($10+)
1891 Scott O35 2 1/2p ultramarine ($10+)
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
C) *1879-81- choices  wmk 54 vs wmk 55

1890 Scott 89 2 1/2p ultramarine "Australia"
Out of the Blue
Back in the 1980s, when I rekindled my interest in stamps for awhile, I thought about specializing in the Australian British Crown Colonies. I still believe it would be a great choice. ;-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. Hi Jim. Thanks for another very interesting and well compiled blog post. You're quite right about the love for sports running deep here in Australia. Just last week Queensland and NSW faced off in the 100th State of Origin Rugby League football match between the 2 states. NSW was the victor this time round but I'm confident that my Queenslanders will come roaring back in the next one. Many of the stamps of NSW are really quite beautiful. I've always been especially keen on the 3d green diadem you have illustrated at the top of your post. Thanks again.

  2. Thanks Peter. I agree the 3d green is lovely. I, unfortunately never made to Queensland on our trip, but my three kids (actually young adults) have snorkeled by the Great Barrier Reef.

    Now I understand Rugby, but Australian Rules Football is another matter...


  3. Hi Jim. I'm a History grad student at UW-Madison, currently writing a paper on French colonial stamps. I've been reading your blog a lot, to try and get my bearings. It's been incredibly helpful.

    I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions via email? I'm mainly interested in the switch from Navigation and Commerce stamps to the pictorials.


  4. Hi Siobhan

    Sure, I would be happy to try, if you don't mind, as a Wisconsin Badger, asking questions of a former Minnesota Gopher. ;-)

    I'm not sure, though, I have much insight about the transition, other than it did occur.

    jkjoregon is the first part....

    Then add for the second part.... @comcast.net.

  5. This must be really ridiculous.. but I get a small bit annoyed when you shorten "shilling" to "sh". I know it's the proper way to abbreviate shillings in africa and the U.S., but silly enough I am used to have it abbreviated "s", "/-" or even perhaps " '- "... Strange what old habits can irk you sometimes.

    1. With international readership, there is plenty to annoy just about everybody. ;-) I hope it doesn't prevent you from enjoying the posts.