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 by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Monday, October 11, 2021

New South Wales - Bud's Big Blue

Scott #s 41, 38, 40, and 42
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

New South Welsh (NSW) stamps have so many curious aspects that I don’t know how to condense them into a single coherent article. So, I’ve settled on a rambling list of thoughts that occurred to me as I reviewed the scans posted below. When you study your NSW collection, no doubt you’ll come up with observation that I never thought about. As/if/when you do, please post them in the comment box.

Random thought 1: The “New” prefix on country names (e.g., NSW, New Guinea, New Hebrides, etc.), occurs mostly in the South Pacific. Explorers must have been homesick by the time they got there. After a year or so at sea, any land must have reminded them of home; hence, “New” something or other. BB albums have a clump of “New” country stamps from countries that clump, well, mostly clump, together in the south seas.

Random thought 2: The British founded NSW in the late 18th Century as a penal colony. After the American Revolutionary War, the British could no longer discard crooks in Georgia. So, they exported them to NSW instead.  Thieves had little hope of returning home, ever. The flow of criminals continued until 1868. Some of the early NSW stamps in our albums may have carried their letters to loved ones back in England. 

Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll of Plymouth mourning their lovers transported to Botany Bay, NSW (1792)

Random thought 3: NSW developed a system of coded number cancels for post offices. The stamp with a “30” ray-type cancel (see above, Scott #40) was pinked in Camden, a historic village now a suburb of Sydney. Sydney had the largest concentration of prisoners, but Camden had some, too. Ian Willis has written a history of the Camden crooks titled “Convicts in the Cowpastures” (1).

Random thought 4: NSW stamps provide abundant challenges for specialists -- perfs, watermarks, dies­­­, color variations galore. Scott lists a medley of 200; Gibbons has 400. Probably neither list has exhausted the possibilities.

Random thought 5: NSW boasts an early embossed postal envelope (1838) that precedes Britain’s penny black. Sadly, I don’t have one.

Random thought 6: The two postage due “specimens” on the supplement page have different fonts for the overprints. I think they’re genuine, but more research is needed. The Newcastle (another “new”) etiquette probably was used after the Australian states unified. Newcastle, like its British namesake, is a coal producing region. I wonder why they didn’t name it New Newcastle.

Postage due specimens, registration etiquette

Random thought 7: When designed or printed locally, British colonial stamps often have a quaint folkart quality about them. Scott #s 100 and 104 provide examples. The queen wears a scarf secured by a small diamond crown, a widow’s weeds accessory she often wore after Prince Albert’s death (1861).

Scott #s 100, 108, 104

 Random thought 8: Early NSW issues were printed with almost no margins, making well-centered examples with no shaggy perf encroachment on the design difficult to find.

Perf encroachment, Scott #s 32, 33

Random thought 9: NSW issued two stamp designs with a female personification of Australia (#108 shown above), a common practice in the mid to late 19th century. I wonder, though, why Australia was personified on a NSW stamp and not NSW itself. NSW did have a cartoon personification, the “Little Boy from Manly”, but he never made it onto a stamp. The little boy was later adopted by the newly unified Australia.

Random thought 10: NSW issued a two-stamp series in 1888 to celebrate its centennial -- considered to be the first commemorative stamps. I have only one of them.

Scott #87

So much for my random thoughts.

Census: 52 in BB spaces, 2 tip-ins, 21 on supplement page.

(1)           https://camdenhistorynotes.com/2017/03/04/convicts-in-the-cowpastures-an-untold-story

Jim's Observations

To go along with Bud's "random thoughts", here is a very random observation...

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. ;-)

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