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