Australian States Collection 1850 - 1913

New South Wales

New South Wales was the first coloney to adopt the prepayment of postage stamps. On the 1st January 1850 the "Sydney View" stamps were issued featuring the colonies great seal, dating from 1792.
Locally printed from hand engraved copper plates, the Sydney View stamps were soon replaced by the "Laureates" depicting a more conventional image of Queen Victoria's profile.

These primitive stamps gave way to stamps printed in England as engraved issues by Perkins Bacon in 1854 and 8 years later letterpress stamps be De La Rue.

New South Wales made a significant departure from the tradition designs in the issue of the Centennial series of 1888 - 89. They were the worlds first commemorative stamps, and remained on sale like normal definitive issues.
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Queensland was the last colony to issue postage stamps, this being a result of their seperation from New South Wales in 1859. In the following year the Queensland stamps arrived from England and replaced the New South Wales stamps that were on sale. Being named after Queen Victoria it is appropriate that all of the Queensland stamps featured the Queens portrait. The "Chalon" portrait depicting a very young Queen Victoria was used for many years.

The majority of Queensland stamps were locally using engraved steel plates supplied by the London printer "Perkins Bacon". The latter stamps featuring a profile of the Queen were printed letterpress in Brisbane.

South Australia

South Australian stamps were first printed in 1855 with the first stamps  printed in London by "Perkins Bacon" and then the printing plates being forwarded to Adelaide so further isues could be printed locally. The stamps featured the Royal portrait in a standard format until 1886 when the first series of the "Long" stamps were issued.

These stamps were twice the size of the normal stamps and they appeared in higher denominations (2s6d and over) for both postal and fiscal use. After federation, the long stamp format was adopted for postage stamps from3d upwards. Another interesting variation was the solitary halfpenny stamp of 1898 which depicted the Adelaide GPO.

Tasmania 1853 - 1856

The Tasmanian colonial stamps  were first issued in 1853 and the first stamps  came out bearing the name "Van Diemens Land"  thet were first printed locally from hand engraved plates  until supplies of the  Perkins Bacon printed stamps from London arrived.

The colonies name was changed to Tasmania in 1856 but it was 1870 before the new name started appearing on the postage stamps. Tasmania had a major break from tradition in thr printing of the 1899 - 1900 pictorial issue where they printed a six value series featuring scenis views of Tasmania, similar timing to the New Zealand 1898 - 1900 Pictorial issue.
The Chalon Heads like the New Zealand Chalons come in a large number of varieties, with different papers and watermarks. Combined with the imperforates and trial seperations through to the perforated examples.


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Western Australia 1854 - 1864

Western Australia issued its first stamps in 1854, being a one penny and printed in black the stamp imitated Great Britains first stamp. The stamp depicts the colonies emblem the "Black Swan". The Western Australian stamps varied from tradition in continuing with the black swan emblem on thier stamp rather the the norm of this time  being royal portraits.

It was only after the move to federation that western Australian stamps appeared with a royal portrait, these being printed in Melbourne and being deviations  of Victorias designs. Western Australia notably has produced the most valuable stamp error the "4d Blue" 'Inverted frame' of the 1854 of which about 14 examples are known to exist.
The Commissariat punctures provide for an interesting area of study. Two examples shown below SG. 41 and SG. 55, they were produced prior to the earliest Gb perfin, yet were pre-dated themselves by the triangular perfin of Tasmania as stated earlier.

There are 2 different sizes of the WA convict punctures, measuring 3.2mm and 4mm.The purpose of the commissariat was to provide and organise the supply of stores and provisions for the penal colony. It held a stranglehold over the Australian States' economy and finances, as it was deemed a direct branch of the British Commissariat, which in turn was a sub-branch of the GB Treasury. The Commissariat General in London was represented by the Deputy Commissariat General in Sydney (& W.A...Captain James Stirling), and these gentlemen conferred directly and not through the Governor, who only had supervisory responsibility.

"Convict" punctures is definitely an incorrect terminology, as the Commissariat had jurisdiction over the milliatary,the Convict dept, the police, Gaols, the lunatic Asylum, and Colonial Marine. It therefore goes without saying, that in the early years of Commissariat punctures(from 1850's on), the usage may be from any of the departments. By 1870, the milliatary had left the Australian Colonies, and the Commissariat was abolished. In the intervening 2 decades, responsibility for the various departments was taken up by the Colonial Government, and was therefore limited to the convict department and lunatic assylum.....hence the "convict puncture" nametag. By mid 1874, the Comptroller of Convicts stopped using the large puctures.