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.