Australia Cancelled-To-Order Stamps

10/04/2012     Australia

The Post Office introduced Specimen sets for sale to collectors in December 1913. The sets, comprising all values from ½d to £2, were sold for 10s. The ½d to 5s values were cancelled-to-order, and the higher values were hand-stamped or overprinted Specimen. These sets were put together in Melbourne, and the circular date stamp was inscribed MELBOURNE at the top and left blank at the base. As new supplies were needed, various dates were used, and the make up of the sets changed as some values became obsolete. Supplies of later watermarked stamps were postmarked as earlier stocks became exhausted.

The make up of these collector sets varied with changing Post Office policy; at first the obsolete stamps were retained in the sets, but from about 1916, only current stocks were included. In 1928, in an attempt to increase sales, obsolete stamps of which sufficient stocks were held, were reintroduced. OS perforated Official stamps were also included in these sets, and the selling price increased to £1.

The high value Kangaroo values also exist with cancelled-to-order postmarks; these are much scarcer than the same stamps with Specimen overprints, and come from sets used for presentation or UPU distribution purposes.

This stamp is a fine example of the 1913 5s Kangaroo with presentation cds of Melbourne.

Stamp Talk!

Get our stamp articles and auction news direct to your inbox!