23 March 2014

Floral Emblems of Australia



Here are  new stamps from Australia Post to be released on 24th March 2014.The Commonwealth of Australia and each of its states and territories has a floral emblem. The stamps in this issue depict a selection of these.


Date of Issue : 24 March 2014

The Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was officially proclaimed the floral emblem of Australia on 1 September 1988. The Common Heath (Epacris impressa) was proclaimed Victoria’s emblem in 1958.

Tasmania proclaimed the Tasmanian Blue Gum(Eucalyptus globulus) in 1962, and New South Wales chose the Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) the same year.

Queensland proclaimed the Cooktown Orchid (Dendrobium phalaenopsis) in 1959.Western Australia took the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) as its emblem in 1960.South Australia proclaimed Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa) in 1961.

Club News


Members of the Royal Philatelic Society's Expert Committee along with Sotheby's experts David Renton and Richard Ashton examine the 1856 British Guinea One-Cent Magenta Photo: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER

Red-letter day for most expensive stamp

- By Hannah Furness 

The "one cent magenta" issued in the former colony of British Guiana is expected to fetch up to £12 million at auction in June, dwarfing the current record for a stamp.

Dirty, heavily postmarked and just an inch wide, this dark red stampmay appear hardly worth a second glance to the casual observer. But it is the “holy grail” of collecting and will soon become the world’s most expensive stamp.

Issued in the former colony of British Guiana — now Guyana — in 1856, it is the only known example of the “one cent magenta”, and is expected to fetch up to £12 million, nearly 10 times the current record for a stamp, when it is auctioned by Sotheby’s in June.

Pound for pound, it is likely to become the most expensive object ever sold at auction.

It will be only the fourth time that the stamp has come up for public sale in its colourful history, which has seen it pass through the hands of an enthusiastic schoolboy, a nobleman collector and a convicted killer, as well as being sold for First World War reparations.

David Redden, Sotheby’s worldwide chairman of books and director of special projects, described the stamp as the “very definition of rarity and value”. The person who acquires it, he said, would have completed the philatelic equivalent of conquering Everest, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

The stamp, cut into an octagonal shape, came into existence only after a shipment of British stamps failed to arrive in the South American colony.

The local postmaster, fearing disruption of his service, commissioned a printer to create a limited edition of stamps: the one cent magenta, the four cent magenta and the four cent blue.

The rarest of them, the one cent, was used only to deliver newspapers and disappeared from use after normal shipments from Britain resumed 10 months later.

The only known surviving example was discovered in the colony in 1873, by a 12-year-old Scottish schoolboy who had been rifling through his family’s papers.

The budding stamp collector, known as L Vernon Vaughan, added it to his album, before selling it for just a few shillings to a local collector later that year. That collector, Neil McKinnon, sent it to Glasgow for inspection, and in 1878 sold it to Thomas Ridpath, an expert from Liverpool who recognised its rarity.

Months later, it was sold to Count Philippe La Renotiere von Ferrary, arguably the most notable stamp collector in history. The Austrian nobleman bequeathed it to the Postmuseum in Berlin after his death in 1917. Three years later, the stamp was seized – along with his entire collection – by France and sold for First World War reparations.

Since then, it has set a record price at auction on three occasions: $35,000 (then £7,900) in 1922 when it was sold to the New York collector Arthur Hind; $280,000 (then £116,667) when it was bought by Irwin Weinberg Stamp Consortium in 1970; and $935,000 (then £402,320) when purchased by John E Du Pont in 1980. Each collector added their mark to the stamp, raising its value further.

Du Pont, the heir to a chemical fortune, died in a US prison in 2010 after being found guilty of third degree murder while mentally ill. The stamp is being sold at auction as part of his estate.

Last week, it was brought to London where it was examined by the British Philatelic Society for the first time since 1935 and verified as genuine. It will be offered by Sotheby’s New York on June 17, with an estimate of $10 million to $20 million (£6 million to £12 million). The current auction record for a stamp is $2.2 million (then £1.6 million), set by the Treskilling Yellow in 1996.

Christopher Harman, the chairman of the society’s expert committee, said the stamp was one of very few “major rarities” from the British Empire not held in the Royal collection.

“If you’re looking for the definition of rarity, the definition of value, you don’t look to a Faberge egg or a Leonardo da Vinci: this is it,” he said.


Emily Tallock of Sothebys with a unique mint block of the 1927 De Pinedo Air Mail 60c.black. estimated at £120,000-150,000 (PAU L GROVER)

Big Sellers


A three shilling stamp issued in Sweden in 1855 and used to mail a letter in 1857. Printed yellow instead of green by mistake. Fetched £1.6 million in 1996.


Sold for around £2.8 million in 1993. An 1847 stamped envelope sent from Mauritius to a Bordeaux address. Includes both of the island’s post office stamps, which are among the rarest in the world.


Sold for around £1.6 million in New York, 2005. Comprises four individual 24 cent stamps, printed in 1918. They feature a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny aircraft in flight, inadvertently printed upside down.

Source : The Telegraph

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