This sale featured Australian Colonies, including over 400 lots of New South Wales, within which were three important offerings. The first was a specialised section of the ‘Diadem’ issues, with proofs and including Moreton Bay District and Riverina uses in combination with Victorian stamps. A fine range of the 5/- ‘Coin’ issue included a die proof, colour trials and several examples with marginal burélage.
The highlight of the sale was the entire written in Sydney on 26 August 1794. Thought to be the oldest Australian letter in private hands, it was written by George Johnston, who in 1808 as the leader of the ‘Rum Rebellion’ overthrew Governor William Bligh. This wonderful item was supported by a further group of New South Wales stampless mail dating between 1821 and 1845. Finally from New South Wales we were pleased to offer an extensive collection of numeral cancellations. These numerals are the subject of an extensive handbook to be published by The Australian States Study Circle of The Royal Sydney Philatelic Club later this year. Throughout Australian Colonies were a number of rarities from the collection of the late Bruce Armitage. The Western Australia 2d Lilac ‘Error of Colour’ was especially fine, and from the same collection came the complete range of early postage dues offered under Australian Commonwealth.
Also in Australian Commonwealth were five pieces bearing strips of KGV values sent to the UPU and forwarded to Mauretania, where the stamps received a magenta receiving authority handstamp. Similar pieces from British Solomon Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Guinea (NWPI), New Zealand and Trinidad & Tobago were also offered from this recently released archive. Rest of the World was highlighted by a lovely collection of New Zealand Chalons which included many fine stamps, the best of which being perhaps the mint 1864-67 4d Deep Rose.