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Cover Catalogue | Post Office Covers | Scarce Australian Postmarks


Cover Catalogue

The Australian Post Office (PO) has issued souvenir (event) covers (not to be confused with first day covers) since 1970 to commemorate events of (a) major public interest—royal visits, world conferences, sporting events etc and (b) postal services events (opening of a new PO and centenary celebrations of others). Such covers are usually promoted in conjunction with commemorative postmarks. By the end of December 1996, 224 souvenir covers had been produced; the Catalogue lists these.

In addition, the PO has issued blank (unserviced) general purpose philatelic covers for use when souvenir covers are not available. In March 1991, the Fifth (and current) series, Australia Through Stamps, was released, bringing to fifteen the number issued since 1972; the Catalogue fully details the fifteen envelopes.

Recently a third category, more correctly a sub-category, of cover reached catalogue status when the latest update was released in August 1997. In Supplement No. 1 (published October 1987) eleven Golden Wattle and Map general purpose covers were priced and illustrated at the back of the book. Back of Book listing arose out of doubt about the status of the covers which had a few lines of text applied to them by means of a rubber stamp (RS). To add to the confusion some covers were prepared at the local post office while others were done at head office. An assortment of coloured stamp pads was used to affix the cachet. The covers were issued in the period 1972-76 for the opening of some post offices, mainly in NSW and Victoria. In the last ten years fourteen more covers have surfaced. The author has illustrated and priced the RS covers having satisfied himself of their official status as that are the Australian Post Office.

The Catalogue, the reference work in its field, is devoted to the study and classification of the above two types of covers, appropriately called Special Events Covers (SECs) and General Purpose Covers (GPCs) by the author.

The status coding of each cover, as used in the first edition (1982), has been continued, as many covers were issued without publicity or notice in the Australian Stamp Bulletin, like the $500 Gold Coast envelope illustrated on the front cover of the Catalogue. Few collectors were aware of the existence or status of many of the envelopes, including the Gold Coast cover, until Mr Almeida studied and listed them.

Catalogue numbers (GP, SE and RS) have been allocated by the author and the latest market values incorporated. Every cover is illustrated, together with line drawings of the ten envelopes knives or cutting dies used for the different prints of the general purpose cover series.

The Catalogue is a priced, numbered, chronological, fully illustrated listing with 286 covers. It has 186 pages in the international B5 size, with card covers.  The full catalogue comprising the original book and all four supplements is priced at $45.

Image Description Price AU # Order
CPO Catalogue The Catalogue is devoted to the study and classification of the above two types of covers, appropriately called Special Events Covers (SECs) and General Purpose Covers (GPCs) by the author.
Bronze Award Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum Boston USA 1988
Silver Medal National Stampshow 89 Melbourne
Silver-Bronze Award APS Stampshow 98 Santa Clara California US
First published: October 1982
Second edition: July 1986
Supplement 1: October 1987
Supplement 2: June 1990
Supplement 3: September 1993
Supplement 4: August 1997

$45 CAT

Post Office Covers
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On 9 May 1927 Australia issued a commemorative stamp for the Opening of the Federal Parliament House in the national capital, Canberra. This stamp had a date of issue that was announced well in advance of the release date, the first time a stamp was awarded a day of issue status. The Australian Post Office (APO) did not market a cover for the event, leaving the production of FDCs to collectors and private cover producers.

The first foray into FDCs by the APO was on 10 May 1937. A further two issues had PO covers, on 1 October 1937 and 15 July 1940. But the cover market was left in the hands of the private sector. A generic FDC was introduced on 9 June 1954 with further two generic designs in use until 16 March 1970.

On that day the APO issued a cover for the Osaka World Expo stamps. This has continued unchanged since that fatal day with a PO cover(s) for each new issue. Private cover producers rapidly disappeared from the market. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the death of the private cover producer.  RIP.

Image Description
Price AU
# Order
POC 01 Australia Post Office, first day cover, 11B (90 mm x 145 mm), 1d QE & 2d KGVI Coronation stamps, cancelled on the day of issue, circular date stamp 10 May 1937, Melbourne Victoria, the First FDC of the Australian Post Office, addressed to the legendary Gimbel Brothers Inc. in New York USA. $75 POC01
POC02 Australia Post Office, first day cover, Size 6 (95 mm x 165 mm), Expo 70 Osaka Japan set, first day of issue circular date stamp 16 March 1970, Townsville Queensland, the FDC that led to the complete demise of the private cachetmakers of Australia, henceforth the Post Office produced specific to issue FDCs for all Australian stamps. $15 POC02

Scarce Australian Postmarks
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The following is a listing of scarce Australian commemorative postmarks of the decimal period that began in February 1962.  Only those postmarks are listed below where the quantity postmarked is below 1000 and the official figure has been published in the Australian Post Office Stamp Bulletin. Study the extremely small postmarking figures and do keep in mind that they include articles lodged for normal postal transmission and commercial use thus reducing the number of unaddressed covers available to general postmark collectors and those who collect by topic or theme.

Catalogue Numbers are from Australian PictorMarks® 2001 by Colleen A. Woolley and Janet S. Eury and used with permission. All postmarks are clear good strikes on unaddressed covers.

Kindly note that the covers that appear with this listing are examples of what the cover looks like and may not be the exact cover we ship. The postmarks are accurate, of good quality and as shown. Many covers are virtually the same and because a picture is worth a thousand words we feel it is better to see some thing than nothing.

Image Description Cat No. Cat Value AU No. Postmarked
Price AU
APM7800 1-5 Oct 1979
Music Week UNESCO, Melbourne

$250 178 $150
APM7780 24 Sep-11 Oct 1979
ITU Telecom Meeting, Melbourne
$125 350 $100
APM5991 9 Mar 1977
Royal Visit, Queanbeyan, NSW
$275 370 $100
APM8385 21 Mar-30 Apr 1980
World Forestry Day, Hobart
$150 450 $75
APM6205 26 Sept-2 Oct 1977
National Stamp Week, Darwin
$125 487 $100
APM2670 4 Dec 1968
PAN AM First Flight Sydney-Bangkok
$100 596 $100
APM10110 16 Sept-2 Oct 1983
Warana Festival, Brisbane
$60 635 $35
APM13720 9-11 Aug 1983
Yorke Peninsula Field Days, Kadina, SA
$75 688 $35
APM7090 8-14 Jan 1979
Christian Youth Convention, Perth
$100 780 $75
APM6170 10-14 Sep 1977
World Underwater Congress, Brisbane
$125 793 $75
APM6780 7-9 Sep 1978
Geelong Trade Exhibition, Geelong, Vice
$100 806 $75
APM4370 26-28 Jul 1971
Travel Agents Convention, Perth
$125 840 $75
APM2700 3-8 Mar 1969
Ports & Harbors Conference, Melbourne
$100 849 $75
APM8140 20 Dec 1979
Radio Australia, Melbourne
$75 877 $50
APM5750 13-18 May 1976
Toastmasters Conference, Sydney
$75 921 $65
APM2570 30 Jul-1 Aug 1968
Asian & Pacific Council, Canberra
$100 938 $75
APM5710 9-20 Feb 1976
International Banking, Melbourne
$75 969 $50
APM2780 7-9 Aug 1969
Portland Trade Fair, Portland, Vic
$120 989 $100
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