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10 Shilling Postage Postage Due Stamps From New South Wales And Australia

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Posted 07/21/2020   12:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add waddsbadds to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've often wondered about these high face value postage dues. Ten shillings was a fair bit of money in those days. NSW also had a 20 shilling (one pound) postage due, as did Australia itself later on. Great Britain had postage dues going all the way up to 5 pounds, which begs the question, if you had a piece of mail that required that much postage, wouldn't you almost by definition have to take it to the post office to get it weighed, and possibly measured? If so, how did you or they (the post office clerk) "forget" to put half a week's wages worth of stamps on the package?
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Posted 07/21/2020   03:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Presumably the high values were used for something akin to accounting - in the case of dues, for collecting accumulated cash owed to the post office by businesses. Similarly, stamps such as the GB 5 orange were very rarely used for actual postage, but rather for internal post office accounting purposes.
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Posted 08/20/2020   05:06 am  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The postal need for 10s and 20s postage due stamps from New South Wales and then Australia to 1909 was limited.

Theoretically, payments for bulk postage and for Customs Duty were possible. The was an article in the Australian Journal of Philately, June 18, 1904, page 44

The Postmaster at Kiama, NSW, who although a collector is not a subscriber to our journal, writing on December 19th, informed us that a copy of the November issue of our paper had been handed to him by a friend. In this number we commented upon the issue of 10s and 20s postage dues. Our correspondent writes that he has several times seen documents with 10s to pay, and in support of his contention that 10s and 20s stamps are necessary, relates the following incident:- "A gentleman received a large packet posted in Sydney and charged by Sydney at letter rate for this office to collect 5s deficiency and 5s fine. Seeing my opportunity, I wrote at once to the head office for a 10s postage due, received it, and when the owner paid the amount I put the stamp on, and he very kindly gave me the cover, which I have in my collection. The 10s postage due was lightly cancelled by myself." We have to thank our correspondent for this information, as it is additional proof that these high value stamps are not required. Packets with such large amounts to pay are evidently quite a rarity, not only at the Kiama office, but at other similar establishments. Two 5s stamps would have suited the purpose just as well; and had our correspondent not been a collector anxious to secure the stamp for his own collection, he would not have taken the trouble he did in the matter. We may add, however, that we generally get our information from headquarters.

In the latest edition of the Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue, part 10, Postage Dues including Victoria and New South Wales (3rd ed 2020) mentions the existence of a used 10s 'on piece' dated 9/1900 cancelled in Kiama held in the H L White Collection at the Mitchell Library in Sydney.

The Australian 10s and 20s without stroke are known postally used. Cancels in black and purple are known. The 1908 issue of the 2s, 10s and 20s with stroke are all known with purple 'PARCELS BRANCH SYDNEY' cancels. Only this type is accepted as genuine, contemporary usage for these stamps.

From 1902, Customs Duty of '3d per pound' was collected for parcels from the United States. I suspect that this is where the purple cancels were used (Perth included) but I don't yet have material to confirm my suspicion.

The red-and-green postage dues has the 10s and #163;1 on thick paper. Genuine usage is often seen, a subsequent issue on thin paper perf 14 x 14 has not been seen with contemporary cancellations.

With all these issues, 'used' copies are known but come from dealers 'improving' average mint copies in the 1980s.
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Posted 08/20/2020   05:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great info 64idgaf - thank you!
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Posted 08/20/2020   05:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, a very interesting read. Nice work.

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Posted 08/20/2020   06:32 am  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Geoff Kellow published this article

1909 20/- Green Postage Due with Stroke After Value
By Geoff Kellow, 'Australian Rarities' Australasian Stamps, June, 1998

This month's subject whose rarity was created through a combination of timing, availability and the general unpopularity of postage due stamps, is generally reckoned as the Commonwealth's rarest basic (i.e., face-different) stamp.
Although it took thirteen years after Federation for a uniform issue of postage stamps to eventuate, changes to the Postage Due stamps occurred more rapidly. At Federation, only New South Wales and Victoria used postage due stamps, and it was decided to extend their use to the other States. The New South Wales design was chosen, and postage due stamps printed in Sydney were supplied to Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. Victoria continued to use its own design. At first the original New South Wales plates were used, suitably modified by the removal of the letters "NSW at base, but very quickly a new set of plates was introduced using a redrawn design.
The original New South Wales set of postage due stamps ranged from d. to 20/-, and the same set of denominations, with some additions, made up the Commonwealth series. The simple New South Wales design comprised the figures of value inside a central oval set in an ornamental frame, with "PENCE" or "SHILLINGS" below to indicate the value. All values were printed in green. This design remained in use until 1909, when as part of the centralisation of stamp printing in Melbourne, the Victorian design for postage due stamps was adopted for a nationwide issue inscribed "AUSTRALIA".
It is not surprising that complaints were received about the difficulty of distinguishing certain denominations of the New South Wales design, although nothing was done about it until 1908. The values which caused a problem were the 1d., 2d., 5d and 10d., and the corresponding 1/-, 2/-, 5/- and 10/-. Since all the stamps were printed in the same colour, the only means of distinguishing the pairs of stamps was the wording in the lower portion of the oval; mistaken identifications could and probably did occur. The solution was to prepare a new series of plates for the shilling values, which included a stroke and dash after the figures of values. The 20/- postage due stamp was included in this set, presumably for the sake of uniformity, since there were no actual clash of figures for this value.
Information on the timing of events in Sydney and Melbourne is lacking, but there seems a real chance that there was a lack of communication between postal officials in the two cities, since the appearance of the modified shilling values of the New South Wales design occurred a matter of a few months before the adoption of the Commonwealth-wide postage due series printed in Melbourne. The expense of the new plates alone should have dictated against the need for the new shilling designs which would be in use for such a short period.
The Post Office did not provide the philatelic journals of the day with any advance warning of the changes, and by their nature, these high value postage stamps did not appear on mail in the ordinary sense of things. The contemporary press records that the 5/- stamp was on issue by September, 1908, the 1/- followed in December, and it is noted that all values from 1/- to 20/- were on issue by March, 1909. The exact date of issue of the 20/- postage due stamp is therefore not certain, but it may have been current for only a matter of months.
The 10/- and 20/- postage due stamps, both of the original design and the modified design were only ever issued for use in New South Wales. Neither value was distributed to any other State. No archival records have been located to provide either the quantity of 20/- stamps printed, or the quantity issued for use. It has been stated in print on some occasions that only two sheets of 120 were issued. This may be so, and would agree with my estimate of the number of stamps now existing, but I know of no official sources for this information. These high value postage due stamps were never intended for the collection of deficient postage on ordinary mail. Their postal purpose seems to have been limited to the indication of the payment of bulk postage, but they may also have been used for various other internal post office accounting reasons. All genuinely used examples of these high value postage due stamps of this period bear Sydney Parcel Post postmarks.
The availability of postage due stamps to philatelists at this time was limited,. It is believed that the only way of purchasing mint postage due stamps was by application to the Deputy Postmaster-General at the GPO Sydney, possibly only by mail. The modified 1/- to 20/- postage due stamps were never sold to collectors cancelled-to-order, and were never overprinted SPECIMEN, either for sale to collectors or for distribution to U.P.U. member countries.
No information is available on what happened to the remaining stock of stamps following the issue of the Australian series in July, 1909. Available evidence suggests that the remaining stock was destroyed very soon after. This is supported by the fact that for New South Wales, the "green" postage due stamps appear to be quickly superseded by the bicoloured issue. The archival records for the Melbourne printings show that the first issue of 10/- and 20/- postage due stamps to New South Wales was in November 1909, if the existing stock of the earlier issue was intended to remain in use, it was hardly likely that any stock of the new stamps would be required so soon. The known used example of the 20/- is dated February 1910, so usage, which may represent the continuing use of the one sheet issued for use in the Parcel Post Branch.
Thus three factors conspired to create the rarity of the 20/- stamp its very brief period of use, its non availability outside Sydney, and its difficulty of acquisition by collectors (coupled with a general apathy towards postage due stamps).
The 20/- postage due stamp with stroke after value is currently catalogued in the Australian Commonwealth Specialist's Catalogue (1999 edition) at $7,500 mint and $12,500 used, and by Stanley Gibbons at 5,000 mint and 6,000 used.
Of the used stamp, only one genuine example has been recorded. This has a Parcels Post Sydney postmark, and is illustrated nearby (on the front cover of this collection of articles). A very few other used stamps have been seen, but these all bear patently non-contemporary cancellations and must be assumed to be attempts to improve the value of unused stamps with defective gum.
It is difficult to estimate how many mint examples of the 20/- stamp exist. It is a stamp which appears regularly at auction, and it is a stamp which is frequently found in single stamp British Empire collections and collections formed to fill in spaces in old-time printed albums, formed by wealthy collectors. In particular, United States collectors have long had a fondness for the stamp and continue to be the major market for examples. I suspect that there are a number of examples in that country which have not been on the market for some time. My own estimate would be that there are perhaps 100 stamps in existence. Does anyone disagree violently with this figure? (It seems hard to believe that of an estimated 240 stamps issued, the survival rate would be 40%!).
The 20/- stroke after value postage due tends to have had its rarity lauded to the detriment of its fellow high value postage due stamps. Dealers I have spoken to seem to agree that it is indeed rarer than the 10/- stroke after value; this may be so, but the differential cannot be great. The real sleeper; even though it is well recognised as rare, is the 2/- of the same series. This may be of equal rarity to the 20/-. Remarkably a mint block of four of this stamp exists which must be regarded as one of the most important multiples of the Australian Commonwealth. The 10/- and 20/- of the earlier series without stroke are also very rare stamps. There are probably as few mint examples of these as there are of the later series, but supplementing these are used stamps. Genuine usage such as Parcel post date stamps are great rarities, but there is also a quantity (at least as numerous as the mint stamps) cancelled with "NSW" in three concentric ovals. I believe these are all cancelled to order stamps sold to collectors, though in what manner and at what price no information seems to be available. In addition, there are also "SPECIMEN" overprints, supplied by New South Wales to the U.P.U. The quantity required for this purpose at the time was 721 stamps, of which a proportion has been "liberated" and are now in collectors' hands.
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Posted 08/20/2020   5:16 pm  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a copy of a used 20s from my collection.

I purchased it in a larger collection and it was not described. When I submitted to the Royal in Melbourne for a certificate, it came back that the cds portion had been added to a previous CTO stamp.

Now I don't accept that conclusion. The three-ringed cancel is not the same size as any of the CTO cancellations descsribed in White or by Kellow in the ACSC.

Here is a stamp that sold for more than $5,000 at auction a few years ago in Melbourne.

Chris Ceremuga issued a carefully worded certificate stating that it was the only copy known with a cds. This was expanded in the auction description to suggest it was postal usage. A shame for the purchaser as identical cancels down to the date have appeared since on other values of the series. Most likely a late CTO set.

The 1903 date was late for the NSW issues (the 10s and 20s in the Australian issue did not appear until 1904) and does not relate to any known distributions to politicians. Collectors could always obtain a set cancelled to order from the Sydney GPO and I suspect the cancel relates to that purpose.

The same cancel on another value here:

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Edited by 64idgaf - 08/20/2020 5:17 pm
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Posted 08/20/2020   8:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Laurie 02 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very scarce postal usage...very nice examples too
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