March 2017

Our speaker in March was Dr Patrick Reid (pictured above) who entertained us with the Postal History, stamps and stationery of Hobart. The first item was an 1828 Newspaper showing the Duty Stamp, a ruse used by the Governor to control criticism levelled at him. A second example in black was revealed to be oxidised red rather than the very scarce black.He went onto to show the first Hobart undated handstamp; examples of the various Crowned Oval datestamps; examples of the various Crowned Oval datestamps; a town letter that had been re-rated as its delivery address was out of the central area; a few Ship Letters; Examples of the Hobart numeral cancels on cover and a very early Instructional Marking signed by the Hobart Postmaster.
Patrick displayed the One Penny value stamp, which was printed on variations of paper, perforations and printing methods, He also gave us an explanation of the ‘Volcano’ flaw and showed the various states as attempts were made to retouch it.
The next section in the first part was a comprehensive coverage of the Platypus issue used for both Postage and Revenue purposes. He began with original sketches and drawings for the design. These were followed by die proofs and Specimens as well as the issued stamps both mint and used and with varieties. After the decision to overprint the stamps ‘REVENUE’ with a view to invalidation for Postal use, a number of varieties occurred. These included: double and treble over prints and overprint inverted. When Tasmania ran out of 1d revenues, the 3d was overprinted in four different styles.
After the break, the first section was Stationery. He began with the set of 12 illustrated envelopes, both mint and used, the latter believed to be the only complete set in existence. These were followed by the US Fleet Card of 1908, both mint and used and then a range of embossed stationery. Patrick displayed a set of postcards telling the story of the Port Arthur Penal Colony and its transition through settlement to Tourist attraction.
The next section covered letter cards followed by Railway Parcel stamps and Newspaper stamps including those overprinted to avoid Insurance fraud.
Patrick finished with a very unusual item which he brought back from Tasmania - a complete wooden Shell Oil crate but decided to just keep the lid, complete with Parcels stamps. He showed this as his example of use on cover.
A eonderful and enlightening afternoon.