Greatest Collection Of
Australian Commonwealth Stamps Sees Daylight After Two
Third Watermark £2
with Harrison imprint
London. July 24, 2012. An
outstanding selection of the world's finest Australian Commonwealth
stamps will go on sale to the public, after two generations of
private collecting. Stamp collectors and enthusiasts will be
offered the rare treat of being able to pick from some extremely
rare examples, which will go on sale in a special auction at Spink
in London on the 13 & 14 November, 2012.
This outstanding collection was
created by William Morgan and his son Hugh Morgan, who, through
diligent and passionate collecting via trusted advisors have
culminated in one of the world's largest and most stunning
collections of Australian Commonwealth stamps to have ever come on
to the market.
Nick Startup, Stamp specialist at
Spink UK, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to offer
such a unique and exceptional collection. The calibre of this
collection of Australian Commonwealth stamps has not been seen
since the Kilfoyle Collection in the early 1960s. We can only
express our excitement that stamp collectors have been afforded the
opportunity to obtain such rarities that have not been seen for
Among the highlights in the
collection is the design for a 1911 Stamp Design Competition. On 21
January 1911 a Commonwealth Stamp Design Competition was announced
to find a design for the new stamps. The rules stipulated that
designs were to "contain features characteristic of Australia and
had to include the words "AUSTRALIA" and "POSTAGE". All entries
were to be made under a nom-de-plume. The Morgan collection
contains five different pen and ink essays by "Haereo", the
nom-de-plume of E.T. Luke, who worked at The Age newspaper in
Melbourne. He was able to take advantage of his position to prepare
lithographic-printed essays of his designs, which were affixed
below his enlarged drawings.
E.T. Luke competition
With the development of the
Kangaroo and Map design, a series of essays were produced. One such
is a horizontal design showing the kangaroo on a map of Australia,
flanked by draped flags. Only eight known examples are recorded, of
which five are in the National Philatelic collection of Australia
Post. The Morgan collection has the 2½d. printed in blue.
Other essays in the collection
include a vertical design showing the map of Australia without
Tasmania, and two value circles in the upper part of the design.
These are the rarest of all the Kangaroo essays, with only five
examples, all of different denominations, being recorded. The
Morgan collection contains two of the three in private hands.
Type 1 essay
Another essay features the final
approved design. These essays were printed in sheetlets of four.
One had ½d., 1d., 2d. and 3d. denominations, and the other had 5/-,
10/- and 20/- denominations plus a lone kangaroo. The Morgan
collection contains one of the largest groups of these essays ever
assembled, including one of only seven recorded high value
The issued stamps of the Kangaroo
issue include a multitude of the "JBC" and "CA" monograms plus the
various imprints. Of particular note are the First watermark ½d.
"JBC" corner monogram block of twelve imperforate at base and a
used example with sideways watermark, and 3d. "JBC" monogram block
of four imperforate on three sides. The highlights of the Third
watermark include the 2½d. missing "1" of fraction perforated
OS, a 2/- with "CA" monogram a 2/- pair imperforate on
three sides and a £2 block of four with Harrison imprint.
The King George V Heads include Perkins, Bacon die proofs in
First, Second and Fourth States. Another die proof in the
collection is the 1/4d. in issued colour. Again monograms and
imprints are to be found throughout the various printings and
denominations. Of particular note is the C of A watermark 2d. red
with inverted "OS" overprint on 1933 front from Ardelethan. Three
examples of this error are recorded, but this is the only example
known on entire.
1/4d. die proof in issued
The King George VI issues include a
range of multiples showing plate numbers. These plate numbers were
intended to be trimmed prior to issue, therefore they survive only
as a result of mis-guillotining, or because of paper folds during
printing, and represent major rarities of the reign.
C of A Watermark 2d. with
inverted "OS" used on front from Ardelethan
In 1942-44 six new designs were
issued to meet increased postal rates. Virtually the only surviving
die proofs of the earlier series are in the Royal Philatelic
Collection, but of the 1942-44 series a single additional set of
presentation die proofs was made to the Director-General of the
Post Office, Mr. L.B. Fanning. The Morgan collection contains a die
proof of the 5½d. Emu definitive from this source.
1942 5½d. Emu die proof in
The Morgan collection of Queen
Elizabeth issues includes some the rarest and most important errors
of this period. The first missing colour to occur on an Australian
stamp, is the 1955 Y.M.C.A. commemorative with the red triangle
omitted. The triangle was added as a second operation by
typography. Two examples were discovered soon after issue, one mint
and the other used on cover cancelled at Caufield South. The cover
did not appear on the philatelic market until 1970, when it was
purchased for the Morgan collection.
Another major rarity is the 1963
5d. green commemorative for the 50th Anniversary of Canberra
vertical corner pair imperforate at right. Other than this pair,
only a single used example has been found.
In the Decimal period, numerous
missing colours are to be found in the collection, particularly
among the 1966 definitives and comprise the 5c. brown omitted, 13c.
red omitted, 15c. grey omitted, 15c. pink omitted and 30c. red
omitted, all in strips in combination with normal stamps.
The collection is estimated to sell
for in excess of £3 million.
William Morgan began collecting as
a serious pursuit in the early 1960s, joining the Royal Philatelic
Society of Victoria in 1970. Pages in his collection indicate that
he sought advice from a J.R.W. Purves, who guided him on the
development of the collection. His major interest was in the
Kangaroo and King George V issues, both very specialised. Following
William Morgan's death on the 2nd February 1972, the collection
passed to his son, Hugh Morgan, in view of his long-standing
interest in philately.
Hugh Matheson Morgan (born 1940)
followed his father into the Western Mining Corporation and was CEO
of the company between 1990 and 2003. He also served as President
of the Business Council of Australia from 2003 to 2005, and was
appointed to the board of the Reserve bank of Australia in
Hugh Morgan's interest in stamp
collecting began in early childhood, but with the inheritance of
his father's collection, Australian Commonwealth became the focus
of his interest. He chose initially to concentrate on the decimal
issues so as to complement the existing collection, but determined
1972 as a cut-off date, this being the date of his father's death
and also a protest against what he saw as an unnecessary
proliferation of new issues. Hugh joined the Royal Philatelic
Society of Victoria in January 1972.
Due to business commitments, little
was added to the collection until the mid-1980s, but from 1989,
with the assistance of a curator, Tom Carter, selective
acquisitions were made. This coincided with a decision to exhibit
the collection, which involved the remounting of a large portion of
the collection under Tom Carter's guidance.
For further press information, or pictures, please contact:
020 7563 4009
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