Dave Elsmore


This is the sixth in the series of ‘Let’s Educate the Judges’ in evaluating the exhibits of the Australian States Railway and Revenue Stamps.

Western Australian railway parcel stamps are one of the most difficult states railways to find and collect let alone evolve into an exhibit. The WA boys and girls have it tied up with very little bulk available for the collector to study, much of the information staying within that state’s philatelic journals. None the less a three frame starter would be within reach expanding to five as one adds material as it becomes available, but to achieve five you may have to take in the decimals.

When judging a Western Australian railway parcel stamp exhibit there is very little references available to the judge. Owen Ingles has published the ‘The Railway Stamps of Mainland Australia 1980” which is now over 20 years old and in bad need of an update. Updated articles can be found in the ‘Black Swan’ published by Western Australia Study Group. There appears to be room for further study and if shown should be rewarded.

This paper is not a critique: it is written to help guide the judge in this fairly new field of Railway & Revenue Exhibiting. I offer my 40 years of knowledge in collecting Western Australian Railway Parcel stamps.

Fig 1

First Series ¼d inscribed ‘NEWSPAPER’

No die proofs are recorded, first issue [fig1] 1905 proofs are rare, only a handful exist and if shown would be a good start. Two perfs for the set are recorded and should be shown. An exhibit should not be penalized if all values to 10/- are not shown as these are all hard. 1907 [Second Issue] brought a larger format issue which ran till the early 50’s with several changes in printing techniques. From 1912, an overprinted double ‘CANCELLED’ set is recorded [fig2] this set is rare and would be a plus if shown. Other issues 1919, 1920, 1923, 1930, a single surcharge is recorded, and a 1/3d  c1944 needs to be added to the listing. 1920 saw the printing change hands from the Government Lithographer to the Government Printer. Any multiples are very rare and should be rewarded. Specimen overprinted sets are known in the large format and would be a plus if shown. A study of the cancellers with and without serifs would be a plus with the serifs scarce. The exhibitor should show good knowledge and understanding on this series.

Fig 2

Second Series Large Format

In early 1952 a new design was issued [fig3] the same size as the second issue. The three different types should be explained by the exhibitor. One set of progressive proofs without station name is recorded. Roulette/perf values are found and would be a plus if shown. all appear scarce. Specimen overprints are known but rare. Perfins are recorded. Various different station fonts etc and a rouletted issue c1959 are recorded as well as a single private user of which a selection should be shown. The ½d & ₤1 are exceedingly rare.


Fig 3

Third Series Rare ½d & ₤1

In 1961 modified third issue stamps were released along with additional values these should be well explained. This fourth series [fig4] appears to be very hard as it had a very short life prior to decimalization. A single 4/6 is recorded but of unissued status. The ₤1 is a rare stamp. Two ‘sets’ to display, one with the station name ‘PERTH’ printed in the colour of the frame and other stations overprinted in black.


Fig 4.  

Fourth Series. Unique mint 4/6d

Highlights to look for:

1.     Proofs

2.    1st & 2nd Series 10/-

3.    2nd Series 1/3d

4.    3rd Series Progressive proofs.

5.    3rd Series ½d & ₤1

6.    4th Series ₤1

An exhibitor may struggle with importance as railways can only be exhibited in Traditional. All in all does the exhibitor have good understanding and knowledge of the subject, and does the exhibitor demonstrate this knowledge?.

Railways in general lack published information and simple sources for obtaining material. Thus original research and the problem of acquisition can be difficult. This should be appreciated by the judges.

Write critiques to help the exhibitor further his exhibit. Straight negative critiques are unhelpful at the best of time.

Treatment is left to the judge’s expertise with the exhibitor following the FIP SREV’s which can be found at the FIP web site here: https://www.f-i-p.ch/ The writer can be contacted at this email address: Dave

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All Graphics. Dave Elsmore

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