Click To Go Back To The Main Stamps Homepage

Welcome! -  You are visitor number   To -


April 2018


New ACSC "Postal Stationery" Catalogue



This welcome new edition updates the first edition of five years back (2013), incorporating a number of corrections and new discoveries.  In particular, the Postal Cards up to 1936 have been extensively revised, and there are many additions to the listing of Lettercards.


ACSC “Stationery” - First edition for 5 years.


The decimal postal stationery produced by the Note Printing Branch is included for the first time. All prices have been fully updated.  In full colour, 484 x A4 pages, and perfect bound.  Should have been hard cover at this size, and I passed on that view, to the deaf ears of publisher!

If you only buy one catalogue each decade, whether you are dealer or a collector or Auction, you MUST have this. The most common innocuous looking thing on your desk might well be valued at ten times the purchase price of this catalogue. 

The front cover 1d Lettercard is Cat $5,000 - there are 5 different views recorded on these, all $5,000 - although Elephants stacking timber in Adelaide defies the imagination, as to why it was ever designed!

This is the EXACT sort of thing an overseas seller would list on ebay or their website at $50 or so, and pray someone ordered it.  All the "PTPO" (Printed To Private Order) issues are listed in great detail, and many run many $1,000s each - did YOU know that?



Cat $7,500 - would YOU know?


The 1d Red one shown nearby, no overseas dealer would price more than $10 or so I'd bet.  It is cat $7,500 in this new ACSC - indeed it sold for more than that at public auction.  There are HUNDREDS of items in here listed at between $5,000 and $15,000 EACH.

Even common looking window face types of these envelopes can get many $1000s. The one shown nearby from 1924 was sold as a “T” lot by the same Prestige Philately Auction house, and a local would have paid $A4,300 for it.

EVERY item is illustrated in colour (reduced in size of course) - a GODSEND for many of the earlier Registration envelopes etc. (Only about 4 pieces in the entire book they were unable to get copies of to scan!)


Cost a whopping $4,300 at Public Auction.

  Very coolly, all down the outer spine is colour coded: to go to Wrappers go right to BLUE tagged edges.  For postcards, go to PURPLE tags etc.  A breeze to use quickly, as I need to do nearly each day, to sort and identify new stock  

Improvement over ring binder Mark #1.


I HATED using the initial huge ring binder edition as time went on, as the printer punched the holes way too small in my view.  Making finding any given section was a time consuming juggling act, always slightly damaging all earlier pages each time. This one is a BREEZE to use.



Colour coded outer edges this Edition.


For instance ALL the “View” Lettercards are now all illustrated and priced SEPARATELY - some 170 different!  Some of these are worth a fortune, and dealers and collectors without this book have not got a CLUE as to what is scarce, and what is not.

You will easily pay for this book with the first vaguely scarce view you pick up on ebay etc. There are pretty boring looking things illustrated nearby, that sell for many THOUSANDS that you might well find in overseas dealer $5 boxes etc, as none of them bother buying detailed books like this.

There are also all the Aerograms illustrated - many quite valuable, plus all the wide range of Military Stationery material, WW2 Food Parcel labels (one is cat $10,000, and another $7,500), and even all the myriad of different views on the initial 1911 “Coronation" set.  All priced separately.

The highest price I sighted in here was $15,000 for a KGV low face value reply card, that I bet a lot of overseas (even local!) sellers would price at $20 retail, and cross their fingers! 

This is a really huge and heavy stamp catalogue - near 500 large A4 pages, on quality grade paper, in full colour - all proudly printed and produced here in Sydney Australia.

It lists and prices all stationery from the first 1911 Australia issue “The Coronation Series” postcards which are very numerous, complex, and highly collected, right up until the last QE2 pre-decimal stationary issues for Australia and all the “Territories”.



New research all through this book.


Edited by Dr. Geoff Kellow, the usual super high standard of original research work, and fine attention to detail has taken place here. Geoff told me much of his original research on numbers printed of the early issues has never been published, before the ACSC did these.


Fabulous depth in the cat listings.


Not only Australia is covered, but the “Territories” are all included in here, and that includes all the “Formular” Aerograms and airletters etc.  And all the Papua early issues, and “GRI” material, and PNG and Cocos and Christmas Islands etc.  All listed and priced within.

These are HEAVY - over 2 kilos (near 5 lbs) when packed up, so you are getting “Bang for Your Buck” for sure!  A lot of updates to the initial Edition, so well worth updating or buying for the first time.  Just ONE truly medium find, just once in your life, and it is paid for.  I even have a few Editor signed copies on hand.


Prettiest Stamp Design Ever?


All readers of this article have their own personal views of the most attractive stamp designs.  Oddly, most polls I have read on that topic have voted on pre-war steel engraved recess printed stamps etc - I do not recall any offset printed modern stamps ever being among them! 


cattle, NOT American Cattle!


One stamp that routinely scores well in any collector polls, of the most attractive stamp design of all time, is the USA Scott #292 - the 1898 $1 Trans-Mississippi Exposition, which was held in Omaha Nebraska of all places.

Issue date of these stamps was June 17, 1898, and the number issued to Post Offices was only 56,900 - and of that truly tiny number, (WAY less than the 5/- Sydney Harbour Bridge) an unknown quantity were later officially destroyed by USPS as unsolds.

These truly superb looking stamps were printed by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and supplied to PO’s in sheets of 100 subjects, trimmed flat on all sides, with the usual double-line watermark “USPS”, and all were perforated 12.

This $1 Trans-Mississippi Exposition commemorative stamp pictures a rugged bull leading a herd of cattle through a snowstorm.  Although the series was intended to portray scenes from the American West, the design is based on a painting by Scottish artist James MacWhirter, entitled “The Vanguard.”  That original painting is shown nearby.

It was painted in a small farmhouse near the Scottish town of Callendar, (not “Calender” as American sources incorrectly refer to it as) so the scene is actually of Scottish cattle in the central Highlands of Scotland.  So much for being iconic cowboy American, “Yankee Doodle” open plains cattle!


Painted North SCOTLAND, not North Dakota!


The work of art had been used in advertisements for an American cattle company, who used it widely without permission.  After the stamp was printed, USPS officials learned the painting was the property of British Lord Blythswood.  An official apology was issued through the offices of the British Ambassador, who it appears was satisfied with the outcome.

The $1 Trans-Mississippi stamp was designed by Raymond Ostrander Smith, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s chief staff designer, who also was responsible for the equally pretty 1901 Pan American set 6, and superb Newfoundland John Cabot set 14 of 1897. The $1 stamp features the same outer border as the rest of the values of the set. 

Unlike the 1893 Columbian series, the Trans-Mississippi Exposition commemorative stamps didn’t include the name or dates of the event. Instead, each stamp features a caption with the name of the photograph or (alleged!) painting upon which the design is based.

Stamp collectors weren’t concerned with the accuracy of the design. “Western Cattle in Storm” is often referred to as the most beautiful stamp ever issued by the USA.  In addition to being visually appealing, the stamp is also quite expensive of course, and mint or used copies cost quite serious money.  


Spanish War meant monocolour used.


The Trans-Mississippi commemorative stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  The original plans called for the full series to be printed in bi-color.  A red frame, with a black vignette (i.e. central design) was planned for the $1 “Western Cattle in Storm” stamp.


“USS MAINE” Revenues strained resources.


However, the Spanish-American War strained the resources of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which was overburdened by the demand for revenue stamps to fund the war. The Trans-Mississippi commemoratives were hence printed in a single color, with the $1 denomination printed in black ink.

After the tumultuous Civil War, the US was nearly broke.  To provide funding for the Spanish-American War, Congress authorized a tax on a wide range of goods and services. Including various alcohol and tobacco products, tea and other amusements.  Also on various legal and business transactions - such as Stock Certificates, bills of lading, manifests, and marine insurance etc.

The sunken “USS Maine” then at the bottom of Havana Harbour, featured on 12 of these stamps, in different colours and values, to raise the War Tax basically, and I am certain every kid’s stamp album on this planet had at least one these Maine stamps proudly affixed inside! 

To pay these tax duties, the revenue tax stamps were purchased and affixed to the taxable item, or a respective certificate. There are 12 stamps in this "1898 USS Maine" ship issue, which occur in denominations ranging from ½c to 80c, and printed on double lined watermarked paper. Two types of perforations were used - rouletted, and 'hyphen' shaped perforations. 

The entire printing run of the $1 Omaha lasted only three days from June 1-3, 1898.  There are no significant plate varieties or shades.  Fully 20% of all the stamps sold featured one or more straight edges, (most now re-perforated!) leaving a maximum 45,520 copies sold with original perforations on all four sides. Indeed far less, since we know many unsold stamps were destroyed.

The 1898 “Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition” was held to further the progress and development of natural resources west of the Mississippi River.  Held in Omaha, Nebraska, the exposition opened on June 1, 1898, and ran for four months. 

The Expo was not a financial success overall, but it did revitalize Omaha Nebraska, a city that had been devastated by drought and depression. Over 2.6 million people attended the Omaha Expo.


A century on, USS Maine STILL remembered!


Re-enactments at this log Expo, of the explosion of the battleship Maine of that year 1898, in Havana Harbour also fuelled patriotism, and gathered further support for the Spanish-American War.

The result was the 1898 Treaty Of Paris, negotiated on terms very favourable to the USA which allowed it temporary Military Government in Cuba (see stamp nearby!), and totally ceded ownership of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spain to the USA.  Spain’s Empire was gone.

"Remember the Maine - To Hell with Spain!" became a popular chant in the USA in 1898.  Mainly due to a few media barons actively suggesting the Spanish mined her.  It now seems clear that the bituminous coal used to power Maine was known for releasing firedamp, a gas that is prone to spontaneous explosions.  So, it seems the Maine’s gases ignited the ammunition magazine internally, and it self-destructed.


Cuba still an issue of course.


The “USS Maine” sank in Havana Harbour in Cuba, and as outlined above, that largely led to Spain losing control of the island of Cuba. 120 years on, the relations are still strained despite President Obama vowing to “normalise” relations, and no surprise to see Donald Trump reneging on all that tide of common sense.

US Foreign Policy in 2018 seems to vary each day, based on how much Fox News Trump watches each morning, and who he has left on staff that week to consult with, and to Tweet out the new version, until it is back flipped or reneged on by Press Office, or totally denied days later!


America No Like Persia Stamp.


As I type, it seems that countries like Sudan, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Burma etc, are still on the current “WE NO LIKEY” list.  “What does any of this have to do with stamp collecting?” I can hear some asking.  Well when the USA decides one of these places is on the “NO LIKEY” list, it makes their stamps harder to buy for many.

The 1882 Shah of Persia stamp shown nearby is one of many truly superb stamps issued by Persia in the good old days. It is 135 years old, is genuine, and sells for about $A30.  If you advertised it for sale on ebay it would be removed, and you would get a warning your account will be closed, if you persist in such unpatriotic activity.

If I advertised it on stampboards or my own website - totally away from ebay, and someone pays for it via paypal the transaction would be flagged, voided, we would both we warned of account suspension, and both reported to the American Feds more than likely.  Don’t laugh - it is for REAL! Is the long stampboards discussion on these nutty policies re offering stamps 100+ years old and being clobbered. That chat covers several years, and it is murkier now than it EVER was!  One UK chap there has offered a 19th Century Persia lot 3 or 4 times for a few $$, and had it removed every time.


Even these cause issues with Paypal!


I am a Life Member of the ASDA in New York, and just got this email below, which reads like fiction, but sadly it is true.  A USA dealer advertised an old stamp on his own website and got reported to the American Feds for that unpatriotic action!  I kid you not –

It started off - “A member of the ASDA had been reported to OFAC (US State Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control) for selling stamps from North Korea on their own website and offering PayPal as a payment option.

So we thought that it might be a good idea to remind our members of PayPal and eBay policies on embargoed countries, as well as the email from PayPal on the consequences of doing so. While we realize that eBay does have listings of stamps on their site from some of these countries and if you are able to list them on eBay, you might run into similar problems if accepting PayPal as a form of payment. etc.”

So it really does happen, and occurs a TON more than most are aware of.  Sometimes used are OK, sometimes not.  Mint almost never are.  If you advertise 100+ year old CUBA mint stamps, ebay/paypal will almost certainly remove them.  If you use common sense, and say those stamps have been in Australia for 100 years ebay LITERALLY say this -

“We don't permit the sale of items that claim to be pre-embargo, because we cannot determine when an item was removed from a specific country.”  That was precisely what the ASDA dealer was told, along with: “As a result of the violation, details of your account, and the transaction have been reported to OFAC.”


North Korea stamps forbidden as well.


North Korea of course have issued lots of pretty topical stamps over the decades, that are politically harmless, but are just as illegal to sell or own mint, according to ebay and paypal, just as much as totally over the top stuff like this quartet shown nearby.


NOT a way to make friends in the USA!



I am not really sure if any of these stamps circulate in North Korea on real mail, but they certainly belong in any collection of Propaganda Stamps!  This is a family magazine - I have seen even more gruesome and gory stamps they issued, a bit too graphic for here, and as you can see these provocative stamps date back 50 years, so various nutto dictators have had the same views. is the stampboards discussion on these stamps, and Rodney Perry noted there he was a keen buyer of genuine COMMERCIAL covers bearing such modern issues, and the response to him by those who collect the area, is that such things are near unknown.

It was stated that the Philatelic Bureau there, if asked nicely, will backdate handstamps and “manufacture” old looking covers for sale outside the country, either direct or via agents, so care is needed as to your sources, if one is keen on such apparent ‘commercial’ mail.


2018 sees Missiles as subject matter.


The current Rocket Man dictator, Kim Jung-Un as all realise, is very keen on his missiles, and MANY stamps in recent years depict them, and that includes the 2 stamps from 2018 shown nearby.  Sourcing new stamp issues from North Korea seems incredibly difficult, even for those not living under US sanctions and rules.  No obvious supply source that I can see. 

As far as I could glean, most NK new issues are printed in China, so maybe most never enter the country?  I suppose if made and sold out of China it sidesteps UN import sanctions to the country, as they mostly never enter North Korea in such a scenario. China agent ships to whomever stocks this stuff in bulk, and everyone has a smile. 


ScamBay lives up to its nickname!


Don’t get me wrong - online portals have been great for stamps, and for those chasing inexpensive topicals, missing values from sets, and commercial covers, elusive literature, and such things, that a local stamp shop may well not have in stock, but someone in France or Canada or Japan does.

Used wisely, that is all well and good, but Ebay is SCAM CENTRAL as well, and every cunning conman who has ever roamed the planet is active on there, as regular users will know.  This scamming is two-fold.  Many will sell and deliver you what you see in the photo.

The fact those pieces might be regummed, reperfed, repaired, and/or with forged overprints and perfins, or all of the above, many of the pretty clueless buyers do not realise at all. They leave glowing feedback, and cheerfully add this “Baaahgin” junk to their collections.

Try getting a refund off “billybob586437” a year later, when a real dealer points out your dud and misdescribed pieces.  The account is long closed.  All your fiddled pieces are worth a fraction of what you paid, and had you bought real stamps from real established sources, you’d have no such refund or quality issues.


16 fake ebay IDS on just one account.


Ebay does not give TWO HOOTS about all the forged garbage being sold, as they and paypal make 15% off it ALL. They allow these spivs to change user names at will - see scan nearby, run “PRIVATE” auctions, and set PRIVATE feedback even, where bidder even buyer IDs can’t be seen, so they use an army of “shill” bidder accounts to ramp you up.  Ebay loves it all.

This week yet another version of the popular ScamBay dodge occurred where a ton of superb booking material was listed up for sale - all starting at 99p no reserve.  Dream stuff for many.  The Baaahgin Hunta Bunnies went nuts over it all as always - CHEAP IS CHEAP - right?

Wrong.  In life there is “no such thing as a free lunch”.  Most savvy folks understand this reality, but 1000s of ebay dreamers roam the earth, who do not yet have the wisdom to realise that.  A superb 5/- Bridge costs what it does.  They never sell for half that.  Ditto £2 Roos, or mint 1d Blacks, or USA Zeppelin sets etc.

Such things are like an ounce of Gold Bullion - there is a pretty much set in cement market level.  Globally.  Start an ounce of gold at a Phoenix Auction at $1 estimate, or a MUH 5/- Bridge at $1, and both will bring the true current price level.  It is that simple.  An ounce of gold coin or bar will invoice at around $US1,325 today.  ANYWHERE.  Not $200. Not $650.  NEVER happens.  EVER.


A $US1 Million ebay scam exposed.


But on ebay that truism in life does not sink in - it is the land of the perpetual dreamers.  Which is what we saw this week when some clown copied 4,200 images from the Stanley Gibbons website, and stole every word of their descriptions on those 4,200 lots. Only on ebay.


4200 lots stolen off Stanley Gibbons. saw Stampboards as usual, being first globally to report this new scam, when a UK member who works in the real stamp action business there, started a warning discussion that it was occuring.  For days ebay were advised of this massive scam unfolding.  Stanley Gibbons told them it was their stamps being listed up, and not by them.


£200,000 rarity in the REAL world.


The PTS got involved, and 100s of stampboards members and others, reported the fake auctions to ebay via reports and phone calls, and email.  Scambay ignored it all of course - even though THEY and paypal were of course standing to lose huge sums via goods paid for, and not received. 

The first tranche of non-existent lots completed on March 11, and took in just over £150,000 from these clueless “bidders”.  The other lots were due to complete in next days, and finally lumbering old ebay woke up from their coma, and wiped the seller.  HOWEVER by allowing the sales to complete, this spiv was given by ebay many 100s of buyer full emails, full addresses, full names, and phone numbers.

Seller gets all that data when any sale completes. Under ANY country privacy laws, that is forbidden for a scammer, but ebay did it, despite all and sundry banging them around the head, alerting them this million dollar scam was unfolding in front of their eyes.  And yes it was OVER a million $US of material that had bids.


Ebay hands scammer your personal data.


What this shows, is many things. 1. Ebay Bunnies are more numerous than ever.  2. Ebay care less and less about massive scams (or user privacy) even when they end up holding the can, as they nearly did here.  3. Rare stamps get appalling prices on ebay.  Witness £1,270 versus £200,000 for the exact same stamp scan, exact same description.


This is how rarities fare on ebay.


Hence no genuine seller of really fine and rare material would ever dream of listing it on ebay, and getting such stupidly low prices for it.  So the higher priced material of higher price offered there via “Auction” is often of second or third or fourth grade, masquerading as better quality, and praying for ebay Bunnies.

The 9d Straw QV stamp shown nearby is a perfect example of what Bunny Bait is constantly dangled on ScamBay. Offered mid March by 5000 feedback UK “PowerSeller” (sic) stamps-u-like who described it laughingly as - ”Looks nicer than it does in the picture" - I kid you not.


"Looks nicer than it does in the picture" was a stampboards discussion where a member asked if the stamp might be “reperforated at base”.  Collectors are seldom adept at picking reperfs for some strange reason, even screamingly appalling ones like this.  This is the biggest photo this seller offered - always a giveaway something is being hidden.

stamps-u-like now has £92 from some clueless Bunny in the bank. He might have got double that - unlucky I guess.  Rod Perry and I concurred it is crudely re-perforated on all FOUR sides, has a probable tear or repair top left, repaired along base, is washed and faded, and probably regummed.  Bear in mind this is ebay, so no scan of the reverse offered - we are just using experience.


Mossgreen mess continues.


Following up on my recent articles - the scandal at mossgreen auctions drags on, where the Vulture Administrator BDO is trying to get vendors who had unsold material at the auction house, to pay him millions in Ransom from THEIR pockets, simply to get their own goods back. outlines the latest twists and turns, and it proves forever, that consigning anything to any Auctions that do NOT have a fully audited and verified Trust Account is a mug’s game.  A cheery promise - “we WILL keep all your money put aside” - is just that, unverified words.

Once these blood sucking Administrators descend and siphon off MILLIONS as they have done here, in a very short time frame, there is nothing whatever left for the long-suffering vendors and consigners and creditors.  Their outrageous hourly fees, and those of their associates, and legal fees etc, is mind boggling to read over.




Rather than allow unsold material to be collected as all consignors were told was to occur in January, the Administrator (BDO) has spent around $1 Million “stocktaking” it all, despite clear paperwork being in place as of December.  This absurdly padded stocktake figure is then being charged to creditors, who did not ask or approve it to occur, at any time.

One unfortunate consignor has it seems been invoiced about $129,000 for 350+ lots, with a market value of only about $40,000, to get them back, or they will be regarded as abandoned goods, and lost forever to that vendor.  BDO would legally(!) sell them, and doubtless the proceeds of all that would end in their own pockets largely.

The “Financial Review” claims that ASIC is looking into this sorry mess, and a Federal Court Judge is to make a ruling March 5 on whether these outrageous Ransom Charges are reasonable, and payable in any way.  The public can submit their thoughts - you do NOT need to be a vendor, and all the detail on how to do that are on the link above.  Do it NOW if you are concerned about this lop-sided issue. 

BDO also advised consignors that they are not allowing selective forfeiture of lots.  You take everything, or take nothing.  No picking out your most valuable lots, and surrendering the rest.  Pay us $129,000 to get back your own material valued at only $40,000, or you never see it again.  Vendors were told in writing by BDO their material could be collected mid-January, and that is what they SHOULD have adhered to.









Get my regular market update emails FREE!   Stamp gossip, price trends, record sale prices, and many one-time stamp specials, wholesale bargains,  and exciting offers and breaking philatelic news.  A mini stamp magazine in every email!   "KNOWLEDGE IS POWER".  The ONE stamp list you MUST be on,  to keep in touch with the rapidly changing world market.  One client made $65,000 profit in a few months after following my specific advice.  Sign up securely and quickly by clicking HERE  to access my automated data base.  And wiser still ADD your home AND work email, if I only have one right now.   Add a stamp friend's email address if you wish.  One short click and you are subscribed to probably the most read email list in the stamp world! 



If you would like to be notified of updates to this website, Click HERE. If have any questions,
or comments regarding my site, please email me at


Search this site

Search all my 300+ web pages! Simply type in what you are looking for. "Penny Black", "Latvia", "Imprints", "Morocco", "Fungi" "Year Books", etc! Using quotes ( " ) is more accurf used with no quotes. Search is NOT case sensitive. Tip - keep the search word singular - "Machin" yields  far more matches than "Machins" etc.



I am a Proud Member Of :

Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for over 35 years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association.  (New York) 
Also Member of; Philatelic Traders' Society (London)   IFSDA (Switzerland) etc




Time and Temp in Sunny Sydney!





Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for 35+ years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association. (ASDA - New York) Also Member - Philatelic Traders' Society
 (PTS London) and many other philatelic bodies.

ALL Postage + Insurance is extra. Visa/BankCard/MasterCard/Amex all OK, at NO fee, even for "Lay-Bys"!  All lots offered are subject to my usual Conditions of Sale, copy upon request .

Sydney's BIGGEST STAMP BUYER: Post me ANYTHING via Registered Mail for my same-day cheque.  Avoid copping the Now normal 45% Auction "Commissions" (15% Buyer + 20% Seller + GST, etc) AND their five-month delays!

 Read HERE for details.

"Lothlórien", 4 The Tor Walk, CASTLECRAG (Sydney), N.S.W. 2068 Australia

Phone 7 Days: (02) 9958-1333

PO Box 4007, Castlecrag. NSW. 2068
E-Mail: The Number #1 Web Sites:  and



Sign up AUTOMATICALLY to my world renowned bi-weekly stamp gossip mailing list!

Click here to see MANY 1000s of stamp lots for sale at low $A Nett prices

Click here for all you need to know re SELLING your stamps for SPOT CASH

Click here for the current Monthly "Internet Only" special offers - CHEAP!

Click HERE to read all my recent International stamp magazine articles.

Click here to get back to the main Homepage

Click here to ORDER on-line ANY items from ANY of my dozens of lists

Click for all info on Conditions Of Sale, Payments, Shipping, Returns &c 

Click here for the complete library of my very unusual world travels!

How to PAY me.  I accept EVERYTHING - even blankets and axes and beads!

Australia Post Annual YEAR BOOKS - massive stock - '27% off' discount offer today!

Visit my new page on RARITIES - Roos & other expensive photo items.

Stampboards where Philatelists Meet..

Instant Currency Conversion

Just click here...


E-mail me at -