Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by mickeyfinn »

A number of years ago I commenced a topic on the Tasmanian Philatelic Society's online forum entitled "Tasmanian Philatelists & Dealers of Yesteryear" at http://tps.org.au/bb/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=208

Although the topic includes much information about early and/or well-known collectors, there are some photos and images of covers/ephemera regarding oldtime dealers such as William (Bill) Orchard and Tom Petterd (the man who amassed the "Tattersall Hoard") which should be relevant to this SB thread.
For information about Tasmanian stamps, postal history, postmarks, revenues, postcards, etc. visit the Tasmanian Philatelic Society Website at http://tps.org.au

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

Thank you for that very useful link, mickeyfinn.

Finally put a name (Bill Orchard) to that highly distinctive handwriting!

You've prompted me to feature a few 1880s items addressed to the founder of the Petterd philatelic dynasty, William Frederick Petterd (1849-1910).

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1884 use of "3rd issue" (lower left front) 1d Postal card, by M. Porter (?), thanking Petterd for "parcel", presumably of philatelic material?

Petterd was also an acknowledged naturalist, so the "parcel" may have contained specimens, although the reference to the printing of card tends to support a philatelic connection?

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1886 use of NSW Registered 4d envelope, from pioneer Trader, Dawson A Vindin (who would have been just 18 when this was sent).

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1887 Melbourne origin to Petterd, handwriting not familiar, but clearly from a philatelist judging from the use of Postal Fiscals.

In a Small world moment, a few years ago, when I manned a philatelic office in the main street of Port Douglas FNQ, a gentleman wandered in and said "Is the name Petterd a name you know in stamps?"

I provided scans of the above, and other memorabilia, to this relative, and received a lovely five-page handwritten thank you from Jim, in which, amongst other things, he provided valuations of the covers!

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

During the mid to late 1890s, Adelaide could brag a rather prolific Philatelic Trader, the grandly named Australian Stamp Company.

I have seen covers from the firm to such exotic destinations as Turks Is BWI, and Newfoundland BNA. That suggests advertising in US philatelic journals.

I have noted five varyingly inscribed envelopes, suggesting perhaps a printer connection?

The name of the firm's proprietor had eluded me for many years, until the following item, courtesy of Vito Milana (author of Cinderella column in Stamp News) made this discovery:

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H.C.R. Bell was very fond of employing South Australia ½d "bantam" on his frankings, a stamp which for overseas recipients, in particular, would have been elusive.

Bell clearly was mesmerised by quantity: "1,000,000 Common Penny and Twopenny Australian Stamps Wanted".

Imagine the postmark and other philatelic interest present in such quantities for today's eyes! (not to mention the covers which went before)

At a later stage, I will present more inscribed covers from this Trader.

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

Here follows a representative showing of Australian Stamp Co. inscribed covers.

The more I look at the subtle inscriptional differences, the more I become convinced Bell was in the printing industry, perhaps a compositor?

Reminds me a bit of Australian Booklet inscriptional variations of the 1920s/1930s (and even 1950s)!

My thanks to Martin Walker, John Walker, and Harry Lower for encouragement in this posting.

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Aug 2 1893, this is the earliest I've noted for the firm. Note inscription "AUSTRALIAN STAMP CO., L'D" (John Walker Collection)

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Around three months later, Oct 6 1893, note "L'D" in business inscription is scored-over, suggesting incorporation did not occur.

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The "1,000,000 common stamps wanted" series are a fascination. There are at least three typesettings of this double-sided advertising envelope.

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"Reliable Agents wanted in every City on Earth." Ambition is inspirational, but why just "Earth"?

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Notable difference on reverse of this "1,000,000" issue: "Old Colonists having letters should send us the Stamps for our offer. A handful often yields Pounds.", and "A Rare Stamp is given for every New Collector's Address sent us."

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By Oct 20 1896 "KINDLY USE LOWEST VALUE STAMPS ON LETTERS." appears at foot of inscription. Bell certainly practiced what he preached, for most of his covers seen bear the "bantam" denomination. To exotic destination of Turks Island (John Walker Collection).

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Mar 8 1897, again to Turks Island, sees another change to text.

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The latest item from ASC seen by me, Jun 15 1898, again with text change.

I would be pleased to see other covers and ephemera from this enigmatic Trader.

Rod
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

The Victoria Stamp Market (VSM) may be borderline for recording under this "Colonial" banner.

The earliest related item I have is dated June 12 1901, however, I would be fairly certain the proprietor, Fritz Pleus, was a philatelic trader prior to that date.

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Earliest item seen to VSM proprietor, Fritz Pleus, when located at Club Tivoli, Abbotsford (inner Melbourne suburb), a German social club. As late as July 1902 Pleus used this address for correspondence.

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By December 1903 Pleus was trading as Victoria Stamp Market from 325 Collins St, Melbourne, the premises described in this buying list as "the best fitted in Melbourne, no expense having been spared". There was an earlier edition of this buying list, for "Previous list hereby cancelled" is inscribed at top of front page.

Pleus was obviously fond of his bicoloured logo, for he registered it as a Trade Mark (Reg. No. 8027). This is the earliest use of bicoloured printing I've noted for a philatelic trader in Australia.

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Pleus was a keen buyer of, amongst other Australian Colonial material, the Victoria Postal Fiscals.

He lists only denominations to £5 (they went as high as £100), and although he has the 35/- listed, a stamp discovered by collectors only a decade earlier, he does not have the elusive 15/- mauve (there are 15/- brown and "fawn"?).

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Today's traders would have a chuckle over the 10% valuation fee!

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The logo featured broadly in VSM promotion, shown here on April 1905 registered cover to Germany, and again below on envelope container for VSM packet series (utilised here for stock storage, in hand of Pleus):

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The firm is probably best known for their enduring VSM Series colourful postcards, first introduced around 1905.

Pleus died in 1939.

Material is surprising elusive for later years; I have seen nothing after this August 1919 cover from German POW at Liverpool camp, NSW, by which time the firm had relocated to 350 Flinders St, Melbourne:

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As always, I invite readers contributions to this and other subjects relating to the thread.

Rod
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by agondocz »

Rod:

I came across this cover from a Prestige Philately auction:

1905 Victoria Stamp Market illustrated advertising cover
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

An attractive example, Andrew; the bicolours are prone to fading, so strong colours as in yours are desirable.

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

Here follows a rather unusual advertising cover from a Philatelic trader, the one and only item I've seen from this firm.

I doubt that more than 1 in 100 present day collectors give a hoot about 19th century philatelic traders, not just in the Australian Colonies, but anywhere in the world.

Be that as it may, but without those early entrepreneurs, the Philatelic industry today would be a paler version of what presently it is.

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1892 Lowenthal & Co registered cover to Canada.

Note (a) reasonable depiction of Sydney View 3d, and, more importantly, (b) inscriptional "OLD AUSTRALIAN STAMPS/BUY FOR CASH"

I am keen to have others submit 19th century covers to this thread, and/or offer to me for purchase.

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

I've been looking for a spot on Stampboards to park these images, and upon reflection this is probably as good a place as any:

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Medal awarded at 1928 Melbourne Philatelic Exhibition. Why is it relevant to this thread?

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It was awarded to T.E. Petterd, for Jury service at exhibition, second in line to the Petterd Philatelic dynasty! (See earlier on this page for introduction to pioneer of the dynasty.)

Jury members of today can only look on in amazement at how well their predecessors were treated all those years ago.

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Browny »

Here's an 1897 card to a W.Cochran in Launceston who was requesting VDL stamps.

Cheers.
Browny.

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

Browny wrote:Here's an 1897 card to a W.Cochran in Launceston who was requesting VDL stamps.

Cheers.
Browny.

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Thanks, Browny, I've not previously heard of Cochrane.

Like many in the booming 1890s, he may have been more in the nature of a collector who occasionally sold material.

Not so far removed from what regularly occurs 120 years on!

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

mickeyfinn

I knew it would come to me.

On your site you asked for identification of the gentleman at the left in the photo at top:

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It's M.W. ("Mort") Stevens, a Queensland collector (in Cairns in 1953 I can say from a FDC!).

I met him in Melbourne c1974, at one of my auctions.

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by traralgon3844 »

Time for another cover.

Beechworth Victoria 1901 cover from the Indian and Australasian Stamp Agency.
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Global Administrator »

Lotting up remains of an Estate lot today this unusual piece caught my eye. My gut feel is pre WWI type era.

Thompson is not mentioned on Rod's thread. This is a manila type envelope in good shape. Why he'd affix a 1/- Roo "OS" on front is a mystery!

James Thompson
Foreign and Colonial Postage Stamp Dealer
38 Erskine Street, Sydney

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by traralgon3844 »

This Howard Davis cover is tattered and torn, but I don't think rod has shown one.

available on eBay: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/STAMP-DEALER-ADVERTISING-AUSTRALI ... 0951096726

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There is also a Fred Hagen front.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1913-1d-Roo-Kangaroo-Australia-FR ... 0826146948
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by pmc »

Global Administrator wrote:Lotting up remains of an Estate lot today this unusual piece caught my eye. My gut feel is pre WWI type era.

Thompson is not mentioned on Rod's thread. This is a manila type envelope in good shape. Why he'd affix a 1/- Roo "OS" on front is a mystery!

James Thompson
Foreign and Colonial Postage Stamp Dealer
38 Erskine Street, Sydney

The Orient Packet -
Australian Stamps
Image
Some brief research before I hit the hay, shows that James Thompson came to Australia in 1877, whereafter he opened a shop on George St. in Haymarket. Then, in the early 1880s, moved to Erskine St., where he was in business for over 30 years. He died in 1930, aged 81.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Well done Peter. :mrgreen:

1880s seems pretty early for stamp dealers in NSW I think, as Rod has very few of that era from anywhere in oz.

Loved to have seen the CONTENTS of the 1/- packet!
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

pmc wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:Lotting up remains of an Estate lot today this unusual piece caught my eye. My gut feel is pre WWI type era.

Thompson is not mentioned on Rod's thread. This is a manila type envelope in good shape. Why he'd affix a 1/- Roo "OS" on front is a mystery!

James Thompson
Foreign and Colonial Postage Stamp Dealer
38 Erskine Street, Sydney

The Orient Packet -
Australian Stamps
Image
Some brief research before I hit the hay, shows that James Thompson came to Australia in 1877, whereafter he opened a shop on George St. in Haymarket. Then, in the early 1880s, moved to Erskine St., where he was in business for over 30 years. He died in 1930, aged 81.
Thompson was unknown by me until now.

Strange, given he was in business for several decades?

The envelope has that 1890s "feel" about it.

I wouldn't mind the item if it's for sale.

Rod
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by bazza4338 »

This may or may not be the same person

"The Stamp-collector's magazine, Volumes 9-11" (1871)

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Image


https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Ua0EAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA5 ... er&f=false

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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by pmc »

Rod Perry wrote:
pmc wrote: Some brief research before I hit the hay, shows that James Thompson came to Australia in 1877, whereafter he opened a shop on George St. in Haymarket. Then, in the early 1880s, moved to Erskine St., where he was in business for over 30 years. He died in 1930, aged 81.
Thompson was unknown by me until now.

Strange, given he was in business for several decades?

The envelope has that 1890s "feel" about it.

I wouldn't mind the item if it's for sale.

Rod
The information I quoted was from his obituary. Searching the newspapers of the period (on Trove) show that he was granted a license to sell stamps in 1880. He advertised from 1880 to 1889 as a bookseller and stationer with a shop at 46 Erskine St. and another at Petersham. His advertisements as a "Stamp Dealer" at 38 Erskine St. date from 1901 to 1903. Some of these advertisements state "established 1878". He was also an electoral returning officer at "38 Erskine St."

Of course, advertisements don't map the continuum or nature of James Thompson's business activities or interests, but at least they provide some data points.

Fascinating new dimension from bazza4338?
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Bazza's piece is most interesting. :mrgreen:

The timeline seems to mesh perfectly with PMC's data of when he appears first in Sydney - I'd guess we have one and the same James Thompson here. :)

Rod - I listed it up yesterday for $40 with some other odds from same suitcase -

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=76273

I had never heard the name either, and suspected due to obvious age, it made it rather interesting and niche collectible! :mrgreen:
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Might be a red herring, however .............

We see in 1871 Thompson is exposed in Scotland for selling forged stamps.

He gets a license to sell books and stamps in SYD in 1880. We have a gap of 9 years.

I note a James Thompson being among a group of Scottish migrants, donating to the new Scottish Presbyterian church in Kangaroo Ground in 1877.
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https://kgpc.pcvic.org.au/history/all-pages.html
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod,

Cleaning up my desk this week I found a detailed buying list of Fred Hagen in Sydney from the 1890s.

Several pages in a small book all Quarto size and offering to buy all kinds of now scarce stamps per DOZEN. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You may well have seen such things, but I sure got a laugh from it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MargoZ »

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:Rod,

Cleaning up my desk this week I found a detailed buying list of Fred Hagen in Sydney from the 1890s.

Several pages in a small book all Quarto size and offering to buy all kinds of scarce stamps per DOZEN. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You may well have seen such things, but I sure got a laugh from it. :mrgreen:
I have the 1900 buying list, Glen.

You probably should offer me yours.

Rod
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by traralgon3844 »

Rod, Karl Petersen may or may not have been a dealer, but he was selling stamps from Hochkirch. He was a member of the Victoria Philatelic Society. see below...........
traralgon3844 wrote:This cover was one of a number of things I bought at the Geelong Stamp Fair on Saturday. It will provide posts in several threads and it was a snip at $3.

1900 postcard from Hochkirch (just out of Hamilton) Victoria to Balhannah South Australia. Cancelled with the barred numeral 461 of Hochkirch with an unframed Hochkirch alongside and Hamilton transit. Postmarked on receipt at Balhannah with the squarred circle.

Interestingly from a member of the Philatelic Society of Victoria, Karl Petersen who it appears had the cards printed to order.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

Correct, Paul, he was one of the leading Stationery collectors/dealers in the Colonies.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:Rod,

Cleaning up my desk this week I found a detailed buying list of Fred Hagen in Sydney from the 1890s.

Several pages in a small book all Quarto size and offering to buy all kinds of scarce stamps per DOZEN. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You may well have seen such things, but I sure got a laugh from it. :mrgreen:
I have the 1900 buying list, Glen.

You probably should offer me yours.

Rod
(PS: Thanks to Gutters for his tireless work restoring images!)
A year or so later, the 1898 Hagen Buying Book turned up again in my field of view, after moving some stacks of rubble here. :)

Images added here for the permanent record.

Hagen's 8 page Quarto stapled size list book offered prices for Australian stamps that are now pretty scarce per 100, and some per dozen

He had buying prices for scarcer items per single copy like the Victoria 10/- for 1/6d each. :mrgreen:

He also offered prices for some higher value NZ and GB stamps.

The NZ 5/- Mount Cook postally used is a stamp retailing very many $100s today and indeed has been that high for many decades, and Fred was offering 2/- apiece!

The GB 1891 £1 Green Q Vic is catalogued today as SG 202 at £800 - Fred generously was buying these used at 2/- each! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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1898 Fred Hagen Sydney stamp dealer detailed stamp buying pricelist.

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GB 1891 £1 green Queen Victoria stamp Catalogues £800 - dealer buy price was 2/-!
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote: Image

Just how many Philatelic trader's in the world had an advertised buying price for the "Inverted Swan"? With what we now know, HWJ himself wanted this stamp . . . for his own collection.

Rod
Quite a steal at 35 quid .. the last one sold on market was $A425,000 or so!
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Western Australia 1854 4d Swan Inverted Frame stamp, with faults, sold for $A425,000 in mid 2018.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Thanks to the work from pmc I think we have uncovered the first FEMALE stamp dealer in Australia, South Africa and the UK? Pretty impressive! Gertrude Killick seems to have started trading stamps in the 1800s.

''Mekeels Stamp News'' reported in 1903 that she had been trading for many years -

One such dealer in South Africa has a very large business, and has had for years, handling thousands of the most valuable stamps of the section, yet probably only a very few of her many customers know that “G. Killick” is a woman.

Global Administrator wrote:
pmc wrote:
Miss G. Killick
A forgotten Philatelist

For my first story, I’ve chosen a cover I bought from Glen, right here on Stamboards, that links my three main countries of Interest – South Africa, India, and Australia.

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Fig.1 - Front view of registered cover from Bombay, India, to London, England, dated January 21, 1916. Insured for "£s: 7-3-0"
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Fig. 2 - Rear view of cover showing insurance label, and seven red wax seals showing a demi seahorse supporting a trident, with the motto "nil desperandum" within a scroll beneath.
Details
1916 (21 Jan) registered and insured surface-mail cover to London, England from Bombay, India; with an aggregate franked of 10 As. In black manuscript across top of front, "Registered and Insured for Pounds Seven Schillings three". Blue Registration label "A 482 / BOMBAY" on front; orange "INSURED / tolas" label on rear. Addressed to "Miss G. Killick / 65 Salford Road / Streatham Hill / London S.W. / England". Senders details in lower left corner, "From / R.H. Tucker / Jairaz House / Middle Colaba / Bombay". Seven red wax seals on rear showing a demi seahorse supporting a trident, with the motto "nil desperandum" within a scroll beneath.

Miss. G. Killick
While there is no definitive proof that the object of my research is the "Miss. G. Killick" of this cover, there is certainly a strong suggestion I feel that they are one in the same.

The earliest reference to a "G. Killick" that I could find, was in the July 27, 1903, edition of Meekel's Stamp Collector, in the article Philately and Women Kind, by Amy Louise Swift (a regular contributor during that period to numerous stamp publications).
PHILATELY AND WOMAN KIND
BY AMY L. SWIFT

The few who enter the ranks of dealers do so with a sort of apology by dropping the title showing their femininity, trading and advertising with the Christian name replaced by simple initials. e’en as the men folks do. One such dealer in South Africa has a very large business, and has had for years, handling thousands of the most valuable stamps of the section, yet probably only a very few of her many customers know that “G. Killick” is a woman. Nor is this the only instance within my knowledge. Some retain the “Miss” or "Mrs." in their business dealings, but they are few, and none of them are of very import ant or prominent position.
The next reference to Miss. Killick was found in The London Philatelist, Volume 23. In a meeting of the International Philatelic Union, held on May 14, 1914, at Essex Hall, Essex Street, Strand, London; it was reported that a display of stamps of "Natal by Miss Killick, concluded the meeting."

She is also listed in The London Philatelist, Vol. 24-25 of 1915-16, as a contributor of stamps to the National Philatelic War Fund "per P.L. Pemberton" (a well known philatelist of the period). It was in 1916 that she received this cover at 65 Salford Road, Streatham Hills (see Fig. 3 below).

Image
Fig. 3 - 65 Salford Road, Streatham Hills, London (immediate left), in May 2015 (Google Maps).

The next reference that could be found to Miss. G. Killick occurs in a series of advertisements in the Exchange & Mart of The World's News, Australia, between 1923 and 1938; alongside well established names in Australian philately such as Ackland and Orlo-Smith. The first of these advertisements, suggests a tentative foray into the Australian market by insisting "[o]nly Sydney references accepted" (see Fig. 4). This clause disappears on subsequent advertisements.

Image
Fig. 4 - The earliest advertisement for Miss. G. Killick in Australia. EXCHANGE AND MART. (1923, June 16). The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), p. 34.

The July of 1923, the additional information "est. 1898 Capetown" was added to the advertisement to perhaps reassure her potential customer base of her experience, longevity and legitimacy; as well as giving us a convincing link to the same G. Killick in the 1903 article by Amy Swift!

The following summary highlights approximately when changes occurred in the addresses for Killick given in the Exchange and Mart advertisements:
  • - June 1923: 54 Doncaster Ave., Sydney
    - Oct. 1923: c/o Prior Bros., 317 George St., Sydney
    - Jan 1924: Advertising "new address" 107 Pitt St., Sydney
    - Jul 1924: 107 Pitt St., Sydney (No. 1 downstairs)
    - Aug 1924: 316 George St., Sydney (first floor)
    - Dec 1924: c/o Safe Deposit, Ash St., Sydney
    - Jul 1932: c/o NSW Bank, Head Office, Sydney
    - Sep 1934: Safe Deposit, NSW Bank, Sydney
It has not been possible to determine Miss G. Killick's first name, or her fate after advertising discontinued in 1938. But, on the evidence gained to date, the probable dates of activity are as follows:

South Africa (c.1898-1903) > Britain (c. 1916) > Australia (c. 1923-38)
PMC .... to add to your superb Killick stamp dealer history chronology, we can now see she moved to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains in 1925, from "Safe Deposit" in Ash Street, Sydney.

Clearing out the rest of that Estate tonight - and found these 2, and a few others that are in another lot of -

https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=85353

Image

Image

1924 1d Green KGV NO WMK on cover. Cat $200. $A65

A RARE stamp used on cover, this emergency no watermarked issue of 1924, paying the local domestic letter rate of 1½d. This was only issued in August 1924, so this is early use on October 17, Leeton NSW to Miss G. Killick Sydney. Undoubtedly Australia's first FEMALE stamps dealer -


https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=77894&p=4996499


Roughly opened at top, but the 1d No Wmk stamp is perfect centred (unusual on these) with neat dated cds.

The coarse wove no watermark paper is easily picked visually from the face, and a bright light confirms it of course – 105% GUARANTEED.

Accompanied by a less than pristine surcharged 1½d on 2d KGV pre-stamp envelope, to the same Miss Killick, from the same Estate, mailed from Tasmania on May 1925 with a Petersham NSW redirection cds. A VERY scarce official postal stationary issue being a stop gap until correct ones were printed, ACSC EP26 Cat $50 used.

Both near 100 years old, and have NEVER seen on the market before. (A few other Killick covers are in another lot from this Estate I bought years ago and am just listing up.)

ACSC Cat $200 to ANY person, and addressed to Australia's first ever stamp dealer a premium for sure. This is the only recorded cover to Killick in Katoomba.

A few other Killick covers are in another lot tonight from this Estate. One Reg'd from Newcastle NSW to Cape Town in 1903) and another Lettercard to Cape Town 1900 Syd to RSA addressed to GERTRUDE Hillock from a relative saying they were sending her some stamps so that answers and other mystery! I bought them all years ago and am just listing up.)

I remember the story with these. Margo and I were staying one night at the Grand old Hydro Majestic Hotel around Katoomba, when I got an email from someone saying they had boxes of stamps to sell.

I said I could be there in 10 minutes as we were just checking out, and bought the hoard. There was quite a bit of Boer War mail to here and UK among it and all this stuff.

Some other nicer bits I sold off over the years, and these I found in a large glassine tonight, and started scanning them. :mrgreen:

Glen
Image

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Image

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Sydney and Cape Town Registered backstamps of 1903

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

If Gert was dealing in Australia only from 1923, she cannot lay claim to being Australia's first female Stamp Dealer.

That distinction belongs to one or other of two Aussie lasses:

Image
Image


Gwen Foster, 14 Sydney Arcade, Sydney, was trading as early as 1920

Image
Image


Much earlier, Miss Edith West, had been employed by Colonial Traders Smyth & Nicolle (dissolved 1902), J.H. Smyth & Co, and Fred Hagen Ltd. Prior to buying J.H. Smyth Ltd in 1923 (along with Romney Gibbons), Miss West in this c1910 card offers her philatelic services.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Well spotted Rod, had forgotten about Miss West. :idea:

"Terms Moderate" - I might steal that phrase. :mrgreen:
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Re: Commercial Philately in Colonial Australia

Post by Rod Perry »

A Helmich wrote:Wanted to Buy Stamps
WANTED to purchase, or exchange, old Western Australian Stamps, used and especially unused. Present issues also bought or exchanged. Address George W. Baynes, 85, Chancery Lane, Melbourne, Victoria.


Perth Gazette and W.A. Times 28 July 1865 also 19, 26 May, 9, 23, 30 June, 7, 14, 21 July


Transcript of advertisement to purchase stamps from 1865.
Thanks to A. Helmich alerting me, I've finally found an item relevant to George W Baynes, who appears to be the earliest to advertise to buy stamps in the Australian Colonies:

Image
Image


A Letter Card to pioneer Traders, D.A. Vindin & Co (Fred Hagen was then partner with Dawson Vindin), 74 Elizabeth St, Sydney, written and signed by Baynes at Abbotsford (inner Melbourne suburb), July 8, 1893.

The gist of the message appears to be a delay in communicating, which may be explained by the fact that within weeks Vindin was to sell his share in the business to Hagen.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

I've finally found an item relevant to George W Baynes, who appears to be the earliest to advertise to buy stamps in the Australian Colonies
Really interesting.

How much is known about Baynes? If his advertising was restricted to buying but not selling, that would suggest he was an early collector but not a dealer. :idea:

The import of the lettercard to Vindin is unclear, it might be nothing more than wanting to buy stamps from Vindin.

Many collectors and dealers advertised in W.A., no doubt seeking an 'Inverted Swan'.

Interestingly, Bayles' advertising in the Perth Gazette and W.A. Times in 1865 pre-dates that. The 'Inverted Swan' was described for the first time in philatelic literature in 1868 by the famous British philatelic pioneer Dr. Charles Viner.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

Baynes was listed in 1860s Directories as "Solicitor".

He may have been a collector who occasionally sold, just as we have today.

His advertising to buy qualifies him for the "commercial" attribution.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

His advertising to buy qualifies him for the "commercial" attribution.
OK. Makes sense.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

P.S. The first cover on this thread was by H.T. Dwight.

It doesn't belong - requiring for reply was common in any type of business in colonial Australia.

Even before stamps, merchants would insist on letters being post paid.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

Image
Howard Davis, Stamp Dealer, South Melbourne, Vic - 1914

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

MJ's pet wrote:P.S. The first cover on this thread was by H.T. Dwight.

It doesn't belong - requiring for reply was common in any type of business in colonial Australia.

Even before stamps, merchants would insist on letters being post paid.
Very hard to find that requirement to do business clearly expressed on a cover!

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

Very hard to find that requirement to do business clearly expressed on a cover!
Yes, but it has nothing to do with philately, collecting or stamp dealing.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

MJ's pet wrote:
Very hard to find that requirement to do business clearly expressed on a cover!
Yes, but it has nothing to do with philately, collecting or stamp dealing.
A "Postage Stamp" has nothing to do with Philately?

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
Thanks to a couple of recent wins at Millennium Auctions, two of the following items are close at hand:
Image
Image

Guion, Kelson & Co, Melbourne, 1899 "Per Packet Post" unsealed cover at 1d Foreign printed matter rate

Inset: the rather pathetic post-1913 adaptation of Kangaroo on Map design, for promotional purposes

Image

T.H. Nicolle, Sydney, 1911 "Cheap Stamps" advertising cover, trilingual, for which the entrepreneurial Nicolle was renowned. 1d Foreign printed matter rate. Note use of W.A. Swan 1/-, an "exotic" touch for the European market.
Rod
Found another 1890s cover from Guion, Kelson & Co, Stamp Dealers Melbourne, when researching something today, est $150 - sorry pic is as large as they offered -
Image
AUSTRALIA, 1898 Cover to Canada with 'Guion, Kelson & Co/Foreign & Colonial/Stamp Dealers/Box 297, Melbourne' cachet at Upper left, franked 1898 QV halfpenny rose tied by Melbourne cds, paying 1d British Empire printed matter rate. Nice early stamp dealer cover, fine. Estimate $150.

Rod, do we know roughly when the Guion, Kelson & Co business continued until? Both covers seen here are 1890s, and I have not seen anything later for them.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

OK, more research shows Kelson appears to have been ruined from the Great Depression and could not pay his rent, and had all his stock sold as a result by landlord?

Also I assumed Guion, Kelson & Co, denoted 2 partners (surnames Guion and Kelson) - seems like it was simply Kelson's middle name. In this era a vast number of Australians chose to be called by the middle name rather than their first for some reason - my father and all his siblings were examples. None were ever known by their given names. Arthur Guion Kelson appears to have been his formal name. :mrgreen:

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/10949350

The Argus Melbourne, June 24, 1934

600,000 STAMPS SOLD

DISTRAINT FOR RENT

DEALER CLAIMS £499 DAMAGES

Six hundred thousand stamps, alleged to
have been wrongfully seized and sold in
distraint for rent, formed the basis of an
action before Judge Macindoe and a jury
in the County Court yesterday, when
Arthur Guion Kelson, stamp dealer, of
Balston street, St. Kilda, sued John Douglas, shopfitter, of Douglas House, Block
place, city, for £499 damages.

The damages were claimed for alleged wrongful distress by defendant on plaintiff's
goods and chattels, wrongful detention,
and wrongful sale of the goods and chattels.

Mr. Eager (Instructed by Mr. A. C.
McLean), for plaintiff, said in opening
the case that Kelson was a former president of the Victorian Philatelist's Society,
and had been a stamp dealer for 40
years. He occupied a room in Douglas
House, adjoining the defendant's room.

In 1919 the parties agreed that plaintiff
should pay 30/- a week rent. Douglas
was often away from his room, and during those periods Kelson did certain work
for him, at first for nothing, but later
Douglas agreed to make him an allowance.

When the stamp trade fell off
during the depression Kelson told Douglas
that he could not pay the rent
, and
Douglas told him that he could occupy
the room rent free.

Last November Douglas issued a distress warrant for
£156 for rent alleged to be due, and he
seized the whole of Kelson's stamps and
other chattels, valued at £1,700.

Four days later nine albums and 139 boxes of
stamps, containing in all about 600,000
stamps, were sold.

The defence pleaded that the rent
named in the distress warrant was due;
that the warrant was lawfully issued and
executed; that plaintiff consented to the
sale within four days; and that there was
no contract for work and labour done by
plaintiff.

Douglas counter-claimed for £281 for rent due by Kelson to him.
Mr. Hotchin (instructed by Messrs. Madden and Candy) appeared for Douglas.

Douglas, in evidence, denied that he
promised to make Kelson an allowance
for looking after witness's office in his
absence.

The arrangement was that
when witness was away Kelson should
look after his office, and when Kelson
was away witness would attend to Kelson's office.

Witness had never agreed to
allow Kelson to have his premises rent
free. On many occasions witness had
asked him for the rent owing.

The hearing will be continued on Monday.
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

Rod Perry wrote:
MJ's pet wrote:
Very hard to find that requirement to do business clearly expressed on a cover!
Yes, but it has nothing to do with philately, collecting or stamp dealing.
A "Postage Stamp" has nothing to do with Philately?

Rod
Rod, that cover has zero to do with philately.

One merchant requesting that his customers include a stamp for a reply was normal business practice in the 19th century. Nothing to do with philately, which is the art of collecting stamps, or stamp dealing, which this guy was not.

Ridiculous.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

The hearing will be continued on Monday.
Good cover Glen. But what happened next? :lol:

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Global Administrator »

MJ's pet wrote:
The hearing will be continued on Monday.
Good cover Glen. But what happened next? :lol:
Ask and Ye shall find - - maybe someone can post the text, edited into readable English!

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/204818292?searchT ... rchLimits=
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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

Image Image
Age. 26 June 1934, page 13

Kelson (stamp dealer, St Kilda, Melbourne) v Douglas (landlord), 1934

*Kelson failed to pay rent of £156. Claimed Douglas gave him the room rent free because of the depression (this evidently believed).
*Douglas seizes Kelson's stock and sells it to Lynott at auction for £150. (Dispute over quantity seized: 30,000 vs 607,000)
*The stock resold for £300 quickly a stamp dealer two weeks later (to McDonald).
*Kelson alleged Douglas was real buyer at £150 and Lynott was a dummy buyer. Lynott denied this.
*Kelson sues for £499, which he alleged was the value of his stock.
*Douglas counter-claims for £281, being the alleged amount of rent owing.
*Lynott said it was an an open auction with other members of the trade there. [A general auction, advertised - Robert Richardson of Flinders Lane - not a stamp auction although Butcher's was operating by this time]
*Kelson said the stamps were worth £600 to £700. [Retail? Cat Value? speculation?]
*Douglas sold everything in the shop, probably wrongfully, beyond the amount of rent owed.
*Verdict: Jury finds for Kelson awards Kelson £499 for his lost stock. Douglas claimed for £281 rent but this dismissed - jury probably thought Douglas acted too hastily and over-the-top = Douglas probably had to pay Kelson £499 plus legal costs. (Kelson can't get stock back).
*stay granted for 10 days pending parties to sort it out, pending appeals.
*(Kelson very lucky to get out of paying back rent!).

Would be interesting to know if Kelson came back as a dealer or if this was the end of him. He was obviously rich in stock and poor in money.
Last edited by MJ's pet on 28 May 2019 19:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

For what is is worth £600 in 1934 equates to about $60,000 in 2018 using the RPI. (Which is not always a satisfactory measure).

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by MJ's pet »

It seems Kelson continued trading, albeit with a lower profile:
Stamps brought, Collections, odd lots & c., Kelson & Co. Block Pl.

- The Argus. 17 May 1944 Page 13

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Re: Stamp Dealers and Commercial Philately in Colonial Austr

Post by Rod Perry »

MJ's pet wrote:Image Image
Age. 26 June 1934, page 13

Kelson (stamp dealer, St Kilda, Melbourne) v Douglas (landlord), 1934

*Kelson failed to pay rent of £156. Claimed Douglas gave him the room rent free because of the depression (this evidently believed).
*Douglas seizes Kelson's stock and sells it to Lynott at auction for £150. (Dispute over quantity seized: 30,000 vs 607,000)
*The stock resold for £300 quickly a stamp dealer two weeks later (to McDonald).
*Kelson alleged Douglas was real buyer at £150 and Lynott was a dummy buyer. Lynott denied this.
*Kelson sues for £499, which he alleged was the value of his stock.
*Douglas counter-claims for £281, being the alleged amount of rent owing.
*Lynott said it was an an open auction with other members of the trade there. [A general auction, advertised - Robert Richardson of Flinders Lane - not a stamp auction although Butcher's was operating by this time]
*Kelson said the stamps were worth £600 to £700. [Retail? Cat Value? speculation?]
*Douglas sold everything in the shop, probably wrongfully, beyond the amount of rent owed.
*Verdict: Jury finds for Kelson awards Kelson £499 for his lost stock. Douglas claimed for £281 rent but this dismissed - jury probably thought Douglas acted too hastily and over-the-top = Douglas probably had to pay Kelson £499 plus legal costs. (Kelson can't get stock back).
*stay granted for 10 days pending parties to sort it out, pending appeals.
*(Kelson very lucky to get out of paying back rent!).

Would be interesting to know if Kelson came back as a dealer or if this was the end of him. He was obviously rich in stock and poor in money.
Ol' Arthur Guion Kelson (1872-1960) was obviously a bit of a stayer.

He occupied Douglas House, Block Place (off Block Arcade), Melbourne (c1900-56), and retained GPO Box 297 Melbourne (1898-1956).
Image

1898: My earliest Kelson cover

Image
Image

1949: Handwriting tending to the wobbly, but still goin'
I have a 1953 cover with same handstamp, but in a much younger hand (family?).

The firm was still advertising as late as 1956.

On the subject of the Dwight cover above, MJ's Pet, if you're judging at Sydney EXPO 2019 I'll take note of your opinion. In the meantime, the cover will remain in my exhibit.

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