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South Australia

Monday, January 1, 1855

Australian State 5

South Australia Scott #1
  South Australia Scott #1  

Imperforate, watermark 6 (Star with long narrow points), engraved.
Printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co. in London, England.


Description # printed   Scott SG Mi Y&T
January 1, 1855
2 pence dull carmine
1,000,000   2 2    
October 26, 1855
1 penny dark green
200,160   1 1    
October 27, 1855
6 pence deep blue
499,680   3 3    

All issue quantities are approximate.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Barbara Bartsch of the Philatelic Society of South Australia in Adelaide, for clearing up the issue dates.

The Scott catalog simply states 1855 - 1856 as the issue dates for this first issue. Stanley Gibbons is more precise, stating October 26, 1855 as the date for #1 and #3, but November 1, 1855 for #2! It was a small entry in 'Post Dates' by Kenneth A. Woods (Van Dahl Publications, 1985) that got me curious about this. It states that the 2 pence value was issued on January 1, 1855, and the two other values on October 26, 1855. I therefore had to ask Barbara - and she told us that according to "The Postage Stamps of South Australia, by the PS of South Australia in 1947" the dates are as mentioned above. It seems Kenneth Woods is closer than both Scott and Stanley Gibbons...

These stamps were printed in sheets of 240 stamps - 20 rows of 12 stamps.

These stamps were later printed locally by Printer of Stamps in Adelaide, using the original plates. The main differences are in the colors used:
2 pence orange red April 23, 1856
2 pence blood red November 14, 1856
6 pence slate blue July, 1857
2 pence red in shades October 29, 1857
1 penny deep yellow green June 15, 1858
1 penny yellow green October 11,1858

Make sure your copy of #1 and #3 have a watermark. If they don't, they are proofs.

Thank you to David Olson for supplying the nice image.

The one shilling violet stamp, Scott #4 / S.G. #4, was never issued, though 500,000 were printed and sent to South Australia. The color was deemed to be too close to that of the six pence stamp. "... all were destroyed on 5th June 1857, except for a couple of copies known" according to Barbara Bartsch and the Philatelic Society of South Australia.

Get an overview of Australia and Colonies 1850 - 1913.

FI ref: 53 Page credit: JA

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 19-Jun-2017