Category: COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA - General & Miscellaneous Lots
1900 (Dec 18) envelope with a superb strike of the 'GOVERNOR-GENERAL/[arms]/FRANK STAMP/ AUSTRALIA' handstamp in blue uncancelled but with a Sydney duplex of DE18/00 alongside and superb 'POSTAGE PAID SYDNEY' cds of the same date at lower-left, embossed 'Government House, Sydney/[arms]' in red on the flap, Brisbane arrival b/s of DE20/00. A highly significant cover, in excellent condition, and a marvellous first page for an Australian Postal History collection.
This usage pre-dates Federation (1st January 1901) by 13 days. Although the Earl of Hopetoun had arrived in Sydney from England in mid-December he was still merely the Governor-General -Designate. The usage of the Governor-General Frank in this period was therefore unauthorised, inappropriate and highly irregular. Only one earlier usage is recorded, from the day before, and it is telling that in both cases the Frank is correctly uncancelled signifying that its validity was not accepted by the post office. However, neither item was taxed, presumably as a courtesy to the illustrious sender.
AUSTRALIA , Postal Stationery - Franks , VICTORIA , NEW SOUTH WALES , Federation of Australia (1901) , Vice-Regal (Governors') Mail