Prestige Philately Auction 233 CatalogueCOCOS ISLANDS POSTAL HISTORY - The Late 1930s
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Displaying 14 Lots in Category - COCOS ISLANDS POSTAL HISTORY - The Late 1930s
1938 cover to SS Orford at Fremantle endorsed "Per SS Islander/via Xmas Island/to Singapore" with Straits 8c Coronation tied by Singapore cds. With the enclosed brochure headed 'The Cocos Islands'. Acquired at a Perth auction in 2008 for $1320. [The Orient Line raised money for maritime charities by selling such brochures to passengers]
(Qty 2 items)
1938 (Feb 8) long registered airmail cover (273x121mm) to JS Clunies Ross care of Caldbeck Macgregor at Singapore with GB ½d & 5d, Singapore b/s of 4MR/1938, two small tears at the top & light soiling. [The Empire Air Mail Scheme - EAMS - was extended to Malaya & Australia in February 1938. This and the next two (or three?) covers are the only Cocos EAMS covers known to us]
1938 (Apr 14) long underpaid EAMS cover (280x127mm) to JS Clunies Ross care of Caldbeck Macgregor at Singapore with GB 2½d only & boxed 'PLEASE ADVISE SENDER THAT/LETTERS SHOULD BE PREPAID/AT 1½D EACH HALF OUNCE' cachet on reverse, scarce combination franking of Postage Dues Straits 1c plus Malayan Postal Union 4c & 10c tied by Singapore cds of 23AP38. [The b/s indicates that this cover was flown to Singapore which is confirmed by the 9 day transit to Singapore]
1938 (June 22) commercial EAMS cover to "JS Clunies Ross/Keeling-Cocos-Islands/co Caldbeck MacGregor Co/ Singapore" with GB 1½d tied by Glasgow Empire Exhibition slogan cancel.
1939 (Apr 15) OHMS cover with 'From/Colonial Secretary's Office SS/...' cachet in violet to "J Clunies Ross/Cocos Island" but endorsed "co The Manager/Ex Australasia & China/Telegraph Co Ltd/Perth WA' & endorsed "[BY AIR MAIL/...]/Darwin-Perth WA" with Straits 5c tied by Singapore cds. An enigma. [The EAMS rate was 8c per ½oz to Darwin so why was the cover not taxed? Colin Riddell is correct that there was no apparent advantage in sending the cover to Perth only for it to be forwarded by sea to Cocos. He may be right in suggesting that this was an attempt to connect with 'Guba II' in Western Australia. At that time Port Hedland had not yet been selected as the WA departure point]
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1938 (May 24) Archbold Expedition cover from New York to Hollandia overprinted to commemorate that flight & the 1939 return via Australia, the Indian Ocean & Africa, with Dutch Indies 10c tied by 'HOLLANDIA/10.5.39' cds, Australian 5d Ram tied by 'ROSE BAY EAST/3JE39/NSW-AUST' cds, superb 'C&W LTD/12JUN39/COCOS' b/s & uncancelled Seychelles 6c, autographs of "Richard Archbold", "Russell R Rogers Pilot" & three other crew members, a bit stained on the reverse.
The Australian Government contracted the flying boat 'Guba II' to undertake a survey flight from Australia across the Indian Ocean to Africa to assess the feasability of such a route in the event of disruption to the London-Singapore- Sydney route. After having spent a year flying in and around New Guinea, 'Guba' left Port Moresby 12.5.1939 for Sydney & Melbourne for an overhaul of the plane's systems. On 3.6.1939 it flew non-stop Sydney-Port Hedland (WA), then on towards Cocos & beyond.
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 (May 12) Archbold Expedition cover from Papua to New York via Australia, the Indian Ocean & Africa, with Papua 1/- Air tied by Port Moresby cds, Australian 5d Ram tied by 'ROSE BAY EAST/3JE39/NSW-AUST' cds, 'C&W LTD/12JUN39/COCOS' b/s, Seychelles 2c x3 tied by VICTORIA/JU17/39/SEYCHELLES' cds, KUT 15c tied by 'KISUMU/23JU/39/KENYA' cds, Belgian Congo 50c tied by 'COLQUIHATVILLE/24-6-39' cds & USA 2c tied by New York arrival cancel of AUG4/1939, faint blemishes & small closed tear at top clear of the stamps. [Kim Dwyer's similar cover - with the Cocos cds on the face - sold for $2300]
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 unaddressed Archbold Expedition cover with map of the Trans-Indian Ocean Flight & small photograph of the crew affixed, with Australian 1d tied by 'PORT HEDLAND/4JE39/WA' cds, Dutch Indies 5c tied by 'BATAVIA/6.6.39' cds, superb 'C&W LTD/8JUN39/COCOS' b/s & John Clunies-Ross' monogram on the face, initialled at Chagos (no post office), Seychelles 6c & 'VICTORIA/JU18/39/SEYCHELLES' cds & KUT 15c tied by 'MOMBASA/23JU39/ KENYA' cds, light even soiling. Only 6 such covers have been recorded. [Kim Dwyer's similar cover sold for $1322]
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 unstamped advertising cover for Soper Bros Estate Agents (Katoomba NSW) to a family member on Cocos endorsed "Per Guba" & with superb 'CABLE AND WIRELESS LIMITED/COCOS/("7")JUN1939/BRANCH/...' cachet on the reverse, roughly opened with damage to the flap, subsequently endorsed "This envelope was carried from Port Hedland to Cocos Island on the flying-boat Guba...It was handed to me, on arrival at Cocos Island by captain PG Taylor on the 7th June 1939/CH Soper/Manager Cable and Wireless Ltd/Cocos Island", the flap with the cachet opened-out for display. [An important item, being the only non-philatelic cover to Cocos carried on this flight]
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 cover to New York with appropriate stamps & postmarks of Australia, Seychelles (obscuring a superb strike of the 'C&W LTD/COCOS' cds), KUT, Belgian Congo & the USA, minor soiling.
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 (June 3) Sydney-KUT-Sydney boomerang cover with superb 'C&W LTD/12JUN39/COCOS' cds on the reverse, registered for the return flight per Imperial Airways with KUT 50c tied by 'KISUMU/23JU/39/KENYA' cds, Sydney arrival b/s of 6JY39, minor stains on the reverse. [Kim Dwyer's long registered cover sold for $1092]
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 cover with Seychelles 12c tied by 'VICTORIA/ JU17/39/SEYCHELLES' cds & KUT 20c tied by 'KISUMU/ 23JU/39/KENYA' cds, most unusually to India with 'AHMEDABAD CANTONMENT/28JUN39' arrival b/s, minor spotting on the reverse. [The only way to account for five days delivery to India is that the cover connected with Imperial Airways to Egypt, then to Karachi]
INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY FLIGHT PER 'GUBA II': 1939 cover with uncancelled Australia 3d blue & sender's Sydney return address on the flap, to Holland with KUT 15c & 30c x2 tied by 'MOMBASA/23JU/39/KENYA' cds for the Imperial Airlines route to Egypt & on to London. [This apparently commercial cover was presumably carried per favor of PG Taylor: see also Lot 2365]
TELEGRAPHIC MESSAGES ON POSTAL CARDS: 1937 (June 28) Straits 2c to GB by air per Imperial uprated with KGV 1c & Coronation 12c tied by Singapore cds of 29JU/1937. Message: "Cocos/.../Mail delayed one week...following mail leaves Singapore Oct 23rd...". Ex Rob Holley: acquired at a society auction in 2018 for £1650. [On 1.12.1934, the letter & postcard rates had been reduced to 25c & 15c respectively]