Tasmania was the 3rd colony in Australia to have issued postage stamps, subsequent to New South Wales and Victoria. The first issues known as the “Courier” for 1d and 4d values were issued on November 1, 1853. These stamps were engraved on the copper plates by C.W. Coard and printed by H. and C. Best, who was the publisher of the “Courier” newspaper. The printing plate contained 24 impressions of 1d or 4d stamp, which was arranged in 4 rows of six of each impression. The 1d stamp was the rate for town letters, and the 4d stamp was used for inland letters and overseas ship letters irrespective of destination. In accordance with this unusual postage being same for inland and overseas ship letters, the demand for 4d was much bigger than 1d. Subsequent to the issue of the “Courier” stamps, new stamps known as “Chalon Head” stamps were issued for 1d, 2d and 4d values in 1855, which were followed by 6d and 1 sh values in 1858. These 2 values of the “Chalon Head” stamps were used till end of 19th century.

I have an impression that research of stamps and postal history of Tasmania is not yet satisfactory comparing with other Australian States such as NSW and Victoria. It is probably due to limited availability of materials for Tasmania. I consequently executed some researches for the “Courier” issues as the responsibility of a philatelist who has reasonable number of materials for comparison or a study, and the part of it was announced in the article of the Collectors Club.

I started collecting Tasmanian Classics in 1976 when I was 20 years old. I was suggested to stop collecting Tasmanian stamps by some leading philatelists, including Mr. Viney in Tasmania. It was because of a fewer availability of stamps, which were already shared by some leading collectors such as Earl, Odenweller, Viney, Tinsley, Robinson, Purves, Hayes, Dale-Lichtenstein etc. (still missing a lot). I however considered that I was young enough to wait for these collections to be disposed…

When I started collecting Tasmania, I simultaneously started collecting stamps of Hyderabad, an Indian State. I thought that I would be able to obtain only one or two Tasmanian stamps a year due to its market values. I consequently thought to enjoy collecting number of Hyderabad stamps, which were much cheaper. However, the first Tasmanian cover I could obtain was the one sent to Hyderabad! I could not believe that there existed covers sent from Tasmania to Hyderabad and I felt some fatal power to have chosen these 2 states.

In 1890, Basset Hull published a research book titled “Stamps of Tasmania”. We needed to wait for another century to have the comprehensive book of Mr. Tinsley titled “TASMANIA : Stamps and Postal History”, which was published in 1986. He then summarized the researches on stamps, and this presentation is to update the philatelic records he then listed in the book. However I am just a collector but never be a researcher of stamps and postal history of Tasmania. I have been taking records of items appeared on Auctions. My personal contacts with Tasmanian philatelists are limited, so that I have no information for such items held by some philatelists personally. It is my pleasure if this presentation can attract some of you for the beautiful design and mysterious history of Tasmania.

“Courier” Issues November 1, 1853 1 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Three Blocks of 4 / Strip of 4 / Two Strips of 3 Only 1 block of 4 is on private hand.
Used Multiple Block of 4 / Strips of 4 Block of 4 is in museum.
Earliest Use November 9, 1853
Largest Multiple on Cover Strips of 4 Four examples (one in museum) are recorded
Others 23 covers are known in total, One 6d rate, Nine 4d rate & Thirteen 1d rate covers.

2 covers are known with triangle punch for official use.

Double impressions are rare. Paper thickness varies between 84 – 113 micro meter. Earlier printings are thinner than Thin Hard White Paper

“Plate II” was the first plate engraved by C.W. Coard, and “Plate I” was the second plate copying the first plate. Plate I was engraved on the back of the cancelled order of either 2d or 6d stamp.

Courier 4d stamp was printed 21 times, so that different colour shades are recorded.

“Courier” Issues November 1, 1853 4 Pence
Colour Shade Plate I Plate II
Bright Red-Orange O O
Red-Orange O O
Orange O X
Pale Orange O X
Dull Orange X O
Dull Yellowish-Orange X O
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Pairs Pairs are known for Plate I & II
Used Multiple Blocks of 8 / Blocks of 6 / Strip of 6 About 25 blocks are known, incl. three blocks of 8
Earliest Use November 10, 1853

November 24, 1853
November 1 (First Day of Issue), November 10, November 11 & November 21, 1853
Largest Multiple on Cover Pairs 8 stamps (incl. Strip of 4) on cover, 6 stamps (2 strips of 3) on cover & 4 stamps (incl. Strip of 3) are known. 5 covers with pairs are recorded
Others
Chalon Head Large Star Watermark 1 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Pair
Used Multiple Block of 4 / Strip of 4 Block of 4 is the rejoined one.
Earliest Use April 3, 1856 (on cover)

January 9, 1856 (on piece)
November 10, 1855 is the Earliest Known Date
Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 4
Others There are 2 concession rate covers recorded.
Chalon Head Large Star Watermark 2 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Pairs Only singles in private hand
Used Multiple Block of 9 / Strip of 4
Earliest Use September 24, 1855
Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 3
Others A cover is known to have been sent to France.
Chalon Head Large Star Watermark 4 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Strip of 3
Used Multiple Block of 9 / Blocks of 6
Earliest Use September 12, 1855 This data should be September 14 instead of September 12
Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 5
Others Unique example with Triangle Punch on cover is known
Chalon Head No Watermark 1 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple None Is there unused stamp on private hand?
Used Multiple Strip of 4 Block of 4 is the rejoined one.
Earliest Use July 18, 1856 November 10, 1855 is the Earliest Known Date
Largest Multiple on Cover Single Only 2 covers are known
Others
Chalon Head No Watermark 1 Pence on Pelure Paper
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Block of 4 / Strip of 4
Used Multiple Strip of 4 Block of 8 is recorded
Earliest Use March 28, 1857 November 10, 1855 is the Earliest Known Date
Largest Multiple on Cover Single Strip of 3 on piece is known
Others
Chalon Head No Watermark 2 pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple None 4 singles are known
Used Multiple Strips of 3
Earliest Use July 25, 1857
Largest Multiple on Cover Single 5 covers are known.
Others
Chalon Head No Watermark 4 pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Strip of 4
Used Multiple Block of 7 / Block of 6
Earliest Use August 22, 1857
Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 6 This was “Double Figure WMK” issue, but not No Wmk issue. Three strips of 3 (9 stamps) on cover is the largest multiple on cover.
Others
Chalon Head Double Figure Wmk Paper 1 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Block of 18 Probably separated to Block of 9 and smaller multiples
Used Multiple Strip of 6 Pen Cancellation Materials are excluded
Earliest Use January 12, 1858 October 16, 1857

Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 6
Others
Chalon Head Double Figure Wmk Paper 2 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Block of 6 Two Blocks of 6 are known
Used Multiple Strip of 8 Block of 8, Strips of 8, 7 & 6 are also known.
Earliest Use January 11, 1858 October 16, 1857

Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 3
Others Only One Single Franking Suburb Rate cover is known
Printing Order – Updating Mr. O.G. Ingles report
Order Ingles Printing Date Colour Shades Watermark
1 1 August 1857 Dull Emerald Green Inverted
2 October 1857 Dull Bluish Emerald Green Normal
3 3 November 1857 Dull Yellowish Green Inverted
4 2 April 1858 Dull Yellowish Green Normal
5 4 November 1858 Deep Green Normal
6 5 February 1860 Sage / Slate / Olive Green Normal
7 6 July/August 1864 Yellowish Green Normal
Chalon Head Double Figure Wmk Paper 4 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Block of 9
Used Multiple Block of 9 / Strip of 9 Pen Cancellation Materials are excluded
Earliest Use December 10, 1857
Largest Multiple on Cover Strip of 3 Strip of 6
Others
Chalon Head Double Figure Wmk Paper 6 Pence
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Pair (London Print)

Block of 8 (Local Print)
Used Multiple Strip of 4 (London Print)

Block of 6 (Local Print)
Earliest Use April 21, 1858 November 23, 1860 for Local Print
Largest Multiple on Cover Pair (London Print)

Single (Local Print)
Block of 4 (London Print)

Pair (Local Print)
Others
Table of Local Print Printing Dates & Colour Shades
Sequence Printing Date Printer Colour Shade No. of Print
1st Print March 1860 John Davies Grey

Grey-Green

Greyish Green

Dull Slate-Grey
360,000

(1,500 sheets)
2nd Print April 1863 Jas. S. Birchall Dull Violet-Blue

Grey Violet

Bluish Purple

Dull Grey-Blue

Pale Bluish Grey
300,000

(1,250 sheets)
3rd Print February 1865 Government Blue-Grey

Slate Blue-Grey

Dull Blue
360,000

(1,500 sheets)
4th Print February 1867 Government Reddish Mauve 360,000

(1,500 sheets)
Chalon Head Double Figure Wmk Paper 1 Shilling
Subject W. E. Tinsley Remarks
Unused Multiple Strip of 4 Block of 4 is also known
Used Multiple Block of 6 / Strip of 6 Two blocks of 6 & Five blocks of 4
Earliest Use February 10, 1858
Largest Multiple on Cover Pair
Others