Australia 2005 Treasures from the Archive

From Stamps of the World
Australia 2005 Treasures from the Archive perf.jpg
  • Issue Date : 6 September 2005
  • Designed by : Hannah Mattner
  • Printed by : SEP Sprint
  • Print Process : Lithography
  • Perforations : 14¼, imperforate
  • Dimensions: 105mm x 70mm
  • Format: panes of 10


There were eight stamps issued in 1888-89 to commemorate the New South Wales Centennial. The stamps were the world’s first stated commemorative stamps. Each stamp is inscribed “100 years”. Unlike modern commemorative issues, they were not short-term stamps, and remained on long-term sale. The 20 shilling stamp was current from 1888 until 1913, when it was replaced by the Commonwealth’s Kangaroo and Map stamp.

Five of the Centennial stamp designs were the result of a public competition organised by the New South Wales government, led by Premier Sir Henry Parkes. The winning design for the 20 shilling stamp was by Mrs F. W. Stoddard. The stamp design features portraits of New South Wales Governors Arthur Phillip (1788) and Lord Carrington (1888). This might have been a world precedent, and was the first Australian stamp to depict a living person other than Queen Victoria. The flowers which surround the portraits are Christmas Bells, and were chosen as “appropriately suggestive of ringing in the glad Centennial time”.


On the jumbo stamp, the 20 shilling Centennial stamp is depicted in multiple format to represent the full sheet of 50 held in the National Philatelic Collection. The sheet is believed to be unique. The “specimen” overprint was applied to archival sheets to prevent possible misuse of the stamps for postage.

$5 perforated
$5 imperforate
Issue date: 10 January 2006

First Day Cover

The first day of issue postmark was Sydney NSW 2000.

First day cover

Maximum Card

$5 maximum card

Presentation Pack

Presentation pack front cover
Presentation pack back cover
Presentation pack of single $5 stamp