History of The Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue
GENERALLY CATALOGUE  HISTORY CATALOGUE LIST KANGAROO SHADES KGV HEAD SHADES KGV 1d. RED SHADES


Catalogue History
 

 
Last updated 17 November, 2019
Minor Editoral Changes
 
Introduction

The First Edition of this catalogue, then named the "Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue", was issued in 1926.

In 1953, under a new publisher and editor, it was renamed the "Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue".

In 1987 the catalogue was acquired by Brusden-White, who released a loose-leaf edition in 1988.

In 1992, with Brusden-White under new ownership and with new editors, the decision was made to rewrite the catalogue and progressively issue it in separate volumes.  The first volume released was the 'Kangaroos' in 1993.

The Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue is still in production and continues to evolve with the release of each new edition.




Forerunner to the ACSC Catalogue

The Stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia by Alec A. Rosenblum

Rosenblum The introduction to Orlo-Smith's First Edition of the Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue included the following statement:

"The thanks of the publishers are due to Mr. A. A. Rosenblum, for his valuable assistance in the compiling the lists and for information taken from his book, Stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia;...."

Alec Rosenblum's publication (the 1926 Second Edition is shown here) is not a stamp catalogue as such but is a handbook, acknowledged in its time as a standard work on the stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia. It makes no attempt to assign reference numbers (or values) to the stamps or shades.

Alec A. Rosenblum (1895-1973) was well known on the Australian philatelic scene in the 1920s and 1930s.  He served as editor of the Australian Philatelic Record and the Australian Stamp Monthly, and was significantly involved in research of the Kangaroo and King George V stamps.  He was also a member of the 1932 Committee set up to form a workable shade listing for the 1d. KGV Heads.  The committee included Colenso Blogg (who compiled the comprehensive 1930 "Z" prefix list) together with Orlo-Smith and others.




The Editions


1926 to 1952 Releases

covercover Fourteen editions, numbered 1 to 14, were released between 1926 and 1952. These editions were titled "The Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue" and were published by Orlo-Smith & Co., and edited by Stanley Orlo-Smith until his death in 1946.

They feature two different catalogue cover styles. Editions 1 to 3 plus the supplement, were printed in cursive italic text; the remainder are in standard sans-script text.  Both cover styles are shown above.

The First Edition, released in September 1926, was dated as a 1926-7 catalogue.

The Second Edition, released in September 1928, was dated as a 1928-9 catalogue.

A Supplement to the 1932 Third Edition was released in July, 1933.


1953 to 1955 Releases

covercoverTwo editions, numbered 15 & 16, were edited by Mr. C. E. (Eric) Norden.

The 15th Edition (1953) was published by Australian Stamp Auctions, printed by Hawthorn Press. 

It was was the first to be issued with the title "Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue", and was the first to list the 1d. KGV Reds as a separate section.

The 1953 Australian Stamp Auctions edition is sometimes quoted as "1953-1954", giving rise to the mistaken impression that they issued two separate editions.

The 16th Edition was published and printed by The Hawthorn Press in 1955.


1956 to 1964 Releases

cover cover Nine editions, numbered 17 to 25, were published by The Hawthorn Press and edited by Rev. J. C. W. Brown.

The 18th Edition (1957) saw significant changes to the KGV 1d. Red shade names, together with the deletion of some existing shades and the addition of some new shades.

The 25th Edition (1964) celebrated the 25th Anniversary with a silver text printed cover.  The first and last editions are shown here.


1965 to 1980 Releases

cover cover cover Fifteen editions, numbered 26 to 40, were published by The Hawthorn Press and edited by Mr. John Percival Meara.

The 30th Edition (1969) was the first to abandon the traditional red stapled cover for a coloured softbound cover.


1981 to 1983 Releases

cover cover Two editions, numbered 41 and 42, were published by Seven Seas Stamps and edited by Mr. J. P. Meara.

The 41st Edition was published in 1981 and was the first to be printed in full colour, however it arguably suffered from a drastic reduction of the number of shades listed, as well as the unpopular change away from the KGV "G" numbering system.

The 42nd Edition was published in 1983.  It was in full colour and was the first with a hard-cover. Editorially it reversed some of the previous deletions due to: "...the radical generalised treatment of certain content in the 1981 edition which drew some adverse comment."


1988 Releases

A fully revised and expanded edition was published by Brusden-White in 1988, and was compiled and edited by Alan J. White.  Chronologically this release represents the 43rd edition of the ACSC series, and is the last of the single edition catalogues.  It was available as an A5 loose-leaf version and an A5 bound book.

cover Cover Cover The Loose-Leaf Edition was printed in colour and was available in a special four-ring binder to accommodate future updates, available by subscription. It includes permanent and temporary pages.  The 1988 release and the subsequent updates were predominately printed in colour.

Updates to the 1988 Loose-Leaf Edition were issued in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997. (This list may not be complete).

The
1989 update included pages for Sections:  D, H, I, J, K, N, W, X, Y, Z, AAT.

Cover The
1990 update included a revised contents page that now includes Section A  "Australian States" from 1850 to 1910; together with updates to sections:  N, W, X, Y.

The
1992 update included two new sections:  AA "Pre-Decimal Postage Rates" & Va "Stamped Labels", together with updates to Sections: N, O, V, W, X, AAT.

The
1994 update included a new section Vb "Counter-Printed Stamps", together with updates to Sections:  N, O, V, W.

The
1995 update included a new section Vc "Automatic Teller Machine Stamps", together with updates to Sections:  N, O, V, Va, Vb, W, AAT.

The
1997 update included updates to Sections:  N, O, V, Vb, Vc, W, AAT.


Cover The Bound Version of the loose-leaf edition was also published.  It is an A5 hard-cover bound book containing the identical colour pages of the loose-leaf edition.

It contains only the 1988 dated permanent and temporary pages. No updates are included.



1990 Release

Cover A separate Australian Colonies Booklet was published in 1990 by Brusden-White.  It was compiled by Harry L Bazelmans and edited by Alan J. White.

This publication is printed in colour and covers the period from 1850 to 1910, and includes postage due stamps.

This is a A5 bound booklet comprising Section A of the 1988 loose-leaf edition of the Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue.  Section A was not included in the 1988 release, but was added in the 1990 update.


1992 Changes

Following a change of ownership of ACSC and the appointment of Dr. Geoffrey Kellow as Editor, the decision was made to release future editions of the New Brusden-White's Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue in separate volumes, as follows:

Kangaroos
King George V
King George VI
Queen Elizabeth II  1952-1966
Decimals I  1966-1975
Decimals II  1975-1991
Decimals III  1992-2001
Postage Dues
Booklets
Postal Stationary


1993 New Loose-Leaf Format

Cover Cover A new Loose-Leaf format was released; similar to the 1988 Interim Edition, except that the pages are approximately 27mm wider (identical in width of the new single edition catalogues). These updates are not related to the updates issued for the 1988 Interim Loose-Leaf edition.

The editors are Geoffrey Kellow & Richard Breckon. The pages are consecutively numbered and there are no "permanent" or "temporary" notations. The images are no longer in colour.

The following wide-format loose-leaf releases are known to have been issued:
   1993 - Introduction; The Early Federal Period (1901-1912); Kangaroo Series (1913-1650).
   1994 - The Engraved Definitives (1913-1914); KGV Head Series (1914-1938); Other KGV Issues (1927-1936).
   1995 - King George VI Issues (1937-1952); B.C.O.F (1946-1949); Booklets (1904-1973).

It is not known when Brusden-White officially discontinued the loose-leaf releases, however loose-leaf pages are still available from a third party. See here: Link


1993 Release

cover The First Edition of ACSC Kangaroos was published in 1993 by Brusden-White, as Sections 1 & 2 of the new Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue. It was based on the 1993 update of the 1993 loose-leaf edition.

Section 1 covers "The Early Federal Period, 1901-1912", comprising stamp essays and designs. Section 2 covers "The Kangaroo and Map Series, 1913-1950".

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 124 black and white pages.


1994 Release

cover The First Edition of ACSC King George V was published in 1994 by Brusden-White, as Sections 3, 4, & 5 of the new Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue.  It was based on the 1994 update of the 1993 loose-leaf edition.

Section 3 covers The Engraved Definitives of 1913-1914.  Section 4 covers The King George V Head Series, 1914-1938.  Section 5 covers The Other King George V Issues, 1927-1936.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 326 black and white pages.


1995 Releases

Two new catalogues were issued this year.

CoverThe First Edition of ACSC King George VI was published in 1995, as Sections 6 &7 of the new Brusden-White catalogue and is based on the 1995 update of the 1993 loose-leaf edition.

Section 6 covers The King George VI Issues, 1937-1952.  Section 7 covers British Commonwealth Occupation Forces in Japan, 1946-1949.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, containing 223 black & white pages.


image hereThe First Edition of ACSC Booklets was also published in 1995, as Section 11 of the new Brusden-White catalogue.  It is based on the 1995 update of the 1993 loose-leaf edition.

This edition embraces all stamp booklets issued by the Commonwealth of Australia from their introduction in 1904 up to their temporary discontinuation in 1973.  It also includes booklets containing Australia State stamps from 1904 to 1912.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 133 black & white pages.


1996 Releases

One revised catalogue and one new catalogue were issued this year.

cover The Second Edition of ACSC Kangaroos was published in 1996 by Brusden-White.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising (tba) black and white pages.




cover The First Edition of ACSC Queen Elizabeth II 1952-1966 was published in 1996, as Section 8 of the New Brusden-White Catalogue.

This section covers the pre-decimal stamps issued during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

This publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 264+ black & white pages.


1997 Release

click hereThe First Edition of ACSC Decimals I - 1966-1975 was published in 1997, as Section 9 of the New Brusden-White Catalogue.  It is based on the 1997 update of the 1988 loose-leaf edition.

This volume covers all stamps issued under the authority of the Postmaster-General's department, from the introduction of Decimal Currency on 14 February 1966 up to 1st July 1975, when the Australia Postal Commission was established.

This publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 379 black & white pages.


1999 Releases

One revised catalogue and one new catalogue were issued this year.

click hereThe Third Edition of ACSC Kangaroos was published in 1999 by Brusden-White.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 144 black and white pages.




CoverThe First Edition of ACSC Postage Dues, was published in 1999, as Section 10 of the New Brusden-White Catalogue.  This new section is based on the 1999 update to the 1988 loose-leaf edition.

The publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 138 black & white pages.



2001 Release

Cover The Second Edition of ACSC King George V was published in 2001 by Brusden-White.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 383 black and white pages.

This edition marks the beginning of a program to replace plate variety drawings with scanned images of actual stamps.  Based on recent research, the quantities of stamps printed have been added or revised where necessary.


2002 Releases

One revised catalogue and two new catalogues were issued this year.

click here The Second Edition of ACSC Decimals I (1966-1975) was published in 2002, and was renumbered as Section 9A. It was previously released in 1997 as section 9.

This publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 436 black & white pages.



cover The First Edition of ACSC Decimals II (1975-1991) was published in 2002, as Section 9B of the New Brusden-White Catalogue.

Section 9B covers the period from 1st July 1975 to Christmas 1991.

This publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 558 black & white pages.


cover The First Edition of ACSC Decimals III (1992-2001) was published in 2002, as Section 9C of the New Brusden-White Catalogue.

Section 9C covers the period from 2nd January 1992 to Christmas 2001, and represents completion of the period of 100 years since Federation.

This publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 512 black & white pages.


2003 Release

cover The Second Edition of ACSC Booklets was published in 2003.

This edition now embraces all the stamp booklets issued by the Commonwealth of Australia from their introduction in 1904 up to the the end of 2001.

This publication was a A5+ softbound book, comprising black & white 261 pages.


2004 Release

cover The Fourth Edition of ACSC Kangaroos was published in 2004 by Brusden-White.

Section 1 of this edition included (for the first and only time) Australian State stamps issue under the authority of the Commonwealth Postmaster-General's Department between 1901 and 1912. This was the only edition to include the State stamps.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 547 black & white pages (which includes 373 pages of the newly included State stamps).


2006 Releases

Two revised catalogues were issued this year.

cover The Second Edition of ACSC King George VI was released in 2006.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, containing 261 black & white pages.




cover
The Second Edition of ACSC Queen Elizabeth II (1952-1966) was released in 2006.

This publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 355 black & white pages.

This edition is essentially unchanged except for a number of new plate varieties, revised the plate numbers and new enlarged illustrations.  A number of new shades, together with corrections and additions of the printing quantities of each stamp have been added.

Two new sections have been added to this edition. Sections 8A covers stamps of the Australian Antarctic Territory, and section 8B covers stamps of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.


2007 Release

cover
The Third Edition of ACSC King George V was published in 2007 by Brusden-White.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 401 black and white pages.




2013 Releases


One revised catalogue and one new catalogue were issued this year.

coverThe Fifth Edition of ACSC Kangaroos was published in 2013 by Brusden-White.

This edition celebrated the "Centenary of the First Kangaroo Stamps, 1913-2013".

Two publications of this edition were released.  A standard A5+ softbound book comprising 324 black and white pages;  and deluxe hardbound limited edition A5+ size book (100 numbered copies issued), comprising 324 full colour pages.


coverThe First Edition of ACSC Postal Stationery was published in 2013, as Section 12 of the New Brusden-White Catalogue.

This edition covers the period 1911 to 1980, and includes the Australian Territories of: Christmas island, New Guinea, Papua, and Papua and New Guinea.

This publication comprises a 4 ring binder with A4 loose-leaf pages (with tabs). It contains 400 full colour pages.


2014 Releases

Two revised catalogues were issued this year.

Cover
The Fourth Edition of ACSC King George V was published in 2014 by Brusden-White.

This edition celebrates the "Centenary of the King George V Definitives, 1914-2014".

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 463 black and white pages.


ImageThe Second Edition of ACSC Postage Dues was published in 2014.

This edition includes a specialised listing of the Colonial issues, fully revised Commonwealth issues, UPU Specimens, and cancelled-to-order stamps.

This publication is a softbound A5+ sized book, comprising 228 black & white pages.


2015 Releases

Two revised catalogues were issued this year.

CoverThe Third Edition of ACSC King George VI was released in 2015.

Apart from additions to Plate variations, a number of new thin paper varieties from the 1949-51 period have been added, and some new shades have been identified and listed.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, containing 278 black & white pages.


CoverThe Third Edition of ACSC Queen Elizabeth II (1952-1966) was released in 2015.  It covers pre-decimal stamps issued during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.  Previous editions were released in 1996 and 2006.

The publication is an A5+ softbound book, comprising 374 black & white pages.



2017 Release

Cover The Sixth Edition of ACSC Kangaroos was published in 2017 by Brusden-White. 
Previous editions were released in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2013.

This is the first Kangaroos to be printed in full colour, including essays and proofs, and has been revised with new discoveries.  It includes further research on the plate varieties with new plate positions identified, and new varieties added.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 229 full colour pages.


2018 Releases

Two revised catalogues were issued this year.

Image The Fifth Edition of ACSC King George V was published in 2018 by Brusden-White. Previous editions were released in 1994, 2001, 2007 and 2014.

This is the first KGV to be printed in full colour. It includes a number of new discoveries and plate varieties added, especially in the ½d, 3d, and 4d values. Prices have been fully revised.

This publication is a A5+ softbound book, comprising 474 full colour pages.


Cover The Second Edition of ACSC Postal Stationery was published in 2018.  The first edition was released in 2013.

This edition adds Australian Territories issues and is highly specialised with much new and previously unrecorded information.

This edition is a A4 softbound book, printed in full colour. It contains 484 pages.


2019 Releases

This year saw the release of the revisions of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Pre-decimal catalogues, both now in full colour and in a larger A4 format.

Cover The Fourth Edition of ACSC King George VI was published in 2019.  Previous editions were released in 1995, 2006 and 2015.

This edition is a new full colour A4 format, fully revised and incorporating new illustrations, and including Postage Due and BCOF issues.

This publication is a A4 softbound book, containing 232 full colour pages.


Cover The Fourth Edition of ACSC Queen Elizabeth II (1952-1966) was published in 2019.

This edition is a new full colour A4 format, fully revised and incorporating new illustrations, and including Postage Due, Australian Antarctic Territory and Cocos (Keeling) Island issues.

This publication is a A4 softbound book, containing 276 full colour pages.


Summary

For anyone with an interest in stamps of this period, the New Brusden-White Catalogues are highly recommended, and for serious collectors they are considered an indispensible reference.

A complete table of all the Editions, showing the Publishers, Editors, and Edition Dates, is available in the Catalogue List section of this website. Go to

Link for Brusden-White Publishing Website: Brusden-White



The Editors


S. Orlo-Smith

Stanley (Stan) Orlo-Smith, was prominent Melbourne stamp dealer and an acknowledged expert on the one penny red King George V Heads.

Orlo-Smith was born in London in 1880, travelled to America before settling in Australia in 1907.  Sometime between 1910 and 1917 he set up his stamp business in Melbourne. He issued the first edition of the (then) "Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue" in 1926.  He passed away in 1946, only months after retiring from his business.


C. E. Norden

C E (Eric) Norden was a Melbourne stamp dealer, who edited editions 15 & 16 of Catalogue.

He was a member of the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria and won the Society's Silver Medal in 1945.  He passed away circa 1955 before the finalising of the 17th Edition.


Rev. J. C. W. Brown

Reverend Brown edited the Catalogue between 1956 and 1964. Prior to the release of the 1965 (26th edition), he decided to relinquish his editorial responsibilities due to other commitments.

He was considered a pioneer philatelist and is believed to have lived in the Melbourne suburb of  Malvern.

In 1969 he joined the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, citing an interest in the photography of Victorian flowers and fungi.  The date of his passing is unknown.


J. P. Meara

John Percival (Perc) Meara was born in Gympie, Queensland.

He was an eminent philatelist, being editor of a Commonwealth Stamp Catalogue for 17 years, and receiving various medals and awards from Australia and Great Britain for his meritorious stamp research.

He married in 1947 and raised two children. His personal interests also included membership of the Queensland Railways Historical Society and the Brisbane Tramways Historical Society, and literally had thousands of colour slides and photographs of various trains and trams that existed from the 1950s. He continued with the Queensland railways until his retirement in 1982. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 84.


A. J. White

Alan James White was the editor of the 1988 loose-leaf edition and one of the Brusden-White partners. He sold Brusden-White Publishing to Rod Perry in 1992.


Alan had a particular interest in the KGV heads, and in 1992 at the Royal Philatelic Society's Centenary Exhibition at the Caulfield Town Hall he had a "Black Tent" constructed in the hall and demonstrated the use of the Ultra Violet Light in the detection of 1d. K.G.V. shades, based on the research of Dr. Balzer and Ciba-Geigy in Switzerland. This work was the forerunner to the present day work of researchers such as Dr. Starling.

Alan was born in 1939 and passed away in Victoria in 2013.


G. Kellow

Dr. Geoffrey (Geoff) Kellow is the current editor of the new separate volume editions of the ACSC, commencing with the 1993 Kangaroos.

He has been recognised at the national level initially with an Australian Philatelic researcher award and later as a Member of Australian Philately. At the International level he is one of the few Australians to have signed the British Roll of Distinguished Philatelists.

He worked firstly in Victoria with the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria Inc., and later in New South Wales with the Royal Sydney Philatelic Club through its Australian States Study Circle and with the Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club (ACCC).

He also served as a Vice President of Philas (Philatelic Association of NSW) since 2004 through his chairing of the Philas Library Inc. He is also involved with the preparation of philatelic auctions.

He has a particular interest in Australian Colonies particularly Victoria, and in 1990 he edited "The Stamps of Victoria", an award winning hardbound and extensively illustrated 404 page book. Still the pre-eminent reference, this book presents an in-depth treatment of all of Victoria's stamps. For each stamp a history is presented in its entirety, commencing with essays and proofs, production techniques, printing characteristics and quantities. All known errors and varieties are discussed.

He was also involved with the publication in 2011 of "Australia: 1927 - The Canberra Commemorative". On the trade side he has been involved with philatelic research and journalism.

Before moving to Sydney he was a member of the Expert Committee of the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria, and became the Australian Delegate to the FIP commission for the fight against forgeries. In 2016 he was elected chairman of the commission. He maintains his interest in detecting and identifying material deleterious to our hobby.



The Publishers & Owners

Orlo-Smith & Co.

Orlo-Smith & Co. was a Melbourne stamp company that published the (then) Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue between 1926 and 1952.

A quote from the first edition's Introduction is "This Specialized catalogue is not merely a dealers pricelist, but is an attempt to place a valuation on every commonwealth stamp."

This was based on their stock of stamps available for sale, or at a price that a person should be able secure by their own effort. 

An interesting comment in the introduction to the third edition is "..... in addition to our own extensive stock, we are at present splitting up the Rosenblum collection, we are (now) able to price practically all the rarities".


Australian Stamp Auctions

Australian Stamp Auctions is believed to be Australia's first major auction firm, conducting its inaugural sale in 1925.

Melbourne's The Standard Stamp Co. (Tam Mappin & Curran) acquired Australian Stamp Auctions in 1958.


Hawthorn Press

All the Hawthorn Press editions were released during the ownership of Jack Gartner.

Jack Gartner, a professional printer, owned and established in the business in the 1930s at his home in Hawthorn, Melbourne, as a private press. In the 1940s it graduated to general publishing and printing, and by the 1960s was a fully commercial concern.

Gartner ceased commercial printing and moved to Little Bourke Street in Melbourne City in 1968. The business finally closed-down following a fire in 1980.


Seven Seas Stamps

Seven Seas Stamps was originally owned and established by Bill Hornadge in 1951, who in 1971 sold it to Kevin Duffy, who sold it to the Reader's Digest company in 1980.

Both of the Seven Seas Stamp editions were released during the period of ownership by Readers Digest.

Reader's Digest subsequently disposed of the company in 1992.


Brusden-White

In 1988, a combined loose-leaf Edition was published by Brusden-White and edited by Alan James White.

In 1992 Rodney A Perry purchased the Copyright of the Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue and became the proprietor of Brusden-White Publishing. He was encouraged by the support of Geoff Kellow and Richard Breckon, who were to assume editorial control.

During that decade of ownership, a comprehensive rewrite the catalogue was undertaken. At the start, a major decision was made to scrap the expensive four-colour process plastic films used for the full colour 1988 loose-leaf edition.

Rod Perry has been a philatelic trader since 1962 and established Rodney A Perry Auction Galleries in 1971.

In 2001 the Rights to the Catalogue and the Rodney A Perry Auction Galleries were sold to Millennium Philatelic Auctions. At this stage, the rewrite of the Australian Commonwealth stamps was complete.

In 2005, Brusden-White Publishing and Millennium Philatelic Auctions (incorporating Rodney A Perry Auction Galleries) became part of a newly registered company "MBW Australia Pty Ltd" trading as Brusden-White Publishing.



The Catalogue Numbering Systems


The 1st Edition
S. Orlo-Smith / Orlo-Smith & Co.

The numbering system for the first 1926/27 edition comprised numbering the stamp shades sequentially, based on the watermark order. This edition contained the following sections:

Section 1 - The Kangaroo Series. Sequential numbers with no prefixes, starting from 1.
Section 2 - The Engraved Stamps. Non-prefixed sequential numbers following on from section 1.
Section 3 - The Georgian Issues. Non-prefixed numbers following on from section 2.
Section 4 - Controls. Sequential numbers from 1 but with a "C" prefix.
Section 5 - Postage Dues. Sequential number from 1 but with a "D" prefix.


The 2nd Edition
S. Orlo-Smith / Orlo-Smith & Co.

With the 1928/29 edition the sequential numbering system of sections remained unchanged. A new section 4 (Plate Numbers) was added, with sequential numbers from 1 with a "P" prefix. The previous sections 4 & 5 were renumbered 5 & 6 respectively.

Due to additional shades being added, it became necessary to add "½" values to some numbers.


The 3rd Edition
S. Orlo-Smith / Orlo-Smith & Co.

With the introduction of this edition in 1932, it was decided to change the numbering system used in the earlier editions to accommodate recent and future issues. In addition, new sections were added, each with a distinctive prefix (notably "G" for the Penny Reds) as follows:

 1    K  -  Kangaroo Series
 2    E  -  Engraved Stamps of 1913-4
 3   GS - KGV Heads, single line perforations
 3   G* - KGV Heads, comb perforations
 4    S   - Special Issues & Commemoratives
 5    A  -  Air Stamps
 6    P  -  Plate Numbers
 7    C  -  Controls (Monograms & Imprints)
 8    D  -  Postage Due Stamps
 9    F  -  Flown Covers

* The "G" prefix numbers were also allocated sequentially to the "Substituted Clichés", a use that was later discontinued; explaining the gaps in the "G" numbers still in use today for the 1d. Reds.

The 1d red G prefix numbers turned out to be interim numbers, that were superseded by the 1933 supplement to the Third Edition due to the results of the Specialist Committee set up to formulate a workable shale listing.


The 1933 Supplement
S. Orlo-Smith / Orlo-Smith & Co.

In July 1933 an eight page supplement to the Third Edition was issued, containing some corrections,  additions, and price changes.  The numbering system was unchanged except for revised "G" numbers for the 1d Reds.


The 4th to 14th Editions
S. Orlo-Smith / Orlo-Smith & Co.

The remainder of the Orlo-Smith's 1935 to 1952 editions were basically unchanged, except for the inclusion of new issues, price changes, the addition of some new shades, and a few changes to existing shade-names.  The major changes occurred in the 4th & 5th editions, with the 6th to the 14th editions remained relatively unchanged.

Even with the newer numbering system, it became necessary to use "½" numbers for some shades.

Over this period the number of Kangaroo shades listed increased from 168 to 177, and the KGV Head shades listed increased from 310 to 354.


The 15th Edition
C E Norden / Australian Stamp Auctions

This 1953 edition (covering the 1953-54 period) was the only edition published by the Australian Stamp Auctions, who renamed the catalogue as the "Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue".  It was edited by Mr C. E. Norden.

It was the first edition to list the Surface Printed George V 1d. Reds in a separate section, with the single line perforation "GS" prefixes being changed to "G" prefixes.

The section numbers and prefixes thus became:

 1    K  -  Kangaroo Series
 2    E  -  The Engraved Stamps
 3    G  -  The Surface-Printed George V 1d. Reds
 4    G  -  Issues of George V
 5    O  -  Issues of George VI
 6    Q  -  Issues of Elizabeth II
 7    S  -   Special Issues - Commemoratives
 8    A  -  Air Issues and Miscellaneous
 9     -  -   Booklets
10   D  -  Postage Dues

In addition "C" prefixes were used for Imprints, and "P" prefixes used for plate numbers

The number of Kangaroo shades listed in this edition increased by 3 and the number of KGV Head shades reduced by 12.


The 16th Edition
C E Norden / Hawthorn Press

This 1955 edition was the first one published by Hawthorn Press and the last one edited by Mr C. E. Norden. The section numbers remained unchanged, but the KGV prefixe (other than for the 1d. reds) was changed from "G" to "F".

The number of Kangaroo shades listed in this edition increased by 1 and the number of KGV Head shades increased by 9.


The 17th to 25th Editions
J C W Brown / Hawthorn Press

This group comprises nine editions edited by Rev. J. C. W. Brown and issued between 1956 and 1964.

In the 19th Edition, the King George V issues were renumbered, from a sequential "F" prefixed shade number (e.g.. F269, F270, F271, etc.), to a new number, still with a "F" prefix plus a unique stamp number plus a shade letter suffix (e.g.. the above example becomes F70 A, F70 B, F70 C, etc.).

In the 22nd Edition, the Kangaroos were re-arranged and renumbered to bring them in line with the numbering system of the KGV issues. Following this major rearrangement, it was intended to progressively examine and rewrite the Kangaroo groups.

Over this period the number of Kangaroo shades listed remained unchanged and the number of KGV Head shades reduced by 2 (the 1d Reds remaining constant at 52 shades).


The 26th to 40th Editions
J P Meara / Hawthorn Press

This group comprises fifteen editions now edited by  J P Meara and were issued between 1965 and 1980.

The intended rewriting of the Kangaroo's Section ceased with the new editor.  In addition there were no changes to the numbering system and negligible shade changes during his editorship.

The number of Kangaroo shades listed remained constant at 181, and the KGV Head shades varied between 351 to 355 (the 1d Reds remained constant at 52 shades).


The 41st Edition
J P Meara / Seven Sea Stamps

This 1981 edition was the first to introduce colour, but took a backward step with the content and numbering from the previous editions. While maintaining the Kangaroo section's numbering,  the number of shades was reduced from 182 (from the previous edition) down to 89.

With the King George V heads, they deleted the 1d. Red "G" numbers and amalgamated them with the other KGV Heads, then completely re-numbered the section using a "V" prefix.  They also reduced the number of shades from 358 in the previous edition down to 145.

All the other sections were merged and completely numbered based on the date of issue.


The 42nd Edition
J P Meara / Seven Sea Stamps

In this 1983 edition many of the changes in the previous edition were reversed.  The 1d. Reds were again listed separately, and the "G" numbers were added. The previously merged sections were unmerged.

A number of the previously deleted shades were reinstated, with the Kangaroo shades increasing from 89 to 114, and the King George V heads (including the 1d. Reds) increasing from 145 to 166; both totals still substantially lower than the 40th edition.


The 1988 Interim Brusden-White Edition
Alan J White / Brusden-White

For the Kangaroos & King George V Heads this edition continued the numbering system of the 42nd. edition, but included a substantial increase in the number of listed shades.

For the remainder of the stamps, the numbering system of the 41st. edition was retained; i.e. a sequentially un-prefixed numeral, starting from "1" with the 1913 engraved one penny.

The number of Kangaroo shades increased from 114 to 178 and the number of King George V Head shades (including the 1d. Reds) increased from 166 to 383.


The New Brusden-White Single Volume Editions
G Kellow / Brusden-White

In addition to changing to single volume editions for the new Brusden-White's Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue, the editors decided on a completely new numbering system.

Each issued stamp is numbered, starting at "1" with the Kangaroos and continues sequentially through the KGV, KGVI and the QEII catalogues. Shades are given a unique upper-case letter suffix (e.g. 1A ). Variations have an additional lowercase letter added (e.g. 1Aa), and Overprinted stamps have an (OS) suffix added. Other prefixes and suffixes are used for Essays, Plates etc.

The unique stamp number is given to each denomination, each basic stamp colour, each die or plate, each paper type, each stamp perforation gauge, and each watermark.

The
Kangaroo Catalogue's stamps are numbered 1 to 58, with the current edition listing 225 uniquely numbered Kangaroo stamp shades.

The
King George V Catalogue's stamps are numbered 59 to 173. The current edition lists 331 uniquely numbered King George V head stamp shades. With the 1d. Red's, the old "G" numbers (allocated in 1926 and amended in 1953) are also listed along with the new numbers.

The
King George VI Catalogue's stamps are numbered 175 to 285. The sequential numbering continues into these issues in the following group order: 1937-1949 definitives, then the 1941-1944 new definitive designs, and finally the 1947-1952 definitive designs.

The
Queen Elizabeth II 1952-1966 (pre-decimal) Catalogue stamps are numbered (based on date of issue) from 287 to 435.

The
Queen Elizabeth II Decimal Catalogue's stamps are numbered (based on date of issue) from 436 on (currently to 2512).

The remaining Catalogues use the following prefixes: D for Section 10 Postage Dues and B for Section 11 Booklets.  Section 12 Postal Stationary 1911-1966 uses different prefixes for the various types of stationary i.e. RE for registered envelopes etc.



Colour & Shade Information

Shade Names

The naming convention used in this website follows the generally accepted rule that if a shade is composed of two colours (compound colours), it is hyphenated (e.g. Blue-Green, Yellow-Green, etc.), with the last named colour being the prominent colour.

Where a shade is prefixed by a shade modifier (e.g. light, dark, bright, reddish, bluish, etc.) the shade name is not hyphenated (e.g. Dark Green, Bluish Green, etc.).

If the shade has a special name, comprising two words.....they are not hyphenated (e.g. Royal Blue, Apple Green, etc.).

Modified compound shades follows a combination of the above rules (e.g. Dark Blue-Green, Pale Yellowish Green, etc.)



Colour Groups & Shades

click here Stamp shades fall into eight main colour groups, comprising the primary colours (red, blue, yellow), the secondary colours (violet, green, orange), plus two special groups (Browns & Greys).

Within each group, and merging with adjoining groups, are more colour shades. These names are either compounded standard colours or specific unique names (e.g. Sea Green, Emerald, Lake, Carmine, etc.).

An shade can be further described using the following terms:


Light & Dark.....refers to the amount of white or black in the colour or shade.

Pale & Deep.....refers to the "strength" of the ink and/or the amount of ink applied during printing.

Dull & Bright.....refers to the general appearance of the stamp, where "dull" could be described as "flat & lifeless" and "bright" as "fresh almost vivid".

When assessing shades, remember that the stamps were fresh when original named. Minor subtle differences may well have diminished over the intervening years.

For information, a full list of all the stamp shades used by Brusden-White in their series of Kangaroo & KGV catalogues can be seen here.



Stanley Gibbons' Shades

The leading authority for the naming of shade colours for Commonwealth stamps is arguably Stanley Gibbons, UK.  They were established in 1856, just 14 years after the issue of the world's first adhesive postage stamp, the British "Penny Black".

click here click here click here The first significant listing of colours, prepared especially for stamp collectors, appears to be the excellent 1899 publication "A Colour Dictionary" by B. W. Warhurst and published by Stanley Gibbons.  It lists and names 200 colours and has 56 colour images.

click here click here click here click here The next significant publication was by stamp printers Perkins Bacon Co. Ltd. (Stanley Gibbons' publication No. 2077). It shows 100 shades. It is believed to be circa. early 1920s.

click here click here Stanley Gibbons subsequently issued an undated early guide (Nos. 3333) contains 75 named colour chips, plus 12 infrequent used shade names: Agate, Azure, Cerise, Cinnamon, Chrome Yellow, Crimson, Indian Red, Myrtle Green, Plum, Rosine, Royal Blue, Steel Blue.



click here A later issue of publication nos. 3333, dated 1966, contains 100 named colour chips, plus 3 infrequent used shade names: Azure, Chrome Yellow, Indian Red.

click hereThe latest Stanley Gibbons guide is the undated Stamp Colour Key (Item No. 2530), that contains 200 named colour chips.







The One Penny Red KGV "G" Shades

The shades of the 1d. Red KGV heads is arguably the most difficult and confusing when collecting stamp shades. The variation in shades resulted from the difficulty in acquiring consistent supplies of suitable pigments during the war years.

In 1932 a specialist committee was set up to form a workable shade listing.  This committee comprised the following leading experts: Appleby, Blogg, Hatcher, Johnson, Orlo-Smith, Purves, and Rosenblum. 

The basis for this committee's work was Colenso Blogg's 1930 list of 1d Red Shades, comprising some 370 shades with "Z" prefixes. 

This committee came up with a recommended list of "G" prefixed Shade Groups, that were listed in Orlo-Smiths 1933 Supplement to the Third Edition. These "G" numbers are still in current usage.

These "G" numbers represented a "..... full list of major colours, and, after each colour, a list of the chief variants of shade in that class when they exist". Note the qualifying 'major' and 'chief', clearly indicating that numerous more shades exist within in shade group.

For those requiring a simplified method of collecting Orlo-Smith suggested that ....." the Penny red arrange themselves in the following groups" (by years):

1914  -  Carmine-Reds
1915  -  Reddish Pinks & Scarlet
1916  -  Deep Scarlets
1917  -  Roses & odd shades
1918  -  Pinks & Carmines

In 1939 Orlo-Smith published a visual diagram showing the relationships of the Red shades.  Moving to the right of the Red column gives an orange tinge due to the addition of yellow, and moving to the left gives a purple tinge due to a the addition of blue. Moving above the Red row results in paler shades due to the addition of white, and moving below this row results in darker shades due to the addition of black.

Orlo-Smith Diagram



References


"The Redhead" by Colin Beech

book Colin Beech's book "The Redhead", published by The British Society of Australian Philately (1998) is arguable the most informative publication currently available. It is a essential reference for anyone interested in the history of the 1d Reds.

It contains three main sections.  Section 1 includes a brief history, the shade groups, daylight appearance and U-V Light reactions, and periods of use.  Section 2 covers forming a shade collection, and details of the various paper & watermark groups. Section 3 includes a full list of the Colenso Blogg "Z" shade list (including the corresponding "G" prefix shade numbers), and detailed specific information on each "G" shade.


Glebe Stamps Website

An extremely detailed and up-to-date examination of the KGV 1d Red shades is on the Glebe Stamps website  link.


Stampboards.com Website

A number of informative posts can be found on the Stampboards.com website  link.


www.acsc-history.info