Robert Murray
5 & 6 Inverleith Gardens, Ferry Road,
Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 5PU

Tel. 0131 552 1220 or 0131 478 7021


 Monday 16 March 2009  at 7.00 pm
Lot 300 - Papua
Click here for main auction listing.

Sample illustrations.

300     Papua; an extensive and important group of covers, the largest part of which is from Madiri, Daru, to England.
These covers until recently contained their original letters, but the correspondence itself is being kept by the family. We have however had sight of this correspondence, and can confirm that the majority originated in Madiri, Fly River, Daru. We have copies of some sample letterheads which can be inspected. (Scan available on request.)

The lot can be divided into four periods or groups as follows;

{1} 1906-1911. The first group of fifty covers all bear Queensland Queen Victoria adhesives (mainly 2d, or two of 1d, some a single 1d). The majority of these are cancelled with the Thursday Island “336” numeral, or the Thursday Island c.d.s., and most are to England. Included are two of 1908 to South Africa each with a large handstruck “1D”, another of 1908 with Sydney c.d.s. cancel and “PAQUEBOT” to side. Three (1909 and 1911) are from T.I. to Daru with Daru backstamps. We are confident that nearly all of these came from Daru or Badu.
Shown here are sample scans of  some of these covers - roughly every fifth covers, but with one or two more interesting ones also included.

{2} 1911-1941 Bundle of 123 covers franked with Papuan adhesives – largest number in 1910s, slightly fewer in 1920s and 1930s, only three in 1940-41. Nearly everything is cancelled by the Daru c.d.s., almost all are addressed to England, and most have transit marks (Thursday Island, Australian, Hong Kong, etc.). Included are nine covers with WW1 censor marks (5 violet straight-line, 1 red Brisbane circular, 3 double circle “PASSED BY CENSOR/THURSDAY ISLAND” dated August and September 1918, January 1919), four with the Daru c.d.s. in violet (and a few in blue or blue-black), 1930 with 2 x Lakatoi 1½d cancelled Brisbane with “LOOSE/SHIP/LETTER” to side, and four WW2 censors. In later years several have postmarks other than Daru.
Shown here are sample scans. The covers are in bundles of about ten covers, and simply the top of each bundle has been scanned.

{3} 1914-1917 seven covers with Australian adhesives cancelled at Thursday Island (and one redirected to Papua via T.I.). Of these, four are censored (two with only a manuscript endorsement, one with straight-line mark, one with manuscript resealed using newspaper).
Scan of top of bundle.

{4} 1928 (1) and 1933-1939 (15) Australian adhesives on cover with Thursday Island c.d.s. cancels.
Scan of top of bundle.

Also included in the lot are a few further Australian covers, but which do not appear to have Papua or Thursday Island connections.
Scan of top of bundle.

Condition is mixed, very much as would be expected for letters which have been transported around the world, then eagerly opened (without a view to future collectability), then stored in bundles with letters enclosed. Some therefore are very fine, most are quite decent though showing a bit of wear, and some have faults such as flaps missing, or very rough opening, or even parts missing. The majority however are in perfectly acceptable condition.
Further information can be had on our website where there is an Excel spreadsheet (
giving details of dates and postmarks etc.) of all the covers in goup {1} - follow this link.
Our estimate can be little more than a stab in the dark. This is very much a lot where the price will be decided by the bidders at auction.
þ        ..                 ..                 ..                 ..               ..                   £1,000.