The 2½d denomination paid the foreign letter rate.

Good covers with the 2½d (2/6) stamp are scarce although there are a reasonable number of covers offered each year by the Auction Houses and on sites like Ebay and Delcampe. Many covers are in poor condition with rust spots, stains tears or folds. Good covers are those with at least a semblance of being used postally in the correct way.

The covers are grouped as follows:

2½d (2/6) only:

  1. First Day Cover;
  2. single franking covers;
  3. multiple franking covers;

2½d (2/6) in mixed frankings:

  1. mixed franking covers - the 2½d stamp with stamps from another issue.

Both NSW Charity stamps together on cover:

  1. combination frankings of both the NSW 1897 Charity stamps;
  2. mixed frankings of both the NSW 1897 Charity stamps with another issue.

First Day Cover (the real day of issue?).

The 2½d (2/6) Charity stamps was released on Monday 28 June 1897 - about a week after the 1d (1/-) stamp had been issued. The following cover therefore poses an interesting dilemma:

Park Street Park Street for local delivery.
22 June 1897.

Overpaying the local letter rate of 1d by 1½d.

Cancellation of 22 June is therefore the same days as the 1d (1/-) stamp was issued.

Two explanations are:

  • the stamp was in stock at Park Street and was sold to Mr. Shaw prematurely;
  • the date stamp was turned back to 22 June to frank the 1d cover and used accidently on the 2½d cover.

Cherrystone May 2007 Lot 1852;
Cherrystone July 2013 Lot 865.


Single franking.

There are 27 covers recorded (listed separately) with a single franking of the 2½d (2/6):

Covers with the foreign letter rate:

NSW 2.5d to Sweden Sydney to Helsingborg, Sweden.
3 July 1897 - Sydney duplex.

Has arrival date stamp on reverse of Sassnitz-Trelleborg of 9.9.97.

Is a good example of a genuinely used example paying the correct rate.

Nutmeg Lot 4867 September 2006.

Single to Germany Jindera to Hamburg, Germany.
12 July 1897.

Has Albury transit backstamp on the same date as well as an German arrival backstamp at Hamburg of 1 August 1897.

Is a good example of a genuinely used example paying the correct rate.

Matthew Bennett February 2003 Lot 565;
Prestige August 2012 Lot 269.

Kingstown ireland
Provenance: Mike Berry, Johnstone.
Kiama (Barred "25" rays) to Kingstown Ireland.

18 July 1897.
Kiama backstamp of 18 July and transit backstamp of Sydney the following day.

Also has a Kingstown arrival backstamp of ?7 August 1897.

Prestige Philately February 2008 Lot 375.
Private sale September 2017.

Examples of covers overpaying the local letter rate:

July 3 Exchange
Provenance: David Wild.
The Exchange to Sydney.
3 July 1897 with Barred Numeral 113 duplex.

Overfranking by 1½d for a local letter.

Grosvenor, April 2017, Lot 119
and September 2017, Lot 294.

German club JJ Sydney for local delivery.
1 July 1897.

Overfranking by 1½d for a local letter.

David Feldman Nov. 1985 Lot 32501;
Cherrystone March 2006 Lot 1396;
Prestige Philately December 2009 Lot 240.

Provenance: Johnstone.

Darling point The Exchange to Darling Point.
8 July 1897.

Overfranking by 1½d for a local letter.

Addressee bears a striking resemblance to the person nominated on the Berry cover below.

Ebay February 2011.

Fred Hagen Sydney to Elizabeth Street, City.
29 July 1897.

Addressed to Fred Hagen who was one of Sydney's first and most influential stamp dealers.

Overfranking by 1½d for a local letter.

Ebay October 2014.

Petersham for local delivery (a long cover).
28 August 1897.

Prestige Auctions - August 2012 Lot 268; and May 2014 Lot 1336.

Longueville Longueville for local delivery
23 (or 28) December 1897.

On pre-printed registered envelope with 3d prepaid registration fee paid with printed stamp image on flap at reverse.

Ebay (techgifts) March 2016.


Another cover is known which, although in very bad condition, shows without doubt a genuine usage:
Vienne 450 Vienne reverse

Oxford Street, Sydney to Vienne - 24 March 1899.

The cover was redirected via Tahoma, Washington (21 April) to Montreal, Canada (2 May) but could not be delivered and so was ultimately returned via Liverpool (10 May), Bradford, Yorks (15 May) and Brussells (17 May) - where it "had a holiday" until 3 June - before returning to Sydney (14 September) and thence to the Dead Letter Office in Sydney (16 September).


Multiple franking.

Four covers are known with just the two 2½d (2/6) Charity stamps. Two of these are pairs and the other two have two singles.

2.5d pair to Goulburn To Goulburn.

5d registered intra-colonial rate.

Rare use of a pair on cover (three such covers recorded).

Prestige Philately August 2012, Lot 270.

Status Auctions December 2012, Lot 1748.

Berry to Sydney.
9 July1897.

Two singles well tied to cover with 337 rays numeral cancellation.

5d registered intra-colonial rate (3d registration fee and 2d postage).

Matthew Bennett February 2003, Lot 564;
Millennium Auctions April 2003 Lot 544.

London 2 singles
Two single 2½d (2/6) Charity stamps on a cover front.
Sydney to London.
19 July 1897.

In addition to a cover with a pair in a mixed franking, another cover with a multiples of the 2½d (2/6) Charity stamps is:

Mixed frankings.

There are only five covers with a single 2½d (2/6) stamp and stamps from another issue. Two of these covers were sent to England while three were sent to Queensland.

with 2.5d Oxford st Oxford Street to Circular Quay (to the S.S. Stuttgart).
2 July 1897.
Has 699 Oxford Street duplex.

In combination with 2½d Prussian blue (Die II) Queen Victoria from the Jubilee issue. Has registration number 18.

5d registered letter rate. Paid with 2½d purple (Die 2) Queen Victoria Jubilee.

Prestige Philately April 2009, Lot 354.

See corresponding cover in 1d Covers page (Combination).

The five mixed franking covers with a single 2½d (2/6) stamp together with stamps from another issue which have been sighted are:

Date From To Franking in addition
to 2½d (2/6)
Seller/Reference Date (lot)
2 July1897 Oxford St. duplex Circular Quay
(S.S. Stuttgart)
2½d (Die 2) Jubilee Prestige April 2009 (354)
2 July 1897 Enfield "189" rays
(in TRC of stamp)
Toowoomba 1d Arms (on reverse) Matthew Bennett;
Feb. 2003 (562);
Sept. 2006 (1327)
24 July 1897 Dulwich Hill (1373 barred numeral Miss Maude Posseby
Harroldtown near Brisbane, Qld.
2½d (2/6) pair plus 2d Jubilee and pair of ½d grey Millenium Feb. 2005 (73).


Beyond postal validity.

6 Feb 1899 William Street Derby, England 3d green diadem
(under Charity at right)
Nutmeg Sept. 2006 (4857)
  Sydney Reg'd Rockhampton 2½d Jubilee Matthew Bennett Feb. 2003 (566)
Site map: Home 1897 NSW 1897 Victoria 1900 Victoria 1900 Queensland Return to top.