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.

As noted previously, the postal validity of the Consumptives Home stamps ended on 31 August 1897.

The covers are grouped as follows:

2½d (2/6) only:

  1. First Day Cover;
  2. single franking covers together with a listing of known covers with a single 2½d (2/6) franking;
  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 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 33 covers recorded (listed separately) with a single franking of the 2½d (2/6):


(a) List of covers with a single franking of the 2½d (2/6) stamp.

This list records the 30 known covers of the 2½d (2/6) NSW Charity stamp used as a single franking on cover and within the period of validity
It is divided into two sections:

Covers sent to an overseas destination.

Date From To Seller/Reference & Date (lot)
03 July 1897 Sydney 3 Helsingborg, Sweden Nutmeg September 2006 Lot 4867.
05 July 1897 Sydney at 4:30 pm London W, England
(to Arthur Dent Esq.)
Spink, May 2018, Lot 64 (part).
05 July 1897 Sydney duplex Edinburgh, Scotland
(Mourning cover to Mrs Reynolds).
Abacus November 2019, Lot 1522.
12 July 1897 Jindera Hamburg, Germany Prestige August 2012 Lot 269.
18 July 1897 Kiama (Rays 25) Kingstown, Ireland
  • Prestige February 2008 Lot 375.
  • Private sale September 2017.


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.

Stamp is # 29 in the sheet - Row 5, stamp 5.

Nutmeg Lot 4867 September 2006.

Provenance: Chartwell Collection (Spink, May 2018, Lot 64).
Sydney 10 to London, England.
5 July 1897.

Has a West Kent back stamp of 9 August 1897.

Flap is embossed with a ROYAL NAVY DEPOT/ SYDNEY seal in blue.

Stamp is number 3 in the top row and has a major flaw on the M of Consumptives.

Sydney 41 to Edinburgh, Scotland.
5 July 1897.

2½d foreign letter rate.

Mourning cover to Mrs Reynolds. Edinburgh backstamp of 9 August 1897.

See also the matching cover with the 1d (1/-) NSW Charity stamp in a mixed franking.

Abacus November 2019
Lot 1522.

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.

Stamp is number 5 in row 3 and has a blue dot between the N and Y of PENNY.

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

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.

Stamp is number 5 in row 2.

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

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

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).


(b) Examples of covers overpaying the local letter rate (within the period of postal validity):

See below for the list of known covers with single frankings of the 2½d. (2/6).

Sydney to Elizabeth Street, City.
29 June 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 (techgifts) October 2014, September 2018.

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.

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.

Newtown to Newtown.
3 July 1897 with Star BN 182 cancellation plus two usual postal cancels.

Overfranking by 1½d for a local letter.

ACE Auctions, November 2021.

(Blumenthal was a well known stamp collector in the day).

Mosman, NSW for local delivery addressed to Mrs Arthur.
3 July 1897.

Abacus Auction February 29 2024, Lot 541.

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.

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

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

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. The franking is therefore overpaid by 1½d.

Ebay (techgifts) March 2016.


Covers sent to a local destination.

Date From To Seller/Reference & Date (lot)
22 June 1897 Park Street Park Street
  • Cherrystone May 2007 Lot 1852;
  • Cherrystone March 2009 Lot 1075;
  • Cherrystone July 2013 Lot 865.
29 June 1897 Sydney 3 NSW duplex. Elizabeth Street, City
(to Fred Hagen).
Ebay (techgifts) October 2014, September 2018.
The date stamp and duplex are upside down with the duplex clear of the stamp.
01 July 1897 Sydney 41
(at 11 am).
Phillip St, City.
(to Mr Jacob Winter
c/- Sydney German Club).
  • David Feldman Nov 1985 Lot 32501;
  • Cherrystone March 2006 Lot 1396;
  • Prestige December 2009 Lot 240.
02 July 1897 Mosman Mosman Matthew Bennett February 2003 Lot 567.
03 July 1897 The Exchange Hotel Metropole Sydney
(Cuthbert Burgoyne) .
  • Grosvenor, April 2017, Lot 119;
  • Grosvenor, September 2017, Lot 294.
03 July 1897 Mosman 348 duplex
at 4:30 pm.
(Mrs Arthur, Military Road)
  • Prestige August 2012 Lot 266.
  • Prestige August 2013 Lot 359.
  • Abacus November 2019, Lot 1521.
  • Abacus February 2024 Lot 541.
03 July 1897 Newtown (2 date stamps - one across TLC of stamp and a duplex in LRC of stamp)

Newtown (cover to B. Blumenthal Esq, Walker St).

  • Status February 2007 Lot 1469;
  • ACE Auctions, July 2020, Lot 2485
    cover very spotted) .
03 July 1897 Sydney 10 NSW duplex to the right and across the stamp (part) Box 140 GPO
(to Mr. C von F(?)reehnen).
Millenium April 2018 Lot 25.
03 July 1897 Newcastle Scott St, Newcastle
(H. C. Brown).
Stamp has two selvedges showing it is from position 30.
Cover has horizontal crease under the stamp.

Ebay Dec 2018 (techgifts)

3 July 1897 Newtown Newtown
(B. Bloomenthal)
ACE November 2021, Lot 2485
05 July 1897 Mosman 348 duplex
at 4:30 pm.
(Mrs Arthur Military Road)

Date stamp extends beyond top of cover; legs of M just showing) part of duplex above stamp, stamp straight.

Millennium February 2005 Lot 50.

05 July 1897 Mosman 348 duplex
at 4:30 pm.
(Mrs Arthur Military Road)
Date stamp within cover, duplex extends to top perfs, stamp rotated slightly counterclockwise.
  • Corinphila November 2017 Lot 6127;
  • Corinphila Sale 235, June 2019, Lot 3531.
6 July 1897 Ashfield (193 duplex) Ashfield to Master J. F. Stephen.
  • Millenium February 2005 Lot 49.
  • Ebay December 2017 (techgifts).
08 July 1897 The Exchange Darling Point
(Cyril A. Gilles)
Ebay (arphil) February 2011.
09 July 1897 Sydney 36 NSW duplex
at 11:00 am.
GPO Sydney
(G. H. Gordon).
SYDNEY etc is double printed; S (of NSW) is to the left side of the perforations.
  • Prestige August 2012 Lot 265;
  • Corinphila Sale 235 June 2019, Lot 3530.
09 July 1897 Sydney 36 NSW duplex
at 11:00 am.
GPO Sydney
(addressed to G. H. Gordon).
Spink July 2017 Lot 477;
SYDNEY is clear of the stamp; S (of NSW) is cut by the left side perforations.
11 July 1897 Burwood 201 duplex at 10:50 (date stamp faint & incomplete. Stamp rotated 90 degrees). Burwood
(addressed to H. B. Bilborough at Craigmounting, Burwood).
  • Spink auction 16030, Lot 1017.
  • Stanley Gibbons, October 2017.
28 July 1897 Newtown
(stamp is in the top left corner just overhanging the top edge).
(Mep M&L Lodge)
Mossgreen April 2015 Lot 252.
(Appears to be a "contrived cover". The date stamp in the top right of the stamp is Newtown JY 28/5 40 pm/97 and it appears to tie the stamp to the cover. There is also a Petersham 303 duplex across the stamp with the right side of the duplex tied to the cover. The date stamp has the date
JY 15/3 PM/97. On the reverse there is a two line Petersham date stamp of AU 5/97)
11 August 1897 Broken Hill 1331 duplex Broken Hill
  • Matthew Bennett Feb 2003 Lot 561;
  • Millennium April 2003 Lot 543.
23 August 1897 Hurstville duplex 1127 Hurstville  
23 August 1897 Edgecliff duplex Edgecliff Post Office
(to Mr. C. A. Gilles)
Spink Sale February 2013 Lot 685
(the Hutson Collection) .
24 August 1897 Greenwich with 1207 Barred Numeral duplex.
(Stamp has top selvedge
  • Status May 2006 Lot 1299
  • Ebay December 2018 (techgifts).
25 August 1897 Edgecliff Edgecliff David Feldman Geneva Sept. 2013 Lot 41228
27 August 1897 Petersham Petersham
(Miss. E. P. Bedford).
  • Prestige August 2012 Lot 278.
  • Prestige May 2014 Lot 1336.
30 August 1897 Ashfield BN duplex 193. Ashfield
(Master Stephen).
Millennium February 2005 Lot 49.
31 August 1897 Broken Hill
(Barred Numeral 1331)
Broken Hill
(Mr. D. L. Perston).
Ebay March 2017.


Beyond postal validity.

23 (or 28) December 1897 Longueville Longueville
(F. B. Levick).
Ebay March 2015
1897 (unclear duplex) Sydney Toowoomba, Qld Cherrystone, July 2006, Lot 1327.
24 March 1899 Oxford Street Vienne Ebay September 2013.


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.

To Goulburn.

5d registered intra-colonial rate.

Rare use of a pair on cover (three covers with a pair of the 2½d (2/6) stamp are recorded).

Prestige Philately August 2012, Lot 270.

Status Auctions December 2012, Lot 1748.

Berry to Sydney.
9 July1897.

Two single 2½d (2/6) Charity stamps well tied to the cover with 337 rays numeral cancellation.The right stamp is # 9 (row 2, stamp 3) and shows the flaw of the G of POSTAGE being almost closed as to appear as an O.

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

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

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.

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.

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 July 1897 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)