The details addressed on this page are:


Design of the 1d. stamp.

The 1d blue stamp was issued to pay the basic letter postage rate.

The blue stamp featured a representation of a coin which included a side profile portrait of Queen Victoria bordered by a shield with the heading Charity.

The 1d stamp was sold for 12 times the face value to raise money for the Hospital Fund.



The standard 1d. stamp.

The usual 1d stamp, issued first in 1890 to pay the cost of the local letter rate, was designed by Samuel Reading and subsequently modified. There were many printings in brown.

Those wishing to send a letter to a local destination therefore had the choice between these two stamps - depending on whether they wished to pay 12 times the basic rate for postage using the Hospital fund stamp.


Main details of printing:

Date of issue: 22 October 1897.
Watermark: V over Crown (V3) sideways.
Perforation: 12½ single line perf.
Number printed: 44,520 (1,060 sheets).
Supplied to Bern Bureau (UPU): Unknown.
Destroyed under Treasury Authority: 4,494
Number issued: 40,026 (953 sheets)

The stamp was printed from electrotype printing plates in sheets of 42 arranged in six rows of seven stamps.

An example is recorded of the 1d. with a cancellation of 'CROWLANDS/OC19/97' which was three days before the issue - see below.
(Millennium Auctions, October 2006, Lot 244 and Blue Owl Stamps October 2013).

A Melbourne CTO of 22 October is known.


Multiples of 6 and 5.

The largest recorded multiple of the 1d (1/-) blue is a block of 21 - the top three rows of 7 stamps and it had selvedge on three sides. This large block was from the Purves collection. It was sold at auction by Rodney Perry in May 1989 (Lot 692) and again in 1991 (Rodney Perry December 1991 Lot 473). It has not been seen since - at auction or in an exhibition.

There are no other large multiples with the next largest being:


Block of 6.

Strip of five from the top right corner.
Details of the issue of this strip.

Prestige Philately March 2007, Lot 341 (part).

Examples of the blocks of four:

The Purves collection had blocks of 4 of both denominations.


Block of four with left selvedge.

Status October 2002 Lot 3374.
Prestige Philately February 2012 Lot 671.


Block of four from upper left corner.

Millennium Auctions Sale 19 Lot 439.

Block of four from lower left corner.

Prestige Philately December 2009 Lot 488.

Stamps off cover.

1d (1/-) blue Queen Victoria with CTO Melbourne date stamp of 22 October 1897
- first Day of Issue.
As for the NSW issue, there are a moderate number of used 1897 Victorian Charity stamps off cover. All are singles which generally come in matched dates for the two denominations - possibly used on a cover and later removed. Some of these date stamps are CTO date stamps but not identified as such in descriptions. Other cancellations are very faint and indecipherable. There are certainly more than 5 good used examples with distinguishable dates for the 1d (1/-) and about the same number for the 2½d (2/6). That would make good used examples less common than unused or mint examples. Some cancellations are barred numerals and so date cannot be determined.

As listed below, used 1d (1/-) stamps in good condition are scarce. There are at least 6 but probably less than 20 known.


Some examples are:

Yarraville 20 July 1898.
Ebay 2013.

Ballarat 5 duplex on piece.
28 October 1897.

Crowlands 19 October 1897 -
three days before date of issue.
There are at east three examples known.
Blue Owl Stamps October 2013.


Listing of the known date stamps on 1d (1/-) stamps.

The list below records the clear date stamps on the 1d (1/-) 1897 Victorian Charity stamp.
Faint, smudged and incomplete date stamps are not included because of the difficulty in ascertaining their degree of genuineness.

Date on stamp From Notes Seller/Reference & Date (lot)
19 October 1897 Crowlands Three days before official issue.
There are at least three examples recorded.
Status Feb 2003 Lot 1587;
Blue Owl November 2013.
25 October 1897 Abbotsford A1 Three days after issue. Richard Juzwin September 2013.
28 October 1897 Ballarat On piece. Ebay September 2013.
8 November 1897 Melbourne Single - Melbourne 5F date stamp. Ebay August 2019.
20 July 1898 Yarraville   Ebay September 2013.
20 September 1898 Melbourne A horizontal pair. Ebay August 2015.
4 October 1907 Melbourne Single - double ring date stamp - 18 (?) at base. Ebay November 2018.
10 January 1908 San Remo Cancellation is rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise. A long time out of validity for postage. Ebay August 2015.

Used multiples.

There are very few used multiples of the 1d (1/-) blue off cover. It is estimated that there may be three pairs - one is shown to the right.

Used pair.
Melbourne 20 September 1898.

Ebay August 2015.


Also like the NSW issue, the mint/unused or used examples which are available, there are unfortunately only a limited number of good examples. Many mint examples have no gum. Many of either category have severe creases or thins through being in albums for years and handled improperly. Such items really serve no purpose unless they have a clear and special cancellation.
Thin and removal of gum due to hinge on the
reverse of a 1d (1/-) blue.

Major crease across a 2½d (2/6) red-brown overprinted "Specimen". In part creasing was due to careless handling of a stamp much larger than the normal stamp.