There is little information about the development of the designs for this 1897 Victorian Hospital issue.

The issue was apparently suggested by Mr. F. R Godfrey who was a member of the Philatelic Society of Victoria. He wanted Victoria to follow the charitable lead of New South Wales.

A public competition was held to obtain suggestions for possible designs. The first prize of 10 guineas (£10/10/-) was won by E. L. Howard who had been the successful designer in New Zealand's competition for the 4d, 6d and 8d pictorial stamps which were issued in 1898.

The designs of the issued stamps were however probably not Howard's but designs by Maximilian Tannenberg. The reasons leading to the change are not recorded.

Only one competition entry has survived. It is for a 1/- stamp in bright blue and maroon on card (50 mm × 63 mm). The "SHILLING" is touched up in Chinese white, the vignette inscribed DIAMOND/JUBILEE/HOSPITAL/FUND".
The whole essay is mounted on a maroon board.
(Ex Purves).

Unfortunately the identity of the artist is unknown. Kellow believes that the entry has such artistic merit that "it was surely one of the prize winners" (p. 281).

Rodney Perry September 1993 Lot 1028.