Only five examples of this category of overprint are recorded and all are shown below.


Only two of the 1900 Patriotic Fund stamps were overprinted with the word Specimen because of a change in the U.P.U. requirements. These two examples are printed SPECIMEN in sans serif capitals placed diagonally approximately from the lower left corner and the font is very large (Samuel type NA2). This overprint was applied by the Natal Post Office upon receipt of the stamps from the UPU.

1d (1/-) overprinted SPECIMEN.

2d (2/-) overprinted SPECIMEN.
Corinphila November 2017 Lot 6461.

The Lisbon ULTRAMAR overprints.

Three stamps are recorded with an ULTRAMAR handstamp. The overprint is in blue and it was applied in Lisbon for distribution as Specimen stamps to the Portuguese Colonies - the main Post Office amongst these Colonies being in Goa, India.

The 1d (1/-) and 2d (2/-) Patriotic fund stamps with ULTRAMAR overprints.
The overprint on the 2d (2/-) stamp has a mirror image above the original.

Both stamps are affixed to a ledger page from an official record book
which has been ruled in pencil to create squares where the stamps are to be mounted.
Between 1895 and 1910, U.P.U. specimen stamps sent to Lisbon for distribution
to Portuguese Colonies were handstamped ULTRAMAR prior to despatch.

Provenance: Portuguese India Colonial Archives.
William McCredie.

Prestige Philately November 2005 Lot 537.
Millennium Auctions June 2011 Lot 455.

A 2d (2/-) single with a faint mirror-image
of the overprint underneath but with letters in reverse direction compared to the real printing.

Provenance: Johnstone.

Prestige Philately February 2012 Lot 672.
Abacus December 2019 Lot 567.

No known Specimen overprints were prepared in Australia.


Cancelled to Order.

Stamps were cancelled-to-order to sell them to collectors at a reduced price. For the 1900 Patriotic Fund stamps, various datestamps used at MELBOURNE are recorded from 1901.

The Australia Post archival collection has multiples of the CTO stamps in a block of 21 for the 1d (1/-) and in a block of 30 for the 2d (2/-).

At the Australia Post Philatelic Archival Sale in February 1987, three lots of Boer War Charity stamps with CTO cancels were offered:

All CTO strikes in these lots were JY 28 1902. These are by far the largest multiples outside the archival collection. It is not however known if the blocks have been preserved or broken up.

Horizontal pairs of both stamps, with the JY 28 1902 CTO cancellation crossing the perforations evenly between the stamps, were sold by Status Auctions in July 2002 as Lot 1472. These are probably from Lot 72 - they are certainly not from Lot 73.

A most unusual use of a First Day cancellation for this issue is that on the small envelope to Kiama shown below.

CTO cancels of 22 May 1900 - which is the First Day of Issue. Stamps affixed to a small envelope with ms.
"Do not Postmark" and with a Kiama, NSW arrival backstamp of 25 May 1900.

Most unusual postal use of CTO cancel - especially so as First Day covers in this period are very rare.

Nothing is known of the history of this cover.

Prestige Philately August 2012 Lot 274.

Unaddressed CTO envelope -
cds at Melbourne 28 June 1902.

Same date as for the third pair below.

Gartner October 2013 Lot 7288.

Both stamps in the Patriotic Fund issue with the rare TELEGRAPH BRANCH -MELBOURNE Victoria duplex of JA 1/01.

Prestige Philately November 2006 Lot 342.

Both stamps in the Patriotic Fund issue with MELBOURNE/AP 30/02 datestamp.

Millennium June 2011 Lot 500.


Both stamps in the Patriotic Fund issue on piece tied with a MELBOURNE/JE 28/02 datestamp.

Millennium Auctions June 2011 Lot 501.

A second pair with JE 28/02 was sold by Abacus Auctions in September 2019 as part of Lot 536.

Both stamps in the Patriotic Fund issue on piece tied with a MELBOURNE/JY 28/02 datestamp.

Prestige Philately July 2008 Lot 491.