Sir Charles Kingford Smith was a pioneering aviator for Australia.

In 1928 he made the first flight from America to Australia, won an England to Australia air race in 1930, and later made the first non-stop flight across Australia, amongst other achievements.

In 1931, the year before he was knighted, a set of three stamps was commissioned depicting him, and 'Smithy' was presented with a set of them, which have just sold at auction for AUS$6,500, doubling their sale's lower estimate of AUS$3,000-5,000.

Kingford Smith Stamps

The stamp set was only one of several celebrations of Kingford Smith.

There was also a AUS$20 note depicting him in circulation for 30 years, and in 1997 on the centenary of his birth, his head appeared on a AUS1$ coin.

There is also a Sydney airport named after him, as well as a Boeing 747.

He was the first living Australian to appear on a stamp. British stamps have traditionally only placed living persons on stamps if they are Royalty.

Even today, faces of living persons only appear on stamps if they are Royal in Britain, whilst Australian stamps don't always follow this tradition, as with the recent Mark Webber stamps.

Kingford Smith managed all his successes despite having a large part of one foot amputated after being shot down during WWI, service which earned him a Military Cross. Sadly he disappeared in 1935, after apparently crashing into the sea near Burma.

The sale represents an excellent example of the appreciation in value acarefully preserved unique set of rare stamps can offer. 


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