One of the world's finest holdings of Australian commonwealth stamps, The Morgan Collection, will be auctioned in London on November 13-14.
The outstanding collection was compiled by William Morgan and his son Hugh, who, with the help of their trusted advisors, have created the largest and most stunning collection ever seen. After years of dedicated collecting, it is now estimated to sell for more than £3m.
The auction house's stamp specialist, Nick Startup, commented: "The calibre of this collection of Australian Commonwealth stamps has not been seen since the Kilfoyle Collection in the early 1960s. We can only express our excitement that stamp collectors have been afforded the opportunity to obtain such rarities that have not been seen for many years."
The highlight of the collection will be designs created for the famed 1911 Stamp Design Competition. The rules of the competition stated that the submitted designs were to "contain features characteristic of Australia" and had to include the words "AUSTRALIA" and "POSTAGE". All entries also had to be made using a pen name.
The Morgan Collection contains five different pen and ink essays by Haereo, the pen name of ET Luke - an employee of Melbourne's The Age newspaper. Luke used his position at the newspaper to prepare lithographic-printed essays of his designs and affixed them below his enlarged drawings. His winning submission resulted in the first Kangaroo and Map Issue in 1913.
Like the British Penny Black, the development of Australia's first stamp began with a series of essays. The Morgan Collection houses a fine selection of these, with a rare horizontal design showing the kangaroo on a map of Australia flanked by draped flags among the rarest. It is one of just eight known examples, five of which are currently in the National Philatelic Collection of Australia Post.
Spanning the entirety of Australia's postal history, the collection will undoubtedly attract global attention when it comes to auction in November.
Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing the finest investment-grade stamps from across the globe. You can view our full collection here, which is led by the finest Canadian commonwealth stamp in existence - The Black Empress.