Frank Stamps


Frank Stamps were introduced in 1864 for use in official mail sent from various governmental offices and agencies.

Thirty-three government departments were authorized to use frank stamps, with many of them using a number of different hand stamps and printing colors over the course of time.

The Frank stamps were withdrawn in 1902  and were replaced by regular issue stamps perforated OS. 




01. Dept of Agriculture (33.5mm)

There was only one die for this Frank, used from 1889 until 1902.  It is found handstamped in blue and violet or printed in black.



02. Attorney General - Die 1 (29.5mm)

Die 1 is found handstamped in blue and black, with usage from 1864 until 1883



02. Attorney General - Die 2 (29.5mm)

Die 2 is found handstamped or printed. The handstamp is seen in blue, black, violet and red, while the printed version is seen in black, red and blue. Usage began in 1882 and continued until 1902.



03. Chief Secretary - Die 1 (28mm)


Die 1 was used as a handstamp only from 1864 until 1873 or later.  It is found in blue, black red and violet
.  It is the only die with the words FRANK STAMP along the bottom arc.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 2 (30mm)

Die 2 was also found as a handstamp only, from 1865 until 1879, in blue. There are dashes to left and right of the words FRANK and STAMP.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 3 (32mm)

Die 3 is also found as a handstamp, from 1877 until 1890, in blue, violet, red and black.  It has no dashes as in die 2 and has large dots before and after VICTORIA.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 4 (31.5mm)

Die 4 has smaller letters
and small dots before and after VICTORIA. It is found as a handstamp only in blue, black, red and violet, from 1876 until 1892.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 5 (30.5mm)

Die 5 has small letters in FRANK and STAMP and a dash before and after VICTORIA. It is found handstamped in blue, violet, black and red and printed in blue, black, violet, silver and red, with dates from 1877 until 1902.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 6 (30.5mm)

Die 6 has dots before and after VICTORIA and the A of VICTORIA is very close to the Y of SECRETARY, and has larger letters in FRANK and STAMP. It is found as a handstamp in blue, red and violet from 1879 until 1901.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 7 (32mm)

Die 7 has dots before and after VICTORIA and smaller letters in FRANK and STAMP. Itis found as a handstamp only, in blue, violet, red and black, from 1881 until 1897.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 8 (31.5mm)

Die 8 has small dots before and after VICTORIA, and is found as a handstamp only in violet, blue, red and black, from 1883 until 1889.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 9 (31.5mm)

Die 9 has short letters with large dots before and after VICTORIA, and is found as a handstamp in red, violet, blue and black from 1892 until 1902.

03. Chief Secretary - Die 10 (29mm)

Die 10 has short letters with small dots before and after VICTORIA and a small insignia at center.  It is found as an handstamp in red from 1892 until 1901 and is quite rare.



04. Chief Commandant of Volunteers

The die is 29.5mm across and is found handstamped only. It is very rare.



05. Commandant of Local Forces

The die is 29.5mm across and is found as a handstamp in blue and black, from 1872 until 1884.



06. Commander of H.M. Land Forces

The die is 29mm across and is very rare, known only on a few cutouts with no covers recorded.



07. Commander of H.NM. Sea Forces

The die is 29.5mm across and extremely rare.



08. Commissariat Staff

The die is 30mm across and is very rare.



09. Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey

The die is 29.5mm across and is found as a handstamp only in blue, from 1864 until 1876



10. Minister of Defence - Die 1 (33mm)

Die 1 is found only as a handstamp in blue, black and violet from 1886 until 1900.

10. The Minister of Defence - Die 2

Die 2 was printed only in black and blue, with usages recorded from 1889 until 1902



11. Governor of Victoria - Die 1 (31mm)

A single circle with small letters in OF . It is found handstamped in blue, black, violet and red from 1865 until 1877

11. Governor of Victoria - Die 2 (32mm)

Die 2 is a single circle with larger OF and small dashed at sides close to the edge. It is handstamped in red. blue, violet and black from 1881 until 1884.

11. Governor of Victoria - Die 3 (33.5mm)

Die 3 is a single circle with short lettering and dashes at sides further from the edge.It is found handstamped in violet and red from 1880 until 1889.

11. Governor of Victoria - Die 4 (30.5mm)

Die 4 is a single circle with narrower letters and spacing between the words at sides.  It is handstamped in violet from 1883 until 1901.

11. Governor of Victoria - Die 5 (29mm)

Die 5 is 29mm across and is concentric circles with rosettes at sides.It is handstamped in violet and blue from 1885 until 1902.

11, Governor of Victoria - Die 6 (33.5mm)

Die 6 has 3 concentric circles with larger letters and rosettes at sides. It is handstamped in violet, blue and red from 1890 until 1902.

11. Governor of Victoria - Die 7 (30.5mm)

Die 7 is a single sircle with dashes at sides and no ornament below the coat of arms. It is handstamped in black and blue from 1891.

11. Governor of Victoria - Die 8 (29.5mm)

Die 8 is a single circle similar to die 7 but with smaller letters and no dashes at the sides. It is handstamped in black and violet from 1891.



12. Governor-General/Australia

The die is 32mm across and is found handstamped in blue and violet from 1900 until 1902.  It is rare.



13. Minister of Health

The only die for this Frank is found as a handstamp in blue from 1891 until 1894 and printed in blue and black from 1892 until the end of the Frank period.



14. Minister of Justice - Die 1 (28.5mm)

Die 1 is found handstamped in blue, black and red from 1865 until 1887.

14. Minister of Justice - Die 2 (28.5mm)

Die 2 is found handstamped in blue and printed in black, with usage from 1889 until 1897



15. Minister of Lands and Agriculture

The only
die for this Frank measures 30.5mm. It is found handstamped in blue and black with dates from 1876 until 1882 and printed in black with dates from 1889.



16. Minister of Lands and Survey

The only die for this Frank measures 32mm. It was hand-stamped in blue, black and violet from 1876 until 1902 and printed in blue and black from 1883 until 1904.



17. Minister of Mines - Die 1

Die 1 has FRANK STAMP along the bottom arc. It is found handstamped in blue and black with usage from 1865 until 1877.

17. Minister of Mines - Die 2

Die 2 has VICTORIA in the bottom arc.  It is found handstamped in blue, green and black and printed in black and blue from 1880 until 1902.



18. Officer Commanding Royal Artillery

This Frank was authorized, however, no examples have been recorded.



19. Postmaster-General - Die 1 (28.5mm)

OF has no dashed to left and right and no ornament below VICTORIA. It is found handstamped in blue and black from 1865 until 1877

19. Postmaster-General - Die 2 (29.5mm)

Die 2 has dashes left and right of word OF and small letters. It is handstamped in blue from 1864 until 1870.

19. Postmaster General - Die 3 (29mm)

Die 3 has larger letters close to the frame is found printed only, in blue, black and red with dates from 1871 until 1901

19. Postmaster-General - Die 4 (unkown)

Die 4 is predicted but not recorded.

19. Postmaster General - Die 5 (31mm)

Die 5 has letters further from the frame, VICTORIA is 14mm wide.  Itis found handstamped in blue, red and violet from 1890 until 1894



20. The President, Legislative Council

The only die used for this Frank measures 29.5mm.  It is presumed to exist as a handstamp in red, and is recorded printed in red and black from 1894 until 1902.



21. Minister of Public Instruction - Die 1

Die 1 is 29.5mm across and has short lettering, F of FRANK is under U of PUBLIC. It is found handstamped in blue from 1873 until 1883.

21. Minister of Public Instruction - Die 2

Die 2 is 30.5mm across and has F of FRANK under P of PUBLIC. It is handstamped in blue, red and black from 1878 until 1895.

21. Minister of Public Instruction - Die 3

Die 3  is 29.5mm across and has similar to die 1 but with arms 20mm wide. It is found printed only, from 1889 until the termination of the Frank stamps.  It is seen in black, red, violet and possibly blue.



22. Commissioner of Public Works - Die 1

Die 1 is 29.5mm across and has the word COMMR for COMMISSIONER and has FRANK STAMP at bottom.  It is handstamped in blue and violet form 1865 until 1901.

22. Commissioner of Public Works - Die 2

Die 2 is 31.5mm across and has COMMISSIONER and has VICTORIA at bottom. It is handstamped in blue and violet from 1870 until 1880.

22. Commissioner of Public Works - Die 3

Die 3 is 29mm across and has COMMR and very little space between words. It is extremely rare and not recorded on cover.

22. Commissioner of Public Works - Die 4

Die 4 is 29mm across with COMMR and wide spaces at the sides. It is handstamped in violet and blue form 1881 onwards.

22. Commissioner of Public Works - Die 5

Die 5 is 33mm across with COMMISSIONER and FRANK STAMP at bottom - it also has 2 close concentric circles for the outer rim.  It is found handstamped in violet, blue and red from 1885 until 1891.



23. Department of Public Works - Die 1

Die 1 is 30.5mm and is found handstamped in red, blue and violet from 1885 until 1894.

23. Department of Public Works - Die 2

Die 2 is 35mm across and is found handstamped in blue and violet and printed in black from 1894 until 1902.



24. Commissioner of Railways

The die is 33.5mm across and found handstamped in violet from 1882 until 1888.  It is a rare type.



25. Minister of Railways - Die 1

Die 1 is 32mm across with FRANK and STAMP curved. It is found handstamped in blue and violet and printed in black, blue and red from 1888 until 1902.

25. Minister of Railways - Die 2

Die 2 is 31mm across with FRANK and STAMP horizontal. It is handstamped in blue and violet from 1888 until 1894.



26. Commissioner Railways and Roads - Die 1

Die 1 is 29.5mm across and it found handstamped in blue and red from 1865 until 1874

26. Commissioner Railways and Roads - Die 2

Die 2 is 30.5mm across and is found handstamped in blue and violet from 1880 until 1883 or later.



27. Royal Mint, Melbourne

The die is 30mm across and it is found handstamped in blue, red, violet and black from 1895 until 1902. It is a rare type.



28. Solicitor General

The die is 30.5mm across and is found handstamped in blue and black and printed in black from 1873 until 1902.



29. The Speaker

The die is 31mm across and is found handstamped in blue and red from 1893 until 1902.  It is a rare cancel.



30. Commissioner Trade and Customs - Die 1

Die 1 is 29mm across with the word OF under the RA of TRADE. It is found as a handstamp in blue, red and violet form 1875 until 1901.

30. Commissioner Trade and Customs - Die 2

Die 2 is 29mm across and has the word OF under TR of TRADE. It is found as a handstamp in blue, red and violet from 1882 until 1898

30. Commissioner Trade and Customs - Die 3

Die 3 is 28mm across with VICTORIA is small letters and large spaces at the sides. It is found as a handstamp in red from 1889 until 1894.

30. Commissioner Trade and Customs - Die 4

Die 4 is 32mm across and has serifed lettering.It is printed in black from 1893 until 1899.



31. Department of Trade and Customs

The die is 29mm across and is found handstamped in blue, violet and red and printed in black from 1894 until 1902



32. The Treasurer - Die 1 (28.5mm)

Die 1 has shorter letters and has a space between the words FRANK and STAMP.  It is found as a handstamp in blue and black from 1868 until 1871 or later.

32. The Treasurer - Die 2 (29.5mm)

Die 2 is found both hand stamped and printed from 1872 until 1902. The hand stamped versions are seen in blue, black and violet, and the printed ones in blue and black only.



33. Minister of Water Supply

The die is 29mm and is found handstamped in blue, black and violet, and printed in blue and black, from 1888 until 1902


The Stamps of Victoria, G.Kellow, B&K Publishing, 1990

Franked! The Official Mail of Victoria 1864-1902,  Stieg and Watson, The Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria, 2008


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