Miscellaneous Stamps

A number of non-postage stamps and labels were issued in Victoria that continue to draw the interest of collectors. 

Private express labels were issued by various privately owned companies that operated delivery services within Victoria
at various times.

Beer stamps were issued
for payment of revenue taxes on beer.  These were printed by the Government Stamp Printer on the same watermarked papers that were used for postage, duty and statute stamps, so have some affiliation with those issues. 

Registered labels were introduced late in the colonial period to identify registered mail.  They were affixed to letters but paid no fees or had any nominal value attached.

Boyd's City Express

From about 1894 until about 1910, the Boyd's City Express Messenger Co.Ltd. operated within Melbourne as a private delivery service. Several name changes and ownership arrangements occurred during those years, but only a single stamp issue relating to  the service has been recorded. About 100 examples may exist, with used being much scarcer than mint.  Covers are very rare,

Burdell's Express

Burdell & Co. operated an express service for delivering mail and parcels to gold diggings in the mid 1850s. The company issued a typeset adhesive label printed in black and green.  Fewer than 10 examples are recorded.

Wm. McCulloch and Cy (Type 1)

Wm. McCulloch operated a very successful transportation company in Victoria from the 1860's until the late 1880's.  The existence of several different types of local stamps with his company name inscribed in them, suggests that his company operated an parcel express service during that era.  Five different local stamps have been recorded with his company name.  The example shown is inscribed  Wm. McCulloch and Cy. which is the earliest type recorded.  It is presumed to date from the late 1860s. All of the recorded types are very rare, with only one to two examples recorded for each of them.

I do not have examples of the other types.  If you can supply an image, please contact me.

Murray Steam Navigation Company

The Murray Steam Navigation Company operated a service along the Murray River and issued four stamps in denominations of 1/2d (black), 1d (red), 2d (blue), and 3d (green).  About 25 sets are recorded. One cover with a 3d label and two pence Laureate is recorded dated in 1869, otherwise, the dates of operation remain unknown.

Registration Label - Type 1

The post office introduced an experimental pre-printed registration label in 1909 or 1910. They were printed with sequenced numbering to make it easier for clerks to avoid omissions or duplications when recording the registration control number.  Examples on cover are very scarce.

Registration Label - Type 2

A second type of registration label, without the word No. was introduced in 1911. Examples on cover are quite scarce.


The Stamps of Victoria , Geoff Kellow, B&K Philatelic Publishing, Melbourne, 1990

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