Culture and heritage


Diamond Jubilee postage stamp of 1897

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign (60 years) was marked in 1897 by many celebratory events in NSW, including the issue of a set of commemorative postage stamps - the second in NSW and among the earliest in the world.

A notable feature of these stamps was a 1 penny red, shown above, featuring the Badge of NSW on a shield, surmounted by a crown and true lover's knots on each corner. This combination of design elements and the implied femininity or maternity of the design in the emblem on the Old Treasury Building dating from the same time has been discussed previously.

The 2 penny blue stamp in the same series featured a portrait of the Queen surrounded by stems of waratah flowers overlaid on the Badge of NSW, with the stars on each arm of the cross framing the waratah'd sovereign.

William Applegate Gullick designed these stamps, or at least was involved in their design and approval in his role as Inspector of Stamps in 1897, and they provide an early indication of the design elements that he would include in the NSW Coat of Arms, and of the layering techniques that he would use to combine these elements.

Some questions to research:

  1. Do the stars on the shield have the same number of points as described in the 1876 description of the badge - why might this be?
  2. What other symbols were used in the events held to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee in 1897?
Image source: Bruce Baskerville, Heritage Branch (personal collection).
Page last updated: 01 September 2012