Culture and heritage


The Stamp Room, 1874

In 1859 a Postage Stamp Department was established within the Government Printing Office to produce the colony's new postage stamps. Stamps were designed in the department, usually with the involvement of the Colonial Secretary's Office and the Postmaster General's Department. An Inspector of Stamps managed the department, with this position being held by Gullick during his term as Government Printer.

A series of stamps were produced in 1887 to mark the centenary of British settlement in New South Wales. Two of the stamps featured the `Advance Australia' Arms (without the motto), one with a portrait of Queen Victoria and the other with a portrait of Captain Cook, possibly designed by Lucien Henri. In 1897, just after Gullick had assumed the office of Government Printer, a series of stamps was produced to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The 1 penny red stamp featured the badge of NSW on a shield, with a crown as a crest; and the 2 penny blue stamp featured a portrait of the Queen framed by stems of waratah over a NSW badge, with the starred-ends of each arm of the cross visible around the portrait. The Diamond Jubilee series showed Gullick's skills in stamp design using heraldic devices, and continued the tradition of commemorative stamp design that the NSW Post Office was known for. The stamps continued to be used until 1910 when they were phased out by the new postage stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Some questions to research:

  1. What evidence is there in this picture of the industrial technologies of printing in NSW in the 1870s?
  2. How important has the role of postage stamps been in spreading the imagery of official symbols and emblems?

Image Source: State Library of NSW, GPO 1 - 05239 State Library of NSW, Picman

Page last updated: 01 September 2012