The New Zealand stamps displayed are in mint unhinged condition. The 1931 "Smiling Boys" Health stamp is superb mint unhinged with well defined perforations, a condition seldom seen on the market. In this thread I will post stamps that are scarce to extremely rare. This is an ongoing project, as finding New Zealand stamps of such status (condition and scarcity) is very difficult to purchase in Australia.
The stamps are not in order of issue.
The 1931 red and blue smiling boys are the best known and rarest of all the health stamp issues. The stamps feature a smiling boy with a New Zealand lake and mountain landscape in the background. The four stars of the Southern Cross constellation appear to the left of the Anti Tuberculosis cross.
Originally intended as the design for the 1930 health stamps, the issue was beset by problems from the beginning. The 1d plates were prepared in London by the Royal Mint. When they arrived in New Zealand it was discovered that the vertical spacing between stamps did not allow sufficient clearance for the comb perforation machine. The plates were cut and metal spacers were inserted but the end result was stamps that were quite often poorly spaced.
In June 1931 postal rates were doubled. Letters increased from 1d to 2d and commercial postage from ½d to 1d. In light of this, it was decided to issue two health stamps and W.R. Bock was commissioned to produce a new 2d plate from the original.
The set was issued at the height of the world-wide financial depression and sales were small. In all around 75,000 of the red boy and 112,000 of the blue boy were sold. However, the blue boy is harder to find mint unhinged.
New Zealand Health stamps were adapted from the Christmas seal system adopted by Scandinavian countries. However, it was decided to release a special stamp with a surcharge to support sanatoria or similar health projects.
The first health stamp bears the inscription "help stamp out tuberculosis" and 1929 is inscribed around the cross of Lorraine - the emblem of the International Anti-Tuberculosis Societies. The nurse is in uniform for the period, wearing the brooch and star insignia of the New Zealand Registered Nurse Association.
The nurse image was drawn by L C Mitchell and the staff of the Government Printing Office designed the stamp frame and printed the stamp. Nearly 600,000 copies of the stamp were sold.
Following the death of King George VI in 1952, it was decided to replace the set as soon as possible with a new Queen Elizabeth II definitive issue. The denominations were similar to the George VI issue but there was no five penny stamp and the 1/3 and 2/- stamps were replaced by a 1/6 stamp; the five and ten shilling stamps were also added.
With the exception of the 1½d stamp which due to a stamp shortage was issued in mid December 1953 to meet the Christmas demand, the rest of the set was issued on March the 1st 1954. The 1/9 and 2/6 values were added in 1957 to cover increases in airmail and parcel rates.
This issue was the first to dispense with the inscription 'Postage & Revenue' after it was decided that it was no longer necessary to incorporate these words on stamps. Many complaints were received, especially from elderly people, about how difficult it was to read the figures on the low denomination stamps and in 1955 the designs were altered.
The differences between the two issues are very easy to spot; larger values were added on the left of the stamp; 'New Zealand' was shifted right of centre and the Southern Cross was omitted from the right hand side of the design.
The 1945 stamps feature the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, London. Peter Pan was chosen for its connotations of immortal youth. Designed and issued just a few months after the end of the Second World War, the stamps reflect a romantic image far removed from the reality of heavily bombed London. The stamps were designed by James Berry, himself an expatriate Londoner, who sent regular food parcels from New Zealand to friends and family throughout the war.
Kensington Gardens were laid out around 1728-1738 as the private gardens of Kensington Palace. Long after they had been opened to the public, the King asked his Prime Minister the possible cost of enclosing them again - the answer was "a Crown". Kensington Gardens is now most famous as the setting of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan books and stage play. In 1912 Barrie paid Sir George Frampton, a renowned sculptor and one of the original eight members of the British School of Sculpture to create the bronze statue.
The New Zealand Post Office invited forty artists to submit designs for these 1955 health stamps, but only eleven artists responded and none of their designs were selected for the final stamps. Instead, the Dominion Publicity Panel of The King George V Memorial Children's Health Camps Federation submitted a design from E Mervyn Taylor which was selected. The design features the official seal in the form of a medallion bordered with Kowhai flowers.
When airmail postage rates increased from 6d to 7d in 1964 there was no stamp in the 1960 Definitive issues to cover this rate - the 7d Definitive not being issued until 1966. To fill the gap, the 1931 Arms Postal Fiscals die was used with no value printed in the panels at the top and bottom, but with 7d overprinted in black. The 1965 Sir Winston Churchill - Commonwealth Day commemorative also helped span the gap until 1966.
1965 ANZAC - 50th Anniversary of Gallipoli Landing
The 1936 ANZAC stamps were the first New Zealand stamps to commemorate the Gallipoli campaign. In 1958 the New Zealand Returned Services Association suggested that the Post Office issue stamps to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the landing of Anzac troops on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey on the 25th of April 1915. Both stamps in this issue show Anzac Cove where the troops landed.
The plan had been to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), however the landing troops had to fight their way up steep cliffs against heavy opposition which was waiting for them. Throughout the campaign, Anzac Cove was within a kilometre of the front-line and was well within the range of Turkish artillery.
Over two thousand New Zealand soldiers died during the campaign and close to five thousand were wounded. After several months the campaign was abandoned and the overnight evacuation of all remaining troops without a single fatality was the one bright note to the tragic campaign which quickly became a symbol of New Zealand and Australia's war losses.
Both New Zealand and Australia have a national holiday (Anzac day) on the 25th of April to remember those troops who died at Gallipoli and in active service since then. On Anzac Day in 1985, the name "Anzac Cove" was officially recognised by the Turkish government and the memorial there is a sombre reminder of the thousands of lost soldiers:
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."
While other countries issued commemorative Red Cross Centenary issues in 1963, New Zealand issued a commemorative marking the centenary of the birth of the idea of the Red Cross four years earlier with a charity stamp that donated one penny to the Red Cross. The reason for this was fairly straightforward - in 1959 the Red Cross needed funds urgently and used considerable political pressure to get permission for the stamp to be approved.
In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant traveled to Italy to meet French emperor Napoleon III with the intention of discussing difficulties conducting business in Algeria. When he arrived in the small town of Solferino on the evening of June 24, he witnessed the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Austro-Sardinian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Henry Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He completely abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care of the wounded. He organised an overwhelming level of relief assistance by motivating the local population to aid without discrimination.
Back in his home in Geneva, Henry Dunant decided to write a book about his experiences which he published and sent copies to leading political and military figures throughout Europe. In addition to recounting his experiences, he advocated the formation of national voluntary relief organisations to help nurse wounded soldiers in the case of war. He also called for international treaties to guarantee the protection of neutral medics and field hospitals for soldiers wounded on the battlefield.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, founded in 1863, is an international humanitarian movement whose stated mission is to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. The movement consists of several distinct but affiliated organisations that are legally independent from each other, but are united within the Movement through common basic principles, objectives, symbols, statutes, and governing organs.
Thanks for the comment, I have other NZ stamps I will be posting soon. Apart from Australian stamps I'm also concentrating on the scarce to rare NZ stamps, three such stamps I've already posted, the 1929 Anti-Tuberculosis, 1931 Smiling Boys and the 1954 Royal Visit set. I'm also searching for other pre-decimals in-between until I collect all the pre-decimals.
Here is a 2 page image from the 1954 NZ Philatelic Bulletin explaining more about the Royal Visit including the plate numbers of the stamps, plus the former stamps of the late King George VI. It's amazing that in the Philatelic Bulletin it mentioned that the Special Souvenir Covers were only issued to overseas clients and not to its NZ philatelists, and the only souvenir covers that can be obtained by New Zealanders from the post office were the new monarch sets issued on a plain envelope.
You will have to click it a few times to enlarge the image.
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