John Winchester

John Winchester  |  Apr 19, 2012  |  0 comments

It was a brief encounter, but a momentous one.

Charles Holmes, a young writer from Melbourne, peered across the vast rocky Australian outback to the west of Alice Springs, anxious to obtain photographs for a newly launched travel magazine.

Barely discernable in the shimmering haze, he picked out a magnificent example of Aboriginal manhood.

John Winchester  |  Mar 16, 2012  |  0 comments

Sarah Bernhardt was the most famous actress of her day.

She dominated the stage of the Comédie Française from the 1870s, became a heroine of the early silent films and is honoured with a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Her adoring fans nicknamed her ‘The Divine Sarah’.

John Winchester  |  Mar 16, 2012  |  0 comments

The night of Palm Sunday 1942 was cold and cloudless in the German city of Lübeck.

Moonlight reflecting on the waters of the port greatly assisted the task of 234 Wellington and Stirling bombers as they dropped more than 2,500 incendiary bombs.

Nearly one-fifth of the city’s buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged, none more celebrated than the 14th-century Marienkirche.

John Winchester  |  Mar 14, 2012  |  0 comments

Many collectors recall the hectic events of August 18, 1966, when the ‘England Winners’ reprint of the World Cup 4d stamp went on sale.

More than 150 million copies of the original stamp had been printed, so when it was made known that the new issue would consist of only 12 million, speculation ran riot.

Jostling in post office queues was widely reported, supplies were quickly exhausted, and copies were changing hands for 40 times their face value.

John Winchester  |  Mar 09, 2012  |  0 comments

Britain’s 1964 International Botanical Congress stamps highlighted the talents of the husband-and-wife design team of Michael and Sylvia Goaman.

They had previously produced botanical designs for Sierra Leone’s Flowers set in 1963.

Printed in photogravure by Harrison & Sons, this attractive multicoloured issue seemed to mark the newly independent nation’s determination to make an impression on the philatelic world.

John Winchester  |  Mar 09, 2012  |  0 comments

One of the most useful reference books any 19th-century collector could possess was the Reverend Robert Brisco Earée’s authoritative study of forgeries and bogus issues, first published in 1882 and unforgettably titled Album Weeds.

And if you want to appreciate just how valuable this kind of research was to early philatelists, you need look no further than the curious Amoy, Shanghai, Ningpo & Hong Kong locals.

Earée reflected nostalgically on these stamps, recalling that in his youthful days they were listed in many catalogues, prominently advertised for sale, and became a staple element of junior collections.

John Winchester  |  Jul 05, 2011  |  0 comments

The portrait of Queen Victoria which had been used for Queensland’s first stamps in 1860 was based on Alfred Chalon’s fine watercolour of 1837, depicting her as an elegant 18-year-old Princess during her first royal engagement, the State Opening of Parliament.

The recess-printed issue was a fine opener for the colony, and showing the Queen looking so youthful, even though she was by now in her 40s, was understandable flattery.

Few, however, could have anticipated that stamps bearing this portrait would still have postal validity after she had died of old age! The ‘Small Chalons’ of 1860 ruled the roost for 19 years and became a symbol of Queensland.

John Winchester  |  Jul 05, 2011  |  0 comments

It was under Egyptian rule that Sudan’s first post offices opened in 1867, using a combination of Egyptian stamps and local cancellations.

In this vast territory of nearly a million square miles and arduous desert terrain, the camel was the means by which the mail was delivered over long distances.

There was British involvement in the Sudan in the 1870s, as Colonel Charles Gordon was appointed Governor of the country by the Khedive of Egypt, but direct responsibility came only after British forces occupied Egypt in 1882.

John Winchester  |  Jul 05, 2011  |  0 comments

Arthur Bartlett from New Brunswick was a trader in dry goods and drapery.

But in his spare time he was a philatelist, no doubt itching to become a stamp dealer.

Fortunately, one of his friends was none other than Donald King, the Postmaster of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and this acquaintance was to provide him with a unique opportunity.