Part One of an Occasional SeriesI've been collecting stamps for over 40 years, and covers for almost as long. While a postmark on a stamp can give an insight into what the stamp "did", only a cover can provide the full story. A postmark might tell you the where and when of postage, but can very rarely tell you the how and why.
This is the allure of postal history. The term was coined by Robson Lowe, and can be described as the study of postal systems and how they operate. The beauty of postal history is that it is a somewhat specialised field, so bargains really are everywhere.
The covers in the blog were all picked up for a song, because the people selling them didn't know what they were.
This grubby cover was sold as "Nigeria King on envelope". It's actually a First Flight cover, for the first direct flight from Lagos, Nigeria to Croydon, England. Addressed to Government House, Antigua, the airmail sticker has two pen marks through it. This is known as a jusqu'a cover (a French word which can be translated as "as far as"). The pen marks were added on receipt at Croydon to indicate that the cover would not be conveyed by airmail from that point onwards, as there was no airmail service from Croydon to Antigua.
Franked with a pair of 1935 Silver Jubilees SG33 and 6d SG40.
Australia opened a number of Antarctic bases in the 1950's and the first Australian Antarctic Territory stamp was issued in 1957. Before that date, Australian stamps were used.