Auction 40 - Saturday, March 19, 2022

661 C Australia/NZ 1928 1st successful trans-Tasman crossing by "Southern Cross", Richmond aerodrome, Sydney to Wigram aerodrome Christchurch, NZ, 10-11 September 1928, crew Charles Kingsford Smith (pilot), Charles Ulm (co-pilot), Harry Litchfield (navigator), & Tom McWilliams (radio operator). Approx 15 covers are recorded (NZAMC No 31) but this is a new & quite unique discovery. [Description corrected]. No official mail was carried on this pioneering flight but a very few covers were carried privately by the crew as souvenirs. According to both the Australian & New Zealand Air Mail Catalogues, these (mostly stampless) covers were, on arrival, taken to the Christchurch Chief Post Office by UIm, who was sworn in as a New Zealand postal officer. NZ 1d stamps were then added to the covers & cancelled with a Christchurch postal datestamp. This cover is quite different. It was carried personally by Tom McWilliams for his friend, H P Stephenson (the addressee on the cover). McWilliams at the time worked at the NZ Government Radio School in Wellington (& was "borrowed" for the flight), while Stephenson was a printer (& fellow radio enthusiast) in the same city. Unlike all the other known covers, this one bears an Australian 1d stamp cancelled by a "SPECIAL/SYDNEY" circular datestamp "11A. - 1 SE 28", plus a standard Australian "FORWARDED BY AIRMAIL" cachet (designed to enclose the datestamp impression). There is no NZ postal marking. The flight had originally been intended to depart on 2nd Sept but was postponed by 9 days due to unfavourable weather. The likely success of the flight was considered very marginal, even with favourable conditions. The only previous trans-Tasman attempts, by Moncrieff & Hood, in January 1928, had ended in disaster (the plane was lost without trace & has never been found). This cover was clearly taken to Sydney Chief Post Office on 1st September & cancelled there in anticipation of the intended flight the next day. It must then have been handed back to McWilliams to carry with him. It is the only cover recorded with both Australian postage stamp & postal cancellation prior to the flight's departure. On arrival in Christchurch, it was not taken by Ulm (together with the other souvenir covers) to the Chief Post Office to have a NZ stamp added and cancelled. Ulm may not even have been aware of the cover carried by McWilliams. This cover (with light vertical central fold) was discovered only recently and was previously unknown to the catalogue compilers. Offered with (a) accompanying contemporary envelope bearing explanatory text by H P Stephenson, and (b) copy of article by D Smitham. $5,000.00
662 C NZ 1921 (7 Apr) Timaru-Christchurch env, inscribed & h/s "Aerial Post". 2d GV Recess x 3 & 2d EVII tied by Timaru 7 Apr cds. (Note: this was last flight of Canterbury (NZ) Aviation Co Service started 31 Jan). Cat $1250 for 1st flight but catalogue states "value for subsequent flights are worth about the same". NZAMC 27e. Cat $750. $750.00
663 C NZ 1921 (7 Apr) Timaru-Christchurch env, inscribed & h/s "Aerial Post". ½d Victory & 7½d GV tied by Timaru 6 AP 21 11.45pm cds. (Note: this was last flight of Canterbury (NZ) Aviation Co Service started 31 Jan) but catalogue states "value for subsequent flights are worth about the same". NZAMC 27e. Cat $1250. $750.00
664 C NZ 1928 Kingsford Smith Southern Cross flight from NZ (13 OCT) cover carried by T McWilliams. Cover addressed to E Graham (for E Nichol) has pencil notation on reverse "Left Blenheim (NZ) 4.51am 13 OCT 1928 arrived Richmond (NSW) 4.16am 14 OCT 1928 NZ time, 2.16 Sydney time". NZ summer time advance ½ hour during flight. A fine & rare cover. NZAMC 32. Cat $5000. 16 carried. Airmail Soc cert h/s on reverse. $4,000.00
665 C Norfolk Isl 1947 commercial air cover (central vert fold) Australia to Norfolk Isl franked 5½d Emu, endorsed "via New Zealand" (using RNZAF's intermittent service from Whenuapai), Sydney machine pmk 14 March, with "NORFOLK ISLAND / AUST." arrival cds 22 (or 27?) MY 47, applied to stamp as Sydney's cancel had missed it! Rare example of air mail from Australia to Norfolk Isl via NZ prior to the establishment of a regular civilian air service by Qantas between Sydney & the island on 14 OCT 1947. N.A.C.'s 1st Auckland to Norfolk Isl service commenced on 2 Nov 1947. Note: "MY" in the Norfolk Isl cancel may possibly be in error for "MR". $250.00
666 C World 1933-52 seln of 35 covers & 2 airmail postcards. Incls 1933 First Trans-India airmail service cover & p/c; 1934 first regular London-Brisbane covers to Pacific countries outside Australia x 7; 1938 "Coogee" flying boat covers x 3; 1939 TEAL delivery flight (pilot-signed) & 6 x 1940 first regular Trans-Tasman service covers; 1941 Trans-Atlantic F.A.M. 22 first flight covers x 4; 1945 Sydney/Fiji/Sydney pilot-signed charter flight covers x 2; 1947 Australia-England & return by Constellations pilot-signed covers x 2; 1949 Lancastrian 2nd class airmail covers x 2; 1952 Frankfurt-Sydney pilot-signed cover, all annotated on pages, ex Harmer 1976 auction. $1,000.00