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Australian Legends 2010 - Novelists
Home > 2010 Issue Summary > Australian Legends 2010: Novelists

The fourteenth set of Legends, this year's issue celebrates six internationally acclaimed novelists:

  • Peter Carey (1943-) is one of only two writers to have won the Booker Prize twice (for Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang).
  • David Malouf (1934-) has been awarded numerous international awards, and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Apart from being a novelist he has written a number of short stories, poems and plays.
  • Colleen McCullough (1937-) is well known for the depth of historical research she does for her novels. She currently lives on Norfolk Island and appeared on a Norfolk Island stamp in 2003.
  • South African born Bryce Courtenay (1933-) is one of Australia's most commercially successful authors, whose books include The Power of One.
  • Thomas Keneally (1935-) is best known for writing Schindler's List, the Booker Prize winning novel of 1982, which was later adapted into a Stephen Spielberg film.
  • Tim Winton's (1960-) books mostly feature coastal Western Australia, and has won the Miles Franklin Award a record four times. A young writers award is named in his honour.

Issue Information
Each novelist is featured on two stamps - a recent colour photograph and an earlier black and white photograph. A list of each novelist's work features in the stamp background.

Stamp Design: Simon Sakinofsky
Printer: McKellar Renown (more information)
Printing Process: Lithography (more information)
Stamp Size: 26 mm x 37.5 mm
Designs: 55c x 2 Peter Carey
55c x 2 David Malouf
55c x 2 Colleen McCullough
55c x 2 Bryce Courtenay
55c x 2 Thomas Keneally
55c x 2 Tim Winton
Usage: 55c Small letter rate within Australia (details)

Gummed Sheet Stamps
The sheet stamps were issued in blocks of four.

Legends Block   Legends Block   Legends Block
Blocks of four

Issue Date: 21 January 2010 (more information)
Gum: Ordinary gum
Paper: Tullis Russell (incorporating phosphor) (more information)
Issued In: Each block was issued in sheets of 50 stamps (2 panes of 25 (5 x 5) with traffic lights in gutter) (more information)
Prestige booklet panes of 4 (2 x 2) (more information)
Prestige booklet panes of 4 (2 pairs (2 x 1)) (more information)
Perforations: Comb perforated 13¾ x 14½ (more information)

Prestige Booklet Panes
The large prestige booklet contains six panes. The panes contain no new blocks or new stamps (the stamps have the same perforations and paper as the sheet stamps, though there are some very minor shade differences, which are inherent in the lithographic process).

The first three prestige booklet panes each contain one of the blocks of four, with the names of the novelists in the background.

First booklet pane
The first of the prestige booklet panes (click on the pane for an enlarged picture)

The other three prestige booklet panes are the most interesting. They are very large (428 mm x 207 mm), and are folded twice to fit into the booklet. Each pane contains colour separations of the twelve stamps, along with two horizontal pairs of stamps.

Colour separations
The first of the colour separation panes (click on the pane all three panes)

Colour separations
Colour separations of the Peter Carey stamps

Some have suggested that these colour separations should be included in the face value of the booklet. I believe this is incorrect. These are not stamps, and are not valid for postage (even if used as an entire sheet) - there are effectively cinderellas, and have been produced solely for collectors. The booklet contains $13.20 worth of stamps.

Issue Date: 21 January 2010 (more information)
Booklet Pane Size: Blocks of four panes 156 mm x 207 mm
Colour separation panes 428 mm x 207 mm

Gummed Prestige Booklets
The large prestige booklet is the same size as the 'Behind the Stamp' booklets.

Prestige booklet cover
Prestige booklet cover (click on the cover for an enlarged picture)

The prestige booklet also includes a page giving information on the production of the colour separation panes.

Technical details
Technical details page (click on the page for the whole page)

Issue Date: 21 January 2010 (more information)
Booklet Size: 156 mm x 207 mm
Contents: Three panes of four containing blocks of four
Three panes of four containing horizontal pairs and colour separations
Selling Price: $24.95

Self-adhesive Booklet Stamps
The six stamps featuring colour photographs of the Legends were also issued in self-adhesive booklets of 20 stamps.

Self-adhesive stamps
Self-adhesive stamps

Each stamp has an 'L' shaped phosphor tagging, which differs between the stamps. The phosphor tagging on the Carey and Keneally stamps is the same, as is the tagging on the Winton and Malouf stamps. The tagging on the McCullough and Courtenay stamps is shown above. Interestingly the Courtenay tagging finishes 5 mm from the bottom of the stamp, whereas the tagging on the others continues to the bottom of the stamp.

Self-adhesive stamps phosphor tagging
Tagging on self-adhesive stamps

Issue Date: 21 January 2010 (more information)
Printer: To be advised (more information)
Printing Process: Lithography (more information)
Gum: Self-adhesive
Paper: B100 ('L' shaped phosphor tagging) (more information)
Issued In: Booklets of 20 (4 x 5) (more information)
Stamp Size: 26 mm x 37.5 mm
Perforations: Die-cut 11½ (interrupted) x 11¼ (more information)

Self-adhesive Booklets
The self-adhesive booklet contains three of each Legend, except for the McCollough stamp which appears five times.

Self-adhesive booklet cover   Self-adhesive booklet layout
Self-adhesive booklet cover and layout (click on each image for an enlarged picture)

Issue Date: 21 January 2010 (more information)
Booklet size: 82 mm x 59 mm (folded)
Barcodes: 9312650377274 (philatelic booklet)
TBA (general booklet)

60c Legends Stamps
Readers of the latest edition of Priority Magazine would've seen an interesting configuration of the Legends stamps.

Black and white Legends stamps in Priority magazine

Colour Legends stamps in Priority magazine
Legends Stamps in Priority Magazine

This configuration was put together by the magazine's designer using images of the stamps. This was also done in a previous Priority magazine with the 2009 Legends issue.

Astute collectors though will notice that the 'stamps' are without face value, and there's a very good reason for this. This edition was put together before the ACCC had made its decision on Australia Post's rate increase to 60c, and hence the values were not included.

However, Australia Post has advised me that 60c versions of the Legends stamps were printed, and subsequently destroyed. While it is unlikely that any 60c stamps escaped, keep your eyes open, as you never know your luck!

Imperforate Miniature Sheet
To commemorate the retirement of Managing Director, Mr Graeme John, Australia Post has produced a special folder containing a facsimile of the final art proof and an imperforate miniature sheet.

The art proof is printed on thicker than normal paper, and as is the case with the colour separations, is not valid for postage, and can not be included in the face value of the contents. Having said that, collectors will want to include this proof in their collection as it shows another part of the stamp production process.

The imperforate sheet appears to be printed on the same paper as the regular sheet stamp. The sheet is only valid for postage if used in one piece. This sheet produces 12 new imperforate stamps, as well as a miniature sheet for this issue.

As with many special packs, there is no official date of issue. The pack was listed in Stamp Bulletin No. 303 (available from 9 February 2010), and could be ordered from Mail Order from that date. The pack could be ordered online from 11 March 2010 (Australia Post quotes a date of 1 March 2010 on their site, but further investigation does not support this). The pack was available at Canberra Stamp Show on 13 March, and will no doubt be distributed to philatelic post offices in due course. It has been mentioned on Stampboards that Sydney GPO had the pack on sale on 5 March 2010. This site will now quote 5 March as the earliest release date, unless otherwise advised.

Miniature Sheet
Imperforate Miniature Sheet

Art Proof
Art Proof

Release Date: 5 March 2010 (available from Philatelic Bureau from 11 March) (more information)
Printer: McKellar Renown (more information)
Printing Process: Lithography (more information)
Gum: Ordinary gum
Paper: Tullis Russell (incorporating phosphor) (more information)
Issued In: Miniature sheet of 12 (6 x 2) (more information)
Stamp Size: 26 mm x 37.5 mm
Perforations: Imperforate (more information)
Sheet Size: 170 mm x 105 mm
Selling Price: $15.95

Postal Stationery
Six maximum cards, each with two stamps on the front, were issued for this set.

McCollough maximum card
McCollough maximum card

Issue Date: 21 January (more information)
Maximum Cards
Size: 104 mm x 146 mm
Selling Price: $11.10 (set of 4)
Stamp Imprint: Three bars (picture)

Issue Summary
The table below summarises the above information. The cost of each item is given, along with a total for each section. In some cases the stamps are only available from self-adhesive booklets (sold at face value), or from prestige booklets, souvenir sheets or folders (sold above face value).

Item and Description Cost
For the General Collector
Gummed sheet stamps
3 blocks of four (4 x 55c)

Self-adhesive stamps
6 values from booklets (6 x 55c)



Total $17.60
For the Specialised Collector
Booklet panes
6 panes from prestige booklet
(3 blocks of four, 3 colour separation panes)

Booklet with philatelic barcode
Booklets with general barcode
Prestige booklet

Miniature sheet stamps
Block of 12 from imperforate miniature sheet

Miniature sheet
Imperforate miniature sheet from Signature Edition pack

Postal stationery
Maximum cards






Total $114.90
Grand Total $132.50

Wikipedia, Peter Carey, Colleen McCullough, Bryce Courtenay, Thomas Keneally, Tim Winton and David Malouf, accessed 18 December 2009
Australia Post, Australian Stamp Bulletin, No. 302, January-February 2010, No. 303, March-April 2010

If you have more information, or spot an error, please e-mail me.

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