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Dame Nellie Melba 1861-1931
Home > 2011 Issue Summary > Dame Nellie Melba 1861-1931

Opera soprano Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931) was Australia's first international "superstar". Born Helen Porter Mitchell, Melba made her debut at the Melbourne Town Hall in 1884. After an audition in Paris, she adopted the name Melba after her home city, and made her debut on the European stage in Brussels in 1887. Her glittering career continued until the 1920s. Suffering ill health she returned to Australia in early 1931 and died in Sydney a few weeks later.

This is not the first time Melba has been commemorated on a stamp. A 5d stamp marking the centenary of her birth was issued in 1961, and a stamp showing a 'Peach Melba' (named after Melba) was part of the Desserts issue from 2009.

Issue Information
This issue consists of a single stamp issued in gummed sheets of 10 and self-adhesive booklets of 20.

Issue Date: 10 May 2011 (more information)
Stamp Design: Passmore Design
Printer: McKellar Renown (more information)
Printing Process: Lithography (more information)
Stamp Size: 26 mm x 37.5 mm
Designs: 60c Painting of Melba by Rupert Bunny (1901-1902)
Usage: 60c Small letter rate within Australia (details)

Gummed Sheet Stamps
All images on this page come from the electronic version of the Stamp Bulletin. Actual images of the products will be posted when available.

Dame Nellie Melba Stamp
Sheet stamp

Gum: Ordinary gum
Paper: Tullis Russell (incorporating phosphor) (more information)
Issued In: Sheets of 10 (5 x 2) (more information)
Perforations: Comb perforated 13¾ x 14½ (more information)

Gummed Sheets
This issue was produced in small sheets of 10 stamps (5 x 2).

Dame Nellie Melba Sheetlet
Sheet of 10 stamps

Sheet Size: 150 mm x 95 mm

Self-adhesive Booklet Stamps
This issue include a self-adhesive booklet of 20 stamps.

Dame Nellie Melba self-adhesive stamp
Self-adhesive stamp

Gum: Self-adhesive
Paper: B100 ('L' shaped phosphor tagging along right and bottom hand sides) (more information)
Issued In: Booklets of 20 (4 x 5) (more information)
Perforations: Die-cut 11½ (interrupted) x 11¼ (more information)

Self-adhesive stamp and booklets now available from shop.Self-adhesive Booklets
Booklet collectors should note the philatelic barcode starts with a '2', and is very close to the general barcode.

Booklets were distributed to post offices in chequebooks of 20 booklets. These are not listed on this website.

Dame Nellie Melba booklet layout
Booklet layout

Dame Nellie Melba booklet (philatelic barcode)
Booklet cover (philatelic barcode)

Dame Nellie Melba booklet (general barcode)
Booklet cover (general barcode)

Booklet size: 232 mm x 118 mm (unfolded)
82 mm x 60 mm (folded)
Barcodes: 9312650217662 (philatelic booklet)
9312650217648 (general booklet)

Postal Stationery
A maximum card accompanies this issue.

Dame Nellie Melba Maximum Card
Maximum card (image from Australia Post website)

Maximum Cards
Size: 104 mm x 146 mm
Selling Price: $1.35
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
Single stamp (60c) 60c
Self-adhesive stamps
Single stamp from booklet (60c) $12.00
Total $12.60
For the Specialised Collector
Small sheets
Small sheet of 10 gummed stamps $6.00
Booklet with philatelic barcode $12.00
Booklet with general barcode $12.00
Postal stationery
Maximum cards $1.35
Total $31.35
Grand Total $43.95

Australia Post, Australian Stamp Bulletin, No. 310, May-June 2011

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

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Last updated 9 January 2012. Website comments and queries to stamps@chrisdehaer.com.au or PO Box 1448, Booragoon WA 6954.

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