Opened in 1932 as a combined road / rail bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the premier icons of Australia. It appears on numerous postage stamps, miniature sheets ( including sheet borders ), several items of postal stationery, a Parcel label and even a Commemorative Telegram.
Unlike many of the railway articles, this is an ongoing project, as new issues will, no doubt, continue to appear. I hope it is reasonably complete, but please let me know of anything omitted or when anything new appears.
Gutter Pairs: Many of the Australian stamps exist in gutter ( interpanneau ) pairs. I have included information on these only for the inaugural 1932 issue and later issues where the gutter is pictorial. I have only included one or two catalogue numbers ( SG ), where such detail might help to identify a stamp.
The scans in this article are immediately ABOVE the stamp, stationery or postmark descriptions. The listing has been produced in five sections:
Section 1 : Stamp Issues of Australia
Section 2 : Numerous worldwide m/s for Olympics 2000 with identical central label with the Bridge
Section 3 : Other world stamp issues
Section 4 : Postal Stationery and a Telegram
Section 5 : Postmarks relating to the Bridge.
A feature of the stamps of the Bridge is that only one of them actually shows a train - or even the tracks, and the one that does, 2004 50c, shows only a distant view of a train. So, to illustrate the railway properly, please find below a very pleasing portrait of a train leaving the Bridge, reproduced by kind permission of Maikha Ly of Australia. Please note that his photograph is copyright.
Section 1 : Stamp Issues of Australia.
My thanks to Horst Brix for his help in compiling the listings in the first three sections. I have not provided illustrations of most of the stamps pre-1996, since these are well covered by most railway thematic catalogues
Above: 2d Recess ( optd. O S ); below: Typographed 2d ( with gutter ).
Note: The wavy-line appearance of the typographed 2d is not present on the stamps, but was created by my scanner.
1932 ( Mar 14 ) : Opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge
[ . . ] 2d Scarlet ( recess-engraved ) No watermark, Perf.11 ( SG 141 )
[ . . ] 3d Blue No watermark, Perf 11
[ . . ] 5s Blue-Green No watermark, Perf 11
[ . . ] 2d Scarlet ( typographed ) Watermark ' Crown C of A ', Perf 10½ ( SG 144 )
[ . . ] - ditto - with vertical gutter ( horizontal pair )
[ . . ] 2d Scarlet POSTAL FORGERY Typographed Perf 11 No watermark
Note : This Forgery was produced to defraud the Post Office, not the collector.
1932 ( March ) : As above, overprinted O S ( for Official Use ):
[ . . ] 2d Scarlet ( recess-engraved ) No wmk. Perf 11
[ . . ] 3d Blue No wmk. Perf 11
John Ash Imprint : All the 1932 values above ( except for the forgery, I presume ! ) exist with the Printer's Name ( John Ash etc. ) in the centre of the bottom margin of the sheet. In the case of the typographed 2d, this imprint is across the gutter. Many Australia collectors are quite keen on these imprints.
[ . . ] 1979 35c Ferry Lady Denman under the Bridge
[ . . ] 1982 27c Stamp-on-stamp of 1932 5s Bridge
[ . . ] 1988 $1 Shakespeare and Bridge ( issued se-tenant with $1 cricket )
This stamp is part of a joint issue with Great Britain ( q.v. ). The Australian version was printed with the rows offset, so that both horizontal and vertical se-tenant pairs were produced. On the G.B. stamps, only horizontal se-tenant pairs exist.
[ . . ] 1988 2c Sydney Bridge charm on charm bracelet ( one of the more bizarre railway thematics! )
[ . . ] - ditto - Booklet ( value 80c ) 1 x 2c and 2 x 39c ( kettle )
Note: This stamp was ONLY issued in booklet form and is rouletted x imperf.
[ . . ] 1992 45c x 2 composite horizontal se-tenant pair Bridge ( and tunnel ) Perf 14½ ( SG 1375/76 )
[ . . ] - ditto - Perf 15½ ( SG 1375b/76b )
[ . . ] 1994 45c Yachts under Bridge ( se-tenant with non-Bridge 45c ) Perf 14½ ( SG 1491/92 )
[ . . ] - ditto - but self-adhesive and Perf 11½ (SG 1493/94 )
The sheet stamps ( Perf 14½ ) were arranged within the sheet to produce both horizontal and vertical se-tenant pairs. The self-adhesive stamps came se-tenant in rolls of 100 stamps.
[ . . ] 1996 $ 1 Painting of Bridge under construction
[ . . ] 1999 45c Olympic Flame and Bridge
[ . . ] - ditto - sheetlet of 10 ( 5 x 2 )
[ . . ] 2000 Stamp Expo Sheetlet 45c x 10 ( Kangaroo ) - Bridge ( twice ) in sheet border
This sheet is a non-album-friendly A4 size, approx 11.75" x 8.25" ( 29.85 cms x 20.95 cms).
2000 From a set/8 with values to $10.00. Although definitives, the Bridge values also have olympic rings
[ . . ] 50c Opera House ( Harbour Bridge behind )
[ . . ] $1.50 Harbour Bridge by night
[ . . ] 2004 Set/5 bridges (all 50c ), one the Sydney Harbour Bridge, se-tenant strip/5, normal gum.
[ . . ] - ditto - two strips separated by vertical gutter, with sketches related to each bridge
[ . . ] Sheetlet/4 ( all are Sydney Harbour Bridge ). Normal Gum. Bridge also in background design.
[ . . ] 2004 Set/5 bridges but as a SELF-ADHESIVE se-tenant strip/5
[ . . ] - ditto - booklet pane with 2 each of the five bridge stamps, self-adhesive, not se-tenant.
The sheetlet/4 comes from the Landmark Bridges ' Prestige Collection ' booklet, which includes several photographs and some text on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as a night view of the Bridge on the booklet cover.
Note: The Lockyer Creek Bridge in this set is also railway ( and also comes as a sheetlet/4 in the prestige booklet )
[ . . ] 2004 $2 Shipping Lines: Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line and Bridge
[ . . ] 2005 Pacific Explorer sheetlet/10 self-adhesive 'ship' stamps - Bridge ( 3 times ) in sheet border
Parcel Post Stamp ( for the Sydney area )
[ . . ] 1991 ( April 2 ) Undenominated ( sold at Aus $ 3.25 ) self-adhesive imperforate label ' Across Town Sydney '
Sold by Australia Post only in bulk quantities, I believe, principally to businesses and only for use on parcels within the Sydney area. A similar issue was made for Perth, but with the Bridge replaced by a Swan. These labels are not in the main stamp catalogues, presumably because, technically, they are Local Post stamps. The road bridge image is from a 1989 ( Sept 1st ) 41c Urban Environment booklet stamp ( SG 1216 ).
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