Kangaroo stamps of Australia

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The £2 stamp in the Kangaroo and Map series.

The Kangaroo stamps of Australia, commonly known as Roos, were the Kangaroo and Map series of definitive stamps of the Australian Commonwealth first issued in 1913.

Background and design[edit]

They were issued in 1913, over 12 years after Federation. Although the delay had several causes, one of the major reasons was political wrangling regarding the design. There was a considerable amount of opposition to any inclusion of British royal symbols or profiles.[1]

A design completion was announced in 1911, and several designs, including royal profiles were chosen. The government decided on having only one design, and Charles Frazer, then postmaster-general, inspired the basic outline of the new design.[2]

Blamire Young, a local watercolour artist, was commissioned to produce the final design.

The issued stamps[edit]

There was some criticism and minor changes made, and the first issues were released in January 1913.[3] The stamps were issued in 16 values ranging from a halfpenny to a two-pound value.[4]

When Joseph Cook took over as Prime Minister in mid-1913, he promptly had issued a series of stamps featuring the profile King George V. However, the Kangaroo and Map series continued to be issued, and was not removed from sale for over thirty years.

In 1948,[5] H. Dormer Legge published the first definitive study of these stamps, The Kangaroo Issues of the stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia.


  1. ^ The Australian Stamp Catalogue, 1976 edition
  2. ^ http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080596b.htm
  3. ^ http://www.philatelicdatabase.com/classic-stamps/the-kangaroo-and-map-stamp-design/
  4. ^ The Australian Stamp Catalogue, 1976 edition
  5. ^ The receipt of the book is noted in the London Philatelist, Vol. 57, No. 673, December 1948, p. 222.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kellow, G N (1985). Kangaroos The Last Victorian Issue. Richard C Peck. ISBN 0-949177-03-2. 
  • Dormer Legge, H. (1948) The Kangaroo Issues of the stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia. Melbourne: Orlo Smith & Co.
  • Dormer Legge, H. (1979) The 1913 Penny Kangaroo of Australia. London: Stanley Gibbons.