This blue Two Pence New South Wales stamp with a 'rays' type cancel is adorned with four black cartoon- like characters as well as a scroll to the addressee: Miss Dibbs, Commercial Bank, Sydney, Their is no identifier for the artist (Figure 1).
This remarkable illustration has been described by the vendor as a pharmaceuticaladvertisement, but I could find no evidence for this on the front or the reverse, for it strikes me as a 'medication turn-off''. The pair of Victorian half-penny 'bantams' are canceled MURGHEBOLUC/ OC 31/ O4 and it was sent to Ernest Bieske, Railway Station, Minyip. I could find no evidence of the initials or name of the illustrator (Figure 2).
A totally different type of illustration is shown with a carnation and several other pansy-like flowers on this registered cover with a taxed part-handstamp, part-manuscript 'T 2'. The blue twopence halfpenny stamp of Victoria is posted at REDESDALE (JUNCTION)/ MR 22/ 02, and it is addressed to Miss B. BIESKE, Silvermines Road, St. Arnaud. The artist's name is not shown and although the style of this cover's illustration is very different from the above, the origin towns of Murgheboluc and Redesdale are less than 10 km apart, and both the family names are the uncommon 'Bieske' (Figure 3).
The ON ACTIVE SERVICE cover was sent AIR MAIL with a manuscript NO STAMPS AVAILABLE and was postmarked A.F.P.O./ 24 SE 43/ No 201. It was sent Stepney, South Australia and it had a large purple oval with R.A.A.F. CENSOR/ 444 with the censor's signature in red of E.W. Philip. There was an illustration of a frog saying 'Hi Family' (Figure 4).
There are 3 illustrated covers obviously drawn by the same unknown artist and all sent to Mr. R. Parry, Newry Street, Holyhead, North Wales. The first of the three might be considered 'politically incorrect ' to-day and was sent from Brisbane on DE 9, 02 (Figure 5).
The second cover was sent from Gatton, Queensland on July 3, 1902 and the stamps are postmarked with the numeral '55' and the illustration shows seagulls flyng over the sea (Figure 6).
The third cover was sent from Brisbane G.P.O. with the octagonal cancellation T/ P 1 B/ BRISBANE/ MR 18/ 05 which is unusual in that the 'T' which means for local posting should have been an 'O' for overseas posting. The illustration shows an eagle sitting on a stump, over a stylized banner and 'FREEDOM' (Figure 7).
Both the message and the cartoon on this postcard are cute. It has a pink 1d stamp of Victoria cancelled with a MELBOURNE/ JE 22/ 4.30 AM/ 1907 roller cancel with a reception MONTROSE/ JE 22/ O7/ VICTORIA postmark. It was addressed to Master K. Anderson, c/o Montrose P.O., Via Croydon, Victoria. It has, at the top L.H. side 4 'symbols' which are probably schoolboy code, which is confirmed by the message: Dear Harold, I received those cards, but to my disappointment I could not read them, because I have lost that paper on which the code was written: so will you send it down to me. I hope all are keeping well up there. Gaston
The cartoon side of "Love's Labour Lost" needs no explanation (Figure 8).