Royal Reels: Gambling


This 1917 illustrated double-rate cover for W. J. Deane & Son music publishers was sent to the USA with the blue 2½d ‘Roo on Map of Australia’ stamp postmarked by a SYDNEY/ NO 27/ 1917/ 11-30 P/ N.S.W. roller cancel. It advertised a piece of music ‘Trinity Times’, a special piano solo with chimes effect. There were 3 examples of an added tax: a NSW / T/ 50 hand-stamp, an US CHARGE/ TO COLLECT 10 CENTS handstamp, and instead of the regular U.S. postage dues, there were 2 fine examples of the 5c US PARCEL POST/ POSTAGE DUE stamps. Within the outline of an Australian map, the addressee and address were inscribed. Another feature was a boxed Australian flag, with a patriotic ‘STICK FOR AUSTRALIA’ (Figure 1).

Scott’s catalogue describes the Parcel Post Postage Due stamps as follows: “For affixing by a postal clerk, to any parcel post package, to denote the amount to be collected from the addressee because of insufficient prepayment of postage.” Five such dark green stamps of the same design were issued in 1913 as JO 1-5, in the following values: 1, 2, 5, 10 & 25 cents, and no more stamps of this designation subsequently. Thus this was undoubtedly an irregular and uncommon or even rare use on an envelope.

The addressee in Boulder Colorado has not been identified and although the Company describes itself on the cover as ‘Known All Over Australasia’, it has been hard to find any relevant information other than the fact they published a body of sheet music, particularly of a patriotic nature during World War I. Four examples of this category are as follows:

Boys of the Dardanelles, published in 1915;
On the Shores of the Aegean Sea, published 1916;
The Toast is Anzac, Gentlemen, published in 1916; and,
They Were There! There! There!, published in 1916.

In a lighter vein they also published:

        “Fun in a Barber Shop” described as a March Novelty by Jesse M. Winne, which was also published by Walter Jacobs in Boston U.S.A. (Figure 2);

“The Bad Girl of the Family” as played in the most successful drama of the same name, a waltz by E. Friedman, for the princely sum of 6d (Figure 3); and,

        “Coo-ee Mary (My Little Gum Tree Queen)”, words & music by Frank G. King, for the same price of 6d (Figure 4).

The firm mentions the cities of Sydney, Chicago, Boston & New York, but these may have been associated music sellers or publishers, as suggested by the co-production with Walter Jacobs in Boston.

Categories: Advertising Covers