Royal Reels: Gambling


This unusually addressed cover apparently found its way into the hands of the addressee, F.C. Krichauff, Esq, Stamp Collector, South Australia, in spite of the inadequate address. The ½ anna green embossed stamp from India was up-rated with a blue 2 anna stamp of India, and both were cancelled with the squared circle BOMBAY/ F/ AP 2/ (18)97. The reverse, not seen by me, had Tuticorin, India and Colombo, Ceylon transits and an Adelaide, S.A. receiver mark (Figure 1).

The Krichauff name is well known in South Australia (particularly his father, Friedrich Eduard Heinrich Wulf Krichauff, S.A. parliamentarian), but Friedrich Charles was not an easy man to research. The obvious place to look for him was as a stamp collector, but the information was sparse. In 1949 he sold his stamp collection of New Zealand and Australian States stamps, and prior to this he was first author, with A.E. Fryar, W.L. Peek and F.R.C. Frost of a compilation edited by N.R. James, ‘The Postage Stamps of South Australia’, published in Adelaide by the Philatelic Society of South Australia (no date, but post WW II).

Friedrich Charles Krichauff was born 27 June 1861 in the Bugle Ranges, South Australia (presumably at his father’s property, which was bought jointly by his father and his friend Baron Ferdinand von Mueller). His father was F.E.H.W.K. and his mother was Dorothea Sophia Arivolina Fischer. F.C.Krichauff (the third of 3 sons, with one younger sister) married Elizabeth Alice Gemmell on the 3 March 1898 at Long Valley, near Strathalbyn, South Australia. F.C.K. died 25 March1954 in Adelaide, South Australia, and I found no information as to whether he had children. A picture of him is seen in Figure 2.

F.C. Krichauff was an architect by profession and an amateur photographer. He must have been held in some repute by his fellow photographers for he was listed as Secretary of the South Australian Amateur Photographic Society of which the Governor of S.A. (His Excellency the Right Honorable the Earl of Kintore G.C.M.G.) was President. He was a foundation member of this Society (formed in August 1885) and was also the Society’s first Treasurer.

He was interviewed for an article in Australasian Photo-Review in June 1949 when aged 88, and he proudly stated that he never sold his photographs, but gave them away. In 1887 he was awarded the First Order of Merit for photographic work he exhibited at the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition. The previous year he received a bronze medal at the London Colonial and India Exhibition.

Acknowledgment: This paper could never have been written without the kind assistance of two people, Jane Messenger, Associate Curator, European Art, Art Gallery of S.A. and Naomi Billinghurst, Research Librarian State Library of S.A., both in Adelaide.

Addendum (September 2007):  This rather faint postcard gives further proof that F.C. Krichauff was a photographer in addition to being a stamp collector.  The One Penny South Australian postcard was cancelled G.P.O. ADELAIDE/ MY 9/ 86/ S.A. and was addressed to him at Govt. Office, Victoria Street, South Australia (Figure 3).

The reverse shows that it was sent from the S.A. Photographic Society informing him of the Monthly Meeting to be held at the Chamber of Manufactures, North Terrace on Thursday evening, May 14 at 7 o’clock.  The SPECIAL SUBJECT was to be a Lantern Evening.  Exhibition of Members’ slides by the oxy-hydrogen light (Figure 4).