Neither the cover in its discolored and ‘foxed’ condition, nor the faintness of the postmarks would win a beauty contest, but the present cover must be near unique. It was sent ‘By first mail’ to Mrs. Norton, Shipton House, Edgar Road, Margate, (Kent, England).
The stamps are the 1871-85 S.G. 210 (Sc. 53c) pale blue, perf. 10, watermark small crown/NSW (SG w 36), block of 6, each of which had a catalogue value of £22.00 (USD 21.00) in 1977. The S.G. value on cover was rated at 5 times the value of the used stamp. Each stamp is postmarked with the G.N.R.P/ N.S.W of the Great Northern Railway Post. The first mail of the cover would have been the P. & O. ‘INDUS’ via Brindisi on 23.9.82 or the Orient Line ‘Cuzco’ on 26.9.82.
The reverse is postmarked SYDNEY/ A/ SP 21/ 82 and MARGATE/ A/ NO 17/ 82 and this is superimposed on an illegible double circle G.N.R.P/ SP 20/ 1882/ N.S.W.
The G.N.R.P/ N.S.W is listed by Peck (2000) as being on QV stamps only, having a 16 mm diameter and having an early date of 1872 and a late date of 1877 (thus this cover extends the late date by 5 years!). Its rarity value is a 7 (top rating being 8), and on cover its rarity is increased to 8, and the sky could be the limit as a block of 6 cancels (albeit without the poor condition). The double circle G.N.R.P on the reverse is helpful in confirming the dating of this cancel on the front. This double circle has an ‘8’ rating, and a clearer example is shown in Figure 3.
Reference: Richard C. Peck: Travelling Post Offices (N.S.W.)1870-1983. Postmark Lists revised to 2000.
This paper was published in The N.S.W. Philatelist, May 2002, Volume 2002, Number 2, page 18.