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Book Reviews

Take the Tour
Review for Postmarks of the Australian Antarctic Territory 1911-2004 by DC Desktoppers

Commencing with a fold-out colour map of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean this 114 page book documents and illustrates all of the official and many of the unofficial postmarks associated with the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT). It commences with the "Loose Ship's Letter/Penguin" cachets/postmarkers of the Mawson Expedition of 1911-1914 and includes the latest National postmarker, which was used to cancel the stamps issued in 2004 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Mawson Station on the Antarctic continent. Here you will find illustrated the early cachets authorised by Australia Post, which were mainly associated with particular expeditions, new stamp issues and/or the opening of station post offices. While not purporting to be a complete postal history of the AAT this book provides insights into many aspects of this fascinating area of polar philately with fully referenced quotes and illustrations from many sources including the earlier work by Milner and Australia Post's Philatelic and Stamp Bulletins.

In Chapter 1 you will find the postmarkers associated with the early Mawson expeditions as well as the commemorative and National postmarkers used to cancel new issues of AAT stamps on the Australian continent. In the following seven chapters are all the First Day of Issue (FDI) and everyday postmarkers from the ANARE stations and bases, including both pictorial and circular date cancellers (CDC), as well as the ANARE pictorial postmarkers from Kingston, Tasmania.

In the final chapter are the commemorative and pictorial postmarkers with an Antarctic theme from National and International Stamp Shows and Philatelic Exhibitions. This is followed by a three-page table, which summarises much of the information provided in the book.

The book is lavishly illustrated with many covers, postcards and maximum cards depicted in full colour. In all there are 34 pages with colour illustrations. A bibliography and other useful information including a list of books about Antarctica with an Australian flavour, the contact addresses of many Polar Philatelic Societies, and a full index are to be found in the "back of the book", where as many philatelists know, treasures often abound!

One final point: Catalogue prices are listed and are similar to those quoted in Australian PictorMarks®.

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