Friday, March 16, 2012

Australian Stamp Show Features Pieces of Polar Postal History

Australia's Canberra Times reports after finishing an economics degree, and working briefly for a major bank, Melbourne businessman Tony Shields decided to quit the world of banking finance and do something he was really passionate about. So he opened a stamp dealer's shop in Melbourne.

According to reporter Rosslyn Beeby,"His specialty is Antarctic philately (stamps, postcards, postal stationery) and this weekend's Canberra stamp show is showcasing the centenary of Sir Douglas Mawson's polar expedition. Such is the global demand for polar postal memorabilia that Mr Shields recently sold several items to a keen collector in the Czech Republic for $30,000. At the Canberra show, he has a rare letter ($9500) from Robert Scott's polar expedition in 1901, and postcards ($1500) issued to raise funds for the Mawson expedition."

Robert Scott was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions. During the second expedition Scott and his four comrades all perished from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold. Following the news of his death, Scott became a British hero according to an entry on Wikipedia.

Also according to Wikipedia, Sir Douglas Mawson was an Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer and academic. Along with Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton, Mawson was a key Antarctic expedition leader in the early 1900s.

Shown above, a letter to Robert Scott.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on polar postal history, click here.

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