The B. H. Homan Collection of New South Wales

Finding Guide

Prepared by Katherine Sundra, Collections Intern, and Thomas Lera, Winton M. Blount Research Chair.

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Rejected Essays for the design of the first New South Wales stamp, produced by Robert Clayton in 1849. The “Sydney Views” issue eventually became the colony’s first stamp design.


The New South Wales collection comprises an album of about 575 philatelic objects, primarily die proofs, essays, trial color proofs and plate proofs, dating from 1849 – about 1880.


Mr. B.H. Homan of New York, New York, donated this 46-page album of New South Wales proofs to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History and Technology on December 19, 1957. (Accession Number 217932).


New South Wales, a state in the southeastern region of Australia, was the first area on the continent to be settled by the British. It originally contained Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, and the Australian capital city of Canberra. Before the unification of Australia in 1901, New South Wales was an autonomous British colony which, like other Australian states, issued its own postage stamps.

This collection showcases die proofs and plate proofs from nearly every New South Wales issue from 1850 through about 1880, as well as unaccepted essays, proofs from unfinished dies, vignette die proofs, trial color proofs with ink recipes, and a proof of an attempted forgery.