Perfins home page


Private Revenue Perfins of Tasmania

An Elsmore Coath production

The authors would welcome your comments additions or input into this work

A  D  L  M  R  V  Other

Back to States index




User: George Adams

Tattersall Consultations


Address: Collins St, Hobart, TAS.


Revenue Use:


1901 Revenue overprint issue 1d.

Numeral: 1904 Series 1d.

Rarity Scale:


1901 Revenue overprint issue 1d R5.


Numeral: 1904 Series 1d R4.


Background: *George Adams was born in March 1839 in Hertfordshire, England, and his family arrived in Australia in May 1855. George Adams tried a variety of jobs including gold mining, working on a sheep station, stock dealing, and a being a butcher, before acquiring the licence to the “Steam Packet Inn” at Kiama (near Wollongong) and a part ownership in the nearby “Wellington” sheep station in 1875.


On visits to Sydney for race meetings and the Royal Show, Adams frequented O'Brien's Hotel in Pitt St, the headquarters of the Tattersall's Club. He was a good mixer and made some valuable and influential friends. In 1878 some of his Sydney friends, George Hill, Bill Archer and George Loseby, decided to buy O'Brien's Hotel for Adams, it is said for the reason that “George Adams liked O'Brien's and they liked George Adams”. The terms were generous and easy but within just 6 years Adams had repaid his debts and in addition he acquired the freehold for a further £40,000.


Much of his prosperity came from the sweepstakes that Adams conducted for the Tattersall's Club members at their meetings at his Hotel. Later patrons, who were non-members, were included and in 1881 Adams conducted his first public Tattersall's sweep on the Sydney Cup.


Within Ten years Adams was very wealthy, with interests in the Bulli colliery, electricity plants at Broken Hill, Newcastle and Sydney, the collier “Governor Blackall”, the Palace Theatre in Sydney, and his Pitt St Hotel.


By 1892 growing opposition from religious bodies opposed to gambling in NSW saw the passing of legislation to prohibit the delivery of letters containing sweep details and payments. In response to this Adams moved his lottery business to Queensland but similar legislation was passed by the Queensland Government in 1895. However in 1896, after considerable lobbying and debate the Tasmanian Government passed legislation outlawing betting shops but permitting certain lotteries. This gave Adams a home for Tattersall's lotteries and he moved his operation to Hobart.


Adams spent the rest of his life in Hobart buying several businesses and properties as well as starting a Brewery. Although Adams held no public office he wielded a great deal of influence behind the scenes.


Adams had married twice but had no children, so when he died in September 1904 his main beneficiary of his considerable estate was his nephew William Adams. Notably some politicians who supported the Tasmanian legislation that allowed Tattersall’s to operate in Tasmania were also beneficiaries.


Device: Tattersall’s relied heavily on the postal system to receive their entries from agencies around Australia and beyond, they were also large users of outgoing mail. As a result the A patterns are the most common private perfin patterns found on Tasmanian postage stamps.


Over the period 1899-1910 they used at least 6 different perforating devices with various A patterns, including a 6 die device used in 1899. The balance of their devices were single die devices and they seemed to have at least 2 devices operating in their offices at the same time.


The device that produced this A.a pattern was the longest serving single die device used by the Company. It came into service in January 1900 and is found on postage stamps as late as November 1910.


Related Patterns: Nil


*Tattersall’s website, Australian Dictionary of Biography & Bill Harley

1880 Series 3d postal use of a revenue. Both postmarked 1900

Postal use of fiscal stamps was permitted between 1 Nov 1882 - 30 Nov 1900



User: Alliance Assurance Company Ltd

Life Insurance Provider

Address: 131 Macquarie St, Hobart TAS.

Revenue Use: 


1920 Series Roulette 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 1/-, 2/6, 5/-.

Platypus Series:

1929 Roulette 9D (brown).

Rarity Scale




1920 Series Roulette 1d R3, 2d R4, 3d R3, 4d R4, 5d R4, 6d R3, 1/- R3, 2/6d R4, 5/- R4.


Platypus Series:


1929 Roulette 9D (brown) R4.


Background: *1 *2 Alliance Assurance were a large English Insurer that was formed by Sir Moses Montefoire and Nathan Rothschild in England in 1824. The company commenced operations in the Australian market in the mid 1830’s and established agents initially in Sydney, but later in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Perth. The company grew internationally through a series of acquisitions and in Australia this included the Tasmanian Fire Insurance Company in 1892.


Device: The Hobart A.A./Co. device was most likely a single head device. There were similar devices in the Alliance offices in Adelaide and Brisbane but these were subtly different.


Because these three AA/Co devices are so similar earlier studies have considered them a single device/pattern. Our research has shown that they are actually three devices and this is confirmed by variation in pin placement that only appears on the revenue stamps of the given States. This is further supported by postmark information on postage stamps.


The Hobart device was also known and used on Postage stamps from late 1930’s to 1946.


Related patterns: Refer to other Alliance Assurance patterns in:

NSW: ACO…a  IC/NA.a  SI/O.a

Other – NSW: Section 2 Commercial Overprints



Qld:  A.A./Co.a  

SA:   A.A./Co.a

*1  Alliance Assurance 1824-1924 by Sir William Schooling (1924)


*2  Life Insurance in Australia by AC Gray (1977)


A  D  L  M  R  V  Other

Back to States index

copyright 2011

Perfins home page