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Private Revenue Perfins of Western Australia

An Elsmore Coath production

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

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User: W Sandover & Co

Pharmacy, Hardware and Department Store

Address: 683 Hay St, Perth, WA. also Fremantle

Revenue Use:

1917-22 issue 1d.

1920-23 2d, 3d.

1923 (zinc plate) 1d.

Rarity Scale:

1917-22 issue 1d R3.

1920-23 issue 2d R3, 3d R4.

1923 issue (zinc plate) 1d R3.

Railway Use:

1907-50 issues 9d, 1/-, 1/6d, 2/-, 2/6d.

1951 issue 1/-, 1/3d, 1/6d, 1/9d, 2/-, 2/6d, 3/-.

Rarity Scale:

1907-50 issues 9d R4, 1/- R4, 1/6d R4, 2/- R4, 2/6d R4.

1951 issue 1/- R1, 1/3d R2, 1/6d R2, 1/9d R2, 2/- R2, 2/6d R4, 3/- R4.

Background: *William Sandover (jnr) was born in Adelaide in 1856 the son of a William Sandover (snr) a politician and hotelier. In 1884 William (jnr) established a pharmacy and hardware business in Perth, and he asked his younger brother Alfred to join him in the firm. William Sandover & Co. expanded rapidly after the opening of the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie goldfields in the 1890's and the firm was described as “brimful of all the latest ideas in machinery, mining, agricultural and domestic requisites”.

The brothers soon joined a group of Fremantle merchants who were concerned about the high freight rates charged by English shipping companies. This lead to the formation of the West Australian Shipping Association (WASA) Ltd in 1884 on which Alfred served as Chairman. The WASA chartered its own ships and came to control much of the Western Australian shipping trade.

In April 1907 the Hay St premises of William Sandover and Co. were damaged by fire. The date of the fire is sometimes erroneously reported as 1904.

Alfred took an increasing role in the company and he was well known for his philanthropy which included, from 1921, the provision of a medal for the Western Australian Football leagues fairest and best footballer, the "Sandover Medal".  

In 1923 Sandovers Ltd acquired the Perth branch of the Adelaide Company, G. P. Harris, Scarfe & Co., and registered it as Harris, Scarfe & Sandovers Ltd. Alfred was appointed chairman and he was to retain the position until he retired in 1957 at the age of 90. He was succeeded as chairman by his son Sir Eric Sandover.

Device: The WS/&CO.a device is a four die device in a 4 x 1 format giving 4 dies in a horizontal array.

The dies are very similar and on clear strikes there are some subtle differences but overall it is very difficult to differentiate between the dies. The 4 x 1 format has consistent spacing between dies 1 and 2 and the same spacing between dies 3 and 4, however the spacing between dies 2 and 3 is slightly narrower. The spacing roughly suits the WA “Swan type” postage and revenue stamps of the period if they are fed under the dies sideways. This was most likely the practice and early use shows positions 2, 4, 6 and 8 predominate, especially on the much wider “Swan type” revenue stamps.

The device was manufactured by Slopers in July 1906 and Willliam Sandover had applied and received approval to perforate stamps in May 1906.

The device was long lived and it is found used on postage stamps as late as 1951. Usage from the mid 1930’s is characterised by many blind pins and incomplete punctures which suggests that the device was not in good working order.

Related patterns: Nil

The fire in the William Sandover & Co. building, Hay Street, Perth, 24 April 1907 (Source: State Library of Western Australia. SLWA: 012841D)

* The Australian Dictionary of Biography


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