Overview

When ships of the First Fleet visited Australia in 1788, and Norfolk Island soon after, artists (naval officers, such as William Bradley and George Raper, and pardoned convicts, such as John Eyre) took the opportunity to create works featuring landscapes, flora and fauna.

John Eyre was born at Coventry, England, in 1771. He became an apprentice weaver and is believed to have studied drawing. In 1799 he was sentenced to seven years for housebreaking and transported to New South Wales. Following a conditional pardon in 1804, Eyre purchased a box of watercolours and began taking commissions, including for Governor William Bligh and David Mann (for the latter’s The Present Picture of New South Wales, published in 1811). He also created several drawings for Absalom West, who published series of engraved Sydney scenes. It is believed that Eyre left for Europe in 1812, after which time little is known. Eyre’s original works can be found in the British Museum, the State Library of New South Wales and the National Library of Australia.

There is no evidence that Eyre ever visited Norfolk Island. His charming watercolours featured in this stamp issue (depicting Queenborough, now Longview, and Sydney, now Kingston) make use of earlier drawings by Norfolk Island storekeeper, and later deputy commissioner, William Neate Chapman (1773?–1838). Chapman was a family friend of British lieutenant Philip Gidley King (1758–1808), who became the island’s governor and is believed to have commissioned Eyre’s paintings.

Technical specifications

Issue date
19 January 2022
Issue withdrawal date
31 July 2022
Denomination
$1.10 x 2, $2.20 x 1
Stamp design
Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper: gummed
Tullis Russell
Printer
RA
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm)
37.5 x 26
Minisheet size (mm)
135 x 80
Perforations
13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI Postmark
Norfolk Island NSW 2899
FDI withdrawal date
16 February 2022

Stamps in this issue

$1.10 John Eyre, A View of Sydney on Norfolk Island c.1805

The town of Sydney, on Norfolk Island’s rocky coast, was founded in March 1788 by Philip Gidley King. The area is now Kingston, the administrative centre of Norfolk Island and part of the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area World Heritage site.

$2.20 John Eyre, A View of Queenborough on Norfolk Island 1804

The settlement of Queenborough, originally known as Charlotte Field (named for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III), was established in June 1790 in a protected valley, south of what is now the island’s airstrip. The fertile land was cleared, crops planted and buildings constructed. Queenborough became the most important agricultural area on the island during the first British settlement. In the 1840s, the area was renamed Longridge Station, now Longridge.

Shop our stamp collectables

Set of stamps:

Set of Norfolk Island – Historical Views Gummed Stamps

This set of stamps contains the two stamps from the Norfolk Island – Historical Views stamp issue.

Minisheet:

Norfolk Island – Historical Views Minisheet

The Norfolk Island – Historical Views minisheet consists of the two stamps from the issue incorporated into a miniature stamp sheet.

Gutter strip 10x $1.10:

Gutter Strip of 10x $1.10 View of Sydney Stamps

The gutter strip consists of 10 x $1.10 View of Sydney stamps from the Norfolk Island – Historical Views stamp issue.

Gutter strip 10x $2.20:

Gutter Strip of 10x $2.20 View of Queenborough Stamps

The gutter strip consists of 10 x $2.20 View of Queenborough stamps from the Norfolk Island – Historical Views stamp issue.

Additional collectables:

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.