1935 Pictorials Official
In 1905 the New Zealand Government decreed that postage stamps with the
word 'Official' printed on them were to be used for all mail from
government departments and agencies. The Official overprints of the 1935
Pictorials were first issued in March 1936 but are commonly included under
1935 for simplicity. All stamps from the 1935 Pictorials issue with the
exception of the five penny and three shilling stamps were issued after
having been overprinted by the Government Printer.
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stamp features the Fantail (Piwakawaka) with native Clematis in the
background. The fantail is a very sociable New Zealand native bird which
darts around eating insects.
The penny stamp features the Kiwi -
several species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The kiwi is
also a national symbol of New Zealand.
The 1½d stamp
features a Maori woman cooking food by lowering it in a flax basket or
kete into a boiling geothermal spring.
The twopence stamp features
a traditional Maori Meeting House.
The 2½d stamp is
two-tone with Mount Cook (Aorangi) in the centre bordered on both sides by
the Mount Cook Buttercup (Ranunculus lyallii) - a species of buttercup
endemic to the South Island of New Zealand at altitudes of 700 to 1,500
The threepence stamp features a Maori girl (Wahine) wearing
an intricately woven flax head-band (pare). A Huia feather is in her hair -
a mark of great prestige.
The four penny stamp features a view of
Mitre Peak in Milford Sound.
The sixpence stamp features a horse
drawn harvester or reaper, working through a crop of wheat.
eight penny stamp features the native Tuatara - the only surviving member
of the Sphenodontians which flourished around 200 million years ago. The
name "tuatara" derives from the Māori language meaning
"peaks on the back".
The 9d stamp features the
ornamentation from a Maori sliding door panel. This stamp was printed
using offset lithography rather than recess printed like the rest of the
stamps in the issue. The stamp was issued in two forms. The initial green
overprints on the red and grey 1938 printing measure 18 by 21½ mm.
The 1941 black overprinting on the scarlet and black stamps had a slightly
smaller design - 17½ by 20½ mm.
The shilling stamp
features the Tui - a very intelligent bird much like parrots. They are
able to clearly imitate human speech. The possession of two voiceboxes
enable Tui to perform a myriad of vocalisations.
The two shilling
stamp shows the landing of Captain Cook at Poverty Bay on the 8th of
October 1769. The first encounter with local Maori led to the deaths of
six Maori during skirmishes with the crew due to a misinterpretation of
the traditional Maori challenge. Cook was unable to gain many of the
provisions he and his crew needed at the bay, and for this reason gave it
This page was last updated on 16 Jan 2018
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