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Explored within this fabulous Australia Post stamp pack is the theme of Clipper Ships from the Era of Sail. 

The four stamps included in this pack have lithographs of some of the more famous that serviced Australian ports through the nineteenth century.

All four postage stamps from the issue are here. 

The Phoenician, the Frances Henty, Monkchester and the Arabian were all ships that had significant roles in the pages of Australia’s maritime history.

The cover of the stamp pack is a hand colored lithograph by John Raphael Isaac featuring the Arabian by C.P. Williams.

The clipper barque Monkchester is by a well known English oil painter John Scott who painted it in 1865.

The Frances Henty was built in 1852 and it served mainly to carry passengers as well as gold and wool from Melbourne to London,

In 1849 the White Star Line sent the Phoenician to Australia and it was the first to ever travel to Australia in 1849. 

Additional information



2015 – Era of Sail – Clipper Ships

Ships:                     Phoenician, the Frances Henty, Monkchester and the Arabian

Issue date:             17 February 2015

Denominations:     2 x 70c, 2 x $1.40

Stamp design:       Lisa Christensen

Printing process:   Lithography

Stamp size:            37.5mm x 26mm

Perforations:          13.86 x 14.6

This Clipper Ships stamp pack contains all 4 stamps from the stamp issue.


The Clipper ship was in its day the fastest of all the sailing ships and they were sometimes referred to as, “the Greyhound of the seas”.

Most had 3 masts that were set with a square rig and they carried vast sail areas. All canvas was deployed at all times no matter if it was fine or foul weather. They were the speed kings and in their days set many records for crossings of the world’s oceans. 

From an Australian point of view the Clippers were the life line of the new settlements bringing not only settlers but freight, mail and medical supplies from the United Kingdom, China, New Zealand and America. On the return route they would take passengers home as well as wool and gold for sale in overseas markets. During the gold rush in Australia as well as in California , the clippers were the life blood of these bustling, thriving economies.

In 1869 with the opening of the Suez Canal their days were numbered and the Clippers were eventually replaced by steamers as technology improved but no can deny the elegance and beauty of these massive sailing ships.

In its heyday the Flying Cloud clipper ship set the world’s sailing record for the fastest ever passage between New York and San Francisco. It took only 89 days and 8 hours. It was a record that would stand from 1854 to 1989, a period of 135 years.

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