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This chapter focuses on the Kangaroos.

The Kangaroo and KGV surface printed issues are a single, common, definitive series, printed and issued contemporaneously throughout their 30 plus years of existence. At all times the reader is advised to treat neither the Roo, nor KGV, in isolation from each other.


The following are the key pointers to understanding this issue..


There was only one die. The various states of the die, as interesting as they may be, represent no more than progressive wear. Only four states of the die have major significance.


Only electros were ever produced for the Kangaroos, and only by Cooke & Harrison, who’s methods of manufacture were almost identical. The other printers used these electros with modified imprints.

Except for the 1d only a few electros were produced for each denomination.

Cooke electros always have Jubilee lines. The small number of Harrison electros never have marginal lines.


The Cooke monograms CA and JBC were initially placed only on the lower plate of each denomination. They were always 3 units in left or right. The only variation was CA / JBC order changed to JBC / CA order on a few denominations.

During the 2nd and 3rd watermark period, monograms were added to all upper plates by cutting away the jubilee line.

Harrison subsequently used CA CA monograms on the 6d.

Harrison eventually replaced all monograms with his own imprint, always below the central gutter between panes of all plates.

Harrison did make some few plates of his own.

Mullet and Ash imprints subsequently appear on Harrison / Cooke plates as required. Neither made any further kangaroo plates.

Mullet imprints never appear on the bicolours. The task being too difficult for him.


The only difficult watermarks are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

The 1st always has vertical mesh, all others are horizontal.
The 2nd watermark is the KGV single watermark.

Each hi value bicolour roo (5/- and beyond) used a common kangaroo plate and individual map plates effectively printing as a single lower plate sheet with monograms.

All stamps were comb perforated 11.7 x 11.8 (15 holes / inch)

Coils in strips of 10 were produced from the d and the 1d values.

Perf OS large and small for all values 1st wmk.

A very quick word on the 2/- McCracken Die 3 Kangaroo.

32 years after the introduction of the Kangaroo series, a completely new stamp with, different die, different printing method, and different plate makeup appeared. It had much more than a passing resemblance to the roo issues, but came from a very different era, time and place.

The McCracken 2/- die3 is a Kangaroo issue in every respect, but it does not fit well in the overall description of all other varieties and denominations. Thus, to avoid tediousness, everything stated in the following chapters applies to all Kangaroos except the 2/- Die3, which is described fully and separately in its relevant section.




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