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2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare

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One of the harshest environments on Earth, Cape Adare is located 780km north of Scott Base. It was here, in 1894, that humans first set foot on the Antarctic mainland, and who in 1899 built the first Antarctic base.

Issue information

Before the world had heard of Scott and Shackleton, a group of 10 young men from Norway, England and Australia spent a year at Cape Adare. They paved the way for the more famous explorers who followed, and these stamps from the Ross Dependency recounted their rarely-told story.

The Cape Adare base centred around two prefabricated wooden huts and was used just twice. After 1912, it was abandoned for more than a century to the harsh extremes of the Antarctic climate and a babble of the penguins. But the original huts stood firm, sheltering the food, clothing and equipment left behind by Antarctica’s earliest residents. The Ross Dependency stamp issue told the story of these huts through five key artefacts recently collected by the Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT).

Presentation pack

In this presentation pack, you’ll learn more about the Southern Cross expedition that saw the first humans to set foot on the Antarctic mainland, Scott’s Northern Party and the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s efforts to preserve the huts and their artefacts. The pack included a set of five stamps, a miniature sheet and a first day cover.

Product listing for 2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare

Image Title Description Price
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare single $1.30 Carsten Borchgrevink gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Carsten Borchgrevink' gummed stamp.

Borchgrevink oversaw the Southern Cross expedition. Despite the expedition being plagued by controversy, in 1930, the British Royal Geographical Society awarded him its Patron’s Medal.

$1.30
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare single $1.30 Fruitcake gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Fruitcake: Cape Adare' gummed stamp.

This perfectly preserved Huntley & Palmers fruitcake was a surprise find among hundreds of food tins temporarily removed from the huts at Cape Adare.

$1.30
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare single $2.60 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $2.60 'Toothbrush: Cape Adare' gummed stamp.

Although soap was somehow omitted from the supplies taken on the Southern Cross, this bone-handled toothbrush found in one of the huts suggests that the men did look after their teeth.

$2.60
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare single $3.30 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $3.30 'Primus: Cape Adare' gummed stamp.

Borchgrevink’s team was the first to use a Primus stove in Antarctica. Lightweight and reliable, the Primus became a cornerstone of Antarctic exploration.

$3.30
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare single $4.00 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $4.00 'Watercolour: Cape Adare' gummed stamp.

This delicate watercolour of a Northern Hemisphere bird known as a tree creeper was unearthed from a pile of mould-covered papers found on a bunk in the Cape Adare accommodation hut in 2016.

$4.00
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare gummed miniature sheet | NZ Post Collectables Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet. $12.50
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare first day cover | NZ Post Collectables First Day Cover First day cover with five gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.00
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare | NZ Post Collectables Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.00
2019 Ross Dependency: Cape Adare presentation pack | NZ Post Collectables Presentation Pack Writer Kerry McCarthy is a curator who has a longstanding interest in Antarctic history. Her PhD focuses on photography during the early decades of Antarctic exploration. You could learn more about the Southern Cross expedition that saw the first humans to set foot on the Antarctic mainland, Scott’s Northern Party and the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s efforts to preserve the huts and their artefacts. This presentation pack included a set of five stamps, a miniature sheet and a first day cover. $29.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 18 September 2019
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Denominations: $1.30 x 2, $2.60, $3.30, $4.00
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Alan Hollows, NZ Post, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours plus clear overgloss
Stamp size and format: 50mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Miniature sheet size and format: 170mm x 90mm (horizontal)
First day cover size and format: 205mm x 120mm
Paper type:  Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet:  25
Perforation gauge: 14.40 x 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 17 September 2020. First day covers remained on sale until 13 Novembner 2020.