Australia’s nostalgic fruit labels at stamp size

AUSTRALIA Post is celebrating a bygone era of Australian advertising with the latest stamp issue showcasing early 20th century fruit labels.  

Featuring the retro fruit labels over four domestic base-rate ($1) stamps, Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said the new stamp issue reflects a time of considerable growth in primary production when Australia began to export to the world.  

"The four fruit labels featured in this stamp issue not only represent a widely collected form of Australian ephemera, but also a time when Australian food production and exports began to thrive.  

"From the 1920s until the 1970s colourful paper labels featuring information on the produce and its associated growers, shippers and exporters were pasted onto the ends of wooden fruit cases as a means of identification and promotion.  

"This stamp issue follows the popular Nostalgic Advertisements stamp issue released in 2014," Mr Zsolt said.   The stamps are designed by Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio and feature:

  • L H Kile "Robin" brand apples - This brightly designed label promotes apples from Tasmania - the 'apple isle'. In the nineteenth century, the Kile family became one of many pioneering orchardist families of the Huon district. A fifth generation of the Kile family is still growing fruit in the area. The label is part of the renowned Troedel Printing Archive in the State Library Victoria.
  • The River's Pride Navel oranges - This label features the town of Barham, on the mighty Murray River in NSW, complete with paddle steamer and stylised orange groves. Barham, along with neighbouring border town Koondrook, still grows, packs and exports citrus. The label is also part of the Troedel Printing Archive.
  • Paterson & Co. "Red gum Pack" apples - This colourful label, from the Pickering Brook Heritage Collection, is from one of the largest shippers of apples and pears in Western Australia during the labels era. The P&Co. brand was registered between 1934 and 1962, when Western Australia was the second-largest apple growing region in the country.
  • W H Price Pty Ltd Special Ohanez grapes - This label, another from the Troedel Printing Archive, is from a prominent Australian exporting firm of the labels era, which exported grapes, citrus, apples, pears and more using distinctive bright blue labels. Special Ohanez grapes are still grown in Australia, and grapes are still a significant Australian horticultural export industry.

The stamp release includes a special concertina sheetlet pack.

This highly collectable item uses a fold out design and presents the stamp designs in four 10 x $1 sheetlets.  

Other products include a prestige booklet, first day cover, stamp pack, maxicard set of four, gutter strip of 10 x $1 stamps with design, booklet of 10 x $1 self-adhesive stamps and a roll of 100 x $1 self-adhesive stamps.  

The Nostalgic Fruit Labels stamp issue is available from 7 June 2016 at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at while stocks last.  

Visit the Australia Post Collectables website to read a fascinating article on Nostalgic Fruit Labels.  

The Australia Post Collectables website is a central resource for stamp collectors and philatelic enthusiasts across the globe.

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