Australian FDC Guide

An illustrated guide to Australian First Day Covers.

Excelsior Covers (Ian Baglin) 1966-1971

This page is a summary of the covers made by Ian Baglin under the Excelsior Covers brand

The material in this page is a summary of the information in the "Australian First Day Covers" guide by Michael Moore, Colleen Wooley and Frank Pauer, and by analysis of the covers in my collection.

You can see all Excelsior Covers in the DB, or use the Search page for a more detailed search.

Ian Baglin

Ian Baglin was a Melbourne resident, living initially in Williamstown and then Blackburn (eastern suburbs of Melbourne). He started philatelic trading from his home in 1954. In 1961 he registered his company "Ian Baglin and Co Pty Ltd".

In the mid 60's, with a renewed interest in collecting FDCs with the new decimal stamps, and with no Victorian-based cachet makers, Ian started producing his own. He had bad start in 1966 with a few problems with printing and production.

The Three Unbranded Excelsior Covers

His first three covers were unbranded. They were for the Christmas 1966, Dirk Hartog and British and Foreign Bible Society issues as shown below.

Christmas 1966 Issue - 19 Oct 1966

Dirk Hartog Issue - 24 Oct 1966

150th Anniversary of the British & Foreign Bible Society - 7 Mar 1967

Excelsior Branded Covers (1967-1971)

The first cover branded as Excelsior was the 1967 Banking issue.

150th Anniversary of Banking in Australia - 5 Apr 1967

The covers are easily identifiable by the same "circle E" brand. There was one notable exception. With the combined Soil Science Congress and Medical Assembly issues in Aug 1968, the Soil Science Congress covers were printed with the Excelsior logo, but the Medical Assembly covers were not.

9th International Congress of Soil Science - 6 Aug 1968

General Assembly of World Medical Associations - 6 Aug 1968

Given the same font is used in the title and "FIRST DAY OF ISSUE 6th. AUGUST 1968", it is generally accepted that these were Ian Baglin's work, and that he forgot to put the Excelsior logo on them.

During it's heyday Ian was producing many colour variations for each issue. I have identified 19 variations for the 1970 National Development issue, 30 variations for the 1969 Prime Ministers issue, and 21 variations for the 1969 Primary Industries issue. Often on the multi-stamp issues, he would produce some covers for the set, and some covers for each individual stamp.

The last Excelsior cover was for the 28th International Congress of Orientalists issue in Jan 1971.

28th International Congress of Orientalists - 6 Jan 1971

As with many of the cachet makers of time, the introduction of "official" FDCs from the PMG department had taken the life out of the private cachet makers.

Identifying Excelsior Covers

Other than the exceptions listed above, all Excelsior covers feature the Excelsior logo; a capital italic "E" in a circle with the word Excelsior around the bottom. This logo was used from this issue up until the last. Some samples are shown below.