1956 Melbourne Olympics: The Covers

Olympic Covers showing the MCG (Australia)

Jack Peake Hand Painted Cover of the MCG

The Banner shows a hand painted Cover of the MCG with Olympic Park and the Swimming Stadium. A record price of $2,645 was paid for this hand painted cover that featured the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The estimate was only $200!


AMC Guthrie was one of the main cover producers in Western Australia. He released FDCs for the publicity stamps shown on the covers above. Both were of similar design and included an image of the MCG.

Mappin and Curran

Covers with “First Day Cover: October 31, 1956” under the image

Covers with No Text under the image

Cards with “Pictorial Postmark” under the image

The majority of the complete sets of postmarks are on the blue and white card, along with the Victorian Philatelic Association (VPA) cover.

Melbourne Games Cover Distributors

A consortium of six dealers, not to be outdone by Mappin and Curran, banded together to produce the above covers and cards. They were WM Ackland, Australian Stamp Auctions, FH Feibes, Kelson & Co, Myer Philatelic Department and Max Stern. They called themselves the Melbourne Games Cover Distributors. Some of their covers included an insert with their information. Other dealers also used these covers.

A set of 500 covers with all six olympic stamps (2 Publicity stamps, 4d Coat of Arms, 71/2d Torch and the 2 multicoloured stamps, the first issued by Australia) was produced.

Stampboards: Melbourne Games Cover Distributors

Parke, Davis and Co

The Best known and longest running series of covers by pharmaceutical companies was Sigma of Melbourne. Although often illustrated the Olympic cover was not. It is shown for comparison against the Parke, Davis Cover which shows the MCG. It was postmarked with the map, torch and rings postmark dated the 22 November 1956. Other postmarks and dates have not been seen but may exist.


On 12th November, 1956, a commemorative aerogramme was issued, of which 4,377,789  were printed. It was Australia’s first Aerogramme. The imprinted stamp features the Arms of the City of Melbourne. The cachet shows a stylised drawing of the MCG.