BIOGRAPHY: Thomas C. Duffell

Thomas Duffell and his family migrated from Hackney, England to Australia in 1927, on the 'Narkunda'. Thomas had been asked by the Commonwealth Printing Branch in Fitzroy to come over and work for them, because they could not find enough local printing expertise.

For various Australian issues from 1936 to 1946, Duffell engraved subsidiary dies. The practice of subsidiary dies is as follows: from a cylinder from which the denominations were erased, subsidiary dies were laid down for further values in the same design. The engraving of the denominations on these were done by Duffell.

For the 1945 issue to mark the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in Australia, for example, Thomas engraved the values on the 3.5d and 5.5d stamps, after the 2.5d value had been erased from the master die which was engraved by Frank D Manley.

Thomas, who also worked as a transferrer, was second in charge (behind Manley) of the Engraving Department. Both his son Eric and his son-in-law Archibald Gordon Maclaurin held positions within the Commonwealth printing Branch, with his son being a maintenance engraver.


- The Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue, Brusden-White (1999)
- website

You will find the database of Thomas C Duffell HERE.


  1. Nice to finally get to know Thomas C. Duffell


  2. Thanks Adrian. Love your stamp engravers blog. I am a collector of worldwide, mint engraved stamps and banknotes. They are so beautiful to the naked eye, and under magnification. Your blog helps me find new sets and also provides wonderful information about the engravers involved in there production. Be well.


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