QUESTION: Frank Davies Manley

I'm currently working my way through a backlog of emails and have arrived in July 2016 (!). And that's where I rediscovered this delightful little film clip which I thought I'd share with you.

As you can see, it briefly shows an engraver working on the 1945 Australian issue marking the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in Australia. This here is the end product:

Now the catalogue states that two engravers worked on the stamp: Frank Davies Manley and T. C. Duffell. So who could have been the one in the film clip? I could only find a photograph of Manley and nothing of the mysterious Duffell:

You could argue that the man in the film clip does look like the man in the Manley photograph so chances are it was him, but I would love to be proven wrong!


If you are the owner of this video and you object to it being shown here, please get in touch so I can rectify the matter.


  1. I have seen this clip a few times and I have always assumed the short snippet showing the engraver was FD Manley. But now that you bring it up, it certainly raises the question. Since I haven't the foggiest what Duffell looked like, it could be him. Hmm... Time to have yet another look! LOL. Probably is Manley, thoogh.

  2. I could be wrong, but I think Duffell generally worked on secondary dies. Which makes we wnoder, would they film a secondary die being worked on or the original master? Probably the latter. But then again my initial premise could be wrong. Sorry for rambling lol

    1. You're not rambling at all. I checked my Duffell database after reading your comments and turns out it actually states that Duffell 'only' did the subsidiary dies. This clip shows the engraver working on the design, and surrounded by all sorts of design props, so I'm pretty convinced now that it is indeed Manley!

  3. I'm pretty sure that was Manley. Thomas Duffell was brought to Australia due to not having enough expertise here and mostly assisted Manley, the number one engraver. There is a mention of him here;
    Frank Manley was world class as the detail on his 1941 AIF stamp shows. I sometimes wonder what he could have done using modern presses. This clip shows how labour intensive stamp production was back then.

  4. Thanks for the extra confirmation, John. And thanks for that link and Duffell's first name! I'll now be able to start his (tiny) biography as well.


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