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reg-mombassa

Mental as Anything artwork by Reg featured on a stamp as part of Australia Post's Australian Rock Posters collection.

An Australian 'Big Things' series of postage stamps was initially proposed to Australia Post by Layfield Design in 2006. Reg Mombassa was subsequently commissioned by Australia Post to design the stamps, commemorating five of the most iconic "Big Things" in Australia. They were launched and issued in June 2007 to critical acclaim, as a set of five 50c postage stamps.

The Big Golden Guitar at Tamworth (NSW)

The Big Pineapple at Nambour (QLD)

The Big Lobster at Kingston SE (SA)

The Big Banana at Coffs Harbour (NSW)

The Big Merino at Goulburn (NSW)

Reg first fell in love with Australia’s Big Things when travelling around the countryside in a crowded mini-bus in the 1970s and 1980s with his band Mental As Anything. "You'd be on these long, long trips and they'd break up the tedium. The tackiness of the Big Things is part of their charm, and they’re a typically extroverted Australian phenomenon. Some of them are pretty crappy but others are definitely folk art, like the Big Merino, where they've recreated the texture of the wool in concrete."

They’re a great affordable addition to any collector of Reg's work, and are sought after in the philatelic community too. The series was offered as single stamps, booklets, strips, full sheets, post office packs, first day covers, and the elusive gutter strip sheet* which included some additional artwork by Reg.

Big Things Gutter Strip

*a gutter strip is the space left between postage stamps which allows them to be separated or perforated. These sometimes contain markings, originally used to aid the printer by showing the colours used in the printing of the stamps. Stamp gutters are now used as decorative friezes to enhance stamp issues and special gutter sheets are printed for this purpose.  They are attractive additions to thematic collections, and are extremely collectable.

This material has been reproduced with permission of the Australian Postal Corporation. © Copyright Australian Postal Corporation


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