Alwar Native State of India- Postage Stamps & Postal Systems

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Alwar Native State of India- Postage Stamps & Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

The focus of this topic will to be to undertake studies of the various states that had their own operating postal systems.

This topic will focus on these areas:

1. The postage stamps the printing methods used and an in depth look at the stamps produced and any identifying marks or charistics.
2. Additional items such as postal envelopes and cards and items that could be purchased at postal counters such as money orders and savings stamps.
3. An anylisis of the postal offices in force in the states and any topic related to the daily operation of that part of the postal system.
4. A cataloguing of the marks used in the delivery of their services and how these marks relate to the operation of the offices.
5. Information relating to the administration of the postal system within the state.
6. Colateral items that assist in this study but are items outside the scope if this study.

The goal of this topic is to present information that will assist moderate collectors in their journey to specalist collector.

Bill Lewis

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Re: Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

As a beginning there are tools that make the study easier and help to simplify complex tasks. These are beyond the tongs and other basic tools used on a daily basis.

Here are some of my favorites

*1. A good machinists rule: these are normally 6 to 8 inches and may be found easily on ebay one side is marked in inches usually 64 th although 100th is also common. The reverse will be marked in Millimeters.

*2. A circle drawing template these are available in inches and mm. These are invaluable in determining the status of Circular cancels for older material.

*3. A head mounted magnifier these are used by machinists and model builders. For mine I also have a clip on loupe that will enhance the magnification for looking at very fine detail.

*4. A good quality folding loupe for carrying to stamp shows.

*5. A lighted magnifier for medium distance work The round ones with a circular flourescent bulb are nice. I have one used in the jewlery business more expensive but a higher power.

*6. This is the item I use the most and I have three of them a Pocket Optical Comparator. This a 10 or 15 X magnifier with a tiny ruler built into it. I have 2 10 X as you have a 20 mm field of view with the ruler marked every .5 mm this is critical when describing the location of constant flaws I picked up a light duty for $20 in ebay my best cost over $100 and has 3 reticles. A reticle is a small optically flat sheet of optical glass that has the measuring device engraved on it's surface thee are interchangeable.

*7. A thickness gague either a mechanical or a dgital one is fine I have both types.

8. While not necessary I have a binocular zoom microscope that gives better magnification. I am looking for a USB Microscope in the under $100 range for the project.

Items marked * are ones I use on a daily basis and ones I consider essencial to be able to get the job done.

Bill Lewis in Texas

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storing the material

Post by bookwizards »

Since the needs of the study collection exceed the ability of a normal album what do you do to make it accessable and easy to refer to.

For me there is one answer Hagnar. I use 1 inch, 3 ring binders they are inexpensive easy to handle and lay flat. I put everything on double sided stock sheets I have 7 row and 8 row as well as 2 and 3 pocket for covers these hold a lot of material and allow for easy access to the material they can go in a binder easily so a sheet can be added to accomidate additional material without a major headache.

I add notes to identify the SG number and for studies I can put an enlargement of a stamp in the space and then mark flaws and re arrange to accomidate the additional material.

By using stock pages the collection can be modified to handle new material or a rearrangement based on facts learned.

These can be fairly affordable when purchased in a large number of sheets I have purchased mine in lots of 500 items at a time.

I have a lighthouse sheet album but for some sheets I use
the 12 x 12 scrapbook album I use a cream cardstock and sleeves to hold the sheets. I have used them for 5 years and they are wonderful for holding large blocks and sheets.

Bill Lewis in Texas

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Post by bookwizards »

The purpose of this list is to share knowledge about issues relating to the postal systems of various native states. It is the intent to do this in an orderly and organized manner to allow collectors to grow and enhance their knowledge and collections. This list will focus on a particular state and work it till information slows down and then another state will be chosen to begin discussing.

It is the intent of the list to present useful information to a specalized group of collectors who can learn from and contribute to the discussion.

To this end please limit posts to information or images closely related to the current topic of discussion. We want the discussion focued and the content meaningful to the conversation taking place at the time of the message.

It is the desire of this list to work in concert with the list Banging the Drum for the Uglies that list is also about the states and is an informal meeting place where questions can be asked at any time and on any subject.

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The state of Alwar and its post

Post by bookwizards »

Alwar or Ulwar as it is sometimes spelled was a small but moderatley important state situated in the area of Rajputana. The capital city also bore the name of the state. The population was roughly 3/4 million in 1890 and the area wa 3200 square miles.

There is little doubt as to the importance of this state, and that it had far more need for postage stamps than many states whose number of issues was far greater. Yet during the entire 25 years that the state printed postage stamps there were only two denominations a quarter anna and a one anna.

There was only one design for the one anna for the entire 25 years and the Quarter Anna design was the same except for the last few years when a redesigned die was introduced and 3 varieties all pin perforated rather than rouletted were printed from that single die. First a slate blue with wide margins recorded in July of 1899 followed by a wide margin copy in emerald green the only known used copy is dated 7 August 1901.

The final stamp an emerald green narrow margin is recorded from 2 stones one slightly closer together than the other the first recorded postmark is 3 January 1901 the next and last stamps earliest date is 5 August 1901 is more yellow and has slightly wider margins but there is overlap in both color and spacing and for some stamps it is difficult to determine the printing.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

This is also a good place to mention the India Study Circle if you are not a member and intend to collect the states then you need to join. There is a wealth of information on Alwar in an ISC Handbook on Alwar by Ray Benns. If you are serious about Alwar then you need it. Back during the rewrite I wrote to Ray and provided him with some information for the handbook. I joined IC and have the magazine India Post going back to 1972. If you join you will get a CD with all those issues and more it is worth the price just for that. There are several articles on Alwar and other states on the CD I can not retype all of that information so if you are going to get serious then join.

Bill Lewis in Texas

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

The obvious place to start is with SG 1 the Quarter Anna Blue but before we can begin with these stamps we must first examine the paper. The stamps of Alwar were printed on a good quality paper that has an unusual characteristic refered to as the weave in articles about the early stamps.

The weave is the patern left on the paper by the mesh of the screen that was used in the paper making machine. When paper is made plant fibers are ground to a fine pulp in a machine or by hand and this pulp is suspended in a water solution. To make paper a fine stream of this solution is poured evenly on a slow moving belt made from a pourous material for Alwar this was a woven wire mesh much like that used in windows to keep insects out.

The metal used was often copper since an iron mesh would oxidize and leave a rust stain on the paper. For the screen used for the stamp paper of Alwar there is a distortion of this mesh either naturally occuring or made as the screen was stretched over the frames in the machine.

In either case the openings in the mesh are elongated forming what are refered to as a diamond patern. As the liquid pulp is poured over this mesh the area between the wires collected more fibers and the area above the wire would have slightly less fiber making for an alternating variation in the thickness of the paper.

This is similar to what happens with the introduction of a watermark onto the mesh.

When the stamp is held up to a strong light and the paper is examined with a loupe this diamond shaped patern can be seen in unprinted areas of the stamp. In the literature it is refered to as being printed on either a horizontally or vertically meshed paper.

In all of the quarter anna this mesh is vertical with the exception of the first printing from the A stone which is on Horizontally meshed paper. This stamp is not hard to find but since it is just a few percent of the total output it is a bit of a challenge.

More on the first issues to follow

Bill Lewis in Texas

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by Global Administrator »

Coming along well Bill. :mrgreen:

HOWEVER the one thing that sets this board apart from all others worldwide are PHOTOS.

As we can all see from the superb "Uglies" thread from tonymacq

They are fast and simple to load up here, and a thread like this without them will suffer enormously. Details on how to load them is here -
http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=284
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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

I realized I needed to do one more lesson this one on the printing method used to produce these stamps, which for Alwar are Lithographed. Lithographing was an early form of printing mostly used for images.

The process uses a fine grained stone often a limestone that is ground flat and polished making a slab of stone the size and thickness varied as to the size of the final print. To prepare the stone it was cleaned and resurfaced between each use then a fairly thick oily ink was used to apply the stamp pattern to the stone.

After this dried then the stone would have water poured over it soaking into the uncoated areas of the stone. Once this was done then an oil based ink would be wiped across the stone this ink would stick to the areas where the oil based design had been applied but would be repelled by the water soaked stone.

A sheet of paper usually dampened would be laid on the stone and a roller would press the paper to the stone where it would pick up the ink creating the design. This would be repeated for each sheet printed.

For Alwar a single die was created for the quarter anna and this die was printed a number of times on a larger stone called a matrix stone, for Alwar SG 1, the quarter anna blue stamps, the matrix stone held six impressions of the stamp design.

For the quarter anna this matrix stone was applied to the printing stone a total of 25 times in a matrix of 5 by 5 impressions creating a printing stone with 150 stamps to the sheet.

With each impression of the original die there were minute differences dust or small fibers could stick on the die creating a new area that would retain ink, or as the ink was wiped clear from the die a small area or part of the design might not hold the ink thus leaving a white area or void in the stamp design.

These differences in each impression created the matrix flaws allowing each new printing stone to be identified from these minute differences that are constant on each of the 25 impressions of the matrix stone that a particular sheet was printed from for a particular stone.

I hope that this has explained some of the terminology that you will encounter as you organize your stamps into a collection.

Bill Lewis in Texas

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Re: Indian Native States Their Pos

Post by makielb »

Looking forward to more of these, now that I'm Feudatory convert, especially Cochin.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

With some of the basic ground work laid it is now possible to discuss the first printings of the Quarter Anna Stamps. As each new printing was discovered and material was found that could be used to determine the dates for the use of stamps from each printing the printing stones were given designations in alphabetical order thus the first stone that was used to print the quarter anna stamps is refered to as the A Stone.

Listed here are the Matrix flaws for the A Stone listed numerically in a right to left and top to bottom order with the upper three transfers as they appear on the printed sheet being given the designations 1, 2, 3 and the lower three impressions as 4, 5, 6. There are 25 copies of each transfer in a sheet.

Now get a good light source and your loupe and begin sorting your quarter anna blues. Copies of the A stone are not as common as from the other stones. The earliest printing is a noticably gray cast blue called Steel Blue and you can check the weave looking for light areas in the paper shaped like little footballs. These will be running longways across the stamp for the horizontal weave. This positivley identifies the steel blue stamps as all other quarter anna stamps from this stone have the weave verticle.

There are several shades whether these were seperate printings or just different batches of ink is not known for sure some of the shades have variations of their own which might have occured if varing batches of inks had been added to a central source, anyway here is how they are defined in the Alwar Handbook.
i) Steel Blue
ii) bright pale greenish blue
iii) Pale dull ultramarine this is the ink that is bad about fading.
iv) Medium pale gray blue this is the commonest variety and some shades are identical to the stamps of the B stone.

Stone A the six matrix transfers
1. A colored dot is frequently present in the white oval below the sixth scalop clockwise from the tip of the dagger. There is a small dot attached to the right outer frame line 2.5 mm from the top edge of the stamp.
2. There is a break in the right outer frame lie 2.7 mm from the bottom of the stamp. There is a well defined dot in the white oval on the left side just below a point across from the lower edge of the lower handle of the dagger.
3. The upper right corner ornament the leaf just clockwise from the leaf that touches the inner frame there is a dot of color near the tip of this leaf it is sometimes very prominent and on others a well defined dot.
4. There is a line across the white oval frame line above the second character in the upper line of text.
5. There is a well defined dot in the lower left ornament in the leaf just clockwise from the leaf that touches the oval frame.
6. There is a large break in the upper part of the left side of the crossbar of the dagger.

This completed the varities and flaws for the transfer stone for the first printing of the quarter anna stamps prepared from the A Stone. Next I will post some Images of stamps from this printing.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

This image shows the six types of the matrix transfers for the quarter anna A stone

Image

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Re: Indian Native States Their Pos

Post by nigelc »

Thanks for posting the image Bill.

Could you mark up the differences between the six types in the image?
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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by Eric Casagrande »

Nigel .... Here is #6 .... the broken area ....

Image

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by tonymacg »

Perhaps a scan of Benns' diagram from the Handbook would help.
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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by maptrekker »

Which shade is the block of 6 from stone A?

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

Here are scans of each of the flaws of the six Stone A transfers.

Stone A transfer 1 there are two flaws for this transfer

Image

Image

Stone A transfer 2 there are two flaws for this transfer

Image

Image

This is a bit faint but is about half way up on the photo on the outer frame line.

Stone A transfer 3

Image

Stone A transfer 4

Image

Stone A transfer 5

Image

Stone A transfer 6 There are two flaws here but since the first is a major flaw easily visable to the eye the second is never used.

Image

Image

This does it for the Stone A transfer flaws.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

Colors

Actually the stamp is not the same color as the scan this is a well known problem with web browsers and I suspect if you look at the image in several different ones you will see as many different colors.

Also the color names used in the Benns book look like they were picked by a committee or perhaps giving a color 3 adjetives is a cultural difference. Back when studying the Canadian Queens in the 1960's I purchased several different color guides which often had different names for the exact same shade. When I wrote a particular company I was told that color names were selected by the printing ink manufacturers and each spent a lot of time and money picking names for their inks. Minor color differences show up well when placed in close proximity but give them a little seperation and they do not look so different.

I would call the actual stamps a dull blue the image is much brighter than the actual stamp possibly my HP Scanner is trying to brighten up the sky in a scanned picture so favors blue a bit. Or since Microsofts color is blue perhaps IE brightens it up a bit. When I attended club meetings there was always a lively discussion over the shades of the 2 cent Washingtons what one called Carmine another called deep red and another was certian it was rose red.

For stamps of the states variety in color is the norm with local ink supplies and poor or no quality control. For my Steel Blues which are known because of the paper mesh I can almost say no two stamps are exactly the same shade I have a couple of dozen identified and there is a lot of variety. These stamps are all over 110 years old and for most of that time the storage conditions were ambient following the outside temperature and humidity in a variety of climates so alteration was to be expected.

This series was about the flaws and being able to place your stamp to a particular location on the matrix stone. I did as a note mention the colors from Benns to show the variety there is overlap and I am not sure that a color other than the steel blue has been linked to a particular time frame.

At my first job out of college I did calibrations in a clean room where photoresist was applied to silicon wafers. The room was like a large darkroom no outside light allowed and the lights were a shade of yellow. One day I had worked late and went from the room down a short hallway and outside. The sky was a beautiful green. I also noticed when I came inside from a sunny day and looked at a flourescent room and closed alternate eyes the colors in the room changed. I asked at an eye exam and was told that the eye produces pigments to adjust the sensitivity of the eye to colors under varying lighting and that each eye did it a bit differently so the color from one eye while close would always be sightly different but that the brain tended to average it out so we just do not notice it normally.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

While it is not my intent to put the Alwar handbook on line ISC will be doing that in the next year or two I do want to place the basic information necessary to organizing a persons collection on the site. In order to show that there is much more to these simple designs just waiting to be discovered.

As a wrap up to the One Anna Stone A matrix stone I would like to add that blocks and multiples are scarce from this printing so if you find you have a block of any size please make sure that it gets recorded. I can be emailed off list at bill-lewis (at) sbcglobal.net with details and scans of these. I am fortunate to have enough blocks to allow me to work on a sheet reconstruction that is coming along at around 80 percent complete. I am needing scans of blocks from the left end of the sheet (1200 dpi) to provide plating clues to place several blocks that I feel sure are from this area of the sheet. No sheet is known and no reconstruction has ever been completed.

I am going to place a few scans of some of my blocks on this thread one a much brighter blue than the others. As I have mentioned do not assume the color of the on line block is in any way the color of the actual stamps. Next will be stamps from the B stone and then I will close out the quarter anna with a discussion on varieties within the sheets.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

Block of 4 bright blue.

Image

Block of 8

Image

Block of 9

Image

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

Strip of 5 from the upper left edge of the sheet

Image

Left marginal block of 10

Image

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

These are the blocks that started my Alwar collection

Image

Image

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by tonymacg »

I'm not surprised that your interest in Alwar was piqued, then, Bill. Marvellous items, those blocks!
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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by ikanek »

Bill, I thank you very much for the valuable info.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by maptrekker »

Congratulations for what is sure to be a great series. The images make all the difference. Thank you.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

If you look at the first set of images the Matrix positions are identified for the stamps and you can "Practice" with them or compare your copies to them. If you do this you will notice that the flaws are easy to locate on some and difficult on others. This is because as the stone was used ink would accumulate and dry and would adhere to the design so the flaw may appear to be larger on some and weak on others as at times the stone would be cleaned. This could be a light cleaning using soapy water and a cloth or brush to an application of Lye which was a common chemical used to remove the adhering dried ink, a brush would be used to "scrub" the stone loosening the dried ink and then was washed away. If not done carefully parts of the design could also suffer. If there was sufficent damage then some "repair work" might take place which would lead to carefully applying new design ink to the stone by using a small brush or other fine tiped tool. If the damage was significant or the repairs obvious then sheets printed after the repair were refered to as a State of the Stone this happens with the one anna stamps and will be covered more completely when those are discussed. Stamps printed after a cleaning would have weak flaws but as the stone was used new ink would dry and build up and the flaw would become more pronounced. An example seen here is the dot in the leaf for impression 3 sometimes a dot and others a messy blob, another is the line across the inner oval for impression 4.

After the discussion on color I looked at the handbook apparently over the years in many articles a number of names were applied to the stamp color. In an effort to clean up this it was decided to use an SG Color Gague the one selected had 200 colors to compare the stamps to, unfortunatley the Alwar printers did not check with the S G color gague prior to purchasing ink so they did not match the shown colors. It was decided to use the names of the color to either side and a qualifying adjetive like lite or dull to describe the particular stamp color. Thus the long color names came about for the Alwar issues.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by maptrekker »

I can make out "Raj Alwar" and "quarter anna" on the stamps, but what is the "31" following "quarter anna"? I thought it was a symbol for 1/4 but I see the same "31" on the 1-anna.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

I use the SG identification the lines on the stamp are in Devanagari which uses a form of the Hindi alphabet.

The incriptions are letter by letter for the upper inscription

RA - J - A - L - WA - R which translates Raj Alwar

Quarter anna stamp

PA -O - A - NA which translates quarter anna

One anna stamp

EK - A - NA which translates one anna

the 31 figure translates "of" taken to mean "of the value"

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by maptrekker »

It looks like a number rather than Devanagari. I thought maybe Samvat 1931 = 1875/75 -- but that is a little early for the issue date.

Maybe an acknowlegment of the reign of Mangal Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1874 - 1892).

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by Eric Casagrande »

Bill ...

For your perusal, the script below is "of" in Hindi-Devanagari:

का


The "31" is just that ... the number 31 (likely representing the year, or something else).

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

What I have read says that for a great many years the 31 puzzled collectors and that the meaning was determined by some of the great names in States research.

The earliest I have is from L E Dawson in an article by him in the Collectors Club of New York for May of 1960. In reference to a Philatelic Journal of India Aug 1939 article by him, that refers to an article by Major E B Evans in the November 1898 SG Monthly Journal. Where and who made this conclusion is apparently lost in the literature.

Names that recur throughout the early states information also included Sir David Mason, Col. Douie and others who may have been a source for Major Evans.

Major Evans was in India and at the time he could have just asked and was told what it meant. I doubt that these people who were considered to be the leaders in Indian States collecting and authoring would have just made it up unfortunatley there is no reference to show where the meaning that flows for around 100 years throughout the literature on Alwar originated.

Does this mean it is 100% decided, not necessarily if you can give compelling information for another meaning then you are absolutely able to do so. One thing in favor of the states is they are never boring and it is possible for even modest collectors to make important contributions to the knowledge base.

Bill Lewis in Texas

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

Stone B of the quarter anna stamp.

The B Stone of the quarter anna stamp. This was the last stone for the quarter anna blue in the old design. Stamps from this printing have been found with postmarks for 1890. Blocks are scarce. Since the stone was not used to the close of service as was the one anna a large number of sheets did not come on to the market from the government printing office as was true for the one anna Stone C.

Since these were not popular items with collectors and while many dealers no doubt had sufficient stock it was years after the stone went into use before anyone noticed the change. Stanley Gibbons reported it in Nov of 1898. This was just months before the wide margin was reported in July of 1899. I have many more of the A stone than of this printing in my stock and a majority of my B Stone are used with the rectangular cancel making identification difficult to impossible.

Blocks from this printing are very scarce and only one sheet was reported as having been seen by Major Evans in 1898, also reported were 5 blocks from the left side of the sheet recorded by L E Dawson in 1938. It is probable that some of these were torn down by the stamp dealer who had them in his inventory in 1938. Ray Benns in the Alwar Handbook was able to locate two blocks of the same size as the Dawson blocks. If there are other blocks they are held in private collections and would only be seen when the collection was sold. Often this type of material changes ownership in private sales and is not reported. If anyone has blocks in their possession or knows of a sale containing blocks a note to me would be appreciated stating the Auction House and the date and number of the sale and lot number with a description.

The colors are more constant with this stone and are called a pale to very pale gray blue. Some come very close to the A Stone color mentioned as "medium pale blue". As covered earlier, age and storage conditions have certainly caused some of the variations in color but a more constant source of ink may have been a reason for the more uniform shading of stamps from the B Stone. I do have examples where the stamp seems to have more blue, especially when on a black stock sheet surrounded by other B Stone stamps.

The flaws are a bit more difficult for some in part due to the lighter ink color but it seems that the ink is applied in a possible thinner solution. Additional flaws are common but are considered transient due to the at times lighter application of ink. So unless a flaw appears on a number of stamps it is not considered a transfer flaw but rather a printing flaw. Printing flaws are sometimes constant but since they only appear on one out of 150 stamps it requires positional blocks in order to place them. This type of flaw is important when reconstructing a sheet since the position on the sheet is known a smaller block or even a single stamp can be placed to a position on the sheet.

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Last edited by bookwizards on 27 Jan 2010 20:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

The six transfers of the Matrix stone for the quarter anna B Stone

Type 1

Image

Type 2

Image

Type 3

Image

Type 4

Image

Type 5

Image

Type 6

Image

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

The matrix stone layout was the same two rows of three designs as in stone A. And the printing stone makeup was also the same as the A Stone a 5 x 5 pattern of the matrix stone making a sheet 10 x 15 stamps or 150 to the sheet.

Transfer stone flaws

Numbering the transfers
1 2 3
4 5 6

1. A colored projection inside the left frame line near the top. Two small breaks in the upper frame line beginning at 1.15 mm and ending at 2.0 mm from the outer edge of the left frame line these are very small but appear on all of my copies.
2. Dot inside the scallop across from the daggers tip.
3. There is a tiny indent in the thick left frame line near the center point this can be difficult to see in some stamps.
4. There is a pronounced dot in the oval frame across from the upper handle of the dagger also several tiny dots are present in the frame counterclockwise from this dot but the number varies.
5. There is a pronounced dot in the oval frame below the first character in the lower line of text.
6. There is a break in the middle down stroke of the first character in the lower line of text, this can vary in size from a large scratch to a complete break across this down stroke. The line defining the right side of the leaf that touches the oval frame in the lower left ornament is missing.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

What you can do
1. A date has not been determined for the first use of this stamp so cancels dated in 1890 are important in determining a start date for usage.
2. Also the stamp is seen with the CDS type cancel so any CDS with a date should be reported this can provide two pieces of information a last date of use for the stamp and a beginning date for the CDS usage in the towns where the name is visible.
3. Any Stone B with the old style circular seal cancel should be reported. These are known in use at the same time as the rectangular cancels. So it is possible that some of the B Stone stamps could have this cancel applied.

Scans of stamps should be sent to me as a proof of use for these items
Email address is bill-lewis (at) sbcglobal.net 1200 dpi is preferred to be able to identify the transfer flaw for the B Stone.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

The flaws vary in their visability and a light colored ink makes spotting them more difficult. The JPG compression algorithm tends to make them appear weaker than when viewed directly.

Here are stamps for each transfer position:

Alwar SG 1 Stone B Transfer 1

Image

Alwar SG 1 Stone B Transfer 2

Image

Alwar SG 1 Stone B Transfer 3

Image

Alwar SG 1 Stone B Transfer 4

Image

Alwar SG 1 Stone B Transfer 5

Image

Alwar SG 1 Stone B Transfer

Image

More to come.
Last edited by bookwizards on 29 Jan 2010 14:35, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

Here are some multiples from Tony Mac Gillycuddy

A strip of 3 used Transfers 6, 3, 6

Image

A block of 6 mint. 6,4 -- 3, 1 -- 6, 4

Image

Blocks are scarce for this stone so if you have any please send them to
bill-lewis (at) sbcglobal.com

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

As asked for in the A stone here are scans of the individual flaws.

Transfer stone position 1

Image

Transfer stone position 2

Image

Transfer stone position 3

Image

Transfer stone position 4

Image

Transfer stone position 5

Image

Transfer stone position 6

Image



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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Sys

Post by bookwizards »

There are some paper flaws on the stamps most are creases where the paper did not pick up ink and these are fairly common. There is an example on one of the earlier shown blocks. In order to get a good ink transfer the paper needed to make very good contact with the stone for this purpose it was common to lightly dampen the paper making it more plyable when placed on the stone allowing for good contact, when the pressure was applied to transfer the ink to the paper. Occasionally the paper would either already have a crease or the paper would not pe placed properly and when pressure was applied a crease would form.

Occasionally there would be a fold in the paper making for a noticable area on the stamp without ink. There are two possibilities the paper folded behind the sheet leaving an unprinted area on the stamp or one folded under the sheet where a part of the design in some instances might be present on the back of the stamp These are scarce items and usually bring multiples of full catalog an example of the first type follows.

Image

As you can see it is from the B stone and is Transfer position 6 making it stamp number 150 in the sheet.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

One last note as I wrap up the discussion on Alwar SG 1 the quarter anna blue. When offered the steel blue ALWAYS check the weave it seems stamp dealers will assume any dull blue is the steel blue and sell them at the higher price. Another frequently seen item is Imperforate Pairs, Ray Benns and I discussed this off and on over the years and agreed that neither of us had seen an imperforate pair what you see is technically a miss perforation as frequently there are a few roulettes that cut the paper but they do not cut the paper for the full length of the stamp However they do leave an impression in the paper. With real perforations these are called blind perforations. So if you want a pair do not pay a big premium. If you hold the stamps where the light shines across the surface you can see the blind roulettes indenting the paper. I have seen dozens of these and there is always the faint impression of the rouletting on the stamp.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by maptrekker »

As you can see it is from the B stone and is Transfer position 6 making it stamp number 150 in the sheet.
How did you determine that this transfer position 6 is position 150 in the sheet?

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

First you must realize that the sheets were printed by hand. The paper was hand positioned on the stone, so an effort would be made to get it ready to lie down smoothly. This is normally done by setting one edge then slowly lowering the paper onto the stone. if this is not done carefully and exactly you get smearing and paper creases. And yes I have done a similar printing method called monographic printing so I have first hand experience with paper creases I never made a fold error but I could have if I was in a hurry. Often laborers were paid on a quota basis so many sheets so much money or there could have been another reason to hurry the process.

Here is what I did I made a copy of the stamp with the fold. This stamp is easily identified as transfer 6 the lower right corner of the transfer block. Since this stamp was printed in a sheet of 150 stamps or 25 impressions of the transfer stone the lower right corner stamp will be transfer 6. The sheet is counted left to right top to bottom making the lower right corner stamp number 150 in a sheet of 150 stamps. Using measurments from several sheets of the one anna produced in the same time peroid I took scissors and cut a similar margin I then folded the corner it fit exactly. When I tried to make the same shaped fold on a copy of the one anna sheet it required a fold that blocked 30 stamps. Because of the interactive, one sheet at a time, printing process a large fold would have been way to obvious and it would just not have happened accidentally.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

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I have briefly mentioned Specalist Collecting one of the pleasures of this type of collecting is that you read a lot and gather the information I have one or more three ring notebooks for each state with copies of articles. I also keep my study notes here where I write specific short papers for myself on things I have noticed that I can not find in the literature. This helps me fouus and the fact that when I spend time away from the state when I come back I can read and am ready to pick up where I left off and not spend a lot of time duplicating work I have already done but forgotten.

Once you have generated a body of knowledge for reference you can extrapolate and draw conclusions from that work. Because of this work I did on the paper fold stamp I have a new page of information to add to my notebook.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by Eric Casagrande »

bookwizards wrote:First you must realize that the sheets were printed by hand. The paper was hand positioned on the stone, so an effort would be made to get it ready to lie down smoothly. This is normally done by setting one edge then slowly lowering the paper onto the stone. if this is not done carefully and exactly you get smearing and paper creases. And yes I have done a similar printing method called monographic printing so I have first hand experience with paper creases I never made a fold error but I could have if I was in a hurry. Often laborers were paid on a quota basis so many sheets so much money or there could have been another reason to hurry the process.

Here is what I did I made a copy of the stamp with the fold. This stamp is easily identified as transfer 6 the lower right corner of the transfer block. Since this stamp was printed in a sheet of 150 stamps or 25 impressions of the transfer stone the lower right corner stamp will be transfer 6. The sheet is counted left to right top to bottom making the lower right corner stamp number 150 in a sheet of 150 stamps. Using measurments from several sheets of the one anna produced in the same time peroid I took scissors and cut a similar margin I then folded the corner it fit exactly. When I tried to make the same shaped fold on a copy of the one anna sheet it required a fold that blocked 30 stamps. Because of the interactive, one sheet at a time, printing process a large fold would have been way to obvious and it would just not have happened accidentally.

Bill Lewis in Texas

So what you are saying is that only a small corner-fold could possibly have gone (accidentally) unnoticed, because the alternative fold would have been so large as to be impossible to have occurred (accidentally) unnoticed.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

That is correct the only other location on the sheet where a fold would have had a similar shape on transfer 6 would have caused a loss of 36 stamps from the sheet it is a fold 4 by 7 inches and would have been impossible not to notice prior to laying the paper on the stone.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

While I should have done this in the first few posts I felt it was important to introduce myself and tell you my background that has helped me in specalist collecting.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

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I come from a family where my dad's hobby was to take a subject and spend several years learning about it and then move on to a new subject. He expected the same of us. By 9 years old I had taken pictures using an old camera and a light meter developed the film and printed pictures and developed them. I had built a crystal radio from scratch, and I had my own work area in the workshop to do experiments with chemistry sets. My grandfather gave me his stamp collection and I began buying missionary packets and soaking. By 12 I had grown crystals and made a synthetic lemonade drink and had drank it. About that time I began collecting insects lived at the local museum in the basement with the staff I went to museum school and studied geology and fossils and ground and surfaced my own mirror and built my own reflector telescope I was at 12 years of age admitted to membership after passing a oral exam by the board and became the youngest person ever given membership. When I went to college I donated the insect collection to the museum.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by Eric Casagrande »

bookwizards wrote:That is correct the only other location on the sheet where a fold would have had a similar shape on transfer 6 would have caused a loss of 36 stamps from the sheet it is a fold 4 by 7 inches and would have been impossible not to notice prior to laying the paper on the stone.

Bill Lewis in Texas
Thanks. It makes sense. Wish I could have been there back then to watch them go through the printing process.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

Post by bookwizards »

About 11 or 12 years old my mom would take me to stamp shows downtown on library visits. I started buying album remainders often split into country lots so I would buy pages out of albums where the dealer had taken what he wanted and the other common stamps were left at the time these could be had for a few dollars and after a while dealers knowing me would use me to unload unsold countries so I could walk with a thick stack of miscellaneous album pages many with only a couple of stamps and others from countries no one in the area colleted. I wound up with a lot of common Canada. At 14 my dad decided not to collect worldwide and gave me his Scott International Volume 1, 2 and 3 and I became what the dealers called a volume one collector. At Local shows there were 4 to 8 of us that would spend the morning at the show with our Volume one tucked under our arm buying. Then we would meet to eat and we would pick through the material and sit in the hotel lobby exchanging stamps. Two of the regulars were old gray haired guys and they would bring packages of stamps and just give them to me. At one show I was talked into a shoebox of Canada off paper needing sorting. The dealer did not want to spend the time and he had plenty of Canada anyway the box was primarily the Queens head series and the low values at the time 2 cents was as low as the catalog priced. I got the shoebox for a few dollars and came home and sorted I wound up with about 600 of the half cent and noticed that there was every shade of yellow from nearly brown to so pale you could barely see the design. I began to sort and went to the local dealer and asked questions he let me copy information on identifying the printings and I got some blank pages for my Volume 1 over the next few years my volume one became 1A and 1B and later 1C.

My mom was a writer and researcher of local history and pioneer families of the East Texas area. I spent a lot of time from age 11 going to libraries and scanning microfilm copies of newspapers and records for information for her research.

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Re: Indian Native States Their Postage Stamps and Postal Systems

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When I was working telecom as a Senior Systems Analyst I would take a product and run tests for one to two weeks on it and generate a 30 to 40 page report. Every year I generated enough reports to make a fairly thick book. I was the guy "Do you hear me now" was one test except mine was to drive with a laptop a GPS and 6 phones set up to output signal strength recorded by the PC. I later developed a method to analyze several common signal issues in a special room built from copper screening and grounded so no radio could get inside.

I have spent my entire life doing various types of research. At about 25 I developed a process to measure the temperature of the junction inside a transistor using a physical process and a method called point slope intercept to mathematically arrive at the temperature inside the device. This allowed me to measure the outside of the device and get a number called Thermal Resistance for the package This allowed for the creation of different mounting techniques and different package shapes and sizes in order to handle more power.

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