Banging the drum for the Uglies - Indian States stamps

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Post by tonymacg »

He certainly covered the Feudatory States - don't know about the Convention States (too dull)
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Post by OttawaMike »

Don't ya mean "too pretty"?

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Post by tonymacg »

Certainly not :!:
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

Here is another interesting story which appeared in the March 2008 issue of India Post. The story centers around an India collector by the name of Gerald Sattin (FRPSL), who was President of the India Study Circle from 2003-2006.

In his own words --

"My interest in military mail stemmed from a chance meeting on a bus in 1934. I was on my way from Tottenham Court Road, to school at Colet Court in Hammersmith, when the 73 bus in which I was travelling filled, and like a well-mannered boy I gave my seat to an elderly lady.

As the bus thinned out after Hyde Park Corner, the seat next to this lady became vacant and I sat down again. The lady, a Mrs. Pringle of Gloucester as I was to find out later, asked me how old I was; where I lived; when was my birthday; and did I collect stamps? I did, being a page filler -- quantity without quality.

As a result of this conversation, I received from this good lady a parcel of stamps and covers on my birthday, for the next five years until she died. The parcels contained stamps and covers, including 1854 issues, from her family who served in the British Army in India, between the 1840s and 1920s.

So started my interest in India and its military mails. It was further stimulated when, doing my National Service, I was commissioned into the Royal Artillery, and served my time as a Troop Officer with the 5th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, a regiment with its origins as a Bengal Horse Artillery Regiment, and steeped in Indian military history.

I came home on leave on a 48 hour pass unexpectedly, to be greeted by my mother who thought I would be home that weekend and had tidied my room! She saw me visibly pale, and said immediately: "Don't worry, I know you collect stamps." She did indeed ... and had torn all the stamps off the covers, and thrown the envelopes away.

I was so distressed that I sold all my stamps and kept just the pre-stamp entires. India had become independent a few years before, so, when I was demobbed, I decided to concentrate my collecting to India and eventually to the "CAMPAIGN MAILS OF INDIA TO 1909."

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Post by tonymacg »

And a terrible warning to us all ...
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

I am very pleased to announce my order of mint Dhar SG7; SG7b; SG8; SG9; and SG10 arrived in the mail today. Truly a gorgeous set! But I am prejudiced. :wink:

Going back to the sheet settings, it's obvious there is no prob in knowing what setting the SG2 sheet is -- since there was only one with which to deal.

But how does one differentiate between the different settings of SG1, since there are four of them?

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric, there you'll have to fall back on the literature. That said, Setting I is unlikely for the ½ p because it seems to be rather rare. That leaves Setting IV (with its subsettings) and Setting V. When I can (but it may not be until next week) I'll post scans of the other settings I have.

You could probably plate the SG 7 to 10s, if you could find good enough scans of the sheets somewhere, too. That would really be a first AFAIK. I don't think anyone has been crazy enough to attempt it, yet!
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

I think there is also Setting 6 as well -- but I don't know how rare that is for SG-1. Well time to start doing some research. As a former history prof once told me -- it's good for the soul. :D :lol:

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric, I think the ½ p was only SG 2 in Setting VI, but I stand to be corrected. (Hope it does turn out there are both types in Setting VI! It will make life just that bit more interesting still :wink: )
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

Ah ... you are partly correct .... so I stand corrected (partly).

Correct? :lol: :lol:

Here is what Gibbons has for Setting VI:

1/2p. (No. 2). 1/4a

Which implies (to my weak mind), SG2 and SG3 are in Setting VI (but not SG-1 as you have noted).

BTW --

I find the idea of attempting to plate SG7-SG10, to be rather intruiging. Even if overwhelming, it allows me as a newcomer to contribute an original area of study. :D

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric Casagrande wrote: I find the idea of attempting to plate SG7-SG10, to be rather intruiging. Even if overwhelming, it allows me as a newcomer to contribute an original area of study. :D
Go for it, Eric! I'm sorry I can't offer any sheets for scanning, but if you float a request for scans on the ISC, you never know. And that contribution really would make your mark in the annals of Uglies Philately :!:
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Post by tonymacg »

PeterS wrote: Tony, I am almost afraid to ask, but I will. Are these sheets CTO? Or are the what appears to be cancellations in the middle of each 'stamp' actually part of the design?
Harking back, and having deleted all the pictures and nested quotes ... here is what a Dhar CDS looks like:

Image

Stamps cancelled Dharampuri, and with the Dhar Town receiver below

(And before Eric becomes agitated :wink: , the SG 1s are positions 7 to 10 of Setting IVai, and the 2 Annas is position 7 in (of course) Setting VII)
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Post by tonymacg »

Now to roll up the sleeves and get stuck into the Dhar settings:

We've already covered Setting VII, with the 2 Anna sheet; that value only exists from Setting VII.

Setting I, I can't show I'm afraid.

Here is Setting II, SG 4

Image

Can't show Setting III

Here is Setting IVa, SG 1

Image

and Setting IVb, SG 1 and including SG 1c in position 7

Image

Setting V, SG 1

Image

The chewed corner is not a particular characteristic of this Setting.

and Setting VI, SG 3

Image

Setting III was subdivided by some writers too, but having misplaced my notes, I can't supply the details.

Now it's your turn Eric: I want to see sheets of Settings I and III :twisted:
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

tonymacg wrote:
Go for it, Eric! I'm sorry I can't offer any sheets for scanning, but if you float a request for scans on the ISC, you never know. And that contribution really would make your mark in the annals of Uglies Philately :!:
Yeah but I might be declared criminally insane afterwards. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It will be a mountain of work for sure! :D

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Post by Eric Casagrande »

Postal Rates of Dhar State
Doing a little research within the India Post archives yesterday evening, I discovered the postal rates for this Feudatory State, based on a bulletin put out by the local post office, and which was published within the Dhar State Gazette, dated May 29th, 1897.

Apparently the localized mail service (which had commenced a little earlier in the year), was found to be quite unreliable from day to day for both the merchant class, as well as the general public. As a result, the Dhar State Post Office had formulated a business plan, which (it hoped), would contribute some type of stability and consistency for its mail operations.

It announced that, as of June 6th, 1897, post offices in the following nine areas of the State, would be opened:

- Khas Dhar
- Badnawar
- Nalchha
- Mandov
- Sardarpur
- Dharampuri
- Sultanabadbalkhed
- Kukshi
- Gujri

Within each of the above post offices, there would be located one "postal box", in which could be deposited lettermail (both pre-paid and unpaid); as well as newspapers and books (for which pre-payment was a requirement).

Also made available at the above offices, was a Registered Mail service, which - at the buyer's choice - could include an Acknowledgment Due receipt.

In any case, the official postage for Dhar State could only be purchased from authorised employees, within each post office location. No other sales outlets would be permitted.
Postcards and Postal Stationery
The official rate for these items was set at 1/4 anna and 1/2 anna, respectively.
Postage Stamps and Rates
Like the British Empire, Dhar State based most of its rates on the weight of a given letter. Unlike the British Empire, however, it did not use the Imperial system (whose base measurement is ounces), to determine the weight.

Instead, the post office used the Tola System as the means by which the weight was to be determined. In this unit of measurement, 1 Tola was the equivalent weight of 100 Tola seeds, which exact weight varied according to a particular locality.

Generally speaking, 1 Tola approximated the weight of a silver rupee coin, which had been first minted by the British East India Company sometime around 1817 (see picture below).

Image

In imperial measurements, this equates the weight of 1 Tola at approximately 3/8ths ounces (just under half an ounce).

Letter rates were set as follows:

- 2 Tolas or less ... 1/2 anna per Tola (or part thereof).

- Above 2 Tolas .... 1 anna per additional Tola (or part thereof).

Newspaper rates were set as follows:

- 10 Tolas or less .... 1/2 anna (flat rate).

- Above 10 Tolas ..... Considered a book and charged at those specialized rates.

Book rates were set as follows:

- 5 Tolas or less ... 1/2 anna (flat rate).

- 5 Tolas to 10 Tolas ... 1 anna (flat rate).

- Above 10 Tolas ... 1/2 anna (additional) for each 2.5 Tolas in weight.

Non-paid Letters were charged the following rate:

- Under 1/2 Tola .... 1/2 anna

- Between 1/2 and 1 Tola .... 1 anna (total charge).

- Above 1 Tola ... 1 anna (additional) per Tola or part thereof.

Registered Letters were charged the following rate:

- A flat rate of 2 Annas.

- If the abovenoted "Acknowledgment Due" is requested, there will be an additional charge of 1 Anna plus postage.

Dhar State Post had also set a few very interesting rules, in an effort to circumvent people's attempts to save on postal costs.

Each envelope was only permitted to contain one letter, intended for just one recepient! Any attempts to send a second letter within the envelope, would be considered fraud.

Dhar State Post also frowned upon people's attempts to avoid extra charges by mailing two newspapers together as one, and taking advantage of the flat rate.

I wonder what they would have thought of modern attempts to reuse apparently non-cancelled postage? :D No mention seems to be made of this practise within the bulletin.

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Post by PeterS »

Eric Casagrande wrote: Generally speaking, 1 Tola approximated the weight of a silver rupee coin, which had been first minted by the British East India Company sometime around 1817 (see picture below).

Image
An interesting sidelight (well, interesting to me, anyway) is that this coin was amongst those proclaimed in NSW in the early days of the colony. Proclomation coins were those listed on a proclomation of the Governor to try and ensure a supply of circulating currency in the very young colony. Numerous British and foreign coins (including the Indian Rupee and the Indian gold Pagoda) were proclaimed to be worth set amounts, higher than their 'real' face value.

This was an attempt to keep currency in the colony and ease a severe shortage of money (no banknotes in those days!).
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Post by tonymacg »

Eric: fascinating stuff on Dhar you've found in the archives. Shows why commercial covers aren't more common!

Now for your next challenge, try to find a CDS from any State PO other than Dhar Town ...

Tony
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

tonymacg wrote:Eric: fascinating stuff on Dhar you've found in the archives. Shows why commercial covers aren't more common!

Now for your next challenge, try to find a CDS from any State PO other than Dhar Town ...

Tony
A quick note of course is that those were not the only post offices opened ... but rather some additional ones. Yes I can only imagine the level of difficulty in locating postmarks other than from Dhar Town.

I am currently trying to acquire sheets for the three settings of SG-1 and the only setting for SG-2.

I am thinking of preparing a short article outlining my interest in plating the stamps of SG-7 through SG-10, for submission in the next (available) issue of India Post, since the upcoming one is likely already at press (if not ready for mailing).

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric, go for it with Arms issue. AFAIK, all the serious work on Dhar has been with the typeset issues, though most of us probably have some oddments of the second set sitting around. The best I can do is a block of 4 and a few assorted marginal copies - nothing likely to be of great use - but you're welcome to detailed scans.

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric Casagrande wrote:
I am currently trying to acquire sheets for the three settings of SG-1 and the only setting for SG-2.
Eric, you'll have to fight me for Setting I if it ever comes up ... and I've been on the lookout for it for some time :twisted:
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Post by tonymacg »

Connoisseurs of the Uglies who haven't yet picked up a copy of India Study Circle auction 804, closing on the 24 December, really should do so. There's a very broad range of material on offer, from 40p to £2000 (for a copy of Duttia SG 3) - pages of Cochin, although as far as I can see, only one lot of covers, and some Duttia and Jammu & Kashmir to rob a bank for.

If you aren't an ISC member, but would like to see what's on offer, let me know, and I'll pass on a copy of the catalogue. Non-members are usually free to bid as well.
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

tonymacg wrote:Connoisseurs of the Uglies who haven't yet picked up a copy of India Study Circle auction 804, closing on the 24 December, really should do so. There's a very broad range of material on offer, from 40p to £2000 (for a copy of Duttia SG 3) - pages of Cochin, although as far as I can see, only one lot of covers, and some Duttia and Jammu & Kashmir to rob a bank for.

If you aren't an ISC member, but would like to see what's on offer, let me know, and I'll pass on a copy of the catalogue. Non-members are usually free to bid as well.
Interesting ... but I don't see it online? :?:

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Post by Eric Casagrande »

tonymacg wrote:
Eric Casagrande wrote:
I am currently trying to acquire sheets for the three settings of SG-1 and the only setting for SG-2.
Eric, you'll have to fight me for Setting I if it ever comes up ... and I've been on the lookout for it for some time :twisted:
Maybe we can do like the WWE and have a "Hell-In-A-Cell" match, for it. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Post by tonymacg »

Now, Eric, I'm an elderly gent and I wear glasses - you couldn't possibly hit me 8)
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Post by GJ50 »

Now Now gentlemen, aren't you lucky I don't collect Indian States :D :D
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Post by tonymacg »

This phone box wouldn't be big enough for the three of us :twisted:
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Post by OttawaMike »

Hmmmm..... Collecting Barwani.........sounds intriguing. 8)

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Post by tonymacg »

Mike, the phone box is overcrowded already. We'd have to find a second one ...
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

Tony --

Just wondering about the SG-7 sheets .... would they by any chance be made up of 60 stamps? I thought I read somewhere they consisted of 5 rows of 12 stamps.

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric, that's my recollection too. The 2 Anna was printed in sheets of 30 - again, if I recall correctly.

I have a note in my records of a (possibly imperf) sheet with the cliche at Row 1/8 missing. It sold for £1600 2 years ago.
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Post by eqnox »

I hope this thread is the right one to post in.
Image

It is ugly and I can't seem to find out who issued it.

I love the cancel (or possible overprint?)

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Post by OttawaMike »

Wrong thread - That's a Turkey issue.

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Post by eqnox »

Ok. I'll keep it around for Thanksgiving.

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Post by PeterS »

OttawaMike wrote:Wrong thread - That's a Turkey issue.
Hey! It isn't the STAMPS fault it is a turkey!! :)
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Post by tonymacg »

And not every ugly is an Ugly ...

But actually, I find it quite attractive :D I think you do it an injustice!
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Post by eqnox »

Not really my cup of tea. I found some Inda and a few others. It is pretty ugly tho..

From the internet:

Turkey signed the secret Ottoman-German Alliance on August 2, 1914, and entered hostilities on the side of the Central Powers in October 1914. The war and its disruptions are reflected in Turkey's stamps issued during the war, which included stamps depicting soldiers and battle scenes, a number of provisional stamp issues in which available stocks of older issues were overprinted due to paper shortages, and stamps issued to collect a tax for war orphans.[23] Remainders of stamps as old as 1865 were overprinted [24], some of which already had overprints, and sometimes multiple new overprints were added, resulting in a complex variety of configurations of interest to philatelists. The Allied Forces were victorious and occupied Constantinople, after which the Ottoman government collapsed. The Treaty of Sèvres, August 10, 1920 confirmed the dismemberment of the Ottoman empire.

If anyone wants to trade for them let me know..

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Post by tonymacg »

I've just been reminded that the latest India Study Circle auction is closing on the 24 December. ISC members should have received a copy (though I didn't - had to go back to source for one).

It has some pretty heady stuff, like Duttia SG 3 and some very nice stamps indeed from Jammu & Kashmir, as well as pages of Bundi and Cochin, and other nice things.

If you aren't a member of the ISC, and there's any State or issue you're particularly interested in, let me know, and I'll see what can be done.
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Post by PeterS »

tonymacg wrote:I've just been reminded that the latest India Study Circle auction is closing on the 24 December. ISC members should have received a copy (though I didn't - had to go back to source for one).

It has some pretty heady stuff, like Duttia SG 3 and some very nice stamps indeed from Jammu & Kashmir, as well as pages of Bundi and Cochin, and other nice things.

If you aren't a member of the ISC, and there's any State or issue you're particularly interested in, let me know, and I'll see what can be done.
Any Barwani, Tony? I keep getting this thought running throuigh my head... I must collect Barwani! I must collect Barwani!
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Post by tonymacg »

Many ... but if you so much as think of bidding on Lots 2643 and 2644, I will track you down, and I will destroy you :twisted:

But there's a nice marginal SG 2 mint at an E of £200, if you must.
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Post by ewen s »

Tony,

There's another one of them! They're all coming out of the woodwork! :)

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=391069#391069

Time to say hello!

Cheers,

Ewen :)

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Post by PeterS »

tonymacg wrote:Many ... but if you so much as think of bidding on Lots 2643 and 2644, I will track you down, and I will destroy you :twisted:

But there's a nice marginal SG 2 mint at an E of £200, if you must.
But 2643 and 2644 are my FAVOURITE numbers!!!! :)
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Post by tonymacg »

ewen s wrote:Tony,

There's another one of them! They're all coming out of the woodwork! :)

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=391069#391069

Time to say hello!

Cheers,

Ewen :)
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Post by tonymacg »

PeterS wrote:
tonymacg wrote:Many ... but if you so much as think of bidding on Lots 2643 and 2644, I will track you down, and I will destroy you :twisted:

But there's a nice marginal SG 2 mint at an E of £200, if you must.
But 2643 and 2644 are my FAVOURITE numbers!!!! :)
Peter, you HAVE been warned ... I will summon a plenary session of the Barwani Club in our top secret phone box to plot your elimination if you dare :evil:
de Selby lives, and will return

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PeterS
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Post by PeterS »

tonymacg wrote:
PeterS wrote:
tonymacg wrote:Many ... but if you so much as think of bidding on Lots 2643 and 2644, I will track you down, and I will destroy you :twisted:

But there's a nice marginal SG 2 mint at an E of £200, if you must.
But 2643 and 2644 are my FAVOURITE numbers!!!! :)
Peter, you HAVE been warned ... I will summon a plenary session of the Barwani Club in our top secret phone box to plot your elimination if you dare :evil:
Tony, I feel SURE we can come to some arrangement, at some future time, when whatever it is that is compelling me to buy Barwani wears off!

I must collect Barwani! I must collect Barwani!
Peter
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tonymacg
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Post by tonymacg »

Peter, perhaps a strong decoction of George V Penny Red? Washed down with a stiff Eau de Kangourou?

But if that fails, I could let you have a nice little starter collection of Barwani, at a most reasonable price of course.
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Post by tonymacg »

And now for something completely different ...

Here is a little curiosity from Indore which has just arrived, with the regular stamp as issued at right:

Image

These stamps were recess printed by Waterlow. The set as issued was monocoloured. The curious stamp is, as it appears, rather well travelled, and looks to have been glued to something at one time. Perhaps a printer's sample, showing off what Waterlows could do with recess? It seems a bit elaborate for an essay. In any case, I'd be interested in any thoughts about what it might be.
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OttawaMike
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Post by OttawaMike »

My first reaction is that it looks like a chemical changeling, probably done intentionally.

The design does not appear to have been printed with two separate plates, or there would probably be some misalignment of the central vignette. The positioning of the two examples is identical.

Just a guess, though.

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Post by tonymacg »

Mike, that was my first thought when I saw it, too. Particularly as all these stamps were printed in single colours, with no need for two plates.

The background history does give one a little pause for thought, though. These stamps were printed in recess by Waterlow from 1889. The contract passed to Perkins, Bacon in 1904 (surely an oddity itself: Perkins, Bacon winning a contract at that time), who produced the set for the new Maharaja, again in recess, and in a closely similar design:

Image

Plate proof in near issued colour of the ½ Anna, SG 10

I wonder if PB might have taken over the Waterlow plates, and replaced the Maharaja's head. Or perhaps this was part of a last-ditch effort by Waterlow to keep the contract.

In addition, if I remember correctly, Waterlow were circulating sample books of their work at this time, which included examples of their work for Sirmoor, another Ugly.

Whatever the story, I won't lose much sleep over it. Cost me all of 99p on eBay :wink:
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Post by OttawaMike »

Well, at that price, you'll get a pound of fun out of it! :D

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Post by ewen s »

tonymacg wrote:And now for something completely different ...

Here is a little curiosity from Indore which has just arrived, with the regular stamp as issued at right:

Image

These stamps were recess printed by Waterlow. The set as issued was monocoloured. The curious stamp is, as it appears, rather well travelled, and looks to have been glued to something at one time. Perhaps a printer's sample, showing off what Waterlows could do with recess? It seems a bit elaborate for an essay. In any case, I'd be interested in any thoughts about what it might be.
That does look strange Tony, especially when you note that the borders around each of the stamps have the same heaviness of ink in similar places e.g. each border is darker on the right than the left, and darker on the bottom than the top - making it look like it came from the same lot of printing (to me)

Cheers,

Ewen :)

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