Banging the drum for the Uglies - Indian States stamps

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Post by vandemonia »

Tony:

I didn't know that "thingy" was an accepted philatelic term (but then, I only learned the term "Uglies" a week or so ago). So Tony ... I look forward to seeing some more Ugly Thingies!

About 25 years ago in New Zealand, someone who collected and exhibited Jammu and Kashmir, gave a display at the North Shore Philatelic Society (Auckland). I remember being fascinated with the material I saw!

Perhaps that's when the 'dark seed' was first planted!

Cheers!

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Post by tonymacg »

John, as Bertie Wooster's Aunt Agatha would have put it, 'Reason totters on her throne' ...
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Post by tonymacg »

Jammu & Kashmir - the biggest, baddest, Ugliest of the Uglies - and stamps that some of the great names, Ferrary and Tapling, were not ashamed to own ...

The stamps are every bit as complicated as the story of the State itself. But to be brief, 'Jammu and Kashmir' was formed in the 1830s, when the ruler of Jammu in the lowlands in the Northern Punjab, marched over the mountains to his North and captured Kashmir from the Afghans, who had controlled it for centuries. The British were content to largely leave the Maharajas of the combined State to their own devices, as a buffer between India and China and Russia to the North and Afghanistan in the West. (Think the Great Game of Rudyard Kipling's Kim.) They did, however, conduct campaigns in the North of the State, against the legendary Hunza amongst others - and campaign mail from these expeditions is quite desirable.

As Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, was a very pleasant place to be in Summer, the State was administered from there for most of the year. However, as it was largely isolated by snow in Winter, the administration then moved down to Jammu. This had its impact on the stamps, as we shall see.

Now read on ...

The first issues of Jammu & Kashmir appeared in 1866. They summarize in themselves 'The Uglies'. They were designed with only the slightest, passing, reference to any stamp design that had gone before. They are what they are - love 'em or hate 'em:

Image

There were three values: ½ Anna, 1 Anna and 4 Annas - in the order above. For many years, there was argument about which was the 1 and which the 4 Annas. Scott had it right for many years, due to the efforts of two of the great North American Indian States specialists; Gibbons only corrected its listings a few years ago.

All the stamps were handstamped from single dies, engraved on brass. They were printed in both water and oil colours: practice will help distinguish between them, but usually the conclusive test is the very careful dab with something wet. Stamps were printed on local paper, usually thickish and tough, and quite distinctive, and on European laid paper.

So far, so good. Printings continued until about 1878, when a new series of rectangular stamps was introduced. I'll come to these later.

The authorities must have been delighted to discover that mad foreigners would buy these stamps, and not use them on mail. Demand for these Circulars continued after they'd been withdrawn, so the State Post Office, happy to oblige, reprinted them.

Some of the reprints are easy to distinguish. The genuine stamps (with one, extremely rare exception) were never printed on European wove paper. It is also probable that no reprints were made on European laid paper. And any Circular of genuine type, but in a 'wrong' colour is almost certainly a reprint.

The complications don't end there, by any means. Around the end of the life of these Circulars, the State Post Office seems to have engaged in an orgy of experimentation, with colours, inks and papers. Gibbons list some of these under SG 12 to 25a, as 'Special Printings'. There are other stamps of less certain status: probably genuine, but probably never issued for postage ... but then again, the State Post Office was a very frugal operation. Why throw away perfectly good stamps? Here are a couple of these doubtfuls:

Image

On top of all this, it appears that some enterprising State Post Office employees decided to produce large quantities of stamps themselves, which they inserted into the government stocks - presumably in place of the genuine stamps. These differ in type from the genuine stamps. For many years, they were thought to be genuine - they did come from Government stocks after all - and were called the 'Missing Dies'. They are much more common than the genuine stamps.

Here are the Missing Dies (above) and the genuine stamps (again) below:

Image

Image

I've written elsewhere on Stampboards about how to distinguish between them (https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=4447).

One last mystery from the Circulars - for now. This one has baffled the Greatest Minds of Jammu & Kashmir philately since it was discovered. Someone, at the time of issue it appears, altered the face values of these stamps, to turn 4 Anna into 1 Anna stamps. No other examples have ever been found, and noone knows why it was done:

Image

Next, the individual issues for Jammu and Kashmir.
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Post by crosscrescent »

Tony,

These stamps with the round designs and vivid colours are the once I really like. What would a forged set cost - just love the colour and shape.

Cheers

Andrew

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Post by tonymacg »

Andrew, I'll happily give you a selection of the Missing Dies, if you can persuade your nephew to come around again :wink:
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Post by crosscrescent »

Tony,

You are spoiling me.
:lol: But that is an offer I just can't refuse. :oops:
My nephew is coming to Malaysia near the end of next month
and perhaps he can bring them by hand.
He was so worried that those he last posted
(heavily cushioned by thick cardboard about 6mm thick on each side,
and then put inside a registered envelope)
would not reach me.

Will contact you later.
Thanks so much again.

Cheers

Andrew

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Post by tonymacg »

Later in 1866, individual stamps were released for Jammu and for Kashmir. There was no official explanation for the reason: perhaps it had to do with the problems of travel in the Winter months between Srinagar and Jammu. Whatever the reason, the Circular types for both Jammu & Kashmir continued in use alongside the Jammu issues and the Kashmir issues.

The types for Jammu and for Kashmir are both very similar, and quite distinct. Similar because they were made by the engraver who cut the dies for the Circulars; distinct, because while only two values were produced for Jammu, six values were produced for Kashmir.

The Jammu stamps were a ½ Anna and a 1 Anna, printed in sheets of three ½ Annas and a single 1 Anna, at position 3. Genuine sheets are rare. (One was on offer from Gibbons a few months ago, for about 5 milliseconds ...) Here is an example of a laughable modern forgery, which faithfully reproduces the illustration in Gibbons (these sheets are available in whatever colour you desire), and genuine examples of the two values:

Image

They were usually printed in red, again in water and oil colours on local and European papers. There was the same spate of experiments in the mid-1870s, which produced some considerable rarities. One which regularly causes palpitations, is the ½ Anna blue: it needs to be carefully distinguished from the ½ Anna blue of Kashmir, which is as common as the Jammu is rare.

Reprints are not a problem with Jammu, and the forgeries shouldn't be a problem if you compare them with a genuine stamp.
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Post by tonymacg »

crosscrescent wrote:You are spoiling me.
:lol: But that is an offer I just can't refuse. :oops:
No worries, Andrew - they are just junk ...
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Post by ewen s »

And butt Ugly! :wink:

Love your work Tony. I do not collect uglies but am still fascinated by them and really enjoy reading your lessons. Your prose reads so easily!

Ewen

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Post by vandemonia »

"Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they've got nothing to lose." (Robin Williams)

Therefore, please treat the Uglies with a little more respect! Butt ugly? I think not!

Signed: He with the beautiful butt. :shock:

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Post by arls1 »

Tony. Although I don't collect these, I have to say I really enjoy your posts.
1. For the enthusiasm you show.
2. You ALWAYS know what you are talking about.
3. You are so generous, be it with infomation, or to offer someone with some free ones and get them interested in "The Uglies"
Thumbs up to you.

Arlene

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Post by tonymacg »

Thank you all for the kind words - they're far more than enough recompense for the small effort in putting up the material.

To be honest, I doubt that the Uglies could accommodate too many new recruits. There just isn't enough stuff to go around. But just as I feel I can always learn something from even the most abstruse discussion of, say, Australian George V Penny Reds, I hope I can provide some sort of food for thought for those who never would or could tackle the Uglies.

And failing that, well, they really are pretty weird-looking stamps, you're unlikely to see elsewhere :D
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Post by vinobub »

Tony, I'd just like to add my voice to those who appreciate your prose, your knowledge and your generosity. This is a great thread, so much to hold one's interest - both content and style.

As for anyone who needs help on the scripts, pls feel free to ask - I believe I should be able to help with at least some of them :) There are 3 main categories, viz. the Devanagari (the most commonly-used - Hindi, and related languages), Urdu (looks like Arabic) and Malayalam (Cochin and Travancore). I can help with Devanagari and Malayalam.

Regards,
Vinod

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Post by vinobub »

Tony - another thing, didn't realise you are a Wodehouse fan as well!! You've just gone up another couple of notches in my estimation :)

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Post by tonymacg »

Now back to business: Kashmir also had its own issue of stamps, a few months after the Circulars appeared. These first stamps, a ½ Anna and 1 Anna in black, are rare, and I can't show them - still waiting for my first :cry:

However, a year later, Kashmir came out with a set ranging from a ¼ Anna up to 8 Annas.

Image

These were also printed in watercolour. If you attempt to soak one of these of a cover, you deserve (far more than) the horrible mess you're going to end up with. There are some good, and rare, shades among these issues; some are listed by Gibbons, others not. The colours can be ravishing - probably due to the use of all natural pigments. (A word of warning: the emerald-green of the 4 Anna is said to be an arsenic compound. Sucking it to see is clearly not recommended. I don't know for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if the yellows were a mercury compound.)

As usual with Jammu & Kashmir, this set had its slight eccentric side. The ¼ Anna black(ish) and 2 Anna yellow(ish) were printed from the same plate: the top strip of five being the ¼ Anna and the bottom strip of five being the 2 Anna. As far as I know, there are no examples known of a yellow ¼ Anna or black 2 Annas. Known yet, that is. The ½ Anna and 1 Anna were also printed from the same plate, and an extremely rare 1 Anna blue is known. The 4 and 8 Annas were printed from single dies, so any Kashmir stamp purporting to be a 4 or 8 Anna which doesn't match those shown is a fake.

There were reprints of these stamps:

Image

but they don't usually look like the originals.

And sometimes they were provided with impossible postmarks, like the last example. The postmark itself, from the British Indian PO at Srinagar, certainly is found on Jammu & Kashmir stamps on mail to British India - but these stamps had been superseded in 1878. It's a trifle unlikely a reprint would have been accepted on the mail in 1891.
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Post by tonymacg »

vinobub wrote: As for anyone who needs help on the scripts, pls feel free to ask - I believe I should be able to help with at least some of them :) There are 3 main categories, viz. the Devanagari (the most commonly-used - Hindi, and related languages), Urdu (looks like Arabic) and Malayalam (Cochin and Travancore). I can help with Devanagari and Malayalam.
Beware, Vinod! Apart from any new recruits my charms and incantations may bring in, I have a whole stack of Barwani correspondence myself ... (Puts one in mind of another of Aunt Agatha's gags: 'Reminiscent of the worst excesses of the French revolution!')
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Post by tonymacg »

Lastly, in 1878, the New Rectangulars appeared, for both Jammu and Kashmir:

Image

Image

At first, they appeared with all values (to the 2 Anna; the 4 Anna and 8 Anna were added later) printed in either blue for use in Kashmir, or red for use in Jammu. In 1879, the Post Office standardized on red only, and added the 4 and 8 Anna values; Gibbons list a distinctly scarce orange printing, but in fact, there is a range of shades, from bright red through to orange. Specifying when the red family ends and orange begins can depend on whether you're buying or selling ...

The Post Office also tried perforating its stamps:

Image

but apparently it wasn't a great success, and was soon abandoned.

In 1883, the stamps were released in new, distinctive colours for each value, and a 1/8 Anna value was included. This value included the dreaded turmeric printings, the turmeric being used for the yellow colouring. It had the rather unfortunate effect you can see in the second example above.

These stamps were reprinted regularly over the next 10 years, with little regard for consistency of shade or paper. The shades I show here are just a few of the possibilities. There were also a number of different types of paper used; Gibbons list the printings on laid paper, but there are also quite distinctive ones on a bright white paper. Many of the experts have tried to sort out these printings - and have retired baffled. Anyone here game to take it on?

There was a very nice error in the 8 Anna, which Gibbons really should list. If it had occurred on an Australian George V Penny Red ... :evil: Anyway, it consists of a missing letter 'La' in the inscription around the oval at about 7 o'clock, on stamp 7 of the sheet of 8.

Image

Printings of all values, on all papers, were made in black for Official use. These are generally pretty common. Here is a sheet of the 4 Anna Official:

Image

The New Rectangulars have been forged, but most will give themselves away pretty quickly when placed alongside a genuine stamp. Gibbons lists a postal forgery of the ½ Anna orange, and prices it at £5: I'd gladly pay double that for a specimen.

Some bisects are known, used from Leh in Ladakh, bordering Tibet. The prices for these are simply stratospheric, I'm afraid.

Finally, if I've aroused a thirst for more on Jammu and Kashmir, or even just for a jolly good read, I can't recommend the Web site Collecting Kashmir (https://www.kashmirstamps.ca/index.html) highly enough. You may also want to refer to the book, The Stamps of Jammu and Kashmir, by Frits Staal, published by the Collectors Club, New York, 1983.
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

vandemonia wrote:"Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they've got nothing to lose." (Robin Williams)

Signed: He with the beautiful butt. :shock:

John
John ... that's waaaaaay too much info. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Post by vandemonia »

Eric:

You're quite correct! Butt I couldn't resist it!

Cheers!

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Post by vinobub »

Tony,

regarding the Jammu & Kashmir stamps, was there also not an amusing sidelight, in that since commerce and the economy in general was dominated largely by Hindu Punjabi merchants (mainly Jammu-based), and they were the most likely to require postal services, the stamps had the denominations in Gurmukhi (Punjabi) numeric script - and this was a complete mystery to the postal office employees who were largely from the majority Muslim community. Also worth noting that this domination of the economy played a big part in the historically poor relations between the different communities making up the social fabric.

Not sure if this is urban legend, but apparently a large part of the confusion as to which stamp was which denomination was due to the fact that the exiting postal history contained random examples of both stamps paying apparently different rates of postage.

Although this in turn clearly demonstrates an Anglo-centric bent to the philatelic research of the time since presumably all they had to do was to show the stamps to any literate Punjabi to figure which denomination was which!!

Grateful if you or any other knowledgeable board member could confirm if the above is at all based in fact or merely apocryphal.

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Post by tonymacg »

I hadn't heard that explanation for the confusion over the face values. However, I understand that the great majority at least of the extant covers support the current identifications, after making various allowances and assumptions.

The dies were engraved by one Rahat Ju, who also did the individual issues for Jammu and for Kashmir. He did a very passable job of engraving the Dogri and Persian inscriptions, so presumably he knew what he was engraving in the centres of the stamps.

Frits Staal takes 26 pages of his book to discuss this question!
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Post by tonymacg »

After the long march through Jammu & Kashmir, we come to two little Uglies, perfect for the simple lifer.

Jasdan started philatelic life in 1942, and died, philatelically, in 1948. In the Simplified catalogues, it appears as a single-stamp country; as it usually is with the Uglies, the reality is rather more complicated. When I went to the archives to check on the details, I found the definitive study of the stamps themselves was by ... D. Bates.

He points out that, while Gibbons lists six types, conveniently slotted under shade and perforation combinations, the shades actually vary (sometimes considerably) within individual printings. There are also separate states of some printings. So if you have enormous patience and very deep pockets, Jasdan is a suitable case.

But if you only want the Simplified country, here it is:

Image

Sheet of SG 5

And here is an example of the used. This is a detail of a large cover. (Creased, unfortunately, but with Jasdan, you take what you can get :wink: )

Image

SG 3

To close, beware of 'proofs' of Jasdan: most of them are fakes.

Jhalawar is twice the philatelic size of Jasdan - it issued two stamps, and lived about twice as long: from 1884 to 1900.

It's also much more accessible. The cheapest example of Jasdan, SG 4, will cost you £20; SG 1 and 2 of Jhalawar together will cost you £6.

I've covered it in a little more detail elsewhere on Stampboards (https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=5854), but here is a quick run through:

Image

SG 1 at top, and SG 1a below

(I'm still open to offers on sheets or covers of SG 1a ...)

And here is SG 2:

Image

Most unfairly, SG 2 was once ranked one of the ugliest stamps in the world (https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=7576).

Incidentally, for SOTN collectors, Jhalawar SG 2 is ideal. Virtually every copy of it I have, and I gave a couple of dozen, is socked well and truly on the nose, like this one.

Next, Jind - another great ugly Ugly ...
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Post by tonymacg »

I admit I'm slightly unhinged about Jind (see here https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=356128
for a longer discussion). It was one of my first loves among the Uglies. I couldn't decide which was more beautiful: the Jammu & Kashmir Circulars or the first types of Jind:

Image

SG J1 to J5 and J7

These are found on thin wove from 1874, and thick blueish card paper from 1876. Very hard to confuse these papers.

The ½ Anna value offers one of the most spectacular retouches known to man. I've discussed it elsewhere on Stampboards here: https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=7958

The ½ Anna also turns up occasionally perforated. Don't be misled - it's just a fiscal, although I have a copy with what appears to be a postal cancel.

All these stamps were drawn individually onto lithographic stones, so if you don't mind endangering your sanity, you can plate them.

Another oddity of the first set of Jind that may turn up is the Lion essay:

Image

These have a lion (who appears to have been feasting on magic mushrooms) in the central value tablet in place of the value. Noone is quite sure why they were produced, but one theory is that they were intended for use on official mail.

This lovely set was replaced by a much less attractive one in 1882:

Image
[Top row: ¼ Anna buff and red-brown; ½ Anna lemon, buff and brown-buff; 1 Anna brown; 2 Anna blue and deep blue
Bottom row: 4 Anna sage-green and blue-green and 8 Anna red. Apologies for what my scanner has done to the low values]

These are found on a thin and a thick wove paper, and a variety of laid papers (which Gibbons doesn't distinguish between - room for some research here!) They also occur perf and imperf. Most of these stamps are pretty reasonably priced. The 2009 Gibbons catalogue value of the set above is £20.40, and barring a couple of errors and the perforated ½ Anna lemon, the rest of the series is also quite manageable.

Forget about covers, though. Just about any Jind cover starts at around £500, when you can find one.

Some values of the second set can be found in variant colours - most commonly the ½ Anna blue. These are fiscals once again, and worth, basically, nothing.

In 1885, Jind surrendered to the Force of Darkness, like Faridkot, and began using British Indian stamps overprinted Jind (or Jhind or Jeend - it took a while for them to make up their mind on the spelling). These stamps are indescribably dull, so I'll ignore them and proceed to Kishangarh.
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Post by tonymacg »

Kishangarh would be a good place to start collecting the Uglies from. For a small place, it generated a large amount of material, which tends to be pretty accessible - maybe too accessible. (I have no evidence, but I suspect that the State archives may have been, shall we say, 'visited' on more than one occasion.)

It started out in 1899 with a fairly nondescript-looking 1 Anna stamp:

Image

This isn't a particularly common stamp, and is probably undervalued in Gibbons. Certainly the pin-perf variety of it is. (Pricing is always a sore point, but Gibbons' pricing of Kishangarh seems to be unusually wayward. More of this later.)

This stamp was reissued in blue in 1900. It's rare; unfortunately, forgeries, and uses of the stamp with fiscal cancellations (usually a handwritten 'Mc') are not.

Later in 1899, Kishangarh produced a long set, which included - in the 2 Anna stamp - certainly one of the ugliest of all the Uglies:

Image

These stamps come imperf and pin-perf, on wove and laid paper, and in some odd colours. They were handstamped onto large sheets from a single die; the sheets were usually turned around in the middle, and the second half of the sheet was printed tête-bêche to the top half, producing pairs like the 4 Anna above. The earliest printings had the spaces for each stamp ruled in in pencil. The printer must have gained in confidence, because he soon stopped ruling the spaces.

These must have been large printings, because there were still stocks of the stamps in the State Treasury after Indian Independence, in 1948.

Evidently the 2 Anna got up the nose of someone, because some new designs, including the 2 Anna, and a new value (8 Annas) were released over the next few years.

Image

The Perkins, Bacon salesmen must have been busy around India in the early years of the 20th Century. Like its big neighbour Jaipur, Kishangarh was also talked into getting some 'proper' stamps done. (Can't you just see the Perkins, Bacon gentleman, lip curling, pointing to these primitive stamps the States had made for themselves, and holding up examples of the sorts of stamps British printers could do?)

Image

Like the contemporary Jaipur set, this set also has various perforation varieties - and I've heard it whispered that there may be others not yet listed in Gibbons. Incidentally, be picky about condition with this set. It's often found in rather unsatisfactory shape.

Also like Jaipur, Kishangarh decided once was enough. (The order must have been a pretty big one though, because this set is still pretty easy to do mint, despite the rather lofty price tag in Gibbons. And once again, stocks of it were still around in 1948.)
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Kishangarh went back to locally produced stamps in 1912, with a couple of variations on a 2 Anna stamp, and a ½ Anna stamp:

Image

In August 1913, Kishangarh produced the stamps that made it, well relatively, famous:

Image

As Gibbons notes, these were printed at the Diamond Soap Works, Kishangarh; probably the only stamps ever to be printed at a soap factory. Now, after the jollity has died down, consider: the design and printing are really not all that bad for a first effort from an organization that would never before have attempted such a thing.

There were a couple of listed spelling errors, of which more later.

The Diamond Soap Works then produced a long set to replace the Perkins. Bacon stamps:

Image

As you can see, the Soap Works had come quite a long way in a few months in the sophistication of its stamp production processes. This is a really nice-looking set; blocks look particularly good.

A word of caution though: the top value, the 5 Rupees, was valued at £90 in Gibbons in 2000. It dropped gradually, bottoming out in 2005 at £40, where it's remained ever since. And we all know how reluctant Gibbons are to adjust prices downwards. (It's hard to compare values across time and countries, but 5 Rupees would have been about 3 weeks' wages for a farm labourer at the time, or would have paid for 80 ordinary rate local letters.)

Things became considerably quieter from then on. Kishangarh produced only one more, long, set (missing the 5 Rupee value, unfortunately):

Image

This was first printed in 1928 on a thick, surfaced (soap wrapping?) paper. It was reprinted during the Second World War on a thinner, unsurfaced paper. Here are the ½ Anna values of the two sets, to show the difference:

Image

(Surfaced paper on the left; unsurfaced paper on the right)
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Post by tonymacg »

Lastly, in 1918, Kishangarh handstamped samples from all the stamps it had on hand On K D S, purportedly for Official use. In fact, it seems to have been intended purely for collectors.

As the overprint was handstamped, it occurs with just about every conceivable variety. Here is a sheet of the first Diamond Soap Works ¼ Anna stamp, with the 'OUARTER' spelling error at Row 4/4 and 'KISHANGAHR' at Row 2/3, and with a few double overprints, and the D(iamond) S(oap) W(orks) imprint for good measure:

Image

One last comment about Kishangarh 'covers'. There are large numbers of single page Court documents, with postage stamps cancelled on them, on the market, and offered as 'covers'. Just what their exact status is is a little difficult to define, but actual envelopes used with stamps from Kishangarh are not at all common.

So, go on! Give Kishangarh a whirl.
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

tonymacg wrote:
Image

(Surfaced paper on the left; unsurfaced paper on the right)
That unsurfaced paper on the right, looks like it was made from the same granular-type material as those paper towels from in the men's restroom. However, I am guessing that the unsurfaced stamp paper is likely a little more dense.

Interesting.

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric, this was the backblocks in the middle of WWII, so it could only have been a forerunner to that blotting paper stuff we're given to dry our hands with these days.

I don't know where these two sets were printed, but it might be reasonable to guess that it was still the Diamond Soap Works. That surfaced paper from the first set reminds me of the sort of paper soap bars used to come wrapped in when I was a child.

Maybe the War dried up supplies of that paper, and the factory had to wrap its soap, and print its stamps, with whatever paper it could get its hands on. Whatever the case, it wasn't really ideal for stamp printing.

But the printers do seem to have let their standards slip a bit with these last printings. Here they let a whole sheet through imperf - not very uncommon at this time:

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(SG 83a)
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

I like the unsurfaced paper ... it has character to it. :D

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Post by tonymacg »

It has that certainly ... but was it kind to the hands? :wink:
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Post by tonymacg »

While we're ruminating on Kishangarh, I can add one further reason for looking more seriously at it. Revenue usages like these:

Image

and

Image

can be found without too much pain or difficulty. The stamps are usually either postage types used as revenues, or special printings of postage types, in different colours, for revenue use.
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Post by adam78 »

tonymacg wrote:Now back to business: Kashmir also had its own issue of stamps, a few months after the Circulars appeared. These first stamps, a ½ Anna and 1 Anna in black, are rare, and I can't show them - still waiting for my first :cry:

However, a year later, Kashmir came out with a set ranging from a ¼ Anna up to 8 Annas.

Image

These were also printed in watercolour. If you attempt to soak one of these of a cover, you deserve (far more than) the horrible mess you're going to end up with. There are some good, and rare, shades among these issues; some are listed by Gibbons, others not. The colours can be ravishing - probably due to the use of all natural pigments. (A word of warning: the emerald-green of the 4 Anna is said to be an arsenic compound. Sucking it to see is clearly not recommended. I don't know for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if the yellows were a mercury compound.)

As usual with Jammu & Kashmir, this set had its slight eccentric side. The ¼ Anna black(ish) and 2 Anna yellow(ish) were printed from the same plate: the top strip of five being the ¼ Anna and the bottom strip of five being the 2 Anna. As far as I know, there are no examples known of a yellow ¼ Anna or black 2 Annas. Known yet, that is. The ½ Anna and 1 Anna were also printed from the same plate, and an extremely rare 1 Anna blue is known. The 4 and 8 Annas were printed from single dies, so any Kashmir stamp purporting to be a 4 or 8 Anna which doesn't match those shown is a fake.

Does that mean my ugly J&K's are good then? :D

Adam

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Post by tonymacg »

Bad news about the Circulars, I'm afraid: they're the so-called Missing Die forgeries, and the cancellations are quite impossible. (The Circulars were taken out of circulation around 1878, and the 3-ring CDSs were introduced in December 1890.)

However, all the others are quite OK. That's a nice piece there with the two ½ Anna Blues of Kashmir; a good early date, apparently. The cover with the ½ Anna with the red (Srinagar) dumb cancel is also nice.

(For a moment, I hoped that the two ½ Annas might just possibly be Jammu SG 56, but the British Post Office Cashmere CDS makes it unlikely. Sorry!)
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Post by adam78 »

Thanks for the info. Shame about the fakes but these old albums tend to attract them.

The blue stamp with the dumb cancel is on a cover backstamped (twice) in Feb 1867 - that seems at least 4 months before the earliest blue Jammu or Kashmir blue stamp was issued, according to my Gibbons (formerly) Part 1.

What gives?

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Post by tonymacg »

The ½ Anna blue is too early to be from Jammu, but it should fit, very early, into Kashmir, as SG 91.

The blues of Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, make a great study. In 2004, Harmers in London held a sale of the most extraordinarily mouthwatering Jammu and Kashmir material; the collection was referred to as the 'Kashmir Blue' in honour of the complexities of the blue Circulars and Old Rectangulars of Jammu and Kashmir. Looking back at the prices realized, I see that covers of SG 91 fetched from £50 to £200 each. With clear, early dates like yours, it has to be a £200 item - so all is not lost!
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

The interesting thing is that the Dhar stamps (or at least the stamps of SG1-SG6), seem also to be printed on thin paper (or at least it seems thinner when compared to my Spanish Philippines material of the same era). But perhaps that is due to the fact they were issued without gum, and thus are not as stiff as a gummed stamp.

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric Casagrande wrote:The interesting thing is that the Dhar stamps (or at least the stamps of SG1-SG6), seem also to be printed on thin paper (or at least it seems thinner when compared to my Spanish Philippines material of the same era). But perhaps that is due to the fact they were issued without gum, and thus are not as stiff as a gummed stamp.
You're quite right: the paper of SG 1-6 is quite thin. It also tends to be brittle. I lost the corner of a sheet and part of one of the stamps of a sheet of SG 1 when it simply broke away as I was handling it.

My impression is that the papers used for SG 1/2 were the worst in this regard, but I'm not going to experiment on the others!
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

I hear what you're saying. I very carefully inserted mine into the vario stockpages, and won't be touching them except in the case of extreme emergency. (LOL)

I was corresponding with Flack yesterday and today, and I will (or should) be able to get some nice copies of SG7-SG10 from him, when he gets back from the U.S. in about a week.

What are the typical prices for the sheets of SG1-6?

I'm assuming it isn't merely 10x the single pricing.

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Post by tonymacg »

Eric, sheets of SG 1 and 2 turn up every so often, and they've been commanding what look like rather silly prices on eBay - of the order of $US50 and higher. Sheets of the higher values are scarcer - it took me years to find my first sheet of SG 4 - and you'll probably have to pay a premium over full Gibbons for them (if I'm anywhere in the vicinity :twisted: ).

One saving grace: there was only the one setting of the 2 Anna, so you'll only need one sheet of it. (Unless, that is, it can be shown it was printed from another Setting in addition to VII ...)

And then there's the postal stationery of Dhar ...

Image

(The second postcard almost certainly passed through the post, but wasn't cancelled. Perhaps the post office thought there was no need because the card had been used.)
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Post by Kev »

vandemonia wrote:Tony:

I didn't know that "thingy" was an accepted philatelic term (but then, I only learned the term "Uglies" a week or so ago). So Tony ... I look forward to seeing some more Ugly Thingies!

About 25 years ago in New Zealand, someone who collected and exhibited Jammu and Kashmir, gave a display at the North Shore Philatelic Society (Auckland). I remember being fascinated with the material I saw!

Perhaps that's when the 'dark seed' was first planted!

Cheers!

John
Hello John,
As it happens I/we spent a year on the North Shore of Aucland Nov '82 to Nov '83 and I went to many meetings at Milford which, for the main, was walking distance from where we lived.
I'm trying to remember displays but unsure about the one you mentioned?
I had started collecting Aust. States and the late Lois Foote helped me in that regard.
Cheers, Kev.
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Post by tonymacg »

I'd be intrigued to know who it was, too. Off-hand, I can't think of anyone.
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Post by vandemonia »

Good to hear from you Kevin (and Tony)

I'm trying desperately to remember who it was displayed the Jammu and Kashmir- my memory is not as sharp as it once was. Too many Cab Sav's probably!

I believe it was a local member, shortish, stocky with a beard and well known around Auckland.

Kevin, I remember Lois Foote well. A great lady! I was helped in large measure by the late Rev. Harry Voyce, also a member at North Shore (he died around the time you were attending meetings at Milford). He explained a lot to me about postal history and was instrumental in my abandoning perfs, hinges and dies for the pleasure of the mailed item!

I'll keep working on the memory. The name 'Bernie' keeps coming up, but I'm not sure it's correct.

Cheers,

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Post by Kev »

Hello again John,I still cannot remember, nor can I place Bernie - I keep thinking of Rob Hunt but not sure why.
I might email Nigel Parry , back in UK for many years. He was living in Devonport for 3 years and was on some sort of Navy exchange. I remember he bought a very good Canadian collection from Tom Lees - I think that's the correct name.

Lois lived in Minehaha, off Kitchener, and at dinner there one night she showed us a full double sheet of 2d. QE11 overprint with stars after which she placed them on the mantelpiece. They were still there 2 or 3 weeks later! Back then they were catalogued at NZ$300.00 each!
Cheers, Kev.

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Post by tonymacg »

I've finally organized myself to do something I should have done last century, and scanned my yellowing copies of maps of some of the Central Indian States. These were 8 miles = 1 inch, originally coloured maps, which - showing their age - were photocopied onto foolscap pages; very convenient for scanning on an A4 scanner. Some of the maps extend well over one page, and come in more than one part. I've scanned them at 300 dpi in greyscale, which seems to produce the best balance between file size and legibility.

With all those caveats, I have maps of the following States:
Barwani (well, of course)
Bhopal
Bijawar
Charkhari
Dhar
Indore
Orchha

If you feel your life would be incomplete without any/all of them, email me, and I'll send the scans.
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

Tony ... I would certainly be interested. :D

I was thinking that at some point that I would expand into the areas surrounding Dhar State, and build from there.

You have my email.

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Post by tonymacg »

You're quick off the mark, Eric! I'll send them one State at a time, as the files are reasonably large.
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

Thanks Tony, got 'em all ... and I have plenty of experience with Ikea, so it shouldn't be a problem. :lol: :lol:

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Post by tonymacg »

Now, if you like the typesets, the obvious next challenge is Duttia ... if you have a no-limit credit card, that is :D
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Post by Eric Casagrande »

The next challenge for me is to print off the maps, and then to print off the relevant pages from the Imperial Gazetteer of India.

You pretty well have to study the info within the I.G. of I. -- otherwise you're going to get lost in a hurry. :D

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Post by tonymacg »

Yes, a good, old general map of India showing the locations of the States would be useful too, for getting things into perspective. I have one, but unfortunately it's wall-sized.

In the meantime, if I can find the time, I'll visit the State Library here again, and try to find the correct bibliographic references for the Central India Gazetteer. It has a mountain of curious information about the Central Indian states: 60-odd pages on Barwani, for example.
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