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So Who's Afraid Of The Indian States?

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   12:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bhopal began the government mail only era in 1908 very sedately with four values closely based on the last 1 Anna from Perkins, Bacon, overprinted SERVICE. Two types of overprint exist, and a number of errors



(SG O308d)

which are listed in Gibbons, but are generally considered to be nothing but printer's waste. Take your pick: ignore them, or treat them as (relatively) affordable striking errors. They're quite easy to find, and should sell for a decent discount off catalogue.

Two more very similar sets followed in 1930 and 1932. Very ho-hum stuff. Not worth reproducing.

Things looked up considerably in 1935 (sorry, Jubilee: you'll have to pay attention) when some changes to postal rates led to an outbreak of surcharging.

The values needed were Anna (equal to 3 Pies; 12 pies = 1 anna) and 1 Anna, so surplus , 2 and 4 Anna stamps were surcharged. The fun and games started with the anna/3 pies surcharges. The printers surcharged the first two rows of their sheets 'A' and the next eight rows '3 PIES'



(SG O318b)

For reasons best known to themselves, the printers used a different font for the A surcharge on the 4 Anna stamp:



(SG O323a)

Don't worry if your Anna surcharge looks like this. Everything is under control. You have not been robbed.

There are some good spelling errors in the THREE PIES surcharges (it wouldn't be Bhopal without a spelling error): THRFE PIES



and THEEE PIES



The ONE ANNA surcharges come in various colours, including a rather bilious blue



which comes, in all colours, with an inverted first N in ANNA. If you look very closely at the block above you may make out



The ONE ANNA on 2 Annas blue also has a rather difficult (well, 2250 in Gibbons) error ANNO for ANNA. Worth looking out for.

Bhopal now started to lash out a bit. Perhaps it was due to having a man on the throne at last ...

In 1935, it issued the first of a series of triangulars, followed the next year by a similar stamp, with modified wording. These new stamps were done by the Bhopal Govt Printing Works, and suffered a few (uncommon) errors, like this



with the SERVICE overprint omitted.



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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1996 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   12:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jubilee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
NOW you've got my attention. This is going to cost me money..............
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   12:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I suppose you could ignore the ANNO error as an 'a' number, Jubilee, but this one



will be harder. It's SG O322.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   01:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
After a short relapse to those dull Coat of Arms types again, Bhopal lashed out with a set of pictorials featuring tourist attractions, in 1936. (Now as they could only be used by Bhopal public servants, for mail sent within Bhopal State, it's fairly clear who these stamps were aimed at.) Quite attractive large, bicoloured stamps, also printed by the Bhopal Govt Printer, who suffered the occasional little difficulty with the perforating devices)



(SG O338b)

Later, in 1944, some values were released in smaller formats and single colours. Probably a War economy measure. (The missing perfs weren't, though)



In between, Bhopal also released two attractive animal stamps, for the topical enthusiasts:



(SG 344-345)

The choice of subject has always amused me: the tiger and its lunch.

In 1944, Bhopal began to imitate the contemporary Indian War economy stamps, with the good old coat of arms again.

I struggle, I really do, to find something nice to say about this set. It's usually badly centred and indifferently printed. Assembling a set in A1 condition would be a bit of a challenge.



I suppose some of the colours were OK.

At the end of its philatelic life, Bhopal issued a couple more surcharges, both of 2 Annas. This



(SG O356)

is the cheap one. Only buy this one



(SG O357)

with a BPA Certificate. (In fact, BPA Certificates are the gold standard for the Indian States.)

So that's Bhopal. Well worth a closer look, I think. And if you intend to give it that closer look, do try to find a copy of the India Study Circle Bhopal Handbook. It shows sheets of the old litho types, and describes the forgeries and reprints. (The old Gibbons Part 1 used to list, and price, the reprints and imitations. My 1941 version still has them. Some priced rather handsomely too: several at 1.)
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Posted 04/02/2010   02:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
encore encore
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   07:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
OK Spock ...

Bhor

Yes, well, now we've got that out of the way, Bhor looks fairly straightforward. Only three stamps, and two of them handstamped from a single die, and in 1905 voted amongst the ugliest stamps ever issued. You just can't be indifferent to them. You'll either love them or hate them. I love them, and I don't care what anyone else says



SG 1, and



SG 2

There now! Sneer away if you like. Switch off, and come back when I reach Bijawar next. Or stay, and see a little more.

These stamps are quite common used, but the used are usually CTO, like this:



Postally used, with village postmarks like this one



are hen's teeth. Then there's this strange thing



cancelled with a British Indian postmark of Poona, the nearest large town to Bhor in British India. Perhaps it came from a cover sent from Bhor to Poona. If it did, the vandal who took it off the cover destroyed an item that would have easily reached four figures in pounds at auction.

This last one is odd in another way. Bhor SG 1 and 2 are usually printed on what Gibbons refers to as 'native' paper: a rather rough, locally-made paper, with bits of bark or wood often visible, and rough laid lines. This stamp seems to be on a European laid paper of quite a different quality. I've seen others on the same paper. They aren't listed by Gibbons.

The last stamp of Bhor is a bit controversial. Noone seems to be quite sure when the Bhor Post Office was closed. This stamp, SG 3



appeared in 1901, but there are suggestions that the State PO was closed in the 1890s. This would then be a posthumous issue, something not entirely unknown among the Indian States. (If the crazy collectors would pay good money for bits of paper, State post offices, even officially defunct ones, were willing to meet the demand.)

Whatever its status, it exists with charming vanity cancels



which make me hope it's all above board.
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Posted 04/02/2010   07:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
ok so 3 will finsih bhor. how much for the set of 3 in mnh. and please continue. we have 500 states to cover so :)
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Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   08:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I admit frankly I have very little time for Bijawar, a small State in Central India, which first issued stamps in 1935 and stopped in 1941.

This is what the stamps of Bijawar looked like



They can also be found in just about every permutation of perforation error, from completely imperf



SG 1a

onwards



SG 5b

In near 50 years of collecting the Indian States, I only recall seeing one cover from Bijawar - and that was blatantly philatelic. The farthest it travelled was across someone's desk.

I will now draw a veil across Bijawar, and move on to another of the big bad Biggies ...
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   08:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

ok so 3 will finsih bhor. how much for the set of 3 in mnh. and please continue. we have 500 states to cover so :)


Spock, Spock this fascination with MNH will get you nowhere with Bhor. They were all issued without gum Of course, I could send some to Germany and have them expertly gummed for you - but you'd have to pay for the cost of the work.

Gibbons rates the three at 26.50 mint, but you should be able to do better. Leave out the dubious SG 3, and SG 1 and 2 would only set you back 9.50.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   7:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bundi is one of the heavyweights of the Indian States. If you're a general collector of the Indian States, you may be able to skip lightly over, say, Bijawar, but you can't ignore Bundi.

It started philatelic life in May 1994, and apparently virtually noone noticed. The Anna Bundi SG 1 is valued at 14,000 mint, and a trifling 2500 used. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, I don't have a copy to show.

By December 1994, when Bundi's second effort appeared, the world had begun to notice. Here is the Anna SG 2 on cover:



These stamps were hand-drawn onto the litho stone, like early Bhopal. Like early Bhopal, there were some collectable mistakes, like this SG 2a, with the value above and name of the State below, the dagger in the centre:



By the time of Bundi's third stamp, two years later, the world had well and truly woken up. The Anna SG 3 is not scarce:



Stamp collectors are not fools, though In 1897, Bundi released a set of higher values, from 1 Anna to 1 Rupee (= 16 annas).



SG 4-10

which seems to have been a bit too much. They weren't popular, and are now rather uncommon. There are conflicting reports about printing numbers, but it appears the number printed of the 1 Rupee yellow on blue paper was a few hundred. (Of course, postal need for a stamp 32 times the basic letter rate wouldn't have been huge ...)

These were followed by another set, of all values from Anna to 1 Rupee, with the central dagger shaped differently.



SG 12-16a

All still individually hand-drawn onto the litho stones, so that each stamp on the sheet can be plated. Be warned though, that the sheets tended to be large!

At some point around 1900 Bundi seems to have stopped issuing stamps. Stampless covers exist from this period.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/02/2010   11:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Bundi Daggers are popular, and sell well whenever good stuff is offered (which is pretty rarely). The Sacred Cows, though, are one of the great subjects of the Indian States: unrivalled for their complexity. Women faint and strong men weep at thought of them. Well, nearly, anyway.

The Sacred Cows



are so called from the design. It commemorates the occasion when a mediaeval ruler of Bundi drew his sword to protect a cow (sacred to Hindus) from a (Muslim) Moghul Emperor of Northern India.

The design first appeared in 1914, and by the time it was pensioned off in 1941, it had appeared in 16 face values, from Anna to 5 Rupees (= 80 annas), in nine different types in 58 different settings of the basic plate of four cliches, and also with three different Service (Official) overprints, which are to be found in black, red or green.

Not every value is known in every type, from every setting, with every type of overprint, thank goodness, but the field is still wide enough. The Anna stamp I showed above is found in seven of the nine types, in 17 different settings, ranging from dirt common to very, very rare. The one shown is from the dirt common Setting 3 (and, as it happens, is the very first of the Sacred Cows listed in Gibbons).

Gibbons illustrates the face values and the different types. The face values are relatively easy, because they're usually uniquely associated with a colour: black for the Anna and so on. The types can be more tricky, so in the interests of shedding a little light, I'll illustrate them here. The two areas to focus on are the two tablets at the top (reading Raj Bundi - Bundi State) and the bottom, which shows the value.
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3547 Posts
Posted 04/03/2010   01:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Type A has the dot and semicircle over the second word in the top tablet:



Only one other type has the semicircle, and in that type, there is no separation between the words. They appear as one word only, and in more spidery type. As the other type is also fairly unusual, if you see the dot and semicircle (representing the letter 'N', by the way), like this, it's probably Type A.

Types B and C will cause the most confusion. Here, you need to focus on the little worm-like thing below the first letter of the second word. (It represents the letter 'U'.)



If it's small and without an 'eye', and it's firmly attached to the vertical line above it, it's a Type B.

Type C is similar to Type B



but the 'worm' is larger, it has an 'eye', and it's usually loosely attached to, or detached from, the vertical line. This sounds fine in theory; in practice, it can sometimes be rather hard to distinguish a heavily inked copy. Don't despair! Others have been there before you ... and most of us have survived the experience

Type D is similar to Type A, with the semicircle and dot, but the two words are run together



The semicircle is faint in this copy, but it is there, if you squint It's only found on four values, and none of them is particularly common.

Up to now, we've been focusing on the top tablet. For the next types, we need to look at the bottom tablet, and particularly the first letter of the second word ('A'). So far, that letter has appeared this way



Just to make things interesting for everybody, the Bundi printers now decided to use an alternative form of the letter



In Type E, the top tablet is as Type C



but the bottom tablet uses the alternative letter 'A'



In Type F, the top tablet is as Type B



but the bottom tablet is the alternative form



For the last three types we have to go back to the top tablet again. Here, the dot has been replaced by an alternative way of writing the letter 'N'.

I'm afraid I can't show an example of the Type G tablets, but they are similar to, but smaller than, Type H

This is the top tablet in Type H. Note the different form of 'N'



and this is the bottom value tablet, still with the variant 'A', but in large, heavy letters



Lastly, Type I. This is only found perforated (Types A to G are only found rouletted). It's a hybrid of Types of G and H, with the large letters in the top tablet and the smaller letters in the lower tablet. This is an example of the 2 Anna used as a fiscal






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Valued Member
Canada
45 Posts
Posted 04/03/2010   01:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add OttawaMike to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Still spreading the "ugly" word at every opportunity, eh Tony?
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/03/2010   01:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can't resist it, Mike
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 04/03/2010   01:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
dear tony I can assure you that bndi didnt start in 1994 :)

there are 2 kinds of stamps

mnh with gum
and mnh without gum

and no we are not sending anything to germany to doctor stamps.

if you have any stamps that you want t sell you should also add a note so we know :)
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