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So Who's Afraid Of The Indian States?

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/05/2010   10:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This stamp appeared around 1896



SG 9

It was originally a fiscal, but was available for use as a postage stamp as well. There are plenty of them around, usually cleaned fiscal usages. The copy above has a typical postal cancel; the other common postal cancel of the period is a dumb obliterator of bars with Malayalam lettering in the centre. Be wary of anything else.

Types 3 to 6





come in thin and thick paper varieties. The differences are pretty obvious once you have them in front of you. They can be plated, and come from numerous settings.

In 1909, the first of many surcharges appeared:



Once again, there were several printings, with missing figures in the surcharges being replaced with different font 2s. These are definitely scarce: if you have this stamp with a different-looking 2 on it, you're in luck!

Covers of these early Cochin stamps aren't particularly common, and when found are usually in pretty disreputable condition. Snap up any nice, clean covers of this period, if you can find them at up to $10 or so each.
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Pillar Of The Community
2663 Posts
Posted 04/05/2010   11:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
poor Tony doesnt realize he is talking to me :)

encore encore
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/05/2010   7:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I hope I'm talking to more than just you, Spock. But there's plenty more to come!
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Pillar Of The Community
2663 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   12:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Morning,

there are always at least 2 of me but thats a closely guarded secret now please continue :)
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   06:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Moving right along ...

Having lost the British stamp printing contract earlier, Perkins, Bacon, who had printed the Penny Black, were feeling the squeeze in the early years of the 20th century. By now they weren't above picking up contracts from the natives in India. Cochin commissioned a set of 14 stamps ranging from 2 Pies to 1 Rupees, which appeared in 1911. This is the 3 Pies stamp from the set:



Two years later, Cochin released some values of this set, and some other values, overprinted On C(ochin) G(overnment) S(ervice) for government use. Here is an example of the 1 Rupee stamp, which only appeared overprinted:



SG O9

The old Raja died in 1914, and a set was released for the new Raja in 1916:. Here's a plate proof of the 4 Pies stamp from that set in the issued colour:



For whatever reason, Perkins, Bacon were forced to produce two dies for the 2 Pies and 1 Anna stamps. This is the basic 2 Pies stamp:



Here, the difference between the two dies is in the right hand side of the value table, at the bottom of the stamp. In Die 1, the Malayalam letters are slanted



In Die II, they're upright:



No difference in value at all in the used stamps, but Die I is rated at 8 mint against 1.60 for the Die II

And here is the basic 1 Anna



The difference here is in the lettering immediately above the central portrait. In Die 1, one letter has a little wing over it



while in Die II, it doesn't



The Die is scarcer than the Die II, both mint and used.

These stamps were also overprinted for government use. At first, the old type overprint, but a new, heavier-looking overprint was introduced in 1929. This cover shows examples of both the old and new types of overprint



SG O12 + O29

As it happens, neither the 2 Pie nor the 1 Anna stamp was overprinted ON C G S, so the problems of the dies doesn't arise.




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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   09:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Between 1922 and 1929, surplus stocks of the 3 Pies stamp of the previous Raja were surcharged 2 Pies. There were several settings and different fonts of '2' again, and a few errors showing a capital P in Pies instead of a lower case p (Row 1/2):



SG 48 and 48a

Further surcharges followed in 1928



SG 50

and 1932-3





SG 51-3

I have the impression that these are a bit scarcer than Gibbons gives them credit for, particularly SG 50. Used examples also seem to be unusually scarce for Cochin stamps.

Both the unoverprinted and the overprinted sets were perforated with up to four different machines, all gauging 13 to 14. Each machine had a fractionally different gauge within that range (so Gibbons don't differentiate them); two were line machines and the other two were comb. Gibbons does list which machines are known to have been used for each value, but the Gibbons list is incomplete. They say, for example, that the 9 Pies stamp was only perforated with the (a) machine, a comb 13.9, but this stamp was perforated with the (b) machine, comb 13.6



There are others too. If you don't mind endangering your sanity, it might be worthwhile checking the perforations of any of this set you have. You never know.

While you're at it, check the watermarks. A few - rare - inverted watermarks are known. There might be more ...
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   09:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maharaja Rama Varma III succeeded to the throne in 1932, and Perkins, Bacon produced a handsome new set for him, from 2 Pies to 10 Annas. This is the 10 Anna:



The 1 Anna was in a different design:



(Cochin (modern Kochi) is home to an extremely ancient Christian community. It claims to have been converted by Saint Thomas (Doubting Thomas) himself. This cover is from a Cochin Christian bank.)

These stamps were overprinted with the previous heavy On C G S overprint, and some values with a new overprint:



SG O46

And now things started to get a bit complicated
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   10:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In the space of a couple of years, three things happened that made Cochin philately a lot more complicated, and more interesting:

Perkins, Bacon finally went under, and the printing contract was transferred to a firm in Madras (now Chennai), The Associated Printers

World War II broke out, disrupting supplies from Britain, and reducing the availability of local supplies

And Maharaja Rama Varma III died, in 1941. This had an unusual effect. Under the succession rules of the Cochin ruling family, the Maharaja's son did not succeed to the throne, if there were surviving brothers of the late Maharaja. As it happened, there were several, all elderly men. Kerala Varma II ruled from 1941 to 1943, Ravi Varma ruled from 1943 to 1946 and Kerala Varma III ruled from 1946 to 1948. Each appeared on the stamps of Cochin, in fairly quick succession.
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Learn More...
United States
5774 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   10:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Love the information on the dies...I was looking for an excuse to look through Cochin again...


(The notwithstanding, I really do like the info on the dies. I may not look until next winter, but I do want to look...)
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Valued Member
Australia
312 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   10:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add MmmmBalf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome work Tony, keep it coming. You've definitely piqued my interest. I love challenging areas. You might tempt me into starting. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Balf
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Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   10:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll try to resist the fatal charms of work tomorrow morning (my time) and make a start on the really curly period of Cochin, then!
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
3547 Posts
Posted 04/06/2010   8:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When Perkins, Bacon folded, they must have returned the recess plates to Cochin. The Cochin PO then presumably passed them on to The Associated Printers, who prepared offset-litho plates from them, and reprinted the low values by that process. Telling the two printing processes apart isn't too difficult: remember that the Perkins, Bacon printings were by recess, so the design on the stamp is raised, while the Madras printings were by offset-litho, so the printings are flat. Here are the two versions of the 2 Pies stamp:

Recess first, then litho




The official overprints on these litho printings do get a tiny bit involved. It looks rather as if the authorities may have been experimenting with different fonts of overprint, to see which was most suitable.

As far as there was a 'basic' overprint, it was Gibbons' type O7, which has a family resemblance to the old, heavy overprint, but has a curved, instead of flat, back to the C:



SG O48

However, they also tried the heaviest overprint yet, type O8



SG O49 (apologies for the quality of the stamp. This is a serious rarity mint, and even used it's quite uncommon. Gibbons undervalues it at 2.50 )

They also tried this one, with small serifs on the N (type O9)



SG O52

and a thin type with a distinctive oval O, type O10



SG O51

Throughout the War years, Cochin used type O10 - probably as an economy measure.
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Pillar Of The Community
2663 Posts
Posted 04/07/2010   03:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
okay the jammu and kashmir arrived today. thanks. we are now waiting for the next instalment of stamps that you no longer care about. 3 cheers for tony
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Rest in Peace
Canada
6750 Posts
Posted 04/07/2010   10:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Puzzler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating work Tony!

I did not know much at all about India but am learning in leaps and bounds.

Thank you!
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Rest in Peace
Canada
6750 Posts
Posted 04/07/2010   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Puzzler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There was a stamp you displayed earlier on that had what looked like a chess piece, a castle or rook, on it. Was that was it was or no? If yes, is there more to that set of different chess pieces?
Thanks.
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