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George V era - Bhopal State  
 

 
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Posted 06/21/2010   02:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add tonymacg to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Jubilee will not be pleased, but it has to be said: Bhopal during the George V era was pretty lacking in sizzle. The designs were all (smallish) variations on the State coat of arms.

To try to inject a small element of sizzle, here is the official description of the Arms:
'Vert, a tower or within twelve musk blossoms proper in bordure. Crest, a sheaf of arrows charged with a lily argent. Supporters: Mahsir (fish) proper'
Motto: NASR MINULLAH (Victory from Allah)

By the time of George V, the Bhopal postal system was confined to government mail. It had been closed to the general public in 1908. From that time on, all the stamps of Bhopal were overprinted SERVICE, or incorporated the word into their designs.

The procession began, in fact, in Bertie's time in 1908, but these stamps were in use until 1930. Only the top value, 4 Annas, was actually issued in the George V period, in 1911.

Perkins, Bacon printed and overprinted the following set. Two versions of the word SERVICE were used:

Type O1



and Type O2



The easiest way to distinguish them is by the shape of the 'R'. In Type 01, it curls down almost vertically; in Type O2, it stretches down diagonally.

The difference makes little difference to the values of the used stamps. None of them is rare. The Type O2 overprint on the Anna yellow-green is the pick of the bunch - and it rates 1.40.

So, here is the Anna, SG 301



The 1 Anna exists in carmine-red (SG O302) and red (SG O302c). Here is SG O302



The 2 Anna, SG O303



and the 4 Anna, SG O304

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Posted 06/21/2010   03:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I won't bother to repeat the basic stamps in the Type O2 overprint, but I will show a couple of items that are listed in Gibbons, and probably shouldn't be:

The 2 Anna, overprint inverted, SG O307a



and the 4 Anna, imperf and overprint inverted



The 4 Anna in this form is actually cheaper than the 'proper' stamp (90 for the pair imperf and overprint inverted; 85 for a single of SG O308.)

These, and the overprint inverted, and imperf, errors are generally thought to be proofs or printer's waste. It isn't clear how they came onto the market, but I'd sooner believe in the Tooth Fairy than that these were issued legitimately to Bhopal Government offices

In 1930, a larger-sized set, inscribed BHOPAL STATE down the right-hand side was printed at the then new Indian Security Printing Press, at Nasik. They're all fairly easy to find used, although mint are a different matter (40 for the set mint, against 3 used).

The Anna, SG O309



The 1 Anna, SG O310



used with SG O313 (of which rather more later). This cover is interesting in having a horseshoe-shaped Postage Due mark, and a manuscript marking showing 1 Anna 8 Pies due ... though why bother? (Covers of Bhopal are a lot scarcer than they ought to be, given the size and importance of the State. As used are very common, I have to suspect the over-active local dealers were busy soaking stamps.)

The 2 Anna, SG O311



and the 4 Anna, SG O312



You may occasionally find this stamp



lurking in Bhopal collections. Do not become agitated, and start planning the long overseas cruise. It's just a fiscal.
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Posted 06/21/2010   03:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In 1932, Perkins, Bacon won the contract back again, and produced the same four values, and a new Anna, by offset-litho.

(Off-hand, I can't recall another Perkins, Bacon printing offset: I thought they were so wedded to recess printing that they'd rather die in a ditch than use any other process. Perhaps they were already beginning to feel the chill winds that led to their death a few years later.)

The Anna deserves a post all to itself. First of all, it occurs in four different perforations: 13 (1932), 11 (1933), 14 (1934) and 13 (1934 also). Don't worry: I don't intend to show an example of each. Used, they're all much of a muchness, ranging between 20p (perf 11) and 60p (perf 13). Mint, the perf 13 is cheapest (2.50) and the perf 14 is most expensive (12).

Gibbons lists one error: vertical pair, one without overprint, SG O313ca, which occurred on the perf 13 version:



In one sheet, the overprint was displaced to the top of the stamp, from the bottom, with the top row of the sheet missing the overprint entirely. Gibbons doesn't list the variety caused over the rest of the sheet, with the overprint at top rather than bottom. It's worth looking out for, though. I'm sure I've seen one, but I don't own a copy.

There's another nice error on this stamp, which Gibbons doesn't list, either:



The missing 'S' in SERVICE. This error occurs in three states: On Row 1/5 only; on Rows 1/5 and 2/5, and Rows 1/5, 2/5 and 3/5 - so, of course, this block is from State 2. Also worth looking out for!

Finally, here is the perf 14 version (SG O313b)



on a postal stationery card. These cards are odd because they feature a view of Bhopal on the other side



which severely limited the space for official correspondence. And why treat Bhopal public servants to picturesque views of their State capital anyway?

Perhaps the cards were intended for collectors - but if so, why are they so scarce? They're all but unknown unused, and quite scarce used.

And finally, to compound the conundrum, they almost always seem to be surcharged (anna), but they usually appear uprated with a further Anna stamp. So why not surcharge the cards , and be done with it?

All really very odd.
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Posted 06/21/2010   06:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
After all that excitement in the Anna, the remaining values look distinctly tame. Note that they are all inscribed BHOPAL GOVT at right, rather than the BHOPAL STATE in the Anna. They are, with one exception, all perf 13.

The Anna, SG O314



The 1 Anna, SG O315



The 2 Anna, SG O316



and the 4 Anna, SG O317



This is also known perf 14. Gibbons rates it as scarcer than the perf 13 mint (17 against 13) but more common used (40p against 1).
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Posted 06/21/2010   07:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nearing the end of the Sailor King's reign, postage rate increases meant Bhopal needed extra supplies of Anna (or 3 Pies) and 1 Anna stamps. Bhopal decided to meet the requirement by surcharging the , 2 and 4 Anna stamps of the last issue to the two values. So far, so good.

However, it appears the printers lacked sufficient stocks of s to surcharge entire sheets of 100 (10 rows of 10) ' A'. Only the top two rows of the sheet received the A, and the remaining eight rows were surcharged 'THREE/PIES' (there being 12 pies to one anna).

The first release had the surcharges in red. A total of 12,500 surcharges on , 2 and 4 Anna values was made. The surcharges on the Anna are the easiest to find:



SG O318b (since Gibbons list se-tenant pairs of the two types)

The job was rather hurried, and mistakes - plenty of them - occurred. There were inverted surcharges:



SG O318ba

and spelling errors



'THEEE' for 'THREE', SG O319a, and

'THRFE' for 'THREE'



SG O318b
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Posted 06/21/2010   07:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Anna on the 2 Anna value is scarce also,



SG O320b

There were also inverted surcharges:



SG 320ba - in rather parlous condition, but a rarity all the same

and the spelling errors also recurred



SG O321b - THEEE for THREE

The A on 4 Annas red is the rarest of all these surcharges:



SG O322 - creased, unfortunately, but I count myself lucky to have it at all. Numbers must have been tiny: probably only one or two sheets surcharged at most.
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Posted 06/21/2010   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
hmm tony where did you get that one sheet number from?
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Posted 06/21/2010   7:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Extrapolation from the scarcity of the stamps. One sheet would have yielded 20 'A' and 80 'THREE PIES'; two sheets, 40 and 160. I doubt that there could have been more than two sheets.
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Posted 06/22/2010   12:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
ONE ANNA surcharges in violet were released at the same time as the Anna surcharges. Again, 12,500 stamps were surcharged, on the Anna and 2 Anna values.

On the Anna, SG O326



which is also known with an inverted overprint



I don't yet have an example of the surcharge on the 2 Anna, SG O327d.

More surcharges followed in 1936. The Anna/3 Pies surcharge was only applied to the 4 Anna stamp

The A surcharge in black, used a different type-face, but was still used only on the top two rows of the sheet



SG O323a

Which can cause confusion. This is a perfectly legitimate surcharge!

More spelling errors crept in, including a new PIFS for PIES



SG O325d

Beware of copies with weak or broken bottom legs on the E offered as the PIFS error.
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Posted 06/22/2010   01:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There were three more ONE ANNA surcharges.

In black on the 2 Anna, SG O328



Ironically, this is the cheapest of all this series of surcharges, and it has just one spelling error 'ANNO' for 'ANNA' ... which is the most expensive (at 2250) of the errors. It must have been picked up and corrected pretty quickly.

In red on the 2 Anna, SG O327



which comes inverted



SG O327a

and with the first N in ANNA inverted



SG O327b

Lastly, there's also a rather weird turquoise-blue surcharge on the 4 Anna, SG O329. Here is a block of 30 of the stamp



with the error inverted first N in ANNA at Row 4/5



SG O329a
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Posted 06/22/2010   02:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
oh well we wont worry about your extrapolations as long as you post nice stamps

encore encore

looks like you finally turned a corner and are posting real stamps for a change. you also have too many of these might I suggest creating little bundles of the mnh duplicates :)
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Posted 06/22/2010   02:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tonymacg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
While strictly speaking belonging to Edward VIII (they were issued in July 1936), these three belong morally with the George V era:

The new Anna, to replace the surcharges



appeared initially with a brown SERVICE overprint. Some were also issued with black overprints



Used, neither colour of overprint is particularly scarce: 60p for the brown and 75p for the black overprint. Mint, on the other hand, are different: 90p for the brown overprint, but 8.50 for the black.

In 1938, the stamp appeared in a distinctly yellow shade, which Gibbons lists separately as SG O334



It's only known with the brown overprint.

And very last of all, the 1 Anna, SG O335



A common stamp used (10p) and not hard to find mint (1.50).

These two (or three) stamps were, incidentally, the first to be printed by the Bhopal Government Printing Works. The Government Printing Works handled all subsequent printings for Bhopal.

As you might have guessed, I do enjoy the surcharges. But for the rest, Bhopal during George V's reign is a bit dry for my taste
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Posted 06/23/2010   03:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spock1k to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
tsk tsk a mnh stamp can never be dry. encore encore.
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