A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar


A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

India Regular Issues 1854-1940

1937-40 Scott 165 10r rose carmine & dark violet
"King George VI"
Quick History
The British East India Company was granted a Royal Charter in 1600, and traded in cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, tea, and opium. The company essentially ruled large parts of India from 1757, and had their own army.

The Tea Act of 1773 gave it more autonomy in trade with the American colonies, and allowed it an exception from tea import duties which its colonial competitors had to pay.

Did the British East India Company lose the colonies for the Empire? The "Boston Tea Party", where its Tea was thrown into the Boston Harbor in 1773, was the flash point.

The stamps of the East India Company were first issued in 1854.

But following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British Crown assumed direct control of India.

The British Raj (Dominion) lasted from 1858-1947.

Population was 389,000,000 in 1941, and the Seat of Government was Calcutta until 1930, then New Delhi.
British Indian Empire 1909
"British India" in pink, "Princely States" in yellow
The territory was essentially made of two types: "British India", directly ruled by the Empress of India (Victoria) through the Governor-General, and then the "Princely States" ("Native States"), in which the government of British India, through a Viceroy, granted essentially self-rule through a British matrix.

In 1947, when India and Pakistan became independent from Britain, there were 565 princely states! Most, though, were small, and had contracted out the business of government (and stamp issue production) to the British. The larger ones had their own treaties with Britain, spelling out the rights of the Prince. 

We will meet the stamp issues of the Princely States in a future post.  This post will cover the "British India" regular stamp issues.

1891 Scott 47 2 1/2a on 4a6p green, Surcharged
"Queen Victoria"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 18 stamp descriptions for the East India Company (1854-1864), 19 stamp descriptions for the Crown Colony (1860-1876), and 131 stamp description for the Empire (1882-1940), for a total of 168 major stamp descriptions. There are an additional 18 stamps listed from 1941-46. Total (1854-1946) is 186 major stamp descriptions.

Of the total, 124 are CV <$1-$2+, or 67%.

A closer look at the stamps and issues


1854 Scott 5 2a green "Queen Victoria"
First Issue of the East India Company
The East India Company was still in power in India, when the first stamp issue was produced in 1854. The first six stamps were imperforate, and all had various designs featuring the Queen.
CV ranges from $20+- $40+ for three stamps, on up to the 1/2a red @ CV $1,000+. 

Shown above is a 2a green, quite classic in appearance.

1855-64 Scott 12 1a brown & 1868 Scott 28 8a rose
Note the change in the Diadem
During the East India and Crown Colony era, the 1855 issue design had Maltese crosses in the Diadem. Note the 1a brown shown above.  The redrawing in 1868 changed the Diadem to rows of pearls and diamonds. This is shown with the 8a rose.

Altogether, some 24 "Queen Victoria" stamps were issued between 1855-1866. CV is <$1-$10 for 11 stamps.

1873 Scott 31 1/2a blue "Victoria"
From 1873-76, 5 more stamps were issued as part of the Crown Colony. CV is <$1-$2+ for 2 stamps.

The 1/2 a blue shown above is the redrawn version (mouth deeply cut, nostril defined by curved line), compared to the 1865-67 stamp.

Of interest, the watermark usually found for the 1865-1876 stamps is the "Elephant's Head".

1882-87 Scott 41 3a brown orange "Victoria"
Watermark "Star"
The British Empire era began in 1882, with an 11 stamp production from 1882-87. These stamps now had a "Star" watermark. Various frames and different colors marked each value. CV ranged from <$1-$2+ for 9 stamps.

This might be a good time to look at watermarks...

Left upper: wmk 38 "Elephant's Head"
Right Upper: wmk 39 "Star"
Lower: wmk 196 "Multiple Stars"
The watermarks found on the Queen Victoria's, the Edward VII,  the George V, and the George VI stamps are shown above. I am quite taken with the "Elephant's Head" watermark. ;-)

1902-09 Scott 70 1r carmine rose & green "Edward VII"
The Edward VII Monarch era began in 1902, with the issue of 17 stamps. I chose the nice bi-colored 1r carmine rose & green for illustration purposes here. CV is <$1-$2+ for 9 stamps.

Although India has a reputation as a "hot" philatelic country, the CV prices actually seem modest for the India regular issues, IMHO.

1902-09 Scott 62 1a carmine rose
1906 Scott 79 1a carmine rose
There was a new design in 1906 for the 1/2a green and the 1a carmine rose stamps, as shown. CV is <$1 for the two new design stamps.

1911-23 Scott 91 8a red violet "George V", wmk "Star"
1926-36 Scott 119  12a claret, wmk "Multiple Stars"
In 1911, the "George V" stamp design, as "Emperor of India" was issued. This was a 19 stamp issue with the watermark "Star" on the paper. CV is <$1-$2+ for 15 stamps.

Then in 1926, a 20 stamp issue was begun, with watermark "Multiple Stars" on the paper. A few of the stamps have a slightly different color. CV is <$1-$1+ for 17 stamps.

The watermark tray will be needed. ;-)

1931 Scott 130 1/2a green & violet 
With the change in the seat of Government from Calcutta to New Delhi, a 5 stamp set was produced in 1931. CV is <$1-$20+. Rather nice, and a change from the usual portrait only stamp.

1935 Scott 145 1 1/2a violet & black "Silver Jubilee"
Especially nice in comparison to the generic issues for other colonies, are the "Silver Jubilee" stamps found for India. This 7 stamp set with various edifice scenes of India, has a CV of <$1-$6.

1937-40 Scott 160 8a blue violet "Mail Truck"
The George VI era stamps began in 1937, and the inaugural issue had 19 stamps. Besides the usual portrait stamps for the lower values, the issue had interesting pictorial scenes for the middle values, as shown above. CV for the set is  <$1-$1+ for 17 stamps.

1937-40 Scott 164 5r deep ultramarine & dark green
"King George VI"
The higher values for the set were in a larger format, with a regal portraiture of "George VI". I love the elephants on each side of the portrait vignette.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 11 pages for the regular stamps through 1946, and follows the Scott catalogue exactly.
The 1882-87 "Empire" set for Queen Victoria in Deep Blue
An advantage of the Deep Blue album, in comparison to Big Blue, is a provision for a unique space for the stamps and issues that have different watermarks: most notably here the George V issues.

1926-36 Scott 120 1r green & brown ""George V"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 3 pages, has 97 spaces. Coverage (through 1940) is 74%.

Observations....

• There is only one regular issue that crosses the $35 threshold in BB, and three more that are between $10-$30+. Clearly, India for the regular issues is not that expensive for BB collectors.

• The early 1854 East India 1/2 a blue is included, but not the 2a green for the same CV ($20+).

• 1855-64 Scott 15a or 15: a quandary- BB asks for the 2a orange, which strictly is 15a ($37+). But we allow a major number into the space if BB calls for (now) a minor number, so 15 2a buff ($30+) is allowed also. But the 23 2a brownish orange (CV $1+) is disallowed because of color criteria. ! If one chooses to put in the much cheaper Scott 23, simply change the color description to "brownish orange" ;-)

• Two issues for George V (different watermarks), while the usual one space in BB. Here one has 15 spaces for 44 Scott major number stamps. Good luck. ;-)

• An illustrated  dilemma of truncated spaces in BB...

1919 Scott 101 1 1/2a chocolate "One and half"
1926 Scott 103 1 1/2a rose "One and a half"
BB has no illustrated cut for the 1 1/2a "One and half" variety (101), so that is not admitted. Then the "One and half" variety comes in three colors: chocolate (102), rose (103), or carmine rose (109). However, there is only one space- so you choose. ;-)

• Three colors, yet one space...

1913 Scott 99  2a6p ultramarine
1926-36 Scott 112 2a6p buff
The 2a6p "George V" was issued in ultramarine (1913 Scott 99), brown orange (1926 Scott 100), and buff ( 1926-26 Scott 112). There is one space in BB. It's one thing to save space by combining  stamps with different watermarks. It's another when they have different colors. ;-)

Date restriction nonsense...

•  Because of date restrictions for the "1911-29" Charles V issue, the 111 2a vermilion ('34), the 114 3a blue ('30), the 115 3a carmine rose, and the 117 6a bister ('35) are excluded.

All in all, a sorry mess in Big Blue for the George V issue.  :-(

Checklist

1854
2,

1855-65
11 or 20, 19 or 19C or 21, 12 or 22, 15a or 15*, 17 or 24, (16),

1866-76
26 or 26B, 33,28,

1891-92
47,48,49,

1882-87
36,37,38,39,40,41,
42,44,45,46,

1898
53,

1899
54,

1900
55,56,57,58,59,

1902-09
60,61,62,63,64,65,66,

Next Page

1902-09
67,68,69,70,71,73,

1905
77,

1906
78,79,

1911-29*
80 or 106, 81 or 107, 82 or 108, 83,
102 or 103 or 109*, 84 or 110, 85, 99 or 100 or 112, 86 or 87 or 113, 88 or 116, 90,
91 or 118, 92 or 119, 93 0r 120, 94*,

1921
104,

1922
105,

1931
129,130,131,132,
133,

(1932-34)
135,136,137, (138),(139),

1935
142,143,144,145,

Next Page

1935
146,147,148,

1937-40
150,151,152,153,
154,155,
156,157,158,159,
160,161,161A,
162,163,164,165,


Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1854 Scott 2 1/2a blue ($20+)
1855-64 Scott 15 2a buff ($30+)
1865-67 Scott 24 4a green ($20+)
1904 Scott 73 5r violet & ultramarine ($40)

B) (   ) around a space indicates a blank space elective choice


C) 15a or 15*: a quandary- BB asks for the 2a orange, which strictly is 15a ($37+). But we allow a major number into the space if BB calls for (now) a minor number, so 15 2a buff (30+) is allowed also. But the 23 2a brownish orange (CV $1+) is disallowed because of color criteria. !  If one chooses to put in the much cheaper Scott 23, simply change the color description to "brownish orange" ;-)

D) 1911-29*: Because of date restrictions, the 111 2a vermilion ('34), the 114 3a blue ('30), the 115 3a carmine rose, and the 117 6a bister ('35) are excluded.

E) 102 or 103 or 109*: BB has no illustrated cut for the 1 1/2a "One and half" variety (101), so that is not admitted. Then the "One and half" variety comes in three colors: chocolate (102), rose (103), or carmine rose (109). However, there is only one space- so you choose. ;-)

F) 94*: because of color criteria, the 121 2r brown orange & carmine rose (CV <$1) is excluded.

1937-40 Scott 157 3a6p ultramarine "Dak Camel"
Out of the Blue
Interesting history, interesting stamps. I frankly was expecting a generally higher CV for the regular issues, considering that India is a "hot" philatelic country.

If you are collecting with Big Blue, you may need to add a page for the George V stamps not given spaces.

Note: Map appear to be in the public domain.

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