By-Udit Kasera

Indian Philately today has reached new heights.Various new collectors are taking interestin this field…Previously the main collections were concentrated to thematic only but today it has also been classified as Se-tenants, Sheetlets and MS
Now as far as classification is concerned, There is one type which has been mixed or rather I\’dsay mis-interpreted.
Se-tenants as we so call it, has been mostly mistaken by a Tete-beche, a triptych and mix stamps.Firstly I would like to clarify that a Se-tenant is a pair of stamp Joined together that looses itsvalue on seperating it. It is purposely designed to be collected as a pair not singles, and thus theyare issued as a pair of stamps and not single stamps.
Having cleared that, A se-tenant is suppose to be a pair of stamps appearing as one complete image. Though there actually exists two stamps of different denominations also, but they together potraya complete image and if seperated, the image is broken.
A SE-TENANT becomes a TRIPTYCH when 3 stamps together complete the Image. Tete-Beche can be easily distinguished as it is a pair (horizontal or verticle) where one stamp is an inverted image. The colorand denomination of both the stamps in the pair is same. If seperated, then both stamps appear as same!

The point I wanted to raise here is, even though there is a remarkable difference between a se-tenant and other kinds, today also many learned philatelists and collectors have mis-understood the whole concept of se-tenant.
How can a block of 4 of Landmark Bridges of india, Indian Coast Guard, Spices of India, political leaders etc. etc. can be included in the category of se-tenant? Does the design of any of these stamps depict a whole picture?Aren\’t there Sheets of these stamps issued in Singles?Doesn\’t issuing a single stamp in sheet form seperatelydefies the meaning of se-tenant?
Recently a new trend has started where philatelist are buying MIX Sheets of stamps issued in sets (like Indian CoastGuard) and tearing them in different designs to make set of 4 stamps joint together is various ways….But pleasedo not call them different se-tenants…Cmon, they are not even a se-tenant…you cannot change the design / shape of a se-tenant.

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  1. udit says:

    This is purely my opinion…I am not criticizing any learned philatelists and senior collectors… give your views…….thank you

  2. neeraj says:

    You have a point…

  3. Dharmesh says:

    pls do write u r opinion supporting tech. defination siting some international philatelic material, if possible scan and put that here. I do have something more to say , but only after u r clarification.


    Indiapost issued 2 different stamps on Mathura Museum, joined them together & it got to be known as a se-tenant. I call these twins,triplets,quinttuplets & so on… or simply JOINEDS. I think beautiful se-tenants like Police & Bridges are the real ones.


    I got my Khadi Stamp. I personally did not like it any much. And of course. no compromises when it comes to the show of real worth of something. 100 paisa or 100 rupees?. Please re-issue it in unified rupee symbol.
    And sell it for what it is worth when used on the speedparcel.

  6. N.A.Mirza says:

    June 18, 2011

    Dear Mr. Udit Kasera

    You are right there is a remarkable difference between a se-tenant and other kinds of stamps like Triptych, Tete-Beche and many learned philatelists and collectors have misunderstand the whole concept of se-tenant.

    According to Wikipedia Se-tenant stamps or labels are printed from the same plate and sheet and adjoin one another, unsevered in a strip or block. They differ from each other by design, color, denomination or overprint. They may have a continuous design. The word “se-tenant” translates from French as meaning “joined together”.

    Countries do issue se-tenant stamps to commemorate events. In 1986 the Kingdom Saudi Arabia issued a commemorative Se-tenant stamp on Saudi-Bahrain Causeway depicting the 25-kilometer long span with a perforation that splits the design into two. Late King Fahad and Shaikh Isa bin Salman officially inaugurated the causeway on November 26, 1986.

    The most spectacular four-lane highway on the sea, 25 meters wide costing US$ 1.2 billion, was financed entirely by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and was later renamed as King Fahad Causeway. I place below the se-tenant on Saudi-Bahrain Causeway for our collectors/readers’ benefit.

    N.A. Mirza

    PS: I tried to tag the stamp with above write up but could not succeed. Please let me know to tag stamp with the comment.

  7. N.A.Mirza says:

    Dear Mr. Garg:
    I do not havea website. Is it possible that I transport the attachment via email? If so, please let me have the email address.

    Thanks and with all the best.

    N.A. Mirza

    • SUNIL KUMAR GARG says:

      I am not that Computer Savvy-but my daughter doing 3rd Sem.
      P.G. in Computer Sc. says-no way?
      But I find guys running small shops much more street smart
      than the ones studying/holding fresh degrees-Trust me.

  8. Ani kr Pujara says:

    A setenent is a setenent. Whether beautiful or not. If not beautiful as per personalized taste does not alter the nature of stamps.No new name or nominclature should be created as per individual taste or convenience.

    • SUNIL KUMAR GARG says:

      You are right Mr. Pujara that beauty lies in the beholder’s
      eyes. And there is no need to use newer words as whatever
      is there should suffice to explain any situation.
      That said -Webster,Chambers,Bloomsbury & Oxford are the
      Lexicographers for planet EARTH-No Questions about that!
      And when Oxford says that a se tenant normally an adjective when used as a noun as in a postage stamp has to be joined SIDE-BY-SIDE, who can argue?
      In this way the M.F. Husain’s depiction of Swarajya(60+60)
      perforated horizontally is NOT a se tenant. Now, should we ask
      French what good word they got for something joined
      top-and-down, a VERTICAL se tenant???


    HOLDING TOGETHER in English is se tenant in French. When you
    have a PAIR-OF-STAMPS that are joined together but have different values or designs is a SE TENANT. This definition is restricted to
    TWO joined together. Philatelic jargon has adopted other fancy words
    when more that 2 stamps of different value or design are joined

  10. SUNIL KUMAR GARG says:

    SE TENANT: I searched on the internet & found that the word has
    no synonyms or antonyms. It was first used in the English speaking
    world c.1911. While for the French it is now some 250 years old.
    Very noticeably OXFORD adds that two have 2 be joined SIDE-BY-SIDE.
    In the game of SCRABBLE se tenant is allowable as setenant as
    per CHAMBERS.
    Also, Wikipedia mainly refers to WEBSTER- as does Britannica.

  11. vinayak awate says:


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