Compiled by Ganesh Prasad Chowdhary (Retd Postmaster Ranchi GPO)
Stamp collection is very pleasant and popular hobby worldwide. Building a habit for collection of stamps is a way of creativity and passion. There are many subjects, themes or topics on which different countries world over release postage stamps in colorful attractive design and make. The subjects include on transport system –railway, airplane, motor vehicles, birds, domestic or wild animals, flowers, great men, special events, sports, games, crickets ,football etc. etc. A beginner may select all the subjects or one of them. Most people start general collection but specialize on a special subject or theme or topic in course of time..
Famous penny black and two penny blue which were introduced in 1840 featuring the youthful profile Queen Victoria. The issues were known as labels and the gumming was called cement. Soon after the issue of these labels people started collecting them but hobby become popular after 1860s. The French started first collecting the stamps who were called timbrologists. The word timbre in French meant stamps. Just after France, British adopted stamp collecting and gradually the people around the world adopted the habit of collecting different type stamps issued from time to time. Basically three types of stamps are sold. Definitive is for every days use. Commemoratives – Large sized special stamps mark an event, that may be particular anniversary, fauna and flora, animals- especially wildlife are second type of stamps.. Third one is thematic stamps interested in thematic collection.
The beginner may start collecting new stamps buying from post offices and toy or hobby shops, and, old stamps from his own house mails or from friends and relatives or from other collectors who receive large number of mails. Stamps catalogue will guide the beginner in getting barter or purchase. He may also exchange stamps from other collectors. The normal rule for such exchange is one for one. Before it, the beginner has to make a list of tools that he may need in course of time.
In preparation of stamps, people often give turn off envelope pasted stamps, the beginner have to remove them from the envelope papers by putting them in warm water filled plate. It will take a few minutes time to soak the gum. Then remove the stamps with your clean hands very gently . The dry stamps should be carefully handled with the help of a tweezers.
The completely dried stamps will become ready for mounting in an album subject or theme wise. You may sort out the stamp subject wise before arranging them in a mount or album.For mounting stamps, as a beginners, you have to select a special subject or topic or theme in which you have much interest and knowledge. Always use good stamps and put them in order price wise 10p, 15p, 40p, 100p, 200p or so on. The beginners will need good quality hinges to mount your stamps.
First turn the faces of hinges downwards and take a hinge and fold a flap of quarter inch with gummed side outwards. Slightly moisten the flap in the lower edge. Fix the moistened flap to the top edge in the back of the stamp and place in the center near the edge keeping the perforations clear. Now spread the hinge and turn the stamp with the tweezers Keep the hinge folding down and keep it flat on the back of the stamp by holding in the tweezers and place the page on the mount and press to grip the hinge. When the stamp is slicked properly, it is complete and allowing it for some time to dry. Cover the mount with transparent jackets.
If the choice is for country selection, the arrangement will be alphabetically according to the name the Country. Stamps of Great Britain can be indentified from the head of the monarch from Queen Victoria, King Edward VII King George V King Edward VIII King George VI Queen Elizabeth. Indian Stamps can be recognized from the inscription on as “INDIA” but in the olden days the inscription on the stamps were “India Postage”
India first issued copper metallic tokens of two annas value used at Patna in between 1774 and 1784.The metallic foils were locally strucked with the inscription “AZIMABAD DAK DO ANNI” in Persian and on the other side “PATNA POST “was engraved in English. In 1852 paper stamps of half anna.
In 1852 paper stamp of ½ annas (Adhani) value Scinde District Dawk were also in use in Scinde District (Sindh now in Pakistan).This was India`s first paper stamp and also in Asia. The British Raj Indian stamps were first issued on 10.th May 1854 featuring youthful profile of queen Victoria and the stamps were printed and designed at Calcutta. The value of the stamps were half ,one, two and four in annas (then coin used throughout India). The stamps those were issued in 1855 had the inscription East India Company postage stamps. British India had some 652 native states. There were two type of state ,some were convention services, used their own printed stamps. on the mails transported within their state.
King Edward VII become King of UK and Emperor of British India in 1901.Postal Stamps personified him in the same frame of Victoria stamps with some change in color and price were characterized . The price gone up to Rs 25. Higher value stamps were for the recovery of the charges on parcels and telegrams.
There were two type of native states in the British India conventional and feudatory states The conventional states were using the British India Postage stamps overprinting them within their states and the feudatory states were printing their own stamps for postal charges within the states. On all the mails outside their state has to bear British India Stamps.
The coronation of George V took place after the death of King Edward VII on 6th May 1910 and remained in the throne till his death on 20.1.1936.He was himself a stamp collector and philatelist. He took his personal interest in the stamps in their design and make ,so he use to approve stamps during his regime. The stamps introduced as had more and attractive floral motif in design. “ONE AND HALF ANNA “inscribed stamps were issued in 1919 which inscription was modified to ONE AND A HALF ANNA in 1921 with watermarks and multiple stars.
The British Raj Government Moved from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1931. In 1931, the set of six first pictorial stamps , showing the fortress of Paraná Qila Delhi and government buildings were issued to mark the government\’s move from Calcutta to New Delhi. The inaugural one rupees stamp in the series featured the secretariat and dominion columns . Another pictorial set commemorating the silver jubilee of the King George V was released featuring buildings and King George V in 1935.
The stamps, introduced in 1937,were depicted pictorial set of George V with various systems of mail transport.
After Independence of India, first stamps of 3- 1/2 (three and half Annas) featuring Indian National Tricolor Flag on 21November 1947.the next issue was depicted the National Emblem of India The Ashok lion Capital (three lions pillar) on 15.12.1947. The third stamps depicting Douglas DC 4 Aircraft 12 annas value Airmail service for foreign mails . All three stamps were inscribed Jai hind slogan in Hindi (long live India) .When India became Republic , inaugurational postage stamp series of Republic of India of denomination of 2 Annas 4 Annas were issued on the occasion.
The Governement of India decided to issue a set of two stamps potraying Mahatama gandhi and important events of his life on the occasion of his 80th, birth anniversary but the idea was dropped due to his tragic assassination on 30th january 1948. The Governement of India later on decided to issue a set of two mourning stamps of value 2 ½ annas for the Air mail service in side the country and 12 annas stamps for UK on 12th march 1948. On the suggestion of JawaharLal Nehru then Prime Minister of India “Bapu” popular name of Gandhiji was printed in Hindi and Urdu. The decision was redropped and it was finally released on 15th Augusr 1948 on the eve of first anniversary of Independence to mark tribute to“Bapu”. The stamps were of denomination
1-1/ 2, 3 ½Anna. , Rs 10. The designs were selected from the Photographs one from Life Magzine and the second from sentg by Rajkumari Amrit kaur obtaining from Kanu Gandhi the grand son of Mahatma Gandhi. 100 stamps of the series was overprinted service for use by Governor General of India . fortresses.
The beginner may purchase stamp albums which are arranged according to their need, most important and attractive themes or topic which can be selected is the Mahatma Gandhi series which were issued on different occasion by India and abroad, other interesting stamps are Jai Hind series, Children`s day stamps, Olympic events and wild life conservation stamps Most stamps are rectangular or square shape but some of them are in unusual make and design such as triangles, circles and lozenge shaped stamps are issued. Pakistan continued to use India Postage stamps overprinting Pakistan till they isued their own .Stamps become more valuable when an error is noticed by some serious collector.It also become further valuable such stamps are withrawn and then again reissued.Thhe error had occurred since the start first printing of stamps in 1840 the days when pennyblack and two penny penny blue were isueed.errors occur at the stage of designing, engraving, transferring,printing perfotating etc etc. most common errors are in composing when two penoe was composed insteed of two pence or Mocambiquw instead of Mozambique.
Gandhi, Nehru, Netaji Subhash ,Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Ambedkar and many other high, patriotic and historic persons have been featured in the day to day used stamps or Commemoratives stamps . The Indian postage stamps were also in use in Aden, Persian Gulf Africa, Burma, Nepal, Tibet, Labuan, Sarawak and Singapore popularly known as India used Abroad . One of the most interesting thematic collection of stamps are the stamps issued on children day (14th November) the day of birth day of the first prime minister of India Jawaharlal Lal Nehru. In 1957 the theme was nutrition in 1957 and recreation in 1958,nurse with child patient in 1959, Boys awaiting admission to children`s home, Indian village in 1996 and so on.
US President Roosevelt was eminent philatelist and had fun and relaxation in stamps during world war II and carried with him stamps wherever he went and refreshed himself . He was serious stamp collector.