Postage Stamps of Hyderabad

By Sunil Mungara

The Nizam government had set a rare record not only in printing its own currency and minting coins, but also managing its own post offices. It was thenizam stamps only princely state in the British empire to print its own postage.According to the Postal records, the first postal stamp was issued in 1866-67 CE during the reign of Nawab Afzal-ud-Dowlah, Nizam V. These stamps were printed in Tughra script and perhaps the most ornamental of all scripts in Muslim calligraphy. The stamps were engraved by G Rapkin of London and the plates were made by London-based firm, Nissen & Parker. Interestingly, these stamps were printed in Hyderabad and the price of the stamp was one Anna.

Later in 1871, the stamps of the value of 1/2 Anna and two Annas were issued. They were engraved and printed in Hyderabad. They bear a simple design but around the central field are four small labels showing the value in four languages – English, Urdu, Telugu and Marathi. The stamps of different types and values were issued during the reigns of Afzal-Ud-Dowlah, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, andMir Osman Ali Khan  . The stamps of Hyderabad still remain an unexplored field and many philatelists in Europe and the USA are engaged in minute study of the stamps and postal stationery issued by the Government of HEH The Nizam between 1866 and 1950 CE.

The Postal Department has kept on display the postal stamps issued during the Nizam rule at the Dak Sadan, Abids. “We preserved them as they are more valuable than gold,” a senior official told TOI.(Source TOI)

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