Kashmir Proofs

From The Postage Stamps of J&K Simplified by Dawson & Smythies, pp 20-23.

Occasionally single impressions from the two Kashmir composite plates and the two single dies turn up printed in watercolours on pélure, laid, and wove papers quite different from the native paper of the issued stamps. These were chronicled from time to time while the stamps were current by Major Evans, M. Moens and others. The specimens on the rose pélure paper seem to have been original plate and die proofs, those on the laid and wove papers were apparently made as experiments connected with the new printing methods contemplated at the time, and which resulted in the New Rectangulars of 1878. No ‘used’ copy is known, and they are found in single specimens only, except for the ¼a black printers’ ink, which was printed from the the complete strip of five stamps. Except for the latter, all these varieties are very rare, and are of interest to the specialist only. Chronicle:

Kashmir experimental printings
1867¼ablackwaterrose-tinted pélure
4ablackwaterrose-tinted pélure
8ablackwaterrose-tinted pélure
1867?1achestnutwaterthin bâtonné wove
1877½amilky bluewaterlaid, broad lines
1achestnutwaterlaid, broad lines
4asea-greenwaterlaid, broad lines
8abrick-redwaterlaid, broad lines
2ayellowwaterthinner laid
2ayellowwaterpélure wove
1aorangewaterthin wove
4asea-greenwaterthin wove
8abrick-redwaterthin wove
8abright-redwaterthin wove
1878?4ayellow-greenoillaid
8avermilion-redoillaid
¼ablackinkthick laid
¼ablackinkthin laid
¼ablackinkcoarse toned wove

Kashmir Reprints

The same people who printed off quantities of circular stamps in oilcolours and substituted them for original stamps in the treasures did exactly the same with the two composite plates and two dies of the Kashmir Old Rectangulars. They were supplied to dealers and collectors from the State treasuries, and were accepted as genuinely issued stamps until 1898.

Séfi and Mortimer state that three reprintings took place—in 1881, 1886-88, and 1890. The 1881 reprints are rare; they consisted of the second composite place printed in its entirety in lilac. The plate can be found in its first state and also in its second state when four small rivets were inserted at the junction of the four inner lower corners of the ¼ anna with the four inner upper corners of the 2 annas. The two outer rivets appear as coloured pin heads, and the two inner as uncoloured. Impressions from the first state I of the plate are extremely rare. All future reprintings are, of course, from the plate in its second state II. Most of the varieties can be found overprinted CANCELLED in black or red, but are rare thus.

1. Kashmir 1881 Reprints
state I¼alilacnative
state I2alilacnative
state II¼alilacnative
state II2alilacnative


2. Kashmir 1886-88 Reprints on Native Paper
½a1a2a4a8a
blackblackblackblackblack
slateslate-blackslate-black--
-slate-blueslate-blueblue-
vermilion-vermilion-red
orangeorangeorange-redorangeorange-vermilion
yellow-greenyellow-greenyellowyellow-green-
----purple


3. Kashmir 1886-88 Reprints on Yellowish Woves
½a1a4a8a
blackblackblackblack
-brown-black--
deep blue*deep blue--
slate-blue---
pale ultramarinegrey-bluedull-blue-
orange-redvermilionorange-vermilionvermilion
brown-redbrown-redbrownish-red-
---dull orange
pale yellowyellowochreochre
olive-yellow-yellow-green-
green*green--
blue-green---
dull-green---
sage-green---
-brown--
--purplepurple


4. Kashmir 1890 Reprints on White Wove
½a4a
dull green-
sage-green-
-dull blue
-orange
-purple

The ½a deep blue and the ½a green [notated with * in table (c) above] are known printed from the top row of the plate only. Note that the ¼a was not reprinted after 1881.

Kashmir Forgeries

Two crude imitations of the Kashmir ½a single die can be found, but the inscriptions are so badly engraved that these forgeries should deceive nobody; they are thus quite harmless. [Copyist’s note: The Scott catalog has been using this forgery for decades as the illustration of the authentic single die.] They were printed in black watercolour and in green and carmine-red oilcolour on white or toned wove papers.

Of quite a different standing is the much-debated single-die forgery of the Kashmir 1a plate. This was first commented upon by Evans in 1887. Thirteen years later Masson stated his opinion that it was a forgery contemporaneous with the circular DieI forgeries and emanating from the same source. But for many years it was much sought after, up to £20 having been paid for a specimen. In 1903 Evans noted in the Philatelic Journal of India that it had been recorded by Dr Legrand in 1875.

This forgery can be detected when the margins are not enough to show that it is a single die, by (i) the long upward sloping stroke of the yek, and (ii) the very minute date 1923 beneath. It is extremely rare in any other colour than the 1a red, in which even it is quite scarce. This forgery is as collectible as the DieI circulars. [Copyist’s note: All but the orange-brown can be seen on the main site; we have added an indigo.]

The Flying-yek Forgery
1ablackwaternative
1abluewaternative
1aindigowaternative
1acarmine-redwaternative
1aorange-brownwaternative

The next forgery, also of the 1a, is really dangerous, but it is, fortunately very rare. Séfi and Mortimer chronicle it only in black and orange-red on European wove or laid paper, but see next:


There were a few specimens in blues on native paper in the Ferrari-Hind collection. The forgery is a single-die and a very close copy of position #3 of the genuine 1a.

When masquerading as used it bears a forged circular black seal or is pen-marked. Specimens are unusually well-printed and clear for watercolours, but the vertical white lines in the spandrils are missing, and this is the best test for this forgery, said to date from perhaps 1870:

Kashmir Single-Die Watercolour Forgeries
native paper1adull black
1adull ultramarine
1abright ultramarine
1aorange
European laid1adull black
1abright ultramarine
1aorange-red
European wove1aorange-red

[Copyist’s note: Another 1a bright ultramarine forgery of the preceding type on European laid paper is known. A copy ‘cancelled’ with a black circular seal, probably faked, can be on the Kashmir watercolor forgeries page on the main site. We have taken the liberty of adding it to the table preceding.]

Missing-Die Forgeries. These are known for the 2a, 4a, and 8a. They are single dies prepared by the same gang that produced the Missing Dies of the circular stamps. The 2a is easily recognised when with margins; it is also about 1 mm too tall, and there is an extra thick, outer frame line which is rounded off at the corners, where it is usually broken. Later on the die developed a curved white flaw in the top left corner. The sun in the top of the oval is very badly formed.

The 4a and 8a have no white dots in the spandrils, and they each have an extra outer frame line. Thus all these three forgeries are easily recognised. They can be found with forged cancellations, also with the three-circle postmarks of 1890-94, which at once condemn them.

Kashmir Missing-Die Forgeries 1890
Paper2a4a8a
native-blackblack
"-blue-
"vermilionredvermilion
"-orangeorange
"brownorange-brown-
toned wove-blackblack
"ultramarineblue-
"redredred
"-green-
"-purple-brown-
white woveblackblackblack
"bluegrey-blue-
"vermilionvermilionred
"orange--
"-yellow-
"-green-
"brown--
"-purple-
med white laid-vermilion-
thin white laid-ultramarine-

► New Rectangulars of the 3rd Period.

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