Old Kashmir Rarities

The SG catalogue entries that represent stamps for which fewer than about two dozen copies (both used and unused taken together) are marked with the dagger †. Undaggered means that the item is of that scarcity in either unused or in used condition, but not in both. The star * tags the entries for which there may not be examples currently attested in postal use.

SG87.  The ½a black watercolor Kashmir single-die on native paper. Easily makes the list in unused condition; perhaps a dozen copies? Half that? Postally used, the stamp does not make the list (even I have one).

SG88.  The ½a black watercolor on native paper. While we have long assumed that this denomination would not make the list in either used or unused condition, we are having to reconsider. The unused version might well make the grade. Perhaps telling is that there is no unused example in the Hellrigl exhibition. One can be viewed in Lot # 196 in the Sturton sale.

SG89.  The 1a black watercolor on native paper. Fewer than ten copies in unused condition? The following is a beautiful copy from the Hellrigl exhibition. Postally used, the stamp is not uncommon, so to speak.

†SG93.  The 1a ultramarine watercolor on native paper. Unused, among the first rank of rarities, perhaps a dozen attested.

Postally used, perhaps a dozen have been reported, about half on cover. A startling example of both colors of the 1a serving together in a June 1867 mailing: The 1a ‘blue’ and the 1a Venetian red watercolors together. This detail, 20 June 1867, is from a Srinagar to Amritsar javab cover, done as if purposely color-coded for just such special service. (That is a question.) A gem in the Hellrigl collection.

†SG100.  The 4a sage-green watercolor on native paper. Much rarer than catalogue prices would suggest, and we sense it should even make the starred listing, if provisionally:

Séfi & Mortimer tell us that this rare shade predates the myrtle. The pair of 8a stamps seen above are indeed in the early and distinctive Venetian-red shade. Still we are unaware of the argument that definitively establishes it before the myrtle printing, and there are some suggestions that it might have been a later printing. Lot 1441, for example, in the Haverbeck sale presents a cover containing the sage-green together with 1a in ‘orange-brown’. The cover is (said to be) dated 13 rajab 1285 ~ 30 October 1868, i.e., a full year later (to the day) than a known dating for a myrtle. The detail above is from a lovely undated cover in the Jaiswal collection. The rare unused copy is from the Hellrigl collection.

SG100a.  The 4a myrtle-green watercolor on native paper. Fewer than a dozen or so are likely existing in unused condition. It does come in its own shade distinctions, notably a 4a jade-green watercolor, which we tag the ‘SG100b’.

Postally used, the stamp may not make the list, though it might. Still, only two are now chronicled on cover. The cover detail above for 2 rajab [1284] ~ 30 Oct 1867 provides an important dating; it is again a javab cover to Amritsar. Lot #253 Sturton Sale.

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