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Chapter XVI.


Circulars     Jammu Rectangulars     Kashmir Rectangulars     New Rectangular.

The reader who recalls some of the preceding pages will need no reminder that the stamps of Jammu-Kashmir have, like those of most countries of any importance, received the attentions of the forger. Since the early days of the notorious “Die I.”, this individual has been at work in his endeavours to deplete either the Revenues of the State, or the pockets of collectors: But though some of these attempts—notably the huge fraud perpetrated by the Postal Officials themselves, have met with temporary successes, it cannot be said that any known forgery is really dangerous, apart from some clever imitations of the common New Rectangular stamps.

The forgeries of Jammu-Kashmir naturally fall into the same principal divisions of the originals— Circulars, Old Rectangulars and New Rectangulars.

These again sub-divide into two sections—

 (a)  Forgeries to defraud the State by doing postal duty, and (b)  Forgeries made for sale to collectors.

Of these two sections, the former is always the more interesting, and postally used forgeries, of which there are several examples, possess philatelic importance which does not attach to the “collector-forgery.”

In our classification we have not retained the term “Official Forgeries” for the “Missing Die” imitations, but list them under the latter name. We must again emphasise the fact that they were not “Official” in the sense that the State was, in any way, involved in their production. A true “Official Forgery” is one that was made by Government authority and for the benefit of the State itself—the exact reverse of what occurred in the case of the imitations made by the postal officials.

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I. Forgeries of the Circular Stamps.

The forgeries in this group comprise none made (strictly speaking) to defraud the Revenues by doing postal duty, but were the work of individuals seeking to exploit collectors. Many are of so crude a nature that, although they may have passed muster in early days, they need no further reference here. Few of the remainder are more than superficially deceptive, and none are really dangerous.

“Die I.”

The first, and by far the oldest and most important circular forgeries are those of the notorious “Die I.” whose history has previously been given in ► Chapter V.

(a)  Printed in Watercolours on Native Paper.
½-Anna—Black : Green.
4-Anna—Black : Blue-black : Ultramarine : Carmine-red : Orange-red : Deep purple

(b)  Printed in Watercolours on Thin Buff Rice-straw Paper.

Evans considered that the straw-paper was not of native manufacture.

Masson believed that the 4-Annas in green to have been responsible for the emerald-green circulars of 1874-76, holding that these had been originally printed (though subsequently issued and used) primarily in order to supply demands from Europe and America, for the forgery, which was at that time believed to be genuine.

“Die I.” forgeries are, as they always were, of some rarity and, owing to their historical interest, still command a selling price in advance of that of several of the genuine circulars.

Our next illustrations shew two old forgeries of the ½-Anna and 1-Anna which Masson considered to be from the same hand. They are rare and somewhat deceptive...

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...owing, mainly, to the blurred nature of their impressions. They always bear forged obliterations (if any), and the chief tests are as follows:—

 (a)  ½-Anna. The central numeral, instead of shewing three strokes, appears as an uncoloured square having a small projection at the left lower corner. Opposite this projection, the native character resembling an “R” in the outer inscription has its tail much longer than that of the character in originals.

Plate 51, fig. 3

 (b)  The 1-Anna. The straight stroke of the central numeral points to the Dogra character above it, which resembles a “3”. In originals, the space occupied by the two characters immediately to right of the “3” is 9 mm. In the forgery these two characters are squeezed up into a space of 8 mm. only.

[Note added: The authors chronicle only the blue, ed.,]

Watercolours on Native Paper.

Plate 51. fig. 5, illustrates another old forgery of the ½ Anna. It was first described by Masson, who added that he believed a companion 1-Anna existed, and that a 4-Annas might appear. At present neither of the latter have been identified.

Forged obliterations of the old “seals” are commonly found on the ½-Anna both in brick-red and magenta.

The chief tests of this stamp are:—

 (i.)  The outer circle is heavy and the inner one light; in the originals the reverse of this is the case.

 (ii.)  The down-stroke of the character to the right of the Dogra “3” at the top of the outer circle is straight; in originals it is distinctly angled in the middle.

(a)  Printed in Watercolours on Native Paper.
½-Anna—Vermilion : Dull Red.

(b)  Printed in Oil.
½-Anna—Brownish-black : Blue.

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The “Missing-Dies” Circular Forgeries.

These have previously been ► illustrated, and their history and tests described.

Most of them are very common at the present day, and a glance at our lists will convey some idea of the extent to which a remarkable fraud was successfully practised.

These lists contain so large a number of additions to those recorded by E.D. Bacon, in 1899, that we have tempted to believe that further printings had occurred since his work was written. The papers of all additions seem, however, to be identical with those of the varieties he described (with the exception of a thin yellowish laid, which is so rare that it may easily have failed to come to his notice), and in our opinion there have been no later additions to the original crop of 1890 and, perhaps, a year or two following.

All the “Missing Die” forgeries were printed in oilcolour, but a yellow-brown which is found on the thin laid is largely soluble in water, though certainly not a true watercolour pigment.

(a)  Oilcolours on Native Paper.

½-Anna—Black : Vermilion : Carmine-red : Dull red : Orange : Yellow : Red-brown : Dull blue : Grey-blue : Green : Pale dull purple.

1-Anna—Black : Red : Pale red : Red-brown : Deep ochre : Blue : Green : Purple.

4-Annas (Die A)—Black : Orange : Red-brown : Ochre yellow : Blue : Greenish-blue : Green : Greenish grey.

The paper is usually greyer, thinner, and with a much smoother surface than that of originals. The ½-Anna and 4-Annas are known printed in grey-blue on thick unsurfaced paper similar to that of issued stamps.

(b)  Oilcolours on White Laid Paper.

½-Anna—Pale red : Scarlet : Orange : Bright red-brown : Yellow : Yellow-green : Purple.

1-Anna—Black : Scarlet : Red : Grey-blue : Dull purple.

4-Annas (Die A)—Black : Scarlet : Orange-red : Pale red : Ochre : Bright red-brown : Yellow-green : Dull purple.

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(c)  Oilcolours on Thin Yellowish Laid Paper.

(Note.—This, as previously mentioned, is an original New Rectangular paper having the control of “1888”, used for ½-Anna Official stamps. Both stamps and forgeries are rare.)

½-Anna—Grey-blue : Grey-green.

1-Anna—Grey-green : brownish-yellow (soluble colour).

4-Annas (Die A)—Grey-green.

(d)  Oilcolours on Thin Toned or “Pure White” Wove Papers.

(Note.—Much, if not all, of this is original New Rectangular paper, a fact proving the connivance of the Postal Officials. Practically all the following occur on both the toned and white varieties.)

½-Anna—Black : Vermilion : Orange-yellow : Yellow : Blue : Green : Yellow-green : Blue-green : Yellow-brown : Red-brown.

1-Anna—Black : Vermilion : Orange : Yellow : Blue : Green : Yellow-green : Red-Brown : Brown-lake.

4-Annas (Die A)—Black : Vermilion : Red : Orange : Yellow : Blue : Green : Yellow-green : Orange-brown : Red-brown : Purple.

The 4-Annas—Die B [=Die II.] (Same Papers).

4-Anna (Die B)—Vermillion : Pale dull red : Yellow : Blue : Yellow-green : Purple.

These impressions (Die B) are far from common and seem to have owed their existence to some injury to the first forged die. All colours occur on both varieties of the thin wove; and only one—the yellow on toned paper—was known to Bacon.

The “Brighton” Forgeries.

The so-called “Brighton” forgeries form a large group of comparatively modern imitations of all the dies and plates of Jammu-Kashmir. All of them reproduced, by photo-process, the genuine types so accurately that illustrations would serve no useful purpose. As far as Circulars and Old Rectangulars are concerned, they can, however, be at once detected by their papers which have no sort of resemblance to those of any original stamps, but they become deceptive and, occasionally, dangerous in the New Rectangular group. The latter were first...

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...noticed in 1903. Many of the Circular and Old Rectangular imitations were described by ourselves in 1921. The forgery of the 4-Annas circular is still, curiously enough, reproduced in catalogues of the present day (1931), and the illustration has appeared unchallenged for at least 26 years. This forgery is at once recognisable by the form of the character immediately to the left of the Dogra “3” which resembles a large note of interrogation (“?”).

I. Watercolours.
(a)  Thin imitation “native paper.”
½-Anna—Red : Yellow : Black.
1-Anna—Prussian-blue : Black.

(b)  Slightly toned pelure paper.
½-Anna—Dull red : Yellow ochre : Bright yellow : Prussian blue : Ultramarine : Emerald-green
1-Anna—Dull red : Yellow ochre : Bright yellow : Ultramarine : Emerald-green
4-Annas—Dull red : Yellow ochre : Bright yellow : Ultramarine : Emerald-green : Black

(c)  Toned laid paper.
1-Anna—Yellow-green : Black
4-Annas—Yellow-green : Black

(d)  White laid paper.
½-Anna—Red : Yellow ochre : Yellow-green : Bright blue : Deep olive green : Black
1-Anna—Red : Yellow ochre : Yellow-green : Bright blue : Deep olive green : Black
4-Anna—Red : Yellow ochre : Yellow-green : Bright blue : Deep olive green : Black

(e)  Thin hard white wove paper.
½-Anna—Pale yellow
1-Anna—Pale yellow
4-Annas—Pale yellow

II. Oilcolours.
(a)  Thin imitation “native paper.”
½-Anna—Dull orange : Green : Bright blue.
1-Anna—Dull orange : Green
4-Annas—Dull orange : Green

(b)  Thin white laid paper.
½-Anna—Pale red : Yellow ochre : Bright blue : Emerald-green : Chestnut : Grey
1-Anna—Yellow ochre : Bright blue : Chestnut : Grey : Black
4-Annas—Pale red : Yellow ochre : Bright blue : Chestnut : Grey : Black

(c)  Thick coarse grey wove paper.
4-Annas—Sage green

(d)  Thick white laid paper.
4-Annas—Bright red

► Chapter XVI continued: Jammu Rectangular Forgeries.

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