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Introductory Note

by P. L. Pemberton.

This volume is presented under most unusual, not to say pathetic, circumstances. So technical was the subject that the authors, owing to their vast experience, were the only men who could have tackled it, yet the untimely death of both has left it to one whose knowledge of the subject is quite elementary, to see the work through the press.

Happily all the MS. was written before Mr. Mortimer was stricken with the mortal illness from which he died on October 21st, 1932. Even before that date Mr. Séfi’s activities had been slackened by early symptons of the long and painful illness which caused his death on October 10th, 1934. Before these tragic events, both authors had made many corrections in the proofs, and if they had lived this volume would have appeared long ago. There were, however, many queries, mostly of a minor nature, still left open, and before the book could be published many little snags cropped up. The straightening out of these matters has necessitated much enquiry on my part, and—which was more serious, in view of the extra calls made upon my time in other directions through the loss of my partner—a great amount of time. Hence the long delay, for which I offer my sincere apologies to those who have been so eagerly awaiting the publication.

Mr. Séfi, for many years before his death, was the acknowledged authority on the stamps of Jammu-Kashmir, which had always been his favourites. His own collection was shewn at many of the great exhibitions and never failed to receive a high award. Mr. Mortimer, already an old and experienced philatelist, did not take up Kashmir until about ten years ago, when he purchased the Séfi Collection and enriched it with many of the gems from the Masson and other collections. At the time of his death, Mr. Mortimer’s Jammu-Kashmirs were incomparably the finest lot ever got together. At ...

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...first under the guidance of Mr. Séfi, and later as a result of his own observations and studies, he became a worthy collaborator in this exhaustive work, in which, it may be said, his claim is an equal one.

The book was an undertaking which demanded endless study, wide research, and much hard work. But it was a work which brought its compensations, for in the discussion of different points concerning the history and classification of the stamps, the status of certain varieties, and many other matters, the authors spent together many of those happy hours and days that pleasantly dot the memory in after years. That, for both, those days were to prove so few, is a simple tragedy. No collaboration could have been happier in its being and in its results, and none, surely, could have had a sadder end. For myself it is some satisfaction to have been able to edit these pages, and now to present them to the world in a form which, I venture to hope, would have satisfied the unusually high standards of my departed friends.

► Chapter I.

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