[page 71]

Chapter VI.

The Jammu Old Rectangulars. 1867-1878

It has been noted in preceding chapters that, in 1867, Jammu had been provided with a single and very small Plate which, from that date until superseded by the New Rectangulars of 1878, continued to do the bulk of the production of Jammu stamps; also that, owing to the inadequate size of the Plate, this had to be supplemented, as occasion arose, by further printings from all three Circular Dies, printings from both Plate and Dies proceeding side-by-side in the same colours; and, finally, that, in the latter respect, Jammu differed entirely from Kashmir which, having from 1866-67 onwards been provided with a comprehensive series of Plates and Dies, had no need to supplement them in any way.

The inadequacy of this little Composite plate will, at once, be evident from a glance at [the scan below]. Capable of printing but four stamps at an operation, and of a total of 2½ Annas, it can scarcely be a matter for surprise that its feeble resources of production were supplemented by printings from the old Circular Dies, particularly since one of the latter was a 4-Annas—a denomination which was not included on the plate.


The 1-Anna on the Plate (Type 3) occupied the left lower corner, the remaining three types being those of ½-Anna denominations. All four types, having been separately engraved, differ from each other in their details.

Stamps from this Plate, as in the case of the Plates and Dies engraved for Kashmir, shew, in the lower part of the inner oval, the Dogra year 1923 which is the equivalent of A.D. 1866; but, in the Jammu plate, the last of the four...

[page 72]
...characters (resembling the numeral “3”) differs from its counterpart on Kashmir Dies and Plates, where, it appears like the “n”. This difference caused early students to translate the year, as shewn for Kashmir, as 1924 or A.D. 1867, and from this arose considerable confusion in the grouping of the Plates of the respective Provinces. Masson, however, established the fact (Part I., p. 17) that both characters were alternative forms of the same native numeral meaning “3”, and consequently that the equivalent of A.D. 1866 had been indicated in every instance.


The Engraver.

The Pate was engraved by a native seal-cutter, Rahat Ju, who also engraved the whole of the Old Rectangular dies and plates of the Kashmir Province, as well as all but one of the plates of the New Rectangulars of 1878.


The Design.

This design differs in one important respect from those of Kashmir in having a frame-line engraved round the outer margin only, and none between the stamps themselves. Apart from this, the general appearance of both Jammu and Kashmir Old Rectangulars is very similar.

In the Jammu Plate, each of the four subjects shews broad inner and outer ovals containing inscriptions, the emblem of the “sun” (previously appearing in the centre of the circular dies), being transferred to the top of the outer oval. This has been considered a “star” and also a “lotus flower,” but we believe that the sun is indicated. On either side of this sun are the Dogra characters for “Jammu” and “Kashmir” respectively, the lower part of the outer oval containing what are, virtually, the Persian inscriptions of the circular stamps. The inner oval has three horizontal lines of native inscriptions, which have already been referred to and translated.


The Printer.

As far as we have been able to gather, it has never yet been recorded that there were separate printing establishments at Jammu and Srinagar. Masson and others seem to have left...

[page 73]
...an impression (owing to their allusions to a “State Printer”), that the stamps of both Provinces were always produced at one particular State Printing Office. This would, obviously, have been impossible if such “shortages” had, as Masson believed, occurred in connection with Jammu stamps of 1867-77, since no such difficulties had attached to Kashmir stamps of the same period. Stuart Godfrey, to whom we submitted the point, was unable to advance any definite proof of separate establishments; but though the fact is sufficiently proved in the course of this work, Godfrey’s reply contained other points of interest which lead us to quote it as follows:—

“The question is a difficult one to fix by rule, for the rule in those days, as is often the case in the East—was chiefly formed of exceptions. It must be remembered that communications in Kashmir, at that time, were very different from what they are now—difficult and long—and the Government of the State far less organised. When Srinagar rose to importance with the construction of the Jhelum Valley road, the Kashmir printings had to be done in Kashmir. The original custom was for the printing to be done in the offices of the Provincial Governors of Jammu and Kashmir. I never concerned myself with the minutiae of the details of these offices but that there were different printers must be obvious to anyone who knew the comparatively primitive organisations of the periods referred to.”

Incidentally, we may add that the “State Printer,” so frequently mentioned by Masson and other writers, has been declared by Stuart Godfrey to have had no official existence.


The Issued Stamps.

No Essay or Proof is known printed from the Jammu Plate. It has already been shewn that stamp-printings from this Plate were supplemented on occasions, by others from the circular dies, the same pigments, whether in watercolour or oil, being employed for all. We therefore find that, with an occasional omission or addition of a particular colour or paper, the Jammu Rectangulars follow on the lines of the Circulars of this Province, viz.:—

(a)  1868-77. Watercolour in the standardised reds, on native paper.

[page 74]

(b)  1874-77. Watercolour printings in special colours, on native paper.

(c)  July, 1877-March, 1878. Oil printings both in red and other colours on both native and European papers.

The whole of the second and third groups fell, at one time (together with the corresponding circulars) into disrepute for reasons given in the preceding chapter. We shall now proceed to shew that these reasons do not apply at all to the Jammu Rectangulars, and that the whole of these issues successfully stand the test of the amount of legitimate use. The great majority of the abnormal varieties are, indeed, known in used condition only.


Jammu Rectangulars—Watercolours

First Issue. September, 1867.
½-Anna + 1-Anna Greyish-black. Watercolour, on Native Paper.

The earliest known date of use is September 13th, 1867, and the shade of black is that of the first circulars: there can be little doubt but that both were printed side-by-side.

The stamps are rare, having been quickly withdrawn from use, and superseded by printings in blue, in order to avoid confusion with the ½ and 1-Anna rectangulars of the Kashmir Province which were also being printed in black. The duration of this issue can scarcely have exceeded one or two weeks.

The ½-Anna black is known on a cover used in the Kashmir Province. The stamp bears the red seal applied, on despatch, at Srinagar, and also the magenta seal of Jammu, superimposed on the red on arrival at Jammu City. Such issue in Kashmir was, doubtless, accidental and easily explainable by the resemblance of the stamp to the ½-Anna from the Kashmir Plate which had also been issued in black a few months earlier. The stamp itself was probably brought to Srinagar by some traveller from Jammu.

It is important to note that the obliteration on used copies can only be the Jammu circular seal in magenta, since (as with...

[page 75]
...the circulars) there was a fresh issue in black during 1874-76 some eight years later, the stamps of which were obliterated with the square black seal. It will be convenient to deal with both of these black issues at this point.

The later black stamps have hitherto been classified as a “Re-issue” of remainders of the original printing, but we believe that this was not the case.

It has never been suggested that the “intense black” watercolour Circulars of 1874-76 were other than those for a fresh printing made at this later period, and it is rarely a matter of difficulty to separate them, by colour alone, from the “grey-black” stamps of 1866: In other words, the “intense black” circulars were not a Re-issue of old surplus stock.

This applies equally to the Rectangulars. The shade of stamps used with the early magenta seal is greyish, and that of those used with the later “square black seal” deep black by comparison. Also, since Jammu had continuously printed circulars and rectangulars side-by-side and in identical colours, a fresh printing in black from the Rectangular Plate in 1874-76 would be merely following the recognised practice; whereas a Re-issue of old stock would, at this date, be quite unaccountable. A year or two later, during 1877-78, Jammu did, in fact, “re-issue” very considerable quantities of old unused stock, both Circular and Rectangular: but this arose for a special reason—that of clearing the way for the New Rectangulars—a reason which could not have applied to stamps in 1874-76.

All these black watercolour stamps, whether of the early or late issue, are much undervalued. The ½-Anna in deep-black is fairly common unused compared with the grey-black in similar condition: used copies are about equally scarce whether shewing the early magenta, or the later square black seal obliteration. As regards the 1-Anna, used copies of either issue are worthy of a place among the many rarities of Jammu, while in unused condition they are scarcely known. They are, in fact, at least as rare as, or rarer than, their black counterparts from the ½-Anna + 1-Anna Plate of Kashmir, which are priced in catalogues at from five to ten times as...

[page 76]
...much. Evans noted (“Ph. J. Ind.”, vol. VI., p. 281) that in 1875, eight years after issue, they were unknown to Dr. Legrand, and did not exist in any of the great collections in Paris.

It should be noted that the objection which caused the withdrawal of the first of the black watercolour rectangulars, had ceased to exist when the later black stamps were issued, for at this period no ½-Anna or 1-Anna stamp was being printed in black for the Kashmir Province.

We therefore classify these black watercolour rectangulars as belonging to two different printings made in 1867 and 1874-76 respectively. Used copies are, of course, separable at a glance, by their obliterations, but unused can scarcely be distinguished with certainty.

September, 1867—May, 1868.
½a + 1a. Blue (Shades). Watercolour on Native Paper.

This issue lasted for some eight months until May, 1868. The stamps are scarce in unused condition, but, when used, are far more common than any of the preceding black issue, whether used or unused, a fact not appreciated by present catalogues. An analysis of a very large amount of material in the Masson, Séfi, and other important collections proves that the old colour-divisions of indigo, deep ultramarine and violet-blue possess but little importance and are prefectly useless for providing the basis of a chronological sequence of printings. The Indigo is somewhat more violet than true indigo and varies, as does the ultramarine, in intensity; while the so-called “violet-blue” is merely a rather pale and warm shade of the Indigo and all three shades are found used at all periods of the issue. It is not, of course, suggested that differences of shade should be ignored by collectors, since such shades shew very clearly the results of numerous small “hand-to-mouth” printings, sufficient for immediate requirements. The shades, however, most certainly do not indicate distinct printings, made at definite periods.

The ½-Anna, in an ultramarine shade, is known used with the “square black seal”; and as this obliterator did not...

[page 77]
...come into existence until 1870—two years after the blue issue had become obsolete—it may be that surplus stock of this issue was used up with the “bright blue” printings of 1874-76. The square obliterator was still being employed at this period and, if this had occurred, the scarcity of unused stamps of 1867 could be accounted for.

There can be no doubt, as previously pointed out, but that some of the pigment used for this issue, was also used for the corresponding circulars.

Covers bearing 1-Anna stamps exist which were used in June and July 1868 from the Kashmir Province. These covers bear the postmarks of various British Post Offices in the Punjab only. The stamps themselves shew no Native obliteration, and were, doubtless, taken by travellers from Jammu into Kashmir where they either were permitted franking power, or passed as blue stamps of the latter Province.

1868-77. Watercolour on Native paper.
  (a)  ½-Anna + 1-Anna — Red  :  orange-red
  (b)  ½-Anna + 1-Anna — Orange.  (August, 1872).
  (c)  ½-Anna + 1-Anna — Dull carmine-red.  (March, 1876).

Masson gave the date of the first red issue as June, 1868, but his collection shewed no example used until 1869. It is significant also that, though both Circulars and Rectangulars were printed in the same pigments, Masson should have given 1869 as the date of the first red Circular stamps.

Of these, the orange-red is rare, particularly in the 1-Anna, and the colour is, at times, very brilliant and distinctive. It occurred, however, at various times during the duration of the issue, and does not characterize a single well-defined printing. The red stamps are the commonest, whether used or unused, of all the Jammu Rectangulars. Strips of three are known, shewing the 1-Anna as the central stamp, this being caused by two plate impressions having been made without a space between them.

[page 78]
As in the case of the preceding blue issue, these stamps are also known to have been used from the Kashmir Province.

It was a general, though not invariable practice of the Post Office, to cut up sheets of the plate-impressions vertically, and then to remove all the 1-Anna stamps. This was probably done in order to avoid confusion of the denominations, and to facilitate supply to customers. The practice was also adopted with the following printing in orange.

A variety is known of the 1-Anna printed in orange-red watercolour very similar to that of some of the issued stamps, but on a remarkable paper. This is very thick and coarse and shews widely spaced laid lines placed horizontally. This description would, normally, be applicable to European paper, but we consider it to be a most abnormal form of the native variety. It has certainly no resemblance whatever to any known variety of European laid issued between 1877 and 1879.

Colonel Hancock considered the impression to be a Proof, but a used copy, also of the 1-Anna, was recently discovered by us. The ½-Anna on this paper is not yet known, but must certainly have been printed.

Variety. Watercolour on very thick and coarse native paper shewing wide-laid lines.
1-Anna — Orange-red.

  (b)  Orange. This is a well-defined printing, used, for some three months, from August, 1872. The 1-Anna is exceedingly rare: only two used copies are known, and there appears to be no record of one unused.

The colour, in the case of printings from an over-charged plate, occasionally approaches orange-red but is, as a rule, very distinctive.

Mention must be made of an abnormal cover from the Masson Collection. This was franked with a ½-Anna orange, obliterated with the magneta seal, the cover itself being dated 6 May, 1868! At this date some of the blue stamps were still...

[page 79]
...in use, while in June the colour of the seal was changed from magenta to black. This stamp could, of course, have no connection with the printing of 1872 unless, for some reason, the bulk of the earliest printing had been stored, and only issued at a later period. More probably it represents no more than a freak of colour-mixing, and it is, in any case, too rare to be allowed to detract from the claim of the stamps of 1872 to belong to a single and definite printing.

  (c)  Dull carmine-red. Nine examples of this remarkable addition to our catalogues occurred in the Masson collection, and others are known. Eight of the Masson examples were on entires, all of which shewed dates from March to June, 1876, shewing a definite printing: They also included a single 1-Anna stamp which is, at present, the only known example. No unused copy of either denomination has yet been recorded. These were the only stamps in Masson’s collection which he had specially protected with transparent paper, but, though this suggested that he valued them highly, he did not, beyond a casual allusion to a “cherry-red” stamp, include them in his classified lists.

1874-76. Special Printings.
Watercolour on Native Paper.
½-Anna + 1-Anna—(a)  Bright blue. (b)  Emerald-green. (c)  Deep black.

  (a)  Bright blue. These stamps, unlike the circulars printed in the same colour, are, though somewhat rare, fully authentic in having done legitimate postal duty. The ½-Anna, indeed, would seem to be only known used. The 1-Anna, on the other hand, is rather more common in unused condition. A possible explanation of this may be that, owing to the smaller demand for the higher value, some of these formed part of the few genuine old Rectangulars which ultimately passed, as Remainder stock, into the hands of Father Simons.

Evans, who condemned most unsparingly the following oil-printed issues of 1877-78, nevertheless proved to his satis-...

[page 80]
...faction by various arguments (“Ph. J. Ind.” Vol. VI., pp. 281-83), that whatever the reason for the production of these “special printings” of 1874-76, it could not possibly have been for sale to collectors; and this opinion was published four years after the full details of the Simons Controversy had been made public in India. The disclosures then made, undoubtedly shew that the question of sale to collectors had been a factor of influence, but Evans appreciated that the Jammu “Special Printings” in watercolour had not, in fact, been so sold, but had been applied solely for legitimate purposes.

  (b)  Emerald-green. (April, 1876). Both denominations have always held a high place among Jammu rarities, and, as with the bright-blue stamps, the 1-Anna unused is commoner than the ½-Anna in like condition. When genuinely used it is by far the rarer of the two. The stamps are only known used in 1876, the earliest dates being April 19th and 21st, and they appear to have been withdrawn before the commencement of oil-printing. They were probably superseded by further printings in watercolour red, which are known used up to, and even some three months after, June 1877, at which date oil-printing commenced.

  (c)  Deep black. (1874-6 ?). Used copies, which must shew the square black obliteration, are rare; unused ½-Anna stamps are common, by comparison, though still much undervalued. Both denominations are known used, but we have not yet seen the 1-Anna unused. There are, however, reasons for believing that it exists.

We have never seen any dated example, and therefore simply retain the date given by Masson which, it will be noticed, is that of the “Special Printings.” The rarity of the stamps makes it certain, however, that only a single printing took place, and that this was even smaller than that of the emerald-green stamps.


The Oil-Printed Issues. June, 1977-1878.

Impressions produced by oil-printing proved to be greatly inferior to the majority of those printed in watercolour. They,...

[page 81]
...also, were made from both the Rectangular Plate and from the Circular Dies, on both native and on European papers, and frequently in the same pigments. Oil-printing commenced about the middle of 1877, in or before July. But whereas, as we have shewn, a number of oil-circulars are suspect, owing to non-proven use, no such charge can be substantiated against their rectangular companions. The whole of the Oil-Rectangular group performed legitimate postal duty to such an extent that the majority of the stamps are not, or scarcely, known in unused condition: And when it is recalled that this group (together with the corresponding circulars) had been charged with having been produced for speculators “in fancy colours and on fancy papers,” the charge will be sufficiently refuted by this and the further fact that all rare varieties of European paper shew impressions in the standard red only.

It had been decided (according to Masson) in October, 1877 that all old stock at Jammu should be used up before the New Rectangulars were issued.

These New Rectangulars had, consequently, been authorised shortly before October, 1877, and it is from June of that year that we find that various European papers commenced to be used for Jammu rectangulars. We have already, when dealing with the Circulars, advanced reasons for believing that these papers were used experimentally in order to find a suitable one for the New Rectangulars themselves.

We preface the following notes on the Oil-rectangulars with the statement that we shall here include the Jammu watercolour “Seal” provisional—mentioned by Masson but not yet catalogued—and several hitherto unknown papers.


1. Oil-Printings on Native Paper

½-Anna + 1-Anna — Red  :  Black  :  Steel-blue-black :

Present catalogues shew, in addition, printings in “brown-red” and deep green, while the steel-blue-black is termed deep blue—a most misleading description. Of these the brown-red cannot be assigned to one or even two printings, and has no particular philatelic importance. It is commonly found...

[page 82]
...more or less nearly aproaching normal red, though very rarely occurring in a really brown shade of this colour. The so-called “deep blue” so closely approaches the colour of the black stamp, that it would be easy to confuse the two, particularly by artificial light.

The “deep green” belongs to an entirely different category. No record exists of a used copy, though it is known as a very rare Reprint in a shiny yellowish green.

Masson included a “dark green” in his classification of issued stamps (Part I., p. 45), but, virtually repudiated it after publication of his book, by annotating this record in his own copy—“I think this is an error—see my stamps.” As his stamps included no green impression, even of the Reprint, the expression “error” could not have been intended to mean an “error of colour,” as it might otherwise have done.

Before passing to the stamps, a word may be added concerning the Reprints from this plate of four. Bacon listed them in the four colours, Brownish-red, Vermilion, Deep blue, and Bluish green. These shades will be commented on in Chapter XV, but it may be added here, that if the deep blue and bluish green Reprints, both of which are exceedingly rare, were normally as clearly printed as those in the red shades, no confusion with originals could possibly arise.


(i.)  The Oilcolour Printings in Red.

(a)  Native paper.
June ?, 1877. ½-Anna + 1-Anna—Red.

These alone, of the oil rectangulars, can be said to be even moderately common. The colour shews but little variation except for occasional tendencies towards brown. As usual, the native paper varies greatly in thickness and, in this issue, is sometimes found almost as thin as some used for rectangulars of the Kashmir Province. An uncut and complete impression of those four stamps is something of a rarity, but sheets shewing more than one such impression are known. The Tapling Collection in the British Museum includes a remarkable sheet of sixteen plate-impressions in four rows of four, the first and fourth impressions in the lower row being turned sideways to the left.

[page 83]
The earliest record for these stamps appears to be 4th July, 1877, but they probably commenced in June, and were commonly used throughout that and the following months of this year. Isolated instances of use in January, February, and April, 1878, are known, as well as an abnormal copy of the 1-Anna in April 1887—nine years later! The latter no doubt passed for the New Rectangular 1-Anna which, though printed in green since 1884, had originally appeared in red, some printings of which had been subsequently re-issued.

These stamps were largely supplemented by printings in the same oil-red, and on the same paper, from the ½-Anna Circular Die and, to a much smaller extent by printings from the 1-Anna and 4-Annas Circulars.


(b)  Thin Laid Bâtonné Paper.
June, 1877.  ½-Anna + 1-Anna—Red.

This was the first of what we have termed the “experimental” papers, and the only dates which we can record are “June” and 3rd July, 1877. These stamps are very rare, the ½-Anna being only known to us used, and the 1-Anna unused. The shade of red does not appreciably differ from that of stamps on the native paper.

Masson was not aware of this paper; and its nature, and even existence, has been called in question, by Evans among others. The paper is, none the less a true laid bâtonné. It, or a practically identical paper, was again used in 1880 for a mysterious ¼-Anna stamp of the New Rectangulars printed in blue watercolour. The bâtonné lines are often most difficult to distinguish, particularly in the blue stamps.


(c)  Thick White Laid Paper.
August, 1877.  ½-Anna + 1-Anna—Red.

This European paper is very rare. Only three copies are known, of which two, on covers, were in the Masson Collection. All are of the ½-Anna value, and no unused copy of either denomination has yet been discovered. The shade of red, though the same as previously, appears brighter...

[page 84]
...owing to the whiteness of the paper. The texture of the paper itself, being somewhat coarse, shews the laid lines with great distinctness, the lines themselves being horizontal in all three cases.

Masson’s two covers bear, curiously enough, identical postmarks, each shewing despatch from Jammu viâ Sialkot, and 4th and 5th delivery at Bombay on August 8th. One of these had travelled without an Imperial stamp, and had been excessed 1-Anna on arrival.

This paper, again, does not appear to be identical with any laid of the corresponding Circular printings.


(d)  Medium White Laid Paper.
September, 1877.  ½-Anna + 1-Anna—Red.

This appears to be something more than a mere variety of the preceding, for not only is the paper considerably thinner, but much finer in texture, with a smoother surface, and shews the laid lines less distinctly: the latter also, in the very few copies known to us, are always laid vertically.

Masson possessed, unknown to him, two used copies of the ½-Anna, of which one, being on an entire, provided the date. The Séfi Collection shewed a single ½-Anna unused, this, and one example on the laid bāttoné, being the only two unused oil-red rectangulars known to us, except those on native paper. The 1-Anna has not yet been discovered.

We think that this laid paper may have been used for the Circulrs also, but it is so rare that further material is needed before a definite verdict can be given.


(e)  Thick White Wove European Paper.
6th October, 1877.  ½-Anna + 1-Anna—Red.

Examples are rare, though somewhat less so than the preceding. Both denominations are known used, but neither unused. The paper, now described for the first time, which is the only wove variety known to have been used for any oil-rectangular, is not known to have been employed for the oil-...

[page 85]
...circulars; it is abundantly distinct, by its whiteness and fine texture, from the coarse “sugar-wove” that was used for circulars, some six months later, in April, 1878. No rectangular is known on the latter paper.

The dates in October lie between the 6th and 27th inclusive, a period of no more than three weeks, yet probably longer than more than one of the laid papers, and suggesting a somewhat larger printing. This wove paper may be identical with some of that employed for the New Rectangulars.

A variety exists which, though known as early as October 9th, may possibly be distinctive. It appears to be slightly finer in texture, and with a smoother surface, taking heavy blurred impressions as if from an over-charged plate.

This brings us to the end of a remarkable series of emergency printings, as far as these were made in red and on European papers. There can be no doubt whatever but that all of them were undertaken for some definite reason, and that they were legitimately issued and used. Further printings, to be dealt with shortly, occurred after October, 1877, but, in order to keep as nearly as possible to our chronological sequence, we insert here a stamp which should, otherwise, not be included with the oil-recangulars at all.


(ii.) September, 1877. The Jammu “Seal” Provisional

(½-Anna ?) No Value Expressed—Rose Red. Water colour on Native Paper.

No explanation has yet been offered for the production of this extraordinary stamp, with its sudden reversion to native paper and watercolour printing. We think that this can now be given.

The rose-red impressions and their subsequent obliterations in black are both from the “square seal” obliterator of Jammu. In the first instance it was Stuart Godfrey who noticed any abnormal use of this obliterator, he having found covers which, though bearing no stamps, had been franked to their...

[page 86]
...destination by the mere impression, in black, of the obliterator on the cover. We have found covers similarly franked by the application, also in black, of one of the small circular seals.

Stuart Godfrey communicated his discover to Masson, who, having subsequently found these red impressions stamped on native paper, and used as adhesives, wrote to the “Philatelic Journal of India” (Vol. IV, p. 185) as follows:

“Impressions were also taken in the ordinary red watercolour of the Jammu Old Rectangular stamps...the same seal being thus used both as a die and an obliterator. Captain Godfrey was assured by old officials that the obliterating seals were used to frank letters when post offices thus ran out of stamps, and he has envelopes bearing clear seal-impressions, and no stamps, which would support this assertion. But it seems to me that when impressions are taken on separate pieces of paper, in the colour of the correct stamp, and these are obliterated in the usual way, then they cease to be franks, and are raised to the status of postage-stamps.”

This communication of Masson’s needs some comment. He was scarcely accurate in his description of the colour as “the ordinary red watercolour,” for the shade is certainly not to be found in any watercolour- rectangular of Jammu; and, moreover, watercolour printing had entirely ceased in July, some three months previously. Masson’s statement that the impressions in red were first taken “on separate pieces of paper” need not be taken too literally. They would, no doubt, have been applied to whole sheets, which were subsequently cut up as required. No mention is made of the denomination represented by the impressions, but this would unquestionably have been that of the ½-Anna of which, being by far the most in demand, there would most likely to be a shortage.

It is impossible to cavil at Masson’s contention that these curious provisionals fulfil every condition needed to definitely establish them as true postal adhesive stamps.

His collection contained six examples on entires, and a single copy was found classified among his watercolour-rectangulars. Of the entires, only one gave the year (1877), and the different dates were, respectively, 18th September; 8th, 18th and 26th November, and 2nd December, two of the covers...

[page 87]
...having shewn the same date. A further copy has been seen by us in the Earl collection, and one other in that of Mr R.B. Yardley, the President of the Royal Philatelic Society. Other used copies exist, but no unused example is as yet known.

Our problem is now to explain why a temporary shortage of ½-Anna stamps—as must be presupposed—should be met by a sudden reversion of watercolour printing and native paper at a period when, as we have shewn, European papers were freely purchasable in the open market and oil-colour stamp-printing in full swing.

The explanation must, in our opinion, lie in the fact of the urgency having been so great that the Provisionals were produced in the Native Post Office and not by the Jammu printer since time did not permit of application being made to the latter. In support of this theory we offer the following points for consideration:—

  (1) Native paper and watercolour had, at this time, both been discarded by the stamp-printer, but both would, almost certainly, have been ready to hand at the Post Office. Native paper was being freely used for Official stationery; and, as the Post Office was, in fact, actually using black-watercolour for the seal-obliterations, it may well have been employing a rose-watercolour for other Official purposes.

  (2) If urgency of supply had been as acute as we suggest, the seal-obliterator would have been urgently needed in the Post-Office for stamp-cancellation and could not, therefore, have been spared for despatch to the stamp-printer for use with normal paper and oilcolour of the period.

These arguments appear to us to afford fairly conclusive proof that these curious Provisionals had their origin in emergency printings made at the Native Post Office.


(iii.) The Oil-Printings in Black

1878. January (Early). Oilcolour on Native Paper. ½-Anna + 1-Anna—Black.

The oil oil-black rectangulars of 1878 are exceedingly rare. The pigment was heavy, and the plate, owing apparently to...

[page 88]
...three months of disuse, in a dirty and neglected condition. Impressions are so blurred and indistinct that it is usually a matter of the utmost difficulty to distinguish, even by the marginal evidence, any particular type, and to say, for certain, whether a ½-Anna or 1-Anna stamp is under examination; and the difficulty is increased by the heavy black obliteration.

The neglected condition of the Plate at this period is easily accounted for. As will be seen by reference to the resumé at the end of this Chapter, printings were continuous up to October, 1877. At this date, Jammu was ordered to use up all old stock, and no further printings were made from the Plate during the next three months. Probably it was anticipated that no further printings would be needed; the Plate was, therefore, put aside uncleaned, and temporarily put to use again in this condition, in January, to supplement a dwindling stock of the oil-black circulars.

The issue can have scarcely lasted for more than a few days, the only recorded dates of use being January 16th and 20th, while the following issue is known as early as January 17th in the same year.

It will be remembered that Masson gave January, 1878—the date of this black issue—as that at, or shortly after which, black oil-circulars entirely superseded rectangulars in Jammu; and a possible explanation of a sudden return to native paper and a black printing from the Plate may be that it had been thought advisable to supplement the black circulars with rectangulars shewing the same colour and paper, as had been the normal practice ever since 1867.

1878. January (Late). Oilcolour on Native Paper
½-Anna + 1-Anna—Steel-blue-black.

The colour of these rare stamps is, as already mentioned, a near approach to black, and, as in the case of the preceding black issue, impressions are heavily blurred and practically indecipherable. The 1-Anna is not yet known, for certain, and neither denomination has yet been found unused. This issue, again, can only have lasted for a few days, the known dates of...

[page 89]
...covers bearing these stamps being January 17th, 19th (two) and 20th. The period therefore virtually coincides with that of the preceding black issue. The respective shades of these two issues shew no variation; otherwise the coincidence of dates might suggest nothing more than want of method in colour-mixing for a single printing. These printings are, however, perfectly well-defined, and, in our opinion, the steel-blue-black should be properly classified as an “Error of Colour.”

From this date until the introduction of the New Rectangulars in early May, 1878, no stamps except circulars were employed in the Jammu Province. Of these circulars the great majority were ½-Anna stamps, printed in oil-black, and, for the most part, on native paper.

In concluding our notes on these rectangular issues, exclusive to Jammu, a brief recapitulation of the colours and papers of the final oil-period may prove useful for reference:—


1. 1877 (July—early).Oil-printing superseded watercolour, native paper and standard red being continued.
2. Ditto.At approximately the same time, thin laid bâtonné paper used for a few days. Oil-red as before.
3. August, 1877.Thick rough horizontally-laid paper and oil-red.
4. Sept., 1877.Thinner, smooth, vertically-laid paper and oil-red.
5. Ditto (late).Seal provisional. Return to watercolour red and native paper.
6. October, 1877.Thick white wove paper and oil-red. (two varieties of paper.)
7. January, 1878.Return to native paper: red discarded for black and steel-blue-black, both oilcolours.

► Chapter VII.

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