[page 90]

Chapter VII.

The Kashmir Old Rectangulars and Proofs.

The issues exclusive to the Kashmir Province, embracing a period of twelve years (1866-1878), are singularly free from such complications as attached to those of Jammu. Throughout this considerable period, Kashmir retained its original practice of printing in watercolour on native paper without any exception whatever. Unlike Jammu, however, this Province produced a number of Proof and allied impressions, for which a varied assortment of papers and pigments were employed. The fact is not surprising when we contrast the single little plate of four subjects which was all that Jammu received, with the much more extensive supply to Kashmir of Dies and Plates shewn below:—


1866. ½-Anna. Single Die.

1867. (a)  Composite Plate—½-Anna + 1-Anna. Plate of twenty-five separately engraved types in five rows of five: the first four rows containing 20 types of the ½-Anna, and the bottom row 5 types of the 1-Anna. [Scan of plate proof in next section, ed..]

1867. (b)  Composite Plate—The ¼-Anna + 2-Annas composite. Plate of 10 separately engraved types in 2 rows of 5: the upper row containing 5 types of the ¼-Anna, and the lower, 5 types of the 2-Annas. [Scan of plate proof in next section, ed..]



1867. (c)  4-Annas and (d)  8-Annas. Single Die.

Of the Essays and Proofs relating to these, some ante-dated, or were contemporary with the original issue, and these are, of course, of primary importance. Other impressions, all of which are scarce, and some of great rarity, were, for some reason, taken while the issues were current; but no suspicion attaches to this group of having been produced for other than legitimate reasons.

[page 91]

Essays and Proofs

(A.) Essays.


1866 (?) Die-Essay. (Unfinished.) Watercolour on coarse diagonally-laid European paper.
½-Anna—greyish black. [Image: Hellrigl collection.]

This is an unfinished Essay from the engraver’s book. The impression, which is probably unique, is very blurred and unsuitable for illustration. The piece is almost certainly an Essay for the first ½-Anna single-die rectangular. The inner oval shews the engraved date “1923” (equivalent to A.D. 1866) which appears on all the Old Rectangulars. The lower part of the outer oval shews traces of the commencement of an inscription which is illegible, and a leaf-shaped ornament, which does not occur in the issued stamps, in each spandrel. This essay is printed in greyish black watercolour on a coarse, diagonally laid European paper.


(B.) Proofs.

1.  First Composite Plate. A further unique and contemporary Proof exists from the engraver’s book. The impressions, being in black and on native paper, would be inseparable from the issued stamps, which were also printed in black.


1867. Plate-Proof. Watercolour on native paper.
½-Anna (20 Types) + 1-Anna (5 types)—Black. [Image: Hellrigl collection.]

The sheet is here classified as a proof simply from having been pasted down on a second sheet of native paper, which had been the engraver’s practice with other impressions known to have been contemporary proofs; otherwise it may have been one taken from those of the stamps themselves, and filed for future reference. In the latter event the status of the impression would correspond with that of the imprimatur sheets of the early stamps of Great Britain. This Proof has, unfortunately, proved unsuitable for illustration [yet defiantly shewn above, ed.]

[page 92]
2.  Second Composite Plate. Also unique and from the engraver’s book. These impressions, unlike the preceding, are not of an imprimatur nature since no 2-Annas stamps were ever produced in black.


1867. Plate-Proof. Watercolour on native paper.
¼-Anna (5 Types) + 2-Annas (5 Types)—Black. [Image: Hellrigl collection.]

The proof, of which the [image above] is an excellent reproduction, gives so few of the details of the engraving that we refer readers, for the latter, to the very clear oil-impressions shewn [below:]



These were taken at a much later period, the strip of the ¼-Anna being a trial impression on European paper, and that of the 2-Annas a Reprint.

3.  8-Annas. Die. This Proof, also from the engraver’s book, was certainly contemporary with, or ante-dating the stamp. It is printed in watercolour on native paper, and our illustration (Plate 15, Fig. 2.) shews the only known example.


Plate 15, Fig. 2. Watercolour on native paper.
8-Annas—greyish-black.

The condition of the specimen is so poor that some details of the engraving can scarcely be followed. Masson classified it, in his collection, as an “Essay.” But he not infrequently used this term when “Proof” would have been more correct.

We have been unable to detect any difference in design which could take this out of the proof class, and must conclude that it was printed from the die of issue.

Masson noted the date of this proof as “1876,” but this must surely have been a slip for “1867.” It is practically certain that it was not until 1867 that the 4-Annas and 8-Annas die-struck stamps were first issued, although some of the lower denominations had appeared in 1866. The general appearance of this Proof so closely resembles that of the 1866 ½-Anna Essay that it is quite impossible to imagine the two having been produced with so great a period as ten years intervening.

[page 93]
4.  1867(?). Proofs. (Die.) Writing in 1903, in the “Philatelic Journal of India” (Vol. vii., p.13), Major Evans chronicaled the following proofs on the authority of Moens’ Catalogue of 1877:—

1866 (?). Black. On rose-tinted pelure paper.
¼-Anna  :  2-Annas (?)  : 4-Annas  :  8-Annas.

These proofs are of the greatest rarity, and the only examples known to us are single specimens from the dies of the 4-Annas and 8-Annas, now in the Tapling Collection at the British Museum. Evans, who does not mention the nature of the pigment (which is certainly watercolour), added that he believed that, though Moens had not included it in his catalogue, an example of the 2-Annas was then in the collection of Mr. Gilbert Harrison.

Although we have no reasons or desire to call in question the accuracy of Moens’ 1877 record, it may appear a little strange that only those proofs from the single dies should, apparently, be known to exist at the present day, while none from either plate—one of which was doubtful at the time of the original record—are now known. The fact is certainly the reverse of what would have been expected, since plate-impressions would have been likely to have produced a larger number of proofs than were taken from the single-dies.

Assuming Moens’ record to be correct as to the date of these impressions, they must be treated as contemporary proofs, and the last of those known to have been so. Those which follow were all taken, at various periods, while the stamps were in issue.

They are numerous and, although descriptions of them may seem somewhat monotonous, they furnish (as will appear later) points of considerable philatelic importance arising from the fact that they were experiments connected with the new printing methods contemplated, at this period, for the issue from the New Rectangular Plates.

[page 94]
5.  1876. Watercolours. White European paper, with broad laid lines. The earliest of these were first chronicled in “Le Timbre-Poste” of April 1877 by Moens:—

    ½-Anna—Milky blue
    1-Anna—Yellowish brick-red
    4-Annas—Sea-green
    8-Annas—Brick-red.

Moens, in a catalogue of 1883, made three further additions to this list, but these being in oilcolour belong to quite a different category and will be noticed later.

Fifteen years after Moens chronicled the series of 1876, his 1892 catalogue made the further watercolour addition:—

1877 (?).  2-Annas—Yellow (thinner laid paper).

Moens not only gave the date of the 2-Annas as 1874, but altered that of the first group from 1876 back to 1869. Notwithstanding Evans’ belief that 1869 might possibly be correct (except for the 2-Annas), it appears to us to be unthinkable, and all available evidence tends to prove that 1876, as originally given by Moens, is correct. No European papers were ever traceable to Jammu or to Kashmir in 1869, nor until 1876, the very year in question. It was in 1876-77 that, as we have attempted to shew, the Jammu plate was tested with various European papers (subsequently issued as stamps); and we believe that the proofs under consideration represent similar trials made in watercolours at Srinagar for a suitable New Rectangular paper. These impressions were never issued as stamps, nor, indeed had Kashmir any need to issue them. The 2-Annas is on a much thinner paper than that of the other denominations, and the laid lines are known either horizontal or vertical.

1877? Watercolour on pelure wove paper.
2-Annas—Yellow.

The only example known to us is in the Tapling collection. The paper is, apparently, a true wove, and very much...

[page 95]
...thinner than the thin laid paper of this denomination described above. These proofs of 1876-77, though rare, are much less so than those of 1866. Evans considered (“Philatelic Journal of India”, Vol. vii. pp. 14, 15), that only a very small number had been obtained through some official source, from which they had passed, first into the possession of Pemberton and, from him, to that celebrated philatelist, Judge Philbrick who, in turn, had sent them to Moens.

Evans also mentioned having seen specimens of the 4-Annas and 8-Annas on a strip of paper (from which two other impressions had been removed) inscribed “6 pies—1-Anna—4-Annas—8-Annas,” and beneath, “These were had from Cashmere by Sir Daniel Cooper in 1869.” The piece, which passed to the Dorning Beckton Collection, may have been the cause of Moens’ alteration of date, for it shews that Evans slightly misquoted and that the word “in” does not appear before “1869,” which is added separately. The date given might, therefore, have been intended to refer merely to the period of the stamps and not as an assertion that Sir Daniel Cooper had received the impressions in that particular year.

The colours given by Moens accurately describe those employed. The term “sea-green” (vert d'eau) is rarely found in colour-charts and may be paraphrased as an exceedingly pale tint of emerald-green. “Chestnut” would correctly describe the “yellowish brick-red” of the 1-Anna.

In the same issue of the “Philatelic Journal of India” (Vol. vii., p. 18), Evans chronicled two further groups of proofs, again on the authority of Moens’ catalogue of 1877. The first of these should read:—

6.  1877(?). Watercolour. Thin wove paper.

1-Anna—Orange
4-Annas—Pale emerald-green
8-Annas—Brick-red  :  bright-red

We have amended Evans’ list to the extent of including “Brick-red” for the 8-Annas: but we have not seen his “Bright red” for this value, nor the 1-Anna orange. Also, as Evans...

[page 96]
...never saw these impressions, we have altered his suggested date of 1874 (which we believe an impossible one) and added the important fact of watercolour which he left in doubt.

The Beckton collection contained an 8-Annas in the brick-red shade, which is very possibly a specimen originally discovered, in 1902, among a quantity of the oil-Reprints by Mr. C.J. Phillips, and passed by him into the Hancock Collection from which Mr. Beckton acquired it.

When recording this group, Evans approached what we have always believed the truth of the matter, by stating: “Either we are wrong in supposing that there was no reprinting in watercolour, or else this paper must have been used, perhaps experimentally,” (the italics are ours), “before the watercolour period came to an end.”

It is now well-established that Reprints were made, exclusively in oilcolour, both of Circulars and of Kashmir Old Rectangulars, and it is equally certain that such Reprints were produced in enormous quantities. The fact of the excessive rarity of these watercolours on thin laids and woves, coupled with what we have advanced in favour of the great probabilities of legitimate experimental printings will, we think, be sufficient to decide a Proof status for all that are not known to have been put into actual issue, as had been done by Jammu.

The second group, included by Evans with the preceding, consists of a single variety only:—

7.  1867(?). Watercolour. Thin European wove bâtonné paper.

1-Anna—Chestnut  :  Orange(?).

This was also dated with the inadmissible “1874?”. Evans described—probably translating Moens, since he himself, apparently, never saw an example—the paper as “white,” and the colour as “orange.”

We have only seen a single specimen of this rare proof. The paper is thin, slightly greyish and meshed, and shews three very distinct horizontal bâtonné lines at intervals of 7 mm. The colour, chestnut, can be exactly duplicated by...

[page 97]
...that of issued stamps known to have been used in 1867! Moreover, the impressions of both are fine and clear, such as are never found in stamps used after 1868. We should hesitate before expressing a decided opinion based on the examination of a single specimen only, but the general characteristics of the proof and the stamps of 1867 are strikingly similar, and we think that the former should be referred to a very different period than that of 1877. Its extreme rarity would easily account for the length of time between its production and its identification in Europe; and, moreover, no such paper as a wove bâtonné has ever been discovered among those treated experimentally for the issue of 1878.

This concludes the list of Kashmir Proofs in watercolour, and there still remains a small and very debatable group printed in oils.

8.  1878(?). (a)  Oilcolours on ordinary white laid paper.


¼-Anna (5 Types)—Black



4-Annas (1 Type)—Yellow-green (Plate 16. Fig. 1, right stamp inverted.)



8-Annas (1 Type)—Vermilion-red (Plate 16. Fig. 2, both upper stamps inverted.)

Bacon dated these impressions as “about 1876,”—probably owing to the similarity of paper with that of the 1877 oil-impressions of Jammu. He also classified them as “Reprints”—a term which, in view of the date, is, as previously noted, inadmissible.

Evans gave the date tentatively as “1878(?)”,—a far more probable one in our opinion. He added that these impressions were first seen in Europe in January, 1879.

The ¼-anna exists on both thick and thin white laid, and also on toned laid.

Now Kashmir Reprints—strictly so-called from having been produced after the stamps became obsolete in 1878—are also in oilcolours (or printers’ ink), but only on native or on thin wove paper, and the earliest of these appeared in 1881.

We have already suggested, in the case of the watercolour impressions of 1877 on thin wove, that these represented trials...

[page 98]
...for a suitable New Rectangular paper—a paper shortly afterwards adopted and issued.

If this had, in fact, occurred, it would appear reasonable to infer that the impressions under consideration may well have been taken at Srinagar, in order to find a more suitable and stable pigment for the New Rectangulars than the watercolour which had been in use for Kashmir stamps ever since 1866.

All the impressions are scarce, and we are quite unable to credit that they could have been produced, as were the common Reprints, for sale to collectors. If this is conceded, they can only have been produced for some legitimate reason, such as the one we suggest.

The 4-Annas and 8-Annas appear to be printed in thin oilcolour, but the ¼-Anna impressions are, in our opinion, not printed in this, but in ordinary printers’ ink, as subsequently adopted for the New Rectangular stamps.

1878(?). (b) Oilcolour on coarse toned wove paper.
¼-Anna (5 Types)—Black.

This is an addition to our lists, and we have only seen two examples. It is, therefore, rare and, no doubt, formed part of the trials represented by the preceding. The colour appears, again, to be a black ink, and not a true “oilcolour”.

In concluding our notes on these Old Rectangular impressions, we may, perhaps, emphasise the points which we have advanced when raising the status of all such impressions, hitherto listed as Reprints.

 (1) These, whether prepared at Jammu or Srinagar, are not Reprints, since they were produced before the stamps became obsolete.

 (2) The comparative rarity of all of them is strongly presumptive of a legitimate origin, whereas all the true Reprints are common, as would be expected in the case of impressions made for sale to collectors.

[page 99]
 (3) They were all produced very shortly before the issue of the New Rectangulars, when trials might be expected to have been made, with a view to obtaining more suitable paper than the admittedly unsatisfactory thick native variety, and a more suitable type of pigment than either watercolour or the very unsatisfactory “oil.”

 (4) Much of this trial paper and ordinary ink is found to have been permanently adopted for the first of the New Rectangulars, immediately after the trials had been completed, and both were, subsequently, retained.

 (5) The Jammu trials having been actually issued became, ipso facto, postage stamps. The Srinagar trials were never issued and, therefore, retain a Proof status.


The Issued Stamps

The description, previously given, of the design of the Old Rectangular stamps of Jammu, applies equally to those of Kashmir, with one main exception—that all the latter shew a complete outer frame-line round each stamp. The ovals, also, are narrower than those on the Jammu Plate except in the case of the first ½-Anna, printed from a single die. The 4-Annas and 8-Annas, also single dies, give, as in the case of the Jammu 1-Anna, the date in Dogra only, the Persian date being omitted.


These three dies, together with two Composite Plates, produced all the Kashmir stamps for the twelve years 1866-78.

All four denominations from the plates were printed in distinctive colours: These colours, consequently, were applied to a portion of each plate only for any one printing except in the case of early printings from the First Composite Plate. The first of these was from the entire plate in black and, shortly afterwards, when blue had been selected as a distinctive colour for the ½-Anna, two printings were made in this colour but, through inadvertance, also from the entire Plate, thus creating that rare Error of Colour, the 1-Anna blue.

Largely owing to the fact that all the Kashmir issues were printed in watercolours and on native paper only, the...

[page 100]
...the entire group is singularly free from complications, and but little is needed by way of catalogue revision. The only alterations of any importance that we propose to make, lie in the removal of certain shades of colour; and in the addition of a rare printing of the 4-Annas, together with ête-bêche varieties (one not hitherto recorded) of the two highest denominations. We should also have denied the existence of a 4-Annas in red, but this has already been dropped by recently-published catalogues. It will be sufficient to remark that neither Masson nor Evans knew it, and that it has not been discovered in any of the celebrated collections.* [In Pemberton’s footnote: *There was a copy of the 4as., red (error ? used) in the Hind sale (Ex. Ferrari). It is now in the collection of Mr. L.E. Dawson—Ed.]

Masson described the native paper as “thickish to thick” but the excessive, almost pelure thinness of some of the native paper is a marked characteristic of these issues; and there is a further scarce variety of which the paper is soft, coarse and “woolly” in texture, and shewing few or none of the so-called laid lines. Some care is needed to avoid mistaking it for a paper of European origin.

We now proceed to the issues in the order of their denominations.

First Issue, 1866 (October). Single-Die. ½-Anna. Watercolour on Native Paper.

Masson fixed the commencement of this issue from a cover dated 3rd October, but catalogues have followed Evans, who tentatively suggested September. We have found no authentic record of any used in this month, and Masson’s record should stand.

The stamp is rare in any condition, and excessively so unused. We have only once seen an unsevered pair of these stamps, this being in the Beckton collection.

This die alone was, for some unexplained reason, the only one among all the Jammu-Kashmir dies and plates, which was not produced, in 1898 for official defacement, and a Reprint might therefore still be a possibility. As, however, it...

[page 101]
...is the only Kashmir impression which was not reprinted, the probabilities are that it had been destroyed at some previous period.

The outer frames of the spandrels of this die are unmarked by a series of dots and, in this respect, impressions differ essentially from those of any other Old Rectangulars, whether of Kashmir or of Jammu.

No exact date has yet been suggested for the termination of this issue, and the commencement of the next. The latest date which we can trace is 22nd April, 1867, and the earliest for the ½-Anna plate-printed stamps, 1st April in the same year. The life of the issue may, therefore, be put at about six months. The obliteration on used stamps should either be the brick-red seal of Srinagar or pen-cancellation.

The Second Issue. 1 April, 1867. Watercolour on native paper.
½-Anna (20 types) + 1-Anna (5 types)—Black.

Printings from this plate in blue are known as early as 22nd June, 1867, giving barely 3 months, at most, for the black issue. The only dates for the latter, which we have seen, occur in April and May. These black stamps are, therefore, of considerable rarity, but when used, the ½-Anna is less so than its die-produced predecessor. Both values are really rare unused, and out of more than a hundred specimens examined by us, we have only found a single 1-Anna and some seven or eight ½-Anna in unused condition. A suggestion made by Evans that this had been some special issue for local use at Srinagar, is not supported by any evidence obtainable from the stamps themselves.

The obliteration should be the brick-red seal. Collectors should note that, at about this period and for some years following, a very brilliant magenta gum was being used by natives for affixing stamps. This gum, when appearing on the face of a stamp, may very easily be mistaken for a blurred impression of the magenta seal of the Jammu Province, and so lead to serious errors in classification.

[page 102]

The Blue Printings.

From June, 1867, until the New Rectangulars of 1878, the ½-Anna portion of this Plate was always printed from in shades of blue. During the whole of this period, with the exception about to be noted, the 1-Anna portion was separately printed from in shades of red or orange.

But during the course of the earliest blue printings, the entire plate was printed from, to a very small extent, thereby creating a stamp of great rarity—the 1-Anna ultramarine. The ½-Anna stamps of this printing (or printings) would, of course, be relatively rare, but, having subsequently been produced in the same colour, these cannot be distinguished with any degree of certainty.

It has been suggested that the printing in blue from the entire plate was accidental, and that the 1-Anna blue should be classified as an “Error of Colour.” Direct evidence on this point is limited to that of two covers. Both of these give the year 1867, and one an exact date—26 June. The stamps on both of these covers are in a very pale shade of ultramarine. The stamp, however, has been found in a much deeper shade. No date is known for this, but the clearness of the impression is conclusive as to a very early, though different, printing. The “error” must, therefore, have been repeated—a circumstance which would appear distinctly improbable. Yet we consider that the “error” theory is probably correct, and that it occurred in the first two printings—quite possibly on successive days—before the printer realised that his normal practice with black had now to be altered. We therefore classify the following:—

Third Issue. June, 1867. Watercolour on Native Paper.
½-Anna (1867-78). Ultramarine (shades)  :  Violet-blue  :  Bright Blue.

Error of Colour.
1-Anna (June 1867). Pale and deep Ultramarine.

Two other distinct shades of the ½-Anna occur, in addition to ultramarine:—

[page 103]
 (a)  Violet-blue. This catalogue-shade is appreciable though not particularly important; but as it belongs to a well-defined early-intermediate period (1870-71), we retain it here.

 (b)  Bright blue. (1876) This shade is new to our lists and, though not always easy to determine, is of much greater interest than the violet-blue. It appeared in a printing of 1876, and the colour seems to be the same as that supplied to Jammu for the “special printings” of that year, made from the Jammu plate. Some of these Kashmir stamps seem to have been actually issued to Jammu, and were, not infrequently, used in that Province. Unused stamps can usually be determined by matching the colour with the blue of the Jammu stamps. They are, perhaps, more easily recognised by a somewhat “spotted” appearance caused by thickly applied colour; in this repect the impressions differ widely from the clearly defined ones of early printings, and also from those of later date in which the colour seems to have been applied in too liquid a condition. Any of these 1876 stamps actually used in Jammu, can be detected at once, by shewing the square-black Jammu seal in place of the circular red one of Kashmir. It would be interesting to ascertain whether these “bright blue” stamps were accidentally issued to Jammu, or whether they were sent as an official attempt to relieve that Province from the necessity of printing from the circular dies.

It may also be noted that letters franked into Jammu by Kashmir blue stamps of 1867, not uncommonly shew the circular magenta seal of Jammu impressed, not on the stamp but on some portion of the cover. The practice appears to have been confined to this particular year. Where such stamps were actually used from Jammu, the magenta seal was, of course, applied to the stamp itself.

Plate 15 [not reproduced here] illustrates a curiosity in native printing methods. This block of five ½-Anna blue stamps is from the upper right corner of the sheet shewing Types 4 and 5 of the first row, and Types 8, 9 and 10 from the second. There is...

[page 104]
...no printing beneath these from the third row of the Plate. This taking of impressions from the two upper rows only was probably caused by a desire to avoid wasting some small scrap of surplus paper.

The commonest obliteration of all Kashmir stamps is that of the circular seal of the Native Post Office at Srinagar in brick-red up to 1878, and during that year, in black; while pen-cancellation only was adopted by subordinate Native Offices. This should be born in mind when considering all following issues.

The 1-Anna.—“Red.

From July, 1867, onwards, no further printings from the entire plate were made, and the bottom (1-Anna) row was separately printed from in various shades of red. These shades, as given in present catalogues, are inaccurate. A brief list, omitting minor varieties of shade, should read:—

 (i) Chestnut (1867-70)  :  (ii) Venetian red (1867-68)  : 
(iii) Orange (1871-75) and Orange-vermilion (1876-78).

This entails discarding two of the shades in present catalogues—yellow and brown-orange. Of these yellow was reserved exclusively for the 2-Annas, as Masson pointed out (Part I., p. 20).

Such a shade as brown-orange, though not far removed from chestnut, was probably assigned from a more or less sulphurated specimen of the latter. Both the orange and orange-vermilion were, as so often occurred with Kashmir vermilions, particularly liable to blackening owing to sulphuration. Masson was well aware of this, but had certainly not made the necessary allowance when describing the shade of some of his stamps as “dark brown.” Several of Masson’s “dark browns” proved, on being submitted to the peroxide test, to be all orange-vermilion stamps. The watercolour vermilion used for Jammu is per contra, very rarely found discoloured and the pigment must have been an essentially different one.

[page 105]
During 1867 and 1868, clearly-defined impressions were obtained from the Plate. These are confined to the chestnut and Venetian-red shades; they are not common, even used, and in unused condition, rare. Stamps in the later orange and orange-vermilion always appear more or less blurred, and even unused strips shewing the five types are still obtainable. This blurring was mainly caused by printing from an insufficiently cleaned plate, and not by plate-wear, for very clear impressions were obtained during reprinting in 1890.


Provisional.

The 1-Anna orange-vermilion was bisected horizontally and each half used as a ½-Anna stamp. The only example known to us was used in March 1877, and had originally been in the collection formed by the writer of our Foreword, Sir Charles Stewart-Wilson.


Plate 17. [Corrected year date: 20 phāgun 1934 ~ 2 March 1878, ed.]

Masson recorded this stamp (Part I., p. 43) and, with it the ½-Anna, “cut vertically and used as a ¼-Anna stamp.” The latter is unknown to us, and Masson gives no clue as to its period. All such bisections are very rare; but the practice seems to have had official sanction, in cases of shortages of the lower denominations, until the “Leh” Provisional of 1883, after which it was definitely prohibited.

We now come to the Second Composite Plate, which contained the ¼-Anna and 2-Annas denominations. This plate was probably brought into use slightly later than the preceding.

1867. Watercolours on native paper.
¼-Anna—Black (shades).
2-Annas—Buff  :  yellow (1873).


The ¼-Anna.

This denomination, new to Kashmir, was required in consequence of a concession to visitors, temporarily resident in the Province, of half the normal rate for all letters posted at the British Post Offices, provided that they were for delivery beyond Kashmir territory, and that the full Imperial rate for such further transmission had been prepaid by stamps of British India.

[page 106]
The shades of these stamps vary from the palest grey, through brownish black to the most intense black, but these variations were merely caused by differences in the consistency of the pigment. We have not yet seen this denomination used in 1878, but it must have remained in use up to, and even slightly after the introduction of the New Rectangulars, for it was not until January, 1879, that it was chronicled by Le Timbre-poste as having just been withdrawn.

This stamp is known doubly-printed. The great rarity of such occurrences in connection with Circular and Old Rectangular stamps, during a 12-year period, indicates a high degree of carefulness in native-printing routine.


The 2-Annas.

This denomination, also new to Kashmir, seems to have been in very small demand, and, is to-day, probably slightly the more common when unused. We have been unable to trace any such shade as the “deep orange” of present catalogues, and therefore omit it. Of the remaining two catalogued shades, buff should precede yellow, instead of following it. The first printings, used in 1868, were in buff, and this colour is known used in all subsequent years up to 1871 inclusive. We have never seen any dated cover of 1872, and the first authentic yellow record appears to be 1873. Masson noted (Part I., p. 20) that the yellow pigment sometimes shews specks of mica in its composition.


The Die-Printed Stamps.

1867. Watercolour on native paper.
4-Annas—Emerald-green  &  myrtle-green  :  sage-green.
8-Annas—Red (pale to deep).

Varieties “tête-bêche”—4-Annas, emerald-green  &  8-Annas, deep red.

These stamps were issued at about the same time as those from the Second Composite Plate.

Evans noted (“Ph. J. India” Vol. vii., p. 56) that Le Timbre-poste of January 1879, while announcing the withdrawal of the 8-Annas (together with the ¼-Anna) had stated that...

[page 107]
...the 4-Annas was still to remain in issue. The lateness of the date—eight months, at least, after the commencement of the New Rectangulars, is remarkable. Such stamps would shew the Srinagar circular seal in black, but as this was employed from November, 1877, till August, 1879, such obliteration would not afford proof of the correctness of the above statement.

What appears, perhaps, still more curious, is that although the old Kashmir 8-Annas was the first of the two high values to become obsolete, no printing is known from the 8-Annas portion of the New Rectangular plate (which superseded it) on the first (laid) paper of the latter stamps, yet such a printing was made of the New Rectangular 4-Annas in spite of the Kashmir die of this denomination having continued, according to Le Timbre-poste, to do duty after the 8-Annas became obsolete.


The 4-Annas.

 (i)  Sage-green.
This very distinct shade is much under-valued, and stamps of this printing, when genuinely used, are really rare. Masson could only shew two used examples and none appeared in the collections of Séfi, Earl or Beckton; there is also no used copy in the Tapling Collection at the British Museum.

These impressions are much more distinct than those in other shades, and are probably the earliest from the die.

Both of the Masson copies were on dated entires, shewing the native years “1284” and “1285”, equivalent to A.D. 1867 and 1868. The month of the former is illegible, and even this year might have to be read as 1868. We have, at any rate, no certain grounds for affirming an issue in 1867. It must have been quickly withdrawn—possibly owing to the preference of the Kashmir for something more brilliant.

 (ii)  Myrtle-green.
This colour is an addition to our lists, and is as distinctive as it is rare. No unused copy is known, and only two used ones. The latter, one from the Masson and the other from...

[page 108]
...the Séfi collection, are both on undated entires, in each case accompanied by a ½-Anna blue stamp. The impressions are clear (in spite of the heavy nature of the pigment) and we insert them here, partly for that reason, and partly from the possibility that they may represent an attempt to improve on the sage-green, before the following colour was finally selected.

 (iii)  Emerald-green.
This is the normal colour of the 4-Annas, and was used from 1868 to 1878, and even early in 1879, if the previously quoted record of Le Timbre-poste be correct. A slightly olive tint of this colour is known used in 1874 but, otherwise, the shade shews little variation. Evans suggested that late printings might be separated from the early ones, by the thin and liquid consistency of the the applied colour, but this is not the case. Very thinly applied colour can be found as early as 1873, and very thick colour in several years following. The catalogued tête-bêche variety is only known with these emerald-green printings.


The 8-Annas.

The shades of red vary considerably from rose, through deep rose and dull vermilion to a brilliant scarlet-vermilion, none of which appear to possess any chronological significance. Used blocks and strips of this high value are, curiously enough, comparatively common, and almost invariably bear the obliterations of the British Post Office at Srinagar.

The tête-bêche variety is now recorded for the first time. A block in the Tapling Collection shews the right stamps in the second and third rows tête-bêche—turned to the left. The Séfi Collection also contained a block of six with one stamp tête-bêche, this piece being in used condition. Such varieties, when occurring during the process of handstamping, are of no very great philatelic importance.