Turning to the stamps themselves we have first to notify the reader that we do not follow our usual custom of commencing with the Proof Impressions. The reason for this departure is that a number of them are not, as Masson had believed, contemporary impressions of 1878, but colour or other trials of a much later date, taken from the plates in their latest states. For this, and other reasons, it would be misleading to preface the earliest stamp-printings with a list of such trials, and for these the reader is referred to Chapter XII, where they can be more conveniently dealt with after a description of the later-printed stamps, with which some of the “proofs” are identical.
The reader is also notified that the whole of the Official black stamps will be dealt with as a separate group (Chapter XI), and that an entirely new system of classification is now adopted.
It will be remembered that in 1877-78, Jammu, having been faced with serious difficulties in producing sufficient supplies of stamps, had resorted to a number of emergency printings which entailed the use of various abnormal papers.
It will also be recalled that Jammu had been using early New Rectangular stamps for some months before Kashmir, a fact which Masson accounted for by the suggestion that the first supplies of stamps had been sent (from Srinagar or elsewhere), to Jammu, in order to relieve the shortages.
Now there can be no question but that these shortages were, in fact, brought to an end by a specially early provision of the New Rectangulars for Jammu. We are, however, about to suggest that it was not stamps at all which were sent, in the first instance, but the actual plates and perforating machines; that Jammu retained the plates and perforators for some two years, subsequently returning them to Srinagar; that, for the whole of these two years, all printings for the State were made at Jammu from the plates in their first states; that the changes of plate-states occurred owing to their dis-bedding at Jammu and re-bedding at Srinagar; and that, consequently, the whole of the printings of 1880-1894 were made at Srinagar from the plates in their later states.
We may at once admit that there is no direct proof of this theory available nor, indeed, in the entire absence of any Official records, could such proof be expected. We believe, however, that we shall be able to put forward such a series of closely related facts, as to take our theory beyond the bounds of mere conjecture into the region of very great probability, practically amounting to proven fact.
In the first place, therefore, let us consider the first of the New Rectangular papersthat of the European laid.
Apart from some watercolour proofs of 1869 (which, having occurred nine years previously, cannot affect the problem) and some oilcolour trials of 1878, Srinagar had never used laid paper for any purpose whatever. Jammu, on the other hand, had not only freely used it in 1877-78, but, as we have already proved by the “Leschallas” and “Pro bono publico” watermarks, some of this Jammu paper was actually employed for printings from the New Rectangular Plates.
If, as Masson suggested, these printings had been sent from Kashmir, how did Kashmir obtain the paper? Is it not far more probable that these stamps were printed at Jammu on the paper then in stock?
We already know that the first watercolour circulars were produced by the same printer, and that the Kashmir and Jammu Old Rectangulars were produced by different ones, respectively those of Kashmir at Srinagar, and those of Jammu at Jammu City. There was, therefore, in 1878, a printing establishment in full working order at Jammu, in possession of, and in a position to use its Old Rectangular papers for New Rectangular stamps.
We leave the question of paper for the moment, and turn to the evidence of the Plate-states.
Masson never studied these, and Evans only to a very slight extent, and they concluded that the plates were more firmly bedded by additional screws and so forth, owing to their having worked loose.
We shall, however, prove that all plates were in their first state until late in 1880, and in their later states early in 1881. The changes of plate-states, therefore, all occurred at the same, or nearly the same period, after some two years of employment, and these later states subsequently (with one exception) remained unaltered.
Now we suggest that it is quite inconceivable, either that all the plates happened to work loose at the same time or that, having thus worked loose at the end of the first two years, they should not have done so again during the fourteen years which followed. Such a coincidence would be unthinkable.
But supposing our deductions from the paper to be correct, a much more probable explanation is, at once, obvious. Jammu printed from the plates in their first states for two years, and then returned them to Srinagar. In order to facilitate transmission, the plates were separated from their bedding by the removal of the original small rivets, the latter being replaced by larger rivets or screws on arrival at Srinagar. This would at once account for all plates having changed their states at the same period.
Let us examine a little further, and see whether any proof of this can be obtained. In the first place, we take...
...the case of the Plate of the ½-Anna. We have already shewn that this plate alone had three different states, viz., (a) State I. having small rivets of which three were contained in the top of the upper border; (b) State II., also with small rivets, but with the upper rivets and that part of the border removed, and, (c) State III., having very large rivets substituted for the small ones not long after the change to State II.
Why, then, should this plate have changed its State after two yearschanged again after another twoand then remained for twelve years without further alteration? We suggest, again, that the explanation is obvious. Jammu, when dis-bedding the plate, accidentally broke away part of the upper margin, including all the top rivets (we know that a deep cut had always existed on the line of fracture), and Srinagar first re-bedded it without fresh rivets in place of those removed. The plate was then in State II, and State III. followed some two years later because the plate was insufficiently secured at the top owing to the loss of the three original rivets. Additional points of evidence will be given later which strongly support this presumption.
It may be asked why, if the plates were sent from Jammu as suggested, they should have been dis-bedded at all, and not sent complete and ready for further printing.
An answer may be partly found in the fact of the very great difficulties of transit of every description in a mountainous country such as Kashmir where, as already proved by the practice of cutting off the margins of the circular stamps, it was necessary to make every possible reduction in the weight of objects to be transmitted.
But there is a further explanation. We have already shown that, at some period, simultaneous printings, both in black and in red, were made from more than one plate at a single operation, and that, for such printings, the plates must not only have been movable, but that each must have been separately affixed to a bed only slightly larger than the plate itself.
Now it is found that, in all cases of this simultaneous printing, the plates were invariably in the later States. In no single instance has a simultaneous printing ever been found from plates in State I. An impression from any plate in its original condition invariably shews, by the great width of paper-margins, that it must have been widely separated from any other plate: in other words, the plates in State I. were not fixed separately to small and easily movable separate beds, but to one large bed common to all. Had it been otherwise, it can scarcely be believed that Jammu, with all its recent difficulties of insufficient supplies freshly in mind, would have neglected an opportunity of printing simultaneously from more than one plate at a time. The great probability, therefore, of a common bedding, probably very large and, quite possibly, irremovable, for all plates in State I., would afford a further argument for the dis-bedding of these plates prior to their despatch to Srinagar.
Returning to considerations of the early New Rectangular papers, these included, in addition to the laid, the ordinary wove paper of 1879, and the thin bâtonné of the mysterious ¼-Anna blue printed during 1880 in watercolour. Here, again, we find confirmation of our theory: both papers had previously been employed in Jammu for the oil-printed Rectangulars of 1877-78, and neither had ever been used at Srinagar. The ¼-Anna blue should, therefore, have been from State I., and printed at Jammu.
As regards the plate of the quarter-anna, it will be remembered that four of the large screws which constituted State II., cut away an angle of each of the four corner stamps, so that any one of these four types would be sufficient to prove the plate-state. It is only recently, after years of searching, that we have been able to identify a corner-type of this rare stamp, and in this, the angle is entire. The Plate was therefore in State I., and our theory is, thereby, still further supported.
Yet a further point occurs to confirm our views. We have already shewn that a very large quantity of...
...old red stock was re-issued years after the stamps had become obsolete, and that all denominations so re-issued had been printed from plates in their first states.
Now the whole of this stock was printed on thin wove papera variety which had not been previously used, so far as is known, in Jammu. This fact, which may, at first sight, seem to weaken our argument, we will deal with later.
From what we know of the usual native methods of printing in small quantities sufficient, only, for the requirements of a few weeks or months, we may reasonably enquire how such a reserve stock ever came to be in existence at all. In the early postal history of the State there is not the least evidence that any idea of the formation of such a reserve ever occurred to the responsible officials, and still less that such an idea was ever intentionally acted upon.
But if, as we believe, Jammu returned only the plates and perforating machines, but not its printed stock, to Srinagar in 1880 or 1881, this reserve would be readily accounted for. The explanation would only be convincing, if it could, in the first place be shewn, why such large printings should have been made; and, in the second, that thin wove paper was, in fact, issued to Jammu. We proceed to deal with these points in their order.
The first of all the New Rectangulars were perforated; and the first to be used was the perforated ½-Anna red on laid. This was freely and exclusively used in Jammu for months before the special Kashmir equivalentthe perforated ½-Anna slateappeared in Kashmir. Clearly then, if our theory is correct, Jammu made good its own shortages (as might have been expected) before printing the slate stamps for despatch to Srinagar.
But Jammu may well be credited with having gone further. It had only just emerged from a period of twelve years’ shortages of supplies, and for the last year or more of that period, these had been acute. Jammu was now in possession, for the first time, of a number of plates of all...
...denominations, and with full facilities for using them. It may even be (though this is pure surmise), that Jammu, at this period, anticipated having to print all further issues of the State. What more likely, then, that it decided to take a 12-years’ lesson to heart, and to commence building up a reserve-stock against future emergencies, as soon as immediate requirements had been met?
We may assume, then, that Jammu did build up this reserve-stock from which the Re-issues were subsequently drawn, and have now to see if any grounds exist for believing that thin wove paper (such as all the Re-issues were printed on) was ever sent to Jammu. We say “sent” because we have no knowledge that this Province had ever possessed any such paper, prior to 1878.
Srinagar, on the other hand, undoubtedly had the thin wove before the New Rectangulars came into being, since she had already printed watercolour “Proofs” or “Trials” on it from both of her Old Rectangular dies. Moreover these “proofs” were taken, probably in 1877 and, undoubtedly, not long before the New Rectangulars. What follows? Srinagar is ordered, in or about 1877, to test a new paper, and the new paper is approved. Later in that year, or early in 1878, Srinagar is ordered to send all the New Plates (which had in fact, been produced there), together with the perforating machines, to Jammu, which is known to be suffering from a shortage of suitable stamp-papers. We suggest that under such circumstances, it is inconceivable that Srinagar should have sent the plates without supplies of the approved paper which she, alone, possessed.
We may admit, then, that thin wove paper was supplied to Jammu. The fact may be regretted as, otherwise, all Jammu printings could be at once identified, even in the case of single stamps, by paper alone, quite apart from considerations of plate-states. If we admit, as we must, that the paper was sent with the plates, we must admit the possibility, at least, of some early printing on it, and this also we are now able to substantiate in further confirmation of our views.
Masson, while recording that the earliest stamps were issued perforated, only included in his classification perforations on the laid paper. His collection, however, contained several specimens, all on entires, of perforated ½-Anna red stamps on thin wove, and among these we have found a copy dated May, 1878, this being the first month of the New Rectangular issues.
We have, then, the thin wove overlapping the laid from the earliest period, and it therefore becomes necessary to enquire into the extent of its employment for Jammu printings.
It may be recalled that Evans, in his admirable classification of the papers of the New Rectangulars, gave the “bluish” variety of thin wove as the earliest.
An analysis of all the sheets which we have seen in State I., of whatever denomination, discloses the fact that, with rare exceptions, all of them have been of this bluish variety, the exceptions being of the “fine toned” quality. It would follow, therefore, that this bluish paper formed the greater part of the thin wove with which Jammu was supplied by Srinagar. It is, of course, possible that this paper only was originally sent with the plates and that the “fine-toned” formed part of a later consignment. There is, at present, no evidence that any of the “coarse-toned” paper was used in Jammu at this early period; but it must have been procured and printed on in red from one plate at leastthe Composite 4 + 8-Annas because both of these denominations are commonly found on the coarse paper used at a late period from the re-issued stock, and printed from the first state of the plate.
We conclude our argument by submitting that the facts which we have advanced afford circumstantial evidence proving (what mere coincidence could surely not account for) that from 1878 to 1880, all printings of the New Rectangulars were made at Jammu from the plates in their original states on laid, wove, bâtonné and thin wove papers; and that, from 1881 to 1894, all printings were made from the plates in their later states, on thin wove and thin laid papers only, at Srinagar.
We now proceed, therefore, to give a list of all stamps...
...known to us as having been printed from plates in State I. at Jammu, with notes on individual stamps, shewing the extent to which we have found them used, either jointly in both Provinces, or exclusively in one of the other.
It must be understood that our lists of the Srinagar printings that follow later will in some cases of thin wove paper, duplicate the Jammu list to the extent that though the whole of the Srinagar printings are from the plates in States II. or III. (the ⅛-Anna excepted), printings on this paper in red and black cannot be distinguished in the case of single stamps having no marginal evidence of plate-state.
Any stamp in any colour on laid, wove, or bâtonné paper must necessarily be Jammu-printed with the single exception of an abnormal ¼-Anna black, which was printed at Srinagar on thick wove from State II., at a late period, and which will be found included in the Srinagar lists.
Any stamps on a distinctly bluish thin wove are almost certainly Jammu-printed also. The dates given are the earliest at present known for used specimens.
The letters in brackets indicate the types of watermarks as defined in Chapter VIII:
|1878?||¼-AnnaRed||laid perf. 10-12||?|
|May 1878||½-AnnaRed||laid perf. 10-12||J only|
|May 1878||½-AnnaBrown-red||laid perf. 10-12||J only|
|May 1878||½-AnnaRed||thin bluish wove perf.||J|
|Jul 1878||½-AnnaRed||thin wove perf. 10-12||J|
|Aug 1878||½-Anna Slate-blue (shades)||laid perf. 10-12 (F?)||K only|
|1879?||1-AnnaRed||laid perf. 13-16||K|
|1879?||1-Anna Bright violet||laid perf. 13-16||K|
|||¼-AnnaRed||laid (F)||K only|
|Sep 1878||½-AnnaRed||laid (Y)||J & K|
|Sep 1878||½-Anna Slate-blue||laid (P,D)||K only|
|||1-AnnaRed||laid (D)||J & K|
|||1-AnnaBrown-red||laid (D)||J & K|
|Feb 1879||1-Anna Dull purple||laid (D)||J only|
|Dec 1879||1-Anna Bright violet||laid||J & K|
|||2-AnnasRed||laid||J & K|
|||2-Annas Dull ultramarine||laid||K only|
|Aug 1878||2-Annas Deep violet blue||laid||J only|
|Dec 1879||2-Annas Bright violet||laid||J & K|
|Nov 1879||4-AnnasRed||laid||J only|
|1880||1-AnnaRed||wove||(J rare) & K|
|Dec 1879||2-AnnasRed||wove||J & K|
|1879-80||½-AnnaRed||very thick wove||J &K|
|1879-80||1-AnnaRed||very thick wove||J & K|
|1879-80||2-AnnasRed||very thick wove||J &K|
|Mar 1880||¼-Anna Blue water||thin laid bâtonné||K only|
|Late 1879||¼-AnnaRed||thin wove||J & K|
|Mar 1879||½-AnnaRed||thin wove||J & K|
|Nov 1878||1-AnnaRed||thin wove||J &K|
|Sep 1879||2-AnnasRed||thin wove||J & K|
|Feb 1880||4-AnnasRed||thin wove||J & K|
|||4-AnnasRed||coarse toned thin wove||Re-issue|
|||8-AnnasRed||coarse toned thin wove||Re-issue|
[The final eight entries] cannot be recognised as Jammu-printed unless the plate-state is known. The perforated quarter-anna red on laid paper is new to our lists, and its existence is only known from two undoubtedly authentic copies, one unused and the other used, which we discovered in 1931 among a quantity of common imperforate stamps in the celebrated accumulation, formed by the late W.S. Lincoln, which came into the market early in that year.
The quarter-anna red on ordinary wove paper is also a new discovery. The stamp must be exceedingly rare and is only known to us by two imperforate specimens, one unused and one used with the “L56” obliteration of the British Post Office at Srinagar. The second of these is Type 15, shewing Plate-state I.
We have not actually seen either the ¼-Anna, 4-Annas, or 8-Annas, used on thin wove, before September, 1880, but they were chronicled by Evans in the “Philatelic Journal of India” (Vol. VII. p. 54) as having been received by Moens in February of that year. Evans then noted the colour of the paper as “white” and, moreover, a few lines later, described another stamp on a “distinctly bluish” paper, shewing that he appreciated a considerable difference between the two. The “white” paper must have been more or less greyish and could, of course, have no affinity with the really “pure white” variety of 1889-94.
The Jammu-Printed Official Stamps. (1878-80)
Printings in the official “black” seem to have been only made in Jammu from three plates and on three papers. All of these will be found separately dealt with in Chapter XII.
(a) Laid paper.
We have retained “slate” or “slate-blue” as generally descriptive of the colour of the Kashmir ½-Anna, in place of the “slate-purple” etc., previously employed by Masson, Evans and others.
In doing so, we do not in any way challenge the accuracy of the older colour-descriptions, but the fact remains that nearly all these stamps are, to-day, found in more or less decided shades of blue, a colour rarely, if ever, mentioned by older writers. We believe that the red ingredient in the pigment was highly fugitive, and that it has largely disappeared since Masson and Evans described the colour shades, only some thirty years ago, leaving behind only the more stable blue of the mixed colour. Had the present, often striking, shades of blue appeared to Masson and Evans as they do to-day, one or other must surely have mentioned blue in their colour-classifications. The slate-purple and even slate-violet are found at the present day, but very occasionally only.
Imperforate slate-blue stamps, though issued exclusively to Kashmir, are also known used, abnormally and very rarely, in the Jammu Province. Masson considered that this had occurred through travellers taking some few stamps with them from Kashmir into Jammu, owing to his belief that they had been printed in Kashmir. The probability is that a small quantity were accidentally issued in Jammuperhaps through confusion with the 2-Annas violet-blue.
The “dull purple” of the 1-Anna was recorded by Evans as having been seen in Europe after the bright violet had been known, but the dates in our possession do not indicate that it was the later issue of the two.
The 1-Anna and 2-Annas are occasionally met with, printed in dull purple on a thin a very soft laid paper with a slight yellowish tone. These are rare, and are not known used. They may have been early colour-trials.
The 2-Annas dull-ultramarine is exceedingly rare used, and we know of only a single example. This is in the Tapling collection, and was used in Kashmir. A 2-Annas in “indigo-black” was noted in the Masson collection as not being a black official stamp. Masson based his contention on the fact that the colour was slightly soluble in water, and that the “Official” black was insoluble. He was, however, inaccurate in describing the blues and violets as watercolours, as we have shewn. The “indigo-black” scarcely differs in shade from that of the official “black”, and some of the latter is also slightly soluble in water. We, therefore, consider the Masson specimen to belong to the Official group.
The catalogued variety of the 1-Anna red on “very thick laid” should, we consider, be deleted. The laid paper varied greatly in thickness with all denominations, and no line of distinction can be drawn as it can with the “very thick” variety of wove paper following.
(b) The wove paper.
The perforated ½-Anna red is an addition to our catalogues, though well enough known to some collectors. In used condition it is rather less scarce than the perforated ½-Anna slate-blue, but far rarer when unused.
The “very thick” variety, which occurs with all three values, in red is, in our opinion, entitled to specific rank in catalogues, though it is occasionally difficult to draw a definite line of demarcation. Although the variety may have held some philatelic importance, in view of Masson’s assertion that the change from thick to thin wove occurred “late in 1879” owing to the non-adhesive qualities of the former, that view cannot now be upheld, when it is known that the thin wove was perforated and used from May, 1878, before any ordinary wove paper had been employed. This “very thick” variety was...
...never perforated, the machines, no doubt, having been unequal to the task.
The 2-Annas red on the “very thick” variety is always a scarce stamp, but the extreme rarity of this denomination on the normal wove is remarkable, particularly in the case of used specimens. As a matter of hard fact we have yet to see an authentic used copy in any collection! Yet the stamp has been, for many years, priced in catalogues at a few shillings.
The 1-Anna black on wove paper is an addition to our lists. It is rare, though a complete sheet in State I. is known. In used condition it is of extreme raritya remark which applies equally to the same black denomination on thin wove.
(c) Thin laid bâtonné paper. ¼-Anna blue: watercolour.
This stamp has, hitherto, always been a mystery. Why, after a period of two years regular printing in ordinary printer’s inks, mainly in red, an entirely new denomination should suddenly appear, printed in blue watercolour, only to be almost immediately superseded by normal printer’s ink impressions from the same plate, forming part of a standard issue of all values in orange, has been a problem awaiting solution for many years.
Masson held to his original theory that blue had been allotted as a special colour, to Kashmir, and that, consequently, this stamp had been an exclusively Kashmir issue.
Evans (who had alwaysand usually correctly) rejected Masson’s theory, on the grounds that as Kashmir had printed its Old Rectangulars in distinctive colours for each denomination, it would be unlikely to return to any special standardised colouragain repeated these reasons for not accepting Masson’s opinion.
In this instance, however, it is Masson who appears to have been the more correct, for every used copy of the stamp, which has come under our notice, has shewn a cancellation of Kashmir. These cancellations have proved to be, firstly, those...
...of the postmark and L-5-6 obliteration (see illustrations, types 21, 22) of the British Post Office at Srinagar, and, secondly, though more rarely, obliterations of some Kashmir Province Native Post Office, probably that at Srinagar also.
In 1888 Moens catalogued a ¼-Anna blue as a stamp of 1884, but described the paper as “thin wove”.
We now offer a suggestion to account for this extraordinary stamp. It is, perhaps, theoretical, but in a case where no attempt to solve a problem has even been made, even a theory may have its uses.
It will be recalled that the ¼-Anna black of the Kashmir Province had been introduced in 1867, as a new denomination, for the special purpose of prepaying a half-rate privilege accorded to visitors resident in Kashmir, the normal rate for letters being one of half an anna. These ¼-Anna stamps remained in issue until 1878, when they were superseded by the red ones of the New Rectangulars. During these ten years Jammu never had any ¼-Anna stamps because the half-rate privilege had then been granted to Kashmir only. On the introduction of the New Rectangulars, Kashmir continued its privilege with the ¼-Anna red stamps.
There is, at present, no evidence to shew at what date these ¼-Anna reds were first issued to Jammu, but we have found several covers used in this Province, each franked with a single ¼-Anna red in addition to a ½-Anna Imperial stamp. Unfortunately only one cover shews the date, this being August 1881. At this date, therefore, and almost certainly earlier, the half-rate privilege had been extended to Jammu.
Going a step further, we have now to turn to Postcards. These required franking with ¼-Anna stamps. The first postcards to be issued in Jammu-Kashmir were those of British-India, and the first issue was made early in 1880. At about this date Jammu, therefore, had definite need for ¼-Anna stamps. Masson gave the date of the first use of these cards as August 1883, but this must now be put back by more than three years. We have two of these cards used, respectively, in April and May, 1880. Both were issued from the British Post...
...Office at Srinagar a single, and both were franked with ¼-Anna blue stamps. Now whatever irregularities may have occurred with the Native Administration, the keeping of accounts, as between the British and State Officials, was certainly not one of them, and it is known, in fact, that the strictest accuracy was insisted on in such matters. Under these circumstances it becomes necessary to enquire as to how such accounts could be rendered in the case of one Province (Kashmir) franking a part of its correspondence at half the Imperial rate, and the other (Jammu) paying the full rate during a short period of about a year when, for the first time, both Provinces possessed ¼-Anna stamps.
We suggest that the simplest solution of the problem would have been to issue some special stamp to the privileged Province and, moreover, a stamp with such distinctive features, that any unauthorized attempt, by the other Province, to avail itself of the privilege, would be instantly detected.
Our view as to the ¼-Anna blue may, therefore, be summed up as follows:
(i.) The ¼-Anna red stamps were being issued early in 1880, to both Provinces, for use on postcards of British India.
(ii.) The ¼-Anna blue was issued, at this period, to Kashmir only, for earmarking the revenues from the half-rate on letters which, at this time, Kashmir alone enjoyed.
(iii.) That by August, 1881 (and almost certainly earlier), the half-rate was extended to Jammu, rendering the further use of any special stamp for Kashmir unnecessary, this causing the early abandonment of the ¼-Anna blue.
This theory appears to us a fair explanation of much that was obscure to Masson, Evans and others; and, more particularly why so abnormal a stamp as the ¼-Anna blue should have been, in the first place, produced at all: in the second confined to the Kashmir Province and, in the third, so quickly withdrawn.
We leave this part of our subject with a piece of pure conjecture, with reference to the special plate of the ¼-Anna from which no stamps were issued. It appears to be a...
...possibility that such a plate (for the production of which no explanation has ever been offered) may have been prepared in 1880 in order to still more definitely earmark the Kashmir privilege by distinctive impressions in place of an emergency printing from the normal plate. The “special type” plate was, admittedly, not known in Europe until the end of 1886; but as it could only have become known by the appearance of stamps printed from it, the plate may have been prepared at a much earlier period. The fact that no such stamps were printed from it at this early period would be easily explained by the further fact of Jammu receiving the half-rate concession before the special plate was ready for printing.