[page 210]

Chapter XIV.

Obliterations and Postmarks Contemporary
with and Following the “Seals”.

“Instruction Labels”     List of Post-Offices.

The chronology, according to type, of the cancellations of the Native State is of great importance to the collector and, in order to appreciate this, two preliminary points have to be recognised. The first of these is that the Postal-System of Jammu-Kashmir was originally carried on by six Post-offices only—three Native and three British; and the second, that additional Post offices, mainly Native ones, were established from time to time to meet the growing demand for increased postal facilities, until the mails were being ultimately dealt with by more than 70 Post-offices, each employing its own particular types of cancellation.

The total postal period of 28 years divides naturally into three clearly defined periods which we shall deal with in detail. Before doing so, we shall endeavor to make the position somewhat more intelligible by giving a general outline of the peculiar features of each period as follows:—


 (a)  First Period (1866-79).

Native Post-Offices. No postmarks employed. All stamp-cancellation at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh performed by the Seal-obliterators. Cancellations of other Native Post-Offices established later during this period made in pen-and-ink.

[page 211]
British Post-Offices. Cancellations of Sialkot (for Jammu), Srinagar and Leh struck by postmarks or special stamp-obliterators formed of English letters and numbers.


 (b)  Second Period (1879-90).

Native Post-Offices. Seals superseded by other obliterators of various types used in company with postmarks composed of native characters.

British Post-Offices. The old postmarks and obliterators continued, being superseded from time to time by others of different types.


 (c)  Third—or “Unified” Period (1890-94).

All Post-Offices, whether Native or British, supplied with a uniform type of postmark. The use of special “obliterators” was now discontinued, the postmark being used for stamp-cancellation.

It will be noticed that the cancellations of the First Period (1866-79) cover the whole of the Circular and Old Rectangular issues and, in addition, the first year of the New Rectangulars also, while the second and third periods relate to the New Rectangulars only. We now take each of the three periods rather more fully.


First Period (1866-79).

The Seals of the Native Post-Offices of Jammu, Srinagar (for Kashmir) and Leh (for Ladakh) have already been dealt with in Chapter IV. We here add that all the Seal-impressions were in watercolours and now give a table of reference which may be of service to collectors in their classifications up to 1879—

The Chronology of the Seals.

1.  A small circular seal in brick-red proves a Kashmir use between 1866 and November, 1877. It may be either that of Srinagar or Leh, but, almost certainly, of Srinagar.

2.  A large circular seal (28 mm.) can only be that of Leh, though the seal of Poonch is sometimes mistaken for it...

[page 212]
...It was printed in red, for, probably, about a year (1866-67) and, thereafter, in black.

3.  A small circular seal in magenta proves a Jammu use between 1866 and 1868.

4.  A small circular seal in black may belong to either Jammu or Kashmir. If the Province can be determined by the details of the seal-impression (a most improbable event) or by reference to other postmarks on a cover, the period of 1868-70 will be proved for the Jammu seal, and 1878-79 for the Kashmir one.

5.  A square black seal with rounded corners shews a Jammu use between 1870 and 1879. It occurs, therefore, not only on the Circulars and Old Rectangulars, but also, as in the case of the small black circular Seal of Kashmir, on the earliest of the New Rectangulars stamps.

The British Post Offices of the first period include, in addition to those at Srinagar and Leh, the Punjab Circle Office of Sialkot. This Sialkot Office acted as a clearing-station for the mails from the Jammu Province in which no British Post-Office was established, and its cancellations, therefore, become of primary importance in dealing with the chronology of all the Jammu issues.

The British cancellations contemporary with the Native Seals took the form of “postmark and obliterator,” the obliterator being intended to cancel the stamp. Normally the two were fixed in a holder and used in combination as shown in our illustrations, but they could be, and very frequently were (for special reasons) used separately, and the postmark itself was commonly employed for stamp-cancellation. Such usage was, to some extent, more or less indiscriminate, but it would seem to have been the more general practice to employ the obliterator only where only a native stamp required cancellation, the “combination” being generally reserved for covers franked with both British and Native stamps. But although we find Native stamps with British cancellations and, though rarely, the Native Seals on British stamps, it must not be assumed that any issue of both British and Native stamps was...

[page 213]
...ever made to the same Post Office. We feel assured that this did not, in fact, occur, but the point has not been raised by previous writers.

The British postmarks of this period usually included the year, but this was frequently omitted particularly towards the end of the period. They were normally applied in black, but often in red also. The British obliterations were always in black and never, with some rare exceptions at Leh, in watercolour.


Second Period (1879-90).

The Native Post Offices of both Provinces discontinued the “Seals” in 1879 and adopted the native forms of “postmark and obliterator.” The postmarks were in native characters, which gave the names of the Post-Towns, months and days of each month. They did not, however, include the year, and this omission renders them of little use to the philatelist. the obliterators usually shew an arrangement of bars enclosing some native symbol, and those of Jammu, owing to their periods being known, afford much greater information in regard to chronology than do any of the postmarks. Normally all impressions were in black but, occasionally also, in violet, and both colours occur not infrequently in watercolor.

The British Post Offices of this period continued the old postmarks and obliterators, superseding them from time to time by others of different types. From 1879 (as for some years previously) to 1883, the year was consistently omitted from the postmarks. Year-dating was definitely resumed in 1883 but, even after this date, the year was frequently omitted by the Post Office at Leh and, occasionally also, by those at Srinagar and Sialkot.


Third Period (Dec. 1890-94).
(Unification of Postmarks)

In December, 1890, the use of special obliterators was discontinued by both Native and British Post-Offices, all of which received new postmarks of uniform type. These are known as the “3-circle” postmarks and were invariably used for cancelling the stamps. The type is composed of three concentric circles enclosing details of the names of the Post-...

[page 214]
...Towns with day, month and year in a combination of English and Native characters. The year was, again, frequently omitted by many Offices, through negligence or indifference.

These postmarks remained in use until the closing of the Native Posts in November, 1894 supplemented, mainly during the last two years, by others of different types. All postmarks of this period were impressed in black, insoluble printer’s ink, with rare exceptions that will be noted in the list of cancellations which follows:—


(A.) First Period—1866-1879.

I. British Post Office at Srinagar.

Types 1 and 2. (1867-70). These were probably in use during 1866, but are not yet known in this year during which, it may be, the British Post Office had not been established at Srinagar. Both postmark and obliterator were commonly used for cancelling the Native stamps.

Type 1 + Type 2 in duplex

[page 215]
Type 3 and 4. (1871-75). Said to have been issued early in 1873, but the postmark is known with the year 1871. The old spelling, “CASHMERE” was retained. Impressions in red are occasionally met with, but the year was, almost invariably, and day and month frequently omitted. The postmark and obliterator seem, again, to have been used indiscriminately for cancelling the Native stamps.

Type 3 + Type 4 in duplex

Type 5. (1873-74?). This was some special mark, but its functions are not known. It was very rarely employed and is so seldom found, even on covers, that its philatelic importance is small. Masson gave the date of its issue in Kashmir as “about 1873.” It formed part of a series of similar small triangular postmarks allotted to various Post Offices in British India, of which one is known from “SEALCOTE” in February, 1870. [Copyist’s note: The detail below is from a Calcutta-bound cover (without British postage) in the Hellrigl collection, dated October 1871. The original drawing in the text was dated “1  74”]

Type 5

Type 6 and 7. (1875-80). In May 1875, a third combination of postmark and obliterator was issued. It lasted until July 1880, and therefore slightly beyond the first period. It is, consequently, found on the earliest of the New Rectangular stamps.

Type 6 + Type 7 in duplex

[page 216]
The postmark is notable for the change of spelling from “CASHMERE” to the new Hunterian rendering “KASHMIR” which now continues until the abolition of the Posts. As in the preceding cases, the postmark and obliterator could be used in conjunction (as illustrated), or separately. The fact is important for the postmark closely resembles others of later date which were continued until July, 1882 (in combination with a different obliterator). In the type above, the letters are larger than those of any other postmark, measuring, exclusive of the stop, 19 m.m. in length.

As in the case of the preceding marks, cancellation of native stamps was effected by the postmark or the obliterator indiscriminately.


II.  British Post Office at Leh (First period).

Types 8 and 9. (1878(?)-1883). Very little is known of the Leh cancellations of the British Post Office established at that town. The types [shown below] were both in use during 1878, and probably somewhat earlier.

Type 8 and Type 9

The postmark and obliterator were used independently of each other, the latter being seldom employed. At first, both types were struck in a pale greyish-brown watercolour giving blurred, and often barely legible impressions, but oil-black was used at a later period. [Copyist’s note: The example of the Leh cds shown above was taken from a March 1882 cover, Bard collection. A dot is sometimes visible after the name, but there is likely only one cutting.]

[page 217]

III.  British Post Office at Sialkot (Punjab).
(First period)

Type 10. (1866-67). This postmark was in use at the Punjab Office when stamps were first issued in Jammu-Kashmir, and is commonly found on covers franked with the first ½-Anna black circular stamps. It was struck in either black (despatch) or red (arrival).

Type 10 [in two cuttings, the one on the left being the original of their drawing, ed.]

Types 11, 12. (1866-67). These marks appear to be rare, the circle particularly so. They were used both in combination and separately and, apparently, in black only.

Type 11 and Type 12

Types 13, 14. (1866-73). These two postmarks also appeared in 1866. One of each was usually struck on the same cover, probably denoting “arrival” and “departure.” They were impressed sometimes...

Type 13 (with ‘K’) and Type 14 (with ‘C’)

[page 218]
...in red, sometimes in black, and not infrequently one in either colour. It will be observed that the old spelling is retained in Type 13 but, in Type 14, changed to “SEALCOTE”

Type 15. (1866-68). The “U-26” obliterator appeared with the two preceding postmarks and lasted until 1868 or later. It seems to have, almost invariably, been used independently of the postmarks which were struck separately on any convenient space on the cover. We have only seen it in black. [It exists also in violet, ed.] This type may easily be confused with another of very similar appearance which was issued in the seventies. (See Type 57.)

Type 15

Type 16 [referring to the “54” obliterator section only.] (1872-74). This seems to have replaced the “U-26” obliterator, in or before 1872, for use with the two preceding postmarks [Types 13 and 14.] We have only seen it in black. [Detail is from a cover in the Hellrigl collection.]

Type 16

Type 17 is like Type 5 of Kashmir

[page 219]

Type 18. (1874-79) and Type 19. (1874-80). In 1874 Type 18 superseded Types 13 and 14, and lasted for some three years, the spelling ‘SEALKOTE’ being the one retained. It occurs with the addition of “deliveries”—1st or 2nd—as in the following types of Kashmir.

Type 18 and Type 19 in duplex

The “L-3” obliterator was issued with the postmark shewn and, with it, remained in use during a part of the second period, together with the types below. This obliteration is often of great importance to the collector. It may, when indistinct, be easily mistaken for the “L-3-3” of Leh (Type 9), but Type 19 has three bars at the bottom, the Leh obliteration having only two.


Types 20-22? (1877-84).

[page 220]
In 1877 a fresh change of spelling—“SIALKOT”—was made, and subsequently remained unchanged.

These three postmarks are all found on covers with the “L-3” obliterator, but appear to have been used more or less indiscriminately, and can rarely be depended on to afford any certain guide in chronology. Types 21 and 22 [different cuttings, among several others, standing in uncertain correspondence with the author’s rough drawings] were chiefly used during the second period.


(B.) The Second Period (1879-1890)

I.  Native Post-Offices in Kashmir.

Type 23-28. (Aug. 1879-Dec. 1890). On the withdrawal of the old “Seal” obliterators, types similar to [those below] were alloted in August 1879 to Srinagar, Gilgit, Skardu and other Native Offices in Kashmir. One pair (Types 27, 28) was even alotted to Jammu!


Type 23 + Type 24 (Skardu)

Type 25 + Type 26 (Kashmir)

Type 27 + Type 28 (Sialkot)

Impressions were rarely made except in black insoluble ink, but watercolour was occasionally employed at some offices in 1886-87. These types never showed the year in the postmark and are, therefore, of little assistance to collectors.

[page 221]

II.  Native Post Offices at Leh (2nd period).

The preceding types were not, we believe, issued to Leh. The history of this Native Office which was, as we have noted, sufficiently obscure during the “Seal” period, now becomes still more so. We have examined over a hundred covers despatched from Leh during the 15 years of our second and third periods without finding a single instance of a native cancellation; in every case the British Post Office has proved to have been the transmitting station. This remarkable fact, coupled with the extreme rarity of the Leh “Seal”, inclines us to the belief that the Native Office may have ceased to function at some very early period. It could scarcely have been entirely abolished for, in that case, native as well as British stamps must have been actually issued to the British Office—a procedure which, in our opinion, would have been distinctly improbable. A more likely alternative would, perhaps, be that the superior facilities offered by the British organisation for covering the long and arduous journey from Leh to Jammu or Srinagar had, from some early date, brought about the abolition of the native messengers, thereby limiting the duties of the Native Office to the receiving and stamping of letters, and of handing these over to the British Office for cancellation and transmission.


III. The Native Offices at Jammu (Second period).

Type 29 (1878-90). The illustration shews the type of the first postmarks to Native Offices in Jammu. Masson gave the date as about July, 1878, but this may have been a month or two earlier. The type was issued to a number of offices, the names of which are given by the characters in the upper row, those...

Type 29

[page 222]
...in the centre giving the month and, at the bottom, the day of the month. The year was never shewn in any of these postmarks. For the first few weeks, Type 29 was used in company with the old “square black seal” obliterator of Jammu City, after which the latter was superseded by the following.

Type 30 and 31 (July 1879-88). The “barred-minim” obliterator—so called by Masson owing to the resemblance of the central symbol to the minim of music-notation—is, in a philatelic sense, the most important of all Jammu obliterations of the second period. It was used from the Native Post office at Jammu City, where it superseded the “square seal” in July 1879—and remained in use for nine years, becoming more and more worn as time went on, until impressions finally appeared as in Type 31. Impressions were always in insoluble ink and, with rare violet exceptions, in black.

Type 30 and Type31 [= Type 30 worn]

Masson gave the date of the withdrawal of this obliterator as “about the middle of 1887” but it was certainly in use for a year later than this. We have seen it on covers of 1888, the latest occurrence being on 30th June.

[page 223]
Types 32, 33. (1878-79). These two obliterators had a very brief existence in the earliest days of the second period. Both were apparently issued for some special reason, but they are rarely met with, and nothing is known of their history.

Type 32 and Type 33

Masson stated that they had been employed “instead of the standard ones,” meaning, presumably, the preceding postmark and “barred-minim” obliterator of Jammu City. We find, however, no break in the continuity of the latter, and are confident that it was not superseded but, for some reason, supplemented by the subjects of our illustrations.

The inscriptions of Type 32 are in Persian within a single-lined octagon. Owing to the difficulty in obtaining a sufficiently distinct impression we are, as also was Masson, unable to give a translation, and it must be noted that our illustration makes no pretence to give more than a rough idea of the general appearance of this obliteration.

In Type 33 the outer circle contains, in English lettering, the words “DAK JAMMU” (or “Post of Jammu”) and the inner one, in Persian, “MOHR DAK JAMMU” or “Seal of the Post of Jammu.” This is the earliest cancellation to combine English and Native Characters. In spite of its “postmark” form, it is an obliteration, pure and simple.

All known impressions of both types are in black watercolour. Type 33 was forged in oilcolour for cancelling some of the circular Official Forgeries.

Type 34. (1887-1890). Similar to Type 29, but considerably larger, the diameter of the circle being 28 instead of 23 m.m. Both types are...

Type 34 [A Srinagar postmark, ed.]

[page 224]
...commonly found on the same cover. Masson believed that it was issued for some new Post Office opened in 1887, but he did not obtain translations of the Post-Towns of these types. We have also not made the attempt; partly because, as none of the types shew the year, the periods at which the different Post Offices came into existence would not be disclosed; and partly, also, because we are in a position to shew a very complete list of all Post Offices in Jammu-Kashmir which were (or had been) in existence up to the closing of the Posts.

Type 35. (1886-1890). This was a special type of obliterator issued to some of the subordinate Jammu Post Offices in January, 1886. The “minim” character is repeated, and the general appearance of the type resembles that of the early obliterators of the Kashmir province, from which it may always be separated, at once, through having a containing frame-line. Impressions were normally in black and, very frequently, in watercolour. Rare instances of impressions in a rose-mauve are also known.

Type 35

Type 36 (1888-91). We refer to this as the “nine-bar obliteration,” and it was issued to at least four different Offices with the central “symbol” different for each. One of these superseded the worn-out “barred-minim” obliterator (Type 30) of Jammu...

Type 36

[page 225]
...City about June 1888. It is very necessary to note that the latter was composed of twelve bars, for the distinction is frequently of great importance in classifying from indistinct impressions of which the central character cannot be deciphered. Of the three remaining characters of Type 36, two resemble the numerals “2” and “3” respectively, the fourth being in the shape of a fish-hook with a short bar across the top of the shank. The last named is described from an illustration in Masson’s book, but we know of no actual example.

Type 37. (1888-90). This is a ten-bar type, having an ill-defined central space without any engraved character. It is only known in black, and watercolour was employed almost as frequently as insoluble ink. It was the last-issued of all the special obliterators and is only of importance owing to the ease with which it can be mistaken for the “barred-minim” of 1879 (Type 30). It is not known in company with the “3-circle” postmarks and, therefore, probably became obsolete before December 1890 and, almost certainly, before Type 36 was withdrawn.

Type 37


IV.  British Offices in Kashmir (2nd Period—1879-90)
(a) Srinagar.

Type 38

[page 226]
Type 38 (1880-91). In July, 1880, the normal “large barred-L” obliterator was issued to Srinagar and continued, in company with various postmarks up to March 1891. Owing to its long life, it is the commonest of all Kashmir cancellations. Considerable care is needed in order to distinguish it from other similar obliterations which follow.

Type 39. (1880-83). This postmark was issued with the “large barred-L“, but only continued until 1883. The type is very similar to Type 6, but the letters are without a stop and measure 18 m.m. only. No year was included.

Type 39 [Drawing Bard]

Type 40. (1884-90). In 1883-84 the British Post Offices resumed the previous practice of year-dating their postmarks, and Type 40 was consequently issue. The lettering of “KASHMIR” is still smaller, measuring 17 m.m. only. The [second scan] shews a curious error of spelling—“DFC” for “DEC”. This error, which commenced in 1886, was repeated in every subsequent year until December, 1890, inclusive.

Type 40

[page 227]
Type 41 (1886-89). In or before November, 1886, a new type of postmark appeared (still in company with the “barred-L” obliterator), with the word in a curve, instead of straight as previously. It was very sparingly employed in each subsequent year until 1889 inclusive, and examples are somewhat rare. No reason can be assigned for its introduction, since Type 40 was in common use during the whole of its period. Its scarcity would indicate that it was reserved for some special purpose; or it may be that a branch Office had been opened at Srinagar, as had, in fact, occurred, at about this period, at the British Post Office at Sialkot, as we shall show later.

Type 41

Types 42, 43 (1889-90). In about May, 1889, Type 41 was superseded by three others of similar type but smaller. One of these shewed “1st delivery”, one “2nd delivery” and the third “REG” for registration. None appear to have been used for stamp obliteration [but note third image, ed.]

Type 42 (two deliveries) and Type 43 (registration)


(b) British Post Offices at Leh.
(Second period)

It would seem remarkable that, although the British office at Leh usually declined to make use of its early “L-3-3”...

[page 228]
...obliterator, it should have been supplied with three further ones between 1880 and 1890. An explanation may possibly be found in our previous suggestion that the Native Office had practically ceased to function.

Examples of types 44-46 are so rare as to indicate that as little use was made of them as had been in the case of their predecessor.

Type 44. (1880-83). This is the least rare of the three, but we have several examples on dated covers. It probably commenced in 1880 or 1881, and it occurs on the ¼-Anna brown, which was not issued until 1883.

Type 44

Type 45. (1886). Both this and Type 46 might easily be confused with the common “barred-L” of Srinagar (Type 38). The only two examples known to us are on covers dated, respectively, 6th and 16th August, 1886. Both covers also shew the Leh postmark which follows (Type 47), and in both cases the Imperial stamp is cancelled with a postmark of “KULLU”—which is a town in Kangra Valley, British India.

Type 45

[page 229]
At present a single example only appears to be known. This is also in company with the following postmark which gives the date—17th August, 1890.

Type 46

Type 47. (1884-90). This is [like] Type 8, with smaller lettering and year-date added. It is the only Leh cancellation which is not more or less rare, and was used, with increasing frequency from 1884 until superseded in December, 1890, by the 3-circle postmark.

Type 47


V. British Post-Office at Sialkot (Second period)

Type 48. (1887-91). This Sialkot type somewhat resembles others issued to Srinagar and Leh. We refer to it as the “small barred-L”...

Type 48

[page 230]
...owing to its much smaller size. It seems to have appeared about the middle of 1887 and did not, therefore, supersede the “L-3” obliterator (Type 19) of which we find no trace after 1880. From 1880 to 1886, Sialkot seems to have dispensed with a special obliterator and to have depended on its postmarks for cancellation.

Type 48 is often to be found on New Rectangular stamps but, more frequently, on those of British India.

Types 49 and 50. (1884-90). In 1884 Sialkot issued, coincidently with the resumption of year-dating, a small form of postmark (Type 49), which remained in use until 1890, when it was superseded by Type 50.

Type 49 and Type 50.

Types 51 and 52. (1886-90). During this period, two further postmarks of large size were introduced, and did duty concurrently with the small types. Type 51 (with the narrow lettering) appears to have only been used in 1886 and 1887, but Type 52 was commonly employed between 1886 and 1890. Both are frequently found on the same cover.

Type 51 and Type 52.

[page 231]
Types 53-55. (1894). As in the cases of Srinagar and Jammu, a small crop of new types appeared from Sialkot shortly before the closing of the Native Posts.

Type 53, Type 54, and Type 55


VI.  Sialkot—Branch Offices, Etc.

Types 56 and 57 were used, in conjunction, at Sialkot City, from a date unknown. They have, however, been found with both Circular and Jammu Old Rectangular stamps printed in red watercolour, and the types must, therefore, have been used in 1876 or earlier. This obliterator is very similar to Type 15, which was used during 1866-73, but the “U” is enclosed in the upper rectangle. In Type 15 this letter was partly in the rectrangle and partly above it.

Type 56 and Type 57

Types 58 and 59 were used in combination at Sialkot City in 1876-77. They are most commonly found on the...

Type 58 and Type 59

[page 232]
...embossed ½-Anna Imperial stamps of covers which had also been franked with the Jammu-printed ½-Anna oil-black Circulars.

Type 60 is a postmark of a somewhat later period, and has not been seen in company with any obliteration.

Type 60

Type 61 [curved Sialkot.City] occurs in 1885 and was probably used until 1890.

Type 61 [together with Type 51 in a different cutting, ed.]

Type 62 was also used in Sialkot in 1885, shewing the names of “Roya” and “Miani.”

Type 63 shews an earlier postmark of the Miani Branch. It includes no year, and must, therefore, have been in issue prior to 1883-84 at which period the practice of year-dating was resumed.

Type 62 and Type 63

In addition to the postmarks of Sialkot, others are known applied to stamps of Jammu-Kashmir by British Post Offices far beyond Kashmir territory—notably Bombay and Calcutta, but such are only arrival marks.

[page 233]

VII. Miscellaneous Postmarks, Etc.
(a)  First Period.

For one reason or another the following marks of the first two periods must be dealt with in a separate class.

Type[s] 64, Registration marks, were in use from about 1871 to 1885 and was normally impressed in black but, occasionally in red during the earlier part of its issue. The type was also issued to Srinagar and Sialkot. The details of Registration were added in manuscript and dates so given are frequently of value in classification.

Type 64

Type[s] 65 [Jasrota example in the original] was included by Masson with the postmarks of Jammu, but it was also issued to Srinagar. Neither of these marks were used for obliteration.

Type 65

Types 66 and 67 represent, respectively, excess-postage labels of British and Native Post-offices. They appear to...

Type 66 and Type 67

[page 234]
...have been employed for some 12 years between 1866 and 1878 and, therefore, belong to the first period only, in which respect they differ from the two preceding types. Similar labels for “bearing” and “TOO LATE” were also issued, the latter being frequently found used for obliterating stamps of the Kashmir Old Rectangulars. Types 66 and 67 were never used as obliterators.

Types 68 and 69 are rare and the former is known by a single example only. Both were used, during the first period and, probably, by Native Post Offices to obliterate stamps of the Kashmir Old Rectangulars. Type 68 was found on the 1-Anna orange-vermilion, while Type 69 is only known to us on the ¼-Anna black.

Type 68 and Type 69

(b)  Second Period (Miscellaneous).

Type 70 is a Registration label which superseded Types 64 and 65. It commenced in 1885 (four years earlier than that given by Masson) and appears to have been obsolete after 1890. The type was issued to Srinagar, Leh, and Sialkot and was occasionally employed for stamp-obliteration.

Type 70

[page 235]
Type 71 shews a scarce postmark belonging to a late-established British Post-office at Gulmarg. It has only been, so far, found used in 1885 and 1886 and, in nearly all cases, as a stamp-obliterator. Gulmarg was one of the Post-Towns to receive one of the unified postmarks of the third period.

Type 71

Types 72 and 73 have been found on covers franked with the native stamps but not on the stamps themselves. They probably belong to British Post Offices in the Punjab, other than that at Sialkot.

Type 72 and Type 73

Types 74-76 have all been found obliterating New Rectangular stamps, but were almost certainly applied by British Post Offices outside Kashmir territory and, probably, in the Punjab. Type 74 rather closely resembles the British obliteration of Leh—Type 46.

Type 74

Type 75

Type 76


(C.)  The Third or “Unified” Period.

December 1890 — November 1894.

In December 1890, special obliterators were, with the previously mentioned exception of Type 36, entirely abolished, and a unified-type of postmark issued to all Post Towns in...

[page 236]
...the State. These postmarks, which were always used to obliterate the stamp, consisted of three concentric circles, the outer one lettered “JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE”, the intermediate one shewing the name of the Post Office at the top, and date at the bottom, both with English capitals and numerals, and the central circle details in native characters.

Type 77 and 78 shew the normal forms, as used from Jammu and Srinagar respectively. The lettering is small and the year (1891) is given in both cases. The latter, however, was frequently omitted by many Offices, and by nearly all during 1893-94. The Post Office of UDHAMPUR evidenced its dislike to year dating, by immediately filling the year-space with a permanent piece of type producing oblong-rectangular impressions in the printing.

Type 77 and Type 78

In 1892 Jammu and Srinagar each issued two further postmarks. In these the ornament at the bottom of the outer circle was replaced by the letters “PAR” (Type 79), or by “REG” (Type 80) for Parcels and Registration respectively.

Type 79 and Type 80

The lettering of these four postmarks was larger than normal, and a new spelling “SIRINAGAR” was adopted for both...

[page 237]
...types of this town. All became obsolete, and were replaced by fresh types before the closing of the Posts.

It has to be noted that none of these four types received mention in the Masson Collection, where very few even occurred.

Masson, however, noted in his book that 4-Annas and 8-Annas stamps of 1883-94 were “rare” except when used for fiscal purposes; and in doing so undoubtedly overlooked the fact, as proved by these purely postal marks, that large quantities of the higher-values were not being postally used in prepayment of the high charges for parcels and registration.

Types 81-83 differ from normal forms in having the date in the central circle, and also in having few or no native inscriptions.

The Kathua postmark (81) is the only one which we have seen, which was issued to a (presumably) normal Post Office.

Type 81

Type 82 refers to a “Check Office”, the nature and functions of which we have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to discover. Some years ago we obtained nine large blocks of various New Rectangular stamps, all postmarked by this Office and all showing the same date—18 Ap. 92. The then owner assured us that these were not stamps “Cancelled to Order,” but had been used on a large consignment of parcels sent to him when residing in Kashmir. All the stamps are on parcel-forms printed at the back. In seven cases the inscriptions are in native characters, the top one reading, by translation—...

Type 82

[page 238]
...“Receipt for the parcel which should be given to the sender.” This only appeared in one instance and its presence may be accounted for by the fact that its detachment would have also entailed the removal of a number of stamps on the reverse side. The remaining two cases shew parcel-post instructions in English. In several instances blocks of stamps, all with the same Check-Office postmark, occur on both sides of the form; and in others, where stamps are on one side only, the reverse shews 3-circle postmarks of Jammu, Srinagar and Hasora, all of which shew a variety of dates in June 1892, some two months later than those of the Check Office.

We have only seen a single example of Type 83, and this shews a portion of the postmark only. The inscription apparently read “CAMP POST OFFICE,” and probably emanated from a travelling post office attached to one of the officials on tour—possibly the Commissioner or Settlement Officer. These officials tour through their provinces each year.

Type 83

The only known exceptions to the rule that all 3-circle postmarks were printed in black insoluble printer’s ink are those of Gulmarg, Leh and Lar. At these three Offices, impressions were occasionally struck in watercolour—at Leh and Gulmarg in black and at Lar in blue, as well as in black.

In concluding our remarks on these “3-circle” types, we have to admit having failed to trace their issue definitely to any British Post Office. They were issued to Srinagar, Jammu and Leh, but the issue was, presumably, to the Native Offices only in these towns. Srinagar and Jammu, at any rate, issued a number of other types of postmark during the unified period; and as these are in English only, we assume that the latter are British Office types. As regards Leh, however, we have no record of any of the latter types having been issued between 1890 and 1894.


Special Postmarks of the Third Period.

This postmark (Type 84) is known with dates range from May, 1892 to July 1893. The town, which is a small one in the Jammu Province, was not included in an Official list of Post Towns which we recently received from India. No 3-circle...

[page 239]

Type 84

...postmark had previously been alloted to this Office, and the reason for a special type is unknown. The difficulties of transmission from Bhadarwah seem to have been exceptional, letters to or from Jammu usually occupying from four to six days in reaching their destination.

Types 85 and 86 of the Jammu station of Tavi are interesting in being composed exclusively in English, although the Jammu Province contained no British Post Office. Their employment seems to have been limited to a brief period following January, 1891. From now onwards, until the closing of the Native Posts, all new Types of Postmarks are in English only.

Type 85 and Type 86

Types 87 and 88 are the “Tavi” type (86), modified for Srinagar and Jammu, and issued in 1891. They were in use until 1893, while the normal 3-circle types were also being employed.

Type 87 and Type 88

[page 240]
We have seldom seen the Jammu postmark (88) used to obliterate a native stamp, and an illustration in Masson’s book appears, judging from the original in his collection, to be one of a stamp from the Remainder stock specially obliterated for illustrating purposes. Its occurences on undoubtedly original covers leaves, however, no doubt that it was used for some legitimate purpose, even if not for stamp-cancellation. [Scan above taken from plate XI in Masson’s Handbook Part II (1901).]

Our illustration of Type 87 date “SE-4-91” shews a postmark of which collectors should beware. The postmark with this particular date, was used to ‘cancel,’ not only some of the State Remainders, but also some of the Reprints of both Circular stamps and of the Kashmir Old Rectangulars. Apart from this the postmark was genuinely employed—perhaps in 1891 and, certainly, during 1892 and 1893.


This type was also issued to Bara Mula in or before July 1892.

This curious postmark (Type 89) is the only one of Jammu-Kashmir in which white lettering appears on a dark background. The subject of our illustration (taken from Masson’s book owing to the impossibility of finding a sufficiently clear impression elsewhere) is of a type which we have not seen used.

Type 89

The normal type shews the names of various Post Offices in a curve at the top of an intermediate circle, the central one shewing native characters. Such postmarks were chiefly used during the first half of 1891, and, among them we have found the following Post-Towns—Jammu, Srinagar, Anant Naq [sic.], Basohli, Jasmergarh, Jasrota and Kathua, those of Jasrota being sometimes in violet as well as in black. It was suggested by Masson that these types were produced by emergency printings from seals which were normally employed...

[page 241]
...for sealing the Mail Bags. The Jammu obliterator of this type was used by postal officials for cancelling Official Forgeries of Circular and Old Rectangular stamps, and also some Remainders of the New Rectangular ⅛-Anna yellow.

Towards the close of 1893 and during 1894, Jammu and Srinagar both issued a fresh series of large-type postmarks, of which Types 90 and 91 are examples. No philatelic problems depend on them for solution, and we reproduce them merely to illustrate the growth of the native postal system from its modest beginnings.

Type 90 and Type 91

Types 92 to 94 of Srinagar were repeated for Jammu, with variations for each Province,...

Type 92

...such as Type 93 for Parcels,...

Type 93

...in addition to others shewing different “deliveries” and for Registration.

Type 94 [with fleuron at base]

Type 95 has not been seen by us exactly duplicated Jammu, but it was repeated (Type 91) by a special postmark...

Type 95

[page 242]
...for the British Residency in that Province. The latter is copied from the illustration Masson’s Handbook, and we have not seen a used example. Types 90, 91 and 95 of October, 1894 were the latest to be issued before the closing of the Posts a month later.

Types 96 and 97 have been found on New Rectangular stamps and are chiefly of interest from the fact that the dates upon them are after the Native stamps became obsolete.

Type 96 and Type 97

Type 98 is not known to have been used for legitimate stamp-cancellation. It was freely applied—probably by postal...

[page 243]
...Officials—to the Circular “Missing Die” forgeries and also, to a smaller extent, to genuine ⅛ and ¼-Anna stamps which formed part of the New Rectangulars in the Remainder stock.

Type 98

The large Seal, Type 99, was probably employed for fiscal purposes only, as was a second of similar appearance but somewhat smaller. All such impressions seen by us have been in watercolour—black.

Type 99

Type 100 is, also, very doubtfully a postal one. We have only seen it on New Rectangular stamps which had, almost certainly, formed part of the Remainder-stock. We have not seen an impression sufficiently distinct to enable us to read the native characters and our illustration gives no more than a general idea of its appearance.

Type 100

► Chapter XIV continued: Instruction Labels.

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