There were no Jammu printings with this implement because this plate was not among
the original set introduced in 1878. It appeared in 1883 at Srinagar to serve for the
half-rate provision accorded visitors using the ¼a British India postcard.
Such usage is scarce and commands a nice premium. The stamps are found more often
in multiples on regular covers. The theme color was, so to speak, yellow.
On account of the relatively late appearance of the plate and its infrequent use, no repairs
were made to the plate. Our letter code for this plate is T.
The staining and blurring is from turmeric, a mild disinfectant. It is best to keep these stamps separated from other stamps to prevent more staining; it seems a touch catching.
Here a couple of nice British postmarks from Srinagar and area that show the turmeric-stained material lingering in postal use long after 1886, a year oft mentioned as marking the end of such printing.
Full-sheet format in a couple of demeanors on thin wove. The sheet on the left has a printers’ date embossment in the lower right corner, unreadable alas. Eighth-anna full sheets are definitely in the “rather-scarce” division, especially in non-ratty condition. Gather them while ye may if they are going cheap enough, whatever that means. Me, I’d pay £100 (2012 dollars) for a particularly nice example. I sense that they are considerably scarcer than that price would suggest, but then they are not exactly among the most comely fare in existence, no?
Post-tumeric fare. These examples also show something of the shade and paper contrasts between the toned thin woves (which come in fine and coarse varieties) and the whiter papers. The example on the right is not the post-1889 “bright white” variety, however, which is indeed said to exist. We promise to show an example for contrast should we ever come across one. The pigments range through dull yellows and near oranges to much more brownish fare:
A fugitive element in the pigment, leaving us with the “dingy yellow” of the literature.
The more-esteemed (i.e., more expensive) “Partap” version on the thin laid paper. These also come in a range of shades divided into two main classes of brownish and less brownish persuasion. We don’t know to which class the preceding belongs. In any case, postally-used copies are scarce indeed.
A mustard muddy used in the post-1891 period. Oops, the stamp is upside-down. Well, let’s imagine that we are showcasing the oh-so-lovely Srinagar postmark. In fact we are; it is shown to raise the caution that some of this material in the late period belongs to the bleak class of “philatelic concoctions,” of which the example above may or may not be an example.
A more flagrant bit of philatelic fare for which the unwary overpay.
A plate from Masson II, the best thing we know for finding plate-positions in this denomination. Just in case such a curious task should befall you one day, for it is known to happen.