Friday, November 22, 2013

Philately - The Monarchs.

It is called the 'Hobby of the Kings', but today it appears to be following the kings- Philately, which is a fancy name for stamp collection, happens to be a hobby which I picked up during my childhood and has stuck with me all these years. Philately is not only a window to history, it is also a very easy and inexpensive way (most of the times) to keep with you a part of that history.  In the coming days, I will share with you my small little collection of stamps and post some of the interesting things that I have learnt from these small bits of papers. I will endeavor to take the jargon out of philately and get some much needed factoids into it. I will only showcase the stamps that I have and since I collect only stamps of India, it will only be Indian stamps. Both prior Independence (15th August 1947) and after India won her freedom.
So lets start with a small post on stamps of the pre-Independence days. The stamps of  British India period, feature the profile portrait of the ruling  monarch. Four Monarchs feature on Indian stamps- any idea who they are?

From 1st October 1854 ( the day the first stamp was released in India) to 1902 ; the stamps carried the profile of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. She is the only Queen, to feature on British India stamps and so is quite easy to identify.
This first stamp, which reads "East India Postage" was released prior to 1882, after this year, the British crown took over from East India Company ( because of the Sipoy Mutiny or first war of Indian Independence).

From 1901 to 1910 it was King Edward VII.  He is shown with receding hair and appears without a crown. 

From 1910 to 1936 it was King George V. He appears with a crown and has a well kept beard.

From 1937 Until Independence it was King George VI. He too appears with the crown but has a clean shave.
So I hope after reading todays post, you will be able to identify a monarch with a glance at the stamp and approximate the time period. Hoping you will all enjoy this fascinating window into Indian History.

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