The Bard Papers: British Imperial Offices


British Srinagar Office

Srinagar was originally a seasonal sub-PO, then a Head PO in the British system. All markings are in black unless otherwise indicated. The prefix BK on the Type Numbers stands for British Office in Kashmir, as it was known. Only from April 1891 was the name Srinagar to be seen in the postal markings. There were State Office markings in use at Srinagar up to 1890; those scans are prefixed SS, for only the name Srinagar (in Dogri lettering) appears on them.

BK1.  POST OFFICE CASHMERE + C duplex is known from 14 April 1867 to the end of the 1870 season. The image here of the cds potion is from a June 1867 cover in the Hellrigl collection. The rather inaccurate drawing of the the full duplex is taken from Séfi & Mortimer.

BK2.  As above, it was used in the 1870 season to obliterate State stamps on covers where Indian postage was unpaid. It was also used as sorting datestamp on the same class of mail. Type BK2a is the same struck in red as a sorting datestamp. It is recorded as such on two covers dated 29 May and 5 June 1869.

BK2.  POST OFFICE CASHMERE cds (fleuron A) was used on 8 August 1869 as an obliterator on correctly prepaid outgoing cover to UK.

BK3.  POST OFFICE CASHMERE datestamp in red (fleuron B). It is recorded on single covers for June 1867, 1868, and September 1869. Type BK3a is use from Cashmere with manuscript registration cachets in 1869 and 1870.

BK4.  CASHMERE + 325 is known from April 1871 to 4 May 1975. Image is a detail from a cover in the Hellrigl collection.

BK5.  CASHMERE cds (non-duplex version) is known from April 1871 to 20 April 1875, with the year date omitted from 1873. In the image the BK4 duplex is showing partially at the top, also with the year date missing. There were occasions when either day, month, year, or all 3 slugs were absent, but the year date was administratively discontinued in 1873.

BK5a.  As above, struck in red. It is known from April 1871 to October 1874. The image is a detail from a cover in the Hellrigl collection.

BK6.  The CASHMERE Triangle was used both as an unpaid mail sorting stamp from 21 April to 10 October 1871 and intermittently as an obliterator from 7 September 1871, also to 10 October 1871. Image left is a detail from a cover in the Hellrigl collection. Séfi & Mortimer’s drawing of this marking (their Type 5) is shown with a January 1874 insert.

BK7.  The REGISTERED /O / N  W/ D registration cachet of the All-India Type is known from 1871 to 1886, with the name “Kashmir” in manuscript, cf. BK12, for which a name stamp was used instead of manuscript.

BK7a. On right above, the same in red with “Seereenagger” in manuscript, 28 April 1871.

BK8 + BK9.  KASHMIR. + 5/L-6 duplex from 4 May 1875 to 1 July 1880. Type BK9 is the obliterator segment, which is reported alone on two examples dated 13 July 1876 and 28 July 1879.

BK10.  The KASHMIR cds with the name measuring 19mm is known from 4 May 1875 to October 1877.

BK10a.  A second period of use of the BK10 type in a slightly redrawn version is known from 23 July 1880 to 29 August 1882. The detail here is taken from an 1880 New Rectangulars cover, which included the postage due marking shown in the next entry.

BK11.  The POSTAGE DUE / ANNA sub-PO postage due stamp is known from 20 April 1875 to 18 May 1878. (The box goes all around). A second period of use is known from 12 June 1879 to 1886. The PO had been reduced to a sub-PO.

BK12.  The KASHMIR name stamp was applied to Type BK7 from 16 June 1878 to 12 May 1880.

BK13.  The KASHMIR cds with the name measuring 18mm is known from 17 April 1878 to 3 October 1879. The anomalous postage due seal that accompanies this is shown next:

BK14.  The POSTAGE DUE/1 A stamp is known from 17 April 1878 to May 1879. Provisional Head PO status. The -NNA from ANNA is missing. It accompanies the BK13.

BK15.  The L barred oval obliterator was used from 24 June 1880 to 23 November 1892. From January 1891 this was used only on registered mail. There are different cuttings.

BK16.  The KASHMIR cds in the month-day format and no year. The name measures 17mm. This type is known from 2 August 1882 to 25 April 1884. There is overlap in use in August 1882 with Type BK10a.

BK17.  The KASHMIR cds in the day-month format to show a year date (sometimes missing) is known from 14 April 1884 to April 1891. There is a strike dated 14 April 1884 in the Masson collection, but BK16 is still in use.

BK(2012).  Interpolated, late discovery by Anthony Bard: The KASHMIR marking in a relief cutting. This is “the first recorded strike of the BIPO office name stamp. Based on the standard set of postal markings supplied to IPOs in India, this would have formed part of the set.” The visitor’s-rate cover (4½a in Victorias + 1a green Kashmir) included a strike from BK17.

BK18.  KASHMIR cds, name in arc, is known from 27 January 1886 and 25 April 1889. It was used primarily on registered mail.

BK19.  The R/ KASHMIR registration name cachet is known between July 1886 and April 1891.

BK20.  The KASHMIR /REG cds, which replaced Type BK18, is known from 26 April 1889 to April 1891.

BK21.  The POSTAGE DUE /ONE ANNA Head Office postage due datestamp is known from April 1886 to November 1892.

BK22a.  KASHMIR/1ST/DELY is known from 30 July 1886 to April 1891.
BK22b.  KASHMIR/2ND/DELY is known between 1886 and 1891.

BK23.  The KASHMIR/ PAR is known from 26 November 1889 to 26 April 1890. Two examples are recorded on registered covers.

BK25.  The SRINAGAR squared circle is known from April 1891 to April 1894.

BK27.  The R/ SRINAGAR registration name cachet, April 1891 to 1900.
BK28.  The SRINAGAR REG[istered] in arc is known between April 1891 and 1907.

BK29.  SRINAGAR arc is known from 22 April 1891 to 190? [Drawing Séfi & Mortimer Type 92.] An example is seen downscreen on the piece illustrating BK32.

BK30a. SRINAGAR + 1ST DELY is known between April 1891 and April 1894.
BK30b. SRINAGAR + 2ND DELY, April 1891 and April 1894.

BK31.  The SRINAGAR PAR[cel]s are known from April 1891 to 190? The left detail is from a cover in the Jaiswal collection; the example on the 5Rp stamp is sometime after November 1895, the stamp’s issue date. The two cuttings are clearly different.

BK32.  POSTAGE DUE /1 ANNA Head Office stamp is known from November 1892 to 190? This example 24 February 1893. The Srinagar circle is type BK29.

BK34.  The Srinagar combined obliterator with double circle and bars is known in the 1894-96 period. Image from Masson II.

BK35.  SRINAGAR in arc cds with a fleuron at base is known in 1894. [Drawing Séfi & Mortimer Type 94.]

BK36.  The SRINAGAR 1ST DELY is known to October 1894. Image is from Masson II.

British Ladakh: Leh Sub-PO

BL1.  The 3/L−3 obliterator is known from 20 October 1876 to August 1882. It is indeed an L−3, not an L−8.

BL2.  LEH cds is known from October 1876 to March 1884. The dot after LEH is often not apparent. Lettering and position is to be contrasted with BL4.

BL3.  The L in horizontal bars obliterator is known from 18 March 1882 to March 1884.

BL4.  LEH cds with year date is known from March 1884 to 1898. The year date is sometimes omitted in 1885, 1886, and 1888.

BL5.  The R /LEH registration cachet, 15 August 1885 to 1900.

BL6.  A POSTAGE DUE /(blank) sub-PO type stamp is recorded uniquely on 31 July 1885.

British Baramulla Sub-PO

BB1.  BARAMULLA sub-PO in arc, April 1891.

BB2.  BARAMULLA squared circle, 20 July to 26 September 1892.

BB3.  The Baramulla POSTAGE DUE / ANNAS sub-PO stamp, April 1891.

BB4.  R /BARA-MULLA registration cachet, from 20 July to 26 September 1892.

British Domel Sub-PO

BD2.  DOMEL in arc, from 18 Apr 1891 to 3 Nov 1894 (Collection Jaiswal).

BD1.  DOMEL Branch PO squared circle is known for 18 April 1891.
BD3.  DOMEL POSTAGE DUE /     ANNA branch PO, 18 April 1891.
BD4.  A DOMEL duplex crescent obliterator is recorded (E Oehme).

British Gulmarg Sub-PO

BG1.  The Gulmarg × Kashmir combined obliterator is known between July 1884 and 1892.

BG2.  The small L barred oval obliterator is known from 30 July 1886 to 30 May 1892 (possibly 1894).

BG3.  The R /GULMARG registration name cachet is attested.

BG4.  A POSTAGE DUE /(blank) ANNAS sub-PO type stamp is known for 25 July 1889.

BG5.  The GULMARG in arc combined obliterator is known between 1893 and 190?

British Gilgit Head Office

BGT1.  The GILGIT Head Office duplex with cresecent obliterator. It is known from 21 November 1892 and is absent by February 1894.

BGT2.  GILGIT cds with no fleuron. Used as a datestamp on 10 May 1893 (the example seen here). In obliterator use, it known for 21 February 1993.

BGT3.  GILGIT cds with fleuron. Used as cds it is known from 21 February to 22 June 1893 (the example above). As a combined cds and obliterator: 17 Feb 1894. That the type was still in use after the closing of the Posts is attested by Séfi & Mortimer’s drawing, their Type 97.

BGT4.  The Gilgit POSTAGE DUE/ONE ANNA. Head Office, from 1892. This specimen was retreived from the same cover as the preceding image, June 1993. There is the same greenish hue in the ink, but we believe this to be an artifact of the scanner, not a feature of the pigment.

British Tavi Postal Agency

This office operated from 1 January 1891 to 1 April 1891, and was superseded by Jammu.

BT1.  The TAVI + JAMMU-STATE squared circle is known from 1 January to 1 April 1891.

BT2.  TAVI + JAMMU-STATE cds is known from 1 January to 1 April 1891.

BT3.  The R / TAVI JAMMU-STATE registration name cachet is known from 1 January to 1 April 1891.

BT4.  The POSTAGE DUE / ONE ANNA is known from 1 January 1891 to 1894. Its first use is with the Tavi series, followed by use with the ‘Jummu’ series. The scan was taken from a cover arriving in Amritsar on 29 January 1991, accompanied by the BT2 shown above.

British Offices in Jammu: The Jummu Head PO

BJ1.  The JUMMU squared circle is known from 1 April 1891 into 1894. Image Masson II.

BJ2.  The R/JUMMU registration name cachet. This detail was taken from a 30 March 1903 OnHMS cover ("On Kashmir State-Service.") Earliest date not here known.

BJ3. A JUMMU REG marking. This example from July 1894 on a Punch cover.

BJ4. A JUMMU in arc is known for 12 April 1891 (image Masson II) and 22 September 1892.

BJ5.  JUMMU/1ST/DELY with fleuron is known from April 1891 to 1894.

BJ6.  JUMMU/2ND/DELY with fleuron. As above for second delivery.

BJ7.  JUMMU double circle with bars and delivery suffix ‘W.’ following date. April 1894.
BJ7a. The variant with the ‘.W’ preceding date. Known April 1894 and 14 November 1894.

BJ8.  JUMMU Z. It is known for September and October 1894.
BJ9.  JUMMU Y. (drawing). It is also known for September and October 1894.

BJ10.  JUMMU 1ST DELY (in one line). It is known in 1894.

BRJ1.  The RESIDENCY JUMMU combined obliterator is known for 3 and 28 October 1894 (on postcard piece shown here) but is not recorded on cover. Image Masson II

British Railway Sorting Offices

BSR1. SIALKOT RMS Railway Sorting Office L.51 cds and obliterator is known for May 1889 (detail shown) and for June 1890.

BJW1.  WAZIRABAD-JAMMU Railway Sorting Office L.7. IN / Set No.1 cds and obliterator is attested in the 1890-92 period.

Other British Offices

BM1.  MUZEFFERABAD B.O., a sighting on 3 November 1894, a couple of days after the closing of the native offices. Collection Jaiswal.

BBN1.  BANDIPUR sub-PO duplex crescent is known for 16 April 1892.
BR1.  RAMPUR B.O. + Kashmir-State cds & obliterator, 14 July 1894.
BCH1.  CHILAS B.O. + Kashmir State temporary branch PO, 22 April 1894.
BAN1.  ANANT NAG L-4 experimental PO cds & obliterator, 5 November 1894.

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