New Rectangulars of the 4th Period

From The Postage Stamps of J&K Simplified by Dawson & Smythies, pp 29-31.

By Fourth Period is meant 1883-1894. From about April 1883 the standard single colour scheme was given up and all values began to appear each in a distinctive colour, browns for the ¼a, greens for the 1a, reds on yellow- or green-tinted paper for the 2a, greens for the 4a, and ‘blues’ for the 8a. The ½a continued to be printed in reds, but in new shades. The ⅛a yellow was added to the series. This new value was for use on postcards sent to British India by visitors to the State, who were given the concession of paying only half the ordinary State postal rates on their letters and postcards. Of course all correspondence addressed to places outside the State had to bear the appropriate British India stamp. Thus visitors’ letters would bear a ¼a State stamp and their postcards a ⅛a State stamp, these being half the Imperial Post Office rates.

The ⅛a plate is very like that of the ¼a; it bears fifteen stamps in five rows of three, and it has a similar narrow flowered border. No rivets nor screws are visible anywhere, and the plate remained in the same state throughout its period of use. The value is expressed nīm pāo āna ~ half-quarter anna. The ink used for the first printings contained turmeric, which stained the paper on which the sheets were printed a yellow colour, which transfers itself to the leaves of the albums on which these stamps are mounted. The turmeric ingredient was discarded in 1886.

The ⅛a, ¼a, ½a, and 1a were printed on all three varieties of the thin wove paper, fine greyish toned, coarse yellowish toned, and pure white, and occasionally on thin creamy horizontally laid paper as well. The 2a was printed on its own special semi-pelure paper, fine or coarse, tinted yellow or green. The 4a and 8a appeared on all three varieties of the thin wove paper, but not on the thin laid. The 8a can also be found printed in watercolour on both the fine-toned wove and creamy laid papers, and also in an 8a indigo shade on thicker wove paper. There are innumerable shades of all the values, especially the lower. The ½a can be found in a rare buff or orange-buff shade; some printings of the 1a were made in a blue-green ink, the blue ingredient of which was very unstable, and stamps printed therewith have entirely lost their original appearance.

A collection of the ½a in all its red and orange shades from 1878 to 1894, on some half a dozen varieties and subvarieties of paper, in clear and oily and mottled printings, makes a most interesting and inexpensive study, especially when on the original covers.

The different varieties of thin wove paper and the thin laid paper overlapped. The toned wove papers went on to about 1889, when the pure white wove was adopted. Printings on the creamy laid paper were made off and on from 1887 to 1894. As regards the 2a, it was printed on the fine paper throughout its existence, the printings on coarse yellow paper being made from 1892 to 1894.

The ¼a, 1a, 2a, and 4a+8a printings are all from the second states of their plates; the ⅛a is from its one and only plate state. The ½a, however, was again more firmly refixed in its bed by the insertion of nine new large rivets, the heads of which appear ever larger and plainer as time went on, and as the plate became bent with much use. There were five driven into the old holes down the left side, one in the centre at the foot, one at the top right corner, one in the old rivet hole opposite stamp #3, and a small rivet in the old hole opposite stamp #9. This constitutes State III of the ½a plate.

There is a ½a bright green on the pure white paper, but this did not seem to have been issued. It is a rare stamp. The ½a grey-blue on the coarse yellow toned wove and the ½a bright blue on the pure white wove paper both appear to be unissued, though probably prepared with the intention of issuing it. The former is fairly common; the latter is known apparently genuinely used on cover. It was in Surgeon-General Corker’s collection. There is also an 8a reddish-brown, which has not be found used. The stamps on laid paper are scarce; the 8a in watercolour is a rarity. Chronicle, imperforate, where the thin wove papers exist in a range from fine greyish-toned to coarse yellow-toned:

New Colours of 1883-94

thin woves1883-86⅛abrownish-yellow
1886⅛adull yellow (no turmeric)
½apale red
4adull green
4adeep bluish-green
1883-898adeep blue
8adull blue
8abright ultramarine
18898agreyish-blue water
coarse yellow wove?½agrey-blue
coarse yellow wove?8areddish-brown
thicker wove?8aindigo
semi-pelure tinted1883-932ared on greenish-yellow
2ared on yellow-green
2ared on green
2aorange-red on yellow
semi-pelure coarse tinted1889-942adull orange-red on yellow
2ared on yellow
thin creamy laid1887-94⅛adull yellow
18898agreyish-blue water
pure white thin wove1889-94⅛adull yellow
¼apale brown
?¼abright green (unissued)
1892½arose (pink)
?½abright blue (unissued)
1abright green
4abright green
1889-948apale blue
8abright blue

In November 1886, stamps from a new ¼a plate were chronicled in Le Timbre Poste. This plate consists of twelve stamps, in three rows of four, surrounded by a rather narrow solid colour border. The stamps are very like the 4a and 8a, though they have not got the rows of white dots, imitating perforation. The plate may well have been engraved by the same cutter who did the 4a+8a composite plate. No explanation for its production has been given [to the time of the authors’ writing, ed. An interesting conjecture of Garrett-Adams can be found in Staal.] No stamps from this plate were issued, though they can be found with genuine three-circle postmarks and with a forged square obliteration formed of a few broad bars. The genuine postmarks are dated 8JU and 28JA92, but the stamps never went through the post. The stamps on the native paper are rare, on the creamy laid paper they are scarce. Chronicle (with the officials) all imperforate:

‘Unissued’ ¼a Plate (1886?)

¼a rosenative
¼a rose-redthin toned wove
¼a vermilionthin toned wove
¼a blackthin toned wove
¼a vermilionthin laid
¼a blackthin laid
¼a vermilionthin pure white wove
¼a blackthin pure white wove

On 01 November 1894 the State postal service was taken over by the Imperial Post Office, and all the State stamps became obsolete for postal use.

► Official Issues.

To top of page