Old Period.  Stamps of the Old Period are not known to have been perforated by the sheet. It is the case, however, that at least three singles have been seen in perforated condition, namely the ¼a black watercolor from the Kashmir Visitors’s plate (Dawson Sale), a pin-perforation experiment of the single-die 8a red watercolor on wove paper, and a significant postal use: The ½a blue watercolor from the first Kashmir plate, Harell collection. It is on cover with javab notation dated 19 rajab [1291] ~ 1 September 1874. Ref. India Post 41 117 (2007).

New Rectangulars.  It is with the early New Rectangulars that perforation aspired to be more than a sometime experiment, but the difficulties evidently proved too much for the technical department. Of the half-dozen types catalogued, only ½a reds (for Jammu use) and ½a slates (for Kashmir use) are not rare. A harrow-like instrument consisting of brass pins in a configuration suitable for perforating the smaller sheets (of three-stamp width) has actually been seen by philatelists. That a second instrument existed that could be used for sheets of the four-stamp width is shown by the following:

Detail from unique the 2as black watercolor full sheet. The horizontal pin-rows (vertical in the scan) number 59 to 63 holes over 8.65 cm (averaging just over 14 per 20 mm). The broad range given in the literature for individual stamps, namely 13-16, is a bit of an exaggeration. A partner piece exists for the 1a, and it is clear that the same perforating implement was used. No examples are known with the 4as+8as composite plate. These watercolor items are called proofs. Collection Hellrigl. Ex Godfrey, ex Masson.

The much wider-pitch perf assignment given by Gibbons to the early 1a red and the 2as violet is not consistent with the harrow method of perforation. If the items in question do indeed sport the wider pitch, the perforating was done by another method, perhaps even spuriously at some later time. Are examples known on cover? One notes that the catalogue pricing is for unused specimens only.

The ½a black watercolor, perforated, on thin bluish wove paper. Scan taken from Séfi & Mortimer’s Plate 35. Those authors claimed that this unique sheet (together with unique counterparts in the 1a and 2as on thin laid bâtonné) pre-date the first New Rectangular issue, i.e., are “proof-sheets.” They may have been printed at Srinagar before the plates were sent to Jammu, having been obtained by Stuart Godfrey in 1898 directly from the engraver.

A ½a red, perforate on laid paper, dated 32 sāvan [19]35 ~ 14 August 1878. The date is written in the Persian, in the lower line of the Dogri, as well as across the stamp itself.

The rare ½a black on laid paper, perforated. The Jammu cds is dated 18 bhadom 1935 ~ 1 September 1878. The scan is taken from Séfi & Mortimer Plate 34.

The later of the two known perforated officials, also on laid paper; this from kātik 10 1935 ~ 25 October 1878.

Above left, the ½a carmine-lake perforated on bluish-tinted paper. The tinted papers, some of which are slightly tinted yellowish-green are known to be early.

Above right, the ½a deep scarlet, perforated on vertically laid paper, also 1878. Horizontal laiding is also found on both types.

The ½a yellowish-rose perforated. This is the unique unused copy in the Hellrigl collection. Are there others? Check your pockets now. Postally used, there is a single copy in the Tapling museum (ref. Hellrigl). And yet another perforation experiment was abandoned. Nothing of the kind is known for the other denominations.

The 1a red perforated on medium horizontally laid paper, 1878. Fewer than a dozen are attested according to the Haverbeck auction catalogue, in which two are shown in uncolored photographs. The scan here is from Haverbeck’s plate 15, Lot 1454.

Perforated New Rectangulars
1878½a black watercolor, thin bluish woveunique proof
May 1878½a red, thin wove (used only)alleged
May 1878½a “red”, laiduncommon
20 May 1878 —earliest attestation, pair on coverunique
May 1878½a brown-red, thick laidscarce
May 1878 —as above in full sheetunique?
Jul 1878½a red, medium woveSG117
Aug 1878½a slate-violet, laidSG104
Aug 1878 —as above in full sheet~4 known
Aug 1878½a reds, laidSG102
1878½a carmine-lake, blue-tinted laidscarce
1878½a deep scarlet, laidscarce
Aug 78-Mar 81½a reds, laidSG113
Aug 1878½a black, laidSGO1
1 Sep 1878 —½a black, laidSM plate 34
25 Oct 1878 —½a black, laidSM plate 34
1879½a red, thin woveSG124
1881½a yellowish-rose, wove (state II)SG130b
>1890½a orange-red, gummed thin wove pf 11-12rare
Jul 1878¼a red, laidattested?
>1890⅛a brownish-yellow, gummed thin wove pf 11-12rare
Apr? 18781a black watercolor, laidunique proof
18781a red, laidSG103
18781a violet, laidSG104a
>18901a green, gummed thin wove pf 11-12rare
Apr? 18782as black watercolor, laidunique proof
18782as violet, laidSG104b

To top of page