Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Indian Philately - Looking at one of the Princely States

Here are a couple of lovelies - Soruth 1868. I aquired them about a year ago at auction. Soruth (or Sorath, Junagadh, and Saurashtra ) was a small Princely State in Gujarat until 1947 when it became part of the state of Saurashtra and then part of Bombay State.

These are hand stamped with water colour ink. You can find them in Scotts 9 and 8  respectively.  I usually use Stanley Gibbons but I'm having a few problems identifying this set clearly.  Too many variations. The only thing clear is both are Type B - you can tell by the bottom left character.

Soruth characters on stamps

Unperforated, no watermarks, no gum, laid paper.  Very nice, large margins on both.

I got lucky at auction and picked them up for a song.  The catalogue price hovers around $170 for the pair. I didn't think I'd have a chance at getting these, but I scooped them up for under $25(Cdn). Sometimes, it's all about who shows up for the auction. I went with the faint hope of getting them and was surprised to find no one else was interested.  Everyone showed up  to watch the fight over a great set of Canadian covers and no one was interested in the Indian material. My pair sold early in the auction and  which was excellet because everyone was saving their money for the cover dustup. Unless you had over $4,000 for each cover, there wasn't a hope you'd be able to touch them.   

I don't spend a lot of time or money on Feudatory States - although I'd like to. The problem is they are just too difficult to identify and  many forgeries abound, I know experts who have been snookered on occasion.  I have a modest little collection - low values mostly but infinitely enjoyable.  



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And here I sit with my stamps in a complete muddle, and nobody has bothered to tell me what it's all about."
"Listen now, Hemul," said Snufkin slowly and clearly. "It's about a comet that is going to collide with the earth tomorrow."
"Collide?" said the Hemulen. "Has that anything to do with stamp-collecting?”

- Tove Jansson, Comet in Moominland   

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