A new series of postage stamps depicting subjects of Archaeological and Historical interest was introduced and put on sale on and from 15th August 1949 - the second Anniversary of India’s Independence. These stamps constitute Free India’s first series definitive stamps and were intended to replace King George VI stamps, although both would remain on sale concurrently, until stock of the latter were exhausted.
A special Independence Day Cover was put on sale from 8th August 1949 and the price of such cover was 1 Anna each.
A special cachet which would be used exclusively on the day the new stamps were brought out, had been supplied to the following Post Offices, vide Postal Notice No.23 dated 5th August 1949.
There were 10 Philatelic Bureaux in the country at that time, which were housed in the following Post offices:
New Delhi HO
As August 15, 1949 was a public holiday, the sale of these stamps was confined to certain selected Post Offices only. The new stamps were also sold at the Stamp Agency in the office of the High Commissioner for India, London. A short description of each stamp, which are in 16 denominations.
In this Archaeological series, a supplementary issue became necessary as “Bodhi Sattava” statue was wrongly shown reversed (left hand raised instead of right hand) in 1 Anna value, which was rectified by a fresh issue on July 15, 1950. Second supplementary issue became necessary, when foreign Postal rates were increased for surface route from 1st December 1950. The rate for Post Cards was increased from 2 Annas to 2½ Annas and for Letters 3½ Annas to 4 Annas.
3½ Annas stamp was withdrawn and 2½ Annas stamp was issued in the same design as 3½ Annas stamp but in lake colour. 4 Annas stamp was reissued in same design but in blue colour, because the convention of Universal Postal Union says that stamps showing Sea Mail Postage should be in blue colour. These stamps were released on 30th April 1951, vide Postal Notice No.4 dated 19.4.1951.
Rs.10/- stamp is found in two different colours. The first one is purple brown & deep blue and the second is purple brown & blue.
- Forgeries in 8 Annas and Re.1/- value are known. Re.1/- forgery was emanated from Nepal and is very scarce. Nothing much is known about 8 Annas forgery except it was reported by Mr. Jal Cooper.
Article By: Shri Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, Ahmedabad