Home > Index of Archived Features > Key to the "Conch Shell" Issues of Travancore
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Note: The stamp illustrations below have been resized to fit into a column width of 130 pixels. The margins of these stamps vary considerably, and resizing to a consistent width causes an apparent change in the size of stamp designs. In actuality, design dimensions do not vary significantly within each issue.


SG 9, 4c pink; wmk B.


SG 31, 1c on 4c pink; wmk A sideways.

4 cash

The 4 cash pink occurs with watermark type B, upright and well centred [9] or with watermark type A sideways, partly missing [23]. The latter surcharged 1c is [31]. Both were overprinted "On / S S" for official use: 9 with the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) is [O1]; with the sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) is [O42]**. 23 with the first setting is [O12] (black overprint) or [O13] (blue overprint); with the sixth setting is [O41]*. There is also a printing of the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) on paper with watermark type C, upright and well centred [O50]*; this is not found without the overprint.


SG 24, 5c olive-bistre; wmk A sideways.


SG 58, 1c on 5c slate-purple; wmk C.


SG O28, 5c olive-bistre with On / S S ovpt, second setting; wmk C.


SG O51, 5c chocolate with On / S S ovpt, sixth setting; wmk C.


SG O82, 6c on 5c chocolate with On / S S ovpt, seventh setting; wmk C.

 

5 cash

There are three basic stamps of the 5c value in two distinct colours, olive-bistre and chocolate. The 5c olive-bistre occurs with watermark type C, upright and well centred [33] or with watermark type A sideways, partly missing [24]. 33 overprinted "On / S S" with the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) is [O23]; with the second setting (round "O", 16½mm wide) is [O28]. 24 overprinted with the first setting is [O14]. All three official stamps occur with a 6c surcharge: O23 is [O72]*, O28 is [O74], O14 is [O71]*.

The basic 5c chocolate occurs only with watermark type C upright [34], but that may be either well centred or partly or completely missing. If surcharged 1c (watermark well centred) it is [57], and there is also a printing in slate-purple [58] which does not occur without the surcharge. If overprinted "On / S S" with the first setting it is [O23f]**; with the second setting it is [O29]; with the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) it is [O51]*. The watermark is well centred in O51 and partly or completely missing in O29; both varieties are found in O23f. O29 surcharged 6c is [O75] and O51 similarly surcharged is [O82].


SG 10, 6c chestnut; wmk B.


SG O66Ba, 6c brown-red with On / S S ovpt, sixth setting; wmk C, perf. 12½.


SG O85b, 6c brown-red with SERVICE ovpt (type 1); wmk C.

6 cash

The basic 6c value occurs in chestnut with watermark type B [10], in orange-brown with watermark type A sideways, partly missing [25], and in brown-red with watermark type C either well centred or partly or completely missing [35] or with watermark type C sideways [35g]*. There are also perf. varieties of 35 (all with a well-centred watermark): perf. 12½ [35d], perf. 12½ x 11 [35f]** and perf. 12, 12½ compound [35e]. All three colours occur with the "On / S S" overprint in the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide): on 10 it is [O2]**, on 25 it is [O15] (black overprint) or [O16] (blue overprint), and on 35 it is [O30]. Other settings occur on the brown-red colour only, all with well-centred watermark type C but with various perf. varieties. The sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) is found on 35 [O43], on 35d [O66Ba]* and on 35e [O66Bag]; the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) is found on 35 [O52], on 35d [O52i]* and on 35e [O52j]*; the eighth setting (oval "O", 18mm high) is found on 35 [O66A], and on 35d [O66Aa]. The "SERVICE" overprint (13mm, "R" with curved tail) is found on 35 [O85b] and 35d [O85], and also occurs with perf. 11 [O85a] and with one or more compound perfs. [O85c].


SG 11a, ½ch reddish violet; wmk B.


SG 21a, ¼ch on ½ch reddish violet; wmk B.


SG 22a, 3/8ch on ½ch reddish violet; wmk B.


SG O3, ½ch reddish lilac with On / S S ovpt, first setting; wmk B.

½ chuckram

Paper with watermark type A sideways, partly missing, was used for several early printings of the ½ch in various shades: slate-lilac [4], reddish lilac [4b], purple [4c] and dull purple [4d], and one later printing in reddish violet [26]. With watermark type B there are three shades: reddish lilac [11], reddish violet [11a] and lilac [11b]. Watermark type C, well centred, occurs only in the reddish violet shade [36]. Surcharges occur on the stamps with watermark type B: ¼ on 11 is [21], on 11a is [21a] and on 11b is [21b]; 3/8 on 11 is [22], on 11a is [22a] and on 11b is [22b]. The "On / S S" overprint in the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) occurs in red on 4b [O17a], on 11 [O3] and on 26 [O17]; and in the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) it occurs on 36 in black [O53] or in red [O54].


SG 37, 10c pink; wmk C.


SG 59, 2c on 10c pink; wmk C.


SG O31, 10c pink with On / S S ovpt, second setting; wmk C.


SG O76, 12c on 10c pink with On / S S ovpt, second setting; wmk C.

10 cash

The four basic stamps of the 10c value, all pink, are distinguished by their watermarks: type B [12]* is upright, and well centred; type A [27] is sideways and partly missing; type C may be upright [37] or sideways [37c]* and may be partly or completely missing. 27 with the watermark completely missing can be distinguished from 37 or 37c only by the hand-made paper. The 2c surcharge [59] is on stamps with type C watermark upright and well centred. The "On / S S" overprint in the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) occurs on 12 [O4], on 27 [O18] (black overprint) or [O19]* (blue overprint) and on 37 [O24]; the first setting also occurs on a printing of the 10c in scarlet [O18a]*, which was not used for the unoverprinted stamps. The second setting (round "O", 16½mm wide) occurs on 37 [O31] and 37c [O31j]*; the third setting (with small "S S") [O36]***, the sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) [O44] and the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) [O55] occur only on paper with type C watermark upright and well centred. All these settings of the official stamps also occur with a 12c surcharge, which is found on O24 [O73]***, on O31 [O76], on O36 [O78]***, on O44 [O80]* and on O55 [O83].


SG 13, ¾ch black; wmk B.


SG O39, ¾ch black with On / S S ovpt (red), fifth setting; wmk C.


SG O38, ¾ch black with On / S S ovpt (red), fourth setting; wmk C.


Detail of SG O38


SG O45, ¾ch mauve with On / S S ovpt, sixth setting; wmk C.


SG O94d, ¾ch reddish violet with SERVICE ovpt (type 2); wmk C, compound perf. (12×11×11×11).

¾ chuckram

The basic ¾ch stamp in black occurs with all three watermarks: with type A sideways, partly missing [5], with type B [13], or with type C upright and well centred [38]; on the type C paper there were also printings in mauve [39] and reddish violet [40]. The mauve printings are also found with perf. 12½ [39b] or perf. 12, 12½ compound [39c]* and the reddish violet printings are found with perf. 11 [40c]**, perf. 11, 12 compound [40d]**, perf. 12½ [40a] and perf. 12, 12½ compound [40b]. All overprinted stamps are on the paper with upright well-centred type C watermark. The black printings were used only for the provisional fourth (small "S S") [O38] and fifth (large "S S") [O39] settings of the "On / S S" overprint in red. The sixth and seventh settings occur only on the mauve printings, with various perfs. The sixth setting (Oval "O", 16mm high) on 39 is [O45], on 39b is [O45e] and on 39c is [O45f]; the seventh setting (Oval "O", 14mm high) on 39 is [O56] and on 39c is [O56f]*. Both types of the "SERVICE" overprint occur only on the reddish violet printings: type 1 (13mm, "R" with curved leg) on 40 is [O86a], on 40a is [O86]** and with more than one compound perf. is [O86b]**; type 2 (13½mm, "R" with straight leg) on 40 is [O94c], on 40a is [O94], on 40c is [O94b] and with one or more compound perfs. is [O94d].

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