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 1, 1ch ultramarine; laid paper.


SG 32a, 5c (red) on 1ch deep blue; wmk A.


SG O20, 1ch grey-blue with On / S S ovpt (red), first setting; wmk A sideways.

1 chuckram

Of the many varieties of blue ink in which the basic 1ch stamp was printed, Gibbons recognizes ten named shades. There are five basic stamps which can fairly easily be distinguished by a combination of shade and paper: 1. The first issue on laid paper with sheet watermark, in shades of ultramarine [1]; 2. early printings on paper with type A watermark in ultramarine [6] (watermark upright or sideways, partly or completely missing), pale ultramarine [6e] or violet-blue [6f] (the last two with watermark sideways only, partly missing); 3. printings on paper with type B watermark, always upright and well centred, in bright blue [14], blue [14a], deep blue [14b], indigo [14c] or chalky blue [14d]; 4. later printings on paper with type A watermark sideways, partly missing, in grey-blue [28] or deep blue [28a]; 5. printings on paper with watermark type C, upright and well centred, in slate-blue [41] (perf. 12) or [41d] (perf. 12½) or indigo [41a]. All surcharges and overprints are in red. The 5c surcharge on 14b is [32f]*, on 28 is [32] and on 28a is [32a]. There are two settings of the "On / S S" overprint: the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) on 14d is [O5], on 28 is [O20] and on 28a is [O20a]; the seventh setting (Oval "O", 14mm high) on 41 is [O57a]. The seventh setting is also found on stamps printed in deep blue on paper with type C watermark upright and well centred, with various perf. varieties, which do not occur without the overprint: [O57] (perf. 12), [O57d] (perf. 12½) and [O57e]* (perf. 12, 12½ compound).


SG 29, 1¼ch claret; wmk A sideways.


SG 50, 1c on 1¼ch claret; wmk A sideways.


SG 51, 2c on 1¼ch claret; wmk A sideways.


SG O32, 1¼ch claret with On / S S ovpt, second setting; wmk C.


SG O46, 1¼ch carmine-rose with On / S S ovpt, sixth setting; wmk C.


SG O84, 1ch 8c on 1¼ch claret with On / S S ovpt, seventh setting; wmk C.

1¼ chuckrams

The basic 1¼ch stamp in claret occurs with type B watermark, well centred [15] or with type A sideways and partly missing [29]. All other printings are found only surcharged or overprinted or both. The 1c surcharge on 15 is [52] and on 29 is [50]; it also occurs with upright, well-centred type C watermark [54]*. The 2c surcharge on 29 is [51] and with the type C watermark is [55]*; two types of the 2c surcharge are found on 15, one with 5mm between the "2" and the "c" [53]* and the other with those characters only 2mm apart [56]*. The "On / S S" overprint in the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) occurs on 15 [O21] (black overprint) or [O22]** (blue overprint) and on paper with type C watermark upright and well centred [O25]; the first setting also occurs on a printing of the 1¼ch in carmine on paper with watermark type B [O21g]**. The second setting (round "O", 16½mm wide) occurs on paper with type C watermark upright [O32] (either well centred or partly or completely missing) or sideways [O32i]*. The third setting (with small "S S") [O37] and the sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) [O46] occur on a printing of the 1¼ch in carmine-rose on paper with watermark type C. The seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) [O58] is on paper with type C watermark upright. The 1ch 8c surcharge on O32 is [O77], on O37 is [O79]**, on O46 is [O81]* and on O58 is [O84]; this surcharge is also found on a printing of the 1¼ch in brown-red with the sixth setting of the overprint [O81c]*. The printings in carmine, carmine-rose and brown-red were not used for the unoverprinted stamps.


SG 42, 1½ch rose; wmk C.


SG O67Aa, 1½ch rose with On / S S ovpt, eighth setting; wmk C, perf. 12½.


SG O95a, 1½ch rose with SERVICE ovpt (type 2); wmk C.

1½ chuckrams

The basic 1½ch rose [42] also occurs with perf. 12½ [42b] or perf. 12, 12½ compound [42c]**, all on paper with watermark type C upright. With the sixth setting of the "On / S S" overprint (oval "O", 16mm high) these are [O67B], [O67Ba] and [O67Bc]*, with the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) [O59], [O59h]* and [O59i]* respectively. The eighth setting (oval "O", 18mm high) occurs only with perf. 12 [O67A] and perf. 12½ [O67Aa]*. All three perfs. occur with the second type of "SERVICE" overprint (13½mm, "R" with straight leg): [O95a] (perf. 12), [O95]* (perf. 12½) and [O95b]* (perf. 12, 12½ compound).


SG 2, 2ch vermilion; laid paper.


SG 7c, 2ch red; wmk A.


SG 16a, 2ch red; wmk B.


SG O6, 2ch red with On / S S ovpt, first setting; wmk B.

2 chuckrams

There are four basic 2ch stamps which can fairly easily be distinguished by a combination of shade and paper, although several distinct shades are lumped together as "red" by Gibbons: 1. The first issue on laid paper with sheet watermark, in red or vermilion [2]; 2. early printings on paper with type A watermark in salmon [7] or rose [7a] (these with watermark upright or sideways, partly or completely missing), pale pink [7b] or red [7c] (the last two with watermark sideways only); 3. printings on paper with type B watermark, always upright and well centred, in salmon [16]* or red [16a]; 4. a printing on paper with watermark type C, upright and well centred, in carmine-red [43]. The only overprint is "On / S S" in the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) on 16a, either in black [O6] or blue [O7]**.


SG 17, 3ch violet; wmk B.


SG O8, 3ch violet with On / S S ovpt, first setting; wmk B.


SG O60, 3ch reddish violet with On / S S ovpt, seventh setting; wmk C.


SG O61, 3ch violet with On / S S ovpt (red), seventh setting; wmk C.

3 chuckrams

The basic 3ch value occurs in violet with watermark type B [17], in reddish lilac with watermark type A sideways, partly missing [30], and in violet with watermark type C either well centred or partly or completely missing [44]. There are also perf. varieties of 44 (with a well-centred watermark): perf. 12½ [44b]* and perf. 12, 12½ compound [44c]*. The first setting of the "On / S S" overprint (round "O", 13mm wide) occurs on 17, either in black [O8] or blue [O9]**. The second setting (round "O", 16½mm wide) on 44 is [O33] (watermark upright). The sixth, seventh and eighth settings are found in red on 44 and its perf. varieties: those with the sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) are [O68B], [O68Ba] and [O68Bb]*, those with the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) are [O61], [O61e] and [O61f]*, and those with the eighth setting (oval "O", 18mm high) are [O68A]*, [O68Aa]* and [O68Ab]* for perfs. 12, 12½ and 12, 12½ compound respectively. The seventh setting is also found in black on paper with watermark type C upright [O60], on a printing in reddish violet which does not occur without the overprint.


SG 3, 4ch green; laid paper.


SG O10, 4ch slate-green with On / S S ovpt, first setting; wmk B.


SG O40, 4ch slate-green with On / S S ovpt (red), fifth setting; wmk C.


Detail of SG O40


SG O48, 4ch grey-green with On / S S ovpt (red), sixth setting; wmk C.

4 chuckrams

There are four basic 4ch stamps which can fairly easily be distinguished by a combination of shade and paper: 1. The first issue on laid paper with sheet watermark, in green [3]*; 2. early printings on paper with type A watermark in green [8] (with watermark upright or sideways, partly or completely missing), yellow-green [8a] or dull green [8b] (the last two with watermark sideways only); 3. printings on paper with type B watermark, always upright and well centred, in dull green [18] or slate-green [18a]; 4. a printing on paper with watermark type C, upright and well centred, in grey-green [45]. The "On / S S" overprint in the first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) occurs on 18a [O10] (black overprint) or [O11]** (blue overprint). The fifth setting (with large "S S") in red [O40]* occurs on a printing of the 4ch in slate-green on paper with watermark type C. The sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) on 45 is [O47] (black overprint) or [O48] (red overprint); the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) on 45 is [O62]*** (black overprint) or [O63] (red overprint); the eighth setting (oval "O", 18mm high), also on 45, is [O69A]* (red overprint only). The sixth setting [O69Ba] and eighth setting [O69Aa]* of the overprint also occur in red on a stamp similar to 45 but perf. 12½, which is not found without the overprint.


SG 19a, 7ch carmine-red; wmk B; error for claret.


SG 46c, 7ch brown-purple; wmk C.


SG O64, On 7ch claret with On / S S ovpt, seventh setting; wmk C.

 

7 chuckrams

There are two basic stamps of the 7ch claret: one with watermark type B [19] and the other with watermark type C upright [46]. There are also printings in carmine-red on the type C paper [46b]** and, in error, on the type B paper [19a]**, and in brown-purple on the type C paper with perf. varieties: [46c] (perf. 12), [46ca]* (perf. 12½) and [46cb]* (perf. 12, 12½ compound). The first setting of the "On / S S" overprint (round "O", 13mm wide) on 46 is [O26] and on 46b (apparently in error) is [O26d]**. The second setting (round "O", 16½mm wide) on 46 is [O34]. The sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) on 46 is [O64] (perf. 12), and there are also perf. varieties [O64d]* (perf. 12½) and [O64e]* (perf. 12, 12½ compound) printed in claret and not brown-purple.


SG 20, 14ch orange-yellow; wmk B.


SG O27, 14ch orange-yellow with On / S S ovpt, first setting; wmk C.


SG O35, 14ch orange-yellow with On / S S ovpt, second setting; wmk C.


SG O65, 14ch orange with On / S S ovpt, seventh setting; wmk C.


SG O70A, 14ch orange-yellow with On / S S ovpt, eighth setting; wmk C.

14 chuckrams

There are two basic stamps of the 14ch orange-yellow: one with watermark type B [20] and the other with watermark type C upright and well centred, with perf. varieties [46d]** (perf. 12) and [46da]** (perf. 12½). There are three settings of the "On / S S" overprint on 46: first setting (round "O", 13mm wide) [O27], sixth setting (oval "O", 16mm high) [O49] and eighth setting (oval "O", 18mm high) [O70A]*. The sixth setting [O70Ba] and eighth setting [O70Aa]* also occur on 46da with perf. 12½. There is a printing of the 14ch in orange-yellow, on paper with watermark type C partly or completely missing, with the second setting of the overprint (round "O", 16½mm wide) [O35] and in orange, on paper with watermark type C upright and well centred, overprinted with the seventh setting (oval "O", 14mm high) [O65]. These last two printings are not found without the overprint.

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