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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hello, well in response to last nights blog I received this, as well as other details from readers. Thought this might be interesting for you all Thanks for reading the blog and your emails. and thanks to Ramana from Hyderabad. H. H. Sir Sri Rama Varma III, Maharaja of Cochin, 1932-1941 Rama Varma III was also known as Chowarayil Theepeta Thampuran. In 1938 Perkins, Bacon & Co. discontinued the contract with the state of Cochin, and an Indian firm began printing the stamps by lithographic process. Thus, two very different printings are found during the reign of Rama Varma III—those beautifully recess printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co., and those of the less-attractive offset printed variety. It's important to learn to distinguish between these printings. The recess printed stamps are brighter, and the design appears slightly raised (looking at the back of the stamp, one can usually see an embossed image of the design). The litho, or offset, stamps are entirely flat, and the general appearance is dull in comparison. All Cochin stamps after 1938 were offset printed. From 1933 to 1938, 11 values (2p, 4p, 6p, 1a, 1a8p, 2a, 2¼a, 3a, 3a4p, 6a8p, 10a) were recess printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co. The entire set is quite attainable in both used and unused condition. In 1938, five values (2p, 4p, 6p, 1a, 2¼a) were offset printed by The Associated Printers in Madras. The 1a brown-orange [Sc 57A/SG 70] is scarce, and the rest of the set is inexpensive in both mint and used condition. In 1939, 1a stamps were overprinted "ANCHAL" for postal purposes (those not overprinted were used for revenue purposes). Here an understanding of the two printing types is useful. The recess printed 1a overprinted "ANCHAL" is quite common in used and mint condition, but the litho printed variety [Sc 59/SG 73] is rare in mint state. However, a slightly different "ANCHAL" was also printed on the litho, and it is very common in both used and unused condition. From 1942 to 1944, both recess and offset printed stamps were surcharged. It is difficult to obtain a complete set of the surcharged overprints, as many of them are scarce to rare. The official overprints of Rama Varma III are complex and beyond the scope of this introductory article. The combinations of overprint types, underlying print types, surcharges, and perforations is enough to keep the advanced collector busy for many years.
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