Sunday, September 20, 2009

Banganapally State - Madras War Fund Seal

It's long time since I showed some war fund stamps. Today's item is not an ordinary war fund stamp but a rare item nowadays. I have to admit the fact that I was so fascinated with this item when I saw first time on eBay for sale that I decided to buy it. And I won eventually, of course spending a huge amount.

It is one of the costliest item I have purchased ever on ebay :-) But I still think I got a good deal given rarity of this item. It is a true gem. I know how I pursued behind dealers to get even one stamp of this nature only to be asked is there really such stamp in existence? To prove all those dealers wrong, I bought a complete booklet of this stamp :D

Banganapalli or Banganapally or Banganapalle became a princely state of British India in the early 1800s. The British governor of the Madras Presidency twice took over the administration of the state for financial mismanagement, the first time from 1832 to 1848, and the second time for a few months in 1905. On the eve of bankruptcy more than 50% of the revenue was being expended for the maintenance of the Nawab and the family!

The princely state of Banganapally, 275 square miles in size, with a population of 44,631 (1941 census), the majority being Hindus was the only Muslim soverign state down south in British India, ruled by the Nawab of the Shia sect. Urdu was the court language until 1939, when it was replaced by English, Telugu being used at the village level.

In 1948, the ruler of Banganapally acceded to newly-independent India, and Banganapally was incorporated into Kurnool district of the then Madras Presidency. In 1953, the northern districts of Madras state, including Kurnool district, became the new state of Andhra Pradesh.

Shown above is front cover of complete booklet of 64 Banganapally State revenue stamps with Madras War Fund Seals. The stamps were issued between 1939 - 42, size of 27 x 33 mm with perforation of 12 on wove paper in demonitaion of 3 pies. The color of stamp is Green with Madras War Fund Seal printed in black sans-serif caps in upper half of oval portrait. As usual, the reason of issuing this stamp was to raise fund during World War II for fighting troops.

Strangely, this stamp is not listed in K&M (Koeppel - Raymond D. Manners "The Court Fee and Revenue Stamps of the Princely States of India" catalogue) though the same stamp with overprint in dark blue in rectangular box in sans-serif caps with "ONE ANNA" is listed as Type 11. That's the reason above stamp is called Type 10 by some philatelists.

It's no wonder that used example of this stamp is extremely rare given the fact that mint stamp itself is difficult to get.

Last but the least, Banganapally is famous in current southern India for its famous Mangoes named after it "Banganapally Mangoes"!!


krishnan veeraraghavan said...

dear sir, it was fantastic to acquire such a rare item. really a tough task to follow such items. wishes. keep going on the same path to get rare items and post it in the blog. regards

Hmmm!!! Let's see..... said...

Thanks a lot for your encouraging comments! Generally, I try now to buy very costly items as we have to manage our financial situation as well. But this one was one my long desire and when I saw it being offered with complete booklet, I couldn't resist but went after it. I hope God helps me to acquire such materials in future as well so that I can share here with everyone.

Hmmm!!! Let's see..... said...

There was a spelling mistake read now => not.

ethan pettit said...

Thank you for your wonderful insights! This stamp has mystified me for some time. And as you say, not much about it in KM. In fact, I was mildly ridiculed by my comrades in philately at the Collectors Club in Manhattan when in early 2009 I bought a mint set of six for $50. Exactly the same set is now on ebay as a buy-it-now for $179. (I speak only of the revenue issue, without the war-fund overprint.)

Hmmm!!! Let's see..... said...

I think you definitely made a wise decision. This stamp is not easy to get it in good condition. Specially that you have mint set of 6. Mine is more difficult to get :-) (with war fund seal)! In fact, I was willing to pay more to acquire it but I got it at reasonable price!

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