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Colonel Jayanta Dutta, MD, FISCD, FIPHA, FCCP of Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and an well-known philatelist of India has kindly agreed to contribute articles on fiscals related to Flags. Here goes the first installment;
Do you know India had nearly 550 princely states and
nearly 250 of this states had their own Court Fee and Revenue stamps. Many of
these states were too small in area and population, so such stamps were issued
in very small quantity. And
even major part from the issued stamps were either destroyed by government
relative agency (ies) or found in damaged condition. So, available quantity is
supposed to be a minor part of the stamps issued. If you are collecting
post-independence, thematically or foreign stamps or say foreign currency notes
or post independence notes or coins, this
would be an endless collectionbecause everyday new issues comes out and
you have to keep on updating your collection regularly.
On the other hand, if you are collecting Indian native states
fiscals, there is nothing new is going to be issued, thereby one can try and
make a complete collection, and mind you these stamps were not for public use. All
these states had issued few stamps and we are still lucky that we can get these
stamps, though, as usual, most of the stock has gone to the UK and USA as there is
a foundation which has invested huge money and collected Indian princely states'
fiscals and have also published a standard catalogue specially on fiscals of
Indian princely states (Koeppel & Manners)
For lovers of flags Indian Princely States fiscal offers
many verities and I thought to begin with the whole exercise alphabetically
with Akalkot state.
Akalkot was located in Bombay Residency. Akalkot had an area of
498 square miles, with about 90,000 inhabitants.
Akalkot issued Court Fees, Receipts and
The first series of Court Fees bears the inscription Akalkot
state. The flag exists in several sizes (not mentioned in K&M). Note that this
Court Fee is unused and this is rare
The second Court Fee series used changed spelling of state, now being
Akalkat state. Note the doubling of red color (the flag and denomination).
The third series included the flag in design and was not printed in
second operation as opposed to the first two designs
The fourth and fifth series are smaller in size and bear
inscription Akalkot state or Akalkat state respectively. The fourth series is
known with perfin SPECIMEN