India’s Struggle for Freedom Series

When I restarted my hobby, I picked up the thread on my collection of stamps from India’s Struggle for Freedom series. I had originally posted about this in Jun 2016. Since then I have finally managed to complete this series. Technically it took me 34 years to complete this series, since I bought the first stamps from the post office when they were issued :-).

Different sources on the Internet provide varied information about this series on India’s Struggle for Freedom. One source talks about the series starting in 1983 with the ambition of issuing 4-6 stamps each year until 1997, marking the 50th year of India’s Independence.

The Philacent India catalog lists seven series from 1983 to 1989 with 44 stamps as India’s Struggle for Freedom series, with similar design of tricolor on the edges commemorating a freedom fighter personality. Post 1989, there have been a few stamps with tricolor being used in the stamp sometimes on the edge, sometimes in another way, but none like the design of tricolor on both edges. Also the catalog doesn’t list the other issues as part of the Struggle for Freedom series.

The official India Post website run by the Department of Posts (Ministry of Communication, Govt. of India) lists only the first three stamps in the series as INDIA’S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM. The other stamps are listed as commemorating specific personalities.

Here’s my exhibit for India’s Struggle for Freedom series.

Ships on Stamps

Ships on stamps always makes an interesting theme. Countries have long issued stamps with intricate designs of ships on them. Here are few stamps of this theme.

Norway 1991, To commemorate the centenary of the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue


shown here: Skomvær III

The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue was founded on 9 July 1891. The first rescue boat went into service in 1893, and in 1894 the Colin Archer saved 37 lives in a storm. Colin Archer (1832 – 1921) was a Norwegian naval architect and shipbuilder from Larvik, Norway.

He and his shipyard were known for building durable and safe ships. The most notable single ship built by Colin Archer was the Fram, which participated in expeditions to the North Pole and, later, in Roald Amundsen’s historic first expedition to the South Pole; Fram is now preserved in the Fram Museum on Bygdøy, Oslo, Norway.

Today, there are 43 vessels continuously manned and on standby along the coast of Norway. The society has about 6000 engagements every year. 13 of the 43 boats are operated by volunteers,  the rest of the boats are manned by a professional crew who live and work onboard on a 28 day rotation.

Info source:

And some more from my collection:

1937 Coronation Omnibus Stamp Album

About a year back I wrote a post on 1937 Coronation stamps. After unsuccessfully scrounging around the internet for a free album to print, I have finally decided to make my own album. I used a software called AlbumEasy, which is available at, to create the 1937 Coronation Omnibus album pages. There are a total of 22 pages plus 1 cover page.

I am happy to offer this album to anyone who wants it in exchange of 100 stamps. I am not too fussy about the stamps, except they should not be duplicates and not too common. You can send me pics of what you can offer. Once I receive the stamps, I will email you the full album. Email me at theamateurphilatelist at gmail dot com, or send me a DM on Instagram or message me at Facebook.

You can see sample pages here:

Stamp on Stamp

I have been fascinated by the Stamp on Stamp theme. Not as much about collecting those stamps that have stamps represented on them, but collecting the pairs with original stamps and the stamps commemorating them. Kinda sounds confusing, all these stamps on stamps words. Here’s what I am talking about.

Technically the stamp on the left isn’t 1852 Britannia stamp that’s being commemorated in the stamp on the right. Its actually either 1860 or 1871 rough perforation one. But hey, for the purpose of collecting stamp-on-stamp theme, I think I’ll sneak this through 😉

In this one too, the classic India Four Anna is not the same as that shown in the Philately Day stamp on the right. What the right stamp (minisheet) has is an error variety of the classic Four Anna stamp. I guess this will do for my collection, given the rarity of the error variety.

Album Pages or Stock Pages/Books

A blog post after a long time. I have been posting mostly on my Instagram account.

I have always used stock books/pages. After restarting my hobby I am discovering printed album pages and loving it. They just help organize the collection a lot better. While stock books and pages have the ease of moving thing around, somehow I like the charm of well organized album pages.

Here are a few pages from Austria album. Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of stamps I have, but so much better organized, don’t you think.

#postmarks365 Project

Inspired by the Postmark calendar post at The Stamp Forum boards, and more importantly, the fact that I bought a couple of Machin kiloware, I am sharing my #postmarks365 project. It’s a start and there are still many dates without stamps. While I will try to complete this with Machins only, it is very much possible that I run out of patience and add stamps of other countries too.
Update 9 Sep 2020: Here’s the progress 4 years after I started this project. As you can see, it’s no easy task finding the right 366 stamps.


Ceylon SG 4 Forgery

A couple of days back I wrote about Ceylon stamp genuine vs forgery that I found in a lot I bought. The catalogue value of the original stamp is GBP 70,000. I asked about the stamp on The Stamp Forum board and falschung, who is an expert on forgeries was kind enough to respond. Here’s what he said about the stamp.

First, you stamp slightly enhanced, to the right a genuine SG 4 that sold for $25,000

There is an obvious lack of detail in your stamp especially when you look at the background behind the Queen and the edge decorations.
Many lines & dots are missing in the country and value tablet
The color is too bright and not dull as it should be
Also it is in too good a shape for a 150 year old stamp without the edge blur inking of period stamps

SO, what is it?
Most of the forgeries of this stamp are rather crude and this is not.
Most good forgeries have a watermark impressed with oil & a die.
It is obviously very good and would fool a few people.
So we have some choices

An 1867 SG65a rose/carmine with trimmed perfs as this poor examples that tried to fake an SG4 ??

A cut out from the 1950 London Ex sheet

Or my preferred choice

A Peter Winter Forgery
Note the weak spot in the upper left frame which is the same as yours

Oneglia & Jeffries also made good forgeries
One Oneglia sold at a prestigious action as a genuine

My 2c worth without actually seeing the stamp for watermark & paper

Peter Winter made most of his forgeries in the 1980’s
His work may well be the best overall of any forger
Like these gems

He never sold his works as “forgeries” but accurate reproductions mainly under a company called House of Stamps
A “bonvivant”, opera singer and artist who reproduced many of the world classics.

Errors in Modern Indian Stamps

When I was young and collecting stamps, I was fascinated by stamp errors. The only ‘error’ stamps I owned were color variations and those too in used stamps. In my second innings as a collector I have managed to lay my hands on these ‘error’ stamps. And just when I was feeling kicked about it, fellow collectors tell me these are quite common in modern Indian stamps. Anyway, I am still happy to have these in my collection. Sharing some from my collection here.

Perforation shift Commemorative:

Perforation shift Service stamp:

Imperf definitive pair:

Year printed twice on Commemorative stamp:

Ceylon Genuine vs Forgery

An impulsive buy on an eBay auction has landed me a big lot. It contained mostly stamp varieties from commonwealth countries. Most of the stamps didn’t interest me much but I decided to investigate a few that caught my eye. I searched the online catalog to see if there were stamps that might be of value. I came across the 1859 Ceylon Queen Victoria Four Pence stamp. The catalog listed the unused stamp valued at $ 66,942. I said to myself ‘yeah right!’. So I posted it on Facebook group. Promptly I was quoted Stanely Gibbons listing it at GBP 70,000. So had I landed myself a lottery? Wow, I was reveling in wishful thinking that I had landed myself a fortune.

I started searching the Internet about the stamp. My first instinct was this probably was not a real stamp. I came across details about genuine and forged Ceylon Four Pence Rose. The article lists points about genuine and forged stamp. While some of these point to my stamp being a forgery, some points sound like the stamp might be genuine.

It seems I can get my stamp evaluated by The Royal Philatelic Society of London. Let me research more on my own before I spend GBP 810 on getting this stamp evaluated.

Here’s the genuine stamp according to Stamp Forgeries website:

And some forgeries from the same site:

1937 Coronation Stamps

I only had a few 1937 Coronation stamps in my collection before I chanced upon and won a very low priced auction of a large lot of these stamps.

In anticipation of that large lot, I started accumalating missing stamps from the collection. I have also started collecting FDCs/Covers of this set.

There are 202 stamps in the series issued by 58 colonies of the British Empire. Interestingly, no stamp was issued in India even though India was a British colony at that time.

Finally my large lot arrived. My collection of 1937 Coronation stamps is now respectable though still far from complete.

Each colony issued three stamps in the set in the list below. There were some exceptions of course, those are listed in parenthesis against the country name in the list below:

  • Aden
  • Antigua
  • Ascension
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Basutoland
  • Bechuanaland
  • Bermuda
  • British Guiana
  • British Honduras
  • British Solomon islands
  • Canada (1)
  • Cayman islands
  • Ceylon
  • Cook islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Falkland islands
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Gibraltar
  • Gilbert and Ellice islands
  • Gold coast
  • Great Britain (1)
  • Grenada
  • Hong kong
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya Uganda and Tanganika
  • Leeward Islands
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Monserrat
  • Morocco Agencies (3) French Spanish and Tangier)
  • Nauru (4)
  • Newfoundland
  • Newfoundland (11 in extended) 
  • New guinea (4)
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Northern Rhodesia
  • Nyasaland
  • Papua (4)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somaliland
  • South Africa (5 pairs)
  • South West Africa (8 Bilingual pairs)
  • Southern Rhodesia (4)
  • St Christopher and Nevis(St Kitts)
  • St Helena
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent
  • Straits Settlements
  • Swaziland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Virgin islands