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Telegraph stamps of the World

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1917 to 1930 Printed in sheets of rough native paper of variable thickness and hardness.
These were printed from the plates of old postage stamps (superseded in 1907) for telegraphic purposes, and the impressions are poor to very poor.
Initially the old stocks were used up, then new printings were made from the old plates.
Later the plates were 'recut' and later still the new 1 Anna die was produced.

These old plates were made with individual cliches for each stamp (originally 64 stamps).
These cliches could occasionally fall off, needing to be replaced. They were occasionally replaced upside-down leading to tête-bêche pairs.
In the case of H5, a 4 Anna cliche was replaced by a 1 Anna cliche (upside-down) at the top right corner of the sheet.
The new 1 Anna die did not have individual cliches and hence did not produce tête-bêche pairs

Hiscocks only priced the unused stamps in cases where they can be 'unambiguously distinguished' from the earlier postal use by shade or die.
I have added prices for the other mint stamps as well, but it is for the collector to decide what to collect.
Prices for used stamps, are for those with telegraph cancels. Be aware that some shades of these stamps were only used for postal purposes.

There are many forgeries about, particularly of H2,   -   I will try to get details of these.
According to nepalstamps.com, there are at most about 122 genuine mint copies of H2 and less than 400 used (H&V setting 6).
Nepalstamps.com have a specialised section of their website on the Nepalese telegraph stamps.

No watermark, no gum. Imperf.

Nepal Type 1 Nepal Blister flaw Nepal Type 2
½ Anna, Hiscocks Type 1 (H1a)   -   Position 57/58 tête-bêche pair ½ Anna, Hiscocks Type 1 (H1a)  Position 42 'Double blister flaw'. ½ Anna, Hiscocks Type 1 (H2)


Nepal Type 2 Nepal Type 2 recut Nepal Type 2 recut
1 Anna, postally used 1 Anna worn, Hiscocks Type 2 1 Anna recut, Hiscocks Type 2 - H3d


Nepal 2A Nepal 2A Nepal 2A Nepal 2A
2 Anna shades, Hiscocks Type 3


Nepal 2A Nepal 2A Nepal 2A Nepal 2A
2 Anna shades, Hiscocks Type 3


Nepal 2A shade Nepal 2A shade Nepal 2A shade
Examples of 2 Anna shades   -   courtesy Max of Tilford stamps.


Nepal Type 4 Nepal 4A Nepal 4A
4 Anna shades, Hiscocks Type 4
Early European paper, courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps. Postage only. A couple of mine on native paper, telegraphically used.

Nepal Type H5a
An axample of the 1A green (H5/H5a) at the top right corner surrounded by 4A stamps (H11f).


The shades are very variable, particularly the 2As and not a good guide to the face value.
The value is at the top of the right-hand panel, and bottom of the left panel, though it is not always clear and is also a bit variable.

Nepal 1 Anna
1 Anna (Type 2)
Nepal 1 Anna
1 Anna (Type 5)
Nepal 2 Anna
2 Annas
Nepal 2 Anna
2 Annas
Nepal 2 Anna
2 Annas
Nepal 4 Anna
4 Annas
Nepalese 1 Nepalese 2 Nepalese 4


Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
H1 1 ½A black (1917-1928) 20.00 1.00
H1a           tête-bêche (pair) 70.00 4.00
H1b           grey 20.00 1.00
H1c           grey tête-bêche (pair) 70.00 5.00
H1d           grey-black (1929-1930) 7.00 -
H1e           tête-bêche (pair) 30.00 -
H2 1 ½A orange-vermilion (1917) 1000.00 180.00
H2a           tête-bêche (pair) - 1000.00
H3 2 1A blue (shades) 12.00 2.00
H3a           tête-bêche (pair) 50.00 8.00
H3b           deep blue 15.00 2.50
H3c           deep blue tête-bêche (pair) 60.00 10.00
*H3d           deep blue re-cut 12.00 2.00
*H3e           re-cut tête-bêche (pair) 50.00 8.00
H4 2 1A pale emerald (error) (1917) - 100.00
H4a           tête-bêche (pair) - 400.00
H4b           deep emerald - 150.00
H4c           tête-bêche (pair) - 600.00
H5 2 1A yellow green (shades) (error) (1930) 300.00 -
H5a           se-tenant with No. 11f (pair) [see note]   450.00 -
H6 3 2A aniline carmine 17.50 7.00
H6a           tête-bêche (pair) 60.00 24.00
H6b           brown-red (shades) 15.00 6.00
H6c           tête-bêche (pair) 45.00 18.00
H6d           venetian red 17.50 7.00
H6e           tête-bêche (pair) 60.00 24.00
H7 3 2A lavender 15.00 6.00
H7a           tête-bêche (pair) 45.00 18.00
H7b           lilac (shades) 15.00 6.00
H7c          tête-bêche (pair) 45.00 18.00
H7d           grey-blue (shades) 38.00 15.00
H7e          tête-bêche (pair) 115.00 45.00
H8 3 2A rose-mauve (shades) 18.00 7.00
H8a           tête-bêche (pair) 50.00 20.00
H8b           red-purple (shades) 18.00 7.00
H8c           tête-bêche (pair) 50.00 20.00
H8d           claret 15.00 6.00
H8e           tête-bêche (pair) 45.00 18.00
H8d           magenta (shades) 18.00 7.00
H8e           tête-bêche (pair) 50.00 20.00
H9 3 2A maroon 10.00 4.00
H9a           tête-bêche (pair) 30.00 12.00
H9b           brown-purple (shades) 10.00 4.00
H9c           tête-bêche (pair) 30.00 12.00
H9d           chocolate 18.00 7.00
H9e           tête-bêche (pair) 54.00 30.00
H9f           brown (shades) 18.00 7.00
H9g           tête-bêche (pair) 54.00 30.00
H10 3 2A sepia (1929-1930) 12.00 4.00
H10a           tête-bêche (pair) 45.00 15.00
H10b           red-brown (shades) (1929-1930) 9.00 3.00
H10c           tête-bêche (pair) 30.00 10.00
H10d           chestnut (1929-1930) 9.00 3.00
H10e           tête-bêche (pair) 27.00 10.00
H10f           orange-brown (shades) (1929-1930) 9.00 3.00
H10g           tête-bêche (pair) 27.00 10.00
H11 4 4A green (shades) 10.00 4.00
H11a           tête-bêche (pair) 70.00 28.00
H11b           blue-green (shades) 15.00 6.00
H11c           tête-bêche (pair) 105.00 42.00
H11d           bright emerald (shades) 25.00 10.00
H11e           tête-bêche (pair) 175.00 70.00
H11f           yellow-green (1929-1930) 10.00 4.00
H11g           tête-bêche (pair) 70.00 28.00
H11h           deep green (1929-1930) 15.00 6.00
H11i           tête-bêche (pair) 105.00 42.00

My Notes: The Scott catalogue (2007) gives the same illustration (the 1 Anna) for the 1A, 2A and 4A leaving people to judge the value by the shade.
Given the range of shades, this has led to mistakes of identification being made, typically bluish 2A stamps described as 1A stamps.

*I have added H3d and H3e since, though Hiscocks mentions the re-cut 1A stamps, he did not list them as such. I thought them worth adding.

H4 is only known used and H5 (a 1A cliche in a 4A plate) is only known unused.

H7d was originally 'grey-black (shades)' - I have never seen any, or any described as such. There are however grey-blue shades so I assumed it was a typo.


Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. No. 2 is probably an error of colour, it is in fact in the colour which was used for the
                impressed post-card stamp.
Note 2. No. 5a occurs because a single 1A cliché was inserted in error into the 4A plate
                (position 8). It was inverted, so se-tetant pairs of the 1A & 4A are always tête-bêche.


1928 to 1930 New die (type 5) with smaller lettering and larger centre (8 x 10½mm compared with 6¾ x 9mm).
The corners are very distinctive. Other details as before.

Nepal Type 5 Nepal Type 5 Nepal Type 5
1 Anna, Hiscocks Type 5, H12 1 Anna, Hiscocks Type 5, H12a 1 Anna, Hiscocks Type 5, H12b


Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
H12 5 1A greyish blue (shades) 10.00 2.50
H12a           deep blue (shades) 10.00 2.50
H12b           indigo 12.00 3.00
H12c           ultramarine (shades) 15.00 5.00

The Scott catalogue illustrates this upside-down.

Hiscocks added the cancel illustrations below and the following 3 notes:

Note 1. All the above stamps were issued imperforate. Spurious 'pin-perfed'
                copies are occasionally found.

My note: I read a reference to "trial pin-perforations mentioned by E.A.Smythies (Vignola collection)."
He was the person that found a number of sheets left over in the Kathmandu Treasury and first discovered H5.
The Scott catalogue lists them with a modest premium.
A premium of about 50% would seem reasonable, since they are fairly scarce but have uncertain status.



half Anna with and without perfs.
Half Anna imperf and pin-perf, courtesy Max of Tilford stamps


Nepal H3 TB block Nepal 2As tête-bêche pair Nepal 2As tête-bêche pair Nepal 4As tête-bêche pair
1 Anna re-cut, Hiscocks H3d/e 2 Annas tête-bêche pair 2 Annas tête-bêche pair - pin-perf. 4 Annas tête-bêche pair (annotated!)
One of mine - spot the inverted cliché Courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps A couple of mine.


Nepal H7 strip of 4
This is a strip of 2 Anna stamps. Anyone using a Scott catalogue would probably call it 1 Anna because of the colour !   (courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps)


Nepal 2A tête-bêche pair Nepal 4A shade
A 2 Annas tête-bêche pair   and a 4 Anna   -   courtesy Max of Tilford stamps.


Nepal stamps - page 198
Further information can be found at nepalstamps.com.

Note 2. The used prices above are for good copies cancelled with the telegraph/telephone
                cancellations illustrated (6,7,8,9). Of these:
                Type 6 was used at Kathmandu at the Head Office throughout the 1917 to 1930 period.
                Type 7 at the Chisapani Sub-Office and
                Type 8 and similar at the Birganj Sub-Office throughout the period.
                Type 9 was used at Amlekhganj from 1927 to 1930.
                A very few of these stamps were used postally. The postal cancellations are mostly circular and are
                very rare on telegraph stamps.
Note 3. Mint prices are only given when the mint stamp can be distinguished by colour or otherwise from the earlier
                postage stamps of the same type.

Where Hiscocks gives the use of these cancels up to 1930, they actually continued in use up to 1943 for telegraphic use of postage stamps.

Nepal stamps - page 198
Map of the four offices courtesy of Edward Gosnell.


As mentioned, the original plates were made up of individual cliches that occasionally became detached and had to be re-attached.
The fact that they were sometimes put back inverted, and the fact of occasional damage gave rise to
different settings of stamps and sometimes different states of the same 'H&V' setting.
Early work on this subject was produced (in Italian) by Wolfgang C. Hellrigl and Frank Vignola and
published by the 'Nepal and Tibet Philatelic Study Circle' (1 May 1984) as "The classic stamps of Nepal" (215 pages), ASIN: B0000ECG89

The sheets were originally of 64 stamps in 8 rows of 8.
For the purposes of identifying individual stamps, position 1 is at the top-left corner,
position 8 at the top-right and so on down the sheet to 64 at bottom-right.

The first printings of the half Anna were in the rare Orange-Vermilion shade with H&V setting 6.
Setting 7 has positions 1, 6, 7, 8, and 57 inverted.
Setting 8 has positions 6, 7, 8, and 57 inverted.
Setting 10 has positions 6, 7, 8, 25 and 57 inverted.
Setting 12 has positions 1, 6, 7, 8, and 57 inverted and developed 'double blister' flaw on position 42.
Setting 13 has positions 1, 6, 7, 8, 25 and 57 inverted (with 'double blister' flaw).
Setting 14 has positions 1, 6, 7, 8 and 25 inverted, 57-64 removed. bottom of 50 damaged (with 'double blister' flaw).

Given the variability of shades in these, I am uncertain
how the black, grey and grey-black printings may be distinguished. A single sheet appears to contain a range of shades.
Sometimes a single stamp will too.

Nepal half Anna sheet
This sheet (courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps) has inverted cliches at positions 1, 6, 7, 8, 25 and 57. This is [presumably] Setting 11.

Nepal half Anna sheet
This sheet (courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps) has inverted cliches at positions 1, 6, 7, 8, 25 and 57. This is [presumably] Setting 11.

Nepal half Anna sheet
This sheet (courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps) has inverted cliches at positions 1, 6, 7, 8, 25 and 57 and also has the 'double blister' flaw.
This is Setting 13.

Nepal half Anna sheet
A closeup of row 6 starting at H&V position 41 shows the 'double blister' flaw on 42 and associated flaws on 44 and 45. Setting 13 and 14.

Nepal half 'blister' block
This block of 12 (courtesy Raj Sukhani of Sukhanistamps) again shows the 'double blister' flaw on 42 and associated flaws on 44 and 45.


2A block of 12 from top-left corner, with 4 tête-bêche pairs. Kathmandu cancels.
(showing inverted cliches at positions 1, 8, 13 and 14)

Nepal 2A block of 12


2A setting 29, block of 52(nearly) from a sheet of 56 (half size), with 6 tête-bêche pairs. Birganj Sub-Office cancels.
(showing inverted cliches at positions 8, 14, 15, 18, 19 and 48, with 1 and 9 missing.)

Nepal 2A block of 52(nearly)



According to Hiscocks: "In 1930 the production of these 'special' stamps ceased and ordinary postage stamps came into use
although with the same or even more weird and wonderful cancellations."

If anyone can provide scans to help with this, I am happy to give appropriate credit.


Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.

Contact:     Emale

Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.


Alternatively Yahoo Group Yahoo-Group is a forum.


Last updated 24th. July 2018

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