Tracing British regime through coins

Tracing British regime through coins

How we have often wondered to have a time machine, which could straight away take us to the bygone era. While, that is still an unrealised dream, one can reach any era virtually by just looking at a good collection of coins and stamps.

Bhavna Baglodi displays her mother Vidya Baglodi’s “British India coin collection” at their residence. (Inset) One-twelveth Anna released under East India Company in 1835.

Well, Vidya Baglodi’s well-defined and well-categorised collection of coins will give onlookers a chance to visit various eras. However, one of the best collections of Vidya is the ‘British India’. According to the numismatist, British released as many as 265 coins during their rule in India from 1835 to 1947 (Though British came to India in 1808, they started releasing coins from 1835) and Vidya has an overwhelming collection of 262 out of 265 coins of various denominations, which in itself is an rare accomplishment for any numismatist.

Speaking to City Herald, Vidya says that Numismatics and Philately is not a child’s game. If one is serious about it, then it takes lot of studying, organising and displaying of the collection. Otherwise, it is just a haphazard placement of coins and stamps.

“A philatelist has to have lucid knowledge about his or her collection. Setting collection on basis of the era in which it was released and displaying it on chronological order in itself is an art, failing which even best and rarest of collection can fall flat,” says the 57-year-old ardent philatelist.

She says that though her main area of interest has been postal stationary, coins have always fascinated her because they are treasure house of knowledge and a link to the past.

Speaking about ‘British India,’ Vidya says that from 1835 to 1947, the British released copper, silver and gold coins under reign of the East India Company, Victoria Queen, King Edward VII, George V and George VI.

It is learnt that Edward VIII had left Monarchy because he had opted to marry a lady of his choice. Hence, Edward VIII coins are not available.

Out of the 265 coins, two were proof coins, which nobody has seen. Hence, this leaves Vidya short with just three coins to complete her British India collection.

She says that she will be overwhelmed to have someone donating those coins to her because financially these coins are out of her reach.

Recalling the support given to her by her ‘God Father’ Ramachandran, an 86-year-old passionate philatelist who was also the former editor of ‘Chandamama’ magazine, she says that his encouragement has helped her in a big way.

When asked, if there was any one coin in the collection, which was close to her heart, ‘One-twelfth Ana-1874’ comes the answer. “I had not been able to get this coin for long and I truly wanted this coin. Through word of mouth someone happened to gift me this coin. So I can never forget this coin in my collection,” says Vidya adding that her husband, Kishore Baglodi and herself, both retired professionals, spend most of their time learning and discussing about coins and stamps and postal stationeries because they share similar interest.

“While I do the research part of it, my husband has artistic hands. He does the arrangement of the material,” says Vidya who is presently working on putting together her ‘Pre independence postal stationaries’ and on the ‘Meghdoot postcards’.

With one daughter named Bhavna, the Baglodi family lives at Yeyyadi near Mangalore in a world of different eras under one roof.

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