A cover which unveils history

A cover which unveils history

Does philately means collecting just stamps? First day covers have also found their space among the philately items nowadays.


A First day cover (FDC) is a stamped envelop that was processed at the post office where the stamp was issued, and has a cancellation indicating the same.

The monthly exhibition of Dakshina Kannada Philatelists and Numismatists’ Association showcased a rich collection of First day covers. Jane D’Souza has exhibited her First day cover collections, which were issued from 1957 till 1975, at the expo organised at the Pandeshwar Head Post Office on Sunday.

The collection includes more than 130 FDCs, which were issued in honour of persons, events and different cultural forms.

The FDC issued on December 31, 1957, commemorating the centenary of Indian Universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, was the oldest FDC displayed at the exhibition.

Man on the moon (1969), 50th anniversary of Soviet Union (1972), 50th anniversary of first aerial post cancellation (1961), Swami Vivekananda’s birth centenary (1963), 400th death anniversary of Purandaradasa (1964), UNESCO anniversary (1971) and Postal service corps first anniversary are some of the first day covers issued on events displayed at the exhibition.

The exhibition also included a huge collection of FDCs on personalities including Lenin, Lal Bahadur Shasthri, cricketer Ranjith Singh, Swami Vivekananada, Poet Subrahmanya Bharathi, Maratha warrior Shivaji and Savarkar.

Cultural art forms have also found its place in the FDC as different art forms like Kathakali, Manipuri dance, Kuchipudi, Bharathanatyam and Odissi and on Indian masks were featured in the first day covers.

Jane D’Souza, who was formerly working for a British firm in Kuwait, started her interest in collecting stamps and FDCs during her high school days. Her specialisations are on stamps of Kuwait, Christmas and women. Recently, she had exhibited her collection of stamps on women, during the philately expo, organised by the India Post as a part of postal week in Mangalore. She has over thousand first day covers in her collection.

Collecting FDC

Collecting First day covers is a popular aspect of stamp collecting and has a well-developed body of information and resources. One of the most well-known components of First day cover collecting are cachets.

Cachets are the artwork that is added to the envelope, complementing the stamp subject. Certain cachets are sought after and cachets in general will enhance the value and the collectability of the first day cover.

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