Rare exhibits provide a peek into history

A 150-year-old postal cover mailed from Gangolli to Bengaluru on April 24, 1869, features a rare cooper-type postal cancellation, formed by 11 bars, which was a part of the exhibition at ‘Karnapex 2019’ in Mangaluru.

Philatelists and numismatists exhibited their collections during ‘Karnapex 2019’ at Dr T M A Pai International Convention Centre in Mangaluru.

Prashanth Shet of S L Shet Jewellers and Diamond House has exhibited his collection of coins and stamps in the ground floor. The collection includes 96 golden coins dating back to the period of Ganga dynasty which ruled Karnataka between 400 and 1100 AD.

“One of the salient features of these coins is, no two coins are found to be minted in the same way. The design of every embossed elephant in the coins differs from another, in terms of embellishment, physical features and so on. These apart, various religious symbols and Kannada legends can be found on the coins. The elephant was the emblem of Ganga rulers,” he said.

Shet has also put up on display, some of the rare stamps from around the world.

Jayaprakash, the curator of Haji Abdulla Memorial Heritage Museum, Udupi, had rare collections to his credit. Apart from unusual stamps, he had put up his collection of rare postal covers containing a variety of cancellations dating back to India under the colonial rule, between 1854 and 1873.

One such rare piece was that of a postal cover from Amritsar. The cancellation code of Amritsar City Post was 27. When another post office was opened at Amritsar much later, it could not have the next number in the series, which is 28, as it was already allotted to Phagwara post.

In order to maintain the continuity with respect to the code, the second post office in Amritsar was allotted the code 27 1/2 (twenty seven and a half).

The cancellation containing this code is one-of-its-kind.

Vidya Bagalodi, one of the woman philatelists, spoke to DH and said that postal stationery such as Aerogram (Airmail), insured envelopes, Meghdoot Postcards, stamp booklets, greeting telegrams, promissory notes, Hundi (bill of exchange) and recorded deliveries and modes of communication, are extinct today. These materials represent chunks of history.

“Philately is like an ocean where a lot of research is involved,” added Vidya.

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