World Stamps

Beautifully engraved stamps from Bahawalpur

May 5, 2022, 8 AM
Engraved and brightly colored stamps of Bahawalpur, such as these two from a 1948 pictorial issue, are popular with British Empire, India, Pakistan and world classic stamp collectors.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Bahawalpur was founded as a princely state in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent in 1802. In 1833, the nawab (prince) of Bahawalpur entered an alliance with the British that made Bahawalpur a feudatory state in the British raj.

In 1947, independence resulted in the partition of the former dominion into India and Pakistan. On Oct. 3, 1947, Bahawalpur acceded to Pakistan, but it remained autonomous as a princely state until Oct. 14, 1955, when it became a province of Pakistan. As a princely state, Bahawalpur issued its own postage stamps, but these were valid for postage only within Bahawalpur.

Many of the stamps of Bahawalpur are beautifully engraved and brightly colored. They are of interest to British Empire, India, Pakistan and world classic stamp collectors.

On April 1, 1948, Bahawalpur issued a set of 14 engraved bicolor pictorial stamps (Scott 2-15). Subjects in the designs include tombs of the emirs, Sadiq Garh Mosque, Fort Dirawar, Nur-Mahal Palace, Sadiq Garh Palace, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan V Abbasi Bahadur, and three earlier nawabs.

The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the set in mint, never-hinged condition at $78.50. The set is a good buy at around $70. A set in unused, hinged condition is a good buy at around $50. The set in used condition is less readily available and is valued at $523 with the value in italics.

As is usually the case when used stamps are more valuable than mint stamps, expertization is advisable to insure legitimate in-period postal use.

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