Featuring a profile of Queen Victoria, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, Penny Black, was issued in May 1840, and that is in which curator Pramod Kumar KG additionally opts to begin his exhibition titled “Property of A Gentleman: Stamps from the Nizam of Hyderabad’s Dominions.” Acquainting us with the universal tendencies in philately, he swiftly actions to India, where the original stamp turned into revealed no longer lots later, in 1852, in Sindh. In 1869, got here the original postage stamp of Hyderabad. In olive inexperienced and with a one anna denomination the “awesome stamp,” Kumar tells us, “become possibly designed via an eminent calligrapher.” He was a traditional Muslim kingdom, using human figures on stamps changed into forbidden, making the stamps from Hyderabad excellent and also compelling its designers to innovate. The extensive territory also intended that the marks used four languages — Marathi, English, Telugu, and Persian (changed using Urdu in 1930).
It changed into much less than a 12 months ago that Kumar was contacted via the Gujral Foundation to curate the exhibition that capabilities the Ewari Family Collection, relationship lower back to Postmaster General Nawab Iqbal Hussain Khan, who labored beneath Hyderabad’s 7th and last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali. “Through the exhibition, we hope to bring the history and importance of stamps. These have been vital for communication and also had a symbolical that means, with the logo, seal, and imagery,” says Kumar. Comprising over a hundred and fifty stamps, the exhibition display has photographs of Hyderabad by using Raja Deen Dayal, the professional photographer to the Nizam of Hyderabad, as a backdrop. The stamps, meanwhile, are carefully kept in custom-made field-frames with LED lighting. “These ought to be dealt with very delicately and guarded against harsh light,” says Kumar, Managing Director of Eka Archiving. Carefully encased, he points out how the ‘Skeleton Stamps’ best displayed the outline of the textual content and design with none color stuffed in and carried the monogram ‘Sarkar-e-Asafiya.’ “The designing turned into executed domestically, and works have been sent to England, in which plate engravings were created and despatched lower back for printing of the stamps,” he says.
One of the most exciting segments of the exhibition is the architectural collection that distinguished function monuments from the Nizam’s area — from the Buddhist caves of Ajanta to the Kakatiya Kala Thoranam at Warangal and the Charminar at Hyderabad. The then newly built monuments, including the Osman Sagar reservoir and the Unani catholic medical institution, can also be visible. “This is a Muslim ruler who had no qualms about the use of the image of a Hindu website,” says Kumar.
While some of the stamps show printing errors “that make them extra valuable”, there’s additionally an exception to the overall rule of no longer offering someone on the stamp — the victory commemoration stamp issued on December 6, 1945, to recognise the aid extended via Mir Osman Ali Khan to the British for the duration of World War II. It is inscribed with the words: “Faithfully Hyderabad War Purposes Fund 1939 — Till Victory” and has a mother and a baby welcoming a soldier who appears to be coming back from warfare. “The Nizam now not handiest prolonged financial help to the British. However, his squaddies additionally fought for the British in Egypt. These stamps monitor such thrilling histories and records that one might not be privy to,” says Kumar.
While the viewers can browse thru postal ephemera that includes letters, courtroom receipts, greeting cards, and stationery, the exhibition additionally introduces them with related terms along with the Dak Runner who “carried public and personal mail the usage of their velocity inherent understanding of inland routes” and Mail Plane, sharing how “the primary reliable airmail turned into delivered in India”. Even as photo lovers head to the Selfie Point to pose with themselves inside the center of a deconstructed shape of the remaining stamp of Hyderabad before the sovereign country merged into India, Kumar hopes additionally they go back from the exhibition with more interest in postal records.