03 August 2017

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Issue of 1948 - Book Review

Book Review
By Jeevan Jyoti

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Issue of 1948

-      Pradip Jain

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Issue of 1948 by Pradip Jain : Pages 117 : Hard Bound A4 SizePublished By David Feldman SA : Overseas Price Euro 45   : Indian Price Rs 1500.

 Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Issue of 1948 is a very comprehensive book on 4 commemorative stamps issued by Government of India on 15 August 1948 on the first anniversary of India’s Independence dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The book is based on Mr Pradip Jain’s deep research related to this issue. These were the first commemorative stamps of Independent India which were not printed in India but were printed by Swiss Press Helios Courvosier SA LA CHAUX- DE-FONDS of Geneva.

The word "Bapu" was printed on the stamp in Hindi and Urdu languages as a symbol of communal harmony. Four sets of stamps with denominations 1.5 annas, 3.5 annas, 12 annas and 10 rupees were issued. The  high denomination 10 Rs stamp remained out of reach of the common populace in India. A set of 100 of these stamps was overprinted with the word "Service" and provided only to the Governor General of India for his official use. The 10 Rupees "Service" overprinted stamp is one of India's rarest and most highly valued, sought after stamps by collectors both in form of mint and postal usage due to their scarcity and command exceedingly high price at auctions.

The book attempts to investigate various aspects of the issue starting from design, diplomacy, issuance and postal usages. An attempt has been made to consolidate a series of early investigations and new revelations in a manner that throws insight into one of the most popular issues of Independent India. Most of the information has been derived  from the inspection of archive of letters maintained by Courvoisier. The issue was the result of an excellent coordination between Courvoisier, Indian Legation and Swiss PTT. Some of the letters from printer’s archives are reproduced in the book. The study of “Service overprints are ”done for the first time which will  benefit the collectors of the issue.

The book gives great detail about the proposed Issue, The Memorial Issue, Specimens and its noteworthy usage.  Special Section is given to “Service” Overprints. The author has given the detailed analysis of the “Service “Overprints   and its usage with various images. Rs 10 Gandhi service overprints are one of the rarest stamps in the world today.  The author gives comprehensive details of his personal study based on the complete sheet kept in National Postal Museum, Delhi.

Issue, Specimen & other Etiquettes Chapter gives details of Specimen & Presentation Folders. These Folders were prepared for various dignitaries mainly in Europe and America, and few minister’s booklet with blocks of four of each value.

In the Service Overprints chapter, “Analysis of the Service Overprints” is a section of great interest for Gandhi Collectors. It has given detailed analysis of the issue with the help of many illustrations.
The best part of the book is great historical detail of the 1948 commemorative issue and various rare   images related to it with special reference to Rs 10 Gandhi overprints.  It opens a new area of study for Gandhi Collectors all over the globe.

As there are some illustrations  of very scarce items of this issue which are not known to collectors. It will prove a very good reference book for them regarding many unknown facts about Gandhi issue. Regarding its design, layout, printing and paper, it is excellent.

This is the most valuable reference book for Gandhi collectors as well as other philatelists and essential book for all philatelic libraries. I personally recommend this book to all collectors of Indian Philately.

Pradip Jain is a well known  Aerophilatelist and stamp dealer of India. He is globally known for his specialized collection on Airmails and Mahatma Gandhi . He has won several  awards at National and International stamp exhibitions.

The book is available with: Mr Pradip Jain Post Box 128, Mithapur, Patna-800001. Email: philapradip@gmail.com Ph: 0091 - 612-2215929 , Mobile :0091 -  9334132162

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