Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pakistan Post –Commemorating the Scinde Dawk Centenary 1852-1952

1952 was an important year for Pakistan as well as Pakistan Post as this year was the celebration of establishment of a modern postal system in South Asia dating back to 1852 – that meant the year celebrated the first centenary of the first ever stamp that was published and used for ordinary mail. Pakistan Post issued only two stamps during the year as shown above in top line to commemorate the centenary of the Scinde Dawk. The stamp in the bottom line is one of the two stamps that I have I my collection.

A few words about the Scinde Dawk. Since in early 1850s, the British government had not taken over the control of the Indian subcontinent, the British East India Company, a trading company authorized by the British government established the postal system and issued the stamp. The first stamp was known as the Scinde Dawk, for its relation and point of origin of Karachi from the Sind region, presently Karachi of the Sind province of Pakistan. Although, the Scinde Dawk stamps were inaugurated in 1852, the regular stamps and postal services commenced two years later in 1854.

The Scinde Dawk stamp, a round stamp red in colour of value half ana was issued on July 1, 1852. The stamp was not an instant success as the red sealing wax wafer stamps, embossed with a backing of paper, were so fragile that they easily cracked and disintegrated. Since they were often used as a seal on a letter, many were destroyed when the letter was opened. The next attempt was a colour-less embossing on whitish or bluish paper. Light blue lines were added between the stamps in the second printing. This stamp too had its problems as it was difficult for the postal clerks to see at night by candlelight, especially when they were attached to white envelopes. Finally, the blue stamps, made by simultaneous printing and embossing, were tried. These stamps are found in several shades of blue and they too are found with blue dividing lines between the stamps. This last version was issued shortly before the Scinde Dawk were withdrawn from use on September 30, 1854, and replaced by the East India Company stamps.

Related Link:  Stamps of Pakistan 1947-1960 (Pakistanpaedia)


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