Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River 75 kilometres west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port; the city is regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, is nicknamed the "City of Joy". According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi. In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690, the area was developed by the Company into an fortified trading post. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, the East India Company retook it the following year.
In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat, assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule, under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement. Following Indian independence in 1947, once the centre of modern Indian education, science and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation; as a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, film and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods and freestyle intellectual exchanges.
West Bengal's share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India. Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football and other sports; the word Kolkata derives from the Bengali term Kôlikata, the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city was to be established. There are several explanations about the etymology of this name: The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô, meaning "Field of Kali".
It can be a variation of'Kalikshetra'. Another theory is. Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila, or "flat area"; the name may have its origin in the words khal meaning "canal", followed by kaṭa, which may mean "dug". According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun and coir or kata. Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata or Kôlikata in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation; the discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia. Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator who worked for the company, was credited as the founder of the city.
The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a fishing village, they were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor. These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698. In 1712, the British completed the cons
Philipp von Ferrary
Philip Ferrari de La Renotière was a noted stamp collector, assembling the most complete worldwide collection that existed, or is to exist. Amongst his rare stamps were the unique Treskilling Yellow of Sweden and the 1856 one-cent "Black on Magenta" of British Guiana. Ferrary was born in the sumptuous Hôtel Matignon, Rue de Varenne in Paris, where he resided until two years prior to his death. Once the festive gathering place for the Ancien Régime society, at the start of the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, Louis XVIII traded the Hôtel de Matignon for the Élysée Palace, it is now the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. Ferrary was the son of the Duchess of Galliera, his father, Raffaele de Ferrari, came from an ancient and rich family of Genovese bankers and was a wealthy businessman made Duke of Galliera in Genoa by Pope Gregory XVI, Prince de Lucedio by Victor-Emmanuel II, King of Italy. Raffaele de Ferrari was co-founder of the Crédit Mobilier with the Péreire brothers, rivals of the Rothschilds, who financed many of the major construction projects of the second half of the 19th century: railroads in Austria, Latin America, upper Italy and France, the digging of the Fréjus Rail Tunnel and the Suez Canal, the reconstruction of Paris designed by Baron Haussmann.
It is said. Ferrary's mother, the Duchess of Galliera, born Maria de Brignole-Sale, was the great-niece of the Princess of Monaco and daughter of the Marquis Antoine de Brignole-Sale, ambassador of the Kingdom of Sardinia in Paris, under the Restoration and during the reign of Louis-Philippe. After the death of Ferrary's father, the Duchess proposed that Philippe, Count of Paris take up residence at the Rue de Varenne, he came to occupy the ground floor of the Hôtel Matignon. The Duchess soon became disenchanted with the adverse social environment for the monarchists, quit Paris, left Hôtel Matignon to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, who made it his embassy in France. Upon the death of his father, Ferrary renounced all of the titles, he was adopted by the Austrian Count de La Renotière von Kriegsfeld and he adopted Austrian nationality. It is said that Ferrary was illegitimate, that he was adopted by his natural father. Thereafter, he preferred the name "Ferrary". Collectors and dealers refer to him as "Ferrary".
Ferrary started collecting in his youth, he inherited a great fortune of 120,000,000 French francs, which he dedicated to the purchase of rare stamps and coins. His collection is believed to have been the greatest assembled, it may never be equalled. Amongst his rare stamps were the unique Treskilling Yellow of Sweden and the 1856 one-cent "Black on Magenta" of British Guiana, which he bought in 1878 for £150 and which after his death was sold at the third bid of his collection, in 1924, at Paris for 36,000 US dollars, he owned the only unused copy of the Two Cent Hawaii Missionary of 1851, for which its owner, Gaston Leroux, had been murdered by a fellow collector. Another piece owned by Ferrary was the only known cover featuring both values of the first Mauritius "Post Office" stamps, called "the greatest item in all philately", he purchased many important old collections, including those of Judge Frederick A. Philbrick for £7,000, Sir Daniel Cooper's for £3,000, W. B. Thornhill's Australians, was a large buyer in the leading capitals of Europe for a great many years.
Stanley Gibbons said. According to F. J. Peplow of Great Britain, in his book The Postage Stamps of Buenos Aires, the first clue that an inverted cliché existed on the Buenos Aires “In Ps” plate of the “barquitos” was the report of a single stamp with part of the adjoining stamp rotated 180 degrees and it had been acquired by Ferrary for his collection, he employed Pierre Mahé, a leading Paris stamp dealer, as a consultant or curator to examine and keep order in his collection from 1874 until Mahé died in 1913. He had two secretaries, who were paid large salaries: one to look after the postage stamps and the other the postcards and newspaper wrappers. Ferrary had his own stamp room furnished with numerous fan cabinets. Although he lived in Paris, Ferrary travelled meeting with dealers along the way, paying them in gold on the spot, he was impulsive in his buying and seemed to be indifferent to price, so dealers and counterfeiters took advantage of him. Exceptionally dangerous forgeries gained the nickname "Ferrarities".
Ferrary assembled a large collection of rare coins. His British numismatic collection was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in London over five days from 27–31 March 1922; the title of the sale did not mention Ferrary by name, but read as follows: “Catalogue of the Famous and Remarkable Collection of British and Colonial Coins, Patterns & Proofs from George III to the Present Day, Formed by a Nobleman, Recently Deceased.” The catalogue had 15 plates. Other sales of his French and ancient coins were held in Paris. Wishing to make his unequalled collection accessible to the public, in his will dated 30 January 1915 he bequeathed it to "the German nation" for display in the Postmuseum in Berlin, along with funds for maintenance, 30,000 guldens, he stipulated that the collection was "not to be integrated into the existing postal museum collection" but was to be "exhibited in a separate room". But as a citizen of Austria living in France, World War I put him at risk. Leaving h
David Parkes Masson
Sir David Parkes Masson was a British philatelist, one of the "Fathers of Philately" entered on the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1921. He was a wealthy banker in India, owned large estates in Malaysia and held a number of important public offices in British India. Masson was a former Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Philatelic Society of India and a frequent contributor to the Philatelic Journal of India, he was a member of The Philatelic Society, now The Royal Philatelic Society London, a Fellow of that society from 1899. He formed world class collections of Afghanistan and Kashmir, as well as important collections of Ceylon, Portuguese India, Sirmoor and British India, his work showed that the so-called first issue of Kashmir was bogus, a feat which The London Philatelist called "...one of the most memorable and startling of accepted disclosures made in philately". Masson lived much of his life in India, he was Managing Director of the Punjab Banking Co. of Lahore and Kashmir.
He served as ADC to the Commander-in-Chief and Viceroy of India, for fifteen years was Lieutenant-Colonel in the 1st Punjab Volunteer Rifles. He was a Deputy Grand Master of Freemasonry in the Punjab, holder of the Volunteer Decoration, a Member of the Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab and a Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire. Masson contracted a serious illness while inspecting his estates in Penang and was obliged to return to London, where he died on 30 December 1915, he left a widow, Therese Emilie Louise Masson, a daughter, Marie Therese Stanley-Creek. He was buried at Brookwood Cemetery on 1 January 1916. Jammu and Kashmir. Calcutta & Lahore: Philatelic Society of India, 1900 & 1901. Online excerpts. Sirmoor I. Calcutta: Supplement to the British Journal of India, Vol. 10, 1906. The Postage Stamps of Afghanistan. Madras: Philatelic Society of India, 1908
An anna was a currency unit used in India and Pakistan, equal to 1⁄16 of a rupee. It was subdivided into twelve pies; the anna is light-weighted. The term belonged to the Islamic monetary system; the anna was demonetised as a currency unit when India decimalised its currency in 1957, followed by Pakistan in 1961. It was replaced by the 5-paise coin, itself discontinued in 1994 and demonetised in 2011. Despite this, a 50-paise coin is still sometimes colloquially referred to as 8 annas today, with a 25-paise coin nicknamed 4 annas. There was a coin of one anna, half-anna coins of copper and two-anna pieces of silver; the term anna is used to express a fraction of 1⁄16. Additionally, anna-denominated postage stamps were used during the British Raj; the first number is the number of rupees, the second is the number of annas, the third is the number of pice, the fourth is the number of pies. Examples are below. Rs 1/15/3/2 = Rs 1.9947 Rs 1/8/3 = Rs 1.546 Rs 1/4 = Rs 1.25 Indian coinage British Indian coins History of the rupee
Postage stamps and postal history of India
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of India. Indian postal systems for efficient military and governmental communications had developed long before the arrival of Europeans; when the Portuguese, French and British displaced The Marathas who had defeated the Mughals, their postal systems existed alongside those of many somewhat independent states. The British East India Company displaced other powers and brought into existence a British administrative system over most of India, with a need to establish and maintain both official and commercial mail systems. Although the Indian Post Office was established in 1837, Asia's first adhesive stamp, the Scinde Dawk, was introduced in 1852 by Sir Bartle Frere, the British East India Company's administrator of the province of Sind; the Indian postal system developed into an extensive and robust network providing connectivity to all parts of India, the Straits Settlements and other areas controlled by the British East India Company.
Based on the model postal system introduced in England by the reformer, Rowland Hill, efficient postal services were provided at a low cost and enabled the smooth commercial and administrative functioning of the EIC and its successor, the British Raj. The Imperial Posts co-existed with the several postal systems maintained by various Indian states, some of which produced stamps for use within their respective dominions, while British Indian postage stamps were required for sending mail beyond the boundaries of these states. Telegraphy and telephony made their appearance as part of the Posts before becoming separate departments. After the Independence of India in 1947, the Indian postal service continues to function on a countrywide basis and provides many valuable, low cost services to the public of India; the history of India's postal system begins long before the introduction of postage stamps. The antecedents have been traced to the systems of the Persian Empire instituted by Cyrus the Great and Darius I for communicating important military and political information.
The Atharvaveda, one of the oldest books in the world, records a messenger service in ancient India millenniums ago. Systems for collecting information and revenue data from the provinces are mentioned in Chanakya's Arthashastra. In ancient times the kings, rulers, zamindars protected their land through the intelligence services of specially trained police or military agencies and courier services to convey and obtain information through runners and through pigeons in most parts of India; the chief of the secret service, known as the Daakpaal, maintained the lines of communication... The people used to send letters to distant relatives through their neighbors. For centuries it was rare for messages to be carried by any means other than a relay of runners on foot. A runner ran from one village or relay post to the next, carrying the letters on a pole with a sharp point, his was a dangerous occupation: the relay of postal runners worked throughout the day and night, vulnerable to attacks by bandits and wild animals.
These mail runners were used chiefly by the rulers, for purposes of gathering information and wartime news. They were subsequently used by merchants for trade purpose, it was much that mail runners came to be in use for the carriage of private mail. The postal history of India began with the overland routes, stretching from Persia to India. What began as mere foot-tracks that more than included fords across the mountainous streams evolved over the centuries as highways, used by traders and military envoys on foot and horses, for carriage of missives; the Arab influence of the Caliphate came about with the conquest of Sind by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 A. D.. Thereupon, the Diwan-i-Barid established official communication across the far-flung empire; the swiftness of the horse messengers finds mention in many of the texts of that period. The first Sultan of Delhi, before the Mughals colonised India, Qutb-ud-din Aybak was Sultan for only four years, 1206–1210, but he founded the Mamluk Dynasty and created a messenger post system.
This was expanded into the dak chowkis, a horse and foot runner service, by Alauddin Khalji in 1296. Sher Shah Suri replaced runners with horses for conveyance of messages along the northern Indian high road, today known as the Grand Trunk Road, which he constructed between Bengal and Sindh over an ancient trade route at the base of the Himalayas, the Uttarapatha, he built 1700'serais' where two horses were always kept for the despatch of the Royal Mail Akbar introduced camels in addition to the horses and runners. In the South of India, in 1672 Raja Chuk Deo of Mysore began an efficient postal service, further improved upon by Haider Ali; the East India Company took constructive steps to improve the existing systems in India when, in 1688, they opened a post office in Bombay followed by similar ones in Calcutta and Madras. Lord Clive further expanded the services in 1766 and in 1774 Warren Hastings made the services available to the general public; the fee charged was two annas per 100 miles.
The postmarks applied on these letters are rare and are named'Indian Bishop Marks' after Colonel Henry Bishop, the Postmaster General of the United Kingdom who introduced this practice in Britain. The Post Office Department of the East India Company was first established on 31 March 1774 at Calcutta, followed in 1778 at Madras and in 1792 at Bombay. After 1793, when Cornwallis introduced the Regulation of the Permanent Settlement, the financial responsibility f
The Stanley Gibbons Group plc is a company quoted on the London Stock Exchange and which specialises in the retailing of collectable postage stamps and similar products. The group is incorporated in London; the company is philatelic publisher. The company's philatelic subsidiary, Stanley Gibbons Limited, has a royal warrant of appointment from Queen Elizabeth II; the company has a long corporate history, having started as a sole trader business owned by Edward Stanley Gibbons in 1856 and now being a quoted company with a number of subsidiaries. The business started when, employed as an assistant in his father's pharmacy shop in Plymouth, Gibbons set up a counter selling stamps. In 1863 he was fortunate enough to purchase from two sailors a sackful of rare Cape of Good Hope triangular stamps. In 1874 Gibbons moved to a house near Clapham Common in South London and in 1876 he moved again to Gower Street in Bloomsbury near the British Museum. By 1890 Stanley Gibbons wished to retire and the business was sold to Charles Phillips for £25,000.
Phillips became Managing Director, with Gibbons as Chairman. In 1891 a shop was opened at 435 Strand in addition to the Gower Street premises, in 1893 the shop and offices were amalgamated at 391 Strand where the company's retail premises remained for many years until they moved to 399 Strand. A new issue department was opened in 1906. In 1914 the company received a royal warrant from George V. In 1956 the company celebrated its centenary with an exhibition at the Waldorf Hotel opened by Sir John Wilson, it is in that year that Queen Elizabeth II granted her royal warrant to Stanley Gibbons Ltd as her philatelist. In 1967 the firm expanded into the United States in a joint venture with Whitman Publishing. A magazine and catalogues were produced. In 1968 the privately held Stanley Gibbons Limited was floated on the stock market through a tender arranged by S. G. Warburg & Co. Ltd; the offer was oversubscribed five times. The shares were sold at 20 shillings rather than the minimum tender price of 12 shillings and six pence.
It was estimated that there were 30 to 35 sharesholders before the offer and they still owned 66% of the equity after the offer, worth at least £1.8 million before trading began. Prices subsequently slipped back, however in the year. In 1970 The Crown Agents acquired a 20% stake in the company and appointed two Directors to the Gibbons board; the stake was sold in 1976. In 1977 Stanley Gibbons acquired the stock of the firm Chas Nissen, once run by the eminent stamp dealer and philatelist Charles Nissen. In 1979 Gibbons was bought by Letraset for £19 million in an attempt to diversify away from their dry-lettering business, but the acquisition did not go smoothly and like Flying Flowers Letraset faced difficulties integrating Gibbons into its core business; the Chairman of Letraset blamed "indiscriminate expansion" and "imprudent" investment decisions for the problems at Gibbons and was quoted in The Times as saying "We overpaid for what we got." The US$10 million paid by Gibbons for the Marc Haas collection was questioned.
In 1981 Letraset was taken over by Esselte after Esselte fought a takeover battle with Mills & Allen International for the company. Letraset had been fatally weakened by losses sustained in its Stanley Gibbons subsidiary; the same year Gibbons was put up for sale by Esselte as they said it did not form a logical part of their long-term development. In 1981 Gibbons bought the stock of the late H. F. Johnson. In 1982 Clive Feigenbaum staged a management buy-out followed by an application in 1984 for a listing on the UK's Unlisted Securities Market in order to raise funds for new acquisitions. Following the buy-out, the Chairman, had owned over 50% of the shares with the others owned by the rest of the board; the listing went ahead but the shares were suspended within moments of their debut before trading had begun, following concerns about Feigenbaum's background highlighted in an article in the Sunday Times. The suspension was said to be the fastest on record at that time; the concerns had surrounded Feigenbaum's expulsion from the Philatelic Traders Society for breaching their code of ethics and his sale of "23 carat gold" stamps of no postal validity from the island of Staffa.
U. S. government tests had shown the stamps, sold at £10 each, to have a gold value of about 5c each. The debacle was said to have caused considerable embarrassment, not just to the company but to its USM brokers Simon & Coates. Shortly afterwards, Feigenbaum resigned as Chairman and was bought out by a consortium of institutions and individuals for £3 million. A further attempt at a listing did not go ahead. In 1989 Paul Fraser began to invest in the firm, he purchased a further 30% stake in the company from New Zealand businessman Sir Ron Brierley, a stamp collector. Paul Fraser was appointed Executive Chairman in 1990. By 1995 Fraser had acquired 76.83% of Gibbons shares and he purchased the rest of the shares in December 1995. In June 1998 the company was sold for £13.5 million to Flying Flowers. Paul Fraser took shares in Flying Flowers instead of cash and was left with an 8% stake in the enlarged company following the deal; the merger was not a success and in 2000 the two companies were demerged again after a series of profits warnings and trading problems.
Paul Fraser's stake was reduced in value from £13.5 million to £4 million. The de-merged Stanley Gibbons became Communitie.com and was listed on AIM. The chairman of Flying Flowers was quoted as saying the deal "...was at the wrong price and at the wrong time." In August 2007, Paul Fraser resigned as Executive Chairman and in April 2008 he sold his re
Thomas Keay Tapling was an English businessman and politician. He played first-class cricket and was an eminent philatelist who formed one of the greatest stamp collections of his era. Tapling was born in London, he was educated first at home and at Harrow School from age 15. He attended Trinity College, graduating BA and LL. B in 1880 and MA and LL. M in 1883, his father Thomas Tapling, was a businessman who made a fortune from the manufacture of carpets and household furnishings. His mother was Annie Elizabeth Tapling. Tapling intended a career in law, he was called to the bar at the Middle Temple as a Barrister. In 1882, Thomas Tapling senior died and his son was forced to drop his plans and take over the family business of Thomas Tapling & Son; this does not appear to have been a burden and the business prospered and expanded, providing him with the money to travel and build his stamp collection. He had a reputation as an enlightened employer, who emphasised temperance and thrift to his employees.
Tapling played first-class cricket at Cambridge University, turning out for Trinity College, Trinity College Long Vacation Club and Cambridge University Long Vacation Club. He played for the Marylebone Cricket Club against Cambridge University in 1886, his sole official first-class match, he was included in George Vernon's side for an 1889/90 tour of India and Ceylon but was unable to play after a close friend was taken ill in Italy and he opted to stay with him. Tapling was a Conservative Member of Parliament for the Harborough Division of Leicestershire from 1886 to 1891, he was a member of the Standing Committee on Trade. Tapling began collecting stamps as a schoolboy in 1865. During the 1870s and 1880s he purchased existing collections from other philatelists, including those of William Image, W. A. S. Westoby, Edward B. Evans, Gustave and Martial Caillebotte. By 1887 his collection was second only to that of Philippe Ferrari de La Renotière. Among his holdings were many world-famous rarities, including both values of the "Post Office" Mauritius and three examples of the Inverted Head Four Annas of India.
It is the only intact private collection formed during the Nineteenth century, with examples of every stamp issued world-wide up to 1889. In 1870 or 1871 Tapling joined the Philatelic Society in London, being elected to its Committee in 1876, he became Vice-President in 1881 following the death of the former incumbent in a railway accident. The Tapling Medal, in silver, was created in his memory by the RPSL and first awarded in 1920, his name was recorded on the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1921 as one of the original "Fathers of Philately". Tapling died at the age of 35 of pleurisy at Market Harborough in Leicestershire, his collection was bequeathed to the British Museum. It forms the Tapling Collection in the Philatelic Collections of the British Library; the collection includes these rarities: Gold Coast: 1883 1d on 4d magenta, unique. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Tapling