Friday, January 29, 2010

Scinde Dawk

When going towards Clifton from Sadar, just opposite to the US Consulate building is a colonial era structure beautifully nested among high rising palm trees. The building is called Frere Hall after Sir Bartle Frere who was the Chief Commissioner of Scinde (present day Sind province of Pakistan). Beside his many achievements, he is also considered the pioneer of postal services in this part of the world as far back as in 1852. His postal service was known as “Dawk”. His newly introduced stamps became the first in Asia and the first round stamps of the world. 

The red ½ anna Scinde Dawk was issued first, on July 1, 1852. 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 colourless embossing on whitish or bluish paper. Light blue lines were added between the stamps in the second printing. 

This version had its own problems. It was very 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 This last version was issued shortly before the Scinde Dawk were withdrawn from use on September 30, 1854, and replaced by the East India Company stamps. 

In 1952, Pakistan issued a set of two stamps to commemorate the 100 years of the postal services in Asia.

Related Reference (for details): Stamps of Pakistan (1947-60)

If you like My Philatelic World, please join us at Facebook


I am not much of a collector, nor a fan but these old stamps remind me of snail mail. And I still love that. I wait for the postman to come, give the bell and deliver my letters, magazines, books and yes checks. How people can imagine life without 'Dak'? Yes, I say this in the age of email and digital communications.

Yes good days - a source of stamps dried up

In brief you have given a good idea of Scinde Dawk Stamps dicussion. I liked it.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More