George V, as you may well know, is the king whose activities resulted in the well-known saying "Philately: The King of Hobbies and the Hobby of Kings". He is most probably one of the most famous philatelists there ever were. His Royal Collection, even though it was not started by him, is bursting at the seams with rarities, and is still one of the best in the world.
This year we will be hearing a lot about him and his stamps, because this year marks the centenary of his reign. George V became King on 6 May 1910. Now why is that such a wonderful date? Exactly, because it was 70 years to the day after the first stamps of the world were issued! But let's presume that was just a coincidence!
Today I'm showing you what I think is one of the most beautiful stamp designs of his reign: The rupee values of India.
There are in total six values, from 1 rupee to 25 rupees, but I have only four of them in some form or other. The top value, the 25 rupee with orange centre and blue frame, still deludes me.
The stamps were not only used for postage by ordinary folk, but also for official mail. Those stamps were overpinted SERVICE.
And of course, the design was also use in many Indian Convention States, such as Nabha.
I have only just joined the very active Indian Study Circle, and one of its members sent me a scan of some colour trials, of which I show you that of the 15 rs. Beautiful!
(image courtesy of Markand Dave)
Apparently, there are also design proofs available, with the elephants in different positions. I've only seen a black and white copy of a copy of a copy, so cannot really show you anything, but the hunt is on, and as soon as I have a picture of those I'll try and show it here!