Philatelic Society of India
The Philatelic Society of India was formed in 1897 by a group of, mainly, expatriate Englishmen resident in the country as the first all-India philatelic society. During its first fifty years the society included most of the important Anglo-Indian philatelists and had a particularly strong publications record with two award-winning books. The society meets every first and third Saturday at the Mumbai G.P.O., convened by Sri Dhirubhai Mehta, President, and Mrs D.M. Pittie, Hon. Secretary.
The idea of an all-India philatelic society arose at the Philatelic Society of Bengal in 1896 and an open letter was published by Charles Stewart-Wilson in Calcutta calling for expressions of interest. The first meeting took place at 6 Middleton Row, Calcutta on 6 March 1897 where Charles Stewart-Wilson was appointed the first President and Lady Collen, Professor O.V. Muller and Major C.H.I. Hopkins were each appointed Vice-Presidents. The first Treasurer was Wilmot Corfield and the Secretary Mr. P. Aylwyn Selfe of the Bank of Bengal.
Most of the original members were Englishmen and the first Indian, Mr. C.K. Dutt of Calcutta, was not admitted until 1907.
In March 1957 an exhibition was held in Bombay to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the society and in 1997 the Society celebrated its centenary with a display in Bombay titled Centipex '97 at which a red Scinde Dawk and other rarities of Indian philately were exhibited. India Post also issued two commemorative stamps to mark the centenary.
This is a partial list of early members of the society:
- G.A. Anderson
- Walter Dorning Beckton
- Lady Collen
- Wilmot Corfield
- C.S.F. Crofton
- L.E. Dawson
- C.K. Dutt (First Indian member 1907)
- Capt. Hancock
- Lieut.-Col. G.F.A. Harris
- Leslie L. R. Hausburg
- Mr. T. Hoffmann
- Maj. C.H.I. Hopkins
- John Ernest Buttery Hotson
- Mr. C.F. Larmour
- James Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford
- Lieut.-Col. C.P. Lukis
- A.A. Lyall
- Lieut. T.E. Madden
- Sir David Parkes Masson
- Maj. du Moulin
- Prof. O.V. Muller
- F.N. Schiller
- Mr. P. Aylwyn Selfe
- E.A. Smythies
- Sir Charles Stewart-Wilson (Subsequently Indian Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs.
- Mr. E.W. Wetherell
The society had a strong publishing record with Martin and Smythies' The Four Annas Lithographed Stamps of India, 1854-55 and L.E. Dawson's The One Anna & Two Annas Postage Stamps of India, 1854-55 both winning the Crawford Medal from the Royal Philatelic Society London (1932 and 1950 respectively). The first seven books produced by the society each received volume numbers, although they did not form part of any coherent work. The society's journal, the Philatelic Journal of India, was published from 1897.
- Stewart-Wilson, Charles. British Indian Adhesive Stamps Surcharged for Native States. Part I. Calcutta, 1897. (Vol. 1)
- Stewart-Wilson, Charles. British Indian Adhesive Stamps Surcharged for Native States. Part II. Calcutta, 1899. (Vol. 2)
- Anderson, G.A. Notes on the Postage Stamps of Bhopal. Calcutta, 1899. (Vol. 3)
- Masson, Sir David Parkes. Jammu and Kashmir. (Two parts bound together) Calcutta & Lahore: 1900 & 1901. Online excerpts. (Vols. 4 & 5)
- Crofton, C.S.F. & Wilmot Corfield. The Adhesive Fiscal and Telegraph Stamps of British India. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co., 1905. (Vol. 6)
- Wilson, Charles Stewart & B.G. Jones. British Indian Adhesive Stamps surcharged for Native States. Calcutta, 1904. (Revised edition) (Vol. 7)
- Crofton, C.S.F. & L.L.R. Hausburg & C. Stewart-Wilson. The Postage and Telegraph Stamps of British India. London: Stanley Gibbons for the society, 1907.
- Masson, Sir David Parkes & B. Gordon Jones. The Postage Stamps of Afghanistan. Madras: Higinbotham & Co., 1908. (From notes originally prepared by Gilbert Harrison.)
- Crofton, C.S.F. The Fiscal and Telegraph Stamps of Ceylon. Ed. B. Gordon Jones. London: Bridger & Kay for the society, 1911.
- Martin, D.R. & E.A. Smythies. The Four Annas Lithographed Stamps of India, 1854-55. Stanley Gibbons for the society, 1930.
- Smythies, E.A. & Dawson, L.E. The Postage Stamps of Jammu & Kashmir Simplified. Lahore, 1937. Online excerpts.
- Roberts, Col. G.L. & E.A. Smythies. The Japanese Occupation Stamps of Burma. 1947.
- Dawson. L.E. The One Anna & Two Annas Postage Stamps of India, 1854-55. Birmingham: H. Garratt-Adams & Co. for the society, 1948.
- Giles, D. Hammond. Companion to the handstruck postage stamps of India. Bombay: Arvind M. Pakvasa, 1967.
Notes and references
- Distinguished Philatelists - Sir David Parkes Masson - The Greatest Indian Philatelist. Peshwar Stamp Society. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "Proposed Philatelic Society of India" in The London Philatelist, Vol. V, December 1896, No. 60, pp. 351-352.
- "The Philatelic Society of India" in The London Philatelist, Vol. VI, June 1897, No. 66, p. 174.
- THE PHILATELIC SOCIETY OF INDIA. India Post. Retrieved 11 April 2012. Archived here
- Million rare stamps on display at Bombay philately show. Rediff On The Net, 1997. Retrieved 11 April 2012. Archived here.
- It is likely that most of the authors listed in the Publications section were also members of the society but some have been excluded from the membership list until evidence of their membership is found.
- "STEWART-WILSON, Sir Charles" in Who Was Who. A & C Black, 1920–2008, online edition, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2011.