A new book for the first time sheds light on the history and postal history of the Indian subcontinent up to the establishment of British rule.
The philately and postal history of the Indian subcontinent is rich and spans a long period of time. This makes India’s philately one of the largest collecting areas worldwide, encompassing numerous nations as well as feudal and contract states. The body of literature on Indian philately is large and consists out of numerous books and covers all conceivable topics. However, a period that still lacks attention is the fact that the Indian subcontinent was colonized by numerous states before the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Besides well-known nations such as Portugal and Great Britain, this also includes the Netherlands and – as the British’s great opponent for many years – France – as well as rather unknown nations such as Denmark or even the Austrian Netherlands (today’s Belgium).
India was one of focus topics at Monacophil 2022. As is a good tradition, a high-quality book is published on each main topic at the Monacophil. The topic “The Struggle for Dominance on the Indian Subcontinent 1494-1819 – History and Postal History” by Eric Scherer was chosen to accompany the India Salon. The corresponding book for the first time presents the development of the postal services of the various European nations colonizing the Indian subcontinent and places this development in the context of the struggle for dominance. British dominance finally was achieved with the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The British were the only nation that consistently built up domestic postal services and thus made an important contribution to consolidating their rule.
The book comprises almost 200 pages and is written in English and French. In each case, the historical developments are presented and then mirrored with the postal history of the respective nation. The result is a book that is not only of interest to philatelists, but also gives non-philatelists the opportunity to understand the interplay of history, philately and postal history on the basis of an exciting topic – a coffee table book on philately and postal history that is likely also attract the interest among non-philatelists. The book is of high quality and contains numerous historical illustrations and maps. The philatelic items shown come from leading collections of India philatelists around the world and were painstakingly compiled over two years. With the book, a large number of the world’s most important pieces from the various nations have now been brought together in one publication.
The book costs EUR 80 including postage and can be ordered from the Club de Monte Carlo, c/o Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies, Terrasses de Fontvieille, MC – 98000 Monaco. One can also find an order form online at https://www.monacophil.eu/MonacoPhil2022_CatalogueOrderForm.pdf