Covers are scarce; a sale catalogue at Harmers of London on 10 February 2000 in which two were offered said there are 'possibly less than ten recorded' but a total of sixteen have now been seen or reported, in addition to the two used items of stationery described above though it is apparent that the same ones recur over the years.

Four covers and a letter-sheet are known with a circular datestamp in Marathi reading RÀJPÌPLÀ POST / NÀ (N)DOD. The letter-sheet is dated 4 July 1879, proving this datestamp to have been in use before the adhesives. One incomplete strike (Fig. 12) dated A. (for August) 14 is on an Indian 1/2 anna blue stamped envelope of the type first issued in 1877, posted in Bombay on 12 August. The year type is omitted in both postmarks. Mr. Pandya has kindly translated the address which is to 'Sheth Bhimjibhai of Nandod, via Chandod. Letter may reach on 13th. at Nandod.' [it did not, in fact!] 'Good News' - but no indication of the year. This is the only known example of inward mail; there is no indication of any charge being collected although Mr.Prashant Pandya in India Post 151 (February 2002) gave some details of the postage rates applying in 1882, showing that a quarter anna (1 paiso) was charged if Indian postage had already been paid. It is possible that this is from the pre-adhesive period and that the datestamp was applied on payment of the local charge on delivery at Nandod.

Fig. 12

Another example of the datestamp - again a part strike but fortunately providing the missing word - has been shown to me by Derek Bates; this has the date JU (for July) 12, and is similarly on the back of a ½ anna stamped envelope but in this case a State 1 paiso adhesive with the R-1 obliterator (see below) is on the front. This went from Nandod via Chandod to Bombay, but again no year type was used. Further items with this datestamp are a similar cover to Bombay with Indian adhesive added, offered at Spinks during April 2000; and the detached back of an envelope reported by Mr. J Veldman with 1p adhesive showing the normal obliterator, the large datestamp reading AP.29, also CHANDOD AP.30 and CALCUTTA DELY. MAY 5 - but still no evidence of year. This latter is the only item known to have been addressed to Calcutta.

This large type seems to have been replaced by a small datestamp in Nagri reading in two lines NA(N)DOD / [month/day], at first away from the adhesive which received the R-1 obliterator, although struck over the adhesive on a cover to Jaipur with ABU transit mark dated 23 Sep.85. This 'combination' cover, offered at Christies in December 1995 with an estimate of 600, sold again at Harmers in Feb. 2000 realising a surprising 2415 against an estimate of 500. A large piece at one time offered retail by Gibbons shows a State adhesive alongside an Indian 1/2a., both having the State R-1 obliterator, the only known use of it on an Indian adhesive.

The normal obliterator is a six barred type similar to the contemporary Indian ones listed as 'type 17' but with R-1 in Nagri script between the bars. Fig.13 shows its use on a 1 paiso adhesive on the back of another Indian 1/2a stamped envelope, again of the 1877 type; alongside is the small datestamp and the Indian PO datestamp of CHANDOD where mails were exchanged. Like most known covers this was addressed to Bombay. Mr. Pandya has translated the address as 'Bharuchwala Book Seller Seeramjibhai care of Bookseller Jestharam Makanji, at Mumbadevi'. Another offered at Harmers was addressed to Baroda and readdressed to Bombay, described as of 1880 though this is not visible in the illustration, and year type was not normally used in that year.

Fig. 13

My own cover with a damaged adhesive has a BPA certificate from 1973, and it is the same one illustrated by Haverbeck in 'Collectors Club Philatelist' November 1957, and subsequently offered at auction by Stanley Gibbons on 14 December 1979 with an estimate of 225. Its last appearance was an ISC room auction some years ago with no other bidders; 'how are the mighty fallen'! Another cover recently on the market, with RPS certificate, is very similar to my own except that the adhesive is undamaged. It proves to be one of the two offered in the L. E. Dawson sale in 1967 (lot 543).

Mr. Prashant Pandya has recently acquired a cover,(Fig. 14) which unusually has the 1 paiso adhesive, showing the usual obliterator, affixed on the address side alongside the pair of Indian 1/2a. adhesives, which themselves have the round barred obliterator B widely used in the Bombay Circle. This is the only cover known to Baroda, and is also unusual in being a folded letter rather than an Indian stationery cover. No datestamp is visible.

Fig. 14

Only two postcards are known, both Indian QV 1/4a stationery cards; one with the CHANDOD cds of -.Sept. 84, and a State 1 paiso showing the R-1 obliterator which is also tied by an Indian datestamp of KAPADVANJ, a railhead in the north of Gujrat. This was also offered in the above Spinks sale. The other, reported recently by Mr. J Veldman, is very similar but the CHANDOD cds is 22 JAN. 84 and the destination is Bombay. This is from a librarian in the Maharana's Library to the editor of a magazine published in Bombay advising that Rs.6 had been sent by Money Order as a two-year subscription. We know from Mr. Pandya's recent discoveries reported in India Post 151 (February 2002) that the Indian Money Order system was available through the State post.

A single 1 paiso adhesive is recorded by Haverbeck with a seal obliterator reading NANDOD in English, but this may be the bag seal which would have been issued when this office became part of the Indian system in 1886, and struck by favour for a philatelist. The 2as. and 4 as. adhesives are unrecorded on cover, other than the 2 as. affixed to the letter sheet described above, but I have both values on small pieces with the R-1 obliterator probably applied by favour, and the Tapling collection has very similar pieces.

The only other type of obliteration reported is from Derek Bates, on a 1 paiso off cover with two part strikes of a purple circular cachet with perhaps vernacular characters. This looks like an attempt to create desirable 'used' from mint - all too frequent an occurrence. Bearing in mind the high premium for used over mint, no Rajpipla stamp should be accepted as genuinely used unless it shows a clear strike of the obliterator or the small datestamp.

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