New Delhi : Postage stamps can reveal more than just the history of a letter - they can reveal the history of an era. The first postage stamp was the Penny Black issued in Great Britain in 1840 and in the more than 175 years since, a fascinating history has taken shape.
Organised by Aaditya Pratap Singh Entertainments in Raipur, a recently concluded 5-day-long exhibition, with a display of rare collections of stamps and coins, took a large number of attendees on a journey through history.
The collection, which included philatelic materials issued on Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation and its anniversaries, belong to Dr Bhanu Pratrap Singh, an India Book of Records holder who started collecting stamps since 1970 when he was just 9-year-old.
In this exhibition, more than 11,500 stamps were on display - starting from the Coronation year 1953, they covered various omnibus issues, like Silver Jubilee issues of Queen's Coronation (1977-78), ones issued on the completion of 40 years (1993), Golden Jubilee issues (2002-2003), Platinum Jubilee issues (2012-13) and Sapphire Jubilee issues (2017-18).
In philately, an omnibus issue is an issue of stamps by several countries with a common subject and which may share a uniform design. Omnibus issues have often been made by countries under common political control or groups of colonies due to the close co-operation required to produce the issue. Omnibus issues are to be distinguished from joint issues which are usually much smaller in scope.
The exhibits, which consisted of stamps, coins, FDCs, sheets and other materials, also had issues that celebrated the Coronations of King George V and King George VI.
Apart from the philatelic and numismatic displays, two big banners of 40 ft each were also exhibited that covered the complete biography of the Queen, showing photographs of important events in her life.
According to Singh, the main aim of organising this exhibition was to increase the interest and awareness about philately and numismatics among the children as well college goers.
Martina Thariyan of MTV 'Splitsvilla' fame was also present at the exhibition. She said that she was quite impressed by the collection as it was the first time in her life that she saw such a huge and unique collection.