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The Classic Stamps of Nepal

Few countries evoke feelings of remoteness and otherworldliness than Nepal. Old stamp albums sometimes included their stamps under the Indian States although this classification hides a complex history.

The British East India Company annexed minor states bordering Nepal thus triggering the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1815–16. At first the British underestimated the Nepalese and were soundly defeated and although they were eventually victorious the British were greatly impressed by the valour and competence of their adversaries. The war ended in the Sugauli Treaty, under which Nepal ceded recently captured portions of Sikkim and lands in Terai as well as the right to recruit soldiers.

In fact the British Army and Nepalese Gurkha soldiers found each other such potent foes that it forged a mutual respect between them unmatched in the annals of modern armies with links that still survive to this day.

It is likely that the first Nepalese stamps were issued on 14 April 1881, the Nepalese New Year, although the earliest known use is on a cover dated 5 May. It is believed that they were printed at the Chhapakhana Press, Thapathai, Kathmandu.

The basic design features the Crown of Nepal and a crossed pair of “Khukris” (short swords or knives used by Gurkha soldiers, who still carry them) and are inscribed “Shr Gorkha” at top and “Sarkar” at base, meaning “Government of Nepal”

The printing clichés were used continuously from 1881 to 1907, then again between 1917 and 1930, an incredible 50 year span without making replacement clichés or new plates!

As repairs and cleaning took place clichés were removed and moved, often causing inverted cliché errors or the transfer of a stamp from one part of the plate to another. Each time this occurred a new setting was created, a boon for the specialist collector! Over time, as the stamps became worn, and shades and papers changed Nepalese classics have become a wonderful antidote to modern issues!

Please take a look at our Nepalese lots, all identified by an advanced Nepalese philatelist. We think you will find them a fascinating subject!

Like collectors in this subject we are indebted to the work carried out by Wolfgang Hellrigl and Frank Vignola in their book “The Classic Stamps of Nepal” published by the Nepal and Tibet Study Circle.


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Lot Number: 7276
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 85 - 95
  • Currency guide (USD): 117 - 131
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Lot Number: 7277
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 110 - 130
  • Currency guide (USD): 152 - 179
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Lot Number: 7279
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 220 - 250
  • Currency guide (USD): 304 - 345
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Lot Number: 7278
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 160 - 180
  • Currency guide (USD): 221 - 248
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Lot Number: 7280
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 190 - 220
  • Currency guide (USD): 262 - 304
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Lot Number: 7281
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 160 - 180
  • Currency guide (USD): 221 - 248
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Lot Number: 7282
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 190 - 220
  • Currency guide (USD): 262 - 304
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Lot Number: 2875
Closing: 23 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 50 - 60
  • Currency guide (USD): 69 - 83
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Lot Number: 7283
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 250 - 300
  • Currency guide (USD): 345 - 414
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Lot Number: 7284
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 190 - 220
  • Currency guide (USD): 262 - 304
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Lot Number: 7285
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 120 - 140
  • Currency guide (USD): 166 - 193
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Lot Number: 2876
Closing: 23 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 100 - 120
  • Currency guide (USD): 138 - 166
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Lot Number: 2877
Closing: 23 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 90
  • Currency guide (USD): 110 - 124
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Lot Number: 2878
Closing: 23 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 70 - 80
  • Currency guide (USD): 97 - 110
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Lot Number: 7286
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 45 - 50
  • Currency guide (USD): 62 - 69
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Lot Number: 2879
Closing: 23 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 160 - 180
  • Currency guide (USD): 221 - 248
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Lot Number: 7287
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 400 - 450
  • Currency guide (USD): 552 - 621
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Lot Number: 7288
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 100 - 120
  • Currency guide (USD): 138 - 166
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Lot Number: 7289
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 180 - 200
  • Currency guide (USD): 248 - 276
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Lot Number: 7290
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 130 - 150
  • Currency guide (USD): 179 - 207
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Lot Number: 2880
Closing: 23 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 150 - 180
  • Currency guide (USD): 207 - 248
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Lot Number: 7291
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 100
  • Currency guide (USD): 110 - 138
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Lot Number: 7292
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 900 - 1000
  • Currency guide (USD): 1242 - 1380
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Lot Number: 7294
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 380 - 420
  • Currency guide (USD): 524 - 580
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Lot Number: 7293
Closing: 30 January 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 240 - 280
  • Currency guide (USD): 331 - 386
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