The Classic Stamps of Nepal Hellrigl/Vignola, 1984
The foundations for a thorough study of the classic issues of Nepal were laid by Major E. B. Evans, editor of Gibbons' Monthly Journal. His research work was of an exceptionally high standard, and his series of articles is of great interest and importance even today some 80 years after publication. Through his correspondents in Nepal, Major Evans regularly received material and information which he recorded with meticulous precision.
The next great philatelist to carry out further studies on the classic issues was L. E. Dawson, the editor of the Philatelic Journal of India. In a series of articles in the 1940s, he recorded many new finds and established a first, systematic classification of all known plates.
At that time, another prominent stamp collector, E. A. Smythies, took up residence in Kathmandu and, although his main interest was centered on the contemporary Pashupati issues, was able to add a considerable amount of information on the classic stamps in use during the telegraphic period. In particular, he located and obtained the entire stock of the classic sheets stored in the Kathmandu Treasury.
It was only natural that Dawson and Smythies should combine their knowledge to write the first handbook on Nepal, "The Postage Stamps of Nepal", published in 1945. Dawson came back many years later, in 1957, to write a highly important series of articles in which he recorded a number of new finds and improved his earlier table of plates.
In the 1950s, H. Garratt-Adams wrote some excellent articles on the classic issues, while in the United States H. D. S. Haverbeck refined and updated "The Postage Stamps of Nepal", whose final version he published in 1962.
A new, scientific approach in research was introduced by J. Heddergott in 1973. His essay on the 1/2 anna is a milestone in the history of research on the classic issues.
In writing "The Classic Stamps of Nepal" the authors certainly enjoyed carrying on the tradition and high ideals of these earlier writers and we can only hope that our work will be considered as an equally important contribution by the next generations of philatelists.
All earlier authors had to base their studies on their own collections which, however complete, could not possibly have matched the enormous mass of material that we were able to evaluate; in fact, we thoroughly searched all the important Nepal collections throughout the world for unrecorded, rare or unique items. Such a comprehensive study would never have been possible without the existence of The Nepal and Tibet Philatelic Study Circle, an international organization that has succeeded in bringing many collectors and virtually all specialists into very close contact.
To me, this splendid spirit of co-operation has been perhaps the greatest incentive in completing a work that has taken well over a decade to materialize.
The handbook is a must for every collector of the classic stamps of Nepal, form Beginner to the most advanced. The book is already over 20 years old but the information there is still valid and actual.
The book is available in at least 3 different colours of the binding, the most frequently seen is the blue colour, followed by red.