Saturday, April 9, 2022

Refining Postal History of Bhutan

One reader of my blog writes as follows:

"Note that according to the map on the stamp depicting His Majesty Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck, the country north of Bhutan is Tibet, which was already taken over by China at the time of the release of this 1st stamp set in 1962. So there were also speculations that that was one more reason to withdraw this particular stamp from especially domestic usage".

This was with respect to my blog post titled “Bhutan's Earliest Postage Stamp Gives Joy To A Sikkimese". Please read the full article at:

The reader implies that one of Bhutan’s earliest postage stamps – a set of seven, issued in 1962 had some serious problems – resulting in it having to be withdrawn from circulation. The stamp was the one depicting His Majesty Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck, Bhutan’s first hereditary monarch. The stamp had two problems: wrong date of birth/death of the monarch and a serious diplomatic faux pas!

Supposedly withdrawn from circulation for a number of errors

The first problem with the stamp was that it depicted the image of Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck with his date of birth/death wrongly rendered. The other problem was that the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China was named as Tibet, not realizing that Tibet was effectively a part of China as of 7th October, 1950.

The nation states of Sikkim and East Pakistan are named correctly - Bangladesh came into being only in 1971 and Sikkim was annexed by India only in 1975.

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