This is an official website of Indian Philatelists' Forum * Join Indian Philatelists' Forum * This is an official website of Indian Philatelists' Forum

Forgotten Biography

Shri Chunnilal Devkaran Nanjee (C. D. Desai)

C. D. DesaiChunnilal Devkaran Nanjee, (b. ? - d. 1948) known as "C. D. Desai" made many discoveries among the 1854 lithographed stamps of India and formed an outstanding collection of these classic issues with the assistance of Jal Cooper. Desai's collection included many items of extreme rarity. It featured the unique unused block of 14 of the white Scinde Dawk stamp. His collection included the finest known example of the famous 1854 Head Inverted Four Annas stamp, cut square and on cover, as well as a second cut square example of this rarity. He discovered the 1854, 1 anna red Die I "Substituted Transfer". He also found the typographed 2 annas yellowish grey-green of 1854 on a previously unknown paper watermarked Stamp Office.

In 1928 Shri Desai reconstructed the One Anna Die I "A" Stone, and this was followed by "The Unknown setting of One Anna Die I, India 1854" by Mr. L. E. Dawson. After this Shri C. D. Desai wrote on "Indian 1854 - One Anna August Printing "C" stone".

Shri C. D. Desai was a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London. He served as President of Philatelic Society of India from 1946 till his death in 1948. His collection was offered for sale to the public in 917 lots by Messrs Robson Lowe, philatelic auctioneers, on May 25 and 26 May 1949. The auction included his collection of the "Scinde Dawk" stamps and the 1854 issues of India.

Desai was a senior partner in the firm of Messrs. Devkaran Nanjee and Sons, stock, cotton, bullion and exchange brokers. He was also the honorary Treasurer of the Bombay Stock Exchange and one of the founding directors of Devkaran Nanjee Banking Co. Ltd. on May 26, 1938, later renamed the Dena Bank, and other allied companies.

Go to TOP