Andhra Pradesh

Rich philatelic collection languishing in racks for want of patronage

Venkata Prasad Kachi showing his philatelic and numismatic collection at his home in Tirupati.

Venkata Prasad Kachi showing his philatelic and numismatic collection at his home in Tirupati.

An impressive array of philatelic and numismatic collection, which can be spread on 200 tables, languishes in racks for want of patronage. After attracting public gaze in over hundred exhibitions, the antique property has seldom seen light in the last ten years.

Septuagenarian Venkata Prasad Kachi ruminates the good old days when his ‘Bharani Exhibitors’ was reckoned as one of the top collectors of stamps, postage covers, antique coins and currency notes. He ended his stint as an administrative officer of a Bengaluru-based pharma company in the 90s and got down to full-time collection. Schools made a beeline seeking his exhibition back then.

Apart from Roman, Portuguese and Dutch era, Mr. Prasad’s collection spans gold, silver, copper, nickel, bronze, aluminium and lead coins of the sixty Princely States. A specialist on Bahmani coins, his exhibits include Delhi Sultanate, Malwa, Jaipur, Maratha and Bengal Presidency, besides the same denomination coins released by Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida mints. In the currency section, his range has fancy series of same numbers, seven digits, ascending and descending series, telescopic numbers, same notes carrying the signature of successive RBI governors, misprint currency, wrongly placed numbers and freak notes (like half-printed, printed upside down etc).

Rare collectibles

“Notes containing/missing the words ‘Satyameva Jayate’, image of parliament building with/without the flag, vignettes on agriculture on the backside of a note, British era notes losing colour, mules (new note with old Governor’s signature) and the image of George VI on post-independent note as a thanksgiving are a rarity,” Mr. Prasad told The Hindu . There are 200 folders of coins depicting the history pertaining to a year, which appealed to general knowledge loving students and thus attracted schools.

‘Keeping them safe Herculean task’

The patronage started dwindling in the 2000s with a general fall in the hobby, fuelled further by addiction to television and mobile phones. “All these years, I have been reminding people about our national heroes, which the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is doing today,” he remarks. The rise in the ‘perceived’ antique value led to the theft of coins and stamps during exhibitions.

“Preventing the thousands of notes from getting crumpled, torn or infected by fungus is a Herculean task,” says Mr. Prasad, who insists on thorough security for future exhibitions. He can be contacted at or 98491 96796.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 6:51:04 pm |