A Miniature Sheet consisting of 2 nos. of postage stamp on the India–France Relationships :
Issued by India
Issued on Nov 29, 2003
Issued for : The Department of Posts is proud of the robust, multi-dimensional bilateral relations between India and France. It commemorates the warm & friendly diplomatic ties with the issue of this set of two stamps.
Designed by : Kamleshwar Singh
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Size : 9.50 x 11.70 cms.
Watermark : No
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 2200 Paise each
Stamp Overall Size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Stamp Print Size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Perforation : 13.5 x 13.5
Paper : Matt Chromo
Number Printed : 0.375 million sheetlets of 16 stamps and 0.05 million miniature sheets
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Calcutta Security Printers Ltd.
- India & France : two ancient civilizations, both melting pots of races and traditions; both characterized by a diversity of natural landscape, agricultural profiles and distinct regional and linguistic entities, not merely juxtaposed together but forming a cohesive whole; both having an abiding faith in liberty and secularism and both possessing a rich and varied cultural heritage. The two countries enjoy warm and friendly relations that span a broad spectrum ranging from education, culture and fashion to the more strategic areas of trade, investment, defence and science & technology. Adding a new dimension to the bilateral relations is a joint issue of commemorative postage stamps conceived by the Postal Administrations of the two countries.
- The India–France joint issue showcases spectacular facets of Indian and French cultures. France, particularly Paris, has long been regarded as a major centre of European culture. France first attained cultural pre-eminence in Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; later the wealth of the Crown in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries provided magnanimous patronage to art attracting to Paris many of Europe’s most talented artists and artisans and leading to sophisticated accomplishments in literature, art, science, cuisine and haute couture. The French style still exercises a pervading influence not only on Western but the global culture.
- The French stamp in the joint issue is an exquisite example of 15th century French coloured print. It depicts a rooster from the 15th century work “Heures a l’usage de Rome” dating back to 1440-1450 by two Provencal painters, Le Maitre de l’Annonciation d’Aix and Enguerrand Quarton. It comprises an exceptional design of medallions showing usage of months and Zodiac signs. It is recently that the origin of this book could be attributed to Provencal artists. It must be recalled that Provence in the 15th century was the land of painters, a cosmopolitan melting pot where different styles met and were fused.
- The illustration on the Indian stamp depicts a peacock from a 19th century piece of jewellery crafted in the Minakari tradition. It portrays the refinement and intricacy of Indian craftsmanship. Minakari on enamelling a unique combination of gems, enamel pigments and precious stones, was born as a result of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s aesthetic vision that transformed enamelling into a sophisticated art. The outcome was a range of items, from jewellery to imperial thrones. The motifs used were flowers, plants, scrolling vines and animal forms. Jaipur, the Pink City, has been a traditional speciality centre for Minakari. The present design depicting the peacock forms part of ‘minakri’ work done on the reverse of a ‘Sarpech’ or turban crest set with emeralds in the Mughal period which is one among the many exquisite collections of National Museum, New Delhi.
- Bilateral cooperation between India & France in other areas besides culture, is also wide-ranging. On the economic front, France ranks as India’s 5th largest trading partner in the European Union. Indo-French bilateral trade stood at 2.5 billion Euro in 2001 in India’s favour. Another significant pointer to the wholesome trade relations is the inflow of French investment in India to the tune of US$ 341 million for the period 1991-2000 primarily in the sectors of chemicals, fuels, metallurgy and food processing. In the field of Space research, reciprocal arrangements for instance satellite tracking support from ground stations to each other’s missions, commercial agreement for launching INSAT satellites by Ariane launch vehicle and the like have strengthened Indo-French relations. Joint Working Groups have also been formed in the areas of mineral exploration and development, telecommunications, information technology and water resource management.
- Text : Amarpreet Duggal based on inputs from the Ministry of External Affairs.