Gwalior Registration Labels

The ‘Number Slips'

These humble labels were part of the range of labels used for parcels, value payable, and insured items, which were termed generically by the India Post Office as Number Slips. The Paris UPU treaty of 1874 made the use of a large Latin 'R' obligatory for all member countries. In India the ‘R’ was designed into the handstamp that was applied to mail when it was registered at the receiving Office. These ‘R’ handstamps start appearing around 1884. There is more information in Ron Nuttall’s chapter on Registration in the India Study Circle’s Handbook of Philately. Practice in another British-designed system is described in an article held in the ‘Philatelic Database’.  

In 'India Post’ 21, p69, dealing with Query 1/70, in 1970, the late Ernie Oehme stated: 
'Only offices which regularly register 50 items daily can on request have the Office name printed on registration labels. The allocation of numbers for registration purposes for offices permitted to do registration but not permitted to do delivery is:- Serial numbers 1-1000 of which 1-500 go to the Registration Dept. and 501-1000 to the Parcel Dept.  For offices which do delivery the allocation is Registered: 1001-2000 and 2001-3000 to the Parcel Dept.’

It is hard to be definite about the printing details of these labels without washing them off the envelopes. They all appear to be printed by letterpress. Of course, each position on the sheet is different. It appears that the frame lines, as well as the type for the number, were set up separately for each position. I have one example of the same  serial number on two different items, that shows that, for that numeral type, they appear to be identical and thus from one set-up and print run.
 After the first Number Slips printing quality is high and I suggest that the job was done in the UK.  Later printings are poorer quality and on paper that has not been bleached, and I think they were locally done. This was certainly so during the World War 2. 
The labels are normally perforated and sometimes appear to be rouletted. I haven’t studied this angle