P. Raja Ramakrishna, a 20-year-old from Vizag, shares his journey on becoming an antiquarian, numismatist, and philatelist. Raja’s collection includes various coins, currency notes, stamps from different countries, and various Indian eras. The collection also possesses rare antiques like vintage gadgets, articles, books, instruments, glass bottles, etc. which are made up of wood, brass, glass, copper, and ivory. All these articles are over a couple of centuries-old and are inherited from his great grandfather, Puvvula Chinna Swamy Naidu who was a local fund overseer during the British Raj.
“I still remember the day as a 9-year-old, when I first saw the coins collected by my father during his time as a student. That was the day I decided to start a collection of my own,” says Raja. Starting from a very young age, Raja has collected many such antique items with the help of his friends and family. He says, “Collecting antiques is not just a hobby. It’s a way of preserving heritage.” This young antique enthusiast has some of the rarest items in his collection. His collection is on display at his residence in the One Town area, Vizag. “My biggest inspiration is my father, P. S. N. Rajesh. I would consider myself as the heir to our family’s rich collection of historical artifacts,” shared the young numismatist from Vizag. For him, safekeeping his collection is a labor of love.
While many of us sulked and slouched around during the lockdown, Raja went on a quest to find hidden historical treasures within his house. The quest did not go in vain as he stumbled upon vintage documents which belonged to his great grandfather, a Landlord of the then Vizianagaram. These rare documents were dated back to the late 1920s and early 1930s. Few of them included the letter and acknowledgment towards the fee for an opening gateway in railway boundary wall issued by Bengal Nagpur Railway Co Ltd, Vizagapatam station, appointment letter by Collector’s office Vizagapatam in the year 1929. Another treasure that he discovered was the oldest civil service examination certificate of his great great grandfather, who was a CI during the British Raj. “I can say that these are the real treasures for me,” exclaimed Raja.