Officers of the society
 Representatives of the society
 Life of the society and obitua...
 The local 1932-1933 surcharges...
 The "Bromarf" label by E....
 Stereo zoom microscope by Anthony...
 The early and late issues of the...
 The story of the postage stamps...
 Early Greek mail to Russia by A....
 The Lenin ruble stamps by K. Adler...
 Some unknown data on the ROPiT...
 The stamp commemorates (no. 2)...
 A Ukrainian zip-code system by...
 A.E.F. Siberia covers by Edward...
 Notes from collectors
 Book reviews


Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235/00014
 Material Information
Title: Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Physical Description: no. in v. : illus. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Creation Date: 1970
Publication Date: [n.d.]
Frequency: unknown
Subjects / Keywords: Stamp collecting -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Postage-stamps -- Periodicals -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
Funding: Made available to the University of Florida Digital Collections under special distribution agreement with the <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a>.
 Record Information
Source Institution: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Holding Location: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB2397
lccn - 59037768
issn - 0035-8363
System ID: UF00020235:00014

Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Officers of the society
        Page 2
    Representatives of the society
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Life of the society and obituaries
        Page 4
    The local 1932-1933 surcharges of TUVA by S. M. Blekhman
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The "Bromarf" label by E. Marcovitch
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Stereo zoom microscope by Anthony L. Okolish
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The early and late issues of the 1883-1888 stamps by Prof. K. A. Berngard
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The story of the postage stamps of the Far Eastern Republic by the late F. I. Chenakalo
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Early Greek mail to Russia by A. Cronin
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    The Lenin ruble stamps by K. Adler and A. Cronin
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Some unknown data on the ROPiT postal activities at Varna by D. N. Minchev, Sofia
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The stamp commemorates (no. 2) by Dr. G. Wember
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    A Ukrainian zip-code system by A. Cronin
        Page 51
    A.E.F. Siberia covers by Edward J. Wisewell, Jr.
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Notes from collectors
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Book reviews
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
Full Text

of the




No. 79 1970

5 S 6 SS


Andrew Cronin
Box 806, Church Street Station
New York, N.Y. 10008


Martin L. Harow


K. Adler, Emile Marcovitch, C.P. Bulak,
J. Terlecky (Ukrainian Editor)


2 Officers of the Society
2 Representatives of the Society
3 Editorial
4 Life of the Society
4 Obituaries
5 The Local 1932-1933 Surcharges of TUVA by S. M. Blekhman
11 The "Bromarf" Label by E. Marcovitch
13 Stereo Zoom Microscope -by Anthony L. Okolish
15 The Early and Late Issues of the 1883-1888 Stamps by Prof. K. A. Berngard
19 The Story of the Postage Stamps of the Far Eastern Republic by the late F. I. Chenakalo
26 Early Greek Mail to Russia -by A. Cronin
31 The Lenin Ruble Stamps by K. Adler and A. Cronin
42 Some Unknown Data on the ROPiT Postal Activities at Varna by D. N. Minchev, Sofia
48 The Stamp Commemorates (No. 2) by Dr. G. Wember
5f1 A Ukrainian Zip-Code System -by A. Cronin
6:2 A.E.F. Siberia Covers by Edward J. Wisewell, Jr.
55 Notes From Collectors
64 Book Reviews



PRESIDENT: Kurt Adler, c/o Metropolitan Opera Inc., Lincoln Centre Plaza, N.Y., 10023
VICE-PRESIDENT: Gordon H. Torrey Ph.D., 5118 Duval Dr., Washington, D.C. 20016
SECRETARY: Joseph F. Chudoba, 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11225
TREASURER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11226
CHAIRMAN OF AUDITING COMMITTEE: Andrew Cronin, Box 806, New York, N.Y. 10008
CHAIRMAN OF MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Mr. Martin Harow, 17 Second St., Brentwood, L.I. 11717
LIBRARIAN: J. Lee Shneidman, Ph. D., 161 W. 86th St., Apt. 5-B, New York, N.Y. 10024
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Emile Marcovitch, 66-61 Saunders St. Apt. 4-Q, Rego Park, N.Y. 11374
Boris Shishkin, 3523 Tunlaw Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Fred W. Speers, 118 N. Caroline Way, Escondido, Calif. 92025


G.B. Salisbury Chapter: Joseph F. Chudoba, 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11225
San Francisco: K. Jansson, 624-16 Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94118
Washington, D.C.: Boris Shishkin, 3523 Tunlaw Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Western USA: Lester S. Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90035

The views expressed in this JOURNAL by the authors are their own and the Editors disclaim any responsibility.

At the present time the Membership Dues are $7.50, due January 1, for all members. Application forms, which
must be filled out, are available upon request. Membership lists, codes, bulletins and supplements to the member-
ship lists will be sent out annually. Kindly make all checks payable to:

ROSSICA Society of Russian Philately, c/o
Mr. Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11226

We have a very limited number of back issues of the Journal for sale, both in Russian and in English at $2.50 each:
Russian Editions No. 44 to 69; English Editions (10 various only). Others are sold out.



PRESIDENT: Kurt Adler, c/o Metropolitan Opera Inc., Lincoln Centre Plaza, N.Y., 10023
VICE-PRESIDENT: Gordon H. Torrey Ph.D., 5118 Duval Dr., Washington, D.C. 20016
SECRETARY: Joseph F. Chudoba, 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11225
TREASURER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11226
CHAIRMAN OF AUDITING COMMITTEE: Andrew Cronin, Box 806, New York, N.Y. 10008
CHAIRMAN OF MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Mr. Martin Harow, 17 Second St., Brentwood, L.I. 11717
LIBRARIAN: J. Lee Shneidman, Ph. D., 161 W. 86th St., Apt. 5-B, New York, N.Y. 10024
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Emile Marcovitch, 66-61 Saunders St. Apt. 4-Q, Rego Park, N.Y. 11374
Boris Shishkin, 3523 Tunlaw Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Fred W. Speers, 118 N. Caroline Way, Escondido, Calif. 92025


G.B. Salisbury Chapter: Joseph F. Chudoba, 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11225
San Francisco: K. Jansson, 624-16 Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94118
Washington, D.C.: Boris Shishkin, 3523 Tunlaw Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Western USA: Lester S. Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90035

The views expressed in this JOURNAL by the authors are their own and the Editors disclaim any responsibility.

At the present time the Membership Dues are $7.50, due January 1, for all members. Application forms, which
must be filled out, are available upon request. Membership lists, codes, bulletins and supplements to the member-
ship lists will be sent out annually. Kindly make all checks payable to:

ROSSICA Society of Russian Philately, c/o
Mr. Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11226

We have a very limited number of back issues of the Journal for sale, both in Russian and in English at $2.50 each:
Russian Editions No. 44 to 69; English Editions (10 various only). Others are sold out.




While the Editorial Board has been able, through its international contacts, to keep up a steady flow of varied
articles for our members, it is felt there is still a large field of talent lying untapped in the body of the Society.

Your Editor can remember first starting out in 1948 into the vast areas of postal history. Writing to a leading
English specialist at the time, he humbly made mention at the end of his letter of a find he had made of an
Uliasutai (Mongolia) cancel on a 7-kop. Romanov. To his great surprise, he got back a post-haste reply from the
astonished specialist, who said it was the first time he had heard of such a marking in all his years of collecting.

In other words, it just goes to show. If you think you have something interesting or unusual, or if some phase in
our spheres of collecting is bothering you, write and tell us. If you are no hand at literary matters, send us the
bare facts. We will dress them up for publication, including any necessary background information and illustrations
from our files.

The first thing you know, you have become an author


Will all members please note that subscriptions are due on the 1st of January each year, regardless of the original
month of joining. New members receive all the journals issued during the year of joining.

To avoid the unnecessary delays which have occurred in the transfer of funds, our English members are kindly
requested to send their annual dues direct to our Treasurer, Mr. Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn,
N.Y. 11226, U.S.A., by the most convenient means: Money order, bank draft, etc., rather than to a central source
in the United Kingdom.






Fred Speers, our airmail enthusiast and collector of Imperials out in California, entered a display of German dirigible
and Zeppelin medals in the California State Numismatic Exhibition, held in San Diego on 7-9 November 1969. He
received first award in the medals section, so naturally he felt pretty good about it. We add our own congratulations!

The Society presented four medals to the Exhibition Committee of "Sofia-69," as special awards to exhibitors in our
sphere of collecting at this international show. After due consideration, the results were published in the November
1969 issue of the Bulgarian magazine "Philatelen Pregled," as follows:

LARGE GOLD MEDAL to Rena Berlingin of Liechtenstein for his display of rare Zemstvo material.
SMALL GOLD MEDAL to the Bulgarian journal "Philatelen Pregled," for its articles on various aspects of Russian
and Soviet philately.
SILVER MEDAL to the late E. Vernik of the USSR, for his specialized display of Imperials.
BRONZE MEDAL to D.N. Minchev of Sofia, Bulgaria for his researches on the Russian Posts in Bulgaria.

The official distribution of the medals took place in the offices of the Union of Bulgarian Philatelists on 20-21
April 1970 and we have since received letters of thanks from the recipients or their representatives. Our Society
feels that these special awards are not only good publicity for us, but also serve as an added encouragement for
worthy collectors and publishers in our sphere of collecting.



We are indebted to our fraternal magazine, BJRP No. 43 for details on the passing of our member in September
1968, a bare year after he had returned to Poland after many years in England.

A typical example of the saying that "old soldiers never die, they simply fade away," he left us at the great old age
of 82. A man of many collecting interests in the Russian sphere, he was a great authority on Zemstvos, postal
history, rare books, antiques, china, military medals, prints and pictures.

His class is fading fast and there are very few survivors left.


Our member in Santa Barbara, California, famous actor of stage and screen and an ardent collector of Russian Post-
master Provisionals of 1920-1922, died on Monday, 27 April 1970 at the age of 74. He had been in poor health
for some time.

The younger brother of that lovable Irish character Barry Fitzgerald, Mr. Shields acted in several films in this coun-
try and had as many as 300 roles in plays performed in Ireland, England, Australia and the United States. A noted
patriot, he took part in the Easter Rebellion at Dublin in 1916.

Our sympathy in their loss go to his wife Laurie, his son and daughter and four grandchildren.


as communicated by S. M. Blekhman

The illustrations herewith show the following varieties and covers of these issues in my collection, namely:

Fig. 1: The "Posta 15" stamp in the small numerals variety and entire surcharge inverted.

Fig. 2: The same value, with large numerals for "15" and word "Popta" missing. Used at Kyzyl on 26 Jan. 1933.

Fig 3: Block of nine stamps, five showing large "15" and the remaining four small "15" numerals.

Fig. 4: Block of twelve stamps in the small figures variety, with the word "Pofta" missing on five stamps in the
upper row.

Fig. 5 Block of fifteen stamps, small figures issue, with the value "15" missing on four stamps in the middle
vertical row.

Fig. 6 A piece from a wrapper or packet with fourteen stamps of the "Popta 15" issue in the large figures
variety and two stamps from previous issues, all cancelled "KIZIL 25.11.32 TOUVA" and totalling
2 r. 15 k. There are also two fiscal stamps on the piece, overprinted "OKTE," standing for the Tuvan
words "Oran Kamgalaarynga Tuzalaar Evilel" or "Society for assisting in the defence of the country."

These charity stamps were always affixed at the post office, in addition to the postal rate. The first two
values of this issue (1 and 2 kop.) are encountered with normal and inverted surcharges.

Fig. 7: A registered letter from Kyzyl 27 Jan. 1933 to Moscow 9 Feb. 1933, franked with the "35" surcharge
on the 18 kop. triangle and a pair of the 1 kop. "OKTE" charities.

Fig. 8 A registered letter from Kyzyl dated 7 Mar. 1933, to Moscow with one 15 kop. stamp, large figures
variety and a pair of the 8 kop. 1927 issue with "10" surcharge. A gutter pair of the 1 kop. "OKTE"
labels is also affixed to the cover, which was received 13 days later in Moscow on 20 March.

At that time, the postal rates established on 1 Dec. 1931 were in force (see decree of the Council of
Ministers of the Tuvan Republic, No. 38 for 3 Nov. 1931), as published in the newspaper "Novyi Put' "
("New Way"), No. 79 (326) for 17 Nov. 1931. This newspaper was issued in Russian at Kyzyl and gave
the following details:

Type of mail Local rate Intercity rate International rate
Ordinary letters for 5 kop. 15 kop. 15 kop.
first 20 grammes
(2/3 oz.)
Postcards 10 kop. 10 kop. 10 kop.
Registration fee 15 kop. 15 kop. 20 kop.

Fig. 9: A registered letter sent from Kyzyl 23 March 1933 to Moscow 5 April 1933. Franked with a pair of the
"Pofta 15" large figures and five copies of the 1 kop. 1927 issue, totalling 36 kop., with a charity surtax
paid with one copy of the 2 kop. "OKTE" surcharge.

Fig. 10 A registered letter from a hospital at Todzhi in Tuva, sent from Kyzyl on 28 Oct. 1933 and arriving in
Moscow on 11 Nov. Franked with the "Polta 36" large numerals surcharge.


These stamps have not as yet been found in unused state and it appears they were all utilized for postal
needs. In 1934-1935, the philatelic stores in Moscow sold the 15 kop. surcharge in the small and large
numerals varieties and the 35 kop, small numerals. The 35 kop. with large figures was not available and
it is the rarest stamp in the set.

Fig. 11: A registered letter from Kyzyl 30 March 1933 to Moscow 13 April. Franked with the "Posta 35" small
numerals and two of the 1 kop. "OKTE" Charities, the second copy of which is on the back.

Fig. 12: A registered letter with the "KbZbL a" cancel dated 12 July 1938 on the "Posta 35" small figures and
Moscow arrival date of 25 July. This is an example of a late usage for the stamp and it is due to the
following reason. In 1938, I had sent an enquiry to the Kyzyl post office about the numbers issued of
various stamps and enclosed the cover shown herewith for reply.

907 7th Avenue
New York, New York 10019 ON RUSSIA


Among the many Stamp Shops in the U. S. A. we can
boast of one of the finer stocks of Russian material.
Want Lists will be given special attention. POSTAL STATIONERY & COVERS AND
We are always available to act as Buyer, Seller or WANT LISTS INVITED
Agent for serious collectors.
0 0 0 P.O. Box 3012 Ocean View Br.
Miami Beach Florida 33140
Special Consideration for


by S. M. Blekhman

Fig. 1

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by S. M. Blekhman ig. 6

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Fig. 8


Fig. 9 -9-

by S. M. Blekhman


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F 11
Fig. 10

~-~ ~ CI;~ ~ j

by S M. Blekhman

9 0 C' K B" A.Z

A pd aT A.20 x3.46


TyswoxaaR Apatroaa Pe6aydaixa r.KeH3WueTpepaoaa

Fig. 12

by E. Marcovitch

I have received recently from one of my colleagues a curious letter which was mailed from a small town of Finland
"BROMARF" mailed to Stockholm 28 April 1917. The cover carries a label with the inscription in Russian, Fin-
nish and Swedish: "Opened by Military Censorship in Helsingfors." The letter is franked by Russian 10 kop. stamp
and cancelled with a round stamp. On the side of the stamp is pasted a very coarse label, (it is difficult to call it a
stamp) with inscriptions "BROMARF" and "5" (see illustration). On the reverse there is the Stockholm receiving
stamp with the date "8.5.17."

This letter seemed to me to be more than doubtful, and specially because the foreign postage should have been 14 k.
and not 10 k. Moreover, the town of BROMARF had a State Post Office so no additional (local) stamps were re-
quired. I have asked my colleague, a former member of Rossica and contributor to our Journal, Mr. O.A. Faberge
who has sent me the following explanation:

These purely bogus stamps were prepared and thrown into the philatelic market by the local mail carrier W.W. Wester-
lund for purely speculative reasons. He was selling them in considerable amounts during several months of 1917 and


The cancelers were very primitive, made of cork. The letter "B" in circle (Bromarf) or "T," also in a circle, (Tenala).

Mr. Faberg4 wrote to me that no one recognizes these "stamps" in Finland, and of course does not collect them.

As for myself, I must add that these stamps are collected by those interested in bogus stamps. Such collectors are
always trying to find out their history, which at times is very curious.

"<'-*'. I -";
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by Anthony L. Okolish

In evaluating the 7 kop Russian stamp, Scott #27, Gray and Rose, or any piece of philatelic nature, the Stereo
Microscope is a necessary item to a specialist or anyone that wishes to examine carefully their own stamps.

The stamp can be illuminated from above, below, and if necessary from the sides, or any combination you desire.

The Stereo Microscope allows you to see depth. So you see in three dimensions (3D). You can see the ink above
the paper, fibers in the paper which are loose, will be seen above the field.

The lowest priced model, not having the Zoom property will cost about $200.00. It will magnify only 5x, 10x, and
25x. The model drawn here will allow you to see from 7x 30x continuously.

What can be seen on the Russian, Scott #27, stamp? Lay the stamp center in the field and at 7x you can see the
entire stamp. At 10x you see from 7k to the crown at the top and the edges at both sides. At 14x you see the
border of and the central vignette. At 20x only the post horns and the eagle (in red) are seen. When you Zoom
the microscope to 30x only the raised eagle is seen.

Getting more technical, using a machinist's rule graduated in 1/100 of an inch, we see the following:

At 7x ............ 113/100 inches ............. a little over an inch.
At 10x ............ 78/100 inches ............. a little over 3/4 of an inch.
At 20x ............ 38/100 inches ............. less than one half inch.
At 30x ............ 26/100 inches ............. a little over a fourth of an inch.

S What functional value then, does this microscope offer?

A. It was used this past summer to examine hundreds of the 14 Columbian (USA). It will be used next summer
to examine over 1000 copies of Russia #27 and #28. The stamp is simply placed upon the glass stage and
does not have to be hand held. With the stamp on the glass stage you have both hands free to measure or
manipulate the stamp.

B. It was also used to determine the authenicity of Mongolian stamp #30 (Scott). This stamp has been counter-
feited. The stamp was first overprinted and then cancelled at Ulan Bater. Is it genuine? If the stamp is
counterfeit did it serve postal service? You should see the overprint over the stamp and the cancellation over
the overprint. This is easily seen in the microscope.

C. It is difficult at times to read a cancellation. By placing a light source under the glass stage you can some-
times read the impossible cancellation.

D. If you have ever looked at a stamp with a 10x lens holding the stamp to the light, you find that you have
both hands full. If you use a 15x, 20x lens the entire work is in your eye. The problem of holding both lens
and stamp still is practically impossible. This microscope eliminates this holding problem, while you look at
the stamp with both eyes, and both hands free.

E. You can expertize your rare stamps, eliminating many possibilities and saving yourself the expense of the
minimum charge.




EYE PIECES /0 7At .3t]



by Prof. K.A. Berngard

(reprinted from "Filateliya SSSR" of Moscow, No. 10 for 1969, pp. 9-10).

The ninth issue of postage stamps of statewide circulation took place in 1883. The design of the stamps did not
differ radically from that of the preceding issues. As before, the central portion of each stamp was taken up with
an oval showing the state arms, namely the double-headed eagle symbolizing sovereignty. As in the previous stamps,
the postal insignia were placed under the arms and consisted of two postal horns, pointing in opposite directions.
A slight modification only was made to the composition of the framework of the oval.

However, the new issue had its own particular traits. Above all, the set was filled out with the addition of stamps
of new values, namely 14, 35 and 70 kop., which were now required because of the introduction of the new proce-
dure whereby stamps were used to pay the charges for money orders, declared value letters and even parcels. For
the same reason, the tenth issue came out in the following year of 1884, with high values that were unprecedented
for that time, namely 3 r. 50 k. and 7 r.

In 1888, the ninth issue was completed with a new stamp of 2 kop. value, produced in a changed color. It was now
bright green, instead of the dark green shade for the same value that appeared in the 1883 printing. The change in
color was provoked by the fact that, in artificial light, the old dark green 2 kop. stamp was often confused with the
blue 7 kop. value.

Another distinguishing characteristic of the 1883 issue was the new colors for stamps of specific face values. These
colors had remained unchanged in all the previous stamp issues of prerevolutionary Russia. In particular, yellow
was chosen for the 1 kop. value, green for the 2 kop., red for the 3 kop., lilac for the 5 kop. and blue for the 7 kop.
Several deviations from the standard colors were tolerated in the 1913 issue of the jubilee postage stamps, issued to
commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

The convention of the Universal Postal Union, recommending to its member states that they adopt uniform colors,
served as the basis for standardizing the colors; namely green for stamps designated for the payment of wrappers,
red for postcards and blue for letters of an established basic weight, the unit of which the Russian Postal Admin-
istration took at that time as being one lot (1/2 oz. or 13 grammes). For the checking of postal sending, the
corresponding 2, 3 and 7 kop. stamps were designated in accordance with the tariffs which were in force in 1883
and which lasted through to 1916.

It is necessary to note that Russia, which was one of the founding states of the Universal Postal Union, carried out
its conventions promptly and to the letter. One of the proofs of this is the ninth issue, in which the colors of the
stamps of specific values corresponded to the recommendations of the Union conventions. In this matter, Russia
was in advance of many countries of Western Europe, which eventually went over to the international standardization
of stamp colors. Sweden adopted this standard in 1886, Germany in 1889, France in 1900 and Great Britain in 1902.

In the history of Russian philately, the ninth issue has come under the distinct heading of stamps "without arrows,"
i.e. "without thunderbolts." Postal employees and collectors assigned this classification to them, after the appear-
ance in 1889 of new stamps which could be distinguished from the ninth issue by the fact that the insignia were
now changed to combine the postal and telegraphic functions, by the addition of crossed thunderbolts, with the
post horns in the background. The change in insignia and the issue of the new stamps were occasioned by the fusion
of the two postal and telegraphic services, which had previously been separate.

Both in the local catalogs and those of abroad, the stamps of the ninth issue were only classified by color shades.
Thus, the variations of the 1-kop. stamp went from bright yellow to orange in the catalogs, and so on. Specialized
works, such as our local one edited by F.G. Chuchin and the catalog issued in 1964 by the Cercle Philateliqued
France-URSS, and others, only rarely list other varieties of the stamps, such as imperfs, inverted backgrounds and
S inverted centres.


At the same time, none of the catalogs notes what were the numbers printed for stamps of the ninth issue. It is
natural to assume that stamps which were used for the prepayment of all classes of mail would have had several
printings over a period of six years. It is also feasible to conclude that the stamps of the various printings could be
distinguished from each other, with each printing having its own characteristics which would constitute philatelic
varieties. But how can we get confirmation of these suppositions, if more than 80 years have gone by since the
period of time the stamps that interest us were in circulation?

The 2-kop. stamp in bright green, mentioned above and issued in March 1888, provides the key to the solution of
the problem. Comparison of it with the earlier dark green stamp of the same face value showed that they differed
not only by color, but also in the external overall size measured along the line of perforation separation. On the
bright green stamp of 1888, the height was 24.7 mm. and the width 18.25 mm. On the dark green stamp of 1883,
the height was 24 mm. and the width 17.9 mm. In contrast to the different sizes, both stamps had an equal num-
ber of perforation holes, namely 13 x 18. Both stamps were harrow-perforated.

We can now make our first deduction, that the 2-kop. stamps of 1883 and 1888 have perforations that do not
match between the centres of neighboring holes. On the 1888 stamp, this distance is greater, i.e., the perforation
holes are spaced at somewhat wider intervals.

Turning to the older issues of stamps with smaller perforations (second issue of 1858, fifth issue of 1865, the sixth
of 1866, the seventh of 1875 and the eighth of 1879) an examination showed that their perforations were identical
with those applied to the ninth issue, while all stamps of the second, fifth and eighth issues have the same size as
the 2-kop. dark green stamp of 1883, together with the same number of perforation holes, namely 13 x 18.

We can now make a second deduction. In producing the bright green stamp of 1888, the printer at the EZGB
(Office for Preparing State Papers, or State Printing Office) utilized new harrow perforating machines, which had not
been applied previously for postage stamps.

The production process for issuing the 2-kop. stamp in bright green began around the end of 1887. There is a
document in the Goznak museum relating to the approval of a specimen of this stamp on 30 Dec. 1887 Old Style
(Goznak Museum, Book 7, Order 24, p. 3).

Inasmuch as the prototype for the new perforations was not discovered on stamps of the early issues, it was decided
to turn to the later issues. The study of all subsequent prerevolutionary regular stamps in the kopek values, up to
the 17th issue with chalk lines forming rhombuses (1909-1917 series), showed their complete similarity with the
2-kop. stamp of 1888, both as to size and perforations.

Now for the third deduction. The new harrow perforating machines, first adopted around 1888, were utilized from
then onwards for the preparation of all postage stamps in small size. We may note in passing that these machines,
which had become standard usage, were also utilized by the State Printing Office to produce the Savings Bank stamps
in the values of 1, 5 and 10 kop., which finished up being applied for the prepayment of mail after the October

The measurement of many horizontal and vertical sides of stamps of the 1888-1917 issues in small size have allowed
us to define more accurately the gage of the new harrow perforations. It measures as perf. 14.25 x 14.67. The
results of measuring the stamps in small format of earlier issues with small perforation gave a reading of perf.
14.5 x 14.85.

It is necessary to note that in all catalogs, the perforations on the stamps of 1883 and 1888 are shown as being the
same. Most of the catalogs give the perforation as 14-1/2 x 15, which is correct regarding the earlier issues. Yvert
rounds off the gage of the horizontal and vertical perfs to 15 and in the American Minkus catalog, they are rounded
off to a lower figure, namely 14-1/2. Completely erroneous information is contained in the catalog issued in 1928
under the editorship of F.G. Chuchin, the compilers of which put the small perforation on the horizontal sides,
instead of the vertical.


Only one investigator drew attention to the different perforations on the stamps of 1883 and 1888. This was done
by S. Manzhelei in an article published in No. 10, p. 141, of the Rossica Journal in Yugoslavia. For the 1883 issue,
Mr. Manzhelei gives the perforation gage as 14-1/2 x 14-3/4, and for the bright green 2-kop. stamp of 1888 as
14-1/4 x 14-1/2. However, it is not pointed out that these stamps have different sizes, as measured along the line
of perforation separation, while the size of the design remains the same.

Upon going over to the new perforation format, with the wider spacing of the holes remaining unnoticed by the
unpracticed eye, the workers at the State Printing Office spaced out the cliches on the plates, with an increase in
the overall size of the sheets. The distance between the frames of neighboring stamps was increased from 1.6 to
1.9 mm. vertically and from 1.4 to 1.8 mm. horizontally. Thanks to this new arrangement, the perforations began
to cut into the stamp designs more rarely during production. It is natural to assume that this diminished the rejec-
tion of badly centered sheets. It is possible that the technicians at the State Printing Office introduced the new
perforator in order to cut down on rejections.

In common with the 2-kop. stamps in bright green, other values of the ninth issue began to be produced in the
new perforation. The author was persuaded of this on the basis of his own collection and a series of other holdings
of Russian stamps by Moscow philatelists. In setting up a classification routine for stamps of various issues, it is
possible to separate them by eye by the width of the white margins. The utilization of any stamp at all of the "post
horns and thunderbolts" issues may be recommended as a standard gage of the size and perforation of the stamps of
the ninth issue in the new format.

A further four stamps "without thunderbolts" were approved at the State Printing Office as specimens on 30 Dec.
1887, in common with the 2-kop. stamp in bright green, to which repeated reference has been made above. In
these four stamps, there are noticeable changes in shades, in comparison with those in the first printing of the ninth
issue (Goznak Museum, Book 7, Order 24, p. 3). The new specimens are characterized by their pale background and
brighter colors, as follows:

SColor of Stamp
Face Value First printing Specimens approved on 30 Dec. 1887
1 kop. orange-yellow yellow
3 kop. dark carmine bright carmine
5 kop. lilac bright lilac
7 kop. blue blue with metallic tint.

The stamps noted in the table above as bearing differences in shades are well known to collectors. In utilizing the
colors on the specimens approved on 30 Dec. 1887, the 1, 3, 5 and 7 kop. values "without thunderbolts" are
found with various perforations, produced by both the old and new perforating machines. Therefore, the differences
in colors of these stamps still does not define their perforations.

We now make a fourth deduction. Stamps of the ninth issue exist in various printings, executed with plates of
smaller and larger sizes and having different perforations.

The stamps of the early printings in smaller size, with perforation 14.5 x 14.85 are found more readily. These
stamps were discovered in all eight values in all the collections examined by us recently. The stamps of the later
printings, perforated 14.25 x 14.67 and produced with the new perforator turn up more rarely. So far, six values of
these latter stamps have come to light, namely 1, 3, 5, 7, 14 & 70 kop. A search is going on for stamps of the
35 kop. value in this variety.


The fact that the stamps "without thunderbolts" are found more rarely in the enlarged size is explained by their
short period of sale at the post offices. By May 1889, i.e., 14 months after the issue of the 2-kop. stamp in bright
green, new stamps with the combined postal and telegraphic insignia "post horns with thunderbolts" went into

EDITORIAL COMMENT: To help our members grasp the significance of Prof. Berngard's work, we would like to
point out that the differences in size and perforation become immediately apparent when the stamps of this issue
are collected in blocks in four (please see the illustration herewith for a comparison of blocks of the early and late
printings for the 3-kop. value). The only drawback is that blocks of these issues are not easy to come by!

Once again, we must pay tribute to the splendid work performed by one of our pioneer specialists in the Rossica
Society, the late S. Manzhelei, who had migrated to Belgrade, Yugoslavia and published valuable studies in the early
issues of our Journal in the 1930's, pertaining to the varieties of perforations of this issue.

"r" I,


by the late F.I. Chenakalo

In 1920, America and Japan, which were interested in the natural resources of the Russian Far Eastern territories,
intervened on the pretext of preventing access to the Soviet Government in that area and occupied all the important
points with their armies. The Americans got to Khabarovsk and the Japanese reached Blagoveshchensk, thus facilitat-
ing the formation of a provisional government for the Far East. When this political situation came about, the
RSFSR, by agreement with the political leaders of the various parties operating in the Far East, namely the Commu-
nists, Social Revolutionaries and Social Democrats, formed the Far Eastern Republic, with a coalition government
composed of these three parties. Please see Fig. 1. for a representation of the official coat of arms designated for
this republic.

In September 1920, this government gave an order to its Central Postal Administration to bring in and concentrate
all stocks and remainders of the Tsarist postage stamps, available on the entire territory of the Far Eastern Republic.
These consisted of postage stamps of the 1909-1917 Arms issue, of which large supplies were on hand at the main
post office at Khabarovsk and also at Vladivostok. These stamps were overprinted with the Russian initials "DBP,"
standing for "Far Eastern Republic." On several values, there was a further surcharge of the new denomination.
The work was performed by a special commission set up for the purpose. After inspecting the entire issue, printer's
waste and incomplete items were officially destroyed on the premises of the State Bank in Vladivostok, where the
local "Office for Preparing State Papers" was situated.

The face values of the stamps were fixed in gold, in accordance with the currencies then in circulation on the terri-
tory of the Far Eastern Republic, i.e., Japanese yen, Chinese silver taels, U.S. dollars, Tsarist Russian gold coins of
5, 10, 15 and 25 rubles and small silver coins of 10, 15, 20 and 25 kopeks. A daily rate was set up at the Stock
Exchange for these currencies on the basis of the gold ruble, as follows: one yen for one ruble; one tael for 1r. 17k.;
one dollar U.S. for Ir. 94 k. Small silver coins were exchanged on the basis of 2r. 50k. for one gold ruble, while
silver rubles and poltinniks (50-kopek pieces) were accepted at par. The Russian gold and silver reserves had been
evacuated from Petrograd during the First World War with Germany (1914-1917) because of the proximity of the
front line, and after the formation of the Far Eastern Republic, the coalition government ordered that this gold and
silver go into circulation as valid coinage on its territory.

As was stated above, the remainders of the Tsarist postage stamps were overprinted and upon inspection, double,
inverted and indistinct overprints, as well as sheets with misplaced impressions were removed. Please see Fig. 2. for
a copy of the Ir. imperf. stamp, with the "DBP" badly misplaced towards the bottom of the design which slipped
out; the normal position of the initials was in the centre of the stamp. All errors were picked out and officially
destroyed in the furnace of the central heating system. The only error that missed the controls was a sheet of 100
stamps with inverted overprint for the 7-kopek on 15 kopek denomination, of which there was a large printing.
Please see Fig. 3 for a typical copy of this error, showing the characteristic shifted position of the surcharge; if any
specimen does not show the shifted position, then it is a forgery. The error was placed on sale to the public at the
main post office at Vladivostok. When the mistake was discovered, it was already too late and because of this slip,
the director of the State Bank took disciplinary action against the head of the printer, who was responsible for
flawless work in preparing the overprinting.

After the "DBP" overprints were exhausted, new stamps modelled on the Tsarist Arms type of 1909-1917 were
printed in 1921, with an inscription around the central oval reading "Far Eastern Republic." Three essays were
utilized in the preparation of these stamps, all being based on the Arms type but with inscriptions or ornamentation
around the now uncrowned eagle. They were presented to the State Bank for consideration and the second design
was accepted. See Fig. 4 for the strip of the three essays, which were printed in olive for an unissued 7-kopek value.

The Coalition Government did not please the occupation authorities because of its tendencies towards union with
the RSFSR. A coup d'4tat was therefore carried out in March 1921 with the knowledge of the Japanese whereby


this government was deposed and the "Priamur Provisional Government" ("PVP") formed. Spiridon Merkulov, a
supporter of the Japanese, was installed as the head of this latter government. On 26 May 1922, in commemoration
of the first anniversary of the Merkulov regime, a lithographed overprint was placed on stamps of the 1921 regular
issue by his command. It consisted of an oval and the date "26.V.1921-1922."

In addition to these overprints, postage stamps of the 1909-1917 Arms type were issued by a certain official
Yur'ev, the representative of the "PVP" (Merkulov) government at Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, bearing a handstamped over-
print with the initials "N na A/PVP" and designation of the new values in gold kopeks, because of the difficulty of
shipping communications with Vladivostok. The handstamping was done as all printeries in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur had
been destroyed by the anarchist Tripitsyn.

The monarchist Merkulov government was so reactionary that great discontent developed in the local population, by
whom it was called in Vladivostok the "Zemskoe Sobranie" (Rural Assembly). This rural assembly, which was some-
what like a national council, claimed that General Diederichs should take the position of Supreme Commander of
the Priamur Zemstvo Territory. He was appointed by this council as governor and military commander of the
"Zemskaya Rat' (Rural Armed Forces), i.e., as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The Merkulov govern-
ment was then overthrown.

Within a short time, General Diederichs also showed himself to be a supporter of the monarchy and against the
Bolsheviks. He did not recognize either the Far Eastern Republic or its postage stamps and he therefore gave an
order that the "DBP" issues and the 1921 regular stamps be used for internal and external needs of postal commu-
nications only after having them overprinted "Priamurskii Zemskii Krai" (Priamur Rural Area). The overprints were
carried out by the lithographic method in dark blue and red. In addition to these issues, Tsarist stamps of the 1909-
1917 Arms type were also utilized for overprinting. They were furnished to the Postal Administration by a stamp
dealer, a certain Pappadopoulos, of Greek extraction, who at that time had great influence in Vladivostok.

In October 1922, the Japanese evacuated the Maritime Province and thus General Diederichs and Merkulov also left
with them. Vladivostok was taken over by the Red Army and a Military Revolutionary Committee was set up,
which issued a set of postage stamps of commemorative character, in honor of the fifth anniversary of the October
Revolution. This consisted of a typographed overprint in red with the date "1917.7.XI.1922" on the regular stamps
of the Far Eastern Republic.

The overprints for the Priamur Rural Area (PZK), the first anniversary of the Merkulov government (PVP 26.V.1921-
1922) and the fifth anniversary of the October Revolution (1917.7.XI.1922) were applied on quarter sheets, i.e., in
blocks of 25 stamps. All these issues were in circulation throughout the Far Eastern territories until the beginning
of 1924, when they were replaced by the regular stamps then in use in the RSFSR. The remainders were sent to

On 29 July 1923, upon the initiative of a certain P.P. Stankov, Commissioner of the Far Eastern Department for
Philately, airmail stamps were issued in Vladivostok for a one-day flight on the Vladivostok-Nikol'sk Ussuriiskii-
Spasskoe Primorskoe route. The stamps utilized were the Tsarist Arms type of 1909-1917, as well as the 1919-1920
issue of Admiral Kolchak, and they were surcharged in red with a design reading "Vladivostok/1923/20 kop." in three
lines, with a representation of an aircraft above the date. The additional rate for airmail was paid with these stamps.

They were overprinted at the same State Bank in Vladivostok, from where Stankov, in his capacity as Commissioner,
obtained all the completed stamps. He handed over to the post office at Vladivostok for sale to the public the "20
kop." airmail surcharges on the following seven stamps only, as follows: 1, 4, 15, 20, 35 and 50 kop. Arms type
and the 35/2 kop. Siberian surcharge. Stankov kept the rest of the stamps for himself for speculative purposes in
concert with stamp manipulators, among whom was the notorious Pappadopoulos and about whom mention has
already been made above. Stankov emigrated to Kharbin in Manchuria with the majority of these stamps.


The ringleaders, namely Pappadopoulos, Stankov and the druggist Borgest, the latter having large financial resources
S as the owner of five pharmacies, definitely attempted to give "official" reports to the publishers of the Yvert, Michel
and Scott catalogs about the numbers issued of postage stamps in the Far east. Their "information" deliberately
included inaccuracies, with a view to raising the prices in the catalogs. If we compare the data in all the catalogs not
only with the facts but also with each catalog, we see that they just do not correspond. All this proves clearly that
the "information" supplied by the above-mentioned stamp speculators to the catalogs was incorrect. The only valid
data in the catalogs are about the "DBP" overprints. With regard to the values issued in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, there
are statistics on these, based on the specimens declared officially to the PVP (Merkulov regime) and they are repro-
duced below in the tables of numbers issued.

In some catalogs, special attention is given to certain varieties, such as inverted overprints in tete-beche pairs with
normals. This can be explained by the fact that in the period from 1920 to 1924, there was a rising interest in
varieties by stamp dealers, who ordered them from the issuing authorities of postage stamps, or bribed them to do
so. Such rarities as they obtained were then sold for enormous sums of money. It is very pertinent to note that
all these curiosities were concentrated in the hands of stamp speculators.

There were no official data on the supplementary airmail stamps issued in Vladivostok (the 29 July 1923 surcharges),
either regarding the numbers printed or the values treated, nor was there mention that they were delivered to the
post office in Vladivostok by Stankov, the Commissioner for Philately in the Far East, namely only in a range of
seven different stamps. The remaining stamps, which are listed in the SFA catalogs of Chuchin, were in fact never
on sale at the post office. The late F.G. Chuchin took with him into his after life a great indiscretion inflicted on
him by Stankov, in including at high prices postage stamps which were never seen by the public. This issue of seven
stamps was sold for only one day, an uncommon thing in the world of philately, at least in those days, but in any
case they were utilized for the additional franking of sending to go by airmail. It must therefore be agreed that
they, at least, were official, while it is absolutely inconceivable that the remaining values have any philatelic value as
an official postal issue and as a consequence, they belong to the category of bogus items. Apart from Chuchin, this
S airmail issue is listed by the comprehensive Michel and airmail specialist catalogs.

The same Stankov "was able" to issue on his own initiative in 1923 stamps for taxing philatelists who were ex-
changing with people abroad. This issue was carried out on the remainders of Tsarist stamps of the 1913 Romanov
set, by means of an overprint lithographed in black, with a view to controlling the exchange of postage stamps with
abroad. These stamps were in existence for a short period of time when they were withdrawn by order of the
Commissioner of the Central Office for Philatelic Affairs and Paper Money in Moscow. The independent issues of
postage stamps in the Far East terminate with this set.

My complete collection of the "PVP" surcharges of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur was bought directly at the post office
counter, to which I had official access. Among them are the 15 on 14 and 70 kop. with inverted overprints in
pairs with normals, shown together with the other stamps in Fig. 5. The 20 kop. imperf. is completely bogus and
was never issued. The same applies to the 10 on 5 kop. perf.

Among other varieties in my collection are pairs of the 2 and 5 kop. regular issue of the Far Eastern Republic with
perforated initials "X.K." (for Khabarovskaya Kontora), used at the Khabarovsk post office for internal accounting
purposes (Fig. 6). I also have the 2 and 4 kop. with Merkulov anniversary overprint "26.V.1921-1922' inverted
(Fig. 7), the 1 and 5 kop. in pairs with "PZK" framed overprint inverted (Fig. 8), a pair of the 35 kop. Arms type
perf. pair with unframed "PZK" inverted overprint of which only 25 copies exist (Fig. 9), varieties of the 4 kop.
Chita regular issue showing the two types of the figure "4" and also the same numeral badly misplaced (Fig. 10).
Finally, the 5 kop. of the fifth anniversary of the Revolution on piece with inverted overprint, cancelled "VLADI-
VOSTOK g, 17.11.22' (Fig. 11). All four values of this set exist with inverted overprint.

My information, which is based on my experiences as head of the parcel service at that period in the General Post
Office at Vladivostok, differs from that given in the Michel, Yvert and Scott catalogs, although it is closest to


Scott. As to the point of authenticity of my stamps, there can be no doubt. The data on the numbers printed are
completely correct as they were obtained from the most reliable source, namely the State Bank. Regarding the
valuations of the postage stamps of this period, there is great inconsistency as the numbers printed were very small.
The era in which they were issued was very interesting and these items undoubtedly belong now to the classical
category of postage stamps issued during the revolutionary period in Russia.

Finally, I might add that there were attempts by swindlers in Vladivostok and Tomsk to forge some stamps of the
Far Eastern Republic, but they were unsuccessful. The Vladivostok forger was discovered by me and sent to trial.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: In a letter to his son, Dr. Leonid Kvgtan-Chenakalo, dated 16 Oct. 1957, the above
author added the following information.

"With regard to the Nikolaevsk-on-Amur 10 on 5 kop. perf. and the 20 kop. imperf., you know that Aleksandra
Vasil'evna Mursa, the wife of Kupriyan Semenovich Mursa, was very carefully guarded against Pappadopoulos, who
knew quite well that the cliche utilized for surcharging the stamps was in her husband's possession. The only way
that he could "worm his way in" was through her. She herself after the death of her husband, revealed to me that
she had allowed Pappadopoulos to surcharge some stamps which he had brought with him in a pocket book. She
opened the safe where the cliche and the ink for surcharging were kept and allowed him to treat 6 or 8 stamps. It
is possible that these included the 10 on 5 kop. perf. and the 20 kop. imperf. which, of course, Pappadopoulos
would have subsequently advertised as 'great rarities.' They were never on sale at the post office and there was no
mention of them in the postal documents."

In further correspondence with his son, Mr. Chenakalo pointed out that for the Nikolaevsk-on-Amur issue, the odd
quantities for the numbers prepared (i.e., 9, 49, etc.) as reported to the State Bank in Vladivostok were due to the
fact that one stamp of each kind was taken out as a specimen. Please note in Fig. 5 the 1 r. perf. "skinned" stamp
further surcharged with new 20 kop. value. Also, in preparing the regular 1921 issue of the Far Eastern Republic
for surcharging with the framed "PZK" design, it was found that the corners of the sheets had curled, causing
problems in printing. This was solved by making a diagonal cut across the corners of the sheets with scissors, with-
out impinging on the design of the corner stamp. Please see Fig. 12 for such an example of the 1 on 2 kop. sur-
charge in a corner block of four, used on piece from Vladivostok.

The last illustration, in Fig. 13, shows the late Mr. Chenakalo in his capacity as instructor at Postal School No. 2
in Kiev during 1939, supervising the work of postal cadet Andrij Turchak.

Please watch the next issue of our Journal for further highly interesting studies of the Nikolaevsk-on-Amur issue.




Value Copies printed Notes Value Copies printed Notes

1 kop. 8,800 imperf. 10/3r. 50 k. 2,000 perf.
2 kop. 40,000 imperf. 14 kop. 1,500 perf.
3 kop. 6,000 imperf. 15 kop. 8,825 perf.
7/15 kop. 20,000 imperf. 20 kop. 500 perf.
10/3r.50k. 100,000 imperf. 20/14k. 64,125 perf.
1 r. 3,000 imperf. 25 kop. 3,700 perf.
2 kop. 8,000 perf. 35 kop. 500 perf.
3 kop. 55,240 perf. 50 kop. 6,000 perf.
3/35 kop. 20,000 perf. 1 r. 150 perf.
4 kop. 18,480 perf. 1k. Savings 7,000 perf.
4/70 k. 70,000 perf. 2k. Savings 6,000 perf.
7/15 kop. 394,840 perf. 35/2 kop. 94,900 perf.
7/15 kop. INV. 100 perf. 35/2 kop. 4,000 imperf.
10 kop. 600 perf. 70/1 kop. 44,790 imperf.

1921 REGULARS "PVP 26.V.1921-1922" OVERPRINTS

2 kop. 600,000 imperf. 2 kop. 1,800 imperf.
4 kop. 800,000 imperf. 4 kop. 2,000 imperf.
5 kop. 600,000 imperf. 5 kop. 1,850 imperf.
10 kop. 1,000,000 imperf. 10 kop. 2,000 imperf.


10/4 kop. 90 perf. 20/5r. 15 perf.
10/4 kop. INVERTED perf. 20/5r. INVERTED 25 perf.
10/10 kop. 9 perf. 20/7r. 39 perf.
15/14 kop. 49 perf. 20/7r. INVERTED perf.
15/14 pair incl. INV. perf. 20/3 kop. Semi Postal 29 perf.
15/15 kop. 150 perf. 10/1 kop. 200 imperf.
15/20/14 kop. 29 perf. 10/1 kop. INVERTED imperf.
15/35 kop. 150 perf. 10/2 kop. 300 imperf.
15/35 kop. INVERTED perf. 10/3 kop. 150 imperf.
15/50 kop. 200 perf. 10/5 kop. 49 imperf.
15/70 kop. 75 perf. 15/1r. 32 imperf.
15/70 pair incl. INV. perf. 20/1r. 32 imperf.
15/1r. 39 perf. 20/1r. INVERTED imperf.
20 kop. 50 perf. 20/3r.50k. 50 imperf.
20/20/14k. 50 perf. 20/7r. 39 imperf.
20/3r.50k. 32 perf. 20/7r. INVERTED imperf.
20/3r.50k. INVERTED 25 perf.



Value Copies printed Notes Value Copies printed Notes

1/2 kop. 12,200 imperf. 4 kop. 13,525 imperf.
2 kop. 12,200 imperf. 5 kop. 19,050 imperf.
3/4 kop. 11,025 imperf. 10 kop. 30,150 imperf.


1 kop. 400 perf. 35 kop. INVERTED 25 perf.
2 kop. 200 perf. 50 kop. 2,900 perf.
4 kop, 2,400 perf. 70 kop. 800 perf.
5 kop. 500 perf. 1 kop. 3,575 imperf.
7 kop. 500 perf. 1 kop. INVERTED 25 imperf.
10 kop. 500 perf. 2 kop. 2,400 imperf.
14 kop. 300 perf. 3 kop. 1,600 imperf.
15 kop. 5,875 perf. 4 kop. 200 imperf.
20 kop. 1,000 perf. 5 kop. 700 imperf.
20/14 kop. 300 perf. 15 kop. 200 imperf.
20/14 kop. INVERTED perf. 20 kop. 400 imperf.
25 kop. 600 perf. 1 r. 1,300 pmperf.
35 kop. 2,225 perf.


35/2 kop. 300 perf. 35/2 kop. "DBP" 300 imperf.
70/1 kop. 200 imperf. 70/1 kop. "DBP" 7,450 imperf.
35/2 kop. "DBP" 9,650 perf.

NOTE: Issue No. 1 for Jan.-Aug. 1923 of the magazine "Krymskii Kollektsioner" (Crimean Collector) has an article
entitled "Stamps of the Far East" on pp. 7-8, in which a Muscovite philatelist, M.N. Artamonov, gives the quantities
printed for these issues, excepting the Nikolaevsk surcharges, and in practically all cases, they agree with Mr. Chen-
akalo's information. Mr. Artamonov also lists the 3 kop. perf. Arms with unframed "PZK" overprint as 800 copies
printed and for the fifth anniversary of the Revolution set, 10,000 copies of each value.

All Issues in Stock
Are in Stock
Special Discounts to Regular
New Issues Subscribers and Rossica Members



by F. I. Chenakalo

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4


a Fig. 5
[----**-"^------w- -'

M ;.. ._

w------_ -- --- - -

a, -

Fig. 6 Fi9. 7 F':_ _.
- ---

by F. I. Chenakalo

Fig. 10


Bannyex t lonate a Maol p6Pipas npasKHTan poottw

Fig. 11 Fig. 12 :03113 1A'iity i (Kta). SZAlhtars ANApl Typls.
ItAhtBr p tfL. M trNfl ai* Fig. 13

by A. Cronin

An important basis for the study of the early mail services between Greece and Russia has been provided by two
eminent Greek specialists, Sophocles G. Nikolaides and Aristides Xanthopoulos, in a series entitled "The first con-
tracts of the Greek Posts for the transmission of correspondence abroad 1830-1860." This was published in 1965
in the Greek bimonthly "Philoteleia," organ of the Hellenic Philatelic Society of Greece. By kind permission of
the Society, details are given hereunder of the two conventions concluded with Russia, as follows:


This first agreement with the Russian Government was signed in Athens by loannis Persianis, Russian Charge
d'Affaires to the Court of Greece, and G. Skoufos, representing the Greek Posts. The text was published in the
Gazette of the Greek Government, issue No. 3 for 25 January 1849.

The agreement provided for reciprocal transportation of mails between Greece, Russia and cities in Moldavia and
Wallachia (present-day Roumania) such as Bucharest, Jassy and Galatz, where Russian post offices had been estab-
lished. It further designated mail exchange offices at Athens, Piraeus and Syra in the case of Greece, and at Con-
stantinople, Bucharest, Galatz, Jassy, Skulyany and Odessa in the case of Russia.


Russia undertook to transmit mails between Constantinople and Russia at its own expense, either by sea from
Odessa, or by land with Russian couriers who left Constantinople fortnightly and proceeded to the Russian border
via Moldavia and Wallachia, and vice versa. On the other hand, Greece undertook to transmit correspondence be-
tween Greece and Constantinople at its own expense by means of French and Austrian steamships. The mail bags
were collected at the commercial office of the Greek Embassy in Constantinople and at the Russian post office,
where they were exchanged against receipts. To avoid the keeping of accounts between the two postal services, it
was agreed that senders in either direction should prepay postage to Constantinople, while the addressees, no matter
where they were, would pay all charges between Constantinople and the destination.

Registered letters were accepted and provision for compensation to the amount of Drs. 50 (about $10.00 at the
time) in the event of loss.

Under article 9 of the agreement, letters and samples had to bear the postmark of the sending office and the notation
"free of charge," showing that postage had been paid up to Constantinople. Moreover, in accordance with article 12,
any items returned as undeliverable for any reason whatsoever as well as mail sent as "Poste Restante" (General De-
livery) and returned, should carry on the back a notation as to the reason for return.

The above agreement, although ratified on 2 September 1848, did not go into force until May 1849.


A second agreement, this time between the Greek Government and the ROPiT (Russian Company for Navigation and
Trade), was signed in Athens and published in the Gazette of the Greek Government, issue No. 3 for 2 February 1859.

The Russian company assumed the obligation to maintain the following services:

S (1) Fortnightly between Odessa, Constantinople and Syra.
(2) Monthly between Odessa, Constantinople and Piraeus, while reserving for itself the right to extend the services
to Marseilles and Trieste.

Mails could be despatched by these vessels to any ports of call between Greece, Russia and Turkey. With the excep-
tion of mails destined to and from Egypt, the transmission of correspondence was carried out free of charge. For
mails between Smyrna and Egypt, a postal rate of 18 silver kopeks was fixed per 30 grammes (1 oz.).

In the event of extension of its routes, as noted above, the company would assume the obligation to transmit corre-
spondence to such places against the payment of freight charges.

The Greek Government assumed the obligation of ceding to the Company, free of charge, three stremmas of land
(about three acres) at Piraeus, as well as at Syra and to allow the duty-free importation of items which the company
intended to import for its own use.

Finally, the company was granted the right to organize floating exhibitions of Russian products at various Greek

The scheduled voyages of the Russian steamships went into force in December 1859.

As a sequel to the above data, the present writer has seen a small Greek correspondence of the 1870s from the
Ionian Islands to Taganrog on the Black Sea. The postal markings thereon shed an interesting light on the routes
utilized. All dates are Old Style unless otherwise stated and the details are as follows:


Postage of 100 lepta on a letter from Zakynthos 28 Nov. 1871, endorsed "Via Brindisi and Vienna," arriving at Corfu
1 Dec., Trieste 18 Dec. N.S., then to the Austrian border P.O. at Podwoloczyska 21 Dec. N.S. (now Podvolochisk,
Ternopol' province, Western Ukraine), across the border into Russian territory at Volochisk 9 Dec., then handled by
RPO (TPO) No. 47-48, Stn. No. 6, Gang No. 1 on 10 Dec. and arriving at Taganrog on 14 Dec. (see Fig. 1 for de-
tails). Please note also the "P.D.," "FRANCO" and "FRANKIROVANO" markings. The total time taken was 16

The remaining nine letters in the correspondence may be summarized as follows:

2 Argostolion 18.4.72 3.5.72 6.5.72 25.4.72 29.4.72 12
17.4.72 via Gang
Brindisi & No. 3
3 Argostolion 18.5.72 26.5.72 30.5.72 13
17.5.72 via
Brindisi &
4 Argostolion 6.6.72 20.6.72 23.6.72 12.6.72 16.6.72 11
5.6.72 via Gang
Trieste & No. 1
5 Argostolion 31.5.73 16.6.73 8.6.73 12.6.73 12
30.5.73 via
6 Zakynthos 10.7.73 16.7.73 19.7.73 11
8.7.73 via Gang
Vienna No. 1
see Fig. 2
7 Argostolion 29.12.74 13.1.75 16.1.75 5.1.75 9.1.75 14
26.12.74 via Gang
Vienna No.
"8 Argostolion 22.5.75 7.6.75 29.5.75 1.6.75 11
21.5.75 via Gang
Vienna No.
9 Zakynthos 12.8.75 23.8.75 13
10.8.75 via at Syra
10 Zakynthos 24.2.76 10.3.76 1.3.76 7.3.76 12
22.2.76 Stn.
No. 6
No. 5

From the foregoing, it can be seen that only letter No. 9 could have fallen into the category covered by the agree-
ment with ROPiT. The overland routes obviously compared favorably with the completely maritime voyages in
terms of time taken for transmission.


For the first eight letters, the postal rates varied from 85 to 200 lepta, while for the last two, it was only 30 lepta
each. The latter was probably the result of the formation of the Universal Postal Union, establishing uniform and
much lower rates.

Finally, for the purposes of comparison, let us consider the German cover in Fig. 3, sent from Leipzig 23. Feb.
75 N.S. to Kiev 16 Feb. 75. This cover is also backstamped at Stn. No. 6 of RPO (TPO) 47-48 on 14 Feb. 75.
The "OPLACHENO" marking on the front of the cover is in the same shade of color as the RPO postmark. This
route ran from Volochisk to Zhmerinka and must have handled a great volume of mail, since it was also serving a
border exchange point for correspondence between the-Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

It is hoped that the above notes will encourage members to delve further into the postal operations of border ex-
change points, as a lot of work still remains to be done in that field and material should not be too hard to come by.


,. ...-... '. ",

by A. Cronin R _1 j j4,

Fig. 1


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by K. Adler and A. Cronin

We are indebted to Mr. A. Skrylev for the data he has given about these stamps in "FILATELIYA SSSR," No. 9 for
September 1969. The Lenin ruble values represent a very interesting aspect of Soviet philately. Firstly, they were
regular (definitive) stamps, issued solely for the purpose of postage and secondly, they had a long period of use.
Being issued between 1925 and 1939, they kept their validity until the currency reform of 1961. Thirdly, they con-
tain so many varieties of watermark, perforation, sizes and paper that they may well be assembled as a specialized

Upon the introduction of gold currency in 1923, the highest regular values had been the 1, 2, 3 and 5 r. stamps of
the Worker, Soldier, Peasant issue. The need arose for even higher face values to meet the rates for an ever-increas-
ing volume of correspondence, money orders and parcel post. By January 1925, new essays for stamps with Lenin's
portrait in the central oval were presented to the postal authorities and on 16 July 1925, the 5 and 10 r. values were
accepted. The 10 r. stamp was issued first in that same month and the 5 r. followed shortly afterwards. Although
the designs look alike, there are differences in the engraved "moire" background enclosing the value indications of
5 and 10 rubles.

In order to save the time spent on producing ever-increasing amounts of stamps of smaller denominations, which had
been applied in large multiples to meet very high postal rates, the National Commissariat of Posts and Telegraphs
issued an order to use as many stamps of high denominations as possible to make up the postage. This led to the
issuance of the 1, 2 and 3 r. stamps in the Lenin design. On 24 March 1926, the 1 and 2 r. values came out and the
3 r. denomination somewhat later. They were all perf. 10 1/2.

The set was now complete but, due to rising needs, it was reissued over and over again. It was printed by the steel
engraving process, which necessitated special grades of thick paper, giving the most satisfactory aesthetic appearance
to the stamps. The engraver of Lenin's portrait was P.S. Ksidias, while the details for the designs of the 5 and 10 r.
values were done by N.N. Kachura and for the lower denominations by D.S. Golyadkin. The likeness of Lenin's
face was taken from a 1920 group photograph.

All the stamps of this set were line-perforated. The first to be issued were the 5 and 10 r. perf. 13-1/2 on paper
watermarked with a Greek border and rosettes pattern. This is known to the Russians as the "carpet" watermark
and will be so referred to hereinafter. Copies in this perforation have been found with August and September 1925
dates. A little later on in the same year, these stamps became available at post offices in a new perforation 12-1/2
(see Fig. 1), but evidentally in much smaller quantities as this perforation is the scarcest one, particularly on the
10 r. value. This last denomination also exists in a rare variety, namely perf. compound 12-1/2 x 13-1/2. The
normal 13-1/2 perf. has been seen in a fantail variety at bottom for the 5 r. value, used from Shuya, Ivanovo-
Voznesensk region on 8 May 1926 (Fig. 2).

The next printing of the 5 and 10 r. values, chronologically speaking, took place in March 1926. The postal
authorities issued these stamps, still printed from the same electros, but now imperforate, mainly for philatelic pur-
poses. It has been said that these stamps were never used commercially, but we would like to hear from members if
they have any evidence to the contrary. The colors used for this printing spread somewhat through to the margins,
making the surface of the paper look not quite white. This serves as an important factor in determining whether a
rare combined perforation is genuine or fabricated from an imperforate stamp. If the margins are white, the variety
is genuine. If the margins show color, beware of acquiring it. The imperforate 10 r. stamps were printed in indigo,
while the perforated stamps were in either indigo or blue-black.

Because of the procedure of wetting the paper during the printing of this set, there is a certain shrinkage found on
these stamps. We can distinguish differences 0.75 mm in width 1.25 mm. in length. The official measurement of


the design for the three lower values was 20 x 39 mm. but specialists can build up a nice array of varieties from
38 mm. to 391 mm. in length, with intermediate differences of 0.25 mm. Some of these differences can be pinned
down to the disposition of the watermark, which occurs upright and sideways. Briefly, when the rosettes of the
watermark are in an upright rectangular position, the height of the stamps is shorter and the width is greater. When
the rosettes are in a reclining rectangular position, a comparison of the measurements of the stamp designs shows
that the height is a little greater and the width a little lesser than for the upright watermark position.

The 1r. stamp varies in color from dark brown to brown to grey-brown. The same graduations of color depth can
be found on the 2r. violet and to a lesser degree on the 3 r. dark green stamps. The 1 r. exists imperf. at top and
the other two with a very rare compound perforation 1212 x 10% x 101/ x 101/. The 3 r. also comes in an imperf.
between variety (Fig. 3). The 1 r. and 2 r. exist imperforate (Figs 4 & 5), but were never postally issued. The
yellow gum on the back makes it probable that they are actually proofs in the issued colors which were deposited
in the Postal Museum at Leningrad and got to the United States during W.W. II when the museum was evacuated.
These imperforates are rare. The 3 r. imperforate does not belong to this group but to the 1928 issue, with a differ-
ent watermark.

In 1927, the 5 r. and 10 r. stamps were issued perf. 10/2, constituting the largest printings on this "carpet" water-
mark. The last variety of the set was the 2 r. perf. 122, which is scarce (Fig. 6).

The constant increases in the volume of mail brought about reissues of the three highest values in 1928 and 1929.
This time however, the stamps were printed on the "shaded squares" watermark which had been used previously for
the 40 r. engraved stamp of 1921. Here again there should be different positions of the watermark, four in all, as
shown in Rossica No. 66, facing p. 50. When the base of the larger triangle is in the vertical position and the apex
points either left or right, the dimensions of the stamp design would have lesser heights and greater widths. When
the bases of the larger triangle is in the horizontal position and the apex is either above or below, the height of the
design is greater and the width is lesser than for the vertical positions of the watermark. So far, we have only seen
the horizontal position with apex above the base, on all values.

The stamps were perforated 10% in 1928 and perf. 10 in 1929, the latter issue being the scarcer. Some fantail
varieties also exist, as follows: 3 r. perf. 10, imperf. at top (Fig. 7) and the 10 r. perf. 10% with imperf. margin at
right (Fig. 8). Other fantails probably are in existence. The imperforate variety of the 3 r. (Fig. 9) is again most
likely a proof in the accepted color and the yellow gum is a good indication of this assumption. There are two rare
compound perforations to be found on the 10 r. stamp, namely 10% x 12% (Fig. 10) and 12% x 102. The 5 r. and
10 r. perf. 102 exist with a further horizontal perforation through the middle of the stamps.

These stamps served their purpose for ten full years, when a reissue became necessary, this time on unwatermarked
paper. This time, the perforation was 12% and two grades of paper were used. In May 1939, the three values were
issued on coarse rippled paper and the length of the design was 39 to 39% mm. The second grade of paper was
utilized in November 1939 and was smooth, the length of the design being now 38 mm. Fantail varieties exist of all
the values on smooth paper (please see Figs. 11 & 12 for the two top values).

Because of the outbreak of W.W. II against the USSR in 1941 and the issuance of high values in the War Medals
designs, these Lenin ruble values are not found commercially used as frequently as the watermarked issues.

Please see the check list at the end of this article for all the known varieties of these stamps, with and without


A highly interesting collection can be assembled of used items from these issues and we now illustrate some


S Please see Fig. 13 for an early usage of the 5r. and 10r. "carpet" watermark perf. 13% on part of a parcel card from
Leningrad 3.9.25 to Leipzig, Germany. The total postage paid was 38.80 r.

Instances of high value franking are seen in the block of 24 of the 5 r. "carpet" wmk. perf. 10%, with a total face
value of 120 rubles, cancelled Yakutsk 22.9.27 (Fig. 15) and the 10 r. same issue in a block of 8 from Minussinsk
9.4.28 (Fig. 16). Both totals represented a great deal of money in those days and since the stamps were used from
known mining areas, they probably indicated the postage and insurance on parcels of gold nuggets or metallic ores.

Cancellations from Central Asia can make a nice showing. Please see Figs. 14, 17 & 18 for items from Alma Ata
28.3.26 on a block of four 5 r. "carpet" wmk. perf. 12%, bilingual Russo-Uzbek cancel "P.T.K. KHIVA" used
sometime in Dec. 1927 on the 5 r. perf. 10% and finally an "ANDIZHAN 9.5.28" postmark on a block of four of
the same stamp.

An important application for these stamps was on declared value letters. Please note Fig. 19 for a cover with two
copies of the 2 r. perf. 101 and total postage of 4 r. 69 k. for the despatch of 269 rubles from Samara 21.11.27 to
Kiev 25.11.27. The transmission of 2200 r. is shown in Fig. 20 on a cover from Krasnokholmskoe 20.4.28 to
Orenburg 25.4.28 with a pair of the 3 r. and a single of the 5 r., all perf. 10% and on the "carpet" wmk, together
with further franking of 4r. 43 k. in other issues on the back. Finally, Fig. 21 notes the local despatch of 1800
rubles in Moscow on 19.2.31, the franking of 18 r. (1% of the value transmitted) consisting of the 3 r. "shaded
squares" wmk perf. 10%, 5 r. "carpet" wmk perf. 12% and the 10 r. "carpet" wmk perf. 13%.

An unusual application of these stamps was by the German dealer Karl Hennig, who prepared covers with the 5 r.
and 10 r. "shaded squares" wmk perf. 10% for the Graf Zeppelin flight from Moscow on 10 Sept. 1930. Sent from
the Moscow 40 P.O., the oval Zeppelin cachet was apparently applied by him and the czaer" reached Friedrichshafen
the next day. Please see Fig. 22 for a typical Hennig sending.

S The unwatermarked issue is much scarcer on cover. An apparently philatelic usage from MurmanJ sk 11.9.44 has the
10 r. on an envelope to Mineola, Long Island (Fig. 23).

Looking back over the whole period of issue, we can see that apart from the "declared vawue" service for sending
money through the mails, the face values were too high for use on letters. Covers are therefore hard to find, par
ticularly with the 1 r. and 2 r. values which only exist on the "carpet" watermark. Most of the stamps issued would
therefore have been utilized on parcel cards and money order forms.


The information given on Soviet steel engraving procedures by Mmes Novokshchenova and Srigor'eva, as published
in Rossica No. 75, is not very detailed. From the material we have seen so far, the following approach is postulated.

Master dies were engraved for each of the five values. Each of either these or secondary dies were placed on transfer
rollers and used to lay down an "alto" or master plate of 40 subjects (5 horizontal rows of 8 units) for each value.
These altos would then have been placed in an electroplating bath and four electros made from each. The four com-
pleted electros for each value would then be placed together to constitute the printing forme for that particular
stamp and each specific electro had some marking or markings stamped or scratched somewhere on the margins for
identification purposes. In other words, the printing sheets would have consisted of four panes of 40 stamps, which
would have been guillotined into post office sheets of 40 units. It has been assumed that there were four electros
set up for each value, because the identification markings so far seen have been almost always placed in one of the
outer corners of the electro margins.

We now list and illustrate the electro markings so far know to us:


Value Paper Electro markings Position Illustration Notes

5 r. p. 102 "Carpet" wmk "1 SHT. M3" T.L. corner Fig. 24
10 r. imperf. "Carpet" wmk "SHT? M?" T.L. corner Fig. 25) Both on
10 r. imperf. "Carpet" wmk "TP.M" Bottom centre Fig. 26) same sheet
3 r. p. 102 "Shaded Sq." "M9170?" T.R. corner Fig. 27
5 r. p. 10 "Shaded Sq." "III" Top centre
10 r. p. 102 "Shaded Sq." "SH 3" Top centre Fig. 28
3 r. p. 12% No wmk "SH.1.M20" B.L. corner Fig. 29) All on
5 r. p. 12% No wmk "SH.1.M.40" B.L. corner Fig. 30) smooth
5 r. p. 122 No wmk "SHT 3 M501" T.L. corner Fig. 31) paper

Surveying the above information, it would appear that the abbreviations "SHT" or "SH" stand for "shtainp," which
literally means a cliche, but is taken to mean electroo" here. Please note from the listing that we still have not seen
electros Nos. 2 and 4 yet. The abbreviation "M" could then be for "mashina" or machine. We obviously need to
see more sheet margin material from all issues so that all four electros are identified for each value. This also means
those for the 1 r. and 2 r., which, of course, appeared only on the "carpet" watermark. Any details from readers
would be greatly appreciated.

A word now about the surface toning of the paper in paler shades of the colors for the 5 r. and 10 r. stamps imper-
forate. The steel-engraving or recess process is one in which the design is etched or incised into the plate. After
inking, the surface of the plates is wiped mechanically with special cloths and the only ink left is in the incisions or
recesses of the design. The inked design is then transferred to the paper under pressure. If, during printing, the
plates have not been properly wiped or the cloths left unchanged when soaked with the surplus ink, a thin film of
color remains on the plate surfaces and this gives a toned effect when transferred to the paper. Such effects can
also be observed on the Romanov ruble values and many engraved stamps of the United States.


We think members will agree that these beautifully engraved stamps are a fascination group for study and we trust
the foregoing notes will help them in their researches.


(a) brown, height 38 mm. with watermark upright.
(b) brown, height 39 mm. with watermark sideways.
(c) brown, height 39% mm. with watermark sideways.
(d) light to grey-brown, height 38 mm. with watermark upright.
(e) light to grey-brown, height 39 mm. with watermark sideways.
(f) light to grey-brown, height 39% mm. with watermark sideways.
(g) imperf. at right
(h) imperf. (proof)
(a) dark violet, height 38 mm. with watermark upright.
(b) dark violet, height 39 mm. with watermark sideways.
(c) dark violet, height 39% mm. with watermark sideways.


(d) violet, height 38 mm. with watermark upright.
(e) violet, height 39 mm. with watermark sideways.
(f) violet, height 39% mm. with watermark sideways.
(g) perf. 12% x 10% x 10% x 10%.
(h) imperf. (proof).
(i) perf. 12% (1928).
(a) green, height 38 mm. with watermark upright.
(b) green, height 39 mm. with watermark sideways.
(c) green, height 39% mm. with watermark sideways.
(d) green, perf. 12% x 10% x 10% x 10%.
(e) green, horiz. pair, imperf. between
(a) perf. 10 (1929).
(b) perf. 10 and imperf. at top (1929).
(c) perf. 10% (1928).
(d) imperf. (proof).
(a) coarse paper with height 39 to 39% mm.
(b) smooth paper with height 38 mm.
(c) smooth paper imperf. at left.
(a) perf. 13% (1925)
(b) perf. 13% with fantail at bottom
(c) perf. 12% (1925)
(d) imperf. (1926)
(e) perf. 10% (1927)
(a) perf. 10% (1928)
(b) perf. 10% with horiz. perf. through middle (1928)
(c) perf. 10 (1929)
(a) coarse paper with height 39 to 39% mm.
(b) smooth paper with height 38 mm.
(c) smooth paper, imperf. at left.
(a) indigo, perf. 13% (1925)
(b) blue, perf. 13% (1925)
(c) indigo, perf. 12% (1925)
(d) blue, perf. 12% (1925)
(e) perf. 12% x 13%
(f) imperf. (1926)
(g) indigo, perf. 101/ (1927)
(h) blue, perf. 10% (1927)
(a) indigo, perf. 10% (1928)
(b) blue, perf. 10% (1928)


(c) perf. 10/2 with horiz. perf. through middle
(d) perf. 10% x 12/ (1928)
(e) perf. 122 x 10% (1928)
(f) indigo, perf. 10 (1929)
(g) blue, perf. 10 (1929)
(a) coarse paper with height 39 to 39% mm.
(b) smooth paper with height 38 mm.
(c) smooth paper imperf. at left.


Cash for South Russia material: mint, used, blocks, sheets, and covers. Michael Rayhack,
10 Overlook Avenue, Little Falls, New Jersey 07424

Cash for Postmaster Provisional of Russia 1920-1922, with "PYB," "P" or numeral over-
prints, also covers. Michael Rayhack, 10 Overlook Avenue, Little Falls, New Jersey 07424


by K. Adler & A. Cronin

"Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4

Fig. 1 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7


Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10

!/ _-------- -...

Fig. 11

Fig. 13
----- Fig. 14 -37-
Fig. 12

by K Adler & A. Cronin

A*c *-- PY- 7B *'* .i *c-c"*1-* *.* *

S. 1......

C il Ai Fig. 15

,4--- Fig. 16

Fig. 17

sl ,,Fig. 19


by K. Adler & A. Cronin

--/ ^e^C^Wf/-^ cFig. 20 -

n f /II III -"

-- ^ ... ....Fig. 20

,. .. .-.

.-- .. -. -

Fig. 21


S, r by K. Adler & A. Cronin
(JX7r.., ..

Fig. 22

T J. AEC/R ,/A, DAS T- T

Fig. 23 / .

S- 7 *.z,-

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pvB___a_ __ _B_ ; __I _____ Fig. 26
____________ ^ \ f ^ j l __ E i ^ l I -- ---- -- _-L -----I--------- -- -- -

by K. Adler & A. Cronin

T /-I I -rt-


f C.M I.U

Fig. 27 Fig. 28 Fig. 29

i td M b J

... ....... .. .


Fig. 30 Fig. 31


by D.N. Minchev, Sofia

A problem area which still has not been clarified up to the present day is the extent of the activity of the ROPiT
postal agency in Varna during the second half of the last century. This question has been posed for examination by
postal history specialists on several occasions. It is sufficient to indicate the contributions of Tchilinghirian and
Stephen in Vol. I of their masterly work devoted to the activities of the Russian post offices abroad, as well as Kurt
Adler; here we restrict ourselves to citing his interesting article "The ROPiT postal agencies in Bulgaria," published
in issue No. 12 for Dec. 1963 of the Sofia journal "Philatelen Pregled" (1). In spite of all these efforts, the data
published on Varna has been very sparse, conjectural and inaccurate, while those on Burgas are quite satisfactory.
What is the reason for this? Above all, the cause is hidden in the lack of archival material and documents relating
specifically to postal history, i.e., letters, postcards or loose stamps bearing cancellations of the ROPiT Varna agency.

We recently had the opportunity to find upwards of 25 original documents relating to the ROPiT activities in the
Bulgarian Black Sea ports of Burgas and Varna during 1878-79. They were stitched into a folder bearing the inscrip-
tion "Temporary postal communications by means of the Russian Steamship Company between Constantinople,
Burgas, Varna, Odessa and return, from 23 Aug. 1878 to 20 Dec. 1879" (2). To these data we will add other mater-
ial, which we have discovered in contemporary Bulgarian newspapers, individual books etc. Basing ourselves upon
this documentation which we have at our disposal, we will attempt to shed further light on the conception enter-
tained until now about the postal activities of the ROPiT agency at Varna from 1878 to 1880 (3).

Our opinion that ROPiT had agencies at Varna and Burgas concurs with the postulations of the previous authors
noted above on this question. Statistical data come to our aid and they reliably reflect to what extent the port of
Varna was visited by Russian commercial shipping in the decades previous to the period that interests us, as follows:

Year Austrian English Greek Russian French

1845 61 34
1846 6 70 28
1847 54 9 93 -
1848 43 3 38 12 2
1849 81 8 49 52 -

No less eloquent are the details on Russian commercial shipping calling at the port of Burgas during the same period
of time, namely:

Year Austrian English Greek Russian French

1845 3 33 18
1846 5 44 17 -
1847 8 3 39 2
1848 4 27 3 -
1851 2 7 6
1852 9 3 33 12

After this short but necessary excursion into statistics, let us now return to the question which is the subject of our
present article.


It was natural that the declaration of war against Turkey on 12/24 April 1877 would lead not only to the rupture
of diplomatic relations between Russia and "The Sick Man of Europe" (the Ottoman Empire) but also the economic
ties between the two former empires, including also the activities of ROPiT.

For close to a year, the ROPiT routes to the Levant were inactive, the ships being utilized for war needs. But here
we see that during the spring of 1878, by which time the Treaty of San Stefano had already been concluded (19 Feb./
3 March 1878), the name of ROPiT once again began to be linked with its previous postal activities. Thus, in the
second circular of the Russian Postal department, tentatively dating from the end of March 1878, we read on page 6
that, in accordance with the notice published in No. 47 for 1878 of the "Government Gazette," the conveyance of
military correspondence destined for the army stationed to the south of the Stara Planina range in Bulgaria was already
being carried out by the ships of ROPiT. For this purpose, it was necessary for letter sending to be annotated in
capitals, not only with the phrase "FOR THE ARMY ON ACTIVE SERVICE," but also "BEYOND THE BALKAN
RANGE." This document indisputably certifies that the postal activities of ROPiT and its shipping links with the
two Bulgarian Black Sea ports of Varna and Burgas had already been resumed by the end of March or the beginning
of April 1878. They gradually became much stronger and more complete especially with regard to Burgas.

We perceive the necessity of strengthening the commercial and communications links of ROPiT shipping with the
Bulgarian seaports in an extensive letter dated 22 August 1878 sent from Plovdiv and written by Trofim Pavlovich
Yuzefovich, former Russian consul at Salonica. He was at that time responsible for the Diplomatic Service attached
to the Russian Civilian Administration. The letter was sent to Baron Steiger, the official representative of ROPiT at
Constantinople. In it, Yuzefovich sets out in detail and persistently the necessity for the establishment and mainte-
nance of regular routes by ROPiT on the Black Sea to Turkish ports for the conveyance of goods, parcels, mail and
money, as well as for proper postal communications between Bulgaria and Russia, following the example of Austrian,
French and Italian shipping lines. A month later, Baron Steiger, "the main agent of the ROPiT routes in the Levant,"
as he called himself in a letter under No. 253 for 20 Sept. 1878, gave detailed answers to the questions raised by

In the first paragraph of his reply, Steiger said that as a plan was being considered for the withdrawal of the army
from the Balkans, the restored links with Constantinople would be maintained on a twice-monthly basis, just as
before. In the next paragraph, he noted that calling at the port of Burgas by "the Constantinople steamships" of
ROPiT had come about by the wish of the Commander-in-Chief of the army on active service. With regard to calling
at the port of Varna, this would have happened in all probability if the Government had deemed it necessary.

Some elucidation is required here, since we see that the emphasis is placed, to a certain degree, upon Burgas. This is
explained by the fact that after crossing the Stara Planina range at the beginning of January 1878, the Russian Army
found itself concentrated for the most part on the territory of South Bulgaria and, more specifically, towards the
direction of Constantinople. After the signature of the Treaty of Berlin, this army finished up being evacuated by
sea via Burgas, which turned out to be the shortest route from Bulgaria to Russia.

In paragraph four of his reply, Steiger went into great detail about the difficulties resulting at the time in conveying
mail by the ROPiT ships. He noted at length the conditions under which ROPiT carried correspondence, i.e., that
the letters had to be prepaid and franked specifically with the ROPiT stamps, the rate being 8 kopeks in coin per

letter weighing up to 15 grammes (% oz.) and that no other method of communicating with abroad existed.

An official order dating from the beginning of September 1878 also testifies to the important role given to ROPiT
for the maintenance of postal communications between Bulgaria and Russia. According to telegram No. 63 sent by
Prince Imeretinskii, the Russian GHQ was to be moved on 8 and 9 Sept. 1878 from San Stefano to Adrianople,
while the withdrawal of the IV Corps, which had taken part in the encirclement of Constantinople, was to begin on
10 Sept. It was ordered that measures be taken for the establishment of proper communications between Odessa and


Burgas. General Krenke, at that time head of military communications in Bulgaria and under whose orders was placed
the Fieldpost Administration, was advised to organize the regular despatch of military mail from Burgas to Russia via

Now let us see how the new documents which we have at our disposal reflect the role and activity of ROPiT in
Varna during the following year of 1879. On 10 Feb. 1879, Major-General Gresser telegraphed the governor of
Ruse (Rustchuk) from T'rnovo, asking him as to when the mail was being sent to Russia and by what route, and
whether steamers plied from Ruse to Russia along the Danube. On the next day, the governor, Akimov, replied
under telegram No. 916 to the effect that the Russian mail left Ruse daily via Shumen and Yambol for Burgas, and
the Austrian mail every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday via Bucharest for Lemberg (now L'vov or L'viv, in
the Ukrainian SSR). In another telegram sent on the same day from Varna, Gresser was again informed in T'rnovo
that "fast steamers run to Odessa on Sundays, accepting private mail exclusively." As can be seen, the contents of
this particular telegram are important and interesting. From it we learn that there was already a ROPiT agency at
Varna, which accepted "private mail only" for transmission. This further suggests that the letters handed in were
franked with the ROPiT postage stamps and cancelled with the postmark of the Varna agency.

The Russian steamers calling at Varna were actually extending their routes from Burgas since we have already seen
that from 1878 onwards they were maintaining postal communications with this city in South Bulgaria, where ROPiT
had its own agency. ROPiT had an office in Varna, set up after the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano. This
agency was also working during the spring of 1879, as it was mentioned in letters dated 22 and 24 August 1879 of
the Bulgarian regional post office there. The ROPiT ships carried Bulgarian correspondence not only to Russia but
also to Eastern Roumelia (South Bulgaria), delivering it to Burgas and vice-versa. The facts have come to light from
several letters. In a letter of reply under No. 2329 of 7 Aug. 1879 from the General Administration of Posts in Sofia
to the post office at Varna, it was ordered that all ordinary and registered mail be forwarded "by Russian steamer on
those days when there is one available" and if there were none, the mail was to be sent to Ruse "for further

During September 1879, representations were made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in its letter No. 2711 dated
the 19th. of that month to the ROPiT Administration at Odessa that a Russian steamer stop not only at Varna, but
also at Balchik, so as to maintain regular postal communications between these two cities. This step was crowned
with success and a special notice was set up at the printer of R. Bl'skov, showing the ROPiT timetable (see illustra-
tion). It is indicated therein that ROPiT steamers would stop not only at Varna and Burgas from 7 November on-
wards for the maintenance of postal communications but that they would also go to Balchik if necessary. In a letter
under No. 1287 and dated 15 Dec. 1879, the Varna post office informed the General Administration of Posts in
Sofia that ROPiT "carries the Roumelian mail from Burgas to Varna free of charge." In addition, the office also
sent a copy of the notice referring to the schedules of the ROPiT ships. In his memoirs, V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko
(1848-1937), who had participated as a war correspondent in the hostilities, said that there were three post offices
in Varna during the summer of 1879, namely the Bulgarian service which had replaced the former Russian civilian
post office, the Austrian service and the Russian ROPiT agency which maintained communications between Varna and
Odessa (4).

It is also interesting to note the number and gross tonnages of the navigable sailing under the Russian flag and
maintaining links with the port of Varna during 1879. These data will also give us an idea of the extent of the ex-
change of mails by means of the ships in question. With this aim in view, we will utilize an excerpt from the official
statistical tables for the movements of foreign ships in the port of Varna during the same year, noting below those
sailing under the Russian flag:


Month Ships and boats Steamers Tonnages

January -1 4
February -1 106
March -
April 1 (820 tons) 3 (40 tons) 860
May 6 -2981
June 5 (3206 tons) 1 (13 tons) 3219
July 8 6080
August 8 6000
September 8 (6000 tons) 1 (73 tons) 6073
October 8 (6000 tons) 1 (11 tons) 6011
November 8 6079
December 6 3954

TOTALS 58 8 41,367

The question will be raised, and rightly so, as to whether the mail transmitted from Varna to Odessa or Burgas was
franked with the special ROPiT postage stamps and cancelled with the postmarks of its Varna agency.

Since we are basing our position on the facts mentioned above, the question which has been posed must have two
answers, the one quite separate from the other. The first of these is in connection with the transmission of mail
forwarded by the Bulgarian National Posts and addressed to Russia and Eastern Roumelia (South Bulgaria), and the
second relates to the letters from "the private mail," about which there was mention in the telegram of 10 Feb. 1879
already noted above. To the first question the following answer can be given. Postmarking with the ROPiT cancel
for Varna cannot be admitted in this particular case as the mail, duly franked with Bulgarian postage stamps only
and bearing postmarks of the relevant Bulgarian post offices, was forwarded officially to the agency in individually
sealed mail bags, addressed to the post offices at Odessa or Burgas. The answer to the second question, which very
clearly refers to mail sent by individual persons directly from the ROPiT agency at Varna and addressed abroad,
points to the possibility that this type of mail was definitely cancelled with the "ROPiT-VARNA" postmark. It
seems that the volume of such mail was very small, since only thus can the fact be explained that letters have not
yet been found with this particular marking. In any case, such correspondence would have had to bear postmarks
dating from the beginning of 1879. We have at our disposal documents, according to which it can be firmly asserted
that the ROPiT agency at Varna had also continued its activities into 1880 (5).

With regard to Burgas, which at that time was a city included within the boundaries of the artificial state of
Eastern Roumelia, created by the Treaty of Berlin, the situation there was completely different from that of ROPiT
in Varna. The Burgas agency of ROPiT, in common with all its agencies in the Levant, accepted more as a matter of
course the mail forwarded to it for transmission to other ports, including those in the Mediterranean and at Con-

We consider it quite feasible that we will have access in the future to some official documents connected with the
activities of ROPiT, both at Varna and Burgas, especially before 1878 and after 1880. That would be most useful
from the postal history point of view.


(1) We also had the opportunity of dealing with the postal activities of ROPiT at Varna, although in a very cursory
way. See D.N. Minchev, "The Foreign Pqotal Agencies in Varna during the 19th. Century," in the newspaper
"Narodno Delo," Varna, No. 150 for 28 June 1969.

(2) We have also found in other archival documents of the same period some separate material on this question.

(3) It is possible that further material for the period before and after these three years will be found in the libraries
at Odessa, Leningrad or Moscow.

(4) V.1. Nemirovich-Danchenko: "After the War," St. Petersburg, 1880, p. 77. He was also the author of other
books devoted to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

(5) Towards the end of April 1880, the ROPiT agent at Varna was a person named Ivan G. Karlovskii.

(6) The author would be most grateful to receive further information on this question at his address: D.N. Minchev,
ul. Beli Iskur No. 17, Sofia 27, Bulgaria.



by D.N. Minchev


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by Dr. G. Wember 0

(translated from the "Schweitzer Briefmarken-Zeitung" for Dec. 1969, by kind permission of the publishers.)

Who is this writer who wrote on his banner that it was a supreme law to depict the sufferings of all those who are
overlooked by their fellow human beings, and especially the human beings of his time? What kind of people were
they whom he depicted; these psychologically crushed and sick persons who were near to insanity or often had al-
ready succumbed to it, these drunkards and these persons falling apart and demoralized by their bitterness? And
what kind of a man was he himself, this Fedor Dostoevskii? Let us listen to his compatriot Dmitrii Merezhkovskii.
How does Merezhkovskii see and depict the poet and writer Dostoevskii?

"The face of Dostoevskii bore the shadow of suffering and there were wrinkles on his hollow cheeks. But it was the
seeming immobility in its movement, the suddenly arrested impulse, the flash of life which became dead like a stone,
which were mirrored in his face, giving it the most tormented expression." These words of Merezhkovskii are more
than just a statement. If one looks at Dostoevskii's death mask, one imagines that it was worn by the living person

But let us not anticipate all that. Let us follow his life's path. It will render visible much out of the darkness,
clarify a lot of things about his life, which was like a novel, in the truest sense of the word. Dostoevskii's ancestors
came to the Ukraine from Lithuania. Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevskii was born in Moscow on 11 Nov. 1821, the
second son of senior physician Dostoevskii. His father had participated in the war against Napoleon and was married
to a cultured Muscovite lady. His parental home therefore guaranteed a solid middle-class foundation for his educa-
tion and with it a per se happy childhood although his education was severely spartan. Dostoevskii grew up under
these still bearable circumstances until his father sent the 16-year old boy to an engineering school to prepare him
for the profession.

Just at that time, Dostoevskii was struck by the first blows of destiny. He lost his mother and when he was 18 years
old, his father was slain by his own serfs. In his own father, who by nature was of a despotic character and more-
over tended towards to drunkeness, Dostoevskii saw at such an early age the fulfillment of a fate, to the portrayal of
which he felt a special calling. By 1844, he gave up the engineering profession, which he had assumed only at his
father's wishes, in order to follow his natural inclination and become a writer. His first long short stories, such as
"The Double" and "Netochka Nezvanova" appeared at that time.

During these years at St. Petersburg, Dostoevskii was drawn into the circle of conspirators around Petrashevskii, who
had devoted themselves mainly to the abolition of serfdom and the creation of better living conditions for the people.
The conspiracy was discovered and Dostoevskii was arrested. From then on, the great tragedy that was his life was
building up with all the impact that can beset a man. During the Christmas of 1849, Dostoevskii was condemned to
death. He started taking his last steps. Let us turn to Herbert Eulenberg, who has delineated this scene in a well-
written portrait of Dostoevskii:

"In that same moment, Dostoevskii saw that they were going to be put to death. By the light of the lanterns that
blinked out of the morning fog like red and inflamed eyes, they saw themselves tottering from the prison to the
place of execution, ten to fifteen trembling, already half-dead men, like a spadeful for Satan. The prisoners moved
wordlessly, without a sigh, towards the platoon of soldiers who stood ready in a corner of the prison to shoot their
brothers in cold blood. The first three were led to the posts, and white shirts, the attire of death, were put on
them. As a sign of pity, white caps were pulled over their eyes. Dostoevskii was the eighth man and as such, he
was supposed to go the posts with the third group. He knew he had no more than five minutes to live. He often


S said later that these five minutes seemed to him like an eternity and an immense bounty. While these almost mad
and frenetic thoughts went flying through the mind of the condemned man down there, a white flag was suddenly
hoisted on the tower. At an order from their officer, the soldiers put down their guns which they had already
raised. The major in charge of the prison announced to the prisoners, by now literally three quarters dead with
stress, that by grace of the Tsar the death sentences had been commuted to ten years hard labor in Siberia. This
characteristic example of an absolutist Tsarist whim, this cruel respite, this span of almost half an hour between life
and death remained engraved in Dostoevskii's nervous system for ever more. Since his birth, he had suffered from
epilepsy. It is easy to see in what way a man who had returned from this region to the living world, to other human
beings, would create and work as a writer. What Dostoevskii brought back with him to civilization in St. Petersburg
when he reached for the pen, at the age of forty, pale from the prison air, his hair turned grey from humiliation,
was the deep knowledge of the Russian people, the Russian soul ." (quoted with kind permission of Die Faehre
Publishing House, Dusseldorf-Kaiserswerth, West Germany).

But Dostoevskii did not come back yet. He was still not ready for it. Although brought back to life, he had to spend
yet another four years in the Omsk penitentiary until he was pardoned. Those years were for him a most horrible
time, equivalent to being buried alive. They found expression in his "Notes from the Dead House," written later on.
In it, Dostoevskii depicts life in a penitentiary and its inhabitants with an accuracy that went into every detail. After
his release, he went further into Siberia where he served as a soldier. He stayed in service for five years until he
finally, when almost 40 years old, was demobilized and could then return to St. Petersburg.

In spite of the hardships of those years, Dostoevskii accepted them gratefully as his period of purification. He even
wrote to his brother at the time that "it is a cross to bear; I have deserved it." Having left as an atheist and social
revolutionary a decade before, he now returned to St. Petersburg as a believing Christian and a conservative in
political beliefs. For him who had written later about the last minutes before execution that "Who can say that
human nature can bear that without going insane?", those years in Siberia became decisive for the rest of his life.

Back again in St. Petersburg, he first founded a political and literary monthly called "Vremya" ("Time"), together
with his brother Mikhail. He achieved a certain degree of success with this journal and most of the literary articles
were written by him. However, the magazine was prohibited in 1863 because of an article about the Polish Question.
Thereafter, Dostoevskii collaborated in publishing a conservative journal called "The Citizen." In the meantime, his
"Notes from the Dead House" was published as a book and aroused interest. His name became known through his
great novels "The Humiliated and the Insulted," "The Idiot," "The Possessed" and especially by his "Rodin Raskol'
nikov" ("Crime and Punishment"), which was published in 1866.

In these works, he raised the question of what is good, what is evil. Are there human beings whose destiny it is
always to break the existing statutes and the law? By what processes of thought does the poor student Raskol'nikov
arrive at thinking that knowledge and with it the possession of the future give him the right to deduce that "Should
it not be possible to atone with thousands of good deeds for a not even great crime? In other words, save thousands
of other lives from peril and destruction in exchange for a single one? One hundred lives for one death, that would
be an example!"

The dealings of his novels and shorter stories take place exclusively in circles where unfortunate people live, in poor
garrets and in the slums. Dostoevskii lets his dialogues and discussions circulate mainly in the field where he is so
great, namely where the borders of good and evil, between the spiritually and psychologically sick and sane persons,
are dim. All this is written in a gripping, journalistic style of language, bearing himself along with it and showing
clearly that the writer was a continuously driven and tormented person.

Driven, because Dostoevskii was hounded from one instalment to the next. He was in financial difficulties through-
out almost the whole of his life. Hardly ever did he have the inner peace of mind which a writer needs for his work.


His publishers were continually pressing him to work off the advances they had already paid him. Dostoevskii,
suffering from epileptic seizures from his youth, went hungry during his lifetime more often than other people and
had to write more than one letter to his creditors for financial respite.

During those years when his most important works were produced, Dostoevskii, after several earlier failures, found a
companion for life in his stenographer, Anna Grigor'evna Snitkina. He married her in 1866. Anna Grigor'evna was
not only an understanding collaborator in his work but, as she outlived her husband for forty years, she was also an
outstanding custodian of his personal and literary legacies. Her own memoirs are a mine of wealth for their personal
and literary knowledge of Dostoevskii.

He died in St. Petersburg on 9 February 1881. The burial of the writer, who had stared into the gun barrels of the
execution squad years before, resembled a state funeral.

Stamp Illustration: Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevskii. USSR. Commemorative issue for the great personalities of
culture in the world. Value 40 kop. dark green. Designed by Zav'yalov. Photogravure, comb perf. 12 x 12/2 or line
perf. 12/2.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Once again, we are pleased to have presented to our readers an interesting essay on a great
Russian literary figure, from the pen of Dr. Wember. By the way, Dostoevskii's last-minute reprieve from death is
graphically described in his novel "The Idiot." As stated in our No. 76/77, the works of these great writers are readily
available in cheap paperback editions in English and other languages of Western Europe. Many stamps have been issued
by the USSR honoring literary personalities and we hope to publish other articles on that topic in future issues of
our Journal.


by A. Cronin

Mail-sorting codes, now so necessary in many countries because of the huge volumes of mail being handled, are not a
new idea. From a casual survey of the markings and addresses given on Soviet cards and covers held by the author,
such a system was in use in the Ukraine for at least seven years in the 1930s and possibly longer. The composition
of the codes consisted of the Cyrillic letter "y", standing for "Ukrayina" or Ukraine and flanked by two numbers.
Please see Fig. 1 for a typical example from Odessa. The combinations so far seen are as follows, in ascending
numerical order:


11-y-1 KYYIV-KIEV 9.12.35
11-y-8 KYYIV-KIEV 19.12.35
12-y-2 KYYIV-KIEV 3.9.35
12-y-3 KYYIV-KIEV 23.3.35
13-y-1 KYYIV-KIEV 22.9.36
22-y-1 ODESA-ODESSA 15.7.34 to 25.6.39
24-y-11 OLGINA 15.7.34
41-y-3 KICHKAS 15.1.35
161-y-27 KYTAYIV-KITAEVO 17.6.33
205-y-30 NEMIRINTSY 3.7.37
348-y-1 SUMY 8.12.35

Looking at the arrangement of these codes, it appears that the lefthand number referred to a specific postal district
in the Ukraine and that at right to a particular post office in that district. The most important post office in any
district would apparently be assigned the number "1" and thus the code "22-y-1" would have referred to the main
post office of Postal District No. 22, situated at Odessa. Note also that Kiev, the capital, was divided into at least
three postal districts (11, 12 & 13).

These codes normally appeared at the bottom portions of the postmarkers, although the reverse order was the case
for Sumy. They also appeared on the registration cachets (see Fig. 2), as well as in the addresses, as stated previously,
so a campaign must have been launched to have them utilized by the public.

Judging from the range of district numbers assigned, the collecting field for these codes is large and many of them
are probably rare. No doubt a postal manual was published listing all the combinations assigned.

No codes have been seen dating later than June 1939 and thus they were apparently not assigned to Soviet post
offices in the Western Ukraine. It is possible that these designations were suppressed in 1939 for strategic reasons.
Any comments and additions by members to the listing above, as well as any data about a postal manual issued on
this subject, would be much appreciated.


by A. Cronin

Fig. 1 Fig. 2

by Edward J. Wisewell, Jr.

The fine article by Mrs. E.M. Faulstich in Rossica No. 76-77 on the Canadian Forces in Siberia prompts me to record
a small correspondence of A.E.F. Siberia material, to and from Antoni W. Krowicki of "G" Company, 31st. Infantry.
He was of Polish origin, stationed at Spasskoe in the Maritime Province and had apparently met a Polish girl,
Kazmiera Haake, who lived at Pervaya Rechka, a suburb of Vladivostok. My items are as follows in chronological

(1) A postal card with 15 kop. postage from Vladivostok "a", 2.10.18, to Krowicki with army address in English
and location "Spasskoe" added in Russian (Fig. 1).
(2) A cover to Miss Haake with 36 kop. postage, mailed 10.11.18 on RPO No. 153 "e" (Khabarovsk-Vladivostok
roule), arriving at Pervaya Rechka the next day (Fig. 2).
(3) Another cover to Miss Haake with 37 kop. postage, mailed 31.1.19 on RPO No. 153 "d", arriving early in Feb.
at Pervaya Rechka (Fig. 3).
(4) A postal card with total postage of 13 kop. to Krowicki from Vladivostok 3.3.19 with Vladivostok No. 11
Cenor marking, arriving at Spasskoe 3 days later (Fig. 4).
(5) A cover with 35 kop. postage from Spasskoe 16.3.19 to Miss Haake with U.S. "Opened / by / Censor" label
and Russian handstamp reading in three lines "Examined / by Vladivostok Military Controller / No. 12."
Vladivostok arrival dated 19.3.19 (Fig. 5).
(6) Cover with 35 kop. postage from Vladivostok 25.3.19 and Censor No. 11 marking to Krowicki with Spasskoe
arrival of two days later (Fig. 6).
(7) Cover with 2 rubles postage from Vladivostok 1.4.20 to Krowicki, still with his original unit, but now in the
Philippines, where the letter was processed by the Ft. Wm. McKinley P.O. at Rizal on 27 April (Fig. 7).


(8) Cover with 5 rubles postage from Vladivostok 24.5.20 from Miss Haake, who now gives her address as the
Polish Club there, again to Krowicki in the Philippines (Fig. 8). Received at Manila 14 June, Ft. Wm. McKinley
19 June, redirected from there on 24 June to Ft. McDowell at San Francisco, Calif. Further notations read
"Transferred to / Inf. Unassigned / Ft. McDowell, Calif. / 2nd. Provisional Company / from P.I." and "Not for
Co. G 31 st. / Ft. McDowell / Calif." and finally stamped "RETURNED TO SENDER" twice with date
"JUL. 12 1920."

Despite the last example cited above, there seems to have been a happy ending to the story since the correspondence
I have comes from both parties. Not the least interesting thing about the material is the information it gives us about
the postal rates in force during this 20-month period in the Maritime Province.

1969 Our 51st Year




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in by insured mail or express, attention: Appraisal Dept.

All shipments are held aside intact awaiting your specific instructions after we send our offer or advice. Informal
appraisals are free, and our buyer can visit you to inspect larger properties.

915 Broadway Telephone:
New York, N.Y. 10010 J. & H. STOLOW, INC. (212) 533-0790

"Rated first i stamps by all standard authorities"

Stolow's has purchased outright, at the top market price, with immediate cash payment, more than $500,000,000
worth of fine stamps. Our needs are unlimited. Fair treatment is always assured.


by Edward J. Wisewell, Jr.

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.i. "* "*- -\ *;- -



S. Robbins, Los Angeles, Calif.

Please see Figs. 1 and 2 for the front and back of a cover sent from Akimovka, Taurian Province, 8.8.11 and addressed
to the Exhibition at Odessa. First treated on arrival by the Odessa machine marking on the back, it was finally struck
with the "ODESSA-VYSTAVKA" (Odessa-Exhibition) cancel, subscript "a," dated 10.8.11 (Fig. 2).

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Mr. Oleg Forafontov, in his article "The Search Continues," in the Dec. 1969 issue of
"Filateliya SSSR," states that this show ran from 15 May to 10 Oct. 1910 and quotes from the "Postal and Telegraphic
Journal," No. 18 for 1910 to substantiate his information. He says further that he has not yet seen a cancel from the
show. We can only surmize that either his data are incorrect, or that the exhibition was held over for the following
year in 1911. Does any member have this marking with a 1910 date?

Kurt Adler, New York, N.Y.

(a) Fig. 3 shows an unusual and unrecorded "mute" marking, consisting of an undated and unnumbered "POCH-
TOVYI VAGON No." cancel on a wartime censored 4-kop. postcard to Denmark. Reference to the message on the
back shows that it was sent from GRODNO on 26 Nov. 1914.

Members are asked to examine carefully any correspondence from this early W.W.I. period, particularly from the
border provinces, as there is always the chance that other unknown "mutes" will be discovered.

(b) Please see Fig. 4 for another card of the W.W.I. era, this time being the first unstamped postcard, overprinted by
the German or Austrian forces in Russia as a fieldpost item (Feldpostkarte at top centre). The imperial eagle, Russian
words for postcard and instructions at bottom are all barred out and the German word "Aufgabestempel" (postmark
of sending office) added vertically upwards at top right. Has anyone ever seen this overprinted card used, so that we
may determine where it originated from?

(c) Fig. 5 shows at top the normal 6 kop. commem. issued in 1961 for the Venus shot and at bottom, the same
stamp showing the orange color denoting the territory of the USSR on the globe missing. Both stamps are cancelled
to order. More details about this interesting variety would be appreciated.

Walter Frauenlob, Berne, Switzerland

(a) Although in poor condition, the Levant entire to Aleppo in Fig. 6 shows an unrecorded Chios marking, 30 mm.
in diameter and reading "KHIOSKOE AGENTSTVO / 3 FEVR. 1873." On the back there is the characteristic
rectangular transit postmark of Alexandretta (?) dated "1/27" i.e., apparently Old Style, while the Chios date is in
New Style, unless the actual dates have not been struck clearly.

(b) Yet another unrecorded marking from Chios is seen in Fig. 7, struck in violet, dated 9 Jan. 1906 and differing
from Tchilinghirian and Stephen's Fig. 780 in the type of ornamentation placed at the sides. In other words, it looks
as if it were a subtype of this kind of cancel applied at Chios.


Edward J. Wisewell, Jr., Wellesley, Mass.

It has always been claimed that the 2r. of the 1921 Soviet issue was not used for postage, as the rates had been
drastically raised by the time it appeared, thus rendering it useless. Please see Fig. 8 for an example of it, making
up the registered rate of 10 rubles on a letter going abroad from Petrograd 29.8.21 and 31.8.21 (on back), via
New York, N.Y. 20.9.21 (on back), to Toronto, Canada, where it was refused (on front at top left). Note the
cachet "EXAMINED," applied between the stamps.

Barrie A. Evans, Barnstaple, England.

Stamp designs have often had unusual sources of inspiration. From the illustration of a British war poster issued in
1915 and shown in Fig. 9, we can see where the idea was taken in 1919 for the well-known 1-ruble "Silhouette"
stamp of the Czechoslovak Legion in Siberia. It all goes to show that tracking down the sources of stamp designs
can be quite interesting at times.

Gordon H. Torrey, Ph.D., Washington, D.C.

Re the Russians at Salonica during W.W.I., I have just come across the following information in the "Monthly Stamp
Digest" for August 1950, contained in an article by E. Jagger, entitled "Postmarks of the Salonica Expedition

"I (i.e. Jagger) possess two unused field cards which were produced by the French authorities for use by the Russian
contingents. In the centre are the crossed flags of France and Russia, with Russian inscription and French equivalent.
'Correspondence Militaire France-Russie.' The left-hand side, reserved for sender's name and regimental address, was
wholly in the Russian language; on the right-hand side were 5 horizontal lines for address with 'Russie, Rossiya' at
foot. A second type was similar but at the top right corner bore the impression of the Russian Imperial Eagle in
frame with inscription 'Franchise Postale' underneath."

A. Cronin, New York, N.Y.

(a) It is generally true to say that people rarely look upwards, to notice what is to be found overhead. On an
occasion recently in the venerable building of the General Post Office in New York City at 8th. Ave. and 33rd. St.,
a casual glance at the ceiling over the public thoroughfare facing the postal wickets revealed a whole series of insets
of national coats of arms. These obviously date from pre-W.W.I. days, as both Imperial Germany and Imperial Russia
(Fig. 10) are represented.

(b) The 1927 set in honor of the 10th. anniversary of the Revolution is well known and it appears there was supple-
mentary material sold to the public to commemorate the event. Please see Fig. 11 for the internal design on this
theme, lithographed in blue for the inside of an envelope measuring 141 x 113 mm. and sent, in this instance, from
Moscow 31.8.28 to Montreal, Canada. The collecting of such related items undoubtedly serves to fill out the back-
ground to the original stamp issues.

(c) The postcards of the American Relief Organization operating in the USSR during the famine of the early 1920s
are already familiar to collectors. Figs. 12 & 13 show a type with cross in red measuring 149 x 105 mm. and issued
by the Nansen Mission for the same purpose. The Mission was originally located at Zakhar'evskaya 43 and then moved
to Podgornaya 3 in Minsk, Byelorussia. The card illustrated herewith was sent from Minsk 31.10.23 to Petrograd,
arriving 3 days later. The message on the back reads as follows:


"O "Notice for parcel No. 234582/6009.

The International Famine Aid Committee asks that you present yourself at the Committee's office for parcel distri-
bution, situated at Podgornaya 3 in Minsk for the receipt of a parcel weighing up to 15 Kg. (about 34 Ibs.).

To receive the parcel, it is necessary to show the present notice, as well as evidence of identification or a witnessed

The office of the Committee is open daily, except holidays, from 12 noon to 3 pm.

The parcel may be sent to you by mail at your risk and responsibility, with C.O.D. payment of the postal charges,
(this last phrase crossed out), for which you should send us at the Main Office a declaration with your witnessed
signature together with the present notice.

International Famine Aid Committee,
Nansen Mission.
Director of the Parcel Distribution Office."

(d) Mr. V.A. Karlinskii, in his series on Soviet postal rates, already translated for our Journal, made a good point
about the rare postal usage of some Soviet commems in the early 1930s, especially the 35-kop. values which were
primarily intended to pay the charges on registered mail going abroad. Please see Fig. 14 for a late usage in Moscow
16.6.39 of the 1932 Gor'kii set, together with a 15-kop. definitive, paying a total of 65 kop. on a letter to the U.S.
The 35-kop. Gor'kii stamp is extremely scarce in any state; mint, used or on cover. Forming a collection of such
rare usages would require a great deal of patience and effort, but the results would be very well worth while.

H. Irmann-Jacobsen, Oslo, Norway.

(a) I very highly appreciate the articles of Kurt Adler on the Small Heads regular issues and would like to call
attention to two interesting finds I have made, as follows:

(1) Typo. perf. 14% x 14%: All the values I have investigated up to now (1 kop. to 8 kop.) have been found
on two thicknesses of the paper, namely, one group with measurements between 55 & 65 hundredths mm.
and the other from 67 to 77 hundredths mm. Of the corresponding typo. perf. 11% x 12%, I have
found only the 7 kop. (in a distinctive color) on thick paper. This last item seems to be a very rare
(2) 5 kop. typo. watermarked: I believe I can distinguish between two dies for this stamp, i.e., Die I being
19.5 mm. in height and Die II is 19.75 mm. high. In addition, there is a slight difference between the
"5"s of the two dies, which I will try to illustrate here (see Fig. 15).
Interestingly enough, I have been able to distinguish five distinct shades of this stamp, which I have
denoted as the following in consecutive order, based on readable dates:
Violet, light violet, lilac, lilac-brown and lilac-rose.
Of these shades, violet and light violet have been found only on Die I stamps, the lilac on both dies and
the last two shades (lilac-brown and lilac-rose) only on Die II. All reengraved stamps, as well as the
imperforates, are also from Die II.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Mr. Irmann-Jacobsen's discovery of two separate dies for this stamp is extremely impor-
tant. In normal practice, typographic dies are placed in machines similar to coin presses and used to strike off
cliches, 100 in this case, which would then be arranged in four panes of 25 units and placed in a plating bath to


"grow" electros which would then be used to print the actual stamps. It is absolutely within the realm of possibility
that in setting up the four panes of 25 units for the plating bath, cliches from both Die I and Die II would have
been mixed in indiscriminately. In other words, examination of sheets or multiples of this stamp may lead to the
discovery of se-tenant pairs of Die I and Die II. According to the findings of Mr. Irmann-Jacobsen, only the lilac
shade exists in both dies. Therefore, stamps in this shade are the ones that should be investigated for the possible
existence of se-tenant pairs showing both dies.

(b) Now a note on postal history. Please see Fig. 16 for an enlarged photograph of a piece of a 4-kop. postcard
with a cancel reading at top "ARKHANGEL'SK-VARDO" and at bottom "1 OE. PAROKHOD. POCHT.. .", with
date 25 July 1903 in the centre and figure "2" at the sides, which I think is an interesting Used Abroad item. The
diameter is 30Y1 mm.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Members should consult Rossica No. 71, pp. 32-33 for full details of this service by that
wonderful pioneer of Imperial Russian postal history, Nikolai Ivanovich Sokolov. It will be seen that this was a
summer route only and although Dr. Luchnik has confirmed its existence from other official sources as handling all
types of mail (BJRP No. 39, p. 6), this is the first time that an actual strike of the canceller has been found. Norway
is, of course, the natural place to look for such items and we hope other examples will now turn up so that the full
text of the markings will be established.

At present, it looks as if the full inscription at bottom should read "1 OE. PAROKHOD. POCHT. OTD." or "First
Steamer Postal Agency" and a postmark with figure "1" should also exist. Not to mention the service in the opposite
direction with names at top reversed (VARDO-ARKHANGEL'SK for the Vardo-Archangel run) and the new oval-
shaped cachets which must have been introduced soon afterwards. So go to it, readers! Knowing what to look for
is 90% of the battle.

Dr. Leonid Kvetan-Chenakalo, New York, N.Y.

I think fellow-members will be interested to know of two unusual postal agencies which operated in Kiev, the capital
of the Ukraine, during the 1920s. Please see Fig. 17 for a registered cover to Moscow, sent from "KIEV-12, HAY
MARKET" (bilingual Russo-Ukrainian cancel with subscript "b", dated 9.11.27 and registration label completely in

The second cover, in Fig. 18, is sent from "KIEV-4, CORN MARKET," again bilingual with subscript "a" and dated
21.6.28. Please note the franking with three different "8 KOP." surcharges, which were never on sale at post offices
but only in the philatelic stores. Thus, their postal usage was confined to philatelic covers, such as this example.

With the introduction soon after of a planned economy as exemplified by the Five Year Plans, such markets were
done away with, as was also the case with the famous summer fair at Nizhnii Novgorod (Gor'kii). These market
cancellations are therefore probably quite scarce and worth looking for.


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s1 3 a Coa. Tin. 3. M 3366-1834

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BHTbC B KOHTOpy K Ta no pacuipeaeneHHr o nocblnoK -MHHCK,
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lrpH nonyHC:nill nOCIflKH HeoxXOAlHMO npeC'51e:fTb HacToRU1ee
H3Bse-UeHHe, a TaK.'KO vJOCTOBepehC-e nHHHOCTH L1Jr 3acBHjA(erenb
CTBOeaHHylO loBepeHH3CTb.
Fig. 13 "KoHTopa KOMHTeTa OTKpblTa C)KCAHeBHO KpoMe npa3aHHKOB
c 1 o 3 4ac AHR.
flocubina Mo)KeT 6blTb ornpau;icHa Ba' no norTe Ha BaL
P;CK H CTpax c- 4-',Ic:eHHbTM nna'TnP n r,-
nH Hecro Bu fonmKwH nocnlaTb HaM no aApecy I'naBHoro 6,opo
3aABn20HHe 3a Bawefi 3acBH/feTentCTBOBaHHO nlOnHCbIO C npH-
nO)KeHHeM HaCTORlero H3BeIteHH-I.

ye;: laapo3! iblR IoMIrcT IuoMcalli rujsiadsalu M
SMIHCCHa Ha,'ccHa.
3adeoi,,u,. Olwacwo., l npede.7. Iocu.m.

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S 6 Fig. 18



"O CHEM RASSKAZYVAYUT MARKI" ("What stamps talk about"), by Rudol'f Yul'evich Bershadskii. Published
by Detgiz, Moscow 1959, in an edition of 90,000 copies. Contains 96 pages and priced at 4r. 60k. (old currency).

Written by a veteran philatelist whose collecting activities and memories go back to before the Revolution, the book
is, of course, slanted towards the junior collector. It is divided into twelve chapters, covering such subjects as his
first album, Lundy Island, stamps of dead countries, the story of the first postage stamp, the rarest stamp, Farouk of
Egypt, Monaco, stamp rarities, the land of the geyser, Guatemala, the Lenin mourning issue and the topic of Outer

In other words, this offsett-printed book contains stories about stamps, thus giving young collectors some of the
background information which makes philately so fascinating.

"SOVETSKII KOLLEKTSIONER 6" ("Soviet Collector No. 6"). Issued by the "Svyaz' Publishers, Moscow
1968, as a paperback in an edition of 20,000 copies. Contains 160 pages and priced at 86 kop.

The sixth issue of this now traditional "sbornik" or collection of articles on various types of collecting is dedicated
to the centenary of the birth of A.M. Gor'kii. The great writer collected not only books, but also artistic objects,
old weapons, coins and medals, all now in a special Moscow museum and described by V. Chernukhina, a scientific
worker there. Prof. K. Berngard then gives his impressions of the 1967 jubilee exhibition, V. Muratov has some notes
on Soviet philatelists at foreign exhibitions, S. Saltykov concludes his wonderful study of the postage stamps of Soviet
Armenia, Yu. Rudnikov reports some new findings on the Zemstvo Posts and its stamps based on much local archival
research, A. Vigilev delves into the ancient beginnings of the Russian Posts, I. Sachkov identifies a naval gunner on a
1943 stamp (Scott's No. 916), V. Koretskii and M. L'vov give an excellent analysis of finds of 18th. century copper
coins, S. Bulatovich and K. Golenko describe a cachet of ancient Greek coins at Orlovka, Odessa province, thus
reminding us that the Soviet Black Sea regions are a fertile area for Greek archaeology and artifacts.

E. Shaten lists all Soviet commemorative medals of 1967, D. Moshnyagin and N. Dashevskii discuss varieties of Soviet
coins, D. Senkevich covers Soviet banknotes 1923-1961, unissued paper money for Sukhumi is recorded by L. Pritsker
and Mglin vouchers by I. Polozov, there are comments about the need for a catalog on paper money, V. Shleev surveys
postcards sent by or devoted to V.I. Lenin, M. Zabochen' notes postcards showing sculptures, I. Bugaevich describes
early temperance cards, S. Babintsev continues his philatelic bibliography, this time covering journals about Russian
postal history and philately and B. Stal'baum concludes with book reviews for 1967.

Once again the fare is varied, the presentations intelligent and the manual very good value for the money.

"FILATELISTICHESKII SLOVAR' ("Philatelic Dictionary"), compiled by O. Ya. Basin and issued by the "Svyaz' "
Publishing House, Moscow, 1968, in an edition of 30,000 copies. Contains 164 pages and priced at 67 kop.

A comprehensive philatelic glossary, this work shows clearly that our field of collecting is so vast that most philatelic
terms can be adequately explained just by examples taken from Russian and Soviet philately.

Backed up by an extensive bibliography, the writer also draws on two of the authoritative sources that have been
translated for our Journal in the past, namely the fine study by M.N. Vitashevskaya on the ancient Russian Posts
and the technology of printing Soviet postage stamps by Mmes L.P. Grigor'eva and N.V. Novokshchenova.

All in all, a useful reference work for the enquiring philatelist.


" "POCHTOVYE SUVENIRY KOSMICHESKOI ERY" ("Postal Souvenirs of the Space Era") by E.P. Sashenkov.
Issued by the "Svyaz' Publishers, Moscow 1969, in an edition of 30,000 copies. Contains 304 pages and priced
at 1r. 21k.

Dedicated to the memory of Yurii Gagarin and containing forewords by him, a grandson of K.E. Tsiolkovskii, the
great Russian space pioneer, and the author, this is a thorough study of stamps, covers and cancellations on the space
topic, copiously illustrated and including 6 pages in natural color.

Among the unusual pieces he cites as now having become space items is the 40 kop. Chelyuskin stamp of 1935 on a
registered cover from Kiev, dated 22.9.36. The stamp features the flier N.P. Kamanin, now a Colonel-General of the
Air Force and noted instructor of the first Soviet astronauts.

Including illustrations of covers from the early correspondence of K.I. Tsiolkovskii, the author covers the period of
space flights up to the end of 1967. Outer space enthusiasts will find much to interest them in this book.

Postage stamps of the USSR 1918-1960"). Approved by the Ministry of Communications of the USSR, this is a
paperback issued by "Soyuzpechat' ", Moscow 1969, in an edition of 80,000 copies. Contains 208 pages and priced
at 59 kop.

Although without illustrations, this is a useful checklist for the Soviet collector, as the pricing is a good deal more
realistic than in previous Russian publications. That is a healthy trend, making local collectors aware of the value of
the items they hold and thus preventing their being fleeced by philatelic sharpshooters.


"POCHTOVYE MARKI SSSR 1918-1968" ("Postage stamps of the USSR 1918-1968"), by the late D. Karachun
and V. Karlinskii. A well-printed handbook issued by the "Svyza' Publishing House, Moscow 1969, in an edition
of 40,000 copies. Contains 288 pages and priced at 74 kop.

Fully illustrated but unpriced, this manual also lists many of the known varieties of Soviet stamps in a concise and
handy tabular form. Used in conjunction with the price list reviewed above, it gives the Soviet collector a good idea
of what he actually has.

"STRANA FILATELIYA" ("The land of philately"), by Boris Moiseevich Kisin. Issued by the "Prosveshchenie"
Publishers, Moscow 1969, in an edition of 100,000 copies. Contains 240 pages plus 10 pages of stamps and flags in
natural colors. Priced at 88 kop.

Another in the ever growing series of Soviet books for beginners, the author gives in 20 chapters a wide-ranging view
of philately, including the stories behind and the basic principles of stamp collecting. His bibliography is extensive
and includes works in several foreign languages.

The book is well written and makes interesting reading. Its appeal would certainly have been enhanced had it been
printed on better quality paper.


"FILATELIYA SSSR" ("Philately USSR"). The monthly organ of the Ministry of Communications of the USSR
and of the All-Union Society of Philatelists. Its issued from Sept. 1969 to Jan. 1970 range in printings of from
70,025 to 90,000 copies, thus reflecting the rise in popularity of philately throughout the country. Contains 48
pages per issue and priced at 30 kop. The main articles of interest are as follows:

(1) "Sofia-69" by B. Balashov, giving impressions of the show and the FIP congress there (9/69).
(2) "The regular stamps with the portrait of Lenin" a fine study of the Lenin ruble stamps and their varieties
by A. Skrylev (9/69).
(3) "Stamps of the town of Shuya" a short but highly informative note by O. Forafontov on the bona fides of
the formerly suspect "rub" provisionals, now found genuinely used in April 1920 (9/69).
(4) "North Pole overprints on the Soviet issues of 1955 and 1962" an excellent study of varieties by
V.V. Pritula (9/69).
(5) A regular feature on polar philately by E. Sashenkov (9, 10, 11/69; 1/70)
(6) "New Specialized Catalog of Postage Stamps of the USSR" a thorough review by Prof. K. Berngard of the
fine Cercle Philatelique France-URSS catalog of Soviet issues 1917-1941, issued last year (9/69).
(7) "Yefimki in Russia" a study of these silver thalers and their subsequent quartering and revaluations in Russia
during the 16th. to 18th. centuries, by B. Stavrovskii and 0. Koshtoyants (9/69).
(8) "Early and late printings of the 1883-1888 issues" a very useful study by Prof. K. Berngard (10/69).
(9) "A new catalog of Russian Zemstvo stamps is needed" a well presented'argument by G. Gevirts, a noted
enthusiast in that field (10/69).
(10) "One and a half centuries ago" by M. Sokolov, in which he quotes interesting excerpts from a postal guide
issued in 1824 (10/69).
(11) "The Posts in Russia" an instalment from the masterly work on the ancient Russian posts by M.N. Vita-
shevskaya (10/69).
(12) "Numeral cancels of Russia 1858-1876" a very fine study by Ya. M. Vovin, mainly concerned with correct-
ing the orthography and toponymy of place names by consulting official sources, circulars and decrees (11/69).
(13) "The varieties of the 20 kop. stamp of 1875," by Prof. K. Berngard and A. Kaminskii. An excellent study,
based on material in the D. Wilson and Michel Liphschutz collections (11/69).
(14) "In place of stamps," by V. Yakobs, being interesting notes on Soviet postage paid markings applied from
1929 to 1933 (11/69).
(15) "150 years of Russian platinum," by M. Maksimov an interesting article from the geological and numismatic
points of view (11/69).
(16) "Siberian coins" an account of the coins minted at Nizhne-Suzumsk (Kolyvan Mint) from 1763 to 1781, by
M. Markov (11/69).
(17) "The search continues," by O. Forafontov. A very fine survey of cancellations from temporary post offices
and agencies (12/69).
(18) "The Kingdom of Poland Russian Railroad Cancellations," by M.A. Bojanowicz. A wonderful study of
classical Russian RPO markings in Poland, by our noted member in the U.K. and which has also appeared in
BJRP No. 43 (12/69).
(19) "Once again about the postal stationery catalog," by A.L'vov, dealing with the illustrated stamped envelopes
of the USSR and adding corrections to the catalog (12/69).
(20) "Designer of the first revolutionary Soviet stamps," by V. Belenovskii. An interesting article on the work of
the famous Latvian designer Richards ZarriOi, including examples of bookplates created by him (12/69).


S (21) "Masters of engraving" by S. Pomanskii, giving useful details on the work of Soviet engravers (12/69).
(22) "Once again about the stamps of the Transcaucasian SFSR" by K. Didebulidze, being pertinent comments on
the earlier work of E. Voikhanskii in this field (1/70).
(23) "Mute cancellations of Russia during 1914" by Ya. M. Vovin, summarizing and extending previous knowledge
and classifications in this area (1/70).
(24) "Forgotten Special Cancels," by G. Arzumanov, supplementing the catalog on this subject which was written
by Ya. M. Vovin in 1963 (1/70).
(25) "Kurt Adler on the collections of Russian and Soviet stamps." A condensed translation by E. Nesterova of our
President's report on "Praga-68" (1/70).

"TIMBRES-POSTE URSS 1917-1941" ("Postage Stamps of the USSR 1917-1941"). A paperback issued by the
Cercle Philatelique France-URSS in April 1969. Contains 126 pages and priced at 18 NF. Available from the Cercle
at 8, rue de la Vrilliere, Paris 1, France for $3.80 postpaid.

The second in their new series of catalogs on our sphere of collecting, this volume gives a very fine coverage of what
might be called the golden period of Soviet philately. It is enhanced by the collaboration of our noted member
Michel Liphschutz, whose brilliant work on the listings of the Postmaster Provisionals 1920-1922 is the best study so
far published and alone worth more than the price of the catalog.

Many varieties are recorded and the only possible note of criticism might be about the pricing of the rare Soviet
imperforate commems, most of them listed at prices well below prevailing U.S. levels.

There are some mistakes in the catalog, which are being corrected by supplements being published in the magazine
of the Cercle. We can only say "Congratulations on a job well done!"

"THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY No. 43." This long-awaited number from our fraternal
society in England lives up to the high standard of its predecessors. Our friends M.A. Bojanowicz and A. Droar get
off to a good start with Part I of "Russian FPOs for the Polish Forces in the Second World War," well illustrated
with useful maps. Dr. A.H. Wortman then takes over with Part III of "Ship Mail," covering services on the Volga
and Kama rivers and recording a wealth of material. Dr. R.J. Ceresa follows with a fine study of "The Three Triangle
Ekspeditsiya Censor Markings." Mr. Bojanowicz comes back again with a most comprehensive survey of "Russian
Railway Cancellations used in the Kingdom of Poland," well illustrated and again with routes mapped out. A.S. Waugh
then entertains us with "Off Beat Soviets," covering a variety of topics from forerunners to reprints. Leonard Tann
then poses some interesting thoughts on "The one ruble stamp" in the imperial Arms type, and the magazine con-
cludes with meeting reports, reviews of new literature and an obituary.

May we see many more issues as interesting as this one!


"FILATELIA" ("Philately"). Monthly magazine of the Association of Philatelists in the Socialist Republic of
Roumania. Contains 20 pages per issue and priced at 2 Lei.

The February 1970 issue of this finely produced journal contains an article by the well-known Soviet collector,
S.M. Blekhman of Moscow, noting the range of material he displayed in his gold medal exhibit at "Sofia-69."


Starting with pre-philatelic entire of the late 18th. century, he comments on many aspects of Imperials and Used
Abroads, to terminate in a survey of rare and interesting Soviet varieties.

The four illustrations include a fine Russo-Turkish War cover from Fieldpost Agency No. 18 dated 27 Feb. 1878 to
Ryazan' 8 March 1878; a telegraphic money order for 1300 r. with Arms type 3 r. 50 k., 1 r. and 15 k.(?) cancelled
"KARSHI, BUKHAR. VLAD. 19.4.12, a"; a 14-kop. bisect on cover from Valk 29 March 1891 to Derpt (originally
illustrated in Rossica No. 74, p. 72) and finally the extremely rare 1935 Moscow-San Francisco inverted surcharge
on a registered airmail postcard (shown in Rossica No. 75, p. 99).

The article gives the reader a very good idea of the enormous scope and possibilities our sphere of collecting covers,
and is good publicity for Russian and Soviet philately.

"FIFTEEN FLAGS," a novel by Ric Hardman. Published by Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1968. We rarely
review works of fiction, but this one is exceptional and a Literary Guild Selection.

Set against the background of the intervention by 14 Allied governments (the Japanese had two flags!) to influence
the Civil War in Siberia 1918-1920 and specifically covering the activities of the A.E.F., Mr. Hardman uses his wide
film-making and scholastic experience to write a rattling good yarn of that fateful period.

His historical research has been so thorough that this reviewer has indexed the book extensively as a work of
reference! The author even reproduces the famous letter of November 1919, written by V. Girsa, the Czech
plenipotentiary to the Allied High Commissioners, asking that the Legion be evacuated from Siberia.

He has even gone to the trouble of tabulating his characters into actual and fictional categories, so that they are easy
to separate. The novel bears the stamp of a well-organized and highly educated writer and, in fact, he is a graduate
of the University of Washington, with his M.A. in Theatre Arts from UCLA.

The motion picture rights have already been sold to Columbia Pictures for a Carl Foreman production and it is
understood the novel is now available in the Bantam series. No collector of Russian Civil War material can afford to
be without this work.



S We are breaking up a large TU VA
specialized collection of 1943-Typorinted in Kizie. St.
EMPIRE-SOVIET (up to 1945) Gibbons 1970 #134/37 .........................
0 0 0 (See ROSSICA most interesting article by Mr. A.
Cronin published a few years ago.)
On hand a large selection
n hand a lare seeon ARMS-25k, SLATE BLUE, one horizontal
Accumulation of 40 years .perforation (134) .................................... 2.50
ERRORS, COVERS, UNLISTED VARIETIES, Incl. do-2 horiz. perform. ................................ 1.50
Offices China, Levant do-strips of 5 ........................................ 29.50
Armies, Far East. Armenia, 25k BLACK with gum (135), one
Georgia, Azerbaydjan, Latvia, Lithuania, etc., etc. horizontal perforation .............................. 3.00
do-2 horiz. perform. ................................. 5.00
o o o o o o do-strip of 5, scarce ............................... P.O.R.
We will gladly make approvals (many were disintegrated)
to a specialist. No obligations. 25k GREEN, scarce (136) ..................... 25.00
Attractive Prices Convenient Terms. BUILDING-50k GREEN (137) ............... 25.00
(Stamps were printed one by one, using rather poor
So o o o quality available paper. Some were hand painted with
We are paying TOP prices gum. 25k green, 50k green, were printed in vertical
for scarce or rare varieties, collections. pairs together.
covers (incl. ZEMSTVO) etc. Offers subject to prior sale!
We will pay Top Prices for used or on cover.

We are breaking up a large collection including
R's and Covers.
1925-Academy, without wtmk.
perforate (326/7) ........................................ 50.00 Sorry no WANT LIST service individual approval
1927-Esperanto (374)................................. 40.00 selections. Please give preferred Districts. Our stock
1934-Mausoleum (525) ............................... 30.00 is arranged according to Schmidt catalog.
Feodorov, 40k (530a) ........................ 60.00
1935-France, 2k (580).............................. 60.00
Bauman, 4k (581) ............................. 30.00
do-light violet .................................. 40.00
1936-Papanin (646) ............................... 60.00 Introductory special offer 44
Pairs pro rata some also available used different unused .................................... $22.00
P.O.R. subject to prior sale.

WE ACCEPT U.S. Postage at face. (No Spec. Del.)

P. O. BOX 448