Front cover
 Officers of the society
 Honorary members
 Representatives of the society
 Life of the society
 Report form Washington by Boris...
 Exhibition Paris-Moscow-Leningrad...
 Stamps of Russian civil war period...
 Modern varieties by Michael...
 The Belgian armored car division...
 The perforations of early Soviet...
 "Stampomania" and Russian Zemstvo...
 Additional note on the mysterious...
 The Russian posts in Rumania by...
 Pushkin's bow tie by V. A....
 1941 Sarny control stamps by R....
 Other errors and varieties by Michel...
 An excellent expertization by Kurt...
 An unusual size by V. A. Karli...
 Early Russian periodicals at the...
 Tridents triumphed at SIPEX by...
 Introduction from "die Postwertzeichen...
 Rare Russian classics bring high...
 Life of society con't., Society...
 Notes from collectors
 Book reviews


Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235/00020
 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: 1967
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: UF00020235:00020

Table of Contents
    Front cover
        Page 1
    Officers of the society
        Page 2
    Honorary members
        Page 2
    Representatives of the society
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Life of the society
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Report form Washington by Boris Shishkin
        Page 5
    Exhibition Paris-Moscow-Leningrad in Paris by John Lloyd
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Stamps of Russian civil war period by Boris Shishkin
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Modern varieties by Michael Carson
        Page 14
        Page 15
    The Belgian armored car division in Russia in W.W.I. by Frederic Patka
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The perforations of early Soviet air mail stamps by Dr. D. deStackelberg
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    "Stampomania" and Russian Zemstvo stamps by Dmitrii Nikolaevich-Chudovskii
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Additional note on the mysterious "KP" ("KR") handstamp used in Riga in 1816-1857 by Dr. C. deStackelberg
        Page 34
    The Russian posts in Rumania by D. N. Minchev
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Pushkin's bow tie by V. A. Karlinskii
        Page 38
        Page 39
    1941 Sarny control stamps by R. Polchaninoff
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Other errors and varieties by Michel Catalog (J. S. Terlecky)
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    An excellent expertization by Kurt Adler
        Page 51
        Page 52
    An unusual size by V. A. Karlinskii
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Early Russian periodicals at the Smithsonian Institution by Leo Gordon
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Tridents triumphed at SIPEX by Boris Shishkin
        Page 62
    Introduction from "die Postwertzeichen der Russischen Landschaflsaemter" by C. Schmidt
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    Rare Russian classics bring high prices at auction by Joseph F. Chudoba
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Life of society con't., Society notice
        Page 88
    Notes from collectors
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Book reviews
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
Full Text

of the



Silver Medals at Belgrade National Exhibition "Zefib 1937" and
the International Exhibition, Koenigsberg "Ostropa 1935"
Bronze Medals at the International Exhibition "Praga 1935" and
Vienna International Exhibition "WIPA 1933"
Recent International Awards
Silver Medals at Berlin, "Bephila 1957", Parana. "Eficon 1958"
and Buenos Aires, "Temex 1958"
Hamburg "Interposta 1959" Palermo "Sicilia 1959" "iBarcelona 1960" -
Johannesburg "Unipex 1960" Warsaw "Polska 1960" Prague "Praga 1962"
and Luxembourg "Melusina '63"
Silver Medals Paris "Philatec '64" Vienna "WIPA '65" Washington "Sipex '66"

No. 72 1967


Hon. Xmb. Dr. G. Bondarenko-Salisbury

49th and Locust Streets

Philadelphia 39, Pa., U.S.A.


Hon. Memb. Martin L. Harow


Hon. Meab. Andrew Cronin Hon. Manb. R. A. Sklarevski


Hon. Members: K. Adler, 0. A. Faberge, A. N. Lavrov, Emile Marcovitch

Members: C. P. Bulak, J. Terlecky



2 Officers of the Society, Hon. Members and Representatives of the Society
3 Editorial, Life of the Society
5 Report from Washington by Boris Shishkin
6 Exhibition Paris-Moscow-Leningrad in Paris by John Lloyd
8 Stamps of Russian Civil War Period by Boris Shishkin
14 Modern Varieties by Michael Carson
16 The Belgian Armored Car Division in Russia in W.W.I by Frederic Patka
27 The Perforations of Early Soviet Air Mail Stamps by Dr. D. deStockelberg
30 "Stampomania" and Russian Zemstvo Stamps by IDitrii Nikolaevich-Chudovskii
34 Additional Note on the Mysterious "KP" Handstamp Used in Riga in
1816 1857 by Dr. C. deStackelberg
35 The Russian Posts in Rumania by D. N. Minchev
38 Pushkin's Bow Tie by V. A. Karlinskii
40 1941 Sarny Control Stamps by R. Polchaninoff
44 Other Errors and Varieties by Michel Catalog (J. S. Terlecky)
51 An Excellent Expertization by Kurt Adler
53 An Unusual Size by V. A. Karlinskii
58 Early Russian Periodicals at the Smithsonian Institution by Leo Gordon
62 Tridents Triumphed at SIPEX by Boris Shishkin
63 Introduction From "Die Postwertseichen Der Russischen Landschaflsaemter
by C. Schmidt
85 Rare Russian Classics Bring High Prices at Auction by Joseph F. Chudoba
88 Life of Society Con't., Society Notice
89 Notes from Collectors
97 Book Reviews


President Dr. G. B. Salisbury
Vice President A. Kotlar
Secretary Russian Speaking Section A. N. Lavrov
Secretary English Speaking Section R. A. Sklarevski
Treasurer A. N. Lavrov
Chairman of Numismatic & Paper Money Circle K. Jansson
Assistant in Charge of Numismatics V. Arefiev


K. Adler J. F. Chudoba A. Cronin 0. A. Faberge
M. L. Harow M. Liphschutz N. I. Kardakov A. Kotlar
A. N. Lavrov E. I. Marcovitch G. B. Salisbury R. Sklarevski
K. Jansson


New York Group J. F. Chudoba 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y. 11225
San Francisco K. Jannson 624 16th Ave., San Francisco, Calif.
Washington B. Shishkin 2032 Tunlaw Rd., N. W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Western USA L. S. Glass 1533 So. La Cienga Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.

Australia V. Tvelkmeyer 21 Elizabeth Ave., Paddington, Sydney, NSW
Belgium I. Braunstein 6 rue Mignot, Delstanche, Uxelles, Belgium
Canada G. Rodzay Woda 65 Dorking St., Downsview, Ontario, Canada
France A. Liashenko 1 rue du Bocage, Paris 15, France
Germany E. P. Fomin Munich 54, Rudinstr 9, West Germany
Israel A. Trumpeldor Arba Artzot 25, Tel Aviv

Directors of the Society Kurt Adler, Konstantin Jansson
Auditing Committee Kurt Adler, Andrew Cronin, Boris Shishkin

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 $5.00, due January 1, for all members.
Application forms, which must be filled out, are available upon request. Mem-
bership lists, codes, bulletins and supplements to the membership lists will be
sent out annually. Kindly make all checks payable to A. N. Lavrov, Treasurer,
P. O. Box 406, Englewood, New Jersey 07631.

We welcome advertisements from members, non-members and dealers. The rates are
as follows; Full Page Ad is $30.00. Half Page is $15.00. Quarter Page is
$7.50. Five lines is $2.50. Members of the Rossica Society pay one half or
50% of the above rates for the ADS except for covers which is full price for
all. Therefore, the net cost of advertisements to members is only 250 per
line. We have a very limited number of back issues of the Journal for sale,
both in Russian and in English at $2.00 each: Russian Editions No. 44 to 69;
English Editions (10 various only). Others are sold out.



President Dr. G. B. Salisbury
Vice President A. Kotlar
Secretary Russian Speaking Section A. N. Lavrov
Secretary English Speaking Section R. A. Sklarevski
Treasurer A. N. Lavrov
Chairman of Numismatic & Paper Money Circle K. Jansson
Assistant in Charge of Numismatics V. Arefiev


K. Adler J. F. Chudoba A. Cronin 0. A. Faberge
M. L. Harow M. Liphschutz N. I. Kardakov A. Kotlar
A. N. Lavrov E. I. Marcovitch G. B. Salisbury R. Sklarevski
K. Jansson


New York Group J. F. Chudoba 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y. 11225
San Francisco K. Jannson 624 16th Ave., San Francisco, Calif.
Washington B. Shishkin 2032 Tunlaw Rd., N. W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Western USA L. S. Glass 1533 So. La Cienga Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.

Australia V. Tvelkmeyer 21 Elizabeth Ave., Paddington, Sydney, NSW
Belgium I. Braunstein 6 rue Mignot, Delstanche, Uxelles, Belgium
Canada G. Rodzay Woda 65 Dorking St., Downsview, Ontario, Canada
France A. Liashenko 1 rue du Bocage, Paris 15, France
Germany E. P. Fomin Munich 54, Rudinstr 9, West Germany
Israel A. Trumpeldor Arba Artzot 25, Tel Aviv

Directors of the Society Kurt Adler, Konstantin Jansson
Auditing Committee Kurt Adler, Andrew Cronin, Boris Shishkin

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 $5.00, due January 1, for all members.
Application forms, which must be filled out, are available upon request. Mem-
bership lists, codes, bulletins and supplements to the membership lists will be
sent out annually. Kindly make all checks payable to A. N. Lavrov, Treasurer,
P. O. Box 406, Englewood, New Jersey 07631.

We welcome advertisements from members, non-members and dealers. The rates are
as follows; Full Page Ad is $30.00. Half Page is $15.00. Quarter Page is
$7.50. Five lines is $2.50. Members of the Rossica Society pay one half or
50% of the above rates for the ADS except for covers which is full price for
all. Therefore, the net cost of advertisements to members is only 250 per
line. We have a very limited number of back issues of the Journal for sale,
both in Russian and in English at $2.00 each: Russian Editions No. 44 to 69;
English Editions (10 various only). Others are sold out.



President Dr. G. B. Salisbury
Vice President A. Kotlar
Secretary Russian Speaking Section A. N. Lavrov
Secretary English Speaking Section R. A. Sklarevski
Treasurer A. N. Lavrov
Chairman of Numismatic & Paper Money Circle K. Jansson
Assistant in Charge of Numismatics V. Arefiev


K. Adler J. F. Chudoba A. Cronin 0. A. Faberge
M. L. Harow M. Liphschutz N. I. Kardakov A. Kotlar
A. N. Lavrov E. I. Marcovitch G. B. Salisbury R. Sklarevski
K. Jansson


New York Group J. F. Chudoba 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y. 11225
San Francisco K. Jannson 624 16th Ave., San Francisco, Calif.
Washington B. Shishkin 2032 Tunlaw Rd., N. W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Western USA L. S. Glass 1533 So. La Cienga Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.

Australia V. Tvelkmeyer 21 Elizabeth Ave., Paddington, Sydney, NSW
Belgium I. Braunstein 6 rue Mignot, Delstanche, Uxelles, Belgium
Canada G. Rodzay Woda 65 Dorking St., Downsview, Ontario, Canada
France A. Liashenko 1 rue du Bocage, Paris 15, France
Germany E. P. Fomin Munich 54, Rudinstr 9, West Germany
Israel A. Trumpeldor Arba Artzot 25, Tel Aviv

Directors of the Society Kurt Adler, Konstantin Jansson
Auditing Committee Kurt Adler, Andrew Cronin, Boris Shishkin

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 $5.00, due January 1, for all members.
Application forms, which must be filled out, are available upon request. Mem-
bership lists, codes, bulletins and supplements to the membership lists will be
sent out annually. Kindly make all checks payable to A. N. Lavrov, Treasurer,
P. O. Box 406, Englewood, New Jersey 07631.

We welcome advertisements from members, non-members and dealers. The rates are
as follows; Full Page Ad is $30.00. Half Page is $15.00. Quarter Page is
$7.50. Five lines is $2.50. Members of the Rossica Society pay one half or
50% of the above rates for the ADS except for covers which is full price for
all. Therefore, the net cost of advertisements to members is only 250 per
line. We have a very limited number of back issues of the Journal for sale,
both in Russian and in English at $2.00 each: Russian Editions No. 44 to 69;
English Editions (10 various only). Others are sold out.



The letter from Vsevolod Kurbas arrived on Monday, 17th of April, with the news
of his illness, anginal pains, a possibility of a coming coronary thrombosis...
"my condition is catastrophic and I already made certain arrangements, just in
case...sorry that I cannot help you with the membership list of Rossica...deepest
thanks for your past kindness and concern about me...I wish you all the best,
and beg you to remember me well". His face, seen but a brief while ago at a
luncheon during the INTERPEX, seemed to appear on the sheet of paper, and a
foreboding chill set about the date of writing "April lhth' The phone rang,
"This is Lavrov". Did you hear that Kurbas died on Friday the lhth? He was
buried on Sunday." It was a terrible shock, the suddenness of it all, the
ruthless snuffing out of a human flame of life. Vsevolod Antonovich was a
kind, gentle, self-effacing, humble man, who lived a great deal in the past
glories of the Empire that is no more, the battles of the Civil War in which
he participated, and in the code of honor of the Russian officer. He knew hi-
story and geography amazingly well, as well as philately, and was of great help
on the editorial staff. When he received the title of the "Honored Member" he
was deeply touched, and grateful, Rossica salutes you dear Vsevolod Antonovich,
and prays for the peace of your soul!

The following notice appeared on the front page of Novoye Russkoe Slovo, as a
memorial, on Sunday, April 23rd: Dr. G. B. Bondarenko-Salisbury, President of
the Rossica Society, the officers of the society, and all of its members deeply
grieve at the untimely passing of their member and friend Vsevolod Antonovich
Kurbas, on Friday 14th of April, 1967."

S New appointments have been made to the editorial staff, please note in the
write up of the INTERPEX meeting. Mr. Andrew Cronin, who is now the Associate
Editor, provides a most capable replacement for the Editor, in case of illness.
There is no fear for the demise of the Journal, a common cause for the ending
of publication, as it happened to our own Rossica when Eugene Archanguelsky
could no longer carry on. Our C. P. Bulak, another addition to the editorial
boards, is an indefatigable worker, a great rarity these days, for most of our
members, it seems, are allergic to hard work. The new Ukrainian editor, takes
place of the late Captain de Shramchenko, and fills a void long felt by us all.
We need a qualified, level headed specialist in Ukrainian philately, not only
to edit the articles in this field, but to attract new members who are avid
collectors of Ukrainian stamps, and who desire sound articles of interest to
them. We appeal to the large body of Ukraine specialists, and the rank and file
collectors to join Rossica, to send us articles. Editor J. Terlecky, our Uk-
rainian editor needs support!



Rossica Society of Russian Philately met during Interpex at the Americana Hotel,
in New York, on Sunday, March 19, 1967. As in the past, a fine turn out featured
a series of interesting events.

3 -


The letter from Vsevolod Kurbas arrived on Monday, 17th of April, with the news
of his illness, anginal pains, a possibility of a coming coronary thrombosis...
"my condition is catastrophic and I already made certain arrangements, just in
case...sorry that I cannot help you with the membership list of Rossica...deepest
thanks for your past kindness and concern about me...I wish you all the best,
and beg you to remember me well". His face, seen but a brief while ago at a
luncheon during the INTERPEX, seemed to appear on the sheet of paper, and a
foreboding chill set about the date of writing "April lhth' The phone rang,
"This is Lavrov". Did you hear that Kurbas died on Friday the lhth? He was
buried on Sunday." It was a terrible shock, the suddenness of it all, the
ruthless snuffing out of a human flame of life. Vsevolod Antonovich was a
kind, gentle, self-effacing, humble man, who lived a great deal in the past
glories of the Empire that is no more, the battles of the Civil War in which
he participated, and in the code of honor of the Russian officer. He knew hi-
story and geography amazingly well, as well as philately, and was of great help
on the editorial staff. When he received the title of the "Honored Member" he
was deeply touched, and grateful, Rossica salutes you dear Vsevolod Antonovich,
and prays for the peace of your soul!

The following notice appeared on the front page of Novoye Russkoe Slovo, as a
memorial, on Sunday, April 23rd: Dr. G. B. Bondarenko-Salisbury, President of
the Rossica Society, the officers of the society, and all of its members deeply
grieve at the untimely passing of their member and friend Vsevolod Antonovich
Kurbas, on Friday 14th of April, 1967."

S New appointments have been made to the editorial staff, please note in the
write up of the INTERPEX meeting. Mr. Andrew Cronin, who is now the Associate
Editor, provides a most capable replacement for the Editor, in case of illness.
There is no fear for the demise of the Journal, a common cause for the ending
of publication, as it happened to our own Rossica when Eugene Archanguelsky
could no longer carry on. Our C. P. Bulak, another addition to the editorial
boards, is an indefatigable worker, a great rarity these days, for most of our
members, it seems, are allergic to hard work. The new Ukrainian editor, takes
place of the late Captain de Shramchenko, and fills a void long felt by us all.
We need a qualified, level headed specialist in Ukrainian philately, not only
to edit the articles in this field, but to attract new members who are avid
collectors of Ukrainian stamps, and who desire sound articles of interest to
them. We appeal to the large body of Ukraine specialists, and the rank and file
collectors to join Rossica, to send us articles. Editor J. Terlecky, our Uk-
rainian editor needs support!



Rossica Society of Russian Philately met during Interpex at the Americana Hotel,
in New York, on Sunday, March 19, 1967. As in the past, a fine turn out featured
a series of interesting events.

3 -

At noon, the New York delegation, headed by the Chairman Jos. F. Chudoba, joined
Dr. Gregory B. Salisbury, President and Editor of the Society, for a lively lunch,
followed by an informal meeting. Dr. Salisbury announced changes in the edit-
orial staff, appointing Andrew Cronin as the Associate editor of the Journal,
J. Terlecky as a new member of the editorial board, in charge of the Ukrainian
philately, and C. P. Bulak as another member of the editorial board, in charge
of Russian manuscripts, and Zemstovs. Mr. Bulak has done a great job in this
capacity, unofficially, particularly during the past few issues. Mr. Cronin
needs no introduction, for he is Internationally known for his original research
in the philately of Tanna Touva, Mongolia, Russian Offices in Levant, Balkans
and in the entire field of Russian philately in general.

At two o'clock a capacity crowd of Rossica members filled one of the lecture
halls, and heard a remarkable lecture, and an illustrated presentation of Zemstvo
local stamps by Emile Marcovitch, famous specialist in this field. It was given
in the Russian language, simultaneously translated into English by Dr. Salisbury.
Some of the greatest rarities were shown, as well as unusual items on piece,
in blocks, sheets, and on covers, some in mixed franking with the Imperial post-
age. Afterwards, Dr. Salisbury described his recent experience with the armed
gunmen who invaded his office, beat him over the head with guns, robbed him,
and tied him up with his patients

The activities ended by Boris Shishkin, Chairman of the Greater Washington chapter
of Rossica, giving a party in his suite, and serving refreshments, interlarded
with his famed wit and anecodotes. In another part of the hotel Martin L. Harow,
publisher of the Rossica Journal, met with the editor for a long session dealing
with the forthcoming #72 issue.


Joseph F. Chudoba, Chairman of the New York City Chapter, writes that the group
had a meeting on May 6, 1967, and at the opening stood in silent prayer for
the departed member, Mr. V. Kurbas. Mr. Emile Marcovitch reported about the
funeral which he attended as the representative of Rossica. Martin L. Harow,
publisher of the Journal, commented on the progress of the forthcoming issue,
which was being completed. A brisk bit of stamp buying and trading followed
the business meeting.


The Greater Washington Chapter of Rossica Society met at Gordon Torrey's on
Saturday, 4 March. This meeting's topic was Russian Levant Post Offices. Torrey
gave a most interesting talk on the historical background of these offices and
illustrated it by showing material from his collection. Boris Shishkin dis-
played a number of gems from his extensive collection, as did Ed. Wolski.

A pleasant addition to the meeting was the presence of Mr. Goldblatt, who had
brought along a considerable lot of Russian material. Of special interest were
the postal markings on several unusual covers and many pieces of Soviet in-
flation material. The fascinating story of their being acquired at Washington
Dead Letter Office auction back in the early 1920s was recounted by Mr. Goldblatt.

Following a lively bourse, refreshments, including blinis, were provided by
Mrs. Torrey.

Turn to page 88

-I -


SBoris Shishkin

The November meeting of the Greater Washington Chapter of the Rossica Society
centered on philatelic literature.

A report was received from member Leo Gordon of the Philatelic Museum of the
Smithsonian Institution about the discovery there of a nearly complete set of
issues the earliest Russian stamp journal. He was urged to prepare a report
of the find for a forthcoming issue of the Rossica Journal.

The Chapter's Treasurer, Ed Wolski, who is with the Library of Congress, led
the discussion of the early literature on the -Russian Zemstvos. Boris Shishkin
noted that the earliest Zemstvo catalogue was published in French by Moens.
Wolski reported his discovery of a copy of Wk. Herrick's "Catalogue of the
Russian Rural Stamps," published in New York by the Scott Stamp and Coin Co.
in 1896. Herrick's catalogue is based largely on Moens' pioneer work.

Wolski had also discovered in the Library of Congress the first, and extremely
rare, handbook describing the Russian Zemsto stamps, published in Kiev in 1888
by Dnitrii Nikolaevich Chudovskii. This work lists and describes in detail
all Zemstvo stamps, envelopes and wrappers issued through 1888.

Interestingly enough, the Library of Congress obtained this volume when it
bought from the Soviet government some years ago the entire and one might
say "fabulous" house library, intact, of a one-time wealthy Siberian trader,
G. V. Yutin. The Chudovskii volume has a Yudin library book plate, dated
1907 and embodying an engraved portrait of the white-bearded, fur-capped trader
and also a picture of the imposing Tudin mansion in which the library was ori-
ginally housed.

Shishkin rounded out this review by showing his copies of the Stanley Gibbons
Zemstvo catalogue of 1899, of Chuchin's and Schmidt's later classics and his
set of the handbooks prepared by C. Schmidt and A. Faberge and published in
a series of volumesby the "St. Petersburg" section of the Dresden International
Philatelic Society. The preparation of these invaluable volumes was, unfor-
tunately interrupted by World War I. It ended with the publication of Volume
16, ending the alphabetical listing of Zemstvo issues with that of Kolomna.

The meeting was rounded out by lively trading, in the course of which an in-
teresting Siberian cover, signed by Chuchin himself, changed hands.

The Chapter Secretary, Gordon Torrey, brought to the meeting a supply of APS
circuit books replete with Russian material which was eagerly snapped up.

Held in the home of the President of the Chapter, Boris Shishkia, the session
was topped off by the customary blini with sour cream and Iranian beluga

xx**:x8 ------- -----x-xx--


Was only English

collector at show

Mr John Lloyd and his unusual award.


John Lloyd

I was unable to reach Paris until Saturday Evening 19th., too late to attend
the Opening of the Exhibition Paris-Moscow-Leningrad Exhibition held at the
Salle des Fetes de la Mairie du 13e arrt, Place dItalie. However, I went along
on the Sunday morning to see the exhibition and hear all the news.

On the Saturday the opening was performed by the French Minister of Postes &
Tele communications, Mr. Zorine, the Soviet Ambassador to France, and Mr.
Berthelot, President of F.I.P. attending also. At this ceremony, was also pre-
sent an eighteen member delegation from the Moscow and Leningrad Philatelic
Societies. I gather everything went according to plan without any hitch what-
soever as everyone was in high spirits when I arrived on the Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I met Monsieur George Citerne, president of the French Cercle,
Michel Lipschutz, and various other members of the French Circle. The Rus-
sians under the wing of Monsieur Godard were visiting the sights of Paris, the
following day the rota was changed, with Ch Godard attending the Exhibition and
George Citerne and Michel Lipschutz taking the Russian party to Amiens at the
invitation of Monsieur Ivert.

Now for a tour of the Exhibition, 74 exhibits in three thousand frames, 63 of
these exhibits being of Russian or Soviet material, the other dozen or so were
of French stamps or philatelic items. There was feast for everyone, from the
first adhesive to the latest issues and everything in between to include "mutes"

6 -

to the 'erinophilia' stickers. The smallest entry was of 1 frame of 12 sheets
to the largest display of Mr. Blekman's of Moscow, who had on show 16 frames
of the "Soviet Air Mails". This last exhibit was to win the highest award.
Michel Lipschutz displayed 'Zemstvos', and myself my 'Provisionals of the Re-
volutionary period'. Mr. Ch. Godard, Vice-President of the Cercle France-
U.R.S.S. will be producing a detailed report of the entries on show so do not
propose to describe in full all these wonderful exhibits. I can only say that
it was enough to regale the most critical of collectors of Russian & Soviet
stamps and other items.

One fault and one only, poor lighting from chandeliers, too high and too few.

Now to the 'Banquet des Palmares' held at the Restaurant Jean Goujon, rue Jean
Goujon, near the Champs Elysees. At 8 p.m. 70 guests, one presumes, phila-
telists, met for cocktails in the foyer, where the English language was con-
spicuous by its absence, German, French and Russian, yes, but no English. At
8.30 we sat down to a wonderful menu of 'Saumon Glacee', 'Cameton', Salade a
la Maison and oco on etc. etc. ... Red wine, white wine, Champagne with, to
round off coffee and an exquisite liqueur.

This was to be the 'prize giving' banquet, so after appropriate speech by
Messieurs G. Citerne, President cercle France-U.R.S.S., Blumel, Conseiller
Municipal de Paris, L. Berthelot, President de la Federation des Societes
Philateliques Francaises, President de la F.I.P. and finally by E. Krenkel,
President de la Societe des Philatelistes Sovietique, the prizes were an-

Monsieur George Citerne then rose and told diners that he only proposed to
announce the 16 top awards with their corresponding Special prizes if any,
but that eventually all participants of the exhibition would receive a diploma
and a souvenir from the organizing committee or donor. A complete list of
prizewinners will appear in the bulletin of the Cercle France-U.R.S.S., but
here are the top prizes as were awarded with the speech and champagne.

One 'Vermeil' medal with Sevres Vase given by the President of the French Re-
public to Mr. Blekman of Moscow.

One 'Vermeil' medal and a Special Plaquette from the Society of Soviet Phi-
latelics to Michel Lipschutz.

There were no 'Gold' awards so the two 'Vermeils' were followed by the 'Sil-
ver' medal awards which were eight in number for the 'classics' (in this case
meaning normal philatelic collections not thematic).

Thus the list was: Mr. Blekman (Russian), Mr. Lipschutz (French) vermeils.
Then three soviet collectors to receive 3 silvers with their special awards,
the 4th silver award was my own, a silver medal presented by the Federation
des Societes Philateliques Francaisess and presented to me by Monsieur
Berthelot himself who wished me and our Society in London prosperity and

With this medal I also received from Mr. Citerne on behalf of the Moscow Col-
lectors Society a special award for my entry of the Revolutionary Period.
This special prize was a specially made porcelain plate with gold and red

7 -

edging and a replica of one of the centenary stamps issued in 1958 stamped in
the centre of the plate. The whole was encased in a red velvet covered case
lined with white silk. The remaining 2 silvers were then awarded with special
prizes to participants.

After this 6 silver medals were then awarded to the 6 winners in the "Thematic"
class. With each of these special prizes, given by various people or societies
there were long and short speech if in French they were translated into Rus-
sian if in Russian they were of course translated into French and generally
speaking there was much merriment until about 1.30 a.m. when we all rose to
have a general conversation before finding our way home.

I would like to record however a conversation which gave me a great deal of
pleasure with Mr. E. Krenkel, president of the Soviet Society of Philatelists.
No one was more surprised than myself when Mr. Krenkel came over-to me after
the dinner to shake my hand and tell me in perfect English that he was so
pleased to meet me, an Englishman, interested in Soviet philately that
he congratulated me on my display. During his conversation he also said that
he would be writing to me for further details of our Society and work, re-
searches and studies.

I did meet our friend and member John Fosbery at the Hotel Opera-Comique, who
had attended the exhibition on opening day but who did not attend the banquet.

On Monday I returned to the Exhibition to have a last look at the entries and
wish our friends in France power to their elbow if they are to continue to pro-
duce such exhibitions.

1918 1922
by Boris Shishkin

In the wake of the Russian Revolution which culminated in the establishment
of the Soviet regime on November 7, 1917, Russia went through a period of
economic dislocation, social disorder and civil strife, that can best be
described as "Smootnoye Vremia" or "Troubled Times".

During these years, the land was swept by a runaway inflation and, for a time,
suffered from an acute famine.

In several parts of the country, resistance to the new regime coalesced into
such forces as the Army of the North, the Northwest Army, the Volunteer Army
of South Russia and a similar military command in Siberia.

In some parts of the former Russian Empire, sectional and nationalist aspir-
ations led to the formation of separate or autonomous regimes in such regions
as the Ukraine and Siberia and in various parts of Caucasus, such as Armenia,
Georgia and Transcaucasia.

8 -

In the midst of all this, there were several thrusts of foreign armed inter-
vention. For a time, Austrian detachments roamed around the Ukraine, while
at other junctures, Allied expeditionary forces were found around the White
Sea in the North, in Odessa in the South, and in Batoum, on the Causacian
coast of the Black Sea.

Of philatelic interest in all of this is the fact that each resistance Army or
government and each regional regime, in an effort to maintain postal communi-
cations in the area within its purview, issued stamps and tried to operate
postal services of its own.

But of even greater philatelic interest is the fact that the central Russian
government during this period, or, rather the succession of such governments -
the Provisional Government of Kerensky, the RSFSR, and, finally, the USSR -
strove to re-establish the shattered postal system throughout the land, while
trying to keep up with a galloping inflation, and yet was unable to extend such
service to a large number of cities, towns and localities.

To meet the need of people in these localities during this period to communi-
cate with each other and with the outside world, the local posts had to find
some way to overcome their lack of postage stamps to prepay such mail as could
go through under those chaotic conditions.

Those that still had the remainders of the old Empire stamps, or their reissue
by the Provisional Government, used these, but at current, inflated prices.
Those whose supplies of these stamps were short, sometimes cut them in half
and used the biscets for postage (see photo). Some used the remaining sup-
plies of the old savings stamps, or even of control stamps. We have an ex-
ample of a 5 rouble (blue and beige) control stamp with the imperial coat of
arms on the right-hand side and the blank space to enter the date at the bot-
tom, used on cover from Kiiv (sic!) to Minsk provinceof Poland, as late as
25 February, 1922. In addition to the regular cancellation, the stamp is
also tied to cover by a purple circular cachet of the Cossack Regiment of the
Zaporozhskaia Cossack Division.

Local Postmasters' Provisionals

With this passing note of the postal vagaries of these civil war years, let us
turn to the main subject of our philatelic interest in this period the local
postmasters' provisionals. These are the stamps of the reissue by the Pro-
visional Government of 1917 of the previous Csarist regular issue, both perf.
and inperf., overprinted, often by hand, and often quite crudely, with rouble
values on kopeck values, sometimes merely by a letter F (for rouble).

For a summary description of postal issues of the Provisional Government
(March 17-November 7, 1917) and of stamps issued by the Soviet Government prior
to 1921, which can be considered together as the early Revolutionary issues,
see "Postage Stamps of the Russian Revolution" by D. S. Haverbeck in Chambers
Stamp Journal, Feb. 9, 1942 and Feb. 16, 1942 reprinted in The Russian American
Philatelist, October, 1943 and December, 1943, respectively. In the second in-
stallment of this study, Haverbeck provides a useful check list of stamps is-
sued during this period.

9 -

At this point, in order to understand the way in which the underlying economic
conditions were reflected in the postal rates of this period, let us briefly
trace the course of these rates during the period under consideration.

Between 1914 and 1918 the postage rate for an ordinary domestic letter gradu-
ally increased from 7 kopecks in 1914 to 35 kopecks in 1918. Late in 1919, by
Soviet decree, the domestic delivery of ordinary mail was made free. Stamps
were used at that time for prepayment of letters addressed for delivery abroad,
as well as of money orders and of packages sent by parcel post. Postage was
also necessary for registered letters and the rate on these rose from 1.05
roubles early in 1919 to 10 roubles by the end of that same year.

The price level by the end of 1919 was such that a pound of bread cost 100

On March 1, 1920 a revaluation was put into effect, fixing the value of stamps
a 100 times face, so that a 1 kop. stamp was now sold for 1 rouble. Small
denominations from 1 to 10 kop. were now in use at 100 times their face value.
With the Ukraine and South Russia placed under Soviet control at that time, the
Ukrainian and South Russia issues still on hand were also made subject to this

The group of the local postmasters' provisional overprints issued between mid-
June and the beginning of October of 1920, were the result of the March, 1920

On August 15, 1921, the rate of ordinary domestic mail, which, for over a year
and a half had required no postage, was established at 250 roubles for a
letter and 100 rbls. for a postcard. The registration fee was raised from 10
rbls. to 1000 rbls.

Inasmuch as the highest value of postage then available was O0 rbls. (Scott
No. 187), the postal savings and control stamps were again pressed into tem-
porary use, each stamp, regardless of its own face value, valued at 250 rbls.,
so that one such stamp was sufficient to carry a domestic letter. To be pro-
perly included in this group, these postal savings and control stamps should
bear a cancellation subsequent to Aug. 15, 1921. The lower values (1, 5 and
10 kop.) in this group should be between Aug. 15, 1921 and April 1, 1922, when
these were again revalued upward. They were valid only for domestic corres-

In March, 1922, the 200 and 300 rbl. Soviet stamps (Scott Nos. 182-184) were
reissued at 10 times face, i.e. at 2000 and 3000 rbls.

On April 1, 1922, the 1, 5 and 7 rbl. values of the last regular Csarist is-
sue were reissued at 10,000 times their original face value. The postal savings
stamps with cancellations of that period are extremely scarce.

The period of use of these reissues extended through 1922, but the postal rates
continued to rise during that year under the pressure of continuing inflation.
The number of stamps needed to prepay a letter increased correspondingly, with
envelopes carrying 10, 20, 30 and even 50 stamps each, these panes or sheets

10 -

often loosely attached to the letter at one end only. 2

With this background of the course of the currency inflation during these
"Troubled Times" let us now turn to the local postmaster provisionals in use
during this period.

A. The Kharkov Provisionals

Between June 16 and October 1, 1920, local postmasters in 236 post offices in
Kharkov Gubernia and several post offices in the neighboring Kursk Gubernia
made provisional use of the stamps of the 1909-1917 issue they still had on
hand and also of the stamps of Ukraine with trident overprints of types "Khar-
kov I", "Kiev II", "Kiev III", and "Ekaterinoslav I", overprinting these stamps
of kopeck denominations with a vertical surcharge reading ROUB for rouble.
The issuance of these local provisionals was prompted by the first revaluation
of stamps, made in March, 1920, at 100 times face. S. Parkhomovich, writing
in the first issue of the Sovietski Collectionner in 1963 states that the total
issue of these provisionals was 928, 292 stamps. 3 Some denominations in
this group, however, were issued in very small quantities.

B. 1920 Revalued Postmasters' Provisionals Issued in Other Localities

In his pioneer study of stamps of the Russian Civil War Period "Notes of the
Russian Revolutionary Stamps, 1920-1922" (New York, 1927), our own K. Lissiuk
lists and illustrates, in addition to the Kharkov Provisionals we have just
discussed, Postmasters' Provisionals originiating in 34 other cities or lo-
calities. Counting the districts of Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa and Kiev as
covered in other literature, Lissiuk arrived at a total of 39 districts and
cities as places of origin of these provisionals.

In the much later, 1963, study published in Moscow, S. Parkhomovich (op. cit.)
reports "more than 60 post offices" in the 1920 period as having revalued
stamps of the 1909-17 design with an overprint or in manuscript.

Writing even more recently, in the April 1, 1966, issue of the Philatelic Maga-
zine, our colleague John Lloyd, Honorary Secretary of -the British Society of
Russian Philately, states that "only just over a hundred post offices have
been identified as using them (the revalued postmasters' provisionals)". "Many
more did so", John Lloyd goes on, "but paper was extremely scarce at that time,
envelopes were re-used for a number of purposes even as cigarette paper -
and many must have been destroyed". "Thus it is hardly likely, after a lapse
of 45 years", Lloyd ruefully, but rightly concludes, "that much more will now
come to light concerning these scarce and interesting provisionals".

2 Cf. "Russian Reissues, Revalued Stamps and Provisionals, 1918-1923",
by Dr. Paul D. Krynine, in The Russian Philatelist, April-June, 1944, Vol.
3, No. 3.

3 S. Parkhomovich, "Provisional Postage Stamps of R.S.F.S.R. and U.S.S.R.
1918-23" in Sovietski Collectionner (Soviet Collector), No. 1, Moscow, 1963.
Reprinted in English translation by A. Pritt in British Journal of Russian
Philately, No. 35, October, 1964.


C. Fort Alexandrovskii A Special Case

A curious variation on the theme of revaluation in these provisional issues
is found in the town of Ashkhabad in the Transcaspian District, where Fort
Alexandrovskii was located the name often applied to the town itself.

Early in 1919, the revolutionary government of the Transcaspian District broke
off its relations with the Soviet government in Moscow. They were in need of
revenue and, in that connection, in need of revenue stamps or fiscal stamps.
The local postal authorities had an ample supply of the 1909-17 postage stamps
for the immediate needs of the district and, on March 25, 1919, an order was
issued, authorizing the overprinting of postage stamps for fiscal purposes.
Hence, the local post and telegraph office of Ashkhabad made an allocation of
a portion of its stock of postage stamps to have them overprinted with letters
"G. M.", appearing near the top of each stamp. These letters stand for
"Gerbovaia Marka", or fiscal stamp.

Because the minimum tax payable at the time in the District was 25 kop. the
stamps overprinted for such use were only of denominations in multiples of
25, up to 10 roubles.

On June 8, 1919, detachments of Red Army occupied Ashkhabad and the district
was brought back into the Soviet orbit. Upon taking charge of the District's
affairs, the Soviet government abolished the local tax and the postal admin-
istration of Fort Alexandrovskii or Ashkhabad used the "G. M." overprinted
stamps for prepayments of mail. Their use was confined to late 1919 and early

A couple of additional special cases must be mentioned to round out this
brief summary of local postmasters provisionals. Both belong to the 1922

One is the Kiev issue, with 7,500 rbl. and 8,000 rbl. overprints on the 5
kop. postal savings stamp and the 15,000 rbl. overprint on the 10 kop. postal
savings stamps. These were once listed by Scott as Nos. 207-209.

Another is the Viazma local, a 7,500 rouble handstamp on the Soviet 250 rbl.
stamp (Scott No. 183). Some authorities dismiss this overprint as a forgery.
However, Dr. Paul D. Krynine, who lived in Russia until 1924, and in 1923
served as a member of the Committee of Experts of the Moscow Philatelic Soc-
iety, has this to say in his notable article in the Russian American Phil-
atelist (op. cit.) about this issue:

"The writer knows at first hand that this issue was sold
exclusively of'any other at the post office in Viazma and
was extensively used on mail. Thus, it is either an unauth-
orized issue or, at worst, a private overprinting made by
post office clerks and sold to the public."

Another special instance of a local issue of postmaster provisionals is re-
ported to be Krasnovodsk, but further research is needed to document and
authenticate this issue.

12 -

All stamps of the Russian Civil War period and especially the "postmaster's
provisionals" of that time provide a fascinating field for philatelic study
and specialization. The author would be most grateful for any information
that would supplement and reinforce our knowledge of these issues.


920 T PE III

-1 ....... .^

June Septembel, 1920
"T920 Y IIV


June epte 1920
Provi sionals

S PAKharkov District

0 fRED Ov'et

13 -


By Michael Carson

Following is a list of varieties discovered by myself recently while examining
some examples of recent stamps of the U.S.S.R. They are on the stamps listed
in the Scott Catalogue between Nos. 2439A and 2i18 on the lithographed stamps.
The varieties are as follows:

1 kopeck (2439A)

A. A break in the frameline to the left of the numeral "1". There
are two small marks within the break. (Illustration 1)

B. A projection from the lower right corner of the frameline.
(Illustration 2)

2 kopecks (240O)

In the lettering "CCCP", the tail of the second "C" extends beyond
the line of the third "C" on the normal stamp (Illustration 3), while
on the variety, it does not (Illustration 4).

3 4

3 kopecks (2441)

To the right of the figure standing at the lower right, the small
semi-circle is joined to the vertical line at its left (Illustration
5) while on the normal stamp it is not. (Illustration 6)

6 kopecks (2W45)

On some stamps, on the dome atop the tallest tower in the background,
(not the main one in the foreground), there is a colored projection
in the light area (Illustration 7) that does not appear in others.
(Illustration 8)

There is also several color varieties on this issue, but I shall not attempt to
list them here at this time. There are most likely many other varieties of
this sort on these stamps. They appear to be very common as I have examined
only a very few examples of each of these stamps, and yet I have found all
these varieties. I would be pleased to hear of any other varieties which
the readers of "Rossica Journal" might discover.

7 I

15 -


Frederic Patka


The Belgian armored car Division was organized through the efforts of Comte de
Liederkerje and Mr. Van Espen and de Ligne. This unit which was to engage in
action at Volhynia on the South Eastern Front, was offered to the Tsar of
Russia by the Belgian Government, and was readily accepted by the Russian Mon-

Although the Belgian Armored Car Division was in existence since the early part
of 1915, and had received its baptism of fire on the Tserfront, the Belgian
law prohibited its being sent abroad. To circumvent that law volunteers were
recruited and trained to make up the division.

The unit was under the command of Major Collon and consisted of four batteries,
staff and supply units amounting to a total of 12 officers and 359 men assigned
as follows:

H Q Staff 1 Officer 10 men
1st Battery 1 51 "
2nd Battery 1 W1 "
3rd Battery 2 h8 "
4th Battery 5 141 "
Supply Unit 2 65 "

Simultaneously a group of 300 specialists, engineers, etc., were transported
to Russia with the designation "Corps Expeditionaire Industrielle Belge en
Russia" (Belgian Industrial Expeditionary Corps in Russia).

The Unit was transported to Brest and embarked on September 20, 1915 aboard the
S/S Wray Castle and arrived at Archangle on October 15, 1915; and then preceded
to Peterhof where they were billeted in the barracks of the Imperial Guards
near Petrograd. Their arrival could not have been later than October 19th, as
my first item was mailed on October 19th, from Petrograd (Mr. J. Barry gives
the date as Oct. 20th).

When Tsar Nicholas learned of the arrival of this unit in Russia, he cabled
his sincere thanks to the Belgian King for his assistance. "All Russians will
receive their Belgian brothers-in-arms with enthusiasm!" This news was of-
ficially released in Belgium on October 19th, after the unit had arrived in
Petrograd, and the public received this news with a great deal of indignation
and protests.

This criticism of the populace towards the government for not giving first con-
sideration to the defense of the homeland continued. "Telegraph October 19,
1915". The "Vlaamsche Stem" (Oct. 31, 1915) had been more aggressive--RBelgian
warfare must possess the exclusive characteristic of defense. Which means that
the war is over for us once our territory is liberated. In affect this is a
one-sided obligation on the part of the Entent powers; to drive the Germans out
and restore our independence; but that does not mean for our troops to be used

16 -

beyond our own frontiers....has the government forgotten that the Belgian law
prohibits the use of Belgian troops in our own colonies, and certainly in
place of British or French Colonial troops in the interests of Russial"

However, such protests were in vain, as the Belgian unit had already arrived
in Russia.

Following their inspection by the Tsar at Czarskoje-Selo near Petrograd, the
unit departed on December 28, 1915 for the South Eastern Front and placed under
the command of the llth Army of Gen. Sacharow, and was also employed as support
for units of the 7th Army.

Prior to the Russian summer offensive of 1916, the division was moved to the
front of the Tarnapol sector, from the assembly area of the llth Army Reserve.
Mr. Barry's statement that the unit had been transferred from Petrograd to 20
miles West of Tarnopol is not accurate, for as of this date Zborow was 19 Km.
to the rear of the Austro-Hungarian front lines.

The following historical summary mentions the actions in which the Belgian
Armored Car Division were employed. Information has been obtained from the
official publication of the Austrian War Archives "Osterreich-Ungarn letter
Kreig 1914-1918":

Issued in 1936 and, "Der Volkerkrieg" (Wien/Stuttgart). The first reference
refers only to Russian Armored Cards, however since no such units existed and
the dates correspond with those of the Belgian Units serving with the various
Russian Commands, it is logical to assume that the mentioned ones refer to the
Belgian Units. These armored cars were equipped with cannon and heavy machine
guns and on account of their mobility were quite formidable in those days. They
were the forerunners of the tank which were to appear later in the war. The
Division was not used as a complete unit, but instead were divided amongst the
various Russian Units as the necessity arose, whenever needed.

The summer offensive of Gen. Brussilov started on the South Eastern Front with
a tremendous artillery barrage, much larger than any previous one known up to
that time. Simultaneously, the barrage was extended to seven other points on
a front line of 300 Km.

At 11 AM on June 4, 1916, the 4th and 16th Inf. Div. (VI Corps llth Army, Gen.
Sacharow) began their assault against the 32nd Inf. Div. of the 9th Corps,
2nd Austrain Army. As the attack broke loose, and the two armies came to grips,
13 armored cars were ready for support.

The Russians had numerical superiority, and threw their men in, regardless of
losses, however, the Austrians were tenacious and fought with desperation, re-
sulting in very little ground being gained by the Russians. Most of the ground
gained was retaken by vicious counterattacks. The following day with heavy
fighting continuing, and both sides suffering heavy casualties, the line held
on this sector. However, some break-throughs occurred further north, in the
sector of the 4th Austrian Army. Also, in the south, in the sector of the 7th
Austrian Army, the frontline had to be evacuated piecemeal. To give an idea
of the tremendous losses sustained in this battle by the Austrians after the
first two days of fighting, the Austrian 82nd Inf. Reg. had only 718 men left

17 -

out of 5330 which they started with and the U4th Inf. Reg. 270 out of an ori-
ginal force of 5000.

On June 9th the Russian VI Corps resumed their attack against the 32nd Austrian
Inf. Div. and elements of the 19th Inf. Div. The battle raged for eleven hours,
with the Austrians repelling seven heavy attacks, and holding on to their pos-
itions. The Russians had made a slight gain on hill 389, located between Cebrow
and Hladki, and could not be dislodged. On the evening of June 9th, the 12th
Austrian Inf. Regt. and a heavy battery of the IV Corps arrived on this sector
to reinforce the worn troops.

In a Russian dispatch of June 10th, special mention was made of the Belgian
Armored Cars; "Belgian Armored automobiles gave our troops powerful support in
a series of fighting which took place near Hladki and Cebrow".

On the morning of June llth, the ground adjacent to hill 389 near Worobijowka
was retaken by Austrian Units, but lost again at midday. On June 12th the
positions of the Austrian Units between Cebrow and Hladki were subjected to a
continuous artillery barrage. When the barrage lifted, the Russians assaulted
those positions and heavy infantry fighting took place, but were repulsed. With
this failure, Gen. Sacharow's plans to break through in the North, where the
Tarnopol-Zborow Road was located, came to nothing.

However, the Belgian Armored Cars were in action in the Northern and Southern
Sectors of the front. Especially in the north, on June 10th by making a sud-
den attack where they were successful in piercing that section of the 4th Austrian
Army, the Brigade Jachmann of the Division Ruschke, Corps Bernardi.

In the south Armored Cards made advances from Buczacz along the road Jezierzany-
Monaster-Zyeka (about 65 Km south of Tarnopol) against the positions of the
36th Infantry Division.

There was a lull in the fighting for some time giving the opposing forces time
to regroup and consolidate their positions. Then on August I, 1916, the V Sib-
erian Div. (17th and 7th Inf. Div., llth Army of Gen. Sacharow) again fiercely
attacked the 2nd Austrian Army on the South attempting again a break through
towards Lemburg.

Russian Forces applied powerful pressure on units of the IV and V Austrian Corps
(the 14th and 33rd Inf. Div.'s) forcing the Austrians back, but the expected
break through did not occur. Also the Russian advance to Zborow, an important
railhead on the Austrian front broke down on the fourth day.

Although units of the llth Army again attacked the Austrian positions on Aug.
10th at different points, no advantage was gained, however the northern flank
of the 7th Russian Army (VI Corps) advanced on this day from their Tarnopol
bridgehead on a frontline of 30 Km width. The situation at this time was as
follows: In the north the 4th Inf. Div. against Zborow, in the center the
16th Inf. Div. against Koniucky and in the south the 23rd Inf. Div. (from
18th Corps) facing in the direction of Brzezany.

The Austrian front steadily weakened under the mounting assaults, yet the enemy
assaults could not reach its final objectives and was everywhere stopped. During
the assault on Zborow, units of the 4th Inf. Div. had been supported by the
Belgian Armored cars but had been beaten off by units of the Austrian 32nd
Inf. Div. in the center, units of the 38th Honved Inf.Div. (Hungarians), and

18 -

near Brzezany those of the Austrian 55th Inf. Div. stubbornly resisted the Rus-
*sian advances and forced them to retreat. By this time the great operations
of the Russian summer offensive of 1916 had come to an end.

On February 1917 the first riots broke out in Petrograd. The revolution took
a violent form during March and on March 14 Tsar Nicholas II arrived at General
Russky's Headquarters in Pskov, where he abdicated at 3 PM on that day. In
his "Abdication Proclamation" he clearly stated that he would not want his be-
loved son to succeed and named his brother Michael instead. Michael, however
refused the succession, and Russia then became a Republic, with Prince Lvoff,
the leader of the upper class patriots as Prime Minister and Kerensky as Min-
ister of Justice. The government in control agreed that the war must go on
against the common enemy.

Towards the end of June 1917, Russian troops on the South East Front stood on
the battle grounds on which a year ago they had fought, before their offensive
broke down. Once again they were preparing for a final offensive, with the
same objective as before, Lemburg.

Their plan was for the main assault to be carried out from the Southern flank
of the llth Russian Army on both sides of Zborow and Koniucky. For this oper-
ation, the llth Army, (Gen. Erdeli) had at his disposition the 35th Inf. Div.
(17th Corps), the 49th Corps, composed of the 4th and 6th Finnish Rifle Div.
the 82nd Inf. Div. and the Czechoslovakian Rifle Brigade. Also the 6th Corps,
consisting of the 2nd Finnish Rifle Div., the 4th, 16, 151st and 155th Inf.
Div. In reserve were the 1st Guard Corps (1st and 2nd Guard Div.) and the
1st Transbaikal Cossak Division stood by at Jezierna.

9 The bulk of the Russian assault troops consisted of Finnish and Siberian Regi-
ments and a special unit of the Czechoslovakian Rifle Brigade which had been
assigned to the llth Army. This unit was composed of former POW's and deserters
of Czech origin in the former Austrian army. Also, the Belgian Armored Auto-
mobile and Heavy Machine Gun Div. had been placed as assault support to the
2nd Finnish Rifle Div. in the sector of Koniucky. The Belgian Unit had been
reinforced by the British Armored Car Unit, commanded by Colonel Locker-Lampson.

On the Austrian side in this sector, units of the 54th Inf. Div. (81st and
88th Inf. Regt.) and 19th Inf. Div. (35th and 75th Inf. Regt.) as well as the
German 223rd Inf. Div. opposed the Russians.

The Russian general assault was scheduled for July 1, 1917 at 9 AM. For two
successive days before this, a very heavy barrage of concentrated artillery
fire covered the Austrian positions. However, the Austrians answered with a
counter artillery barrage on June 30th, which silenced some of the enemy guns.
On the early morning of July 1st, after a preliminary bombardment, mass at-
tacks of the 6th and h9th Russian Corps started at 9AM against the Austrian
positions near Koniucky. These attacks were designed to deliver a knock-out
punch and otherwise demoralize the Austrians.

By employing a pincer operation to the north and south of Koniucky, the Rus-
sians broke through the Northern flank of the 5hth Inf. Div. and overwhelmed
the 81st Inf. Regt. the Ukranian Legion and the assault Battalion of the Shth
Inf. Div. taking many prisoners in their advance. Reserve Units of Austrian
and German troops were brought to the front in an effort to stem the advance
and minimize the extent of the break through. Further to the north the

19 -

Czechoslovakian rifle brigade moved forward through units of the 32nd and 19th
Inf. Div. In as much as no additional reserves were available and the fact that
there was the danger of the break through being extended, the battle was
fought with unexpected fierceness.

New Russian attacks against the German 223rd Inf. Div. and units of the Austrian
Skth Inf. Div. commenced on July 2nd, in the vicinity of Koniucky. Although
these attacks were supported by armored cards (Belgian and British) they were
turned back at all points. By the evening of July 2nd the line of defense in
sector Zloczow had been moved approximately 5 Km west of the former front line
(Koniucky-Zborow). There remained but 6700 men of the 16,000 Austrian troops
who had started the campaign on June 30th.

In his article, Mr. Barry has given the date of this battle as July 28-31,
1917. However, it is to be noted that by this date Koniucky was behind the ad-
vancing Austro-German front. (Mr. Barry's article of the Belgian Armored Car
Division appeared in the "Forces Postal History Society of G.B." newsletter is-
sue dated September-October 1963).

The contributing cause of the break through in this particular sector of the
Austrian front was the make-up of the 35th and 75th Bohemian Regiments. Com-
prised of 65% and 80% respectively of Czechoslovakian troops, only offered token
resistance when they faced the Czechoslovakian Rifle Brigade.

Russian attacks continued until the middle of July 1917, when the first indic-
ations of disintegration became noticeable. Russian GHQ had ordered a general
attack for July 13th, however, entire units refused to fight and abandoned their
positions. Subsequently, the general attack was cancelled.

On July 19th 1917 the concentrated Austrian and German Divisions began a
counteroffensive, which resulted in marked success. By the evening of July
20th a break through 38 Km. wide and 18 Km. deep had been achieved. On July
21st the Austrian-German units had advanced to Tarnopol having expanded the
break through to 50 Km wide and 36 deep, while driving the Russians back in
disorder. By the 8th of August 1917, Eastern Galicia and Bukovina were oc-
cupied by the Central Powers.

At the start of the Russian retreat, the Belgian units, (although no documented
data has been found to verify this) managed to detach themselves and headed
East via Tarnopol,

Following the Bolshevist Revolution of October, the Belgian unit, in November
1917, was ordered to return to Belgium. This was easier said than done and it
was not until February 20, 1918 that this order could be executed. Russian
officials placed every obstacle in their way to prevent them from leaving,
treating them almost like enemies. Finally they started on their journey on
that date via Moscow, the return to home wended its way across Siberia via Omsk
and Irkutsk via the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostock.

From that point, on May 24, 1918, the unit embarked aboard the American vessel
S/S Sheridan which transported them to San Francisco, arriving on June 12th.
The return was concluded by rail to New York and thence by steamer across the
Atlantic to Bordeaux, reaching that port in July 1918.

20 -


Postally the Belgian Unit never had been allotted an Army Post Office. During
their stay in the rear areas, mail was usually sent in closed bags to Petrograd
for further transmission. Of course, mail could be posted at any Civilian P.O.
which happened frequently.

This mail can be found as "Free Mail" as well as with Russian postage stamps,
also later from Front Areas. When the Unit was transferred to the area of the
Reserve of the llth Army, the mail was routed via the Russian "Rear Area P.O.
213". During the operations on the South East front, most of the mail was
routed via the "Russian P.O. 8" which probably was attached to the VI Russian

As the Russian summer offensive of 1916 bogged down, and the unit had been
shifted from the front line to the surroundings of Tarnopol, mail will be found
with the Russian APO "T". It is probable that this was a stationary APO at

At intervals, until the end of 1916, items can be found with APO 8, these seem
to originate from different parts of the front, as these units, or parts of
it, had been sent to the front to support the various operations, in other
words, they were split up occasionally.

From the period of the second Russian summer offensive of July 1917 until the
retreat started, I have not been able to locate items, and this is understand-
able, they were too busy to do much writing.


Oct. 15, 1915 Arrival at Archangel No data
Oct. 19, 1915 Arrival at Petrograd Via Petrograd
Oct. 28, 1915 From Petrograd to South East Front Via Petrograd & Other
Civil P. O.'s
Jan. 10, 1916? Rear Area of the llth Army "Rear Area PO 213"
June 1, 1916 The front west of Tarnopol IFO 8
End Aug. 1916 Surroundings of Tarnopol FPO T
1916/1917 Area of llth Army FPO 8
July 1, 1917 New Russian offensive near Tarnopol ?
July 19, 1917 Counter-offensive of the Central
Powers ?
Until May 1918 Retreat and march through Siberia ?

The only possibility of identification are the various unit stamps, of which a
total of six different are known. All are rubber stamps, the circular ones
all with double outer circumference. Color always violet in various shades.

Type 1 double-circle diameter 33/21,5mm, text; "Auto-Artillery and heavy Machine-
Guns", in the center "Belgiam/Army/in/Russia".
Type 2 double-circle diameter 36/21 mm, text; "Belgian Armored Auto/Divisiorn, in
the center "Divisional/Command".
Type 3 double-circle diameter 36/20,5mm, text; "Belgiam Army in Russia/(Star)",
in the center "Armored/Auto/Division".

21 -

Type 4 double-circle diameter.35/20 mm, text; "Technical Expeditionary Corps
in Russia", in the center; "Belgian/Army".
Type 5 double-circle diameter 34/21, 5mm, text; "Belgian Armored Auto Division/
(Star)" in the center; Russian Eagle.
Type 6 straight-line 20,5/68,5 mm, text; first line; "Belgian", second line;
"Armored Auto Division".

Concerning the scarcity of all these unit stamps, the one of type 5 seems to
be with the passage of time the scarcest of all. My only example is no postal
item, but a fragment of a document from a member of this unit, which shows this
unit stamp and it is my opinion this was the official seal. The text of this
classification may be type 4, whilst the others may well be balanced out.

Also there are items which show only written senders-addresses, without addition
of one of the mentioned unit-stamps. This concerns especially the members of
the technical and industrial expeditionary corps, all of whom had been engaged
through out the country.


From the Russian APO cancels there are also several types known. All are double-
ring steel canceller with innter-bridge. Color normally black, date single
lined in the bridge.

Diameter 29/17mm text; Stanzia Post. Telegr. Otd. No. 213
25/16mm do /two stars
24/17mm Polowaja Post. Kantora No. 8 / two stars and "D"
27/14,5mm do do -
24,5/18 mm Polowaja Post. Kant... T / two stars and "A"

There are also two letters between "Kant. and T", but I was not able to decipher
those in the cancels I have seen.

In the following are descriptions of the 27 items in my collection:

1. Letter addressed to "Le Mot du Soldat" Baarle Hertog. stpd, with 10 Kp Rus-
sian stamp, cancelled Petrograd Oct 19, 15, also Petrograd Oct 20th and Oct
22nd '15 (dates when the mail had been handed over to the censor and re-
ceived back from there), rectangular Russian censor No. 138. Unit stamp
type 6.

2. Letter addr. and stamped as 1, cancelled Petrograd Oct 29th '15, departure
Petrograd Oct 29th '15, rectangular Russian censor No. 59. Sender: "Auto
Canons Belge Legation de Belgique a Petrograd". Unit stamp type 6.

3. Letter-card addr. to Baarle Due, Belgium, stpd. 10 Kp Russian stamp, can-
celled Briancki Oct 29th '15. Arrival Moscow Oct 30th, small double cir-
cle Russian censor "Prosmotr. Moskowsk. Woen, Zensuros. B.G.B.". Moscow
Oct 31st (returned from censor), departure Moscow Nov 4th '15. Transit
cancel Paris Dec 4th, French double-line censor stamp "CONTROLE/PAR L'AUTO-
RITE MILITAIRE". No unit stamp, but a paragraph in the letter reads:
"...I'd been on the Belgian front and I'd been sent here for the fabri-
cation of ammunition...".

4. Russian illusr. Red Cross card, addr. to Belgian army address, free mail,

22 -

Petrograd Nov 10th '15, rectangle Russian censor 141, Petrograd Nov 13th.
Arrival cancel Belgian APO Dec llth '15. Unit stamp type 1.

5. Letter addr. to "Le Mot du Soldat". stpd. 10 Kp Russian stamp, cancelled
Petrograd Dec 2nd '15, rectang. Russian censor 350, Petrograd Dec 2nd '15.
Arrival cancel Belgian APO, date blurred. Sender: "Auto Canon Belges".
Unit stamp type 6.

6. Letter to Belgian army address, free mail, cancelled Petrograd Dec 21st
'15, rectang. Russian censor 75, Petrograd Dec 23rd and Jan 4th '16. Le
Havre transit Jan 29th French censor small frame with No 10 (Later only
referred as French censor No..) Belgian APO Jan 31st '16. Sender: "Corps
des Auto Canons-Mitrailleuses Belge, Russie-Poste Centrale a Petrograd".
Unit stamp type 2.

7. Letter to Belgian army address, free mail, cancelled Petrograd Nov 5th,
rectang. Russian censor No 416, Petrograd Nov 9th '15, arrived Belgian
APO Dec 4th '15. Sender: "Auto-Canons Belge Russie". Unit stamp 1.

8. View-card (Russian Artillery).

9. View-card (army cemetery) both cards addressed to Belgian army address,
free mail, Petrograd Nov 30th '15, rectang. Russian censor No 58, Petro-
grad Dec 1st '15 & Dec 4th Le Havre Jan 12th '16. Unit stamp type 1.

10. Letter addr. to Belgian army hospital, stpd. 10 kp Russian stamp, cancelled
Petrograd Dec 2nd '15, rectang. Russian censor No 437, Petrograd Dec
21st & Dec 22nd '15, French censor No 10. Arrival cancel, Belgian APO
Jan 13 '16. Sender: "...Soldat Belge Corps Expeditionaire Industrielle,
% Consulat de Belgique a Petrograd, Russia". No Unit stamp.

11. Letter with same addr as No. 10 stpd, 10 kp Russian stp., cancelled Petro-
grad Jan 5th '16, rectang. Russian censor No 395, Petrograd Jan 6th &
Feb 29th '16 (retained one full month at the Russian censor-office!) French
censor No 16. No Unit stamp.

12. Letter addr. to Belgian army address, free mail, cancelled Russian APO
"Rear Post & Telegr. PO No 213, Jan 12th '16, Petrograd Jan 20th, rectang.
Russian censor No 712, Petrograd Jan 24th '16. Arrival cancel Belgian
APO Feb 20th '16. Unit stamp type 2.

13. View-card to Belgian army address, free mail, cancelled Russian APO 213
(same as 12) Jan 13th '16, Petrograd Jan 19th, rectang. Russian censor No
413, Petrograd Jan 24th French censor No 10, arrival Belgian APO Feb 20th
'16. The card was written at Gere-ninninka on the way to the front. Unit
stamp no 2.

14. Letter addr. to "Le Mot du Soldat", 10 kp Russian stamp, cancelled Petrograd
April 7th '16, rectang. Russian censor No 339, Petrograd April 19 '16,
French censor No 6. Included in the sender's address "army No OX 4009".
Unit stamp type 6.

15. Letter addr to "Le Mot du Soldat", stpd, 10 kp Russian stamp, cancelled
Kiev April 9, 1916. Two Russian censor stamps; rectang. 52 X 20 mm "Seen
/Military Censor" and a circular one, similar to a regular postal cancel,

23 -

text; above "Military censor" below "Controlled" date 12.4.16 (inscription
in Russian of course). Circular French censor O.F. Sender: "Auto Canons
Berle Poste Centrale Petrograd Russie". On the front of the envelope the
entry "Armee Belge en Russie". No Unit stamp.

16. Letter addr. to "Le Mot du Soldat", stpd. 10 kp Russian stamp, cancelled,
Russian APO 213 (small type) May 2nd .16, Petrograd May 7th, rectang. Rus-
sian censor No 631, Petrograd May 24th '16, French censor No 39. Unit type

17. Letter addr. as previous one, 10 kp Russian stamp cancelled APO 213 (small
"type), Petrograd May 19th '16, rectang. Russian censor No 555, Petrograd
May 27th '16. French censor No 39 and circular C.F. Sender: "Corps des
Aut. Mil. Belge en Russie, Armee du Front". Unit stamp type 2.

18. Letter addr. same as No 16, 10 kp Russian stamp cancelled APO 213 (large
type) May 30 '16, no Russian censor, French circular censor C.F., arrival
cancel Belgian APO July 4th '16. "Corps des Autos Canons Belge, Russie,
Armee du Front:. Unit stamp type 3.

19. Letter addr. same as No 16, 10 kp stamp cancelled Russian APO 8 June 6th
'16, rectang. Russian censor No 882, Petrograd June llth, French censor
No 21. Unit stamp type 2.

20. Letter addr. same as No 16, free mail, cancelled APO 8, June 19th '16, no
Russian censor, Le Havre transit July 17th, arrival Belgian PO July 18th.
Unit stamp type 2 & 6.

21. Letter addr. to Belgian army address, free mail, cancelled APO 8, July 28th
'16 Petrograd July 28th, rectang. Russian censor No 401, Petrograd Aug.
2nd, French censor No 88. Arrival cancel, Belgian APO Sept. 1st '16. Unit
stamp type 2.

22. Letter addr. to Belgian army address, free mail, cancelled APO "T" Sept
10th, Petrograd Sept 17th rectang. Russian censor,'transit La Havre Oct
16th French censor, arrival APO Oct 25th. Sender: "Corps des Auto-Canons-
Mitrailleuses Belge, Front Sud-Ouest-Russie". Unit stamp type 3.

23. Registered letter addr. to Belgian military hospital in France, redirected
to Hoogstade. Stpd. 20 Kp Russian stamp, cancelled Chostka-Zern Sept. 15th
'16, registered label Chostka No 607. Small rectangular Russian censor,
text illegible, with No 8. Le Havre transit Nov 3rd '16, Belgian APO 6,
Nov 8th '16, Unit stamp type h.

25. Letter addr. as #24, stpd. 10 Kp Russian stamp, cancelled Sestrorjezk (near
Petrograd) Oct 3, 1916, Petrograd Oct 7th, rectang. Russian censor No 639,
Petrograd Nov 3rd '16. French censor No 8 and circular C.F. Arrival Bel-
gian APO Dec 5th '16. Unit stamp type 6. It seems that this letter had
beenposted by a member of the corps on service tour.

26. Letter addr. as #24, stpd 7 & 3 Kp Russian stamps, cancelled Briancki-Gorod
Oct 4th '16 Moscow Oct 6th '16, circular Russian censor stamp from Moscow
with No 107, Moscow Oct 7th '16 French circular censor C.F. Unit stamp
type 6.

24 -

27. Letter addr. to La Haye Netherlands, stpd. 10 Kp Russian stamps, cancelled
Makievka-Don July 5th '17, rectangular Russian censor "War censor No 1480
P.W.O." French censor No 89, British censor label "Opened by censor No 1084".
Arrival cancel Scheweningen Oct 12th '17. Sender: "Convoi de Transport
de Cockes de L'Union Miniere Makievka". On back rubber stamp of the Rus-
sian command "Mining Union".

The towns mentioned of Chostka, Gereninka and Briancki-Gorod, (they could have
been tiny villages) I could not find on a map, either they were too small or
they had been renamed since.

Finally it may be said, that all items from this unit are rare and in spite of
the 45 years since the end of World War I, only a very few of those items have
turned up.

Concerning the British Armored Car Unit, I was only able to find a few bits or
information, but no postal items, they certainly must exist.

After being organized in the autumn of 1915, this unit left England, under the
command of Colonel Locker-Lampson, they reached Archangel by ship, however at
that time of the year everything was frozen solid, and the ship remained ice-
boundfor six months off Alexandrowsk. The officers of the unit consisted not
only British, but also Irish, Scots, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.
All the men had served on the Belgian Front, previous to their transfer to this

Before concluding the story, it may be well to give an expalantion of the "Mot
du Soldat" contained in address, which may often be found on those items (also
on other Belgian Army mail of WW-I).

Mr. Barry in his article terms this as "Soldier-paper and welfare organization",
but this is not correct, rather it was a code name for a secret organization!
It all started in the German occupied part of Belgium, where the group was or-
ganized secretly for the purpose of sending important mail from the occupied
territory to Belgian soldiers in the remaining free Belgian and France and
vice-versa. The central office of this organization was installed at the
Belgian Enclave Baarle-Duc in the Netherlands. If someone in the German oc-
cupied territory wished to write to a soldier on the front-line, he entered
one of the secret offices, (they were located in different parts of the coun-
try) and asked for a formula called "Mot du Soldat". The risk was great,
for if one were caught receiving it or distributing it, it would mean that they
would be held as spies. This formula had a detachable part, the top part was
used for the address of addressee, the lower part "No 1 (or also No 2 or 3)
showed "OEUVRE DU MOT DU SOLDAT" below this a patriotic saying, under this
"Distribution Gratiute" (there are 12 different types in existence).

When the agent of the secret office handed the formula over to the applicant,
he made two marks on this: the code sign of the respective office as well as
a number under which the sender (applicant) was covered. On the detachable
part the soldier's address was inserted.

The agent then utilized a trusted messenger to carry these "Mot's" to Holland.
None of the people engaged in this traffic knew each other, so that if one
was caught he could not divulge the name or names of the others. The formulas

25 -

W4ftu saioua. j

r, ilcs.l ,, -S7 ,< t . f

!. OI I .- ,

Cl -
4 ,;-, 5-t ,

I rp ~j~Lar .~~-~f aC~1


had only the name of the receiver.

In the central office at Baarle Duc all the formulas when received were sorted
and before transmitting the answer in another "Mot" (this was No 2) as well as
others which the receiver could distribute to interested comrades (those had
No 3) and a rose colored envelope with the address of "Mr. Peyman, Mot du
Soldat, Baarle Hertog, Belgique" had been added. The letter was the answer
to the original one sent and returned the same way.

These envelopes show a large double-oval rubber-stamp, in violet, with text
the center: "OEUVRE DU / Cross with rays / "MOT DU SOLDAT". Besides the above
mentioned address, there also appears "OUVRE DU MOT DU SOLDAT / BELGIQUE", both
had been stamped on the envelope by means of rubber-type-set stamps.

Of the 27 items mentioned in my collection, only No 18, 19 and 20 have the
large cachet of the "Mot Du Soldat".

On June 29th 1915 an Army order stated that the use of the "mot" was forbidden,
also that the transmission of ciphered letters (addresses) could lead to a
charge of espionage. However, on August 1st 1915, the organization was rehab-
ilitated by a telegram of the Ministre-of-War to the central office. This was
also publicized in the Army with an order of August 17th, 1915 and the usage
herewith further on authorized.

Readers who wish additional information on this subject should consult Rossica
Journal No. 64, Page 43, article by E. Marcovitch and British Journal of Rus-
sian Philately, Page 645, article by John Barry. THE EDITOR


Dr. C. de Stackelberg

I decided to write this note after reading with interest the excellent article
by Mr. Fred W. Speers on Soviet Air Mail Stamps 1922-1944 in Number 71 of
Rossica and after comparing his findings with the stamps in my collection.

Mr. Speers in his article not only deals in detail with the history, peculi-
arities and varieties of each issue, but, having painstakingly measured the
perforations of his stamps lists these in quarter sizes and compares them with
those listed by Scott and Sinabria.

It is the perforations of these stamps I would like to discuss.

Why are exact perforations important to collectors and especially to specialists?
Is it not to know the exact size of perforations made at the time of printing,
by machines which at that time were available at the printing office? To under-
stand perforations better it is also important to know by what method they were
perforated, i.e. whether they are line, comb,or box perforated, when the whole

27 -

sheet is perforated at one stroke. Genuine varieties or errors, i.e. those
different from the original perforation can only arise, when they have been
made by some other method or size, by a perforating machine which at that
time was available at the printing office. All other perforations are

To illustrate the above I would like to refer our readers to the perforations
of the North Pole Issued, Scott #030-33. Originally they were issued comb
perforated 12x124 or 121, usually described in catalogs by full half sizes as
12x12 or 12b.

However, a large stamp dealer in Berlin having sold in advance to his distri-
butors and clients perforated and imperforate sets of this issue, on obtaining
from Moscow only imperforate sheets, "to save his reputation" had these sheets
perforated in Berlin 11i a perforation which at that time could not have been
made in Moscow, as no 114 perforation machines were at that time in use at the
Soviet Printing Office. Thus the stamps are genuine, but the 11 perforation
is a fake, even if some catalogs list such a perforation among the varieties.

But to distinguish genuine from fake perforations is much more complicated than
it would seem at first sight.

First of all most of the popular catalogs, such as Scott or Sinabria and even
specialized catalogs, such as Romeko 1927 and 1956, as well as the very de-
tailed Soviet Catalog of 1955 only give the size in half perforations, as 11
and 11, whereas a specialist prefers to have the perforations measured in
the more exact quarter perforations, as 11, 11, 11 and 11 3/4.

Luckily for us specialists, Mr. C. Manshaley published in No. 10 of the old
Rossica in 1932, with an addenda in No. 16 of 1934, a fundamental study on the
perforations of Russian Imperial, Kerenski, R.S.F.S.R. and U.S.S.R. stamps
up to 1932. This study, which he undertook with two friends is based on the
preforations measurements of hundreds of stamps. He lists not only the method
of perforation for each issue, whether line, comb or box, but also the size of
the hole, whether large or small and the exact size of the perforation in

In the introduction to his study he states that an initial error of listing a
perforation in a catalog is then repeated every year and this error is often
copied by other catalogs. The other difficulty he points out is the inex-
actness of many perforation gauges, many collectors use. Those printed on
cardboard or on some thin metal strip should not be used. The cardboard ones
are affected by humidity and the metal ones expand with heat, changing their
reading from one day to the other. I discovered this long ago, when one hot
day I was unable to understand what was wrong with my stamps! Since then I
have been using a good gauge made of plastic. The most accurate gauge I have
seen, but which is very expensive, was one, I think, made in Sweden, where
the perforations were engraved on a piece of square crystal.

But let us revert to the perforations. The next complication is the paper on
which the stamps are printed, and this is the main point of this note.

So far as I know there are no problems about the exact perforations of Imperial
Russian stamps, as the paper used by the Imperial Printing Office must have

28 -

been of a very high quality, it has not been affected by climatic changes,
i.e. the stamps did not shrink or expand. Thus, for instance, the first per-
forated Russian stamps of 1858 after a hundred years of exposure to humidity
or dryness still show exactly their original perforation of 144lJI 3/4. The
gum on mint stamps did not change their size and thus neither the size of the
perforations. But, how different it is with the paper used for Soviet stamps.
Take as an example the first R.S.F.S.R. stamp printed on watermarked paper,
the Scott #187 with Wmk #109. Most catalogs list this stamp as existing in
two types or sizes: of 37lc23 mm and of 38A 23 3/4 mm. Their size depends
on how the square lozenges watermarked sheet probably when humid was fed into
the printing machine i.e. vertically or horizontally. The size of the ori-
ginial cliche of the stamps was in each case the same, but when drying after
printing those sheets with horizontal watermark (shaded triangles pointing
up or down) shrank to 372, whereas the sheets with the watermark pointing
vertically to the right or to the left finally became 38 mm long. These
stamps were of course issued imperforate, but had they been perforated at the
time of printing, their perforations would have shown a difference of at
least 4 mm a perforation.'

To my mind, what is important to collectors is to know what was the exact
size of the perforation at the time they were made at the Soviet Printing
Office and not the present size of the perforation.

After reading Mr. Speers article I have remeasured many stamps in my col-
lection and I came to quite different results than those listed by him. Pro-
bably my stamps shrank or expanded in a different way than Mr. Speers' owing
to the different climatic conditions his and my stamps had been exposed to.

I have also compared the perforations of the Air Post Congress Set, Scott
#010 & 11, the Zeppelin issue, Scott #012 & 13 and the Airship Construction
set Scott #016-23 as listed by Manshaley (M), the Soviet Catalog of 1955
(SO), Romeko 1956 (RO) and Scott (SC) with the perforations listed by Mr.
Speers (SP). The results appear in the table below:


ClO-11 Comb 12s,12' Comb 123w12 12ll12 13x12 12x111, 123l11 3/4

C12-13 Line 124 Line 12% 12% 12i 12x11 3/4
Line 10 3/4 Line 10 10i 10i 10k

016-23 Line 12 Line 12 123 123 12
Comb- Comb
12x12 12xl2% 12x12%
or or or 12
12lq2 12l=12 123lo2
Comb' Comb
10,xl2 10lrg2 104xl2 102 l 2 10sc12 10x11l
Line 10 3/4 Line 10% 10 10 0loc10
N/A 14 14 14 13 3/4
11-which is a
fake perf.

'Wide perforation with small teeth
'Large teeth

29 -

Mr. Manshaley explains that his 124 perforation can be expressed in half per-
forations as being 12, but the 10 3/4 perforation he equals to 10g.

As I already said, genuine perforation varieties could only be produced by
perforation machines which at the time of printing were available at the Soviet
Printing Office. But how do we know or can presume what machines were avail-
able at a certain time? Well, the Soviet Catalog of 1955 prints many appendix
tables, which show not only the layout of the stamps on each sheet, but also
lists by type of printing and watermark, if any, the perforation of each stamp
in g perforations, as well as all the known perforation varieties.

From this data, one can conclude what perforation machines were at a given
period in use or available at the Soviet Printing Office, which could have
produced these varieties. It must also be remembered that compound perfor-
ations could only be produced by two or more line perforating machines or
on one of the horizontal sides of a comb perforated stamp by an additional
line perforation.

Between 1927 and 1944 it seems that no 11 (or 11 3/h) perforating machines
were available, which could have produced such a perforation, a size often
listed by Mr. Speers, as appearing on his stamps. Therefore, these stamps
must have originally been perforated 12 or even 124.

To sum up: the importance for collectors is to know the exact size his stamps
were originally perforated, as well as what kind of machines were available at
the Soviet Printing Office, which could have produced genuine varieties. Other
perforation sizes show that the stamp has either shrunk or expanded, usually
by not more than of a perforation, or that the perforation is a fake.


From the preface to his "Description of the Russian Zemstvo Postage Stamps,
Envelopes and Wrappers" by D]itrii Nikolaevich Chudovskii, Kiev, 1888.

Translated from the original Russian by Boris Shishkin.


This excerpt from the first descriptive Handbook of the Russian
Zemstvo Stamps by D. N. Chudovskii, published in 1888, is notable
not only for the useful and accurate information it provides about
the rural post in Russia, and the light it sheds on the contemporary
interest in collecting Zemstvo stamps. It is remarkable also for
the diatribe against philately, mounted by Chudovskii in the course
of this preface. Here is a collector, a student of his chosen

30 -

specialty and a meticulous compiler of all pertinent data about
the stamps he lovingly describes, who goes out of the way to
inveigh against the hobby to which he himself is obviously de-
voted, not to say addicted a term he, no doubt would prefer.

Stampomania is undoubtedly a psychic disease of our age. The passion for
collecting various things has always persisted in the human race. People
have formed collections of books, engravings, coins, animals, plants, arms,
clothes, etc., etc. But they began to collect postage stamps of all coun-
tries and of all specimens, with their minutest varieties, only some twenty
years ago.

Collecting of books, engravings, etc., can be explained, apart from being a
passion, by its scientific purpose. But none of the stampomaniacs I have had
occasion to meet, could explain the aim of their passion. And I have seen
solid and respectable people who, once infected by stampomania, were ready to
forget their direct human responsibilities. Several hundred thousand people
are by now afflicted by this disease on this earth. The Germans even had
the idea of raising this passion, this disease, to the level of a science,
giving it the technical name of "philately".

Fortunately, in Russia the number of stampomaniacs is relatively small, com-
pared with England, Germany and France, but in St. Petersburg and Moscow,
societies of stamp collectors have already been formed.

Foreigners collect all postage stamps without exception, including the postal
issues of the Russian Zemstvos, which even they prize quite highly, because
these stamps are relatively hard to find. There are even several very good
studies of Russian Zemstvo postage stamps in French and in German. In Rus-
sian, however, so far as I know, not a word has been printed about them.

Interest in my publication would have been enhanced had the description been
accompanied by illustrations. But even the most unpretentious pictorial pre-
sentation would have so greatly increased the cost of publication, that it
would have been hopeless to find a market for it. Expecting a complete fiasco
in this enterprise even in the present form of publication, I can at least
console myself with the knowledge that I have not invested any large capital
in it.

In their appearance Zemstvo stamps present a variety that cannot be matched
by stamps of the entire world. They can be grouped in 8 forms: square,
vertical or horizontal rectangle, similarly placed rhomb, ellipse (oval),
and, finally, circle. Their sizes range from large and ugly pieces of paper
more than an inch and a half in size, to mere petals, smaller than our gov-
ernment postage stamp. Such are the delights which a markomaniac must en-
counter in the area of Russian Zemstvo stamps.

In their execution, like the handicrafts of our homegrown country whittlers,
they range from the gaudiest pictures to the most exquisite ones, such as,
for example, all the stamps of Morshansk county. Some among them have pecul-
iarities not encountered among foreign stamps stamps with coupons attached.
When a letter is posted, let us say in a volost office, a stamp is affixed,
from which a coupon is detached, on which is written the number of the af-
fixed stamp, date, month and year, and finally the signature of the official

31 -

accepting the letter. Some Zemstvos, instead of using coupons, simply had
numbers placed on stamps themselves, so that the sender could ascertain whether
his letter, with the numbered stamp on it, had reached its destination.

The size of some of these stamps also makes their use quite convenient taking
the place of wax in sealing the envelope. Some of the Zemstvo offices, when
they issued their postage stamps, at the same time also issued postal stamped
envelopes, and some even issued stamped envelopes only. One who is familiar
with our rural life will appreciate the practicality of the Zemstvo postal en-
velopes. In the remote rural countryside, it is sometimes impossible to find
a scrap of paper, to say nothing of obtaining an envelope. And if you find
one in the country store, you will be sure to have to pay three times over
for it. But now, all you have to do is to write your inviolable fatherly
blessing on a scrap of paper, send Vanka to the volost office, where the
scribe, for five kopecks, will give him a stamped envelope and will address
it, and your blessing will be sure to reach its intended destination. One
Zemstvo and only one also issued its own newspaper wrappers, I am re-
ferring to a narrow strip of paper with a postage stamp printed on it, used
to seal around printed items and dispatch tham by mail. We do not have such
wrappers issued by the government but abroad they are widely used.

There is another type peculiar to Zemstvo postage this consists of stamps
or envelopes for unpaid letters. Some landowners living far from postoffices
arrange to receive or send all of their correspondence by way of the local
Zemstvo post. Since in such cases the recipients cannot prepay the cost of
handling of their correspondence by the Zemstvo office, some Zemstvos have
introduced the postage due, or "unpaid letter" stamps and envelopes. Re-
cipients of such mail either remit the postal tax due on it when the mail
reaches them, or settle their accounts with the Zemstvo office periodically.

To make this even more convenient, one Zemstvo Lubensk introduced such
stamps on an annual subscription.

Unpaid letter stamps are also used by some of the postal systems abroad, where
they are known as "Timbres-Taxe" or "Nachportomarken".

A great variety of paper has been used for Zemstvo stamps and envelopes,
ranging from the common coarse grey, to the highest quality, the so-called
"Czarskaya", from the thickest, to the finest. It is unlikely that any of
the Zemstvo offices ever placed special orders for paper to be used for
their stamps they used whatever paper they had on hand. Only this can ex-
plain the fact that some stamps of one and the same issue can be found
printed on very different kinds of paper, notably the stamps printed on
colored paper. Everyone familiar with the printing trade knows that not
only in a stack of colored paper, but sometimes in just a quire of it, one
often finds sheets which, although they are of the same basic color, have
very distinct different shades. That is why it seems to me to be aimless to
collect stamps according to shades of the color of the paper.

In the description of stamps one finds notations; "so many varieties". But
sometimes these variations are so minute that it is impossible to describe
them. They may be the result of liberties taken by the engraver or litho-
grapher in transmitting to paper the specimen he had at hand, or in setting
the type or parts of the design from the typographic components at his dis-

32 -

Denominations for Zemstvo postage stamps are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and
25 kopecks.

Stamps of the g kopeck denomination are used for dispatch of newspapers or
magazines to their destination. The 25 kopeck denomination, used in Novo-
Ladoga, is probably intended for correspondence of great weight. The average
cost of a Zemstvo stamp may be taken to be 4 kopecks, although in many counties,
quite large in their extent, the cost of a Zemstvo postage stamp is only 2

At the beginning, some Zemstvos issued stamps and even envelopes without spec-
ifying their denomination. Their denomination was stipulated and their use
was short-lived.

The cost of unused Zemstvo stamps sold by dealers varies a great deal. For
a stamp of the latest issues one must pay from 3 to $ times its face value.
Prices for stamps of the more remote issues increase in geometric proportion
to the distance, while prices for stamps of the earliestissues reach fabu-
lous heights. Used stamps are much cheaper, although stamps of the first is-
sues are also high priced. Incidentally, it may be noted that these stamps
do not have a fixed definite price. Every dealer has his own price list which
depends on the quantity of material he has on hand.

High prices for unused stamps of the early issues can be explained by the
fact that twenty years ago nobody in Russia ever thought of collecting Zemstvo
postage stamps. Demand for them developed only quite recently. It was then
that dealers began, through specially commissioned agents, to search and fer-
ret around the Zemstvo administrations to buy up the remainders of stamps no
longer in use. Some of the stamps, of course, they could not find at all and
these began to turn up only occasionally. Because there are so many hunters
of these stamps, their prices are disgusting. No one will believe that there
are Zemetvo stamps for which dealers are asking 400 rubles and more.

These are the reasons why I have refrained from stating the market prices for
these stamps. Same considerations have kept me from stating the degree of
their rarity. Postage stamps are the kind of goods that wind up in stoves
and in sewage dumps. From these they cannot be retrieved. It follows that
treasure troves of Zemstvo postage stamps cannot be found. It could, of
course, happen that the rarest of these stamps will turn up in the desk drawer
of some old Zemstvo official, who liked to hide his correspondence, and then
the rarest stamp may become common.

I must warn stampomaniacs that lately there have appeared not only forgeries
of Zemstvo stamps, but even fantasies stamps that have never been in cir-
culation. This trade is plied and will be plied with impunity, because it is
not being punished by law. And it is unlikely that any Zemstvo administration
would pursue a forger who has falsified a stamp no longer in circulation, or
a fantasy of a non-existent Zemstvo stamp.

This publication describes all Zemstvo stamps whose existence has been ver-
ified. Forgeries and fantasies are not described.

I cannot vouch for the lack of omissions in my listing. Nor can I vouch for
the accuracy of every year of issue. I would, therefore, be extremely grate-
ful for any information in this regard from experienced people and, especially
from Zemstvo administrations, some of which have already been kind enough to
respond to my questions.

33 -


We are indebted to Ed Wolski, Treasurer of the Washington Chapter of Rossica,
for spotting this extremely rare volume in the famous Yudin Collection in the
Library of Congress.

IN 1816-1857

by Dr. C. de Stackelberg

It may be recalled, that in the Rossica #69, pages 29-30, I discussed "The
Mysterious K P Handstamp used in Riga in 1816-1857".

Supported by the opinions of our experts, I came at that time to the con-
clusion that these cyrillic letters meant "Konnaja Potchta" or "Horse Mail",
i.e. that letters bearing that handstamp were forwarded by special messengers
on horseback, instead by ordinary mail, carried by Yamshtiks in carriages or

However, now Mr. H von Hofmann of Hamburg, Germany, was kind enough to send
me a reproduction of a handstamp, he has discovered (and which is illustrated
below), which seems to prove that "K P" of the Riga and Mitau letters mean,
as he always has maintained "Kasennaja Pochta", i.e. Government or Official
Mail. The handstamp was affixed in Moscow in 1859 and shows at the bottom of
the circle the cyrillic letters "KAS P", which could be the abbreviation for
"Kasennaja Pochta" or Government Mail.

When checking this further with our experts, our Honored Member, Mr. Kurt Adler,
of New York, drew my attention to a later Railway P. 0. cancellation from
Moscow, he has in his collection, showing in a circle, above the date line,
the letters "MOCKBA M.A." and below "KA3B", meaning: "Moscow, Railway" and
abbreviated "Kasan Railway Station". We have not been able to ascertain
whether in 1859 there was a special postoffice orpoststationin Moscow, from
which the.mail was forwarded to Kasan i.e. whether the "KAS. P." on Mr. von
Hofmann's stamp did not refer to that Kasan P.O. in Moscow.

By all appearances, the "K P" on the Riga and Mitau letters now seems to mean
"Government or Official Mail", but if it is so, how was it handled and for-
warded by the postoffices, as no such class of mail was ever known to have
existed in Russia.

Illustration of Dr. C. de N,
Stackelberg's note on the
mysterious "K P" stamp of
Riga. -j

34 -

by D. N. Minchev


The steadily growing political and economic relations between Tsarist Russia
and the Ottoman Empire, which had already manifested themselves from the sec-
ond half of the 18th Century onwards, made necessary the establishment of
regular communications between these countries. This development was also
facilitated by the general decay of the Ottoman State and the disastrous re-
sults of the wars conducted by it, mainly against Austria and Russia, forcing
it to conclude rather humuliating treaty conditions, which were known under
the name of capitulationss".

The Russian drive was directed upon overland postal routes, without, however,
neglecting those by sea, and these became longer and more regular as time went
on. The overland routes foreshadowed for the two Danubian principalities of
Moldavia and Wallachia a noticeable and important role. At this time, they
were both vassal states of Turkey. In 1859, these two countries became known
as the "United Principalities", and later on as Rumania. The territories of
these two principalities served for almost a whole century as the main and
direct route for Russian overland connections with the Ottoman Empire.

Quite a lot has been written in several countries in the form of monographs,
articles, notes, etc., on the work of the Russian postal services in Rumania
and the corresponding principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. A leading
place among such studies is taken by the following:- the work of S. V. Prigara,
the valuable six-volume series by Stephen and Tchilinghirian, as well as the
articles by N. I. Sokolov, published in the files of the Postal and Tele-
graphic Journal (Unofficial Section), a publication which was issued at St.
Petersburg (Leningrad) until W.W.I. Material published in the Rossica Journal,
the BJRP, the "Philatelen Pregled" of Sofia and the magazine "Filatelia" of
Bucharest should also not be overlooked, if we are to deal with the most im-
portant sources of information. Much new data on the activities of the Rus-
sian Posts in the two Danubian principalities have been revealed in their
pages. In our present investigation, we shall attempt to give, as far as
possible, a fuller and more comprehensive picture of the general activities
of the Russian postal agencies in Moldavia and Wallachia. With this view in
mind, we have utilized not only the existing literature at our disposal but
also new documents which we have had the opportunity to locate recently.

It should be noted that two distinct features may be distinguished in the
activities of the Russian postal service: the work of the Consular Posts and
that of the Fieldpost Agencies. In conjunction with the above, five different
and important periods may be discerned. The first of these, which we would
like to call the Early Period, cover the years from 1774 to 1828, when a
Russo-Turkish War was declared, lasting to 1829. The Second Period which
followed, ran from 1830 to the outbreak of the Crimean War. The Third Phase
started in 1857, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which put an end
to the Crimean War of 1853-1856; this phase lasted until 1868, when the act-
ivities of the Russian Consular Posts were wound up on Rumanian soil, in ac-
cordance with the agreement of 25 November 1867 between the two relevant
countries. The Fourth Period includes the work of the Russian Fieldpost
during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, and the Fifth and final Phase en-
compasses the activities of the Russian navigation companies from 1878-1910.

35 -


The establishment of regular diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey
goes back to 1496-1497, when the first official Russian mission was opened
at Constantinople. This gave rise to the obvious need for the maintenance
of courier services between the capitals of the two above-named countries.
Starting from the middle of the 17th Century, Russia gradually began to play
an increasingly important role, both in theLevant and in the Balkans. Be-
cause of this, its connections with the Ottoman Empire became of necessity
more vital and intimate. The 13th article of the treaty concluded at Gon-
stantinople on 13 June 1700 obliged the Turks to guarantee the free and un-
hindered passage of Russian diplomatic couriers across the then broad expanse
of Turkish territory. To ensure this guarantee, the couriers were provided
by the Sultan with special "fermans" (Turkish edicts), and, being accompanied
by janissaries, their safety was assured.

Later on, with the well-known peace treaty signed on 10 July 1774 at Ku9tk
Kainarca, a village near the city of Silistra in the Dobrudja, putting an end
to the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774, Russia was guaranteed once again im-
portant political, territorial and commercial concessions. The Turks once
again were obliged to make available regular lines of communication between
the two countries. Turkey expressly guaranteed the dispatch and receipt of
written correspondence between the contracting countries. From this, it
appears that the reference is to the mail of private citizens, and not dip-
lomatic correspondence. On the basis of the Treaty of Ku9qk Kainarca, Rus-
sia almost immediately began to open a post office at its embassy in Constan-
tinople. In their work, the Russian couriers mainly utilized the routes
which went by land from Constantinople, through Bulgaria (then under Turkish
rule), Wallachia and Moldavia and finally towards Russia. In fact, from the
beginning of the activities of the Russian Consular Posts, the names of the
two Rumanian principalities are linked with this service until its termin-
ation at the end of 1867.

THE EARLY PERIOD (1774-1828):

According to official sources, the regular Russian mail for Constantinople was
dispatched from St. Petersburg for the first time on 1 January 1782. During
the month of February of the same year, a Russian diplomatic mission was op-
ened at Bucharest. This was the first foreign consulate to be opened in
Wallachia. A post office was attached to the consulate and it was known as
the "Bucharest Postal Service". We would be inclined to fix the establishment
of a Russian postal agency at Giurgiu (Gyurgevo, oppositeRushchuk in Bularia)
at a little later on. It existed until 1 March 1859 and it had a forwarding
function. At the city of Iagi (Jassy), the capital of Moldavia, the post
office came into being at the same time as the opening of the Russian con-
sulate there, possibly during 1782, or even perhaps at the end of 1781. It
is known that the establishment of diplomatic missions calls for a lot of
preparatory time, and the vagueness of the exact dates of the opening of Rus-
sian postal agencies in these two capitals was due in part to the rather im-
precise nature of the laws then in force there in 1782. It appears that
during the first 20 years of the 19th Century, another postal agency was op-
ened in the city of Focgani, an important town and communications junction,
situated on the border between Moldavia and Wallachia.

36 -

On the basis of the 76th article of the convention for trade and navigation,
concluded on 10/21 June 1783 between Turkey and Russia, the previous rights
of Russia were guaranteed anew. In this article, it is expressly stated that
Sas the facilitation of commercial ties between the subjects of the relevant
two countries and their mutual correspondence was envisaged, the Sublime Porte
(i.e. the Imperial Turkish Government) was obliged to take measures to guar-
antee the security and rapidity of the mails and couriers. The Russian Posts
began to serve the inhabited places along their routes regularly and at an
increased scale. It can be assumed that from 1783 onwards, additional Rus-
sian postal agencies were opened at Galatz in Moldavia and Braila in Wallaohia.

Only thus can be explained the fact that while, at the end of 1781, the route
of the Russian postal couriers followed the road from Constantinople across
Bularia and via Giurgiu, Bucharest, Focsani, Jassy and Soroka onto Bratslav,
for the route utilized in 1783, a second way was taken, as follows:- from
Bucharest to Braila, Galatz, Kishinev, Bendery (Tighina) and then on to Olviopol',
a Russian border village on the Bug River. In May 1792, the town of Dubos-
sary cropped up, together with Olviopol', as a Russian postal pqint on the
Dniester. In 1812, on the grounds of the Treaty of Bucharest, the Russian
border post office was moved to the hamlet of Skulyany in Bessarabia, on the
Pruth River to the north of Jassy. The distance between Constantinople and
Skulyany, with 41 intermediate stations, was covered in 230 hours. During
1846, an ordinary letter sent from the Turkish capital to Bucharest took only
8 days. In its 30 to 35 years of activity, the prestige of the Russian Posts
became so great that it achieved wide popularity. As such, it was utilized
with preference by the public.

Two interesting facts will round off the importance and vitality of the Rus-
sian postal service in this its early period. During the summer of 1782, Nikola
* Karadzha, the Phanariote "hospodar" or Lord of Wallachia, expressly forbad
the dispatch of letters to Constantinople by the Russian mail because of in-
ternal political considerations. Later on, this prohibition was lifted. Four
years later, during the summer of 1786, the "hospodar" of Wallachia, now an-
other Phanariote named N. Mavrogenis, feeling that his position was threatened
forbad his boyars (nobles), upon pain of hanging, to send their correspondence
through the Russian postal service. Please see Rossica No. 66, pages 50-51
for further details.

In accordance with an understanding reached with the Turks, the Russian mail
normally went to Constantinople and back twice a month. During 1806, the
mails went twice weekly between Bucharest and the Russian border post office
at Dubossary. On one particular occasion in 1795, three mails arrived from
the same direction in the interior of Russia and were gathered simultaneously
in Jassy for forwarding to the Turkish capital.

The conveyance of the mails along Moldavian and Wallachian routes was per-
formed with cards. Later on, the couriers utilized covered catts, which were
called "brashovanki", referring to a type of quite large covered vehicles, by
which merchants transported their stocks from the city of Bragov (Brashov or
Kronstadt in Transylvania). The means of transportation were the property of
the corresponding local Moldavian or Wallachian postal authorities, and they
were paid for their services. By a ukase of January 1810, the work of the
Russian Posts was officially sanctioned by the Principality of Wallachia. As
a matter of fact, it actually legalized what had already been the situation
for some time. It may be assumed that the same step was also taken by the
Moldavian authorities.

37 -

The passage of Russian couriers across Moldavia and Wallachia, as well as on
Bulgarian soil, was accompanied by difficulties and risks. When the means of
transportation arrived at rivers or other natural obstacles, which were im-
passable, they stopped and waited until favorable weather set in, or found an-
other opportunity to cross over.

The postal rates for the transmission of correspondence were quite high. For
instance, in 1782, a letter from Olviopol' to Jassy cost 5 kopecks, and from
Olviopol' to Bucharest almost twich as much (9 kopecks). Later on, between
1786-1787, the tariff was calculated on a per lot ( oz.) basis. Thus, the
rates were 16 kopecks from Olviopol' to Jassy and 13 kopeks from Olviopol'
to Bucharest. From 1792 onwards, the rate was increased by 4 kopeks on a per
lot basis.

During the last years of this early period of its activities in Moldavia and
Wallachia, the Russian Postal Service used a single-line cachet, showing the
name of the office, to mark the letters handed in for transmission. Originally,
the marking was applied on the backs of the letters, confirming that such mail
was accepted by the Postal Service and that it was in perfect order. The let-
ter sent on 15 January 1826 from Bucharest to Kishinev, recently found in the
Kurt Adler collection, bears such a marking inscribed "Bukharest" (Bucharest).

Markings similar to that provided for Bucharest were assigned to the postal
agencies at Jassy and Focgani. It appears that this type of marking was the
first postal cachet used by the Russian Posts in the Rumanian principalities,
and as such was applied only from about 1820 onwards.

It should be noted here that during the entire length of time of its existence
on Rumanian soil, the Russian Postal Service maintained regular communications
with Turkey, and these were interrupted only during the Russo-Turkish wars.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Mr. Minchev's erudite study will be continued in our next
number. In the meantime, we hope that our specialists in this area will keep
a sharp lookout for any prestamp covers emanating from the Rumanian princi-
palities, especially before 1820, so that we may be able to ascertain whether
any earlier types of postal markings were applied on mail conveyed by the Rus-
sian Posts.


by V. A. Karlinskii

Translated from "Filateliya SSSR", No. 1 for July 1966.

Upon the occasion of the centenary in 1937 of the death of Aleksander Serg-
eevich Pushkin, a special set of six stamps was issued. Three of these stamps
showed a portrait of the poet and the other three depicted a memorial to Pushkin
in Moscow, which was the work of the sculptor A. Opekushin. The purpose of
this article is to ascertain the name of the artist who did Pushkin's portrait.

38 -

In the catalog of Soviet stamps issued in 1955, this portrait was ascribed to
the artist V. Tropinin. The inaccuracy of this reference was immediately ap-
* parent to collectors. The stamp design definitely had nothing in common with
the well-known portrait of the poet, done by the artist V. Tropinin in 1826.
Therefore, in the following issue of the catalog in 1958, the reference to
the creator of the portrait was changed and now ascribed to 0. Kiprenskii.
And indeed, on a superficial basis, the stamp design and the portrait of A.
S. Pushkin, executed by 0. Kiprenskii in 1827, are quite similar. In fact,
it would be possible to agree with the catalog, were it not for the cravat
tied around Pushkin's neck.

In the portrait by Kiprenskii, the cravat is loosely tied and its ends droop
onto the poet's chest. In the portrait on the stamp, the cravat is tied into
a fine bow. It would be impossible to surmise, in any case, that the artist
designing the stamp could have arbitrarily changed the details of the portrait
by Kiprenskii. Thus, only one explanation can be presented; the portrait
depicted on the stamp was from another source and thus not by either Tropinin
or Kiprenskii. But who could this have been? The following shows how it was
possible to find.out.

The last apartment used by the poet is located in Leningrad at No. 12 on the
Moika Embankment. It is now a branch of the All-Union Museum of A. S. Push-
kin. On the window of one of the rooms, a portrait in a modest rectangular
frame may be seen. Its historical value is great, and, in fact, this is the
last portrait done during the poet's lifetime.

It was drawn and then engraved on steel by Thomas Wright, an English engraver
popular at that time. Wright worked on the portrait of Pushkin for almost
two years. In spite of the remote influence of Kiprenskii (Wright chose for
his portrait the same pose of Pushkin's head), the engraving by Wright is a
completely independent production. According to the opinion of his contem-
poraries, the engraving was received with great success, and Wright's port-
rait was dubbed by them as "the best likeness". The famous Russian painter,
I. E. Repin, knew Wright's portrait well and onee said about it: "Notice
how an Englishman created the likeness of Pushkin. The head of an ordinary
man, the brow of a thinker. He had a first-class mind" (quoted from "A. S.
Pushkin in the Illustrative Arts", OGIZ Publishing House, Leningrad, 1937).

Thus, it was precisely this last portrait of the great Russian poet, done
during his lifetime, that was also depicted on the commemorative postage
stamps dedicated to the centenary of his death.

Postage stamps have been issued on several occasions since 1937 in honor of
A. S. Pushkin. But never again was the same portrait repeated on them, the
story about which likeness the series of 1937 prompted us to investigate.

"W A N T E D O t t o m a n T u r k i sh and Offices in Turkey material; Balkan
Wars, and Aegean Island material; used only. Stamps, covers, locals,
samples, etc.

: Gordon Torrey 3065 Porter Street, N. W. Washington 8, D. C.
......*******...* ........... ............. **** .......... ... ..... ....... S ..- 39 -......

39 -

by R. Polchaninoff

I would like to share with readers of ROSSIKA the exact data about the Sarny
Control Stamps received by me from Eng. N. K. Hadziacky, a recognized specialist
on this issue. He is registered by "Ukraine Philatelisten Verband" and has
the right to place his guarantee seal on the Control Stamps. The Sarny Control
Stamps, like the local German occupation issues, are listed in the Michel cat-
alog, as well as in the Borek and Zumstein catalogs.

The Michel-Deutschland 1967 catalog, on page 356, mentions the following about
the Sarny Control Stampst

Sarny District

The Ukrainian Civil Post operated under the control of the local
German civilian authorities from October 1 to December 4, 1941.
Special Control Stamps have been used to guarantee the control of
the monies received for postal franking. The German Official Post
("Dienstpost") took over the postal service December 5, 1941, from
which date the Control Stamps ceased to be valid for postal franking.
Stamps Nos. 1 6 were used in the districts (subdivisions of
counties CPB) of Sarny, Dombrovitsa, Klesov, Rafalovka and Rokitno.

1941. 18 Oct. Auxiliary Issue. Control stamps, black, typo-
graphic hand-set on shiny colored paper. No. 3 has the text on the
reverse side obliterated with heavy black lines. Watermark wavy
lines. "A" partial line perforation 11. "B" imperforate. No
"gum "A" "Bn
1. 50 kop. black on dark 150.00 180.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
blue paper
2. 1.50 krb (karbovanetz),
black on:
a. dark brown ordinary
paper with horiz.
lines 450.00 500.00
b. light brown thin
paper with horiz.
lines 60.00 110.00
3. 3.00 krb. black on
light gray paper 320.00 420.00

Issued: 1 A = 800; 1 B = 25; 2 A = 1300; 2 B = 250; 3 260 each.
In use until Oct. 28, 1941.

1941. 28 Oct. Auxiliary Issue. Nos. 1 3 with red horizontal
overprint in German: "GK.-Ssarny." "A" partial perf. 11. "B" -
imperforate. No.gum.

4. 50 kop. black on dark
blue paper (invert.
overprints known) 90.00 120.00

40 -

"A" "B"
5. 1.50 krb. black on:
a. dark brown paper
x. ordinary paper
with horiz. lines 110.00 155.00
y. thick paper with
vertical lines 380.00 480.00
b. light brown thin
paper with horiz.
lines 65.00 95.00
6. 3.00 krb. black on
light gray paper 420.00 550.00

Stamps on cover 200% higher.

Issued: 4 = 2,361; 5 ax 5L4; 5 ay 125; 5 b 3087; 6 -671 each.
In use until Dec. 5, 1941.

Behind the dry lines of type of the catalog is hidden a brief, but
very interesting history for philatelists and non-philatelists alike.

After the German "liberators" came to Sarny early in July 1941, the local in-
habitants, who believed the German propaganda, organized their own self-gov-
ernment which started with energy to rebuild what was destroyed by the war.

Mr. Pudlovsky, the postmaster of Sarny district, who regarded as most important
the reconstruction of communications, (and not Hadziacky as was erroneously
shown in E. Keiler's article), reestablished telephone communication with all
11 post offices of the district, notwithstanding the demolitions of the re-
treating Red Army. (The post offices of Rokitno and Klesov were completely

Since Mr. Pudlovsky had been in charge of about 60 postal-telegraph employees,
as well as being responsible for paying their wages and for covering other
expenses, it was decided to charge for the mailing of letters, whether be-
longing to the self-government institutions or to private individuals, according
to the following tariff:

Post card 50 kop.
20 grams letter within the limits of the city 50 kop.
20 grams letter outside the limits of the city 1.50 krb.
(50 kop. for each additional 20 grams)
Registered letter up to 20 grams 3.00 krb.

The charges for the mailing of letters were paid in cash with a corresponding
annotation on the letter itself. The earliest preserved letter bears the date
of 1 Oct. h1, although such covers were first used in September.

With such a system it was not possible to control income from the mailing of
letters; therefore, with the permission of the German district commissioner
("Gebietscommissar"), who arrived at Sarny, I believe, toward the end of Aug.
there was accepted the proposition of Eng. N. K. Hadziacky to issue the Con-
trol Stamps patterned after the ones issued by the Tenth German Army in Minsk
in 1918. Moreover, it would be easier for the "Gebietscommisar" to obtain
from the high authorities a permit to issue the control stamps, having a
precedent from the 1918 war, than a permit to issue postage stamps. The use
of the Control Stamps was also obligatory for the German institutions. The

41 -

number of Soviet postage stamps that remained in the post offices was insig-
nificantly small--even if overprinted in some manner--so it was imperative to
think about issuing new stamps for postal franking.

The printing of the Control Stamps was entrusted to the only typographer in
Sarny. Because of the shortage of paper in the areas occupied by the Germans,
the entire stock of paper in the cooperative store was used, as follows:
dark blue wrapping paper, the so-called solid one, manufactured by the paper
factory in the village of Mokvin of the Sarny district. The 50 kop. Control
stamps were printed on this paper. The largest issue was contemplated for
the 1.50 krb. Control Stamps for which there was used brown paper of three
kinds: thin, light brown with horizontal watermark lines; average-thickness
brown; and the thick one with vertical watermark lines. Such brown paper was
used in Polish times to pack tobacco products. For the 3.00 krb. Control
Stamps, use was made of the reverse side of Soviet stationery of "Voluntary
Collective Life Insurance of the Workmen". The text of the forms was ob-
literated with thick black lines. Apart from the text, these forms had a
green frame and two green stars in the lower corners. From each form two
sheets of Control Stamps were produced, and the ones with the green frame and,
especially those with the stars on the reverse, are exceptionally rare.
The paper of the forms was of good quality with wavy lines watermark.

The Control Stamps were not printed from plates but were set by hand, 25
stamps to a sheet. (The size of sheets is 12 x 16 cms. and 10.8 x 15.5 cms.

While setting the stamps, it was found that the printer was 9 capital letters
"K" short, which were replaced by the Cyrillic letters. Speaking frankly,
there were other, not casual, errors, for example: The idea of the type-
setter (a Jew who ran away from the Nazis from Warsaw but who got stuck in
Sarny) was to so compose the interior frames of the stamps with different
combinations of dots that they were known only to him so as to avoid forging
of these "valuable papers" as he termed the Control Stamps. In other words,
each stamp of the sheet is different from the others in some detail.

According to the authoritative opinion of Eng. N. K. Hadziacky, the diffi-
culty of forging consists also in the kind of paper, which is not produced
any more. In any case, from 1941 to date, nobody has tried to forge the
Sarny Control Stamps.

The Control Stamps were affixed to the envelopes with common glue and their
cancellation was by means of the old Soviet cancellation stamps from which
the hammer and sickle were removed. Covers exist with the cancellation of
the following post offices: Sarny (large and small); Dombrovitza, Rafalovka,
Volodimiretz (used the canceller of the village of Cepcevitze which had no
post office in 1941); Rokitno (rubber stamp with the two-line German in-
scription "ROKITNO GK SARNY" and date; and Klesov where, instead of the
stamp, there was a hand pen cancellation and date. As far as the postal
agencies are concerned, there exist cancellation stamps of Bereznitza and
Khinocki. There were also postal agencies in Antonovka, Tomashgorod and Staraya
Rafalovka, but no stamped Covers exist.

Sale of the Control Stamps started on 18 October, but on 19 October the
Germans abolished the local self-government and ordered the stamps over-
printed in red with "GK Ssarny" in German. Nine days later, i.e. Oct.

42 -

28, the post office received the overprinted Control Stamps, while the post
offices delivered to Sarny their stocks of stamps without overprints to be
returned to the printer. Due to technical delays, some of the postal agencies
distant from Sarny used the Control Stamps without the overprints for another
three days, i.e., to the end of October. According to the Michel Catalog,
the post offices and agencies received the following Control Stamps without
the overprint:

No. 1A 50 kop. 1100 (Sold: 800; returned: 300)
1B 50 kop. 25 (Sold: 25; returned: 0)
2bA 1.50 krb. 1600 (Sold: 1300; returned: 300)
2aB 1.50 krb. 300 (Sold: 250; returned: 50)
3A 3.00 krb. 350 (Sold: 260; returned: 90)

According to the Michel Catalog, the post offices and agencies received the
following Control Stamps with the overprint:

No. 4A 50 kop. 17,400 (Sold: 2,361; returned: 15,039)
SayA 1.50 krb. 125 (Sold: 125; returned: 0)
SbA 1.50 krb. 23,275 (Sold: 3,087; returned: 20,188)
5axB 1.50 krb. 4,700 (Sold: 514; returned: 4,156)
6A 3.00 krb. 2,150 (Sold: 671; returned: 1,479)

The Control Stamps were delivered to the Germans on December 5, 1941, after
which they were forwarded to Rovno where they were incinerated.

As already mentioned, the Control Stamps were set byhand, and one would expect
that with the changing of the value, it would be sufficient to change the fig-
ures only. But, due to the whin of the printer, when the 1.50 krb. Control
Stamps were printed, the places with the Cyrillic "K" in German text were
changed. The other errors remained as they were on their places on the other
three values of the Control Stamps.

The Michel catalog mentions only one inverted overprint on No. 4 without set-
ting any value. E. Keiler in his article in "Michel Nachtrage 1951-1951"
which was translated into English and published in the "German Philatelic Re-
view", Vol. 3, No. 2 (14), March 1955, permitted numerous erroneous notes
about the errors and varieties of the Sarny Control Stamps. The following
list is published for the first time. It is complete and correct. The Con-
trol Stamps were printed in sheets of 5 x 5. Each Control Stamp is followed
by its serial number, counting horizontally from left to right from the top
row to the bottom one.


Stamp # 9 Letters nn instead of ni in the word Kontrolniy
10 Thick i "
11 n znak
13 n n Kontrolniy
14 The dot on top after word krb.

On the sheets with the overpring "GK. Ssarny", stamp No. 5 has a Polish "S"
similar to a French "S".

43 -

(Michel Catalog)

No. lA 50 kop. 11 sheets with 275 stamps printed on the dull (reverse)
side of paper.
Stamps 14, 15, 19-25 have Cyrillic capital "K" in the
German text (also on 50 kop. and 3 krb. #1B, 3A, iA & 6A).
On one of the sheets the 16-20 row of stamps is not separ-
ated by perforations from lowest row 21-25.

No. 1B 50 kop. There is one sheet of 25 stamps which was not perforated
by error and which is noted in catalogs as a rarity.
(Cyrillic "K" in German text as in No. 1A.)

No. 2bA 1.50 krb. 10 sheets, by mistake, have no perforation above stamps
1-5 and below stamps 20-25.

Stamps 11, 12, 15, 16, 21-25 of the sheets have Cyrillic capital "K" in
German text, the same as all the others of 1.50 krb.,
2aB, 5ayA.

No. 3A Due to the shortage of figures "3" and "0" of proper thick-
ness, thinner ones were used.

No. 10 Thin "3".

No. 12 & 14 Thin first "O".

No. 14 A 50 kop. Inverted overprints on one sheet on glossy side (25 stamps)
and one sheet on dull side (25 stamps).

No. 18 Thin first "0" and letter "b" is filled with red ink due to
speck of dust that got inside of the letter. Cyrillic "K"
in German text as on 50 kop. values.

No. 5ayA 1.50 krb On thick paper with vertical lines. Five sheets without
perforation above stamps 1-5.


1. -----, "Lokalpostmarken in der Ukraine", Sammler-Woche. Wien. No. 23-21.
5 Dez. 194l.

2. Ing. N. Hadziacki, "Zur Erlauterung der Notiz "Lokalposten in der Ukraine"
in der Samoler-Woche No. 23-24. 1941. Seite 232. Saumler-Woche.
Wien No. 7-8. 1942.

3. "Sarny Issues". "Philatelist". New York. 1951. No. 3 (In Ukrainian

-44 -

4. Ing. N. Hadziacky, "Control Stamps of Sarny 1941". "Philatelist". New
York. 1953. No. 12. (Ukrainian magazine / English version).

5. Dr. I. K. Turyn, "Aus dem Betriel der Deutschen Dienstpost Ukraine,"
Sammler-Woche. Wien, 5 Apr. 1942.

6. -----, Orttiche Sonderaurgalen. Alexanderstadt Ssarny Wosnessensk.
Michel Monata-Berichte, Leipzig, Kasendorf 1943. No. 10.

7. E. Keiler, "Emission Locales Allemandes en Russie Occupee 1941/42" Alex-
andropol, Sarny, et Wosnessensky. Berner Briefmarken-Zeitung.
Bern. No. 4. 1948. French.

8. Die Dienstpost-Vorlaufer Postwertzeichen in der Ukraine 1941-
1942. Michel Nachtrage. Munchen 1952. No. 11-12. German.

9. The Dienstpost Forerunners of the Ukraine 1941/42. (English
version). "German Philatelic Review". Vol. 3, No. 2/14/1955.


To add something significant to this excellent article of Mr. Polchaninoff
will be very difficult. Perhaps some covers, sheets and stamps from my col-
lection will illustrate varieties described by Mr. Polchaninoff.

I would only mention that stamps No. 2a, 2b, Sax, 5ay, Sb were printed on
horizontally or vertically laid paper and not on watermarked paper.

One variety not mentioned by Mr. Polchaninoff and not listed in Michel Cat-
alog is double overprint on stamp No. 5ay. It could be very well "printer's
waste" which got into hands of collectors unlawfully. There are few more in-
formations in Michel Germany Specialized Catalog 1967/68, especially prices
and types: Type I (-normal stamp-) price as in Michel Germany Catalog 1967,
type II (cyrillic K) 20%, type III (cyrillic K and dot on top after kop')
30%, type IV (normal K and dot on top after krb*) 30% higher than that of
type I.

Also stamp No. 4 with inverted overprint (125 copies known) is priced 600.00
M for mint and 800.00 M for used copy.

J. S. Terlecky

Armenia to Ukraine and Wenden.
Broke up 27 volumes including airs, covers, semi-postals,
special delivery, postage due, etc. Many duplicates of
singles, sets, broken sets, mint and used. Must sell.

Dr. Louis A. Sorokin
2600 So. Franklin Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19148

45 -

'qA-RN v

T'K" ,+ .,"-, ,--.-::----:;-d ,.

. -' t p ..... 1 .1.4 ...


: : ' -:-__S6l.: E31 Ip6.1 ,_. 1. Kp6.
K' Cw
S. ..- ........ ...... .

t._.s. 1. p .,0 p6j 1.50 p6. I. Kp 1

"a.. .--.' ,.- .......... ...K..
S... ... .. I .
"oz ... ... e .

S .50... 6. K I. Kp6. p6. l. ih Kpe. -
i, ,.r "' ................ ...po.A. i. ........... K...poA o p n
.Sa. ... .. .I..

mpe4,c.'Lated cn to,( a1d bette,
showing aef tupes and vcLietis.

S.... .. ... ." _

Kon r l ice, ,oir izech, konir lc,, it l Kioni lirt i,. ii cIh
S3.00 p6. 3.00 3 p6. 3.001) p. 3 00) xp6. i 3.00 p6.

p6 3 p6. 5 300 Kp6. 3.04) 4...6 i i p.
.. .... ... ..... .
"io :-o ulri. .i. li.-n n: liti Kv ru a- -. ., .. .. ...tl.I

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

3.00 p6. 3.00 p6. O: 3.0 Kp6. 3.00 3 ( p6. 3.00 Kp6.i

est* Otzmal z hee t o 25 jatonpW0 #6,
.. showing l t pe.. and lt ... .......

SOrigina- sheet o- 25 stamps #6,
showing atl typos and vaAieties.


3.00 ip

0RegiteAed Zette tm KHTIOCZ to SARNV
Dec. 1941 and backtamped SARNY Dec. 4, 1941.
6&nked with #6, type I. vaiety "thin o".

,A a' A ITPABA "
.. 24 ..,-.--. to S

SN'-. KLESIV to SARNV, pen canceled, Dec. 3, 1942
9 J.(Ce,4o: should be : 1941.)
S4anked with 5 ax, type I



0or T CAr

SARNV to TVNNE, Oct. -, 1941
"-, t ,-1 rii .4 one 1, '. !
and twc 1, imcr. 'eln.

Her rn


Local LetteA SARNV, 0exts, Oct. 30, 1941.
Q4anked wth 0 4, tt!pe I1, ihlneted*
oveApAint on duLe ide anmid 06,
ttpe 1, vam'ietu "titin 0".


' IA.T,e III.1 .

Isn r6. 1:1.50 KP6.."i
i'laoprpJnu n:!y
BP ;i# IA. Paill ...... ...... ...

,,LC2t. I, icc rl
"2b. T!pe III
1. 01 6
l I';i o u"l,,.b i'.

e3.Tyfpe III.

S. I.Sn Kp6" !
i I
E :!! I 2._"

1:... ...... ........
S56.TyVe IV. T.T e IV.


S5axT 7,,-e IV.
i ":'

4. Invested 2a:ubt



~Ir,, L1 IKontrnlizoicheu
e yp6.
.......- a..b "


c, aieooppo-

ROKITNO to SARNY, Nov. 18, 1941,
franlked with #6, type I, vah etu "nn".

-ontro IIzc .cho

OMBHROVICA to SARNY, Nov. 4, 1941.0
.'ranked with #4, type If, and #5b,
type II, vare ty "thick n".

50 -

by Kurt Adler

When I found what looked like a World War I Field Post cover in a ounch of
more or less ordinary Russian covers I sent it to the Romanian Philatelic
Society for expertization. This Society, under the presidency of the very
erudite and charming General (ret.) Sairnoff is very active in research and
has given me an expertise which I would deem classical as to historical and
philatelic background and analysis. I would like our "Rossica" readers tc
see for themselves how an expertise of this kind should be written. The
cover in question is illustrated elsewhere in this issue.


From the Historical Point of View:

1. In 1916, Romania declared war on the Central Powers by aligning itself
with France, England, Russia, etc. The superiority of the enemy forced
Romania to relinquish part of her territory to the army of occupation.
Among the occupied regions was also the Dobrudja (Dobrogea) province,
situated between the buckle created by the Danube River and the Black
Sea. On 10th December 1916, the Russian army that defended the Dobrudja
(under the command of Gen. Syrelius) traversed the Danube at Tulcea
and at Isaccea and retired towards the North in the direction of Russian
territory. On llth December 1916 the Bulgarian troops entered Tulcea.

2. On 2hth December 1917, the Romanian troops occupied Bessarabia.

3. On 24th January 1918 Bessarabia (situated between the Northern Dobrudja,
the Pruth and Dniester (Nistru) rivers) an ancient Moldavian province,
annexed by Russia in 1812 declared her autonomy.

4. On 27th March 1918 Bessarabia and Romania were united.

5. During November and December 1918, the Dobrudja was re-occupied by the
Romanian army.

In attentively considering the sequence of the above mentioned dates
it follows clearly:

A. That on 25th December 1917 (the date on the cover in question)
there could not have been in operation a Romanian post office
in Tulcea since this town found itself already for over a year
under the occupation of Bulgarian troops (the enemy).

B. On the same date, Bessarabia (comprising also the town of Orhei,
the point of destination of the examined cover) was not part of
Romania, the re-attachment of Bessarabia to Romania taking place
a year later.

51 -

From the Philatelic Point of View:

1. The above mentioned historical data exclude any possibility that in the
absence of a Romanian post office in Tulcea there could have been a Rus-
sian post office which would sell Russian stamps, and even less Russian
Levant stamps.

2. Even in admitting the possibility (which we exclude) that a military post
office operated attached to a Romania Corps of operation, such a post
office would have used military postcards and would have accepted letters
franked only with Romanian stamps. Under these circumstances Russian
stamps, affixed to a letter with sender and destination point in the
realm of the Romanian postal service could not have constituted a valid
interior franking.

3. Research material formed by a great number of letters and postcards
gone through the Romanian military post at the period in question shows
--it is true--cachets bearing the inscription "Armata de Operatiuni"
(Army of Operations). But, in general, these cachets also contain an
indication of the divisional or regimental unit as the source of mailing.
"None of these- cachets (which are in the great majority round) corres-
ponds to the type examined on the submitted cover.

4. The cover also shows a cachet formed by the initials C.M. It is to be
presumed that this is supposed to indicate "Censura Militara". All
cachets of the research material, including the ones quoted in the
literature, have these words written out. One does not know cachets
with the initials only. The great majority of genuine covers also
shows distinctive marks of the censorship units.

5. The address seems to be in Romanian. Although the word "D-lui" cor-
responds with Domnului (to Mister) and "Orasul" (the town) is spelled
correctly, the address bears a grave mistake of language because the
name of the country "Roumania" does not correspond to the correct
spelling "Romania".

One cannot assume that a person who speaks Romanian and spelled the other
words correctly (including the Romanian way of putting the article as a
suffix) could have spelled the name of the country with English ortho-
graphy. At the same time, apart from these considerations, there is no
plausible explanation for the necessity to add the name of the country
on an interior letter. This apart from the fact that at the time the
town of Orhei was not part of Romanian territory and the town of Tulcea
was still occupied by the Bulgarians.

6. The mixed franking of Russian and Russian Levant stamps carry with it
another element which serves to consider the cover as a fabrication,
meant to attract philatelists.

In our opinion it is a document fraudulently fabricated, flagrantly con-
tradicting the historical circumstances and the postal and philatelic
research material, available for comparison.

52 -

3 by V. A. Karlinskii

-' -a

by V. arli ttkii

(Transd line-perf. the agazn one "Foccasion atwheiya SSS" careful, No. 1 or Jningy the et1966.)
In January 192n, an interesting set of Soviet postage stamps was placed in
use. On four differently colored miniatures with face values of 7, was, 20
and n0 kop., there was depicted the atalog.nin Masole Of course, the mauso-
leum was still made of wood and stood in Red Square until the present granite
structure was erected in 1930. This cotype of pnemorative set, which was devoted to
the first anniversary of the death of Lenin, was originally issued ifoper-w of
forate on 1p January 192t. A little later on, namely in the middle of arch,
all four stamps appeared at postal windows in a perforated state.

ereforat is how the 19punched Soviet catalog describes the set: dDesign by the artist

look like line It was more like or harrow perforation, which weas cer-
tausnl not what w as stated lin the catalog.

Line perforation is the coamonest of all types of separation applied in the
production of postage stamps. This type of perforation has only one line of
pins, he n bearing down on the sheet of stamps, gives a uniform row of
holes. To perforate the sheet completely, this operation must be carried out
several times. First of all, one after another of the horizontal lines of
perforation is punched out; the vertical lines are then done after turning
the sheet 90 degrees. Line perforation is a laborious job. Moreover, be-
cause of the way that each line falls arbitrarily on the sheet, the inter-
sections of the horizontal and vertical rows of separation are not uniform
and the stamps show irregular and torn corners.

53 -

Both comb and harrow perforations are set up beforehand to conform with spec-
ific stamp sizes. In the former process, an entire horizontal row of stamps
is perforated at one operation, while in the latter, all the stamps on the
sheet are done at one stroke. The corners of the stamps all show perfect

By using these criteria, it was possible to establish that the perforation on
the Mausoleum stamps was not as stated. There were neat and distinct arcs
at all four corners a sign that line perforation was not used. A thought
then flashed through my mind. Both comb and harrow perforations are arranged
to give specific stamp sizes, and so, were there other Soviet postage stamps
in the same size? It appeared at this point that the perforation was peculiar
to this particular set.

In any case, I patiently compared each stamp. I started investigating the
issues of the last few years, but there were no similar stamps. I went back
further and looked at every stamp issued over the last 10, 15 and 20 years.
The result was always the same; no other Soviet stamps in this particular
size were discovered!

"Yes", Vladimir Georgievich confirmed. "The size is actually unique. This
is an unusual situation. By the way, did you try to measure the perforation?
Perhaps that would lead to something."

I armed myself with a perforation gauge and checked the perfs. For the top
and bottom sides I got perf. 13, and at left and right 13i. Now there was
no doubt; no other Soviet stamps were ever issued with such a perforation.
But, all the same, there seemed to me to be something familiar about this
13- x 13 combination. Actually, I had already run across such a perfor-
ation. Yes, of course, but where?

It was back in 1919. The Civil War was raging. But even under such con-
ditions, the Commissariat of Posts and Telegraphs of the RSFSR was obliged
to see that the work of the Soviet postal service went on smoothly and that
there was an uninterrupted flow of stamps to the post offices. In 1918,
Savings and Control stamps were made valid for postage as A temporary measure,
and in October of the same year, the first Soviet revolutionary stamps of
35 and 70 kop. were issued in large printings, depicting a hand with sword.
But there were still not sufficient stamps, especially of the ruble values.
It was then decided to reissue the large sized pre-revolutionary stamps in
the high face values of 1 r., 3 r. 50 k. and 7 r. The designer of these
stamps was Richards Zarigi (Richard Sarrinsch), an artist on the staff of
the EZGB (State Printing Office at Petrograd). This same artist did the
"hand with sword" design, which was utilized in 1918 for the first Soviet
revolutionary stamps.

The need to economize resources when reissuing the 1 r., 3 r. 50 k. and 7 r.
stamps lead to the reconsideration of their arrangement on the sheets. In
the pre-revolutionary period, eight horizontal rows of seven stamps, or 56
stamps (7x8) of each value were printed on the sheets. But to simplify ac-
counts, as it was difficult to take sheets with such an awkward quantity of
stamps into consideration, six positions were filled with colored decorative
"Vs", so as to bring the quantity of actual stamps down to fifty. The per-
foration utilized was line and this made the process of preparing the stamps
even more troublesome.

54 -

For the Soviet reissues, the sheet was turned around 90 degrees. It was
not possible to place ten stamps in a horizontal row. Of course, they were
now placed closer together than before, but this was not important. There
were five horizontal rows on the new sheets. The quantity of stamps re-
mained the same (50), but the size of the sheet was reduced and thus paper
could be saved. Of no smaller importance was another improvement: for
economic reasons, a more suitable harrow perforator was constructed. Now the
perforator could do the whole sheet at one operation of the machine. In
other words, the Soviet technicians rose to their responsibilities. And the
gauge of the new harrow perforator was 13 x 13., for stamps in a vertical

I placed a stamp from the Mausoleum set on top of a pre-revolutionary ruble
stamp of the Soviet reissues and they coincided tooth by tooth. It was, in
fact, the same guagel

But still, everything was not quite clear. Why was it that in 1925, that is,
six years later, the Goznak organization (State Printing Office at Moscow)
saw fit to remember about the 1919 harrow perforator and utilized it again
when issuing the Mausoleum commemorative set?

If the investigations of Soviet stamps were carried out on a solitary basis,
I am convinced that we would not have at our disposal one tenth of the
range of information we know now. Only with the collaboration of minds con-
centrated on a common task, only with the resources of many investigators
can the alluring history of Soviet postage stamps be reconstructed in all
its details. And that has turned out to be the case this time also. A
Saratov collector, N. N. Shchegolev, stretched out a helping hand. He in-
formed me about a curious characteristic; the design of the ornamental frame
on the 1925 stamps depicting the Mausoleum had actually been done ten years

Back in the pre-revolutionary era, Richards Zarrins had begun work on a set
of seven stamps, devoted to the history of the posts. The artist chose as
subjects for the designs some methods of conveying correspondence, such as
by postal troika, by steamer and by camel. Specifically, the 15 kop. stamps
depicted a mailman of the northern regions of the country. He is seen being
whisked away on a sled, to which a reindeer has been harnessed. Each de-
sign was provided with an ornamental frame.

However, in pre-revolutionary days, only portraits of the tsars, or the
state coat of arms, showing the two-headed eagle with a sceptre held in its
left leg, were permitted to be shown on the postage stamps of the country.
It is therefore not surprising that the set designed by Zarriqs was not is-
sued. However, the essays of these stamps remained at the disposal of
Goznak. Later on, they were reproduced in the magazine "Soviet Collector",
combined issue 10-12 for 1929, where Mr. Shchegolev discovered them.

Any investigator with an alert eye cannot help but notice that the frame on
the 15 kop. stamp by Zarrin was repeated on the 1925 set depicting the Mauso-
leum. Evidently, the order to prepare the commemorative stamps was of an ur-
gent nature and, to speed up production, the previously executed ornament-
ation was supplied at Goznak to the skillfully created design showing the
Mausoleum on Red Square, as done then by the young artist V. Zav'yalov.

55 -

Thus, Zarrins prepared this frame in the same size as his own ruble value
stamps, and hence, the frame fixed the size of the design. Moreover, those
same values for the Soviet reissues of 1919 were also instrumental in the
construction of a new harrow perforator.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Actually, the problem, posed by Mr. Karlinskii, had al-
ready been solved as far back as 1932 by an old Rossica member, the late
Mr. S. Manzhelei (Manzelej) of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Writing in No. 10 of
our own Journalm Mr. Manzhelei pointed out in an installment of a study de-
voted to Russian and Soviet perforations that the following stamps exist in
this unusual harrow perforation:-

Vertical format (13 x 13): 5 r. Romanov stamp of 1913; 1 r., 3 r. 50 k.
and 7 r. Soviet reissues of 1919.

Horizontal format (13-4 x 13h): 1 r., 2 r. and 3 r. Romanov stamps of 1913;
Lenin Mausoleum set of 1925.

This information is significant, because it proves that the harrow perfor-
ator must have been constructed at least as far back as the end of 1912, in
time to complete the ruble values of the 1913 Romanov Tercentenary set.
Thus, the machine was not set up in 1919, during the Civil War, as assumed
by Mr. Karlinskii.

However, this does not detract from Mr. Karlinskii's article published above,
as his study is a model of patient and persistent investigation. His in-
formation on the "History of the Posts" essays, designed by the famous Latvian
artist, Richards Zarrins, is especially noteworthy and they are reproduced
herewith from an article entitled "Time to get out of the rut", by K. O. Pengagen,
on pp. 52-53 of the issue of the "Soviet Collector" noted above. He sug-
gested, among other things, that these fine designs be utilized for Soviet
postage stamps. Judging from the illustrations, it appears that the sub-
jects were as follows:-

10 kop.: A troika or team of three horses, harnessed to a postal telega
(Russian four-wheeled cart) carrying a driver and passenger.
1l kop. A troika harnessed to a postal sled driven by a mailman.
15 kop.: A reindeer harnessed to a postal sled driven by a mailman.
20 kop.: A laden camel and mailmen, facing left.
20 Kop.: A laden camel and mailmen, facing right.
35 kop.: A postal steamer.
35 kop.: Unloading correspondence from a mail train.

According to the article, these essays were housed in 1929 at the Postal
Museum at Leningrad. It would be interesting to know if they still exist

6 -

56 -


See the article "A Strange SiVe". by. V. Karlinskii.

u a ...................O- ...............O......... ... .. lo....... ..o*.**o.. *..* o.***.*..**..i o




Please send list, condition and price first letter. All mail answered.

Use Ascher Numbers if possible.

Also interested in used stationery envelopes and letter

sheets of the world of Classical Period.

Dr. Heinz A. von Hungen

Box 17

Salida, Calif., USA

Rossica #38
Rossica 5.. 38 i..................e......... ..........soso ................ a S

57 -


By Leo Gordon
Museum Technician, Division of Philately and Postal History

Nineteenth century periodicals of Russian origin hold a special fascination
for collectors of Russian philatelic memorabilia. Recently, a number of
these came to light at the Division of Philately and Postal History, Smith-
sonian Institution. It has been my pleasure, as coordinator of publications
in the Division's extensive library, to be the agent of this "discovery".
Of course, these journals have been here for a considerable time but their
true identity was made safe from detection by a former library worker, who,
in testimony of his unfamiliarity with the Cyrillic alphabet, had entered
them on library index cards as MAPKN. A book-by-book examination of un-
shelved material disclosed that the Smithsonian had in its possession, not
anything intriguingly titled MAPKN, but nineteen issues of the stamp maga-
zine MARKI published in Kiev between 1896 and 1899. I shall attempt to
describe these magazines to Rossica readers.

Roughly ninety percent of Marki's contents consists of articles translated
from the Western philatelic press that add little to our store of philatelic
knowledge. Of the remainder, excerpts from government decrees relating to
postal affairs, penalties for counterfeiting, and descriptions of zemstvo is-
sues provide some useful supplementary information. A few articles and
editorial comments permit us to gain insight into the true state of philately
in Russia at that period. I will confine this description to features that
are peculiar to Russian philately and Russian philatelic journalism.

The first issue of Marki is dated 12/24 March 1896, in deference to the dual
calendar systems (Julian and Gregorian) prevailing at the time. It is tab-
loid style, 9. in.by 12.in.in size, and contains twenty-six pages (pages five
and six, a note from the publisher states, were not ready at the time of
mailing and will be forwarded later!).

The masthead of the newspaper proclaims that it is the first Russian illus-
trated monthly for collectors of postage and other stamps; that it is bi-
lingual, using French and Russian for text and advertisements; that it is
published by one S. D. Solomkin of Kiev. Later editions carry the legend
that it is the official organ of the Moscow Stamp Collectors Society.

The illustrations are chiefly cuts of stamps such as are used by catalogue
compilers. The French text is quietly abandoned after the first few issues.
Soon after the turn of the year 1897 Marki is reduced in size to 6.in.x 9.in.
and as few as four or six pages. Finally, the new century brings new owner-
ship. Marki's new proprietor, in his first issued dated May 1900 (the final
one in our collection) makes an editorial appeal to his newly acquired reader-
ship for support of his plans to continue publication of his stamp magazine
for the followers of this "widespread sport". But that is running ahead of
our tale.

Volume 1, Number 1 of Marki is well endowned with advertisements. They range
from offerings of dealers in St. Peterburg, Moscow, Pskov, Vyborg and Narva
to half-page and full-page advertisements by French, Geman and other foreign
stamp merchants. However, the most consistent user of the magazine's adver-
tising space is, as is generally the case, its publisher, Mr. Solomkin. His

58 -

advertisements identify him as a prominent dealer in stamps, philatelic sup-
plies and literature, foreign stamp catalogues and albums, and picture-card
views of the city of Kiev.

Number 1 reports His Majesty's approval of a State Council regulation defining
sentences for criminal counterfeiting of postal paper. The penalties include
fines and exile to distant provinces "except Siberia" of persons found guilty.

This issue also contains a report of a meeting of the Moscow Stamp Collectors
Society, to which a list of the society's members is appended. Because it is
important to our understanding of Russian philatelic activities of the period,
this complete list is reproduced below:


Beck, Von der (President) Zeligson, Dr. Ed.
Berlein, J. Ziwert, I.
Block, V. Klinhert, G.
Brass, M. Moser, A.
Buell, J. Peterson, V.
Walter, L. Reimer, V.
Warman, H. Rode, V.
Wenig, G. Friss, K.
Werkmeister, T. Shevelev, A. (sole Russian!)
Winkman, G. Steidel, A.
Witte, A. Yacobson, A.
Hamburger, A.
Henert, 0.
Hensel, P. Herzenberg, L. (Vitebsk)
Hornung, 0. Marinier, L. (Lodz)
Muller, A. (Warsaw)

It seems quite evident that persons most active in Russian philatelic circles
were foreigners stationed in Russia for one reason or another. Most of them
can be identified by their addresses as business agents, trade representatives,
engineers and professionals. They relied on foreign periodicals for philatelic
news and information. Most native Russians, fully absorbed in the elemental
task of earning a living in that land of political uncertainty, had neither
the means nor the leisure hours for frivolities and hobbies. Most stamp col-
lecting was done by students whose meager allowances permitted purchases of
the cheapest varieties only. Such a market did not attract consistent ad-
vertising by reliable dealers. This lack of advertising support cancelled all
attempts to establish a Russian philatelic press. A market for Russian stamps
periodicals simply did not exist. This, perhaps, explains why their life
span was so short, in spite of the publishers' efforts to gain benefit from
the traffic in philatelic literature. The holocaust that consumed the esta-
blished Russian society may be responsible for the scarcity of this material
at the present time. During the reign of terror that followed the revolution
some collectors succeeded in sending their holdings abroad but no thought was
given to salvaging anything as patently worthless as outdated periodicals. And
so the little that existed was destroyed.

Numbers 2 and 5 of the year 1896 (3 and U, regretably, are missing) contain
little of special interest, except a few columns describing zemstvo issues.

59 -

The chess column added at this time became a regular feature of all subse-
quent editions. Also notable is the inclusion of advertisements soliciting
subscriptions for magazines of non-philatelic character such as The Bulgarian
Woman a "magazine for mothers", The School Revue, a monthly for educators,
and several others.

Number 6-7 has a front-page lead editorial decrying the prevalence of swindling
practices among stamp dealers. Deceptive advertising, obtaining money under
false pretenses, sending trash or, as often as not, sending nothing at all
for money entrusted to a supposedly reliable advertiser are common occurences.
Both small and large dealers are guilty, states the writer. Examples of
swindles perpetrated by dishonest dealers are cited in detail. This issue
also contains an unusual "open letter" addressed to a Kiev dealer whose sud-
den departure for parts unknown with the stamp collection entrusted to the
solicitors care was given as the reason for this unique manner of communi-
cation. "The stamps", the man writes, "as you know, are not my property and
I shall have to make good. I hope that you shall not make me pay so dearly
for my confidence...".

In number 8 is a detailed description of the re-issued 100-ruble postal
savings stamp, and an account of a questionnaire circulated to governors con-
cerning zemstvo posts within their provinces. Several zemstvo stamps are
also described and illustrated.

Number 9's editorial, written in a sort of fireside-chat style, speaks of
Mr. Solomkin's selflessness in continuing publication for the sole purpose
of improving the state of Russian philately, in spite of lack of profit.
It also points out the inadequacies of the then-current method of postal
and telegraph use for transfer of funds. The bonds used in Bulgaria are
cited as an example of a more sensible and fool-proof system and a Bulgarian
money order blank is reproduced. This edition also contains statistics com-
piled by an official Department of Posts and Telegraph publication quoting
the number of stamps, stamped envelopes, letter sheets and newspaper covers
sold in Russia in the year 1894, listing the denominations and amounts re-
ceived. An article describing the zemstvo stamps of Bogorodsk, Moscow pro-
vince, for the year 1896 is included. These are suspected of being issued
by an unscrupulous zemstvo official for speculative purposes.

A review of Russian stamps from Russian's Number 1 to the issues current
at the time of writing occupies much of Marki's number 10, November, 1896.
Design, color, watermarks and perforations are discussed in detail. Some
errors are also noted. In addition, a supplement handbook of Russian state
and zemstvo stamps showing some current prices is appended to this issue.

A letter from a Tiflis (now Tblisi) correspondent enlivens the pages of
Number 11. "When I arrived here seventeen years ago", the man writes, "I
already found some six or eight stamp collectors. None of the stores sold
stamps then. Today, nearly all office supply shops display stock pages of
stamps left on consignment by big city dealers or local collectors. Most
of the buying is done by the local school youths who, confining their pur-
chases to the most common specimens (from one to forty kopecks per piece)
go about it unsystematically. They are attracted chiefly by colorful stamps
such as those of Borneo, Labuan, Guatemala and other exotic places. Re-
cently, a lively trade in postage stamps of Persia began, mainly by local

60 -

Persian merchants whose correspondence with their native land was quite vol-
uminous. A market for these was found as far afield as Austria and Germany
I and, as a consequence, the price of these stamps has advanced considerably..".
This edition is notable for the large number of advertisements for non-phila-
telic periodicals. Among these are the satirical-political Entertainment
(Moscow), The Echo (St. Peterburg), a journal devoted to social and political
writings, the St. Peterburg, an illustrated weekly of scientific writings, the
weekly Nature and People (St. Peterburg), a magazine of general interest de-
voted to stories of travel and discovery, and many, many others not even re-
motely related to philately. One is tempted to conclude that these adver-
tisements (all full-page or half-page) were inserted on a courtesy basis with
an exchange arrangement that provided Mr. Solomkin with gratuitous copies
that could be sold in his shop.

Marki Number 12 (December 31, 1896) contains an illustration and description
of the new postal money order blank which will be introduced January 1,

The first issue of the new year, 1897, is perhaps the most inexplicable of
all. It contains absolutely nothing but advertisements. Four sheets, eight
pages of advertisements and nothing else

The following edition (Number 1, January 1I, 1897) is hardly more informative.
It does have a brief editorial by the publisher who extolls the virtues of con-
sistency of advertising in the same magazine. The good man's earlier de-
clarations of selflessness and dedication to philately are not mentioned.

Shortly after this issue the beginning of the end of Mr. Solomkin's dream of
Simulating successful Western publishers is apparent. From Number 15 to
number 19 (all that we have of the issues of 1897) Marki appears in its
greatly diminished format. The advertisements are mostly Mr. Solomkins'
own offerings and the little pamphlet resembles a stamp dealers house organ
with a few news items thrown in.

We learn from Number 15 that, besides the Moscow Stamp Collectors Society,
there are similar groups in St. Peterburg, Riga, Odessa and Helsingfors.
More Zemstov stamps are described in this issue.

New postal savings stamps are described and illustrated in Number 17. The
government order establishing the new values is cited and the history of
the entire issue is reviewed. Also in this edition is a reprint of official
reports indicating the increase of postal correspondence in the Amur (Far
East) district since 1890. The number of packages, telegrams and registered
mail handled is compared with earlier records.

In Number 19 Mr. Solomkin suggests the formation of the first all-Russian
Stamp Society and devotes two pages to a proposed list of statutes for such
an organization. This proposal ends with an appeal for readers' comments.
Nothing further is mentioned of this in later editions.

We have only two issues published in 1899 --volume h, numbers 1 and 2. The
first contains new postal regulations pertaining to mailing albums, manu-
scripts and printed matter, samples of merchandise sent abroad, dried plants
and objects of natural science, and procedures for reporting non-receipt of

61 -

registered mail matter. Also recorded in this issue is the introduction of
a four-piece stamped letter sheet with two sheets bearing advertisements of
various merchants. Profits from the advertising were used for the benefit
of the Empress Maria Charitable Institution. The face (address) side bears
the usual seven-kopeck stamp in the right-hand corner. The Institution's
seal (a pelican protecting its young) occupies the left-hand corner.

An editorial in the last issue of the year 1899 in our possession comments
on the increase in the number of congratulatory New Year cards mailed in re-
cent years. The main St. Peterburg post office reports more than 2 million
cards bearing one-kopeck stamps and 70,000 cards bearing five-kopeck stamps
were delivered by letter carriers in the first three days of the new year.
This mailing of greeting cards promises to replace the age-old Russian custom
of personal visits during holidays and is welcomed as an additional source
of revenue for the post office department.

It is interesting to note that the last two issues of Marki contain no ad-
vertising whatever.

This brings us to the end. The last issue, published in 1900 by Marki's new
proprietor, has already been mentioned at the beginning of this article. One
last item from this issue is noteworthy: it concerns the number of versts
(a verst is approximately 7/10th of a mile) traveled by letter carriers making
their rounds in the city of Smolensk. The first round from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.,
embraces 22 versts. The second, from 4 to 8 P.M. is lZ versts. The third
round, completed after 9 P.M. is 6 versts -- a total of 42 versts. The aver-
age weight of a mail bag is 3 lbs. When trains are delayed, which happens
very frequently, a letter carrier's hours of rest are reduced to five in each
twenty-four hour period. Letter carriers' salaries ranged from 18 rubles
per month for third-class men to 23 rubles per month for first-class carriers.
Small wonder, the writer comments, that our letter carriers are incapable of
work after they reach forty

These curios of philatelic journalism are available for examination at any
time during regular visiting hours in the reference area of.the Division of
Philately and Postal History in the Museum of History and Technology, Smith-
sonian Institution. Members of the Rossica Society and all interested per-
sons are welcome to inspect them at first hand on their next visit to

Boris Shishkin

It is not too late to report that the showing of Ukraine, an area of special
interest to ROSSICA members, scored a unique triumph at the Sixth International
Philatelic Exhibition held in Washington in May, 1966.

Three distinguished exhibits of the stamps of Ukraine shown at SIPEX not only
received wide acclaim, but all three were medal winners.

62 -

Eugene R. Kotyk of Jersey City, N. J., displayed four frames of the postal dis-
trict of Podolia. His collection presented various types and subtypes of the
trident overprints of Podolia, including the unique Type IIIa on 1 Ruble im-
perforate and covered a range of overprinting irregularities, covers and can-
cellations. Kotyk won a Silver Medal.

Another medal-winning display of Podolia was presented by our friend C. W. Roberts
of Ilminster, England. He received a Bronze-Silver Medal for his showing of
the many types of handstamps applied in Podolia in the 1918-21 period, inclu-
ding both used and unused specimens as well as covers.

A Bronze-Silver Medal was also awarded to Paul Wolansky of Parma Heights, Ohio,
for his four-frame showing of Ukraine, which included the Shahiv and Hryven
issues, as well as the trident and the abbreviated overprints of the Hetman
State and issues of the People's Republic.

That all three displays of Ukraine were medal winners at this international
exhibition is a tremendous triumph for the trident specialists.

by C. Schmidt
Edited by C. P. Bulak


The decrees of the years 1713 and 171U granted for the first time the right
to private persons to use the mail coach.

Peter the Great transferred the postal arrangements, in those days used in
Germany over to the Russian conditions; all post officials were of German
origin, the official language used was German and all names were taken from
the German, which are preserved even up to this day. In the year 1716, the
first Post Office building was erected in St. Petersburg on the river side
of the Neva, containing at the same time numerous rooms and assembly halls
for the stay of travellers, as, at that time, no other inns or hotels were
in existence.

The signature of the first postmaster is still available in a very old re-
port, signed by Gottlieb Kraus, postmaster on the St. Petersburg-Riga Post-
Street. The first official civil service, however, was created only in the
year 1724.

Owing to his premature death, Peter the Great was prevented from carrying
through all the planned reforms in the sphere of the postal service. How-
ever, he created the basis on which the postal service could develop itself
in such a manner as to respond to the economic and cultural requirements of
Russia. His intention to replace the foreign element gradually with Russians
was not carried out by his successors.

The Postmaster, Baron Ostermann, who was appointed by the Queen, Catherin I,
and who already operated under the short reign of Peter II, promoted the Ger-
man element still further. Under his management, the development of the

63 -

postal service made a useful progress. Baron Ostermann advanced everywhere
the letterpost of private people by reducing the postage fees by one third.
He created also the postal connection between St. Petersburg and Archangelsk,
built a Post Office in Wiborg in 1727, and took special care of his em-
ployees, whom he protected against violence and insults, a reform which the
coachmen on the roads found so nececcary.

Queen Anna loannovna promoted the development of the post principally in Est
and Livland; in addition, postal connections were opened to the far distant
frontiers of Asia. Also the mining districts in the Ural and the town of
Perm were connected by separate postal roads with Moscow. In the year 1733,
the connection of the city Tobolsk in Siberia with Moscow was established via
Yekaterininsk, Kungur, Sarapul and Kazan, and two years later the town of Ufa
was connected by a postal road with Moscow. Above all things, postal con-
nections were created in such parts where either war was expected or mining
was started. In the latter case, the Director of the mines in Siberia, Tatischev,
earned distinction in the development of the postal roads. A postal con-
nection with several towns in the district of Don Cossacks was established in
the year 1730, exclusively for military purposes.

Under the reign of Queen Elisabeth, the complaints of the coachmen and drivers
increased again about the atrocious treatment by officials and travellers.
Owing to these complaints, several proclamations for their protection were
issued by the Czars. The Government tried to deal with other difficulties
in this way, and they transferred the responsibility for the regular postal
services to others. In this way, the newly opened postal connections with
the Ukraine was entrusted to the Army of the Cossacks, and the one between
Reval and Hapsal to the Baltic Knights, the latter by the decree of the 6th
July 1743.

New postal roads were established from Sanchursk to Werchoturye, a distance
of 1114 Verst, and from Moscow to Saratov via Murom, 1751 Verst. Of great
importance for the home trade or inland commerce, was the decree that the
postage for letters on the postal roads to Orenburg, Astrakhan, Siberia, Bel-
gorod, Kiev and Smolensk had to be accepted at the rate ofl Kopek per

About the middle of the XVIII Century, postal roads from Moscow were 10,l43
verst long, apart from those which led from St. Petersburg to Moscow, Arch-
angelsk, Wiborg and via Narva, Pleskau, Velikie Luki to Smolensk. On all
those postal roads, the mail left regularly on certain days of the week from
Moscow and from St. Petersburg. Up to this time, however, the postal ser-
vice developed completely without plan; only certain casual influences issued
then-and-there orders for the building of postal roads. This situation was
changed only when Prince Bezborodko worked out a carefully studied plan, ac-
cording to which the further extention of the postal roads was commenced.

With the beginning of the reign of Queen Catherine II commenced the second
and most important era of the development of the post in Russia. The re-
forms of Peter I, which were only partially commenced by him, were completed
and thereby an organization was created which was retained up to the 19th
century. Count Chernyshov was entrusted with the carrying out of all these
reforms in the year 1763. The official state of the postal administrations,

64 -

with all their rights and obligations, was finally organized and the whole
system of the mail coach itself was essentially altered. In place of the life-
long bound coachmen and post boys, who formed a forced and inherited caste-
like profession, from now on freely enlisted people were engaged. The whole
postal service was made into a complete, united system. The difference pre-
viously known between post mails of the nobility and the merchant or business-
man was suspended and a single postage fee introduced in the whole of Russia.
The new postage charges were for one letter of 1 Lot or 3 Zolotnik for each
100 Verst, one Kopek each. Also the travelling fare for the travellers was
altered to a uniform rate. Since 1778, one Kopek was levied for each Verst,
and each horse for the distance between the two towns, on all other postal
roads, however, 6 Kopeks for each 10 Verst, which was twice as much as the
previous fee charged. Owing to the cheaper letter rates, the income of the
post increased in a very short time. Whereas in the year 1782, 138,672 Rub-
les, 31,235 Albert-Thaler (coins), and 94 Groschen (silver coins) were taken,
the income after two years increased to 210,945.65 Rubles and 33, 910 Albert-
Thaler, 81 Groschen.

Since the year 1783, the post started to accept money also in coins and paper,
against a fee of one-half of one percent of its value for insurance. The
law of the 13th July 1756 decreed finally that parcels containing value
could be sent through the post at the same postage fees as the money letters.

The planned modification of all decrees could not be carried out owingto the
death of the Queen, but the whole postal service was now safely consolidated
in the independentauthorities "The General Post Office" and the "Chief Postal
Department". To begin at the 19th century, Russia possessed 648 postal div-
isions, with about 5,000 officials, which were taken over on the 8th Sep-
tember 1802 by the Ministry of the Interior.

No essential progress regarding the development of the postal services under
the rule of the Czar Paul could be recorded. On the contrary, the freer
movement in the organization of the coach mail was again tied up, and in the
year 1799 the old system again restored. The other alterations were immat-
erial and related more or less to external affairs, until the establishment
of six Post Offices in the two capitals, in the Ukraine, in Vilna, Tambov
and Kazan, and one in Siberia, all the remaining Post Offices, post expedi-
tions and field post establishments were subjected to them.

In the course, of the 19th century, the postal service developed itself on
the normal basis, about in the same way as in all other European countries.
About the middle of the previous century, the building of railways was
started, gradually many of the frequently used postal roadswere deserted and
only those connecting roads, which were not contacted by the railway network
remained open. However, these also were transferred in the administration with
the organization of the Zemstvos. In this way thelmperial Government got rid
of the responsibility of the care of the postal roads, whose upkeep created the
greatest difficulties for them, especially in the most remote districts.

Before we turn toward the post connections under the administration of the
Zemstvos, it will not be uninteresting to see in what manner the Government
itself tried to solve this problem in the organization of the post connections,
and after trying to find the most suitable by drawing together the dif-
ferent systems for a practical solution of the mail coach establishments.

65 -


The very earliest system as already mentioned at the beginning, consisted therein
that a special class of the population was compelled to travel over the postal
roads their whole life long, and this employment was handed down from father
to son. They had certain privileges and tax reliefs; on the other hand, they
received only a very small payment or compensation from the travellers, and,
generally speaking, they led such a bad life that everyone tried to get away
from such a vocation. The complaints about the deeds of violence of the tra-
vellers, of the impossibility to earn enough under the circumstances to keep
body and soul together, never ended in the course of the centuries. One Im-
perial decree after another was issued for the protection of the coachmen,
without altering much at all their unprotected existence. Not only did the
Government increase the fares or taxes of the mail coach continuously, but
they also passed extra allowances which were also increasing all the time.
Nevertheless, the people employed were not in a position to do justice to the
daily increasing requirements of the population, and the actual position of
these people was altered very little by the well-meant measures taken by the
Government. These untenable conditions influenced not only the speed but also
the reliability of the postal connections in a perceptible manner, and even
such an important connection as the one between the two capitals had to suf-
fer. From the year 1802 to 1841, different committees examined very carefully
the state of the profession and the whole system as such; in the year 1770,
experiments were made in some parts of the country to run the postal dis-
patch by means of a tender for three to fifteen years, whereby the applicants
had the right to collect an agreed fee for the delivery of the post and for
the transport of the travellers. As the Government, however, had no basis
for the individual parts of the country, either as regards the maximum ex-
penses or for the income, this system was a lucrative source of speculation
and despotism, so that the system was also dropped at the proposal of the
Post Department in the year 1847.

The third experiment consisted of the so-called "free system". The Government
paid nothing towards it, but left it to the postmasters to levy a corres-
ponding payment for the dispatch of the post and transport of the travellers.
This system was adopted in the year 1788 to 1796 in the Western Governments
and also in St. Petersburg, but was, however, given up again at the end of the
18th century because it met with too many difficulties.

A further system was the so-called "Prussian System". First the income and
the expenses were estimated approximately, to the figures was added about
12%, and the postal service was contracted for 95 years. Every three years,
the fees for the dispatch was again examined and altered according to the
prices for oats and hay. This system was adopted, used on the line from
Kowno to Dunaburg from the 1st July 1836, and from Tavrogi to Shavli from
the 1st January 1840. From this system the so-called "valuing or estimate
system" was introduced, and introduced in about 46 governments. It did not
prove satisfactory, however, as the expenses of the postal administration
since 1853 increased by about 13 million Rubles.

As transition to the administration of the postal connections through the
Zemstvos, the so-called "economic system" has to be considered. This formed
a variation to the "submission" system, with the difference that the postal
service was not handed over to the highest offer but to the most reliable
undertaking. In addition to the fees, additional contributions were always

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made on the part of the State. Simultaneously with the above-mentioned systems,
the so-called "land post" or country post developed itself since the year 1805,
and tried to satisfy the most urgent requirements in some of the places, ac-
cording to regular postal conditions.

Through the mediation of the Post Office in Kazan, a few large metalic factories
in the Urals and also private persons suggested that it would be possible for
the Government to send messengers from the nearest postal departments to de-
liver the incoming mail in closed post bags, and take away at the same time
the outgoing mail. The persons applying to be messengers requested payment
according to the weight of the postbags. This request was granted, and it
was directed that other postal departments where the same requirements existed
and the granting of them would pay for itself, should also start such con-
nections. In this way such secondary connections began under the name "land
post", mostly only near the largest factories or the larger commerical centers.
In the year 18O0, of the 897 postal departments 159 land post connections
were established, which, in that year, brought an income mounting to 10,398
Rubles to the Imperial Post.

Generally speaking, the Directors of the Post Offices remained very reserved
towards such arrangements because they could not obtain from their Government
the necessary means for the upkeep of the land post. Only on the 31st March
1842 a decree of the Imperial Commission reserved the necessary means for
the upkeep of the land post in the budget. These land post connections were
gradually included in the Zemstvo post; its activity, however, influenced the
postal establishments of the Zemstvo post for a long time afterwards, and
even now many postage stamps issued by the latter bear the old description
"land post".


With the introduction of the Zemstvo Post commences an entirely new chapter
in the history of the post in Russia, which is the most important one. Only
the activity of the body of self-administrators in all cultural fields, under
which the postal administration played a very important role, has awakened
Russia from its winter sleep and lifted it up to the state of culture which
it possessed before the beginning of the World War.

The Zemstvo Post formed a necessary supplement to the Imperial Post, whose
main connections extended to the most distant villages in the large, wide
Empire. The Imperial Post could only extend its sphere of activity very
gradually over the whole Empire as, on the one hand, the means required were
missing and, on the other hand, because of the insurmountable difficulties
caused by the bad condition of the roads, the scarce population of distant
districts and the colossal distances to be covered.

The first beginnings of the Zemstvo post date back to the year 1837. In all
County Court authorities, messenger offices were organized for the inner
communication between the officials and the police authorities of the de-
tached districts, which met once a week on the day when the post arrived
from the Government cities. From the year 1862, this messenger service was
placed under the care of the police officials. The population now used this
opportunity, set up solely for administrative purposes, to send their letters
to the Imperial postal departments of the nearest counties, from which the

67 -

letters were brought to the Court officials. These letters were left there
at times for months, and occasionally, when a Court or police messenger was
on the way, the letters were forwarded to the villages and finally reached
the addressees. The discontent with those conditions increased on both sides,
as the police and Court officials also considered the forwarding of the local
population's correspondence as extra work which they should not have to do,
and found it burdensome.

Since the year 1840, a beginning was made to work out reforms in the postal
department, whilst proposals on behalf of the population arrived from the
county administrations and the local population, pressing to solve the justi-
fied demands. In the year 1864, the law regarding the organization of the
self-administration or Zemstvos, and one year later the care for the dispatch
of the correspondence in the reach of its activity circle, was already trans-
ferred to those self-administrations. To this was attached the condition
that the Zemstvos take over the coach mail in their county, and the Government
officials were allowed to travel without charge. Since the year 1866, the
postal stations gradually went over to the administration of the Zemstvo
offices in the outlying counties, for which the Government granted a supple-
ment which was usually increased every third year. For the dispatch of the
Imperial mail through the streets running through the counties, the Govern-
ment paid the same fees to the Zemstvos as the remaining postmasters, but was
relieved of a great anxiety. The Zemstvos were, naturally, able to create,
because of their knowledge of the conditions, a much more regular and pro-
fitable postal condition than the central administration for the whole Em-
pire could hope for. In this way, the Zemstvos took care of the post of the
Empire on those connecting roads which already connected the post offices of
the Empire, against payment on behalf of the Government. These postal roads
connected, with very few exceptions, only the Government cities amongst them-
selves; the county cities were only contacted when they happened to be on a
connecting road. The internal population in the districts, however, did not
feel much of the benefit of the blessings of this orderly postal communi-
cations. This drawback was only remedied as the Zemstvos, from the year 1865
onward, gradually commenced to organize the postal service also in the in-
terior of the county, which, in the successive decades, served a territory
which in its extention was much larger than the Imperial Post itself.

The first permission for this was received by the Vetluga Zemstvo in March
1865, in reply to their petition. The post office there received the order
to accept the incoming mail from the Zemstvo office for dispatch, and at the
same time to hand it over to the addressee, against his authority to the
Zemstvo office. This condition formed a strong obstacle for the further de-
velopment of the postal intercourse in the interior of the county. As a
result of this permission, further petitions were received from all sides
so that, up to the 1st January 1867, already in twenty counties either the
Zemstvo Post was established or permission for it was already granted. In
the course, of the year 1867, another sixteen Zemstvo Post Offices were
opened, in the next year another nine, and, finally, in the year 1869, an-
other seventeen. At the start, the sphere of activity was very limited;
they only dealt with the dispatch of the ordinary correspondence, as the
demand to produce an authority every time could not be carried through.
This demand was later alleviated, so that not only single persons had to
produce an authority but the whole parish could issue an authority. Only
in the year 1888 was the request to produce an authority given up entirely.

68 -

It took many years before both postal establishments, the Zemstvo post and the
Imperial post, worked together without friction. The Imperial post guarded
its rights with jealousy and tried again and again to gag or bind the Zemstvos.
SOnly when it was seen and appreciated that it would be in the interests of
both parties, when the Zemstvos would receive complete freedom regarding the
questions of the inside organization of their postal establishments and also
in their administration, began a useful activity of the Zemstvo post for the
benefit not only of the local population but also of the Imperial post, whose
income increased very considerably by the correspondence which they handled
from the Zemstvo post. Gradually the Zemstvo post offices accepted also the
dispatch of money. The first permission to send letters containing money by
the Zemstvo post was granted to the government of the Samara Government Post
Office on the 31st May 1866, under No. 7846. In most of the cases, the Zemstvo
posts took over the full guarantee for the letters containing money which were
entrusted to them.

The first official permission to use their own postage stamps was given to the
Novgorod Zemstvo offices on the 5th May 1867, under the condition, however,
that, as far as their appearance was concerned, they must have nothing in
common with the Imperial postage stamps.

Different questions of dispute between the Imperial postal administration and
Zemstvo post offices -- for instance, the use of the common postal roads or
the postal communication from one district into the other by a roundabout
way -- were only finally solved through circular No. 12725 of the 3rd Sept-
ember 1870, by which the Zemstvo posts were acknowledged as a necessary sup-
plement to the Imperial post, and the conditions for their intercourse were
laid down by law. There were, however, still some points in this circular
not quite clear, which gave cause to a number of misunderstandings; the con-
ditions, therefore, were altered, completed and finally included in the cir-
cular No. 15649 of the31st October 1871, in agreement with the new issued
conditions with the Imperial Post establishment just issued.

The wording of the circular is as follows:

1. The Zemstvo Post is founded for

a. the dispatch to the addressee of ordinary correspondence such as
postcards, ordinary and registered letters, book posts and parcels
without value declaration, periodical magazines, posters, for the
reception of correspondence with declared value and such registered
letters which could only be handed over against the production of
post advices, from the post department of the Imperial post to the
interior of the counties where no post offices existed.

b. for the reception of any kind of correspondence from the local pop-
ulation of the county, where no Imperial Post Offices existed, for
further dispatch to the nearest Imperial Postal department.

c. for the dispatch of any kind of correspondence to the addressee
between the various places in the county which had no connection
through the Imperial post.

2. The responsibility for a regular delivery of the Imperial post to the
SZemstvo post of the correspondence handed over is the duty of the Zemstvo

69 -

offices, whose duty it is in the case of the loss of registered letters
handed over by the Imperial Post Office, to pay on demand a compensation
to the addressee of 10 Rubles for each letter, as fixed in Para. 13 of
the Provisional Acts of the Postal district.

3. The Zemstvo offices were released from the production of annual cards for
the reception of correspondence from the Imperial Post departments, but
were obliged to pay the amount laid down in Para. 97 of 2 Kop. each for
such letters, parcels, etc., which were handed out by the Imperial Postal
departments and subject to this tax, which amount, however, the Zemstvo
offices could claim back again from the addressee when handing over the
correspondence to him.

I. Such persons and officials who did not like to receive their correspondence
through the Zemstvo post could obtain cards for receiving their corres-
pondence through authorized persons, as provided for in Para. 80 of the
Provisional Acts.

5. The Zemstvo post could only carry on the coach service on such roads which
were not postal roads, meaning roads where the Imperial Post did not
ply. Where the postal dispatch must necessarily go from one postal de-
partment into another, the Zemstvo post was allowed to cross the Imperial
Postal roads or use them in order to get from one landway into the other.

(Remarks: The correspondence of the Zemstvo offices with one another, also
with private persons and officials who had their residence on the
Imperial postal roads, also the correspondence of all private
people with the Crown and private institutes, also with private
persons, who resided on such streets, was not allowed to be dis-
patched except through the Imperial post only, and any deviation
from this rule was in contradiction of the decree of the 1st May
1870, confirmed by the Committee of Ministers.)

6. The Zemstvo offices were allowed to issue their own stamps but only on
the essential condition that their design had nothing in common with
the stamps used by the Imperial mail.

7. The postman or letter carrier of the Zemstvos was allowed to attach to
his letter bag the arms of his province or county, but always only without
the two posthorns.

8. Those Zemstvo offices which have the intention to establish a Zemstvo
Post on the basis laid down above, must inform the local Government Post
authorities so that they can make the necessary preparation. Further, it
is necessary that the Zemstvo offices provide those persons who are
authorized by them to accept correspondence from the Imperial post in the
district, with books, which contain the necessary signatures and the
seal of the Zemstvo office. These books have to be used for the entry
by the post officials, showing the number of any sort of correspondence
handed over by the Imperial post, and also the total sum of the 2 Kopek
fees and the postage for letters not sufficiently stamped. Such letters
which according to their destination had to be dispatched to distant
places, registered letters, parcles without value declaration, private
and official, and post notices for the receipt of such registered letters
and letters containing money, which could only be handed over against an
order, and also official letters must be receipted from the authorized

70 -

persons of the Zemstvo office in the corresponding books of the Imperial postal

At the same time, the chiefs of the Government Post officials received the
necessary instructions through the circular No. 15745 as of the 2nd November

Attached to same the committee of ministers laid down on the deliberations of
this matter the following opinion or view in the protocol of the session:

"Passing over to the general question of the Zemstvo Posts, the Com-
mittee of the Ministers acknowledges that in principle the Imperial
Post must remain undivided under the administration of the Government.
In consideration of the circumstance, that the extension of the sphere
of activity of the Imperial Post meets with difficulties owing to the
small income of the posts, which are very difficult to overcome, the
large extension of the territory, the scarce population and the inac-
cessible roads, the Committee of Ministers has come to the opinion that
the Zemstvo Post must be assisted as much as possible as the supple-
mentary organ of the Imperial Post."

"Further, the Committee of Ministers is of the opinion that the Zem-
stvo Post will absolutely contribute to the economic and cultural
flourish of the country, when the requirements of the local popu-
lation are satisfied, in that they establish a connection between the
Imperial Post departments in the far distances and also between the
villages between. At the same time, the amount of correspondence will
be increased thereby, the upkeep of the coach mail will be alleviated,
as they are bound by law to maintain it."

Further, the text of No. 8732 of the Ministry of the Interior, dated the 23rd
May 1872, reads as follows:

"The Committee of Ministers is of the opinion that the Ministry, under
consideration of the circumstance that the local requirements of the
Zemstvos are better known to them, abstain from any interference in
matters of organization and the roads they are using, for the useful
development of the Zemstvo posts, and, in this connection, concede
the greatest possible freedom under the condition that they do not
curtail the rights of the Imperial Post."

With this, the Zemstvo Post was acknowledged as a necessary assisting organ of
the Imperial Post. Since then, there commenced a frictionless working to-
gether of both postal establishments, without competing with one another. The
Zemstvo offices considered their care for the dispatch of the post only as
their own duty, in order to further the interests of their voters, but never
as the source of an income. In very many counties, the Zemstvo offices for-
warded the post completely free of charge, or dispensed with the postage,
when the population found itself in a difficult position owing to bad har-
vest. Many Zemstvo offices levied by stamps a smaller fee whose proceeds
were handed over partially or wholly to the county seniors or secretaries of
the parishes in the villages, as (their) compensation for their trouble.
Nowhere, however, were the expenses of the Zemstvo Post covered by the in-
come through the sales of stamps. Therefore, the stamps of the Zemstvo of-
fices form such a rare and gratifying picture that, with their issue, every

71 -

kind of speculation was excluded.

An especially large expansion was attained by the Zemstvo Posts in the Govern-
ments of Kazan, Novgorod, Perm, Samara, Ufa, Vologda and, finally, Viatka.
In the districts of those Governments, there was hardly a difference between
the Zemstvo Posts and the postal departments of the Imperial Post. They ac-
cepted correspondence of every kind, dispatched it, also parcels of value
whereby the weight and insurance fees were practically the same as those of
the Imperial Post; the postage for ordinary letters, however, was essentially

The central post administration has a few statistical details about the Zem-
stvo Posts:

Kursk 11 162,970 131,924 177,152 65,403 1,225
Kharkov 7 160,575 262,258 218,U75 31,033 275
Moscow 1 8,679 31,692 10,986 1,032 102
Riazan 7 93,139 69,566 109,14 37,327 42
Vologda & Kostroma 11 179,325 233,042 250,359 37,012 6,531
Nizhny Novgorod 4 50.632 95,610 56,735 16,267 988
St.Petersb. & Pskov 8 57,803 78,511 88,093 23,157 728
Samara 7 340,540 542,711 439,682 38,356 5,773
Orel & Tula 7 164,841 256,270 201,116 82,010 276
Poltava 8 201,264 322,253 176,273 29,847 3,881
Novgorod 11 54,119 64,266 123,695 17,754 2,000
Saratov 8 103,299 125,656 156,660 15,565 1,829
Tver 5 5,911 57,960 47,967 15,406 1,822
Viatka 11 206,792 265,195 315,448 32,129 13,084
Kazan 12 210,143 196,517 360,797 36,812 4,153
Taurida & Kherson 9 194,206 154,335 142,294 13,571 5,206

The inner organization of the Zemstvo post establishments showed a very mani-
fold picture which depended naturally on the habits and on the geographical
position of each district, also from the historical development of same. For
all that, the common or joint character was more or less the same, the first
stipulated through the common conditions laid down by law, and the second
mainly through the unanimous endeavors on the part of all Zemstvo offices to
give or provide the population with a complete, secure, cheap and regular ser-
vice for the dispatch of the mail and their correspondence.

The following picture is typical of the art and manner of the receipt and de-
livery of the correspondence in the Zemstvo Post establishments:

In each Zemstvo office of the county existed a so-called Post Office, and the
whole Zemstvo Post in the county was placed under same. The manager of this
post office was either a member of the Zemstvo office or, if he did not have
the necessary time at his disposal, a man employed specially. In the county
itself, the postal departments were usually established under control of the
county officials, where the senior of the county or the secretary took over
the duties of the post official. Besides which, schools, hospitals of the
Zemstvos, also factory offices and in the mine districts were used for the
reception and dispatch of the post, whereby, in the latter case, the whole

72 -

work connected with same had to be taken over by the administration of the
factory. Quite apart from that, also the owners of the stopping places of
the mail coach had to receive and deliver the correspondence.

The mail coach of the Zemstvo offices took such a route that they contacted
as much as possible all such county officials who were without connection
to the Imperial mail. In order to obtain this, the county was divided up in
2-5 sections, and each one had its own postal road called "Tract". Such
roads were usually laid out in circles in order to avoid the post contacting
the same postal department twice. In this way, the post left the county
town on one road and returned after contacting all postal departments in its
section, back to the city by another road. In doing so, the Zemstvo Post
covered this circle alternatively, now in one direction, now in another.

The Zematvo made this journey usually twice a week, according to a carefully
fixed plan by the Zemstvo office which was published for the common know-
ledge. The days and hours of departure and arrival of the post were fixed
for each individual county office; also, the time of changing the horses and,
if the journey took longer than one day, also the stay overnight. For the
control of this, the manager of the postal department had to enter in the trip
book the time of the arrival and departure and also any delay with its cause.
In case the fault was due to the postman, he was fined accordingly.

The Zemstvo Post used coaches with one or two horses, accompanied by a Zem-
stvo postillion who was responsible for the security of the correspondence
during the journey. "Postillion" had to be very reliable men who could
read and write, and they were specially selected. Often they had to de-
posit a security. In such counties only one coachman was used for the dis-
patch of the ordinary mail. Other counties used postmen on horses and others
again had to walk the distance. Practically all Zemstvos used for the dis-
patch of the mail their own coach mail establishments which they had to
maintain by law for the transport of government officials and private per-
sons. The upkeep of the horse post stations was tendered for by contract;
the postmaster was compelled to supply the necessary horses according to
the timetable of the Zemstvo office. Only in a very few districts did the
Zemstvo handle the dispatch of the mail on their own. In other districts,
on the other hand, use was made of the railways and waterways for the dis-
patch and transport of the mail.

In the Zemstvo, the reception and delivery of the mail took place at the same
time as in the Imperial mail. The franking of the letters took place either
in cash or in the sticking on of the stamps, where such were in existence.
For the most part, a postbox could be found for ordinary franked letters. On
the other hand, the payment of the postage of letters taken over from the Im-
perial post took place before the delivery of same. For the sake of control,
many Zemstvos introduced stamps in two shades or colors, the one for the
stamping of the letters by the sender, the other for those which were paid
by the addressee ("porto" stamp). The latter were used for private letters
which the Zemstvo took over from the Imperial mail, and only cancelled on
the delivery to the addressee after payment of the postage. The correspondence
was treated in the same way in all postal departments of the county.

Before the dispatch of the Zemstvo post, a list for the entire correspondence
was made out for each postal department separately and then parcelled up and
sealed. The parcel post was also entered up on a list, packed together with

73 -

the parcels in a trunk or postbag which was closed with a lock and, in ad-
dition, sealed up. Each county official had a key for same. The whole pro-
cedure took place in the presence of the coachman or postillionn" who had to
sign for the whole correspondence. He was then issued with a coach ticket
which entitled him to be provided with coach horses on all postal stations
without delay.

On arrival of the post in any county, the senior official or secretary con-
vinced himself first of all that the seals were intact; he opened the post-
bag with his key, took out the letters addressed to his office, opened same
in the presence of the postillion, signed for the receipt in his list or
register after having examined the number of letters entered up in same.
After this, he collected the correspondence handed to him in parcels, one
for the Zemstvo office itself and one each for the county offices, including
a list of the letters, and sealed the parcels. They were then put back in
the postbag, which was locked and sealed. This procedure was repeated in the
next post department. A few of the Zemstvos preferred not to include in the
postbag such letters which contained money but handed them over separately to
the postillion so that it would be easier to save them in case of an accident
during the journey.

In many county seats the Zemstvo post delivered the mail by postmen to the
inhabitants of the town which was especially useful for the authorities and
their institutions.

Delivery was also effected to other sparsely inhabited territories of each
county. The residences of the President of the Gentry Assembly, the County
Administrator, the judges, police, doctors, etc., were included as far as
possible in the circuit routes. To deliver and collect the mail, the post-
illion had to call on such places even if it meant going a kilometer or more
from the established route. Into the timetable were included various county
offices which were situated far from the route and who had to send their
authorized messenger to the road in order to exchange the correspondence.

In the Provincial Zemstvo Office, just as in all Zemstvo postal branches of
each county, Imperial postage stamps were sold for the franking of letters
that would go through the Imperial Post, as were Zemstvo postage stamps to
frank letters within each county limits. The Imperial stamps were sold to
Zemstvos for cash and then sent by each Zemstvo to their county branch post
offices which also had to pay for them in cash upon receipt. Thus, all the
mails which were meant to be sent via the Imperial Post had to be franked
with Imperial stamps plus the franking by Zemstvo stamps of the mails to be
handled by the Zemstvo post within the limits of the county.

The construction of the new railroad lines made it possible for the Imperial
post to extend its service to some localities, with the resulting termination
of the Zemstvo post activities. In fact, the Zemstvos were discontinuing
their postal service wherever the Imperial post was in a position to take
over. On the other hand, the Zemstvos endeavored to extend their postal
services further and further, right up to the time of the Revolution of 1917,
thus providing the most distant corners of the counties with the full ad-
vantages of the postal service.

In addition to this description of the Zemstvo post, special attention is
drawn to the fact that many millions of inhabitants of the great Russian

74 -

Empire were dependent on the Zemstvo postal service which connected their ter-
ritories with the outside world, these territories having been about five times
the size of the whole of Germany. To get an idea of the extent of these ter-
ritories, one should compare the size of such provinces which were traversed
only moderately by the rail lines and therefore had to depend mostly on the
Zemstvo postal service. The Province of Vologda has an area of 402, 125 sq.
kilometers; that is, about four-fifths the size of the whole of Germany of
the pre-First World War days. The Viatka province is 153,107 sq. kms., and
the Perm province 330,224 sq. kms., the first being twice as large and the
second about 4 and one-half times as large as Bavaria.

These gigantic territories were served over a half century exclusively by the
Zemstvo post which had created in each county its individual postal estab-
lishments and whose employees gradually adapted themselves to the needs of
the local population, thus creating a more or less harmonious whole. The
Imperial post helped itself to these auxiliary organs which consisted of more
than 1,000 post offices, to its own advantage and without disbursing anything
for their upkeep and supervision.

From the above mentioned, it can be seen that the Zemstvo posts were not pri-
vate posts in the ordinary sense of the word, but lawfully established and pro-
tected auxiliary organizations of the Imperial post, whose government was com-
pelled by force to abandon their rights because they were not in the position
to give everywhere to their subjects the advantages of postal connections,
and therefore left to them a sphere of activity which, was far more extensive
than their own.

When one, therefore, bans the stamps of these postal establishments from the
catalogs, which up to now has unfortunately been the case, this cannot be just-
ified either in the history of the post or from a philatelic point of view.
The only stamps of this kind which have received the goodwill in the eyes of
editors of the catalogs were those of the Wenden County. The postal con-
ditions, however, are in this case exactly the same as in all other re-
maining counties of the Russian Empire. Whether the lawful right to issue
their own stamps can be traced backto a circular issued by the Ministry of
the Interior or to special privileges which were enjoyed at that time by the
Baltic provinces, or whether the local self-administration of the Zemstvo
office or the Knights were mentioned, does not alter in the least the char-
acter of the stamps. The stamps of Wenden County are positively equal to
those of the other Zemstvos.


The moment when the Zemstvos took over the handling of the letters of private
persons coincides pretty nearly with the issue of the first stamps. According
to very old documents and to such stamps, which show a clear and distinct
date of cancellation, it can be established with certainty that stamps and
envelopes or wrappers were introduced for the franking of letters already
many years before the official permission was granted. As an example, in the
year 1866 in the counties of Borovichi, Shlisselburg and Verkhne-Dneprovsk,
in the year 1867 in the counties of Cherson, Melitopol and Riazan, in the
year 1868 in Novgorod and in the year 1869 in the counties of Malmych, Pav-
lograd and Tikhvin, the Zemstvo postal service already existed.

75 -

Before we deal with the stamps themselves, a few words should be said about
the method of their usage. The Imperial post delivered correspondence only
up to their last post office which frequently did not extend beyond its Pro-
vince Seat. Those letters addressed to more distant places in the county
were handed over to the Zemstvo offices which had to dispatch same with or
without postage charges further into the county. The same way or method was
applied to postal matters from the county into the Empire or foreign count-
ries. Often a letter had to be dispatched first of all with the Zemstvo post,
then further with the Imperial mail and finally into the interior of a second
county again with the Zemstvo post. Such letters had, therefore, three en-
tirely different stamps: one Imperial postage stamp and two different Zemstvo
post stamps. When a letter arrived at the county post office to be delivered
somewhere in that same county, it had to be franked by the officials of that
Zemstvo office, the fee collected from the addressee. The letter sent from
the county was franked by the sender, that is to say, with one Zemstvo stamp
and one of the Empire postage stamps.

After the decree of the law for the dispatch of the correspondence with the
Zemstvo post, the postal department demanded from the Zemstvo offices the
sending in of their stamps and covers for the examination and approval of
their design and color, in order to prevent confusion with the stamps of the
Imperial mail. In the stamp collections of the Post Museum in St. Petersburg,
only stamps of the Zemstvo editions from their first years existed, as it
was probably later overlooked to demand samples of the stamps. Among them
existed stamps which were only preserved through this circumstance, because
no further stamps could be traced or found anywhere.

Only two cases are known where Zemstvo stamps were objected to owing to
their similarity with the Imperial postage stamps. This objection related
to the stamp No. 3 from Melitopol, which happened to be in circulation at
that time, owing to the eagle in the middle (which was, moreover, the Coat
of Arms of the Government of Kherson) and the two posthorns beneath it, and
further, the stamp No. 9 from Morshank, which was too much like the Imperial
postage stamp 8 Kop.

Concerning the design and color of the stamp, the Zemstvo officials left the
details for the most part to the opinion of the printers, who received the
order for the printing of the stamps. The drawings of these stamps give a
clear picture of the artistic and cultural levels in the provinces, which
hardly showed forth in any other country unless one compares them with the
stamps of the postmasters and the private stamps of North America and the
United States.

One can see here a variety of forms and drawings, and at times a wild com-
bination of colors and shades which could already point to the Asiatic taste.
Many stamps show touching representations, others again that the designer was
not familiar with the most primitive demands of his art, for instance, that
the letters had to be inverted so that the print reproduced the correct pic-
ture, as shown in No. 11 Tikhvin. Also the ornamental Russian style tried
to find its way at times, as shown by the stamps of Kazan, Morshansk No. 28
and Perm No. 5, and, in one case, also the Ukranian style, as shown on the
stamps of Lokhvitsa. Only such stamps which were printed in the Government
Printing Office and the later editions from the larger printing works of the
principal cities showed some care was taken in the execution and, now and
then, in good taste. Those, however, which were produced in the provinces
and the counties give a true picture of the style and taste of their time and
the country.

76 -

As, on most of the stamps, the Coat of Arms of the counties had to be included,
the designers were often in difficulties to reproduce all the animals and
other symbols which were so plentiful in the Coats of Arms, and this explains
why, in the description of the stamps in the philatelic publications, not only
foxes were taken for dogs, sheep and even horses, but also Saint George, who
slew the dragon, was considered as a harmless gondolier (Gadiatch) or even
the Archangel Gabriel as a witch riding on a broom stick.

As the printers mostly pleased themselves in the execution of their orders,
the ordered editions of stamps were usually very small. It can often be ob-
served that they used for the printing of same colors and shades of inks which
were left over. Therefore, stamps of one and the same value were printed in
different colors, or black on different colored paper, without fulfilling
thereby any certain purpose other than to use up what just happened to be left
over from other work. It simply did not pay to use fresh colors for such
small orders, or break into a large stock of paper. It so happened, for ex-
ample, that one edition of the stamps from Griazowetz was printed in eight
different colors, together with wrapper sheets for different kinds of Teas,
either to use up the printing stone or the size of the sheet of paper. Owing
to ignorance of the local conditions, such appearances were always used by
the philatelic press for speculation, whereas here only chance and discretion
or economic points of view played a role. The sphere of collection, however,
is for the philatelist of enormous interest and the work of the investigators
very exciting, when all the backgrounds of the published stamps have been
cleared up. Although not only the color of the stamps, but also their de-
signs were left completely in the hands of the designers in the printing
works, unless the Coat of Arms of the county was demanded to be absolutely
necessary in the design of the stamp, it happened that sketches or designs
and proofs in different colors were submitted to some of the Zemstvos for
Their choice and approval. This, however, only took place in the later years.

Of the submitted hand drawings, the following have become known: Morshansk
for No. 22, Shadrinsk for the three stamps Nos. 33, 3h and 35, Starobielsk
for Nos. 29 and 30, and Tver for the first two editions. Of the later edi-
tions, various proof impressions, not only in different designs but also in
numerous undertones and printed on various kinds of paper are known, which
have already been described in detail. All these stamps have for the most
part only a few specimens in existence or known as "Unika". We have the
collectors to thank, those into whose hands they came; otherwise, nothing would
have been left of them. The Zemstvos themselves or their postmasters did
not consider them of any value at all, either for their archives or in any
other relation or connection.

One must mention here also the samples of stamps which enterprising printers
sent out for advertising purposes, in order to obtain orders for stamps
from the Zemstvo offices. To this group belong the sample stamps of Lebedian
and Nolinsk, and further two stamps of the Province of Volyn in different
designs, none of which ever issued any stamps themselves.

The domain of the Zemstvo stamps has fortunately so far not been frequented
very much by forgers; dangerous forgeries do not exist at all. The few fal-
sifications known up to now are very primitive and badly executed, and could
be recognized by the first glance.

SThe so-called "Phantasie" stamps are, however, an entirely different matter.

77 -

Ingenious heads used the dark conditions of the first editions of stamps and
manufactured on their own "old stamps" which were sold for high sums as rar-
ities. A number of such stamps were also found in the large auctioned col-
lection of Ferrari in Paris. However, it was always possible to prove then
and there that such stamps did not exist at all; furthermore, that those pro-
ducts were of foreign origin, as more often than not mistakes in the Russian
inscriptions were detected.

Nevertheless, even today stamps are in existence whose origin cannot be proved.
Of course, this was connected with very large difficulties as no acts or docu-
ments were available which could serve as a clarification, nor the confused
statements of the old employees based on their memories. Only very reliable
discoveries of such stamps on covers would produce an undoubted evidence of
the genuine stamp. It is to be regretted that such discoveries are very rare
and only attributed to a happy coincidence.

The Zemstvos also used locking seals for their envelopes, the same as the State
officials, in order to secure the official correspondence, not only in the
county itself, but also with the Imperial post the free postage. Those seals
were impressed upon the closing flap of the cover or envelope, either with
seals or with sealing wax, or with a hand stamp. Further, such seals were
also used like stamps adhered to the different closing flaps of the covers,
or with the latter when they were ungummed. Such seals were looked upon in
foreign countries as official stamps (service stamps) or simply as ordinary
stamps. They will be found in many of the leading catalogs, as, for in-
stance, Ananiev and others. They are naturally useless even if the border-
line between them and a few of the Zemstvos are practically fused together.

At the time when postage stamps were introduced and the stamps ordered were
not ready at the proper time, or were not ordered in time, the seals were
used instead as postage stamps. Sometimes the value was written with pen and
ink on same, as is shown by the first editions of Maloarchangelsk and Tula,
or was left without any description of the value as was the case with the
first editions of Atkarsk. These seals which were in use for quite a long
time served as a pattern in their outer shape for the first postal stamps
of many counties, such as the circular shape for the stamps of Aleksandria,
Ananiew, Borisoglebsk, Daitriew, Pereyaslave, etc., and the rhombic for the
stamps of Bobrov, Kasimov, Jegorjevsk and Riazan.

In addition, the hand stamp must be mentioned, which produced in the many
Zemstvo offices stamps and covers according to the demand. Such hand stamps
were used by the Zemstvos of Novgorod, Staraja Russa and Tchern, Demiansk,
Griazevetz, Yeletz, Kadnikov, Krapivna, Maloarchangelsk. Further, the Orgeev
Zemstvo possessed such a hand stamp in case of need, but had never used it
except for the producing of the printing for collectors. These stamps were
frequently used for the new prints of stamps out of circulation when the
demand for the stamps on behalf of the collectors and dealers had to be sat-
isfied. These new prints are in no way dangerous, and can easily be dis-
tinguished from the originals*as, on the part of the Zemstvos, neither the
shade nor color, nor the kind of paper used received any consideration in
their production. But there are also new prints in existence which were is-
sued by private sources without the knowledge of the Zemstvos, such as the
new prints of Wasilsursk or those requested by the collectors, for instance,
the new prints of Cherson and others, the subsequent surcharges of Bielozersk
and Pskov, etc.

78 -

Also, reprints and secondary or rejects were put on the market, for example,
from the Zemstvos of Kherson and Dneprovsk and from the printing works of
Kuschnarev in Moscow, stamps from Belebei, Pskov, Solikamsk and others, which
got into the hands of collectors in unlawful ways and without the knowledge
of the Zemstvos concerned as reprints on different colored papers so obvious,
in unperforated condition. All these stamps are accurately described so that
no collector can be in any doubt about their value.

With the revolution, issuance of stamps stopped entirely. Only in very few
Zemstvo offices, which escaped the common ordeal, were a few stamps in cir-
culation up to the years 1919 and 1920. The postal establishments then ceased
to exist and the stamps of the Zemstvos were a closed sphere.

In some of the districts, the Soviet deputies who were the successors to the
Zemstvo offices, issued a few stamps such as Luga, Perm and Tcherdyn, but
soon afterwards these issues were also withdrawn on demand of the Central Gov-
ernment and the local editions or issues were stopped altogether,


The attraction which the acquisition of Zemstvo postal stamps has for the col-
lector is incomparably greater than the one experienced with most of the re-
maining stamps issued by the State. Whereas these can be bought, either from
one dealer or the other for good money, and only the desired quality or the
price demanded for them offers an obstruction, many of the Zemstvo stamps
can very rarely be bought from a dealer, even if one has a full moneybag. This
circumstance increased the attraction of the search for many rarities, and the
pleasures and satisfaction of a happy chase after the acquired treasures.
This the writer has not only experienced himself but also through the unre-
strained confirmations of his opinion on the part of the largest general col-

But not only the rarities were very difficult to obtain, but also very often
even those stamps which were actually in circulation. The discovery of very
old and rare stamps is for the most part a matter of chance, and the search
after further such stamps had for the most part, only little success.

But the acquisition of new issues should not meet with such large difficulties,
as it is possible to obtain stamps in use from the most distant isles in the
ocean without difficulty. It is however an entirely different matter when
trying to obtain Zemstvo stamps. But very few men took any trouble to keep
records of the stamps of the Zemstvos. Consequently the merit of their work
for philatelists in this very interesting sphere is extremely valuable. This
work demanded infinite time and patience, created much ill-feeling, whereas
the results were generally very slight and often caused considerable loss.
One had to take into consideration the fact that, in Russia, not only in the
offices of the Zemstvos but also in the larger provincial offices, the em-
ployees had little or no inkling about the collection of stamps. The as-
sumption from this would therefore be that the collection of these stamps
would be rendered much easier, whereas exactly the reverse was the case.

Especially, following the appearance of a first issue of stamps in any Zem-
stvo district, this lack of comprehension often led to lengthy and useless
correspondence. Orders for trial purchases were simply ignored, the money

79 -

remitted was lost, repeated reminders and complaints to officials brought no
result. Only personal relations with influential persons or some other of-
ficial pressure compelled a reply from the Zemstvo offices.

The reply however, was often not what the enquirer expected. After copious
excuses for the long delay in replying, they frequently returned the money
after deduction of the return postage, explaining that the Zemstvo stamps were
only legal and valid in the district concerned and could have no value where
the enquirer came from. Such replies naturally led to further explanations
and correspondence and arguments. Finally when the stamps were received,
sometimes after many months, they were often of a second or a third issue,
the original ones ordered having been used up long before. Or it might be
that the buyer might be informed that, at the moment, the stock of the stamps
ordered was so low that none could be spared but that a new delivery was
shortly expected from the printers, and the order would be filled on receipt
of the new delivery. One can readily realize the trouble and expense incur-
red in order to eventually obtain some stamps, often not what was wanted at

The acquisition of complete sheets of stamps so important for research and
for specialists presented further difficulties. Often after weeks of waiting,
the sheets would arrive but broken into blocks of a convenient size to fit
the envelopes or covers. Sometimes sheet margins were torn off, either to
save postage or kept for use as gummed paper. This happened at most Zemstvo
offices. Further, in some cases only half sheets could be found as the other
halves had been dispatched to the sub-offices. This explains why, for ex-
ample, of the Bogorodsk 1884 issues, the one K. stamp is only known in bottom
half sheets, and the SK. stamp in upper half sheets. Others, again, were
cut off in single stamps as soon as they arrived from the printers; for ex-
ample, Kungur No. 1/15, of which on the whole not a single stamp joined to-
gether is known. Owing to the insurmountable difficulties, much therefore
had to be left unexplored.

Of no little interest is the case in wnich the almighty police was drawn in
to advise with regard to the purchase of postage stamps. Conditions in the
'80s gave rise to suspicion everywhere. The people feared political activi-
ties as soon as a matter was considered as something very unusual. One of
the Zemstvos which for the first time received an order for some Zemstvo
stamps, could not solve this puzzle in any other way except by presuming that
behind all this there must be a political plot. In order to save their skin,
the matter was submitted to the local police, who of course showed complete
understanding and therefore got in touch with the police officials where the
person who ordered the stamps lived. Instead of the arrival of the stamps
and, to the great astonishment of the buyer, the police called at his home
and started an investigation as to why he wanted Zemstvo stamps at all, for
what purpose and what he intended to do with so many stamps. Only after a
whole collection of stamps was shown to the officials, together with catalogs
and periodicals containing further explanations as regards stamp collections,
did the gradually and slowly understand the whole matter. They left then,
shaking their heads very doubtfully over such a naive occupation and waste of
time as the collecting of stamps. They set up a corresponding harmless pro-
tocol, which again after months reached the local police who had started the
whole inquiry. After the permission had been granted by the police, the
Zemstvo thought it possible to deal with the order. Whether the required

80 -

U E B E R SI C H T S K A RT 2 E. i
der Kreise
deren Landschaftsimter '-''
herausgegeben haben. >

I. Olonezsches Gouv. l I Us u --
II. Petersburger Gouv. I '
III. Pskowsches Gouv.
IV. Nowgorodsches Gouv. a S
V. Wologdasches Gouv. --
VI. Twersches Gouv. o ...... .
VII. Jaroslawsches Gouv. #,, / "* / .-
VIII. Kostromasches Gouv. T.. ", ,"1) '
IX. Wjatkasches Gouv. ,, ,* .
X. Permsches Gouv. ,-,. ,
XI. Smolensksches Gouv. 'CHO.- ... / o'
XII. Moskausches Gouv. 6
XIII. Wladimirsches Gouv. ,N ,,' -' .
XIV. Gouv.NishniJ Nowgorod.
XV. Kasansches Gouv. SA -t "
XVI. Ufasches Gouv. '
XVII. Kalugasohes Gouv. j
XVIII. Tulasches Gouv.
XIX. Rjasansches Gouv. -. < .. .z ,
XX. Tambowsches Gouv. X -
XXI. Pensasches Gouv. t -
XXII. Ssimbirsksches Gouv. "-
XXIII. Ssamarasches Gouv. -xv. .
XXIV. Tschernigowsches Gouv. I .. F-OL- S
XXV. Orelsches Gouv. '".
XXVI. Kursksches Gouv.
XXVIII. Ssaratowsches Gouv. ""
XXIX. Poltawasches Gouv. '
XXX. Charkowsches Gouv. I .F
XXXI. Gotv.Bessarabien.
XXXII. Chersonsches Gouv. t. .
XXXIII. Jekaterinoslawsches Gouv. .-. '
XXXIV. Taurisches Gouv. '- "'"f
XXXV. Gebiet d.Donschen Kosaken. ..
XXXVI. Livlandisches Gouv. ^ l ; .' '
XI I ," "oII ' ,'

a=r Grenzen der Gouvernements. '"/, y
-..- Grenzen der Kreise. "_
O Hauptstadte d.Gouvernements. /
Hauptstadte der Kreise mit
d .Sitz .d .Landschaftsamtes. As S sS

stamps could be supplied or whether other editions were already in existence,
was entirely dependent on the available stock or on how brisk the postal tra-
ffic was in the particular county.

Only a very few Zemstvos dealt with the incoming orders for stamps at once.
Most of them considered this as a burdensome, extra job that they had to do
and which they tried to shirk at all costs. Only then, when the request was
repeated year after year, the postmasters gradually got used to the hobby of
stamp collecting and were then more willing to deal with orders for same,
partly because they gained a small personal advantage thereby and partly also
because they themselves began to deal privately in a small way in used stamps
and tried to keep their connections up. This explains why so often no end of
time was lost before the desired stamps could be obtained; their very existence
could only be known when by chance they were found on covers, so that many
Zemstvo stamps, which at that time were in use and circulating, could only be
obtained in mint condition. In collector circles such stamps were known as
stamps which "slipped (or filtered) through" and were mostly known only in
used condition.

When one considers all the aggravated difficulties which stood in the way of
the collectors of unused stamps, the want of intelligence about the interests
of collectors, the dishonesty, and the neglect shown in the answering of their
letters, and finally the categorical refusal to dispatch any stamps whatsoever--
as was the case for decades in Kremenchug--one must admire the great patience
and the trouble taken by those men who sacrificed their free time for same,
and also their great love as collectors of stamps.

As regards the question of speculation, insofar as filling the pockets of
collectors is concerned this is practically quite out of the question where
Zemstvos are concerned. At the beginning, they were so far removed from
reality that many of their stamps were given away at half of their nominal
value, after they had convinced themselves that they could no longer be used
for pre-payment. Only in the later periods did the postmasters take a cer-
tain advantage of the collectors, insofar as a certain stamp whose issue was
nearing its end was held back in order that later on the stamp, when the de-
mand for same increased, could be sold at higher (but not excessive) prices.
One could only speak of speculation during the much later periods--as regards
filling the pockets of collectors--when stamp collectors themselves became
heads of Zemstvo offices or in some manner managed to have a closer contact
with same.

Speaking generally, the ignorance as regards the demands and understanding of
the requirements of collectors existed throughout Russia. To prove this, there
are numerous letters in existence in which the presidents or the Post Dir-
ectors replied to letters received by them from collectors about the many
editions of their stamps. This refers mostly to the older issues and the
stamps which were called "filtered-through" issues. While the details of those
stamps, which were actually in use, were for the most part very reliable,
others relating to these stamps were less satisfactory. It was simply use-
less to rely on correct replies in connection with the older issues of stamps
from the Zemstvos as they either were entirely unknown to them, or they made
a statement which obviously did not correspond with the actual facts. This
is not to be wondered at all. Archives existed only during the last 10 years
as the older documents were either destroyed or lost in the numerous fires

81 -

which were so prevalent in Russia. On the other hand, the order or the classi-
ficiation in the archives was mostly such that it was very difficult, indeed,
if not entirely impossible, to discover any stamps at all, as, in their opinion,
stamps were an entirely unimportant and indifferent matter. Owing to this,
the search in the archives was completely excluded in dealing with Zemstvo
stamps in the same way, as the research into the issues of stamps produced by
the State established exact and reliable facts.

The above relates only to the purchase of unused stamps which Were directly
obtainable from the Zemstvo Post Offices. It may be of interest to study the
situation as to the acquisition of used stamps. Naturally, intercourse in the
various districts varied very considerably. Such counties which had indus-
trial undertakings with a large number of working people had a postal service
which was a very lively one. In the other counties, however, where only farmers
and peasants lived in villages, the turnover was insignificant and quite un-
important, and counties like the latter belong to those from which the used
stamps are very rare indeed, or entirely unknown. Not only the unimportant
communication was the direct cause why no such used stamps could be discovered,
but, in addition, the peculiarity of conditions in Russia. It was completely
foreign and unknown to the farmer that he might keep and preserve very care-
fully the covers of the letters received by him, or the stamped wrappers. The
culture at that time had not advanced very far to the point where the necessary
interest for the collecting of stamps or a suitable place for same actually
existed. Also, various circumstances played a major part in the destruction
of all matters of correspondence. In the first place, the numerous fires in
the villages were responsible for stamps, casually laid aside and kept, being
lost. Another reason is the habit of the farmer or peasant to use any small
piece of paper for the rolling of his cigarettes. Even the Zemstvo offices at
that time complained vigorously that even popular books, presented to the villages,
disappeared in a very short time and instead of being used for the enlightenment
and entertainment of the population, simply went up in smoke. Everything which
might conceivably be called paper and could be used for the rolling of cigarettes
went the same way. One can therefore take it for granted, and this with certainty,
that it would be impossible even in the future to discover any of the older issues
of stamps in the villages. Those counties where older stamps were at that time
in circulation were long ago visited by lovers and collectors of stamps, sometimes
with success, but mostly without.

Without shrinking from the expense and the long troublesome journeys, col-
lectors of stamps visited and called on village after village in search of old
stamps. This however was done in such a way that the peasants soon under-
stood what it was all about. For this, the most eloquent and persuasive lang-
uage used in talks with the farmers or peasants was a language called vodka,
for which they were quite willing to give away everything in their pos-
session. In this way, collectors arriving in a certain village called the
elders together, showed them the stamps they were after, and promised them
for every such stamp discovered a specific measure of vodka. This news nat-
urally spread like wild fire throughout the village, an extensive search was
begun for such treasures, which for the peasant represented such a surprisingly
large value. Only very seldom was such a search crowned with success; in
any case, it always concluded with a "treat" for the peasants and the village
elders. In this manner, many stamps were saved which would have been other-
wise lost forever. This type of "collecting" stamps ended, for all practical
purposes, about 50 years ago, whereas at present no one can hope or expect
new discoveries from such sources.

82 -

Further sources of discovery'were the documents and acts of courts of justice,
where many rare stamps were discovered and, it is hoped, further discoveries
will be made.

In those counties which had a lively postal connection, circumstances were more
favorable, as not only the farmers and peasants received letters, etc., but
also the offices of the industrial plants residing there, and the more intell-
igent circles in such small towns. Very often connections could be formed through
which one could obtain many used stamps of current issues whereas older used
stamps were very rarely obtainable. On the whole, the number of such stamps
was so small that dealers in Government stamps did not bother with them at all.

After the second year of World War I, the possibility of obtaining stamps from
the Zemstvo offices disappeared altogether. Most letters were left unanswered
and the money remitted from them was lost. Letters containing stamps and which
were registered were simply lost in transit and the compensation which the
post office finally paid out for the loss had no relation at all to the great
and material damage suffered, nor could the irreplaceable value of the stamps
be made good. Other Zemstvo offices were so much engaged with the conduct of
the war and with the care of the armies, that the postal connection could no
longer be kept up. And, after this, the revolution broke out and soon after-
ward the shutting down of the Zemstvos took place.

The following descriptions of the postage stamps issued by the Zemstvos are the
result of eager collecting and an exhaustive study of all the larger stamp col-
lections over a period of about 40 years which were put at my disposal, not
only those which were at the time in Russia but also of those collections which
were available to me in Russia, Amsterdam, London, Munich, New York, Paris and
Vienna. Every rare stamp was recorded and cataloged, as many as possible were
photographically reproduced and collected together in a "Kartothek".

In this way the degree of rarity of each better known stamp could be more or
less precisely determined. Not only those stamps contained in collections
were dealt with; dealers' stocks were gladly put at my disposal for perusal and

I must express here my very great thanks to all the collectors and dealers in
stamps for the kindness shown me.

The prices mentioned at the end of this work form in this manner a very ob-
jective scale for the valuation of these stamps which, according to the de-
mand by multiplication with a coefficient, will always give in some way the
correct proportion in the valuation of the stamps amongst one another.

The outer form of this work of mine has been dictated by the existing economic
conditions at present in Germany.

Contributions to the knowledge of Zemstvo postage stamps, collected by C.
Schmidt, Architect in Berline-Charlottenburg.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The reader should refer to the explanations and brief glossary
by C. Bulak on page 30, No. 69, ROSSICA, 1965. This will make clearer the
governmental administrative divisions of "Gubernia" (Government), or PRO-
VINCE as translated and used by Bulak since then.

83 -


We are breaking up a

large specialized collection of

EMPIRE SOVIET (up to 1945)

On hand a large selection!

Accumulation of 40 years.........


Offices China, Levant

Armies, Far East, Armenia,

Georgia, Azerbaydjan, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. etc.

We will gladly make approvals

to a specialist. No obligations -

Attractive Prices Convenient Terms.

We are paying TOP prices

for scarce or rare varieties, collections,

covers (incl. ZEMSTVO) etc.

We are particularly interested in

buying large lots or collections. Please

make us offers for cash payment.

P.O. Box 448 MONROE, N.Y. 10950

84 -

Joseph F. Chudoba

The auction sale held by H. R. Harmer, Inc., of New York City on December 8th
1966, of sections of the famous "Alfred F. Lichtenstein" collection of European
Countries, resulted in some record prices realized for rare Russian classic
stamps and covers. The following are some of the prices realized. Many of
the items were from the famous Faberge collection.


*1 10 Kop. Unused: Tiny thin, Age stain, $ 800.00 $ 700.00
Lge Marg.

*1 Used: "9" Taurogen Cancel, 90.00 210.00
Large Margins

*1 "1" Nikolai R.R. Cancel.
(St. P'bg. Station) Lge
Marg. except B.R. Cor. 90.00 77.50

* 1 "2" Nikolai R.R. Cancel.
(Moscow Station) Lge.
Marg. Tiny thin. 90.00 100.00

* 1 "11" Dotted Circle "Grodno"
cancel. Margins all
around. Close at T.L. 90.00 85.00

* 1 "18" Dotted Circle "Kiev" 90.00 190.00
on piece. Margins all
around. Faulty B.L. corner

*1 "19" Dotted Circle "Kovno"
on piece. B.R. corner copy.
Close at L. 90.00 270.00

1 "21" Dotted Circle "Kursk"
cancel. Large even mar-
gins all around. 90.00 125.00

1 "239" Rectangle of Dots
"Libava" on piece. Margins
all around. Close B.L. 90.00 85.00

1 "374" Rectangle of Dots
"Horol" cancel. Touching
at top. Close at right. 90.00 47.50

* 1 "451" Rectangle of Dots
"Melitopol" Small to Lge
Marg. Partly close T.R. 90.00 67.50

1 "528" Rectangle of Dots
"Chern" Cancel. Margins
all around. Large nick
at L. 90.00 30.00

85 -

1 Straight line dated 90.00 180.00
"Libava" cancel on piece.
Large margins all around.

1 Straight line dated "Rovno"
on piece. Small tear T.
margin. Scratch at B. 90.00 62.50

* 1 Red boxed "St. P. Burg"
dated cancel. Margins all
around. Close at T. Soiled.
Pen Cancel removed. 90.00 85.00

1 Boxed dated "Taurogen" can-
cel on piece. Margins all
around. Part oval pik. 90.00 130.00

*1 Straight line "Lublin" can-
cel with pen strokes. Mar-
gins all around, touching
B. h5.00 45.00

1 "" Fancy Circular "Pskov" can-
cel on piece. T.L. corner
copy. Close or touch at
B & R. 90.00 105.00

S1 Single-line Circular dated
"Dinaburg" on piece, in Red.
Margins all around. 90.00 575.00

* 1 Double circle "Vindava" on
cover. Dated. Small to
large margins. 90.00 450.00

1 Part Circular "Warszawa"
Cancel in Red. Pen Canc.
removed. Tear B. 90.00 60.00

1 Pair. Polish 4-ring "70"
Sokolov cancel. Margins
all around. Pen cancel
removed. 180.00 525.00

* 1 Single-line "Granica" on
cover to Warsaw in Red.
Margins all around. Pen
cancel removed and PM
Touched up. 90.00 850.00

2 Two h-ring "176" Dabrowa
in Black & "245" Osieciny
in Blue. Sl. faded 10.00 160.00

86 -

15 Single-line "Myszkow" 1.25 50.00
Circular cancel on piece.
Tiny age stains.

1 -5 Four-ring "109" and straight
line "Staszow" in Red on
cover. Warsaw arrival pnk
on reverse. 1.25 600.00

23 Circular dated "Lomza" on
piece. Fresh and fine. .20 60.00

3 20 Kop. Unused Repaired. Fine appearance.
Good. 50.00o 50.00

3 Used Rectangular dated "69"
Glazov cancel. Well cen-
tered, V.F. copy. 125.00 140.00

3 Portion dotted pmk. Well
centered. 125.00 120.00

10 30 Kop. Dotted "121" Taganrog can-
cel on cover. Transit &
arrival pmks on Rev. 15.00 32.00

11 5 Kop. Double-circle "Moscow" town
cancel. Warszawa arr. in Red
on reverse. Short perfs at
T. Slightly stained. 18.00 75.00

23b 10 Kop. 2 Copies on piece with
single-line circular dated
"Kibatry" cancel. Perfs
cut into frame-line at T.
Slight horizontal crease.3000.00' 2600.00

26b 2 Kop. Centered to L. Perfs.
clear. Trifle heavy can-
cel. 1500.00 1850.00

30b 20 Kop. Well centered. Bril-
liant color. Light can-
cel. Superb. 1750.00 2650.00


L3b 4 Kop. Bisect with inverted net-
work, tied on cover front
with Russia 10 k (23) to
Riga. Circular dated Wen-
den pmk. unpr. 625.00


87 -

* L4c 2 Kop. Unused Tete-beche Horizontal pair.
Margins all around. Ex-
tremely fine. unpr. 575.00


* 3 20 Kop. Used Blue "Franco Porto" can-
cel in francy frame.
Split thin, tied to piece.
V.F. appearance 125.00 170.00

* 8 10 Kop. Block of 4, with single-
line dated circular "Con-
stantinopol" cancel. Few
clipped perfs at B. and
fold between stamps. On
piece. 120.00

All items marked (*) Ex-Faberge.

Continued from page U

The May meeting, held on Saturday 20th, featured the hospitality of Ed Wolski
and the fabulous Ukraine collection of member J. Terlecky who showed slides
and album sheets of great interest.

A. Cronin, Box 806, New York, N. Y. 10008

Referring back to the review I did in Rossica No. 65, pp. 63-64 of the rare
Mongolian catalog-album, of which only 5000 copies were printed, I have just
managed to get hold of the remaining 9 copies.

May I suggest that you consider putting in a note in Rossica No. 72 about the
availability of a limited number of copies of this little album, postpaid at
$5.00 per copy, which is still very reasonable for Mongolian specialists, as
it is a rarity.

"TANNA-TUVA: Wanted covers, cards, cancels, unusual items. Write in any lan-
guage to A. Cronin, Box 806, New York, N. Y. 10008, USA."


Members are urged to pay their annual dues in January of each year without re-
minders. Failure to do so adds extra work for the treasurer and the secretary,
likewise creates a question is the individual still a member, does he wish
to remain as one, should he receive the journals?

88 -

One can always determine the dues owed by examining the membership card, and
its notations.

Please examine your cards, note your membership number and state it in your
correspondence with the Rossica office.

Several members owe dues for 2-3 years. We urge you to pay your debts or to
inform us if you are no longer interested in membership. This will eliminate
misunderstandings and hurt feelings.


Kurt Adler, New York, N. Y.

I would like to give some details of the Soviet postal arrangements on the is-
land of Spitzbergen within the Arctic Circle. In the first place, this and
the nearby islands are a Norwegian possession and are referred to by them as

For quite a few years, Norway has permitted the USSR to mine coal on Spitzbergen
at the settlement and port of Barentsburg, situated on the west coast at 10
miles WSW of Longyearbyen. During W.W.II, the settlement was destroyed in at-
tacks made by the German Navy in July 1943. The town and mines were restored
after the war and there were 600 Russians working there during the winter of

Please see the illustration herewith (Fig. 1) of a registered airmail cover to
Moscow, showing that mail from the Soviet communities on Spitzbergen was han-
dled at the Murmansk-28 post office. Note the Murmansk-28 cancel dated 28 July
1962, the registry cachet of the same office at upper center and the sender's
address at bottom right. This is an unusual postal arrangement and I would
like to hear if other collectors have further material in this field.

Kurt Freyman, Capetown, South Africa

Referring back to the article "Additional Data on tne Russian Post in China
1910-1916" by V. Popov, in Rossica No. 65, p. 14, I would like to state that
I also have the same 1 ruble value perf. 12 /2, with the same cancel and date
as his copy, but this time in a pair! Further, a 1 ruble Arms type of Russia,
cancelled "VIL'NO 3, 2.9.10" with center doubled, an uncatalogued and un-
known variety. On this last stamp, the net of varnish lozenges is badly out
of alignment and the stamp looks like printers' waste, but yet it genuinely
went through the mails.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: This double center variety described by Mr. Freyman is very
noteworthy, since printing and checking controls at the Imperial Printing Of-
fice in St. Petersburg were very strict in the pre-W.W. I period.

89 -

Dr. R. J. Ceresa, Caxton, England

In the "Notes from Collectors" section of Rossica No. 71, Mr. Cronin describes
a cover with mixed frankings of the 1923 ruble currency and the gold kopek is-
sue. A similar cover in my collection, also from Moscow, 18 Oct. 1923, to
Toronto, Canada, arriving in New York on 3 Nov. 1923, taking 16 days, is franked
with 5 copies of the 3 gold kopeks and 15 copies of the one gold kopek, i.e.
30 golds kopeks in all, together with six 5-rubles and three 10 rubles of the
1923 issue. Thus, on the basis of 40 gold kopeks for a registered foreign
letter, 60 rubles of 1923 were equivalent to 10 gold Kopeks. If the letter is
correctly franked, this represents an equivalent of 600 rubles of 1923 to 1 gold
ruble on 18 Oct. 1923. The total franking of the letter in 1923 would there-
fore have been 240 rubles.
A registered cover from Moscow to New York, posted on the previous day, is
franked with stamps to a total of 65 rubles of 1923, and in addition 36 copies'
of the 70 rubles 1922 issue i.e. an additional 25.2 rubles, giving a grand
total of 90.2 rubles 1923 money. This, of course, corresponds to the official
rate of 90 million old rubles, or 28 gold kopeks, which came into,force on 2
Oct. 1923 (see article by M. Liphschutz and C. Godard, France-USSR No. 9, 49 -
Jan. 1966).

The flap of the first cover is "sealed" with a 250 ruble Philatelic Tax (35
kop. Kerensky with red surcharge displaced sideways) cancelled with a violet
handstamp with date 16.X.23 inserted in manuscript. If the tax paid was in
fact 250 rubles of 1923, the contents may have been insured for more than the
standard rate (whatever that was) and part of the 240 rubles franking may re-
present the higher registration fee.

An alternative explanation of the high franking would be that the contents,
namely postage stamps as it is incidentally addressed to the Marks Stamp Co.
of Toronto, make the letter overweight, but then according to Mr. G. White
(see Rossica No. 69, p. 60), the rate would have been 60 gold kopeks, and
therefore 10 gold kopeks would have been equivalent to 20 rubles of 1923, or
one gold ruble would have equalled 200 rubles of 1923, as of 18 Oct. 1923.
From the exchange rates quoted in Rossica No. 69, a rate of 600 rubles of 1923
to one gold ruble seems more likely, although either would be feasible.

The cover depicted in the note by V. Popov, in the same issue of Rossica, is
wrongly described, as the 100 rubles "soldier" stamp is of the 1922 issue, and
the sixteen copies total 16 rubles of 1923, which, with an additional 10 rub-
les of 1923 gives a total of 26 rubles. Thus, on 31 Oct. 1923, this represents
an exchange rate of 650 rubles of 1923 to one gold ruble, i.e. 26 rubles of
1923 are equal to 4 gold kopeks, making the correct rate for the Popov cover.

In summary, the exchange rates based on White's data and the four covers re-
ported so far were:-

15 July 1923: 85 rubles 1923 currency to 1 gold ruble (White)
17 Oct. 1923: 600 (R.J.Ceresa cover)
18 Oct. 1923:1 (R.J.Ceresa cover)
31 Oct. 1923: 650 (V. Popov cover)
1 Nov. 1923: 910 (A. Cronin cover)
10 Nov. 1923: 800 I (White)
10 Dec. 1923: 1700 (White) etc.

90 -

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We are most grateful to Dr. Ceresa for solving the rate
problem posed by Mr. Popov's cover by reminding us that the 16 copies of 100
r. stamps represented values in 1922 money. It took 100 rubles 1922 currency
to equal one 1923 ruble. The interesting result of the investigation spurred
by the publication of Mr. Popov's notes in Rossica No. 69 is that his cover,
as well as the Moscow one of 17 Oct. 1923 held by Dr. Ceresa, are, in fact,
triple combinations of 1922 and 1923 paper money and 1923 gold currency. No
one would have envied the harassed postal officials in those days We would
like to hear if other members have examples of such unusual frankings.

Andrew Cronin, New York, N. Y.

(1): An unusual advertising card is shown in Fig. 2. This is one of a series
of 12 known subjects, issued by James S. Kirk and Co. of Chicago, Ill., manu-
facturers of fine quality soaps and issued during the latter part of the 19th
Century. These cards featured reproductions of postage stamps of various

Mr. Charles L. Clark of Bellows Falls, Vt., brought this series to the notice
of readers of "Linn's Weekly Stamp News" in the issue of 23 August 1965 and he
illustrated examples for Austria and France.

Each card has a white border and gold background, with a girl in national cos-
tume supporting the standard of her country in one hand, and holding in the
other a reproduction in natural colors of a stamp of that country. For Russia,
this was the 3 kop. Arms stamp in black and green, obliterated with crossed
double lines, one pair of which contained the French word "RUSSIE"(Russia).
This defacement was done to comply with U.S. Treasury regulations.

An interesting collection can be made of such a sideline, including examples
of illustrated postcards with facsimiles of postage stamps of various countries,
which were much in vogue during the early part of this century. Perhaps other
members have details of such items, pertaining to Russia.

(2): Referring back to the "Taken out of a letter box" markings recorded in Ros-
sica No. 68, p. 52 and No. 69, pgs.61-62, three more types may now be recorded,
as follows:-

(a) An unframed single-line marking, struck in violet and reading
"from a box". Applied in St. Petersburg on the back of a re-
gistered cover dated 2. Apr. 1902, it measures 45 x 9 mm. (Fig. 3).

(b) A framed two-line cachet in black, reading "taken out of a
letter-box" and with an unusual usage, apparently as a "mute".
Measuring 37 x 12 mm., it was struck on a h kop. Romanov card,
dated 1 Sept. 1914 Old style and sent from Lodz, Russian Poland.
The town name was imcompletely crossed out as a security measure,
due to the outbreak of W.W. I. The card reached Novo-Borisov
four days later. Please see figure U.

(c) Fig. 5 shows a cachet measuring 52 x 13 mm., applied in black on
the back of a registered cover from Kharkov, Ukraine to Geneva,
Switzerland and sent on 23 Jan. 1925. There is a signature in

91 -

blue at the bottom right of the marking. This cachet has the
old spelling for "POCHTOVAGO", while the rest of the inscription
appears to be in the new orthography. It reads "taken out of a

Viktor Indra, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia

Enclosed are illustrations of Denikin revenues with postal cancels. The pair
of 2 rubles is cancelled "KERCH', 2 Oct. 20" and the 10-ruble value "YALTA
TAVR. 4 Oct. 20" with subscript "k". Both these towns are in the Crimea and
as the dates are within the last days of the Civil War in European Russia, it
would be interesting to know under whose authority these particular stamps were
used for postal purposes in these localities. Please see fig. 6.


J. Lee Schneidman,Ph.D., New York, N. Y.

I am enclosing a translation of an article which appeared in UKRAINA a Weekly
periodical published in Kiev. The issue was No. 52, of 1966. The article was
by Oleksandr Pilat of Simferopol' and appeared on what appears to be a hobby
page because it (the page) also included a "Krosword" puzzle.

"In 1923 the First Ukranian Socialist Peoples Republic issued a series of ori-
ginal stamps. These were stamps with a surcharge the additional charge went
to the account of the Commission for the help to the starving which was under
the all Ukranian Central Committee. On the stamp value 20 + 20 karb. orange
brown and chocolate color was the portrait of Taras Shevchenko. The gray blue
and black stamp 10 + 10 karb. symbolizes Ukrania in conflict with Hunger. The
yellow-bluish and black 90 + 30 karb. symbolizes the Peasants struggle with Death.
The last one in the series depicts a peasant woman doling out bread to the hun-
gry ones. The stamps were issued to two variations with and without perfor-
ation. The 90 + 30 value was on cream paper, the others were on white. Also
some of the stamps were on watermarked paper. There are four such miniatures
with perforation. Imperf. there is only one the Taras Shevchenko portrait.
Thereare very few of these and the philatelic price is very high."

The author's comments on the value of the watermarked stamps seem to indicate
that Scott and Minkus' prices are way out of line, while on the other hand,
it would seem that the imperf. variety was a normal issue. The author also
indicates that the stamps were used---Scott does not list a used price and I
only have the B1 used...I have seen no imperfs. used and none of the water-
marked issues used. Has there been a study of Ukrania Bl-8?

92 -


Kyd) aMOCKB K-32t\
KyZ "" 0 OBP.-1 ... .......

F ._ ..!;e wr ._..' .... ..... ..
----------4 P -- -- .. ..

FBblH-TO 143 < iw. 6 e Denikin revenues
Fi.I: A Spit- borgen cover from M)e kurt Adler Co//ection. f9.2: Stoamdp prodncion
on card (A. Cron in).
Box mrTOBAO LK : A. Cronin
.3b RIR WA
fig. 3.

Fig. 4.
c'BbiHYTO 0 3 Fig 6: Denik in revenues
fO'0TOBAFO UNLM KA with postl mcrkingi
Fi.S. w (Viktor Indra).

C. P. Bulak, El Paso, Texas

Here is a slightly enlarged photo (both obverse and reverse sides) of 30 kop.
22 x 31 mm., perf. 12, Simbisk Zemstvo Stamp to illustrate the article of
E. Markovitch, Esquire, on ZEMSTVOS OF SIMBIRSK, (Rossika No. 65, page 62)

Col. Eugene Prince, Rowayton, Conn.

Re: ROSSICA No. 71 1966

Page 83 Dr. Vasil Stoyanov. Bulgaria.

I have a similar envelope two 7/10 Levant long 7 in the left hand upper cor-
ner, same chancellor 18 Dec. 1879. Recommandee in ink. Addressed to "Monsieur
le docteur D.Dallas, etc. etc. a ODESSA. Reverse: Odessa 2h December 1879
Registry number: 23603 / U.... The latter letters are similar to initial in
illustrated "Doplatit" it was included in a mass of postal stationery from
Kent Stamp Co. in 1955.

page 39 The Boxed "P" Numbers.

I have a P41 8 May 1959 Taganrog with oval "Sig.M. Delaporte Taganrog"
'Odessa Rhomboid, Breslau-Berlin" Boxed "AUS RUSSLAND" Porto, (script) black,
"Prusse par Valenciennes" circular blue. Addressed to Genoa, has no other
route marks.

Michael Carson. Arcola. Illinois

I have an example of Scott #2416, typographed, perf. 12, with the upper per-

94 -

forations displaced upward 1 mm. The righthand perforations are also dis-
placed about s mm. to the right. I have not seen this variety listed anywhere
in the Journal or elsewhere.

Dr. C. de Stackelberg, Washington, D. C.

With reference to Mr. M. Kessler's interesting article on the Nikolaevsk-on-
Amour Provisional issue of 1921 in the last issue of the Rossica, I would
like to draw his and our readers attention to the description of this issue,
as printed on page 29 of ROMEKO's Catalog of 1927. About cancellations they
state, (as translated from French):

"The postal canceller, having been lost during the first evacuation of the
town, the stamps were only cancelled on arrival in Vladivostok."

The "evacuation" probably refers to Trapitzin's occupation of Nikolaevsk in
late 1920 and explains why practically no covers or stAmos of the Provisional
Issue are known with the cancellation "Nikolaevsk".

This, of course,raises the problem of the two cancelled stamps in Mr. Kessler's
collection. Were they cancelled later for Philatelic purposes or was a new
canceller issued to the Nikolaevsk Post Office in March May 1922, which was
also used after May 25, 1922, on stamps of the Commemorative Issue of that

It would be interesting to compare the cancellations in Mr. Kessler's collection
with those appearing on later covers or stamps.

Romeko also warns: "Attention, fakes exist", but unfortunately I have never
been able to acquire any fakes and thus cannot compare them with a genuine
stamp. Finally, it might be of interest to note that the elusive Scott #67A
(20 kop. on 5 kop.), which was not listed by Mr. Pappadopulo, is also not
listed by Romeko. I therefore wonder whether this stamp actually exists with
a genuine surcharge.

Lt. Col. A. Prado in his "Notes and Questions" on pages 57/58 of the Rossica
#71 describes three Arms Type kopek stamps in his collection, of which the 1
and 2 kopek stamps are only perforated horizontally 1lU3, whereas vertically they
are imperforate.

It must be remembered that all the kopek values of the Arms Type stamps are
comb perforated 14:lli, which means that the vertical perforation was ap-
plied at the same time as the horizontal. Col. Prado's stamps therefore be-
long to that group of unofficially or privately perforated stamps, which were
perforated by various means, including sewing machines, from imperforate

Such perforations were made by private individuals or firms or even by postal
officials, which stamps were then sold at their post offices. But this did
not make these stamps "officially" perforate.

Such private perforations are well known in perf. 9 3/4 and 11 and are men-
tioned in my Check-List of the Arms Type stamps in the Rossica #57/61. But,
14h horizontally perforate stamps are new to me and represent an interesting

95 -