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|Notes on the Soviet air mail stamps,...|
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|A catalogue of the Imperial Russian...|
|The boxed "P" numbers by V. Denis...|
|The Polish field post offices in...|
|Die Postwertzeichen Der Russischen...|
|The stamps of the Luga Soviet by...|
|An interesting variety by B. S....|
|Classification of the Soviet 40...|
|Notes and questions by Lt. Col....|
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|Notes from collectors|
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|Table of Contents|
Officers, honorary members, and representatives of the society
Rossica at Sipex by Boris Shishkin
Philatelic exhibition "Moscow - Paris" by Michel Liphschutz
Notes on the Soviet air mail stamps, 1922-44 by Fred W. Speers
The transmission of mails on steamers in Russia by Nikolai Ivanovich Sokolov
A catalogue of the Imperial Russian postage stamps by Abraham Cohen
The boxed "P" numbers by V. Denis Vandervelde
The Polish field post offices in U.S.S.R., 1942 by M. A. Bojanowicz and A. Droar
Die Postwertzeichen Der Russischen Landschaftsaemter by C. Schmidt
The stamps of the Luga Soviet by A. A. Shirokov
An interesting variety by B. S. Kiselev
Classification of the Soviet 40 kop. definitive stamp by Ya. M. Vovin
Notes and questions by Lt. Col. Asdrubal Prado
The Nikolayevsk-On-Amur provisional issue by Melvin M. Kessler
Inverted centers of the Russian Imperial issues 1866-1905 by Joseph F. Chudoba
The Trans-Siberian postal route by Henri Tristant
Notes from collectors
Silver Medals at Belgrade National Exhibition "Zefib 1937"an
the Internatio hibitonl hibtn, Koeniffsber "Ostropa 1935"
Bronse Medals at the International Exhibition 'arf 1935"and
Vienna International Exhibition "WIPA l933"
-Recent international Awards:
Silver Medals at B erlin."Bephila 1957", Paran."Eficon 1958"
and Buenos Aires,"Temex 1958"
Hamburg "Interposta 1959" Palermo "Sicilia 1959" "Barcelona 1960" -
Johannesburg "Unipex 1960" Warsaw "Polska 1960" Prague "Praga 1962"
and Luxembourg "Melusina '63"
No. 71 POCCHK 1966
PYCCKOr 3APYGSE)IHrO 4DHATFJhicrqElKoro
Dr. Gregory B. Salisbury
49th and Locust Streets
Philadelphia 39, Pa., U. S. A.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Hon. Meab. Dr. G. B. Bondarenko-Salisbury
Martin L. Harow
Hon. Memb. R. A. Sklarevski Hon. Memb. V. A. Kurbas
Hon. Members: K. Adler, A. Cronin, 0. A. Faberge, K. Jansson, A. N. Lavrov,
2 Officers of the Society, Hon. Members and Representatives of the Society
6 Rossica at the Sipex, by Boris Shishkin
8 Philatelic Exhibition "Moscow Paris", by Michel Liphschuts
10 Notes on Soviet Air Mail Stamps, 1922-44, by Fred W. Speers
31 The Transmission of Mails on Steamers in Russia, by Nikolai Ivanovich
35 A Catalogue of the Imperial Russian Postage Stamps, by Abraham Cohen
39 The Boxed "P" Numbers, by V. Denis Vandervelde
41 The Polish Field Post Offices In U.S.S.R., 1942, by M. A. Bojanowicz
and A. Droar
52 The Stamps of the Luga Soviet, by A. A. Shirokov
54 An Interesting Variety, by B. S. Kiselev
55 Classification of the Soviet O0 Kop. Definitive Stamp, by Ya. M. Vovin
57 Notes and Questions, by Lt. Col. Asdrubal Prado
59 The Nikolayevsk-On-Amur Provisonal Issue, by Melvin M. Kessler
64 Inverted Centers of the Russian Imperial Issues 1866-1905, by Joseph F.
69 The Trans-Siberian Postal Route, by Henri Tristant
83 Notes From Collectors
87 Book Reviews
4h Die Postwertzeichen Der Russischen Landschaftsaemter, by C. Schmidt
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
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 and Paper Money Circle K. Jansson
Assistant in Charge of Numismatics V. Arefiev
K. Adler J. F. Chudoba A. Cronin 0. A. Faberge M. Liphschutz
N. I. Kardakov A. Kotlar V. Kurbas A. N. Lavrov
E. I. Marcovitch G. B. Salisbury R. Sklarevski K. Jansson
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE S0 IETY
New York Group J. F. Ohudoba 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11225
San Francisco K. Jannson 624 16th Avenue, San Francisco, California
Washington B. Shishkin 2032 Tunlaw Ri. N. V, Washington, D. C. 20007
Western USA L. S. Glass 1533 So. La Cienga Blvd., Los Angeles, California
Australia V. Tvelkmeyer 21 Elizabeth Avenue, 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 Bocago, Paris 15, France
Germany E. P. Fomin Munich Sh, Rudinstr 9, West Germany
Israel A. Trumpeldor Arba Artzot 25, Tel Aviv
Directors of the Society Kurt Adler Vsevolod Kurbas 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 theMembership Dues are $5.00, due January 1, for
all members. Application forms, which must be filled out, are available upon re-
quest. Membership 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. Therefore the net cost of advertisements to members
is only 254 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.
As this journal goes to press, the ballots mailed back to-date have over-
whelmingly approved the reelection of the present officers. This vote of confidence
is both heartening and inspiring to those who have toiled so hard and so long on be-
half of the society. The notations added to the ballot sheets have been most kind,
and are deeply appreciated. During the next three years many improvements are con-
templated for the Rossica Society as a whole, and for the journal in particular.
Your fine cooperation in the past, if continued in the future, will assure our steady
growth, and overall improvement.
It is apropos at this moment to state that the office of the presidency
of the Rossica Society of Russian Philatly, should and will be vacated by the elected
President, at the next election. After many years in the office, it is time to step
down, and to yield gracefully and gratefully to a new leader. There are several
active and worthy members who should be considered now, as potential candidates.
Constitutional and democratic provisions shall be observed. There is no hand picked
favorite in the offing. Please bear your choice in mind, and nominate accordingly
when the next election time is at hand.
We extend our deepest thanks to the editors of STAMPS, AMERICAN PHILATELIST,
SPA JOURNAL and many others for their warm and enthusiastic reception of our last
journal, in its new printed form, for their congratulations upon our 17th Silver
Medal for philatelic literature won at SIPEX. Once again, our tribute to our hard
working publisher, Martin L. Harow, for a truly professional job done.
The society and the editorial staff are both grateful to Cliff Handford,
of England for sending us his rare English translation of Schmidt's Introduction
to the famed Zemstvo opus. Until it arrived, Constantine Bulak of El Paso, Texas,
aided valiantly in No. 70, in an unusual way. He had his friend, Mr. Otto Yag,
President of Elmhurst Philatelic Society translate the first part of the Intro-
duction from German into English, then Mr. Bulak translated same into Russian. He
then reproduced the maps, and printed five hundred of each for this and future is-
sues of our journal, at his own expense. Finally, he flooded the editorial office
with immense and valuable material from the official Zemstvo and Imperial sources,
to last us for years to come! Spasibo!
The editorial plea for more articles on stamps themselves, and less on
postal history finally paid off. We have in this issue many highly informative stu-
dies on various issues, by highly qualified members...and a controversy. One mem-
ber, an erudite specialist, insists that the articles be written on a specialist
level, and of specialist appeal. He felt that this would maintain the level of the
journal, and that the average collector will benefit by the knowledge. Our reply,
was that we have many average collectors who limit their sphere to our field, using
Scott's catalogue and its perforation data, and varieties only, and that this large
segment of our membership insists on articles which they can use. We have on file
many indignant letters attesting to their desire for "bread and butter" data rather
than "fly specks" and "minute fractions of a perforation, probably due to paper
shrinkage" which confuse them.
The Rossica Journal is the official organ of the entire society, and it
must appeal to all of the members. We shall continue the policy of trying to please
most of the readers. We invite articles from and for the specialists and for the
average collectors who limit their interest to the Russian field. We need you both.
No. 71 Page 3
LIFE OF THE SOCIETY
The last meeting of the New York Chapter was held on Saturday, Oct-
ober 1st 1966 at the Clinton Youth Center Y.M.C.A. at 314 West Shth Street, New York
City; from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it will
be necessary to hold all future regular meetings on the FIRST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH
between 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M.
You are cordially invited to attend these meetings and participate
in the activities of the Chapter. THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER NOTICES ISSUED BY MAIL
REGARDING THE REGULAR MEETING DATES.
The Washington area Chapter of the Rossica Society gathered at the
home of Gordon Torrey on Saturday afternoon, September 24 to open its 1966-67 season.
An unexpected visitor was Mel Kessler from California, temporarily
in Washington for his annual military duty. Mel, who is a member in good standing
of the Washington Chapter, brought a number of newly acquired treasures with him,
as well as material for exchange. Others present were Ed. Wolski, who had new items
picked up during the summer recess. Boris Shishkin showed several items purchased
during his European sojourn. Host Torrey provided several albums of Russian and Mid-
dle Eastern material for perusal, including an 1877 cover from the Turkish post of-
fice in Batum, believed to be the only such item extant. Constantine de Stackel-
berg, unfortunately, was absent on vacation in Canada.
Mel Kessler proposed that the Chapter submit for consideration and
action by the National Society at the November meeting a recommendation that a special
group be formed within the Society, for the specialized collectors of Russia-in-Asia
material, including Siberia, Far Eastern Repbulic, Offices in China, Mongolia, etc.
After a thorough discussion of the merits of this proposal, it was agreed to submit
the recommendation of the Washingto Chapter to the Society at the Annual Meeting to
form a Russia-in-Asia Group that would serve the interests of specialists in this
Alexander Droar, past president of B.S.R.P. and our new member
gave a display on the Russian P.O. in the Far East. Before the Society of Postal
Historians, in England. He has been just asked to contribute to the Court of Honor
at the National Exhibition in New Zealand next April.
Our member Vincent Domanski, Jr. of Philadelphia, S.P.A. President
from 1944 to 1948 was selected as winner of the 1966 Lagerloef Award For service to
The editor has a few extra copies of V. Rachmanov's large and well
illustrated article on Russia N.1, as published in the now out-of-print Rossica
Journal No. 51, and in the collectors club Philatelist. This offer is for members
only. Please enclose 500 in mint U. S. stamps and a hL x 9! legal size envelope,
SDR. WILLIAM C. MENNINGER
Dr. William C. Menninger, of Topeka, Kansas, a phila-
telist for many years, died in September at the age
of 66. He was president of the famous Menninger
Foundation, and together with his brother, Carl, pos-
sibly did more for the training of psychiatrists
and mental hygiene than anyone else in the United
States. Stamp collecting was used at their found-
ation as part of their mental hygiene program, and
William wrote an article on the subject for STAMPS
some years ago.
Dr. William Menninger was a member of the Rossica
society of the American Philatelic Society, the Soc-
iety of Philatelic Americans, the American Topical
Association, the Hellenic Philatelic Society of Amer-
ica, and possibly others of which we do not have re-
cord. He had a general collection and a medical
JOEL B. SUNDERMAN, 23, DIES IN FALL FROM TRAIN IN
Joel B. Sunderman, 23, whose father, Dr. F. William
Sunderman, is honorary clinical professor of medi-
cine at Jefferson Medical College and the director
of the Institute for Clinical Science of Phila-
delphia, was killed in a railway accident in West
Berlin, where he was attending school.
According to U. S. officials in Berlin, Mr. Sunder-
man slipped between the cards of a train at the
height of the evening rush hour.
He was in his second year as a graduate student at
the Free University of West Berlin, majoring in
Joel was a member of the Rossica Society and his in-
terest was in the German occupation issues.
Page 5 No. 71
^ ~Page b
ROSSICA AT THE SIPEX
by Boris Shishkin
Dedication, devotion and diligence were the outstanding characteristics of Ros-
sica Society's participation in the Sixth International Philatelic Exhibition, held
in Washington, D. C., May 21-30, 1966.
High competence and high spirits also marked the manner in which ROSSICA par-
ticipants contributed to the success of this outstanding philatelic event.
Of special interest to our readers is the fact that Rossica, the Journal of
the Rossica Society of Russian Philately, was awarded a Silver Medal for philatelic
literature a tribute to our Editor, Dr. Gregory B. Salisbury.
Russian philatelic material was superbly represented at the exhibition. A gold
and silver medal was awarded to our honored member, Kurt Adler, for his two notable
exhibits. One exhibit consisted of a representation of 18th Century Russian pre-
stamp covers with postmarks, including the first recorded date (1766) of the St.
The other prize-winning Adler exhibit contained selected pages from his col-
lection of Russian Post Offices Abroad. These ranged through Russian post offices
in Rumania, Bulgaria, Crete, Levant, Persia, Sinkiang, Mongolia and China, as well
as ship mail in foreign waters, field post offices, and included some hitherto un-
recorded postmarks on cover.
Our new member, Alex Droar, of Surbiton, England, President of the British-
Russian Philatelic Society, was awarded a silver medal for his distinguished showing
of rare and unusual cancellations on entire of Imperial Russia.
Two other colleagues of ours from Britain were among SIPEX award winners.
Dr. A. H. Wortman of Palmers. Green, England, was a recipient of a bronze-sil-
ver medal for a truly fabulous showing of dots cancellations on the earlier issues
of Imperial Russia. His exhibit gave a representation of the six types of these
cancellations, including covers which identified several higher numerals, previ-
ously unknown, of the 1856 triangular Dunaevtsi. Also shown was the number ten
rectangular Tsarkoye Selo on the five Kopeck Town Post Stamp, as well as the num-
ber twelve horizontal railway T.P.O. on Poland ten Kopeck, and all known Levant
Post Offices, including 784 Jaffa and -785 Alexandria.
John Lloyd of Colchester, England, was awarded a bronze-silver medal for his
exhibit of provisional stamps of R.S.F.S.R., including the Russian Imperial stamps
provisionally used and printed during the revolutionary and inflationary period,
Dr. Petr Lavrov of Prague, Czechoslovakia, was also a winner of a bronze-sil-
ver medal for the display of a part of his specialized research collection of Im-
perial Russia and Soviet Union, including airmails.
Boris Shishkin of Washington, D. C., Chapter of ROSSICA, showed a range of
multiple pieces of Russia and related issues, including a block of four of the dark
blue Russian Levant No. 1, as well as a selection of Zemstvos in panes and sheets.
Page 6 No. 71
ROSSICA members were active in the organization of SIPEX and worked hard to make
the exhibition the outstanding success that it proved to be.
Professor Gordon H. Torrey, the Secretary of the Washington, D. C., Chapter of
ROSSICA, served as Chairman of the Exhibits Committee of SIPEX, and worked far into
the night throughout the Exhibition to assure smooth and efficient handling of this
key function of the show.
The genial George T. Turner, the President of SIPEX, is an active member of the
Washington Chapter of ROSSICA.
Working hard as a volunteer on the SIPEX staff was Ed Wolski, the Treasurer of
the Washington, D. C., Chapter of ROSSICA, who was in charge of volunteer assign-
ments at SIPEX, was also busy as an interpreter and a host throughout the show.
Another SIPEX staff volunteer was Boris Shishkin, President of the Washington,
D. C., Chapter of ROSSICA, who served as interpreter and also helped mount and de-
mount the exhibits.
The ROSSICA lounge was the first in the line of philatelic society lounges in
"the birdwalk" of the Shoreham Hotel, facing the hotel's rose garden in full bloom.
Its popularity is attested by the signatures of scores of distinguished collectors
in the guest book they signed when visiting our lounge.
At least two New York members of ROSSICA, Vsevolod Popov of Nyack, New York,
and Boris Matveyeff of New York City, proved their philatelic dedication by driving
down all the way from New York to Washington and back in one day to attend the show
and visit the ROSSICA exhibits and lounge. Popov even managed to mail out first
day SIPEX stamp covers with a first day Nyack, New York, cancellation as the result.
Our sincere thanks go to those ROSSICA members who have helped defray the cost
of our lounge at SIPEX.
On Friday evening, May 27, our members and guests attended a cocktail party at
ROSSICA lounge at SIPEX, at which our Society welcomed its honored guest, Alex Droar,
President of the British-Russian Philatelic Society, who had just arrived from Lon-
don for the occasion.
The ROSSICA lounge at SIPEX also served as the assembly point for those at-
tending the ROSSICA dinner that evening, at the home of Professor Gordon H. Torrey,
Secretary of our Washington, D. C., Chapter, in honor of President Droar.
The dinner at the charming home of Dr. and Mrs. Torrey was well attended and
Mr. Droar gave a fascinating talk on a prisoner-of-war camp near Buzeluk and the
circumstances surrounding the origin of the prisoner-of-war covers from this camp.
The dinner party was occasionally interrupted by out-of-town telephone calls
from ROSSICA members unable to attend personally, but anxious to greet Alex Droar
and to be in touch with this major ROSSICA event.
In the Main Exhibit Hall of the SIPEX Exhibition, the "Russian Row" of frames
was definitely a hit of the show, attracting an endless stream of admiring viewers
from all parts of the world.
Lively interest in Russian material was also reported by many dealers whose
booths rimmed the floor of the Main Exhibit Hall. Sales were brisk at Booth 15,
held by ROSSICA member S. Serebrakian, who, with usual thoughtfulness, provided a
number of our members with complimentary tickets to the show.
No. 71 Page 7
A measure of the attendance by the collectors at the ROSSICA lounge was the
fact that over 100 copies of the auction catalogue of Harmer, Rooke & Co., fea-
turing a number of Russian classics, including several important inverted centers,
were picked up by interested collectors from the table in our lounge.
Our sincere thanks go to each and every member of our Society whose help,
interest and support have made ROSSICA'S participation in the SIPEX show the out-
standing success that it was.
PHILATELIC EXHIBITION "MOSCOW PARIS"
This first French Soviet Philatelic Exhibition was organized by the Society
of the Collectors of the City of Moscow and the "Cercle Philatelique France -
U.R.S.S. of Paris. The Exhibition which lasted six days from the 18th to the
23rd of July, 1965, took place in Moscow in the Palace of Culture of Automobil
Zil Plant. Thirty collectors, Russian as well as French, presented about 200
frames of 8 album-pages each.
A tour was organized during this exhibition, and about thirty Frenchmen
went together with G. Citerne, President, and Ch. Godard, vice-president of the
"Cercle Philatelique Franch U.R.S.S." on this journey. I participated in the
first part of this trip which took us to Kiev and Moscow. In these two cities we
had been warmly welcomed by the leaders and the members of collectors' associ-
ations. All the Frenchmen were extremely delighted by their trip, and the Rus-
After the Exhibition ended the tourists went to Leningrad and Riga and the
welcome accorded to my travelling companions was on the same level as the pre-
As far as I am concerned, I have had very friendly and hearty contacts with
a good number of collectors. I have been able to admire some very good collections
and to spend several evenings in extremely useful and interesting philatelic con-
versations. Specially I received the agreement of a certain Russian collectors to
collaborate in the secondvolume of the "Catalogue Russie U.R.S.S." on which the
"Cercle Philatelique France U.R.S.S." in working now.
Most of the participants showed thematic collections, some of them very in-
teresting, and assembled with a great care and taste.
Among them, I have noticed the collections of:
BAZILEVSKI (U.S.S.R), on the second world war, with letters from the front.
G. G. MAIBORODA (U.S.S.R), on Sites and Monuments of Moscow and Paris.
Among the classical collections, I noticed:
S. M. BLEKHM4AN (U.S.S.R) with a remarkable collection of Tuva.
Page 8 No.71
S. A. PARKHOMOVITCH (U.S.S.R.) with a study (which was partly exhibited on
Philatec Paris) on the Provisionnal Soviet Issues of 1920-1923.
N. V. USTINOVSKI (U.S.S.R.) Russian China
CH. GODARD (FRNICE) Paris Postal History.
Regarding the author of this lines, he presented some pre-philatelic letters
from Moscow, two of which were written by Napoleon's soldiers in-1812; the red
entire of 1846-1851, some old cancellations of Moscow on No. 1 and No. 2 of Rus-
sia, Zemstvo covers from the Moscow Government, specially mixed postages with
foreign countries and a part of Postal History of Russia during the years 1918-
Of all I have exhibited, it is naturally the two letters from the Napoleonic
Wars which had the greatest success. These two letters particularly interested the
director of the iloscow Panarama Museum dedicated to the Battle of Borodino. The
photographic service of this museum has taken photos of these letters which are
going to be exhibited very soon with the French text translated into Russian, in
one of the halls of this museum.
P. S.: An exhibition "Paris-Hloscow-Leningrad" organized by the "Cercle Phila-
telique France U. R. 3. 3.", corresponding for the above mentioned in Moscow
last year, will take place in Paris from the 19th to 21st November 1966.
A group of about fifteen persons including Moscow and Leningrad philatilists
as well as representatives of the Ministery of Communications are expected in Paris
at this event.
NOTES ON SOVIET AIR MAIL STAMPS, 1922-44
By Fred W. Speers
Along about 1950 this writer began accumulating Soviet air mail stamps but
did nothing with them because zemstvos, Russian Imperials and the various offices
commanded priority in my interests. But last winter I decided to put the Soviet
air mails into an orderly presentation for an exhibition and I had the time to de-
vote considerable attention to necessary research and "writing up".
Since the material with which I worked is virtually complete, including many
of the elusive items, and since the catalogues are frequently at variance (and
supplementary literature is scanty), I am setting down here some findings. And
since much of the material is in the "blue ribbon" investors' category I will give
some prices paid as well as Scott catalogue valuations of 1948 and 1966 ahd the
ones of Sanabria for 1966. In this connection it has been my observation that un-
used (or not cancelled to order) items tend to appreciate most in value--and that
flown covers are scarce and valuable. Even covers with air mail stamps used as
regular postage command respectable prices.
But it is not my purpose here to deal except in passing with covers nor eti-
quettes nor cachets nor the so-called "aviation propaganda labels," each field
being a fascinating subject in itself.
Let's begin with Scott's Cl, the red airplane overprinted stamp. (I am om-
itting the Consular air mails because they, too, constitute a field unto itself).
Page 10 No. 71
Cl, of course, was issued November 7, 1922 (and sold only at the Moscow post office.)
For it, the plates of the 45 Kopeck blue and black value of the five-stamp set of
the fifth anniversary of Soviet rule commemoratives were used. That set, incident-
ally, was issued the same day. The red plane, like the stamps themselves, was ap-
S plied by lithography, but the basic stamp's colors were changed for the air mail
provisional to deep moss green and black. There are no known varieties of this stamp
although, as Scott notes, "counterfeits...are plentiful". The counterfeits are easy
to distinguish, largely because of the difference in the green coloring and the dull
color of their overprints as well as the lack of tiny dots in the panel at upper
right. Scott and Sanabria agree on valuations of $1.50 and $1.75 for mint and used.
In 1948 Scott put the values at $1.00 and 75 cents respectively. Despite the fact
that only 100,000 were issued and the Moscow-Koenigsberg-Berlin airway of Dere-
luft sharply curtailed operations because winter set in soon after the stamps were
put on sale, Sanabria values a cover, presumably flown, at only $15.00. Yet this
collector was glad to get for $24.00 this year an unflown Balta-to-Kaunas (Kovno)
cover dated November 10, 1922, bearing this stamp. (How that stamp got from Mos-
cow to Balta in three days in that chaotic era is something of a minor philatelic
mystery.) The cover, which is registered, also bears a complete set of the fifth
The never issued "paper rubles" set of 1923 presents another problem.
This four-stamp set (C2-C5), showing a Fokker-3 high wing monoplane, presents a
unique problem to the collector in that its so-called "wide 5" (and heavier
"C.C.CP") is exceedingly hard to acquire. Curiously, Scott valued that parti-
cular variety, the 5 ruble green, in 1948 at $150.00 and in 1966 at $100.00. Not
counting the "wide 5" variety, Scott's valuation for the set has increased only
$1.10 since 1948--from $4.00 to $5.10.
The gold rubles (issued) set of 1924 (the 1923 set surcharged with new
values) presents something else again. In unused condition its four major values,
S exclusive of four minor varieties, have risen in Scott's valuation in 1948 of
$1.50 to only $2.05 in 1966. This is the set known as C6-C9. As was the case in
the previous set the "wide 5" variety is the one of most interest. Scott listed
it in 1948 at $125.00 unused (no quotation on used) and then in 1966 valued it at
$100.00 unused and $60.00 used. In my collection I have two of these stamps,
both unused, one for $55.00 paid in 1956 and one (with a very wide margin at right)
for $87.50, paid in 1960. So now let's take up the matter of the inverted sur-
charges (of which I have none). Of the four inverted surcharges which have ap-
peared on the market in recent years to my knowledge only one has been listed.
It is the 15 kopeck on 1 ruble brown (described as having a catalogue value of
16 pounds) which was given an auction catalogue valuation of 10 pounds. I do not
have the figure at which it sold. (Incidentally, that was in the second Goss
sale). It is interesting to note that during the 18 years between 1948 apd 1966
Scott's valuation of this set of four (not counting the minor varieties) declined
from $1.50 to $1.40. With the exception of C8a (inverted surcharge) all of the
minor varieties also declined in value, according to Scott, to the tune of $5.00
or $10.00. Just try to get them!
Now let's take up the 1927 commemorative of the First International Air
Post Congress at the Hague initiated by the U.S.S.R. There were only two major
varieties: The 10 kopeck dark blue and yellow brown and the 15 kopeck deep red
and olive green. These are Scott's C10 and Cll. Scott notes an imperforate
variety of the former (and I've never seen it offered in an auction), but does
not mention one other variety: the "broken 7," for which I paid $3.00 in 1952.
It is interesting to note that my reading of the perforation of the first
value--101bpecks--is 12g x 11 (as compared with 13 x 12 as stated in Scott).
No. 71 Page 11
Scott gives the same perforation reading for the 15 kopeck deep red and olive green
value, but my copy checks out at 12 x 11 3/4. Interestingly, an official present-
ation booklet, issued in 1928, contains one of each value perforated 12 x 11. And
as to the "broken 7" variety it checks out at 12 1 x 11 3/4. That variety, it
should be noted, occurs only in the 26th position of the upper pane of two 5 by
8s. Sometimes the brown background is shifted so badly the star in the plane's
tail is brown. The plane shown on that stamp is an ANT-3, designed by A. N.
Tupolev. Such a plane in 1927 was flown from Moscow to Tokyo and back by a pilot
The Graf Zeppel in Set of 1930 (C12-C13). This is one of the more inter-
esting sets of Soviet air mail stamps. To begin with there were only two values:
40 kopecks dark blue and dull blue and 80 kqpeck dark carmine and rose, both done
by photogravure. Let's take up the 40 kopeck value first: It was issued in two
perforations (a) 12 x 11 3/4 (not 12z, as Scott says) and 10 (As Scott does say).
An interesting feature developed in the case of the minor varieties of this stamp.
This concerns the imperforates of which only 1,000 presumably were issued. (Re-
portedly, 50,000 of each of the perforated varieties were issued.) There is one
other variety, not generally known. It is a perforation 12 variety with an error
perforation vertically going through the figure of the man at left, I paid $1.50
for it in 1952.
So far as the imperforates are concerned, it is interesting to note that
Scott lists these (in 1966) only as "imperforate pairs," not distinguishing whether
they are vertical or horizontal. I happen to have a horizontal pair, imperforate,
for which I paid $92.00 in 1952. Scott now lists them at $150.00, per pair, but
in 1948 listed them at $65.00 apiece unused.
The same valuations and figures apply to the 80 kopeck dark carmine and rose
value. My mint imperforate horizontal pair of this value, also purchased in 1952,
likewise cost $92.00. In the case of the 80 kopeck's perforation 10 variety,
Scott downgraded it from $5.00 mint in 1948 to $4.50 in 1966.
Flown postcards and covers of the September 10, 1930, Moscow to Friedrich-
shafen flight are quite difficult to acquire. The postal rates were as follows:
Registered letter 35 kopecks and registered postcard 20 kopecks; ordinary
letter 15 kopecks and ordinary postcard 10 kopecks. The Graf Zeppelin stamps
were sold to the public only on the morning of that flight and only at the main
Moscow post office and they were affixed by postalemployees 9n mail already
bearing the franking at the rates just given. The 40 kopeck blue value was
for use on postcards and the 80 kopeck red for use on envelopes. The registered
card, purchased this year, in my collection cost $20.00. A cover with the 80
kopeck value also cost $20.00. Remainders of the stamps unsold were turned over
to the Soviety Philatelic Association.
The First Dirigible Construction Set (015-023). This five-value set, issued
imperforate on May 1-5, 1931, and perforated on June 1 of the same year presents
knotty problems. It was issued by the Soviet Postal Administration in response
to the widespread interest in dirigibles caused by the successes of the German
Zeppelins, notably the L-127 Graf Zeppelin. The Postal Administration sponsored
a contest among artists for designs of the stamps. The newspaper Pravda had
started a fund-raising campaign to build dirigibles and sales of the stamps were
intended to help the campaign. In a way, the matter was reminiscent of function
Page 12 No. 71
of the Soviet air fleet labels of the 1920s and later except that in that era the
authorities encouraged instead of just tolerated the activities of private organi-
zations such as Osaviakhim in preparing and selling labels to raise funds for avi-
Winner of the artists' contest was F. P. Slutzky whose entry (the 15
kopeck value) showed a dirigible over the Dnieprostroy dam. Second prize was
awarded to an artist named Volkov for his 1 rub value entry showing stages in
the planning and construction of airships. Third prize went to N. V. Alexief whose
20 kopeck value depicts a dirigible flying over Lenin's tomb. The fourth prize
was awarded to S. I. Balabanov. His design appears on the 50 kopeck value showing
a dirigible flying over the North Pole toward the U.S.S.R. on a map of which pro-
posed airway routes are shown by white lines. The last design, that of the 10
kopeck value, was not a contest entry but was prepared by I. Dubasov who subse-
quently designed many Soviet air mail stamps. This value shows a dirigible span-
ning a desert scene, a factory complex and a reindeer drawn sled of the Far North.
Two methods of printing were employed: Typography for the 15 and 20
kopeck values and offset for the 10 and 50 kopeck values and for the 1 ruble value.
All are on paper watermarked with the Greek border and rosettes design except for
the 15 kopeck dark gray value issued September 21, 1932. It was re-drawn and done
by engraving on unwatermarkced paper.
Scott lists the perforations of this set as "10s, 11 12, 12 and Com-
pound." A copy of the 10 kopeck value in my collection shows 11 x 12. An un-
known number of copies, roughly perforated 11 exists. They were privately per-
forated by a German dealer who found himself with a large stock of the imperfor-
ates on hand. Ironically, that C15 imperforate has risen from Scott's 1948 listing
at $1.75 to $5.00 mint while C20, the perforated value, is carried at $1.00 in
1966. In fact, all imperforate values of this set have more than doubled in cat-
alogue values since 1948. The most spectacular advance in this set was that scored
by the 1932 15 kopeck value which went from $7.00 (mint) in 1948 to $25.00 in 1966.
The used copy, unpriced in 1948, now catalogues for $95.00. For my part, I paid
$5.00 for a mint copy in 1951. This stamp also exists imperforate. I have an im-
perforate horizontal pair which set me back $95.00 in 1956. Sanabria notes that
only 100 copies were produced imperforate.
Although Scott lists three perforation varieties of this stamp--12,
1,0 and 14--examination of specimens in my collection show three perforated
11 3/4 (one is a slightly lighter shade of gray); another perforated 10g x 12 (it
also is of the lighter gray shade); a fifth perforated 13 3/4, and, lastly, a can-
celled to order copy perforated 10 x 10. (Scott catalogues a used copy of its
listed 10t perforation at $30.00. My 10 x 10 copy, presumably Scott's C25a,
cost $6.50 several years ago.)
Getting back to the earlier 15 kopeck values, both lithographed, the re-
lative coarseness of their design even though it won first prize could be a reason
for the subsequent re-design and issuance of the later one in the following year.
I have two copies of C21, one perforated 10 x 11 and the other, on a flown cover,
Turning to the interesting 20 kopeck red value, I have not seen a suf-
ficient number of copies of the imperforate 017 to state whether it exists in various
shades as does its counterpart the perforated C22. Of the latter I have three dis-
tinct shades--red (like 017), dull red and light red. All three are perforated 12.
A fourth copy, also in red, is perforated 11 3/4 x 12.
No. 71 age 13
Turning now to the 50 kopeck value: Comparison of its imperforate (C18) value
with perforated one (C23) it is obvious that the former is quite darker in shade of
brown. My five specimens of C23 show several perforations: three, all on covers,
are perforated 10 x 11 3/4; another, also on cover, is perforated 11 3/4h and the
last, a mint single, is perforated 10 x 11.
Under the listing of C23a, Scott describes a "50 K gray blue (error)." Whether
it really is an error (it would be a whopper if it were) or whether it was a de-
liberate color change from the black brown apparently has never been cleared up.
My opinion tends to the belief it was a deliberate color change. At any rate my
C23a (which looks more like a slate blue) is perforated 10 x ll. Imperforate
copies of this are unknown. Scott's valuation of this stamp has climbed from $7.00
in 1948 for a mint copy (used copy valuation was not given) to $25.00 in 1966 for
a mint copy and the same for a used copy. My single specimen of this stamp in mint
condition cost $$.00 in 1951.
In the final stamp of this initial series--the 1 ruble dark green (C19 and
C24)--I have found no difference in color shading between the imperforate and the
perforated varieties as was the case with C18 and C23. All four of these, it might
be noted, were produced by offset (or photogravure, as the catalogues say). I
have found only two perforation varieties of C24--11 x 12 and 12 x 11 3/4.
The North Pole Issue of 1931. This four-value set was issued for franking mail
to be exchanged between the Graf Zeppelin and the Russian ice breaker, Malygin, in
a rendezvous near the Franz Joseph Land group of islands. Like the preceding
Dirigible Construction issue, the stamps were issued perforated and imperforate.
Fifty thousand copies of each value in each set were printed yet both in 1948 and
in 1966 Scott's valuations for the perforated series was slightly higher than for
the imperforates. (One of the more curious price gyrations in this set is that of
the 1 ruble gray black--C28-- which climbed from 60 cents for a used copy in 1948
to $5.00 in 1966. In the same period its mint quotation went from $2.25 to $7.50).
The four values have a common design prepared by the artist Dubasov who had
done the 10 kopeck design in the Dirigible set. This set's design shows the Graf
hovering over the Malygin while a polar bear watches from an iceberg. An inscri-
ption in French is at the top.
There are no minor varieties known. Although the perforation of C30-C33 is
given in Scott and Sanabria as 12 x 121 all of my copies are perforated 11 3/4.
The paper is watermarked with the Greek border and rosettes design.
Of the covers and cards involved in the mail exchanged in the rendezvous of
July 27, 1931, one comment deserves to be made. That is that such mail bearing
stamps of the perforated series is about 12 times as scarce as that with imper-
forate stamps if one goes for current prices. All of this mail was registered
and received special cachets.
Before leaving this issue a brief narrative of the operation seems in order.
The Graf began its journey at Friedrichshafen, topped off its fuel supply at Ber-
lin and arrived at Leningrad on July 25. It picked up its mail there and after
staying overnight left about 9 a.m. the following day. She then crossed the
Artic Circle and at 6 p.m. of July 27 made rendezvous with a water landing near
the Malygin. The Malygin had left Archangel on July 18 and had aboard her some
stamps of this set. After the rendezvous the Graf continued on to do some map-
ping and then headed back to Friedrichshafen arriving there on July 31,
Page 1 No. 71
The Second Polar Year Set. There is dispute or uncertainty over the actual
date of issuance in 1932 of this two-value set for sale to the public. Some author-
ities say it was issued August 6, others August 26 and some say September 16. Sov-
iet catalogues provide little help; they give only "August 1932". However, one
Soviet catalogue on cancellations shows a "26 August 1932" cancellation and this
could be a "first day" public sale cancellation.
The same design is used for the 50 kopeck red and the 1 ruble green values.
Prepared by Dubasov, the design in its left panel shows a high wing Fokker-3 mono-
plane over the ice breaker Sibiriakov and in the center panel is a map of the Artic
region. The map was prepared by Professor N. N. Zubov of the Artic Research In-
stitution who incorporated into it some findings made during the Graf Zeppelin's
explorations. The panel at right shows a hammer and sickle, the stamp's value and
in lower right is the inscription "USSR Air-Express". Across the top is the in-
scription "2nd International Polar Year 1932-33" and the same inscription appears
in French across the bottom. Ten thousand copies of each value were printed on
white paper watermarked with the Greek border and rosettes design.
Reportedly, both stamps appeared in two perforation varieties--12 and 10.
For my part I have never seen a copy of the 50 kopeck with 10' perforations al-
though the Minkus catalogue asserts such exists (but gives no valuation). Writing
in the Russian American Philatelist in 1945, H. L. Aronson described the perfor-
ations as 12a and 10 3/4 and said the latter was "extremely rare" on the 50 kopeck
either mint or used. He added that the 1 ruble value perforated 10 3/4 is common
mint and scarce used. The 1 ruble perforated 125, he continued, is common used and
scarce mint. The 50 kopeck perforated 124, he wrote, is common mint and scarce
cancelled. For my part I cannot agree with the perforations given; my specimens
all check out either 12 or 10.
Aronson further provided an interesting note on the advance description given
the design by the Soviet Philatelic Association. The illustration, also distributed
in advance, had two major differences with the design of the issued stamp, he
wrote. These were described as addition in the issued stamp of smoke from the
stack of the Sibiriakov and change of the inscription at lower right from "Airmail
U.S.S.R." to "USSR Air-Express".
Issuance of the stamps was tied in with a voyage by the Sibiriakov from
Archangel across the White Sea and through the Bering Strait to Petropavlovsk and
beyond. It departed from Archangel on June 28, 1932, and on July 26 rendezvoused
near Franz Joseph Land with a plane piloted by Boris Chucknovsky (one of the pilots
who had helped in the rescue of the Umberto Nobile expedition in 1928). Chuck-
novsky flew mail and, presumably, remainders of the stamps of this set which had
been put aboard the Sibiriakov at Archangel to the Kola Peninsula and then back to
Archangel. The remainders eventually wound up in Moscow and Leningrad.
Special air mail cards bearing inscriptions in German, French and English and a bi-
lingual (Russian and French) imprinted etiquette were used and were franked with
the 50 kopeck value. Such mail is quite rare. The card in my collection (which
cost $95.00 in 1966) bears in addition to four a.d.s. markings a triangular Polar
Year cachet in red. I have never seen a cover from this flight and can only sur-
mise that the 1 ruble value was intended to frank letter mail.
As might be expected catalogue valuations of these two stamps have climbed
steadily through the years. However, the valuations have remained inconsistent
with Aronson's 1945 estimates of their relative scarcities in mint or cancelled
No. 71 Page 15
conditions. In 1948, Scott catalogued the 50 kopeck, perforated 12, at $5.00 mint
and $1.75 cancelled and the 1 ruble, also perforated 12, at $7.50 mint and $1.25
cancelled. The 1 ruble, perforated 10, was valued at $5.00 mint and $1.25 can-
celled. In 1966 these valuations had climbed to $12.50 and $4.00 (for mint and
cancelled, respectively) for the 50 kopeck perforated 12. The 1 ruble, perforated
12, has risen to $20.00 and $3.50 for mint and cancelled respectively while the 1
ruble perforated 10g is quoted at $17.50 and $3.00. In neither catalogue does
Scott make reference to the elusive 50 kopeck perforated 10g.
Ascent into Stratosphere Set. This three-value set was issued November
3, 1933, to commemorate the record-breaking flight into the stratosphere by three
aeronauts in the nacelle of the stratostat U.S.S.R. five weeks earlier. The de-
sign, common to all three values, shows a partially filled balloon to which is at-
tached a spherical nacelle. The designer was V. Savialov.
The stamps were printed by photogravure in sheets of 15 by 5 on thin
white paper watermarked with the Greek border and rosettes pattern usually found
on Soviet air mail stamps of this era. The 5 kopeck value is in ultramarine, the
10 kopeck in rose red and the 20 kopeck in violet. One hundred thousand of each
of the two lower values were printed and 300,000 of the higher value.
Scott in 1966 notes minor varieties of C37a and C38a (for the 5 and 10
kopeck values) of the vertical pair imperforate between for the former (catalogued
at $125.00 cancelled) and a horizontal pair imperforate between of the latter
(catalogued at $100.00). In 1948 Scottvalued these respectively at $50.00 and
$35.00. During the same period the three major varieties have climbed in valuation
from $2.50 each (in mint condition) to $25.00. The total of $75.00 represents an
increase of $34.50 in one year alone. Sanabria indicates these stamps also were
issued imperforate although this writer has never seen any examples. Both Scott
and Sanabria give the perforations as 14, but my specimens show 13i for the 5 ko-
peck, 13 3/4 for the 10 kopeck, 13A x 13 3/4 for the 20 kopeck and 13 for a 20 ko-
peck on cover.
My collection does, however, contain an indigo color proof of the 5 ko-
peck value in an imperforate horizontal pair. I acquired it in 1957 in an auction
In regard to the stratosphere ascent itself: It was launched on Sept-
ember 30, 1933, from an air base near Moscow. The balloon reach a height of 19,000
meters (as reflected in the figures at the top of the stamp's design) or 11.8
miles. This took it about 9,200 feet into the stratosphere and broke the 8,100
feet the work record then held by Auguste Piccard. The aeronauts who made the as-
cent were Gregori Prokofiev, Ernest Birnbaum and Konstantin Godunov.
The Civil Aviation Issue. Issued February 10, 1934, this five-value
set in two series commemorated the tenth anniversary of civil aviation in the
Soviet Union. The five designs (credited collectively to artists named Samski,
Borov and Yang-Ganf) differ only in backgrounds and values. Each is dominated by
a picturization of a twin-engined Tupolev ANT-9 (a high wing monoplane) in flight.
Values, colors and backgrounds of the stamps are: 5 kopeck ultramarine,
blast furnaces at Kusnetz; 10 kopeck green, oil wells at Baku; 20 kopeck carmine,
a collective farm; 50 kopeck dull blue, the Moscow-Volga canal project, and 80
kopeck purple, the ice breaker Sibiriakov.
Page 16 No. 71
The stamps were printed by photogravure on white paper in two sets, one water-
marked with the Greek border and rosettes pattern and the other unwatermarked. Twenty-
five thousand copies of each of the five watermarked values were issued. Of the un-
watermarked copies, 100,000 each were issued in the 5, 10 and 20 kopeck values,
50,000 of the 50 kopeck value and 200,000 of the 80 kopeck value. In view of the
variations in the numbers issued the catalogue prices seem out of step. For instance,
Sqott in 1948 valued (mint) C40, C4l and C42 (the 5, 10, and 20 kopeck values) at
$2.00 each .while listing the 50 and 80 kopeck values at $4.00 and $6.00, respect-
ively. That was finally corrected and Scott's 1966 valuation for each is $7.50.
However, in the case of the unwatermarked copies the 50 kopeck value (of
which only 50,000 copies were issued) was valued at $7.00 mint in 1966, the same
valuation accorded all others in the unwatenrarked set.
Several notable varieties are mentioned in connection with this issue, Sanabria
mentions an imperforate set of the watermarked issue(it's valued there at $300.00)
although for my part I have never seen any such stamp, let alone a set. Scott makes
no reference to such a set.
Scott's C46a, described as a horizontal pair imperforate between of the 10 ko-
peck green, has remained constant in valuations of $125.00 mint and $15.00 used in
both the 1948 and 1966 catalogues. I acquired such a mint pair in 1952 for $60.00.
A word about the perforations in these nearly twin sets is in order. Both
Scott and Sanabria describe both sets as being perforated 14. Each example of the
watermarked set in my collection checks out at 13A.
Examples in my unwatermarked set are something else again: The 5 and 50 ko-
peck values are perforated 13A. The 10 kopeck values (both a single and the pair
mentioned above) and the 20 kopeck value are perforated 13- x 13. The 80 kopeck
value is perforated 13i.
For some reason imperforate unwatermarked color proofs of this issue seem less
scarce than do those on watermarked paper. (The latter's paper, incidentally, is
thinner than that of the former.) In my collection I have the following (with prices
paid for them several years ago): 5 kopeck violet ($15.00), 5 kopeck brown orange
($10.00), 20 kopeck light brown -($10.00) and 80 kopeck green ($10.00). Those four
are on unwatermarked paper. Those I have on the watermarked paper are the 20 ko-
peck light brown ($10.00) and the 80 kopeck red ($10.00).
Counterfeits of this issue can be described as rather plentiful. All that I
have seen have been on unwatermarked paper. Because the photogravure process is
relatively easy for counterfeiters to employ design differences may be described as
minute. This is true in all cases of counterfeits that I have examined. Two
differences which I have noted by comparison with the genuine stamps are (1) the
light slot between the aileron and the main part of the plane's starboard wing is
less distinct in the counterfeits, and (2) the line in the center of the leading
edge of both wings is straight and clean in the originals but tends to be blurred
or even made up of closely-spaced together dots in most counterfeits.
Perforations of counterfeits are usually larger than those of the genuine.
They usually are 10 or 10 3/4 or compounds of those.
Still other differences may be detected in the overall size of the stamps.
My watermarked set ranges from 38.5 to 39.5 mm wide and 37.75 to 38.77 mm in height.
No. 71 Page 17
The unwatermarked set ranges from 38 to 39.75 mm wide and 37.75 to 38.75 mm in
height. The ten copies I have in two different counterfeit sets range from 38.25
to kl.5 mm wide and 38 to 41 mm in height.
Strangely, despite the relatively large numbers printed of most of these two
sets, they are quite uncommon on either flown or unflown covers.
The Stratosphere Heroes Set. On January 30, 1934, tragedy befell three Sov-
iet aeronauts when the nacelle of the stratostat balloon in which they were riding
came loose because of inadequate fastening, plunging them to their deaths. They
were descending from a height of 22,000 meters (the figure and date appear in the
upper left panel of each stamp) or about 71,500 feet.
Each of the three aeronauts--I. D. Ussyiskin, A. B. Vasenko and P. F. Fedos-
einko--is pictured in a panel centered against a representation of the balloon which
was name Osaviakhim after the civilian aviation society (which claimed 13 million
members in 193k). The stamps were designed by Borov, Samski and Yang-Ganf, the
same team which had designed the Civil Aviation set issued earlier that year.
The stamps were issued on September 1, 1934, in photogravure on white paper
watermarked with the usual Greek border and rosettes pattern. One hundred thousand
copies of the 5 kopeck brown violet were printed and 60,000 each of the 10 kopeck
chocolate brown and 20 kopeck bluish violet. Although both Scott and Sanabria
give the perforations as 11 each stamp in my set checks out at 10 3/4.
There is a minor variety of the 5 kopeck value with a smaller perforation,
described by Sanabria as 14, although my copy shows perforation as 134. Scott
does not recognize that variety nor does its catalogue mention, as does Sanabria,
an imperforate set. For my part I have never seen an imperforate stamp of this
set although my collection does include an imperforate brown violet color proof
at the 20 kopeck. I acquired it in 1952 for $12.50. (Sanabria currently values
the elusive imperforate set of three at $200.00.)
These three stamps in the perforated form listed by Scott as C50, C51 and
C52 have jumped in value since 1948. Scott then listed them in mint condition as
$1.00, $1.25 and $1.75. In 1966 they're listed at $20.00 each.
A short ten years after appearance of these stamps, the Soviets issued a
tenth anniversary commemorative series of three recalling the stratosphere dis-
aster. This set, somewhat similar in design of the originals, was issued March
3, 19kk. In view of the fact that Russia was still engaged in World War II at
that time the issuance of such a set has always struck me as rather remarkable.
There are several important differences between the latter set and the"ear-
lier one. First, each of the three stamps in the 194k set has a value of 1 ruble.
Next, colors were changed to slate green, bright green and deep blue. Third, per-
foratica was changed to 12. Fourth, the 19k4 set is on unwatermarked paper.
Further comparison of the two sets under magnification shows lettering of
names of the aeronauts in the 19k4 set is not as clear and distinct as is the case
with the earlier one. The same is true of the "COA" on the nacelle and the lines
by which it is attached to the balloon. In the earlier set, the features of the
aernauts' faces are much sharper and more distinct.
Page 18 No. 71
There is no record of imperforates of the 1944 set nor of any perforation var-
ieties. No announcement was made of quantities printed as was the case with the 1934
Scott listed the 1944 set at 50 cents for each stamp mint in 1948. In 1966
each was catalogued at $4.00 by Scott although Sanabria whose valuations are usually
higher puts a tag of only $2.50 on each one.
The Russian-built Dirigible Set. Issued on October 20, 1934, this set was de-
signed to publicize Russia's little known efforts in the field of dirigible con-
struction. The widespread interest in dirigibles among the Russian people which had
led to issuance of no less than ten stamp designs featuring dirigibles was now re-
cognized by this five-value set each stamp presumably featuring a Russian-built
The stamps were printed by photogravure on white paper watermarked with the
conventional Greek border and rosettes pattern usually found on Soviet air mail
stamps. The designs are by V. Savialov. Both Scott and Sanabria give their per-
forations as 14. My measurements, however, show 3l for the 5 kopeck red orange,
the 10 kopeck claret and the 15 kopeck brown chocolate; 134 x 13A for the 20 ko-
peck black and 13A x 13 for the 30 kopeck ultramarine. Forty thousand copies of
each value were printed and no minor varieties (unless perforation variations as
stated are counted) are known.
Piecing together a fairly complete story of dirigibles or airships in Russia
took sme digging because of the secrecy surrounding them in view of their actual
or potential role in national defense. Curiously, it dates back as far as 1812
when Napoleon laid siege to Moscow. The city's governor commissioned a German named
Lippisch to build a large dirigible airship which could be used to bomb the French
forces. Basil Clarke's "The History of Airships," in which I found that interest-
ing bit of information, then says: "Whatever might have been the fate of the air-
ship--history does not explain the method of propulsion--the question of its use
never arose, as the French overran the area long before it was ready to leave the
It was not until nearly a century later, in 1909 or 1910, that Russia ac-
quired its first airship by purchasing one built in France by Paul and Pierre Le-
baudy, helped by an engineer, Henri Julliot. The Russian government gave it the
name-of Lebed (Swan) although swans are hardly graceful in flight. Whatever
finally happened finally to Lebed is not known. A year or two later Russia pur-
chased another airship, this one from the Astra Societe des Constructions Aeron-
autiques, also based in France.
Robert A. Kilmarx in his "History of Soviet Air Power" notes that at the
outbreak of World War I Russia possessed from 15 to 22 dirigibles. Most had been
purchased in foreign countries but a few were reported built by Russian tech-
nicians. (It was in 1908 that Russia test flew its first Russian-built nonrigid
airship, the Uchebnyy.) It has never been reliably reported that any of the Rus-
sian dirigibles saw combat in that war although a two-engined nonrigid craft, the
Albatross, is reported by a Russian source, L. Shesterikov, as having bombed Ger-
man fortificiations during the 1914-18 conflict.
Following World War I and prior to 1934, the Soviets are credited with having
built at least four dirigibles somewhat similar to but smaller than Germany's Zep-
pelins. These were military aircraft and were known as the V-l, V-2, V-3 and V-5,
No. 71 Page 19
according to Kilmarx. Those designations appeared on the dirigibles themselves
as "B-K" followed by a dash then either a number or letters indicating the craft's
home base and then its number. (The V-2 was destroyed in a crash January 1, 1933.
Whether the V-4 was ever built this writer has been unable to ascertain.) The
airships were also given names, such as Pravda and Voroshilov, both of which had
been used in the fund-raising campaign begun in 1931.
The American Air Mail Catalogue has this interesting passage: "It is reported
that a Russian dirigible made four different flights between Leningrad and Moscow
(in 1932) carrying mail, all of which was marked with special cachets. The flights
are stated to have been made on May 1, October 25, December 1-2 and December 14-15."
Credibility is provided for that report, at least so far as one Russian dir-
igible cachet is concerned, by the fact that such a cachet is described and illus-
trated in a Soviet catalogue of special cancellations and cachets (1922-1961),
published by the Chief Philatelic Bureau in Moscow in 1963. On Page 8 of that 94
page volume is an illustration of a rectangular cachet whose single-line border en-
closes a five-line inscription whose first three words are "Delivered by Dirigible"
then the aircraft's designation and the date of May 1. The final line is "lenin-
grad-Moscow." The brief descriptive matter accompanying it notes it was used in
1932 for the first flight of the dirigible "YK-1" on the Leningrad to Moscow route
and that the cachet or official postmark was applied in violet at the Leningrad
post office on April 29 and 30.
Kilmarx notes in his book that construction facilities for small dirigibles
(2,150 to 5,000 cubic meters capacity) were put into production in both Leningrad
and Moscow during 1931. The Soviet government had signed a contract with General
Nobile, who had fallen from favor in Italy, to direct the project which was manned
by Italian designers and Soviet designers and engineers. This was the project which
constructed the V-1, V-2, V-3 and V-5, mentioned above. Each was equipped with two
motors of from 65 to 230 horsepower, Kilmarx quotes the Soviet periodical Samolet
(Airplane) as saying in 1953.
It is probable that the dirigible YK-1 subsequently became the V-l following
tests and assignment to the armed forces.
There is no mention in the Soviet catalogue of any dirigible cancellations
other than the one described above so it appears likely that it stands alone as one
for a Russian-built dirigible.
The Voroshilov name mentioned earlier was for Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov,
who was the People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs from 1925 to 1940 and
who had distinguished himself during the civil war. The Pravda name, of course,
was that of the newspaper.
(From the beginning of 1934 until the end of the dirigible era, signalized
by the fiery crash of the Hindenburg at Lakehurst, N. J., on May 6, 1937, the Sov-
iets built only two more dirigibles -- the large V-6, which crashed in 1936, and
the three--motored V-7, believed to have been subsequently dismantled.)
Returning to the stamps themselves, some interesting aspects become apparent
on close examination. In the case of the 5 kopeck value the name Pravda is seen on
the forward part of the hull depicted as emerging from a hangar. No military de-
signation is visible and it cannot be ascertained whether the ship is outfitted
with only three motors or more. (The small automobile coupe at lower right re-
sembles an early Chevrolet.)
Page 20 No. 71
There is no name or military designation on what appears to be a five or pos-
sibly six-motored dirigible on the 10 kopeck value. (The Graf and the Hindenburg,
which was the largest airship ever flown, each had four engines.) It is possible
that the 10 kopeck design was intended to depict the V-4 or the ill-fated V-2.
The name Voroshilov appears on the 15 kopeck value but there is no military
designation. The craft, which apparently is a three-engined one, seems quite small
when compared with the passengers shown waiting to board it.
On the 20 kopeck value the letters "B-K" are clearly seen on what is the star-
board side of the hull with a portion of the tail assembly shown behind two motors
in tandem. In the background a mooring mast is pictured.
The dirigibile in the 30 kopeck design bears both a name (Lenin) and a "B-K"
military designation followed by an unrealistic number--19. I say unrealistic be-
cause it is extremely doubtful if the USSR had anything like 19 dirigibles in the
mid 1930s. The background of the stamp is a map showing proposed airway links be-
tween Moscow, Kazan, Sverdlovsk and Magnitiogorsk.
No imperforate copies nor minor varieties of any of these five stamps are
listed by either Scott or Sanabria. My collection does, however, include a color
proof in green of the 30 kopeck value with a perforation of 10 3/4. I acquired it
in 1959 for $27.50.
This set, listed by Scott as C53-C57, was catalogued in 1983 at $2.00 each
for the first four values mint and $3.00 for the 30 kopeck value. In 1966, Scott
listed each at $7.50 a piece or a total of $37.50 for the set which is up $12.50
from the 1965 catalogue. Possibly the combined activities of aerophilatelists and
topicalists have been reflected in these price increases.
In the August 14, 1965, issue of Stamps Magazine, Harry Weiss, writing in its
"Old Sleuth" column, said, "when a set increases as this one has to $25.00 in 1965
(it was $19.50 the previous year), further mention is not needed. Take this tip
and watch for a $30.00 listing in the near future". He underestimated that by
$7.50. In the issue of January 8, 1966, Weiss again mentioned the set after noting
its increase to $37.50. "Dealers report a brisk wantlisting for this set which is
getting a little tougher to locate," he wrote. "The search is worth the effort
and we project another healthy increase next year and in the years to come".
Incidentally, covers bearing any of these stamps are very hard to acquire,
be they flown or unflown.
The Chelyuskin Rescue Heroes Set. The dramatic experiences in the Far North
of the party of explorers aboard the ice breaker Chelyuskin and six weeks of uncer-
tainty concerning their fate led Soviet authorities to pull out practically all
propaganda stops in commemorating the party's rescue by planes flown by seven pilots.
Hot the least of the efforts was the issuing on January 25, 1935, of this ten-value
set listed by Scott as C58-067.
The stamps, designed by Savialov, were done by photogravure of white paper
watermarked with the Greek border and rosettes pattern. Fifty thousand copies of
each value were printed. Although both Scott and Sanabria give their perforations
as 14, my set shows variations which are mentioned in the descriptions below:
1 kopeck red orange: Shows picture of the Chelyuskin and its captain,
V. Voronin, at left. (Perforation l1).
No. 71 Page 21
3 kopeck rose carmine: Shows members of the expedition who made camp
on an ice flow after the Chelyuskin was crushed by ice on November 13,
1934. At right is a picture of Professor Otto Yulyevich Schmidt, leader
of the expedition. (Perforation 13).
5 kopeck emerald green: Shows at upper left a picture of Pilot A. V.
Lapidevski and the rest of the design shows stranded explorers running
to greet him as he lands his Tupolev TB-1, a low wing monoplane which
had been equipped with skis. (Perforation 3l x 131J.
The general format of the next six stamps follows that of the 5 ko-
peck value they are:
10 kopeck dark brown: Shows Pilot Sigmund A. Levanevski's picture
and his high wing monoplane engaged in the search mission. (perfor-
15 kopeck black: Shows Pilot M. G. Slepnev's picture and some members
of the rescued party boarding his high wing monoplane. (Perforation
20 kopeck deep claret: Shows Pilot J. V. Doronin's picture and his Junkers
W-33 flying through a snowstorm while engaged in the search. (per-
25 kopeck deep indigo: Shows Pilot M. V. Vodopianovls picture and
his biplane taking off from the camp. A second biplane is visible
parked on the ice in the background. (Perforation 13 x 13Y).
30 kopeck dull green: Shows Pilot V. S. Molokov's picture and his
biplane as it comes in for a landing at the camp. (Perforation 13.)
40 kopeck purple: Shows Pilot N. P. Kamanin's picture and his bi-
plane as he readies it for takeoff from the camp. (Perforation 13.)
The last value 50 kopeck dark ultramarkine: Shows two polar bears
in the foreground watching the last two departing planes. The abandoned
camp is in the background and the Soviet flag flies against the illu-
mination of an aurora borealis display. The bear at left resembles
both in posture and appearance that on the North Pole issue in 1931.
In its issue of April 21, 1934, Pravda had announced establishment by the
U.S.S.R. of the "Heroes of the Soviet Union" award and the seven flyers depicted
later on the 5 through 40 kopeck values.of this set were designated as the
first persons to win that honor.
This is one set in which the lower values have risen more rapidly in Scott's
catalogue value than have the higher values even though the same numbers of each
were printed. In 1948, Scott catalogued each of the five lower values at 60 cents
a piece, In 1966 each was increased to a value of $3.00 By contrast the highest
value, the 50 kopeck, increased in the same period from $12.50 (mint) to $20.00
while its used copy valuation declined from $5.50 to $5.00. Incidentally, most
copies released by the Soviet Philatelic Association were cancelled to order. Ex-
amples of these stamps on cover are not particularly scarce.
Page 22 No. 71
Stamp of the Aborted Moscow-San Francisco Flight. At 6:03 a.m. Moscow time
of August 2, 1935, a specially modified Tupolev-designed single-engined monoplane
took off in a rainstorm from a military air base near Moscow. Its destination was
San Francisco via the Polar route. At the controls was 33-year old Levanevski,
one of the first "Heroes of the Soviet Union." With him were Georgi P. Baidukov,
28, co-pilot, and Victor Levchenko, 29, navigator.
Preparations for the flight had been made amidst great secrecy although per-
mission had been obtained from the Canadian and American governments for the plane
to fly over their countries and to land if necessary.
The plane, which had a wing spread of 112 feet and which weighed 11 tons at
takeoff, carried food supplies for three months. While over the Barents Sea it
developed trouble in its- oil-feed system. When this was reported by radio to Mos-
cow Levanevski was ordered to turn back and land at Leningrad which he did after
16 hours and 33 minutes in the air.
In preparation for commemorating the anticipated successful accomplishment of
the flight 8,200 copies of the 10 kopeck dark brown value of the Chelyuskin set is-
sued the preceding January had been given a special surcharge in red. (The stamp
was Scott's C61 which bore Levanevski's picture.) It was to go on sale in Moscow
while the flight was in progress. Apparently the Postal Administration didn't
get the word of the plane's return to the Soviet Union and the stamps were put on
sale. Upon discontinuance of the sale it was announced the 2,500 of the stamps
were being placed in "the State's Archives." Presumably that was the number left
unsold when the sale was halted. If those figures are correct it means that only
5,700 reached the public. And, incidentally, it reduces to 41,800 the number of
Scott assigns the listing 068 to the surcharged stamp. Its surcharge is a
five-line one in Russian reading "Flight/Moscow-/San-Francisco/via North Pole/1935."
To the right of the second line is a large "1" with "p." beside it signifying its
increased value to 1 ruble.
In 1948, Scott catalogued this stamp, either mint or used, at $12.50. By
1966 the valuations had climbed to $55.00 for a mint copy and $50.00 for a used one.
The mint copy in my collection cost only $5.00 in 1951. Sanabria currently cat-
alogues them at $50.00 mint and $35.00 used.
The 1948 Scott catalogue mentions an inverted surcharge variety and values it
at $75.00 mint, but this variety is not listed in the 1966 edition. Sanabria cur-
rently lists the inverted surcharge variety and values it at $750.00. Sanabria
also puts a catalogue valuation of $4,000.00 on a block of four of the inverted sur-
There is another less scarce variety in which the fourth letter of the third
line of the inscription is lower case instead of capitalized as it properly should
be. This is the Russian letter which corresponds to the Greek letter for "phi"
and it represents the "F" in San Francisco. When the capital letter is employed,
as it is in the major variety, that letter is higher than the "p" which follows it.
In the so-called small letter variety it extends below the base line of letters as
does the lower bar of the Ip" to its right.
Scott makes no mention of this variety but Sanabria does and puts a tag of
$75.00 on it, mint, with no price being given for a used copy.
No. 71 Page 23
Sanabria also lists the major variety "on cover," meaning apparently that it
is a cover carried on Levanevski's aborted flight. The valuation given is $450.00.
(A check of my Soviet catalogue of cancellations and cachets shows none for this
flight.) A Moscow-Berlin flown cover bearing the major variety is given a $50.00
valuation by Sanabria. My collection happens to include such a cover but the
stamp's surcharge is of the small-letter variety. It was registered and mailed in
Moscow on August 29, 1935, and received in Berlin the following day. It cost
$40.00 in 1958 and I surely wouldn't take that for it now.
One final note about this stamp: Notations on both Scott and Sanabria cat-
alogues are misleading to those unaware of the story of Levanevski's flight.
Scott's notation--"Issued in commemoration of the Moscow-San Francisco flight."
--conveys the impression the flight was accomplished. Sanabria puts it this way:
"Moscow-San Francisco, Calif. Flight by S. A. Levanevski over North Pole." That,
too, gives the same erroneous impression. For that matter, Soviet catalogues do
nothing to disspell the illusion the flight was successful; they merely quote the
surcharge. Incidentally, I found no reference in them to the various surcharge
The Jubilee Aviation Exhibition Set of 1937. With the Gotterdammerung of
dirigibles having been written in flaming letters in the Hindenburg's holocaust
at Lakehurst early in 1937, attention was increasingly turned to heavier-than-air
craft. A Jubilee Aviation Exhibition was scheduled for November 15-20, 1937, in
Moscow. This was just one week more than 25 years after the U.S.S.R. puts its
first air mail stamp on sale.
To mark the opening of the exhibition a rather elaborate souvenir sheet was
designed by Savialov. The sheet, in large format, bears four imperforate 1 ruble
brown, buff and black stamps in photogravure on unwatermarked white paper. Their
design is the same. It shows a five-engined ANT-14 transport plane taking off with
a city skyline in background. (ANT was the designation given planes designed by
Audrey iikolayevich Tupolev.) Fifty thousand such sheets were printed and they
were put on sale on the opening dWof the exhibition. Scott gives the sheet's
measurements as 165 X 89 mm and Sanabria gives dimensions of 167 X 87 mm. The
one in my collection measures 166 X 90 mm.
In 1948, Scott valued the sheet at $4.00 either mint or used. In 1966 the
figure had risen to $10.00 mint and $6.00 used while Sanabria currently prices it
either way at $15.00. Without exploring the interesting question of the proper way
to "use" a souvenir sheet, it can be added that Sanabria puts a $20.00 valuation of
one on cover, used.
On December 23, 1937, the perforated set of seven stamps went on sale. Each
shows a different lupolev-designed plane--a fact which seems somewhat unusual in
that only the year before he had been accused of sabotage and espionage by Soviet
authorities during his absense on a trip to the United States and Germany. (And
in 1938 he was given a five-year prison term.)
The stamps, also designed by Savialov, like the souvenir sheets were on
white unwatermarked paper. Scott and Sanabria both place the perforations at 12
and my.measurements match theirs.
Taking up the stamps in sequence:
10 Kopeck yellow brown and black -- shows a single-engined low wing
Page 2 71
20 Kopeck gray green and black -- shows an ANT-9 twin-engined high
30 Kopeck red brown and black -- shows an ANT-6, a four-motored trans-
40 Kopeck violet brown and black -- shows an ANT single engine am-
50 Kopeck dark violet and black with light buff background -- shows
a Tupolev-designed twin-engined transport.
80 Kopeck blue violet and brown with light buff background -- shows
an eight-engined ANT-20 transport of a type similar to the Maxim Gorky
propaganda plane which crashed on May 18, 1935, killing a reported 49
persons. The plane collided with an escort which was doing acrobatics.
1 ruble brown, buff and black. This is the perforated version of the
stamp on the souvenir sheet.
An interesting attribute of this set is the existence of vertical pairs
imperforate between several of the values. Scott lists only such a pair for the
50 kopeck value (and assigns no price tag), but Sanabrai lists them as varieties of
(prices for used pairs in parentheses) the 20 kopeck ($25.00), the 30 kopeck ($35.00),
the O0 kopeck C$25.00) and the 50 kopeck values ($35.00). My collection contains
two examples of these varieties. One (mint) is of the 40 kopeck value. It cost
$35.00 in 1959. The other is a cancelled to order (December 23, 1937--first date
of sale) of the 50 kopeck value. It cost $12.50 is 1956.
As to the set itself, listed as C69-C76 by Scott in 1948, it then was
valued at $9.50 mint and $5.92 used. In 1966 Scott's valuations were $22.00 mint
(including the souvenir sheet) and $9.47 used. Sanabria lists it, including the
sheet, at $27.50.
Examples of stamps of this set are rather common on covers.
The North Pole Flight Set. The U.S.S.R. on March 21, 1938, issued a
four-value set of stamps to commemorate the first anniversary of the start of a
successful airborne expedition to establish the country's first ice floe drift sta-
tion near the North Pole. A flight of four planes had taken off from Moscow on
March 22, 1937, and flown by way of Franz Joseph Land to a point close to the North
Pole and landed there on the ice. There pilots and crews of the planes helped four
men who were to man the station to establish camp. Names of the pilots and their
planes' numbers were M. D. Vodopianov (H-171), P. G. Golovem (H-170), B. C. Molokov
(H-172) andA.D. Aleksiev (h-169). They were flying four-engined single winged
planes equipped with skis.
After the planes departed the four men who remained behind on the floe
were Ivan Papanin, Ernest Krenkel, Pyotr Shirshlov and Yevgeni Fyodorov. Professor
Otto Schmidt, who 'had been in charge of preparations for the expedition, accompanied
it to the camp site but returned to the mainland with the planes. After logging
274 days on the floe the quartet was retrieved by air and returned to Moscow.
Two designs for the stamps, one for the lower values and one for the
higher values, were prepared by V. Savialov. The lower values were produced by
"lithography and the higher values by typography. All are on white unwatermarked
paper. No figures were released on the numbers printed. Specifically, these are
No. 71 Page 25
not air mail stamps as suc4 but are regular postage stamps issued to honor ac-
complishments of the flyers and others in the expedition.
The design for the 10 and 20 kopeck values shows four planes in black fol-
lowing a dog's leg course from Moscow to the Pole, depicted by a map. The stamp's
colors are drab and black. The colors of the 20 kopeck value are blue gray and
black. I happen to have a color variety of gray and black.
The second design, used for the hO and 80 kopeck values, shows a red,Soviet
banner with star and crossed hammer and sickle flying from a staff stuck into the
North Pole with four airplanes grouped around it. What appears to be a stylized
spread eagle design is across the bottom. The hO kopeck was done in dull green and
carmine and the 80 kopeck in rose carmine and carmine. Both Scott and Sanabria
give the perforation of all four as 12, but each of my specimens checks out at
One of the interesting features of this set is that the two higher values
were also issued imperforate and these omissions are recognized by Sanabria but
not by Scott. Sanabria puts a valuation of $75.00 for the hO kopeck, either mint
or used, and $50.00 for the 80 kopeck, either mint or used. My collection in-
cludes a horizontal pair of the former which I acquired in 1957 for $62.50 and a
similar pair of the latter which had set me back $71.35 in 1953, also in an auction.
In 19h8, Scott valued a set of the four major varieties at $1.25 mint and
in 1966 at $h.00 mint.
The Trans-Polar Flight Set. Issued nearly ten months after the flight it
commemorated this four-value set was not comprised of air mail stamps but of reg-
ular postage stamps. However, the event it did commemorate--a non-stop flight,
Moscow to Vancouver, Wash.--was a milestone in aviation history of the U.S.S.R.
Remembering thefailure of the aborted 1935 trans-Polar project, Soviet officials
were secretive about their plans for this flight. At 6:03 a.m. of June 18, 1937,
an ANT-25 with a crew of three took off from Sholkov airfield, 20 miles from Mos-
cow, with Oakland, Calif., as its goal. The plane was powered by a single 12-
cylinder watercooled motor and it carried 2,000 gallons of gasoline. Valeri Chkalov
was the pilot. (He had been given the assignment personally by Premier Stalin
over S. A Levanevski who wanted to do it using a multi-engined plane.)
Chkalov's co-pilot was Georgi P. Baidukov, who has been co-pilot for Levan-
evski on the aborted 1935 flight, and his navigator was Alexander Beliakov.
At 10:10 a.m. of the second day the plane radioed Moscow it was over the
Pole but that the area was obscured by clouds. After crossingthe Pole the ANT-25
flew on to Fort Simpson, Canada, then tured west to Sitka, Alaska, and from there
turned south to fly along the coast to Portland,Ore. After 63 hours and 17 min-
utes in the air it landed at the U. S. Army airfiled at Vancouver, Wash. It had
flown 5,288 miles--3h9 short of the record then held by two French aviators.
The stamps, issued April 10, 1938, were printed in photogravure on unwat-
ermarked paper. The design shows heads of the three flyers in a single picture
at the top of the stamp. Their names are beneath the picture. The picture is
over a representation of the Arctic region (with a red banner flying from the
North Pole) across which a straight line indicates erroneously their course from
Moscow to Portland. Neither the name of the designer nor the numbers issued were
The values and their colors are: 10 kopeck black (with banner in red, as
Page 26 No. 71
it is on all four values), 20 kopeck brown black, 40 kopeck brown and 50 kopeck brown
Scott gives the perforation as 12 and Sanabria as 12i. However, my speci-
mens show 12 for the 10 and 40 kopeck, 12 x 11 3/4 for the 20 kopeck and 11 3/4 x
12 for the 50 kopeck.
In 1948, Scott valued the mint set at 98 cents. By 1966, the valuation
had climbed to $5.00. Sanabria currently lists the mint set at Z$.50.
However, it is in the relatively rare imperforate varieties that the
valuations rocket upward. Scott recognizes only one--a 20 kopeck vertical pair im-
perforate between. In 1948 that pair was accorded a valuation by 3cott of ?20.00
mint and'n, tag was put on a used pair. In 1966, Scott listed both at $45.00 each.
Sanabria currently does not price such a pair mint, but gives a valu-
ation of $60.00 for it used. iy pair, used, cost $41.25 in 1960.
Sanabria also puts a tag of $200.00 on either a mint or used single of
the 10 kopeck value. In 1959, I acquired a used single for $55.00. Sanabria also
tags a single, mint or used, of the 20 kopeck value at $75.00. (The mint one in my
collection cost $35.00 in 1959.) 3anabria also puts a $75.00 valuation on the im-
perforate 0O kopeck value, either mint or used, but in 1959 I was able to acquire
such a variety (with large margin at bottom) for $40.00. The same valuation of
$75.00, mint or used, is placed by Sanabria on the imperforate 50 kopeck value. The
mint example in my collection cost $40.00 in 1959d
Covers bearing these stamps (perforated) for regular postage are re-
The World Record Flight Set. At 7 a.m. on July 14, 1937, a Soviet ANIT-
"25 plane landed in a cow pasture near San Jacinto, Calif., not far from March Army
Air Force base close to Riverside. In doing so it ended 62 hours and 2 minutes of
"a flight which had originated in loscow. The distance flown was 6,262 miles, setting
"a world's record. Aboard the plane were Mikhail Gromov, pilot; Andrey Yumashev, co-
pilot, and Sergei Danilin, navigator.
Gromov and his crew made their flight less than a month after Chkalov
and his crew had completed their assignment. In April and May of the following year
the sets of stamps honoring the feats were issued. The three values of t'he World
Record Flight set were issued May 26, 1938.
The design of this set is somewhat similar to that of the one of the
preceding month. It shows individual pictures of the three flyers, two at the top
and one at left center. It shows in smaller format the map of the Polar region and
the route the plane followed. This time the terminal point--San Jacinto--is cor-
rectly identified. Again, the ubiquitous Soviet banner, albeit smaller, flies from
a pole stuck in the map's North Pole. Neither the name of the designer nor the num-
bers printed were announced. Printing was done by photogravure on unwatermarked
paper. The colors are: 10 kopeck claret, 20 kopeck gray black and 50 kopeck dull
Scott gives the perforation as 12 and Sanabria as 12g. All of my ex-
amples of this set measure 12. The set was valued at 75 cents mint by Scott in 1948
and at $4.00 in 1966. Sanabria put a valuation of $3.50 on it in 1966.
No. 71 Page 27
As was the case with the previous issues it is the imperforates that command
respectable prices. Curiously, Scott recognizes none, but Sanabria values an im-
perforate single of the 10 kopeck value at $75.00, mint or used. ( horizontal mint
pair, imperforate, in my collection cost $60.00 in 1956.) Sanabria also valued a
20 kopeck imperforate single, mint or used, at $75.00 in 1966. (In 1953, I acquired
a horizontal imperforate pair, used, for $20.00.) No imperforate variety of the 50
kopeck value is known.
The Women Pilots Issue. The setting of a nonstop long distance flight re-
cord by three Soviet women flyers in 1938 formed the basis for the issuance of this
three-value set on April 9, 1939. The record, which sttod until 1966, was for
3,671 miles flown in 26 hours and 29 minutes between Moscow and a point near Kom-
somolsk on the Amur river along the Manchukuoan border about 200 miles north of
Khabarovsk, which was the intended destination.
Heading the crew of three in the twin-engined monoplane which made the flight
was Valentina Grisoduva, a leading civilian avaitrix. The others were Captain Paulina
Osipenko and Lieutenant Marina Raskova, both being officers in the Red Air Force.
They took off early in the morning of September 24, 1938. Trackers lost
touch with them sometime after they had crossed the Urals. For a week people in the
Soviet Union were in suspense about their fate until a week later three of a fleet
of 50 search planes spotted a two-engined plane with two persons standing by on the
ground near Komsomolsk. As it turned out, all three of the women, who had lived
on chocolate bars, were rescued. On October 8 Premier Stalin telegraphed his con-
The stamps commemorating the feat were issued on photogravure on unwatermarked
white paper. The 15 kopeck value in green bore the picture of Osipenko, the 30 ko-
peck brown violetbore that of Raskova and Grisoduva's picture is on the 60 kopeck
orange red. Behind each of the women who are wearing their flight helmets with gog-
gles pushed up on their foreheads is shuwn the forward part of their plane. Each
stamp bears in different positioning the four-word inscription reading "Flight Mos-
cow to Far East". The name of each aviatrix appears across the bottom of the stamp
showing her picture. Neither the name of the designer nor the numbers of each value
printed were announced.
Perforations are given by both Scott and Sanabria as 12, but my examples
check out at 12 x 11 3/4 for the 15 kopeck, 12 for the 30 kopeck and 11 3/4 x 12
for the 60 kopeck. In 1948 Scott put a valuation of $1.25 on the set and in 1966
the figure was $3.50. Sanabria's 1966 valuation was $2.75. Those figures are all
for mint sets.
Here again, however, we have elusive imperforate varieties with which to
deal. Both in 1948 and in 1966 Scott said the values "exist imperforate but were
not regularly issued." Sanabria admits of their existence and, assigning catalogue
numbers to the values, puts a valuation of $125.00 on the set. My collection shows
an example of the 60 kopeck imperforate (in red instead of orange red). It cost
$20.00 in 1959. Sanabria adds the comment that only 100 sets were issued imper-
The Aviation Day Set of 1939. This set, issued August 18, 1939, was pro-
duced by overprinting in several colors a two-line inscription on five types of a
nine-value typographed set issued November 4, 1938, to mark the 21st anniversary of
the Red Air Force and to honor records set by Soviet flyers in various fields of
aviation. According to Sanabria, these were records listed by the International
Page 28 No. 71
Air Federation, but there is nothing in the stamps' designs to link them with such
records except inthe broadest possible manner. However, advance descriptions issued
by Soviet postal authorities did mention specific records.
* The purpose of the overprinted 1939 series was to mark Aviation Day as
indicated by the inscription which reads "August 18/ Aviation Day USSR". Scott's
numbers for the 1933 set are 678-686. Following are notes on the five overprinted
types together with their designations as such in the 1966 catalogue:
10 Kopeck value (type of 679 olive gray showing a glider): Color
changed to red and given brown overprint. (Scott C76)
30 Kopeck value (type 682 claret showing parachute jumpers): Color
changed to blue and given a red overprint. (Scott C76A)
40 Kopeck value (type of 683 deep blue showing a Yakolev UT-2 hydro-
plane): Color changed to dull green and given a brown overprint.
50 Kopeck value (type of 684 blue green showing a balloon): Color
changed to dull violet and given a red overprint. (Scott C76C)
1 Ruble value (type of 686 darkish blue green showing a four-engined
Tupolev dANT-6 lonoplane): Color changed to brown and given a blue
overprint. (Jcott C76D)
Both Scott and Sanabria list the perforations of both the basic series
and that of the overprinted stamps as 12. For my part I have examined both light
and dark shades of both sets with various perforations in various combinations of
S 11-, 11 3/h and 12. It would serve little useful purpose in this discussion, I be-
lieve, to list these in detail.
As has been the case with the later stamps discussed in this article
no announcement was made of either the designer nor the numbers printed or overprinted.
The rather modest catalogue valuations for the mint overprinted set (31.83 Scott in
1948 and $6.75 in 1966) strongly suggest they are quite common. (Curiously, the same
five types without the overprint catalogued at $9.85 in Scott in 1966.) Sanabria
catalogued the overprinted set at $4.20 in 1966.
Apart from the perforation varieties and color shadings mentioned above
the only variety given catalogue status is a double overprint on the 1 ruble value
which Sanabria lists at $100.00 used. I have never seen an example of this variety.
The Wartime Provisional Air Mail Set of 1944. In addition to issuing
(in March) the three-stamp series commemorating the tenth anniversary of the strato-
sphere balloon disaster, the U.S.S.R. found it necessary to surcharge two regular
postage stamps for air mail use. These were issued May 25, 1944, while World War
II was still raging. A three-lined inscription reading "Airpost/19h4 (year of)/ 1
ruble" was surcharged in red on two 30-kopeck stamps.
The stamps selected were, quite appropriately, ones honoring two Soviet
flyers for heroic feats. Both the basic stamps had first appeared in 1942 and had been
reissued in changed colors in 1944. Those with the changed colors were the ones that
No. 71 Page 29
that were overprinted. The provisonals are described below:
Scott C80--Surcharge on Scott 860A dull blue green (Scott calls it Prus-
sian green) which type had first appeared two years earlier in bluish
black. The design features Lieutenant Talalikhin who became a war hero
by ramming a German plane. His picture is at right and the incident
which took place at night is depicted to its left against criss-crossed
beams of searchlights. There are no minor varieties known of either
the basic stamp or the surcharged one.
Scott C81--Surcharge on Scott 861A deep ultramarine which type had first
appeared two years earlier in bluish black. The design, somewhat sim-
ilar to that of 860A, features Captain Gastello who became a war hero
by diving his plane into German fuel tanks. His picture is at right and
the incident showing German troops scurrying away from Gastello's target
as his planeapproaches is at left.
Although Scott mentions none and Sanabrai only one there are at least two
minor varieties of c81, both involving the surcharge. That mentioned by Sanabria
has the final "A" of the Russian word in the top line of the inscription missing.
(Sanabria lists this as 128z). The other variety, an example of which I have in
my collection, has a broken "r" (for goda year) at the end of the second line of
Both 860A and 861A were done by photogravure on white unwatermarked paper
perforated 12 (a figure iThich agrees with my measurements).
Scott valued both C80 and C81 at 50 cents each, mint, in 1948 and at 75
cents each in 1966. Sanabria currently agrees with Scott although listing the
used examples at only 15 cents each compared with Scott's valuation of 8 cents
each in 1966 (down from 35 cents in 1948).
As. to Sanabria's valuation of the first-mentioned variety 128a that
catalogue's valuation of it used is $50.00. The mint example in my collection
cost $15.00 in 1962. In the case of the unlisted broken "r" variety I paid $2.50
in 966 for a mint copy.
Covers bearing one or both of the major varieties are relatively common.
These two stamps were the last air mail stamps issued by the Soviet Union
before the postwar period of uneasy peace arrived carrying with it the advent of
the jet age. It is, I believe, a convenient point at which to terminate these notes.
It is clear that there still are a number of points to be cleared up con-
cerning air mail stamps and ones with aviation themes in the Soviet Union. These
inoltide such matters as quantities issued and names of designers. In the related
field of first day covers the opening dates of i number of air links between cities
on the expanding Aeroflot network still are unknown or at least unrecorded in the
scant literature available. And the chances of clearing up unanswered questions
concerning the little known fields of etiquettes and the aviation labels of 1920s
and 1930s are about as small as answering those innummerable riddles that exist
among zemstvos. Some progress has been made with the help of Soviet catalogues
and others in the fields of cachets and cancellations.
Page 30 No. 71
Thanks to the fact that the Soviet authorities have seen fit in most
cases to tie in issuance of their air mail stamps with outstanding events it has been
relatively easy even if tedious to assemble a considerable amount of the background
material supplied in this discussion. As to the catalogue valuations given herein
it should always be borne in mind that they are recognized as only approximations
of actual retail market values.
TIE TRANSMISSION OF MAILS ON STEAMERS IN RUSSIA
by Nikolai Ivanovich Sokolov
(Concluded from No. 70 and translated from the Postal and Telegraphic Journal, Unofficial
Section, Vol. 9 for 1096; a monthly journal issued by the General Administration of Posts
and Telegraphs, St. Petersburg, Russia).
C. POSTAL SERVICES ALONG THE CASPIAN SEA:
The transmission of postal correspondence along the Caspian Sea began
in 1847, at the same time as the dispatch of internal mails along the Black Sea and
the Sea of Azov (cf. Report of the Director-General of the Postal Department for
1847). The situation was the same as on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov routes in that
only ordinary correspondence was at first transmitted along the Caspian Sea, and pos-
tal communications were maintained by the government steamers of the Caspia Flotilla
between Astrakhan, Derbent, Baku and Lenkoran.
In 1858, a company for navigation and trade along the Caspian was est-
ablished by State Councillor Novosel'skii under the name "Kavkaz" (The Caucasus"),
and its charter was called "Merkurii" ("The Mercury"), the latter being established
in 1849 for regular navigation on the Volga, Oka, Kama and their tributaries. The
S charter of the amalgamated company, which received the title "Kavkaz i Herkurii"
(The Caucasus and Mercury"), was sanctioned on 21 May 1858.
In accordance with Paragraph No. 41 of this charter, the Caucasus and
Mercury Company was obliged to undertake the establishment of postal communications
along the Caspian Sea and it was assigned an annual subsidy of 34,000 rubles by the
Government for this purpose. In agreement with the Postal Administration, the duties
of the Company were set out under the following provisions:-
(1) Starting from the opening of navigation until November 1 of each year, it was
to dispatch mail steamers on the following routes:
(a) From Astrakhan to Guriev-Gorodok and the Novo-Petrovsk forti-
fications once a month; to Baku every fortnight, calling at
Petrovsk and Derbent on the way and
(b) From Baku to Astarabad every fortnight, calling at Lenkoran,
Astara and Enzeli.
(2) During the rest of the year, communications between ports open for navigation
along the Caspian Sea were to be maintained no less than once monthly.
(3) The Company was to convey the mail free of charge, in accordance with postal
regulations, and this was also to apply to couriers and government messengers. A
No. 71 Page 31
special place was to be set aside for the mails and lodging provided for the persons
accompanying them postillionss or officials). The times of departure and arrival
of the mail steamers were to be specified beginning from the opening of postal com-
munications. The Postal Department, for its part, was obliged to see to it that the
departures of steamers at the designated times were not held up by delay in its
delivery of the mail.
In the process of revising the regulations of the 1858 charter, special rules
were set up by the Postal Department for the transmission of all classes of mail
on the steamers of the Caucasus and Mercury Company, in maintaining its services
along the Caspian Sea. The regulations for transporting internal mails on the ROPIT
steamers along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov (see proceeding installments in
Section B) served as a model for these rules. With regard to securing the mail
from loss, a direction was given that it be enclosed in satchels and trunks (up to
that time mail was transported on steamers in mailbags). It was impressed upon
the postillions accompanying the mails that they were required to exchange the bags
at each post office upon the arrival of the steamer in port and that they should
hand in the mail they brought with them. On 21 March 1869, the Caucasus and the
Mercury Comrpany was granted the right to fly the postal flag.
Although there were further modifications of the Company's charter in 1868,
1874, 1875, 1879, 1882 and 1884, the regulations about the transmission of mails
and postal officials along the Caspian Sea remained unchanged. The number of
steamer services on the Caspian was increased with the following new lines:-
(1) The Krasnovodsk route, between Astrakhan, Baku, Krasnovodsk, Chikishlyar,
Astarabad and ileshedesser, and
(2) The Mikhailovsk route, between Krasnovodsk and the Mikhailovsk Gulf because
of this, Fort-Aleksandrovskii was substituted as a stopping place for the port of
(Note: The place referred to above as the fortifications at Novo-Petrovsk, or in
Russian "Novopetrovskoe Ukreplenie", was founded at the tip of the hangistau Pen-
insula on the eastern side of the Caspian Sealin 1846. The name was subsequently
changed to Fort-Aleksandrovskii and finally in 1939 to Fort-Shevchehko)
D. SERVICES TO NORWAY:
In 1875, a Company was incorporated under the name of "Archangel-Murmansk
Seasonal Steamship Company by Court Councillor Chizhov, Second Captain Count Litye,
Comm. Councillor Norozov, the engineer Lt. Gen. Baron Delwig and Scion of Notable
Citizens Smolnyi, for the maintenance of-seasonal steamer communications between
Archangel, the White Sea ports and points on the Murmansk coast to the Norwegian
ports of Vard6 or Vads6. The charter for this company was sanctioned on May 6,.of
that year. According to the 1875 charter, the steamers of the company were ob-
liged to maintain the following services:-
(1) From Archangel along the hurmansk coast to Vardb or Vads8 in Norway.
(2) Between Archangel and the three most heavily populated towns on the White
Sea, i. e. Kem', Kandalaksha and Kuzomen.
(3) Between Onega, Kem' and several intervening points, lying along the White
Page 32 No. 71
Having received a subsidy of money from the Government for each seasonal
service along the White Sea, the Company was obliged, among other things, "to con-
vey the mail and the officials accompanying it free of charge and to deliver it from
ship to shore and back, utilizing the facilities of the steamer" (Article No. 11 of
the 1875 charter). In its turn, the Postal Administration was responsible for de-
livering the mail in good time to the wharf used by the Company, so as not to delay
the regular sailing of the steamers (Article No. 12). Because of the service which
the Company rendered to industry and trade in Northern Russia, it was granted the
right in May 1876 to fly the postal flag.
Upon review of the Company's charter in May 1895, it was decreed that
the steamers should maintain seasonal services along the following routes:-
(1) Kurmansk Line: (a) autumn service: between Vard6 in liorway and the Litsa En-
campment near the river of the same name, calling at Kiberg, Kii Island, Vaida-
Guba, the Zubov Islands, Tsip-Navalok, Port Vladimir, Kola, Malo-Olenii, Teriberka,
Gavrilovo, Shel'pino, Rynda and Sem'-Ostrovov (Seven Islands). (b) summer service:
between Vard6 and Archangel, calling at Kii island, Vaida-Guba, Tsip-Navalok, Port
Vladimir, Kola, Malo-Olenii, Teriberka, Gavrilovo, Shel'pino, Tryashchino, Rynda,
Sem'-Ostrovov, Litsa and Ponoi.
(2) Varanger Fjord Line: between Iii Island and Vads6, calling at Zemlyanoe, Pec-
henga (Petsamo) Finmanskoe and Paz-Reka.
(3) Onega Bay Line: between Archangel and Kem', calling at Onega, Sumy, Soroka and
(h) Kandalaksha Line: from Archangel to Kuzomen, calling at Solovetsk, Kem', Keret
Kovda, Kandalaksha and Umba.
(5) Novaya Zemlya Line: from Archangel to Novaya Zemlya.
In connection with the transmission of the mails, the regulations con-
tained in the revised charter of 1895 were more comprehensive and precise than those
of the previous 1875 charter. On the basis of Article `o. 8 of the new charter,
the Company was obliged to carry on seasonal routes all classes of mail free of
charge, such as ordinary and insured correspondence parcels and money sending, in
conformance with the postal regulations established for this purpose. Special cabins
had to be allowed free of charge to the officials accompanying the mail, and on
steamers where such facilities were not available, special sections had to be set
aside for them.
Although the Company could not be held responsible either for the con-
tents placed in the postal satchels or forth lead seals affixed outside, since all
this remained the obligation of the persons accompanying the mails, it still had to
extend to these officials every facility for regular supervision of the mails held
on the steamer. In cases of shipwreck or damage to the correspondence by any act
of God on the basis of eventualities as provided for in Paragraph 7, Articl 216 of
the Conditions for Government Procedure and Requirements (Code of Laws, Vol. 10,
No. 1, published in 1887), the Company was freed of responsibility for the value
of any money or parcels lost by shipwreck. In the case of loss of correspondence
for other reasons, shown to be the fault of the steamship administration, the Com-
pany was to be made answerable for its value. Apart from the Government mails, the
Company was obliged under this same Article No. 8 to convey free of charge Zemstvo
correspondence and messengers, dispatched in accordance with attestations issued
by inspectors of police.
No. 71 Page 33
The management and authorized agents of the Company do not have the right to
bring aboard ship any letters, money and small parcels, all of which are subject to
transmission through the mails. In cases where such objects are found in cargo
handed in, or in warehouses, the Company is obliged to send them forthwith to the
nearest post office, showing the names and surnames, and also if possible, the ad-
dresses of the sender and receiver. To prevent the enclosure of letters, money and
parcels, subject to transmission through the mails, in warehouses maintained by the
Company, it is obliged to specify on all receipts to senders handling in cargo, that
persons found guilty of sending by steamer any letters, money and small packages
subject to transmission through the mails, will be rendered liable to prosecution
in accordance with the law (Article No. 28).
E. THE VOLUNTEER FLEET SERVICES:
Finally, at a comparatively recent time (i.e. looking back from the year
1896), the transmission of mails between European Russia and the Maritime Province
of Siberia was established on steamers of the Volunteer Fleet Company.
The steamers of this Company, with the concurrence of the Ministries of Mari-
time and Internal Affairs, undertook from 1884 the conveyance of ordinary and re-
gistered correspondence and journals free of charge between Odessa and Vladivostok.
The correspondence sent with the steamers of the Volunteer Fleet wad done up in
satchels and bales made of a mat material and handed over to post offices under the
receipt of the steamer management.
On 24 February 1886, the temporary charter of the Volunteer Fleet was sanctioned
on. the basis of regulations by which the transmission of postal matter between
Odessa and Vladivostok, and from Odessa to Due (a small port just below Aleksandrovsk
on the west coast of Sakhalin Island) was carried in the following manner:-
(1) The Volunteer Fleet was obliged to carry free of charge all letter correspondence
both from and to Russian post offices, having special premises set aside on the
steamer for the mails and the postillion or official accompanying them.
(2) Parcels dispatched from or to Russian post offices were to be pa. for as cargo
at the Volunteer Fleet's lowest tariff (Article No. 8).
Apart from the mails, the Volunteer Fleet was obliged to convey free of charge
the couriers and government messengers.
Beginning with 1888, the Postal and Telegraphic Administration started to
send all classes of mail with the steamers of the Volunteer Fleet, accompanied by
postillions, on the routes which ran between Odessa and Vladivostok. As a result,
the right was obtained in April of the same year to fly at the masts of these steamers
the characteristic insignia of the Postal and Telegraphic Administration (i.e. the
alternate postal flag).
The temporary charter of 1886 was revised in 1892. On the basis of the new
charter, sanctioned on January 6 of the same year, the following rules have now come
into effect in the transmission of all classes of mail on vessels of the Volunteer
(1) One hundred poods (3600 lbs.) of postal freight are to be conveyed on each steamer
free of charge, and any excess is to be paid for at the lowest rate set for cargo.
The postal freight is to be conveyed in the holds of the steamer, under the obser-
vation and care of the ship's command.
Page 34 )1o. 71
(2) The responsibility for the 'security of the mails is to be specified by the rules,
established on the same principle for the railroads.
(3) The officials of the Postal and Telegraphic Administration accompanying the mails
are to be transported free of charge, but their board aboard must be paid for on the
same basis as for all other passengers. A separate cabinet of sufficient size is
to be set aside for the lodging of these officials.
(4) Couriers and government messengers are to be carried free of charge (Article
In the past few years, the Volunteer Fleet has been permitted to main-
tain steamer services between Vladivostok and ports on the Kamchatka peninsula and
the Sea of Okhotsk. These communications were previously carried out by steamers
of Merchant of the First Guild Filippeus at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, on the basis
of the contract concluded by these ships with the Department of Executive Police.
In accordance with the agreement concluded on 6 April 1893 with the De-
partment of General Affairs in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Volunteer Fleet
was obliged to maintain the following routes in the Western Pacific:-
(1) Vladivostok to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii and return, calling at Korsakovskii
Post and the Commander Islands.
(2) Krugovoi to Vladivostok, with services to Korsakovskii Post, Petropavlovskii
Port, Lower Kamchatka Tigil', Gizhiga, Okhotsk, Udskaya Guba, Port Ayan, Mys'
Zheltyi (Yellow Capte), and Taraika on theisland of Sakhalin.
On these last routes, the Volunteer Fleet received a specific subsidy
of money from the Government to carry free of charge couriers, government messengers
as well as ordinary insured and valuable mail together with parcels, in accordance
with the regulations set up and with the allocation of lodging free of charge for
the officials accompanying the mails (Paragraph No. 5 of the agreement).
In the 1893 agreement, apart from the general requirement for almost
all steamer charters regarding the prompt delivery to and acceptance of mails from
the local post offices, there was a further special proviso inserted about the 're-
sponsibility of the Volunteer Fleet for the security and care of the mails when
being loaded, trartsmitted and unloaded (Par. No. 10).
EDITORIAL COMMENT: This installment ends the masterly series by Mr. Sokolov on Rus-
sian maritime postal history. The final section given here has much interesting in-
formation on Northprn, Caspian and Far East mails and we would be glad to hear what
our specialists possess in covers and postal markings from these remote fields.
A Catalogue of the
IMPERIAL RUSSIAN POSTAGE STAMPS
By Abraham Cohen
(Continued from No. 70 Page 42.)
No. 71 Page 35
SCOTT #24 WATERMARK #168 1866-75
20k BLUE & ORANGE--------------------Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
a.Blue & Orange----------------Med.-Vert. Laid Paper 14 3/h
b.Blue & Orange------------------Thin-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
c.Blue & Deep Orange--------------Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
d.Center Intaglio-------------- Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
e.Fine Embossing of center--------Med.Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
f.Worn Embossing of center--------Med.Horiz.Laid Paper 1l 3/A
g.Blue & Dark Yellow-------------Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
h.Deep Blue & Orange--------------Med.-Vert. Laid Paper lh 3/h
SCOTT #25 WATERMARK #168 1866-75
30k CARMINE & GREEN-------------------Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/A
a.Carmine & Green-----------------Med.-Vert. Laid Paper 1h 3/h
b.Carmine & Deep Green----------- Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/
c.Center Intaglio----------------Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
d.Carmine Rose & Green------------Med.-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4
e.Crimsodn & Green----------------Med.-Vert. Laid Paper 14 3/4
SCOTT #26 WATERMARK #168 June 1875
2k BLACK & RED-----------------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hxl5
a.Black & Rose-------------------Vert. Laid Paper 14 3/hxl5
b.Groundwork Inverted-------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hx15
c.Black & Rose--------------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hxl15
d.Frame Intaglio------------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hxl5
e.Black & Red------------Unwatermarked Wove Paper 14 3/kxl5
f.Arabic number due west of the scroll surmounting
the S.E. circle has a dot to its right, and Arabic
numeral "2" N.W. of the same scroll has a flaw at
its foot. Stamps #5,6,11,15,18 & 22 of each pane
of sheet of 100----------------Horiz Laid Paper 14 3/kxlS
g.Center Inverted------------- Horiz. Laid Paper 14 3/hxl1
h.Black & Red--------------------Horiz.Laid Paper Imperf.
i.Same as "f"--------------------Vert. Laid Paper 1h 3/hx15
j.Center Inverted----------------Vert. Laid Paper 14 3/Axl5
k.Black & Red--------------------Vert. Laid Paper Imperf.
SCOTT #27 WATERMARK #4 March 1879
7k GRAY & ROSE-----------------------Horiz.Laid Paper 1l 3/kxl5
a.Gray & Rose-------------------- Horiz.Laid Paper Imperf.
b.Gray Black & Carmine-----------Vert. Laid Paper 14 3/4xlS
c.Gray & Rose-----------------Hexagon Wmkd Paper 14 3/hxlS
d.Center Inverted----------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/kxl1
e.Gray Black & Carmine------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hxl1
f.Light Gray & Carmine------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/xl5
g.Center Missing------------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hxl5
h.Center Offset on Back-----------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/hxl5
Page 36 No. 71
i.Center Intaglio----------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4x15
j.Fine Embossing of Center--------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/%xl5
k.Course Embossing of Center------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/x5l$
1.Gray & Rose---------------Thick-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/0x15
IA.Cracked Plate: Line running halfway down stamp,
from a point midway between the crown and N.E.
corner. Stamp #3 in pane of 25-Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4x15
n.Break in scroll to right of Roman figure
VII. Stamp #4 in pane of 25----Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/xl5
o.Line broken below 2nd I of VII. Stamp #4 in
pane of 25.---------------------Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4x15
p.Gray & Rose------------Unwatermarked Wove Paper 14 3/4x15
q.Period after "V" of VII. Extra scroll at left
Horiz.Laid Paper 14 3/4x15
ERRORS IN A PANE OF 25 OF SCOTT #27
Stamp #1-Dot & semi-circle flaw to the right of righthand shoulderknot
2-Line across S.W. corner frame line. Short line projecting in-
wards in N.W. corner. No serif to "M"' of '"APKA".
3-Dot and semi-circle flaw immediately to the right of cro-m.
4-In the oval band surrounding the center there is a break in
the large curl near the ball in the white scroll to the right
of the Ronan figure VII. Dreak in the right-hand posthorn
immediately to the right of where the mouthpieces cross. Break
in left-hand frame line at about the level of the band on the
hem of the mantle.
5-Slight thickening of S.W. and N.W. corners and thickening of
lower frame line towards the right-hand end with some weak-
ening of the right-hand vertical frame line.
6-N.W. corner tends to be pointed and thickened, the S.E. cor-
ner is rounded and thickened.
7-N.W. corner frame line cross, but less prominently then #12
and M17, the only other ones in which this flaw occurs. Right-
hand vertical lines does not touch the horizontal one in the
8-Dot and semi-circle flaw just outside sloping band on the hem
of mantle on the left-hand side.
9-Break in outer frame line in N.E. corner opposite the flag of
figure "7". The right-hand lower leg of "K" of "KON" is
joined to a semi-circle. This tends to occur also in stamp
#10, but it is a weaker join.
10-Frame line very slightly cross in N.E. corner. The thick in-
ner frame line forms a more pointed corner in the S.3. corner
and approaches nearer to the outer frame line.
No. 71 Page 37
11-The N.E. corner is thickened. Inthe S.E. corner the horizontal
frame line projects outwards beyond the vertical one.
12-The frame lines cross in the N.W. corner. In the N.E. corner the
horizontal line dips slightly as it approaches the vertical one, which
projects upwards. The S.E. corner is thickened.
13-Minute projection inwards of the inner edge of the oval band around
the center, just under the letter "B" of "noytoBAR".
14-Minute projection outward from N.E. corner of square stop after the
15-Small projection inwards in N.W. corner of frame line.
16-Break or a weak place in outer right-hand frame line on a level with
Roman figure VII. Just below the slanting line between the upper
part of the letters "o" and "N" of "kon" there is normally a dot which
in this type is a comma joined to the letter "o".
17-Frame lines cross in N.W. corner and in the S.W. corner there is a
projection downwards of the vertical line. The S.E. corner shows a
little inward kink or a break in the vertical frame line. The right-
hand posthorn in the center has a break similar to that in stamp
18-In the N.E. corner there is a break in the frame line so that the
vertical line does not touch the horizontal one. In the S.E. corner
the horizontal line does not quite touch the vertical one.
19-In the S.E. corner there is a break in the frame line very similar
to #18, but the S.W. Corner is a little thickened right in the corner.
20-There is a break in the outer frame line of the oval band round the
center just below the second I of VII. There is a dot and semi-circle
flaw just above and to the left of the upper loop of the right-hand
shoulder knot of the mantle.
21-Small projection upward of the vertical frame line in N.W. corner.
22-In the N.W. corner there is a break in the vertical frame line which
does not quite meet the horizontal one. In the S.E. corner there is
a similar break in the frame line.
23-Two dot and semi-circle flaws, one just below the space between the
"b" and "k" of "CEMb kon" and the other near the hem of the mantle
above and to the right of "n".
24-In the N.W. corner there is a break in the vertical frame line almost
at the end.
25-Two dot and semi-circle flaws, one below the right-hand lower leg of
the "K" of "KOn", and the other near the lower hem of the mantle al-
most on a level with the figure VII on the right side.
Page 38 No. 71
The above listing of stamps #1 to 25 are constant flaws. Next we
shall deal with recurrent flaws. There are flaws which are not
constant, but they do occur on a number of copies.
The Boxed "P" Numbers
By V. Denis Vandervelde
The Boxed "P" numbers have long been a topic of curiosity and contro-
versy amongst collectors of European 19th century Postal History. Originally sup-
posed to have been applied to Russian Mail at the Prussian frontier, it is now almost
certain that: a) their usage was not intendedto be restricted to Russian Mail, and
b) that they were applied far further west either on the Franco-Prussian border
or within France itself.
The study that follows is probably incomplete, for while more than 450
covers bearing such marks were examined by or reported to, the author, he cannot
claim to have seen a representative sample, in that all but a handful of his material
was of Russian or Polish origin; and such marks certainly appear also on, e.g.,
A. General Remarks
1. The early numbers seen are P33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39 and 1l.
2. The dates of usage range from mid 1858 to 1871, although use seems
to have been usual only in the period 1859 to mid 1869.
3. Every mark seen has been Black, except for two blue-gray P38s in
August 1868, and a single red strike reported by Mr. Harry Green
4. Without exception, all covers have been upaid ("Porto").
5. Without exception, all covers have entered France from Prussia
6. Without exception, all covers travelled (or at least cannot be shown
not to have travelled) via the French capital ("Paris").
7. Which gives three possible explanations of that letter "P".
B. P 33, P35 and P38
1. These three numbers only occur on mail from Russia, including
the Baltic States and Poland.
2. No numbers other then these three are found on Russian mail (Ex-
ception: A single cover, again in Dr. Wortman's collection, is
known bearing P41. Dated October 1859, it travelled from Taganrog
to Genoa, via Myslowitz, Breslau, Valenciennes and Paris.
3. These numbers were not used concurrently, but serially; first P35,
then P33 and finally P3. This magnificent discovery I owe to
SNo. 71 Page 39
that distinguished Postal Historian Mr. Cyril Kield of Manchester,
to whom I doff my hat; with far more material than was available
to him, I can now report the following dates:
P35 Occasional use from September 1858
Regular use, January 1859 to December 1861
P33 Regular use, January 1862 to December 1865
P38 Regular use, January 1866 to August 1869
Occasional use till at least 1871
In a study of more than four hundred covers, each with one of these three
marks, Dr. Wortman's cover (detailed above as the exception to B:l), was the only
usage recorded outside this sequence.
4. With the solitary exception of the P37 mark illustrated, and dealt with
below, these. three marks span the whole range of dates known to me for
the entire series of 'P' numbers.
C. P34 and P39
First a word of caution: I have seen so few of these marks that any "conclusions"
must be very tentative.....
1. P34 and P39 are only found on Scandinavian mail indeed, so few, all
covers have passed through Sweden and Prussia into France.
2. No other numbers have been seen on mail from Sweden.
3. So far, both numbers have only been seen on covers of 1862.
D. Other Numbers
1. P37 One copy only seen, on an unpaid letter from NEUWIED to G.B., via
Paris, of July 1858, and here illustrated: in my own collection.
2. This cover is the earliest date seen of the entire range of the P num-
3. P41 One copy only seen, on the cover of Dr. Wortman's from Taganrog to
Genoa in October 1859 already noted as the exception to B:2.
1. These marks were probably applied by an inspectorate, checking upaid
mail from Northern and Eastern Europe.
2. They were struck at the Franco-Prussian frontier, or (more likely) in
the train for Paris, or even at Paris itself.
3. They were introduced experimentally at least as early as July 1858, and
towards the end of that year P35 was established as the mark for Russian
and Polish mail.
4. At the end of 1861, the P35 was replaced by P38, probably struck in the
Page 40 No. 71
5. There was a further change, to P38, at the end of the calendar
6. Regular use of P38 ceased in mid 1869, though it was occasionally
used till well into 1871.
7. Meanwhile, other numbers, notably P3h and P39, were used concur-
rently on Swedish mail.
8. Other numbers, of which only P37 and PL1 have so far been reco-
rded, seem to have been used, either experimentally or in error.
., ... .. ,,. l,,.
A. Bojanowicz and A. .Droar
(Reprinted from the June 1966 Gibbons Stamp Monthly)
As a result of a renewal of diplomatic relations between General Sikorski,
representing the Polish Government in 6xile in London and the Soviet Union, a
military agreement was signed on AugiUst 14th, 19h1, which resulted in the te-
union of all Polish prisoners-of-war kept in camps on Soviet soil into a un-
ified Army Group. The Headquarters of this newly-constituted army was at Buz-
uluk, a town in the Volga Military District, with units at Totskoe and Czkalow
in the Saratov :egion. All these units were under the command of General Anders.
By Gebruary 1912 this army comprised some 87,000 men. During this period
Soviet postal facilities onlv were available for their use and Soviet postage
stamps were affixedto all letters. Fig. I and II show early type cancellations
for "T C where te 6th Infantry Divion was located and Tatishevo
Camp ,o. I Saratovrl where the 5th Infantry Division was to be found. In fig. ]
No. 71 Page 1 L
L *. .*___., .. ____
TILS POLISH FISLD POST OFFICES IN U.S.S.R.. !9U2
H. A. Bojano-icz aid A. Droar
(Reprinted from the June 166 Gibbons Stamp M~ontlhly)
As a result of a renewal of diplomatic relations between General Sikorski,
representing the Polish Government in exile in London and tlE Soviet Union, a
military agreement was signed on August 1Lth, 19L1, which resulted in the t-e-
union of all Polish prisoners-of-war kept in camps on Soviet soil into a un-
ified Army Group. The Headquarters of this newly-constituted army was at Buz-
uluk, a towm in the Volga MLilitary District, with units at Totskoe and Czkalow
in the Saratov region. All these units were under the command of General Anders.
By Gebruary 1942 this army comprised some 87,000 men. During this period
Soviet postal facilities only were available for their use and Soviet postage
stamps were affixedto all letters. Fig. I and !I showr early type cancellations
for "Tock Caup"', where the 6th Infantry Division was located and "Tatischevo
Camp o. i Saratov" where the Sth Infantry Division was to be found. In fig. I
No. 71 Page kI
the letters CCCP are larger than in Fig. II; also in Fig. I the serial letter be-
low the date is "b'; this is omitted in Fig. II.
During February 1942 it was decided to transfer these Polish divisions
to the Bokhara and Tashkent regions of Uzbekistan with new Headquarters at Jangi-
Jul, just south-west of Tashkent. It was found to be more expedient by the Soviet
Postal Administration to allocate five of the normal Soviet Field Post Office series
of numbers to cancel all mail for use by the Polish Army in this area. Polish per-
sonnel could handle all mail within the Camps but the Field Post themselves were to
be strictly under the control of the Soviet Field Post Office officials. All letters
had to be addressed in Polish and in Russian. The numbers of the Soviet Field Post
Offices allocated and their locations were as follows:
3000 Headquarters Jangi-Jul
3001 5th Infantry Division Djalal-abad
3002 6th Infantry Division Szuzby-Jal
3003 7th Infantry Division Kermine
3004 Army Training Centre Guzar
3005 0 Anr Organization Centre Wrewkaja
These are found with serial letters A; S; C below the date (Fig. III).
All letters were subject to censor and were stamped with a triangular mark, usually
in violet, with a code letter at the top, denoting the Army Unit and the abbrevi-
ation "PRJ.B.C.S." below (Rejonowe 3iuro Cenzury Wojskowej = Regional Bureau of Mil-
itary Censorship). The code letters so far recorded are:
"B" for the 5th Infantry Division
"ITI" for the 6th Infantry Division
"Z" for the 7th Infantry Division
"R" for the 8th Infantry Division
"J" for the 9th Infantry Division
"S" for the 10th Infantry Division
Fig. IV is a typical example from the 6th Infantry Division stationed
It is probable that all the above had registration hand stamps avail-
able two examples are shown: Fig. V, that of Jangi-Jul, Headquarters, and Fig.
VI, Szazby-Jal where the 6th Infantry Divis ion was found.
The ne;t phase soon became apparent when the Polish Army units in this
area were desirous of having their own handstanp to cancel mail instead of the Sov-
iet Field Post Offices and so become independent of the Soviet Postal Officials.
To this the Soviet authorities agreed and in May 1942, as a temporary measure, a
new hand-stamp was issued; this consisted of an outer octagonal frame indented at
the angle and an inner ring. Between this outer frame and inner ring were the words
"POCZTA K POLOA" Polish Post. The letter denoted the code of the army unit and
the legend "POLSXIZ/SILY ZBRO7/0J/?Z..S.R." in four lines "Polish Field Post Of-
fice in the U.S.S.R." (Fig. VII).
In June 1942, a proposal was made to issue a postage stamp and the
Quartermaster-General of the Polish Armed Forces in the U.S.S.R. gave instructions
for a competition to be held in order to select a suitable design. The central
theme of the postage stamp was to be centred around the word "DOJDZIMY"' We Shall
Page 42 No. 71
Return". Finally one was selected under the pseudonym "Stan" (Fig. VIII).
The design consisted of a map of Poland with the towns of Warsaw, Wilno
and Lwow on a background of a White Eagle, a Polish woman with her children are home-
O ward bound being led by a Polish soldier, but because of political complications the
printing was abandoned. Proofs were made, some of which exist. Subsequently, fur-
ther action was taken to implement the previous suggestion and finally the Quarter-
master-General gave instructions on August 13th, 1942, to prepare and to proceed
with the printing, after a new design had been approved by the Commander-In-Chief.
The basic theme of the new design was still "We Shall Return" but the main general
design of the new postage stamp was in three sections, with a frame above and be-
The left-hand and right-hand panels typify the vastness of the Northern
Tundra and the great expanse of deserts in the U.S.S.R.; the central panel consists
of a background dominated by the "White Eagle" against which is silhouetted sol-
diers who had been liberated from the prison camps to form the new Polish Army. In
the top panel are the words "POCZTA POLSKA W Z.S.S.R." Polish Post in the U.S.S.R.
Below the central panel is displayed the central theme of the postage stamp
"DOJDZIEMY" "We Shall Return", To the left is the date in two lines "1941/1942"
and to the right the value "5Ok". The size of the vignette is 46 x 28 mm. printed
in dark brown and gummed, on paper obtained from the Soviet Printing Works at Jangi-
Jul (Fig. IX).
Actual printing was carried out on a pedal-operated machine from a ingles die
cut by Cpl. Polkowski whose initial "P" is to be found in the frame above the value
tablet. Total number of postage stamps printed was 3,017 and the printing was com-
pleted and ready for distribution on August 18th, 1942. The number sold was 263
of which probably not more than fifty were actually used. During its period of use
a more distinctive hand-stamp was used (Fig. X). The date was inserted by hand.
Examples of the postage stamp are found with Polish and/or Russian postmarks in
On August 21st, 1942 all Polish Post Offices in the area were closed due to
the evacuation of all Polish troops to Iran and these postage stamps ceased to serve
any further useful purpose. All unsold stamps were deposited in the Polish Mili-
tary Archives then stationed in Iraq and the cliche was defaced (Fig. XI).
It can therefore be said that in the light of evidence available these ad-
hesive stamps, being officially authorized for use, even though of short duration,
constitute the first recognition of Polish independence and the first issued ad-
hesive postage stamp after the destruction of Poland by the invasion of Germany and
the U.S.S.R. in September 1939.
^CCCp, (3 (sC
S27 52 -C 10 27 642-
Fig.V III ig. VI
"M HM N3 0
/ \ 3 H -M WAb 1WAPH396C
EJLRC. 6WAP- 0A.
No. 71 Page 3
SPOCZTA POL/KA wZ...
Fig. VIII. "Stan "
Fig. VII o P
Fig. IX. A used example, on piece
Fig. XI. Defaced cliche
uu.m .w F= ig. x
"DIE POSTWERTZEICHEN DER RUSSISCHEN LANDSCHAFTSAEMTER"
by C. Schmidt
(Continued from No. 70, page 28
In this way, 28,000 elementary schools, with about two million children
Page No. 71
Fig. XI. Defaced cliche
StWWNA PUCLd TA PULOWA
ILSLUZBR.w Z A&L Fig. X
"DIE POSTTIIZTZEI CHEN DER RUSSISCH~EN LANDS CIAFTSAEMITER'2
by C. Schmidt
(Continiied from No. 70, page 28
In this way, 28,000 elementary schools, with about two million children
Page 44 No. 71
of farmers attending in the thirty-four districts, were established, which had
45,000 teachers. But twice as many would have been required to meet the most ur-
gent requirements. Only in the last years before the World War, all Provinces pre-
pared themselves to introduce the universal or general compulsion to attend schools
and extend, with the assistance of the Duma, the whole school system over the whole
of Russia. In order to give the children an opportunity of continuing to read
after finishing their schooling, popular libraries were started in the schools. In
the year 1896, about 5,000 of these libraries were in existence, but, just before
the World War, there were already about 30,000. Some of the Provincial offices
started Sunday schools for grown-ups, which were provided with cinemas.
(b) Sanitary matters. Equally beneficial was the work done by the Pro-
vincial offices with regard to medicine and hospitals. Before the introduction of
the self-government, there hardly existed any medical assistance for the common
population. Every government and district had one infirmary run by the State, which
was mostly for the use of the soldiers and prisoners; others were only treated there
against excessive payment. Farmers were only accepted as patients if they suffered
from a serious illness contracted during their stay in the town. As soon as they
showed the slightest signs of recovery they were transported back to their district
together with the prisoners, and a large amount of money was collected for his treat-
ment from the Parish in which he lived. Generally speaking, the hospital was con-
sidered as a place where one died. Specially horrible were the conditions in the
lunatic asylums, where the sick were not treated at all but were looked upon as
criminals; some of them were even chained. The sight of a doctor struck terror
into the hearts of the farmer or peasant; they only saw him on examinations for the
Army, and at inquests.
The farmers of the State and the Domain districts had one doctor for every
three to five districts. In the single circles Army surgeons were engaged, having
a small hospital with about two to five beds. The Army surgeons received about
twelve Rubles per year for medicines and had to gather their own herbs. The doctors
who had to control them usually paid only one visit per year.
In all the thirty-four governments were about 900 Army surgeons and about
300 beds. The farmers of the of the land-owner were usually treated by the quacks,
the "good lady" or by the Clergy.
This was the state of the sanitary services as the provincials took them
over. In the first place, the State infirmaries were handed over to them, 32 in
the government cities with 6,200 beds and 303 in the districts with 5,100 beds. All
the buildings were in a very bad state of repair and were subject to a capital levy.
Many improvements were introduced, separate buildings were erected for infectious
diseases, the personnel of the hospitals were increased and the patients were
looked after better. Ample medicaments were provided.
Soon, however, the provincial offices noticed that these infirmaries bene-
fitted mostly the large cities, and tried, therefore, to hand them over to the State
administration. But the Government was opposed to this plan and compelled the Pro-
vinces to provide further large sums, about three million Rubles annually, for the
upkeep of the infirmaries. After this, the Provinces decided not to extend the in-
firmaries, but leave them in their present state without any alterations. The pro-
vincial offices paid special attention to the asylums and, in the space of fifty
years, the number of beds was increased by twenty-five times, from 1, 167 beds in
the 'sixties to 26,000 beds in 1912. They engaged not only specialists for dis-
eases of the mind but also specially trained Army surgeons and nurses. Although
the Provinces spent as much as 7S million Rubles, only about one third of the pat-
ients could be accepted.
No. 71 Page 45
The principal merit of the Provinces consisted in the fact that they
could assist the sick in the small villages. First they founded schools for Army
surgeons in order to train suitable assistance, which were controlled by expert doc-
tors whose number was doubled in the first ten years. In the parishes, small nursing
homes were built where the doctors were continuously in residence, and in this way
the whole population got gradually used to the doctors who were formerly feared so
much. In the latter years there were 3,000 doctors in the service of the provincial
offices, of which 1,710 presided over the infirmaries in the country; they looked
after more than 2,000 infirmaries with about 42,500 beds (without asylums). Each
doctor had to look after about 15 to 20 thousand patients requiring attention, who
paidhardly anything at all for the treatment they received, annually.
Gradually the plan was ripe to cover the whole of Russia with a net
of medical establishments, calculated in such a way that no sick person would have
to go farther than 10 km. in order to obtain medical attention. According to this
plan, the expenses for the sanitary health service rose by about one third. In the
year 1868, the health service took the fifth place with an expenditure of 1,204,161
Rbl., and in the year 1912 it already took the second place with 57,704,800, Rbl.
(c) Veterinary service A further, very important, field of action
of the Provincial offices was the care of the livestock of the peasants. They tra-
velled here along the same way as in the sanitary health service, only so much later.
The land was covered by a net of veterinary stations in which the veterinary sur-
geons examined the animals, gave the farmers their best advice or took the sick ani-
mals into their care. The year 1870 showed that only twenty-two veterinary surgeons
were available compared with the year 1910, which had about 1,000. The same increase
also took place in the number of Army veterinary surgeons, which was already 1,617
In the beginning, their activity was confined to the killing of sick
animals and paying the farmers a compensation. This was specially the case during |
the years 1879 to 1895, when the animal pestilence demanded many victims. From the
year 1870 to 1890, about four million beasts were lost, of which 206,000 had to be
killed and for which the farmers received about eight million Rubles. After this,
the Provincial offices concentrated on the extermination of the foot and mouth dis-
ease, duringwhich about 21,000 beasts and 11,000 sheep were lost. Although great
care was taken and no expense was too much to help the farmers with their livestock,
most of the Provincial offices did not make any charges for the treatment of the ani-
mals or the supply of medicaments. The Provincial offices also tried to interest
the farmers in the insurance scheme against sickness, but the results were unimportant.
On the other hand, the loss of the Provinces was very large.
(d) Furtherance of AgriQulture,, commerce and home industry. After
the liberation of the peasants, the well-being of the farmer or peasant did not in-
crease but went back, and the farming deteriorated from year to year. In the know-
ledge that the economic ruin of the farmers would also be the ruin of all the other
classes and the whole country, the Provincial officials worked during the last years
on a large plan of farming and economic measures for the support of the farmers.
Very slow progress was made as, in dealing with such questions, the necessary exper-
ience was not available nor any instructions which could be aimed at. They had to
make their own experiments, collect their own proofs and buy experience. Qualified
students of economy were engaged who helped and -assisted the farmers with advice,
and the success of this support was very great. The beginning was made in the Pro-
vincial Domains of Perm and Wjatka, where the climate was rough and raw, and the ar-
Page h6 No. 71
able land very heavy. The others followed their example, so that, later on. similar
farming help was organized in 310 districts. In the year 1910, already over 1,500
farming institutes were busy in the Provincial districts.
First they paid their attention to the cultivation of the soil and to the
primitive implements and tools, which the peasants did not like to part with. They
were shown ploughs and other farming machines, which were demonstrated to them and
handed over to the fanners without any costs to them.
The machinery and tools were left to the farmers on the most favourable
terms of hire-purchase, and, finally, sales offices were erected in the Provincial
offices where the peasants could buy at any time, at cheap prices and on credit
terms, all the machinery and modern tools they required. In the year 1891, there
were only thirty-seven of those offices, but in the year 1911 there were already
311, with a turn-over of about 15 million Rubles per annum. The offices also saw
that the farmers obtained the very best seeds, and supplied these on credit.
Under the influence of the farming treaties, the three-fallow system was
given up by the farmers and the more-field method introduced. In order to increase
the cattle breeding and gain more food for the cattle, the farmers acquainted them-
selves with the grass-field rotation, totally unknown to them before, which increased
not only the harvest but also the breeding of cattle and horses very considerably.
Apart from the agricultural work, the farmers occupied themselves also
with the so-called home industry in many districts. Here also the help of the Pro-
vincial offices was of considerable value; not only did they erect model shops, but
also helped the farmers in the sale of their goods under most suitable and favour-
able terms, and, in addition, the farmers were supplied with cheap raw materials.
In the year 1910, the Provinces spent for this purpose 1,710,429 Rubles. At the
beginning, the Provinces tried to create cheap credits for the farmers in order to
protect themselves from exploitation. In the years of the 'seventies, 422 Discount
Companies were established, which, however, were badly organized; the Provinces
lost all their invested money and the whole problem of small credits paused for
many years, until 1907, when they were authorized to open offices for small credits
which, however, were no longer granted to individual persons, but money was ad-
vanced to Credit Institutes and Co-operative Societies. Although this matter was
only in its first stages, the Provincial cash offices already had in the year 1912
a capital of 38 million Rubles at their disposal. It is quite impossible to ex-
press in figures how much the Provinces had done in all the fields for the farmers.
(e) Assistance during a bad harvest. Owing to the climatical conditions,
somewhere in the very large areas of Russia bad harvests or failures occurred.
During the time of the serfdom, the landowners were compelled to reserve for such
eventualities,the necessary stocks.of corn, and to look after the farmers. After
the liberation of the farmers, each district had to keep grain warehouses, from
which the farmers could be supplied when necessary. The first large disaster, how-
ever, showed that the Provinces could not meet the demands; the stock in the grain-
eries was only small and, indeed, some of them were actually empty.
At the start, the Provinces had not the legal right to look after the star-
ving people. In the disaster year of 1891, 150 million Rubles were sanctioned in
order to buy stocks of grain, but no ways nor means were available to take over the
No. 71 Page 47
purchase and the proper distribution to the population. Therefore, they had to turn
to the Provinces, and this was repeated on each large bad harvest. In the years 1891
to 1900, the State put at the disposal of the Provinces, for this purpose, the amount
of 230 million Rubles. This large expenditure was used as an excuse by the opponents
of the self-government to charge the Provincial offices with wasting public money,
in order to press or introduce a new law so that the providing of corn for the star-
ving people would again be transferred to the Government officials. The latter, how-
ever, were not in a position to deal with this matter, with the result that the Gov-
ernment officials, demanded energetically their share and assisted in the work of
relief. This work was generally acknowledged, and the State Duma introduced a Bill
which transferred the assistance to be given in the case of bad harvests finally
to the Provinces.
(f) Insurance organization. One of the biggest.fears in Russia was
the frequent outbreak of big fires, which increased annually and rose during the last
half-century seven-fold. Russia suffered damage of about 120 million Rubles per an-
num. Before the introduction of serfdom, the real estates of only the State farmers
were insured, and the State suffered through this insurance a loss of about-ahalf-
million Rubles. The Provinces, therefore, introduced the mutual obligatory fire in-
surance. From the payments, a capital sum was created in every government, which
had to cover the damages done by fire. Gradually, all real estates were properly
assessed by officials of the Provinces, which had not been the case so far with the
result that many farmers suffered injustice.
Up to the year 1903, already a capital sum of 85 million Rubles was
accumulated which, however, was decreased very quickly during the next ten years owing
to the many damaging fires. The Provinces also engaged land surveyors, who rebuilt
the villages damaged by fire, so that the houses would not be erected too close to
each other. Those farmers who desired to build detached houses received advances
in money. Further, the Provinces tried to replace the usual thatched roofs with
iron, which the farmers could obtain on credit, and for which an amount of about three
million Rubles was put aside during the.latter time. Many experiments were made
to give the fanners the possibility of building their houses with bricks and the
roofs with gutters, but with little success. In addition, the villages organized
their own voluntary fire brigades, which were supported by means for the purchase
of fire engines.
Finally, wells were sunk and ponds provided, and for all those pur-
poses, the Provinces allowed a sum of h3 to 4 million Rubles. Gradually the Pro-
vinces also introduced the voluntary fire insurance; they already had in 1890 in-
surances for about one million Rubles. The whole fire insurance scheme was exclu-
sively in the hands of the Government Provincial offices, which administered the
insurance capital entirely separate from the other moneys in their care.
(g) The building of the roads. The building of the roads and tre
upkeep of the olds roads was a further large field of occupation for the Provincial
offices. The ways were, up to now, in the care of the police, who looked after them
so carelessly that to cross over the bridges was mostly always prohibited owing to
their dangerous state. The Government handed over the transport roads to the Pro-
vinces in the most shocking state. In the last thirty years, the Provinces spent
annually about two to three million Rubles for the care of the roads, and then only
the most necessary repairs could be undertaken. They tried above all things to
free the fanfrers from the obligation to deliver raw material for the building of
the roads and to replace this by money-taxes, to be divided equally among all classes.
Page 48 No. 71
This principle was carried through in practically all districts. From this time
onwards, the Provincial offices executed all building work on roads through their
technicians, or handed them over under the care of sub-contractors by contracts.
In the 'seventies, the Government handed over, as a trial, the State highroads to
four Provinces for their upkeep. The Provinces kept them in much better condition
than was the case previously, and, in addition, made savings up to the year 1894
amounting to 2,200,000 Rubles, Thereupon, the Provinces were exempted from some of
the obligatory money expenses by the State by means of a Law, on condition that these
moneys must be used exclusively for the building of the roads. In that way, the
sum of about six millions became free, which gave the Provincials the possibility
of extending or enlarging the system of building roads. The necessary technical
experts were engaged, and plans were worked out for a complete net of roads for the
whole of the district. Whereas the expenses for the building of roads in the year
1895 were four million Rubles, in the year 1912 alreadynine millions, apart from
the six millions which were free by the Law in 1895, could not be used for the building
of the roads.
(h) General care or precaution. During the year 1775, "colleges for the
care" were created, one each for each Government. They received 15,000 Rubles each,
a sum which could be invested to bear interest, and the interest, together with
other small taxes for charitable purposes, could be used. These sources of income
produced only small amounts whereas the demands made to the colleges were very
large because schools, infirmaries, asylums, the orphans and old age pensions had
to be looked after also. In addition, the officials entrusted with this care had
already official duties which took their whole time, and they therefore considered
this activity as of secondary importance. When the Provinces took over this de-
partment, everything was in a chaotic condition, the economic part was in a state
beyond description, the buildings were derelict and the reputation of the insti-
tutes was a very bad one. First, a large part of same was added to the Medicinal
Department and increased and prospered as described above. The charity institutions
S were taken over as a whole and further extended; for instance, separate establish-
ments were founded for the feeble-minded, for orphans, for foundlings, etc. In
addition, the Provinces started boarding schools in the elementary schools, pro-
vided meals for the school children, the blind institutes and other institutions.
During the years of the bad harvests, the poor populations were provided with meals
and the sick were specially cared for.
4. Postal Affairs or Postal Service.
Before we start on a description of the postal establishments, it is ad-
visable to obtain first a picture of the development, how the mail coach in Russia
started from the earliest beginnings and what the Provinces found available at the
beginning of their activity.
A. The mail coach in its first stages until being taken over by the Provincial
The first beginnings of the mail coach go back to the times of the Grand
Dukes in Russian history. The very oldest document in which the mail coach was
mentioned dates back to the year 1294, and contains a degree regarding the facili-
tation of the dispatch possibilities of the Crown messengers. At that time, only
a few of the Russian Princes kept up connections between one another through the
express couriers, or sent the necessary orders in the matter of administration to
No. 71 Page l9
The few existing connecting roads were enlarged during the time of
the Tartaren regime. The Mongols tried always to create connecting organizations
in the subjected districts in order to be able to send their tribute collectors,
and this was the limit of their cultural work. The word "Jam" originates, therefore,
from the Tatapists, which is synonymous with the words "halting or stopping place",
where the change of the horses, when necessary, took place and where also the nec-
essary people and night quarters could be found for the continuation of the journey.
This word was taken up into the Russian vocabulary and formed the nucleus of the
words Jamschtschik or coachman, Jamskaja Gonjba mail coach, Jamskaja Doroga -
postal road, and so on.
The expenses for the upkeep of this "Jamy" or post station had to be
borne by the surrounding population; against it, only those who could produce the
required passenger permits of the rulers received the necessary horses for trans-
port and also their keep. These burdened obligations on the population were found
exceedingly oppressive; consequently, they always tried to obtain such privileges
which would free them of such burdens. Owing to the prevalence of complaints re-
garding the burdened obligations, they tried to introduce a relief by a tax which
was equally distributed among the whole population. This tax was called "jamskija
denjgi", or mail coach money, and produced annually at the beginning of the 17th
century about 50,000 Rubles.
The necessary personnel for the mail coach, such as the coachmen and
horse grooms or ostlers, were recruited from the freed people. These free recruited
people, who were engaged for the duration of the mail coach, were settled all along
the mail roads in distances of 30 to 100 Werst, mostly on the outsides of the towns,
in order to make use of the pastures for the feeding of their horses. These settle-
ments or colonies against the towns or cities or, in larger distances, also between
them, obtained such alluring privileges that the influx of volunteers was not small.
Such a settlement was called "Sloboda" and usually divided up in groups "Wyti", each
one consisting of four to six families or farms. The following conditions for the
admission to such a colony were laid down: First all inhabitants of such a settle-
ment were responsible for one another, and, secondly, the applicant must have been
in a position to supply on his own account three horses with equipment, and the nec-
essary wagons and sledges, or the necessary boats required for water ways. Further
duties were to upkeep of the roads and bridges. In return, they received from the
local population the money to buy bread, saddles, wagons and sledges, horses and
boats, from the Government "Ihite Russia" which means free of any taxes, and a
salary in corn or money to the value of Rb 7. to Rb. 30/ per year, also complete
exemption from income tax. In addition, they were entitled to collect from any
passers through 3 Kopeken for each Werst.
In each of such coach settlements "Jamska ja Slobada" a senior or
elder superintendent was chosen, who was called Jamschtschitschij Starosta", who
had the central authority over the management and all others were subjected to him.
In this way, a closed, inherited rank was created which was bound up with all its
interests exclusively in the postal road. The direction of the whole mail coach
lay in the hands of a central office in Moscow, called "Jamskoi Prikas", and which
was mentioned for the first time in the year 1619. The first governor or leader
was Prince Fimitry Michailowitsch Posharsky; his immediate subordinate officials
were called "Jamski je Djaki". In the remaining larger places or cities, the mail
coach was in the hands of officials called "Jamski je Prikastschiki", and for the.
most part they were nominated from the midst of the Bojaren. These authorities
dealt with all matters relating to the mail coach, complaints were accepted, dis-
putes were settled and the necessary passenger tickets were handed out to the of-
ficials and other travellers. The very earliest passenger receipt, still in ex-
Page 50 No. 71
--- UtNTEH ALtKSL MiCHAILOwTSCN.
-1-1 ANGELEGT VOILMPTER t.
..... SCINECN ACHrOLOCRN,
Bis KATMHERImiA I
--- tlAu CltANGILS.t
-w-oos "lug < B
A^ W es '""* S ** J TWOsec t
l O \ / AOSL.AW
; \, \- r. / I 5MYAR'A
"A ~\ \sr iy ". ^ ^/ ^
,** ,. ;
KuoLla wwvtr /
LA '* 7uLAASTA H MAR
/9 y .r t \ ,
('' .-T ^"-.^- BO*U '- *
j^ ---- ^_-----------
istence, dates back to the year 1470 and was made out for an express messenger of
the Grand Duke. Not only (were) the Russian GrandDukes, but also the later Czars,
were interested in the further extension and maintenance of the existing mail coach
establishments. The Iwan III (1462 1505) recommended in his testament the carp
for the proper maintenance of the coach post to his successors (1504). In the 16th
century, the usurper Boris Godunow (1598 1605) earned great merits for the est-
ablishment of a mail coach service with the necessary postal stations to Siberia.
At the end of the 16th century, the mail coach represented a complete Gov-
ernment establishment for the transport of messengers officials and other persons.
The mail coach was exclusively used by the-Government, who sent their officials with
orders and commissions around, whereas the demand for correspondence on the part of
the population in those times did not actually exist as up to that time Russia was
very backward, not only in economical but also in spiritual relations. There was
no regularity in the mail coach service, and it was only used for the transport of
messengers, etc., if and when any demand for it occurred.
Up to the middle of the 17th century, letters from private persons were
not accepted by the coach post at all.
Only as the number of foreigners living in Russia increased and the nec-
essity of connections with their native country arose, they stimulated the setting-
up of a postal connection on behalf of the Government. Up till then, the only
connections available were between Moscow, the Capital, and the Northern commercial
center at Archangelsk, with the cities of Smolensk in the West, Nishny Nowgorod
in the East and a few other cities in Seewersk and the Ukraine. There was also a
connection with the West via Gross-Nowgorod and Pleskau, a road which the foreign
ambassadors or legations had to use.
The first intercourse by letter with foreign countries, specially with
"Poland and Kurland, was started in the year 1665, and the foreigner Johann von
Sweden was commissioned with its establishment. Owing to the political relations
between Russia and Poland, a postal convention was concluded with this State, where,
anongst other words, it is stated "In both countries, such letters and parcels which
are not sent by the State but by merchants or trades-people, are subject to a tax
such as is usual in all other states, whereby it has to be taken into consideration
that contlercial letters must be sent throughout by post and must be registered by
Under the Government of the Czar Aleksei lichailowitsch, regular postal
services already existed between Moscow via Nowgorod Pleskau and Riga, and other
cities, which were handed over to the foreigner Marselis, who was looked upon as
the very first Postmrster in Russia. The latter made the proposal to the Rus-
sian Government to try and find in other foreign cities, such as Riga, WiJna, Dan-
zig and IHamburg among others, suitable people who could be paid to furnish the
Russian Government with news and reports of any kind. Such information had to be
sent regularly once a week by post to Moscow. This foreign postal service was
very soon afterwards used also inland. Apart from this letter postal communication
with the West, there was already in the yearl693 a regular letter post communication
between Moscow and Archangelsk.
In the year 1672, for the very first time reports were dispatched by post
to the Czar, as up to then only express messengers were used for this purpose. The
Andreas Winius thereupon received as the very first man, the official title of
"Postmaster to H. M. the Czar". He had the unlimited and absolute use of all the
postal receipts from the postal organizations which he started, and also the sole
right to conclude postal conventions, according to his own judgment, with the
No. 71 Page 51
neighboring States, such as the private treaty with the General Postmaster Bising
dated the 24th August 1685.
It can be seen from the above that foreigners in Russia were exclus-
ively looking after the postal administration in Russia, and had the benefit or use
of all incomes and all advantages of this new organization. The State behaved sim-
ply like a private person; he was interested in the existence "and the prosperity of
this undertaking, such as later on the relation between the Government and the or-
ganization of the Provincial posts.
The leading people, who were the heads of the postal organizations,
were mostly Germans, and their influence could be traced everywhere in the develop-
ment of the postal service. All documents, invoices, etc., were made out in the
Germna language. This new situation was strange to the relations of the of-
ficials and created, naturally, a certain mistrust, forming thereby in authoritive
circles a strong opposition which believed that their entrusted interests in the hands
of foreigners might be betrayed, and they suspected spying everywhere. It was for-
tunate for the Russian State that, under such conditions at that time, men like
Ordyn-Naschtschokin stood at the head and were in favour of a connection with for-
eign countries and recommended joining up with them, although they had to fight con-
tinuously against such opposition. Therefore, the question of the importance of
secrecy regarding the contents of letters was raised at the very beginning of the
existence of the lettermail, and was decided according to the spirit prevailing in
the centres of the Government. The general development of the postal service made
the same progress in Russia as in the other States of Europe. However, only Peter
the Great understood clearly how important it would be for the State to have the
postal service under its own administration, and commenced from then on with the
establishment of Government Postal Institutes or Offices. The first Post Offices
were started principally in the large cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow; others
followed successively in the towns of Riga, Wiborg, Reval, Narva, Archangelsk and
Wologda. Every Post Office had its own postmaster with the necessary mailcoachmen
and all were under the control of the General Post Director in the Capital. In
the same way also, the existing mail posts were under his command. This alteration
was the transition from the old mail post to the post offices in the modern sense;
they were first used on the new post connections between Moscow and Woronesh on
the one hand, and Asow on the other hand. Both postal roads were planned in the
military interests, whereas another new road, also built for the postal connection
to Siberia, was principally used as a trade route. Soon after the foundation of
the new capital, St. Petersburg, it was connected with the old Nowgorod, which
place was already reached by the mail coach from Moscow. For military and admin-
istration purposes, Peter the Great started a Parallelpost at the side of the old
mail coach. The first had to do at least 10 to 15 Werst per hour (whereby each de-
lay was punished by death); the horses had to be changed at each postal station,
whereas the old mail coach used to change the horses on every third or fouth sta-
tion. This meant that the payment for the former was quite as much.
To be continued.
TI STAMPS OF TIE LUGA SOVIET
by A. A. Shirokov
In 1931, the Soviet Philatelic Association placed on sale stamps is-
sued by the Soviet of Deputies in Luga (Leningrad Province). Although these stamps
were issued in 1918, they still have not found their proper place in the albums of
Page 52 No. 71
What kind of stamps are these, postage or fiscal? As of today (1932), there
is no exact reply to that question. Looking through the Russian philatelic jour-
nals, I have found three references in all about the stamps of the Luga Soviet of
O Deputies, and they all contradict each other.
The journal "Russkii Kollektsioner", or "Russian Collector" for 1922,
states that according to information received from E. Kobetskii, the former dir-
ector of the State Control Office in the Petrograd province, the stamps were is-
sued in 1918 by the Luga Soviet of Deputies as currency vouchers, in view of the
shortage of small change.
A second reference, published in the same journal and during the same year,
(1922) relates that on the basis of data received from the Administration of the
Financial Office in Luga, the stamps under examination were issued for the payment
of the tax on depositions.
The third reference, again in the same year, is from the magazine "Sever-
naya Korrespondentsiya" northernrn Correspondence") and it gives the following
story on the stamps. "The Luga Soviet of Deputies, which was undergoing a shortage
of postage stamps, issued these items on its own initiative, without permission
from the Central Authorities. Postal correspondence was franked with these stamps
and they were cancelled with the Luga postmark dated 1918. Jhen the news of this
issue reached Petrograd, a special commission was sent by the RKI (Workers' and
Peasants' Inspection), which destroyed all the remainders of the stamps.
According to information available at the Soviet Philatelic Association,
a very small amount of the stamps of the Luga Soviet of Deputies was added to its
philatelic stock in 1926 from the archives of the Financial Department of the
Leningrad Province. Consequently, they could not all have been destroyed, and the
copies, which were found as specimens in the archives, had been left intact.
These stamps were produced by the lithographic process in two colors on
white paper, ungumned and without watermark. They were line-perforated 11 1/4 and
issued in two printings, with slight differences in the colors and altered arrange-
ment of the stamps in the sheet. All the values were printed together on the same
sheet. There were six stamps altogether, each in a different design and the quality
of production was high. The values and colors are as follows:
5 kop-. blue and dark green
10 kop. red-brown and yellow
50 kop. bright brown and bright rose
1 rub. brown and yellow
3 rub. green and ochre,
5 rub. dark green and green
There are two t&te-b@che pairs in the first printing: 1 rub. with 3 rub.
and 1 rub. with 50 kop. (please see illustrations). There are imperforate stamps
of all values, the rarest being the 5 kop. denomination.
In comparing all the available data on the stamps of the Luga Soviet of
Deputies, we see that the first source regards them as currency vouchers, the se-
cond as fiscal and the third as postage stamps. Jhat is actually the case?
A point that would go against their being regarded as currency stamps is
their production on thin paper, which would have been unsuitable for their circu-
lation from hand to hand. The other two references, whose data coincide with my
own opinion, enable us to make the following deduction. These stamps were issued
by the Financial Department at Luga for the payment of the usual fiscal rates, and
No. 71 Page 53
later on, correspondence was prepaid with this issue because of the lack of normal
postage stamps. This would explain the appearance of such items cancelled with post-
marks, and the reason for the dispatch of the special commission of the RKI to des-
troy the stamps, which had now taken on the aspect of a postal issue.
In view of the interest exhibited in these stamps on the part of
collectors, we would like to ask that all persons possessing any information or de-
tails about the usage of these stamps advise the "Soviet Collector", so as to be
able to clear up fully the mystery surrounding this issue.
EDITORIAL COjIMENT: There are no further references to the Luga issue in later is-
sues of the "Soviet Collector". Perhaps our Rossica readers have material in their
possession which would enable us to expand on the findings published above. Details
of dated used copies would be especially welcome, as it would help us to fix the
approximate period of usage.
AN INTERESTING VARIETY
by. B. S. Kiselev
The International Letter-Writing Week stamp of 1962 (Scott's 2641,
Gibbons 2738, Yvert 2565, Michel 2649, Zumstein 2617) has a very interesting variety
which points to the existence of this issue in two types.
The characteristics of these types are to be found in the number of
lines of waves under the ship, which is pictured at the bottom left of the design.
In Type I there are two, and in Type II there are three lines of waves. In both
types, all other elements of the design are similar to each other.
The stamp has not been listed in its two types in the general stamp
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The above note has been reprinted from the April 1966 issue of
the Bulgarian magazine, "Philatelen Pregled", of Sofia. However, while these two
variations do exist, our member Mr. A. Cohen, of New York City, has been able to
determine that there was, in fact, only one omission of this stamp.
Examination has shown that the cause of the two different "types"
was the shifting in the printing of the lilac color of the design, consisting of
the block showing the inscription "POCHTA SSSR", the horizontal lines on the plane's
fuselage, the street car, the ship's funnel and its waterline. When the lilac color
is applied so that the "POCHTA SSSR" block is set noticeably higher in its enclosure,
the result is that the lilac band appears at the top of the ship's funnel, and the
waterline in lilac appears above the clearly visible waveliness, which are three in
number (Kiselev's Type II; please see illustrations).
When the lilac coloring is shifted a little further downql he block
is now closer the bottom of its enclosure, the band is midway down the funnel and
the lilac waterline has now obscured the uppermost waveline, so that only two are
visible under the ship (Kiselevls Type I).
Thus, although there appears to have been only one issue of this
stamp, the printing shifts have combined to produce two stages, which are easily
recognizable by sight and worth looking for. We are indebted to our member, Mr.
Joseph Chudoba, for supplying from his collection the two stages from his col-
lection for illustration purposes.
Page 54 No. 71
E -l- -- -- -V --
"The Stamps of the Luga Soviet"
"An Interesting Variety" (1ie 1962 "Classification of the Soviet
International Letter-Writing Week 40 kop. Definitive Stamp-
stamp) by B.S. Kiselev. by Ya.. Vovin.
CLASSIFICATION OF THE SOVIET 40 KOP. DEFINITIVE STAMP
by Ya. M. Vovin
So far, foreign catalogs have been classifying, either imcompletely or in-
correctly, the definitive issues of the USSR. In connection with this problem I
wish to shed some light on the varieties of the 40 kop. Arms stamps, issued during
1948, 1949 and 1957 in the following types:
(1) Printed by offset lithography. Its dimensions are 15 x 22 mm. The total num-
ber of the bands at the left side of the arms is eight (see Fig. 1).
(2) Same as above, but now measuring 14.3 x'2lmm.
(3) Printed by typography and measures 15.5 x 22.5 mm. The total number of the bands
at left is still eight. Apart from its increase in size, this stamp may be dis-
tinguished from the other printings by the thicker figures and letters in the in-
scription "40 kopeek" (see Fig. 2).
(4) Again printed by offset lithography and the size is 14.3 x 21mm. The number
of the bands an the left side of the arms is now seven (see Fig. 3). The alter-
ation in the composition of the arms took place because of the reduction in the
number of Union Republics; the Karelo-Finnish SSR reverted to its previous status
as an autonomous SSR in the RSFSR.
(5) This is the most recent discovered type. It measures 14.3 x 21 mm. and the
stamp is printed by the photogravure process (in Russian "glubokaya pechat'", in
French heliogravuree" and in German "Rastertiefdruck"). Again, the number of bands
at left is seven. Upon examination of the background of the design, the coarse
screen, characteristic for photogravure printing, may be seen (See Fig. 4). In
addition, another distinguishing feature is the presence of three white cross-
strokes of varying thickness, cutting across the sun's rays which extend from the
bottom of the arms towards the globe. These white streaks are not'found on any of
the other types.
In conclusion, I consider it advisable to list all the types of this stamp
in tabular form, with a comparative scale of rarity for each issue,.based on the
typographed stamp which is the commonest, as follows:
TYPE SOVIET SCOTT GIBBONS YVERT MICIHL ZUt[TLIT PRTG. MM. NO. OF SCALE
CAT.NO. CAT.NO. CAT. NO. CAT.NO. CAT.NO. CAT. NO. PROCESS SIZE BANDS OF
1. 1423 1306 1406e 1330 1335 I 1293 Offset 15x22 8 100
2. 1423-1 -- --- 1911B ---- --- Offset 1l.3x21 8 50
3. 1581 1689 l06k ----- 1335 II ---- Typo 15.5x22.5 8 1000
4. 2057 1689a 1406ka 1912 1335III 1985 Offset 14.3x21 7 1
---- ----- ------ ---- ------ ---- Photo 14.3x21 7 ?
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The above article has been reprinted from the June 1966 issue
of the informative Bulgarian monthly journal "Philatelen Pregled", of Sofia. Two
of our members, Lt. Col. Asdrubal Prado of Brazil in Rossica No. 66 and Hans Irmann-
Jacobsen of Norway in BSRP No. 34 have done much work on this interesting stamp,
continuing the pioneer efforts by Dr. R. G. Gargarin and E. Archanguelsky in Ros-
sica No. 48.
No. 71 Page 55
Mr. Irmann-Jacobsen's classification is substantially the same as
printed above, but he adds a paper variety to the 8-band offset printings and he
also thought the last printing with dotted background (Type 5 above) was by the
offset process. He has since supplied the Editorial Board with material from this
last printing, enabling us to confirm that it was indeed done by the photogravure
process. So Mr. Vovin is correct. Mr. Irmann-Jacobsen has a loose copy from this
printing with part cancel dated "....3.60" (March 1960), another copy on a postcard
from Samarkand dated 28.6.60 (28 June 1960) and a block of four with machineprinted
cancellation to order reading "MOSKVA POCHTAMT D-K, 28.6.60". This last example
was originally part of a block of 10 and came from a collector source in Moscow.
Mr. Vovin's copy, illustrated herewith under Fig. 4, is dated "...6.10.60" (that is
October 6, 16 or 26, 1960). It appears to be a scarce item and was apparently
first issued some time early in 1960. Perhaps our readers will be able to advise
the discovery of mint copies of this printing in their collections, or even used
copies with earlier dates that those quoted above.
All the investigators who have published their findings in Rossica
and the BJRP have noted the vexing problem of measurements, which do not seem to
be consistent within the specific types. This appears to be due to paper shrinkage,
either during printing or when soaking off used copies. However, if Mr. Vovin's
classification is followed. the only difficulty likely to arise is in distinguishing
between his Types 1 and 2. This would possibly be resolved by accumulating copies
of the offset printings and separating the two types by comparison.
Finally, Mr. Vovin's information is also valuable in that he gives
us an idea of the relative scarcity of the various types and also explains the
reason for the change from eight to seven bands on the left side of the arms.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Lt. Col. Asdrubal Prado
Unfortunately catalogues and handbooks sometimes do not give us enough
information about theRussian stamps, postal history or stationery. Only specialized
magazines can fulfill the gap thanks to the exchange of information. With this in
mind, some items are here presented.
#1 Arms issue with varnished lozenges
lkop. Pair imperforated vertically -(P. 14t)
2kop. -(P. 142)
4kop. horizontally -(P. 1W4)
Remarks: A careful comparison with the perforated stamps of the
1909/1912 issue discloses a difference between the teeth
of the perforation thus giving to the above a doubtful
character. The 4kop shows also a bright violet unidentified
#2 Kerensky issue, 35 kop. forgery
Forgery of this stamp was not described in the Russian American
Philatelist, September 1942, however it is mentioned. The
copy I have shows the details which are the same as in the
No. 71 page 57
70kop. forgery. The perforation is rough and the color differs
from the original it is turquoise. Design shows a displace-
ment to the bottom and left.
#3 Lenin issue, 1924, forgeries
Recently I acquired an item, previously unknown to me the four
stamps se-tenant in block of four. The upper pair 3 and 6kop. the
bottom 12 and 20kop. The Russian American Philatelist of April
193 in the article of R. Sklarevski gives a detailed description
of the issue and remarks that the counterfeits give the dimensions
as 20.75mn:2omm stating they were printed singly in Italy. The
block differs as we can see comparing the data:
a Paper is slight yellowish, medium thickness.
b Colors are the same of the genuine (dull) of the
c Inscriptions are thicker.
d Gum is thin yellowish.
e Dimensions: 3kop. 20.75x26.00x21.00x26.10mm.
Remark: Except by the size, the contrast of thick letters
of the 3rd printing and dull colors of the 2nd
printing and the "in block" feature the stamps a:re
like the genuine ones.
ff The 1st Soviet issue
In the Rossica 67 R. Sklarevski tell us about front covers with the
set lub. to ORiub. The cancel reads MOSKVA, xAx and the date
19.8.1921 in center. I have a front with this set (the 20.ub. pe-
lure paper) however with a different cancel. It reads MOSKVAfl7
ES3? and the date l1.8.1921 in center. This address is local Moscow.
#$ Famine issue, postcard
Russia issued a lot of stamps dealing with this theme and catalogues
even list some that were not issued officially, however no Russian
one or Ascher mentions any postcard for famine fund. The postcard
under discussion has thb brown printing of an oil by V. Kotarbinsky
and the size of 140x90mm. On back we have the following inscriptions
on the upper left:
*cQ 1- b~ f I -n ?nA. r. MEANING
Pok I* nf r*. SC" oscow Prov. Committee to aid
S laf ri" 404M ^A11. A P ft helping the hungry starring
Ue g oo0000 children Price 50,000 rub.
On the upper center an octagonal figure with P.C.D.C.P. hammer and
sickle and the same wording as the 1st. line of the above, inside
a scroll. On the upper right we have no'rToiAq MAPO'0'A. On the
vertical left and right side reading from bottom to top some others
words and on the bottom in large letters we have in Russian Help
the dying children of the Volga. The card addressed to Moscow is
Page 58 No. 71
franked with the 3 kop.-lO kop./lOOR. pelure paper of the Lenin-
grad flood issue of 1924. Cancellation is black e Leningrad e
35 with 23.12.26 in center.
Remarks: By the price, 5000OR., it seems this card had some
kind of official sanction to be sold. It would be
interesting to find out others of the same kind or
different with the same purpose.
#6 Zemstvo card not listed
Ascher Catalog lists 3 types of postcards for PSKOV. One with-
out overprint #1i one with overprint one line in black on the
upper side and a black lozenge on the right, #2; the same with
overprint in red is #2a. The one I have has the overprint in
black but WITHOUT THEBLACK LOZENGE ON RIGHT. This item is
not listed by Ascher.
THE NIKOLAYEVSK-ON-AMUR PROVISIONAL ISSUE
by Melvin M. Kessler
Although much has appeared in the Rossica Journal and the British
Journal of Russian Philately on Imperial Russian and Soviet issues, their postal
S History, etc., it seems that little has appeared in either journal on the post-
Imperial Russian Asian issues grouped as specific sub-issues in Scott's catalogue
under Siberia and the Far Eastern Republic. 1 This is particularly true in res-
pect to the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Provisional issue listed generically under Priamur
Government Issues as Scott's Siberia Nos. 51-72. The second part of this article
will examine what S. A. Pappadopulo wrote about the issue in 1923.
In the summer of 1966, I wrote to Rossica members Greg Salisbury
and Kurt Adler as well as Peter T. Ashford (Trans-Caucasian states issues) and
Simon Tchilinghirian (Russia used abroad and Armenian issues) to inquire if they
had any more information about the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur issue other than what S.
A. Pappadupulo, a Greek stamp dealer who lived in Vladivostok after the Russian
Revolution, mentioned in his booklet The Issues of Russia-In-Asia, Shanghai, April
1923. All answered me, but the response was singularly negative because little
apparently was known about the issue except for Pappadopulo's reference to it.
2 Pappadopulos noted the reasons for the stamp issues that existed
in Siberia and the Far Eastern Republic after the 1917 revolution. He also in-
cluded some data on varieties and, more importantly, some documentation about the
issues solicited from postal officials. I suggest that at the time he wrote the
booklet he was more concerned with recording what stamps were issued and under
what circumstances they were issued than with the acutal use of the stamps. No
matter what shortcomings may be attributed to the contents of the booklet, we have
Pappadopulo to thank for collecting and publishing information about the stamps is-
sued in the Asiatic part of Russia.
1 Except for the Czechoslovak Anny Post issues formerly listed under
Siberia and now listed under Czechoslovakia.
o. 71 Page 59
Some references may exist in other philatelic publications about the Nik-
olayevsk-on-Amur issue, but it seems that such information has not been consoli-
dated. A probable reason for this lack of information is that many of the denom-
inations were and still are not easy to acquire since they were issued in extremely
limited quantities under the monarchistic anti-Bolshevik Priamur Government in
1921. Another factor is that the issue presumably was valid a little over a month.
Although many of the other Siberian and Far Eastern Republic sub-issues
are ratherplentiful off cover, covers are decidedly not common by any means. As
for the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur issue, they are quite scarce off cover; and I venture
to say that covers would be considered extremely rare. I have never heard of the
existence of a cover. I have two used copies, Scott Siberia Nos. 54 and 58, likely
philatelically cancelled. American and European catalogues list the stamps in
used condition. Even so, to my knowledge no description of the postmarks used on
the issue have appeared in philatelic journals. One of my two used stamps is
cancelled in black double circle (25 mm and 12 mm in diameter), letters between
the circles 4.5 mm high reading sans serif NIKOLAYEV' with one asterisk, and in
center is the date between two closely spaced bars at top and two at the bottom.
Presumably the date is the Old Style.
To further our postal history knowledge of Russia and its territories
occupied by various factions during and after the revolution is, indeed, one of
the purposes of our organization. It would be a positive contribution if Rossica
readers and those of our sister British organization would unearth and report
what information or leads they may have about the issue in question, their cover
holdings (if any exist), and cancellations. Each reader is respectfully urged to
communicate information he may have about the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur issue.
3 Tchilinghirian has mentioned that there was need for a study group
since the stamps of Asiatic Russia have been greatly neglected in the past. Hope-
fully, a group devoted to study of all the issues of Asiatic Russia may be or-
ganized as a result of this initial effort.
The following is from Pappadopulo'a account of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur
issue. A few textual alterations and additions have been made, the latter to
clarify a few points seemingly wanting in his narrative.
The Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Provisional issue was one of the five Siberian
postal omissions by anti-Bolsheviks who opposed in one way or another the Bol-
shevik elements in Siberia. The Bolsheviks also issued stamps in territory they
2 The only direct reference I have found through 1959 about one of the
stamps of the issue was in R. Sklarevski's "Charity or Semi-Postal Issues of Im-
perial and Soviet Russia, Part I--Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Charity Stamp," Rossica
Journal, Vol. Uk (1954), page. 19.
3 Authors address: U481 Boeing Avenue, Yorba Linda, Calif., 92686.
Page 60 No. 71
occupied from Omsk eastward. I
During the latter half of 1920, the Bolshevik bandit, Tripitzin (or
Trapitain) and his band burned Nikolayevsk occupied at that time by the Japanese.
5 His band assacred over 6,000 of the town's inhabitants of whom 1,000 were Jap-
anese. A fortnight later the Japanese routed Tripitain and his guerrillas because
they foolishly allowed the Japanese to retain their weapons. 6 As a consequence
of the Japanese occupation, they named their own officials. One of the results was
the replacement of the Russian post office by a Japanese one.
On May 23, 1921, the anti-Bolsheviks in eastern Siberia overthrew
the Bolshevik government at Vladivostok and formed the Provisional Government of
the Priamur. This government chose a governor for Nikolayevsk who "tried to re-
establish the Russian Post-Office in order to praise (sic) the national prestige
and at the same time to show that the town was still Russian". Because communi-
cations between Nikolayevsk and Vladivostok were so poor, stamps ordered from
Vladivostok wero delayed and the governor was obliged to wait over a month tore-
ceive them. As a measure to provide stamps, the governor having found between
2,000 and 3,000 Imperial Russian stamps surcharged them with three new values in
gold -- 10, 15 and 20 kopeks. He designated that these stamps were to be used
provisionally for internal, external, and registered correspondence. 7 Since all
the typographical fonts had been destroyed by Tripitzin's guerrillas, the stamps
were hand surcharged with a black rectangular box and the new values.
The Nikolayevsk-on-Amur issue was presumably used a little over a
month with less than 2,000 actually issued according to the official statement ob-
tained by Pappadopulo. The contents of this statement follow with Scott catalogue
numbers added for the convenience of the reader.
4 The other four anti-Bolshevik issues were as follows Omsk under
Admiral A. V. Kolchak); Chita (under the Cossack Chief, Ataman G. M. Semeonov);
Priamur First Commemorative (1921-1922); and the Priaaur Territorial (under General
Dieterichs). The Bolshevik issues were Blagoveshchensk; Vladivostok and Chita of
the Far Eastern Republic; and the Priamur Conmmorative of the Fifth Anniversary
of the Russian Revolution.
It also must be borne in mind that the administration of the various
opposing forces in parts of Siberia was subject to changes caused by successes and
defeats. These changes resulted in fluid postal provisions being adopted for each
administration and the issuance of different stamps. Under certain circumstances,
even the remainders of the last Imperial issue were at times used.
5 According to Emil Lengyel in his Siberia, Random House (New York
1943), pages 261-263, Tripitzin was a dangerous criminal who escaped from a penal
colony and entered into enterprises which had political overtones. He conceived
the fantastic idea to besiege Nikolayevsk with a strong force whereupon the Japanese
sued for peace.
6 Loc.cit. Tripitzin again besieged Nikolayevsk but was captured
in the attempt. He escaped and eventually was shot by the Bolsheviks who found him
guilty of a number of crimes.
7 It is not clear if the Japanese allowed the Russian governor to
introduce postal facilities for the Russians only.
No. 71 Page 61
ISSUE OF NIKOLAYEVSK-ON-TIE-AMUR
UNDER JAPANESE MILITARY OCCUPATION
Ministry of Interior.
General Direction of P. & T.
5 May 1922. CERTIFICATE
For the needs of the postal communications of the town of Nikol-
ayevsk-on-the-Amur in 1921 the Representative of the Provisional Government of
the Priamur in that place, overprinted the stamps of the Russian Zmpire with the
"Iikolayevsk-on-the-Amur" "Provisional Government of the Priamur"
and new value's of 10, 15 and 20 kopecks gold.
(SCOTT NO.) VALUE SURCIIRGE NUMBER ISSUED
(65) 1k 10k 200
(66) 2k 10k 300
(67) 3k 10k 199
(51) 4k 10k 99
(52) 10k 10k 9
(53) 11k l1k 49
(5) 15k 151k 150
(55) 35k 1lk 150
(56) 50k lk 200
(57) 70k 1lk 50
(58/68) 1R 1lk 150
(59/69) 20k --- 50
(60) 20k on lk -- 50
(70) 1R 20k 32
(61/71) AR 20k 82
(62) 5R 20k 15
(63/72) 7R 20k 39
(64) 3k 20k 29
(Charity Stamp of 1914)
Page 62 No. 71
On account of the bad conditions of communication a part only
of these stamps were sold and the remainder was handed (back) by the Representative
of the Government to the Direction (sic) of Post and Telegraphs.
The present Certificate has been delivered to Mr. S. A. Pap-
padopulo in rely to his demand (sic): the fiscal tax has been paid.--
The General Manager of the Posts and Telegraphs,
(Sign.) P. Bazilewski
Following (is) the vise (endorsement) of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and that of the French Consulate of Vladivostok.
Scott also lists No. 67A, 5k value with 20k surcharge, not
mentioned in the official statement or by Pappadopulo. The actual number of stamps
issued except for Scott No. 67A were 1,853, an extremely limited number.
In the Official Statement, no difference was made between per-
forated and imperforated stamps because this was the way they appeared in the of-
ficial post office register. These stamps with the same surcharge were the 1R stamp
with 15k surcharge (Scott Nos. 58/68), th@ 20k without surcharge (Scott Nos. 59/
69), and the 3YR and 7R surcharged 20k (Scott Nos. 61/71 and 63/72, respectively).
No. 72 is considered extremely rare as only four or five copies were knowingly is-
sued. Very few errors exist. These errors are mostly with inverted surcharge, but
the exact number has never been determined. Pappadopulo rated the Nikolayevsk-on-
Amur issue as the rarest stamps issued in Russia.
In conclusion, Pappadopulo notes on page six that the original
of the document had been sent to Mr. Theodore Champion of Paris. Since the state-
ment was made 43 years ago, one wonders what happened to the certificate. Perhaps
our readers who knew Mr. Champion may have some knowledge as to the whereabouts
now of the certificate if it still exists.
There is little substantively to add at this time to our know-
ledge of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur issue. That it was a provisional issue put out by
the Russians in territory held by the Japanese may be initially accepted. One may
possibly be inclined to believe that the issue was sanctioned by the Japanese. What
other stamps were issued under the Priamur Territorial government before it issued
the Priamur First Commemorative stamps of May 26 1922 (Scott Nos. 78-81, stamps of
the Far Eastern Republic overprinted for the occasion) is not qualified; that is,
what other stamps were issued by the anti-Bolshevik government except for the Nik-
olayevsk-on-Amur issue until the emergence of the above commemorative issue? Cer-
tainly, some other stamps must have been used during the government's existence in
Sklarevski notes (see footnote 2) that forgeries of the 1914
Charity stamp overprinted for use in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur exist. The question of
forgeries was not considered by Pappadopulo. If forgeries exist how can they be
distinguished from the real stamps?
No. 71 Page 63
Other points of consideration are these: Do any covers exist that
show Japanese stamps used sent from Nikolayevsk during the period of thq Russian
issue? It would seem unlikely on further consideration that covers with the Nik-
olayevsk-on-Amur issue exist since the Russian governor "tried" to re-establish
the Russian post office there. The implication here is that the Russian governor
did not succeed. Or did he? But at least a canceller had been prepared as evi-
denced by two used copies I have. Whether the canceller or cancellers had been
prepared for actual or philatelic purposes is one question that needs to be ans-
wered. Until the appearance of the Priamur issue (Scott Nos. 85-118), any data
about covers used after May 25, 1921 (presumably Old Style) to May 25 1922 at
Nikolayevsk would be most helpful to unravel an intriguing facet of Siberian
INVERTED CENTERS OF THE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL ISSUES 1866-1905
Joseph F. Chudoba
Among the most interesting material sought by the advanced col-
lector who is mainly interested in Russian philatelic varieties, are the inverted
centers of the early Imperial issues. Due to the scrutiny of the Postal Auth-
orities in St. Petersburg where all stamps of these issues were printed at the
State Printing Office; and watermarked as such, either on horizontally or vert-
ically laid paper, it was on very rare occasions that any imperfect stamps eluded
their examination, and were distributed throughout Russian Post Offices in general.
Having passed the examiners at the State Printing Office, these stamps were again
subject to examination of the Postal Clerks in the various Russian cities and
towns to whom they were dispatched for distribution.
All stamps known with the inverted center errors during the period
of 1866 1905 have been printed through the typograph process. All Kopeck values
were printed in sheets of 100 stamps; which consisted of 4 panes of 25 stamps with
gutters between the panes. All Rouble values were printed in sheets of 25 stamps
(5 x 5) with large margins at all borders. Many of the large margins on the bor-
ders. Many of the large margins on the borders of the Rouble values, have been
used by counterfeiters and forgers of the original stamps, since these margins
contained the watermark of the, State Printing Office and were on either horiz-
ontally or vertically laid paper. This enabled them to produce forgeries not
only of the 3 Rouble and 7 Rouble values of 1884 issues; but also forgeries of
the inverted center errors of other issues; which were on watermarked paper.
Since the first recorded Russian stamp with inverted center was
the 10 Kopeck issue of September 1866 (exactly 100 years ago, at the time of this
writing) we will deal with that particular stamp first. It had been printed in
two phases, namely the frame and groundwork in one operation, and the center in
the second. Hence, you will note in panes, or full sheets, that the center is not
always uniform; sometimes shifted to top or bottom; or left or right. These
shifts are very slight and hardly distinguishable; except on stamps where wide
shifts are pronounced and readily visible, which happened on rare occasions. Few
of these stamps passed the examiners eyes without being confined to the scrap pile
and destroyed. During the process of printing this stamp, the center design ob-
viously was unintentionally placed in the cliche in inverted position_ which re-
sulted in the stamp emerging with its center inverted. There is no accurate re-
cord available to the writer; as to how many times this happened in the sheet
which it was printed; but it is known that this did not occur in all sheets printed.
Page 64 No. 71
It is quite obvious that upon detection of the error, the Postal examiners destroyed
the sheets containing the error, but a few sheets must have eluded them. This stamp
is listed only in used condition in the major catalogues, but there is a possibility
that a few mint copies exist; their whereabouts being unknown.
The second stamp known with inverted center was the 8 Kopeck
value issued June 1875; and this was printed in the same process as the previous
listed stamp; its colors being gray frame and groundwork; with either carmine or rose
center. The exact number of errors of this stamp is unknown; but I have seen a
crude forgery; where the center of one stamp was cut out, and placed in the frame
of another stamp of the same issue. This is easy to detect, since the lines of the
watermarked paper as seen on the back are not uniform. This method of forging all
stamps with inverted centers has been attempted; but never pass the scrutiny of the
The third stamp known with inverted center; and listed as per-
haps the most valuable of all Russian stamps, along with the inverted center 35 Ko-
peck stamp issued in 1902; is the 7 Kopeck value, issue of March 1879. There are
only two used copies known; and it is the writer's opinion that the stamp is much
undercatalogued in value by Scott. It should be more on par with the 35 Kopeck stamp
of 1902, with catalogues 83,750. in used condition.
Scott's #29a; the 10 Kopeck issue of 1875-79 is the next stamp
known with the center inverted. This stamp had been printed in the same process as
all previous listed stamps.
The 20 Kopeck value of the 1875-79 issue is the fifth stamp
known with the center inverted.
The sixth stamp known with the center inverted is the 14 Kopeck
value; issued in December 1883. This stamp was issued in various shades of blue
for the frames and groundwork; with centers of either rose or carmine. This stamp
has been extensively forged; both by its center being cut out and replaced in in-
verted position; and by being printed by forgers on the regular horizontally laid
paper of the State Printing Office. The writer has seen the latter forgery where
the colors of the stamp are identical to the genuine; the frame and groundwork de-
sign identical; but the center design being that of 1875-79 issues where the ribbons
below the crown extend outward, instead of down; and the tail of the eagle being
narrow and extending downward, instead of being broad and spread out. It should
also be noted that up to this point, all previously listed stamps with inverted
centers are on horizontally laid paper.
The next listed stamp with inverted center is the 3 Rouble 50
Kopeck stamp issued in January 1884. This is the first stamp of the large Rouble
values; and was regularly issued on vertically laid paper. Although it is known
to be on horizontally laid paper, this error was made by feeding the paper into
the printing machine, with the watermark running horizontally instead of vertically.
Although this stamp is listed with center inverted, the actual amount of such er-
rors are unknown; and likewise whether they are in mint or used condition. This
stamp has been extensively forged.
The 1 Rouble stamp issued in May 1889, is the next listed as
having been issued with center inverted. Although listed in some of the major cat-
alogues it is unpriced, and the quantity, mint or used is unlnown. This stamp was
regularly issued on horizontally laid paper.
No. 71 Page 65
Horizontally Laid Paper
Perforation: 141 X 15
1. Long Post Horns. Loops
in Horns Clear.
2. Tail in Eagle. Broad
and spread out.
3. Feathers in Eagle even
4. Ribbon under Crown.
Short. Ends point down.k
Horizontally Laid Paper
Perforation: 141 X 15
1. Short Post Horns.
Loops in Horns Unclear.
2. Tail in Eagle. Narrow 3
and pointing downward.
3. Feathers in Eagle not
4. Ribbon under Crown.
Long. Ends extending
Page 66 No. 71
The 14 Kopeck; blue and rose, on horizontally laid paper; with
thunderbolts across the post horns, issued in June 1890, is the next listed stamp
with center inverted. It is known in both mint and used condition.
SThe 1902 issue of the 14 Kopeck stamp on vertically laid paper,
is the next listed stamp, issued with center inverted. It is known both mint and
used and is priced accordingly in all major catalogues.
The 15 Kopeck; brown violet and with blue center, issued in Jan-
uary 1905 is the next listed stamp, issued with center inverted. It is on vertically
laid paper, and is listed and priced in all major catalogues. It is known both mint
The 25 Kopeck; green frame and background, with lilac center,
issued in January 1905 on vertically laid paper, is the next listed stamp which had
been issued with center inverted. It is known in both mint and used condition, and
priced accordingly in all major catalogues.
The 35 Kopeck; deep violet with green center, issued in 1902
on vertically laid paper; is considered to be the rarest of all Russian stamps. The
writer, however, considers this stamp to be on par with the 7 Kopeck value issued
in March 1879, also with inverted center. To the best recollection of the writer,
the last time that the 35 Kopeck stamp with inverted center was offered for sale,
was at the H. C. Goss Sale, conducted by Robson Lowe Ltd. of London, England in
February 1958. At that time a fine used copy with light cancellation; was sold for
810 Pounds Sterling ($2,268.00) and was the largest amount paid for any single Rus-
sian stamp in the entire sale. This stamp is known only in used condition.
The next stamp listed with center inverted is the 70 Kopeck;
brown frame and groundwork, with orange center; issued in 1902 on vertically laid
paper. This stamp is listed, but unpriced in a number of the major catalogues.
The 1 Rouble stamp issued in 1904, on vertically laid paper;
was the next stamp listed as having been issued with center inverted. The number
of these stamps, whether mint or used is not known to the writer; but are listed
unpriced in some of the major catalogues.
The 3 Rouble 50 Kopeck with thunderbolts across the post-
horns, issued in 1902 on vertically laid paper is the next stamp listed as having
been issued with inverted center. It is listed and priced in both mnnt and used
condition in all major catalogues.
The last of these stamps issued with inverted center, was the
7 Rouble value; black and yellow, with thunderbolts across the post-horns; issued
in 1902 on vertically laid paper. It is listed and priced in both mint and used
condition in all major catalogues. This concludes this article which deals only
with stamps issued on watermarked paper between September 1866 and January 1905.
Later issues which appeared in 1909 on unwatermarked wove paper, with lozenges of
varnish on face; having inverted centers, are far more common and have been pro-
duced in much larger quantities, which is reflected in the catalogue values.
In addenda to this article, I would like to list some of the
prices realized for these stamps with inverted centers, in auction sales over the
past 25 years.
No. 71 67
SCOTT'S # VALUE CONDITION OF STAMP NAME OF AUCTION, YEAR REAL
22b 10 Kop. Poor, Used, Perfs cut Col. Green Sale 1944 $ 125.-
22b 10 Kop. Off center, used H. C. Goss Sale 1958 756.-
29a 10 Kop. Fine, used, Sm thin H. C. Goss Sale 1958 504.-
36b 14 Kop. Rub in center, used Col. Green Sale 1944 82.50
36b 1h Kop. Repaired, used H. C. Goss Sale 1958 154.-
51a 14 Kop. Very Fine, used Col. Green Sale 1944 160.-
1Sa 14 Kop. Very Fine, used H. C. Goss Sale 1958 490.-
l1a lh Kop. Fine, Age stain,mint Mercury Sale 1962 310.-
62b 15 Kop. Very Fine, used Mercury Sale 1962 180.-
64a 25 Kop. Perf.short, used Col. Green Sale 1944 95.-
64a 25 Kop. Very Fine, used Brablec Sale 1964 275.-
65a 35 Kop. Fine, used H. C. Goss Sale 1958 2268.-
69a 31 Rub.- Average, used Col. Green Sale 1944 190.-
69a 3' Rub. Off Center, used H. C. Goss Sale '1958 420.-
70a 7 Rub. Off Center, mint H. C. Goss Sale 1958 252.-
62b 15 Kop. Very Fine, used H. C. Goss Sale 1958 196.-
64a 25 Kop. Very Fine, used II. C. Goss Sale 1958 252.-
Credits: Scott's; Gibbons; Yvert and Zumstein's Catalogues.
Billig's; IReynolds and Cercle Philatelique France-U.R.S.S. handbooks
7 1.7.*TZD C3EITERS OF THE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL ISSUES
SCOTT'S VALUI COLOR PERF. PAPE3 NOTES
23b 10 Top. Br. & Black 1 xl5 Hor. Laid Typograph. Is-
sue of Sept. 1866
Known *- & o
28 var. 0 Kop. Gray & Rose 1xl5 Hor. Laid Typo. Issue of
June 19, 1875
27d 7 Kop. Gray & Rose 14xl5 Ho-ir. Laid Typo. Issue of
March 1879. 2
Used copies known
29a 10 Kop. Br. & $lue lilz5 :!or. Laid Typo. Issue of
30b 20 Kop. Blue & Orange 15 IHor. Laid Typo. Issue of
1875-79. 5 Used
36b 1h Kop. Blue & Rose l4X15 Hor. Laid Typo. Issue of
Dec. 1883. Known
Mint & Used.
39 var. 3 Rub. Black & Gray 13 Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
Jan. 1884. Known
45c 1 _Zub. Br. ,. Orange 133 Hor. Laid Typo. Issue of
Page 68 .
Vertically Laid Paper
Perforation: 14* X 15
1. Broad Tail in Eagle
2. Feathers in Eagle even
3. Short Ribbon under
Crown. Ends point down.
5la. lh Kop. Blue & Rose 4lsx15 Her. Laid Typo. Issue of
June 1890. Known
Mint & Used
S61a 14 Kop. Blue & Rose 14 xl 15 Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
1902. Known Mint
62b 1$ Kop. Br. Vio. & 31. 4l[xl5 Vert. Laic Typo. Issue of
Jan. 190$. Known
Mint and Used.
64a 25 Kop. Green & Lilac h14 xl$ Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
Jan. 190$. Known
Ilint and Used.
65a 35 Kop. Vio. & Green lLl$ Vert. Laid T;ypo. Issue of
1902. Known used
67a 70 Kop. Brown & Orange 1-Yl$5 Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
68 var. 1 Rub. Br. & Orange 13 Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
69a 3 Rub. Black & Gray 13 Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
1902. Inown Iint
S 70a 7 Rub. Black & Yellow 13 Vert. Laid Typo. Issue of
1902. Known int
M4HH---- and Used.
THE TRANS-SIBERIAN POSTAL ROUTE
by Henri Tristant
(Continued from Rossica No. 70)
This second chapter, devoted to the examination of the correspondence
exchanged with the French post offices in the Far East and Indochina, will be the
most extensive one, both because of the special interest it has for the French col-
lector, as well as for the relatively important number of items belonging to this
category and which have come down to us. The chapter will include the examination
and description of the various cachets which are to be found, and particular at-
tention will be paid to delays in transmission.
A. TIL1 FRENCH POST OFFICES IN NORTH CHINA:
It would, perhaps, be useful to recall that before the Treaty of
Nanking, which put an end to the Opium War in 1842, China had remained closed to
trade with the European Powers. By this treaty, the English obtained the cession
of the island of Hongkong, which became a British colony, and five ports were opened
up to their trade with China.
No. 71 Page 69
Following upon anti-European incidents, French and British expeditions
led to the new treaties of Tientsin in 1858 and Peking in 1860. The result was
the establishment of foreign concessions in China, which enjoyed extraterritorial
rights and a special customs system. This amenity was extended to other European
countries, as well as Russia, Japan and the U.S.
Post offices of various countries were opened in the main concessions.
So far as we are concerned, France opened post offices at Shanghai in November
1862, at Tientsin on 16 March 1889, at Hankow and Chefoo in November 1898, at
Peking in December 1900 and finally at Ningpo, Foochow, Amoy and Arsenal-Pagoda
Of these nine offices, the last of which appearing to have existed for
a very short time only, seven were strung along the shores of the Yellow Sea and
the China Sea from north to south in the following order: Tientsin, Chefoo, Shanghai,
Ningpo, Foochow, Arsenal-Pagoda and Amoy. The other two were set up inland, at
Peking, the capital, not far from Tientsin, and at Hankow, on the Yangtse-Kiang or
Blue River, the greatest waterway of the Chinese Empire.
These offices, linked directly with the postal administration in France
were mostly served with a mixed civilian and military staff. They used stamps of
France at first, then from 1894 French stamps overprinted "Chine", and finally,
from 1902, special issues in the Blahc, Movchon, and L.O. Merson types, with face
values given in French currency and further surcharges in Chinese currency. These
last three types are the ones mainly found on the mail forwarded from China by the
The advantage of this route over transmission by sea decreased with the
remoteness of the mailing point from the railroad terminus, but it still remained
very worthwhile even for the most distant offices. The items quoted hereunder will
serve as good examples of this method. For each of the mailing offices, there will
be an indication given of the minimum amount of transmission time for mail to Paris
calculated on the basis that the correspondence arrived at the Trans-Siberian Rail-
road the same day as the scheduled departure time of the train for Moscow.
PEKING P.O.: Cancel inscribed "PEKIN / CHINE".
The mail from Peking was forwarded entirely by rail, via Tientsin and Muk-
den to Harbin, where it was transferred to the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The pic-
ture was as follows:-
PHASE OF JOURNEY TRANSIT TIME IN 1903 TRANSIT TIME IN 1911
Peking to Harbin 2 days 2 days
Harbin to Moscow 15 days 9 days
Moscow to Paris 4 days 3 days
TOTAL TRANSIT TIME 21 days 14 days
The two covers described hereunder do not bear any cachet or manu-
script-notation specifying the forwarding route:-
H. T. A civilian cover in the form of a 4-cent entire with a 6-cent stamp
added, i.e. a total franking of 10 Chinese cents or 25 French centimes
for the international rate.
Page 70 No. 71
J.D. A letter-card franked with Chinese stamps and showing a single-line cachet
reading "Vi& Siberia" (fig. 3)
Departure: Hien-Hien 8 Dec. 1904.
Transit: Tientsin 1o Dec. 1904.
Arrival: Farschweiler (Lorraine), 9 Jan. 1904.
Time taken from Tientsin: 25 days
R.S. A range of covers from the military mails, in the collection of M. Raymond
Sales and bearing several variations of a single-line cachet reading
"Voie Siberi6", together with a mark of the French Military Mails, both
struck in blue:
Letter #1. Letter #2. Letter #3.
Departure from Tientsin 5 Feb. 1904 2 Jun. 1904 27 Jun. 1904
Arrival in France 29 Feb. 1904 27 Jun. 1904 23 Jul. 1904
Time Taken 24 days 25 days 26 days
There is in the same collection, a cover with the same type of cachet
as-sho.w in fig. 4, together with a French Military Mails marking, both
struck in black:
Departure: Tientsin, 2 Sept. 1904.
Entry Marking: Erquelines to Paris, 5 Oct. 1904.
This cover, for which the time taken was 33 days, is an incontestable
example of the delay in forwarding during the course of the Russo-Jap-
A. M. Letters from the Corps of Occupation in China.
Departure: Tientsin, 30 Nov. 1904.
In spite of the absence of a French arrival marking, this cover is
worth mentioning, since it bears the same "Voie Siberie" marking, ac-
companied by the cachet "Correes d'Armdes" (Military Mails), both struck
in black, as is the following cover.
H.T. Letter from Tongkow with 15 centimes franking and a manuscript notation
"Corps d'Occupation de Chine", a cachet reading "Corrces d'Armees" and
another single-line cachet inscribed "Voie Siberia", as in fig. 5, both
struck in black and apparently from the same ink-pad.
Departure: Tientsin, 6 Mar. 1905.
Arrival: Charenton-le-Pont, 10 Apr. 1905.
Time Taken: 35 days.
H. T. A registered letter from the military mails, franked with stamps of 4,
6 & 8 cents, or 45 centimes, with manuscript notation *Voie Siberie".
Departure: Tientsin, 25, Jul. 1911.
SpzEb CHB Pb id Siberia Voe Siberie
A rig Ei t 4
Voie Sibfrie Via SIBERIA. vi sB_ i .
ig4l [;-i i9.7
PAR TRANSSIBERIEN VIA DALNY v.i SIBERIE
frg.8 Eigi.. g. o
V oyE Kong- Transibfrie1n i9s.
""" VOIE RSSIBRIEM -13
Arrival: Paris, 7 Aug. 1911.
Time taken: 13 days
The dates of departure and arrival are very anch in evidence, and
the rapidity of transmission is exceptional. The above may be compared with the de-
layed transmission by the sea route, via Shanghai and Suez:-
H. T. A cover franked with a 15-centime stamps of the modified Mouchon
type, overprinted :F.M" ("Franchise Militaire", or Military Franchise")
and with manuscript notation reading "Via Shanghai".
Departure: Tientsin, 29 Aug. 1906.
Arrival: Paris 12 Oct. 1906.
Time Taken: 44 days
SHANGHAI P.O.: Cancel inscribed "SHANG-HAI / CHINT".
In contrast to the two foregoing offices, where most of the corres-
pondence was of a military character, the Shanghai office forwarded a large volume
of mail, which was mainly civilian in origin.
It would be as well to recall here the card dated MIay 1903, de-
scribed by Dr. Camboulives and bearing the cachet "CHRlEZ SIBIR" (fig. 1), which
is the oldest item originating from Shanghai, but sent, in this instance, through
the Russian P.O. in this city.
The quickest method of forwarding mail from Shanghai utilized the
sea route to Dalny (Dairen), then the Trans-Manchurian Railroad via Mukden to Harbin
Page 72 No. 71
Departure: Peking, 22 Feb. 1912
Arrival: Amiens, 8 Mar. 1912
Time taken: 15 days
H. T. A registered civilian cover, franked with 10-cent and 4-cent stamps,
totalling 14-cents or 35 centimes.
Departure: Peking, 10 Apr. 1915.
Arrival: Melun, 28 Apr. 1915.
Time Taken: 18 days.
It will be noticed that the reduced rate of 10 centimes, in force
since December 1, 1912, was applied to this letter, the additional 25 centimes being
for the registration fee. The period of transmission during this wartime period re-
presented a delay of only 3 days. Let us now look at two other items for the pur-
pose of comparison:-
H. T. A postcard with mixed franking, sent from Peking on 30 March 1901
by the sea route and after having passed through the French postal
system, it arrived at Frankfort-on-Oder in Germany on 12 May 1901.
The time taken was 43 days.
H. T. A letter from Peking (Army mail), which left on 5 October 1904 and
arrived in Paris via the sea route on 17 November 1904. The time
taken was Wh days.
S T2ITSIN3 P.O.: Cancel inscribed TIEN-TSIN CHIINE / POSTED FRAU!CAISE
The mail from Tientsin -as forwarded by the same route as that from
Peking. In fact, Tientsin was the closest French post office to
the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The following items
G. P. A civilian cover, franked with a 25-centime French stamp, Sage type,
overprinted "CHINE". The cover bears two single-line cachets in
2ussian, one reading "CUHRZ SIBIR" ("Via Siberia" see fig. 1) and
the other "GEIRMAIYA" (Germany).
Departure: Tientsin, 2 Dec. 1902.
Arrival: Itrehoe, 29 Dec. 1902.
Time taken: 27 days
H.T. A registered letter from the Corps of Occupation in China, franked
with 2x15 and LxlO or O0 centimes in stamps, that is, 15 centimes
for the ordinary rate and 25 centimes registration fee. No mention
of the route of transmission.
Departure: Tientsin, 25 Nov. 1903.
Arrival: Paris, 17 Dec. 1903.
Time taken: 22 days.
No. 71 Page 73
and finally the Trans-Siberian to Moscow, as follows:
PHASE OF JOUI.nEY TRANSIT TIME IN 1903 TRANSIT TIME IN 1911
Shanghai-Dalny 2 days 2 days
Dalny-Harbin 2 days 2 days
Harbin-Hoscow 15 days 9 days
Moscow-Paris days 3 das
TOTALS 23 days days
The items quoted below, date from 1907 and later years:
H.T. An illustrated postcard, Tith a view of the Carre' Marigny in Paris,
and bearing the manuscript notation "Voie Siberie".
Departure: Shanghai, 19 Apr. 1907.
Arrival: Paris, 12 May 1907.
Time Taken: 23 days
H. T. Two postcards from an identical correspondence:
Departures: Shanghai h Dec. 1907, 27 Dec. 1907.
Arrivals: Virieu le Grand 27 Dec. 1907, 19 Jan. 1908.
Times Taken: 23 days, 23 days
The second of these cards bears the handwritten notation "Voie du
transsiberien", while the first, although showing the superscription
"Par paquobot dos lJ.ii. Polynesien" (3y mail ship s.s. Polynesien
of the hessageries Miaritimes Company"), it was also forwarded by
the Trans-bibaerian route, thus saving 11 days over the route via
ucOz, as the abovo-nuied vessel did not arrive at Marseilles until
6 January 1908. The source of this information was MI. :ay0mond
. T3Several covers from a commercial correspondence addressed to Lyons,
France, and forwarded under the following conditions:-
D2FAdTUni ?P:QI1 S KGiIAI AIVIVALS IN LYONS TE 3 TA.N7
8 lay 190' 2U4 Hay 1909 16 days
16 F2b. 1910 liar 1910 17 days
25 May 1910 11 Jun 1910 16 days
9 Jun 1910 25 Jun 1910 16 days
23 Dec 1911 ? ?
27 Apr 1912 ? ?
13 Jun 1913 3 Jul 1913 15 days
This series of items demonstrates the rapidity and regularity of trans-
mission during the period of 1909-1913, and its advantage over the sea route via
Suez, the latter requiring at least 23 days to get to Marseilles. The first four
covers of this correspondence bear a cachet in violet, reading "VIA SIBERIA" (fig.
6), applied during the 1909-1910 period. The three others, from the 1911-1913 era,
Page 74 N 71
show a different cachet, also in voilet, with the inscription "VIA SIB.-ZI3" in in-
clined characters, which are underlined (see fig. 7). These two cachets are struck
in a violet ink, which appears to be the se su in both cases Mwhen viewed under the
ultra-violet lamp, as for the oval-shaped markings applied on the front. These oval
markings show the name of Frazer & Co. in the first cas-, -:7d that of J. GaTlardm
in the second.
All these covers are franked with 10 cents in postage (25 centimes),
with the exception of the last one, dated 18 June 1913, wvich bears only 4 cents in
stamps (10 centimes), as it had taken advantage of the new rate, applicable from 1
October 1912, as stated previously.
G.P. An illustrated postcard, franked with 4 cents postage, and supplied
with a cachet in blue inscribed "PAR TRA3SIB33I2"' and measuring
5Ox5 mm. (see fig. 8). This marking is the only item of interest on
the card, which left Shanghai on 17 October 1912. The date of arrival
in Paris is illegible.
G.P. An illustrated postcard, franked with 4 cents postage and bearing a
cachet in violet reading "VIA DALUY" (fig. 9), unfortunately without
an arrival marking of Paris, where it was addressed. It is unusual
that the Russian name of Dalny was still used on this card, which
left Shanghai on 20 July 1919, because since 1905 the city had been
under the.control of the Japanese, wno had given it the name of Dairen.
-. T. A registered letter, franked by the sender with 40, 8, 4 and 2-cent
stamps, or a total of 54 Chinese cents, equal to 1 fr. 35.
Departure: Shanghai, 19 Feb. 1914
Arrival: Iryeres, 3 Mar. 1914
Time taken: 17 days
A handwritten notation, reading "Via Siberia", is placed on the cover.
IIANKOW P.O.: Cancel incribed "Ii:AN-K3:0U CIIII / PGST' FRANCA13I2
The Hankow office, situated on the Yangtse Kiang, at about halfway
between Chungking and Shanghai, was linked by a 3S day river service
to Shanghai, and by rail in less than two days to the capital,
Peking, as from 1911.
The transmission times from Iankow to Paris were as follows:-
PHASE OF JOURNEY TRANSIT TIMN PHASE OF JOURNEY TRANSIT TIME
Hankow to Shanghai 4 days Hankow to Peking 2 days
Shanghai to Paris 16 days Peking to Paris 14 days
Hankow to Paris 20 days Hankow to Paris 16 days
(via Shanghai) (via Peking)
An example of the mail forwarded via the Trans-Siberian Railroad is
the following letter:-
A. M. A cover bearing the free frank of the French Navy and the manuscript
notation "Voie Siberie".
No. 71 Page 75
Departure: Hankow, 11 Dec. 1912.
Arrival: Castelldt (Varennes), 30 Dec. 1912.
Time Taken: 20 days
This may be compared with the unusual cover described below and forwarded
H. T. A registered letter, addressed to -Switzerland and franked with Indochinese
stamps in the Allegorical type, overprinted "TCHONGKING", in the values
of 25, 15, 10, 5, 4, 2 and 1 centimes.
Departure: Hankow, h Sept. 1905.
Arrival: Moudon (Switzerland), 13 Oct. 1905..
Time Taken: 39 days
This letter demonstrates an anomaly, which appears to have gone unnoticed,
inasmuch as it was franked with stamps of an Indochinese post office in South
China, namely at Chungking, while it was accepted and cancelled on departure from
an office in North China (at Hankow), which used different issues of stamps. It
could be assumed that it had been mailed upon departure from Chungking aboard a
ship going to Hankow, where it was handed over to the French post office there.
After cancelling the stamps, this latter office would have forwarded the letter
together with the Hankow mail (for further notes on this interesting correspondence,
please see the Editorial Comment at the end of this installment). This unusual
occurrence could not, however have been unique, since loose stamps of the French
P.O. at Tchongking (Chungking) may sometimes be found cancelled at Hankow. It
may be seen from the foregoing that the Hankow post office normally saw to the
transmission of mail from the Indochinese office at Chungking.
Unfortunately, the listing of items originating from French offices in
North China must end here. Of the eight ornmim P.O.s which had functioned, it
has only been possible to present examples from the four most important places.
It is hoped that Rossica readers will make known further items, which have ori-
ginated from other offices, or from places already listed, but with different
B. THE INDOCHINESE POST OFFICES IN SOUTH CHINA
The French offices in South China, established in 1901-1902 after the con-
quest of Tonkin, were linked with the French Postal Administration in in Indochina,
or more exactly, to that facility operating in the northern zone of Indochina
(Tonkin and North Annam).
These offices in South China used Indochinese stamps, in the same types
as those on issue in the colony'at that time and also special sets, prepared from
the basic stamps by overprinting the word "CHINE" (China), or the name of each of
these bffices. They were opened in the following cities, in the chronological
25 Jan. 1900: WI-ONGTSEU, near Amichow, on the Yunnan Railroad Line.
15 Feb. 1900: YUNNAN-FOU (or YUNNANSEN), which became the terminus.of the
railroad in 1910.
Page 76 No. 71
15 Iay 1900: HOI-HAO, capital of the island of Hainan.
15 June 1901: CANTON, on an arm of the Si-Kiang delta, on a level with the island
1 Feb. 1902: PAKOI, a port in South China, in the Gulf of Tonkin.
7 Feb. 1902: TCKONGKING (Chungking), on the middle course of the Yangtse-Kiang and
the furthest city from the coast.
The only items which can be recorded from this area, are a few pieces
originating from Tchongking (Chungking) and Canton.
The normal route for transmission of mail was by river down to the
office at :Iankow, where the mail received a transit marking. Two examples are now
.T. A cover franked with.an Indochinese 15-centime stamp Allegorical type
overprinted "CHINE" a 5-centime ditto, two copies of the 4-centime
and one 1-centime similarly overprinted to make up a total franking
of 25 centimes and bearing a manuscript notation, reading "Voie
Departure: Tchongking (Chungking), 13 Aug. 1907.
Tranist office: Han-Keou (Hanikow), 23 Aug. 1907.
Arrival: Paris, 23 Sept. 1907.
Time taken: 41 days, ten of them taken up by the journey from
Chungking to :7ankow and 31 days from Hankow to Paris.
0 I. T. Another cover, bearing a cachet reading "Ilarine Francaise / Service
la Ier" (French Iavy, Service at Sea), and franked with a 10-cen-
time indochinese stamp in the Group type overprinted TCHONGKIING.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of the forwarding route, nor is
there a readable arrival marking. It is noted here for the length
of its journey from Chungking to Hankow.
Departure: Tchon-king, 14 Apr. 1907.
Transit mark: HIan-Keou, 26 Apr. 1907.
Time Taken: 12 days
Iail from Canton was forwarded via Hongkong and Shanghai to the Trans-
Siberian R.R.. One example is recorded hereunder:-
JI.T. A postcard, which left this office on 9 Dec. 1910 and arrived at Petit-
,uevilly on 3 Jan. 1911, that is, at the end of 25 days. This item
is noteworthy for the following two characteristics it bears, namely:
(1) A cachet in red, reading "Via SIBERIE" and measuring 35x4.5 mm.
(see fig. 10).
(2) The transit of the French office at Shanghai, dated 13 Dec. 1910,
which permits us to analyze the length of the journey.
No. 71 Page 77
PHASE OF JOURNEY TIME TAKEN
Canton to Shanghai 4 days
Shanghai to Petit-Quevilly 21 days
This new cachet, hitherto unrecorded, is totally different from the type
in capital letters and also struck in red, which has been noted for the Canton of-
fice by our colleague Dr. Camboulives on a piece dated 1913 (see fig. 11).
The forwarding time of 25 days, between Canton and France was still ad-
vantageous, although the 1910 card to Petit-Quevilly did not leave Shanghai under
the best of conditions. It took 21 days, rather than 15 to 17 days, which would
have been normal. It doubtless had to wait for quite some time for the weekly
mail service from Shanghai.
Transmission via Suez would have been longer, since a cover which left
Yunnan-Sen, further to the south, on 10 April 1905 and addressed to Moudon, Switz-
erland, did not arrive at its destination until 27 May 1905, i.e. 47 days later.
Please see the editorial Comment at the end of this installment for further notes
on this last cover.
The six offices in South China, as well as those in the north, were all
closed on 31 December 1922, prior to the resumption of traffic on the Trans-Sib-
erian Railroad after the First World War. The offices in the territory of Kouang-
Tcheou-Wan, namely Fort-Bayard, Tchekam and Potsi, which were opened in 1901 and
situated on this island which had been leased by China to France, had a special
status as the territory to which they belonged was temporarily made an integral
part of Indochina. They therefore continued to function after 31 December 1922.
C. THE MAIL FROM TONKhIN
The volume of Indochinese mail, forwarded by the Trans-Siberian route,
does not appear to have been very great and this was due to several reasons. First
of all, Indochina was quite some distance from the Asiatic terminus of the Trans-
Siberian R. R. This decreased the difference in the time of transmission by this
route and that taken by the way of Suez. Secondly, there were difficulties in com-
municating between Haiphong, the northernmost port in Indochina, and the port of
Shanghai, by way of Hongkong. Finally, the international tariff required on mail
by the General Government of Indochina was in force until the spring of 1913,
while correspondence, destined for France and utilizing the sea route via Suez,
was sent franked at the preferential colonial rate.
Indeed, it was not until March 1913 that an official notice appeared in
the "Bulletin Mensuel des Postes" (Monthly Bulletin of the Posts), drawing at-
tention to the fact that the France and Colonies rate was, in accordance with Art-
icle No. 44 of the Law of Finances dated 8 April 1910, applicable to mail from
France to Indochina, sent by way of the Trans-Siberian route, as well as by sea.
It certainly appears that this notice brought about the reciprocal decision taken
a little later for mail sent from Indochina and destined for France.
Although the No. 14 issue of the Bulletin Mensuel des Postes for December
1908 no longer referred to the southern provinces of China as the most distant onee
served by the Trans-Siberian route, it can be stated that the mail, originating
from Tonkin and destined for Europe, was forwarded by this route, at least until
the end of 1910.
Page 78 N. 71
It would not be out of place to recall here the difficulties of com-
munications in general, and of postal services in particular, between Tonkin and
France at the beginning of the 20th. Century. In fact, Haiphong did not serve as
a port of call for any of the great European lines serving the Far East. The
French mail ships of the Messageries IMaritimes Company (Line N) called only at Saigon
and proceeded direct from there to Hongkong and Shanghai for Yokohama, or to Singa-
pore when going to Suez.and Europe.
In addition to this, the Trans-Indochinese Railroad was at that time
only in the porjection stage, and in 1905, for example, the northern branch still
only linkedHanoi with Vinh in North Annam. The mail from Tonkin for France could
only be forwarded by sea, utilizing the weekly branch line linking Haiphong with
Saigon and calling along the coast of Annam at the ports of Tourane, Quinhone,
Ihatrang and Phanrang.
From Saigon, the mail ship of the Messageries Maritimes (Line N)
destined for Marseilles, left every fortnight only and the time taken for the voy-
age was 25 days. This brought to at least 31 days the time taken in transit between
i:aiphong and Marseilles, to which one day had to be added for reaching Paris.
In the two-week interval between the departures of the mail ship of
Line I!, correspondence could still be fonrarded by the branch line of the Messageries
Ilaritimes from Saigon to Singapore, and from this port in Malaya, it was transported
by a British, German or Dutch mail ship going to Europe. The mail, which was off-
loaded in this latter case at Genoa, received on arrival in France the well-known
cancellation of the "Ilodane a Paris" R.P.O. on letters from Indochina.
Often, the total time taken in transit between Tonkin and France was
stretched out to five or six weeks. For this reason, the French living in Tonkin
quickly came around to the view of utilizing the Trans-Siberian route both for the
transportation of people and for forwarding mail, since it was much quicker, al-
though doubtless less comfortable. The essential problem for people and articles
leaving from Haiphong was to get to the Chinese port of Shanghai via Hongkong with
the least delay.
After 1911, Haiphong was linked by a twice-weekly service with Hong-
kong in four days by the Marty Line, which also served en route the ports of Hoi-
Hiao, Fort-Bayard in the Territory of Kouang-Tcheou-Wan and Pakhoi, where France
had post offices. At Hongkong, a change of ships was necessary to get to Shanghai
and a wait was required there for an eventual departure to Dalny or Vladivostok.
It was necessary to reckon on a total of 8 to 10 days between Hai-
phong and Shanghai, and the mail forwarded by this route and originating from Hai-
phong could reach Paris within 24 to 27 days, under the best conditions, easily
gaining a week over mail directed via Saigon and Suez.
Three examples of this correspondence addressed from Indochina to
Franch can be cited:-
i. T. A letter franked with 25 centimes in stamps of Indochina, the cover
bearing in red the handwritten notation "Voie Transsiberienne".
Departure: Hanoi, 21 Dec. 1910.
Transit mark: Shanghai, 31 Dec. 1910.
Arrival: Montauban, 18 Jan. 1911.
No. 71 Page 79
Time taken: 28 days
J. G. A visiting-card envelope, franked with a 5-centime Indochinese stamp and
provided with a cachet in inclined letters, struck in blue, reading "Via
Hong Kong Transsiberien": and measuring 92 x 5 mm. (see figure 12).
Departure: Haiphong, 18 Sept. 1913.
Arrival: Brest, 7 Oct. 1913.
Time taken: 29 days.
I. T. A letter from Ngoc-Giap, a rural post office in the province of Thanh-Hoa
(Annam), which had an undated marking, franked with 10 centimes in Indo-
chinese stamps and bearing a cachet reading "VOIE TRANSSIBEISIEINE" (see
fig. 13). This measures 70 x 6.5 mm. and was struck in blue. It should
be noted that this letter took advantage of the France and Colonies rate,
which was instituted in the spring of 1913.
Transit markings: Thanh-Hoa, 3 Feb. 1914.
Haiphong, 4 Feb. 1914.
Arrival: Boulogne, 28 Feb. 1914
Time Taken: 24 days
Turning now to the very peculiar spelling of the cachet, in which the in-
verted forms of the letter "N" would make one think of possible Russian origin, it
seems that, in the light of other items originating from Indochina, the mail from
this territory had to be included in a dispatch made up at the Shanghai post of-
fice. This rules out the possibility of applying a cachet on Russian territory.
Logically, it should have been applied upon mailing, either by the sender himself,
or at the transit office of the port of departure, in this case Haiphong, It,
therefore, seems to be of Indochinese origin, and the errors cited could be at-
tributed to the Tonkinese artisan who was not very familiar with the French char-
acters that he engraved. The cover bearing this cachet and originating from
North Annam was undoubtedly sent from the most distant point of origin from the
terminus of the Trans-Siberian R.R.
As an example of the mail from France to Indochina, it would be fitting
to note here an interesting item, which our colleague Dr. L. Philippe has been
kind enough to describe anywhere, within the framework of this study.
L.P. An illustrated postcard, franked with a 10-centime "Sower" stamp of
Departure: St. Omer (posted aboard ship), 1 July 1913.
Transit time: Shanghai / Chine (French P.O.), 19 July 1913.
Arrival: Hanoi, 1 Aug. 1913.
Time taken: 31 days, 19 of which by rail to Shanghai, and the re-
maining 12 from there by sea to Hanoi.
This card is the only item seen so far dispatched from France to Indo-
china by the Trans-Siberian route.
Page 80 Ne. 71
No piece of mail exhcanged between France and Tonkin has been noted
so far from the post-W.W.I period. Traffic had, in fact, been resumed on 1 October
1924, by the intending user was warned that "registered articles were only aQcepted
at the risk of the sender", which was hardly encouraging. Moreover, the Trans-
Siberian route was now a weekly service and mail routes by sea from Shanghai to
Indochina more erratic, so that only a few members of the public thought it worth-
while to risk picking this method.
In 1929, the opening of regular air services between Indochina and
France disspelled the small amount of interest which the Trans-Siberian route may
still have held.
D. FRENCH MARITIME MAIL FROM THE FAR EAST.
It is knownthat Line N of themail ships of the Messageries Maritimes
(marseilles to Yokohama) served the Chinese ports of Hongkong and Shanghai, as well
as calling at Nagasaki in Japan, and it has been demonstrated that both Shanghai
and Nagasaki had regular services by sea with the terminals of the Trans-Siberian
and Trans-Manchurian Railroads, from which the mail was forwarded to Europe.
It is therefore, understandable that pieces of mails should be en-
countered that had been handed over to the postal officer of any of these ships to
receive a maritime cancellation and then be forwarded to Europe by the Trans-Sib-
erian route. The following item is a case in point:-
H. T. An illustrated postcard, franked on the front with a 10-centime
French stamp of the "Sower" type in red and cancelled "LIGNE N /
PAW. FR. No. 2 31 MARS 1910" ("Line N / French Paquebot No. 2,
31 March 1910"). On the back, there is a message from Shanghai and
the same maritime cancel, both with the same date as above, together
with a machine arrival marking reading "PARIS R.P. / DISTRB on 18
AVRIL 10" ("Paris, G.P.O., Distribiton, 18 Apr. 1910"). The time
taken was 19 days.
The French paquebot No. 2, mentioned above, was the s.s. "OCEANIE",
which was proceeding from Marseilles to Yokohama and had called at Shanghai on 31
March 1910. The next mail ship (paquebot) for France, left Shanghai on April 9
and did not reach Marseilles until 9 May 1910.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
EDITORIAL COMMENT: As Monsieur Tristant has pointed out in this installment, it is
very important to check the transmission times on any pieces of mail exchanged bet-
ween Europe and the Far East, and vice versa, so as determine whether they had gone
by the Trans-Siberian route, in the absence of any specific notation as to the method
of transmission. His tabulations should help members to recognize and classify any
of this material that comes into their hands.
His two references to covers sent from China to Moudon in Switzer-
land are also very noteworthy. These appear to be part of a correspondence addressed
by hand as follows: "Monsieur Alfred Berdoz, fonct. postal, Moudon, (Suisse)".
Monsieur Berdoz was a Swiss postal official stationed at Moudon and with a pioneer
interest in postal history. It appears he had a liking for covers from the various
foreign post offices In China and it seems that he placed short sets of low values
on self addressed covers, which he would send off to the relevant post offices during
No. 71 Page 81
1905 and 1906, with requests for cancellation and return, generally by registered
mail. In our own particular sphere of interest, hon. member Kurt Adler has two
covers from this correspondence, the most famous being the rare envelope sent
through the Russian Imperial Consular P.O. at Urumchi in Sinkiang Province on 22
June 1906. This cover bears the unusual franking of low-value "KITAI" over-
prints (six stamps in all) and it has been fully described in Part Three of the
Russian Used Abroads series by W. S. E. Stephen and S. D. Tchilinghtrian (see
pp. 286-286). Since Russian stamps without overprint were supplied to the offices
in Sinkiang, the cover was refranked and registered in transit at Chuguchak with
low-value Russian stamps totalling 22 kop. and affixed to the back of the en-
velope, before further transmission to Switzerland, thus making an unusual com-
Monsieur Berdoz apparently repeated this error of incorrect franking,
when forwarding to Hankow the cover mentioned by Monsieur Tristant as bearing
Indochinese stamps with the "TCHONGKING" overprints, but in this second case,
the cover came back to him without comment. This does not, however, detract from
Monsieur Tristant's statement that transit markings of the French P.O. at Hankow
are known on the "TCHONGKING" overprints, since both cities were served by the
same river route and such usages would have been perfectly feasible and correct.
The second cover mentioned by Monsieur Tristant as having been sent from
Yunnan-Sen on 10 April 190" to Moudon, is undoubtedly also from the Berdoz cor-
respondence, but does not otherwise exhibit any unusual features. We would like
to ask members to keep a look-out for further Berdoz covers, in case any other
interesting markings or frankings should be brought to light.
......................................... .................... ......................
N 0NO PRICE ALEXANDER BISK
L I S T 280 Riverside Drive
New York, New York 10025
Want Lists for collectors and dealers are filled by return mail. Better grade
approvals by country are also available. Many rarities and oddities for
specialists are on hand. (1840 1960)
Many countries are available
RUSSIA BENELUX BALKANS CENTRAL, WESTERN &
EASTERN EUROPE SCAN D INAVIA AND MANY OTHERS.
W A N T E D t t o m a n T u r k i s h and Offices in Turkey material; Balkan
Wars, and Aegean Island material; used only. Stamps, covers, locals,
Gordon Torrey 3065 Porter Street, N. W. Washington 8, D. C.
S.*****************4....v............*.. a......2.. ... ........ .. a. ..,V,,..Ia...... ....6 ............
NOTES FROM COLLECTORS
Dr. Vasil Stoyanov, Ruse, Bulgaria
Referring back to my note in Rossica No. 68, p.3., I like to illus-
trate herewith the Russian Levant cover mentioned, which originally came from a Paris
This is a registered item, as denoted by the framed "RECOMMANDEE"
cachet applied at top right. It was sent from Smyrna, addressed to a Greek merchant
in Odessa and franked with a pair of the rare tall "7" surcharge on 10 kopecks. The
stamps are cancelled with an unusual single-circle marking reading "SMIRNA / 18 DEK.
1879", which is unrecorded and which I have not seen noted elsewhere. The cover also
bears at bottom left a handwritten notation which seems to read "via grecia" ("Via
Greece") and there is an oval "DOPLATIT" or "Postage Due" cachet, whose value looks
like a badly written "14". On the back, there is a part strike of the Odessa arrival
dated 29 May, or presumably 162 days later! I wonder why it was held up so long?
Please note the enlarged photograph of the pair of surcharges. Dr.
Wortman believes they are genuine, but is not sure about the postmark. I would ap-
preciate reading what Rossica members will have to say about this item, particularly
if any of them finds further examples of this cancel for Smyrna.
Kurt Adler, New York, N. Y.
I like to bring to the notice of members a fieldpost cover from
Estonia, which I acquired recently and whose markings do not appear to be recorded
in the existing literature.
The cover shows two unusual cachets, both circular and of similar
* design, featuring the arms of Sweden (three crowns). They have been applied in
violet in the upper right corner of the envelope. The one at left is inscribed in
Swedish and reads "Swedish Corps/Estonia", while the one at right is in Estonian,
reading "Swedish Corps / Land of Estonia". A further marking is applied at upper
left, also in violet; it reads "Fieldpost" in Swedish.
This item passed through the post office at Tallinn on 17 March
1919, and it received on arrival in Finland, a bilingual Finnish-Swedish two-line
cachet, struck on the front and reading "Censored in Finland". This was appar-
ently applied in Helsinki. The cover is backstamped on arrival at its destination,
Kangasala, on 29 March 1919.
There were historical reasons for the presence of a Swedish con-
tingent in Estonia in 1919, since there have been traditional ties between the two
countries. The period of Swedish rule has been referred to by Estonians as the
"golden Swedish times". Estonia was ceded by Sweden to Peter the Great in 1721.
It would be interesting to hear from members any details of other unusual field-
post covers from Estonia.
A. Cronin, New York, N. Y.
(1) Further to Mr. V. Popov's interesting note on No. 69 on mixed
frankings of the 1923 ruble currency and the gold kopek issues, during the last
months of 1923, I can advise details of another such cover.
This second example is a registered item sent from Moscow on 1
Nov. 1923 and received in New York City a mere 15 days later. The franking in
No. 71 Page 83
1923 rubles is made up with the following stamps: 12 copies at 3 rubles, 5 copies
at 4 rubles, 5 copies at 5 rubles and one at 10 rubles, making a total of 91 rub-
les. These were applied in conjunction with 5 copies of the 6 kop. gold currency
If we assume that 40 gold kopeks were required for the registration
service to the U.S., we could then say that on 1 Nov. 1923, the 91 rubles of 1923
were equivalent to 10 new gold kopeks. When this is compared to the conversion
table listed in Rossica No. 69, we see that the official rate as quoted by Godfrey
M. White was 800 rubles of 1923 to one gold ruble, or 80 rubles for 10 gold ko-
peks, as at 10 Nov. 1923. This is approximately equal to our assumption above,
and since all the franking is on the back of the cover, sealing the flap, it may
well be that additional and almost worthless ruble stamps were affixed as a pro-
tective device only.
(2) The illustration No. 1 shows a 5 kop. postcard of the Provisional
Govt., with a 15 kop. arms type added and sent from Novaya Lodaga, Petrograd Pro-
vince, on 19 April 1918 to Kiev in the Ukraine. The 20 kop. rate is correct and
has been established by hon. member Michel Liphschutz and Charles Godard as having
come into force on 28 Feb. 1918. There is a machine arrival marking of Kiev at
bottom right, dated 9 Sept. 1918.
The message on the back says in part "I sent you two registered letters
but they were returned to me as there was no service, Perhaps my card will some-
how get through to you". Obviously it did, 143 days later
This long delay was due to events at the time. On 29 April 1918, the Uk-
raine broke away and the Government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskii was installed.
Relations between the new state and Russia became very strained, and as a result,
communications were also affected. It would be interesting to know if other readers
have similarly delayed correspondence dating from 1918 in their possession.
(3) Re the Soviet Military Censorship in Rumania, originally described
in Rossica No. 55, p. 25, a new and higher number can now be added to the two
known hitherto ("1/P" and "5/P").
The present item is the earliest so far seen and was sent by registered
mail on 31 July 1945 from Bucharest to the U.S. The total postage was 105 lei
and on the back of the cover, there is a further Bucharest marking for registered
mail, dated 10 Aug. 1945, together with a Rumanian cachet struck in black and
reading "CENZURAT / 13". The Soviet censorship marking is applied in violet and
reads "18 / P", thus bringing the total possible number of censors up to eighteen.
The letter was received in New York City on 5 Oct. 1945 and delivered
in San Francisco on Oct. 9. Readers are advised to examine any Rumanian covers
sent abroad during 1945, so as to bring to light further examples of these censor-
(4) Finally, a comment on the series Dr. Wortman is currently running
in "The London Philatelist", describing his display "Russia: Covers and Can-
cellations 1773-1923" to the Royal Philatelic Society on 9 January 1964.
In the second installment of this series, he mentions the scarcity of
a marking inscribed "NOT FULLY PAID" on a cover from Mariupol'. Such cachets were
required because of the complicated postal treaties in force between various coun-
tries before the creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874.
An example of the usage Dr. Wortman is speaking about is illustrated
herewith. In this case, it is on a cover from Odessa to Marseilles, France, which
also displays several other features. Mailed on 19 May 1874 (31 May, New Style),
the normal "OPLACHENO" or "PAID" cachet applied at center is crossed out with blue
O pencil, and a boxed two-line marking reading "NE VPOLNE / OPLACHENO" ("NOT FULLY
PAID") is struck at top right. Please see illustration No. 2.
The cover was backstamped four days later at the Warsaw Office for
Despatch and Distribution of Foreign Correspondence. Two days later, its arrival
by train at theFrench entry point at Erquelines was marked at bottom right on the
front, with a postmark reading "RUSSIE / AMB. ERQUELINES E" ("Russian / Erquelines
R.P.O. E"), dated 6 June 1874. Turning to the back, we see that it was handled on
the same day by the Paris to Marseilles R.P.O. and it arrived at its destination
the next day. Various rate markings on the front complete the description of the
Thus we now know of at least two offices at which this kind of ca-
chet was applied. It is likely that most, if not all, offices should have been is-
sued with such a marking in a standard type or types. It would be appreciated if
members would advise what they possess in this field.
Viktor Indra, Olomouc, Czechoilovakia
Further to my article in Rossica No. 69 on the 1939 stamp of the
Carpatho-Ukraine, I like to draw attention now to some material, related to this
event and its immediate aftermath. The three items I want to describe are as
(1) A registered cover sent by the Carpathian Electric Co. Ltd.
at Chust (Khust) to Bratislava in Slovakia at 10 am on 15 March 1939. It is franked
with normal Czech stamps and cancelled with the usual bilingual "CHUST / XYCT"
marking in subscript "d'. When impounded by the Hungarian military upon the oc-
cupation of Chust, a handwritten notation in Hungarian and reading "To The Customs
Service, Budapest 78" was placed on the cover, just below and to the left of the
stamps (please see illustration No. 1). It was examined at the International Post
Office at Budapest 78, the cachet of whose Customs Section appears just above the
Chust registration label, and then forwarded to its destination.
(2) A Czech postcard, written in Hungarian by the sender at Koro-
smezo (Yasinya) and addressed to his wife at Tiazaborkut (Kvasy, on the Chernaya
Tisza River), two days after the Hungarians came in. A 10-filler Hungarian stamp
has been added, as the Czech card was no longer valid, and the postmark used was the
old Czech-Ukrainian bilingual type inscribed "JASINA / YASENYA" with the subscript
"b", dated 17 March 1939. There is also a faint violet impression of the provisional
Hungarian canceller with coat of arms in the center, undated, and inscribed "MAGYAR
KIR. POSTA x 263 x" ("ROYAL HUNGARIAN POST No. 263"). Please see illustration No.
(3) A cover sent to Prague and showing the continued usage of Czech
postage stamps 10 days after the beginning of the occupation. The two-crowns stamp
is cancelled with two types of Hungarian provisional markings. The undated one at
left, numbered "265" and struck in violet is the earlier type, while the cancel at
right, with "110" at bottom and dated 25 March 1939, is in black (please see illus-
tration No. 3). Both were applied at the town of SEVLYUSH, known to the Hungarians
as NAGYSZOLLOS and now named VINOGRADIV, because of the many vineyards in the vicinity.
No. 71 Page 85
Dr. C. de Stackelberg, Washington, D.C.
I have perused with interest Mr. A. Cohen's "Catalog of Imperial Rus-
sian Stamps", which appeared in the Rossica #70, on pages 42 to 44.
For the benefit of our readers, especially non-specialists, who might
get confused, I find it unfortunate that Mr. Cohen apparently only used perforation
sizes, as listed in Scott's catalog. The basic research on the type and sizes of
the perforations of Russian stamps was paintakingly undertaken years ago by Mr. S.
Manshelei, by measuring the perforations of thousands of stamps. The results of
this study were published in the old Rossica #10 of October 1933, with addenda pub-
lished in #16 of August 1934.
Thus the actual perforations of Scott #2 to 4 and #12 to 28 are comb,
narrow hold, perf. 143 x 14 and not 14 3/4 or ll4 x 15; the Scott #5 to 10 are
harrow, wide hole, perf. 12 x 12 and not 12. I therefore do not believe in
the existence of Scott #19, perf. 14 3/4 x 15i, as no such perforating machine
existed at the Imperial State Printing Works in St. Petersburg. On the other hand
it is well known that some of the paper used for Russian stamps had the tendency
to shrink or stretch, when affected by humidity or later when wetted to take them
off envelopes or pieces. I am therefore sure that should Mr. Cohen compare the
size of his oddly perforated stamps with ordinary $19 stamps he will find that the
former had slightly shrunk.
I would also like to point out that the issue date of the Scot #12-18
is June 1865 and not July 1864, as listed by Mr. Cohen. (By the way, why does
Scott list #5, 6, and 7 of 1864 before and together with #8, 9 and 10 of 1858,
when the latter had been issued six years earlier and represented a separate is-
Should Mr. Cohen have based his catalog on such specialized and more
sophisticated catalogs as Romeko's of 1956, John Reynold's of 1957 and of the Cer-
cle Franco-Russe of 1964 many more interesting varieties and errors, as well as
proofs, essays, color trials and forgeries could have been listed, not to speak
of the confusing system employed by him to classify theScott #19 to 23 of 1866 to
1875 on horizontally laid paper, combined with those of 1868 to 1871 on vertically
G. G. Werbizky, Vestal, New York
Enclosed is the photograph of the portion of the sheet which contains
Russia Scott No. 237a. You will notice that the corner stamp (NW corner) has a
"smear" under 100 PYG. The "smear" is of the same color as the stamps.
I think it would be interesting to know if this "smear" has a fairly
regular appearance, i.e. it is quite common, or it is just an accident that hap-
pened on this sheet only (the 2nd sheet I have does not have this "smear").
Page 86 No. 71
. Cron An 1874 cover ron Odessa to B
.I1ca'seiIles, showing the usage of .^/,,.
the "JoT FIu! Paqd" marking." -:., O.
1 ^ ,.-,d s^ ./s .e',>,^-t,.p'^'- F'. o .o..- --. .- r- p p
2 .I. -o
..3iou 1 ezd0
V'ktor lndra : The earlj daos_ o the Hungarian Adminislration of the Carpcitho-Ukraine, March 1939
*. RElo Fra~lvEE
Dr. Vas;l Stoypnov Am /879 Russian Levant cover with
unrecorded and unusual cancel of Smyrna.
/ ..... Kurt A cdler :
"F.tpost A 1919 field-
JS 6 %' m P (.from the
S.. .. S w e d is h
pm o s o n
A delayed ......: ,
U. ,/4 5,2,/'2 Nor, :
se.....nt f.. om. n .
SNovoy La dog .
i9 March 1918
to Kiev in the
Ukraine, 9 .....
A.e....... .e... .......... .... .....
September 1918. ''
X~ _~~"t~.;.l:, i <1_-
R. F. Minkus, M. D., Orange, Texas
The three values of the new Tchaikovsky set are square and normally
measure approximately 37.5 mm x 37.5 mm from centerline to centerline of the perfor-
Sations. When I got my new issues I noted that the 16 kop. value measured only 33.5
nm x 37.5 mm.
The dealer who sold them (Leo Zaikovsky) checked his stock and re-
ports that this variety occurs all the way across the sheet in the second row from
Walter Fravenlob, Bern, Switzerland
I consulted the list of Mr. A. Cohen very good but incomplete.
No. 1 exists with retouches, No. 23 exists with partial reimpression! The No. 8 has
two different retouches I showed these in London in 1960 and Wipa 1965. I possess
No. 19 23, 26 30 in original sheets unused of 100 stamps. I began to recon-
struct the sheets of No. 27 (shown in London 1960) 27 and 29 (shown in 1965 Wipa)
complete, used. I continue with the No. 29 and 30. Today I did a beautiful dis-
covery. Stamp No. 70 in the 4th part of the sheet has a white cordel in the left
posthorn. I found this stamps on the sheet.
The British Journal of Russian Philately No. 38, March 1966. 48
pages. Once again Editor Pete Ashford comes up with a winner, and issue full of
varied fare. He begins by authoring "Transcaspia and Turkestan", thens shows some
lovely postmarks from these regions on Romanovs, next, he offers his "Bogus Stamps
of Bukhara, 1886" which yields some new information, and so does his excellent
"The Malleson Mission to Transcaspia 1918-19." Other articles of importance are:
E. G. Peel's "Money Transfer Cards and OtherCovers from Turkestan", A. Droar's and
Dr. Wortman's "Outstanding Covers", F. W. Speer's "Zemstvos of the Post-Abdication
Years", Dr. Wortman's "Dot Cancellations", New Information, I. L. G. Baillie's
"The Shagiv Issues of the Ukraine", New Data", M. Liphschutz's "Outstanding Items",
A. E. Waugh's "Miniature Sheets of the Soviet Union", and "Modern Soviet Perfor-
ation Varieties", and F. W. Speer's "Varieties in the Soviet Air Mail Etiquette of
August 1928". Rossica Journal Salutes its sister society journal and its fine
"FILATELIYA SSSR" ("PHILATELY USSR"), organ of the Ministry of Communications of the
USSR and of the All-Union Society of Philatelists. The first issue is dated July
1966, priced at 30 kopeks and printed in an edition of 50,000 copies.
This appears a revival of the old pre-war monthly "Soviet Col-
lector", but there is actually no indication as to how often it will come out.
It is a well-printed magazine, running to 32 pages and the number printed dwarfs
that of its predecessors of the twenties and early thirties, which never went be-
yond 3000 copies per issue.
The contents are mainly of a preliminary nature, with the emphasis
on the topical side of philately. The best two articles are both by V. Karlinskii,
who has already shown his ability for research in the recent "Soviet Collector"
manuals, which have been previously reviewed by our journal. He now investigates
the origin of a Pushkin portrait used for the 1937 set issued on the centenary of
No. 71 Page 87
his tragic death, and he follows this with a very informative article on the
genesis of the 1925 Lenin Mausoleum issue. We hope to translate these two items
for our readers in thenext issue of Rossica. Other useful articles includes ad-
vice on preparing and grading collections for exhibitions, and a profile on the
noted stamp designer, V. V. Zavyalov.
It will be interesting to see how this magazine develops in the future,
and it is hoped that it will follow the example set by the fine Bulgarian monthly
"Philatelen Pregled", to produce a bright and informative journal.
"FILATELIAI SZEMLE" ("PHILATELIC REVIEW"), a monthly philatelic magazine, pub-
lished in Budapest, Hungary, by the National Union of Hungarian Stamp Collectors,
under the editorship of Dr. Laszlo Steiner.
This beautiful journal is one of only two philetelic magazines in the
world, printed by the photogravure process. It has reached the amazingly high cir-
culation figure of 85,000 copies monthly, which is pretty good going for a country
of only 11 million people.
Besides the usual items of interest, the August 1966 issue contains a
fine article entitled "Moscow-Budapest" by Otto Kmetty and Arpad Zaborszky. This
is a description of a joint Soviet-Hungarian show entitled "Moscow-Budapest Phil-
atelic Exhibition", staged in Moscow by the Moscow City Philatelic Society on the
"Day of the Collector", 29 May 1966, with 11 Hungarian and 19 Soviet exhibitors.
Most of the exhibits were on topical lines, but we notice some interesting
Soviet displays, namely the following: "The Poltava District Overprints" by V. I.
Sorokin, a very interesting study of "Finnish Cancellations on Old Russian Stamps",
by Dr. N. V. Luchnik, and "The Postage Stamps of Soviet Turkestan", by V. N. Usti-
Judging from the foregoing, it may be seen that the standard of Soviet
philately is improving, while postal history is also gaining recognition. There is
to be a reciprocal show in Hungary, entitled "Budapest-Moscow", to be staged in
"V PORTOVOM GORODE" ("IN A PORT CITY"), by V. Saksonov and V. Kolkov. A paperback
issued by the Znanie Publishing House, Moscow, in an edition of 150,000 copies at
the very low price of 7 kopeks (almost 80) and running to 94 pages.
This is a Russian "povest", or long short story, based on the philatelic
scandals, which shook Latvia in 1962 and lead to the arrest and prosecution of
several collectors and would-be dealers who were smuggling stamps abroad. Although
the names of the participants have been changed, they are still recognizable to
anyone who has had philatelic correspondence with Latvian collectors in the period
up to 1962.
Centering around the adventures of a customs officer trying to track
down large-scale smuggling in general, the story contains a range of philatelic
facts and anecdotes. In particular, it sheds some light on how the Kurland pro-
visionals of 19h5 came on to the international philatelic market, making the bro-
chure interesting reading from that view point.
"RUSS-FIL", No. 3/4, September 1966. This issue of the excellent organ for
Scandinavian collectors interested in Russian philately, follows the tradition
of printing in Norwegian, original and translated articles in our fields of in-
terest. It is under the able editorship of our member, Mr. Hans Irmann-Jatobsen
After a timely editorial on the speculative issues which have ap-
peared over the past few years, a review is given by Einar Reimendal of the supple-
mentary catalog of Soviet stamps, covering the period 1958 to 1963. He includes a
list of the perforation varieties he has noticed. The Editor and K. Gilevitsch
then translates the pre-war section of Vovin's catalog of special Soviet cancels,
with additional notes. Ernst Borglin then follows with a very useful article on
screen variations for modern Soviet stamps, printed by the photogravure process,
inspired by previous work done by A. S. Waugh in the BJRP, but now with a much more
detailed and comprehensive listing.
A good study of the 10 kopeck comiem of 1947 for the eigbh centenary
of Moscow and featuring Gorky Street is then given by Curt Block. The Editor then
comes back and asks some very pointed questions about the printings of post-W.W.II
stamps. Several of these are known in two distinct issues, indicating the usage of
either two original plates for each stamp, or further printings at later dates. A
very valuable excerpt follows of the postal rates of Imperial Russia and the RSFSR
from 1914 1924, compiled by our hon. member Michel Liphschutz and Charles Godard.
The Editor is obviously an expert on paper thicknesses and he now
treats us to a study of thick and then paper varieties for the issues from 1858 to
1865. Bjorn Berg follows with a good study of the 1951 set devoted to famous ex-
plorers, inventors, etc. A two-page section of various notes is then given and we
next have a register of Scandinavian collectors and their interests, followed by
Readers with a knowledge of both English and German will have no
difficulty in following the Norwegian contents. Requests for copies should be ac-
companied with a remittance of $1.40 or the equivalent by an American Express Money
Order, made out to the Editor, Mr. Hans Irmann-Jacobsen, Munkedamsveien 86/III,
"VAM PIS'MO!" ("TO YOU THE LETTER!") by Mikhail Saulovich Arlazorov. A book of 230
pages, issued by the "Sovietskaya Rossiya" Publishing House, Moscow, 1966 in an
edition of 100,000 copies. Price 1 r. 4 kop.
This work is the latest, and by far, the best example in the series
of books so far published in the USSR on general philatelic topics. Probably in-
fluenced to some extent by the study on somewhat similar lines by theGerman writer
Wolfram Grallert, which was reviewed in Rossica No. 70, this present work gives in
a concise and highly informative way thehistory of the posts over the past twenty
The multitude of facts presented by the author shows that he has
done a great deal of research on his subject, based on Russian and many foreign
sources and illustrated with pictures of many postage stamps. Especially useful
to the beginner is the 23-page section at the end of the book, which gives short
notes on all stamp-issuing countries of the world. The author's approach is pri-
marily topical, but this is the work of a cultured man and competent philatelist.
Printed on good quality paper, the volume was beautifully produced
by a provincial establishment, the Polygraph Combine in the ancient and historic
city of Yaroslavl.
CALENDARR' FILATELISTA 1966" ("THE PHILATELIST'S CALENDAR 1966). Issued by the
"Svyaz'" Publishing House, Moscow 1965 in an edition of 50,000 copies. Compiled
No. 71 Page 89
by V. A. Fitse and A. F. Kolesnikov, under the editorship of V. A. Karlinskii.
Price 60 kopeks.
This is a well-illustrated paperback in calendar form, aimed primarily
at budding philatelists. Divided into weeks of the year, with Soviet stamps tied
in specifically to anniversaries and events of importance, this brochure presents
a variety of interesting philatelic information along topical lines and devotes a
final page to a list of further reading. Produced by photogravure, it is a per-
suasive invitation for any novice to start collecting stamps. It will be inter-
esting to see what if a 1967 edition will appear and what it will be like
....................................... ..................................... .. ........ .... ..
STAMPAZINE PHILATELIC CENTER
Stamps and Covers of the World
all philatelic supplies
1 09 W. 4 3 rd. S t r e e t NE W Y 0 R K 36, N. Y.
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USED POSTAL STATIONERY ENVELOPES AND LETTER SHEETS OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA
KINGDOM of POLAND and GRAND DUCHY of FINLAND
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
Salida, Calif., USA
Page 90 ......................................
Page 90 No. 71
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No. 71 Page 91
FOR A SPECIALIST!
We are breaking up a
large specialized collection of
EMPIRE SOVIET (up to 1945)
On hand a large selection!
Accumulation of 40 years.........
ERRORS, COVERS, UNLISTED VARIETIES, incl.
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
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make us offers for cash payment.
S. SEREBRAKIAN, INC.
P.O. Box 448 MONROE, N.Y. 10950
Page 92 No. 71
Armenia to Ukraine and Wenden.
U : 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
" ............................ 0. ........ a.. ana8 0
COVERS WITH RUSSIAN
"MUTE CAN C E L LA TIONS"
beginning World War One from -
POLAND and LITHUANIA
Dr. J. K U D E R E W I C Z 142 Tarrytown Rd. MANCHESTER, N. H.
.*.... 1Cage.... S3........*** SCSCC CCCCC* C C........... ............ S9... S3CC**************** .
SNo. 71 Page 93