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|Table of Contents|
|Officers and representatives of...|
|Life of the society by Gordon...|
|Minutes of the 1978 annual business...|
|The 50th anniversary of "Rossica"...|
|Member to member adlets|
|Soviet postal rates by A....|
|The Tete-beche error on 3000 ruble...|
|Odessa famine issue "used" in Russia...|
|The first ice island by P....|
|Mail from Russia to the United...|
|Rapid delivery, V.I.P. mail, and...|
|The post Revolutionary stamp-less...|
|Further notes on the first Essayan...|
|Printing varieties of Soviet stamps...|
|Constantinople to St. Petersburg,...|
|Forged overprints, German occupation...|
|The bogus Bukhara "Camel Post"...|
|An unusual historical cover by...|
|The problem of compound perforations...|
|Notes from collectors|
|The Rossica bookshelf|
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|Table of Contents|
Table of Contents
Officers and representatives of the society
Life of the society by Gordon Torrey
Minutes of the 1978 annual business meeting by K. Wilson
The 50th anniversary of "Rossica" society by J. Chudoba
Member to member adlets
Soviet postal rates by A. Fedotowsky
The Tete-beche error on 3000 ruble Azerbaijan by M. Ayer
Odessa famine issue "used" in Russia by M. Lamoureux
The first ice island by P. J. Campbell
Mail from Russia to the United States via diplomatic pouch by G. Torrey
Rapid delivery, V.I.P. mail, and courier service (translated by A. Fedotowsky)
The post Revolutionary stamp-less period translated by A. Fedotowsky
Further notes on the first Essayan pictorial issue of Armenia by R. J. Ceresa
Printing varieties of Soviet stamps by A. Medwid
Constantinople to St. Petersburg, 1879 by G. Torrey
Forged overprints, German occupation of the Ukraine
The bogus Bukhara "Camel Post" stamps of 1886 by C. de Stackelberg
An unusual historical cover by R. Trbovitch
The problem of compound perforations (translated by E. Wolski)
Notes from collectors
The Rossica bookshelf
"WIPA" 1933 BRONZE MEDAL "PRAGA" 1962 SILVER MEDAL
"PRAGA" 1935 BRONZE MEDAL "MELUSINA" 1963 SILVER MEDAL
"OSTRAPA" 1935 -SILVER MEDAL "PHILATEC" 1964 -SILVER MEDAL
"ZEFIB" 1937 SILVER MEDAL "WIPA" 1965 SILVER MEDAL
"BEPHILA" 1957 SILVER MEDAL "SIPEX" 1966 SILVER MEDAL
"EFICON" 1958 SILVER MEDAL "PRAGA" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"TEMEX" 1958 -SILVER MEDAL "APS-68" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"INTERPOSTA" 1959 SILVER MEDAL "EFIMEX" 1968 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"SICILIA" 1959 SILVER MEDAL "SOFIA-69" 1969 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"BARCELONA" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "BUDAPEST-71" 1971 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"UNIPEX" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "CHICAGO-APS" 1974 GOLD MEDAL
"POLSKA" 1960 -SILVER MEDAL "CAPEX-78" 1978 LARGE SILVER MEDAL
No 93 1978
THE JOURNAL OF THE
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
S VOLUME 93 1977
EDITORIAL BOARD: Rimma Sklarevski, Gordon Torrey, Norman Epstein, M.E. Wilson
PUBLISHER: Kennedy L. Wilson, 7415 Venice Street, Falls Church, Va. 22043
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Life of the Society, G. Torrey ......................................... 3
Minutes of the 1978 Annual Business Meeting, K. Wilson .................. 4
The 50th Anniversary of "Rossica" Society, J. Chudoba ................... 7
Member-to-Member Adlets ...........................................10
Soviet Postal Rates, A. Fedotowsky ...................................11
The Tete-Beche Error on 3000 Ruble Azerbaijan, M. Ayer .................20
Odessa Famine Issue "Used" in Russia, M. Lamoureux .....................22
The First Ice Island, P. J. Campbell ..................................23
S Mail from Russia to the United States via Diplomatic Pouch, G. Torrey ..36
Rapid Delivery, V.I.P. Mail, and Courier Service, trans. by
The Post Revolutionary Stampless Period, trans. by A. Fedotowsky .......38
Further Notes on the First Essayan Pictorial Issue of Armenia,
R. J. Ceresa..........39
Printing Varieties of Soviet Stamps, A. Medwid ........................41
Constantinople to St. Petersburg, 1879, G. Torrey ......................45
Forged Overprints, German Occupation of the Ukraine ....................46
The Bogus Bukhara "Camel Post" Stamps of 1876, C. de Stackelberg.........47
An Unusual Historical Cover, R. Trbovitch ............................49
The Problem of Compound Perforations, trans. by E. Wolski ..............51
Notes from Collectors .................................................53
The Rossica Bookshelf ..................................................60
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
PRESIDENT: Gordon H, Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20016
VICE-PRESIDENT: Constantine de Stackelberg, 1673 Columbia Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
SECRETARY: Kennedy L. Wilson, 7415 Venice Street, Falls Church, Virginia 22043
TREASURER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11226
LIBRARIAN: Claude Lysloff, 568 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn, New York 11226
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Samuel Robbins, 3565 Meier Street, Los Angeles, Cal. 90066
Boris Shishkin, 3523 Edmunds Road, N.W., Washington,DC 20007
Lester Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Boulevard,
Los Angeles, California 90035
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY
G.B. SALISBURY CHAPTER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11226
WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE: Boris Shishkin, 3523 Edmunds Road, N.W. D.C. 20007
ARTHUR B. SHIELDS CHAPTER: Samuel Robbins, 3563 Meier Street, L.A., Cal. 90066
GREAT BRITAIN: John Lloyd, "The Retreat," Wester Bergholdt, Colchester
Essex C06 3HE
Anything in this Journal may be reproduced without permission. However, acknow-
ledgement of the source and a copy of the reprinted matter would be appreciated.
The views in this Journal expressed by the authors are their own and the editors
disclaim all responsibility.
The membership dues are $12.00, due January 1st for all members. Application
forms are available upon request from the secretary or treasurer. Membership
lists will be sent annually. Kindly make all checks payable to:
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
c/o Norman Epstein
33 Crooke Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11226 USA
We have a number of back issues of the Journal for sale, both in English and
Russian language editions (some). These may be obtained from Mr. Epstein. Mr.
Wilson, or Mr. Lysloff.
LIFE OF THE SOCIETY
by Gordon Torrey
Last fall's annual Rossica meeting. held at the Hunt Valley Inn in conjunction
with the Baltimore Philatelic Society's exhibition, was the best attended in
some years. A good number of members attended from the New York and Washington-
Baltimore areas and several exhibited and won awards. Among those exhibiting
were Norman Epstein, who showed Mt. Athos and won a gold medal; "Passy" exhi-
bited a portion of his stunning Zemstvos and gained a vermeille; Claude Lysloff
showed Romanoff Tercentenary Jubilee issue and was awarded a silver; and your
president, who exhibited his Russian Transcaucasia "working" papers mercifully
was given a silver. The event was highlighted by the attendance of our former
secretary Joseph Chudoba, who came from his farm in northern Pennsylvania. It
was wonderful to see him again. In addition, there was a good gathering of
other members from the surrounding area and a good attendance at the annual
business meeting. The Society put on a slide show concerned with "Russia
Number One." This drew a large crowd and led to a lively discussion.
MEMBERS OF THE ROSSICA SOCIETY AND FRIENDS
WHO ATTENDED THE BALPEX BANQUET
Front Row: Mary Sue Sklarevski, Jacques Marcovitch Claude Lysloff, Norman
Epstein. Joe Chudoba. Back Row: Boris Stalling (Rimma's grandson), Mary B.
Gordon (Rimma's daughter), Rinma Sklarevski, Gordon Torrey.
The meeting at "BALPEX" was so successful in bringing members together, and
so enjoyable, that we have accepted the invitation of the Mount Nittany Phila-
telic Society in State College, Pennsylvania, to hold a spring meeting during
their annual exhibition called "SCOPEX '79." This will be Saturday and Sun-
day, April 28-29, 1979 and held at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College. As
most of you know, State College is headquarters of the American Philatelic
Society and the American Philatelic Research Library is located there. The
latter will be open for inspection during the exhibition. Members wishing
to exhibit should write to the Mount Nittany Philatelic Society, Box 902,
State College, Pennsylvania 16801. Frames are $5.00 each and the frame size
is 36" x 48"--sufficient to hold 16, 8 1/2 x 11" pages. It is my hope that
there will be a good showing of Russia and related material. I will be one of
the judges, so that you need not fear that your "esoteric" Russian philatelic
gems will not receive their due because of a lack of a judge acquainted with
the field. The other judges will be Jesse Boehret and Sid Schneider. Rooms
at the Inn are going fast and reservations can be obtained by calling 814-
237-7671 or writing to it at North Atherton Street, State College, Pennsyl-
vania 16801. The rates are $25.50 for a single and $35.50 for a twin or
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
1978 ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
BALPEX '78 3 September 1978
The annual Business Meeting of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately was
held on 3 September 1978 inconjunction with BALPEX '78 at the Hunt Valley
Inn, Cockeysville, Maryland. The business meeting was proceeded by a
meeting of the Board of Directors.
Roll Call of Officers: 5
President: Gordon Torrey present
Vice President: Constantine de Stackelberg present
Secretary: Kennedy L. Wilson present
Treasurer: Norman Epstein present
Editor: Rimma Sklarevski present
Librarian: Claude Lysloff present
Directors: Boris Shishkin excused
Sam Robbins excused
Lester Glass excused
Martin Cerini, Joseph Chudoba, Don Heller, Millard Kopatch, J. Marcovitch,
William Spahr, Ted Turkow, Howard Weinert.
Reading of Minutes of Previous Meeting:
M/S/C Chudoba, Cerini: To dispense with the reading of the minutes of the
previous meeting since they appear in Rossica #92.
Secretary's Report: Mr. Kennedy L. Wilson
The secretary reported that as of the date of the meeting there were 291 members
of the Society. A new membership list reflecting names and addresses of members
was mailed to all members with their copy of Rossica #92.
It was pointed out that the chronically late publication of the Rossica Journal
was causing problems with the membership. Normally a member is entitled to
2 issues of the Journal per year. The most recent issue, Rossica #92, was
the first issue for 1977. Rossica #93 will complete the 1977 issues. Issue
#94/95 will be for 1978, and 96/97 will be our Jubilee Year Issue for 1979.
A policy has been adopted wherby a member joining the Society in a given year
will be sent all issues published between the time he joins the society and
the last issue for the dues year in which his dues are paid. For example, a
member joining during the Balpex meeting would receive Rossica #93, even
though it is published for a year prior to his membership year, as well as
Rossica #94/95 for 1978.
Although this policy is expensive for the Society, it is some compensation to
the members for their patience in having to wait so long for journals. It
is the publisher's goal to catch up to date by the Jubilee issues of 1979.
(Ed. note--see notice on this subject elsewhere in this issue of the Journal.)
Treasurer's Report: Mr. Norman Epstein
As of 31 July 1978, the Society had $5163.82 in its bank account and
$3000 plus interest in a time deposit. Since that date debits of $1475.85
and credits of $447.58 had been received, leaving the Society bank balance
at $4135.55 as of 3 September 1978.
Membership Committee: Mr. Norman Epstein
Mr. Epstein reported that through the efforts of Mr. Martin Cerini, the member-
ship had grown considerably since last year. We regularly advertise in Linn's
Stamp News and are attempting to publicise our Society at appropriate exhibi-
tions and stamp shows. This expansion of the membership has improved the
Society's financial condition from that which existed a few years ago. (Eg,
see the Treasurer's report for the 1976 annual meeting, Rossica #89.)
The President commended Mr. Cerini for his work on behalf of the Society mem-
bership and rewarded him by appointing him the Chairman of the Membership
Committee in addition to his position as Chairman of the Publicity Committee.
The President's action was approved by acclamation.
Expertization Committee: Mr. Norman Epstein
Mr. Epstein reported that the Expertization Committee was badly in need of a
Polaroid MP4 camera for use with the Society's expertizations. The price of
this camera is approximately $1400. Mr. Eptsein had surveyed the market for
cameras which would do the job and discussed cameras with the expertization
groups of other philatelic societies. On the basis of thisrhe recommended
that the Polaroid MP4 camera be purchased for use by the Rossica Expertization
Committee. There was some discussion on the requirement for and the relative
merits of the investment.
M/S/C: Cerini, Marcovitch: The purchase of the camera be approved by consensus.
Old Business: None
Jubilee Issue: Mr. Norman Epstein
Mr. Epstein suggested that the Jubilee Issue of the Rossica Journal, commemorating
50 years as a Society, be published in a distinctive format. After some discussion
by the membership it was decided the issue should be the same size but have a
distinctive cover and binding.
M/S/C: Epstein, Chudoba: The Journal publisher be directed to insure that
the Jubilee Issue be published in a distinctive format, cover, and binding,
and that the Editor attempt to obtain some definitive articles for the Jubilee
Incorporation and Tax Free Status of the Society: Mr. Kennedy L. Wilson
Mr. Wilson pointed out that the Society was now of sufficient size so that
considerable money could be saved by incorporating and seeking non profit tax
status and mailing privileges. President Torrey reported that Mr. Rappaport,
an attorney om New York and Rossica member, was taking steps to have the
Society declared a non-profit organization by the IRS. Once that had been
done we could apply to the U.S. Postal Service for considerably reduced postal
rates both for mailing our journals and other notices. President Torrey also
requested Mr. Wilson to look into the possibility of incorporating the Society
in order to indemnify the officers and directors, and also for copyright
Special Membership Requests: Mr. Kennedy L. Wilson
Mr. Wilson reported that he had received requests for membership from two indi-
viduals who were residents of penal institutions Tone federal, one state). He
asked the guidance of the membership regarding how these should be handled.
The matter had been brought up in the Board of Directors Meeting, and there
it had been decided to bring the matter up to the entire membership at the
There followed a lively and lengthy discussion and debate, much of it centering
around Article II, section I.a. of the constitution, which is quoted below for
"Membership in the Society is open to all persons regardless
of sex, creed, color, religion, or national origin (18) years
of age or older, of legal responsibility and good moral
M/S/C: de Stackelberg, Kopatch: That Article II, Section I.a. of the con-
stitution be interpreted to prohibit membership of persons in penal insti-
tutions during their incarceration; that they be accepted to membership if
they apply upon their release from such penal institutions; and that the
Secretary be instructed to so inform these two pending requests for membership.
The motion carried, 8 to 6.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.
Kennedy L. Wilson
THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF "ROSSICA" SOCIETY
by Joseph Chudoba
On April 14, 1929, ten philatelists whose interests were centered in Russian
and related material met in Jugoslavia and founded the "ROSSICA" Society of
Russian Philately. The first President of the Society was Mr. E. M. Archan-
guelsky who resided in Jugoslavia until the time of his death on February 13,
1956. The general aims of the Society are still the same as when the Society
was founded, namely to: unite all philatelists in our field, publish
Journals in which all members can actively participate, and advance the
interest in Russian and related philately. As of this writing, none of the
original ten members who founded the Society are alive.
Within the 50 years of its existence there were many memorable occasions
which confronted the Society. During.the period of World War II it was almost
impossible to function actively. Whereas "Rossica" Journals #1 to #10 were
published in Jugoslavia, #11 to #23 were published in Riga, Latvia; from #24
to #40 in Talinn, Estonia; and further,from #41 to #43,in Shanghai, China.
Beginning with #44, all Journals up to date have been published in the.United
States; Dr. Gregory B. Salisbury was editor of these issues until his death on
January 25, 1968. Since that time there havebeenvarious editors and members
contributing material, resulting in the fact that the Journal has become one
of the foremost publications on Russian philately in the world. Since its
inception, the Journal has received more than 25 awards in National and
International Philatelic Exhibitions for merit of philatelic publications.
S During the existence of the Society there have been many members whose conti-
bution should be remembered. Among the Presidents there were Mr. E.M. Archan-
guelsky (First President) who diedFebruary 15, 1956; Mr. Alexander A. Chebot-
kevich (Second President) who died October 31, 1960; Dr. Gregory B. Salisbury
(Third President) who died January 25, \1968;and Professor Kurt Adler (Fourth
President) whodied September 28, 1977. Also during the period of February
1968 to November 1968, Vice-President Alexander otlar assumed the presidency
at the death of Dr. Salisbury, and then Vice-President Dr. Gordon H. Torrey
assumed the presidency upon the resignation of Professor Adler in August 1972.
It was through the unfortunate pressure of work and other responsibilities
that Professor Adler had to resign. Dr. Torrey has been our devoted President
ever since that time.
Also among the outstanding members who have contributed much of their know-
ledge and literature to the furtherance of the Society, we should not forget
departed fellow philatelists: Vladimir A. Rachmanov, who specialized in
Poland and early Imperial Russian issues; S.V. Prigara, whose book on early
Russian and Russian Offices is known world-wide; Dr. Rudolph Seichter, the
famous specialist on the stamps of the Ukraine; Mr. W. S. E. Stephen, whose
work in collaboration with Mr. Tchilinghirian produced the foremost reference
books on the Russian Posts Abroad; Mr. K. K. Schmidt; Mr. N. Kardakov,.Mr. B.
Legky; Mr. A. Rosselevich; Dr. Snegireff; Mr. T. Lavrov; and Col. Alexander
Of the old-timers who are still with us, we want to take this occasion to
salute Mr. Rimma Sklarevski for the devoted work he has done for the Society
Icontinued on p. 38)
k******* IMPORTANT NOTICE *******
Enclosed with this issue of the Rossica Journal is an envelope addressed to the
treasurer, Mr. Norman Epstein. 1979 DUES ARE NOW DUE. Please use the envelope
to pay your $12.00 annual dues to the Society treasurer. For your information,
Article II, section 3a. of the Rossica constitution is quoted below:
"Any member failing to pay the National Dues within the first 6 months of the
current year shall be dropped automatically from membership and shall not
therefore be entitled to further benefits. Thereafter, such former members
may rejoin the Society only upon re-application to the Membership Committee
with prepayment of annual dues plus initiation fee."
As noted in the Life of the Society (Rossica No. 92, page 3), one of the
privileges of membership in Rossica is one free expertization per membership
year. The referenced announcement has given rise to several questions which
require clarification. Policy on these free expertizations is as follows:
1. Only one free expertization per membership year.
2. The privilege must be used during the membership year--it cannot
be accumulated The service was begun in the 1978 membership
year, and prior membership in the Society has no bearing.
3. The item must be submitted on the official expertization form
available from Norman Epstein.
4. Return postage must be included.
5. Only one item per expertization form.
Anyone wishing to avail himself of this service merely has to write our
Treasurer and Chairman of the Expertization Committee, Norman Epstein at
33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11226 enclosing a legal size (4 1/4 x
9 1/2") stamped envelope for an expertization form. When submitting material
for free expertization, it owner must provided return postage for his
material. Items submitted will be expertized by Rossica members specializing
in the various aspects of Russian philately.
For the most recent issue of the Rossica Journal, several members complained
that they had not received their Journals.
Due to the combined circumstances of a significantly increased membership,
a short printing run, and what turned out to be a very popular article on the
Russian Railroad Mails, Volume 92 was in effect oversubscribed before we real-
ized all members had not received their copies.
In order to improve this situation, we have ordered new, hardier mailing
envelopes, and had them printed with a return address and guarantee of return
postage. The U.S. Postal Service will neither forward nor return undeliverable
copies of our Journal unless forwarding or return postage has been guaranteed.
As it turned out in the case of Journal N6. 92, some of the members who complained
of not receiving journals had new addresses and had not so notified Rossica. In
order to improve this situation as well, if in the future your journal is
returned to Rossica because you changed address and failed to notify us, you will
have to pay an additional $1.00 for postage and handling to get your journal
remained. We will continue to make every effort to keep our mailing list up to
date, but it is the member's responsibility to keep Rossica informed of his correct,
ADDRESS CHANGES / CORRECTIONS
250 Col. Eugene Prince, Box 244, Rowayton, Connecticut 06853
628 Michael J. Carson, R.R. 2, Box 231, Tuscola, Illinois 61953
736 James Mazepa, P.O Box 1217, Oak Park, Illinois 60304
790 George B. Shaw, 5 Clark Court, Rutherford, New Jersey 07070
858 Sam S. Emison, 928 Teetshorn St., Houston, Texas 77009
S 863 Joseph L. Vogl, 1028 Lantana Drive, Los Angeles, California 90042
895 Ernest Holappa, 21371 Garden Ave. 12, Hayward, California 94541
904 Don Heller, 206 W. Fairmount Ave., State College, Pennsylvania 16801
910 Alan McKenzie, 580 Rebecca Street, Oakville, Ontario L6K 3N9, Canada
914 Robert L. Aarons, 520 2nd St. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003
920 Peter Barrett, 20 Stuyvesant Oval, Apt 9C, New York, New York 10009
952 Robert Trbovich, Apt 1120 Watergate of Landmark
367 Yoakum Parkway, Alexandria, Virginia 22304
960 Jean R. Walton, R.D. # 1, Box 454, Califon, New Jersey 07830
966 George H. Williamson, 3240 8th Ave. South, Great Falls, Montana 59404
967 Shawn T. Carmack, 2167 N.E. Loop 410 (Apt D20), San Antonio, Texas 78217
698 The Rev. Leonard Tann, 8 Mayfield Road, Sutton, Surrey, England
MEMBER TO MEMBER ADLETS
The purpose of the member to member adlet section is to allow members to adver-
tise special requirements and interests and to make contact with fellow collectors
for the acquisition of needed material and information. The adlets are not de-
signed for purely commercial users, but as a service to individual collectors in
the pursuit of their philatelic inquiries. The rates have been kept purposely
nominal to cover printing costs only. Due to minimum printing page format require-
ments and cutoff deadlines, Rossica can not guarantee that such adlets will be
printed in the next Journal issue, but all ads will be processed on a first come,
first served basis. Finally, since Rossica can not assume any responsibility for
transactions resulting from member responses to adlets, nor get involved with
mediating disputes, members are cautioned to be fair in offering and honest in
responding. Any material of value sent through the mails should be insured for
each member's protection. The regulations and prices for the adlets are as follows:
1) Rossica adlets will be limited to 6 Journal lines, each consisting of 75
characters or spaces per line.
2) The price per adlet line is $1.00 per issue.
3) Each adlet must include the name and address of the member placing the ad.
4) No general buy or sell ads will be accepted as adlets. The Journal makes
different provisions for strictly commercial advertisements.
5) Adlet Service is available to Rossica members only.
6) All adlets will be accompanied by a check for the correct amount made out to:
Mr. Norman Epstein, Treasurer,33 Crooke Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11226.
7) All adlets and checks will be mailed to Dr. Kennedy L. Wilson, Secretary,
7415 Venice Street, Falls Church, Virginia 22043
WANTED: RUSSIAN REVENUE, fiscal, vignette, label and cinderella stamps, plus
revenue & legal paper, paper seals, bills of exchange cutouts, and any revenue
documents, intact or otherwise. All periods: Imperial, civil war & Soviet. Will
exchange or purchase. MARTIN CERINI, 37 Wyoming Drive, Hunt Station, New York 11746
WANTED: BOGUS, PHANTOM, PRIVATE ISSUE and UNISSUED stamps of Russia and States;
as well as reprints, forgeries and varieties these items from all periods.
Any quantity considered-Send price quote or items. All postage and insurance
costs will be paid for material sent for examination. Also interested in
purchase of related literature. GREGORY WHITT, 308 Delaware Avenue, Urbana,
QUERY: Will members who have stamps or covers of RUSSIAN LEVANT with the 1876
and 1879 surcharges "7" and "8" with legible dates in the cancellations please
write GORDON TORREY, 5118 Duvall Drive, Washington, D.C. 20016
WANTED: MONGOLIA, Scott #1 through 61, including perforation varieties and errors,
surcharge varieties. Please state condition and price. KENNEDY WILSON, 7415
Venice Street, Falls Church, Virginia 22043
SOVIET POSTAL RATES
by A. Fedotowsky
The purpose of this article is to facilitate as much as possible the determi-
nation of Soviet postal rates. The rates shown are based in three references:
1) A set of tables and foot-notes in the "Sbornik" of the Moscow Collector's
club (No. 9, 1971).
2) A set of six articles by V.A. Karlinskii in the Soviet journal Philately
U.S.S.R. (Nos. 4-6, 1966 and Nos. 1-3, 1967). These articles were trans-
lated in the Rossica Journal during 1967-8.
3) A table in the catalog issued by the Philatelic Circle France U.S.S.R.
The rates shown cannot be considered as definitive since in many cases they do
not agree. Discrepancies are noted. Furthermore it should be remembered that
the postal system in Russia during the years 1919-23 was in many ways in a
state of anarchy. The many rate changes, the shortage of stamps, the run-away
inflation, and the social disorder explain the many variations in usage en-
Most foreign mail up to August 25, 1921 was franked according to domestic rates.
Only ref. 1 shows the first five foreign rates reported here.
Please note that interpretation of the tabulated rates often necessitates re-
feral to the foot-notes.
1. Local 10k per 30 gr.
2. Local 30k per 6 lots plus 5k per additional lot. Domestic 35k per lot. The
lot is an old Russian weight (approx. 13 gr.). The first Russian stamps have
the inscription 10 (20,30) kop. per 1 (2,3) lots. Also a deficiency fee was
charged--double the unpaid amount--due to incorrect franking.
3. Local 15k per 15 gr. Domestic 25k per 15 gr.
4. (See the post revolutionary stampless period monograph.)
Postcards and ordinary letters weighing less than 15 gr. were free. The rates
shown are for heavier and registered letters. In this case the full weight was
used to determine the postage. Thus a letter weighing 20 gr. required the simple
rate plus the registration surcharge. This was also to apply to mail arriving
at the borders of Soviet Russia from other countries.
5. These new rates went into effect at the given date in Moscow and Petrograd.
Everywhere else they went into effect on November 5, 1919. In some districts
the stock of ruble stamps was depleted and it was decided that the franking of
registered mail was to be paid in coin. A notation of this method of payment
was made on the envelope.
6. Pre-revolutionary stamps of 1-20k were revalued one hundred fold with no
overprint. However, some outlying districts did make hand-stamp or manuscript
overprints of the new valuation.
Rate Effective Post-card Local Inter-city Registr. Foot-note
NQ Date Letter Letter Surcharge
1 15/8/17 .05 .10 .15 .20 1
2 28/2/18 .20 .30 .35 .70 2
3 15/9/18 .10 .15 .25 .25 3
4 1/1/19 Free .15 .25 .25 4
5 1/11/19 Free 1. 1. 3. 4.5
6 10/3/20 Free 5. 5. 10. 4.6
7 15/8/21 100. 100. 250. 1000. 7
8 1/2/22 3000. 5000. 7500. 15000. 8
9 1/4/22 4000. 6000. 10000. 20000.
1U 15/4/22 20000. 30000. 50000. 100000. 9
11 1/10/22 5. 5. 10. 15. 10
12 1/11/22 10. 10. 20. 30.
13 1/12/22 20. 20. 40. 40.
14 1/1/23 .50 .50 1, 1. 11
15 10/3/23 .75 .75 1.50 1.50
16 1/5/23 1. 1. 2. 2.
17 20/5/23 1.50 1.50 3. 3.
18 10/6/23 2. 2. 4. 4. _
19 5/7/23 3. 3. 6. 6. _
"20 20/8/23 .04=5. a).05=6.50 .06=8. .06=8. 12,13
21 1/9/23 8. a)10. b)8. 12. 12. 14.13
22 16/9/23 13. a)16.5 b)13 20. 20. 15.13
23 1/10/23 .04 a).05 b).04 .06 .06 16
2 15/12/23 .03 a).05 bl.04 .06 .06
25 1/9/24 .03 a).05 b).04 .07 .07
26 1/2/26 .03 a).05 b).04 .08 .10
27 15/7/28 c).03 d).05 a).05 b).04 .10 .10
28 1/4/31 c).03 d).10 .05 .15 _.15
29 025/2/33 c).05 d.15 .10 .20 .
30 6/2/39 c.10 d).20 .15 .30 .30
31 16/9/48 a).25 b).- .- 40 18
32 1/1/61 .03 .04 .0 19
Rate Effective Post-card Letter Registr. Foot-notes
N Date Surcharge
1 1/9/17 .08 .20 .20 20
2 10/3/18 .12 .30 .30
3 (?) 1919 .80 2. 2. 21
4 7/6/20 4. 10. 10.
5 1921 8. 20. 20.
6 15/8/21 400 1,000 1,000 7
7 21/11/21 2,000 5,000 5,000
8 20/2/22 4,000 10,000 10,000 8, 55
9 1/3/22 6,000 15,000 15,000 8, 55
10 1/4/22 18,000 30,000 30,000
11 20/5/22 30,000 50,000 50,000 9
12 1/6/22 120,000 200,000 200,000 9
13 1/7/22 27 45 45 22
14 25/10/22 45 75 45
15 1/11/22 90 150 150
16 1/12/22 150 250 250
17 1/1/23 2.10 3.50 3.50 11, 56
18 25/3/23 3. 5. 5. 57
19 6/4/23 3.90 6.50 6.50 23
20 8/5/23 6. 10 10
21 20/8/23 9/ 15 15 12
22 1/9/23 12 20 20 14
23 16/9/23 18 30 30 15
24 1/10/23 27 45 45
25 16/10/23 .12 .20 .20 16
26 1/10/25 .07 .14 .14
27 1/7/30 .10 .15 .20
28 1/5/36 .30 .50 .80
29 10/6/50 .25 .40 .70
30 1/9/57 a.40b).55 .60 1. 24
31 1/1/61 a).03 04 .10 25, 19
b).04 .06 .10 .18
DOMESTIC AIR RATES
Rate Effective Surcharge Full Rate Full Rate Registr. Applicable Foot-
N Date Post-card Letter Surcharge Ordinary note,
I Rate No
1 10/6/23 10 12 14 4 18 40
2 5/7/23 10 13 16 6 19
3 20/8/23 10 15 18 8 20 41
4 1/9/23 10 18 22 12 21 41
5 15/9/23 10 23 30 20 22 41
6 1/10/23 .10 .14 .16 .06 23 42
7 1/5/24 .20 .23 .26 .06 24 43
8 1/9/24 .20 .23 .27 .07 25
9 1/5/25 .30 .33 .37 .07 25
10 11/2/26 a).10b).15 .13 .23 .10 26 45
11 15/7/28 a).10b).15 .15 .25 .10 27 45
12 2/8/28 I) .15 .20 .25 .10 27 44
II) .25 .30 .35
13 1/5/30 I) a).10b).20 .15 .30 .10 27 44 .45
II) a).20b) .40 .25 .50
14 1/6/31 I) a).20b).40 .20 .35 .20 28 44. 45
II a).20b).40 .30 .55
15 1/1/32 a) .20b).40 .30 .65 .15 45
16 15/5/32 _____46
17 26/8/32 .50 1. 47
18 16/2/38 .50 .80 48
19 1/9/40 .60 1. 48
20 16/9/48 .60 1. 1. 49
21 1/7/60 __.60 .60 1. 49
22 1/1/61 _.04 .06 .06
DOMESTIC RAPID DELIVERY AND EXPRESS RATES
Rate Effective Surcharge Full Rates Foot-notes
1 15/9/22 200 50
2 1/10/23 90
3 1/9/24 70
4 21/12/26 50 51
Air Mail Post-card: .73
Air Mail Letter: .83
5 15/7/28 50 Post-cards: .65 52
6 15/8/32 Post-cards: .50 53
FOREIGN AIR RATES
S Rate Effective Surcharge Full Rate Full Rate Registr. Appl. Foot-
N Date Post-card Letter Surcharge Ord. notes
1 4/6/22 20 32 40 20 10 9
2 1/7/22 45 72 90 45 11 12
3 25/10/22 75 120 150 75 12
4 1/11/22 75 165 225 150 13
5 11/5/23 5 9 (8.9?) 12(11.50?) 7 17 26
6 8/5/23 5 11 15 10 18
7 25/5/23 5 P.C. 11(2)16(1) 16 10 18 27
6L. 10Eu 11(2)20(1) 20
8 14/6/23 10 16 20 10 18 28
9 20/7/23 15 21 25 10 18 29
10 20/8/23 15 24 30 15 19 29
11 4/9/23 15 27 35 20 20 29
12 17/9/23 15 33 45 30 21 29
13 1/10/23 45 72 90 45 22 29
14 16/10/23 .10 .22 .30 .20 23 29
15 1/5/24 .20 .32 .40 .20 23 30
16 1/5/25 G .30 .42 .50 .20 23 31
E .40 .52 .60
17, 18 1/10/25 G .30 .37 .44 .14 24 31,54
E .40 .47 .57 .14 24 32
19 1/5/27 G a).10b).16 .17 .30(1).2312) .14 24 33
S_____E a).15b).26 .22 .40(1).43(2)
20 1/1/28 I a).10b).20 .17 .34 .14 24 34
II .20 .30 .27 .44
III .30 .40 .37 .54
IV .40 .50 .47 .64
21 1/7/30 I .40 .50 .20 .35 .20 25 34
22 10/9/30 a).40b).80 .50 .95 .20 25 35
23 18/7/31 a) l.b 2. .20 25 36
24 3/5/32 I a).20b).40 .30 .55 .20 25 37
II a).30b).50 .45 .65
25 3/8/35 1. 1.10 38
26 1/5/36 1. 1.30 1.50 .80 26
27 10/6/50 1.25 1.40 .70
28 1/9/57 1. 1.40 1.60 1. 28
29 1/1/6/ I .04 .04 .06 39
II .14 .16 .12
7. Local letters 100r per 4 lots. Due to the lack of 250r stamps, pre-
revolutionary savings and control stamps were sold for 250r regardless of face
value. Registration surcharges were collected in coin and often a hand-stamp
indicating additional postage paid was used, the amount being written in.
8. Local letter: 3k per 50 gr. The rates are shown in gold kopecks. Each
quarter the post office adjusted the rates in the previous soviet rubles to
the gold currency which during February and March was 1 kopeck = 1500 rubles.
9. Local letter: 30,000r per 50 gr. Pre-revolutionary stamps between 1-14k
were revalued a factor of 10,000. Thus a 1k stamp which was revalued to Ir
in March 1920 was now worth 10,000r.
10. During October 1922 no Soviet stamps were used, having been taken out of
circulation because they were in the old ruble standard (1922r=10,000 old rubles).
A 100,000r stamp was prepared earlier but not issued for the above reason. It
was finally issued on November 1, 1922 because of necessity. Rates are shown
in 1922 rubles.
11. A currency revaluation occurred on January 1, 1923. A 1923 r was now worth
100r. Pre-revolutionary stamps were back to face value.
12. Due to the devaluation of paper money, a new gold standard was adopted.
Rates are shown in both valuations. The revaluation factor was 130 and some
rates were rounded off.
13. Local letter rates pertain to a) Moscow and Petrograd and b)elsewhere.
This practise of differentiating the local rates in this way was also used
during the tsarist days.
14. The revaluation factor is 200.
15. The revaluation factor is 330.
16. Rates shown in hard gold currency. Up to December 1, 1923 the rubles
used during October and November were accepted according to the daily quotations
of gold ruble. Rates thus varied daily. Beginning on January 1, 1923 only
gold currency was used.
17. Post-card rates were divided into c) Local and d) Inter-city.
18. The differentiation between local and inter-city mail was abolished.
Registration surcharges now varied with the type of mail. Post-card rates
were different for a) ordinary b) artistic c) registered any type. The regis-
tration surcharge pertains to letters.
19. The currency was revalued on January 1, 1961. One new ruble was worth 10
old rubles. The registration surcharge is the total cost of a registered post-
card or letter.
20. Foreign correspondence up to August 25, 1921 was often posted using the
domestic rate. For some rates exact dates are not known.
21. Exact dates not known.
22. Rates shown in 1922 rubles worth 10,000 previous rubles. The revaluation
took place on May 1, 1922.
S 23. Reference 2 gives the post-card rate as 4r.
24. Post-card rates varied according to whether they were a) ordinary or
b) artistic. Artistic post-cards with various cachets and drawings were sold
by the state.
25. Rates differed for a) Socialist republics and b) other countries. In the
first case a) the registration rate is not a surcharge but the full rate for
post-cards and letters. In the second case b) the lower rate is the full rate
for post-cards and the higher rate the full rate for letters.
26. There is some inconsistency in these air-mail rates. Reference 2 shows
a foreign rate of 3.90r for post-cards and 6.50r for letters (Rate No. 17)
while reference 1 shows a post-card rate of 4r. If the air-mail surcharge of
reference 2 is correct, then the full rates should be 8.90 and 11.50. These
rates were created for the reopening of air service to Germany.
27. The air-mail surcharges are given according to reference 2, with P.C.
standing for post-card, while L and Eu stand for Latvija and Europe respec-
tively and pertain to letter rates. The full post-card rates are given accor-
ding to reference 1 and are also computed according to reference 2 since they
28. Rates shown according to reference 1. Reference 2 mentions that the
letter surcharge to Latvija was increased to 10r. The post-card rate is still
llr if computed according to reference 2.
29. Rates shown according to reference 1. No mention of them is reported in
reference 2. The surcharges are deduced from the applicable- foreign letter
30. This rate coincided with the reopening of regular flights between Moscow
31. Air service was extended from Germany (G) to England and France (E).
Mail addressed to other countries was flown to Berlin and then went by con-
32. The England to France air-service was extended to Holland.
33. Air rates varied again for Germany (G) (and other countries using Germany
as a transit point), and France and England (E). Surcharges differed for post-
cards a) and letters b). The full rates for letters are given according to
reference 1 (1) and computed according to reference 2 (2) using ordinary foreign
letter Rate No. 24.
34. Surcharges differ according to a) post-cards and b) letters. After an
international conference in Holland concerning air-mail, Russian air service was
34 (cont.). The rates now varied according to destination:
I. Latvija, Lithuania, Estonia, Danzig.
II. Australia, England, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Norway,
Poland, France, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, and other
countries using Germany as a transit point.
III. Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Rumania, Finland, Yugoslavia.
35. This is a special rate for the flight of the Graf Zeppelin from Moscow to
Germany for which two stamps were issued (Scott's C12 and C13).
36. This is the second special rate for the Graf Zeppelin. Apparently only
registered mail was sent since the full rates are given for such mail: 1.30r
and 2.35r for post-cards and letters respectively.
37. These rates pertain to:
I. England, Mongolia, Estonia, Latvija, Lithuania, Germany.
II. China, Japan, France, Ireland, Holland, Czechoslovakia,
38. This is a special rate for the flight of Sigismund Levanevski from Moscow
to San Francisco. This flight did not take place because of technical problems
and the mail went by the usual routes. An explanatory marking noting that the
flight would take place in 1936 was put on the covers. A special stamp was
issued for this purpose (Scott C68). The next effort in 1937 ended in the
disappearance of the plane in the northern regions. Reference 1 gives only a
full rate for post-cards: 1.10r, implying that only post-cards were sent (?).
This full rate is attributed to a registered post-card which should be 1.30r
using the Ir surcharge (reference 2) and the lOkpost-card rate plus the 20k
registration rate (reference 1 and 2, Rate No. 25).
39. Rates pertain to:
I. Socialist Republics
40. Until June 10, 1923, domestic air-mail was according to foreign rates. On
May 31, 1923, the Moscow, Karkov, Rostov on Don, Novorosiisk, Batum, and Tiflis
air route was opened. The surcharge is for a weight of 50 grams.
41. The full rates are from reference 1. They are consistent with a 10r sur-
charge given by reference 2 and the ordinary domestic rates. As pointed out
in the footnotes 12, 14, and 15, these domestic rates went up due to currency
devaluation according to some fixed coefficient. It would seem logical that
the 10r surcharge might also have been increased according to this coefficient
in which case the full rates would be higher than shown.
42. Surcharge deduced from full rates (reference 1) and domestic Rate No. 23.
43. Surcharge deduced from full rates (reference 1 and Rate No. 24. The sur-
charge is the same as that for foreign air mail given by reference 2.
44. For air mail franking purposes Russia was divided into the European part
and the Asian part with Sverdlosk as a boundary. The lower tariff a) was for
no boundary crossing and the higher b) for boundary crossing.
45. a) Post-cards b)letters.
46. See Express Rate No. 6.
S 47. Rates for special flight from Franz-Joseph Land to Archangelsk.
48. The designation express was discontinued in favor of the the old air-
post designation. The full rate included registration.
49. The registration surcharge is specifically for air mail.
50. No mention of this rate is given in reference 2. Reference 1 does not
indicate whether this is a full rate or surcharge.
51. Reference 2 gives only the surcharge while reference 1 gives only full
rates. Considering the prevailing domestic rates the two are inconsistent.
The full rates shown are those of reference 2.
52. Rapid delivery was now sent by plane. The full rates are consistent with
the surcharge, domestic Rate No. 27 and air mail Rate No. 11.
53. Express mail took the place of domestic air mail.
54. The rates for air-mail Rate No. 18 (May 1, 1926) remained the same but
service was extended to Holland using the same surcharge as for England.
55. Rates shown according to reference 1. Both references 2 and 3 show the
following foreign rates:
No. 8 same as No. 9
No. 9 dates February 20, 1922
No. 11 not given
No. 12 dated April 30, 1922
56. Effective date as in reference 1. References 2 and 3 show January 10, 1923.
57. Reference 3 gives an additional rate change:
February 26, 1933 Post-cards .15
Reg. Surch. .70
IHE TETE-BECHE ERROR ON 3000 RUBLE AZERBAIJAN
by Max. A. Ayer
On the 3000 ruble stamp of the 1922 issue of Azerbaijan, (Scott # 28), the
Tete-beche error was made in the bottom row of stamps in the last two groups.
Sheets were printed with 288 stamps set out in two groups, one 11 x 12 and the
other 13x 12. The tete-beche occurred only on stamps #1, 2, 6, 7, and 8.
The cover shown was mailed in Baku on 11/14/22 and back stamped in Berlin
11/28/22. It was sent registered mail. The block is from the bottom row of
the left hand corner pane, stamps #7 and 8. The author has seen several
covers with the 50,000 rubles surcharged on the 3000 rubles but this is the
only one he has seen with the two stamps that are tete-beche.
ODESSA FAMINE ISSUE "USED" IN RUSSIA
by Marcel Lamoureux
The Odessa Famine phantasies are well known, having been adequately written
up in previous Rossica Journals by E. Marcovitch and G. Torrey. They are,
however, seldom found on covers, especially on mail posted in Russia. The
two cards described may be of interest because of their scarcity, as they
show actual "usage" of these "stamps."
The first card is Higgins & Gage #37. It was issued in 1923 (printed without
a value on the stamp and sold for internal usage only) to which has been
added the 500 ruble value of the Odessa issue. It is postmarked M3SCOW 30-
6-24. It has a transit postmark of OLGINO 2-7-24 and the arrival postmark
of ODESSA of the same date. In this instance, the MOSCOW postmark ties the
"stamp" to the card. (Figure 1)
The second card is a colored
picture postcard depicting a
/-o ship of the Cunard Line, the
-o "'"'\ --I "R.M.S. Aquitania." It is
0 t .2 7 franked with a single copy of
S. Scott #277 and the 750 ruble
value of the Odessa issue.
/ It was sent by the same person
and is postmarked MOSCOW 1-7-
S -- 24, with the transit postmark
-. .yiw\ of OLGINO and the receipt post-
mark of ODESSA 5-7-24.
"The interesting aspect of this
____.______. card is the fact that in this
instance, the postal clerk
Figure 1 carefully avoided postmarking
the Famine issue and cancelled
it instead with a framed, straight-line rubber stamp reading "PECHATNOE"
(Printed Matter) indicating that it was not honored as a Russian postage
stamp. (Figure 2)
Both of the cards are numbered ST
#4 and #5 respectively by the
sender, on the message side, j-),4 716 U
perhaps indicating that he was J9, --
sending his correspondent in a vi.. ., 1a
Odessa a complete set of the i,,- .K'"
"stamps."'' V Iy-C -
This is emphasized by the J"'J .-T'*.o I -ed gej'
message on one card which says, .,, p
"On each postcard I am pasting O"-' '. f cu .
on a stamp from Odessa. If L L L
you get them please write. This - -f.--. ...
is already the 5th card I have
sent you and from you I have
received only two." Figure 2
THE FIRST ICE ISLAND
by Patrick J. Campbell
Many philatelists of today are turning more and more to specialized collections
devoted to a single theme, and are concerned less with the value of stamps;
this is particularly important as the cost of classic issues rises higher and
higher. These modern thematic collections concentrate on ships, aircraft, the
Arctic, or some other subject for a story illustrated with stamps and covers.
This article tells a tale that involves all the themes mentioned above; the
story really began in 1935 when advancing technology promised the realization
of the dreams of a number of people interested in the northern polar regions.
For many years the North Pole had been the goal for a number of explorers,
but each trip consisted of a dash northward on foot, by dogsleigh, by balloon,
submarine, airship or aeroplane, enough time at the Pole to establish position,
and then the hazardous journey back to safety.
The new idea in Russia in 1935 was to locate a complete scientific party at
the Pole for a long enough time to compile a detailed log of meteorological,
hydrographic and geomagnetic conditions, as well as making scientific obser-
vations of any northern life forms. The plan was to keep the station manned
for many months as the ice-pack drifted southwards, thus covering a virtually
unknown region of the world. Various methods of setting up the station were
considered, including ships and aircraft, and even the possibility of para-
chuting the team and their equipment, but the final decision was to transport
a group of 35 people, with over 10 tons of equipment, to the Pole by aircraft,
*and to leave a specialist team of four to man the station for as long as
The man placed in overall charge of the expedition was Professor Otto Yulevich
Schmidt (Figure 1), head of Glavnoe Upravlenie Severnogo Morskogo Puty, the
Chief Administration of the Northern Sea Route, or Glavsevmorput for short.
This large organization was responsible for practically every-
thing in the USSR north of the 62nd parallel and employed over
40,000 people. Professor Schmidt asked the well-known aviator
Mikhail Vodopyanov to prepare a draft plan in 1935, and a con-
ference held on 13 February 1936 decided that the expedition
could take place in 1937. Pilots Vodopyanov and Makhotkin
took off from Moscow on 26 March 1931 in two Polikarpov ARK-51
aircraft (Registration numbers N-127 and N-128) to select a
site in Rudolf Land, most northerly island (81050'N) of the
Franz Josef archipelago. This area was 600 miles from the Pole,
1i Figure 1
1 The designation ARK-5 is short for the Russian word Figure 1
"arkticheskii" (Arctic) -5 to identify a version of the standard military
Polikarpov R-5 biplane, (see Scott No. C-64 to C-66 for typical R-5 aircraft.)
The ARK-5 was modified by addition of an enclosed cabin, cabin heating, a ski
undercarriage, more effective radio, a direction-finding (DF) loop, freight
containers under the wing, and a larger fin. The ARK-5 had the very reliable
Russian-designed engine, the M-34 twelve-cylinder Vee, water-cooled, of 950
horsepower, instead of the 680 horsepower M-17 (license-built BMW VI) engine
of the standard R-5.
and had been the point chosen by several previous expeditions under the Duke
of the Abruzzi, Captain Cagni, Fiola and Sedov; a Russian party had wintered
there in 1935. In August of 1936, the ice-resisting freighter Russanov took
fuel, spare parts, building material and vehicles north to set up the base,
and the steamer Herzen arrived from Archangel with more supplies. A total
of 24 people wintered there in 1936 under the command of one Ivan Papanin
(figure 2), who was also to lead the team that would be established at the
Pole. Papanin was a remarkable person, then 43 years old, with a military
background, decorated in the Civil War, and later in the service of the
Commissariat of Post and Telegraphs. Papanin was chief of the 57 polar
stations, and was the man who had arranged the transfer of mail to and from
the Graf Zeppelin in Tikhaya (Pacific) Bay, Franz Josef Land, in July 1931,
(See Scott Nos. C-26 to C-33) when Professor Schmidt was aboard the airship.
I - ---- --
Figure 3 Figure 4
The aircraft chosen for the actual landing at the Pole (see Table 1) were
four of the realtively new Tupolev ANT-6 machines (Figure 4), each with four
900-horsepower AM-34R engines; the aircraft had been produced at Plant No. 22
CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRCRAFT INVOLVED
TYPE ENGINE TAKE-OFF WINGSPAN MAX. SPEED REMARKS
1. Tupolev ANT-6 4 x AM-34R 54,013 lbs 129'7" 134 mph Developed from
(Aviaarktika 900 HP (24,500 kg) (39.5 m) (215 kph) TB-3 and TB-5
Version) 12-cyl Vee. and civil ANT-6
2. Tupolev ANT-7 2 x M-17 11,552 lbs 76'1" 149 mph Developed from
(Aviaarktika 680 HP (5,240 kg) (23.2 m) (240 kph) TB-1 bomber,
Version) 12-cyl. Vee civil ANT-4
3. Polikarpov ARK-5 1 x M-17 7370 lbs 51'10" 145 mph Arctic version
(Reconnaissance) 680 HP (3,343 kg) (15.5 m) (233 kph) of PR-5 transport
12-cyl. Vee. and military R-5
4. Polikarpov U-2 1 x M-ll 1,918 lbs 37'5" 97 mph Similar to
(Reconnaissance 100 HP (870 kg) (11.4 m) (156 kph) military PO-2
biplane) 5-cyl. radial
5. Shavrov Sh-2 1 x M-ll 2,066 lbs 42'8" 87 mph Lightweight
(Amphibian) 100 HP (937 kg) (13.0 m) (140 kph) shipboard
5-cyl. radial amphibian
in Moscow, and the engines were from the Frunze works. All four of the air-
craft were a special model modified for Northern flying,2 All were painted
orange and bore the name Avia-arktika on their noses, as they were operated
by the air arm of Glavsevmorput. The chief of the air arm and its 125 air-
craft was Mark Shevelev, who was also to accompany the expedition. A number
of other aircraft, used in support functions, will be introduced in time; they
are also described in Table 1.
A major problem was to reduce the 150 to 200 tons of a scientific station in
the North to a total of 10 tons, including personnel, and to make everything
air-transportable. It was,therefore, necessary to devote much study to sledges,
snowshoes, clothing, double-wall tents with aluminum poles, as well as the
scientific equipment required. Two special radio sets were designed, one of
80 watts and one of 20 watts, as well as a small gasoline-powered electrical
supply, backed up by a wind-driven generator, and finally by hand-cranked
power. Even special foods had to be prepared, a total of 5 tons to last the
station up to 18 months. All this gear was finally tested by the team,
living outdoors near Moscow for a week in the winter of 1936!
The choice of people was made easier by the relatively large number of experi-
enced personnel trained in Northern flying, although it seems the same names
occur over and over again in any research into Arctic exploration in the
Russian North over the period 1930 to 1950.
The other three members of the station North Pole 1 (or SP-1 in anglicized
Russian) were to be Ernst Krenkel (34), a radio-operator with fifteen years
of northern experience, and who had been on the Graf Zeppelin in 1931, the
Sibiryakov in 1932 (from Archangel to Vladivostok), the Chelyuskin (sunk on
the same route in 1934), and who had been decorated for his exploits on a
S number of Arctic stations; Petr (Peter) Shirshov (32), a hydrobiologist who
had been with Krenkel and Schmidt on both trips through the North-East
Passage, as well as being decorated for his accomplishments in the North;
Yevgeni (Eugene) Fedorov (27), a specialist in geophysics and terrestrial
magnetism, who had wintered in Franz Josef Land with Papanin in 1932, as well
as having experience in the Urals and the Taimyr Peninsula. With these four
volunteers was to go one conscript, a large white dog named Veselyi (Cheerful
Of the other members of the expedition (see Table 2 for complete details),
there are several worth noting: Vodopyanov, already mentioned above, who was
to pilot N-170, the flagship; he was one of the pilots who gained fame as the
Several thousand Tupolev ANT-6 aircraft were built in the Fili plant at
Moscow (a plant originally erected to build Junkers aircraft under license).
The Aviaarktica versions were modified by having three-bladed propellors and
the 900 horsepower AM-34R engine. The nose was extensively redesigned, and
the undercarriage modified to take either a large single wheel on each main
leg, or skis, in place of the standard tandem wheels. They were painted
bright orange for greater visibility. The aircraft were fitted with braking
parachutes, used to shorten the landing run in emergency conditions. This
version of the basic aircraft proved very reliable, and they served for a
long time afterwards in the Arctic.
Aircraft Loading Chart for North Pole Expedition
Numbers in Reference Column show which legs of journey were
flown in which aircraft; see accompanying map.
ANT-6 Flagship No. N-170; Callsign RV ANT-6 No. N.171 (RM)
M.V. Vodopianov Pilot/Squadron Com. 1-5 V.S. Molokov Pilot 1-5
M.S. Babushkin Second Pilot 1-5 G. Orlov Second Pilot
I.T. Spirin Chief Navig.. Officer 1-5 A.A. Ritsland Navig. Officer 1-5
F.I. Bassein Mechanics 1-5 V.L. Ivashina Mechanics 1-5
K.I. Morogov 1-5 S.K. Frutetski ) 1-5
P.I. Petenin 1-5 V.N. Gutovski Engineer 1-5
S.A. Ivanov Chief Wireless operator 1-5 L. Brontman Pravda Correspondent 1-5
M.I. Shevlev Dep. Chief 1-4 E. Krenkel Radio Operator 1-4
E. Krenkel Wireless Operator Ice Pty 5 N. Stromilov Wireless Operator 5
O.Y. Schmidt Chief of Expedition 5 M.I. Shevelev Deputy Chief of Expedition 5
E.G. Radominov (1) Engineer 1-4
I.G. Kistanov (1) Aviapribot Rep. 1-4
B.L. Dzerdzeievski Meteorologist 1-4
I.D. Papanin Chief Ice Party 5
P. Shirskov Scientist 5
E. Feoderov Magnetologist 5
M.A. Troianovski Cinema-photog. 5
ANT-6 No. N-172 (Callsign unknown) ANT-6 No. N-169 (RK)
A.D. Alekseev Pilot 1-5 I.P. Mazuruk Pilot 1-5
M. Kozlov Second Pilot 1-4 J.D. Moshkovski Second Pilot 1-4
J. Moshkovski Second Pilot 5 V.I. Akhuratov Nav. Officer 1-5
N.N. Jukov Nav. Officer 1-5 D.P. Shekurov j 1-5
K.N. Sugrokov 1-5 D.A. Timofeievich Mechanics 1-5
I.D. Schwandin Mechanics 1-5 J. Brezin 1-4
V.G. Ginkin 1-5 A.A. Dogmarov Party Organizer 1-5
I. Papanin 1-4 M.I. Kozlov Second Pilot 5
P. Shirshov 1-4 E. Vilenski Izvestia 1-4
E. Feoderov 1-4 L. Kruse Pilot for N-128 1-4
M. Troianovski 1-4 Vesjoly the dog 1-5
E.S. Vilenski Izvestia Corresp. 5
ANT-4 (PS-7) No. N. 166 Long Range Reconn. R-5 No.N-128 (3) Scout Plane
P.G. Golovin Pilot 1-5 L.G. Kruze Pilot Aircraft
A.S. Volkov Nav. Officer 1-5 2 L.M. Rubenstein Navig. and Wireless Oper. toned at
N.L. Kekushev 1-5 Y. Brezin Mechanic Runed and
V.D. Terentiev ) Mechanics 1-5 used exten-
N. Stromilov Wireless Operator 1-4 sively for
(2) Flew Reconnaissance to Pole, but (3) This was the aircraft that Makotkin and
did not land there Akhuratov used when they made the first
flight to Franz Josef Land on 29 March
1936. They were accompanied by
Vodopianov, Bassein and Ivanov in a
similar R-5 aircraft No. N-127
See Table 1 for Characteristics of aircraft
rescuers of the survivors of the Chelyuskin. V. Molokov, pilot of aircraft
N-171, was another hero of the Chelyuskin rescue. A. Alekseev, pilot of
N-172, was one of those who had made his name in the rescue of the survivors
of Nobile's airship Italia. I. Mazuruk was pilot of the fourth aircraft,
N-169. There was also co-pilot M. Babushkin, who had flown the little Shavrov
Sh-2 amphibian, based on the Chelyuskin, and who had also taken part in the
Italian rescue. Major Ivan Spirin was head navigator and a member of the
crew of Gromov's record-breaking 7760-mile closed-circuit flight in an ANT-25,
and there were the support pilots, P. Golovin in a twin-engined Tupolev ANT-7 3
reconnaissance aircraft (N-166) and L. G. Kruze in a single-engined Poli-
karpov ARK-5 biplane, N-128, one of the two machines that made the first
flight to Franz Josef Land, as described above. Finally, as well as a number
of radio operators, mechanics and navigators, there were two pressmen, a cine-
maphotographer, and the inevitable Party organizer.
The actual expedition finally took off from Moscow's Central Aerodrome on
22 March 1937 for the trip to Kholmogori, near Archangel, where the heavy
equipment was loaded, and where the aircraft's wheels were changed for skiis;
this first leg was flown at 130 mph and 1,200 feet, typical cruise conditions
for the ANT-6 and the ANT-7 which accompanied them. On March 30 the five air-
craft took off again for Narian-Mar on the Pechova River (see Chart 1) but bad
weather held them on the ground there until it was decided to offload some fuel
and they made an intermediate stop 12 April at Matochkin Shar on Novaya Zemlya.
On 18 April the expedition took off for the trip to Rudolph Island in the Franz
Josef Archipelago, arriving at the Teplitz Bay base to find the whole popula-
tion of 24 people awaiting them. Each of the ANT-6's had then to be filled
with 1980 gallons of fuel, transferred by hand pump from fuel drums, a weary
Figure 5a m- M-- Figure 5b
12-hour task! The five orange-painted expedition aircraft now had the company
of a smallPolikarpovU-2 aircraft (the U-2 was later redesignated PO-2), See
The ANT-7 was first produced in military form as the R-6 reconnaissance
monoplane. It was closely related to that Russian work-horse, the ANT-4, but
was faster, lighter and somewhat smaller. The R-6 became obsolete in 1936,
and many were diverted to Aeroflot and Glavsevmorput as the PS-7 (on floats,
MP-6), where they served for many years, especially in the Arctic regions.
Figures 5a, 5b, and a larger
green-painted Polikarpov R-5
biplane (similar to that
shown in Figure 6). These
smaller aircraft were al-
ready based in Franz Josef
Land, and provided most
useful for reconnaissance North Pole
and weather patrol. 'K
On 5 May, it was decided 5 \":::
that Golovin was to take Rudolf Land.
N-166 as far north as pos-
sible, and he took off with
a 3000-pound overload and 4
flew northwards, finally / /
arriving at the Pole where Matochkin
he circled to assess con- .
editions, and returned after ::
an 11-hour nonstop flight. /
On 11 May, another recon- Narian-Mar
naissance by Kruze in the i
ARK-5 (N-128) resulted in /......
a landing on an ice floe, /o '.:
where he had to wait seven:: .
days before Golovin could
parachute fuel to permit
his return. At last the I
weather cleared and, after .oscow
spending six hours of hard :
work de-icing the corru-
gated skin of the aircraft, CHART 1
Vodopyanov in flagship N-170 R::::::OOFHE IHNOT
vuuupX iu v:ROUTE OF THE FLIGHT NORTH
took off on 21 May for the Osg s T aN..z T
Pole, with 13 people aboard
including Schmidt, Spirin,
and the Papanin party of four.
After six hours in the air Chart 1
the rest of the expedition
at the main base lost radio contact with Vodopyanov when N-170 landed about
12 miles beyond the Pole, after having circled a while searching for a suitable
landing spot. The braking parachute was deployed successfully on landing, and
the heavily loaded machine stopped in 250 yards! After some problems, radio
contact with the base was established and a check showed the ice to be nine
feet thick. Krenkel sighted a snowbunting, which surprised everyone. Finally,
on 25 May, weather at both locations was suitable and Molokov took off in
N-171, followed by Alekseev in N-172 and Mazuruk in N-169. On the way north,
at 120 mph and 5400 feet, they became separated, and Molokov landed at the
Polar base with his 9 people, so there were 22 people there. Alekseev had
landed about 4 miles away, and flew over next day with his group of seven, so
then there were 29. A radio-search was initiated for the missing Mazuruk but
without success; N-169, with six aboard, plus the dog, could not be located.
The main camp was set up, aided by the 24-hour daylight, and consisted of
thirteen structures: stores, workshops, and living quarters. Careful ob-
servations placed the camp at 89014'N, and on the fortieth meridian west.
On 29 May, Molokov flew an unsuccessful search for Mazuruk, but radio contact
was finally established and Mazuruk and the others were found to be safe, and
busy constructing a runway by chopping down huge iceblocks. At last condi-
tions were right, and N-169 took off and soon landed with the others, so
there were 35 people and a dog at the Pole on 5 June 1937. It was now time
for the main party to return south, so mail was collected and preparations
made for departure. It seems unlikely that Papanin's group had a postal can-
celler of any sort, as no copies of such a hand stamp have survived. Pictures
exist of a postal-box with the words "correspondence collected twice a year,"
but this was at the Rudolph Island base, attached to a halftrack truck.
On 6 June, at 3:42 a.m., the four aircraft took off and headed south along
the 59th meridian, flying by sun compass at 140 mph. Kruze meanwhile had
flown N-128 north to meet them and had landed at the 85th parallel to act as
radio link or for rescue work, as there was not enough fuel for all to return.
Fuel had been shared out to ensure that N-170 and N-171 had sufficient and,
as it turned out, N-169 was able to reach Rudolph Island. Alekseev, in
N-172 with Shevelev aboard, landed on the ice at 83037' to await Golovin
with additional fuel. On 8 June Kruze took off and located Alekseev, and
Golovin soon arrived and transferred 250 gallons of fuel, and they all re-
turned safely to Rudolph.
Arrangements were now made for three of the ANT-6's and the ANT-7 to bead for
Moscow while the other aircraft, including Mazuruk and N-169, were to remain
behind as the nucleus of a rescue force, if required. On 15 June, the main
party left and flew south and landed at Amderma on the last patch of snow in
the area, then sat back to await the arrival of the icebreaker Sadko with the
wheels that they would require to land in Moscow. On their radios they heard
Chkalov and his crew flying northward in their ANT-25, destined to pass over
the Pole and on to a landing in Portland, Oregon (Figure 7). (See the article
"ANT-25" starting on page 49 of Rossica Journal No. 86/87.)
Figure 7 Figure 8a Figure 8b Figure 8c
As soon as the wheels arrived, the four aircraft flew on to Archangel and
then to Moscow, arriving on 25 June to a triumphant welcome, and to receive
a total of 45 decorations and 650,000 rubles of bonus money. The decorations
included 18 Orders of Lenin (Figure 8a), 13 Orders of the Red Star (Figure 8b),
and 6 Orders of the Red Banner (Figure 8c). The title "Hero of the Soviet
Union" was awarded to Schmidt, Spirin, Shevelev, Papanin, Alekseev, Mazuruk,
Golovin and Babushkin, but not Vodopyanov and Molokov, who had been awarded
that distinction after the Chelyuskin rescue. In fact, the decoration had
been created as a tribute to those who saved the Chelyuskin crew. Both
Vodopyanov and Molokov received their second Orders of Lenin, and all of
those named received the top bonus award of 25,000 rubles each. Scott does
not show a medal entitled "Hero of the Soviet Union," but both Minkus and
Stanley Gibbons identify the Gold Star (Figure 9) as Hero of the Soviet
Union. This medal also appears on the "Hero" series, Scott 915 (Figure 10a)
and 947 to 951 (Figures 10b, 10c), including a pilot who won two of them!
It seems that the Gold Star, which was established 16 October 1939, is awarded
to Heroes of the Soviet Union. Perhaps someone could explain this matter more
Figure 9 Figure 10a Figure 10b Figure 10c
To return to the valiant four left on the ice at the Pole, not to forget the
dog, they were soon to settle down to an exactingregimen of scientific data
collection, which was to keep them fully occupied for their 274 days afloat
(see Chart 2). They identified a warm current far beneath their ice island,
established the sea depth at 14,000 feet, and the average rate of drift as
4 miles per day. Acting as weather station for the Chkalov flight to the
USA in June, they heard the sound of his aircraft but could not establish
radio contact. In July they did a similar duty for Gromov's flight (Figure 11)
on his way to California, and they were finally the weather station for the
rescue attempts following the disastrous Levanevski flight in August, where
the aircraft and its crew were lost without trace.
Figure 12 L_..-- -....... Figure 13
0 Where Mazuruk landed -. Norh
21 May (Main Party)
.'" i i 1@ \" \\
1A 000 Miles /
Si 21 May 1937
and 18 Feb 1938 Rudolf
/. / Rudolf Land
-- '/ /, .
PAPANIN-SCHMIDT EXPEDITION AND ROUTE \
OF DRIFTING ICE ISLAND NORTH POLE 1 FRANZ JOSEF ARCHIPELAGO
Ernst Krenkel made frequent radio contacts all over the world with his 20-
watt transmitter, using the call sign "UPOL," and operating on the 20-40
By February of 1938, after a drift of nearly 1,000 miles, the icefloe began
to break up, and Papanin decided that it was time to close North Pole 1.
The rescue fleet was to consist of the icebreaker Yermak, the steamers Taimyr
and Murman (both reinforced for use amidst ice), and the hydrographic ship
Mumnanets, which stood by at the end of the icepack. The Taimyr carried a
flight of U-2 light reconnaissance aircraft under G. Vlasov, and the Murman
carried two larger R-5's on skis, as well as a Shavrov Sh-2 amphibian with
pilot I. I. Cherevichny. The Yermak had been under repair at Leningrad and
sailed later than the others with Captain Voronin (Figure 12) and Professor
In spite of heavy seas and gales, the vanguard of the rescue fleet arrived
and, on 12 February, Krenkel radioed that he could see their search lights,
but the ships were stopped in heavy ice by the 15th. Both Cherevichny and
Vlasov made reconnaissance flights, and the former had to land his little
amphibian on an icefloe due to poor visibility. The Taimyr broke two pro-
peller blades and had to stop while divers effected a repair. Vlasov, mean-
while, located the Papanin party and then rescued Cherevichny, although they
had to abandon the Sh-2 on the ice. By 18 February the ships, guided by
the omnipresent Vlasov, finally got within sight of the ice station party,
put a gangway down onto the ice, and went out to meet the valiant four
(Figure 13). Records and equipment were packed aboard and the little fleet
set out into the open sea, where they soon met the icebreaker Yermak, ar-
riving too late to be of help. The expedition transferred to the Yermak
and were back in Leningrad on 15 March to an enthusiastic welcome at the
end of a remarkably successful scientific journey.
Figure 14a Figure 14b
On 25 February, four stamps (Scott 625 to 628) were issued to commemorate
the aerial portion of the event. The 10 and 20-kopek values show tiny
stylized silhouettes of the four ANT-6 aircraft and their route to the Pole
(Figure 14a), while the 40 and 80-kopek values show all four aircraft to-
gether at the Pole (Figure 14b); both 627 and 628 are known imperforate;
designs are by the prolific stamp designer V.V. Zavialov. The 10 and 20-
kopek values are lithographed, and the 40 and 80-kopek values are typographed.
None of the current Western catalogues (Scott, Minkus, Gibbons) relate
these stamps to the Papanin trip, but the current Soviet catalogue refers
to the event. The actual return of the Papanin team to Leningrad was marked
by the issue of a fine philatelic cover (see Figure 15), utilizing the
stamps described above, and cancelled 15.3.38-12, noon of the day of the
return, 15 March 1938. The cancellation is of the two-circle-and-bridge
type, with the circles 30 mm and 19 mm in diameter. "LENINGRAD" appears in
English in the upper portion and the same, in Cyrillic scipt, below. Some
covers are known issued the same day in Kiev, so it was clearly an officially
sponsored philatelic event. The cover is printed in blue and green, and
shows the four men of the ice party standing beside their radio tent (wind
generator and antenna) while the four ANT-6's pass over in salute (repre-
senting 3:43 a.m. on 6 June 1937). The Russian state emblem is printed in
red above, flanked by the words "North" and "Pole." The colour red is also
used for the three flags flying from a staff on the right on the picture.
The cover is 161 x 115 nm. and the inside of the envelope is printed with
a fine burelage in pale green; paper is cream, unwatermarked. Someone has
hand-stamped the back of my cover, April 11, 1937, but this date does not
seem to have any significance as it was the day that the crews were inactive
on the ground at Narian-Mar, although Golovin flew a weather reconnaissance
flight in N-166.
Another set of stamps, this time to celebrate the ice party and the rescue,
was the series Scott 643 to 646. The 10 and 20-kopek values (Figure 13)
show the four heroes and the dog Cheerful, as well as the rescue party
approaching from the Taimyr and Murman. These stamps are typographed and
perforated 12 x 12.5. The next two, Scott 645 and 646 (Figure 2) show,
from left to right, Shirshov, Krenkel, Papanin, and Fedorov, aboard the
Yermak, with the foreground full of roses. These stamps were printed by a
photogravure process (so don't put them in watermark-detecting fluid) and
were normally issued perforated 12.5; the 30-kopek exists as a fantail (im-
perforate at the left) and the 50-kopek altogether imperforate. The date
of issue of the set was 21 June 1938. Paipanin can also be seen on Scott 774
the polar regions in the Georgi Sedov, and Ernst Krenkel has a stamp to
himself, Scott 4084 (Figure 17), issued in 1973 on the 70th anniversary
of his birth. The stamp shows three scenes from his life--his early days
in Northern radio stations, the ship Chelyuskin, and his radio-tent for
NP-l--as well as his Hero of the Soviet Union medal. Krenkel was a keen
philatelist and was President of the All-Union Society of Philatelists
until his death in 1971 (see Rossica Journal No. 82, page 6, and Rossica
83, page 54).
Professor Schmidt was also honoured by the issue of a stamp in 1966, on
the 75th anniversary of his birth, Scott 3191A (Figure 1), as well as being
portrayed in Scott C-59 (Figure 18).
Figure 17 Figure 18
On 29 November 1955, a series of three stamps, Scott 1765 to 1767, were
issued as a collective commemoration of the ice islands; the designs were by
I. P. Ruban, and they depicted a Mil Mi-4 helicopter landing at a typical
base (Figure 19a) and a meteorologist (Figure 19b). One million each of
the 40-kopek and 1-rouble values were issued, and two million of the 60-
kopek. At this time ice stations No. 4 and 5 were in operation and Minkus
states that the stamps were issued to celebrate just two of them. In 1956
a 1-rouble air mail stamp, Scott C-97, was designed by I. P Ruban, and it
was issued (2 million copies) on 8 June to celebrate the opening of ice
station No. 6 (Figure 20). On 26 September the 1-rouble value of the 1955
set was issued (200,000 copies) as a block of four in a souvenir sheet,
Figure 19a Figure 19b Figure 20
Scott 1767a, and the same sheet was reissued on 21 May 1962, but this time
only 60,000 copies, with a red overprint "1962" and a three-line inscription
"25 years from the beginning of the work of NP-1, 1937-62" (Figure 21). Ice
islands are still used, and there have been a total of twenty-three up to
c Naqaj. pamom icTan ICn-
--, ...-. .*^ ._
The last set of "stamps" to mark the event is, unfortunately, extremely
uncommon. There is a set of four vignettes printed in the Catalan and
dedicated to the Papanin expedition; they were issued in Spain by the
"Association of Friends of the Soviet Union," each with the denomination
of 10 centavos. Three of the stamps are from photographs taken at the
Moscow Central Airport on 21 or 22 March 1937, with Aviaarktika ANT-6
SSSR-N170 (the flagship) as a background. Two of the stamps show the four
members of the party who remained on the ice, while the third (vertical
format) shows Professor Schmidt with his son Vladimir; Otto Yulevich always
insisted on full photo-documentation of his work. The fourth vignette is
based on a photo taken at the Pole with the four heroes standing on the
ice to wave farewell to the departing airmen. These are described as
vignettes because it is unlikely that they were intended or sanctioned for
payment of postal fees; they were probably issued in Barcelona in 1937,and
the author would appreciate any further information.
MAIL FROM RUSSIA TO THE UNITED STATES VIA DIPLOMATIC POUCH
by Gordon H. Torrey
Over the years I have been gathering covers and cancellations originating
in U.S. Diplomatic missions abroad that have cancellations of Washington,
D.C. on them. Included in this accumulation are a number bearing Russian
stamps. These covers are not true "used abroads" because they never were
handled by the post office of the country whose stamps they bear.
Generally speaking, U.S. diplo-
matic personnel avail themselves
of the "pouch" privilege for one
", of two reasons. Either the
S country of origin's mail service
-Ac is unreliable (or very slow) or
S. the country censors outgoing
mail either openly or secretly.
31 '/ In any case, to keep confidenti-
"ality or to secure more rapid
,i , (,-. transmission, diplomatic person-
/ nel are allowed to send their
personal mail by means of the
diplomatic pouch. As far as I
can learn this is a longtime
Figure la custom and is recognized through-
out the world. It is understood,
however, that postage of the country of origin must be affixed to the letter
before it is sent.
When the letters arrive at the Department of State,
they are turned over to the United States Post
Office where they are handstamped "This article
originally mailed in country indicated by pos-
tage." Then the envelopes are cancelled "Washing-
ton, D.C." in the same manner as domestic ori-
ginating mail. The covers illustrated in this
article are usages from different periods in
Figure la shows the front of a cover sent from the
U.S. Embassy when it was located in St. Peters-
burg in late 1915 and has the handstamp "Re-
ceived Through Department of State Diplomatic
Pouch" and the 10 kopec stamp is cancelled with Figure lb
the Washington, D.C. datestamp then current,
it being dated November 28, 1915. Figure lb is that of the embassy seal on
The second item is a cover mailed in 1918, after the Bolshevik Revolution. In
this case there is a boxed purple handstamp applied reading "Department of
State--Division of Western European Affairs" and the date of arrival.
The stamps were then cancelled at
the Washington, D.C. Post Office (-/UiC- 4
the same day. Of particular in- /1 .o e.....
terest is the fact that this cover *ME"-CA ,. MAT jull Il
was sent by our member Col. Eugene !SOP*D I '
Prince when he was in the office .C.
of the U.S. Military Attache at i- :e.ir,.u
t 'iv irr Ztceet.
The third example of pouch mail
is a cover sent some 32 years C A :; ; ILL.
later. Postage was paid with a
50 kopec stamp of the 1948 com-
memorative issue showing the
Peter I (The Great) monument at
Leningrad. This, too, bears the
purple handstamp "This Article Figure 2
Mailed in the Country Indicated
by Postage." It is cancelled
by a Washington, D.C. machine
canceller with the slogan
"National Capital Sesquicen-
tennial--1800-1950." The date
Sis September 13, 1950.
S. -Figure 3
RAPID DELIVERY, V.I.P. MAIL, AND COURIER SERVICE
Translated from Philatelia, USSR, No. 4, October 1966
by Andre Fedotowsky
Between the years 1923 and 1928 several types of mail service requiring higher
franking were instituted. First, there was a service for very important or
secret mail. The registration rate for such mail was double. The letters
were made of heavy paper or canvas with paper glued on. Second, there was a
rapid delivery service "CrEUiA T170TA" literally translated "hurried mail."
Such mail was franked as registered plus the rapid delivery surcharge. If
available, air service was used without surcharge. If the letter was delayed
through the fault of the post office the surcharge was reimbursed to the
sender. Third, an express courier service "O HAPOQWJ'A was created for
addressees living up to 25 km. from a postal center. The surcharge rate was
15 kop. per kilometer.
THE POST REVOLUTIONARY STAMP-LESS PERIOD
Translated from Philatelia, USSR, No. 4, October 1966
by Andre Fedotowsky
On January 1, 1919 began a period during which ordinary letters were forwarded
without charge. A government publication dated December 24, 1918 spelled out
the following decree: "The council of the people's commissars considers
that the flow of written communications between the proletariat of the cities
and the rural poor reinforces the solidarity between them, and thus pro-
motes the organization of the revolutionary-socialist forces of Russia. It
is therefore desirable that the sending of letters be simplified and made less
The following directions were promulgated:
1. Beginning on January 1, 1919 all ordinary letters weighing no more than
15 gr. are forwarded free of charge.
2. Ordinary letters weighing more than 15 gr. and registered mail are to
be franked by the usual rates taking into account their full weight. S
3. The free franking privilege is extended to foreign open and closed
letters addressed inside Russia.
The ministry of Foreign Affairs was directed to make known to the toiling
masses in foreign countries their right to send stamp-less letters to
Russia. The directive was signed by Lenin, as well as the head of the post-
office, V.N. Podhelskin.
Between the years 1920 and 1921 a project to make all mail free of franking
was debated but not put into effect.
ROSSICA 50TH ANNIVERSARY (continued from page 7)
in aiding with our Journal over the past several decades; Mr. Emile Marcovitch
for his worthy contribution of knowledge of the Zemstvo Posts. Mr. Andrew
Cronin for his aid in the publication and editorship of the Journal; and
Mr. Alexander Kotlar who guided the Society after the death of Dr. Gregory B.
Salisbury. With the present dedicated leadership and the memory of all
those who have gone before, there is a genuine feeling that the Society
will continue for more than 50 years in the future.
FURTHER NOTES ON THE FIRST ESSAYAN PICTORIAL ISSUE OF ARMENIA
by Dr. Ray J. Ceresa
Roy Zartarian's article in No. 89 of our Journal is an excellent introduction
for collectors of this issue. Tchilinghirian and Ashford's Postage Stamps of
Armenia is still the definitive work on the subject of this an other Armenian
issues for there is little new to add apart from counter issues. However, the
area of forgeries has advanced much further and over all at least five times
as many different forgery types have now been identified and it is for this
reason that a new series of handbooks is in the course of preparation.
Tchilinghirian and Ashford describe only one set of forgeries of the first
Essayan issue but it is not the set illustrated and identified by Zartarian.
In all I have identified three families of forgeries. The first of these
families of forgeries, Family I, is that illustrated by Zartarian. They are
printed on a paper which is whiter than the genuine issue but a paper which
does have a very similar diagonal mesh to the genuine. In most cases the
forgeries are printed in a slightly thinner grade of paper to the genuine. The
gum is also thinner and less yellow in colour. The printing process has all
the appearance of the use of a lithographic stone as in the case of the genuine
issue but as Zartarian points out, the 'secret marks' are missing.
This phrase, coined I believe by Tchilinghirian and Ashford, is to my mind a
misnomer. I don't believe that Essayan himself ever expected his designs to
be forged. In my opinion these marks are simply traces of guide lines and
other errors which were not fully removed from the initial design from which
the transfers were made. This Family I has its own 'secret marks' such as
the thickening of the frame line at the right of the 5000 Ruble (Zartarian's
Figure 6). They are therefore better regarded as consistent transfer marks.
The one factorabove all others that confirms this series of stamps to be
forgeries rather than late prints from worn plates is the sheet format In
all cases they are different from the original printings, e.g. the 500 Ruble
is printed in single panes of 9 by 8 while the genuine is printed in double
(tete beche) panes of nine by nine. The forged series are in all cases
printed slightly closer together and with less variation in spacing between
stamps than is the case for the genuine printings.
The second Group, Family II, are the forgeries described by Tchilinghirian and
Ashford. I was fortunate to acquire these along with the genuine stamps when the
Tchinlinghirian collection came under the hammer at Robson Lowe some ten years
ago. They are indeed printed on white paper without any trace of a mesh.
They exist in many shades that are quite different from the genuine and appear
to be produced by a photolitho process which resulted in a loss of much of
the detail of the originals.
Finally, Family III forgeries are intermediate in general appearance. They
too are printed on white paper but the paper has a heavier and coarser mesh
than either the genuine or Family I forgeries. They lack the transfer marks
of either the genuine issues or of Family I forgeries yet the few examples
seen of each value do have constant differences from which they can be identi-
fied. Like Families I and II, Family III exists both perf and imperf.
Surprisingly, all the many forgeries of the gold kopeck surcharges that I
have recorded to date (50 to 60 in total) are on genuine basic stamps. Two
bogus cancels exist, the letters 'eb' about 1.5 cm. high and a 'circular
cachet' in what appears to be Russian lettering and an outer ring that often
does not print. These bogus cancels are only found on Family I forgeries,
usually both applied together superimposed over the corner of the stamp.
Family I forgeries have a fascinating history. I first came across them at
Maison Romeko amongst the stock of basic stamps which Mon. S. Rockling had
purchased from the Soviet Government. I purchased complete sheets imperf and
perf along with sheets of the genuine (in some cases only part sheets were
left of the genuine issue). At the time I did not realize that they were
forgeries--I had noticed the differences in shade but not the plate sizes and
supposed at the time (1960) that I was obtaining early and late prints. The
sheets were signed by Mon. Rockling (once only per sheet at my request--it
would have taken hours to sign each stamp--and he told me, according to my
philatelic diary notes, that he and a Mr. Block (it may be Gluck--my writing
is bad) purchased the complete stock of Armenia, Georgian, Azerbaijan and
Ukrainian remainders from the Soviet Government Agency in Moscow in about
1935. Mr. Block (Gluck), a New York stamp dealer, finally disposed of his
stock to other dealers in the USA. However, while he retained his stock,
he sold largely to collectors. My purchase reduced his remaining stock by
about 95%. Since that time I have come across this same material in complete
sheets in New York, in particular in the stock of the late Max Sage. Having
no reason to doubt the word or memory of the late Mon. Rockling I consider
Family I forgeries to be Soviet productions, reprints from new stones, pro-
duced to bring in extra revenue from the Western stamp trade at the time of
disposal of the pre-Soviet remainders.
All values of the genuine unsurcharged issue are found with forged cancels
which include a bilingual 'early Soviet type' with what looks like POHTEJZTB
in the upper half, and an extremely good copy of the Erivan '0' cancel as well
as a bogus 'Turkish' cancel.
Finally although there are some genuine perforation varieties (mainly imperforate
between which also exist with gold kopeck surcharges), genuine imperforate
printings with forged line perforations to give imperforate between are also
known (purchased in New York from the same source as many other 'reperforated'
imperforates) and some of these have added forged gold kopeck surcharges.
The Lithuanian Stamp Society and the Collector's Club of New York have jointly
published a Catalog of Lithuanian Stamps. The price is $14.50 to members and
16.00 to non-members. It is available from the Collector's Club, 22 East
35th Street, New York, New York 10016, or from Vincent W. Alones, 217 McKee
Street, Floral Park, New York 10001.
PRINTING VARIETIES OF SOVIET STAMPS
by Andrew Medwid
Stamp collecting is for everyone. Not all of us have the same interests in
our collecting habits even though we all collect stamps of the same country.
My particular interest lies in finding varieties of stamps which for the
most part are not listed in the standard catalogues. These varieties can
be caused by damage to the printing plate, by a change in the type of perfora-
tion used, or by a second printing which varies from the first in color or
details of the design.
For example, take Scott #1392-93. Most people are aware of the misplaced
globe but how many are aware of other details which appear in what seems to
be a normal stamp? In the first printing (Figure la) all the lines on the
backs of the envelopes circling the globe are there. The airplane in the
upper right corner does not have sharply defined detail. In the second print-
ing (Figure Ib) the lines on the backs of the envelopes are not completely
present. The airplane is much more detailed.
Figure la Figure Ib
The next example occursin set Scott #1488-90. The first printing (Figure 2a)
shows a black blotch instead of an eagle in the Polish Flag and the color
orange appears in many of the flags.
In the second printing (Figure 2b), the eagle is much more clearly seen and
the flags have a yellow shade rather than orange. There are many other minor
variations which the readers may be able to spot by examining the actual
Here in the next example, Scott #1528, there are a slightly different set of
circumstances. The stamp varies in shade and size. On the larger stamp
Figure 2a Figure 2b
(Figure 3a), which I measure to be 32 3/4 x 22 1/2 mm., the shade tends to
be a purplish brown and the word kopeck on the left hand side does not have
a stop after it. The smaller stamp (Figure 3b), which I measure at 32 1/4 x
22 mm. has a reddish brown shade to it and there is a stop after the word
kopeck. Note also that the smaller stamp depicts a much more worried gentle-
Figure 3a Figure 3b
Another example is Scott #1836 (Figure 4) which I label the "Broken Balcony"
variety. A glance at the illustration tells the whole story.
The next example is fairly well
known to most collectors of Soviet
issues but I could not resist il-
i lustrating Scott #1938 (Figure 5),
S- :' the variety which depicts the Soviet
South with the ever-present wine bottle.
r 'Scott #2093 (Figure 6) has a mis-
e. a spelling of the letters UAJ in the
i_ circle in the upper right corner.
i Scott #2137 has a printing flaw in
the variety which makes it seem
that the woman leaning on the sol-
dier's shoulder is bearing a bouquet.
Another variety, Scott #2047 (Figure 8),
--------------------- herein depicted by a block of four,
shows in the upper left stamp the
Figure 5 misspelled name of the naval hero
depicts its variety,
the woman runner breaking
change. The noal stamp.
- - - -
(Figure a)ris Figure 6
inthe upper rightone
The variety (Figure l b),
due to a plate flaw, is Figure 8
shows in the upper left stamp the
Figure 5 misspelled name of the naval hero
RdDCHEV instead of 19DNEV.
I .. .. .. .. -
ScttII #2225 (Fgr 9). .. ........... ..
Figure 9 In Scott #2403 (Figure 11)
we see in the upper stamp
the normal printing. The
-..--- variety has an enlarged M
in the words Mark Twain. It
is normally thought of as
Variety is normally called
.the "Four Star General."
It appears in the upper right
Figure 10a Figure 10b
theon. o MhaPhbcyiiED "a t mhAPbivrieyb
many more varieties known and I hope to be able to describe them in a later
continuation article. In order to be as complete as possible, I would be in-
terested in hearing from any of our members concerning other varieties of which
they are aware. F
corner~~~~ ~~~ stam oftebokdpce.Aprnlycue ydmg tepae
CONSTANTINOPLE TO ST. PETERSBURG 1879
5 by Gordon Torrey
As a collector of Ottoman Turkish stamps, as well as Russian, the writer has
been on the lookout for Turkish-Russian related material. Despite this long
relationship (25 years) and extensive travel in Europe and the Middle East,
until recently no example
of an item originating in
Turkey addressed to Imperial
Russia had turned up--except
?N for items that had passed
i" I -& V r. IS79 through one or other of the
Foreign post offices in Turkey.
ini.on a. -|- Thus, it was a most pleasant
.I surprise to acquire the item
-; p illustrated below. Of parti-
cular interest is that the
ES*4t" < zw/J "s / postal card is the first one
V / ,W Cfi;,JS issued by Turkey with the
qc,q^ m4I,. ,,A "stamp" printed on it. (1877)
^3f (The previous two cards had
c blank spaces for the affixing
"of postage stamps.) Addressed
to St. Petersburg, the front
shows the Turkish Constanti-
nople datestamp of 27 May 1879
and that of the destination
21 May Old Style (1 June). On the reverse is the transit marking of Odessa
17 May Old Style, and a straight line "postage paid" marking. Apparently this
was applied at Odessa, as the writer has not seen it referred to anywhere as a
Do any of our readers have
another example of Turkey 7-f
to Russia not through a ,
foreign post office prior t* u"'-. sE A -.4 .t4idL
to World War I? 4A r f, 444C
The gist of the message, A
written in Gennan, by the ^ AL #WU ;z9^;
sender to his sister, is .
that Constantinople is -, ,
beautiful and that he is ^ -
going to Odessa on a ship d ,, A4Z ,
of one of the regular lines. 4
From Odessa he will leave f .
by the first train. The
weather is delightful, with
a tropical heat every day, --
and that he was going to
attend the French theater
GERMAN OCCUPATION OF UKRAINE
Michel Nos. 1-18 0
Type I Type II
u a,.. U NE
Type III Type IV
This is reprinted with permission of the Germany Philatelic Society from
its "Reference Manual of Forgeries" by Dr. Werder M. Bohne.
THE BOGUS BUKHARA "CAMEL POST' STAMPS OF 1886
by Dr. C. de Stackelberg
S Our President, Dr. Gordon Torrey, on page 74 of Rossica No. 90/91, mentions
the bogus Bukhara "Camel Post" stamps, stamps about which very few Russian
stamp experts have heard.
These stamps are probably the first bogus stamps appearing in a Russian poli-
tically controlled area. Although Bukhara at that time was a Russian protec-
torate, it did not have its own postal service. These stamps were first
discussed and described in the German magazine "Philatelist," No. 8 of July 15,
1886 and again in No. 9 of September 15, 1887, as well as in No. 1, Vol. XV
(1888) of the "Illustrierte Briefmarken Journal."
According to these journals the set consisted of three stamps: a red one,
valued at 11 pul (4 kopecs), a green one, valued at 22 pul (8 kopecs), and a
lilac stamp valued at 64 pul (24 kopecs). [See illustrations 1 and 2.] Sup-
posedly these stamps were used on letters sent from the city of Bukhara by
"fast running camels" to the nearest Russian Post Offices, to be forwarded by
Russian mail to their destinations in Russia and abroad.
The debate as to whether
these stamps were genuine
or bogus raged in the
philatelic press for two
Years until finally the
German newspaper of the
t Russian capital, "St.
U- Petersburger Zeitung,"
,.j4'L es of March 14/26, 1888
S- c and the "Illustrierte
"Briefmarken Journal" in
its No. 11 of 1888 pub-
lished the facts and
Sfew- c r proved that they were
bogus. They stated that
there never was any pos-
C/ tal service in Bukhara;
/ that until 1888 all mail
from Bukhara was sent by
fast horse riders to the
nearest Russian Post
Fig. 1 Office, either to Katti-
Kurgan or to Charjuy,
where current Russian stamps had to be bought and affixed to the envelopes. The
postal service there forwardedthemail by train to its destination. By the
middle of 1888 the Russian railway line had reached the city of Bukhara and
the Russian post office at the railway station was handling all of the mail.
Thus, no "camel post"--much slower than the mounted messengers--was needed.
The few covers in existence, with these stamps affixed, to prove that they were
genuine and accepted by Russian post office officials for franking, are fakes.
Thus, for instance, a
cover (Illus. 3) dated
"Bukhara, Sept. 10, 1886"
displays a Russian back- F l
stamp "Baku, Sept. 15, .. .
1886." For a letter from -
Bukhara to reach Baku in
5 days at that time was
an impossibility. The
"camel post" first would ,x- =A
have had to reach Merv, '' M -o.
210 miles away. This t,.' o
would have taken at least ,J % L.. ,- '
a few days--if camels i- L & ^ -
were used! From Merv a .. .
letter would have to be cJ, -
transported by mail to
reach Uzum-Ada on the
Caspian Sea. There were
only two trains each
week in that direction
and it took a train two
days and two nights to Fig. 2
arrive at Uzum-Ada.
Another two days would be taken to cross the Caspian by boat--which operated
between Uzum-Ada and Baku only twice weekly. Thus, at the very best, Baku
could be reached in ten days and not in five. Besides, this cover never
passed through a Russian post office, as surely it would have been marked by
the Russian post office "Doplatit"--Postage Due. Thus, this and similar covers
Fig. 3 Front and back
Although from the articles mentioned earlier, it is known that a stamp dealer
in Vienna was advertising and selling these stamps around 1886, nevertheless,
they are extremely rare. The whole story of these bogus stamps is discussed in
a booklet owned by Dr. Torrey, entitled "Die Persische Post und Postherzeichen
von Persien und Buchara," 1893, by Friedrich Schueller.
AN UNUSUAL HISTORICAL COVER
by R. Trbovich
The reprint of C.J. Starr's article 'Mails to Russia" (Rossica No. 89, 1975)
referred to Hargest's monograph "History of Letterpost Communications" where
the following cover was illustrated on page 143 (Fig. 1). The cover is from
a member of Col. Turchin's 19th Illinois Volunteers, who served in the Union
forces during the Civil War. Hargest made the following comments about this
"Figure 91 illustrates an unpaid letter posted in Ottawa, Illinois,
on 1 December 1862, addressed to Wiborg, Finland. The postal clerk
at the Ottawa post office endorsed the letter via Prussian Close mail,
and, complying with regulations, applied a 30 to indicate the 304
international rate for a single-rate Prussian closed-mail letter.
Both the Ottawa postmark and the 30 are in blue ink. The letter was
forwarded to the Chicago exchange office for the required transmission
by Canadian packet. The Chicago office applied an exchange office
marking inscribed CHICAGO ILL AM. PKT./23 in blue ink. As is the
case with the exchange office marking shown on the cover illustrated
in Figure 89, this marking also shows no date. While one may specu-
late upon the reason for this omission, no evidence has been found
that explains it. The 23 in this marking is the single-rate debit to
Prussia for an unpaid letter by Prussian closed mail. The manuscript
12/2 on the face of the cover is in blue ink and represents the Prussian
debit to Russia (Finland) of 12 silbergroschen foreign and 2 silber-
groschen Union postage (about 33*). On the reverse is a manuscript 56
in red ink which indicated that 56 kopeck were to be collected in Finland
(about 40) ."
The story behind Turchin is of interest to postal historians, so let us quote
here from the 1940 Slavonic Encyclopedia.
Turchin, John Basil (1822-1901), Russian General in the American Civil War;
born Ivan Vasilevich Tuchinaninov in the province of the Don. Taking part
in the Hungarian campaign of 1848-49 as an ensign in the horse artillery
service of the Czar, next entered the military academy for the general
staff from which he graduated with high honors; attained the rank of
Colonel in the Crimean War 1854-56; but the end of the war found him
and his wife sailing for the U.S. Settling first on Long Island, they
eventually found their way to Illinois where he accepted the position
of topographical engineer with the Illinois Central Railroad. June 17,
1861 he received a Colonel's commission in U.S. service to lead the 19th
Illinois Volunteers, organized to fight against the rebels in the
month-old Civil War. During this period he wrote and published a pam-
phlet, Brigade Drill, which greatly impressed his superior, Brig. General
Don Carlos Buell, who soon afterwards, without raising him in rank, gave
Turchin command of a brigade, the 8th Ohio. Turchin's brigade scored
a complete success in a campaign to seize Huntsville, Alabama and thus
cut the Confederates off from their communications with the east and
southeast. However, complaints reached his superiors that his troops
had sacked Athens, Alabama, and for this Turchin was placed under arrest,
to be tried for neglect, unbecoming conduct, and disobedience. Presi-
dent Lincoln's answer to the findings of the court was a commission
promoting the Russian to the rank of Brig. General. Turchin rejoined
the forces in action in March 1863 and climaxed his military career
with victories in the battle of Chicamauga, September 19-20, and of
Missionary Ridge, November 25, the two victories which gave the the
Union the final control of Chatanooga and Knoxville. On October 1,
1862, at the age of 42, Turchin retired and settled in Chicago with
his wife. In 1870 he returned to his old profession of engineering,
which he continued until 1886. Heavy land speculation brought him to
a state of poverty, so the Congress finally voted him a pension of $50
a month. In April 1901 he was taken to the State Hospital for the Insane
where his demented state was ascribed to a sunstroke suffered on the
march through Georgia in 1864. On the night of June 18, 1901, the "Mad
Cossack of the Grand Army of the Republic" died.
Another item of interest is the fact that Turchin's wife was a nurse under the
famous Russian surgeon Pirogoff, trained in Paris, who recruited American doc-
tors who served in the Crimean War.
V. Petrov's recent article (N R Slovo, April 8, 1978) refers to Prof. A Parry's
mention of a certain A. Smirnov from Ottawa, Illinois, who apparently served
as a sergeant with Turchin's 19th Illinois and was killed in an action known
as "Turchin's Attack" during the Battle of Chickamauga (September 1863). This
could well be the writer of the cover.
If any reader can bring more light on mails to or from Russia in the 19th cen-
tury, this would help tremendously in the very difficult search for covers of
THE PROBLEM OF COMPOUND PERFORATIONS
by V. Kaverin and L. Peiskov
S[Translated from Filatelia, USSR, #3 (1976)]
by E. Wolski
A certain number of collectors asked us to comment on the question of compound
perforations and explain their origin. The request was prompted by an article
published in Filateliya SSR No. 9, 1975, written by A. Skrylev under the title
of "Stamps with Additional Perforation" (Marki s dobavochnoy perforatsiey).
We are glad to share our views with our colleagues.
Only the stamps with line perforation can exist with compound perfs, when per-
forations were made on two different perforating machines. One of the machines
punched all horizontal perforations and the other, the vertical (for instance,
stamps 143-A, 223-A1, 247-A, 309-3, 378, 536-A, and others listed in the TSFA
catalog of 1970).* In other cases, the second machine punched only one side.
There is a third case, not considered by A. Skyrlev: the second machine
punched the missed two upper sides or two sides on the right. Stamp 532-A of
the "pioneer" set issued in 1936 [Scott 583-588, a Perf II] is an example of
such compound perforation, with several variations of perfs.
It is enough to leaf through the catalog to note that there were 46 stamps
with compoundperfs issued in the 1920s and 30s, including 2 stamps depicting
V. I Lenin (nominal values of 2 and 3 Rubles) mentioned by A. Skrylev.
We cannot say for sure what caused the appearance of these stamps with compound
perfs. It is possible that it was caused by the necessity to expedite the de-
livery of the stamps to the customer, the National Commissariat for Communi-
cation. Or perhaps it was necessary to "knock in" perfs when they were omitted.
In any case, the most logical thing is to suggest that the appearance of com-
pound perforations was due to technical reasons in production.
A Skrylov distinguished only two types of compound perforations: "One type--
with compound line perforation; the second--with supplementary perfs in spots
where perforation was omitted." Further, he made a hurried conclusion that
"...The second type of stamps (with supplementary perfs in missed spots),
although against the wish of collectors (?), cannot be counted as a stamp
variety, since it is an unofficial perforation, and therefore, should not be
listed in the catalog.
This classification of stamps with compound perfs into two types is arbitrary
and does not stand up to criticism. What does the second type with supple-
mental perforation in missed spots mean? How many "missed spots" should there
be--one, two, or three? What should be done with stamp 5320A of the "pioneer"
set? Sheets of this stamp have the so-called supplemental perforation in two
"missed places"-at the top and at the right side. There are other instances
of authentic "supplementary" perforations not included in the 1970 Soviet
See footnote at end for Scott numbers.
A reader, who completely trusted A. Skrylev, could come to the conclusion
that: if a stamp shows "nonstandard" perforation along one of its four
sides, it should not be listed in the catalogue. This way, 13 stamps out of
46 with compound perforations classified by A. Skrylev as type 2 should be
excluded from the catalogue.
We cannot agree with this point of view. The fact is that all stamps with
compound perforation (including the 13 stamps with "nonstandard" perfs on
one side of the stamp only), in spite of A. Skrylev's assertion that they
were unofficial, were sold at post offices or at state philatelic stores.
At that time it was relatively easy to acquire them, and they were not con-
sidered as particular rarities. They all should be included in catalogues
with respective information for each case.
Now, a few words about prices and forgeries. It is known that prices quoted
in the 1970 catalogue and in the "Retail Pricelist for Individual Postage
Stamps of the USSR 1921-1969" (Preyskurant Roznichnykh tsen na otdel'nyye
pochtovyye marki SSSR 1921-1969 g.g.) (Moscow, 1973), need corrections in
many cases. As far as prices for stamps with compound perforation are con-
cerned, it is our point of view that some are too high, and in other cases,
they are too low. The problem of price formation as other problems connected
with the compilation of catalogs and handbooks, should be left to persons
with sufficiently high professional qualifications.
The propagation of stamps with forged perforations is a great evil which
should be fought vigorously. Forgers not only add perforations in missed
places or where perforation is shifted, but also repunch comb line perfora-
tion into line perforation or the other way around. As a rule, such forgery
can be detected. Experienced collectors have enough knowledge to detect
forgeries, including falsified perforations. It would be naive to say that
the forger knows more than the experienced collector. Let us remind you
that the Moscow and Leningrad branches of the All Union Philatelic Society
(Vsesoyuznoye obshchestvo filatelistov) include experts and consultants to
whom you should turn for the expertization of stamps or perforations.
Soviet 1970 Scotts Perforation
223A 1 302 (Variety) 12 1/2 x 13 1/2
309B 407 (Variety) 12 1/2 x 10 1/2
378 C23a 10 1/2 x 12
536A 590 (Variety) 12 1/2 x 14
NOTES FROM COLLECTORS
FOURNIER'S FORGED RUSSIAN CANCELLATIONS
S It has been previously noted (Rossica No. 84, p59) that despite their listing
under "Bulgarie obliterations" in the Album of Fournier Forgeries published
by L'Union Philatelique de Geneva in 1928, only one of the examples is Bulgarian.
The others are all Russian. These cancellations, as listed in the Fournier
Albums are shown below:
-i2 M A R .
Fournier's forgeries of Russian stamps, exclusive of those used in the Levant
and Chinawere confined to the 3 1/2 and 7 rouble stamps of the "no thunderbolts"
type on vertically laidpaper (Scott Nos. 39 and 40). To complete the picture,
the Fournier Albums also contain two other forged cancellations used on the rouble
stamps of Russia. These are given in the Fournier Albums as examples of the
forged rouble values, and are listed under Russia. They are shown below.
Stamps with these cancels and dates should be a warning sign to all collectors
when searching for the rouble stamps.
SOME CONVENTS ON THE RUSSIAN RELATED PHANTASIES
The Turkestan Phantasies depicting local scenes were printed in sheets of 56,
8 x 7 for the vertical format, 7 x 8 for the horizontal. The complete sheets in
my collection are line perforated 14 1/2 x 13, 11 1/2 x 14 1/2, 14 1/2 x 14 1/2,
or 13 x 11 1/2 (or reversed throughout in the caseof the horizontal format).
All perforation combinations seem to have been used with each value, presumably
to increase the number of varieties. None of the sheets are marginal imperforate
but single fantails and imperforate between pairs are all perforated 11 1/2. All
the imperforate stamps are known with a violet overprint consisting of a crown
over the words B.T.K.17. BA4P OCBOECXEHHH POCCHkr in three lines, the last word
underlined with a wavy line and the date 1924 underneath. One of the overprinted
stamps has a partial strike of a bogus cancel, 33 mm. diameter single circle
dated 9 IV 19.. The bottom half reads B-7TPH EzM APM ... and above a six
pointed star ornament the top commences I7D.... suggesting a bogus army cancellation.
Gordon Torrey's description of the overprinted stamps is not too clear to me but
could describe the imperforate blocks of ten 1 kop. and 2 kop. stamps on which all
ten values occur se tenant (if this is still the correct term when all ten are
different). One of my blocks has a top margin and one has a bottom margin, the
margins being wider than the central gutter width so blocks may exist with the
central gutter dividing two rows of stamps forming the set. Alternatively, stamp
positions adjacent to the horizontal gutter may have had one or more cliches
inverted. However, since so few inverted copies have been recorded it is more
likely that one or two sheets were inverted during the overprinting process.
All the Khotan cancels that I have seen have the same date, 12.3.20.
Ray J. Ceresa
TANNU TUVAN PHILATELIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
Dr. Denys Voaden, in his informative review of S.M. Blekman's recent book on
Tuva in Rossica No. 92,had occasion to mention the bibliography of that country's
philately which I compiled.
While it is true that a version of the bibliography accompanies the Kanak Album,
the student might wish to go back to the original publication. This was in
Philatelic Literature Review, Vol. 17 (31 December 1968), pp 194-198.
The Kanak reprint did not include the cross-references contained in my original
nor the commentary which was an iintegral part of it, so that the P.L.R. version
is probably the more helpful of the two.
COMMENTS ON THE CANCELLATIONS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD
The first item of Lee Shneidman's article in Rossica No. 86/87, p67, raises the
question of the genuineness of the Kiev cancellation. The lettering, serial letter
and ornaments of the cancellation on the pair of 70k imperforate stamps appear to
match perfectly genuine cancellations on Money Transfers and covers of the period
March 1920 to September 1922. I have one parcel receipt with the same cancellation
dated 8.9.20, i.e. the same numerals in reverse and the numerals match up. In my
opinion the cancellation is genuine.
This example does raise a more general question. How was the date changed on
the cancellers? Large cancellers used today have a rotating section for the
S date but I believe that in general separate numerals had to be insterted and
changed each day for the majority of cancellers used in Russia during this
period. They were probably held in place by a pin through the stem which
maintained alignment and packing pieces were used when only a single figure
was required for the day or month. Sometimes, possibly due to wear, these
packing pieces protrude below the numerals and a heavy square blob results
in the date line. Other times one of the numerals is set back and does not
show on the strike. This may be the case in the example in question or the
"1" may have been left out--it may not have been missed until the following
morning when the date was changed.
Errors are quite frequently met; in particular inverted numerals and many
examples of 22 inverted, either in the day or the year, have been noted.
It would seem, therefore, that the retaining mechanism did not prevent inver-
sion of the numerals or othererrors so it may just have been some kind of
friction grip. Another type of error is 02 instead of 20 andthis is not too
surprising when one reads the date in mirror image. (The series of dates
found on Money Transfer and Parcel Receipt cards helps in spotting these
errors.) Thus the date on a locally used letter or card, where only one
canceller is used and there are no transit markings with confirming dates,
can not be completely guaranteed.
Why a pair of 70 kop imperf stamps? If the letter was posted in a box at a
time when the post office was shut, the sender may have only had 70 kop
stamps in his wallet...All that this would tell us is that the rate for a
local letter was more than 70 kop but less than Rub 1.40....if he was
writing to someone whom he addressed as 'Your worship' he would presumably
overfrank rather than underfrank the letter. However the 1 Ruble rate did
not come into force until 1.11.19 so that the double error of *8 for 19 for
the year would stillbetoo early by about five weeks.....Perhaps the clerk was
lefthandedas well as being a trifle dim and lets assume he completely re-
versed the date so that it should have read 8.9.20....If this were so, it
would require a rate of 100 Rubles and we are in the revaluation period. The
50 kop and 70 kop stamps were not revalued but were used as their kopeck
values. If the clerk was sufficiently dim to get his cancellers back to front
could he have misinterpreted the official bulletin and accepted or used the
140 kopecks as an overfranking of 140 Rubles (100 times face)? This is asking
too much of the postal administration even in those chaotic times. However,
it does lead to another explanation, namely a combination of these possibilities--
the letter posted in a box, sender only had a pair of 70 kopecks so put them
on rather than no stamps at all with the thought that it might have a better
chance of being delivered, postal clerk had reversed the date on the canceller
when changing it, the unusual combination did not register as underfranked, etc.
The temptation is invariably to look for a complicated answer to this type of
problem but the answer is probably very simple.
This cancellation is one which is found on cancelled to order stamps of the
Ukraine. Even during this period some collectors liked to have stamps used
on a piece and they would stick a number of stamps on an envelope or sheet of
paper and have them cancelled at the Post Office. It is quite conceivable,
since there does not seem to be abackstamp, that the address was added after
the pair of stamps was tied to the cover. This practise was resorted to in
the Ukraine as one way of getting nice clean covers for the German market
without the risk of the stamps being damaged in the post. There are many
philatelic covers of this type. Fortunately for collectors, the addresses
are usually those of well-known dealers in Kharkov, Kiev, and Odessa. Lee
Shneidman's cover reminds us to ask the question whenever the rate or postmark
looks wrong what is the evidence for the cover actually going through
Ray J. Ceresa
RUSSIAN JULIAN DATES AND DAYS OF THE WEEK
In Japanese Philately 29/99 and 30/76 (with an important correction on 30/208)
we dealt with covers having both Japanese postmarks with Gregorian dates and
Russian postmarks with Julian dates prior to 1918.2.13, when Russia switched
to the Gregorian calendar. The chief difference between the two solar calendars
is that centesimal years (those ending in 00) are always leap years in the
Julian calendar but are not leap years in the Gregorian unless they are mul-
tiples of 400. Thus in 1700, 1800, and 1900, February had 29 days in the
Julian calendar but only 28 in the Gregorian. This small table gives the
formula for converting the Julian dates to Gregorian, including the leap days.
TO CONVERT JUL.AN DATES to Gregorian:
1582.10.5 through 1700.2.28 add 10 days
1700. 2.29 tnrocr. 1800.2.28 add 11 days
1800. 2.29 throuon 1900.2.28 add 12 days
1900. 2.29 through 2100.2.28 add 13 days
The only one of those which can be found in Russian markings is that of 1900.
Julian 1900.2.28, 2.29, and 3.1 equal Gregorian 1900.2.12, 3.13, and 3.14,
respectively. The small table will also explain the question asked in a
recent newspaper column: "How do you explain the fact that Cervantes and
Shakespeare both died on the same date (188.8.131.52) but did not die on the
same day?" Cervantes' Catholic Spa-in was usingthe Gregorian calendar in
1616, but Shakespeare's Protestant England used the Julian calendar until
1752.9.2. Therefore, 23 April 1616 came 10 days later in England than in
Spain. On the day of Shakespeare's death, calendars in England read 23 April
but those in Spain another Catholic countries read 3 May, and Cervantes had
died 10 days earlier.
In the nineteenth century, mail was usually postmarked on Sunday, though we
have not been able to find any official regulation tothat effect for either
Japan or the United States. Consequently, in ISJP Monograph 3, Pacific Cross-
ings from Japan 1858-79, we gave completecalendars for the fourteen possible
arrangements of the year (1 January falling in any one of the seven days of
the week, with orwithout a 29 February). In April, May, and June 1976, there
was a series of letters in the correspondence column of London's highly literate
weekly Stamp Collecting, in which readers offered a variety of systems for
ascertaining the day of the week on which a given date fell. Most of these
systems were extremely tedious and complicated, with numerous opportunities
for arithmetic errors. We found this surprising, since American publications
""'Th; calendar give( the dray of the week for any known date from the beginning of the Christian
FIra down to the year 2400.
Jnlian Calendar Gregorian Calendar
Century 0 100 200 300 400 S00 600 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900
S70 IM 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 2000 2100 2200 2300
"" t1400 1500 t
0 DC ED FE GF AG RA CB BA C E G
129 57 85 B C D E F G A F G B D F
2 305 86 A B C D E F G E F A C E
3 31 59 87 G A B C ) E F D E G B D
4 32 60 88 FE GF AG BA CB DC ED CB DC FE AG CB
5 33 61 89 D E F G A B C A B D F A
6 34 62 90 C D E F G A B G A C E G
7 35(3 91 B C I) E F G A F G B D F
8 36 64 92 AG BA CB )C ED FE GF ED FE AG CB ED
9 37 65 93 F G A B C D E C D F A C
10 38 66 94 E F G A B C D B C E G B
11 39 67 95 D E F G A B C A B D F A
12 40 68 96 CB DC ED FE GF AG BA GF AG CB ED GF
13 41 69 97 A B C D E F G E F A C E
14 42 70 98 G A B C D E F D E G B D
15 43 71 99 F G A B C D E C D F A C
16 44 72 ED FE GF AG BA CB DC -- CB ED GF BA
17 45 73 C D E F G A B -- A C E G
18 46 74 B C D E F G A G B D F
19 47 75 A B C D E F G -- F A C E
20 48 76 GF AG BA CB DC ED FE ED GF BA DC
21 49 77 E F G A B C D C E G B
22 50 78 D E F G A B C B D F A
23 51 79 C D E F G A B A C E G
24 52 80 BA CB DC ED FE GF AG GF BA DC FE
25 53 81 G A B C D E F -- E G B D
26 54 2 F G A B C D E C D F A C
27 55 8 E F G A B C D B C E G B
28 56 84 DC ED FE GF AG BA CB AG BA DC FE AG
Month Dominical letter
Jan.. Oct. A B C D E F G
Feb., Mar., Nov. D E F G A B C
Apr., July G A B C D E F
May B C D E F G A
June E F G A B C D
Aug. C D E F G A B
Sept., Dec. F G A B C D E
1 8 15 22 29 Sun. Sat. Fri. Thurs. Wed. Tues. Mon.
2 9 16 23 30 Mon. Sun. Sat. Fri. Thurs. Wed. Tues.
3 10 17 24 31 Tues. Mon. Sun. Sat. Fri. Thurs. Wed.
4 11 18 25 Wed. Tues. Mon. Sun. Sat. Fri. Thurs.
5 12 19 26 Thurs. Wed. Tues. Mon. Sun. Sat. Fri.
6 13 20 27 Fri. Thurs. Wed. Tues. Mon. Sun. Sat
7 14 21 28 Sat. Fri. Thurs. Wed. Tues. Mon. Sun.
To find the calendar for any year of the Christian Era, first find the Dominical letter for the
year in the upper section of the table. Two letters are given for leap years; the first is to be used
for January and February. the second for the other months. In the lower section of the table,
find the column in which the Dominical letter for the year is in the same line with the month
for which the calendar is desired; this column gives the days of the week that are to be used with
E.g., in the table of Dominical Letters we find that the letter for 1951 is G: in the line with
July, this letter occurs in the first column; hence July 4, 1951, is Wednesday.
SPrepared by G. M. Cl"mence, UU.S. Naval Obervatory. t On and before 1., Oct. 4 ely. t O
and after 1582, Oct. IS aly.
such as the World Almanac have for some years been publishing convenient
'perpetual calendar' tables which enable one to find the day of the week
quickly and without arithmetic calculations. The new Encyclopaedia Britannica
also contains such a table, derived from one in Smithsonian Physical Tables
(9th ed., 1956), prepared some years ago by G. M. Clemence of the United
States Naval Observatory. This Smithsonian table is the best we have seen,
since it covers both the Julian and the Gregorian calendars from the beginning
of the Christian era down to 2400. We reproduce it on the previous page.
Although the column headings in the Julian section end with the 1500s (when
the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Catholic countries), it will be
seen that Julian dates from countries retaining the Julian calendar until
later (such as Russia) can still be translated into the days of the week from
the Smithsonian table. The columns headed 900, 1000, 1100, and 1200 apply
also to Julian 1600, 1700, 1800, and 1900 respectively.
Reprinted with permission of the
International Society for Japanese
Philately from Volume 31, No. 6 of
1000 Reginald Hindley, Thorn Villa, Oxenhope, Keighley, W. Yorks,
BD22 9JS England
1001 Robert Oldenburg, 2072 Pauline Boulevard 1-A, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
1002 Luciano Buzzetti,Vle Prealdi 44, 21047 Saronee, Italy
1003 Leo Lieberman, 33-45 90th Street, Jackson Heights, New York 11372
1004 Paul Deross, P.O. Box 3987, Downey, California 90242
1005 Wayne N. Johnson, Ste 21, 212 Laneside Street, Winnepeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3C 1Z7
1006 Lee E. Williams, 315 Thornell Road, Pittsford, New York 14534
1007 Heinz Loeffel, 164MainzerStrasse, Mainz 6500, West Germany
1008 Lawrence B. Flanagan, 2611 E. Riding Drive, Wilmington, Delaware 19808
1009 Oleg K. Basov, c/o S. Kaliaguine, 3273 Chemin St. Louis,Ste Roy
G1W 1S1 Canada
1010 Sergiv Schor, 1623 3rd Avenue, 27-K W. Yorkville Tower, New York,
New York 10028
1011 Don R. Davis, 1736 Alevtian Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99502
1012 Jovan Jovanovich, 79-16 Elks Road, Elmhurst, New Jersey 11373
1013 Melvin Feiner, Box 5637, Huntington Beach, California 92646
1014 Norman Katat, 1893 White Street, Bellmore, New Jersey 11710
1015 Ronald Sulyma, 39-55 51st Street, Woodside, New York 11377
1016 V. Hetmanczuk, 2539 Privet Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario., L5B 2S5 Canada
1017 Christu Waifringe, Ronnholmsgrand 57, Sweden
1018 Al Volker, 24390 Buchanan Court Apt 1860, Farmington, Michigan 48018
1019 Dr. Richard N. Moersch, 399 E. Highland Avenue, San Bernadino,
1020 Georg D. Mehrtens, Butlandsweg 9A, 28 Bremen 33, Federal Republic of
1021 Richard H. Strohecker, R.D. #7 Brewster Road, New Castle, Pennsylvania
1022 Mrs. Joyce K. Gunscott, 12 RichardsRoad, Lynnfield, Massachusetts 01940
1023 August Leppa, SulakakatulC5, SF 04400 Jarvenpaa, Finland
1024 Joseph D. Hahn, 812 West Fairmount Avenue, State College, Pennsylvania
1025 Mrs. Karen Sidler, 1155 E. Sahara #28, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
1026 Anthony H. Hill, 16203 RapidCreek Drive, Houston Texas 77053
1027 Robert Edward Spaulding, H.H.D. 69th Signal Batallion, Box 2052
A.P.O., New York 09178
1028 Joseph M. Running, Jr., 14004 E. 26th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74134
1029 Gary Albert Combs, N.S.A.F.S. Augsberg, Box 1622, A.P.O., New York
1030 Anatole Kanshanski, 25 Cedarcroft Boulevard, #407 Willowdale, Ontario,
1031 Ludwig D. Matkovich, 37 West Portola Avenue, Los Altos,California 94022
1032 Francis R. Elliot, 434242 W164 #2, Lawndale, California 90260
1033 Ronald A. Czaplicki, P.O. Box 4635, Inglewood, California 90309
1034 Del P. Newman, P.O. Box 12952, Houston, Texas 77017
1035 Stanton Honeyman, P.O. Box 117, New Britain, Connecticut 06050
THE ROSSICA BOOKSHELF
YAMSHCIK, The Post Rider, Volume 1, September 1977, 64 pp.
The Journal of the Canadian Society of Russian Philately, published by
Alex Artuchov, Box 5722 Station A, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5W 1P2
With this issue, a new journal joins the ranks of the specialist philatelic
publications dealing with Russian philately. Although the journal is new, the
workers behind it are old hands. The editor is Andrew Cronin, editor of our
own Rossica Journal from 1968 to 1974. The secretary is Patrick Campbell,
whose articles have been seen frequently on these pages. Alex Artuchov is the
publisher and society treasurer.
The feature article is "Tannu Tuva and the New Blekhman Handbook," by Andrew
Cronin. Mr. Cronin brings his vast experience to bear and provides an excel-
lent critical review and discussion of the 1976 Soviet publication "A History
of the Post and Postage Stamps of Tuva," by S. H. Blekhman. Cronin adds sig-
nificant new information to that provided, following the basic outline of the
Blekhman publication. Postal history, postal markings, postage stamps and
postal stationery are covered at some length. I feel this detailed review of
the Blekhman article is a valuable contribution to the literature on Tuvan
The Cronin article is followed by "The Literature of Russian Philately," by
P.J. Campbell. This is to be a serialized article and is not designed to eval-
uate published material but only to list it with comments regarding origin and
scope. The present article lists and comments upon the journals of the various
philatelic societies which deal with Russian philately. If the remaining arti-
cles in this series are as well written as this one, they will jointly form an
excellent reference source for the publications and literature in our field.
The next article, "Is the Paper Wove? Or Is It Laid and Watermarked?" by Alex
Artuchov discusses the rare paper varieties of the Imperial Russian issues be-
tween 1866 and 1879. Although at first blush this article seems to be of
interest only to the highly specialized collector, it also contains an excellent
discussion of the paper making process utilized for 19th-century Russian stamps,
which should be of considerable interest to the beginning Russian philatelist.
Next follows another article by P.J. Campbell, "A Stamp for a Rouble." It dis-
cusses the production process and the various issues and printings of the first
Russian 1 ruble stamp, Scott Design #A9. The article is very well done and
should be of considerable interest to the beginning specialist as well as the
afficionado due to the detailed information it contains.
There follows yet another article by P.J. Campbell, "The Dot Postmarks of
Imperial Russia." This is an excellent introduction to the dot cancels and will
be primarily of interest to the beginning specialist. Pat Campbell's easy,
flowing style and articulate presentation make his articles eminently readable
and a joy for editors to receive.
The first issue of YAMSCHIK concludes with what will apparently be regular sec-
tions dealing with comments from readers and reviews of philatelic literature.
All in all, this journal is extremely well done for a first issue and should be
a worthy addition to anyone's philatelic library. It is well balanced in content,
highly readable throughout, and done with humor and good taste. We welcome it to
the ranks of the specialist journals in Russian philately and commend it to
Russian philatelists everywhere. K. L. Wilson
PHILATELY IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN by E. Sachenkov
"Sviaz" in Moscow printed 53,000 copies of this handbook for the Library of
Young Philatelists. It consists of 75 pages and was sold in the Soviet Union
for less than 20 cents. It is well printed and illustrated both in black
and white and in color. It covers the following:
1. Russian icebreakers and ships
2. Hamburg-Japan via Soviet Arctic
3. Tourist Arctic voyages
4. Ice breaker travels in the Arctic
5. Franz Joseph Land
7. USA Arctic research station
9. Animal world of the Arctic basin
10. Bibliography (Russian)
Although this book was written for young collectors it includes a great deal
of useful material both for the general collector and the specialist.
POSTAGE STAMPS OF AZERBAIJAN by E. S. Voykhanski
This 239 page handbook was published in Russian by "Sviaz" in 1976. This
second edition is a reworking of the first edition of 1971. It consists of
* 18 sections which are as follows:
1. Historical outline of the development of the postal communications
2. Origin of postage stamps of Azerbaijan and Transcaucasian Republics.
3. Post and postal prepayments in Azerbaijan prior to the Soviet period.
4. Second issue of Azerbaijan SSR prior to the use of postage stamps
(Second printing of Scott's Nos. 1 to 10).
5. Postage stamps of Azerbaijan SSR (Scott No. 15 to 29).
6. Semi-postal stamps.
7. How stamps were printed in Azerbaijan SSR.
8. Revaluing of postage stamps.
9. Military field post offices in the territory of the Azerbaijan SSR
during 1920-23 period.
10. Revaluing of postage stamps by metallic numeral canceller and by
11. Origin of 1,500,000 ruble Azerbaijan Provisional and International
postal rates during 1921-23 period.
12.Postage stamps of Azerbaijan when it was a member of Transcaucasia SFSR.
13. Overprinting of a star and .S.F.S.R." on the pre-Soviet stamps of
14. Numeral overprints on the Second issue of Azerbaijan.
15. Last three issues of Transcaucasia SSR (Scott Nos. 14 to 31).
16. Beginning of Air-mail in Azerbaijan and Transcaucasia.
17. Falsification of numeral overprints.
18. Classification of postal cancellations of the 1919-23 period.
This excellent catalogue is well illustrated and has numerous tables. It
describes the original fictitious printing and two types of forgeries of the
"Occupation Azerbaijan" overprints of numerous values of the 1909-18 arms
issue. It also illustrates the fictitious pictorial issue of six values.
Likewise the forgeries of the first printing of Scott Nos. 1 to 10 are
described. Numerous plate flaws on various values of the second printing
of Scott Nos. 1 to 10 are illustrated.
Various types of Scott Nos. 15 to 29 are described and illustrations indi-
cating the variations of the stamp are shown. The handbook does not mention
counterfeits of Nos. 15 to 29 and Bl and B2.
On page 24 a table is given describing the postal-telegraph routes on the
Caspian Sea and the days of the week when they were used.
An interesting fact mentioned in this handbook is that Azerbaijan used the
cancellers of Czarist Russia, with one exception. That was a canceller
which was made by the Mousavat government for the foreign branch of the
Baku P.O. It is a bi-lingual cancellation reading '"Foreign Post" (Azer-
baijanian language) and in French -- "Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan." It
is also stated that new cancellers did not appear in Azerbaijan until 1924.
Some of the illustrations are very good while others could be improved.
The illustrations of covers, money order blanks, etc. are very good and in
most cases the cancellation can be read easily.
From the extensive bibliography of the Russian source one can see numerous
listings of articles by S. L. Kusovkin which appeared in the Soviet Philatelist
and Soviet Collector issues of the 1920s. Although these articles appeared
50 or more years ago, they have never been used to further information on
the issues of Azerbaijan. This is unfortunate because most of the material
issued by Azerbaijan was rot printed in large quantities, except Scott Nos.
15 to 29, and much of it found its place in packets.
The printing of this catalogue was in the quantity of 11,500.
William Herrick. CATALOGUE OF THE RUSSIAN RURAL STAMPS. FULLY ILLUSTRATED
AND GIVING THE PRESENT MARKET VALUE OF EVERY STAMP. 128 pages, 8 1/2" x
11". Price: 30,000 Lira (Italian) Approximately $37.50. 1978.
This handy volume is a 1978 reprint by Rossica member Migliavacca of probably
the most comprehensive work on zemstvos in its day. This was first published
in the "Catalogue for Advanced Collectors" by Henry Collin and Henry L.
Calman and distributed by the Scott Stamp & Coin Company in 1896.
While superseded by later works, which are largely unavailable today (es-
pecially the Schmidt volumes), the Herrick work retains its original value
as the only catalogue now available in English for the collector of zemstvos.
The reprint is bound in brown buckram and the reproduction of the illustra-
tions is well done and the print is very legible. This reprint is limited
to 150 copies and may be purchased fromGiorgioMigliavacca, via Pollak 14,
27100 PAVIA, Italy. Gordon Torrey
THE IMPERIAL ROMANOVS by Rev. L. L. Tann. Available from Dr. Tann, 8
Mayfield Road, Sutton, Surrey, England. Cost per copy: 9 pounds plus
postage. Format is 8 x 13 inches, 103 pages, soft paper binding.
The author aimed high in his avowed attempt to put under one cover all that
has been written about this issue plus all the new facts that he can bring
to the subject matter. The scope of this work encompasses the following:
the essays, proofs, and original issue with its errors and varieties; the
surcharges of the Offices in Turkey, Armenia, and Batum; usage in Russia,
Turkey, China, and Finland; special cancellations such as Fieldpostmarks
and Mutes; the so-called money stamps; and finally the Revolutionary Over-
Prints--all total enough material to form a volume much larger than this.
The author draws chiefly upon the writings of Dr. Gregory Salisbury but does
not report on all that he wrote. Dr. Tann also relies extensively on the
auction sales of the Goss Estate and the former holdings of Richard Zarrins.
Unfortunately there is little new material within the covers. What new
material does show up comes from reporting the results of various auction
sales that have taken place. Apparently the author takes for granted the
fact that what the auctioneer describes in his catalogue is gospel, and,
as we know only too frequently, this is not necessarily so.
The work suffers from conclusions drawn upon insufficient material and from
errors due to a less than clinical analysis of the purported facts. But I
do believe the author deserves an E for effort.
S SUOMEN POSTMERKKIEN VAARENTEITA (FORGERIES OF FINNISH POSTAGE STAMPS)
by Mikko Ossa, with English translation by Mr. and Mrs. Michael E. Hvidonov
of New York. Published by Postmerkkiliika, Lauri Peltonen Ky, Hanko, 1977.
106 pages, Illustrated Letterpress, Cloth bound. Available from A.
Hvidonov, P.O. Box 1221, Great Neck, New York 11023 for $11.00 postpaid.
Although Rossicamembers generally concentrate on Russia and its related areas,
we often forget that Finland was a part of the Czarist Empire until the end
of the First World War. Many of us collect the issues of Finland while under
I believe that even "old hands" at collecting Finland will be surprised at
the contents of this book and the extent of forging of Finnish philatelic
material--stamps, covers, cancellations, and stationery.
The contents include descriptions of the known forgeries and some comparatively
new ones. It starts with the first issue and then goes on to the "big toothed"
perforated kopec issues, the 1875 and 1889 issues, Fournier's forgeries of the
1891 issue, and the 1901 issues. Then came the 1917 Independence stamps and
the commemorative and semi-postal stamps. Also treated are such temporary
issues as the "Aunus," NorthIngermanland, Karelia, and the military stamps.
Postal stationery forgeries and faked covers are dealt with, as well as forged
and altered cancellations.
Among the more interesting and amusing items described are the forgeries made
from carmel candy wrappers, which carried a facsimile of the 1889 issue
(Scott Type A6, Gibbons 6) and illustrations from philatelic magazines.
These must be easy to identify as bad.
While the translation is awkward at times, and some philatelic terms are
distorted, any experienced philatelist with an acquaintanceship with Finnish
or Russian philately will have little trouble in understanding the text. In
any case, this is the best work on the subject that the reviewer has seen
and it is well worth the price. Gordon Torrey
YAMSHCHIK, The Post Rider, Volume 2, March 1978 72 pages.
The Journal of the Canadian Society of Russian Philatelists, published
by Alex Artuchov, Box 5722, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5W 1P2.
The second volume of this new journal leads off with a short article by P. J.
Campbell entitled Belgian Armored Cars in Russia, 1915-18. It discusses a
postal card mailed from Peterhof by a member of the expeditionary force sent
to Russia by Belgium as a gesture of help to the Tsar. Next follows a trans-
lation of an article by Fr. Huysmans entitled The Post in the Russian Empire.
This is the first half of an article translated from the original Flemish.
The translation is done very well, and the article is a highly readable, non-
technical discussion of the Russian Post through the mid 19th century. Pre-
sumably the concluding section will bring this history up to modern times.
An article on the Straight Line Cancellation of the 1870s by Alex Artuchov
represents some original research in this important area. Mr. Artuchov lists
several straight line cancellations unreported in the literature. He also
touches on the fascinating field of identification of dot and numeral can-
cellations when used in conjunction with straight line cancellations.
There follows a reprinting of the Kanak Tannu Tuva Catalog. This catalog
basically is a listing of Tuvan stamps, from Scott #1 through the 1936 issues.
Watermarks and perforation varieties are addressed but no prices or indica-
tions of relative scarcity are given. Next A. Cronin's article, Russian
Paquebot Mail at Gensan, discusses a postal card and an Imperial 1 rouble
stamp, both with a Gensan Imperial Japanese Post Office cancel.
P. J. Campbell continues his serialized article on the basic literature of
Russian Philately. This installment discusses both generalized and special-
ized catalogs of interest to collectors of Russian and related philately.
Although there will be those who comment that their favorite catalog or
source has been left out, I find the literature survey to be extremely well
done. Each listing has a commentary regarding the particular catalog, its
scope, its strong and weak points, and maybe even a little history of pre-
vious editions. It lists 10 general catalogs and 26 specialized catalogs.
When the series is complete, the CSRP may even wish to consider publishing
all the installments together in a single monograph to provide a single,
compact reference for all Russian philatelists. This is the practice em-
ployed by the International Society of Japaense Philately and in time results
in an excellent reference library for members.
The issue concluded with comments from members on various specific questions
and a book review section. It looks like the Journal of the CSRP is off and
running. They are already making a worthy contribution to the literature of
our field. il
K. L. Wilson