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|Officers and representatives of...|
|Life of the society by G....|
|The exploration of the Eurasian...|
|Name changes of Russian cities...|
|Lenin mourning issue of 1924 by...|
|Interesting cover (Scott's no....|
|Russia's musical envelopes by J....|
|The two Russian calendars by H....|
|A postal mystery: Poland to Tibet...|
|Chelyuskin by P. J. Campbell|
|A letter from Grand Duke Aleksy...|
|Further notes on bank transfer...|
|Money transfer cards and postal...|
|The first cancels of St. Petersburg...|
|Russian related phantasies by G....|
|The Grandiose stamp scandal by...|
|Postage stamps prohibited importation...|
|The aloe tree stamps of Batum 1919-1920...|
|Russian troops on the Salonika...|
|First Moscow-New York flight (1929)...|
|Paris siege balloon post covers...|
|The Rossica bookshelf|
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Table of Contents
Officers and representatives of the society
Life of the society by G. Torrey
The exploration of the Eurasian Artic by P. J. Campbell
Name changes of Russian cities and towns by M. Cerini
Lenin mourning issue of 1924 by R. Sklarevski
Interesting cover (Scott's no. 268) by R. Sklarevski
Russia's musical envelopes by J. Posell
The two Russian calendars by H. L. Weinert
A postal mystery: Poland to Tibet by G. Torrey and D. Voaden
Chelyuskin by P. J. Campbell
A letter from Grand Duke Aleksy Mihailovich by G. Torrey
Further notes on bank transfer forms and their postal rates by R. Ceresa
Money transfer cards and postal rates by Dr. J. L. Shneidman
The first cancels of St. Petersburg by M. Dobin (translated by A. Fedotowsky)
Russian related phantasies by G. Torrey
The Grandiose stamp scandal by A. Vigilev (translated by E. Wolski)
Postage stamps prohibited importation into Russia - why? by D. Heller
The aloe tree stamps of Batum 1919-1920 by R. Sklarevski
Russian troops on the Salonika front in World War I by G. Torrey
First Moscow-New York flight (1929) by R. L. Trbovich
Paris siege balloon post covers to Russia 1870-71 by G. Torrey
The Rossica bookshelf
"WIPA" 1933 BRONZE MEDAL "POLSKA" 1960 SILVER MEDAL
"PRAGA" 1935 BRONZE MEDAL "PRAGA" 1962 SILVER MEDAL
"OSTRAPA" 1935 SILVER MEDAL "MELUSINA" 1963 SILVER MEDAL
"ZEFIB" 1937 SILVER MEDAL "PHILATEC" 1964 SILVER MEDAL
"BEPHILA" 1957 SILVER MEDAL 'WIPA" 1966 SILVER MEDAL
"EFICON" 1968 SILVER MEDAL "SIPEX" 1966 SILVER MEDAL
"TEMEX" 1958 SILVER MEDAL "PRAGA" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"INTERPOSTA" 1959 SILVER MEDAL "APS-68" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"SICILIA" 199 SILVER MEDAL "EFIMEX" 1968 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"BARCELONA" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "SOFIA-69" 1969 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"UNIPEX" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "BUDAPEST-71" 1971 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"CHICAGO-APS" 1974 GOLD MEDAL
No 90191 1976
THE JOURNAL OF THE
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
VOLUME 90/91 1976
EDITORIAL BOARD: Rimma Sklarevski, Gordon Torrey, Norman Epstein
PUBLISHER: Kennedy L. Wilson, 7415 Venice Street, Falls Church, Va. 22043
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Life of the Society, G. Torrey...........................................3
The Exploration of the Eurasian Arctic, P.J. Campbell .................... 9
Name Changes of Russian Cities and Towns, M. Cerini.....................27
Lenin Mourning Issue of 1924, R. Sklarevski..............................34
Interesting Cover (Scott's No. 268), R. Sklarevski.......................38
Russia's Musical Envelopes, J. Posell....................................39
The Two Russian Calendars, H.L. Weinert..................................46
A Postal Mystery, Poland to Tibet, G. Torrey & D. Voaden .................49
Chelyuskin, P.J. Campbell................................................52
A Letter from Grand Duke Aleksy Mihailovich, G. Torrey....................63
Further Notes on Bank Transfer Forms and their Postal Rates, R. Ceresa....65
Money Transfer Cards and Postal Rates, S. Shneidman ......................68
The First Cancels of St. Petersburg, M. Dobin, trans. by A. Fedotowsky....71
Russian Related Phantasies, G. Torrey....................................72
The Grandiose Stamp Scandal, A. Vigilev, trans. by E. Wolski..............76
Postage Stamps Prohibited Importation into Russia Why?, D. Heller.......78
The Aloe Tree Stamps of Batum 1919-1920, R. Sklarevski .................. 80
Russian Troops on the Salonika Front in World War I, G. Torrey ............ 88
First Moscow-New York Flight (1929), R. L. Trbovich ......................91
Paris Siege Balloon Post Covers to Russia 1870-71, G. Torrey .............93
The Rossica Bookshelf ....................... .... ............... ....... 96
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
PRESIDENT: Gordon H. Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20016
VICE-PRESIDENT: Constantine Stackelberg, 1673 Columbia Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
SECRETARY: Kennedy L. Wilson, 7415 Venice Street, Falls Church Va. 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, 3563 Meier St., Los Angeles, Cal. 90066
Boris Shishkin, 3523 Edmunds Rd, N.W., D.C. 20007
Lester S. Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90035
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY
G.B. SALISBURY CHAPTER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.11226
WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE: Boris Shishkin, 3523 Edmunds Rd., N.W., D.C. 20007
ARTHUR B. SHIELDS CHAPTER: Samuel Robbins, 3563 Meier St., L.A., Cal. 90066
GREAT BRITAIN: John Lloyd, "The Retreat," Wester Bergholdt, Colchester
Essex C06 3HE
Anythingin this Journal may be reproduced without permission. However,
acknowledgement of the source and a copy of the reprinted matter would be
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 the President
Rossica participated in the November ASDA Show in New York City at Madison
Square Garden with a lounge staffed by New York members. I wish to express
my appreciation to those who took time from their daily pursuits to "show
the Rossica flag" there. A special:noteof appreciation goes to member Claude
Lysloff for designing and producing, at his own expense, the very attractive
souvenir sheet which was given to all callers at the Rossica lounge. It
created much attention.
On Saturday a group of members and their wives gathered in a nearby hotel
suite for an evening of socializing. The event was going so pleasantly that
it was voted to dispense with the annual business meeting and that any
business at hand be taken care of by the officers present.
Mr. Lysloff has kindly assumed the duties of librarian and our library now
reposes at his residence in Brooklyn. He is busily cataloging it and is at
the service of members with requests. Back issues of the Rossica Journal
can be purchased from him at $5 per issue to members and $7.50 to non-members.
Checks should be made out to Rossica.
Martin Cerini's efforts to recruit new members has been very successful and
we welcome all of these philatelists. It is hoped that a new membership list
compiled by him will be available in time to include with this Journal.
The long delay in the Journal's publication has been due, in large part, to
the paucity of contributions. A glance at the list of contributors shows
that it is pretty much those who have contributed in the past. We earnestly
plead for articles by others. I repeat, do not be bashful about your writing
ability nor your feeling of inadequate knowledge. We can use articles on
most.any subject, especially on the Soviet period. The articles on forgeries
will continue in order to assist our membership in separating the "wheat from
the chaff." Also, the phantasy series will be continued. We plan more
translations of non-English articles, especially those printed in Russian.
No plans have been made for Rossica participation at CAPEX in Toronto next
year. However, a number of our members will be exhibiting at this inter-
national exhibition. This brings to mind my oversight in not mentioning two
other members who won awards at INTERPHIL in Philadelphia. Mr. Raymond
Ehrman won a silver for his magnificent "Manchuria," and Mr. Victor Kent
gained a large silver for Wenden. The latter has gone on to win a gold and
the WESTPEX Reserve Grand Award in San Francisco, no small achievement con-
sidering the high quality material exhibited there. He also won the Society
of Philatelic Americans Research Award at BECKPEX. Member Max Ayer won a
silver medal with felicitations of the jury at NAPEX in Washington for his
"Azerbaijan." I do hope that I have not overlooked any other members awards
S in U.S. philatelic exhibitions.
Our Los Angeles chapter is thriving and the New York one meets regularly at
the Collectors Club. In Washington there always is a good turn out at Boris
Shishkin's once a month. A new departure was a joint meeting of the Los
Angeles and San Francisco groups during WESTPEX. Dr. George Shalimoff was
instrumental in arranging this.
It is with great regret that I have learned of the death of two of our members;
Mr. E. L. Filby, a long time U.S. member, and our old English colleague, Charles
May I take this opportunity to introduce myself as your new librarian.
It is my pleasure to accept this honor and privilege from our President
Dr. Gordon Torrey and members of the Committee.
My name is Claude Lysloff and I have become a Rossia member recently.
It is my sincerest hope and desire to succeed in bringing our library to a
high standard, versatile in all phases of Russian Philately.
For the past several months I have been taking inventory of all the
reference literature, United States, foreign and various Society Journals,
etc. To accomplish our objective I am asking all our members for help;
literary donations will be greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged in
the Rossica Journal. Should anyone have journals or reference material
for sale, kindly advise me and any reasonable offers will be taken into
We have a number of back issues of the Rossica Journal available for sale
in English and Russian. Copies are priced at $5 postpaid. Xerox copies
of our out of print journals are also available.
Kindly send me your requests. All remittances must be made payable to our
treasurer, Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11226.
In conclusion to my brief introduction and (plea for HELP!) I am most
grateful for your cooperation.
My compliments to my predecessor Dr. J. Lee Schneidman for making the
transition such a pleasant experience.
568 Marlborough Road
Brooklyn, New York 11226
Enclosed in this Journal is a ballot for the election of officers of the
Rossica Society of Russian Philately for the next triennium (1978-1981).
The members nominated for the various offices by the Nominating Committee
are shown. You may vote for any regular member of the Society in good
standing for any office of the Society. Ballots should be returned to
the Chairman of the Balloting Committee no later than October 15, 1977.
He is: Dr. Denys Voaden
8616 Edmunston Road
College Park, Maryland
From the Secretary/Publisher:
As you will have already noted, this issue of the Rossica Journal is a double
issue for the year 1976. The publication of this issue has been long delayed
simply due to a lack of articles of sufficient quality to print.
In general, the editorial board prefers to publish two somewhat shorter issues
a year of about 64 pages each. We prefer to have balance of different types
of article--some highly technical articles for the advanced specialist, trans-
lations of articles appearing in foreign language philatelic literature which
we feel are of interest to the English reading Russian philatelist, an article
or two on forgeries and counterfeits, some postal history, and a couple of
general interest articles--in short, something for everybody. However, we
find the membership is unwilling to take the time to sit down and write such
articles. We need your help, or the Journal will wither away due to lack of
In order to alleviate this problem, I have a proposal. The advanced specialist
is interested more in the type of article which discusses whether the varnish
lozenges or the printing was applied first to the 1909 Arms issue. That type
of article, however, tends to leave the beginner somewhat cold--he has neither
a sufficient number of stamps to test, nor the technical equipment to do so.
Such an article is more likely to draw his attention to the fact that there
are such things as varnish lozenges, and if we are lucky, he comes away with
a little more knowledge about Russian philately.
In general, I feel the novice specialist (that's almost a self-contradictory
term) is the one who suffers in our Journal. There is nothing written spe-
cifically for him. We have relatively few tutorial articles that would cap-
tivate his interest and make him think the Society is interested in him and
his questions as it is of the Torreys, Sklarevskis and Shishkins.
In order to remedy this, I would like to request some member or members of
the society to volunteer to write a continuing series of tutorial type articles
on aspects of Russian philately. The intent is not something which requires
a lot of research, but just someone willing to take the time to share his own
knowledge with those who have not specialized so long. For instance, what
about the paper of the early imperial issues--why is some vertically laid,
some horizontal, and some wove? What is the significance of the early issues
being with and without thunderbolts? How did the large heads/small heads
distinction come about? What is a "wide 5" anyway?
I can already hear the older members groaning that that has all been written
before. True, it has, but if is is in Volume 51 or Volume 26 of the Rossica
Journal, it is not available to the member who joined last year, except in a
research library. I would like to see a nice series of articles for the
beginner discussing the fundamentals of Russian philately in a manner which
would interest thenovicespecialist. Many of the older members could write
such articles literally off the top of their heads with little or no research.
I feel it would be of great benefit to our newer members, and make our Society
stronger and more viable. Do I have any takers?
944 Spencer DeVault, Whittier Road, Jamestown, Rhode Island 02835
945 Joan C. Stanley, 21 Highland Park Ave., Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119
946 John H. Martinsen, 6426 Kenhowe Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20034
947 Dr. Lester J. Humphreys, P.O. Box 132, Worcester, Vermont 05682
948 George Tarnowski, Roberts Road, Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002
949 Edward Freeman, 25306 Lynda Sue Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78257
950 Richard Miles, American Embassy, APO 09862, New York
951 Arnold Seiler, Zurichbergster, CH 8044, Zurich, Switzerland
952 Robert L. Trbovich, 1808 Clayton Drive, Oxon Hill, Maryland 20021
953 Robert J. Thompson, 3343 Brighton Road, Howell, Michigan 48843
954 Alexander Sarandinaki, 1 Barberry Lane, Sea Cliff, New York 11579
955 Henry A. Gutenstein, 1415 El Paso Drive, Los Angeles, California 90065
956 Pev Andus Erixon, G:A Varmdovagen 4x, S-131 00 Nacka, Sweden
957 Arthur Falk, P.O. Box 232, Jerico, New York 11753
958 Serge E. Logan, 1737 Wisconsin Avenue, Racine Wisconsin 53403
959 Nate Gaynor, 1004 Gabel Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901
960 Jean R. Walton, RD 1 Box 274, Califon, New Jersey 07830
961 Edward L. Blake, Jr., 185 Haight Street, San Francisco, California 94801
962 Frederick G. Bean, 619 Wakanda Circle, Menomonie, Wisconsin 54751
963 William Lesh, 509 Highland Avenue, Roseville, California 95678
964 Carol Gordon, 1419 No. 18th Avenue, Melrose Park, Illinois 60160
965 William Lee Sanders, 486 Third Street, Lendon, Ontario, Canada N5V-2B9
966 George H. Williamson, 1225 4th Avenue No., Great Falls, Montana 59401
967 Shawn T. Carmack, 3214 Albin Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78209
968 Eugene Post, 43-32 Kissina Blvd., Flushing, New York 11355
969 Robert A. Bruhn, 5301 East 6th Ave. Parkway, Denver, Colorado 80220
970 Paul B. Spivak, 58 Bunstone Road, New York Mills, New York 13417
971 Donald 0. Scott, 12 Brown Court, Petaluma, California 94952
972 David Hanschen, 5534 Merrimac, Dallas, Texas 75206
973 Fred A. Scienco,Resurrection College, Westmount Road, N., Waterloo,
Ontario, Canada N2L 3G7
974 Martin Niezgoda, 21 Danforth Street, Buffalo, New York 14213
975 Erik T. Brown, 500 Garnet Street, Houghton, Michigan 49931
976 Arthur M. New, 120 Vermilyea Ave., New York 10034
977 Irwin W. Fisk, 6439 Clean Ave., North Hollywood, California 91606
978 Frank Malinich, Jr., 7 Boland Road, Binghamton, New York 13905
979 Harry J. Goodwin, 6750 Linmore Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19142
980 David M. Skipton, Box 1186 1st OPS BN, USAFS, Augsburg, APO, N.Y 09458
981 Robert Farquhar, 5183 Even Star Place, Columbia, Maryland 21044
982 Howard L. Cohen, 933 Lynn Drive, Valley Stream, New York 11580
983 Francis S. Niemczewski, 567 Sunset Ave., Maple Shade, New Jersey 08052
984 Gaspau S. Sciacca, Jr., 164 Dwelley Street, Pembroke, Massachusetts 02359
985 Leon N. Barrett, 1982 Park Avenue, Binghamton, New York 13903
986 Moshe Shmuely, 71 Sharet Street, Tel Aviv, Israel
S 987 Karl E. Becker 45 Wordsworth Road, Short Hills, New Jersey 07078
With this issue, the Rossica Society is pleased to announce the establishment
of a member-to-member adlet section which will allow members to advertise
special requirements and interests and to make contact with fellow collectors
for the acquisition of needed material and information. The adlets are not
designed for purely commercial users, but as a service to individual collectors
in the pursuit of their philatelic inquiries. The rates have been kept pur-
posely nominal to cover printing costs only. Due to minimum printing page
format requirements and cutoff deadlines, Rossica cannot 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 cannot assume any
responsibility for transactions resulting from member responses to the 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 own 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 Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11226
7) All adlets and checks will be mailed to:
Dr. Kennedy Wilson, Secretary
7415 Venice Street
Falls Church, Virginia 22043
WANTED RUSSIAN REVENUE, fiscal, vignette, label and cinderella stamps, plus
revenue & legal paper, paper seals, bill of exchange cutouts, and any revenue
documents, intact or otherwise. All periods: Imperial, civil war & Soviet. Will
exchange or purchase. MARTIN CERINI, 37 Wyoming Dr., Hunt. Sta., N.Y. 11746
I need Belorussia (former Scott listed "White Russia") in GENUINE full sheets
of 112, smaller blocks, CTO's, freaks, trials and proofs. Also need the set of
three inscribed (from cyrillic) BELARUS' POCHTA (1, 3 & 5R), and Poland Scott
#122-4 overprinted with new value, horse & rider, and (from cyrillic)Ch. R. Sl.
Include asking price. WILLIAM LESH, 509 Highland Ave., Roseville, California
THE EXPLORATION OF THE EURASIAN ARCTIC
by P.J. Campbell
Arctic Russia extends almost halfway around the world at
the Arctic Circle...and the long coastline includes the
mouths of three of the longest rivers in the world -see Fig. 1
fig. 1). The exploration and development of this valu-
able waterway to the Eurasian land mass followed the
northward and westward movement of people and trade
across the vast frontier, rich in natural resources but
locked in ice and snow for much of the year. The
first explorers were the Vikings, from Norway, who
sailed around North Cape (see fig. 2) to the White Sea.
In 1551 English traders reached the site of Arkhangelsk Fig. 2
and established a commerical route to Nbscow. By the
end of the sixteenth century the Dutch pushed north of
Novaya Zemlya, searching for a route to the East.
William Barents and his crew wintered in the icepack,
but Barents died on the way back to safety. The
Barents Sea was named after this great navigator.
Russian hunters and traders made brief trips through
the open waters between the River Ob and the White Sea
and the Cossacks of the seventeenth century pushed Fig. 3
inland across Siberia towards the Pacific, descending
the great rivers to the Arctic Sea in search of trade.
One of the explorers was a government representative
named Semyon Ivanovitch Dezhnev (see fig. 3); he left
the mouth of the Kolyma River in 1648 and came ashore
again at the mouth of the Anadyr, becoming the first to
prove that Asia and America were separated. Such
journeys, in flat-bottomed, open boats, required the
hardiest and most determined crews. The eastern tip
of Asia was named Cape Dezhnev (fig. 4) to honour this Fig. 4
Peter the Great (fig. 5), after much thought and study,
wrote instructions for the exploration of the gap be-
tween Asia and America as practically the last act of
his life; he chose a Dane, Vitus Bering (fig. 6), for
the task. In a series of voyages over the next six-
teen years (see figs. 7 and 8), Bering proved that
Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8
THE NAMES OF THE SEAS, THE RIVERS,
AND THE CITIES APPEARING IN THE TEXT
NoRT 4 POLE BEBRINQ STRAIN
O YCAPE DELHNEV
S/ RANGEL S
T fZeRGEN A SaySRBaySZEEM
Yo Dobson, R. Richardson, PE F Thorpe,
Na VolkeCAPE and J oodward for invaluable
rr S ASE A sOVAYAZ EMLY /2 k A\ V eE fpA Y -
SEA S ^SEA CY U 1A. EA 9F
S0 ARC'NGELSK LENA / OKHOTSK
Acknowledgment and thanks to M. Campbell,
Y. Dobson, R. Richardson, P.E. Thorpe,
H. Volker and J. Woodward for invaluable
help in typing, translation and research.
Dezhnev was correct and he crossed the strait to Alaska
" (fig. 9). His two ships were called the St. Peter and
the St. Paul, and he named his port Petropavlovsk (see
fig. 10) after them. On his final voyage, Bering died
of scurvy on a small uninhabited island which, like the
strait between the continents, is still known by his Fig. 9
name. (fig. 11)
T oo 1 i Hi.-.A ..... ........... .
Fig. 10 Fig. 11
Over the next hundred years the northern littoral was
explored piecemeal as trade and exploration pushed for-
ward, without a definite plan, but gradually reducing the
unknown areas. Now came a period of maritime exploration
where the ships were more often carried by ice than by
water. One of the early explorers was F.P. Litke (fig. 12)
who charted the Barents Sea west of Novaya Zemlya in 1821,
and parts of the Bering Strait in 1825. Next came an Fig.12
amazing Austrian expedition by Lieutenants Paver and
Weyprecht whose ship, the "Tegethoff" (fig.13 ) was frozen 1 R M MFRMZS
into the ice near Novaya Zemlya in 1872, and was carried s2,so
north for over a year when they discovered land, and
named it Franz Joseph Land in honour of their emperor.
Now came the Swedish navigator Nordenskjold (see fig. 14 )
in his ship "Vega", a small wooden vessel with both sails REPUBLikOS;T RE CH
and a 60 horsepower steam engine. In this ship, in 1878,
began the first circumnavigation of Europe. Norenskjold's Fig. 13
voyage crossed the Kara Sea, south of Novaya Zemlya, to
Dikson Island (fig. 15), past the Ob and Yenisey, around
Cape Chelyuskin and on to within twenty miles of the
Bering Strait, when the Vega was frozen in for winter.
Next summer the voyage was continued to the Pacific and
back home by way of the new Suez Canal.
The "Jeanette" expedition left San Francisco in 1879, and Fig. 14
was beset by ice off Herald Island; in June of 1881 the
ship was crushed by the ice and sunk, although some of arr _
the crew were able to reach the mouth of the Lena River t
(fig. 1). The strange thing about this voyage was that
relics of the ship were found on an ice floe near
Julienehaab on the south-west coast of Greenland in 1884.
\ ,, . i --^- -
.0 .3 67Cob
g 2 GREAT POLAR VOYAGES
/ ~ ~ ~ 'P Pae1 ^~~^.Z /7 'I^-^-'"'^^
The iceborne journeys of the Tegethoff, and the incident
of the Jeanette proved the existence of a Polar current
from the Bering Strait to Greenland, and the Norwegian,
Fridtjof Nansen (figs. 16 & 17) had the ship "Fram"
(fig. 18) specially designed for a trip to the pole and Fig. 16
beyond while frozen into the ice. Nansen and Sverdrup
started in 1893 and the first two years went well, but
Nansen then left the ship to walk to the Pole; he got
to 860 north latitude before turning back, and after
15 months reached Franz Joseph Land. Capt. Sverdrup
stayed with the Fram, and broke free of the ice in July,
NORGE 80 NORGE NORGE 60
Fig. 18 Fig. 20 Fig. 21
Two further iceborne journeys were by Roald Amundsen Fig. 22
(fig. 16) who took the "Gjoa" (fig. 20) through the
north-west passage in 1903 to 1906, and the 'Maud"
(fig. 21) through the north-east passage in 1918 to 1920.
Before 1900, the ships drifting in the ice were entirely
cut off, but in that year a group of fishermen lost on
the ice were rescued (fig. 22) by the use of radio. One
of the great pioneers of radio, A.S. Popov (fig.23) was
honored for this most significant event.
A relatively minor exploration of 1902 was that of a
Lieutenant Kolchak, who sailed out of the Lena River in Fig. 23
a whaler to explore, and later went on to become the ill-
fated "Supreme Ruler" of Russia (fig. 24 ) in the
bloody Civil War of 1918 to 1922.
In 1912 Georgi Sedov (fig. 25) set out in his ship "St.
Foka" from Arkhangelsk and, after wintering in the ice,
reached Franz Joseph Land and established a base at
Tikhaya (calm or quiet) Bay. After a second winter he i919
set out by sledge for the Pole but died on the way. In
1914, Lieutenant Ivan Nagursky took a Farman IV aircraft Fig. 24
to join in the search for Sedov. In a series of fine,
but unsuccessful flights from Novaya Zemlya, Nagursky
became the first aviator to operate north of the Arctic
The next major Arctic achievement was in the
winter of 1914-1915 when two Russian icebreakers,
the "Taimir" and the "Vaigach" sailed from the
S3 0 1500
60 30 120
Fig. 19. Ships and men drifting on Arctic currents:
Years Ship Aboard
S1872/1874 Tegetthoff Weyprecht & Payer
--A--9 1979/1881 Jeanette De Long
.--.. 1918/1920 Maud Amundsen
-..-..*- 1893/1895 Fram Sverdrup (Nansen)
...- -- 1913 Korluk Bartlett (Stefansson, Wilkins)
i--i 1937 an icefloe Papanin, Krenkel party
........... 1937/30 Sedov Badygin
Bering Strait westward to Arkhangelsk (fig. 26). After
the Russian revolution, the Soviet authorities gave
S full support to the idea of developing the north. In
1932 they formed "Glavsemorpat" or the Central Admini- r
station for the Northern Maritime Route. A number wFccP 4K.
of icebreakers and reinforced ships were obtained
and were soon making news. In 1932 the icebreaker Fig. 26
Sibiryakov (fig. 37) passed through the Northern Sea
Route in a single season with Capt. V.I. Voronin and
Prof. O.J. Schmidt aboard. In the following year the
same team tried to take a reinforced cargo vessel,
the Chelyuskin (fig. 27, 27a, 27b) via the same route,
but the ship was crushed by the ice and sunk. A
dramatic rescue followed, as will be seen below.
Another great Northern expedition began when the ship
"Sedov" (fig. 28) entered the ice pack in the East
Siberian Sea on 23 October 1937 to begin a drifting
course (fig. 29) through the Polar regions that last-..
ed until the ship emerged with the pack, with the help
of icebreaker "Josef Stalin" on 13 January 1940...
twenty-seven months in the ice. The captain of the Fig. 27
Sedov was Badygin and of the "Josef Stalin," Capt.
Beloussov (fig. 30).
Fig. 27a Fig. 27b Fig. 29
It is difficult to say who first proposed establishment of
camps on the ice, and using them as meteorological stations
as they drifted slowly along on the powerful Polar currents.
One of the earliest proponents was certainly Ivan Papanin,
who had himself and a team flown to the Pole in 1937.
After nine months of meteorological and oceanographic
research, the party (fig. 31, 31a) was taken off its
floating island by the ice breakers Taimir and Murmansk
(fig. 32). Fig. 31a
Fig. 28 Fig. 30 Fig. 31 Fig. 32
Fig. 33 Four ANT-6 Aircraft
with pilots Vodopianov, Molokov, North Pole
Alexeiev and Mazuruk take Papa- ^ L^^
nin, Krenkel, Feoderov and / /
S*. Rudolf Land
Shirshov to establish ice-
station NP-1 on 5 May 1937. ,
Flight to pole (shown as .........)
NP-1 drifted 274 days (see )). Matochkin A
Rescued by icebreakers (see
Fig. 31a and 32). Papanin party
^ 'T Naria
returned to Leningrad (-----) -Mar
on icebreaker ERMAK on 15 March ologo
00* Aunwl Leningrad Moscow
APEA* C ATANWUMA
CEBEPHLnA l OAIOC
liii-l The use of ice islands for meteorological stations
S. in the Arctic (figs. 33, 34, 35) became more common,
and the supply ships gradually gave way to aircraft,
Fig. 34 and later helicopters. Intensive studies of ice
conditions, weather, and oceanography (fig. 36)
gave the Soviet scientists a firm base for subsequent
"international efforts such as the Second Inter-
national Polar Year (1932-1933) (fig. 37) and the
International Geophysical Year (1957-1958). As
knowledge grew,so the population and commerce ex-
Spearheading the exploration of the North were a
series of icebreakers; steam-diesel, steam-turbine,
Fig. 35 and finally nuclear. These vessels were partly the
result of the continuous effort and enthusiasm of
OKEAHOAornI one of the earliest and most powerful supporters of
icebreaking, AdmiralMakaroff (fig. 38).
-- Fig. 38
Fig. 36 Fig. 37 --
These ships gained world-wide attention in dramatic
rescues, but their real importance was in the daily
grind of keeping the shipping lanes open for the thin-
skinned cargo vessels which are the railroads of the no-TA
North, supplying food and fuel to the sparse and 4K. CCCP
desolate communities. Some of the better known ice-
breakers were the Taimir, Vaigitch, Litke, Krassin, Fig. 39
Malygin, Sibiryakov, Murmansk, Yermak, Josef Stalin,
and finally, the big modern nuclear icebreaker
"Lenin" (figs. 39 and 40), of 56,000 horsepower.
This vessel can cruise for up to six months without
refueling, so it is ideally suited for its mission.
With modern icebreakers, the dream of a Northern Sea
Route is now a reality and cargo ships make scheduled
runs on routes such as Vladivostok to Petropavlovsk
(fig. 41) and from Murmansk to Tiksi (fig. 42).
Perhaps the maritime future of the Arctic lies be-
neath the ice, for modern nuclear submarines (fig. Fig. 40
43) can move beneath the icepack wherever there is
sufficient depth for safety. A new generation of
nuclear-powered cargo submarines could redraw the
map of the north.
Fig. 41 Fig. 42 Fig. 43
The first aerial voyager of the North was Andree (see SVERiG
fig. 44), a Swedish explorer who decided that he could
drift across the Pole in his balloon Omen (Eagle).
The journey started in 1897 from Svalbard (Spitzbergen)
(see fig. 45), a group of islands that figures re-
peatedly in this article, but Andree and his two i IKR
companions were forced down after only 400 miles.
Following a two and one-half month journey back across Fig. 44
the ice, and nearing safety, it seems that Andree and
his companions died of poisoning after eating im-
properly cooked bear meat. Their remains were dis- s
covered in 1930, or 33 years after they perished, and
film in their camera was developed to show the balloon
lying on the ice (fig. 44).
An American, Wellman, was the next to try, again from
* Spitzbergen, with the airship "America," but his attempts
17 Fig. 45
of 1907 and 1909 were unsuccessful. The first heavier-than-air machine to
fly in the Arctic was piloted by the Russian aviator, Nagursky, in his search
for Sedov, as described above.
The next significant flying, once again from Sptizbergen,
was the 1923 expedition of Hammer, using a Junkers F. 13
(fig. 46). His little seaplane, called "Icebird," was
intended to support an Amundsen expedition that had
failed to take place, but several flights were made by
Hammer and the first serious aerial photography in the
Arctic was the result. Fig. 46
In the following year an expedition from Oxford University did a small amount
of flying from Spitzbergen in an Avro 504N.
In 1925, the Amundsen/Ellsworth Expedition took two Dornier "Wal" flying boats
to Spitzbergen in an attempt to fly to the Pole and back. En route the two
aircraft landed, but were unable to take off again for 26 days, when the six
members of the expedition got into one of the aircraft, and managed to fly
the 600 miles back to safety.
The month of May 1926 saw the first flight to the Pole finally accomplished.
One expedition consisted of Amundsen, Ellsworth and Nobile in the semi-rigid
airship "Norge" (see fig. 47); the other consisted
of Lieutenant Byrd, Floyd Bennett, and the Fokker
tri-motor "Josephine Ford." Byrd and Bennett took
off first, and claim to have flown to the Pole and
back, but many doubt that they were in the air long
enough (15 1/2 hours) to achieve their objective.
The flight of the "Norge" is indisputable, for it ..
passed over the Pole and went on to land at Teller .........
(near Nome) Alaska after 70 hours in the air. This
was certainly the first transpolar flight! Fig. 47
While outside the basic scope of this article,
mention must be made of the astonishing 1928 flight of Wilkins and Eielson in
a Lockheed "Vega" from Alaska to Spitzbergen in a single hop!
Nobile returned to Spitzbergen in May 1928 with the airship "Italia" and a
largely Italian crew. They first completed a magnificent flight to Franz
Josef Land, on to Severnaya Zemlya and back via Novaya Zemlya to Spitzbergen,
covering 2,400 miles of largely unknown territory in 69 hours. The next
flight took the Italia nearly to Greenland, North the the Pole, and back to
disaster on the ice not far from base. After many exciting and several tragic
events, the survivors were rescued by the Russian ice breakers "Krassin" and
"Malygin" and aircraft from Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, and Italy.
The rescue was accomplished, however, with considerable loss of life, including
that of Amundsen, and the controversy surrounding the events drove Nobile to
accept a job in Russia designing airships!
Airship flying again made news in July 1931, when the "Graf Zepplin" took off
from Friedrichshafen and flew via Berlin, Leningrad, and Arkhangelsk to Franz
To Portland Oregon
To San Jacinto Calif. .
GREAT POLAR FLIGHTS /
Andrge 1897 "Omen" Moscow
--- Amundsen/Ellsworth 1925 "Wal"
----- Amundsen/Ellsworth/Nobile 1926 "Norge"
--- Wilkinson/Eielson 1928 "Vega"
........... Nobile 1 1928 "Italia"
............... Nobile 2 1928 "Italia"
Vodopyanov/Makotkin 1936 "R-5" 0
S--- Levanevski 1 1935 ANT-25
........... Chkalov 1937 ANT-25
Gromov 1937 ANT-25
Levanevski 2 1937 ANT-41
S--- Cherevichny 1941 ANT-6 7
| Crash sites Page 19
Josef Land. Here the airship came down to exchange mail and passengers with
the icebreaker "Malygin" (see fig. 48, 48a) in Tikhaya Sound. The Graf Zepplin
then flew east to Cape Fligely, across to the Taimir Peninsula, and back via
Novaya Zemlya and Arkhangelsk to Berlin, some 5,000 miles in 90 hours. This
was the sort of flight that engendered a tremendous enthusiasm for airships
all over the world, and resulted in some of the fine stamps (including Russian
Scott numbers C12 to C33, and C53 to C57).
Fig. 48 Fig. 49
The success of the first International Polar year (1882-1883) led to a second
in 1932-1933, with a number of countries studying all aspects of the north.
The Norwegians flew Fokker D. VII aircraft on meteorological work out of
Spitzbergen, but the stamp that Russia issued for the event (see fig. 49) is
somewhat misleading as it shows an aircraft over the icebreaker "Sibiryakov,"
and the Scott catalogue mentions a flight to Franz Josef Land. The aircraft
appears similar to a machine designed in Russia in 1922, and known as an AK-1
(Salmson engine), but this machine is unlikely to have been used in the north.
A special cachet, designed by Novsky, was used for the first day of issue on
the icebreaker but perhaps something went wrong, for the first flight to Franz
Josef Land was accomplished in 1936 by Vodopyanov and Makotkin using Poli-
karpov R-5 aircraft.
One of the greatest sagas of the north occurred between September 1933 and
February 1934. A reinforced cargo ship, the Chelyuskin (fig. 27), was attempting
to make the first trip through the north-east passage in a single season but,
within a few miles of the Pacific, the ship was frozen in and finally crushed.
Over 100 people were left on the ice, and their radio calls for help led to
an amazing rescue of all by a miscellaneous fleet of aircraft flown from all
over Russia and from the U.S.A. The rescue is portrayed on a fine set of
stamps (see figs. 50 through 50g); the rescue aircraft were ANT-4's, R-5's;
Junkers W-33, and Consolidated Fleetsters.
Fig. 50 Fig. 50a Fig. 50b Fig 50c
Fig. 48a Flown Cover of Graf Zeppelin Flight from Leningrad to the
Icebreaker 'Malygin" in Tikhaya Bay, Franz Joseph Land.
S' TIKHAYA BAY
SL h TAIMIR PENINSULA
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 25 to 27 July 1931
Mit Luftechiff GrafZoppling
und Eisbrecher ,Malygin" ......... .. ...
S Bureau de Poe NS ,ZEk Hermn
Nk y. / -*Professor W J. WT ESE
25T 3\1' ............ Lb.brec-er...Malygin .,
R. 10 .
-11-----1---1-- I1 ------- J Fig.M 5sg
Fig. 50d Fig. 50e Fig. 50f
The next move to the north consisted of a series of inter-
linked flights which really began in August, 1935 with an
unsuccessful attempt to fly over the Pole to the U.S.A. in
a single hop. The attempt was made by Levanevski and his
crew in a Tupolev ANT-25, but an oil leak forced them to
return, and the special stamps, overprinted on the Levanev-
ski "Chelyuskin" issue (see fig. 51), were sent on to their
destination by more prosaic means.
In 1937 a group of four-engined ANT-6 aircraft, under the
overall command of Prof. O. J. Schmidt (figs. 52 and 27b)
set off to establish a weather station on the Polar ice. ..........
The four machines, flown by Vodopianov, Molokov, Alexeiev
and Mazuruk, arrived at the Pole within a few days of each Fig. 51
.,, F -. ,- ,
Fig. 52 Fig. 53a Fig. 53b Fig. 54 Fig. 55
other (see figs. 53a, 53b), and unloaded all the equipment necessary to support
a scientific team for some months. The aircraft then took off for the return
to Russia. The team staying at the Pole consisted of Papanin (fig. 54)and
Krenkel (fig. 55) and two others. Both Papanin and Krenkel later went on to
other adventures, and Ernst Krenkel was President of the All-Union Society of
Philatelists up to his death in December, 1971. The ice station drifted for
for 274 days, and proved a scientific success before it began to break up at
a latitude of 870 north, between Greenland and the Pole. All were rescued
by the icebreakers Murmansk and Taimir.
Using weather information from the Papanin party, the
series of Polar flights continued, using the single- (0 'TAOI
* engine ANT-25 again and led by pilot Chkalov (see fig.
56). This flight was successful, and they reached
Vancouver, Washington (across the river from Portland,
Oregon) after nearly three days in the air (see fig.
57). A month later, another ANT-25 with pilot Gromov
went even further (see fig. 58) by reaching San
Jacinto, California. The series ended in tragedy,
however, when Levandevski tried again in an ANT-41
(see fig. 59, PE-8, militarized version of ANT-41) and
he and his crew came down somewhere between the Pole Fig. 56
and the Canadian coast, never to be found.
The final episode to be reported in this article was
a series of flights by Cherevichny, using the ANT-6
aircraft (see fig. 60) that Mazuruk had used on the
flight to the Pole. During March and April of 1941,
Cherevichny and his crew flew some 16,000 miles between
Franz Josef and Wrangel Islands, simply "filling in
the blank spots" on the map.
This flight, and the flying associated with the rescue
of the trapped icebreakers Sadko, Malygin and Sedov in
March 1941 was the end of the heroic phase of explo-
ration, for the war intervened (see fig. 61 for Arctic
Defense Medal) and aircraft were used for other purposes.
By the end of the war, aircraft reliability had im-
proved, and large cities began to grow in what had been
unexplored wilderness. People moved across the face of
the north with ease, comfort and safety. Today even
trans-Polar flights are made on a routine basis, and
perhaps the finest epitaph to the pioneers were the
words of Vilhjalmur Stefansson:
"...they found the world of transportation a
cylinder; they left it a sphere."
----------------- g.hABi lOnO'4TA CCCP
-- - - - - -
Fig. 59 Fig. 60 Fig. 61
0 2 CMUKCH I
0o 0 12,000
LAPPS 0 0
0. 3 0000, o <
2YRIAN SAM ED 75,000
250oooo (Nev Iy6,0 oo
'" -4 -- 0"- -" ""
Q1963 nOr TA CCCP3K An
Lapps Samoyeds Innuit (Eskim oS) Koryaks
... .PV, o i PY..
Tungus Koryaks Trappers Yakuts
^ na -i -
.967 I-On TA CCCP nOqTA CCCP
Lapp Reindeer Mink Ribbon Seal Sea Otter
InOlTA CCCP 11no TA CCCP ro^AYB,,, hnECE
Polar Bear Narwhal Walrus Arctic Blue Fox
-nRo9TA' CCCP 1ol.' n4TA
Guillemot (Kurile Islands) 1967 Sea Lion
Fur Seal (Bering Island) Greenland Whale
1. My Polar Flights; General Umberto Nobile. Frederick Muller Ltd. London 1961.
2. Sir Hubert Wilkins; Lowell Thomas. Arthur Barker Ltd. London 1961.
3. Flying the Arctic; Capt. George H. Wilkins. Grosset and Dunlap, New
4. Life and Exploration of Fridjof Nansen; J. Arthur Bain. Walter Scott Ltd.,
5. Polar Flight; Basil Clarke. Ian Allan, London 1964.
6. Challenge to the Poles; John Grierson. G.T. Foulis & Co., London 1964.
7. Die Jagd nach dem Nordpol; Roald Amundsen. I.M. Verlag Ullstein, Berlin
8. Wings over the Arctic; M. Vodopyanov. Foreign Languages Publishing House,
9. On the Top of the World; L. Brontman. Victor Gllancz Ltd., London 1938.
10. "Russian Civil and Military Aircraft 1884 to 1969"; Nawarra and Duval.
Fountain Press, London.
11. Over the North Pole; George Baidukov. George G. Harrap, London 1938.
12. Istoria Konstruktsi Samoletov v. SSSR 1938; Izdarelstvo Machinostrockie,
13. Papanin Expedition; E. Sashenko. Filatelia, USSR January 1971.
14. American Aircraft Historical Society Journal, Summer 1968, Martin Cole
and Michael Gromov.
15. Air Progress, Aug./Sept. 1964, Vol. 16, No. 4 p. 74.
16. Flying, July 1962, Vol. 71, No. 7, p. 38, Robert Holmes.
17. Forty-thousand against the Arctic; H.P. Smolka, Hutchinson 1937.
18. Histoire de 1'Aviation Sovietique; J. Marmain, C.W. Cain and D.J. Voaden.
19. Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately, part. Issues 80, 82, 83.
20. Philatelic Catalogs of Scott, Michel, Zumstein, Sanabria, Yvertet Tellier,
Cercle Philatelique France URSS, Borek and Gibbons.
21. Stamps; January 5, 1974. Centennial of the Discovery of Franz Josef Land
by Prof. Dr. Walter Breitschedl.
22. France URSS Philatelie; Oct. 1971., Moscou-San Francisco par dessue le
pole Nord par Henri Trachtenberg.
NAME CHANGES OF RUSSIAN CITIES AND TOWNS
by Martin Cerini
Among the impediments to a full understanding and appreciation of Russian
Postal History is the sometimes bewildering array of town and city name
changes which have surfaced as the political aftermath of the transformation
of Czarist Russia into the Soviet Union. Some urban areas have undergone
three and four name changes, with many towns returning to their original
names after interim designations honoring notables of the Russian revolution.
Attempts by many serious collectors to study cancellations and postal his-
tory through the correlation of town names and dates have proven particularly
frustrating, and over the years, have given rise to a sporadic, though neces-
sarily incomplete, flow of Journal footnotes and mini-reports communicating
the resolution of some of these town name inconsistencies.
It is hence with a mixed sense of relief and discovery that this writer
recently unearthed a copy of Allen Chew's 'Atlas of Russian History,' a 1970
work which traces the development of Russia over an eleven century span through
a succession of maps which chronologically display the boundary changes
attending the growth of early city-state confederations into the large nation
we know today. Of particular interest is an appendix which details the
changes in Russian town and city names from the time of their formation up
to the present. Here for the first time (at least to this writer's knowledge),
one finds assembled in one convenient document, substantially all of the name
modifications which have confused Russian philatelists through the years.
With the gracious permission of the book's publisher, Yale University Press,
our Society is fortunate to be able to re-print the complete appendix to
serve as a guide and reference for present and future Rossica members.
Name Changes of Selected Russian Cities and Towns
An exhaustive list of name changes for inhabited places in the U.S.S.R.
would fill a large gazeteer. Given the Russian--especially the Soviet--
propensity for changing designations for political reasons, even this modest
list may become partially obsolete before the ink is dry. Regardless of
future additions, however, a record of past changes is useful to the historian.
Except for a few unusually interesting cases (e.g. Akkerman), the sequences
of non-Russian designations for places later annexed by Russia are omitted.
In general, only places whose Russian names have changed are included;
exceptions are cities which were abandoned during the period of Russia's
history (e.g. Sarkel). Locations are included only for names that apply to
* more than one place, where confusion is likely.
Entries are arranged alphabetically with cross-references to the earliest
name listed for each place. Earliest name entries include all subsequent
listed changes, with dates for each change in parentheses. Earliest name
entries also include accent marks, for all listed changes, as a guide to
pronunciation. (N.B.: Russian words are accented on only one syllable.
The letter e with an umlaut (e) is pronounced yo and is stressed. The
umlaut is not used in Russian spelling.)
Abbreviations Used with Dates
c. circa (approximate date)
f. founded, first mentioned, or settled first (not necessarily as a town;
many towns originated as tiny frontier forts, monasteries, or economic
R. date of Russian occupation and/or annexation
Akkerman (site of ancient Greek Aulie-Ata. See Taraz
Tyras; possession varied until
Turks captured it in 1484 and Bakhmut (f.c. 1571) Artemovsk (1924)
named it A.; R. 1812) --
Belgorod-Dnestrovski (1944) Belaya Vezha. See Sarkel
Ak-Mechet (f.c. 1820 -- Perovsk Belgorod-Dnestrovski. See Akkerman
(R. 1853) --Kzyl-Orda (c.1924)
Beloozero (f.c. 862) Belozersk
Akmolinsk (f. 1824) -- (due to plague, town moved 10 mi. w.
Tselinograd(1961) at end of 14th C; later took
Alchevsk (f. 1895) --Voroshilovsk present name)
(1931) --Kommunarsk (1959) Belozersk. See Beloozero
Aleksandropol (f. 1834 on site of Berdyansk (f. 1827) Osipenko (1939)
ancient Gumri) -- Leninakan Berdyansk (1958)
Bereste (f. before 1017) Brest-
Alexsandrovsk (f. 1770) -- Ltovsk (1340; acquired by Lithuania
Zaporzhe (1921) c. 1319; regained by Russia 1795) -
Aleksandrovski. See Gusevka Brest (c.1921)
Blagoveshchensk (on Amur). See Ust-
Alma-Ata. See Verny Zeyski
Arkhangelsk.See Novo-Kholmogory Bobriki (f.1930) Stalinogorsk (1934)
Artemovsk. See Bakhmut Novomoskovsk (1961)
Ashkhabad. See Askhabad Bogorodsk (f.1781) Noginsk (1930)
Ashkhabad. See Askhabad
Bolgar (Bulgar, on Volga; f.10th C. or
Askhabad (f. 1881) -- Poltoratsk earlier; virtually destroyed by
(1919) -- Ashkhabad (1927) Mongols in 1237) Bolgar Veliki
(1399; regained importance after 1280s;
destroyed by Russians in 1431)
Bolgar Veliki. See Bolgar Ekaterinoslav (f.c. 1783) Novorossisk
(late 18th C) Ekaterinoslav (1802)
O Brest. See Bereste Dnepropetrovsk (1926)
Brest-Litovsk. See Bereste Elisavetpol. See Gandzha
Bukhara (f. before 5th C; R. 1868)- Elizavetgrad (f.c. 1754) Zinovevsk
Staraya Bukhara (c.1888) (1924) Kirovo (c. 1934) -
Bukhara (1935) Kirovograd (1939)
Chkalov. See Orenburg Fergana. See Novy Margelan
Daugavpils. See Dinaburg Frunze. See Pishpek
Derpt. See Yurev Gagarin. See Gzhatsk
Detskoe Selo. See Tsarkoe Selo Gandzha (f.c. 5th C) Elisavetpol
(R. 1804) Gandzha (1918) -
Dinaburg (Dunaburg, f. 1278; R. 1772) Kirovabad (1935)
Dvinsk (1893) Daugavpils (1917)
Gorki. See Nizhni Novgorod
Dneprodzerzhinsk. See Kamenskoe
Gorodets Meshcherski (f.c. 1152) -
Dnepropetrovsk. See Ekaterinoslav Kasimov (1471)
Donetsk. See Yuzovka Gusevka (f. 1893) Aleksanrovski
(1894) Novonikolaevsk (1895)
Dushanbe. See Dyushambe Novosibirsk (c. 1925)
SDvinsk. See Dinaburg Gzhatsk (f. 1719) Gagarin (1968)
Dyushambe (small village destroyed Itil (f.c. 8th C; destroyed c. 967;
1922; rebuilt after 1923) Stalin- site 10 miles upstream from present
abad (1929) Dushanbe (1961) city Astrakhan)
Dzaudzhikau. See Vladikavkaz Ivanovo (f. before 1561) Ivanovo
Voznesensk (1871) Ivanovo (1932)
Dzerzhinsk (on Oka, near Gorki.). See
Rastyapino Ivanovo-Voznesensk. See Ivanovo
Dzerzhinsk (in Ukraine). See Shcher- Kagan. See Novaya Bukhara
Kalinin. See Tver
Dzhambul. See Taraz
Kaliningrad. See Kenigsberg
Egoshikha (f.c. early 17th C) Perm
(1781) Molotov (1940) Perm Kamenskoe (f. mid-18th C) -
(1957) Dneprodzerzhinsk (1936)
Ekaterinburg (f.1721) Sverdlovsk Kashlyk. See Sibir
Kasimov. See Gorodets Meshcherski
Ekaterinodar (f. 1794) Krasnodar
Kenigsberg (f.1255; R. 1945) Merv (f.1824, 19 mi. w. of ancient
Kaliningrad (1946) [4th C B.C. or earlier] Merv, which
was abandoned soon after; R. 1884)
Khlynov (f.c. 1174) Vyatka (c. 1780) Mary (1937)
Mirzoyan. See Taraz
Khodzhent (f. 8th C. or earlier;
R. 1866) Leninabad (1936) Molotov. See Egoshikha
Khrushchev (f. 1954 but named 1961) Molotovsk (s. of Kirov). See Nolinsk
Kremges (1962) Svetlovodsk
(1969) Nadezhdinsk(f. 1894) Serov (1939)
Kirov. See Khlynov Nikolaevsk (18th C village, took name
N. in 1835) Pugachev (1918)
Kirovabad. See Gandzha
Nikolsk-Ussuriyski (formed 1898 by
Kirovo. See Elizavetgrad merger of Nikolskoe and another
village) Voroshilov (1935) -
Kirovograd. See Elizavetgrad Ussuriysk (1957)
Kommunarsk. See Alchevsk Nizhni Novgorod. (f.1221) Gorki (1932)
Krasnodar. See Ekaterinodar Noginsk. See Bogorodsk
Kremges. See Khrushchev Nolinsk (f. 1780) Molotovsk (1940)-
Kuybyshev (on Volga). See Samara
Novaya Bukhara (f. 1888 as R.R. Sta.
Kuznetsk (on Trans-Sib. RR; f. 1617) for Bukhara) Kagan (1935)
Stalinsk (1932) Novokuznetsk
(1961) Novo-Kholmogory (f. 1584) -
Kzyl-Orda. See Ak-Mechet
Novokuznetsk. See Kuznetsk
Leninabad. See Khodzhent
Novomoskovsk. See Bobriki
Leninakan. See Aleksandropol
Novonikolaevsk. See Gusevka
Leningrad. See Saint Petersburg
Novorossisk (on Dneiper). See
Leninogorsk (Kazakh S.S.R.), See Ekaterinoslav
Novosibirsk. See Gusevka
Lugansk (f.c. 1795 as factory
settlement; named L. 1882) Novy Margelan (f. 1876) Skobelev
Voroshilovgrad (1935) (1907) Fergana (1924)
Novy Saray. See Saray
Makhachkala. See Petrovsk
"*Molotovsk (at mouth of N. Dvina,
Mariupol (f. 1779) Zhdanov (1948) village Sudostroi renamed M. in
1938) -Severodvinsk (1957)
Mary. See Merv
Obdorsk (f. 1595) Salekhard (1933) Rybnaya Sloboda. See Rybansk
* Ordzhonikidze (on Terek). See Saint Petersburg (Sankt-Peterburg
Vladikavkaz f. 1703) Petrograd (1914)
Orenburg (f. 1735 near present Orsk;
moved 1743 to new site; a garrison Salekhard. See Obdorsk
remained at future city Orsk) -
Chkalov (1938) Orenburg (1957) Samara (f. 1586) Kuybyshev (1935)
Osipenko. See Berdyansk Saray (f.c. 1240s by Khan Batu near
Volga delta; during reign of Berke
Perm. See Egoshikha [c. 1257-66] another S. was founded
upstream where the Volga is closer
Perovsk. See Ak-Mechet to the Don. This New (Novy)S.
became the capital of the Golden
Petrograd. See Saint Petersburg Horde during the reign of Uzbek
[c. 1312-41], when Old [Stary] S.
Petrovsk (f.1844) Petrovsk-Port was abandoned. New Saray was vir-
(1857) Makhachkala (1921) tually destroyed in 1502 by
Petrovski Zavod (f. 1789) Crimean Tartars)
Sarkel (f.c. 834) Belaya Vezha
Petrovsk-Port. See Petrovsk (R. c. 965; abandoned c. 1117)
Petrovsk-Zabaykalski. See Sergiev (f. as Troitse-Sergieva Lavra
Petrovski Zavod [monastery] c. 1337) Zagorsk (1930)
Pishpek (f. 1825; R. 1862) Serov. See Nadezhdinsk
Severodvinsk. See Molotovsk
Poltoratsk. See Askhabad
Shcherbakov. See Rybansk
Pugachev. See Nikolaevsk
Shcherbinovka (f. 1860) Dzerzhinsk
Pushkin. See Tsarskoe Selo (1938)
Rastyapino (summer colony Sibir (f. 14th C or earlier) Kashlyk
Chernoreche became workers' (R. 1582; abandoned c. 1587 when
settlement Rastyapino c. 1918) Tobolsk founded 10 mi. downstream)
Simbirsk (f. 1648) Ulyanovsk (1924)
Ridder (f. 1794) Leninogorsk
(c. 19139) Skobelev. See Novy Margelan
Rybansk (f.c. 1137) Rybnaya Sovetsk. See Tilzit
Sloboda (15th C) Rybinsk
(1777) Shcherbakov (1946) Stalinabad. See Dyushambe
Stalingrad. See Tsaritsyn
Rybinsk. See Rybansk
Stalino (in Ukraine). See Yuzovka
Stalinogorsk. See Bobriki Ussuriysk. See Nikolsk-Ussuriyski
Stalinsk. See Kuznetsk Ust-Zeyski (f. 1856) -
Staraya Bukhara. See Bukhara
Verkhneudinsk. See Udinsk
Stary Saray. See Saray
Verny (f. 1854 on site of Kazakh
Stavropol (n. Caucasus, f. 1777) settlement Almata) Alma-Ata (1921)
Voroshilovsk (c. 1935) -
Stavropol (1943) Vladikavkaz (f. 1784) Ordzhonikidze
* (1932) Dzaudzhikau (1944) -
Sverdlovsk (in Urals). See Ordzhonikidze (1954)
Volgograd. See Tsaritsyn
Svetlovdsk. See Khrushchev
Voroshilov. See Nikolsk-Ussuriyski
Taraz(Talas. f,c. 7th C; destroyed
by Mongols in 13th C) Aulie- Voroshilovgrad. See Lugansk
Ata (f. late 18th C, R. 1864) -
Mirzoyan (c. 1936) Dzhambul Voroshilovsk (in Ukraine) See
(c. 1938) Alchevsk
Tartu. See Yurev Voroshilovsk (n. Caucasus). See
Tbilisi (f. 4th C, R. 1801) -
Tiflis (1801) -Tbilisi (1936) Vyatka. See Khlynov
Tiflis. See Tbilisi Yaitski Gorodok (on middle Ural River;
f. 1613) Uralsk (1775)
Tilzit (Tilsit, f. 1288; R. 1945)
Sovetsk (1946) Yurev (f.c. 1030 at site of 10th C
village Tarpatu) Derpt (Rus. for
Tolyatti. See Stavropol Ger. Dorpat, seized by Germans in
1224; R. [regained] 1704) Yurev
Tsaritsyn (f. 1589) Stalingrad (1893) Tartu (1918)
(1925) Volgograd (1961)
Yuzovka (f. 1869) Stalino (1924)
Tsarskoe Selo (f. 1718 at site of Donetsk (1961)
Finnish village seized c. 1708)
Detskoe Selo (c. 1917) Zagorsk. See Sergiev
Zaporozhe. See Aleksandrovsk
Tselinograd. See Akmolinsk
Zhdanov. See Mariupol
Tver. (f.c.12th C) -Kalinin (1931)
Zinovevsk. See Elizavetgrad
Udinsk (f. 1666) -Verkhneudinsk
(1689) Ulan-Ude (1934) *Stavropol (on Volga, small town
moved to present site in 1955 due
Ulan-Ude. See Udinsk to dam construction) -Tolyatti
(renamed for Togliatti in 1964)
Ulyanovsk. See Sitbirsk
Uralsk. See Yaitski Gorodok
In Ba4Le V on Tue4day
25 October /977 at /4: l.
IncZuding. te "Bembeg" 'collection wit. 4uch nauditiLe
ad /Le /808 /o0 opec impenf. uded on coven 4j&on RigLa,
enwn wid backpwunnd on. cenme. inveADled.
The fine specialied Atduc.4 o~f
wi7?. a splendid awayt o cof.veon i o med tby ie Iate
Ciffown d Han4olnd
a f-ine loi. of cla44ac na/-iie4.
comp/u4inq. the -ate Paual KelUena4 coLLectionA of jone-
nunneu&a, 4andWianp., /860 10 kopec on coven, t( TZA
SOLSKA ovenp4inzt fPa Weit gaticia 4peciai4ed
The enaznable collection folned by Tenence Radue, wi.tk
4one-AunneMz, speciaiied 4udieA of Bosrzia CwoaTtia,
Mfoniteneow and Senbia a4 weUL a4 Ate "Cjhain-bneaked, 11 etc.
Included i" he famoud 6vmanan colUection of RuaiLan manchMuia,
widLt many cove^n; 1iumo-,apanee Wan, U. S. Sibejdan. (xpedUizonway
Fonce, (jech Fonces, Tlnavelinu o4.t Office4, and nane cancel.
Cadalogue by ai/vnai $4. 000. ?euejd4 fon caalofue4 and payment
may be enwt .to: 90tdon Towey, 5//8 vauLL Dn., Wa4dhingon, D.C.
603iN L(,5, INTMATIONAL LTD.
50 'PALL WLL LONiVN SW/V 5A2, 5I.LAND
(who deUL you. 4nmp wheAe iey e.LL beat)
LENIN MOURNING ISSUE OF 1924
by Rimma Sklarevski
There have been numerous articles written about the Lenin Mourning Issue of
1924. The most interesting ones are:
a. Lenin Mourning Issue. Origin of the imperforate issues, by T.
Lavrov in August-September 1941 issue of Stamp Lover.
b. The Lenin Mourning Stamps by Dr. A. H. Wortman in October 1938 issue
of Stamp Review.
This article deals mainly with a new approach of separating the three so-
called printings, without measuring the sizes of the frames. At the end of
the article it also describes the various known types of forgeries.
The set of four stamps of 3, 6, 12 and 20 kop. values were issued on January 28,
1924, in mourning for V. I. Lenin (Ulianov), who died at Gorky near Moscow at
6:50 P.M. on January 21. The stamps were designed by I. I. Dubason and printed
by lithography on white paper with thin, smooth gum, and on yellowish paper
with thicker and slightly cracked gum. They were printed in sheets of 50 (10 x 5)
and 100 (10 x 10). The transfer block consisted of a group of 10 (5 x 2)
subjects. These bi-colored stamps consisted of a black center and inscription
tablet surrounded by a red frame.
This issue was widely circulated and since a considerable amount of experi-
menting was done with the size of the red frame during the printing, it appears S
that the issue dates of the three printings must have been very close.
Most of the catalogues either list these stamps by the size of the red frames
or have a note stating that the stamp appeared with three different frame sizes.
My contention is that a die was prepared for the portrait and tablet, and
another one for the frame. The overall size of the portrait and tablet remained
the same throughout all of the printings, but the center die was re-engraved
for the third printing. There were three separate dies for the frame which
vary in size, each separate die being used for only one printing.
In the description of the center and frame dies below, the size of the frames
that were used are given although they need play no role in separating the
Center-Die I Figs 1, la
a. Spot in center of "0" in "30 in tablet is round.
b. Edges of letters are clean.
c. Dot to the left of ear which appears on 6 kop. value only.
Center-Die II Figs lb, 4
a. Spot is oval.
b. Edges appear to have serifs.
c. No dot (6 kop.).
l Frame Die I Frame Die II Frame Die III
Narrow 20 x 25 mm. Medium 20.5 x 26 mm. Wide 21 x 26.5 mm.
The characteristics and the composition of the printings are as follows:
Printing I (Figs. 1 & 2)
Consists of the center die I and the frame die I. Can be told at a glance
by the white spaces between the black center and the red frame and round "0".
Printing II (Fig. 3)
Consists of the center die I and the frame die II. Can be told from printing
I by no white spaces between the center and the frame and from printing III by
the round "O".
Printing III (Fig. 4)
Consists of the center die II and the frame die III. Can be told by the
spot in the center of "0" in "30 ", which is always oval instead of round.
In the table below we list all of the standard varieties known.
Imperforate Perforated 13 1/2
Printing I Printing II Printing III Printing II Printing III
""3 kop. x x x -- x
6 kop. x x x -- x
12 kop. x x x x x
20 kop. x x x -- x
Perforated varieties are 12 kop. of 2nd printing and a complete set of 3rd
The Soviet Catalogue for 1970 lists two additional varieties:
a. 6 kop. center die I with frame (2nd printing) 20.5 x 26.5 mm.
b. 12 kop. 3rd printing with yellow background.
Likewise, the catalogue published by Cercle Philatelique France U.R.S.S.
lists the following varieties:
a. 6 kop. Displaced frame (3rd printing)
b. 6 kop. DouDle impression (3rd printing)
c. 6 kop. -buff paper
They also state that 6 and 12 kop. were locally perforated in Stavropol, but do
not give the printing, nor the gauge of the perforation.
\ LLU.STR AT IO0i- Le5liJ Mou;VMO- IssoE
Dic* I 0 Pr ti^ o
3Fl.lo. F'''^ bctrittcruln
Fig. ,o,.c ,
z [ p, nn+.n a I
op. W ,t Spa
C, aiu. 4
iy PE1 I3s
COUNTaF Tr grpe<
TY PE ITxPES
F^. S P .8
T* *B a: TY pe 3
.g. C F 9.37
* Forgeries Perforated
3 kop. Perforated 14 2nd printing
Type I Printed on white paper with thin white gum. The ear consists of a
heavy check mark (a), and there is a heavy dot below the ear (b). (Fig. 5).
Type I and II forgeries may be separated by the height of the black tablet.
Type II Same characteristics as Type I, except the black tablet is approxi-
mately 1 mm. higher. The author has these stamps in horizontal strips of 10,
with 3 kop. and 20 kop. se-tenant vertically and 12 kop. and 6 kop. also
vertical se-tenants. It is not known whether all 4 values were printed in
one sheet. (Figs. 6 and 7).
Type III Printed on grayish paper. Because of the paper used the red
frame is very uneven. (See Fig. 8) and there are white dots in black frame.
Likewise, Y. M. Vovin in his handbook on forgeries, published in Moscow in 1972,
mentions a new forgery of 3 kop. of the 1st printing, which is the scarcest
stamp of all. This was made by cutting out the center of the 6 kop. of the
1st printing and substituting for it the 3 kop. The only way to tell the
forgery is with a strong glass or emerging it in the fluid face down, whereby
one will be able to see the outlines of the substitution.
Changes of Address
574 Angus Parker, c/o Argyll Ethan Ltd., 55 New Bond St., London W1Y 98G
815 Jacques Marcovitch, 12 E. 86th Street Apt. 603, New York 10028
829 Dr. R. C. Sklenicka, 4222 Braeman Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33803
845 Regina Sue Rosner, 465 Broadway, Hastings, New York 10706
868 Eugene Michels, 7608 Wellesley Drive, College Park, Maryland 20740
889 Barry Hong, 50 Jerome Crescent Apt. 806, Stony Creek, Ontario,
Canada L8E 1K6
895 Ernest E. Holappa, 1201 Curtis Street, Berkeley, California 94706
903 Gary L. Kling, 1212 W. College Avenue, State College, Pennsylvania 16801
923 Robert W. Stuckell, 940 Cleverly Road, Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312
943 Andrew Medwid, 16 Woodfield Terrace, Tarrytown, New York
INTERESTING COVER (SCOTT'S NO. 268)
by R. Sklarevski
We are illustrating an interesting cover bearing 20 kop. Lenin Mourning Issue,
Scott's No. 268, addressed to Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
1. On the back of the cover, the cancellation dated "20-II-1924" has
Petrograd spelled with a "twerdy znak" (old style).
2. On the front of the cover, the cancellation dated "20 2 24" has
Petrograd spelled without "twerdy znak" (new style).
3. On the back, the cancellation dated "21-2-24" reads Leningrad
- - -
Wanted to purchase for collection: "Phantom" stamps of Russia and States.
Please write me if you wish to sell any unissuedd," "bogus," "private issue,"
or "forgery" items. I will then make arrangements to pay postage and
insurance costs and will promptly return any unpurchased material sent for
examination. GREGORY WHITT, 308 West Delaware Avenue, Urbana, Illinois
61801. (RSRP #887, APS 84297).
RUSSIA'S MUSICAL ENVELOPES
by Jacques Posell
In my article "Russia's Musicians on Stamps" which appeared in Rossica
Journal #80, I concerned myself only with the stamps issued by Soviet
Russia honoring Russian composers, and with Russian stamps which pertain
to music directly and indirectly. I will now deal with the musical cachets
on Russian stationery which are an integral facet of a musical stamp col-
lection and which in many cases are of especial philatelic interest because
of their commemorative cancellations. This subject might also be called
COCMEMORATIVE ENVELOPES because many of these envelopes were issued to honor
a composer or an event on a commemorative date when no stamp was issued.
Hence we find envelopes for Arensky (fig. 1), Glazunov (fig. 2) Gliere
(fig. 3) and other composers for whom there is no stamp. These envelopes
Figure 1 iSfa---
and cachets are not strange to the philatelic world and many countries have
issued them. Russia has issued many envelopes honoring its dramatic theatres,
opera houses, ballet theatres, symphony orchestras, singers etc. and I am
sure for a host of other subjects. In my own collection I have tried not to
stray too far from musicians per se (with only an occasional exception) and
with the kind and generous help of Dr. Lev Ginsburg of the Moscow Conservatory,
BEHP TAA AEHOB
Y3EmP rAAMMEHGJoB .1
AsaepOaiAA4IdOHA KONAOd TOp,
Figure 4 .. ..
HnAexC rpeApHMaran csa3H MecT a Na3ae .
a well known Russian philatelist whose zeal and patience in my behalf I
gratefully acknowledge, I have been able to accumulate a sizeable collection
of this material, some of which is quite rare and which always evokes sighs
of pleasure and groans of envy from my musical collector friends.
The majority of these envelopes are devoted to Russian composers but also
honored are various nationality composers such as Gadzhibekov (fig. 4)
(Azerbaidjan), Paliashvilli (fig. 5) (Georgia), Komitas (fig. 6) (Armenia),
and many others. Envelopes were A
issued for famous singers Sobinov AViA
(fig. 7), Shaliapin (fig. 8), and
Nezhdanova (fig. 9). The Tchaikovsky 10 4
competitions (fig. 10), the 200th
anniversary of the Bolshoi Theatre f/I A,0^ t
(fig. 11), the 100th anniversary of -
the Latvian singing societies (fig. 12) f *
have all been commemorated on special
cachets. Three envelopes were also l aKoyo
issued for foreign composers. The ......
first, an envelope issued to honor 5122 72 AB ift A
PAR M ON npl urr
Franz Liszt of Hungary when that .,
composer's anniversary was celebrated- -- -
in 1961 (fig. 13) (very rare today).
40 Figure 5 ..... ...... ....
40 Figure 5
P&iM -A VIO,
Z 101who |Kya. A-
JiSeCKc nper-npulmuf l l ,1 Ii *h
ato ^ m mm..-..- m
SnoTA OCCP *M3
Figure 9 :
41 Figure 8
In 1970 an envelope for the Beethoven anniversary was issued (fig. 14) and
lastly, an envelope issued to honor the 150th anniversary of Johann Strauss,
Austria's famous waltz composer appeared in 1975 (fig. 15).
At this writing there are 50 envelopes in my collection. They are listed
below with dates of issue.
Aliabiev, Alexander Alexandrovich 1962
Arensky, Anton Stepanovich 1961
Balakirev, Mili Alexeievich 1962
Dargomyzhsky, Alexander Sergeyevich 1963
Gliere, Reinhold Moritzovich 1974
Glazunov, Alexander Konstantinovich 1965
Glinka, Mikhail Ivanovich 1958
(statue in front of Leningrad Conservatory)
Glinka, M. I. portrait 1964
Kalinnikov, Vasilii Sergeyevich 1966
Miakovsky, Nikolai Yakovlovich 1961
Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich 1964
Prokofiev, Serge Sergeyevich 1960
Prokofiev, second issue 1971
Rachmaninoff, Sergei Vasilievich 1963
Rachmaninoff, second issue 1973
1 4 44i,'
Figure 11 / 1/
. .r.c .omnpasu.mtAR ./l d.. .
42 Figure 10
RUSSIAN COMPOSERS cnt.)
Tas fo of scow Conservato 195
Tchaikovsky portrait 1956
PT^^t100 peT GA
Tchaikovs y for third International 196
"hiov Opera and Ballet Theatre Perm 1967
Tchaikovsgure Fifth International2
Tchaikovsk competition in Moscow 1974
Tchaikovs4 competition in scow 1966
.':....... ..: .- ...
Ciurlionis, Mikalojus Konstantinas 1975
Gadzhibekov, Uzir 1965
Gulak-Artemovsky, Semyan Stepanovich 1963
Jurjans, Pavul A. 1966
Komitas (Soghoman Soghomonian) 1969
Armenian church composer
Lissenko, Nikolai Vitalievich 1962
Lissenko, second issue 1967
Magomaev, Muslim 1965
Paliashvili, Zakharii Petrovich 1971
Sayat-Nova memorial, Erevan 1972
Spendiarov, Alexander Afonasievich 1960
Armenian composer, statue in Erevan
Spendiarov, A. A. second issue 1971
Franz Liszt 1961
Beethoven, Ludwig van 1970
Strauss, Johann, Jr. 1975
Nezhdanova, Antonida 1973
Shaliapin, Feodor Ivanovich 1973
Sobinov, Leonid Vitalevich 1972
Gnessina, Elena Fabianovna 1974
Professor and musical pedagogue
Piatnitzky, Mitrofan E. 1961
50th anniversary of Piatnizky chorus
Piatnitzky, M. E. 1964
Founder of Piatnitzsky Chorus, second issue
Seventh International Nbsic Congress 1971
100th Anniversary of Latvian Singing 1973
200th Anniversary of Bolshoi Theatre, 1976
THE TWO RUSSIAN CALENDARS
by Dr. Howard L. Weinert
One possible source of confusion in the study of Russian postal history is
the fact that Russia at different times used two different calendars: the
Julian, or old style (o.s.), and the Gregorian, or new style (n.s.). The
confusion exists for several reasons. First, it is very difficult to find
a precise statement of the difference between the Julian and the Gregorian
calendars and of the method for converting between them; second, the adop-
tion of the new style calendar within Russia was not uniform; third, some
Russian post offices abroad were cancelling stamps with new style dates
during the Tsarist era. We will try in this article to clear away some of
the mist surrounding these matters.
First, what is the difference between the two calendars? The Julian calen-
dar was put into effect by Julius Caesar who decreed that there should be
a perpetual cycle of three 365-day years followed by one 366-day year; that
is, a leap year every four years. The added day in years divisible by four
was February 29. The Julian calendar was an enormous improvement over pre-
vious systems, but was not entirely accurate since the solar year has just
under 365 1/4 days. The final calendar correction was carried out in 1582
by Pope Gregory XIII. The resulting Gregorian calendar is in use through-
out the world today. The correction had two parts. In order to compensate
for the accumulated error of the Julian calendar, ten days were dropped from
the year 1582: the day after October 4 became October 15. Also the leap
year rule was changed. Century years (ending in 00) not exactly divisible
by 400 would no longer be leap years.
Thus, aside from a lag which was initially ten days, the only difference
between the Julian and Gregorian calendars is the leap year rule. This
difference caused the ten-day gap to increase as the centuries progressed.
Most historians who comment on this matter simply say that the gap was
eleven days in the eighteenth century, twelve days in the nineteenth,
thirteen days in the twentieth. However, this is not quite right. To con-
vert from Julian dates to Gregorian dates, add ten days to Julian dates be-
tween October 5, 1582 and February 28, 1700, add eleven days to Julian dates
between February 29, 1700 and February 28, 1800, add twelve days to Julian
dates between February 29, 1800 and February 28, 1900, and add thirteen days
to Julian dates between February 29, 1900 and the present. While adding
days to Julian dates in late February, be sure not to count February 29 un-
less the year is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar. For example,
February 27, 1900 (o.s.) is March 11, 1900 (n.s.) but February 27, 1896 (o.s.)
is March 10, 1896 (n.s.).
Russia used the old style calendar until 1918, when the Bolshevik govern-
ment decreed that the day following January 31, 1918 would be February 14,
1918, thus closing the thirteen day gap between the calendars. The civil
war had already started, however, and the Bolsheviks could only speak for
the post offices under their control. The old style calendar continued to
be used throughout the civil war in many areas controlled by the White armies.
In any one locality that oscillated between Red and White control, one
might expect the calendar used by the post office to do likewise. However,
it is often impossible to determine which calendar was used in civil war
It is clear then that dates on cancellations from Russia proper (excluding
Poland, Finland, and post offices abroad) prior to February 14, 1918 must
be old style dates. Postmark dates from February 14, 1918 must be judged
in light of the above paragraph. It should be noted that a possible bureau-
cratic delay in implementing the calendar change in certain Bolshevik-
controlled post offices should not be ruled out. In all periods, foreigners
sending post cards from Russia almost always wrote either the new style date,
or both new and old style dates, on their messages. This applies to WWI
prisoners of war in Russia.
As for Poland, cancellations in the Russian language carried old style dates,
but cancellations in Polish, or both Polish and Russian, carried new style
dates. In Finland, all cancellations had new style dates. However, some
WWI Finnish censors marks used old style dates.
The used abroad picture is somewhat more confusing, and all the facts are
not in. As a general rule, dates on used abroad postmarks followed the same
pattern as dates on postmarks from Russia proper. There were numerous excep-
tions however. For example, Type 1 cancellations of Constantinople Galata
(Voivoda) were using new style dates from 1913. Type 1 cancellations of
Shanghai and Chefoo used new style dates starting in 1900 (see Tchilinghirian
and Stephen, pp. 355, 572, and BJRP #30, p. 21). However Type 2 cancellations
S of Shanghai and Chefoo used old style dates from their introduction to their
withdrawal (see BJRP #5, p. 72 and #32, p. 10). Shanghai Type 5 also followed
the pattern of Russia proper and used old style dates. It is not known why
these post offices used old and new style dates simultaneously. No rationale
is apparent from the covers examined. The civil war picture is very frag-
mentary. In 1918, Tientsin Type 6 cancellations were using old style dates,
but Peking Type 7 cancellations were using new style dates.
To illustrate some of the points discussed in this article, some postal evi-
dence will be described. These items are from the author's collection unless
Item 1: A card from Moscow to Germany. The manuscript date is 4/17 July 1918
and the Moscow postmark is dated 17 July 1918. The postmark date is the new
style, which is proper, but the writer continues to use both styles.
Item 2: A card from Kazanka (Saratov govt.) to a Russian POW in Austria.
The manuscript date is 7 March 1918 and the Kazanka postmark is dated 20
March 1918. The postmark is new style, as it should be, but the writer is
still using the old style.
Item 3: A card from a Hungarian POW. The manuscript date is 20 November
1919 and the Tomsk postmark is date 13 November 1919. The writer is of course
using new style and since Tomsk was under White control at the time, the
postmark date is old style.
Items 4 & 5: Two cards from the same writer to Kerch to the same addressee
in Chugugol (Ekaterinoslav govt.). The first has a manuscript date of 4
January 1918 and a Kerch postmark dated 5 January 1918, both old style. The
second has a manuscript date of 3 February 1918 and a Kerch postmark dated
17 February 1918. Here, the manuscript date is still old style, but the post-
mark date is now new style, showing that the Kerch post office was quick to
implement the changeover.
Item 6: A cover from Sosnovitsy to Warsaw with stamps cancelled by 278 in
concentric rings. There is a bilingual Sosnovitsy/Sosnowice cancel dated
19 January (new style) and a Warsaw receipt cancel (in Russian only) dated
8 January 1870 (old style).
Item 7: A cover from Warsaw to London with stamps cancelled by B.W. in con-
centric rings. There is a cancellation in Polish reading Ekspedycy Dworzec
Warszawa and dated 16 January (new style) and a London receipt mark dated
18 January 1869. This cover is on the front of the July 8, 1977 Robson Lowe
postal history sale catalog.
Item 8: A cover from Khabarovsk with cancellation dated 28 April 1918 (n.s.)
and sent to Tientsin where it was cancelled with Type 6 dated 23 April 1918
(o.s.). Khabarovsk was under Bolshevik control at this time so a new style
date is to be expected.
Item 9: A cover from Vladivostok to Peking with receipt cancellations of the
Chinese and Russian (Type 7) post offices both dated 7 July 1918 (n.s.).
Item 10: A cover from Constantinople to Mulheim, Germany. The Constantinople
postmark is the Galata (Voivoda) Type 1 dated 22 April 1913 (n.s.). The
German receipt cancel is dated 27 April 1913.
Item 11: A card from Vladivostok with postmark dated 12 July 1907 (o.s.) to
Shanghai with Russian Type 5 receipt postmark dated 18 July 1907 (o.s.) and
Chinese Local Post cancel dated 31 July 1907 (n.s.).
Item 12: A cover from Sretensk vis Troitskosavsk to Chefoo. The cancellations
are Sretensk (13 January 1905, o.s.), Troitskosavsk (20 January 1905, o.s.),
Russian Chefoo Type 2 (11 February 1905, o.s.), and Chinese Chefoo (24 Febru-
ary 1905, n.s.).
Other examples of Chefoo and Shanghai Types 1 and 2 can be found in lots 1182,
1186, 1211 of the Droar sale, and lots 1063, 1064 of the Adler sale. Readers
who can add to the data presented in this article are urged to write to the
author or the editor.
WANTED* In any amount, Wenden stamps, covers, whole sheets, etc. Just send
for offer or your price. VICTOR KENT, 807 Newbury Ave., Antioch, California
A POSTAL MYSTERY: POLAND TO TIBET
by Gordon Torrey and Denys Voaden
An intriguing picture postcard portraying a Warsaw street scene at the turn
of the century came into the possession of one of us (G.T.) from an old-time
dealer who knew of our interest in Russian philately. The mystery is whether
the card was ever received by the addressee, who was apparently a resident
of Lhasa in Tibet!
The view is of Marszalkowska Street in Warsaw, with pedestrians and numerous
horse-drawn vehicles, and the card bears 3 kopeck and 1 kopeck Imperial arms
stamps of Russia on the picture side. Ulica Marszalkowska ran roughly S-N
for about 2 miles from Mokotow to the Saxon Gardens, a park in the centre of
Warsaw, and was a major shopping street with quality restaurants and even
"respectable" bars (Baedeker, 1914).
The card was sent from Warsaw by Mne. L. de Domanienska, a lady "deltiologist"
of Radoszewice pod Osyakow, a small town in the Kalish' [Kalisz] guberniya,
and is written in French to a "Monsieur Hung Comptelle, Lassa, Tibet," re-
questing an exchange of view-cards. This name is an unusual one, if correct;
Comptelle is French-sounding, but Hung appears very Chinese, and in fact
means "red" in the standard language. The name may have been garbled, and in
any case it seems that no Europeans reached Lhasa openly until 1904, when
Younghusband fought his way there. The year 1902 was a time of the most in-
tense diplomatic and intelligence agitation in India and London over the
penetration of Tibet by Russia and the Dalai Lama's refusal to treat with the
British. It seems quite certain that Russian arms and Buriat advisers, inclu-
ding the renowned Dorjiev, were sent to Lhasa at the time, but even the
Japanese Buddhist Kawaguchi Ekai, who may
have been an intelligence agent, lived there
in disguise from 1900 to 1902. Sven Hedin
never realized his dream of entering the /
holy city. It seems that the Polish lady
was very, very optimistic!
.- > < A ..--A'e. j .
From the number of datestamps on the card it is very evident that it presented
quite a problem to various postal authorities as to how to route it, and it
wandered over the Far East and India for some weeks.
The card is dated 5/11/1902 at the top of the message, and it appears that
the writer was personally using the Gregorian calendar. The Warsaw cancel-
lation (in Russian) is so indistinct as to preclude reading its date, but the
month seems to be January (O.S.) and it is possible to make out that it was
sent from Praga, the eastern suburb on the right bank of the Vistula. It
must have gone a long way from here by rail, but was it to Odessa or to Vladi-
vostok? Perhaps the former; a sea journey is indicated, as the next date-
stamp is that of the "Singapore to Hong Kong" ship marking dated March 9th.
It seems strange that there are no intermediate markings, nor is there a Hong
Kong receiving mark. Next there is a Srinagar (Kashmir) datestamp of April
25th. Apparently it was decided at Hong Kong that there was no way to get
the card to Lhasa via China, and the idea occurred to someone that it might
go by way of India and up a caravan route to Lhasa. It appears that at
Srinagar someone wrote in red ink "Leh" so that it went to this town, the
capital of Ladakh, where it twice received a May 1, 1902 datestamp. Here it
seems that "Leh" was crossed out and the words "via Darjeeling" were added,
again in red ink.
The Leh route that might have been used is that through the Vale of Kashmir
and Ladakh (Little Tibet) to Gartok, though this would have entailed a long
eastward journey across Tibet, passing north along the whole length of Nepal.
The card clearly arrived at Leh, but perhaps no caravans were going at the
time so it was sent east to the Darjeeling area for a try by the main route.
There is next a rather indistinct Ghum stamp of 13 MY. . Goom (the
modern rendering of Ghum) is a small town with an interesting lamaist mona-
stery in the environs of Darjeeling, and the post office is across the road
from the railway station. Darjeeling, capital of West Bengal, is 6 km. to the
north along the Hill Cart Road, while the main road to the east leads to
Kalimpong where the card also received a datestamp of 13 May 1902.
There is one final cancellation dated May 14, 1902, which seems to be the
most fascinating one of all. It is circular, and reads "Rhenock B.O. [Base
Office?]" over "Darjeeling" below. However, this is not a Darjeeling can-
cellation as Rhenok (current spelling) is even east of Kalimpong, and in
fact is in Sikkim. We can surmise that this marking denotes mail which nor-
mally was collected at Rhenok for transmission to Darjeeling, a form of route
marking, and in any case this was probably the direction in which nearly all
the local mail was sent in those days. Whether this "west-bound" marking was
applied in error, or whether it was the only canceller available at the Rhenok
post office, it is difficult to know. But the Rhenok marking is the most
easterly one on the card, and it is quite significant geographically.
Since there was no Tibetan postal system at this time and no Chinese or British
Indian post offices there, the question arises as to whether the addressee
ever received the card. One may guess that it is possible, at least geo-
graphically speaking, as Darjeeling and Kalimpong were assembly points for
caravan routes into Tibet. Perhaps a caravan was expected to leave from this
area in the early summer.
The most important route between India and Tibet at the time started at
Siliguri in the northern part of West Bengal and proceeded up the Tista River
towards Kalimpong and thence to Gangtok in Sikkim. From Gangtok a path led
to the Natu La, at an elevation of 14200 feet (4330 m.) on the eastern bor-
der of Sikkim with Tibet, and thence to Yatung and up the Chumbi valley to
Gyantse and finally Lhasa. This is the route traveled by the Younghusband
Expedition in 1903-1904.
However, at least in the 1960s, a better road from Kalimpong goes north-east
and crosses into Sikkim, where just beyond the border is the town of Rhenok,
the origin of the marking discussed above and the most easterly point for
which the card gives evidence. This road continues inside Sikkim through
Rangli and Natung and leaves Sikkim via the Jelep La (14390 feet; 4385 m.)
a few miles south of the Natu La; the-nce to Yatung.
Where did the card travel after leaving Rhenok? There are no more notations
to help us, so we can only surmise that because it was now in a recognized
route to Tibet, it might have reached Lhasa after all.
A similar postcard is mentioned by Waterfall in his study of Tibet's postal
history, from which the following quotation is taken:
"An unusual postcard posted from Freudenberg, Germany 13 4.02, is
addressed to Mr. P. Manes, L'hassa, Tibet (Asien), with a later addition
in red ink 'Via Skardu.' This arrived at Hong Kong and was sent to the
German P.O. at Shanghai 17.6.02, departing for India on the 19th, after
receiving the British, German and Chinese cancellations of Shanghai. It
arrived at Tuticorn, India on the 10.7.02., Srinagar 22.7.02. and Skardu on
It is doubtful, of course, if it ever saw Tibet, but if it did, it
would then have to travel up the Indus to Leh, then to Gartok and then
right across Tibet to Shigatse and Lhasa. Was there ever a person called
Manes? The message on this German card reads in French, "The Cliche's
have been sent, Fischer"!! I fear we shall never know whether the cliche's
referred to were a proposed 1902 issue of Tibetan stamps!"
Perhaps, too, we shall never know who were the addressees of the cards, and
whether they did receive them. And is it just a fascinating coincidence that
both cards are of the year 1902, when Europeans should not have been in
Lhasa at all, and the most anguished suspicion of Russian intrigue was still
entertained by Britain? Surely the lady collector was not a participant in
the Great Game, but the Warsaw card, with its tantalizing loose ends, cer-
tainly evokes more interest and puzzlement that we would normally expect of
a street scene and four kopecks-worth of postage!
Reference: A.C. Waterfall, "The Postal History of Tibet," p. 137 (Robson,
Lowe, London, 1965).
by P. J. Campbell
Of all Soviet airmail stamps, perhaps the most attractive ones can be found
in the "Chelyuskin" set, created by the prolific designer, W. W. Zavialov,
and issued in January 1935 to commemorate an exciting incident in the his-
tory of polar exploration.
The Chelyuskin was not, as is often stated, an icebreaker, but rather a
cargo vessel of some 4,000 tons. Built by the Danish firm of Burmeister
and Wain to Soviet specifications, its powerful 2500-horsepower engines
were to take it on an exploratory and scientific journey from Leningrad,
through the Baltic, around Norway, along the Siberian coast to the Bering
Strait, and south into the Pacific between Alaska and Asia. Ultimately,
it was hoped that a northern sea route could be established between the
Siberian coast and the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. The voyage
was to follow the route pioneered in 1932 by a true icebreaker, the
Sibiryakov, under the command of Captain V. I. Voronin. In 1933 Captain
Voronin was given command of the Chelyuskin and Professor Otto Schmidt,
also of the Sibiryakov, appointed leader of the expedition. Captain Voro-
nin and his ship are shown on the 1 kopeck stamp of the Chelyuskin set
(figure 1); Professor Schmidt is shown on the 3 kopeck stamp (figure 2),
and also on a 1966 stamp issued on the 10th anniversary of his death.
Figure 1 Figure 2
The voyage of the Chelyuskin began from Leningrad on 12th July 1933, but
before steaming north on what was to be her last trip she proceeded to
Copenhagen for minor repairs. The trip continued to Murmansk where a small
amphibious aircraft (a Shavrov Sh-2) was swung aboard. The lack of an
aircraft on the Sibiryakov led to the decision to try aerial reconnaissance
on the Chelyuskin trip. The Sh-2 was ideal because it could operate off
water or ice, weighed only 1,430 pounds, and had folding wings for storage
on deck. The pilot was M.S. Baboushkin who had gained fame in 1928 as
pilot of one of the N-4 (Russian-built Junkers Ju-30) seaplanes flown from
the icebreaker Malygin in the Arctic rescue of Umberto Nobile and the crew
of the airship Italia.
On leaving Murmansk, those aboard consisted of 53 crew, 29 scientific
personnel, and a party of 30 to be put ashore on Wrangel Island to restaff
a meteorological station. The ship's crew included four women and the
Wrangel group including six women and two children, one of the children
having been born on board during the voyage.
In early October 1933, when the Chelyuskin was within 100 miles of the
Pacific, pack ice closed around her, and the engines had to be stopped.
Captain Voronin seemed to have realized the voyage would be lengthy be-
cause he sent eight people ashore when four Choukchi dog teams came out on
the ice for an unexpected visit.
For one month the Chelyuskin moved toward the Bering Strait, and when she
was within 25 miles of open water, a northward current swept her away from
safety, to drift embedded in a sea of ice for the next four and a half
months. During this entire period the scientific work proceeded with
meteorological readings, oceanographic soundings, study of the ice waves
and drift patterns, and observation of plankton, fish, birds and animals
of the Choukchi sea.
As early as the 4th of January 1934 it became obvious that the Chelyuskin
would eventually be crushed by the ice. Finally, on the 12th of February,
after drifting a total of 900 miles, the ship was jammed between a moving
field on her port side and a stationary field on the starboard. In a
howling gale an 18-foot high pressure ridge moved toward the ship. These
pressure ridges are formed when the wind blows from the north for long
periods, forcing the hundreds of miles of ice southward till it meets the
S Siberian coastline. The relentless movement causes pressure waves to pro-
gress across the ice, heaving great slabs vertically upward to relieve the
stress. On the 13th of February, at 2 p.m., the Chelyuskin shivered under
a powerful shock and the moving ice tore a rent 100-feet long in the ship's
port side. By 4 p.m. the Chelyuskin raised her stern and sank, leaving a
patch of shattered ice littered with flotsam and taking the Quartermaster
with her. One hundred and four persons were left on the ice.
The last two hours aboard the Chelyuskin had been hectic, with all hands
unloading stores, instruments, clothing, fuel oil, coal, bricks, sleeping
bags, tents and timber. Even the little amphibian was slid overboard as
the bow sank to the level of the ice and the lifeboats were lowered and
dragged clear. As one group set up tents, others pulled cargo out of the
water as it rose from the deck of the Chelyuskin 27 fathoms below. Soon
the camp took shape and the radio men began attempts to communicate with
civilization. This was accomplished late next day when they contacted
Miss Ludmilla Schrader at Uelen, 170 miles away on the Bering Strait, and
the first radiogram went out from Schmidt Camp to the world.
The ice on which the camp was established was, of course, part of the
Arctic pack. In constant movement it drifted slowly in an oval pattern 8
miles north to south and 30 miles from east to west. The surface was
initially a hummocky plain of snow but, as February ran into March, the
pack began to develop great leads of open sea water, and pressure ridges
rose 20 feet high. Many of these ridges passed right through camp, leaving
chaos in their wake. As the pressure was relieved, the ice split and leads
of open water appeared, tearing one of the huts apart and sending the halves
in different directions. Efforts to build a small airstrip to launch the W
Sh-2, or to permit an old N-4 to fly in from Cape North, were repeatedly
frustrated by the heaving ice.
1740w 1700W 1660w
Drift Area. <..
i"" o Camp io,.a, .po ::,Sjiiiiiiiiitiii
iiii niiii i iiiiiii i. .i !. . . . .... ... .. .
liilllll Heart & .SA __"_R<' '"|ARCTIC CIRCLEI
SCHUKOTSKI PENINSULA |ii :::::::::::::::::::::...........
~............... .... : :: !:.:: ....:.:.:::::::::. ::. ::....... ..........
iiiiiiijiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiii Diomed Islands
ne O PACIFIC OCEAN
0 50 100oo
MAP SHOWING COURSE OF CHELYUSKIN
SEPTEMBER 1933 FEBRUARY 1934 SCALE: :-::.' *:-
.. .. .. .. .. .
.... .... .... ... .... .... ...
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .
...... ...... .... ..... .....
... .. ... .. .. ... .. ... .. ..
... .. ... .. .. ... .. ... .. ..
... .. ... .. ... .. ... .. ... ..
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .
... .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. .. ..
.. . .. . .. . .
Meanwhile, back in Moscow, the 16-year-old Soviet Government began the
first steps to mount a rescue attempt of unprecedented scale. Initially,
it was though that reindeer and dog teams could cross the 75 miles from
the shorelineto the camp, but there was an additional 175 miles to the
nearest village. Also, the incredibly broken nature of the ice would have
meant some 12 days per trip just to get to the coast, not to mention the
hundreds of dogs and tons of supplies which would be required. The combi-
nation of weather and ice, as well as the navigational problems of finding
the camp, made rescue by this method impracticable for such a large party.
Professor Schmidt stated that, based on previous attempts to cross similar
ice, he did not believe that more than 40 of the 104 persons would survive
if rescue was attempted by dog team.
The next, or rather the only other method of rescue was from the air, but
it soon became apparent that the existing inventory of aircraft was quite
inadequate. It consisted of an old three-engined N-4 which quickly broke
down; one or two little Polikarpov U-2 biplanes which were too small and
flimsy for rescue work; and two Tupolev ANT-4's, which were large enough,
but not in good condition or properly winterized.
Although an inventory of aircraft, pilots and supplies were quickly made,
it was realized that the immense size of the USSR posed problems, as did
the fact that few aircraft were capable of working at the low temperatures
to be encountered. The greatest problem of them all: an airstrip would
have to be hacked out of the chaos of ice by the Chelyuskin survivors them-
selves. Aircraft maintenance would be primitive and repairs could only be
made outside under appalling conditions, using any pieces of metal and
wood that might be available. One thing, at least, was working in the
survivor's favor--the daylight hours (sunrise to sunset) were increasing
from 7 hours in mid-February to 14 hours by mid-April. This would be a
great help to the rescue pilots.
A first attempt was planned using aircraft already in the vicinity; a
second group of planes--already in western Siberia--was to follow, and a
third group was sent from Russia on the Trans-Siberian railroad. Two other
pilots crossed Europe and the Atlantic to seek suitable machines in the
United States, and fly them to the scene. Ships were despatched to cross
the Atlantic through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific coast, while other
ships, already in the Pacific, were sent north to be loaded with planes,
airships, dog teams and supplies. It was clear that the Chelyuskinians
weregoing to have to look after themselves for some time before being
The first of the rescue attempts actually began before the sinking of the
Chelyuskin. The icebreaker Litke tried to go to the aid of the Chelyuskin
but found it impossible, so it was decided to start removing unnecessary
personnel by plane. Anatoli Lyapidevski set out from Providence Bay on the
20th of December 1933 in a ski-equipped Turpolev ANT-4. It was a good air-
craft but not fully winterizedd" to operate reliably under such severe
conditions. Lyapidevski reached Uelen in 40-below-zero conditions and
tried three times to fly to the Chelyuskin, but recurring problems with
the water-cooled engines thwarted his attempts. On the last trip, with
his face badly frost bitten, he had to admit defeat when the supply of
compressed air used for starting the engines gave out and he was forced
to return to Providence Bay by dog sled to get another aircraft.
On the 18th of January 1934 the indomitable pilot loaded the second Tupolev
ANT-4 with extr, compressed air bottles and supplies and set out again. A
month later he was back in Uelen for another try but a seven-hour flight
was unsuccessful and the second aircraft was damaged on landing. Lyape-
devski, who had never flown in the North previously, managed to get the
first machine going again and set out with his crew of two on the 5th of
March 1934. At last his courage was rewarded and they located the little
1,500 foot air trip near Schmidt Camp. The landing was made successfully
and supplies unloaded, and he took off again with 10 women and two children
crammed aboard for the flight back to Uelen. The aircraft was then flown
down the coast to collect a load of fuel but one engine failed over the
Polar ice and a crash landing on the 14th of March put the ANT-4 out of the
running; Lyapidevski and his crewmen were rescued by Choukchi dog teams.
With parts brought in by other aircraft, Lyapidevski was able to fly again
in April 1934 but not in time to take part in the rescue, so he flew back
to Providence Bay to load his aircraft aboard ship for the return to civili-
zation. Lyapidevski later said that he had traveled more miles by dog sled
carrying parts and fuel than he had flown on his 36 flights during the
rescue attempts! The 5 kopeck stamp (Figure 3) shows a portrait of Lyapi-
devski and the ANT-4 coming in for a landing at Schmidt Camp on the 5th of
March while the fur-clad castaways demonstrate their pleasure. In the back-
ground is a watch tower built earlier. The scene at Schmidt Camp shown on
the 3 kopeck (Figure 2) also represents this flight. The aircraft shown
is an ANT-4, and this was the only occasion on which a twin-engined air-
craft landed there.
Figure 3 Figure 4
The next rescue attempt, the first to begin after the sinking, involved pilots
Sigismund Levanevski and Mavriki Slepnyov. They set out from Moscow with G.
A. Oushakov, who had been appointed co-ordinator for all rescue attempts.The
three men flew to Berlin, then on to London, and sailed for New York. There
they arranged to take over two nine-passenger Consolidated Model 17 AF "Fleet-
ster" aircraft which had been purchased by Amtorg, the Soviet trading company,
in the United States. These aircraft, previously owned by Ludington Air
Lines and by Eastern Air Transport, were purchased from the Pacific Alaska
Airways. They were equipped with skiis and had air-cooled Wright Cyclone
engines, known for their reliability in Northern flying. Both aircraft were
two years old and had recently been equipped with new engines at Pan Am's
shops in Miami, so they were fully airworthy.
The machines left Anchorage at the end of March. Levanevski went first with
Oushakov and an American mechanic, Claude Armitage. On the 28th of March
they passed Nome, crossed the Bering Strait, and on over Uelen, toward Van-
karem, but weather conditions and icing forced them down until the Fleetster
was almost on the ice; in fact it nearly hit Cape Onman in a heavy snowstorm,
and soon icing forced them down with the carburetor and instruments blocked
and the controls virtually useless. The crash landing was sufficient to
put this aircraft out of the running, and the dog sled again became the only
means of transport. Levanevski's brush with Cape Onman is shown on the
10 kopeck stamp (Figure 4). The details seem to suggest that Zavialov pre-
Figure 5 Figure 6
pared his design from photographs of Model 17A and 20A Fleetsters, because
he made the error of including struts below the wing, although this feature
was found only on the Model 20A. Levanevski later flew one of the little
Polikarpov U-2 biplanes to take a doctor to perform as appendix operation
on one of the survivors. The 10 kopeck stamp also exists with an over-
print for Levanevski's last flight in 1937 (Figure 5). This commemorates
an attempt to fly non-stop from Moscow to San Francisco in a four-engined
Tupolev ANT-41 (TB-6 bomber). Shortly after crossing the Pole the aircraft
and its crew of five came down, never to be found in spite of an extensive
search which lasted for months.
The second Fleetster, with Mavriki Slepnyov and his American mechanic Bill
Lavory, left Anchorage a few days after the first plane. Slepnyov had to
make two attempts to cross the Bering Strait where he picked up Oushakov,
some supplies and eight sleigh dogs. They arrived at Schmidt Camp on the
7th of April, the first arrival since the ANT-4. Six survivors were loaded
aboard and flown back to safety on the 10th of April. The Fleetster re-
turned to Alaska on the 12th of April with Professor Schmidt, dangerously
ill with pneumonia, and with Oushakov, Baboushkin, and the two American me-
chanics. The 15 kopeck stamp (Figure 6) shows Slepnyov with Camp Schmidt
in the background, the dogs that had been brought in, and a survivor being
removed from a sled for the flight to safety.
Four days after the sinking, the next major rescue effort got underway when
Vassili Molokov, a pilot with considerable experience in Northern flying,
received instructions to proceed immediately by Trans-Siberian railroad to
Vladivostok, 2,000 miles away. Here he was joined by another civilian pilot
to take part in a group flight with three service pilots. The military
contingent was led by Nikolai Kamanin and consisted of himself and two
pilots chosen from his squadron stationed at Vladivostok. The steamer
Smolensk loaded five military single-engined Polikarpov R-5 biplanes and
steamed north on the 22nd of February. Eighteen days later the aircraft
were unloaded at Olyotorsk, at the upper end of the Kamchatka peninsula,
and as far north as the ship ventured to go, considering the severe ice
conditions in the Bering Strait. The five rugged machines set out on the
1,600 mile flight to Vankarem on the 21st of March, but due to fog, snow,
and clouded skies together with having to fly along the coast to avoid the 0
Anadyr Mountain range, soon reduced the flight to three planes. The two
other military pilots crashed, but were later able to reach civilization
by foot and dog team. By the end of March a landing accident left only
Kamanin and Molokov to press on, arriving at Vankarem on the 7th of April
to begin the rescue flight immediately. There they were surprised to find
Baboushkin, who had managed to patch up his little Sh-2 amphibian and fly
out to assist the rescuers. Over the period from the 7th to the 13th of
April Molokov rescued 39, and Kamanin 43 in a series of 18 hectic flights
into the tiny little airstrip which constantly had to be releveled by hand.
For three days during this period a storm sent huge pressure waves through
the camp, tossing great floes upward as it passed, and requiring the reloca-
tion of the airfield. On several flights the pilots simply could not locate
the shifting camp on the jumbled mass of ice, and each landing and takeoff
was a fearful risk. Earlier it was found that as well as loading three
persons into the rear cockpit, one or two more could be jammed into plywood
tubes (known as Goncharov cylinders) slung under the lower wing of the plane.
These cylinders were actually designed to carry parachutes for air dropping
supplies but it was found that some of the slimmer members of the crew
could be rescued by this means! One of Molokov's flights made on the llth
of April took off Professor Schmidt, seriously ill with pneumonia, who was
later flown to a hospital in Alaska on Slepnyov's Fleetster as noted above.
Schmidt was actually the 76th to be rescued rather than the 104th as he
had planned. Together, these two flyers saved three-quarters of the per-
sonnel and were the last to leave the empty camp on the 13th of April with
Molokov taking Captain Voronin and the airport manager, and Kamanin taking
the boatswain and his eight sleigh dogs which had been so useful for trans-
portation from camp to airstrip. The 30 kopeck stamp (Figure 7) shows
Nblokov in his R-5 landing near the camp. Since the radio aerial can be
seen, as well as Slepnyov's Fleetster on the ice, the stamp must represent
Molokov's first arrival on the 7th of April. The 40 kopeck stamp (Figure 8)
shows Kamanin, his observer, and boatswain Zagorski on the 13th of April;
they are in the process of loading the eight sleigh dogs into the Goncharov
Figure 7 Figure 8
cylinders, clearly seen under the wings. Conditions in these containers
(about five feet long and three feet in diameter) must have been somewhat
chaotic in flight filled with sleigh dogs! Molokov later made the phila-
telic front page when he piloted the second of the aeroplanes shown on the
1938 North Pole Flight set, but that is another story.
The closing scene at the camp on the 18th of April is also shown on the
beautiful 50 kopeck stamp (Figure 9), one of the finest stamps of the USSR,
with Molokov and Kamanin somewhat fancifully leaving the camp to two Polar
The last of the rescue flights had its beginning on the 26th of February
in the Ukraine where Mihail Vodopyanov was preparing for an attempt to
break some long distance flight records with a specially prepared Polikarpov
R-5 similar to Kamanin's. Vodopyanov's plane was loaded on a train for the
4,000 mile trip to the Pacific, where he joined the two pilots of the newly-
formed airline Aeroflot for the long flight up the coast to Vankarem. The
Russian airline Dobroflot had been re-organized in 1932 to form Aeroflot,
and two of their pilots from the Lake Bailkal region were chosen for the
rescue team. The leader was Ivan Doronin, and they were to use a special
version of the Junkers W-33L, reconstructed and winterized in the airline's
shops at Irkutsk for Northern flying. These aircraft, redesignated as
Type PS-4, were excellent machines for this type of work. The group assem-
bled at Khabarovsk, and finally got away on the 17th of March. Their flight
required nine stages, taking 25 days, for the 3,600 miles of storms, fog,
mountains, engine problems, landing accidents, and all the other problems
of flying at the low altitudes of 1934. At Anadyr they encountered Kamanin's
two pilots who had crashed in the mountains earlier and Doronin had to leave
his companion behind because of a faulty fuel pump. Vodopyanov managed to
reach Cape North on the llth of April, and the next day flew to Camp Schmidt
where he picked up seven survivors in two flights to Vankarem. On the same
CHELYUSKIN RESCUE SUMMARY (1934)
5 7 10 11 12 13 NUMBER
PILOTS MAR APR APR APR APR APR FL HTRESCUED
LYAPIDEVSKI 12 1 12
SLEPNYOV -6 1 6
BABOUSHKIN 1 1 1
KAMANIN 5+5 3+4 1*
3 4+4 +5 9 34
MOLOKOV 3 +5 +6+6 2 9 39
DORONIN 2 1 2
VODOPYANOV 3+4 3 3 10
TOTAL: 12 1 6 28 35 16 6 25 104
*plus eight dogs.
day Doronin arrived in his PS-4 but, after a takeoff accident damaged his
landing gear, he wisely took only two survivors to safety. On the 13th of
April, Vodopyanov was one of the last at the camp, embarking three more men
before Kamanin took the last man out. It is significant that the R-5 service
biplanes were the last three machines at the camp, and that this type of
aircraft was responsible for saving 83 out of the 104 of the Chelyuskinians.
The 25 kopec stamp (Figure 10) shows Vodopyanov landing on the 13th of
April, to pick up the three men shown (the two radio operators and the assis-
tant leader of the expedition). As mentioned before, in the last group to
go, in the best nautical tradition, was Captain Voronin. Note that Vodop-
yanov's special R-5 does not have the Goncharov cylinders slung under the
wings. Unfortunately, the 20 kopeck stamp (Figure 11) shows that even
designer Zavialov could err; the aircraft portrayed seems to be a Junkers
F-13L, and not the W-33L (PS-4) actually used by Doronin (Soviet registration
was CCCP-P-752). This aircraft, it seems, was the only one that could take
the stretcher cases, and Doronin subsequently flew twelve flights down the
coast to Providence Bay with twenty sick and exhausted men. During this
period the entire expedition moved by air and dog sleds, closing the bases
behind them, with the last man leaving Vankarem on the 1st of May. Vodop-
yanov later joined Baboushkin in the search for Levanevski. Vodopyanov
and Molokov are both featured on the 1937 North Pole Flight stamps. The
Figure 10 Figure 11
first little aircraft shown on the stamps (an ANT-6) represents Vodopyanov
taking the famous Papanin to the Pole to set up the first Polar ice station
.... in fact, Vodopyanov and Papanin teamed up after they had individually
come to the conclusion that the idea was feasible. Papanin's place in
aeronautical philately will be discussed in a future article.
The ice breaker Krasin left a base near Leningrad on the 23rd of March
scheduled to sail down the Baltic, through the Kiel Canal, across the
Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and then up the Pacific to reach the
Chelyuskinians by working into the ice pack in the spring. This method,
fortunately, was not necessary as it turned out. Another group left Vladi-
vo-tok on the steamship Soviet on the 25th of March with three dirigibles;
a single-engined type capable of carrying six passengers, and two twin-
engined types which could carry ten to safety. This ship also had four
propellor-driven sleds, and a Type N-4 aircraft! The rescue was completed
before this group was called on for aid. More useful were the dog teams
which were brought in from many miles. More than thirty of the teams
proved valuable in transferring some of the fittest from Vankarem along the
coast to Uelen. From Uelen they traveled down the coast to Providence Bay,
a harrowing trip of over 350 miles, where the steamer Smolensk waited at
the edge of the ice to load the rescuers, the rescued, and the aircraft
for the return. At Vladivostok a special train waited to take them all back
for a hero's welcome in Moscow. A new honor,"Hero of the Soviet Union," was
created and the intrepid flyers were the first to receive it; Doronin men-
tions that he also received the Order of Lenin (this medal is illustrated
on a 60 kopeck stamp of 1946, on the 10 ruble of 1953, and on a 10 kopeck
of 1958). The 50th anniversary of the opening of the Northern Sea Route
(by two icebreakers in 1915) is the subject of a stamp in the October 1965
Polar Expedition set; the Chelyuskin was one of the pioneer explorers of
this Northern route.
Philatelically, the Chelyuskin set consists of ten values for use as Air
Mail, all printed by a photogravure process on watermarked paper, and per-
forated fourteen times in a standard two-centimeter gauge length. They
were printed by the Russian State Printing Office using the 1925 "Maze and
Flower" watermark. The basic set has no known errors or varieties although
an essay set exists in reduced format, perforated 10 1/2; these are valued
at about 20 times the current price of a standard set! The 10 kopeck sur-
charged typographically, in red, was issued on the 2nd of August 1935 to be
used on Levanevski's flight from Moscow to San Francisco, via the North Pole.
As recorded above, however, the plane and crew were lost and no trace of
them has been found. There is a variant of the surcharge with a small "'f"
in San Francisco, but in Cyrillic script, of course. Both surcharges exist
inverted and the stamps with "F" and "f" are known se-tenant. There were
50,000 of the basic sets printed, and 10,000 of the Levanevski surcharge.
Unfortunately, the surcharge has been extensively counterfeited as it is
a simple printing job, and one that raises the value 120 times!
At the beginning of this article the designer of the Chelyuskin set, W. W.
Zavialov, was described as prolific. A brief study shows that some 100 stamp
designs are attributed to him between 1925 and 1938, and a further 350 be-
tween 1946 and 1966. This total of 450 designs includes 45 Air Mail and
several sets which number among the finest of the USSR.
Editorial Note: Although the Chelyuskin set was issued for air-mail, its
use as such was very limited. Large quantities were cancelled to order
and sold thus by the Moscow Philatelic Association. Likewise, we have these
stamps used on regular mail.
A LETTER FROM GRAND DUKE ALEKSY MIHAILOVICH
In the last Rossica Journal (Volume 89) on page 30 there was a translation
by D.W. Levandowsky of an article in "MARKI" of 1896 relating to the Grand
Duke's interest in philately. Member Victor Kent of Antioch, California,
has miraculously come forth with a letter from the Grand Duke sent to London
from San Remo, Italy, in 1894. Apparently written by a secretary, the letter
is addressed to "The Philatelic Society, Effingham House, Arundel Street,
London." It requests that the "London Philatelist" be sent to him in San
Remo "during the whole winter." The return address in the "Grand Hotel de
Nice, San Remo." The front of the cover and the letter are illustrated below.
The "London Philatelist" referred to is still the name of the publication of
The Royal Philatelic Society, London. However, the Society was founded in
1869 as "The Philatelic Society, London." The Society became the Royal
Philatelic Society, London in 1906 when the Prince of Wales was President of
the Society and Edward VII was King. The Prince of Wales, later King George
V, had joined the Society in 1893, when he was still Duke of York.
Although the name of the journal referred to above has survived as that of
the Royal, it was a private journal in 1869 and the present "London Phila-
telist" dates from January, 1892. It is interesting to note that among the
papers read at the Society's meeting on May 29, 1869 there was one entitled
"On a New Russian Local Stamp," viz the 5 k. Borovichi of 1868.
by Gordon Torrey
Monnaies de L'Empire de Russie
Monnaies de L'Empire de Russie 1725-1894 is one of the grandest and most important numismatic
reference works on a national coinage ever produced. Reprinted from the 1916 Paris edition, this book is
of large 9 x 12 inch format and is bound in extra heavy binders board with imitation red Morocco leather.
It encompasses 696 pages, including*247 halftone plates illustrating thousands of coins which allow vir-
tually complete identification of any coin of the period. This includes coins from the Russian dependencies
of Poland, Georgia and Finland.
A new foreword by numismatic scholar Randolph Zander adds perspective to this magnificent work.
Although the catalogue is written in French, the clear chronological listings of the coins by Ruler allow
easy location of any particular coin. A 23-page price guide, developed by Fred S. Werner, is provided to
make this book more useful to the modern collector and dealer, pricing every coin illustrated in two grades
of condition with the exception of specimen and novodel coins, which are priced only in the top grade.
This classic volume is indispensable to everyone interested in Russian Coins-from any viewpoint!
Quarterman Publications, Inc.
5 South Union Street
Lawrence, Massachusetts 01865
eas loaton f ay artculr oin A 3Law rence, Mascusdett 01865db re .Wen~, spovdd
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/ FURTHER NOTES ON BANK TRANSFER FORMS AND THEIR POSTAL RATES
by Dr. R. J. Ceresa
Several Rossica members have dug out their bank remittance cards for exchange
with the result that we can now take the analysis a stage further.* The
earliest series of cards date from 7.8.09 to 17.8.11 from the Banking House
of A. Peretz in Warsaw. They are all franked with a single 7 kop perf arms
type cancelled Warsaw and all cards have arrival, redispatch and rearrival
(Warsaw) markings. The postcard rate at this time was 3 kopecks so an extra
kopeck seems to have been charged for the 'privilege' of prepayment of return
postage. (Figure 1)
b.OM.IBEHIE 0 IIOIY1qKHII
peT3b HM 0
S Cpo 0 11M llO rAI T03bW AP p b oIpls"lU L
The next series picks up the story from 20.1.14 to 7.5.14, all from the
Russian Asiatic Bank in Libava and all franked 7 kopecks. Like the previous
series they are not registered and show postmarks for journeys both ways.
However, from 13.1.15 to 30.3.15 they are all franked at a 10 kopeck rate
suggesting a 5 kopeck rate each way. (Figure 2) A further series from the
Petrograd Branch of the same Bank cover the period 12.6.15 to 8.4.17 and all
are franked at the 10 kopeck rate. The gap to 15.5.22 has yet to be filled
but it is probable that the system was discontinued during this period.
*See: Rossica No. 85, 1973, p. 52. "Notes on Bank Transfer Forms and Postal
Rates," by R. J. Ceresa.
MIe wes @."
:, L.L. ' vl
The various series from different banks from April 1922 all followed the pat-
tern outlined in Rossica Journal No. 85, i.e. sent registered both ways and
prepayment of rate of twice single rate plus registered rate (one direction).
The 14 kopeck rate (4 + 4 + 6) of 20.8.23, however, continued to be used on
these cards consistently right through to 30.10.25 although the rate should
have dropped on 1st September 1924 to 13 kopecks (3 + 3 + 7).
A series of cards from 3.2.26 to 18.5.27 either are not marked Registered
or, where earlier printed cards were used, the word Registered is struck out.
In all cases the franking is 8 kopecks. The normal postcard rate at this
time was 5 kopecks and since the cards have markings corresponding to journeys
in both directions a concessionary rate of 8 kopecks instead of 10 kopecks
applied. A further series of cards from the Moscow Central Bank from 21.5.28
to 15.2.29 are also franked at 8 kopecks.
MOC HB Hp,
6anuy Ann BneuwHeA Topromnn C. C. C. P.
- HHOCTPAHHblR OTAEA1
A final series from Moscow Central Bank, 24.7.29 to 3.11.29 are franked with
10 kopeck meter marks, Figure 3, so that the full rate was charged for the
Vii' ny PLu EmmsU B Toom" mj C.CC.P.
Finally a card dated 17.9.29 has an imprinted 5 kopeck stamp but this time
the card traveled to its destination with no prepaid return, Figure 4. The
usage of these cards can be summarized as follows:
Up to 1917 (or a little later) Not registered 7 kopecks (3+3) plus 1 k.
From April 1922 to late 1925 Reg. both ways (single registered rate +
double p.c. rate)
From early 1926 to 1929 Not registered 8 kopecks concession of
Mid 1929 Not registered 10 kopecks no concession
Late 1929 Not registered Single trip cards at normal
UKRAINE, WESTERN UKRAINE, and CARPATHO-UKRAINE wanted. Immediate reply
with the highest offer for stamps, covers, postcards, and banknotes.
V. ZABIJAKA, P.O. Box 14163, Washington, D.C. 20044.
MONEY TRANSFER CARDS AND POSTAL RATES, 1909-26
by Dr. J. Lee Shneidman
Over the years philatelists have taken an increasing interest in the rates
charged for various postal services. For numerous reasons the decade 1914-
1924 has been the focus for many Russian postal historians. It has become
evident that while the central government may have had its difficulties in
supplying local post offices with stamps to pay for services, the postal
administration, as a whole, functioned with only minor loss of efficiency.
Postal charges for normal mail both within Russia and externally have been
discussed in previous issues of Rossica. Rates charged for other postal
services, however, have not been so fully detailed. One such lacuna that
can now be filled is the rate charged for money transfer cards.
One of the functions of both Imperial and Soviet postal authorities was to
facilitate the transfer of foreign money received by central depositories
in major urban centers such as Warsaw, Libau, Petersburg and Moscow to
individuals living in the provinces. The method was simple: an individual
in a foreign country would pay a certain sum to a foreign bank (i.e., M. L.
Blitzstein & Company in Philadelphia) which would notify its correspondent
bank (Peretz in Warsaw, Russko-Aziatsky Bank in Petersburg, Shuru in Libau,
etc.) that a certain sum had been deposited for such and such individual in
Balta, Cherkassi, Etc. The correspondent bank would then send either a double
postcard, or two cards attached, or an extra large card with a stub, to the
individual named. The bank would also convert the foreign exchange received
into roubles, at the official rate of exchange. The individual would
keep either one of the cards sent or the stub and return either the other W
card or the major portion of the card to the bank. The returned cards were
then collected and shipped in batches back to the foreign bank as proof that
the money had been transferred. During the period 1920-1925, most of the
cards were registered by the individual returning the card. Postage was
affixed to the returned card and paid by the correspondent bank.
In examining several hundred such cards two questions arose: what was the
rate charged for such a service, and when did the rates change?
It has been assumed that the central banks paid a double postcard rate plus
registration charges. In examining cards from the period 1917-1924 that rate
would seem to be correct, but the evidence is tainted, as we shall see, by
the curious relationship between the price of post card and letter mail.
Only when we examined cards mailed during 1909-1916 and 1923-1926 did the
falseness of that solution become evident.
The Imperial government had printed double 3 k. cards the rate for a post
card during the period 1909-1916 (?) was 3 kopecks each card having a 3 k.
stamp. These cards were never used by the banks. The Imperial government
had adopted a policy to issue a stamp for every possible use so that any
item of mail, except packages and insured parcels, could be posted with one
stamp. The Imperial government never issued a 6 k. stamp. All the cards
I have use a 7 k. stamp. Question: did the central banks use a 7 k. stamp
instead of two 3 k. stamps to save time? Or was the postal charge that of
the letter rate, which was 7 k.? If it is the latter answer, then it would
seem that postage was paid only one way.
The latter question raises another problem. The catalogue published by
Cercle Philatelique in 1964, on pages 17 and 74, states that the internal
postal rates were raised in 1916. Most authorities have accepted this as
a fact. Collectors should have challenged that "fact". When the Imperial
government reprinted the 1914 semi-postal set (Scott B5-8) in 1915 (Scott
B9-13), they prepared but did not release the 7 k. and 1 k. stamp (B12) because
the 7 k. stamp served no function. It would seem obvious then that
rates must have changed sometime between the issuance and release of the
reprinted semi-postals. Money cards mailed January 10, January 14, March 3,
March 22, April 6, June 12 and September 9 all use a 10 k. rate with either
a single 10 k. stamp or 7 k. and 3 k. stamps. Since I found no 7 k. rates
for 1915 (and certainly no 6 k. rate) I must assume that the Imperial government
raised internal letter rates prior to January 10, 1915 and not in 1916
when various 7 and 14 kopeck stamps were overprinted. Does anyone know
when the Imperial government increased the letter rates?
Reason and facts do not always lead either to logical answers or correct
solutions. If the Imperial government did not release the 7 k. semi-postal
reissue because they had raised the letter rate to 10 k., why did they re-
lease the 3 k. + 1 k. (postcard rate) stamp? It would seem logical that
letter and postcard rates would be raised at the same time. We do know that
in 1917 the postcard rate was 5 k., and, if we figure the money cards paid
double postcard rate, then the postcard rate should have been 5 k. in 1915.
Since there was no 5 k. postal stationery until after the February Revolution,
it seems unlikely that the Imperial government would have a postal rate for
which it had no proper stationery. How is one to figure the rate? There
seem to be at least three possible answers: 1 the transfer cards paid the
letter rate of 10 k., which became the rate sometime after January 1, 1915;
2 the cards paid double postcard rate, which became 5 k. sometime after
January 1; or 3 since we know that the Soviet authorities taxed the cards,
it is possible that the rates were not increased in 1915 but in 1916, as
the Cercle Philatelique catalogue states, and the difference between the
double postcard rate (6 k.) and the postage paid by the bank (7 k. or 10 k.)
was a hidden tax on the transaction.
Since only one of the above answers is possible, we must eliminate that which
seems improbable. A regular postcard mailed August 23, 1916 at Kislovodsk,
going to Kharkov, used the 3 k. postcard rate, but a letter from Novo Nikolaevsk
mailed on February 21, 1916, and destined for Kegel in Estonia used the
10 k. rate. Assuming the pieces of mail reflect accurate rates, the following
can be deduced: 1 the Imperial government did not increase postcard rates
at the same time as the letter rate (a fact substantiated by the release
of the 3 + 1 when the 7 + 1 stamp was withdrawn), and 2 the money transfer
cards did not pay double postcard rate (6 k.). This still leaves two possi-
bilities: a the rate charged was the letter rate one way and free
return postage; or b the rate was indeed the double postcard rate plus
Let us turn to Soviet cards to see if they can shed some light on the
problem. From October 1 to December 14, 1923 postcard rates were 4 k. and
the registration charge was 6 k. A registered transfer card should have
had 14 k. in postage affixed, i.e. 4 + 4 + 6 kopecks if we are to use the
double postcard rate for the basis of our calculations. Cards mailed on
November 13, 15, 18, 23, 24, 25, and December 1, 10, and 13 all have two
6 k. stamps or two kopecks short if the double postcard rate is used.
Letter rates, however, were 6 k. Thus, if we figure letter rate plus
registration we arrive at 12 kopecks, which was the postage affixed.
From December 15, 1923 to August 31, 1924 postcard rates were reduced to
3 k. while the registration rate remained fixed at 6 kopecks. The 12 k.
postage rate would now be correct using the double postcard rate and all
cards have either two 6 k. stamps or one 12 k. Lenin Memorial. It is my
belief that at this time, as during most of the 1917-1924 period, affixed
postage equal to twice the postcard rate should be considered as an abbe-
ration caused by the fact that the letter rate was twice the postcard rate.
To support this contention I refer to four cards mailed in May 1922. At
that time the postcard rate was 20,000 rubles and registration 100,000
rubles. If the double postcard rate was employed, then the postage affixed
should have been 140,000 rubles. Each of the four cards has 150,000 rubles
postage. Two of the cards have 10 k. + 5 k. arms stamps, and two have two
7 k. and one 1 k. arms stamps. If the rate were double postcard, then the
two 7 k. stamps would have been sufficient. Why the extra 1 k. (10,000
rubles) stamp? It should be noted that the postage for an ordinary letter
was 50,000 rubles, which, with registration would equal 150,000 rubles.
Thus, unless some evidence can be found to substantiate the thesis that
the extra 1 k. represented a hidden tax, we must conclude that the transfer
cards paid letter rate one way and free return.
The period October 1, 1922 to August 20, 1923 can be of some service. Even
though the letter rates were doubled the postcard rates resulting in the
fact that it made no difference whether one figures the rates on double
card or single letter, the fact that the postage was exactly one or the
other precludes the possibility of a hidden tax.
Examining cards mailed between August 20 and September 1, 1923, when rates
were 5 R. for cards, 8 R. for letters and 8 R. for registration, we find all
cards with 16 Rubles, i.e., eight for the letter and eight rubles for regis-
tration. During the two weeks September 1 15 the card rate was 8 R., the
letter rate 12 R., and registry another 12 rubles. All cards have 24 rubles,
i.e., letter plus registration. During the last two weeks of September
rates were 13 R. for a card and 20 rubles for a letter and another 20 R.
for registration. All cards have 40 rubles in postage.
Let me consider the last two periods: September 1, 1924 to January 31, 1926,
and February 1, 1926 to July 14, 1928. During the first of these periods
the postcard rate was 3 k. and the letter rate was 8 k. Since none of the
cards mailed during this period were registered, they should have had either
a 10 k. stamp (if double postcard) or an 8 k. stamp (if letter rate) affixed.
They all have 8 kopecks.
Thus the suggestions that money transfer cards paid either the double post-
card rate or that rate plus a hidden tax is unacceptable. From the evidence
it would seem that the cards paid the letter rate one way, with the return
being free. If the cards had to be registered, the cost was paid by the bank,
even though it was the individual in the provincial town who registered the
THE FIRST CANCELS OF ST. PETERSBURG
by M. Dobin
Translated by A. Fedotowsky from the Journal "Philately SSSR" 3, 1975
The history of the usage of numbered cancels by the postal institutions of
the two capitals of Russia has been outlined in the third issue of the Journal
"Philately SSSR" (1974) by K. A. Berngard. This article reports some additional
facts concerning the usage of the earliest numbered cancels of St. Petersburg
based on documents and collected materials in the Leningrad archives.
Postal official A. P. Tcharoukovski, the initiator of the usage of postage
stamps in Russia, suggested in a report dated August 8, 1856, that in order
to obliterate postage stamps they should be hand-stamped with the usual dated
stamp showing the receiving date. He considered inadvisable the use of pencil
marks as cancels because of possible abuse by postal employees.
The official first day of usage of postage stamps is January 1. 1858. In con-
formity with the post office circular of December 10, 1857, postage stamps
were cancelled using ink. The author possesses inhis collection a cover sent
to Helsingfors from St. Petersburg, dated January 15, 1858. It is franked by
a 10 kopeck adhesive (No 2) which is cancelled by crossed pen strokes.
The first special hand-stamps intended for cancelling stamps were introduced
in the capitals in the end of January and beginning of February 1858. In
support of this,documents dated February 26, 1858, exist which concern them-
selves with the changeover from pen-cancelling to the use of dated hand-stamps.
There is a memorandum which mentions the fact that special hand-stamps in-
tended for cancelling have already been distributed to the post offices of
St. Petersburg and Moscow, bearing the numbers 1 and 2 and being of a round
form. This memorandum is not dated but it is positioned between documents
dated February 4 and 6, 1858. It follows that in the beginning of February
1858, the two capitals were already in possession of the numbered cancels.
The author has a cut-out of a cover sent from St. Petersburg dated February
11, 1858. The numbered cancel consists of four concentric rings of dots of
diameter .8 .9 mm. containing 12, 18, 24, and 32 dots. On both sides of
the numeral 1 there are two vertical sets of dots. The numeral measures 1 by
5.5 mm. and its foot 2.5 mm. The outer diameter measures 26 mm. this is the
first hand-stamp used for cancelling stamps in St. Petersburg. In the Rossica
Journal (New York, Nov. 61, No 61) the well known collector M. Lipschutz
describes this cancel. He has a cover dated February 10, 1858, which is
franked by a 10 kopeck adhesive (N02). He considers this cancel a trial
The fourth ring in the cancel was apparently soon found to be not necessary
by postal workers, and soon a different cancel appeared. It consists of three
rings with an outer diameter of 21.5 mm. The diameter of the dots was in-
creased to 1.3 1. 5 mm. and the numeral now measures 1.5 by 6.2 mm. As
before,the numeral is still flanked by two sets of two dots. The earliest
cover known to the author with this cancel is dated February 19, 1858. It
was sent from St. Petersburg to Dorpat (Derpt, now Tartu). These two cancels
are the fore-runners of all the numbered cancels introduced in all of Russia
in the middle of 1858.
A document dated May 31, 1858 of the central post office contains information
concerning the obliteration of postage stamps. The following particulars
are included: the post districts of St. Petersburg (1) and Moscow (2) include
one central post office each, eleven city branch post offices and three in
outlying districts. Thus sixteen numbered cancels with numerals 1 and 2 were
prepared and sent out. St. Petersburg received ten cancels,six for city
branch post offices and three for outlying districts which operated only in
the summer. The cancels with the numeral 1 received by the St. Petersburg
post office were identical to the previously described one except for the now
missing two sets of two dots flanking the numeral. These cancels were dis-
tributed at the end of June 1958 as attested by a memorandum dated June 27,
1858 of the sixth city branch post office. City branch post offices cancelled
letters received from rural districts with the numbered cancels. Then the
letters were forwarded to the main post office where they received a red dated
cancel of rectangular or oval form.
Round cancels containing the date in three lines and the number of post office
branch at the bottom were introduced in St. Petersburg in 1859. In the
beginning of 1860 they replaced completely the pre-stamp period cancels.
With the circular of the central post office dated April 12, 1860 these cancels
were introduced everywhere in Russia. A later circular dated February 11,
1863 directed the use of the round dated cancels as stamp obliterators. This
circular ended officially the use of numbered dot cancels. However, the
practice persisted for some time. The Leningrad collector J. M. Vovina has
a cover franked by a 10 kopeck adhesive (No 5) which is cancelled by the dot
cancel No 1, dated May 4, 1864.
(Continued from Rossica 86/87, p. 80)
by Gordon Torrey
Odessa Famine Issue
One runs into this series fairly frequently in older collections. There are
seven "stamps" in this set, perforated 11 1/2 and imperforate. Allegedly
issued in Odessa, this set actually was made in Italy in 1922 by a firm named
Marco Fontano of Venice, according to the "Soviet Philatelist" of 1924. The
values are 250 rubles red, 500 r. blue, 750 r. orange, 1000 r. dark green,
2500 r. violet, 5000 r. brown, and 10,000 r. green. None of these ever saw
Odessa and I have never seen them with any "obliterations."
Apparently, as the supply of these was used up, a second printing was made
whose shades are slightly different.
Another "private" issue that turned up following the First World War was a set
for the "Republic of Azerbaijan," consisting of 6 values. They are inscribed in
French and the Turcic language of Azerbaijan. While it is conceivable that
these labels may have been ordered by the Azerbaijani government prior to its
absorption into the USSR, it is much more likely that they are bogus inventions.
They first appeared on the philatelic market in 1923-24.
The values, perforated and imperforate, are: 500 ruble red, 1000 bluish green,
2500 green, 5000 orange, 10,000 bright blue, and 25,000 brown orange. It
appears that they (the bogus stamps) have been forged. This is based on the
fact that not all examples of these phantasies are identical. There are copies
that are blurred and in places blend into spots. The 2500 ruble value is in
a completely different hue of green, while other values have shade differences.
The fakes reported up to now are as follows: 500 r. on white paper, imperforate;
2500 on white paper imperforate, perf 11 and perf 11 1/2; also on white paper
and perforated 11 1/2--the 1000, 5000, and 10,000 rubles.
The writer has never seen a copy of these phantasies although he has looked
for them extensively and enquired of leading "Cinderella" collectors. This
is one of the most fascinating phantasies in the Russian field, and certainly
the first. Their true origin remains one of the most mysterious in philately.
As most Russian area collectors know, Bokhara was a khanate and a vassal state
of Russia dating from 1868. This protectorate lasted until 1920 when seized
by the Red Army. Bukhara nationalists fought on in some parts of the khanate
under the leadership of Enver Pasha (the former Turkish strongman) until 1922.
It is now incorporated into the USSR and its western half now forms the
Socialist Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. A Russian Post Office was opened in
Bukhara town in 1886. Its postal history is well covered in Tchilinghirian
and Stephan's work "Stamps of the Russian Empire Used Abroad," Part three.
These "stamps" made their appearance in 1886 and the set consisted of three
values: 11, 22, and 65 pouls (the native money). The inscriptions supposedly
read at the top "chaparh hame" and at the bottom "Bukhara" and in the center
"pul," the coin. Some of these on "original letters" were presented to the
famous Vienna stamp dealer Sigismund Friedl by an English explorer. They were
addressed to a 'Major' Mottes, who became infamous for his fakes of Persian
stamps. An example of these "stamps" is shown below. Our member Dr. Constantine
de Stackelberg will write of the subject of these more extensively in the next
Two "22 pul" stamps
Boxed line cancel
At the turn of the 20th century Russian Imperial policy began an attempt to
"Russianize" the Grand Duchy of Finland. There was even a try to suppress
regular issues of stamps for Finland and to substitute Imperial Russian issues
there. As is known to most collectors of Imperial Russia, Russian stamps were
obligatory for international mail at this time. Public indignation was so
strong in Finland as a result of the Russian measures that the Tsar's decree
was invalidated by the Finnish Senate. As a further gesture of defiance
against Russian overlordship, patriotic Finnish organizations produced vig-
nettes like that illustrated below. These were often referred to as
"mourning stamps" and were widely circulated. It had a black background,
giving it a funereal appearance. The arms of Finland. in yellow and red, are
found at the left, and only the words "Suomi" and "Finland" appear on the label.
On the reverse is "1 Penni."
These labels were eagerly bought up by patriotic Finns and affixed to their
letters in addition to the postage stamps, as a protest against the abolition
of Finland's distinctive issues and their substitution by stamps almost iden-
tical to those in use in Imperial Russia. The profits from the sale of these
labels were to benefit national schools. Russian authorities prohibited their
use or circulation after about three days. The label is not bogus in the
ordinary sense, but a propaganda label which has frequently been mistaken for
a postage stamp.
These labels were so popular that a forger in Abo, Finland, immediately got
to work and manufactured numerous spurious copies. Genuine examples are
perforated 11 1/2 to 11 3/4.
New Members (continued)
988 Dennis F. Davis, Route 1 Ehlmann Road, St. Charles, Missouri 63301
989 Stan J. Gasior, 4317 Ash Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46327
990 Colin R. Lawrence, 19 Williams Road, Bundabug 4670, Australia
991 Olec Minc, 33 Weemala Road, Northbridge 2003, Sydney, Australia
THE GRANDIOSE STAMP SCANDAL
by A. Vigilev
Translated from Philately USSR #7 1976
by E. Wolski
The Russian press highlighted a court case against forgers of postal stamps as
the "Grandiose Postal Scandal." The court case began on 21 March 1911 in the
Warsaw District Court. During the following several days, the St. Petersburg
and provincial papers printed reports from Warsaw with efforts to cover the
minutest details of the case.. And everything started from an insignificant
In the summer of 1908, a Moscow policeman decided to send a letter to a friend
of his. Since he had no stamps on hand, he dropped in to Kaurov's retail shop
on his way to work (At that time, there were "pocket" department stores where
they sold all kinds of goods: soap, bread, postage stamps, and clothing).
There he purchased a postage stamp and mailed his letter on the spot.
Later, on his way home, the policeman dropped into the same store to buy some
7 kopeck stamps, since he decided to devote the evening to correspondence.
At home, the policeman who had two personalities under his blue uniform, a
sleuth and an avid stamp collector, examined the purchased stamps under a
magnifying glass. He noticed that these stamps differed in some way from those
in his collection. The colors were uneven, there were black microscopic dots
over the entire face of the stamp, and there were minute drops of glue in the
perforations. And moreover, the glue was somewhat darker than the usual one.
Our "Pinkerton" recalled that the merchant did not tear the stamps from a sheet,
but took them one by one from a box. The experienced eye of a philatelist,
who at first thought that the purchased stamps might be some sort of a variety,
finally detected a forgery.
Thepoliceman reported his discovery to his superiors, and consequently, Kaurov
was first put under observation and soon after was arrested and accused of
illegal cleaning of state postage stamps, an act which according to the laws
of the Russian Empire, was considered a criminal offense. Additional leads in
the investigation were disclosed by a worker who lived at Kaurov's place.
Strange as it may be, this information led to a certain Dmitriev, an official
in charge of sales of postage stamps at the Moscow Post Office.
Almost simultaneously with the Moscow affair, a Brest-Litovsk event was re-
ported in many newspapers: The authorities arrested a local stamp dealer known
by the name of Prizant. The following happened: Prizant's client from
Zhitomir noticed that older stamps on covers and pieces which he received from
Brest, as a rule, had cancellations dated from 1903 to 1907. But what disturbed
the collector was the fact that two of the covers were franked with stamps of
the 1858 type. Both covers were sent from Moscow to St. Petersburg, one on
July 21 and the other on July 14 of 1906, that is years after the stamps were
officially withdrawn from circulation. The letters were forwarded by train
always in the Samepostal car No. 17.
The Zhitomir philatelist reported his observations to the local police. Sub-
sequently, during a search of Prizant's premises, they found a great number
of single mint stamps, some postage stamps withdrawn from circulation cancelled
with datestamps from 1903 to 1908, and very few cancelled with older date-
stamps. On the other hand, the police knew very well that Prizant purchased
a hundred times more used stamps than the amount he sold, but they could not
find the remaining used postage stamps. Their trace was found in Warsaw.
Used stamps from all corners of Russia flowed to the addresses of Mokrzynski,
Knaster, and the Berger brothers. And they, in turn, shipped mint stamps to
Petersburg, Kiev, Revel, Kishinev, and to many other not only Russian but
also foreign towns.
The police managed to establish that date cancellations were removed from
used stamps. Two "factories" were discovered in Warsaw where old stamps were
changed into new ones. One of these enterprises employed 14 persons, the other
9, and the operation was directed by the Berger brothers.
First, all dirt and remnants of gum were removed from the used stamps with
warm water. Then, the cancellation was removed chemically. It was impossible
to distinguish these forgeries by their external appearance from postage
stamps that had just come off the printing press. This fact led the court
expert Ginzburg to conclude that "the stamps did not lose their value, since
the work has been well done... The cleaned stamp cannot be distinguished from
an uncleaned [mint?] by an inexperienced person."
The "new" stamps were then sorted, and the ones that showed missing perforations,
thin spots, or other faults, were affixed to envelopes, postcards, or simply
on sheets of paper, and then carefully stamped with real cancellations to
clearly show the date and place name. These items were sold to collectors
as entire or as pieces.
The stamps in good condition were regummed, lots of one thousand stamps were
sealed in envelopes, and sent to post offices in various cities for resale.
These post offices, in turn, supplied their postal agencies (stations) with
the cleaned stamps. Only a small amount of the forgeries were sold through
retail stores or stamp dealers.
Entires were prepared in the following manner: at the Moscow post office,
the previously mentioned Dmitriev carefully cancelled the stamps on covers
and postcards. Later, this mail was transferred to Konovalov, an employee
in the postal railroad wagon No. 17 (remember the cancellations on letters
of the Zhitomir collector from the Moscow-Petersburg line). Konovalov,
after affixing the proper markings, handed the mail over to Gesse, an employee
These stamps are not forgeries! They are genuine stamps from which the
cancellation has been removed! The only difference would be in glue and
possibly in color, due to washing.
of the Peterburg post office, who applied the local cancel to the mail. Sub-
sequently, this mail was sold to philatelic stores as philatelic material.
The investigation of this fraudulent operation lasted about three years,
during which time two of the accused died and two went into hiding. Still,
there were 18 accused in court when the case came up.
It was not announced officially how many stamps the forgers managed to clean.
According to the press, they amounted to 200 million stamps (it should be noted
that at the beginning of this century, there were slightly more than 350
million postage stamps). Most of the recirculated stamps were the 7 kopeck
stamps. the most popular at that time.
The prosecutor demanded that the forgers pay the sum of 300 thousand gold
rubles. This sum according to experts, corresponded to the nominal value
of the recirculated stamps. The court case lasted five days and then, the
members of the jury were locked in the conference room for five hours. And
then the verdict... Seven persons were declared not guilty. The others were
sentenced to various prison terms. The organizers of the operation, the
Berger brothers, were sentenced to the loss of all rights, to two years in
jail, and to subsequent four years of parole under police control. The trea-
sury demand of penalty payment was approved for 50% of the initial claim.
POSTAGE STAMPS PROHIBITED IMPORTATION INTO RUSSIA WHY?
by Don Heller
In Rossica #89, page 51, the editors reprinted a notice from the Daily
Bulletin of Orders Affecting the [United States] Postal Service, dated
August 27, 1917 and advising postmasters that postage stamps, canceled or
uncanceled, were now prohibited importation into Russia via the mails. The
editors solicited further information and perhaps an explanation for the
Since the notice appeared- in wartime,it was suggested that "stories of postage
stamps being used to carry secret communications of spies" might explain the
order. I can only guess at the true reason, but in light of subsequent
events it seems to be much less romantic.
The 1920 edition of the United States Official Postal Guide notes that
"postige stamps canceled or uncanceled" are prohibited in the mails to Russia,
but makes no further statement. By implication, this applied to postage
stamps contained in letters and not to stamps on letters and paying postage.
There are apparently no other such notices between 1917 and 1920.
The Postal Bulletin for August 22, 1922 contains the following notice, repeated
in the 1923 Postal Guide:
Importation of Postage Stamps Through the Mail into Russia
Second Asst. Postmaster General
Washington, August 21, 1922
The department has learned of the provisions in force relative to the impor-
tation of postage stamps into Russia, such provisions being as follows:
1. All forms of pre-payment can be sent only to the address of the People's
Commissariat for Foreign Trade and its branch offices.
2. Uncanceled Russian or foreign postage stamps can be sent to private persons
or institutions,if stamps are intended for the prepayment of correspondence
and are sufficient in number for that purpose; to that end they must be placed
3. Canceled postage stamps are not admitted as mail articles except in the
cases mentioned under no. 1.
When the presence of postage stamps is detected in a postal article, the
latter will be returned to origin.
Second Assistant Postmaster General
Provisions 1 and 3 of this notice suggest attempts to limit cash transfers
via the mails, and to establish the state Foreign Trade agency as sole phila-
telic importer. This seems consistent with the new economic order, but does
not fully explain the 1917 prohibition, which was issued before the October
The January 26, 1924 Postal Bulletin and 1924 and 1925 Postal Guides contain
the further notice:
Postage Stamps and Paper Money in the Mail for Russia
Second Asst. Postmaster General
Washington, January 25, 1924
The postal administration of Russia has advised this department that postage
stamps and paper money intended for private individuals in Russia must be
addressed exclusively to care of "Philatelic Delegate of the Union of
Socialist Soviet Republics, Tverskoi Boulevard 12. Moscow."
Articles bearing the inscription "Postage Stamps" but not addressed to said
delegate will be considered as improperly accepted for mailing, and will con-
sequently be returned to origin.
Second Assistant Postmaster General
A new agency is specified in the 1926 through 1936 Postal Guides:
Articles specially prohibited [in mails to USSR]: Postage stamps, canceled
or not, philatelic collections, bonds, and bills of exchange, no longer
valid, when sent by mail to private individuals. The entry of philatelic
material is permitted only in case it is addressed, with indication of the
contents, to the Representative of Philately and Bonds on the Committee on
Agricultural Safety (1st Tverskaya Yamskama No. 3). Persons desiring to make
such shipments should refer to the above address for all information.
Can anyone explain what relation philately has to agricultural safety?
The 1939 Postal Guide somewhat rectified the above notice by directing phila-
telic material to the Soviet Philatelic Association (Bolshoi Cherkasski
Pereulok 2, Moscow). Since 1940, however, only the first sentence of the
1926 notice appears, slightly reworded in 1953. The prohibition is still
THE ALOE TREE STAMPS OF BATUM 1919-20
by R. Sklarevski
Batum was transferred to Russia by Turkey in 1878 and was reoccupied by
Turkish troops after the March 1918 revolution. On December 1, 1918, a
British warship landed an armed force and proclaimed Batum British, and it
remained under British occupation until July 7, 1920, when it was evacuated.
Postal services were restored very soon after the port was occupied. At first,
letters were impressed with a rubber stamp "No stamps available Paid in
cash" and the amount paid added or initialed by the postmaster. At first
no obliterators were available; a sealing stamp was used instead. Later
the aloe tree stamps were printed at the local mint. On the discovery of
stocks of Russian stamps, these were issued with various types of over-
prints produced locally. On evacuating the port all remainders and the lithogra-
phed stones were destroyed.
1st Issue Scott's Nos. 1 to 6
The first issue of Batum made its appearance on April 4, 1919. It was litho-
graphed on medium thick white wove paper with colorless transparent gum and
issued imperforate in sheets of 198 (18 x 11) stamps. The sheets were made
up in groups of 4 transfer subjects (A, B, C, D) (fig. 1). The first 10
rows (180 stamps) were made of 45 groups of 4 and the last, i.e., llth row
was mixed, thus giving se-tenant combinations not available in the top 10
W.E. Hughes in his 44 page handbook "The Postage Stamps of Batum," which
appeared in June 1935 in England describes each one of the 4 transfers and
numerous positional varieties for each value. He states that stamps of this
issue are scarce and that to build transfer blocks of four one must use
singles, pairs or strips. From the material on hand at the time the hand-
book was published, he was able to identify all of the transfers only on
5 rubles stamps. Many years ago a Baltimore dealer obtained a large number
of genuine aloe tree stamps of Batum in sheets from Turkey, which were to be
transshipped to the west coast of the United States to a packet dealer to
be broken up. I was able to obtain from him all of the necessary stamps to
complete plateing of the sheets which were begun by Hughes.
I am listing below the breakdown of transfers of each value of 18 stamps in
the llth row.
1 2 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
5 kop. green ABABABABCD C D C D C D C D
10 kop. ultramarine ABABABCDCD A B A B C D C D
50 kop. yellow CDA B C D C D A B C D C D A B C D
1 ruble red brown CDABABABAB C D A B C D C D
3 rubles violet CDCDABABCD A B A B A B A B
5 rubles brown CDABABABCD C D A B A B C D
From the above listing it is interesting to not that the llth row was made
of se-tenant horizontal pairs from the transfer blocks A, B, C, D, i.e.,
pairs of "A-B" or "C-D."
The first articles that I have seen on stamps of Batum were written early in
1923 by B. Krivtsov and published in Soviet Philatelist. The quantities
issued as given by Krivtsov by Hughes are given below:
Value Krivtsov Hughes Value Krivtsov Hughes
5 kop. 51,285 51,284 1 ruble 102,832 same
10 kop. 51,482 same 3 rubles 26,522 same
50 kop. 206,120 same 5 rubles 20,922 20,992
There are two types of forgeries in existence, one fine and the other crude.
It is interesting to note here that the model for both of the counterfeits
was the rouble value.
Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the genuine "kop" and "rub" values respectively,
which are described below.
a Number of pearls above right hand value tablet
Genuine "Kop" 6, "Rub" 7
Counterfeit I "Kop" and "Rub" 7
Counterfeit II "Kop" and "Rub" 7 Page 81
Therefore all "kop" values having 6 dots are genuine.
b Shape of two middle branches, i.e., 3rd and 4th from the left
Genuine "Kop" Straight 8. Wide apart at the top and pointing to NW.
Genuine "Rub" Same as on "kop" value except at the top, the third
branch curves slightly to the right at the top and
the top of 4th branch point N.
Counterfeit I Both 3rd and 4th lines are close together, and curve
to the right. (Same as in "Kop" and "Rub" values)
Counterfeit II- Same as on genuine, except lines curve at the top (Same
on "Kop" and "Rub" values)
c Two white spots in the middle, inside of right vertical frame of the
"kop" and "ruble" values.
Genuine There is a check or small "v" inside of each white spot.
Counterfeit I Same as on genuine.
Counterfeit II Colored blob inside of the white dot. Sometimes both
of the dots are open at the right, thus forming a "c"
or sometimes only the bottom dot is open.
1st British Occupation Issue Scott's Nos. 13 to 20
The second issue of aloe tree stamps was issued on November 10, 1919. The
basic stamps were lithographed and overprinted "British occupation" in two
lines. The sheets contained 432 (18 x 24) stamps and were made up of 72
transfer blocks of six subjects "A, B, C" top row and "D, E, F" bottom row.
(see Fig. 6) The overprints likewise were made of 6 types "A, B, C" and
"D, E, F" and the overprint types were made on similar transfers, i.e., over-
print "A" was made on transfer "A" and so on. Distinguishing characteristics
of each transfer, and overprint types, are described in Hughes' handbook.
According to Hughes, 25 kop., 2 and 7 rubles are known without overprint.
Below are listed the quantities issued of each value, as reported by Hughes
Value Hughes Krivtsov Value Hughes Krivtsov
5 kop. 28,894 same 2 rubles 366,728 366,723
green salmon pink
10 kop. 28,512 25,512 3 rubles 257,964 257,904
dark blue violet
25 kop. 31,892 same 5 rubles 263,709 263,789
1 ruble 48,101 48,161 7 rubles 57,118 same
pale blue dull red
One well known variety is an overprint reading "British occupation where
the firsi "o" is missing. This variety occurs on stamp No. 73 in the sheet,
having transfer "D." This variety was the result of the breaking off of the
first "0" in "Occupation" and on most of these stamps there is usually a very
faint almost invisible remnant of the original letter "0" (See fig. 7).
The paper of this issue is grayish-white and the gum is glossy. Like in the
unoverprinted issue, blocks are not very common since most of the sheets have
long ago been cut into singles. Figs 8 and 8a illustrate genuine "kop" and
"rub" values while Fig. 9 and 9a are for Counterfeit I, while Fig. 10 and 10a
show Counterfeit II.
To simplify distinguishing counterfeits, the salient points of each are
Counterfeit I Counterfeit II
a "R" curved, bottom right leg Elongated top of R
b "I" short On line with other letters
c "S" larger than other letters Square at top and bottom
Revalued British Occupation Issue (Scott Nos. 51 to 56)
On April 1, 1920, "5" and "25" kop. values of the previous overprinted "British
Occupation" issues appeared revalued "25 rub" (see figs. 11 & 12). Likewise,
at the same time the "50 kop" unoverprinted value was overprinted "50 rub"
(fig. 13). The overprints appeared both in black and blue colors.
To have all transfers it would require blocks of 4 of 50 ruble stamps and
blocks of six of 25 ruble stamps.
The quantities issued were as follows:
Hughes Krivtsov Hughes Krivtsov
25 r. on 5 kop. green 2,180 same 1,980 same
25 r. on 25 kop. orange 2,792 same 720 same
50 r. on 50 kop. yellow 7,162 7,160* 560* same
There were two printings of the 50 ruble overprint. As a precaution against
counterfeiting on the second printing, a number of fine horizontal, vertical,
and diagonal lines were cut through the numeral "50." Fig. 13 illustrates
the 2nd printing, where one can see white spaces in all directions on the "50."
Krivtsov gives the totals issued of the 1st printing as 3,488 (black) and
2nd "British Occupation" issue Scott's Nos. 57 to 65
The 2nd "British Occupation" set made its appearance on June 22, 1920, which
was only 15 days before the end of the control of Batum by the British forces.
In the evening of July 7, 1920, the Georgian government took control of Batum
and the British forces withdrew to the dock, from which they said on transports
on July 9 and 10, along with refugees.
These stamps were printed from newly made transfers of six subjects and issued
in sheets of 308 (22 x 14) stamps. There were 49 similar transfer blocks in each
sheet, plus the last vertical row of 14 stamps, which is made of vertical combi-
nations of transfers AD, BE, and CF.
Hughes has completed plating the 2nd "British Occupation" issue, except the
3, 15, and 50 ruble values, which I was able to almost complete from the material
Listed below is the transfer composition of the extreme right hand vertical row
for each value. From the table below you will note that 3 pairs of transfers
are still not identified.
Horizontal rows lr. 2r. 3r. 5r. 7r. 10r. 15r. 25r. 50r.
1 A A A C A A A A A
2 D D D F D D D D D
3 B B B A B C C B
4 E E E D E F F E
5. C C C B C B B C
6 F F F E F E E F
7 A A A A B A A A A
8 D D D D E D D D D
9 B C B B A B B B B
10 E F E E D E E E E
11 C B C C C C C C C
12 F E F F F F F F F
13 C C A C C C C A
14 F F D F F F F D
Since the same overprint "British Occupation" was applied on all of the values,
the same plate flaws appear in the same position in the sheet on all of the
All of the values of this set, except the 50 rubles have "separation angles,"
made of horizontal and vertical lines which separate each transfer block of
* six subjects (see fig. 15).
Likewise, the 19th stamp of each value has a Russian "P" in "British" instead
of Latin "R." Fig. 15 illustrates a block of eight of 2 ruble values with
Reproduced below are the totals of each value issued, as given by Krivtsov.
Total quantities Total of error
1 rub. orange brown 501,424 1,628
2 rub. gray blue 201,432 654
3 rub. rose 200,816 652
5 rub. black brown 203,280 660
7 rub. yellow 203,280 660
10 rub. dark green 202,972 659
15 rub. violet 102,256 332
25 rub. vermillion 153,692 499
50 rub. dark blue 53,900 175
Although this set was issued in larger quantities than the other 3 aloe tree
sets it is very scarce in blocks of 6 transfers (A, B, C, D, E, and F) while
the blocks of 50 rubles are very rare.
There are two types of counterfeits of this issue in existence. They are
complete forgeries, i.e., the basic stamp and the overprint. The colors of
the counterfeits are very close to originals and because of that the easiest
way to spot them is by comparing the overprint on the forgeries with that on
the originals. The forger was efficient because he used the same overprint
on the 2nd "British Occupation" stamp as he did on the 1st. Therefore, see
figs 3, 3a, 10, and 10a for forged overprint.
On Figs 16 (Unoverprinted), 17 (Overprinted "British Occupation"), 18
(Occupation error) and 19 ,(Revalued) are illustrated to revenue stamps of
Batum. Evidently revenues were issued at the same time as the regular stamps.
Unoverprinted Overprinted Occupation Revalued in violet
20 k. green 30 k. yellow 10 r. light brown 20 r. on
2 r. light violet 3 r. brown orange 30 r. green 20 k. green
3 r. brown orange 6 r. blue
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RUSSIAN TROOPS ON THE SALONIKA FRONT IN WORLD WAR I
by Gordon Torrey
Almost ten years ago, in Rossica Number 74 for 1968, the writer wrote a short
piece derived from the reading of a book concerning this Allied campaign. A
resume of Imperial Russian army troops participating in this war effort was
described. Recently I have obtained a philatelic item from one of the Russian
soldiers there. At the risk of repeating something "old hat" to our senior
members I think that it is worth elaborating on a bit.
In July 1916 a Russian brigade was sent to the Salonika front, not only to
bolster the Allied war effort there, but to make a show of Allied solidarity.
Already French, Italian, and British Empire troops were fighting in this area
in support of the Serbian army which had suffered terrific losses at the
hands of the Austrians re-inforced by Bulgarians and Germans. In fact, the
Serbians had to be withdrawn to Corfu and reformed after a harrowing rear
guard action fought through the mountains during winter.
As described by the author of this work, "This unit--5000 strong--fought with
no sign of the malais of defeatism which was to sap the Tsar's Army before
many months were past. Physically those men seemed giants and a magnificent
sight as they marched eight abreast through the city (Salonika), gleaming
bayonets on long rifles, a moving forest of steel" (See fig. 1). Later the
troops were mentioned again (now two brigades), "the two Russian brigades
were in far worse state than the Serbs. In May 1917 they had been active for
eight months, with little respite. They had pitted themselves against the
Kemali defenses in the grimmest days of the battle for Monastir, and for five
months they had stood on the alert in the Crna loop, never more than two
hundred yards from the enemy positions. They had fought well, but they were
weary and dispirited. The contingent had been decimated by sickness and by
battle casualties. Their commander, Gen. Dietrichs, was a determined and
energetic officer, but on May 18th he had allowed his brigade to rest for
a period of six weeks. The Fourth Brigade, who were serving with the Serbs,
showed even more distressing signs of unrest, the men suspecting that they
were intended as easily expendable cannon fodder and resenting the arrogance
of both the Serbian officers and their own commanders."
There is no doubt that the Second and Fourth Brigades were left confused and
uncertain by the political changes in Russia which culminated in the Tsar's
abdication on March 19th and the establishment of a Provisional Government.
As Dietrich himself wrote on May 18th--curiously enough, the day upon which
the moderate socialist Kerensky became Minister of War--"The latest events
in Russia, added to the slowness and uncertainty of postal communication and
the various rumors and occasional gossip reaching the trenches from the rear
and spread around by good-for-nothings, can only strain the men's nerves,
still further worrying them and paralyzing their will." Unfortunately, for
this sorrowful little army, brooding over its hardships and the agony of the
homeland, precisely six weeks after Dietrich's request had been granted, a
Russian detachment which was being re-embarked at Piraeus (Greece) to return
to the Salonika front, broke into open mutiny and French troops had to be sent
in order to quell the disturbance.
In July 1917 there were still 18,000 Russian troops in Macedonia and it was
decided to organize them as an independent division with Dietrichs enjoying
a similar status to that of the Italian commander, General Mombelli. In the
last week of July the Russian Division returned to the front between Lake
Ochrid and Lake Prespa, and the Provisional Government even promised to send
a full divisional train of artillery to Macedonia in the autumn.
It was no use; Dietrichs was summoned back to Petrograd in August. His
successor, General Taranowski, did not reach Salonika until the first week
in November, arriving at the very moment when the Bolsheviks overthrew
Kerensky's Government and prepared to take Russia out of the war. Marxist
agitators penetrated the artillery brigade and pioneer battalion which landed
at Salonika early in October. These reinforcements stimulated the revolu-
tionary unrest. Soviets sprang up in every regiment and the division became
a breeding ground of disaffection. Throughout the winter of 1917-18 it remained
an embarrassing liability to its allies. In January it was removed from the
fighting front and disarmed, some of the men joining the French Foreign Legion
and many more continuing under Allied orders in the labor force. There was
still one more melancholy episode before the tragedy was played out. On
March 12, 1918 over 3,000 Russians ran amok at an internment camp near Verti-
kop, and order had to be restored by a French cavalry unit with drawn sabres.
Ironically, it was 18 months to the day since the first Russian battalion had
fought alongside the French on that very sector of the front.
At the time that I wrote this short article I asked if any of our members had
ever seen any postal material from this little known facet of Russian history.
No answer ever came, although I have heard rumors of such material. Recently
I acquired such an item and it is illustrated below. (see fig. 2). Since
the Russian units did not have their own Army Post Office, they used the
French one. In this case it was "Tresor et Postes No. 507," as is shown on
the card. The card itself is of interest since it is a special one printed
for the Russian troops with inscriptions in Russian and French "Military
Correspondence--France-Russia" printed in red. As one can see, it was addressed
to Moscow. It received the boxed St. Petersburg censorship marking stamped
in violet ink en route. The return address at the left reads "Roberto Ivano-
vich Batler, 7th Regiment Commissary Unit, 507 Field Post Office, French."
The date of the datestamp is May 1, 1917, while the Russians were still at the
battle line after eight months fighting, but the message is dated 16 April
(Old calendar) and appears to be numbered "14," indicating it was the fourteenth
message sent home by Batler (see fig. 3). It is the usual "Dear papa, I am
well" type of message.
BOEI II IOKE II.aChO 1 Aiiif7 1 CC
...i ,.. *
l.i .-,,, __ i. |
I 1 -I J
For those members who wish to delve more
deeply into the history of this campaign Figure 3
and the role of the Russian troops there
the following references would be of con-
siderable help. Arnees Francaises, Vol. VIII, part 2, pp. 502-03; Vallari,
Macedonian Campaign, pp. 185-88; Sarrail, Mon Commandement, pp. 261-63; and
especially an article by Dragomir Mitrovic, "Revolucija u Rusiji Trupe na
Solunskom Frontu" in the Jugoslav periodical Itariski Glasnik for 1957, parts
3-4, pages 17-24. Another source is RichardWatt's Dare Call it Treason
(London, 1964), chapters 12 and 16. Then, of course, there is Alan Palmer,
The Gardeners of Salonika, published by Andre Deutsch in London in 1965.
FIRST MOSCOW-NEW YORK FLIGHT (1929)
by Robert L. Trbovich
In his excellent article "Flown Mail from and to the USSR" (Rossica Journal
No. 82, 1972) Ray Hoffman requests readers to come forth with any new infor-
mation related to items covered in his article. Thus a U.S. cover (see Fig. 1)
bearing on the 1929 Moscow-New York flight seemed worthy of a little research,
which, by chance, also uncovered some Lindberghiana.
later and took part in ,C the reception.-S
";I l c CEF THIE SVIEIS"
MOSZUW TO NEW YORK FLIGHT. .
J. W. Steutzenburg
" e epa pleea ae Avenue
Mawith floats) Petropalovsk, Kamchatka (Sept. 18) Attu (Sept. 21) Dutch
The "Strana Sovetov" (Land of the Soviets) made the Moscow-New York flight
between August 23 and November i, 1929. Apparently an earlier attempt had
failed (August 8, 1929 takeoff from Moscow, with a forced landing near Chita)
and a new aircraft was prepared for the second flight. There was a large
crowd on hand to greet the arrival of the"Strana Sovetov" at Curtis Field
(4:15 p.m., November 1). Col. Charles A. Lindbergh flew in only minutes
later and took part in the reception.
A sketchy newspaper account gives the aircraft's route as: Moscow (Aug.23) -
Novosibirsk- Chita Irkutsk Khabarovsk (Sept. 3, and replacing wheels
with floats) Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka (Sept. 18) Attu (Sept. 21) Duitch
Harbor, Unalaska (Sept. 24) Seward, Alaska (Sept. 27) Waterford,Alaska
(forced landing, motor replaced) Seattle (Oct. 13) Oakland (Oct. 20) -
Salt Lake City Chicago (Oct. 24) Detroit (Oct. 28) and finally New York
(Nov. 1). The length of the route was ca. 13,300 miles. The crew consisted
of S. Shestakov, F. Bolotov, and B. Sterligov (navigator). Elsewhere, D. V.
Fufaev is mentioned as the aircraft's mechanic.
The above flight plan was included in Sterligov's account of the "Land of
the Soviets" flight published in Aviation (January 1930). No mention is
made in the article of any mail connected with the flight. The August 23
date rather than the August 8 is confirmed.
Another item related to this flight appeared in a R. L. Siegel auction catalog
(June 8-10, 1976; No. 493; lot No. 651) as follows:
"Shestakov Flight, Moscow-New York, 1929. U.S. 2c Circular Die Entire
with autographs of the four crew members Schestakov, Sterligov, Bolotov,
Baltov [should be Fufaev, not Baltov] with clippings. Great historic
piece. (Photo) E VIII."
Unfortunately, the photo shows only four signatures on the blank part of an
envelope and one must assume this stamped envelope was merely autographed and
not used postally.
In sum, one is puzzled by the lack of any flight-related covers, cachets, etc.
that normally should have been initiated by Soviet postal or aviation circles.
This seems unusual in view of the numerous existing cachets and covers from
international flights made by Soviet aircraft during the 1920s, i.e. prior
to the well advertised and important 1929 Moscow-New York flight.
The following letter has been received by the Society Treasurer, Mr. Norman
Epstein. It is printed in the Journal for the benefit of those who might
wish to respond.
02-697 Warsaw 113
Rzymowsriego 45 16
14. 07. 1975
Dear Mr. Epstein,
Your address I have found in the Scott Catalogue. I am interested in
exchange or selling good mint and used Russian stamps from 1825 to 1955 and
mint only from 1955 to 1975. Would you like to help me find someone who will
be interested in exchange or buying my stock? I can correspond in Russian,
Polish and not very well English.
Waiting your soon reply
PARIS SIEGE BALLOON POST COVERS TO RUSSIA 1870-71
by Gordon Torrey
During the Franco-Prussian War, German armies surrounded and besieged Paris.
Cut off from the provinces unoccupied by the Germans, and the rest of the
world, mail was carried by a series of free balloon flights. The first of
these occurred on 23 September 1870, in a balloon called "Neptune," which
carried about 300 pounds of mail. The last flight was on 28 January 1871.
A total of 67 flights took place, a number of which were aborted, with mail
falling into German hands or being lost at sea.
Most balloon covers can be identified easily by the inscription, either printed
or hand written, "Ballon Monte." While most of theses were addressed to places
in France, many were sent abroad, including Russia. Some received arrival
datestamps; others did not. The former (to Russia) are more highly prized,
being about four times as valuable as those without arrival markings. Over
the past several years the writer has accumulated information on these covers
addressed to Russia and wishes to share the limited information at hand with
other interested Russian collectors.
PAR BALLOT 'o-
Ant I Le pods 4s ).Utosk .zpawui pw Us lnolaU dak it. p. djpot au
Theearliest montg to Russia that I have come across is one that was auctioned
in the Roberta A. Siegel Rarities Sale of 31 March 1976. This attractive
item was cancelled "Paris, 13 Oct. 70" on an especially printed cover (Fig. 1).
It has a Moscow receiving mark, according to the catalogue description, but
the date is not recorded. According to the Paris cancellation date it is
probable that this cover was carried on the balloon "Le Jean-Bart No. 1,"
which ascended at 1 p.m. on September 14th and landed at Montpelier at 5 p.m.,
carrying 675 pounds of mail.
The next is one cancelled "Paris, 26 Oct. 70," and apparently was carried
by "Le Vauban" which left on the 27th at 9 a.m. and landed at Vigneuilles
at 1 p.m. with a load of 608 pounds of mail. This cover (Fig. 2) was
addressed to St. Petersburg and has no backstamp.
Our next item is a Monte datestamped "Paris 31 Dec. 70" and is backstamped
"St. Petersburg, 30 Dek 1870," obviously according to the "old style"
calendar with its 12 day lag. This was probably carried by the "Newton"
which left Paris on 4 January 1871 at 4 p.m. and arrived at Digny at noon of
the same day. This letter (Fig. 3) because of the story behind it, is of
considerable human interest. Its tale is told through the courtesy of CoJ.
Eugene Prince, the cover's owner.
It is addressed to Madamoiselle Elisabeth Herbimierre Blanchisseuse, Petite
Mai.son Tatischef, St. Petersburg. The story of this woman is on more than
usual interest. Elisabeth (Babette) was brought from France and became the
laundress of Countess Tatischeff. Later she married the Count's valet. He
subsequently opened a fashionable tailoring establishment in St. Petersburg
and later retired after the revolution to an estate on the Riviera. This
vignette was obtained by Col. Prince in 1961 from Countess Maria Tatischeff,
the daughter-in-law of the Countess mentioned.
The last Ballon Monte (Fig. 4) is dated 12 Jan. 71," and apparently was
carried by the "General Faidherbe, which left Paris on the 13th and arrived
at St. Avit the same day. It carried 135 pounds of mail.
Figure 1 is courtesy of Mr. Robert A. Siegel of New York. Figures 2 and 4
were supplied by Rossica member Raymond Hofmann. Number 3, of course, is
from Col. Prince.
Since writing the above I have seen another monte in the stock of Mr. William
C. Tatham of Whittier, California. This item was mailed on 26 September 1870
and carried by the General Uhlrich. It was addressed to Baron Chping in
Moscow and received the Moscow datestamp of 24 November 1870. It had a "PD"
in gold on the front.
THE ROSSICA BOOKSHELF
THE OCCUPATION OF RUSSIA BY THE POLISH I CORPS, POLONUS HANDBOOK, James
Mazepa, editor, Polonus Society, Chicago, 1977.
This handbook is composed of two articles, "The Stamps and Postal Service
of the First Polish Corps in Russia," by Tadeusz Gryzewski and "Forgeries
of Stamps Issued by the First Polish Corps of General Dowbor-Musnicki," by
Dr. Stanley Kronenberg.
Unfortunately, the title of the handbook itself is quite misleading. The
Polish I Corps was organized with the permission of the Czarist regime in
Russia from Poles who were Russian soldiers. They were garrisoned in an
area of Russia proper, southeast of Minsk centered on Bobrujsk, and were in
charge of "the military organization of the territory." (See Polskii Znaki
Pocztowe, 1966, p. 79). The German army, taking advantage of the anarchy
which prevailed following the abdication of the Czar in 1917, occupied
Russian territory and in the process bypassed and surrounded the area con-
trolled by what had by then come to be known as the Polish I Corps. It is
clear that the Polish I Corps had been in charge of the territory prior to
the occupation of the surrounding area by the German army. To call this a
Polish occupation of Russia is equivalent to calling the presence of the
Japanese Neisi Division ( a WW II division of the American army composed
entirely of American-born Japanese) in the Allied Fifth Army a Japanese
occupation of Italy.
In the title to the basic article of the Handbook, Tadeusz Gryzewski, a
noted Polish philatelist, used the phrase, "... The First Polish Corps in
Russia". This would perhaps have been a better title for the Handbook as
Mr. Gryzewski's article, translated by Elizabeth Gobby, represents a
comprehensive study of the I Corps' postal service with information that has
been unavailable to collectors (eg., documents from the Central Military
Archives). Unfortunately, the article suffers from some minor editorial
flaws. Placenames are not handled consistently (with and without diacritical
marks); on p. 26 unit cancels are misplaced, and their translations
erroneous. A company, regiment or division are all just a "unit" in
English, and the legends do not match the cancels.
Two very interesting documents appear on p. 8 and p. 28. The first one shows
overprinted Russian stamps submitted to the I Corps commander for approval. The
second contains samples of postmarks used.
In spite of the shortcomings, the work is of interest to collectors of military
issues, especially for the inclusion of pencil reproductions of overprints,
and of documents. For completeness, the Handbook needs reproductions of the
I Corps stationery shown in "Polskii Znaki Pocztowe", Vol VI, pp. 83-87.
This could be done in the second revised, enlarged edition.
-E. D. Wolski