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|Corrections to issue 128-129|
|EZGB and the printing of the postage...|
|The Imperial Russian postal card...|
|Free-Frank seal of Simbirsk similar...|
|Cherleniovsky covers, Zemstvo-imperial...|
|A note on the Russian army postal...|
|The Gan'ko riddle, by Terry...|
|Railway mail in pre-war Soviet...|
|The return of the Russian steamship...|
|The Soviet Union's postal advertising...|
|More "damaged" mail, by Dave...|
|What is the Internet?, by...|
|Imperial Russian stamps in the...|
|MOCKBA 97, a great success, by...|
|From the president|
|From the editor|
|Members on the Internet|
|Member-to-member adlets, membership...|
|Reviews of philatelic publicat...|
|Society publications for sale|
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|Table of Contents|
Officers and representatives of the society
Table of Contents
Corrections to issue 128-129
EZGB and the printing of the postage stamps and postal stationery of Imperial Russia, by Ian W. Roberts
The Imperial Russian postal card P3, by Jean Walton
Free-Frank seal of Simbirsk similar to the Zemstvo stamps of Alatyr', by Ortwin Greis
Cherleniovsky covers, Zemstvo-imperial mail cross-point and fraud, by George G. Werbizky
A note on the Russian army postal service in France between 1815 and 1818, by Ian W. Roberts
The Gan'ko riddle, by Terry Page
Railway mail in pre-war Soviet Georgia, by Peter Michalove
The return of the Russian steamship line and trade society, September 1918, by Raymond J. Pietruszka
The Soviet Union's postal advertising labels, by Michael Tereshko
More "damaged" mail, by Dave Skipton
What is the Internet?, by Ivo Steyn
Imperial Russian stamps in the Royal Philatelic Collection, by Ian W. Roberts
MOCKBA 97, a great success, by George G. Werbizky
From the president
From the editor
Members on the Internet
Member-to-member adlets, membership status
Reviews of philatelic publications
Society publications for sale
No.130 Apil 1998
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
President: Gary A. Combs, 8241 Chalet Ct., Millersville, MD 21108, USA
Vice President: Howard Weinert, 7104 Oxford Road, Baltimore, MD 21212, USA
Secretary: George G. Werbizky, 409 Jones Road, Vestal, NY 13850, USA
Treasurer: Gary A. Combs, 8241 Chalet Ct., Millersville, MD 21108, USA
Librarian: Gerald (Ged) Seiflow, 1249 St. Claire PI., Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA
Auditor: Webster Stickney, 7590 Windlawn, Parker, CO 80134, USA
Board of Directors:
David M. Skipton, 50-D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
Dr. G. Adolph Ackerman, 629 Sanbridge Circle E., Worthington, OH 43085, USA
Dr. Ray J. Ceresa, Fairview Cottage, Gorsley, Ross-on-Rye, Hereford HR9 7SJ, United
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY
Steve Alushin, 13103 Wellford Drive, Beltsville MD 20705, USA
Dr. James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304, USA
Northern California Chapter
Ed Laveroni, 860 East Remington Drive No. A, Sunnyvale CA 94087, USA
Jack G. Moyes, 23 Stonywuod, Harlow, Essex CM18 6AU, United Kingdom
All rights reserved. No part of this journal may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any
means without permission in writing from the journal editor. The views expressed by the authors in
this journal are their own and the editor disclaims all responsibility.
The Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Inc. is a non-profit, non-political organization incorporated in the state
of Maryland, USA, and affiliated with the American Philatelic Society. The Rossica Journal is the official periodic
publication of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Inc., published twice a year in April and October and mailed
"surface rate" from the Editor's residence. Price for non-members is US $10 per issue. For air mail delivery, please add
US $5. Subscriptions are available for US $30 which includes air mail postage. Available back issues are listed in the
section titled "In The Back Room." Submit articles for consideration directly to the Editor. Periodically, other Rossica
publications are listed in the back of the journal. Information is available from the Editor or Secretary.
Society dues are US $20 per year with a discount for early renewal. Membership applications can be obtained from
the Treasurer or Secretary at the addresses listed under "Officers of the Society."
Dealers wishing to advertise in the Journal are welcomed. Information pertaining to advertising can be found in the
back of the Journal.
Checks and money orders submitted should be made payable to The Rossica Society of Russian Philately and not
to any officer. Checks not drawn on a US bank must include an additional US $20 for processing fees. Sorry, no credit
cards are accepted. Please make all checks payable to:
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
c/o Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct.,
Millersville, MD 21108
The Rossica Society
THE JOURNAL OF THE
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
Journal No. 130 for April 1998
Editor: Karen Lemiski
Editorial Board: Gary A. Combs
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Corrections to Issue 128-129 2
EZGB and the Printing of the Postage Stamps and Postal Stationery
of Imperial Russia-Ian W. Roberts 3
The Imperial Russian Postal Card P3-Jean Walton 11
Free-Frank Seal of Simbirsk Similar to the 16
Zemstvo Stamps of Alatyr'-Ortwin Greis
Cherleniovsky Covers, Zemstvo-Imperial Mail Cross-Point and Fraud 17
-George G. Werbizky
A Note on the Russian Army Postal Service in France 30
between 1815 and 1818-lan W. Roberts
The Gan'ko Riddle-Terry Page 31
Railway Mail in Pre-War Soviet Georgia-Peter Michalove 33
The Return of the Russian Steamship Line and Trade Society, 40
September 1918-Raymond J. Pietruszka
The Soviet Union's Postal Advertising Labels-Michael Tereshko 45
More "Damaged" Mail-Dave Skipton 47
What is the Internet?-Ivo Steyn 59
Imperial Russian Stamps in the Royal Philatelic Collection-lan W. Roberts 62
MOCKBA 97, A Great Success-George G. Werbizky 64
OF INTEREST TO MEMBERS
From the President 65
From the Editor 66
Members on the Internet 67
Member-to-Member Adlets, Membership Status 69
Reviews of Philatelic Publications 71
Society Publications for Sale 76
Dealer-Member Ads 15, 39, 63
Corrections to Issue 128-129
With all those pages in the last issue of From Mr. S. Homby, Kent, England
Rossica, a few errors were bound to creep in. 27 December 1997:
Here are letters from the authors of two articles
that were affected. In my short article concerning the certification
of the overprints of the third issue of the stamps
From George Werbizky, USA of the Western Army: In the list of the featured
5 February 1998: marks (page 157), I noticed that no. 2a is listed
as "spot between 5th and 6th angles from top-
On page 79 of my article, the same illustration left corer." In fact, mark 2a is a spot between
appeared twice. The bottom postal card should the 2nd and 3rd rays from the top-left corner.
have shown Ivan Kotlarevskii, the famous nine- What was printed is identical with the marks for
teenth-century Ukrainian writer, point no. 3a, and I think the error consists of
The correct illustration is reproduced here, printing under point 2a what also appeared as
below, point 3a.
11 T EiRA t; i is, iT vi ',,
2 Rossica Journal Number 130
EZGB and the Printing of the Postage Stamps
and Postal Stationery of Imperial Russia
by I. W. Roberts
On 10 December 1857 the Russian Postal Russia for an ordinary internal letter was four
Department, which at that time formed part of times greater than the penny post (pre-decimal)
the Ministry of Internal Affairs, issued a circular introduced in Great Britain eighteen years earlier
to all post offices in the Russian Empire about for a 1/2 ounce letter. After protracted nego-
the introduction of postage stamps for the pre- tiations, the Postal Department and the Ministry
payment of postage on private letters sent to of Finance agreed that the stamps would be
destinations throughout the empire, including printed by the security printing organization
Russian Poland and the Grand Duchy of Fin- controlled by the Ministry of Finance, which
land. Beginning from 1 January 1858 private was called the Department for the Preparation of
letters could only be despatched if a postage State Papers (EKSPEDITSIYA ZAGOTOVLENIYA
stamp, the cost of which was to be determined GOSUDARSTVENNYKH BUMAG) and usually
by the weight of the letter, had been affixed to known by its initial letters EZGB.
the envelope or the sheet of a folded letter The origins of the EZGB can be traced
bearing the address. In order to allow time for back to the middle of the eighteenth century
consignments of the stamps to reach post offices when it was decided to simplify accounting
in the distant parts of the empire, their use in procedures in Russia by issuing paper money.
Siberia, the Caucasus, and the Transcaucasian The first decree about the issue of paper notes,
Region would begin two months later on 1 for which the French word assignat was used,
March 1858. was drawn up during the reign of Peter III but
The first set of stamps was to consist of not implemented until 1769 during the reign of
three values, each of two colors: 10 kopecks, Peter's wife, Catherine the Great. The assignatsii,
blue and brown for a letter weighing 1 lot; 20 as the notes were called in Russian, were
kopecks, orange and deep blue for a 2-lot letter; printed by the Senate Printing House on paper
and 30 kopecks, green and crimson for a 3-lot manufactured in a government-run paper mill at
letter. This tariff was introduced in 1843 when Ropsha, near St. Petersburg. The design was
it was decided to follow the example set by relatively simple with the result that the notes
Great Britain in 1840 and replace the existing were not difficult to forge. In 1771 the 75-
tariff, which was based on a charge levied rouble notes were withdrawn from circulation
according to distance and weight, by one levied because it had proved easy to convert a 25-
according to weight only. This system was rouble note into a 75-rouble note. More impor-
already being employed in Russia for stamped tantly, the government's decision to print an
envelopes, the use of which preceded the excessive amount of paper money in order to
introduction of postage stamps. One Russian lot, meet the ever-increasing deficit in government
of which there were thirty-two in a Russian expenditure soon led to the assignat rouble
pound, was equivalent to 1/2 ounce avoirdupois ceasing to remain on a par with its metallic
(12.8 grammes) and in 1858 the 5-kopeck silver equivalent. This trend was exacerbated during
coin, which was used to pay postage instead of Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 by the
the 5-kopeck copper coin, was worth 2 British circulation of counterfeit assignatsii to the value
pence (pre-decimal). Thus the cost of postage in of 20 million roubles. These notes had been
Rossica Journal Number 130 3
prepared in advance by the French government Ministry of Finance. Remezov was thus in
as part of a plan to undermine a Russian charge of EZGB during the period when stamps
economy that had already been weakened by first came into use. On 5 December 1858 he in
the Continental Blockade imposed by Napoleon his turn was replaced by Major General A. I.
after the Peace of Tilsit of 1807. The con- Kovanko, who retired on 17 February 1861.
sequence was that after Napoleon's final defeat at The heads of EZGB for the remaining years of
Waterloo in June 1815 the assignat rouble was the nineteenth century were F. F. Vinberg (17
worth only one-fifth of the silver rouble, while February 1861-5 August 1884), R. E. Lentz (5
the face value of paper money in circulation had August 1884-17 April 1899), and Prince B. B.
risen to the huge sum of 825 million roubles. It Golitsyn who remained in change until 1905.
was obvious that one of the first tasks that had At the time of its formal establishment on
to be undertaken by Alexander I and his gov- 21 August 1818, EZGB was divided into four
ernment after 1815 was the re-establishment of departments: paper-making, printing, engraving,
Russia's finances on a sound basis. and mechanical matters (including repairs to
As part of a number of measures undertaken machinery). A photographic department was
by the Minister of Finance, Count D. A. added in 1864 followed by an experimental de-
Guryev (1751-1825), to achieve this aim, the apartment in 1890. At first much of the technical
Council of State approved the establishment of equipment had to be purchased abroad, but
a security printing organization to be called the towards the end of the century it became possi-
EZGB. For this purpose, a complex of buildings ble to replace some, but by no means all, of the
was erected in St. Petersburg on a site near the technical equipment by machinery manufactured
river Fontanka which had been purchased in in Russia. During the years 1858-1860, the
1814. The construction work was supervised by Minister of Finance A. M. Knyazhevich (1792-
the Spanish-born Lieutenant-General A. A. 1872), who was of Serbian origin, carried out a
Bethancourt (1758-1824). In 1819 EZGB began major reorganization of EZGB and additional
work on the production of a series of notes with buildings were erected on land adjoining the
a more complicated design, printed on water- original site. In 1873 EZGB was given per-
marked paper that would replace the original mission to carry out work for private customers.
assignatsii and the French forgeries. During the The whole complex was always guarded by
years 1818 to 1822 the authorities were able to military personnel. By the end of the nineteenth
withdraw about one-quarter of the old notes, century EZGB employed 3,700 persons, of
which were then destroyed. These efforts to sta- whom 1,700 worked in the printing department.
bilize Russia's finances continued during the The organization also operated its own school,
reign of Alexander I's successor, Nicholas I, but a forty-four-bed hospital, a creche for the chil-
it was not until January 1849 that the original dren of married female staff, two canteens, and
notes finally ceased to be legal tender, its own church choir. The standard of security
On 21 August 1818 Prince A. N. Kho- printing for the various types of official docu-
vansky (1771-1857), who was already in charge ments produced, in addition to bank notes and
of the State Assignat Bank founded by Cathe- postage stamps, was high and compared favora-
rine, was given the additional task of supervising bly with those of other countries.
EZGB. He remained in charge until 15 Decem- Discussions about the possible use ofpostage
ber 1850, when he was replaced for a brief stamps in Russia date back to the end of 1844.
period by L. K. Naryshkin. Then, on 2 Novem- At that time the postal administration of the
ber 1851 the latter was replaced by S. A. semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland had
Remezov (1792-1868) who had previously been decided to copy Great Britain and print pre-paid
Head of the Construction Commission of the stamped envelopes to the value of 10 and 20
4 Rossica Journal Number 130
kopecks, which were to be used for sending tion of mail boxes in both cities which were
letters to destinations with the Grand Duchy. more convenient to use than the existing
Their use began on 1 January 1845. This devel- reception centers, which were mainly found in
opment prompted F. I. Pryanishnikov (1793- small shops, for the despatch of mail.
1867), a senior official of the Russian Postal In 1848 the Postal Department obtained the
Department who had visited Great Britain in approval of Nicholas I to extend the use of
1827-1828, to suggest to the Director of the St. stamped envelopes to the whole empire with the
Petersburg Post Office in a letter dated 5 Feb- exception of Russian Poland which had to wait
ruary 1845 that the St. Petersburg City Postal until 1850. However, it was still not permitted
Service (established in January 1833) should to use stamped envelopes for correspondence
consider making use of postage stamps rather sent abroad, partly because of the method used
than stamped envelopes. An approach was made to calculate the cost of postage. By the terms of
to a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts Russia's postal conventions concluded in 1843
about the cost of producing postage stamps, but with Austria and Prussia, postage for letters sent
the idea did not find favor with the St. Peters- abroad was to be calculated on the basis of the
burg Postal Service, principally because of fears Prussian lot, which was slightly heavier than its
that it would not be difficult to remove the Russian namesake (15 grammes compared with
stamps from letters and re-use them. Instead, the 12.8 grammes). By coincidence, the Anglophile
decision was taken to follow the Finnish exam- Viceroy of the Caucasus, Prince M. S. Voron-
ple and use stamped envelopes, tsov (1782-1856), had just assumed responsibility
The first St. Petersburg City Post stamped for postal services in the same year and had
envelopes were produced by the Postal Depart- given his approval at almost the same time as the
ment in ten different sizes, ranging from the tsar to a proposal made by the local postal auth-
very large to small ones for visiting cards. All the ority that locally produced stamped envelopes
envelopes bore an embossed blue circular stamp, should be brought into use in Tiflis, the capital
in the center of which was the two-headed of Georgia which had been annexed to Russia
eagle adopted by Ivan III in 1472 after his in 1801. Vorontsov sought permission from the
marriage to Sophia, the niece of Constantine XI appropriate authorities in St. Petersburg to put
of Byzantium. The eagle, surmounted by a his plan into effect. Not surprisingly, the Postal
crown, holds a scepter in its right claw and an Department, before submitting the proposal to
orb surmounted by a cross in its left claw. the Caucasian Committee, informed Vorontsov
Around the circumference of the stamp there that his proposal clashed with its own plans to
was an inscription indicating that the cost was 6 extend the use of stamped envelopes throughout
kopecks (5 for postage and 1 for the envelope), the empire, to which the tsar had already given
The price originally proposed was 20 kopecks in his approval. Permission was therefore refused
copper coins, but this was subsequently altered and an order was given to destroy stocks of the
to 5 kopecks to be paid with the silver coin of proposed envelopes, of which specimens had al-
that value. The following year sheets of paper ready been sent to St. Petersburg. In his letter of
with the same stamp and sheets with a tear-off 13 February 1848 to Vorontsov, the Head of
envelope were printed. Further issues of enve- the Postal Department Count V. F. Adlerberg
lopes were made in 1848 and 1864. The Mos- (1790-1884) outlined the reasons for his refusal,
cow City Postal Service (established in January one of which was that the envelopes had been
1845) was quick to follow the example of manufactured on unwatermarked paper, unlike
St. Petersburg, and printed similar envelopes the Postal Department's own stamped envelopes.
with a red stamp in 1846 and 1851. The use of When the Postal Department approached
stamped envelopes eventually led to the installa- the EZGB through the Ministry of Finance for
Rossica Journal Number 130 5
assistance in printing stamped envelopes for use pean and Russian rail network for the more
throughout the empire, it was informed that efficient transport of mail. (The first Russian
EZGB's Printing Department was unable to mail coach was attached to a train on the St.
accept any new commitment because it was Petersburg/Moscow railway in the year of its
already working to its fullest capacity. However, opening, 1851.)
the EZGB was willing to sell the Postal Accordingly, on 17 October 1850 Nicholas
Department a machine for the manufacture of I approved a proposal submitted by Count
the envelopes at a cost of 1,450 roubles. In addi- Adlerberg, who was one of the tsar's closest
tion, it agreed that one of its engravers, A. V. personal friends and who became Minister of the
Kirkhner, would carry out the engraving of the Imperial Court and Crown Domains in 1852,
embossed stamps on the envelopes. The first that one of its officials concerned with the
issue made in December 1848 consisted of three transport of mail by rail should be sent on an
envelopes with stamps of different values depict- extensive European trip to study the use of pos-
ing the imperial eagle with a large tail: 10 tal stamps and railways for the transport of mail.
kopecks, black, for 1 lot; 20 kopecks, blue, for 2 The person selected for this task was A. P.
lots; and 3 kopecks, red, for 3 lots. All the enve- Charukovsky and during the next two years he
lopes were printed on paper from the Ropsha visited Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland,
mill with a watermark also of the imperial eagle. Austria, Switzerland, as well as several of the
As before, the envelope itself cost 1 kopeck. A component parts of the still un-united countries
second issue depicting the imperial eagle with a of Germany and Italy. On his return to Russia
small tail followed later in the month and at the end of 1852 Charukovsky complied a
further issues, all manufactured by the Postal lengthy report, but the outbreak of the Crimean
Department, were made in 1849, 1855, 1861, War at the end of the following year led to the
and 1862. The Printing Office of the Postal postponement of any further action being taken
Department lacked workers with the necessary to implement his recommendations.
technical skills with the result that the rejection In 1856, when the Crimean War had ended
rate for the finished product was high, mainly and Nicholas I had been succeeded as tsar by his
because of problems connected with the water- eldest son Alexander II, Count Adlerberg once
marking of the paper. Nevertheless, it was not again took up the question of introducing postal
until 1863 that EZGB agreed to assume respon- stamps in Russia. In May 1856 Finland issued its
sibility for the printing of postal stationery. own locally printed postage stamps for internal
Despite the apparently satisfactory state of use and in June 1857 the Viceroy of the Cauca-
Russia's postal service after the introduction of sus Prince A. I. Baryatinsky (1815-1879) autho-
stamped envelopes, the Postal Department rea- rized the issue of a locally printed postage stamp
lized that their use would not suffice to satisfy in Tiflis which was to remain in circulation for
the future demands that would be placed upon a few months only. Charukovsky's report dealt
it. Many European countries and others overseas with such matters as the type of paper to be
had copied Great Britain by preferring to make used, the colors and method of printing, the use
use of the more portable postage stamp instead of a watermark to prevent forgery, the desirabi-
of a prepaid envelope. (The use of the prepaid lity of perforation, and the need to employ a
Mulready envelope issued in Great Britain in method of cancellation which would ensure that
May 1840 at the same time as postage stamps the stamps could not be reused. In his opinion,
had found little favor with the British public, the stamps should be circular, since this would
partly because of the design.) Nor could the reduce the risk of their being torn if they were
Postal Department fail to note the obvious ad- not securely affixed to the letter. On 5 May
vantage of using the rapidly developing Euro- 1856 Count Adlerberg submitted Charukovsky's
6 Rossica Journal Number 130
recommendations to the Ministry of Finance, thickness would have to be manufactured on
which agreed that EZGB should be invited to machinery bought abroad. Charukovsky had no
examine them and report back with their com- hesitation in accepting the imperial eagle as the
ments as well as essays for the consideration of basic design rather than the sovereign's head
the Postal Department. It was Count Adlerberg's which had been used in some European coun-
hope that it would be possible to use postal tries. However, as a result of the information
stamps in Russia beginning on 1 January 1857. collected during his second trip abroad, he had
As a first step, EZGB instructed Ya. Ya. now decided that Russia's stamps should not be
Reikhel (1778-1856), who was a Polish-born circular. Instead, they should be printed in two
engraver of medallions and Head of the Printing colors on watermarked paper and the imperial
Department, to prepared the essays required. He eagle should be set inside a rectangular frame
produced two sketches which were subsequently and embossed in white on a colored background
engraved on metal by A. V. Kirkhner. There in order to make forgery difficult. In addition,
were two basic designs, the first of which was Charukovsky was insistent that the stamps
the head of Mercury and the second, two varia- should be cancelled with dated obliterations
tions of the imperial eagle. All three designs rather than by penstroke.
bore the inscription "10 kop. (per) lot." The The Postal Department was content to
second variation of the eagle design included accept the views of Charukovsky, but it was
posthorns. On 13 July 1856 proofs were run off clear to Count Adlerberg that there were con-
from the three essays and submitted by the siderable differences of opinion between the
Minister of Finance P. F. Brock (1805-1875) to experts in his own department and EZGB about
the Postal Department together with EZGB's the possibility of printing postage stamps.
discouraging comments about the possibility of Moreover, the target date of 1 January 1857 for
their undertaking the necessary work. The fol- their introduction was no longer realistic. On 22
lowing month Reikhel was sent abroad to visit August 1856 Adlerberg therefore proposed to
several paper-making and printing establishments Brock that a joint committee should be set up
in Western Europe; he died in Brussels on 30 to find a solution to the problems which had
October 1856 at the age of 78. arisen between the two departments. At the
In June 1856 Charukovsky had also been same time, he made it clear that, in his view,
sent abroad for a second time to collect further EZGB and not his own department was best
information about the use of postage stamps in equipped to undertake the work. No doubt
Europe. During his first trip he had visited Brock was well aware of Adlerberg's close
Prussia and on this second occasion he had relationship with the tsar and he therefore had
further discussions with the Prussian Postal no objection to this proposal. (In fact, Brock
Department. The result was the submission to was replaced as Minister of Finance by Knyazhe-
the Postal Department of a proposal that Prussia vich in March 1858.) In September 1856 Cha-
should print Russia's postage stamps if EZGB rukovsky, representing the Postal Department,
proved unable or unwilling to undertake the and F. F. Vinberg, Assistant Head of the Print-
work. Not surprisingly, this proposal did not ing Department (Reikhel being absent abroad),
find favor in St. Petersburg. set to work to resolve the differences of opinion
On his return to Russia, Charukovsky ex- between the two organizations.
amined the proofs and comments on his original To begin with, it was decided to design a
proposals submitted to EZGB. One of EZGB's new stamp along the lines proposed by Charu-
objections to undertaking the work was their in- kovsky. Eventually Kirkhner and another of his
ability to produce the right thickness of paper colleagues concluded that the production of such
on their own machinery. Paper of the correct a stamp was too difficult. However, another of
Rossica Journal Number 130 7
EZGB's engravers, F. M. Kepler, decided to the purchase of additional equipment from
make an attempt. He was aware of EZGB's re- abroad.
luctance to take on the task of printing postage The need to obtain equipment from abroad
stamps and was bold enough to make a direct resulted in delays with the result that work pro-
approach to the Postal Department about setting ceeded slowly. The paper used for the stamps
up his own printing firm for this purpose, a had to be made by hand and was thickened so
suggestion which predictably was rejected. In that a 15mm-high watermark of the figure for
producing his essay for the first Russian postage the appropriate lot number could be impressed
stamp, Kepler was almost certainly influenced by upon it. By the middle of October the Postal
one of the designs included in the collection of Department had selected the three values it
essays brought back by Charukovsky after his required from the twenty proofs in various color
first trip abroad. This essay had been prepared combinations submitted by EZGB. On 20 Octo-
by the Prague firm Gottlieb Haase & Sons. The ber 1857 Alexander II gave his formal approval
stamp was rectangular in shape and the design for the use of the proposed stamps and Pryanish-
consisted of the Austrian imperial eagle within nikov requested that the first six million stamps
an oval frame around which was an imperial printed should be broken down as follows:
mantle with a crown on top. Kepler's first sketch 5,700,000 10-kopeck stamps, 200,000 20-
of a stamp of similar design has survived and is kopeck stamps, and 100,000 30-kopeck stamps.
dated 21 October 1856. After a few minor al- But there was to be a further delay in pro-
terations had been made, it was accepted by duction that was more serious than those which
Charukovsky and Vinberg. Further discussions had already been encountered. On 19 Novem-
about various technical printing matters followed ber 1857 the perforation machine ordered from
and on 28 November both officials were able to Vienna arrived in St. Petersburg in a damaged
report to their respective departments that the condition. The necessary repairs would make it
work of the committee had been successfully impossible for the stamps to be perforated and
concluded, ready for use on 1 January 1858. After consulta-
A few days later on 10 December 1856 tion between EZGB and the Postal Department
Count Adlerberg, who was to relinquish control it was agreed that the 10-kopeck stamp would
of the Postal Department the following month, be issued imperforate. The first consignment of
made a formal request to Brock that EZGB 100,000 stamps was delivered to the Postal De-
should undertake the printing of a set of four apartment on 26 November and was followed by
stamps using the basic design made by Kepler a further 2,900,000 stamps during the next three
for each of the four values. (The fourth value weeks. On 10 December the Postal Department
proposed was for 5 kopecks, the rate for the St. issued its circular about the introduction of the
Petersburg and Moscow City Posts.) After con- stamps and by 13 December the perforation
sultation with the Head of EZGB, S. A. Reme- machine had been repaired. It was now possible
zov, Brock replied on 3 February 1857 that he to begin printing perforated 10-kopeck stamps
was prepared to authorize EZGB to undertake and in due course 3,600,000 were delivered to
the printing of 12 million stamps to be ready no the Postal Department, as well as the 200,000
later than 1 January 1858. The stamps would be 20-kopeck stamps and the 100,000 30-kopeck
printed in sheets of 100, consisting of 4 panes of stamps requested in October. The stamps were
25 stamps arranged in rows of 5. Two days later printed very accurately with two separate plates,
Adlerberg's successor, F. I. Pryanishnikov, ac- one for the frame and one for the embossed im-
cepted this offer, as well as the Ministry of Fi- perial eagle. Thus the number of sheets rejected
nance's stipulation that the Postal Department was low.
should provide the money needed by EZGB for Documentary research in Russia has re-
8 Rossica Journal Number 130
vealed that 10,510 imperforate 10-kopeck stamps of a paper, the surface of which had been coated
were sold in nine Russian provinces (gubernii) in with a mixture of gum and chalk. If an attempt
December 1857 while in two provinces 801 was made to remove the cancellations in order
letters franked with 10-kopeck stamps were to reuse the stamp, part or all of the design of
posted before 1 January 1858, when the 20- the stamps was removed at the same time.
kopeck and 30-kopeck stamps were also brought Despite its early reluctance and the initial
into use. Pryanishnikov had instructed his problems with which it had to contend, EZGB
officials to re-examine the question of using was to make a success of the printing of postage
postage stamps for the despatch of letters abroad, stamps. In 1884 the Postal and Telegraph De-
but no progress was made because of the diffi- apartments were amalgamated and in 1889 a new
culties in calculating the rate. It was not until series of definitive stamps was issued which bore
1864 that three stamps of a different design by the emblem of the new joint organization,
Kepler for 1, 3, and 5 kopecks were brought crossed posthorns and thunderbolts. Besides sets
into use to meet this requirement. In 1858 of definitive stamps, EZGB produced a set of
Russian Poland was permitted to issue locally War Charity stamps in 1905 at the time of the
printed stamped envelopes. This was followed in Russo-Japanese War and another similar set in
1860 by the issue of a locally printed 10-kopeck 1914 after the outbreak of the First World War.
stamp with an inscription in Polish using Kep- In 1913 it produced a set of stamps commemo-
ler's design for the Russian 10-kopeck stamp. It rating the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty
was withdrawn after the Polish revolt of 1863. which, despite many protests, broke with the
In addition, a special 5-kopeck stamp for use by tradition of not depicting a portrait of the tsar
the St. Petersburg and Moscow City Posts de- on them. By this time, EZGB was employing
signed by Kepler was issued in July 1863. It was several talented artists and engravers such as
officially withdrawn in 1864 after the 5-kopeck P. Ksidias, F. Schirnbock, I. Ya. Bilibin, E. Lan-
stamp for general use was issued, but it con- ceray, and R. Zarins. The latter, who was born
tinued to be used until 1884. This is one reason in 1869, was Head of the Art Division of EZGB
why it is easier to find this stamp mint than from 1899 to 1919 when he became Head of
used. the State Printing Works of independent Latvia.
As Charukovsky had predicted, the use of He retired in 1933 and died in Riga on 21 April
penstrokes to cancel the stamps proved to be 1939.
unsatisfactory. On 26 February 1858 the Postal EZGB was equally active in producing pos-
Department issued a circular forbidding the use tal stationery, manufacturing postcards in 1872 as
of penstrokes and recommending the use of well as letter-cards and wrappers in 1890. Dur-
dated obliterators, pending the issue to post ing the years 1890-1891 it printed a set of
offices of specially manufactured new oblitera- definitive Russian stamps with a slightly modi-
tors. A favorite method of removing the pen- fled design for use in the Grand Duchy of Fin-
strokes and cancellations from the stamps was to land, a measure which formed part of Alexander
soak them in lamp-oil and wipe them clean by III's ill-conceived Russification policy in that
the careful application of a piece of bread. It was country. From 1863 it issued special stamps, in-
also found that EZGB's handmade paper was too cluding some overprinted Russian definitive
thick and frequently the stamps would not stamps, for use in the various Russian post
remain affixed to the envelope or letter sheet, offices in the Ottoman Empire. Similar over-
As a result, on 28 October 1858 the set of the printing of Russian definitive stamps began in
first three stamps was reissued on softer unwater- 1899 for the use of the Russian post offices that
marked wove paper, which was thinner. At the had been set up in China. After the end of the
same time, experiments were made with the use Russo-Turkish War in 1878, EZGB printed in
Rossica Journal Number 130 9
1879 the first set of stamps issued by the newly During the years of the Civil War which
independent Bulgaria. From 1893 to 1916 it also followed the Bolshevik takeover, there was half-
undertook the printing of five different key-type hearted foreign intervention in various parts of
stamps, analogous to those issued by other Euro- Russia and a depreciation of the currency. De-
pean countries for their overseas colonies, as spite these difficulties, EZGB still managed to
replacements for the locally produced stamps print some of the values of the last imperial
issued by some of the Russian provincial coun- definitive series in a slightly different format.
cils (zemstva), the use of which had begun dur- The Postal Department was now called the
ing the reign of Alexander II as an extension of People's Commissariat of Posts and Telegraphs
the Imperial Postal Service. and it authorized the use for postal purposes of
After the outbreak of the First World War, unissued stocks of low denomination Postal
EZGB was faced with a number of production Savings Bank stamps, which had been
problems caused by shortages of paper, printing withdrawn from circulation by the Ministry of
inks, and spare parts for the machinery. Because Finance in December 1915. Because of the
of the shortage of small change and the hoarding threat of occupation by White forces, EZGB
of coins, it had to undertake on behalf of the was evacuated to Penza from Petrograd, as St.
Ministry of Finance the printing on card of Petersburg had been rechristened during the
some of the stamps in the 1913 Romanov set. First World War.
These stamps bore on the reverse an inscription When the Soviet government decided to
stating that they could be used as currency in make Moscow the capital of Russia once again,
accordance with the value printed on the face. EZGB established its headquarters there along
Stamps in the last definitive series had to be with its parent People's Commissariat of Fi-
issued imperforate because of the maintenance nance. In June 1919 it was renamed the
difficulties with the perforation machines. These Administrative Department for the Production
problems became more serious in 1917 after the of Stamps, Coins and Orders (UPRAVLENIE
February Revolution, the abdication of Nicholas PROIZVODSTVOM GOSUDARSTVENNYKH
II, and the overthrow of the short-lived Ke- ZNAKOV, MONET I ORDENOV), which was ab-
rensky Provisional Government as a result of the breviated to GOZNAK. In 1921 the first pos-
Bolshevik coup d'etat in October 1917 (No- tage stamps issued by the Russian Socialist
vember, according to the Western calendar). A Federal Soviet Republic made their appearance.
set of two stamps to commemorate the revolu- In July 1923 these were followed by the first of
tion, which had been commissioned by the Ker- the many stamps issued by the Union of Soci-
ensky government in 1917, was issued the fol- alist Soviet Republics. In this way the work of
lowing year. EZGB continued.
10 Rossica Journal Number 130
The Imperial Russian Postal Card P3
by Jean Walton
There has been some discussion lately in the third footnote line now falls under the "B" in
philatelic press [an article by Dr. Ortwin Greis "BO," instead of under the O as in the 103mm
in the Zeitschrift fir Russland Philatelie No. 68 setting of P2a.
and in the Bulletin of the Rossica Society No. 26] The General Postal Union in Bern in Sep-
on the Russian postal stationery card P3. The tember of1874,1 as Dr. Greis points out, created
Rossica Bulletin seems to question the authen- a need for Russia one of the original GPU
ticity of Dr. Greis' card. I wish to support the signatories to issue an international rate card
existence and authenticity of this card, long to comply with GPU rates and regulations. The
listed in Ascher, and to explain my reasons for 4-kopeck P4 card met that requirement.
doing so. P4, a 4-kopeck card, has paper and headings
I have looked long and hard at many copies as P2, with of course the exception of the frank,
of P4, hoping to find the copy missed by a which is 4 kopecks instead of 5. The footnote,
dealer, as I am sure many other collectors of however, now has five words in the second line,
Russian postal stationery have done. Although indicating its use abroad as well as within the
this search has been futile, I have acquired a empire (figure 2). Although Ascher and Michel
copy of this card from a dealer who knew what indicate 1876 as an issue date, my earliest copy
it was (and priced it accordingly); he tells me it is dated 19 November 1875 O.S. [30 November
has been in his possession for a long time, and is 1875 N.S.]. The first footnote line on this card
ex-Dr. Zimmer. is 103mm, but it is otherwise not at all like P2a.
Before examining these two copies of P3, it Among other things, the third line differs from
seems best to take a closer look at both the pre- the P2a card by the addition of commas before
ceding P2 and the following P4 cards. P2 is a 5- and after "address," making it 88mm long. This
kopeck card for use within the empire, as the makes the period at the end of the third foot-
footnotes at the bottom of the card indicates, note line fall between the "C" and "b" or
The first line of the footnote came with settings "BCb" in the first line.
of both 103mm (P2a) and 105mm (P2b) (figure What then is P3? Clearly it was a first and
1). My own used copies tend to indicate that hasty attempt to meet this requirement [Dr.
the 103mm setting was first, followed by the Greis indicates an issue date of 19 June 1875]. It
105mm setting (my earliest date for the second uses almost the identical settings of the current
setting is 10 February 1875). The second foot- P2b card it was to replace, substituting the 5-
note line indicates, in two words only, its uses kopeck stamp with a 4-kopeck frank, but ne-
within the empire. The third footnote line is glecting to change the inscription in the second
86.5mm long on both the 103mm setting and line of the footnotes to include the "and
the 105mm setting. These two cards can easily abroad" notation (figure 3).
be distinguished from one another without In examining both my own copy and the
measuring, in that the P2b 105mm setting foot- illustration and description of Dr. Greis' card in
note first line and second line, on the right and the article in Zeitschrift fir Russland Philatelie No.
left margins respectively, are set much closer to 68, I find the settings of our two cards are iden-
the border ornamentation than on the P2a tical to one another. The first line in the foot-
103mm setting, and the period at the end of the note, as he indicates, is 105mm, not 103mm, as
Rossica Journal Number 130 11
S OT blTE bM z8
I "Ca~ Hi oroPOAHOE. I ^
. .o nr.C. o oze.. (.im. on.n.e. o DI. no.ITOuiI nBN ompaujeo BO3 nct norrowu. .............
S 2. Ha aroi cropoba a ppout a Hpeca we AoaoansTCTa alero Rpyraro nncarT.
1. Tro mucro loeeis 6UTs onylq eno 1a noTuronauBfl wznw a OTnpsLaeaO Bo cB. nOTOrHojn
TcHna Hepep H.
2.. H TO Aroa T oepott Kpoi aApeca Oe AosonasAeT a sroero Apyrpro nCT. nCaT
mcaeA0.03aroToa, e Ayaan.
Figure 1: P2a and P2b. The first line of the footnote difers in length, 103mm on P2a and 105mm on P2b.
Note also the placement of the second line in relation to the frame ornamentation at left,
and the relationship of the period ending line 3 to the words in line 1.
P4. The second line of the footnote has only skillful blending of paper. It would probably
two words, and begins lmm from the frame have to be done with mint cards, with message
ornamentation, as opposed to the 3mm of P4. and cancels applied to the finished product. If
And the third line is 86.5mm long, with no these two cards are forgeries, the creator cer-
comma, unlike P4 which is 88mm long with tainly took this more difficult route in producing
commas. It is obvious, therefore, that these cards them. My own card, examined carefully under
were not created from copies of P4 with the a good glass, shows no indication that any of
three words somehow removed. this was done: there are no points of paper dif-
If anything, it could be argued that perhaps ferentiation, no breaks in the ornamentation, nor
a copy of P2b could be altered, but this would other flaws that would indicate that two separate
mean replacing the entire frank, rather than re- cards have been joined, either front or back.
moving a few words. It would likely mean Could a clever photocopier have produced
melding a top half of P4 to a bottom half of P2. such a card? No doubt it is possible to create
This would require much more ingenuity, a such an image, by overlaying the 4-kopeck frank
careful matching of frame ornamentation, and a on a 5-kopeck card, and canceling by use of a
12 Rossica Journal Number 130
I'5 TR btTOE roI bBI j
| ui~d MOHHIOPOpHOE.
i 1. O o nChMelo somIerTa ursI ounyxeno Bs noqTroull aul.ni 1i oirupaBseno so ect nouronsnl
Si.icra Hunepi n sa rpanai.
) 2. Ha rTO cTropoBt, EpolA afpecca, O AOoasozerca nanero Apyraro nacaTr.
Figure 2: P4. Note the first footnote line is now 103mm, and the second is shifted away from the frame
ornaments, but in particular, note the addition of two commas in the third line, making it longer (88mm as com-
pared to 86.5mm), and changing the alignment of the period at the end of the third line to the letters in the first.
transparency of the original postmark. But the world for forty-five years, and who is one of
matching the paper type exactly and achieving the two editors of the Webb Catalog of the Postal
the correct color would present some serious Stationery of Canada and Newfoundland.)
challenges. A computer-generated image could This leaves unaddressed the questions of
perhaps achieve the same thing more easily. But extreme rarity and late usages of these two cards.
anyone familiar with printing processes should My own card is dated 29 October 1877, can-
be able, with a glass, to distinguish the results of celed in Dorpat and with a Riga receiver. Dr.
this from the original printing process (typogra- Greis' card is dated 5 March 1878, from Riga to
phy) fairly easily. I feel confident in saying that Hamburg with a Hamburg receiver. As Dr.
this card does not differ in printing process from Greis suggests, when the error of the missing
P2 and P4. All of these cards are clearly typo- words was discovered, it is likely that these cards
graphed. (I have also consulted with a specialist were withdrawn from use. This must have oc-
in production matters such as printing and curred quickly for there to have been replace-
paper, who has been a collector and researcher ments available as early as December. How then
of the stamps and postal stationery of much of might it come about that two used copies exist
Rossica Journal Number 130 13
P, N i
1i>, "ro .in clo Mo seWS 0uTV.pUnjeno BI. no"TosBui a:MAnS n oTpaBaeao no sctnoqroBiaax
rCT.iePi. P O
S2. iH 3T:b cTopoTnh fpOKt aspec N.e AoaosaJHeTca Heqiro ipyraro nrcaTd. e
na14 Rossica Journal Numer 13
---Lo. rlZi o .---- / i!
Figure 3: P3. Thefootvnote is as P2b, 105m in thefirst line, two words only in the second line,
and the period at the end of the thirdfalling under the "B" of "BO."
14 Rossica Journal Number 130
with such late dates, and none are recorded in Either of these occurrences would put them
1875 or early 1876? late into the mail stream, with no 1875 uses.
Two possible scenarios are worth consider- Unless 1875 uses come to light and especially
ing. The first is that the card was distributed, but if only additional later uses are found it must
then recalled before being issued. If this was the be assumed there was no original or official
case, had any inadvertently not been returned 1875 issue.
from post office stock drawers, they would have I have been told that a copy of this card
been covered up by new P4 stock, available in exists in the Russian Philatelic Museum. I would
December 1875, and might not have surfaced be very interested to know whether it is mint or
until the P4 cards placed on top were used up. used, and if in fact the settings match those of
By that time, it is unlikely that a postal clerk Dr. Greis' and my own card. Other cards which
would have noticed the missing three words or may exist will add immensely to the understand-
that the card was different from what he had ing of this card, and I am hopeful that any other
been using. collectors with copies will respond to the issues
Another possible scenario, however, is that discussed here. In my own judgment, the exis-
the cards never left a central distribution point, tence of P3 is beyond doubt, and examples can
that a box or two escaped being destroyed, and readily be identified as shown above.
were only inadvertently sent out as supplies of
P4 dwindled. Then in filling a request for more
cards, it is possible that a clerk might have mis- Notes
takenly taken a handful of these cards to com- 1. The General Postal Union (GPU) became the Univer-
plete an order, not realizing that were of the sal Postal Union (UPU) at the 1878 congress in Paris.
POSTAL HISTORY AUCTIONS
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Free-Frank Seal of Simbirsk
Similar to the Zemstvo Stamps of Alatyr'
by Ortwin Greis (Hamburg)
Recently, George G. Werbizky wrote a
very interesting comment in the Rossica journal
on a free-frank seal of the Simbirsk Office for
Peasants' Affairs.' The design of this seal is very
similar to the extremely rare zemstvo stamps of H1E I
Alatyr' in Simbirsk Province. The basic orna-
ment of all these stamps is a six-pointed star
with a double circle, implying the same origin m Z J B
and/or printer. Apart from the naturally different S o T A. Tlro'L S*C
inscriptions, the outer frame consists of a dif- a RC
ferent number of ornaments: Alatyr's zemstvos
have 10x8 and the seal of the Simbirsk Office of
Peasants' Affairs has 11x10 stars. At the end of
his article, Werbizky asked whether any Rossica g08O da O9
reader could comment on the rarity of the
I am very pleased to add some information
to the knowledge of the seals with this kind of
star ornament, presently known from Simbirsk
Province only. In my collection of seals used in which were applied in the form of paper seals
imperial Russia, I have one paper seal that is on the back of the official items of mail (for
very similar to the above seal (figure 1). The rIAKETb, plural FIAKETOBL) from about
frame is made up by 11x11 basic star ornaments. 1860 to 1917.
Their sequence has no translational symmetry at Now to Werbizky's question on the rarity
all, an observation which is also true for the of such seals. I consider them as extremely rare
above-mentioned seal of the Simbirsk Office of on the basis of my own collection of about
Peasants' Affairs and for the zemstvo stamps of three hundred different seals of imperial Russia,
Alatyr'. As a consequence of the different frame including the famous collection of E. Marco-
size, there is also a somewhat different arrange- vitch.3 I intend to write a checklist or handbook
ment of stars within the frame. The text of the on such seals. Contributions from other collec-
free-frank paper seal reads as follows: nIEqATE tors in forms of copies of their own holdings
ZIJIS HAKETOBE = seal for official mail; C MM- will be very welcome, as well as comments and
6pcKOn yy6epHCxIKo<1 rMHaS i = literature. Please contact: Dr. Ortwin Greis,
of the Gymnasium (= High School) of Simbirsk. Bevenser Weg 2, D-21079 Hamburg.
The Russian word gymnasium was taken from
German, but its origin is Greek. A gymnasium Notes
represented in the educational system of imperial 1. Werbizky, George G. "Zemstvo Look-Alike," Rossica
Russia the highest level of school just below 127 (1996): 43-44.
S. c 2. Werbizky, George G. "Free-Frank Mail in Imperial
the universities. As a subdivision of the Public" Rossica 122 (1994): 76-84.
Russia," Rossica 122 (1994): 76-84.
Service, here the Ministry of Education, such 3. Marcovitch, E. "A Little-Known Branch of Erin-
schools were entitle to free-frank mail and seals,2 nophilia: Russian Paper Seals," Rossica 75 (1968): 82-91.
16 Rossica Journal Number 130
Cherleniovsky Covers, Zemstvo-lmperial Mail
Cross-Point and Fraud
by George G. Werbizky
The article by Terry Page describing additional Cherleniovsky correspondence in Rossica No.
128-129 prompted me to return to this subject. A. Y. Cherleniovsky must have written to every
zemstvo since more covers are turning up. I have acquired an additional six, shown here in alpha-
betical order. In addition to the front, the back of the cover is also shown if there are postmarks or
zemstvo handstamps of interest. The covers have been reduced to fit the pages here.
3 Ae p -
Figure 1: Front of a cover from Ardatov (Nizhnii-Novgorod Province).
The registration sticker is that of the imperial post. A registration sticker is yet to be found,
although registered zemstvo letters are plentiful. In each case the word "3aca31 oe" (registered) is
handwritten. The following postal handstamps were used: Ardatov zemstvo and Ardatov imperial cancels.
Rossica Journal Number 130 17
Figure 2: On the back of the cover from Ardatov is the Yf3J district handstamp,
Moscow transit cancel, and Odessa receiving postmark.
a..., .., J,,
Figure 3: Handstamps on the back of a cover from Bakhmut (Yekaterinoslav Province).
18 Rossica Journal Number 130
Figure 4: Cover from the Bakhmut (Yekaterinoslav Province) zemstvo.
It was a registered letter: we see again the handwritten "3a -a 3 ioe" and the imperial registration sticker.
Two Bakhmut stamps are affixed, which represent the only two stamps that this zemstvo issued (both in
1901). The sender is the Bakhmut Zemstvo Book Depository; clear handstamps front and back testify to that.
Rossica Journal Number 130 19
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ,^.. ......... ..
.. .. .ep. r. .. .
HpHTCHOi YMAHoi 3eMCKoH Ynpab,.
"jg'!'" ^. ^ ^.cy ^?-------3
Figure 5. Two covers: top: Irbit (Perm Province); bottom: Poltava (Poltava Province).
20 Rossica Journal Number 130
-VU pt" N-o 816"
/P^ ~~--- '> ;
/ IL-T.x.lepr. r.(
Figure 7: A cover from Shadrinsk (Perm Province).
There is a commonality among zemstvo covers did) without being handled by the zemstvo post.
with zemstvo stamps sent to Cherleniovsky: all And, as Mr. Page has pointed out, most of
except one (Lokhvitsa cover, figure 5 in Mr. them, but not all, would have gone free frank
Page's article) are registered. In addition to because they were "official mail" as testified by
attractive zemstvo covers, Cherleniovsky re- various handstamps of zemstvo offices. Just the
ceived a number of self-addressed covers from same, we zemstvo collectors should be glad that
various zemstvo seats. One such cover from these covers came into existence; they are
Urzhum (Vyatka Province) is shown in figure 8. attractive and clearly collectable.
This cover has no zemstvo stamps nor were any To illustrate the above, a series of covers is
required. The point is that in zemstvo towns presented from Borovichi zemstvo (Novgorod
B seMoirHx ropoQ ap / towns that Province). First is a cover that stayed within the
were the seat of zemstvo governments two Borovichi zemstvo (figure 9). It was mailed to
postal systems met: the imperial and the the townofBorovichi-Br bopoB xHiH.On
zemstvo. In such towns, the exchange of mail the back of the cover is a zemstvo stamp,
between the two postal systems took place. canceled with a zemstvo cancel that reads
Cherleniovsky covers were mailed from these Borovichi Zemstvo Post-5opoBMzieo towns and could have reached him (and some 3eMcxasI oTra.
22 Rossica Journal Number 130
r. O ECCA, C A
XepcoHCKOR ry6. .
Ynjua )KyicoBclaro, N2 4.
Figure 8: A self-addressed cover from Urzhum (Vyatka Province) to Cherleniovsky,
handled by only the imperial post.
Next is a cover (figure 10) that was mailed privately with the town ofBorovichi cancel, and
from within the Borovichi zemstvo to St. Peters- finally the St. Petersburg receiving postmark.
burg. This cover, therefore, was handled by The last cover in this series is shown in
both postal systems, as shown by the appearance figure 11. It was mailed to St. Petersburg from
of both zemstvo and imperial stamps, including the town of Borovichi. Because there was an
postal datestamps. On this cover we see imperial post office there, no handling by the
Borovichi zemstvo stamp canceled with a zem- zemstvo postal system was necessary.
stvo cancel, an arms-type stamp canceled appro-
Rossica Journal Number 130 23
--- .... nuu!4n.
Figure 9: A cover from Borovichi (Novgorod Province) that stayed within the zemstvo.
24 Rossica Journal Number 130
Figure 10: A cover sentfrom a Borovichi zemstvo post office to St. Petersburg.
The letter went first to the town of Borovichi where it was transferred from the zemstvo system
to the imperial postal system. Post office datestamps are as follows:
Borovichi zemstvo, town of Borovichi imperial post office, and St. Petersburg receiving postmark.
Rossica Journal Number 130 25
^9 .1 ^W,-
\ '/7^~- \ / "1'^' 11 ^-
*' .. ..... ,
Figure 11: Regstered letter from the town of Borovichi to St. Petersburg,
handled only by the imperial postal system.
26 Rossica Journal Number 130
", April 1998
,- ,. .- ^
Figure 11: Registered letter from the town of Borovichi to St. Petersburg,
handled only by the imperial postal system.
26 Rossica Journal Number 130
While at the stamp exhibition MOCKBA need for the services of the zemstvo post. Why
97, a local dealer was kind enough to let me a Borovichi zemstvo stamp? Probably because
examine hundreds of postal cards that he was of- someone thought that the Borovenka and
fearing for sale. Among these cards were several Borovichi sound close enough.
that are shown here. There was no attempt by Also of interest is the rectangular handstamp
the dealer to pass them as zemstvo mail he across both stamps, which reads "LIOCTAB-
told me that in this opinion they had been doc- KA OHJIArTEHA" the delivery has been
tored to appear as zemstvo correspondence. I paid. As far as I know, this cancel is not known
bought them anyway with an article in mind. as belonging to zemstvo post. It must be added
The first card (figure 12) has a Borovichi that zemstvo cancels took many forms and
zemstvo stamp added to make it appear legiti- shapes and at first glance, this cancel could be
mate. The card was mailed to "CT Bopo- legitimate. Further, there has been no systematic
BenKa HmK x<.n a Borovichi station on study of zemstvo cancels. The great collection
the Nikolaevskaya railway line. The sending formed by William Baughman illustrated a
postmark is not legible, but the receiving post- number of cancels and in various articles pub-
mark is clear. Because the town of Borovenka lished here and abroad a few cancels have been
was situated on the Nikolaevskaya railway line, illustrated. Yet, none of these sources show a
it would obviously have been served by the im- cancel like the one on this postal card.
perial post and thus there would have been no
'CARTE POSTAL. I
Sar ,e Car tolina .Pos t.ale
Figure 12. A postal card with an added zemstSo stamp and fantasy cancel.
Rossicajournal Number 130 27
The coup de grace for this cancel is shown celed, is not needed. Figure 15 shows a postal
in figure 13. Note that it is identical to the card sent from Kremenchug (Poltava Province)
previous one, but it was applied across a Belo- to Tsarskoye Selo. The Kremenchug cancel is
zersk (Novgorod Province) zemstvo stamp! Two clear, while the receiving postmark can be read
zemstvos using the same handstamp is not a with difficulty. Again, the Kremenchug zemstvo
known practice. The postal card is addressed to stamp is unnecessary. The cancel is attractive:
the town of Belozersk, the seat of that zemstvo. a pigeon carrying a letter. This kind of "cancel"
The message is short: "Congratulations on the comes from the children's game "The Post
start of the school year. August 21, 1916, Mania Office," which is played in just about every
Katnashnia HERE." The word "here" is the country.
giveaway. In all probability, this card was hand- What makes these fraudulent zemstvo mail
delivered and an "enterprising" individual made items dangerous is that at least one such item has
additions so that the card would appear as appeared in the United States. Recently an auc-
zemstvo mail. tion house offered a postal card as Shadrinsk
The next two postal cards are examples of (Perm Province) zemstvo mail that had a Shad-
zemstvo stamps being added unnecessarily rinsk zemstvo stamp canceled with the rectangu-
because the pieces originated in towns where lar "Delivery has been paid" handstamp already
zemstvo and imperial postal systems crossed their described. This is supposed to be the third
paths. The postal card in figure 14 was mailed in zemstvo that used this cancel! The conclusion is
Novouzensk (Samara Province) to Ekaterinburg. obvious: look at ALL markings to see if they
Both the sending and receiving postmarks are make sense or are legitimate.
legible: Novouznesk zemstvo stamp, pen can-
I-OqTOBA[- K PI-MR IKA- CARTE POS L
Ha amo' cmoponm nuutmcA mo.Ao adpecb.
pofMn AKIV r Y4
Figure 13: A genuine Belozersk (Novgorod Province) zemstvo stamp, and fantasy cancel.
28 Rossica Journal Number 130
fl no).eoplb 11"0MAInf Zapea
Fiue 3 Agnun Blzes (ogoo roice emto tmp ndataycacl
28Rssc junl ube 3
i ,,^ ^ I / ," ^ ^ .ft ^/ it L l.-..-. ,
e- C C ( l O
dI c e 'I, L ,
/' -- " i
Figure 14. A pen-canceled N uensk zemsto (Samara Province) stamp, added unnecessarily.
and canceled with a children's game handstamp.
I..^ C4., ,. ... ..t.,^. *^ .- t .
Rossica Journal Number 130 29
A Note on the Russian Army Postal Service
in France between 1815 and 1818
by Ian W. Roberts
After the final defeat of Napoleon at During the occupation of France Vorontsov
Waterloo on 18 June 1815 by the Allied army received permission from the authorities in St.
commanded by the Duke of Wellington and Petersburg to organize a postal service for his
Marshal Bliicher's Prussian army, the Second brigade in order that its members could com-
Peace of Paris was signed on 20 November municate with their families and friends in
1815. By the terms of the treaty France had to Russia. At this time the other ranks were
pay an indemnity of 700 million francs and peasant conscripts who had to serve for twenty-
allow seventeen fortresses on its northern and five years and who were almost always illiterate.
eastern frontiers to be garrisoned by a contingent Vorontsov therefore also obtained permission to
of Allied troops of 150,000 men under the organize schools which used the British "Lancas-
command of the Duke of Wellington for a terian" system of education (so called after its
period of not more than five years. founder Joseph Lancaster). This system was
This army of occupation included a Russian based on the use of monitors (pupils who had
contingent of 30,000 men who were stationed already been taught and then passed on their
in eastern France in Champagne and Lorraine knowledge to the others). In this way the
with its headquarters in Maubeuge. The com- peasant soldiers learned simple arithmetic, read-
mander of the Russian brigade was M. S. Vo- ing, and writing. The classes were held in the
rontsov, the son of the Anglophile former fortress of Maubeuge under the direction of two
ambassador to Great Britain S. R. Vorontsov, officers, M. F. Orlov and S. I. Turgenev.
who ended his days in Britain and has a street In a report dated 20 December 1818 writ-
named after him in London. During the years ten at the end of the occupation, Vorontsov
1816 and 1817 the number of Russian troops stated that during the three-year occupation of
was reduced at the request of the Emperor France his troops had sent 20,830 letters back to
Alexander I. At the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle Russia. In his opinion, the fact that the members
(Aachen) held in September 1818 the Allies of his brigade could communicate with their
agreed to end the occupation of France as the families and friends in Russia had helped to
indemnity had been paid and in due course the ensure their good behavior in France. However,
troops returned to their own countries. Vorontsov also complained that many of the let-
The three-year presence of the Russian ters sent from Russia to France, especially to the
troops in France resulted in a few marriages be- other ranks, had never reached their destination.
tween the cosmopolitan French-speaking officers Prigara's History of the Russian Post makes no
and local noblewomen. Another important con- reference to this field post service. Nor has the
sequence of their stay in France was the expos- author found any reference to it in Russian phi-
ure of the Russian troops to western ideas. The latelic journals. Undoubtedly more detailed
outcome of this exposure was to be revealed all information is available in the Russian archives.
too clearly in the unsuccessful Decembrist revolt It would be interesting to know whether any
of 14/26 December 1825 which some people reader of this article can add any further
call the "first Russian Revolution." information to its content.
30 Rossica Journal Number 130
The Gan'ko Riddle
by Terry Page
One of the attractions of zemstvo philately mail." If the addressed covers were simply
lies in the refreshing paucity of purely philatelic adorned by Gan'ko with stamps and postmarks,
material. Nonetheless, in his article "Stamps of and the registration cachets endorsed with
the Poltava Zemstvo and their Peculiarities" cosmetic numbers to deceive collectors, this
(Rossica 127) George Werbizky understandably would be a contravention of the postal regu-
points a suspicious finger at the Poltava zemstvo lations and probably illegal. In no way could
post and its postmaster Pavel Petrovich Gan'ko, such items be considered as having been offici-
accusing him not just of innocent philatelic ally carried by the zemstvo post, but is it realistic
activity but of "forging covers with the appear- to assume that this happened? Gan'ko was a
ance of having gone through the mail." Gan'ko Russian (or Ukrainian) civil servant and it is
was a philatelist, and as such must have been a likely that he was shrewd enough to protect his
man surrounded with temptation. No one position by being sufficiently scrupulous, in
doubts the philatelic nature of the self-addressed ensuring that the postal regulations were ob-
registered covers he created; however, there is a served. Important evidence supporting this asser-
considerable divide between those who confect tion is supplied on the next page in the form of
philatelic material and those who forge or fake a registration receipt issued by the Poltava Dis-
in order to profit by deceit. Gan'ko would trict Zemstvo Post in respect of a Gan'ko cover
hardly need to forge or fake during the period numbered 837. That this cover went through
when he was postmaster, but it would be quite the mail, legally at least, is thus incontrovertibly
a different story if, for example, the postal hand- proven. So what about the unaddressed covers
stamps, official stationery, and other parapher- illustrated by Mr. Werbizky? These bear regis-
nalia had followed him into retirement tration cachets and were stamped and post-
Two scenarios are possible: marked. The important point here is that al-
though the registration cachet was applied, no
1. The covers were produced by Gan'ko during the number was entered and therefore there was no
period when he was zemstvo postmaster. implied claim that such items had gone through
In this case he did not produce fake covers, or the post as registered mail. Anyway, without an
even covers that purported to but did not "go address, that would be impossible. These covers
through the mail." As suggested above, as the are therefore canceled-to-order philatelic items
man who controlled the postal system, he was rather than forgeries or fakes.
the one person who had absolutely no need to. If the above is the true scenario, then
At this point we must question what we Gan'ko gets off with nothing more serious than
mean by "going through the mail." One inter- a mild reprimand. Unfortunately though, there
pretation is that letters be correctly processed by is another rather darker possibility ...
the zemstvo post in accordance with regulations.
This would require that the normal registration 2. The covers were produced by Gan'ko after his
procedure be adhered to involving numbering, "retirement" using stolen or abandoned handstamps
recording, and the issue of an official receipt. and registration receipts.
Subject to these procedures there would be If this is the case, then Gan'ko was an outright
no doubt that such items did "go through the villain and the covers in question are fakes, col-
Rossica Journal Number 130 31
i cP oC = I-a: COE, I- %..
-. ~: 1
JB i, n iey'l; 3ai;at I 11()i'o [IdI' I. I [.i ) l a1). i Ic"Io
M ) ........n ...... l..,GiM. H I. rI../ .... ............. ... .....
A 1909 registration receipt issued by the Poltava District Zemstvo Post
in respect of a Gan'ko cover numbered 837.
lectable only as curiosities. I have seen no hard ing that it also appeared on non-philatelic
evidence to support this theory but nevertheless letters? Can anyone show or report having seen
feel a nagging suspicion surrounding the very this cachet on a Poltava cover addressed other
existence of the Poltava registration cachet. This than to Gan'ko?
handstamp is unique in zemstvo philately. That So, is it credible that Gan'ko created a
no other district is known to have used a fantasy registration cachet after his period as
handstamp exclusively for registration is sur- postmaster had ended and then proceeded to
prising considering the significant volume of fake covers with the original Poltava hand-
zemstvo registered mail. On the basis of the stamps? I would argue that despite these unan-
argument developed above, especially in view of swered questions surrounding the cachet, such a
the registration receipt, the cachet should be situation would have been unlikely because if
considered as genuine. The problem is that it Gan'ko was a faker, he would hesitate to over-
only seems to appear on the 1909 Gan'ko self- emel eellish his "products" and risk suspicion. As
addressed covers. In Imperial Russia Zemstvo Post a philatelist he would have understood this. It is
(Finland, 1993), Oleg Faberg6 illustrates two therefore my view that although the jury is still
non-philatelic 1909 Poltava registered covers, out, on balance, more convincing evidence is
Alas, neither are marked with the cachet. I have required before Gan'ko's activities can fairly be
a 1913 cover but again, no cachet. Yet even dismissed as fraudulent. Consequently, the ma-
assuming that this handstamp was put into ser- trial he created, though highly philatelic, should
vice by Gan'ko for philatelic reasons, why would be considered as genuine and certainly col-
he have not given it added credibility by ensur- lectable as part of the zemstvo philatelic heritage.
32 Rossica Journal Number 130
Railway Mail in Pre-War Soviet Georgia
by Peter Michalove
While railway mail of the imperial Russian Mailcoach no: Endpoints
period has always been a popular collecting area, 51-52 Tbilisi-Telavi
and there is a good deal of literature devoted to 95-96 Baku-Batumi
it, Soviet railway mail has received considerably 97-98 Samtredi-Poti
less interest. Epshtein (1997) is an excellent 101-102 Shoropani-Sachkeri
treatment of the revolutionary and transitional 105-106 Khashuri-Borzhomi
periods, and Robinson (1997) is a welcome start 111-112 Tbilisi-Dzhul'fa
to the classification of early Soviet railway
markings. One reason for this relative neglect of Following imperial Russian practice, mail-
the Soviet period is that, with the growth of coaches were assigned numbers in pairs, as
airmail for long-distance transportation, the shown above. For example, the northbound
railway lost much of its importance as a means train traveling from Tbilisi to Telavi would
of carrying the mail. This means that Soviet stamp mail on the train with a cancel of mail-
railway mail is much less common than its coach no. 51 (Tbilisi-Telavi). Mail processed on
imperial counterpart, but of course philatelists the return trip of the same train would mark
always enjoy the less common, so we should mail with the cancel of mailcoach no. 52 (Te-
have interesting, if more difficult, hunting here. lavi-Tbilisi).
Railway mail in Georgia is well covered in For the record, Skipton (1986), based on
the imperial period by Ashford (1981), updated the 1927 Postal Guide, also lists the following
by Ashford (1994, 1995), while the same auth- unnumbered mailcoach routes:
or's (1991) work details the complex post-revo- Akhelseanki-Zugdidi
lutionary and independent Georgian period. Borshomi-Bakuriani
This article will survey the use of railway mail in Gurdzhaani-Tsnoris Tskhali
pre-war Soviet Georgia, that is from the intro- Kutaisi-Tkvibuli
duction of Soviet franking in February 1924, Notabeni-Ozurgeti
through the 1930s, a period that Steyn (1996) Rioni-Kutaisi
has called the "golden age of Soviet postmarks." Khashuri-Surami
Along the way I will illustrate the few real
examples of the species that I have been able to Except for the Akhelseanki-Zugdidi and the
find. Notabeni-Ozurgeti (now Makharadze) lines, all
The 1927 Postal Guide (partially translated in of these unnumbered routes operated in imperial
Skipton 1986) shows a picture consistent with times, and their use in that period is covered in
the situation in 1938 given by Belyaev and Kuz- Ashford (1994). For the Soviet period, I have no
netsov (1989). These sources, representing examples or other information on them. For
roughly the beginning and end points of our these lines, as with so much else in Russian
concern here, list the following numbered philately, more research is needed, and we will
mailcoaches in the Georgian Soviet Republic: focus here on the numbered lines.
Rossica Journal Number 130 33
cYXyMK. A _..- .- 'rhc. 4 1 .-
*Beo. 3-H XCICT \
.'- t .3 B- h. .
\\q o...-p ,. c' e x I
." xan y6o 0T 'C C "
AHa d X -er r r.. -
,Ary -Kap.a HO 4 .
3eoum .L- ""--'-x e.
S- a ,a e ?- 4 e
Srantn r e -yp- e
S-"'- a a ape
Ynca Aa c rk-
AnapepA ,"Wy 4,
7YMa m 3.- 3. 7 o..,- a. ...
,flMa kiuc$ A -
"a 'TaBH i',C Ap]uaLa ( M : e
-. -EPEBAH Ma O Ty ,
0apa ', I _, h Bm C ,, ,
e O "- --
F.^T- Y. Ha ..... 92 .
Mc a 1 1600 O
hr 49 n e1 e, K A p
S--SO:aHCB3Ka3 1 -'I- .I c r na r
Hpc3 o 9 Ce aH
I 4Darau UTOEd n I
/~^ *~TYMH A^_^/d-~ j '^.eM, JcLM~yciT 92pteia
But a simple listing of the numbered For the numbered railway routes, figure 1
mailcoaches does not convey the relative signifi- shows a cover canceled on mailcoach 96, the
chance of the different lines. As shown on the eastbound train from Batumi to Baku. The re-
map from the Atlas zheleznykh dorog SSSR (Atlas turn address shows that it was posted in Rioni,
of Railways of the USSR, 1987), the backbone specifically the Rioni station of the Trans-
of the Georgian railway system remains the line caucasian Railway, one of the stops along this
from Batumi on the Black Sea in the west, to route. Because it is addressed to Moscow, it is
Baku on the Caspian Sea in the east, our line most likely that the cover traveled by train only
95-96. (Baku is in the Republic of Azerbaid- as far as Tbilisi. From there it was forwarded
zhan, and is not shown on this map.) Along this northward to its destination. It was canceled on
route is the important stop of Tbilisi, the the train on 17 June 1935 and is backstamped in
Georgian capital. All the other numbered Moscow on 20 June, so it most likely traveled
railway lines branch off from this central line. As by road from Tbilisi.
the map also shows, there have been numerous From Tbilisi itself, two other numbered
additions to the Georgian railway system since railway routes extended. One, no. 51-52, ran
1938, most significantly the extension of the northward and connected the capital with
western end northward to Sukhumi in the Ab- Telavi, an ancient city reported as early as the
khazian ASSR and from there, further north- first century AD as a trade center on the caravan
ward along what was then Soviet territory, route from the Middle East to Europe. It was
S..... .... ... ... .
y ,.q "" .
JHMeHosaHHne Micra, rme Ha ajiyo t rcp o'-ra -H OCJT 111 1 / ,i
a wnni TraH4 -H .,.Ho faHVe -H7W3WHo tOpor
pa-om.'ceno nt' nepeei
.: ....... ..^ : .. t .. .. Z
Figure 1: A cover canceled on mailcoach 96, the eastbound train from Batumi to Baku.
"........................ ... ". -. .. -. .. .. .. ......
S. .. ............ ........ .. ^ ..-.. l . e.r, .- ..... .... ... : : .. . ..... .
Figure 1: A cover canceled on mailcoach 96, the eastbound trainfrom Batumi to Baku.
Rossica Journal Number 130 35
the capital of Kakheti (eastern Georgia) no less dressed in Armenian to Erevan, where it was
than three times, most famously under King backstamped on 11 May.
Herekle, who united the Kingdom of Kakheti Figure 3 represents the reverse route. This
with Kartli (western Georgia) in the eighteenth card was canceled on 27 December 1928 on
century. Telavi is now best known for the mailcoach no. 112, and it arrived in Tbilisi on
production of Tsinandali wine, claimed to be the 28th. This card is in my collection thanks to
the best wine in a country renowned for its the kindness of Ivo Steyn.
winemaking. The Soviet route 51-52 was no. Continuing west along the Baku-Batumi
333-334 in imperial times, and its usages from route, the next town after Tbilisi from which a
that period are detailed in Ashford (1994: numbered route emanated was Khashuri. From
62-63). The line was not completed until 1915. here, mailcoach no. 105 traveled south to Bor-
Southward from Tbilisi, mailcoach no. 111- zhomi (and mailcoach no. 106 made the return
112 traveled into the Armenian Soviet Republic trip). Khashuri (known as Mikhailovo in imperi-
as far as Dzhul'fa, on the Armenian side of the al times) is a town of apparently little signifi-
border with Iran. This route corresponds to chance except for the railway station, which takes
imperial mailcoach route no. 229-230, and visitors south to the well-known spa town of
usages from that period are listed in Ashford Borzhomi. Ashford (1994: 70-72) shows cancels
(1994: 47-54). Figure 2 shows a cover canceled from the then-unnumbered imperial route
on mailcoach no. 111 on 10 May 1936. It is ad- Mikhailovo-Borzhomi.
Ky .a:. ,: ... .. -.. ,
nn C 4- Haero eneHO po r f -
J-. cenoLnH IepeH
0 P'o.o... o.oe H1 ;-MT
Figure 2: A cover canceled on mailcoach 111, the southbound train from Tbilisi to Dzhulfa.
36 Rossica Journal Number 130
Figure 4 shows a cover canceled on the the Black Sea coast to its destination, since the
northbound mailcoach 106, Borzhomi-Khashuri further extension of the railway as far as
on 7 July 1930. Ashford (1994: 70) points out Sukhumi (shown in the 1987 Atlas zheleznykh
that most of the imperial usages we have from dorog SSSR) was not in operation at this time.
this line are on the northbound route from Continuing our westward listing of the
Borzhomi, with covers from Mikhailovo/ numbered mailcoaches emanating from the
Khashuri to Borzhomi being considerably rarer. Baku-Batumi line, the next line traveled north-
This cover continues the tradition, representing ward from Shoropani to Sachkeri on mailcoach
the northbound route. no. 101, with the reverse trip on mailcoach no.
The cover is addressed to Sukhumi, in the 102. Like the Soviet mailcoach no. 105-106,
Abkhazian ASSR, where it arrived on 11 July this route was an unnumbered line in imperial
1930. Four days seems like a long time for such times, and its usage in that period is detailed in
a short trip, especially when so much of it could Ashford (1994: 64-68). Ashford (1995: 41)
be covered by train. When the card arrived in shows a strike of mailcoach no. 102 dated 4
Khashuri, it would have been transferred to April 1927, from the collection of Eric Peel.
mailcoach no. 95, the westward leg of the Peel's cover, addressed to Leipzig, would have
Baku-Batumi route. It would than have trans- joined the Baku-Batumi line at Shoropani and
ferred to mailcoach no. 97 at Samtredi to travel traveled either eastward from there to Tbilisi or
north to Poti, and then continued by road up westward to Batumi for transmittal abroad.
Rossica Joul N r 10 37
Ap .ril 1998. ''.
.. ................ .
", ........ ;....... ....... ..... ........ ............................... .................... ...... ....... .. ........... ......
.' ,, ..................l u....... -, ...... l .. .. "., .,.
Figure 3: A cover canceled on mailcoach 112, the northbound trainfrom Dzhulfa to Tbilisi.
Rossica Journal Number 130 37
The most westerly mailcoach route in fact, in classical times the ancestors of the
Soviet Georgia left the Baku-Batumi line at modern Abkhazians had settled further south
Samtredi and ran from there to the Black Sea than modern Abkhazia, certainly as far south as
port of Poti on mailcoach no. 97, with the Poti, as the Abkhazians also claim the story as
return trip to Samtredi on mailcoach no. 98. part of their heritage. This difference of opinion,
Like the Baku-Batumi line, this one used the arcane as it may sound to westerners, is repre-
same number it had in imperial times. Ashford sentative of the sort of cultural conflicts that
(1994: 44-47) discussed the fairly scarce usages have reached the point of violence between
from that period, and we have none to show Georgians and Abkhazians in recent years. Thus,
from the Soviet period, our survey of pre-war Soviet mailcoaches leads
Today Poti is a prosaic commercial port, us back to the ancient Georgian kingdoms of
but by some accounts it is the place where Jason Kartli and Kakheti, and even earlier to the king-
found the Golden Fleece, and the legend of doms of Colchis, the home of the Golden
Jason and the Argonauts is still regarded by Fleece, which still resounds in modern ethnic
Georgians as part of their cultural heritage. In conflicts.
OT IPbITOE fl UM
So.n mti.ch .a im a:op n cna'
I ;b .I : <,,, ....
I '" -' """' // j /
S, ,. .' -
/ /h I < fr/ 1 .>
S' t ". / *
S -" .
ARE YOU MISSING Ashford, P. T. 1981. Imperial Russian Stamps Used in
Transcaucasia. Part Five: The Transcaucasian Railway.
SOMETHING? British Society of Russian Philately: London.
.1991. Georgia: Postal Cancellations 1918-1923.
* Tchilingirian's Armenia The author: Chester.
* Dr Seichter's Ukraine 1994. Postal Cancellations of the Transcaucasian
* Gordon Torrey's Levant Railway. The author: Chester.
and China 1995. "Cancellations of the Transcaucasian Rail-
* W 0 Lans' South Russia ways: addenda." British Journal of Russian Philately, 79
(October 1995): 36-42.
Atlas zheleznykh dorog SSSR (Atlas of Railways of the
Recent acquisitions at USSR). 1987. Glavnoe Upravlenie geodizii i kartografii
AUCTION pri Sovete Ministrov SSSR: Moscow.
and by Belyaev, M. I. and I. G. Kuznetsov. 1989. "Mailcoach
PRIVATE TREATY Sorting of Postal Correspondence." The Post-Rider, 24
(July 1986): 19-48.
have included parts of such Epshtein, Alexander. 1997. "The Railway Post in Russia
major collections as the During the Transitional Period (1915-1923)." The Post-
above. Rider, 40 (June 1997): 69-86.
Michalove, Peter A. 1993. "The Soviet Republic of
Georgia, 1924-1949." British Journal of Russian Philately,
I send APPROVALS 75 (December 1993): 33-42.
and Robinson, P. E. 1997. Siberia: Postmarks and Postal History
service WANTS LISTS of the Empire Period: Supplement. The author: Sheffield,
across the whole field of England.
Russian philately, including Rosen, Roger. 1992. The Georgian Republic. Passport
Baltic States, pre-stamp and Books: Lincolnwood, IL.
Fiscal. Skipton, David. 1986. "Soviet Railroad Mailcar Routes
1927-1928." Rossica 108-109, pp. 79-93.
Interested? Steyn, Ivo. 1996. "The Golden Age of Soviet Postmarks:
Please write with details of 1924-1938." British Journal of Russian Philately, 80
your collecting interests and (August 1996): 16-31.
current priorities. Suny, Ronald Grigor. 1994. The Making of the Georgian
Nation. Second edition. Indiana University Press:
Bloomington and Indianapolis.
PO BOX 12
LEWES BN7 1AZ
Tel: 44 (0) 1273 813841
Rossica Journal Number 130 39
The Return of the Russian Steamship Line
and Trade Society, September 1918
by Raymond J. Pietruszka
It's stated in Gibbon's Stamp Catalog that the with the Central Powers before the Russian
stamps issued in 1918 by the Russian Steam- Soviet government had done so. As a result of
ship Line and Trade Society (ROSSISSKOE this treaty and the one signed by the Russians in
OBSHCHESTVO PAROKHODSTVA I TORGOVLI / March, the Germans and Austrians occupied
ROPiT) were never used. Following the occu- most of the Ukraine, including Odessa, in
pation of Turkey by the Allied Powers after March 1918. Later, when the German Army
World War I, ROPiT offices in several cities found the Central Rada incapable of meeting its
were reopened, and stamps were printed and obligations of delivering foodstuffs, the Ukrain-
issued. However the company's ships which ian government was replaced by the Hetmanate
would have carried the mail were diverted to of Petro Skoropadsky on 29 April 1918.
support the White Russian armies. After Unlike the previous regime, the Hetmanate
November 1918, conditions in both Russia and brought a period of stability to the Ukraine.
Turkey were too chaotic to have supported a Under the protection of the German Army, an
regular shipping schedule let alone a mail ser- effective administration was established. The
vice. But how about before the end of the war? new government was to a large extent run by
I have two different items in my collection former Russian and Russianized Ukrainian offic-
that indicate the ROPiT tried to re-establish ials. Given the need for Germany to obtain
a ship-going mail service before the end of foodstuffs for its armies in both France and
World War I while ROPiT was a Ukrainian Turkey, a revitalization of the shipping industry
company, not a Russian one. The first is a copy in the Black Sea would have been a reasonable
of a ROPiT circular concerning mail service action at this time.
and the other is a cover from this mail service. It was under these conditions that the
On 1 October 1914 all the foreign post ROPiT geared up to start operations again with
offices in the Ottoman Empire were closed as a one big difference: despite its name, the ROPiT
result of a decree issued in September by the was no longer a Russian company but Ukrainian
Ottoman Empire before it entered the war on and had been since January of 1918. On 9
the side of the Central Powers. September 1918, ROPiT issued the following
On 9 February 1918, the Ukrainian govern- memorandum:
ment, the Central Rada, signed a peace treaty
40 Rossica Journal Number 130
Odessa, 9 Sept. 1918
Russian Steamship Line And Trade Society
To the Steamship Captains on the Company's Foreign Lines
Circular No 2381a
With the accompanying set of cancellers and 8000 Russian Levant postage
stamps of 1900/1904 with new overprints "R.O.P.i.T." and 1/2, 1, 1 1/2, 2, 2
1/2, 3, and 5pi, totalling 16,000 piastres, you are instructed to carry out the
When the ships entrusted to you arrive at ports under Turkish dominion, you
will undoubtedly be approached by clients of the Company with requests to de-
liver their correspondence either to the Main Office and Agency in Odessa or to
other cities. If this correspondence is addressed to places within the confines of the
Ukraine, you must accept it, charging each sender according to the following rate:
1) For wrapper mail with printed matter 10 kopecks for each 15 grams,
counting weight less than 15 grams at the full 15 gram rate.
2) For postcards 20 kopecks each.
3) For ordinary sealed letters 50 kopecks for each gram, counting weight
less than 15 grams at the full 15 gram rate.
4) A 50 kopeck registration fee shall be charged in addition to the weight rate
for wrappers, postcards, and sealed letters sent registered.
Half of the amount collected for each item sent shall be denoted by affixing
the necessary number of Russian Levant stamps accompanying (these instructions)
to the left or reverse side; calculate each newly surcharged piastre on the stamps
as 10 kopecks, and then cancel them using the corresponding handstamp to show
the year, date, and month of posting.
The rest of the money received from the senders, together with the corres-
pondence, shall be handed over to the Senior Treasurer of the Main Office upon
the ships' arrival at Odessa. After the Senior Treasurer has franked the letters with
postage stamps now circulating in the Ukraine, he will send them on to the ad-
dressees by the usual means, through the local post office. He will also present the
Post Office's receipts for registered mail to you for return to the senders.
You will note the number of mail items you received at each port, the
amount of money collected and the number of stamps used in a special postal
book, which upon exhaustion of your stamp stock you will present to the Ac-
counting Section of the Main Office in exchange for a new stock.
Correspondence addressed to points outside the Ukraine, including money
letters, postal orders, declared value packets, packages and money bags, must not
be accepted until such time as special regulations concerning them are issued.
Director Ya. Lefter
Chief of the Commerce Section V. Yazev
Rossica Journal Number 130 41
Several observations can be drawn from this Odessa-type trident overprints. The registration
document: label was added after the ROPiT and Ukrainian
stamps were placed on the cover and canceled.
1. No foreign government was operating post This implies that the label was applied at the
offices in Turkey. This directive authorized the receiving post office after the ROPiT repre-
ship's captain to accept mail from company sentative affixed and canceled the Ukrainian
clients and established the fee for transporting it stamps. The Ukrainian Post Office could have
to Odessa. issued ROPiT a canceller. Finally, there is a re-
ceiving backstamp from a different Odessa post
2. The service was for the Ukraine only. Given office (figure 2).
that the Ukraine had a treaty with and therefore
was an ally of Turkey, ROPiT ships would have c) Dates. The Constantinople cancel was
been permitted to enter Turkish ports. Turkey applied on 4 October 1918. The cover was
was still at war with Russia at this time. turned over to the Ukrainian Post Office on 7
October and delivered to the receiving post
3. This was a courier service. ROPiT did not office the same day. Three days from Constan-
represent the Ukrainian Post Office; it was for- tinople to Odessa is about right: covers from
warding mail on behalf of its clients. These before the war similarly show a transit time
instructions required that the ROPiT stamps be between the two port cities of about three days.
either on the left side front or on the back of
the envelope. It also required that Ukrainian d) Stamps. The Ukrainian stamps are
stamps would be placed in the normal position genuine, as are the ROPiT stamps.
and that normal Ukrainian postal rates be paid
for delivery. e) Cancellers. According to both Tchilin-
ghirian & Stephen in volume four of their work,
Figure 1 is the front of a registered cover Stamps of the Russian Empire Used Abroad, the
from Constantinople to Odessa. It appears to be Constantinople canceller is not a pre-1914 can-
in full compliance with the ROPiT directive. celler and was never used on pre-1914 stamps of
the ROPiT. In addition, the Odessa canceller
a) Postage. The directive states the charge is with the larger "D" has never been seen on a
50 kopecks for delivery and registration to the legitimate cover. Ray Ceresa in his book Postage
company offices in Odessa paid in ROPiT Stamps Of Russia, vol. 3, parts 16/18, shows
stamps and 50 kopecks collected in cash for several of these covers all dated after 1 Decem-
delivery in the Ukraine. The cover meets these ber 1918 with the same two cancellers and with
requirements. The Ukrainian rate in effect from postage combinations that do not match the cir-
September to 1 November 1918 was 25 kopecks cular cited above.
for a domestic letter plus 25 kopecks for
registration. For a local or city letter the rate was So what is this cover? Another example of
20 kopecks. Therefore the rate of 45 kopecks a bogus ROPiT cover? I believe, given some of
was correct for a letter mailed within Odessa. the differences in the covers and the historical
record, it is a philatelic souvenir prepared by
b) Preparation. The ROPiT stamps are on ROPiT with no intent to defraud. While I do
the left side of the envelope and canceled with not believe that the cover originated in Con-
an ROPiT canceller. The Ukrainian stamps are stantinople, all indications are that ROPiT did
on the right side and canceled with a new prepare these covers and that both cancellers
Odessa canceller. All of the Ukrainian stamps are were made in 1918 for ROPiT's legitimate use.
42 Rossica Journal Number 130
Figure 2: Receiving cancel from the
% .910 -C. 'iY ,
\ ...... .
Figure 1: A registered letterfavor canceled by the
ROPiT Main Office in Odessa, October 1918.
Figure 2: Receiving cancelfrom the
Sixth District Office, 7 October 1918. t
Rossica Journal Number 130 43
It's probable that the cover even passed through 1918? The author would greatly appreciate any
the city post of Odessa. further information on the matter.
After Turkey surrendered at the end of Bogus or souvenir? With these covers, more
October 1918, followed shortly after by the information is needed. As for the cancellers
armistice on November 11, what traffic existed used, their use on pre-1914 offices in Turkey
between Odessa and Turkish ports would have stamps or Ukrainian covers are not to be
ended. Allied occupation troops followed and accepted without question.
later, in 1919, the foreign post offices were
reopened in Turkey. In 1919, the ROPiT The author would like to thank Ray Ceresa for
would have reopened their offices in Turkey providing information on these covers.
and issued stamps to their agents. During this
chaotic period from November to the end of References
December 1918, the majority of these covers S. D. Tchilinghirian and W. S. E. Stephen,
were produced possibly by ROPiT, but most Stamps of the Russian Empire Used Abroad,
likely by employees without official sanction. vol. VI (Bristol: The British Society of
Later, after the departure of the French occupa- Russian Philately, 1960).
tion troops, it is likely that both of these
cancellers fell into even less honest hands. Stanley Gibbons, Stamp Catalogue Part 10,
I conclude that the cover is a philatelic Russia, 4th edition (London, 1991).
souvenir of a service that barely got off the
ground, prepared by ROPiT in Odessa and R. J. Ceresa, Postage Stamps Of Russia, vol. 3,
passed through the local mail. If this is true, then Parts 16/18 (Herefordshire, 1990).
there were two different attempts to re-establish
an ROPiT mail service: George Alevizos, Public Auction No 95, De-
cember 1996, Lot 961, Santa Monica, CA.
1) In September 1918, under the Ukraine and
the Entente, which these items document.
2) In 1919, as a Russian company under the
White Russians and the Allies.
The other possible explanation is that both
the document and the cover are examples of
Ukrainian/Russian enterpreneurism, both fakes
and most likely produced by the same party. If
this is the case, given that the Ukrainian stamps
appear to be genuine, then they were produced
in 1918 to defraud the Germans, Austrians, and
Hungarians and later the French and British.
Were the December 1918 covers prepared
to a new set of postal rates or were they already
being prepared by forgers? Does anyone have
covers of this type with any other cancellation
than Constantinople or later than December
44 Rossica Journal Number 130
The Soviet Union's Postal Advertising Labels
by Michael Tereshko
The advertising labels issued by the Soviet tising-commercial agency of Narkompotchtel,
postal administration from 1923 to 1926 are an Svyaz, to issue advertising labels for state-owned
obscure but interesting part of Soviet postal companies. These advertising labels would then
history. The definitive work on this area of be distributed to the public in post offices
Soviet philately was written by A. Aloyts and throughout the country.
published in issue no. 9 of the yearly publication The postal advertising label was designed to
Sovyetsky Kollektsionyer (1971). The technical fit on a standard Soviet cover. Size and form
information in this article is taken from Aloyts' varied somewhat, but the labels were kept in the
work and The Catalogue of Stamps of the RSFSR range of 39mm by 55mm. The main body of
and USSR (1933). The 1933 catalogue is the the label included an appropriate illustration and
only edition of the Soviet catalog that contains text advertising a specific state-owned company.
a listing of these postal advertising labels. Each label also included a blank space for a
You may wonder why advertising would be postage stamp.
necessary in the newly formed Soviet Union Two examples are shown on the next page,
where, supposedly, all property and businesses one from the Petrograd State Tobacco Trust and
were nationalized and under state control. In an one from the Petro Clothing Company, also of
effort to rebuild the country after the bloody Petrograd.
civil war that followed the October Revolution The postage stamp was affixed to the label
of 1917, V. I. Lenin introduced the New Eco- by a clerk in the post office and sold to the
nomic Policy or NEP in 1921. The basic idea patron for the price of the postage stamp. The
was to allow the growth of the private sector of gummed label with affixed stamp was then at-
the economy in order to help the young Soviet tached to a cover by the patron and mailed.
republic get on its feet. According to the theory, An inscription in very small type in the
the private sector would eventually be defeated margin of each label indicates the name of the
in head-to-head economic competition with the issuing agency (Svyaz), printing house and city
state sector. of issue. However, on a few labels the margin
By 1923, there were 6,220 private com- inscription is absent or the basic information is
panies registered in the Soviet Union. These present without the name of the officially desig-
private concerns accounted for 83.3 percent of nated issuing agency (Svyaz).
the total national turnover in retail sales. The It is not clear whether these were unin-
government responded to the situation by tentional errors in design or whether the labels
launching a massive nationwide campaign to ad- in question were not printed by Svyaz, but by
vertise the goods and services provided by com- the companies advertising on the labels.
panies in the state sector of the economy. Postal advertising labels were printed by
One of the unique methods of Soviet Svyaz's central directorate in Moscow and also
advertising was born on 15 October 1923, when by its offices in Leningrad, Kharkov, Kiev,
the People's Commissariat of Posts and Tele- Odessa, Samara, Simferopol, and Rostov-On-
graph or Narkompochtel (the predecessor of the The-Don. The labels were printed by the litho-
Ministry of Communications of the Soviet graphic method in quantities ranging from a low
Union) issued a document instructing the adver- of 50,000 to a high of 800,000 for Leningradsky
Rossica Journal Number 130 45
Two postal advertising labels,
one for a tobacco firm (left)
and one for a clothing company. I or,,- _
Each label has a stamp O r,
affixed and canceled. rTe T..
Tabachny Trest (a Leningrad tobacco factory). labels for "Elektrobank" in French and German.
When a company ordered postal advertising This makes the possibility of completeness a
labels, it would send essays of the design along reality. Millions of these labels coursed through
with payment to Svyaz's central directorate in the Soviet postal system from 1923 to around
Moscow. The company also would indicate the 1927 or 1928. While they may not be falling
quantity to be printed and how many labels from the trees, I do not believe they are espe-
would be distributed to post offices of its desig- cially scarce. The challenge is to find these labels
nation, in good condition. Of course, the ideal way to
This interesting, but short-lived, period of collect this material would be on cover. How-
Soviet postal history ended July 28, 1926, when ever, Soviet collectors preferred to mount the
Narkompochtel ordered Svyaz to cease printing labels off cover in their albums. Thus, very few
postal advertising labels with a space for a pos- intact covers franked with labels and accom-
tage stamp. Svyaz retained the right to continue paying postal stamps remain. Soaking a label off
to print nonpostal advertising labels with the its cover was not possible without the postage
space for a stamp if it received orders for such stamp soaking free of the label. Unfortunately,
items. However, Narkompochtel had effectively instead of cutting out the part of the cover
ended the postal administration's participation in where the label was affixed, the majority of
the nationwide advertising campaign two years Soviet collectors peeled the label off the cover
and seven months after its inception, dry. Anyone who has tried this with a stamp
The strengthened position of the state sector knows that no matter how carefully it is done
of the economy was cited as one of the main there will, inevitably, be some damage to the
reasons for the discontinuation of the issuance of gummed side of the adhesive.
postal advertising labels. However, most likely In any case, the Soviet postal advertising
the main reason was that the postal advertising label is a highly collectible philatelic item and
labels were interfering with the work of postal one of the more interesting areas of Soviet postal
clerks and becoming a nuisance in general. history.
Only fifty-four labels and eight variations
were issued. The variations include five reprints Reprinted by permission from Linn's Stamp
and one label for "Gostorg" in French and two News, Sidney, Ohio. Copyright 1997.
46 Rossica Journal Number 130
More "Damaged" Mail
by Dave Skipton
It's been just over five years since "'Damaged' Mail and the Soviet Post" (Rossica No. 119
[October 1992]: 44-56) appeared, so it seems fitting to mark the occasion with this, "Flapattack
II." The evidence of Soviet intrusion into private correspondence continues to pile up; here are
some more interesting anomalies and some new handstamps to ponder.
Kiev pressions Postales" (Helsingfors , 59),
The "Conditionnement defectueux" handstamp there is no extra "Hle" in the word. Literally
recorded as example 1 in #119 has acquired a translated, this marking reads "done up defec-
close cousin, this one being considerably larger tively," or "put together poorly," but who actu-
and spelled a bit differently "Condition- ally did the bad job is left to the imagination of
nellement defectueux" which appears to be the recipient. Occurs in violet (figure 1). The
an error. According to John Wirkberg's "Ex- top flap is noticeably stained.
j , t t a_
:,.$ -" .
W1 -'0; : --1" '- '
-- ... \
.1 "''^i":X .. .N : "
-/ -*,-- '.- -- K : .. v
Figure 1: A registered letter from Poltava to York Haven, Pennsylvania,
posted sometime in April 1933. It was then re-routed to Harrisburg, PA.
Rossica Journal Number 130 47
ciS U> ... ( ,- :' "
Figure 2: obverse.
.48 7Roa J l 25-1925l N r
"_ 1 7i"t-i,'e_ "
Figure 3: reverse.
48 Rossica Journal Number 130
Leningrad its quality. It's an extremely well-made envelope
Example 1 of December 1926 in the original (produced to honor the 200th anniversary of the
#119 Kiev listing is no longer the earliest Academy of Sciences), and the flap appears un-
recorded "Damaged" handstamp; this registered damaged. About the only "damage" one can
letter (figures 2 and 3) from the Academy of find is the ink smudges, and those could easily
Sciences in Leningrad to a doctor in Cairo, result from the wet datestamp ink from other
Egypt, now holds that distinction, envelopes in the mailbag.
Read with the eye of faith and a strong This next item (figure 4) is a wonderful
magnifying glass, the violet text of the hand- "twofer," a Rosetta Stone of the perlustration
stamp can be partially made out: field. A registered letter posted from Leningrad's
3rd Postal Branch Office to Berlin on 2 June
Recu par la poste 1934, it caught the attention of a Soviet censor,
en etat ?endommage?. who broke into it by attacking the upper right
Le - du bureau (penciled initials), flap. After doing slight but noticeable harm, the
censor applied the "damaged" handstamp, only
The space between "Le" and "du" in the third to discover (one hopes, to her embarrassment)
line isn't long enough to accommodate the that it was the Russian version for incoming
expected employee, so it may be "chef," i.e., foreign mail, not the proper French version for
the office chief, outgoing letters. So on went the #199 example
That this cover was "received by the post in 12b variety in French, and off the missive went
damaged condition" really does an injustice to to its destination.
: :-'* ; :''.^ ^ ^ ^ ." ".":. ^ -^ ... -* (: ; 'T- : /.":."
-" ...... -^* l Eb -, rlo *euir h' ob -.r.* -" -'
0 rp$ I^iO\atfle:h^Ml
Figure 4: "Received with the mail / at Leningrad in damaged condition, with / dirty glue /
on the envelope flaps." The violet shade of both handstamps is exactly the same.
Rossica Journal Number 130 49
This is the first recorded instance of a Russian- 35) between example 11 and 12 in the 1992
version Leningrad "Damaged" handstamp from article. Figure 5 shows an unregistered cover
the early Soviet era, and shows that the same mailed at Leningrad's International Dispatch
covert censorship office that kept an eye on the Office to Elmira, New York, on 28 December
outbound international mail there watched the 1934. The reverse has three prominent blotches
inbound, too. Thanks to the mix-up, it's the and slight damage to the flap.
only recorded cover that bears two different Note the relative positions of the first and
"damaged" markings, second lines. "Retire" on line 1 begins where
A couple of previously recorded Leningrad the "aux" of line 2 leaves off.
handstamps popped up in one dealer's box at In figure 6 we have the same text, but the
Pacific '97, and they may prove to be the "miss- spacing is different: "Retire" begins over the u
ing link" in the eight-month gap (10-34 to 6- of "aux."
,- -....:. ... .R e tire de la boite 6 ., *. '
S' ux lettres r- eta -
endomm::-. .-.' '.
N de 1 sale,- .. .
met cole '
'\ ;- ,- :. : .. .. -.. "^
Figure 5: "Extracted from mailbox in damaged condition, the envelope flaps poorly glued."
50 Rossica Jou al Numr .:130
"' .'Re ir, de Ia boite
.. endom m ic Vs r"s ''
de n coI e..J U ." "k,..v--",
m entc le --. '' ',""'. -
Figure 5: "Extracted from mailbox in damaged condition, the envelope flaps poorly glued."
50 Rossica Journal Number 130
With only these two items recorded and done to the frames would have been intentional,
not much more than five months separating resulting from a file, not overuse. Many more
them, we'll need to find more examples to pin examples would have to be studied before we
down which of these is the type, and which the could equate these frame breaks with those in
variety, the "Mezhdunarodnoe" markings of the 1950s
It's possible too that we may be looking at and 1960s, but they certainly look suspicious.
an earlier version of one "Mezhdunarodnoe" The October 1992 article addressed only
approach to identifying censors, i.e., frame the "damaged" handstamps from the 1920s to
breaks. The example in figure 5 above is clear, the 1940s, but the item in figure 7 is obviously
undamaged, and displays only a tiny break in the a direct and recent descendent, so despite its
frame at lower left (which could easily be youth, into the list it goes. It's a registered letter
attributed to underinking), while the one in fig- from Bueckeburg, Germany, to St. Petersburg,
ure 6 has prominent gaps of approximately equal mailed on 4June 1993 and arriving in St. Peters-
size on the corners, yet the text comes through burg seven days later. Damage to the upper flaps
with no problems. Moreover, IF it turns out is horrendous, due in part to the none-too-
that these particular variants of the "Retire de la dainty removal of the scotch tape. However, the
boite aux lettres" marking were used for only a tape was put on BY THE SENDER in
short time, from late 1935 to mid-1936, then it's Germany (the 50-pf. canceled stamp is on top of
unlikely they'd have seen enough use to damage one tape strip), and plastered all over for good
the frames before being replaced by the "ReCu measure, to keep others from snooping through
a Leningrad" type. In other words, the violence his mail. It didn't work.
"", : "i d/ ;
g^ Retirece e
V-^ ^e X enve *
Figure 6: An unregistered letterfrom Petrozavodsk to Springfield, Massachusetts, 11 May 1935.
Rossica Journal Number 130 51
Wolfgang LUktszyk i
e 3062 Bickeburg /
Figure 7. Obverse: the sender has applied two strips of scotch tape to each side of the envelope.
nonyeHO B -
Figure 8. Reverse: two more strips have been added to the back. All four strips of tape that covered
the flap have been torn up, and the one at upper right has been completely removed.
The rest of the strips are undisturbed. "Received in damaged condition. Operator) (initials in pen)."
Occurs in black. For elegant finesse in breaking and entering, this one doesn't rate highly.
52 Rossica Journal Number 130
And now to the capital, which shows no sign of Example 15b from the 1992 article, but I in-
yielding to "Piter" in the "Damaged" sweep- clude it here as yet another example of a sus-
stakes. The first entry (figure 9) is a glorious picious "coincidence." It too is from the Zaby-
cover, and I curse the day it went to another lov correspondence, but mailed from Irkutsk to
bidder. It appeared as lot 1917 in a 1990s San Francisco on 10 January 1934, two years
auction (?Cherrystone?) I failed to record. prior to the cover in figure 9. I've seen many
Figure 10 shows a pristine version of other covers from this correspondence in dealers'
example 17 in #119. Here, the "en" and "etat" boxes at bourses, with a fair number of them
in line 2 are separate, and the right side of the showing either that Mrs. Zabylov sent damaged
frame shows only minimal abuse. This marking envelopes to her husband as a matter of routine,
is in black, too. or Soviet authorities damaged a lot of them in
The next item (figure 10a) is a standard perlustration.
to the USSR State Bank, International Department, posted from Ulyasutai to Moscow on 26 May 1926.
"Received at the Moscow GPOfrom abroad in soiled condition."
Rossica Journal Number 130 53
Figure 10a: Two strikes of example 15b in black. Heavy staining on the flap, minor damage to the paper.
The cover in figure 11 is yet another example
17 sub-type. Here, the letters have no serifs, and
"Employe" is in italics.
1 '..' .... ...,--x .y:..-' .. .L W : : "* .
j I-,' .,.- "- 2 -p., 'Tt..c .., % ." ,- . .
t t R -._ . . "
i.. t 4. / .,,, .
:.... :.. : .. '. ... ...
,: '" ,-. ..
""F r W i, ... ." ... .:.
.' ,' ... ", .', .." -: 4 -',' '" -" '
Like Leningrad/St. Petersburg, Moscow has a
couple of modem entries, too. The first is a
non-registered airmail cover from the National
Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, to Ivanovo.
It was sent on 29 April 1993 and appears to
have transited Moscow sometime in early May,
reaching Ivanovo on the 15th.
.... ; ., -t ,.. .
Figure 12: "POLUChENO / MEZhDUNARODNYM POChTAMTOM /
S KLAPANAMI ZAGRYzZNENNYMI / KLEEM."
"Received by the International Post Office with flaps soiled by glue." (Violet.)
56 Rossica Journal Number 130
Our last item is another mangled French- neath the registration label, it most probably was
text item from Moscow. (Maybe it's just a coin- put on by the Russian sender for the same
cidence, but I've never seen a Leningrad "dam- reason the German sender of figures 7-8 did -
aged" marking with misspelled works. Know- to discourage abuse of the contents. Not that it
ledge of French wasn't as common in Kiev or would have made any difference in the end, but
Moscow as it apparently was in Leningrad.) the Russian allowed the left flank of the enve-
There are three short strips of scotch tape ap- lope to go completely undefended. Tape, it
plied, but as the end of one of them is under- would seem, serves as a red flag for the censors.
.. 6. . ,88- 3ax* 0. .'- '.. *. "- ? .
H a W He M H H-9. '.
Rossica Journal Numbe r 130 57
,- Q -:..:' Z
*.*' '" .'*"" "-'r
:- -'-, . A. -PT.. W .
"\ r" ... ... ---'.*i*_ :
-, 1..08. 8 1 .3x. 1068.. .. I
Figure 13: Registered letterfrom Moscow to Hameln, Germany, 28 November 1994.
"REGU (sic) A VEC LES TRACES DE COLLE" "Received with traces of glue." (Violet.)
Rossica Journal Number 130 57
I've tacked L'vov onto this list out of alpha- ing mechanical processing. Please excuse us.
betical order because the "Damaged" marking in L'vov Railroad Terminal Post Office. Signature
figure 14 almost undoubtedly represents a legi-)
timate POSTAL usage, rather than a covert cen- Another indicator that this marking is the
sorship usage. This cover contained 10 postcards, real McCoy is the fact that it's POLITE! And it
making it too "fat" to go through the sorting indicates that the postal system was at fault.
machines, but go through it tried. The effect on None of this "received in damaged condition"
the envelope was nearly catastrophic, the high- posturing. If there's a marking like this for one
speed machine compressing it in the middle like PZhDP, there must be many more out there.
an accordion and ripping the edges apart. The It's almost a shame, through, to toss things like
same fate befell a second envelope conveying 11 this in with their sinister brethren.
postcards; it too was mailed on 7 December This brings our count of "damaged" mark-
1991, to the same addressee. ings for all of the Soviet Union and Russia to
The red text is rather faint, but reads twenty major types and a number of varieties.
"Vashe pis'mo povrezhdeno pri mekhanicheskoi Has anyone come across any new ones, or can
obrabotke. Prosim izvineniya. L'vov PZhDP. they expand on the ranges of use?
Podpis' (Your letter was damaged dur-
eKmatH H EH 6' Ov-a DO
',-11 k. 1 -----7 i --r. 7. ** --.-.'*-
I .H H d HgU W H: -* 'o
lwm e : 2-10 XX B. .py-J K *. 1-* XX
f ..- 1-
A- l tauxi Lal, 1970
S MlH.IIScr epctso Can CCCP, 1991-
-. --.'- -/5i 19,.
rlo,_ _,:o xx ,. Pyr... lr^nrx .... x ".---
Figure 14: A declared-value envelope posted from L'vov to Rego Park, New York, on 7 December 1991.
Tape applied by employees at the Railroad Terminal Post Office.
58 Rossica Journal Number 130
What is the Internet?
by Ivo Steyn
You must be sick and tired of hearing about In the first place, the Internet offers a very
the Internet by now if you're one of the people fast, cheap and useful way of communicating
who have stayed away from the delights of the with other people, through so-called email. This
online world. All this talk of arcane "addresses" basically works as follows: I sit behind my com-
involving the phrase puter, write a letter to my friend A who lives
thousands of miles away, then send him that let-
double-u-double-u-double-u, ter through the Internet, so he can read it on his
own computer screen. It's like regular mail, ex-
of websitess" and email and of that dreaded cept the letter never gets printed on paper (un-
Information Superhighway. less A decides to print out my letter to him be-
Actually, the Internet is nothing more cause of its HUGE relevance and importance -
complex than computers being able to access the maybe he wants to frame it, or wrap fish in it).
information on other computers. That sounds And it's (as good as) free! It beats postage, and
pretty boring, and during the early years of the it's a million times cheaper than a long-distance
Internet, it was: scientists at one university could phone call. Of course, I can't send any physical
consult the findings of scientists at another objects to him this way, so if I want to send
university (which were stored on a computer him a stamp I'll have to mail it the old-fashioned
there) instantaneously, and could make their way, but there are ways of sending pictures with
own findings accessible to other scientists as your email as well, so maybe I could send him
well. an enlarged picture of a stamp that's been puzzl-
But the Internet made a big leap forward ing me by email.
when a simple way of transmitting more inter- Then there's the Internet Marketplace. Not
testing stuff than dry science was found. Pictures. only do private persons like my friend A have
Any kind of text. Even sounds and video clips, access to the Internet, so do a LOT of auction
The more people gained access to the Internet, houses and stamp dealers. Although doing busi-
the more information became accessible through ness over the Internet is still going through
the net, and both the quantity and variety of growing pains, contacting the dealers, inspecting
information increased dramatically within a few their offerings (if they've put the information on
years. their computers), sending them want lists by
These days, anyone with access to the Inter- email and concluding a sale can all be done by
net can consult the information stored on mil- the Internet. Many auction houses now have In-
lions of computers all over the world, and there ternet access as well, and at the very least you
is some interesting information to be found out can find out when their next sales are going to
there, be held. Some auction houses have put the auc-
tion catalogs themselves on the Internet as well,
What do I get out of it? so no more bulky catalogs in the mail.
What anyone will get out of Internet access Time for some jargon. The "place" where
is difficult to predict. Perhaps the best way of the information is actually accessed is called a
giving you some idea is to tell you about what websitee." To give you an example, dealer X
I get out of it every day. can have a website, and what you will find there
Rossica Journal Number 130 59
depends on what he has "put on his website." Official institutes will put information on the
The website is essentially that part of his Internet (e.g. the Philatelic Agency of Russia
computer the person has made accessible and of many other countries maintain websites);
through the Internet. (Actually, it's more cor- other collectors will put information on the
plicated than that, as the information rarely Internet (for instance, I've seen a delightful web-
actually resides on the person's own computer site devoted to one collection of Tuvan stamps)
any more; see below when we get to ISPs.) just for the hell of it, to make contact with
What will you see when you access a web- like-minded collectors, or to announce to the
site? Again, that depends on what the person has world that they are looking for information on
put there. Sometimes you get a screen filled something; philatelic societies have websites
with text: a dealer's offerings, information about (including the Rossica Society); and this hardly
an auction, a collector's autobiography, a listing scratches the surface.
of all post office names with the letters Q and Z To navigate through this mountain ofinfor-
in them. Sometimes, you can see pictures as mation, you can use two strategies. The first is
well as pictures of stamps on offer, of postmarks to surf Start somewhere on a page, follow the
being studied, or of the collector's last vaca- links on that page, and so on. Not very goal-
tion in Tierra del Fuego. You never know what oriented, but an awful lot of fun, and you never
you're going to get until you "open up" a know what you might run into.
"page." The second way is to use so-called search
Next bit of jargon: the information is or- engines. These are websites that contain informa-
ganized in "pages." A page is basically what you tion on the content of other websites. You can
see when you access a website, and it can con- type in what you're looking for (usually in the
tain all of the things described above. But a form of keywords, e.g. "Russia used abroad")
website can contain more than one page. Per- and the search engine will give you a list of
haps it will contain a page of text, another page links to pages it thinks contain those keywords.
of pictures, a third page of addresses, etc. You Not an exact science, as innocent-looking key-
get from one page to another by links. A link is words sometimes turn up in the damnedest
a special bit of text: by "clicking" it (putting the places! I once searched for websites containing
cursor on it and clicking a button on your the keywords "Siberia provisional" and was led
mouse) you are automatically "led" to another to, among many others, a page containing the
page. Pages can therefore lead to other pages on news that somewhere in Siberia, a local brothel
the Internet, and you can spend an awful lot of had been forced to set up a provisional shelter
(highly enjoyable) time surfing from one page to for its clientele after the regular venue had
another. burned down.
Another category of websites of interest to
collectors is websites devoted to stamp shows. A How do I get on the Internet?
lot of philatelic exhibitions have now put the Suppose I've managed to convince you that
basic information concerning that exhibition in life without Internet access is, if not meaningless,
the form of a website: pages with information then very, very dull. What do you need to join
you might eventually find in the exhibition cata- the ranks of the Net-blessed? First and most ob-
log, entry forms, etc. Very useful! There are also viously, a computer. I have no experience with
lists of upcoming exhibitions, stamp fairs, etc. Macintosh computers, so I can't tell you what
This leads me to what I think of as the big- you need there, but if you use a PC (what we
gest asset of the Internet: Information! There is, used to call an "IBM-compatible" back when
apart from the categories outlined above, so the world was flat) you don't really need the
much information "out there," it's dazzling, latest, ultra-high-speed multimedia number-
60 Rossica Journal Number 130
cruncher although it doesn't hurt to get as Fringe benefits
advanced a model as you can afford. At mini- Buying a computer and getting Net access
mum, I'd recommend a Pentium-based compu- JUST for being able to see the (tremendously
ter, preferably with 32 Megabytes of internal useful) Rossica website might be a little extrava-
memory. To actually make contact with the gant, but once you've got the beast up and
Net, you'll need a modem, a small device that lets running you'll find that there are enormous side
your computer send and receive information benefits. There are of course a million other uses
over phone lines. A 33k6-speed is fine. And oh to which you can put a computer. As a philate-
yeah, you'll also need a phone line (and count list, you may want to use it for keeping track of
on it being BUSY most of the time from now your collection (and printing out want lists), or
on). If you're one of those lucky people whose even for making album pages yourself, although
cable service offers net access then you can get you will need a printer for that as well (and this
everything you need from them, and I also hate is the next item I'd advise buying: a good prin-
you because you'll be surfing a LOT quicker ter). If you want to get really sexy, then buying
than the rest of us. a scanner might be a good idea. This is a won-
Now, you'll also need the services of an derful device that allows you to do two things:
Internet Service Provider (ISP) to actually get onto "scan" pictures and turn them into a computer
the Net. This is a company that IS hooked up file, and scan text and turn it into a computer
to Internet, and they'll allow you to make file.
contact with the Internet through their com- A scanned picture can be inspected on your
puter. You may ask why you can't directly make computer screen, you can enlarge it, retouch it,
contact with the Internet yourself. Well, you print it (if you've got a printer) and send it to
can, but it's pretty expensive, and an ISP will your net-friends, so it's like having a camera
charge you maybe $10-20 a month, which is without film. You can scan the holiday snaps as
survivable. Most ISPs will also allow you to put well and use them to illustrate your website, or
"stuff" on the Internet yourself. This is usually just to store them in the one place where they
done by sending the stuff you want to make will NEVER yellow with age.
available to the world to the ISP's computer, so Scanned text also appears as a computer file
surfers can find it there. This has the added (if you use so-called OCR software, the compu-
advantage that your own computer isn't being ter will understand that what's on the scanner
accessed by all and sundry: the information you there isn't a picture, but text) and you can store
want to put on the net is actually on the ISP's -it, edit it, etc. Speaking as a former editor, let
computer, and it's safe there. me assure you that it's a delight NEVER having
Ask around at a computer shop which ISPs to type an article into the computer again!
are active in your neck of the woods, and make As for the benefits of Internet access, there
sure you can call reach them through a local are simply too many to mention. Think of it as
call. the ultimate encyclopedia, or the ultimate
Finally, you need some software to allow meeting place. A venue for almost unlimited en-
you to view pages and navigate from website to tertainment, education, and commerce.
website, a so-called browser. There are really only Think aboutjoining the Internet revolution.
two contenders here: Microsoft's "Internet Ex- Believe me, you will not regret it.
plorer" and Netscape's "Navigator." Both are
reasonably cheap. I only know the latter, and Editor's note: The Rossica website is found at
I'm quite happy with it. www.hercules.geology.uiuc.edu/-peterm/
Computer, ISP and browser, and you're offi rossica.html#Jump5.
Rossica Journal Number 130 61
Imperial Russian Stamps
in the Royal Philatelic Collection
by Ian W. Roberts
The Royal Philatelic Collection is world number of zemstvo stamps. The stamps of Za-
famous in philatelic circles and is especially donsk (Voronezh gubemiya) fill almost the
associated with the late King George V, who whole of another page. There is no information
reigned from 1910 to 1936. The king began available about which of the signatories in the
collecting stamps as a young man and continued album donated these stamps, which were popu-
to do so throughout his reign. In 1892 he lar with collectors and listed in standard cata-
became heir to the British throne after the death logues at the turn of the century.
of his elder brother, the Duke of Clarence. In Another collection of historical interest in
July 1893 the twenty-eight-year-old Duke of the Royal Philatelic Collection is an album of
York, as the future monarch was then known, the patriotic labels and war loan stamps issued by
married Princess Mary of Teck. In the same year the Russian government during the First World
the duke was elected Honorary Vice-President War. It was formed by the Grand Duke Alexis,
of what was later to be named the Royal Phila- the haemophiliac son of the Tsar Nicholas II,
telic Society of London. In 1910 on his acces- during the years 1917 to July 1918. On 16 July
sion to the throne, the king became patron of 1918, the fourteen-year-old heir to the Russian
the society, a tradition which has been followed throne was murdered by the Bolsheviks along
by his second son, the late King George VI, and with his parents and sisters at Ekaterinburg. In
his granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. recent years the bones of the family have been
One of the Duke of York's wedding pres- exhumed from their shallow grave and declared
ents was an album of over 1500 foreign stamps, to be genuine after exhaustive tests, which in-
which had been donated by over one hundred cluded the use of DNA material taken from des-
members of the Philatelic Society. As a young cendants of the Russian royal family, including
man the duke had served in the Royal Navy. It Queen Elizabeth's husband, the Duke of Edin-
was not surprising, then, that he became particu- burgh.
larly interested in the stamps of the British After the murder, a soldier in the light
Empire during his voyages overseas. In due artillery of the Red Army who had been serving
course, the king decided to concentrate on the in Ekaterinburg gained possession of the album.
stamps of Great Britain and the British Empire In 1920 he sold it to Alfred Jahn, who was
(now the British Commonwealth) and as a working in Odessa for a British company based
result, many of the foreign stamps in the album in Lincoln that exported agricultural machinery
were sold. to Russia. In November 1923 the collection was
The author has had the privilege of smuggled out of Russia when Jahn decided to
examining this album in Buckingham Palace in return to Great Britain. After the Second World
London, where the Royal Philatelic Collection War the collection was stolen from the home of
is at present housed. It still contains a selection his son Charles Jahn, who had inherited it from
of almost one hundred Russian zemstvo stamps, his father. Fortunately the police were able to
most of which are in mint condition. One page recover the collection and restore it to its
is devoted entirely to the stamps of Bogorodsk owner. Subsequently Charles Jahn decided to
(Moscow guberniya), which issued the largest make a gift of the collection to Queen Eliza-
62 Rossica Journal Number 130
beth II in order that it could be safely preserved Moyes and can be found in the British Journal of
for posterity as an item in the Royal Philatelic Russian Philately No. 60 (1983).
Collection. It is known that several members of the
The cover of the album, which consists of Russian royal family collected stamps and coins
twenty-nine thin cardboard leaves, bears the and it should be remembered that King
inscription in large printed Cyrillic letters George V was a cousin of the Tsar Nicholas II,
"Patriotic Stamps of the War of 1914/18 in to whom he bore a striking resemblance. How-
Russia." Each page has been written up with ever, the author has been unable to find any
details of the place of origin of the patriotic reference to these collections in any of the
labels and war loan stamps. Some of the spaces literature about the Grand Duke Alexis which
drawn on the leaves for the labels and stamps are he has consulted. In July 1997 part of the album
empty, was displayed at an exhibition of rare stamps
A detailed description (with illustrations) of held in Claridge's Hotel, London.
the war loan stamps, which are miniature ver- The author acknowledges with thanks the
sions of the multi-colored posters issued by the gracious permissionofHer Majesty the Queen in
Russian Ministry of Finance, can be found in an allowing him access to the Royal Philatelic
article written by Fred W. Spears in Rossica No. Collection, as well as the assistance he has
65 (1963). Another article (with illustrations), received in writing this article from Charles
which also contains much information about the Goodwyn, Keeper of the Royal Philatelic
Fellin labels produced in 1917, specimens of Collection, and his deputies, Michael Sefi and
which are in the album, was written byJ. G. Suresh Dhargalkar.
L(DrIH Sti-Iamip a
Comprehensive Stock of Russian Material:
Free price list
Rego Park, NY 11374
Rossica Journal Number 130 63
MOCKBA 97, A Great Success
by George Werbizky
The first international philatelic exhibition sented. There were ten exhibits from the United
in Russia was held last year, 17-26 October, in States, two by Rossica members: Roger P.
the center of Moscow next to the Red Square, Quinby, "Russian Stamps and Postal Stationery
in the Manezh (ManexH). The building it- Used in Finland 1891-1918," gold medal, and
self (completed in 1817) is a well-known former my book, "Ostarbeiter Mail in WWII," silver
riding school, built inside a large rectangular medal. Needless to say, I was very pleased with
space. Its transformation into an exhibition hall the award.
was quick and outstanding. The exhibits occu- Most of what dealers had were philatelic
pied most of the space. Along the two long supplies, which sold well. Foreign dealers, con-
walls were post offices of many countries, while cerned with customs clearance and especially
along the opposite wall were offices of the high sales tax, encountered very few difficulties.
Russian Philatelic Federation and dealers' booths. Exhibitors also had no problem clearing customs
There was a total of 452 philatelic (stamps both ways. I personally was waved through.
and covers) and 112 printed (periodicals and Those who decided not to attend
books) exhibits. Thus the world was well repre- MOCKBA 97 clearly missed a lot.
64 Rossica Journal Number 130
From the President
Now that the newly elected officers have and forgeries. So what do we publish? Only the
moved into their respective quarters at the members of Rossica can answer that question.
palatial estate of Rossica, it is time to take a hard Does any member have a thought about the
look at the Society. Despite rumors and per- topic on any of the issued stamps? Has any
ceptions, the Society is healthy. I have enjoyed member kept track of the postal rates in the
tremendously reading the many letters and post-Soviet post? Are there varieties/errors
emails from members in response to my noted in your collections about which you have
challenge in the last journal. Some great ideas seen nothing in print? Let's get it in print.
are emerging from your input and promise to Starting with the October journal, we will
lead to an exciting future. Yet, there are a bring back the Notes from Collectors (or some
couple areas which are of concern to all of us other appropriate name). This will be an area in
and need to be addressed volunteers and which your ideas, thoughts, discoveries, etc. can
publications, be shared with the membership and the rest of
First and foremost is the lack of volunteers, the philatelic world. There are series in the back
Rossica is only as good as the members issues which could be put together in a mono-
themselves. If no one volunteers, there is no graph and published but I need volunteers to
society. This is our number one predicament accomplish this task. Many articles in the back
with no easy solution. issues are in Russian or in dire need of updates.
Our Bulletin is an outstanding publication. Any volunteers?
Unfortunately, George is not as young as he I sent all the officers a rather lengthy survey
once was. Ray Pietruszka has volunteered to soliciting ideas on every aspect of the Society. If
step into George's "big shoes" and continue the we live in an ideal world, I will present our
Bulletin starting with the summer issue. Please position at the annual meeting and subsequently
support Ray in this endeavor. You can reach publish it in the summer issue of the Bulletin.
him at: 211 Evalyn Street, Madison AL 35758, Again, thanks to all those who have provided
USA or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. input. To improve communications, I want to
The journal has changed editors and this is establish a Rossica network. We need volunteers
Karen's first issue. We are fortunate she through whom information can flow up and
volunteered to part with some of her spare time. down the heirarchy. I believe that breaking
Let's ALL give her as much help as possible. The down the task of trying to reach 380+ members
journal is the Society. The second area is what into smaller subsets is the answer. I plan on
we want to see in the journal. Your letters using the chapter presidents for some of this and
indicate you want more articles on stamps, will attempt to find regional POCs for the rest.
forgeries, past articles, etc. The Rossica, British, Any volunteers? Alex Safonoff has agreed to be
and Canadian societies over time have published the POC for internet communications. This is
more articles on stamps and forgeries than any an area in which we are still like an infant. We
other publication on the subject in English. Our need to learn and grow and use the capabilities
library is full of back issues with articles waiting of this medium.
for the member to request. Part One of the Jean Walton and Norman Lurch have
Library Index lists 1,086 entries covering some agreed in principle to discuss the possibilities of
aspect of stamps. There are 292 articles on fakes forming a postal stationery group. Member in-
Rossica Journal Number 130 65
terest and support will determine the feasibility From the Editor
of this effort. The topic will be discussed at our
meeting at NAPEX (Washington, DC) in June.
Misha Ercolini along with a cast of thousands
have tentatively agreed to form a postmark study This issue of the Rossica Journal marks a
group. This group would cover the empire as transition to a new editor and publishing locale.
well as Russian and Soviet periods. Since this is I would have liked to have also introduced to
a new effort, it is still in the proverbial "plan- you a new editorial board, but as yet no one has
ning stages." stepped forward to help out in this capacity -
The library is temporarily not available as my email and mailbox are always open to
we relocate it to Ged Seiflow. We hope it will volunteers!
be back on line by May. Ged's catalog is ready As the new editor I do want to reaffirm my
for publication. The final details are being commitment to producing this journal, distin-
worked as this issue of the journal goes to press, guished from other publications by its ongoing
George Shaw is working on a propaganda cover presentation of high quality philatelic schol-
catalog with several other members. It is in the arship. I am always eager to receive your articles
layout stage with a publishing date in the near and to help in any way to prepare them for
Member John Briggs who has driven the Because I have had a few members ask,
philatelic judges to drink with his "no category here are my only requests. If you choose to send
available" exhibit has agreed to speak on the in your articles via email, please also send me a
topic at NAPEX. His exhibit "In Service to the hard copy (including any illustrations) in the
State" garnered five national gold medals. Since mail, just so I can verify that what comes
it largely rewrote the rules for nonpostal his- through the "wires" was actually what you
torical studies, a copy is now with the com- meant to say. I don't mind to type in articles by
mittee revising the Manual of Philatelic Judging. hand, so don't feel that we won't accept your
This promises to be a very good opportunity to article if it doesn't come in on computer disk
exchange thoughts and ideas. Maybe this will (although these are also appreciated whenever
open further avenues of communications for possible).
philatelic exchange? or words to that effect. Finally, I can only publish what I have. So,
dig into your albums and see if you don't have
an article, however short, lurking among your
pieces. It will be very hard for me to live up to
Gary's standard especially set by that last
double issue if my mailbox stays empty. Or,
let me know if you would like to see articles
reprinted from other current philatelic pub-
lications, or what items from the older Rossica
Journals you might be interested in reading again.
2036 Monterey Point
510 S. Extension
Mesa, AZ 85210
fax: (602) 727-6505
66 Rossica Journal Number 130
Members on the Internet
The Rossica Homepage is located at: Patrick J. Eppel
The following members have e-mail accounts Michael M. Ercolini
and can be reached via the Internet: email@example.com
G. Adolph Ackerman Rainer Fuchs
Scott C. Allen Gerald Scott Gorman
Eric Balkan Dr. Ortwin Greis
Michael Black Michael Ann Gutter
August G. Blume John-Paul Himka
John Brigden Martin Holmsten
Paul Burega Barry Hong
John H. Carpenter David Jay
Carl F. Cerco Lloyd Kannenberg
Vitaly Charny Anatole Kaushansky
Vcharny@aol.com (home) firstname.lastname@example.org
Erich J. Kesse
Gary A. Combs email@example.com
John H. Kress
Christopher Crocoll firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher D. Lefean
Rossica Journal Number 130 67
Friedrich Lehner Alexander Safonoff
Karen J. Lemiski Bart Samyn
Paula Lemke Gerald Seiflow
David W. Link Sergey Spivakovsky
dlink@ gpr.srv.ualberta.ca email@example.com
E. Norman Lurch Ihor Stadnyk
Scott Marusak Ivo J. Steyn
L.D. (Dann) Mayo lan R. Stone
Ernestine M. McMillan Jean R. Walton
firstname.lastname@example.org JWalton971 @aol.com
Peter A. Michalove Stephen R. Warren
Ray Miller Howard Weinert
Russell E. Ott George B. Welch
Michael Padwee Randy Woodward
Noubar Pezikian Ron A. Zelonka
email@example.com zelonka@ globalserve.net
Raymond Pietruszka Alfonso G. Zulueta, Jr.
Michael R. Renfro
Stephen S. Roberts
68 Rossica Journal Number 130
Rossica cannot assume any liability for WANTED: Stamps, sheets or parts of sheets
transactions resulting from member responses to from Kreispost Wenden Michel Nr. I and 1 to
adlets nor get involved with mediating disputes. 10. Nr. 11 only cancelled wtih distinguishable
Members are cautioned to be fair in offering and date of usage and utmost large parts of sheets. I
in responding. Any material considered to be of offer letters with Wenden Nr. 5, 8, 9, 10, 11
value by the sender sent through the mails and 12. Contact: Dr. Wedekin Eggers, Julius
should be insured or registered for your own Brechtstr. 11 D-22609 Hamburg, Germany.
protection. Fax: 040/8704374.
The regulations and prices are as follows:
"* Member adlets are free with the following
limitations: they must not exceed 480 Membership Status
characters. A character is defined as a letter,
number, space, or punctuation mark. The
member's name and addresses are NOT
included in this 480-character limitation. There are two new members to welcome to
"* For adlets that exceed the 480-character the close to 400 members of the society. If you
limitation, the price is 10 cents per word, happen to live near one, personally welcome
no matter how long the word may be. that person to your favorite hobby.
"* Each adlet must include the name and Please review the names. If for any reason
address of the member placing the ad. you feel that an individual should not be granted
"* No dealer ads will be accepted as adlets. full membership, please write the President with
The journal makes other provisions for your reasons. If no negative comments are
strictly commercial advertisements, received on the individuals listed below by 31
"* Adlet service is available to Rossica mem- January 1999, they will be granted full member-
bers only. ship status effective 1 April 1998.
"* All adlets exceeding the 480-character
limitation must be accompanied by a check Bruce Meyer Weisman
for the correct amount made out to the BMW Stamps & Collectables
Rossica Society. 8364 E. San Salvador Road
"* Adlets for the April journal must reach the Scottsdale, AZ 85258
editor by 15 February. firstname.lastname@example.org
"* Adlets for the October journal must reach
the editor by 15 August. David L. Hill
"* Mail all adlets and checks to: 2416 Delverton Drive
Dunwoddy, GA 30338-5306
c/o Karen J. Lemiski
510 S. Extension, #2036
Mesa, AZ 85210
Rossica Journal Number 130 69
Expertization Dealer-Member Ads
One of the privileges of membership in The Editorial Board of the Rossica Journal
Rossica is one free expertization per member- invites advertisements from our dealer-members
ship year. Policy on free expertizations is as as well as nonmembers who conduct the occa-
follows: sional auction or mail-sale with a strong offering
of Russian and related-areas material. The Journal
"* Only one free expertization per member- appears twice a year, and reaches over 400
ship year. members and affiliates worldwide in April and
"* The privilege must be used during the October. Deadlines for submission of ads are
membership year. It cannot be accumulated. February 15 for the April issue and August 15
The service was begun in the 1978 mem- for the October issue. We strongly prefer com-
bership year, and prior membership in the mitments for ads in three consecutive issues or
Society has no bearing. more (except for the back cover) to aid us in
"* The item must be submitted on an official planning. However, onetime ads for upcoming
expertization form available from Gary auctions or mail-sales can be accommodated and
Combs or Leon Finik. are welcome.
* Return postage must be included.
* Only one item per expertization form. Rates:
1/4 page $15 per issue
Anyone wishing to avail themselves of this 1/2 page $25 per issue
service should write to the Treasurer, Gary full page $50 per issue
Combs, or the Chairman of the Expertization
Committee, Leon Finik (address below), en- Full page does not include the inside or outside
closing a legal size (4 1/4" x 9 1/2") SASE for of the back cover. The back cover is first come,
an expertization form. When submitting material first served. The rates for these are:
for expertization, the owner must provide return
postage to include insurance costs, if desired, for Inside back cover $100
the material. Items will be evaluated by Rossica Outside back cover $150
members specializing in the various aspects of
Russian philately. If you have any questions, please contact the
Members with items to expertize journal editor.
should forward the completed form to
Leon Finik at the following address:
Rego Park, NY 11374
Since we occasionally have to send items to
more than one member for an opinion, please
allow at least six weeks before inquiring about
the status of an item submitted. Items are looked
at on a first come, first served basis.
70 Rossica Journal Number 130
Reviews of Philatelic Publications
The Postage Stamps of Russia, by Ray umes there are in all about a dozen pages that
Ceresa. Vol. 5, sections B1 and B2. are blank, with a "diagonal note" that the illus-
tration intended had been lost. Perhaps it might
Dr. Ray Ceresa continues his prodigious have been better to have had a continuous text
output on that confused but interesting period with so many illustrations already, the loss of
of Russia 1917-1921. These two new volumes these few cannot make any appreciable differ-
deal with the Provisional overprints and hand- ence. Far more serious is one error that ought to
stamps of the first revaluation of March 1920. have been corrected by hand if necessary -
The first of the two volumes gives additions before issuance of the book: the first volume -
to section 1 an earlier volume with some volume 5, B1 on page 95 introduces the first
extensive illustrations, and then the bulk of revaluation: the chapter begins: "On the 10th
the volume embarks on the "100 times March 1921...", the error of year it ought
revaluation" that was authorized on 10 March to be 1920 could easily confuse newcomers
1920. and beginngers who might wonder why so
By this time, the Civil War was in full much of the chapter and its illustrations deal
swing, huge areas had declared their indepen- with 1920! Even this fairly "old time" collector
dence, and various regimes held sway across the was thrown by that.
vastness of Russia. In addition, the disruption to Other than that serious error, the others are
the transport system not only affected postal relatively minor the reader in reading would
deliveries, but supplies of stamps from Petrograd. correct naturally a lot of the typos and these
Ray demonstrates that many post offices had to two volumes represent an enormous contribu-
use the supplies they had, often "mixing and tion to the study of this fascinating and confused
matching" with various odd values some- period, and in general to the total literature on
times in huge wadges, to make up the prevailing Russian philately.
postal rates. The two volumes cover all districts
and postal establishments from Armavir to Zhu- submitted by Leonard Tann
kovka, and then deal with "questionable revalu-
ations" and "bogus and fraudulent" overprints
and uses. The index and valuation tables com-
plete the books.
Yet again, Ray covers an enormous area in
a total of some 480 pages which is a con-
siderable achievement, and helps chart a path
through the jungle of this period.
Earlier reviews of his volumes have
mentioned the plethora of mis-spellings and mis-
typings, and one is forced to say that this has not
improved. His comment in the foreword that he
was urged to press on with the series, and thus
omit textual checks is no help to new collectors
looking for guidance. Further, in these two vol-
Rossica Journal Number 130 71
Briefmarken Russlands, 1908-1923, by Postage-Advertising Stamps-Hinges, by A.
Eduard Fomin, Munich, 1997. 292 pages. Price: S. Mramorov and V. A. Pantukhin, Moscow,
DM 180.00. 1997. 28 pages plus 32 pages of color
This catalogue packs a lot of information
into it. Coverage starts with the Arms issues of This is a very useful little catalogue. The
1908-1909 to continues through to the Small postage-advertising stamps-hinges as translated by
Workers issues of 1923. For some reason, listings the authors from the Russian are the advertising
of the Exchange Control Tax Stamps continues collars of the 1920s that are so very appealing to
on to 1933. the eye. The catalogue has separate sections in
There are a lot of things to like about this Russian, English and German. It lists and
catalogue compact listings that make locating translates the inscriptions of 63 different official
specialized listings reasonably easy even for the collars as well as 5 semi-official ones. The
collector who does not read German. Each issue official ones are issues of the district departments
proceeds through the basic listings (including of the Svyaz agency in Moscow, Leningrad,
different printings and types); gutter pairs, Odessa, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Simferopol
varieties and plate faults; sheet markings and and Kharkov.
plate numbers; booklets; essays, proofs and The introduction and forward are inade-
specimens; and forgeries. Nearly all of these quate. The explanation of the reasons for these
listings are priced in Deutsche Marks, although interesting items are incomplete and there are
the listings of stamps on cover is sporadic, inaccuracies. The authors claim that such issues
Some of the highlights include illustrations are unique this reviewer has similar items
often types of booklet covers for the Romanov from Yugoslavia from 1921 and Hungary from
issues; thirty pages of listings and pictures of the late 1930s. Also, the English translation is
Romanov essays and proofs: detailed listings of literal and is largely unintelligible to English
the Control, Revenue and Savings stamps readers.
including inverted backgrounds and tete-beche Nevertheless, this catalogue is a gem. All of
varieties; and the depth of the coverage of the the items are illustrated in color and are priced
Exchange control tax stamps including illus- in U.S. dollars. The pricing is for unused, used
trations of both the types of overprints as well as and on cover collars. Pricing starts at $25.00 and
of the handstamps used to cancel the stamps. peaks at $3000.00 for a collar illustrating two
There is little explanation of the postal history American negroes.
and some of the issues are given short shrift. For
example, only two printings of the perforated
small arms are listed and there is little coverage
of shades. The Chainbreakers of 1918 and the
Allegories of 1921-22 have relatively terse
coverage. Although the price of nearly US
$100.00 is steep, there is a lot of useful informa-
tion here for the 1908-1923 specialist.
72 Rossica Journal Number 130
R.S.F.S.R., 1918-1923: Spetsialisirovanni Japan's Fieldpost in Siberia, Manchuria, &
Katalog Pochtovikh Marok (R.S.F.S.R., Sakhalin, 1918-1925, by EdwardJ. Rasmussen
1918-1923: Postage Stamp Specialized and published by the International Society for
Catalogue), by I. Brun, M. Dobin, N. Man- Japanese Philately, December 1997, 96 pages
drovski and V. Zagorski, St. Petersburg, 1997. with maps, softbound, illustrated. Available for
140 pages. Printing: 3000 copies. $12 from the publisher: James E. Jacobson, 815
Springingsguth Road, Schaumburg, IL 60193,
This catalogue which was edited by Mr. USA.
Zagorski is less detailed than the Fomin volume
reviewed elsewhere in this publication. It is a The Japanese were the major participants in
listing of the basic stamps and varieties from the the Allied Intervention in Siberia, both in
Russian Federation period. The cover indicates numbers and time spent there, but little has
that this is volume 4 in a series of standard cata- appeared in English on this subject.
logues, but there is no mention of the other This study reviews the history of the
volumes in the series. All items are priced in operation and tabulates not only all their 40
U.S. dollars, including usage of the stamps on major and minor fieldpost offices on the
cover. mainland and their openings and closings, but
Nevertheless, there are some very useful also includes the occupation of N. Sakhalin
aspects to this slender work. Plate flaws, losenge Island.
and other varieties are illustrated with the basic In addition, for the first time here or in
listings. Usage of the stamps on cover is Japan, postal evidence has been used to track the
routinely priced and choice examples of postal movements of everyJapanese regiment involved.
history are illustrated throughout. Although the The publisher has provided a map that folds
catalogue is in Russian, there is an introduction out to provide ready reference without flipping
and summaries for each section in well-written pages.
English. The coverage of the essays of the This is an excellent reference work and
period is good, but the items are not priced. speaks highly of the ISJP and its author. The
Domestic and international postage rates are work is a must for any serious collector of the
given, intervention or just interested in the history. It
Perhaps the most appealing section is the comes highly recommended.
brief summary of types of cancellations this
would be a candidate for the authors to give submitted by Gary Combs
more detailed treatment in a subsequent volume.
Rossica Journal Number 130 73
Ukraine: Classic Trident Overprints. Lettland: Die Ganzsachen und Postamt-
Ukrainian Philatelic Resources, 1998. Available lichen Formulare 1918-1940 (Latvia: Postal
from Dr. I. Kuzych, PO Box 3, Springfield, VA stationery and official postal forms 1918-
22150. 1940), published on behalf of the Latvia Study
Group (Bund Deutscher Philatelisten) by Harry
As the first volume of the Ukrainian v. Hofmann, Hamburg, 1997. 442 pages.
Philatelic Resources (UPR) Reprint Series, this
is the perfect handbook for those who collect A comprehensive study of postal stationery and
from the first (classic) period of Ukraine's postal forms during the first republic period of
independence (1918-1920). This easy-to-use Latvia, this softbound volume is easy to use for
reference reproduces Dr. R. Seichter's Sonder- American collectors. Although the text is in
Katalog Ukraine, which forms the bulk of the German, translations in English appear in every
volume, along with new material and in a larger section. The portions of great interest to Russian
format for easy reading and reference. Although collectors are the provisionals and overprints
the original German-language listing is more during the transition period of 1918-1919 as
than thirty years old, it remains unsurpassed in well as the coverage of the Latvian Soviet
the completeness of its presentation of trident Republic period of 1940. The section on
types and in the usefulness of its stamp valu- stationery includes postal cards as well as formula
nations. Additionally, Seichter also listed local cards, official tourist picture postcards and post-
trident overprints. These were produced at free official postcards. The remaining 350 pages
smaller locales and in lesser quantities and details official postal forms for the letter service;
comprise several hundred more distinct trident telegraphic and telephone services; parcel ser-
types. The original catalog of trident overprints vice; money services; as well as customer and
has been updated based on Dr. Seichter's 1968 internal services. More than half of the content
Supplement. is illustrations and pricing is included on a point
The second part of the handbook contains basis for both the stationery and forms.
reprints of five major trident overprint articles
from out-of-print back issues of the Ukrainian
Philatelist. Authored by renowned philatelic Russia in Finland, by Roger P. Zuinby and
researchers, including one piece by Dr. Seichter Dirk Vorwerck, 1997. 56 pages.
himself, these English-language studies form a
useful complement to the Katalog. Listed as Volume 54 of The Posthorn, this was a
The volume also inlcudes an extensive special edition prepared by the Scandinavian
German-English glossary of all the important Collectors Club of the United States. It is an
philatelic terms used in the Katalog, a biography excellent overview of the history and usage of
of Dr. Seichter, and a bibliography of his major Russian stamps used in Finland from 1891 to
works. 1917. Although there is no listing of all of the
The price is U.S. $18.00 postpaid to the stamps and stationery (these can be found in
United States and Canada, or overseas surface catalogues from Scandinavia), the authors portray
rate; for airmail overseas, send U.S. $24.00. why the stamps were used in Finland and discuss
each of the issues. The chapter on Special
submitted by Karen Lemiski Postmarks was the most interesting.
74 Rossica Journal Number 130
POITA The Journal of the Australia & New Back Issues of the Rossica Journal
Zealand Society of Russian Philately, Issue
23, January 1998.
Editor: Dr. Ross Marshall, P.O. Box 7,
Otorohanga, New Zealand. We have a limited number of back issues of the
journal for sale, both in English and Russian
Along with two commentaries on the language editions. Russian editions available are
MOCKBA 97 exhibition, the following articles numbers 44-69 (see list below for availability);
were presented in the issue: English editions available are numbers 70-127.
Unfortunately, there are many holes and some
A Strange Kind of Zemstvo Postal History, issues have less than three in stock. Prices listed
Peter A. Michalove for back issues are in US dollars:
Crossed Date, Michael J. Carson
A Favorite Item (or two) Member $7.50
"Vozkal" Postmarks Railway or Non- Non-member $10.00
Railway, P. E. Robinson
Single issue currently available are: 44-45, 48,
Studies in Russian Railway Postmarks, Leonard 54, 62-71, 73-75, 79-81, 88-91, 93, 110-
Tann 112, 115-117, 119-127.
Postally Used Control Stamps Revalued in
Odessa, Alexander Epstein Double Issue:
Soviet Slave Labor Camp, George G. Werbizky Member $5.00
North Pole, Sergey Chudakov
S/S Juan Sebastian Elcano, Salvador Bofarull Double issues currently available are: 46-47, 76-
77, 94-95, 96-97, 98-99, 100-101, 102-
A Railway to Nowhere, P. E. Robinson 103,104-105,106-107,108-109,113-114.
Sputnik Fortieth Anniversary, Charles Bromser
Russian Postage Stamps Electronic Catalogue,
A. R. Marshall
A Curiosity of the Russian Post, Sergey
Rossica Journal Number 130 75
Society Publications for Sale
The Russian Post in the Empire, Turkey, China The Russian Posts in the XIX Century
and the Post in The Kingdom of Poland by by K.V. Bazilevich, trans. by Dave Skipton
S.V. Prigara. trans. by Dave Skipton
1aru l In, d w rst a THE RUSSIAN POSTS IN THE XIX CENTURY
A MI tNa bnb4 ra by KV 8r llevch
The original work, published in 1927 in Mos-
The original work, published in 1927 in Mos-
This is the standard upon which many studies cow, is today almost impossible to find. It is one
and conclusions have been established. Written of the most detailed overviews of the imperial
in 1941, the book is considered by many to be the Russian postal system to be found under one
authoritative guide for Russian postal history, cover, and contains a wealth of information and
Any serious collector of Russian postal history illustrations. Dave has provided many illustra-
must have this book on his shelf. The translation tions not in the original. If you want to learn
can be purchased from the Treasurer or Librarian about the whys and wherefores of old Russia's
at the following rates: communications system, this book will oblige.
Non-Rossica member $40 postpaid Intended as a companion to the Prigara transla-
Rossica members $35 postpaid tion, the Bazilevich book will be a handsome
Dealer rate $24 per copy for single orders of addition to your shelf: 165 pages on semi-gloss
5 or more. paper, casebound, with a purple-and-white dust
jacket. Members may order directly from the
Treasurer, Librarian, or Journal Editor of the
society. Prices are as follows:
Non-Rossica member $50 postpaid
Rossica members $45 postpaid
Dealer rate $30 per copy for single orders of
5 or more.
76 Rossica Journal Number 130
RUSSIAN POSTAL HISTORY
What Do You Collect?
I stock Russian Postal History items from the Imperial and
Airmails, Republics, Space, Zemstvos
Semi-Postals, Inflation, Stations, TPOs,
Interventions and Offices Abroad.
I also stock the Baltic Countries.
Let me know what you are searching for.
Material sent on approval.
I am always searching for material to buy and
offer top dollar.
Please include references or Rossica number.
Member: Rossica Society, Canadian Society of Russian Philately,
British Society of Russian Philately, Australian & New
Zealand Society of Russian Philately, APS, ASDA, PTS
Webster F. Stickney
7590 Windlawn Way
Parker, CO. 80134
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