The Rossica society of Russian...
 Table of Contents
 From the editor's desk
 Forgery alert
 "Guests" of the Tsar: The Shlissel'burg...
 "Don't like the Czar on stamps,"...
 Zemstvo Bisects by George...
 A classification of the stamps...
 Fake postmark of St. Petersburg,...
 Additional comments on postmaster...
 The Omsk exhibition of 1911, by...
 Back of the envelope, by Jim...
 Forgeries of the RSFSR's second...
 Weights, rates, and routes, part...
 Reflections on the classification...
 Some Siberian surprises, by Ivo...
 Russia's Northern Sea route: Its...
 Prewar Soviet steamship mail on...
 Collecting Soviet stamps on cover:...
 Postal history notes, by E. Norman...
 Transnistria: The history and postage...
 Modern Ukrainian imperforates:...
 From the president
 Library notes
 Minutes of the 1998 annual Rossica...
 Member-to-member adlets
 Membership status
 Dealer-member ads, expertizati...
 Members on the internet
 Reviews of philatelic publicat...
 Society publications for sale


Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235/00072
 Material Information
Title: Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Physical Description: no. in v. : illus. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Creation Date: 1998
Publication Date: [n.d.]
Frequency: unknown
Subjects / Keywords: Stamp collecting -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Postage-stamps -- Periodicals -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
Funding: Made available to the University of Florida Digital Collections under special distribution agreement with the <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a>.
 Record Information
Source Institution: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Holding Location: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB2397
lccn - 59037768
issn - 0035-8363
System ID: UF00020235:00072

Table of Contents
    The Rossica society of Russian Philately
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    From the editor's desk
        Page 2
    Forgery alert
        Page 3
        Page 4
    "Guests" of the Tsar: The Shlissel'burg hard-labor prison and its censormarks, by David M. Skipton
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    "Don't like the Czar on stamps," by Joseph Geraci
        Page 30
    Zemstvo Bisects by George G. Werbizky
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    A classification of the stamps of the Simbirsk magistrates court, by J. G. Moyes
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Fake postmark of St. Petersburg, by N. Mandrovski
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Additional comments on postmaster Gan'ko's activities, by George G. Werbizky
        Page 48
        Page 49
    The Omsk exhibition of 1911, by Philip E. Robinson
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Back of the envelope, by Jim Reichman
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Forgeries of the RSFSR's second standard issue, by Ged Seiflow
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Weights, rates, and routes, part II, by A. Epstein
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Reflections on the classification of Podillia Tridents, by Ingert Kuzych
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    Some Siberian surprises, by Ivo Steyn
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Russia's Northern Sea route: Its place in history and philately, by G. Adolph Ackerman
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Prewar Soviet steamship mail on the Batum-Odessa route, by Peter A. Michalove
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Collecting Soviet stamps on cover: An introduction, by George Shaw
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Postal history notes, by E. Norman Lurch
        Page 169
        Page 170
    Transnistria: The history and postage of a philatelic anomaly, by Jayseth Guberman
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
    Modern Ukrainian imperforates: Essays, proofs, specimens, or what?, by Val Zabijaka
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    From the president
        Page 195
        Page 196
    Library notes
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Minutes of the 1998 annual Rossica officers' meeting
        Page 199
        Page 200
    Member-to-member adlets
        Page 201
    Membership status
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
    Dealer-member ads, expertization
        Page 205
    Members on the internet
        Page 206
    Reviews of philatelic publications
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
    Society publications for sale
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
Full Text


OCTOBER 1998-APRIL 1999 No. 131-132



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S...............................................-v1 ............ .... .. ......
e Joual o e RosaSoiety of R ian Philatel

The Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately


OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY All nghts reserved. No part of this journal may be
President: Gary A. Combs reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means
8241 Chalet Ct, Millersville, MD 21108, USA without permission in wanting from the journal editor.
Vice President: Howard Weinert The views expressed by the authors in this journal are
7104 Oxford Road, Baltimore, MD 21212, USA
their own and the editor disclaims all responsibility.
Secretary: George G. Werbizky
409 Jones Road, Vestal, NY 13850, USA
Treasurer: Gar A. Co s The Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Inc. is
Treasurer: Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct, Millersville, MD 21108, USA a non-profit, non-political organization incorporated in
Librarian: Gerald (Ged) Seiflow the state of Maryland, USA, and affiliated with the
1249 St. Claire P1, Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA American Philatelic Society. The Rossica Journal is the
Auditor: Webster Stickney official penodic publication of the Rossica Society of
7590 Windlawn, Parker, CO 80134, USA Russian Philately, Inc., published twice a year in April
and October and mailed "surface rate" from the Editor's
BOARD OF DIRECTORS residence. Pnce for non-members is US S10 per issue.
David M. Skipton For air mail delivery, please add US S5. Subscriptions
50-D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
SRa b are available for US S30 which includes air mail pos-
Dr. G. Adolph Ackerman
629 Sanbridge Circle ., Worthington, OH age. Available back issues are listed in the section titled
43085, USA "In The Back Room." Subnut articles for consideration
Dr. Ray J. Ceresa directly to the Editor. Penodically. other Rossica pubh-
Spinnaker House, 7 Jacken Close, Felpham, cations are listed in the back of the Journal. Information
Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 7DU, is available from the Editor or Secretary.
United Kingdom Society dues are US S20 per year with a discount
for early renewal. Membership applications can be ob-
PUBLICATIONS tained from the Treasurer or Secretary at the addresses
Bulletin: Raymond Pietruszka listed under "Officers of the Society.
211 Evalyn Street, Madison, AL 35758, USA
SE Dealers wishing to advertise in the Journal are
Journal: Karen Lemiski
510 Extension #2036, Mesa, AZ 85210, USA welcomed. Information pertairung to advertising can be
510 S. Extension #2036, Mesa, AZ 85210, USA
found in the back of the Journal.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY Checks and money orders submitted should be
USA made payable to The Rossica Society) of Russian Philately
Washington-Baltimore Chapter: Steve Alushin and not to any officer. Checks not drawn on a US bank
13103 Wellford Dr, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA must include an additional US S20 for processing fees.
Midwest Chapter: Dr. James Mazepa Sorry, no credit cards are accepted. Please make all
P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304, USA checks payable to:
Northern California Chapter: Ed Laveroni
860 East Remington Drive No. A, Sunnyvale, ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
CA 94087, USA
c/o Gary A. Combs

EUROPE 8241 Chalet Court
Jack G. Moyes Millersville. MD 21108
23 Stonywood, Harlow, Essex, CM18 6AU, USA
United Kingdom

The ROSSICA homepage may be accessed at: http://hercules.geology.uluc.edu/~'peterm, rossica.html=Jump5
Rainer Fuch's homepage devoted to zemstvos may be accessed at: http://fuchs-onhne.com/zemstvos

Copyright 1998
The Rossica Society
ISSN 0035-8363


Journal No. 131-132 for October 1998-April 1999

Editor: Karen Lemiski
Editorial Board: Gary Combs, David Skipton, Ivo Steyn



From the Editor's Desk 2
Forgery Alert 3
"Guests" of the Tsar: The Shlissel'burg Hard-Labor Prison
and its Censormarks, by David M. Skipton 5
"Don't Like the Czar on Stamps," by Joseph Geraci 30
Zemstvo Bisects, by George G. Werbizky 30
A Classification of the Stamps of the Simbirsk Magistrates Court,
by J. G. Moyes 37
Fake Postmark of St. Petersburg, by N. Mandrovski 46
Additional Comments on Postmaster Gan'ko's Activities,
by George G. Werbizky 48
The Omsk Exhibition of 1911, by Philip E. Robinson 50
Back of the Envelope, by Jim Reichman 54
Forgeries of the RSFSR's Second Standard Issue, by Ged Seiflow 78
Weights, Rates, and Routes, Part II, by A. Epstein 86
Reflections on the Classification ofPodillia Tridents, by Ingert Kuzych 104
Some Siberian Surprises, by Ivo Steyn 110
Russia's Northern Sea Route: Its Place in History and Philately,
by G. Adolph Ackerman 116
Prewar Soviet Steamship Mail on the Batum-Odessa Route,
by Peter A. Michalove 161
Collecting Soviet Stamps on Cover: An Introduction,
by George Shaw 166
Postal History Notes, by E. Norman Lurch 169
Transnistria: The History and Postage of a Philatelic Anomaly,
by Jayseth Guberman 171
Modern Ukrainian Imperforates: Essays, Proofs, Specimens, or What?,
by Val Zabijaka 188


From the President 195
Library Notes 197
Minutes of the 1998 Annual Rossica Officers' Meeting 199
Member-to-Member Adlets, Membership Status 201
Expertization, Dealer-Member Ads 205
Reviews of Philatelic Publications 207

From the Editor's Desk

Corrections to Issue 130 Offer for Rossica Members
In Dave Skipton's article "More 'Damaged' In 1957, A. Rosselevitch designed a com-
Mail": memorative sheet (reproduced below) for the
page 49: "So on went the #199 example ... "; Rossica Society. Rostislav Polchaninoff, who
should read "119." printed the label, is now offering copies of the
page 50: "A couple of previously recorded sheet as a gift to Rossica members. Those who
Leningrad handstamps ..."; should read "unre- are interested in receiving a copy need only
corded." send Mr. Polchaninoff a 32-cent stamp to cover
In George Werbizky's article "Cherleniov- postage (but not attached to an envelope because
sky Covers, Zemstvo-Imperial Mail Cross-Point the sheet is larger than a standard envelope).
and Fraud": Mr. Polchaninoffs address is:
page 27: The sentence "the card was mailed 6 Baxter Avenue
to" Borok via Borovenka (station on the Niko- New Hyde Park, NY 10040
laevskaya railway), not to a Borovichi station. Thank you, Rostislav!




2 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Forgery Alert

Rossica continues to receive information item is questionable, inform the seller that you
regarding a growing effort to introduce faked/ want a second opinion and a guarantee that a
forged items into the philatelic scene. Recent refund will be made if the item is not legitimate
auctions/sales as well as dealers' boxes have been or questionable. For the more expensive items,
noted carrying an increasing number of forged/ get this in writing, if possible. Reputable dealers
faked items. Members are urged to exercise cau- will normally allow this.
tion when purchasing that "elusive" item for If in doubt about a dealer's reputation, ask
which you have seen very few copies in the other collectors. Again, if the same seller con-
past. Many of the faked/forged items are for tinues to offer questionable items (as is the case
higher-priced, seldom-seen material. However, with one dealer in California), find another seller
copies of higher-value stamps have been offered and inform all your collecting friends about the
at incredibly low prices just to get the items into seller. Only you can help prevent these activities
circulation. Beware of getting something for by not supporting the effort and spreading the
nothing. word. If the individual from whom you pur-
Know the sellers. Reputable dealers make chase material is questionable, consider not pur-
their living by selling stamps and are not inter- chasing further items from that person.
ested in selling bogus items as legitimate. Many If you have an item that you feel needs to
dealers are very knowledgeable, others are still be examined, do it. Use the expertization ser-
learning. Usually, they are appreciative when vice provided. If you do not want to use this
someone helps them identify a bogus item. If an avenue, please let the Rossica President know


order now for your free sample of our next international postal history catalog


Postal history items from Finland, Russia, Baltic States, other Scandinavian countries,
Poland, Germany, and so on.
Special areas: postmarks, local mail, ship mail, railroad mail, military mail, air mail,
revenues, frankings, censor, prephilately, entire. About 800 lots at each auction.
If you want to buy or sell, please contact us.

Auctioneer: lawyer Martin Holmsten, member Rossica, SCC
Rurik Auctions, PB 432, FIN-65101 VASA, Finland
phone: +358-6-3177789, telefax: +358-6-3123046
E-mail: m.holmsten@rurik-acn.inet.fi

and he will try to get assistance from the mem- 4. Faked expertization certificates are circulating
bership. In the latter case, it is merely an opin- in the United States and Germany. These can be
ion and will not receive a certificate from the divided into several types: a) completely bogus,
Society. i.e., using names of acknowledged experts who
never issue certificates; b) faked copies of exist-
Here Is What We Are Seeing: ing certificates for genuine stamps on which the
1. Digital facsimiles of varying quality (and original stamp has been replaced with a digital
therefore likely to be from different sources, facsimile; c) faked certificates (certificate, signa-
although possibly being distributed in the United ture, and backstamp) with color scans of the
States and elsewhere via the same network) of pertinent stamp tied by a copy of an experts' seal.
surcharges and overprints of the 1917-1923
period have been and are being produced on 5. Double prints (again of varying quality), triple
readily available genuine mint stamps. prints (some of a different stamp), double and
multiple surcharges applied digitally over genu-
2. The same digital scans are being used to make ine stamps and surcharges.
proofs on card, thick paper (some modern mat-
erial but some contemporary from old docu- 6. Faked expert marks of people from the past
ments), and on stamp selvage and sheet margins, and personal marks with similar characteristics
(This technique could equally well have been applied to digital productions are now beginning
used to produce fake proofs and color trials in of to appear.
complete stamps.)
7. The use of some type of facsimile process,
3. Digital facsimiles of various qualities in red, probably a photocopy machine, has been in use
black, and blue inks have been spotted in the for a number of years to produce faked RRR-
United States and Germany of "specimen" rated covers based on Tchilinghirian's illustra-
stamps of imperial, RSFSR, and USSR issues. tions.

Comprehensive Stock of Russian Material:
yearly units
wantlist service

Free price list


Box 740521
Rego Park, NY 11374-0521

Fax (718)271-3070

"Guests" of the Tsar: The Shlissel'burg
Hard-Labor Prison and its Censormarks

by David M. Skipton

Figure 1: View of the Shlissel'burg Hard-Labor Prison on an island in the Neva River.

"Spring is near, and the sun is warming written about it, and of course Hollywood hasn't
things up. The snow melts, but not these neglected "The Rock," either.
damned walls." Russia too had its "Rock" Shlissel'burg
R. M. Simenchikov, in a letter from Fortress. It had several things in common with
prison, 2 April 1907 Alcatraz, like its site on an island, plenty of cold,
flowing water around it, and a strict prison
regime. Having started life as a Swedish fortress
"The Rock." Alcatraz. The old prison on guarding the mouth of the Neva River, it was
"an island in San Francisco Bay that is now a a forbidding pile with 15-meter-thick and 14-
tourist attraction still fascinates Americans. Part meter-high walls2 that only a few inmates ever
of that fascination is due to the hard-core overcame, and then only for a short while. And
clientele that resided there, and part to the as Alcatraz does with Americans, so too does
reputation it had as a tough nut that no one Shlissel'burg still command a certain morbid
ever cracked and lived to tell about. Quite a fascination among Russians. A considerable
number of fiction and history books have been number of leading individuals in Russia's revolu-

Rossica Journal Number 131 5
October 1998

tionary movements were held there, but more any communication with the outer
of that later. Unlike Alcatraz, though, this prison world."4
held political in addition to dangerous criminals.
It was not a nice place to be. Shlissel'burg became a state prison in 1882,
and that designation lasted until 1905. The
"It is forty miles distant from St. distinction between what Shlissel'burg did prior
Petersburg, at the head of the Neva, to and after its reincarnation as a "government
where it issues from Lake Ladoga a prison" was this: before 1882 it was a military
bare fortress on a lonely island. It is fortress that was also used as a place to hold
surrounded by a small and desolate prisoners. In 1882, it became a facility that
town, all the inhabitants of which can served exclusively as a prison. The distinction
be easily watched, and years may pass was meaningless, of course, to the people held
before the revolutionists find a way to there. Walls are walls.
force the fortress and to penetrate with Once it was transformed into a state prison,
their propaganda into the place. So we its administrative chain of command also
learned that the Russian Government changed. At the top was the Minister of Internal
so poor that it cannot spare some Affairs, who was ultimately responsible for its
odd ten thousand roubles for the repair operations. Below him came the Chief of the
of the foul and dilapidated prisons of Corps of Gendarmes, and under him, the Chief
Kara has spent a hundred and fifty of the Shlissel'burg Gendarme Administration.5
thousand roubles in arranging a new In the imperial and Soviet periods, chiefs of
State prison in Schluessel'burg and that government establishments often had a first
the most energetic revolutionists con- deputy and a number of other deputies below
demned to hard-labour will be sent that individual, each one responsible for some
there. The new prison ought to be a aspect of that organization's activities. So, if
palace; but certainly the money has common practice held true at Shlissel'burg, the
been spent less in accommodations for setup from 1911 to 1917 would have looked
prisoners than in arrangements for something like this:
closely watching them, and preventing




6 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

This, of course, is assuming that each of the four hind its walls by Catherine II in 1792.12 Peter
buildings would have had a deputy in charge of Kropotkin called the fortress "Paul's favorite
it. Since the "Deputy Warden in Charge of the prison,"13 and Nicholas I put Decembrists there
Building" censormark has only been recorded for awhile. Later, Polish revolutionaries were
on mail addressed to Buildings 3 and 4, it may introduced to its charm. When the fortress be-
well be that there were only two such deputies, came a state prison, notable alumni included
not four. As for the deputies in charge of the Bakunin and Vera Figner (she spent twenty
work details and the Accounting Office, they years there), and a good number of members of
may not have been on an equal footing with the the People's Will (narodovoltsy) movement. Upon
Building Deputy Wardens. The diagram above their release from Shlissel'burg at the end of
is simply a guess. their hard-labor sentences, prisoners were exiled
The state prison was closed on 3 December to Siberia.14
1905 by order of Tsar Nicholas II, even though Alas, no Shlissel'burg prison covers have
a few inmates were kept there until the end of been recorded from the period preceding its
January 1906,6 and for a while people could go 1907 reincarnation, due perhaps to the low
to the island freely and view it, but a new number of inmates. For instance, from 1900 to
prison opened there in 1907 on the grounds of 1905, a mere twenty-seven convicts spent time
the old one; a "temporary hard-labor prison" there.1s However, that dearth turns into what by
under the purview of the Main Prison Admini- prison-mail standards is a glut for the period
stationn7 The old structures were expanded, and 1907 to 1917.
new additions were built. Between 1907 and Shlissel'burg hosted three "waves" of
1915, the number of solitary-confinement cells inmates during the early twentieth century. The
doubled and communal cells tripled.8 first came after the 1905 Revolution and the
Shlissel'burg was the flagship of the imperial subsequent punitive expeditions that lasted into
penal system, the pride of the authorities, and 1907. From 1907 to 1909, over 28,000 people
the school from which many revolutionaries were sentenced for their part in the
matriculated. It was called the "endless island" revolutionary movement,16 and some of them
(bezyskhodnyi ostrov) because of the life sentences ended up in the "Russian Bastille."
some served there,9 and the "Russian Bastille" The second wave came from 1910 to 1912,
because of its use as a place to bury the state's when new disorders shook the empire, and the
opponents under rock. Despite its fearsome third washed in during World War I. The in-
reputation, though, it was not the ultimate mates came from all over the empire: convicts
"hole." Prisoners who caused too much trouble from the naval mutiny at Sevastopol' in Novem-
there were usually packed off to the central ber 1905, revolutionaries from the Baltic region
prison at Orel, where conditions were much and the armed uprising in the Donbass, soldiers
worse.10 from the Vyborg Fortress disorders, mutineers
from Turkestan, and a fair number of Bolshe-
THE "GUESTS" viks, Mensheviks, and Socialist Revolutionaries
After Peter I wrested Shlissel'burg from the (SRs). Common criminals were held there as
Swedes, the Romanov dynasty used it as a place well.17 Most of the prisoners were ordinary
of confinement for many years prior to its rein- workers, peasants, soldiers, and sailors who had
carnation as a state prison in 1882. Among the either joined the revolutionary movement or
more famous "guests" there were Ioann VI, im- protested maltreatment and ended up being
prisoned in 1756 and killed in 1764," and the viewed the same as a dedicated revolutionary.
writer and publisher N. I. Novikov, thrown be- Yet there were some big names among Nicholas

Rossica Journal Number 131 7
October 1998

l ii Postkarte.
irr i Carte postal. Ca liia stale.

Sevastopo in 192124 A p...f him can be found in K. S........ Leonidova's Na..... katorzhnom..... os.....rove on .. page ....... 04.

kidzeon 13 January 1907 for his part in the Black Sea Fleet mutiny of 1905. In NovTrilisser Shlisseburg on 11 September 1908,6, Kotorovich was sentenced

brothers. how the convicts were lined up at the pier and
According to D. A. Trilisser, the political greeted by Warden Zimberg, who read them
there included anarchists of various stripes to go the prison regulations. They were marched
with the Socialist Revolutionaries and Social through the Sovereign's (Gosudareva) Gate,
Democrats (Bolsheviks and Mensheviks).'" In searched, given a bath, issued prison garb, divi-
short, Shlissel'burg boasted a dizzying kaleido- ded into political and criminals, and then taken
scope of political persuasion in its cells. to quarantine for two weeks.21
During the summer, prisoners were brought Of its inmates, about sixty percent were
from St. Petersburg to the island by Finnish sentenced by appeals courts and district courts.
Company steamers and left off at the pier.19 The rest were there via military courts.22 Over
However, when the Neva froze over in winter, 950 inmates were held at Shlisselnurg from
the prisoners were brought in by special railroad 1916 to February 1917. All of them were freed
prison car, then marched across the ice to the on 28 February 1917.23

8 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998
October 1998

Building 1
"Building Neva River

Gosudareva Gates I Building 2


S "Building3 3

/ \

Neva River
Approximate location
of Building 4 ?

Figure 3: An approximation of the building layout at Shlissel'burg from 1911 to 1917.

THE BUILDINGS the prisoners were segregated by building. What
For me, one of the most interesting aspects difference would a building number make?
of prison censorship collecting is the political Unless the addresses on mail to or from indi-
themselves. Many of these people had a very viduals in other imperial Russian prisons specifi-
lengthy paper trail that led from arrest through cally state something like "to political prisoner
trial to incarceration, and if their revolutionary so-and-so" (politzaklyuchennomu), they usually do
credentials were in order, they were likely to not yield any clue about the inmates themselves.
have kept diaries or written accounts of their Each of the four main buildings at Shlissel'burg,
experiences in jail. If they didn't write, they though, was a prison in and of itself, separate
might still be mentioned in somebody else's from the others. So separate, in fact, that an
book, so that the chance of putting some flesh inmate there might have a friend or relative
on the bony covers are greatly improved. Better serving time in a different building on the same
still is the serendipitous find of an inmate's island, yet never once meet him.25 For the
picture to go with the cover, period most readily collected, 1907 to 1917, we
Shlissel'burg readily lends itself to this pursuit are dealing with four buildings, and the building
for three main reasons: the kind and sheer num- number often specified in an address frequently
ber of people who were sent there; the numer- helps to ascertain whether the prisoner was
ous memoirs and works about it; and because likely to be a political or a criminal. If a crimi-

Rossica Journal Number 131 9
October 1998

Figure 4: The "Menagerie."26

nal, the odds of finding his or her name in a corridor, just iron bars from one wall to the
memoir are very slim. However, with political, other and from floor to ceiling. Converted into
we can then run that convict's name past the a prison facility from Petrine-era barracks,27 it
indexes of Gernet, Leonidova, and elsewhere, had two floors and a total of eight cells, four on
and have some hope of finding a match, each floor. Each cell was rated for fifteen in-
A word of caution, though, to those who mates, so the building was supposed to hold
might want to try to take it even further by 120.28 On the west side, it directly abutted the
tracking inmates according to section and cell fortress walls so there were no windows on that
number: it does not work very well. The reason side. Building 1 stretched the distance from the
is simple. Accounts by several "alumni" showed Gosudareva Tower to the Svetlichnaya Tower.29
that the convicts were often moved from one The only windows were opposite the cells,
cell to another, and even from one building to across the corridor that ran the length of the
another, to make it harder for them to plan building; they looked out over a big courtyard.
escapes or protests. The prison section occupied the center of the
building, with workshops on both floors of the
Building 1 (1-yi korpus) left wing. The other wing's first floor was where
One of the oldest buildings at Shlissel'burg an isolatorr" held psychiatric cases.3 In 1909, a
Fortress, the prisoners called it the "Menagerie" thira floor was added and this became the
(Zverinets) because there were no doors to the Shlissel'burg hospital.31

10 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Figure 5: Building 2, nicknamed "Sakhalin."3

D. A. Trilisser asserted that everyone in this several weeks of quarantine before being trans-
building was a criminal, although on occasion a ferred to their regular cells, either in the same
political would find himself there by accident.32 building or in one of the other three.36 In 1907,
Inmates in Building 1 were allowed to corres- a second story was added to it, so that the build-
pond and have visits more often than those in ing then boasted twelve cells. At this time,
Building 2," but given Trilisser's description of Building 2 became known as "Sakhalin," where
the inmates as "dull, illiterate, [and] deprived of prisoners were sent as punishment for violations
individuality,"34 it is not surprising that Building of the prison regime they had committed in the
1 covers are not seen as often as those addressed other buildings.37 It was considered by the pris-
to prisoners kept in Building 4. owners to be the worst of the four Shlissel'burg
prisons because of its "coolers" "stone boxes
Building 2 (2-oi korpus) from the Middle Ages."38
Formerly a citadel complete with draw- Most of the prisoners in "Sakhalin" were
bridge and moat, in the early days this structure political active in resisting the prison authorities.
was referred to as the "Secret Building." Then Once they landed in this part of Shlissel'burg, all
it became known as the "Old Prison," and from the prisoners had to do to lose privileges like use
1884-1885, when the narodovoltsy were brought of the library and correspondence was commit
to Shlissel'burg, as the "Barn." New arrivals a minor infraction.39 Because many of these
would be held in one or two of its cells for people were hard-core revolutionaries who re-

Rossica Journal Number 131 11
October 1998

Figure 6: Building 3, the "Narodovoltsy."40

Figure 7: Second floor of Building 3.
Note the steel netting to prevent any falls or suicide attempts by the pnsoners.42

12 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Figure 8: Building 4.
The row of windows at the base was where the punishment and solitary-confinement cells were located.4

sisted prison authorities in any way they could the second. It was intended to hold just one
- singing songs like the Marseillaise, staging type of inmate the hard-labor political pris-
hunger strikes, refusing to avail themselves of oner.41
trips to the baths, failing to stand up when a Sometimes, though, prisoners were kept
warden would enter their cell, etc. their cor- two to a cell here.43 At least from 1912 to 1913,
respondence privileges were often revoked for this building held the greatest concentration of
up to a month at a time. So, due to the rela- active revolutionaries, and became "the center of
tively small size of the place and the strict re- communications with the outside world.""44 It
gime, it is not surprising that letters to Building was the only one of the four prisons that was re-
2 are not seen very often. served exclusively for politicals.5 Building 3 also
housed the bookbindery and a joiner's shop.
Building 3 (3-ii korpus) Despite its educated clientele, very few covers
Opened in 1884, the structure was called addressed to Building 3 have been recorded.
the "Narodovoltsy" because this is where many
of the People's Will revolutionaries from the Building 4 (4-yi korpus)
disturbances of the late 1870s and early 1880s Completed in 1911, the structure was built
were confined. This facility was a two-story on the site of the former kitchen and stables. It
structure with nineteen solitary-confinement boasted a mix of twenty-eight solitary cells and
cells on the first floor and twenty similar cells on communal cells, for a maximum rating of 600

Rossica Journal Number 131 13
October 1998

Figure 9: Reconstruction of a communal cell in Building 4.
Cells like this were rated for twenty-three inmates.49

inmates. The warden and his staff also had their the February Revolution. It was burned on the
offices here.47 Criminal stoolies were held in cell night of 4-5 March 1917.50
number 19, but the communal cells were re- The majority of covers that specify a build-
served for the political, twenty to twenty-five ing, section, and cell number are addressed to
in each.48 There were ten punishment "coolers" this facility, which is to be expected given its
on the lowest, or half-basement, floor, much greater size.
From the picture of Building 4 above, one
can see its "T" shape with three sections, or THE PRISON REGIME
wings, and this is borne out by the addresses on Correspondence
numerous covers. From the covers and photo- Shlissel'burg's regime was not so harsh that
copies I have seen thus far, mail addressed to it prohibited all communications with the out-
inmates in Sections 1 and 3 predominates. (In side. According to V. Ya. Il'mas, a Bolshevik in-
North American parlance, these sections [otdyel- mate, political in early 1909 were permitted to
eniya] would be called cellblocks.) Sometimes write once a month but only to a spouse or a
you will see covers where the address gives only blood relative, ** and they were given only one
a section and a cell number; these were sent to piece of paper on which to write. A prisoner
Building 4. would be called out of his cell into the corridor
Building 4 was the first to be destroyed after (always on a Sunday) and given a pen, ink, and

14 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

paper; he had to scribble his monthly letter right their request during the morning headcount to
there because writing materials were not allowed the senior authority in that building. He in turn
in the cells.51 This is also part of the reason why would go to the prison office and check to see
prisoners were not allowed to keep the postcards if the inmate was due the privilege. If not, the
and letters they received from the outside. They senior would refuse, telling the prisoner his
were made of paper and could therefore be month was not up yet. But if the prisoner was
written on. (** Article 291 "General Prison due another letter and had not been denied the
Regulations" was approved on 28 December privilege of correspondence due to some infrac-
1915 by Justice Minister A. Khvostov, although tion, he would be issued the necessary materials.
it had been in effect since 1912. It stated that The prisoners were allowed to write about
"hard-labor prisoners are allowed to correspond family matters and their health. Any attempt to
only with their spouses, parents, children, and describe the regime at Shlissel'burg would result
blood brothers and sisters, whether [the latter] in reprisals from the warden. One convict who
are living in freedom or are under detention. In tried was tossed in the "cooler" for seven days
especially pressing circumstances and with the and denied correspondence privileges for six
warden's permission, the inmate may correspond months.55 In addition to such severe restrictions
with distant relatives if no closer relatives on what inmates could write about, the prison
exist.")52 censors were given wide latitude on what did or
Il'mas's account is seconded by losif did not constitute a breach of those restric-
Karlovich Gamburg, another Bolshevik (held at tions.56
Shlissel'burg from January 1912 to April 1914), If something in a prisoner's letter did not
who wrote that prisoners were allowed to pen meet with the censor's approval, two options
one letter per month, and on one sheet of paper were available: efface the text with printer's ink,
only. Gamburg, therefore, resorted to a tiny or simply confiscate the letter. On occasion, en-
script to pack in as many words as possible on tire pages would be wiped out. Ivan Petrovich
that one sheet, but the deputy warden did not Voronitsyn tells of one instance where a prisoner
want to ruin his eyes attempting to censor it, so named Mazin received a four-page letter from a
he refused to read them or forward them until relative that began with "Dear Antosha," fol-
Gamburg started writing in larger letters. One of lowed by four pages of nothing but ink blotting
the prison doctors, a man named Eichholtz, out the text and ending at the bottom of page
volunteered to read the letters for the deputy four with an "I love you."57
warden, and he was allowed to do so.53 While prisoners were limited in the corres-
Another leftist prisoner, the SR V. F. pondence going out, the regulations imposed no
Goncharov, repeated Gamburg's assertion that limit on the amount of mail they could receive.
hard-labor prisoners were allowed to write one Some covers in my collection are addressed
letter per month, but added that those whose within a few days of one another to the same
shackles had been removed (i.e., those who had inmate, and all were examined by the censor. In
been recategorized as correctional inmates) were L. N. Rubinstein's Diary of a Hard-Labor Convict,
allowed two letters per month. The prison regu- he writes that on 3 February 1908 he went to
lations said nothing, though, about the number see a deputy prison chief and received twenty-
of letters a prisoner could receive from the one letters. His friend Ernest received ten. Two
outside. Nor was there any particular restriction days later, on 5 February, they gave the deputy
on how small and packed the writing could be chief the letters they wrote in response.
until 1915, when a requirement to write on the Prisoners could receive at least ordinary mail
lines was instituted.54 (both postcards and envelopes), registered letters,
Those wishing to write a letter had to state money orders, and packages. If mail addressed to

Rossica Journal Number 131 15
October 1998

_. :':p .

Figure 11: An ordinary letter from Byelozersk in Novgorod Province to A. A. Stolyarov at

Novgorod Prison, October 1912. Tte froahed tag reads "The addressee has gone to Shhsssel'burg Hard-Labor Prison."
Standard Shlissel'burg rectangular censormark, proving that the letter followed him there.
S .,October 1998:
:Standard ohvassel'b rectangular censormark, provng that the l flw h te

16 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998


..... L4

"/ / ,frs, ,,. ^ -.o_ t n l .e'-- -.-_____"_,..v .
S.... .. .......... .. ..... a. A o.l c .- -6L P.

an inmate arrived at his prison after he had been When prisoners were denied correspon-
_-_ -_ -. .V p

prison. letters that had accumulated during their pun-

One problem with attempting to nail down ishment period usually one month) were still
pW4 A 4,,W--L I~i t4-C. -

Figure 12: A convict in the Kherson Temporary Hard-Labor Prison wrote this card to his brother at Shlissel'burg
on 12 March 1912, and it was censored twice.
"Examined / Kherson temp. / Hard-Labor prison" and the hands Shlisseould not receiveburg censormark variety.

an inmate arrived at his prison after he had been When prisoners were denied correspon-
transferred, the items followed him to the next dence privileges because of their bad behavior,
p Moreover, the postcard illustrson letters that had accumulated during their pun-
One problem with attemptingto n ail down ishment period (usually one month) were stinl
the specifics of a prison postal regulation from handed over to them when they emerged from
memoirs is that inmates saw only a small piece the "cooler. things like makhorka for smoking, soap,61
of the picture, and the regulations sometimes
changed. For instance, Voronitsyn asserted that Money Orders
"prisoner s at Shssel'burg could not receive mail Up to 1915, the most per month an inmate
from other prisons,59 but as we have already could earn in the prison workshops or receive
seen in Article 291 above, that was true except for from relatives outside the walls was 4.20 rubles.
family members, as the cover in figure 12 demon- In 1915, though, that monthly maximum was
cstrates raised to 7.50 rubles, and in 1916 it jumped to
Moreover, the postcard illustrated by Philip 15 rubles.62 Using this money, convicts could
Robinson in his article "The Amur Railway "subscribe" (the so-called vypiska) at the prison
Some New Postmark Discoveries"60 shows that store for things like makhorka for smoking, soap,
a prisoner in a work gang in Siberia wrote in postage stamps, and other such items.63
1913 to his brother at Shlissel'burg, too. From the philatelic evidence, it is obvious

Rossica Journal Number 131 17
October 1998

that prisoners sometimes received money orders tic ink between the lines of her letters.
for more than the maximum, but there is noth- For [ink] she used a phenolphthalein
ing to indicate that they got the full amount all solution which could be raised by
at once. ammonium chloride. A small piece of
cotton wool that had been dipped in
EFFORTS TO CIRCUMVENT ammonium chloride would be swiped
THE PRISON REGIME across the letter, and between the lines
Secret Inks would appear violet letters, which
Many of the hard-core revolutionaries who would evaporate with the ammonium
ended up at Shlissel'burg were well aware of chloride. The iodine solution used by
"secret inks," and had used them extensively in the prison administration to coat letters
their underground work. When they were didn't work on phenolphthalein, so my
locked in the cells, they used whatever was correspondence with Marusya was
available in the prison to get their message out. never discovered, and we kept abreast
of all events [on the outside].
"Thanks to the fact that in those first "When I was transferred from Pskov
years our communications with the to Shlissel'burg, the London correspon-
outside world hadn't been disrupted or dence continued with the same success.
weakened yet, and [because] we had a The contents of Marusya's letters were
lot of correspondents, we learned from completely innocent, and [the censors]
the letters about the very latest literary allowed them through unhindered. As
works, the most important parts of soon as a letter was deciphered, I
which we simply copied, filling dozens would immediately transmit its infor-
of sheets of postal paper. Those things mation via the prison "telegraph" [i.e.,
from current political and social life tapping DMS] to the neighboring
that couldn't be mentioned directly or cells, and in a short time every prisoner
obliquely were put in the same letters, in the building knew about the domes-
hidden in secret inks that couldn't be tic and international situation.
brought out by the usual gendarme "I had trouble in obtaining the am-
negatives and simple methods of raising monium chloride [NH4C1]. I'd com-
[text]."64 (At that time, the "simple plain to the doctor's assistant about
methods of raising text" were usually rheumatic pain in my legs and ask him
heat or an iodine reagent applied in an to give me ammonium chloride so I
"X" across the text. Today, these "Xs" could use it for massage, but he refused
have turned to a dull orange.) to give me NH4C1 in pure form. In-
stead, he'd dispense it with an admix-
"The most important tidings from ture of some sort of oil. But this
Russia and abroad we heard from the solution nevertheless worked perfectly
frequent and regular letters I received in raising the secret text.
from my student in underground work, "Sending our prison news to the
Marusya Kuznetsova, n6e Shapir, who outside world by the same means as
had been forced to emigrate to London Kuznetsova's wasn't possible, because I
during the years of reaction. I had couldn't get any phenolphthalein. So I
made contact with her when I was in used a different approach. When I
Pskov, and we began to correspond. would send my one letter a month, I'd
All of the news she wrote in sympathe- very carefully open up the [entire] en-

18 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

(r /' .

Figure 13: This 4 July 1911 cover from St. Petersburg to Shlissel'burg offers the tantalizing possibility that a deputy
warden in charge of one of the buildings was aware of this writing-inside-the-envelope dodge. The right half of the
censormark appears on the inside of the top flap; the left half would have been on the letter itself.

velope with a needle and put [my cause they had to return their postcards and
hidden message] in minute handwriting letters to the warden once they read them.
on the inside of the envelope, using Per Dr. Denys Voaden, Rossica's resident
lemon or onion juice as an ink. Then chemist-on-call, phenolphthalein has cathartic
I'd glue the envelope back together, properties and has been used in veterinary
To alert Marusya to the presence of science as a laxative. It should have been easy to
the text on the envelope itself, I'd ask obtain in the England of Marusya's day. Phenol-
her in the letter's sign-off to give my phthalein "is the prototype of a series of sub-
regards to "Uncle Feuer." "Feuer" in stances closely related to fluorescein and eosin,
German means "fire," so when she re- but without the features need to function as
ceived a letter like that, Marusya would effective dyestuffs. However, because of the
[know to] heat the envelope over a prominent color changes with pH, [emphasis mine -
lamp, and the yellowish letters would DMS] the phthaleins are useful as indicators."
appear on the paper."65 As for the NH4C1, that too was well known,
with "widespread application in industrial
For the prisoners, having raised text disappear usages."66
again was a very important consideration be- The inmates believed that prison officials

Rossica Journal Number 131 19
October 1998

never did discover this link with the outside, someone discovered it and brought it to
and when Gamburg left Shlissel'burg for exile in Zimberg's attention.70
Siberia, he turned over the correspondence
duties with Kuznetsova to Grigorii Moiseevich Euphemisms
Muravin, and the clandestine communications The approach used by "Sister Elena" in her
continued.67 correspondence with V. V. Prussak71 was not
limited to the Preliminary Detention Facility.
"Pigeons" The Shlissel'burg hard-labor convicts used the
Another means the Shlissel'burg inmates same approach to get around the restrictions on
used to get information into and out of the fort- what they could write about. One alumnus of
ress was the "pigeon," a bribed prison guard. At the island, I. P. Voronitsyn, gave the following
the end of 1908, they managed to recruit an example of a terribly euphemized message that
Estonian named Rebane, who was trusted by sailed right past the censors:
the authorities. But when Rebane got a promo-
tion to senior guard and was put in charge of "Up to now no one has written me
the storeroom and warehouses, he no longer anything about how little Domna is
wanted to risk detection doing things the old getting along. A few days ago they
way. So an apothecary in the town of Shlissel'- were supposed to bring her to you in
burg was found who agreed to serve as a go- Piter. How is she feeling? Have her
between. Clandestine mail to and from the pris- teeth started coming in yet? Has she
owners was delivered or picked up at the apothe- said anything yet? They wrote me
cary's house when the "pigeon" from the prison earlier that her left hand wasn't
would meet a representative "from the out- working properly. Does she remember
side."68 me and her other uncles? ... Does
Uncle Petr Stolpinskii still live on
The "False Flag" Approach Kabinetskaya St.? I seem to recall that
Prisoners in the communal cells managed to someone wrote me about him wanting
get around the one- or two-letters-per-month to transfer with his entire family from
restriction by writing to "family members" of that apartment. Has Uncle Petya given
inmates who in actual fact had none. This up drinking (wine and other spirits)?"
required that the person who received the letter
would recognize the convict's handwriting and Of course, there were no such family
guess that the letter should be opened, despite members. "Domna" stood for the Duma convo-
the fact it was addressed to someone else. This cation, and what followed concerned the com-
evasion came to a halt when Deputy Warden position and numbers of the left-wing parties.
Gudema grew suspicious and asked the police to "Stolpinskii" referred to Stolypin and the ex-
match names with addresses.69 pected breakup of his cabinet. The "wine and
Those communications with the outside spirits" were euphemisms for blood: the writer
world were also maintained by the monthly wanted to know if the military field courts had
visits that prisoners were allowed (at least in ceased operations yet.72
1916). Relatives would bring books for the
prison library, and this afforded the inmates a THE CENSORMARKS
chance to sneak messages past the guards and the Shlissel'burg offers a remarkable variety of
warden's censorship. Dots would be put under censormarks, all clustered within a nine-year
or over letters on each page, thus spelling out period. No other Russian prison, it would seem,
the information. That avenue collapsed when can boast so many from such a short time.

20 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Another Shlissel'burg feature is the variation in Recorded range: 27 April 1907-22 February
censormark elements and the variation in their 1909
combinations. By "element" I mean what par- Number recorded: 3
ticular information the censormark or censor Color(s): violet and blue
notation imparts. There are six: Censormark recorded on: money order receipts
and a PPC
1. Fact of censorship: i.e., "Prosmotryeno" and a
S "" Recorded on mail addressed to: no building
(Examined) or "Provereno."
2. Place of censorship: "Shlissel'burg Hard- number pecifie
Labor Prison." Remarks: a three-element marking
Labor Prison.
3. Who performed the censorship: i.e.,
"Deputy Warden in Charge of the Build- 2. Prosmotryeno.
Nach. Shliss. Kat. Tyur'my
ing" or "Warden." Handwritten censors' ini-
tials also fall under this category.
4. Date of censorship: i.e., "10 APR 1912." YeP 15 T& Oi
This element has been seen in only one
Shlissel'burg censormark, show as figure 6'___
(page 30) in Norman Banfield's article, and
it appears to be a part of the "hands" variety
censormark. Examined.
5. Instruction. This might be something like Warden of the Shlissel'burg Hard-Labor Prison
"Confiscate" or "let it through," etc. This
element often appears as a handwritten Recorded range: 21 April 1910-5 September
notation but not always. So far, Shlissel'burg 1914
has produced only one of these, a penciled Number recorded: 5
"Ne propushchi" (Don't let it through). Color(s): violet and blue
6. Contents. This usually takes the form of Censormark recorded on: money order receipts,
something like "2 stamps, 1 sheet" or "1 7- ordinary mail (envelope and postcards)
kop. stamp." Recorded on mail addressed to: no building
number specified
Most of these markings incorporate more than Remarks: Unlike many censormarks of this
one element, and some display three of the six. nature, an individual's name can be put to
We will examine them in modified chronologi- this one. The warden was Vasilii Ivanovich
cal order of recorded range. Zimberg, who headed the prison until it was
N.B. In the following list, the dates given liberated in February 1917.
are those from the Shlissel'burg arrival marks, not
the dates of posting. Because the style of examples 1 and 2 are
the same, and because it seems very unlikely that
1. Prosmotryeno. the deputy warden would have such a hand-
Pom. Nach. Shliss. Kat. Tyur'my stamp for awhile and the warden would not, I
assume that the range for both marks should be
IIPOCCMOTP HO ', from at least 21 April 1907 to 5 September
I 4U2ZM- .fBftg 1914. More examples are needed to confirm
Examined. this. Three-element marking.
Deputy Warden of the Shlissel'burg Hard-Labor

Rossica Journal Number 131 21
October 1998

3. Prosmotryeno: the Pskov Central in 1912. He left later that
Pomoshchnik Nachal'nika year75 and was replaced by a man named
Zavyedyvayushchii Korpusom Pugavko in 1913.76 The last deputy warden
at Shlissel'burg was apparently Gudema; 7 I
POMOTPHO: do not know when he arrived.

j.roMou4qukb .)tqan7buka 5. Otmyecheno
3a06dji6aloui#i opnycomo

Examined: [OTMLIEHO
Deputy Warden
In Charge of the Building

Recorded range: 2 February 1911-31 August Noted
Number recorded: 13 Recorded range: 18 June 1911
Color(s): violet Number recorded: 1
Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (post- Color(s): violet
cards and envelopes) Censormark recorded on: money order receipt
Recorded on mail addressed to: Buildings 1 and Recorded on mail addressed to: no building
4 number specified
Remarks: a two-element marking Remarks: This might not be a censormark, al-
though it is without doubt a Shlissel'burg
4. Pomoshchnik prison mark. My guess is that this marking
Nachal'nika Tyur'my belonged to the deputy warden in charge
of the accounting office. Single-element
lfiW4/tnuka mioepVMW 6. Pomoshchnik Nachal'nika
Zavyedyvayushchii Bukhgalteriei

Deputy -e Sacq*u9iti azat, uaI
Warden of the Prison .
c36nc6Ua:-otzii d.xza.cnzi. ii.

Recorded range: 21 May 1911-14 June 1911
Number recorded: 3
Color(s): violet Deputy Warden
Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (envel- In Charge of the Accounting Office
Recorded on mail addressed to: Building 4 Recorded range: 30 September 1911
Remarks: Ivan Vakhtangovich Guramov is the Number recorded: 1
first name of a deputy chief that emerges in Color(s): violet
the available literature. He was at Shlissel'- Censormark recorded on: money order receipt
burg in February 1908,73 but I do not know Remarks: Although there is only one recorded
when he left. The next name is Lyubene- thus far, and the recorded date comes
tskii,74 who transferred to Shlissel'burg from twenty-nine days after the earliest date seen

22 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

for Shlissel'burg category 9 below, I've put Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (envel-
it here on the strength of its being a mem- opes) and money order receipts
ber of the "In Charge of ..." censormark Recorded on mail addressed to: Buildings 1, 2,
type (without the Prosmotryeno element), and 4
the earliest example of which is April 1911. Remarks: I am not certain exactly what is meant
My assumption (and it is nothing more than by "rabotami." It may refer to the book-
that) is that these "In Charge of..." mark- bindery and the carpentry shops where
ings would have been introduced en bloc. orders for school furniture were filled, but
Single-element marking, those were set up in cells of Buildings 3 and
4, so if "rabotami" does refer to these, then
7. Pomoshchnik Nachal'nika why wouldn't the "deputy-chief-in-charge-
Zavyedyvayushchii Korpusom of-the-building" censormark have sufficed?
The censormark might also apply to the gar-
dens in some of the courtyards, where a few
OMOulHuka "--'la/rtxuka prisoners were also allowed to work. A third
a3bdiQaou.:,i .KopnycocMa possibility, but one I have not been able to
confirm, is that work gangs were organized
for hard labor outside the walls, perhaps on
Deputy Warden nearby railroad construction or road build-
In Charge of the Building ing. Single-element marking.

Recorded range: 3-31 October 1911 9. 1 Prosmotryeno -"
Number recorded: 5 Shlissel'burgskaya
Color(s): violet Katorzhnaya Tyur'ma
Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail
(envelopes and a postcard) II P 0 C M 0 T P I H 0 "-
Recorded on mail addressed to: Buildings 1, 3, I r c aI
and 4
Remarks: Included here before category 9 for HaiTOpaCF a r Timn.
the same reason stated above in category 6.
Single-element marking. Examined -
8. Pomoshchnik Nachal'nika Hard-Labor Prison
Zavyedyvayushchii rabotami
Recorded range: 1 September 1911-10 April
,- uc Ha. i6 i a 1912
SNumber recorded: 18
3aeradb eawuMizupaoinpraMu .
"3aer6oa 4i~a(o-ia.u Color(s): violet
Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail
(envelopes and postcards)
Deputy Warden Recorded on mail addressed to: Buildings 1 and
In Charge of the Work Details 4
Remarks: Two-element marking
Recorded range: 25 May 1912-20 March 1913
Number recorded: 7
Color(s): violet

Rossica Journal Number 131 23
October 1998

10. Prosmotryeno Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (envel-
Shlissel'burgskaya opes and postcards), registered mail, and
Katorozhnaya Tyur'ma money order receipts
Recorded on mail addressed to: Buildings 1, 2,
-lt~-^.; \J 1,, 3, and 4

-. -^ C ~11. Shlissel'burg *
^Tp^.^ .--^ C *- Prosmotryeno (in double oval)
cp Katorzhn. Tyur'ma
Hard-Labor Prison

Recorded range: 15 November 1911
Number recorded: 1 Bi tt
Color(s): violet Shlissel'burg
Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (a Examined
postcard) Hard-Lab. Prison
Recorded on mail addressed to: no building
number specified Recorded range: 8 September 1912-12 Decem-
Remarks: Same text and translation as in ber 1916
category 9 but boxed, and fleuron devices at Number recorded: 54
the sides rather than hands pointing at Color(s): violet and blue
"Prosmotryeno." This, the original version, Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (envel-
has the misspelling in the word "Hard- opes and postcards), registered mail, and
Labor": katorozhnaya rather than the proper money order receipts
katorzhnaya. It is doubtful this initial version Recorded on mail addressed to: Buildings 1, 2,
would have survived for long. Two-element and 4
marking. Remarks: The most frequently seen Shlissel'burg
censormark. Two-element marking.
10a. There is now a space between the "r" and
the "zh" of "Katorzhnaya" where the "o" ori- 12. Prosmotryeno
ginally was. Rather than make a new hand-
stamp, the authorities simply removed the "o,"
thus producing this oddly spaced (and far more Iliwlf
numerous) censormark.

r ccazrcaxa T Examined

I TO? .....M.. Recorded range: ?-?-1914-8 June 1916
Number recorded: 2
Recorded range: 29 November 1911-5 Septem- Color(s): violet
ber 1913 Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (envel-
Number recorded: 30 opes)
Color(s): violet, lilac, and blue Remarks: The 1914 item appeared in the

24 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Cherrystone auction of 20-21 January 1998, 2. "Ne propushchi"
lot 2439, but no day or month was given in
the description. Single-element marking.

13. I have never seen this censormark. It is
included here solely on the basis of F. A. "
Shavishvili's bare-bones description of it. Sha-
vishvili wrote in May 1964 that he still possessed Don't give it [to the prisoner], or Don't let it
letters he'd sent from Shlissel'burg to his parents, through.
and on them was the censormark "Prosmo-
tryeno. Shlissel'burgskaya vremenno-katorzhnaya Recorded range: 7 November 1912
tyur'ma" (Examined. Shlissel'burg Temporary Number recorded: 1
Hard-Labor Prison). He does not say what the Color(s): red pencil
censormark looked like, what color it was, or Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail
what the dates were. Shavishvili was incarcerated (envelope)
at the fortress from the fall of 1915 to February Recorded on mail addressed to: Novgorod
1917, so the censormark would have been used Prison, re-routed to Shlissel'burg
at some point during that period.7" This is as- Remarks: The only recorded instructional
suming, of course, that his memory was accurate marking from Shlissel'burg.
and that he hadn't inserted "vremenno" in the
censormark where none existed. 3. Censor's initials. The most common one is
that found in blue pencil on money order
Manuscript Markings receipts (see figure 14 on next page).

1. "Prosm." "Pro." or "Pr." (Prosmotryeno) 4. Numbers. These are baffling, especially those
that appear on money order receipts. None of
them are prisoner ID numbers because there are
several inmates in the list below (Byurklyand,
2_ Mochul'skii, Predmyeskii, and Vikse) who ac-
Sfcount for two or more receipts apiece, and the
numbers are all different. They are certainly not
cell numbers as there were not nearly that many
cells in all of the Shlissel'burg prisons combined.
And they cannot be one-up serial numbers
Examined assigned on a yearly basis, as a glance at the table
below will confirm. Only the numbers that
Recorded range: 25 December 1911-26 De- appear with the "Entered as income, item [#]"
cember 1915 markings are straightforward; each transaction
Number recorded: 9 was marked in what was called a "prikhodo-
Color(s): black, blue, and red pencil raskhodnoi zhumal," an income and expen-
Censormark recorded on: ordinary mail (enve- ditures log, and of course each transaction was
lopes, postcards), registered mail numbered. As soon as that log was exhausted,
Recorded on mail addressed to: Building 4 another one would be started.79
Remarks: Thus far, all examples have appeared As for the other numbers, the table that
in tandem with a regular handstamp censor- follows is offered in the hopes that someone else
mark. Single-element marking. will have more luck in figuring them out.

Rossica Journal Number 131 25
October 1998

Three- or four-digit

Censor's OTPt3HOF KHYnOH'b.

Prisoner's ^-- |
S- Item #

Figure 14: A money order receipt for 6 rubles posted from Minneapolis, Minnesota, via St. Petersburg to
Al'fred Vikse at Shlissel'burg Prison, arriving on 29 November 1915.
The censor's initial is in blue pencil, the "Entered in account ..." marking is in violet.

Rossica Journal Number 131

EnOctober 1998
income, item #

signature .. UO

Figure 14: A money order receipt for 6 rubles posted from Minneapolis, Minnesota, via St. Petersburg to
Al'fred Vikse at Sblissel'burg Prison, arriving on 29 November 1915.
The censor's initial is in blue pencil, the "Entered in account. marking is in violet.

26 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Reading from left to right by column: 4. three- or four-digit number usually seen at
1. date of Shlissel'burg arrival mark the top of the receipt
2. amount in rubles 5. three or four-digit number associated with
3. name of prisoner (usually, but not always, the "Zapisano na prikhod st." (Entered as
seen on money order receipts as last name, income [under] item [#] marking). (See
then first name) below in the "Other Markings" section.)

30-11-1908 6R Ioann Andreson none 1412
22-02-1909 5R Ivan Sosnovskii none 311
21-04-1910 3R Fedor Ugryumov none 309
18-06-1911 4R Sergei Shchegolev 1269 1506
30-09-1911 2R Florian Motelinskii 1682 2615
25-05-1912 4R Simkha Bukrinskii 631 1576
27-08-1913 1R Yefim Vorob'ev 753 2650
27-12-1914 2R Anton Mochul'skii 959 178
27-01-1915 4R Adam Byurklyand 693 395
14-02-1915 13R Al'fred Vikse 1232 498
21-03-1915 10R Movsha Predmyeskii 2625 277
25-04-1915 10R Movsha Predmyeskii 522 1265
29-04-1915 2R Adam Byurklyand 691 ??93
30-08-1915 6R Al'fred Vikse 1639 2150
29-11-1915 6R Al'fred Vikse 1136 2658
27-07-1916 3R Anton Mochul'skii 629 1940

The money order receipts from 1908 to 1910 Recorded range: 18 June 1911-30 October
were censored by the Warden or Deputy War- 1916
den, and the prisoners put in the item number Number recorded: 15
themselves. No other three- or four-digit num- Color(s): violet, lilac, light blue, reddish pink
bers appear on these three receipts. That all Censormark recorded on: money order receipts
changes with the 18 June 1911 money order, exclusively
when two numbers invariably appear, one of Remarks: This is not a censormark, but as it
them always associated with the "Entered as in- appears frequently on Shlissel'burg money
come" marking. No longer do we see censor- mail, it is included here for the sake of
marks applied by the warden or his deputy. completeness. See figure 14 opposite.

Other Markings * *
1) Zapisano na
prikhod st. (manuscript number) My thanks to Raymond Casey and Dragan
Udovicic for graciously parting with some of
these covers; to Ivo Steyn for his efforts in
corralling a bunch; to Norman Banfield, George
Henderson, Alex Reid, Leonard Tann, and
Webster Stickney for the supply of descriptions
Entered as and photocopies; to Denys Voaden for his help
income [under] item [#] (manuscript number) on the chemistry aspects of the secret-ink cor-

Rossica Journal Number 131 27
October 1998

respondence between Gamburg and Kuznetsova; 28. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 23-24.
and especially to Joe Taylor for arranging the 29. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 25.
loan of a five-volume set of Gemet's Istoriya 30. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 24.
tsarskoi tyur'my from Yale University. Without 31. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 25.
their assistance, this article would have been 32. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 39.
impossible. 33. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 108.
34. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 39.
Notes 35. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 48A.
1. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my (Moscow: Izd- 36. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 107.
vo "Yuridicheskaya literature," 1960-1963), 5: 37. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 26.
16A. 38. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 110.
2. K. S. Leonidova, comp., Na katorzhnom 39. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 39.
ostrove (Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1966), 141. 40. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 48A.
3. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 4: 58-62. 41. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 22.
4. Peter Kropotkin, In Russian and French Prisons 42. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 3: 229.
(New York: Schocken Books, 1971), 122. 43. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 22.
5. V. N. Kokovtsov and S. V. Rukhlov, Sis- 44. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 177.
tematicheskii sbornik uzakonenii i rasporyazhenii 45. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 22.
po tyuremnoi chasti (St. Petersburg: Tipografiya 46. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 49A.
I. N. Skorokhodova, 1894), 166-167. 47. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 40.
6. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 17. 48. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 41.
7. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 16. 49. Geret, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 80A.
8. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 8-9. 50. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 22.
9. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 6. 51. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 108.
10. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 123. 52. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 274.
11. Brokgauz i Efron, Ehntsiklopedicheskii slovar', 53. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 165.
s.v. "Shlissel'burg," 78: 707. 54. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 190.
12. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 1: 236. 55. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 108.
13. Kropotkin, In Russian and French Prisons, 56. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 190.
122. 57. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 98.
14. Kokovtsov and Rukhlov, Sistematicheskii 58. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 52.
sbornik, 167. 59. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 101.
15. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 4: 201. 60. Philip E. Robinson, "The Amur Railway -
16. Gemet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 7. Some New Postmark Discoveries," British
17. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 10-11. Journal of Russian Philately 78 (June 1995):
18. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 35. 38-39.
19. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 106. 61. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 96.
20. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 113. 62. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 186.
21. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 106-107. 63. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 133.
22. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 9. 64. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 97.
23. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 139. 65. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 157-158.
24. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 49, 204, 66. Denys Voaden, correspondence of 16 April
234. 1998.
25. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 122. 67. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 158.
26. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 17A. 68. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 97-98.
27. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 39. 69. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 190.

28 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

70. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 133. Kalmykov, V. "Shtempelya i pechati sudebnoi i
71. David M. Skipton, "Good Seats on the 70," tyuremnoi tsenzury na pochtovoi korres-
Rossica 122 (April 1994): 85-88. pondentsii Rossii," Kollektsioner (Moscow)
72. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 274. 31/32 (1996): 31-32.
73. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 251. "Tsenzurye shtempelya i pechati Ros-
74. Gernet, Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5: 53. sii," Sbomik Kollektsioner (Moscow) 30
75. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 159. (1995): 40-46.
76. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 174. Kokovtsov, V. N. and S. V. Rukhlov, sost. Sis-
77. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 214. tematicheskii sbornik uzakonenii i rasporyazhenii
78. Leonidova, Na katorzhnom ostrove, 202. po tyuremnoi chasti, izd. 2-e. St. Petersburg:
79. Kokovtsov and Rukhlov, Sistematicheskii Tipografiya I. N. Skorokhodova, 1894.
sbornik, 237-238. Kropotkin, Peter. In Russian and French Prisons.
New York: Schocken Books, 1971.
References Leonidova, K. S., sost. Na katorzhnom ostrove.
Banfield, Norman. "Censorship of Prison Mail," Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1966.
Pochta, The Journal of the Australia and New Margolis, A. D. Tyur'ma i ssylka v imperatorskoi
Zealand Society of Russian Philately 22 (July Rossii. Issledovaniya i arkhivnye nakhodki.
1997): 1997. Moscow: Laterna Vita, 1995.
Correspondence dated 3 April 1998. Nagl Auktion (Bamberg, Germany), lot 356.
Brokgauz and Efron. "Tyur'ma," in Ehntsiklo- Reid, Alex. Correspondence dated 23 March
pedicheskii slovar (1903), pages 259-266. 1998.
."Shlissel'burg," in Ehntsiklopedicheskii Robinson, Philip E. "The Amur Railway -
slovar' (1903), volume 78, page 707. Some New Postmark Discoveries," British
Channel Island Stamp Company. Postal Bid Sale Journal of Russian Philately 78 (June 1995):
125 (28 April 1995), lot 240. 36-39.
Postal Bid Sale 129 (31 August 1995), Skipton, David M. "Good Seats on the 70,"
lots 253-254. Rossica 122 (April 1994): 85-88.
Postal Bid Sale 132 (30 November and Peter A. Michalove. Postal Censor-
1995), lot 260. ship in Imperial Russia, 2 vols. (Urbana, IL:
Postal Bid Sale 138 (31 May 1996), lot John Otten, 1987).
293. Smith, Edward Ellis. The Okhrana, the Russian
Postal Bid Sale 141 (30 August 1996), Department of Police. A Bibliography. Stanford
lot 208. University: Hoover Institution Bibliographic
- Postal Bid Sale 147 (28 February 1997), Series No. 33, 1967.
lot 280. Tann, Rabbi L. L. Photocopy and correspon-
Cherrystone Auctions, Inc., New York. Postage dence dated 19 April 1996.
Stamps of the World (21-22 January 1998), The Cover Exchange (Kamakura, Japan). Mail
lot 2439. Bid Sale 29 (23 June 1997), lot 911.
Postage Stamps of the World (5-6 Voaden, Denys. Correspondence dated 16 April
February 1998), lots 2489-2492. 1998.
Gernet. Istoriya tsarskoi tyur'my, 5 tt., 3-e izd.
Moscow: Izd-vo "Yuridicheskaya litera-
tura," 1960-1963.

Rossica Journal Number 131 29
October 1998

"Don't Like the Czar Zemstvo Bisects
on Stamps"

by George G. Werbizky
by Joseph Geraci
Not much is known or has been written
Recently, when looking through a 1913 about zemstvo bisects. In his magnificent book
issue of the R.F.D. News (issue of 29 March Imperial Russian Zemstvo Post,' Oleg Agafanovich
1913, page 8), the official organ of the National Faberg6 shows covers with bisects from the
Rural Letter Carriers' Association, I came across following zemstvos:
an article entitled "Don't Like the Czar on
Stamps," which refers to the commemorative Osa, Perm' Province
series issued to honor the three-hundredth ju- Perm', Perm' Province
bilee of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. Ust'sysol'sk, Vologda Province

"Twenty archbishops of the state To this short list we can add two more
church in European Russia, affirming zemstvos:
that they reflect the general opinion
and feeling in their archdioceses, have Cherdyn', Perm' Province
forwarded to the holy Russian synod a Irbit, Perm' Province
petition against the use of the imperial
portraits on the new postage in com- What becomes immediately apparent is that
memoration of the three-hundredth four of the five zemstvos were located in Perm'
anniversary of the accession of the Province, while Vologda is Perm"s neighbor. It
Romanoff dynasty to the Russian seems that a solution for the shortage of stamps
throne. The petitioners say that it is a of one denomination, or a rate change that was
degradation of the august dignity and found to work locally, was accepted elsewhere
sanctity of the reigning sovereign, and as well.
an offense to the sacred memory of his The list of zemstvos shown here cannot be
illustrious predecessors. considered complete and readers are encouraged
to send to the editor their examples of bisects
A fortnight ago a petition of a similar from zemstvos not mentioned. Of course, it is
purport was forwarded to the same preferable to have a bisect on a complete cover
ministry signed by the staff of seventy rather than "on piece."
stampers in the general post office at The examples that follow are on covers or
St. Petersburg. They said, in effect, that money orders. To save space, only the portion
they regarded their obligatory duty of of the cover with the stamp is shown, unless the
obliterating the commemorative stamps stamp is on the address side or it makes sense to
as utterly repellent." illustrate the whole cover.

This is an interesting reflection of people's
reactions eighty-five years ago. Would we feel
the same way today?

30 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

"Don't Like the Czar Zemstvo Bisects
on Stamps"

by George G. Werbizky
by Joseph Geraci
Not much is known or has been written
Recently, when looking through a 1913 about zemstvo bisects. In his magnificent book
issue of the R.F.D. News (issue of 29 March Imperial Russian Zemstvo Post,' Oleg Agafanovich
1913, page 8), the official organ of the National Faberg6 shows covers with bisects from the
Rural Letter Carriers' Association, I came across following zemstvos:
an article entitled "Don't Like the Czar on
Stamps," which refers to the commemorative Osa, Perm' Province
series issued to honor the three-hundredth ju- Perm', Perm' Province
bilee of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. Ust'sysol'sk, Vologda Province

"Twenty archbishops of the state To this short list we can add two more
church in European Russia, affirming zemstvos:
that they reflect the general opinion
and feeling in their archdioceses, have Cherdyn', Perm' Province
forwarded to the holy Russian synod a Irbit, Perm' Province
petition against the use of the imperial
portraits on the new postage in com- What becomes immediately apparent is that
memoration of the three-hundredth four of the five zemstvos were located in Perm'
anniversary of the accession of the Province, while Vologda is Perm"s neighbor. It
Romanoff dynasty to the Russian seems that a solution for the shortage of stamps
throne. The petitioners say that it is a of one denomination, or a rate change that was
degradation of the august dignity and found to work locally, was accepted elsewhere
sanctity of the reigning sovereign, and as well.
an offense to the sacred memory of his The list of zemstvos shown here cannot be
illustrious predecessors. considered complete and readers are encouraged
to send to the editor their examples of bisects
A fortnight ago a petition of a similar from zemstvos not mentioned. Of course, it is
purport was forwarded to the same preferable to have a bisect on a complete cover
ministry signed by the staff of seventy rather than "on piece."
stampers in the general post office at The examples that follow are on covers or
St. Petersburg. They said, in effect, that money orders. To save space, only the portion
they regarded their obligatory duty of of the cover with the stamp is shown, unless the
obliterating the commemorative stamps stamp is on the address side or it makes sense to
as utterly repellent." illustrate the whole cover.

This is an interesting reflection of people's
reactions eighty-five years ago. Would we feel
the same way today?

30 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Osa Zemstvo
This zemstvo seems to have used bisects in the F. G. Chuchin catalog lists these bisects.
more extensively than the other zemstvos. At In the probably-never-to-be-assembled-again
least two denominations were bisected: 4- and William Baughman zemstvo collection, Osa bi-
8-kopeck stamps. The 4-kopeck stamp was used ects were represented. Yet surprisingly, bisects
bisected diagonally and horizontally. Figure one of other zemstvos were missing.


|; .. / j
Ief4 SAecz < c "

0 0e
Ia -'-

Figure 1: Front of a cover with a 4-kopeck stamp bisected horizontally.
It would have been preferable to have the zemstvo cancel "across the cut."
However, zemstvo postal employees did not worry then about the finer points of philately.
On occasion, though, the handstamp was placed nicely "across the cut."

Rossica Journal Number 131 31
October 1998

Since the basic rate appears to have been 2
kopecks, one had more degrees of freedom as to
how to use the 8-kopeck stamp as a smaller
denomination. Figure 2 (below) shows two
examples: used as a 2-kopeck stamp and %
used as a 6-kopeck stamp. Because 4-kopeck
stamps were available (they were bisected to
make them into 2-kopeck stamps), the 8-kopeck
stamps were not cut in half.


:. A.t

32 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Perm' Zemstvo trary to a statement by V. Hoffman,5 registered
To show a bisect example of this zemstvo, zemstvo covers are not "ausserordentlich selten"
figure 3 is borrowed from Faberg6's book.2 The extremely rare. On the contrary, about twenty
illustration shows a 5-kopeck stamp that has been percent, if not more, of zemstvo letters were sent
bisected and placed on a registered cover. Just as registered mail.
what denomination it represents is not clear: In Faberg6's book, 278 zemstvo covers are
Perm' zemstvo did not issue a 212-kopeck stamp; illustrated; of these 59 are registered: 38 are
issued stamps were of 2-, 3-, and 5-kopeck zemstvo + government mail, and 21 are purely
denominations.3 Most likely the rate change to 2 zemstvo. In my own collection the numbers are
kopecks in 1899 occurred before the 2-kopeck about the same. There is a reason for this:
stamps were available; the illustrated letter is zemstvo correspondence was rural, as the name
dated 27 July 1899. The registration label is also itself implies. Literacy was not widespread.
interesting. The imperial post began using Therefore, to send a letter for most of this
registration labels in 1899 so what we see is a population meant that there was a good reason to
"first issue" label.4 To the best of my knowledge, do it, in addition to the expense. Thus we see
zemstvos did not use registration labels. that many covers carry the word "npoumene"
Registered letters were marked in Russian petition and/or are addressed to a local or
"3aKa3HOe" registered as is also shown on provincial government agency. Such mail was
the Perm' cover, in the upper right hand corer very important to the sender and the assurance of
with the number 255 above it. its delivery through "registered" means was used.
I'll use this opportunity to state that con-

.. ;t "- ^, ,-,
l. I .(c. 0.

y 2 2

A.^ c, -C

-,- .... ":,*..;: "* ^ r "' ^"

Figure 3: Perm' zemstvo cover with bisected 5-kopeck stamp.

Rossica Journal Number 131 33
October 1998

Ust'sysol'sk Zemstvo
So far only the last Ardatov type issue Figure 4 illustrates the bisected use of no. 24 by
has been found bisected. The Chuchin catalog two different Ust'sysol'sk zemstvo offices; the
states that no. 24, 5-kopeck blue, was "put in top cover is reproduced from Faberg6's book.
use cut in half horizontally or diagonally";6 no. Again, we do not know for what denomination
28, 5-kopeck red, was "put in use bisected." the bisect was substituting.

34 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Cherdyn' Zemstvo
The Chuchin catalog states: "The no. 29 (4
kopeck brown) was put in use divided in halves
for half of its value."7 Shown in figure 5 (right)
is the top half of that stamp, on piece. Why the
stamp was "V" cut is not known. It would be
helpful if a reader would send a cover with this
stamp bisected.

Irbit Zemstvo
Again, referring to the Chuchin catalog, we
find that three stamps were put in use bisected:
nos. 16, 19, and 20. That information is incom-
plete because no. 17, 8-kopeck blue and red, is
also found bisected. Figure 6 (below) shows
Chuchin no. 17 bisected, in combination with
three 10-kopeck arms-type stamps.

We know of five zemstvos that used
bisected (or cut into quarters) stamps. Were
there other zemstvos that practiced bisecting?
One just cannot be sure.

Rossica Journal Number 131 35
October 1998


-dc. *r. ry'i

1. eg A. Faberg, Imperial Russian Zemsto P ost deputies) issued a 15-kopeck stamp. However,

(Helsinki: Philatelic Foundation of Finland, this issue is beyond the time frame of this article.
1993). 4. Harry v. Hoffman, 3aKa3Hoe Recommandirt
SA - .. L L .. ..

Figure 7: Detachable money order counterfoil with a pair of Chuchin no. 20, one stamp bisected.

Notes 3. In 1920(?), Perm' SOVDEP (Perm' Soviet
1. Oleg A. Faberg6, Imperial Russian Zemstvo Post deputies) issued a 15-kopeck stamp. However,
(Helsinki: Philatelic Foundation of Finland, this issue is beyond the time frame of this article.
1993). 4. Harry v. Hoffinan, 3aKa3Hoe Recommandirt
2. Faberg6, Imperial Russian Zemstvo Post, 245. (Hamburg, 1993), 49.
Mrs. Sirkka Faberg6, wife of the late O. A. Fab- 5. Hoffman, 3aKa3Hoe Recommandirt, 287.
erg6, and the Philatelic Federation of Finland 6. Reprint of Chuchin Catalog (York, England: J.
have granted Rossica Society and George Wer- Barefoot, Ltd., 1988), 78.
bizky permission to reproduce from Faberg6's 7. Reprint of Chuchin Catalog, 24.
book two illustrations per article.

.36 RossicaJournal Number 131
October 1998

A Classification of the Stamps
of the Simbirsk Magistrates Court

by J. G. Moyes

State-issued series of stamps for magistrates The design of the Simbirsk stamps is the
courts and other law courts appeared in 1887. same for all issues. There is a tablet at the right
Before then, individual courts used their own for the calculation of the fees with an inscription
stamps. In some cases, they continued to use at the left detailing these. The first two lines
their own stamps after 1887, but these are few read "From the cost (claim) of the action for
in number, court fees," and the third and fourth lines
Magistrates court stamps prior to 1887 are "From the number of sheets 10k. tax."
mostly of the same type. They are not key-type The court fees were charged at one percent
issues, although obviously they conform to a of the claim and each sheet of the petition
pattern that was presumably laid down by the charged a 10-kopeck document tax.
authorities. They are usually large, with black The two of three lines of the inscription at
lettering on white or cream paper, similarly in- the base read "Magistrates Court, (section
scribed and without any design other than the number) Simbirsk" and either "Uyezd" or
lettering. "Okrug" or in the case of the last two issues
As a group these early magistrates issues are "Gorod."
very scarce to rare, and this is reflected in the All issues are type-set and imperforate
prices in the 1915 edition of Forbin. Even at except for the last three, which are perforated
that date, little was known of these stamps and 11Y2. All are on white to cream paper. The se-
this is reflected in the poor listing in Forbin. quence is based on available dated copies; Forbin
Fortunately, small accumulations of some did not list any Simbirsk issues.
magistrates court stamps have survived from old Each stamp was accompanied by a cor-
collections kept intact. Simbirsk is one of these; responding receipt, with an identical design and
Saratov and Khvalynsk are others, and classifi- inscription; the only difference being the word
cations of these two will be published at a later "Kvitantsiya" instead of "Marka" at the top.
date. Some of the issues are only known from the
This classification has been produced from receipts.
the combined holdings of my good friend The imperforate receipts types SM 2-7 have
Bjorn-Eric Saarinen and myself, and my thanks simulated perforation lines printed at the sides.
go to Bjorn-Eric for his enthusiastic assistance.

Rossica Journal Number 131 37
October 1998

SM A P t A.

H10 on. KSopa ._ 187/r.0a ... ./
.187f a 187 r. Ik- p. a.

K- K.) cw6myb nomnwlim 5 -

'SMupoeo .Cydba 2-o2o ya-
cmcar CuM6upctKa o Ocpy-

SM 1 Kvitantsiya SM 2 Marka

Inscribed 187- HBHTAHI.U 1.
Large type, without printed section number. /T *
"Uyezd." Imperf I..* l/...:........,a 1

SM 1 Marka. Not recorded. Iea Ca .
Ho Itt eKa,,, P. p
la Kvitantsiya. One copy known but sec-
tion number not added. It.) cyAe6mIIhx IiomaiUn i/ '

1878 Uo siwacy ( )Ane'ronI
Inscribed 187- K10 o0. c6opa ....... ,
Top line larger, otherwise smaller lettering.. V
Magistrates Court inscription at base in three 187 r. W ." i I
lines. With printed section number. "Okrug."
"Imperf. Mtpoeo f Cy?. 1-to ya-

SM 2 Marka. 2nd and 5th sections known.
2a Kvitantsiya. 1st and 3rd sections known.
SM 2 Kvitantsiya

38 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

-A-P-E-A M AP`K A.
? .. W ...... a. ,, ..._ ......
P.- IF "
ITo CK ( ---p! Ho iHlet ncGia ( p^ .
-K.) cyAoe6HUXL noinaU S.) CyAed6RXI UOIIMII HHI

no uiHAy ( / ) ACTOS j no qacay ( AH) CTOBs
10 rton. c6opa. ... .. -- 10 Eon. c6opa. -

187 r. "C 18 r

Mupoooti Cydn 2 ypta-. .upoo Cy va-
cmna Cut6ucuato oxpysa. cmca CuM.6u aw pya.

SM 3 Marka SM 4 Marka

4 HBI. .1879
N....:. ........ a 1 .... Inscribed 187-
S Word at top double-lined, with central lettering
IIo tat E noniw printed section number. "Okrug." Imperf.
M/IN .) cyAe6HHx7 nomjnr jr -
/ y( SM 3 Marka. 2nd section known.
nlo qCay: ( -I) sCTOb 3a Kvitantsiya. Not recorded.
10 ion. c6opa7n . .
r. Inscribed 187-
As last but without printed section number.
*upooo 'y "Okrug." Imperf.
Mupoooft Cydsa -ya-
cmra CuM6uplaoc Kaw. a. SM 4 Marka. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd sections
4a Kvitantsiya. 3rd section known.
SM 4 Kvitantsiya

Rossica Journal Number 131 39
October 1998

J f. chAal8//.. K.
S.- 1881
S- Inscribed 188-
IIo i HtCKa ( p.;R As last but bottom two lines smaller. Without
r s.) cyx6naux InomanriI printed section number. "Okrug." Imperf.

Ilo ,wcy( ) nCTOBlJ SM 5 Marka. Not recorded.
10 zon. c6opa .. I 5a Kvitantsiya. 4th section known.

188/r. .f

Xupouv. Oy~w 2/ usm- C,
xa CuiiGupctwO OmpyIua.

SM 5 Kvitantsiya

E B H T A H I. 1881
.. ......... a 18. Inscribed 188-
Top line in small letters. Bottom two lines as last
._with "Uchastka" split over the two lines. With-
Io utnt HCKa (&' p. out printed section number. "Okrug." Imperf
K.) CyAjdHIJr noniAHiL
I0 qney () ow' SM 6 Marka. Not recorded.
no0 auy ( ').aerCTOB 6a Kvitantsiya. 5th section known.
10 son. c6op . .

188/r. // .

SM 6 Kvitantsiya

_KB-H-T-AH1 JL a __ 1882
S /.:..... / 18.I.. Inscribed 188-
S- As last but with "Uchastka" complete on the
t P. R-. penultimate line. Without printed section num-
Iio ntfn nera (- p. ber. "Okrug." Imperf.
i.) cyAe6dux 'L maInsO I-- SM 7 Marka. Not recorded.

Do qnacy ( /) nIrTOn 7a Kvitantsiya. 3rd section known.
10 son. ciopa ..... .

Is 8 r..

Slupoori Cy hiLo yia
Cumruip-rato a.
Cueo^ I Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

SM 7 Kvitantsiya

Inscribed 188-
Larger lettering. With printed section number. KBHTAHAIIH
"Rub." instead of "R" in panel at right. / a 188e r.
"Okrug." Imperf.

SM 8 Marka. Not recorded. I ' ",. Y .I
8a Kvitantsiya. 5th section known. Iof R ca(.--.---)

CyAeBsHx'% nomanni .
Ho HCJIy ( / ) JaCTOB-L
10 Ron. c6opa .
188V r. /
Mupoeoo Cydba 5-zo y1i.

1883 "
Inscribed 188-
As last but without printed section number.
"Okrug." Imperf. SM 8 Kvitantsiya

SM 9 Marka. 5th section known.
9a Kvitantsiya. 3rd section known.

W!5 J4 a 1883 r.

Sal---i..- IIo 'ean''HCa(- p. -R.)
(Jya~uxB no ~i .CyAeSHuxa nomHni .
Cygeyaexa noma x noma
1 HCy LY('/ Ilo '1cay ( / ) aCTOB-
l-0 IHcay( ) aneCTOB
1 O10 o-1 c pa e-
10 nonr. c6opa c ,,
188- 188J r
-u .^ -^ -- .Mafoopr G~y(M / a'(.
M18847 ,Mowoa Cyd<^ '. y,.
.Mu/oeot 68 CUM6. oKpy
Ca 6. ol -

SM 9 Marka SM 9 Kvitantsiya

Rossica Journal Number 131 41
October 1998

-- M-A-P--A --- --BHTAHmiaL

JyL^B baan nP 7 R.

Ino i'JIi HiRca .) no n'hui'A nci a ( p. n.)
CyeGaLerx, nonimajn CygeCnmix, nomanri7
I o ncjry ( J ) rcTorn n1o qHacJy (/) JIHCTOB
10 non. c6opa 10 non. c6opa
188 .. 8j l.
MupoGoot CyQtfb MC H ntpuooid Cydi .
CuM6. Olepyt.7 CIIMu.uz6 y

SM 10 Marka SM 10 Kvitantsiya

Inscribed 188-
Smaller central letters, but with top and bottom
two lines as last. Without printed section num-
ber. "Okrug." Imperf.

SM 10 Marka. 5th section known.
10a Kvitantsiya. 5th section known.

42 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

',,'E^BC'LT.Crs.. I ] ):aSlX]-c.S,.
X ..... /Y .... oaIS f. X ....... .....,

Io no WH- Hcu a ( "---p.
it.) cyAeC6HX'I nomHHIb ---- .) cyAO6HHXi nomaNHH-,

IIo ocaiy ( ) JICTOBS Io cJy ( co10
10 iton. opa -- 10 on. c6opa . -

188 r. ^ 188 ,, .

MupoooU Cyzaw 5-to-py'qm- i Mupoeoil Cyden 5-to y.acm-
rca, (cu.wupcrato Oxpyta ia, CuMGupacat Opy

SM 11 Joined pair Marka and Kvitantsiya

Inscribed 188-
Heavy type on top line. With printed section
number. "Okrug." Inconsistent perf. 11Y2.

SM 11 Marka. 5th section known.
11a Kvitantsiya. 5th section known.

Rossica Journal Number 131 43
October 1998

.-+! ......... .....a ..., __d+.'bt_ _.
/ ,' -" .; /...... ..... j ..... f//18 .

Ilo Ai HCKa C p. H tHt ( -----
.) cyAe6H .) YA06,Xnomx 1O I,,, ': __

11o qcay ( /) AICTO1 IIo ncAy ( ) 'aTosB
10 o. op 10 on. cop .

188 i' 188 r.

M.upoeot Cydo 3-,o 3ii.oooi C.d 3-C! & -
sa topoda CuMwupca. 'Ca "poeoll C0v1ao. o-o ----
.: .. .. ca pooa Cu.u6upc-a..

SM 12 Marka SM 12 Kvitantsiya

Inscribed 188-
As last but bottom two lines read "Section of
the town (gorod) of Simbirsk." The word
"Uchastka" is split over two lines. Inconsistent
perf. 11/2.

SM 12 Marka. 3rd section known.
12a Kvitantsiya. 3rd section known.

44 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

OAa 16 '

11o Itit Hera (// Ho q.iHh clcia p.
it.) cyAedfHUX noanialUi -- i.) cyAe6wnnx nomainwr

Io nHCay ( t ) ANCTroB Ho IqcJy ( ) IncTOB'
10 ion. c6opa .. 10 icon. c6opa ... .

Mupoeou Gywto 3- Mpoog Cydu 3-M o tea, ii
topoda Ctuaupc a Iopoda Cumfupcra

SM 13 Joined pair Marka and Kvitantsiya

Inscribed 188-
As last but "Uchastka" complete on the penul-
timate line. Inconsistent perf. 11 2.

SM 13 Marka. 3rd section known.
13a Kvitantsiya. 3rd section known.

Rossica Journal Number 131 45
October 1998

Fake Postmark of St. Petersburg

by N. Mandrovski

In the history of the municipal post offices in
St. Petersburg and Moscow by A. Hollstege and
C. Schmidt,1 there is a photo of part of an
envelope that carries a forged postmark from the
municipal post office in St. Petersburg. The
postmark, C.II. BYPT/ 1 MAP. 1842," appears
in a rectangular frame with double lines on top
and at the bottom (figure 2). This postmark is
also discussed in an article by V. V. Lobachevskii,."
"PyccKHe ejibHme BseIrg nepBoro nepnoa
1845-1863rr."2 Hollstege and Schmidt identify
the creator of the forged postmarks as a trader
from Petersburg who "bestowed" envelopes on
collectors in both capitals.
The use of this postmark was not limited to
marking envelopes at the St. Petersburg muni-
cipal post office. It was also used for additional
false cancellations on the imperial Russian pos-
tage stamp no. 1 (10 Kon 3a 1 JIOT), which was
previously canceled by pen in black ink. As a
rule, secondary franking of the first Russian
stamps was made in red ink on pieces from
envelopes, thus attributing a higher collectible
value to the stamps.
Russia no. 1 on piece with a cancel in red Figure 1: Russia no. 1
ink was present in the collection of the famous from the P. Bianchi collection.
French philatelist Michel Liphschutz. It was sold
in 1993 at the "Guido Craveri Harmers The use of red ink contradicted written
Auctions Sa 'Liphschutz par 1' Classic Russia" instructions of the Main Administration of the
as lot 1048 (figure 1). The initial price of this lot Posts and Telegraph, which ordered that the
was fixed at 2000 Swiss francs. The stamp then cancellation of postage stamps on letters be done
became part of the collection of P. Bianchi only in black ink. This instruction was obviously
(Italy) and was part of an exhibition at "Moscow not followed by employees of the St. Petersburg
97." A similar stamp on piece, canceled with red post office. The cancellation of stamps in red ink
ink and carrying this forged postmark, was also was introduced at the municipal post offices for
exhibited at the Moscow show and in the only one reason: to differentiate letters for
exhibit "Russia 1812-1875" by P. A. Erixon delivery within the city from those destined for
(Sweden). other cities. The practice was adopted only after

46 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Figure 2: Forged postmark from the municipal post office in St. Petersburg.

1863, when 5-kopeck stamps were introduced. 1. Hollstege, A. and C. Schmidt. Die St.
More than twenty years spent in the archives Petersburger und Moskauer Stadt-Post. Briefumschlage
researching Russian, namely St. Petersburg, mit eingedrucktem Wertstempel. Berliner Ganzachen-
letters dated from the end of the nineteenth to Sammler- Verein Festschrift, 1901-1926. Berlin.
the early twentieth centuries prove that this type
of postmark was not used in the post offices of St. 2. Lobachevskii, V. V. "PyccKHe Iejmabue Be=m
Petersburg. nepBoro nepHaoa 1845-1863rr," Sovetskii
kollektsioner No. 22 (1984): 24-46.

RossicaJournal Number 131 47
October 1998

Additional Comments on
Postmaster Gan'ko's Activities

by George G. Werbizky

-L c >

Figure 1: Poltava zemstvo cover with registration cachet also found on
Postmaster Gan'ko's manufactured mail.

A discussion has recently emerged in phila- not be authentic. In summary, nothing worse
telic journals over the postal-philatelic activities than a fairly innocent pastime.
of Pavel Petrovich Gan'ko in Poltava zemstvo. A third article appeared in The Post Rider,
The most recent article was written by Terry no. 41, consisting of a reprint and translation of
Page and published in Rossica No. 130. Mr. an article by F. Vanius that was originally
Page's "The Gan'ko Riddle" was a commentary published in the 6-13 June 1997 issue of
on my earlier article, "Stamps of Poltava Zem- KoJIneKqHOHep-IIpaBAa. Vanius's article is a
stvo and their Peculiarities" (Rossica No. 127). great deal more pessimistic about Gan'ko's
Mr. Page counters my argument that Gan'ko stamp-issuing and surcharging practices. It is
did engage in forgery by saying that he possi- Vanius's position, that Gan'ko engaged in
bly created philatelic material that may or may "philatelic chicanery" that was motivated by

48 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998


Y o


Figure 2: Lokhvitsa zemstvo cover addressed to Pavel Petrovich Gan'ko.

"greed" and he cites official evidence that so In the editorial comments that accompany
indicates. In the assessment of Gan'ko's the Vanius translation in The Post Rider,
activities, my position is significantly closer to A. Cronin discusses a possible tie between the
Mr. Vanius than to Mr. Page. Poltava and Lokhvitsa zemstvos. Interestingly,
Be that as it may, two covers that have re- Lokhvitsa zemstvo issues with overprinted
cently surfaced add to Gan'ko's story. Mr. Page stamps are abundant, just like those of Poltava.
wondered if "Gan'ko created a fantasy regis- In fact, both zemstvos parade the same inverted
tration cachet after his period as postmaster had overprint in various positions.
ended and then proceeded to fake covers with Figure 2 shows a Lokhvitsa zemstvo cover
the original Poltava handstamp? Can anyone addressed to none other than Gan'ko. Although
show ... this cachet on a Poltava cover ad- the letter did not survive intact with the cover,
dressed other than to Gan'ko?" we now know that there was a correspondence
The answer is "yes." Figure 1 shows both between individuals in Lokhvitsa and Gan'ko.
sides of a registered cover that has the cachet in Incidentally, the Lokhvitsa stamp is overprinted
question. As the handstamp of the Poltava zem- 8. kop./1 kop. The oval handstamp, except for
stvo post office shows, the cover, which was shading, is of the same design and size as that of
sent to a judge in the sixth district, was pro- the Poltava zemstvo.
cessed on 15 May 1914.

SRossica Journal Number 131 49
October 1998

The Omsk Exhibition of 1911

by Philip E. Robinson


Figure 1: Postcard apparently canceled by the exhibition postmark.

In the Russian Empire, as elsewhere, charge of a Mr. P. Kukne, and the office
temporary post offices were often provided at opened on the same day as the exhibition.
important events such as exhibitions and trade About 180,000 visitors attended the show during
fairs. Their postmarks are keenly collected, and the two months that it was open.
one of the scarcest exhibition marks is that of The postmark is rare. It is of the standard
the "First Western-Siberian Agricultural, Trade double-ring type, inscribed OMCICb BbICTABKA
and Industry Exhibition" that was held in or OMSK EXHIBITION, and it occasionally
Omsk. Writing in the Rossica Journal, David turns up on postcards sent from the exhibition
Skipton mentioned the discovery of an example (no covers are known). Unfortunately, the post-
of the exhibition postmark on a postcard depict- mark is so rare that it has attracted the attention
ing the Gardening Pavilion at the show.' This of forgers. The postcard shown in figure 1 is not
had been reported in the Soviet journal Filateliya all it appears to be. It has the current 1- and 2-
SSSR,2 the card having been sent from the kopeck stamps, ostensibly canceled by the exhi-
exhibition to Warsaw on 19 July 1911. Skipton's bition postmark with serial "b," dated 14 July
article tells us that the exhibition, which in- 1911. The card is addressed to Moscow, and ap-
cluded sixty pavilions, was originally scheduled parently was sent by a man who signed himself
for 1910, although it actually opened on 15 June "Misha," a businessman attending the show.
1911. The temporary post office was in the It has a Moscow receiving mark and is addressed

50 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

1. OMCK-I.. .
eIcpBan 3anaHno-CH6npcxKa BucTlaBxa
15 oHRs-15 Aurycra 1911 r.

IIeptnai 3anajiio-Cni6ipcwas BihlcTanKa
1H IInoii-15 AIIryvCTa1 IIll I i.

rjBBuid nauKauoml.

r. O......
Ilepnan 3anagno-CH6n pcKasi BIucTranxa
15. ]K)im-15 AurycTn 1!91 Y.


MamunnBUh flRUXLORWi .

Figures 2, 3, and 4 (top to bottom).

Rossica Journal Number 131 51
October 1998

1-as 3an. Ci6iipc BNcTraa 8m Once.
,00addt .M 4-11'.

i olls)

Figure 5: Exhibition view photographed by A. Ivanov.

to Anna Mikhailovna Kadomskaya, c/o K. I. affixed two unused stamps, and drawn in the
Tikhomirov's bookshop in Kuznetskii Most, a postmarks on the stamps. In this case, the
street in Moscow that still has a number of portions of the postmarks on the card would be
bookshops. The message includes news that genuine. It is also possible that the original
Misha had arranged to supply forage wheat to evidence of genuine use has been totally erased
a customer. and the whole of the postmarks drawn in. More
The Moscow receiving mark may well be likely, the forger began with an unused card
faked, but the exhibition postmarks are and added the stamps, postmarks, and message.
definitely forgeries. When I examined the card In any event, it is quite a clever fake, and it
in a strong light, I could see something goes to show how careful the collector must be.
underneath the 2-kopeck stamp. I carefully It is always worthwhile using a strong light
soaked off the right-hand portion of the stamp, (either falling on a cover/card or passing
and this revealed a small purple boxed cachet through it) to see what, if anything, is under
inscribed Mar. 61 / 10 KOn. In other words, the stamp or stamps.
the card had at some time been sold at a price On the other hand, this is a good example
of 10 kopecks by a secondhand book/postcard of one of the special postcards produced for the
shop in the former Soviet Union. At that time, exhibition. The front of the card (figure 2)
the 2-kopeck stamp was clearly not there, and shows the "Milk Pavilion." I also have unused
so it must have been added later. The same may cards showing the "Main" and "Machinery"
well apply to the 1-kopeck stamp and postmark. pavilions (figures 3 and 4). These postcards areas
It is possible that the card originally had like the one showing the Milk Pavilion, in a
two stamps on it, but that these had been lost series showing the various pavilions. The series
over the years. The forger therefore would have was perhaps published by the exhibition organi-

52 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

... lesn mm

Figure 6: The discovery found upon closer examination of the card in figure 1.

zers and the cards were printed locally in Omsk of the postmark seem to have survived, bearing
by the chromo-lithographic printing firm of in mind how many people attended the exhibi-
N. A. Ivanov. The card illustrated in the tion and also that many Western firms were
Filateliya SSSR article, showing the Gardening represented. All the examples so far seen of the
Pavilion, was evidently from a different series, as postmark have the serial "b" (the illustration in
the words "Carte Postale" appear on it in Skipton's Rossica article has the serial "a,"
French, while the "pavilion" cards I have seen although this was based on the illustration in
have an imprint in Russian only. The local Filateliya SSSR and the postmark in the original
Omsk photographer A. Ivanov was also publish- illustration seems also to have the serial "b,"
ing postcards with views of the exhibition; one though this illustration may have been
of these is shown in figure 5. The caption "improved" by hand). In any event, there
suggests that it was the fourth card in a series of should have been at least one more handstamp
general views, and the card was printed by the in use on mail sent from the show, the one with
large Moscow postcard printing firm ofScherer, the serial "a."
Nabholz & Co. The late Rossica member Clyde I would be interested to know of any
North showed me a real photographic postcard further examples of the Omsk Exhibition
with a broad view of the exhibition, without a postmark that may exist, and also any other
caption but handstamped on the back with A. picture postcards showing the exhibition.
Ivanov's imprint.
Most of the postcards I have seen are Notes
unused and this emphasizes the rarity of the 1. David Skipton, "Vremennoe Update," Rossica
postmark I have never seen a cover with the 106 (1985): 47-54.
Omsk Exhibition postmark. As Skipton wrote in 2. Zh. Aronova, "Omsk-Vystavka-1911,"
his article, it is surprising that so few examples Filateliya SSSR 1 (1973): 15-16.

Rossica Journal Number 131 53
October 1998

Back of the Envelope

by Jim Reichman


:Dvm.agHn donh "'nuwnuvH hacvdgo

SQMr c pcrTepcto caa. CCCP. 198
19. 0 L5. L* 6 1. XyAo .ani B8 X,a'o
HsroTOjaOeMo si neplmcol 8 *-e r'onas

Figure 1: Typical text on the reverse of a pre-stamped envelope.

As a topical collector of Russian philatelic had to in order to understand the descriptive
items, I am usually only interested in the image text.
or event being commemorated in the cachet on Lately, I have been taking a closer look at
the front of an envelope. The meaning of all that information on the reverse sides, in some re-
those words, numbers, and abbreviations on the aspects to clarify the meaning of those cryptic
reverse has not only been foreign to me but notations and in others to help me understand the
seemingly unimportant to my "real" collecting significance of two seemingly identical covers
interests. Of course I know that postcards often when a dealer says they really are different. What
include textual information on the back about I have found on the back often contains a variety
the image or photo on the front. However, the of information from how much the envelope or
language has been difficult for me to translate postcard originally cost to when and where it was
and I rarely went beyond translating just what I printed. Surprisingly, just like postcards, some

54 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

envelopes contain additional information about tion. This article will examine the sub-
the scene, event, or monument that is shown in categories of information in each of these groups
the cachet on the front. Relating to these subjects in turn, relating the elements, where possible,
are names of artists, editors, architects, photo- and showing how they evolved during the
graphers, and sculptors right alongside the more period 1953 to 1997. Table 1 begins this analysis
mundane information about the printing and by summarizing some of the acronyms and
production. But for those who know what details abbreviations you may run across on the backs
to look for, within this latter area lie just the facts of stationery and their meanings.
that can turn an ordinary philatelic item into
something special, identify a re-printed envelope PRINTING INFORMATION
from an original, or differentiate a rarity from a All pre-stamped envelopes dated after late
routine production. 1957 (probably October 1957) have the printing
As it turns out, most of this printing-related information on the reverse of the envelope.
information is straightforward, but only if you Most earlier envelopes have the printing
are familiar with Russian printing terms, acro- information on the front, but a few have it on
nyms, and abbreviations. Certainly the meanings the back, and some even have two varieties: one
are available from Russian catalogs but, as I variety with the printing information on the
found out from my review of thousands of en- front and one with that same information on the
velopes and postcards for this article, it has been back. Those with the printing information on
far more interesting to see the evolution of these the front can either have it stretched out along
terms and abbreviations over time. Equally in- the bottom below the cachet and address lines
triguing were the exceptions that kept cropping or vertically between the cachet and the address
up whenever I thought I saw a real trend. Then, lines (figure 2). Another variation has the print-
there are also some very puzzling markings, ing information line along the front bottom but
which are certainly anything but logical for split with part over toward the left margin and
those not knowledgeable of their meanings. the remaining information over toward the right
This article concentrates on government- margin.
printed envelopes and postcards that share three From 1953 to 1967, whenever the printing
characteristics: 1) pre-printed (imprinted) postage information is on the back, all of this informa-
(sometimes called "franked" stationery), 2) some tion appears near the top center. In 1967,
type of artistic image/picture (i.e., a photo, additional information began appearing at the
painting, cachet), and 3) produced from about bottom center so that one group of information
1953 to 1997. What is learned from these classes is at the top of the reverse side and another near
of artistic stationery will apply, at least partly, to the bottom. These two groups were combined
their unstamped and/or non-artistic cousins, in the bottom half of the reverse side starting in
Although I personally looked at a few thousand 1969, after postal codes were introduced. This
stationery items and several catalogs, my research combined variation occurs only when the postal
was anything but exhaustive. Readers may find, code instructions on how to form the code
as I do every time I get a new batch of covers numbers are printed on the top portion of the
to review, new insights that extend the dates envelope.
and data noted below. Such is the nature of this There are two major exceptions to this situ-
fascinating collecting area. ation. The first exception are "local" envelopes,
The information on the backs of envelopes i.e., those with a dark stripe across the top
and postcards can be categorized into three front on an envelope with the word "MECTHOE"
groups: printing information, processing in- in the center of the stripe. These envelopes
structions, and commemorative informa- were printed and distributed as an experiment

Rossica Journal Number 131 55
October 1998

Acronym/ Russian Meaning

aBTopcKoe npaBO Copyright
r. ropon Town or city
r. roa Year
F. Fo3HaKa of Goznak
3aK. or 3. 3aKa3 Printing order or
H3a. N' H33aTeInbcTBo N Publisher's Number
KOn. or K. KonelKa kopeck
KOMnn. KOMIneKTa of complete set
MHn. or M. MHnJIIHOH Million
MHH. MHHHCTepcTBa of the Ministry
py6. or p. Py6inb Rouble
PT PyccKOfi Oeaepaunn Russian Federation
CCCP Colo3 COBeTcKHX Union of Soviet So-
CouHanuCTHqecKHx cialist Republics
Pecry6nHK (USSR)
THp. or T. THpax Circulation quantity
TbIc. or T. TbIcIlia Thousand
D-Ke or --Ka $a6pHKa Factory
LU. ULeHa Price
xya. XyOXKHHK Artist
3K3 3K3eMInnJpbl Copies

Table 1: Summary of Acronyms and Abbreviations Used on Envelopes and Postcards

between 1969 and 1971, and intended for dis- printed on the back, lower envelope flap.
tribution within the limits of a consumer's local The second exception is pre-stamped envel-
post office. For this reason, there was no need opes that contain greeting (also called congratu-
for postal codes and therefore the envelopes had latory) cards. For this category, a limited subset
no postal code instructions on the back. How- of the usual printing information is on the back
ever, they did have special processing instruc- of the envelope. This information is then re-
tions to explain how the envelopes were to be peated (some with modified wording), along
used. When these instructions appeared on the with additional and sometimes important clari-
lower half of the reverse side, the printing infor- flying information, on the back of the enclosed
nation remained split, some at the top and some card. There appears to be a tendency to have
at the bottom When the "MECTHOE" instructions less information on the back of these envelopes
appeared on the front of the envelope or not at than on those without the enclosed card, proba-
all, the printing information is combined and bly because the card is intended to fill in the

56 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

missing information. This is fine if the card
remains with the envelope, but this is not often
the case. Typically, the card is missing or, in
some cases, an enclosed card is there, but it is Kyda ..................
not the one intended for the envelope. Com-
paring the envelope printing information with I -.......---. ..--..
that printed on the card can be one of the key i
elements in determining when the wrong card i --.---. -----------.............
is enclosed.
The thoroughness of the printing infor- KoY.y ..............
mation on the backs of these congratulatory-card
envelopes and pre-stamped envelopes in general ------- -- -- ---------
varies through the years, with less in the early
years and tending to more complete information
later on. Of course, exceptions abound. Apec omnpasumeAn:
All of the printing information for artistic HETAPFHIl.
postcards appears on their address side. Until
1968, the printing stretched across most of the
bottom edge of the postcard in one or two lines
(figure 3). Afterwards, the printing information Figure 2: Information lines printed vertically
began to be doubled up in two lines and re- on the front of envelopes.
stricted to the area just below the address lines
on the right side of the back of the envelope. Copyright Information
This arrangement continued until late 1970 after Various phases denoting the copyright
the postal codes were introduced. Printing the holder of the printed envelope and/or postcard
outlines of the postal-code numbers (printed appear on all pre-stamped issues. Table 2 shows
below the message/writing area) decreased the the copyright phrases found on pre-stamped
area1 available for the address lines. Since then, envelopes and postcards between 1953 and 1997
the printing information appears vertically on and the years in which they were used. Refer to
the postcard between the address line area and Table 1 for the meaning of the abbreviations
the message/writing area (although some early and acronyms found in this table.
exceptions exist on which the printing infor- The Type 1 copyright phrase appeared on
mation remained below the address lines). Fig- envelopes and postcards up until 1974 (figures 2
ure 4 shows an example of this vertical printing. and 3). Since there is no date in the copyright
The printing-information lines can include phrase, I assume it depended on the production
the following types of information, although not date, printed elsewhere (but not always) in the
necessarily in this order: copyright owner and printing information lines, to determine the
date; publication identification number; produc- starting point of the copyright protection period.
tion date; printing facility identification; printing The city name "Mocsa" or "Moscow" appeared
order number; publisher's issue number; number on many of the second lines of the printing in-
printed; purchase price; and design/image cred- formation (figure 2). I believe this to be related
its. In general, the envelopes include fewer of to the copyright phrase because in 1967, when
these printing-information items than do post- a separate publisher-facility line started to appear,
"Moscow" remained while in 1973, when the
cards, usually two to five for envelopes and five "Moscow" remained while in 1973, when the
or more for postcards. newly standardized copyright phrase (see Type

Rossica Journal Number 131 57
October 1998

AOpec omi//lpa t CllA/Ieli:

|:iaill ll H e A i rlc ce eri n ci|i'>l (::(; A l!l'. i 1 IX1 l.\ lilX9 M IA l- 'oali I. is. Ifil ;I. llein 1N '.it

Figure 3: Printing information line on the bottom of a pre-stamped postcard.

2 in Table 2) began to be used, the use of H 3KcneJflHpOBaHH 3aKOB IIOWTOBOfH oJIaTM,"
"Moscow" was discontinued, which translates as "Production and Dispatch
The Universal Copyright Convention of Office for Postage Stamps and Stationery."
1952 (held in Geneva) developed a set of inter- The appearance of the "IH93IIO" trademark
national agreements to protect the copyrights of had no effect on the copyright line; not so with
publishers. These agreements became effective in the second or "MapKa" trademark (figure 5). It was
1955, but the USSR did not become a member introduced in November 1990, and by early 1992
of this convention until 27 May 1973.2 That (shortly after the breakup of the former USSR),
copyright convention required that publishers use its name was incorporated into the copyright line
the symbol the copyright owner's name, and (see copyright phrase Type 3 in Table 2).
the year of first publication (in that order) in all Although hard to read in either the original or
copyright identification lines. The Type 2 the photocopy of this trademark, there are words
copyright phrase in Table 2, following the running up the left side and continuing across the
requirements of this new revised format, first top of its design. They read: "H3aaTeJibcKO -
appeared on postcards in late 1973 and on the ToproBmif gemrp 'MapKa'," which translates as
backs of envelopes in 1974. A Cyrillic "r" or "Publishing Trading Center 'Marka'." The
"g" was printed after the date on envelopes to Marka company is still active today and can be
indicate that it represented a "year." This practice found on the Worldwide Web at
continued until late 1978, after which the letter http://www.aha.ru/-stamp.
was left off. Postcards, having changed their
format in late 1970, were always short of space
and never did include the "r" after the copyright Printing Facility Identification
year. There were more than four thousand
In the summer of 1983, the first of two publishing houses in the USSR in 1974.3 Several
publisher's trademarks began to appear just above of these were operated under the auspices of
the copyright line on the backs of envelopes. GOZNAK, whose fill name was Central Ad-
These trademark emblems do not appear on pre- ministration of the Ministry of Finances of the
stamped postcards. The first such trademark USSR for the Issuance of State Currency, Notes,
emblem is shown in figure 1. It appears as a ham- Coins, and Orders. GOZNAK supervised printing
mer and sickle inside the border of a symbolic factories that produced, among other things,
stamp with the word "AH33IIO" or "DIEZPO" postal issues for the Ministry of Communications4
immediately below the stamp's simulated perfora- and was what we would think of as a security
tion. A pre-stamped envelope dated 18 July 1983 printer.
was the first stationery to have this trademark. Table 3 shows the printing facility identi-
The acronym stands for "JA(=pegqKI no H3AaHHIo fiction phrases and their abbreviations that I

58 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

found during my research. Envelopes were sig-
nificantly less reliable in reporting their printing
facility than postcards. While envelopes only
sporadically reported the printer in the 1950s, I
did not find any envelope reporting the printer
between 1959 and 1966. This is probably due to
the fact that only one facility was printing the
envelopes. Beginning in 1967, a separate line at
the bottom on the backs of envelopes identified __
the printing facility. Postcards, on the other hand,
were printed in several places and, therefore,
always have the printing facility identified in their
printing information lines.
From 1953 to 1966, all pre-stamped envel-
opes were printed at the Moscow Factory of
GOZNAK (MFG). The first envelope prepared at
the Perm' Factory of GOZNAK (PFG) carried the IInHdoec ipedi
date "1966."5 Between 1967 and 1969, gradu- 0
ally more and more of the envelopes were
printed at PFG and less at MFG. In 1970, only
two envelopes were prepared at the MFG, while
the rest were all printed at the Perm' facility. Also
in that year, the catalogs started calling the
Moscow Factory the "Moscow Printing Factory
of GOZNAK" (MPFG). In 1971, all but six envel-
opes that were listed in the catalogs were printed Figure 4: Vertically printed information line
at the Perm' Factory; the rest were reportedly on postcards.
printed at the "Moscow Typography Plant of
GOZNAK" (MTG). In late 1985, another printing to one catalog, these postcards are printed at only
facility, the Ryazhsk Factory of GOZNAK (RFG), two facilities, MPFG or MTG.7
began to prepare some of the pre-stamped Almost all of the pre-stamped postcard
envelopes, printing was done by either the MPFG or
The Moscow Printing Factory (MPFG) and MTG. The few exceptions I found were printed
Moscow Typography Plant (MTG) are two dif- by the Perm' Printing Factory of GOZNAK
ferent printing facilities. Their respective printing- (PPFG). When the MTG facility does print
order numbers follow different sequences and regular artistic postcards, they are usually a little
have different numbers of digits in them. more decorative than the Perm' facilities' post-
According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, only cards. They also command a slightly higher price
printing establishments that use offset or gravure (see the pricing section below).
printing are called "plants" instead of "factor- According to another naming convention,
ies."6 Thus, it would seem that while the there is no difference between the Perm' or
Moscow Typography Plant probably does pro- Ryazhsk factories and the Perm' or Ryazhsk
duce a few envelopes, it concentrates on certain printing factories (note the difference in the itali-
types of printed postcards. This latter specialty cized wording). The phrases on envelopes call-
can be seen in the special, commemorative post- ing them simple "factories" were used from
cards that began appearing in 1971. According 1966 to 1993. In late 1993, the word "printing"

Rossica Journal Number 131 59
October 1998

Type Years Russian Meaning

1 1953 H3aaHHe MHHHCTepCTBa CBa3H Publication of the Ministry of Communica-
1974 CCCP tions2 of the USSR
2 1973 MHHHTrepcTBa CBa3H CCCP, Copyright, Ministry of Communications of the
1992 yy r. USSR, [in the year] "yyyy"
3 1992 MuH. CBs3H POCcHH, Copyright, Ministry of Communications of
1993 H3anaTueHTp 'MapKa', yyyy Russia, Publishing Center 'Marka', [in the
year] "yyyy"
4 1993 (enaepanmlioe yipanneiiHe Copyright, Federal administrator of postal
1995 IIoqTlouBO Cu13H IIup MHI. CBn3H communications under the Ministry of Com-
PO. IHl'aaTueHTp 'MapKa', yyyy munications of the Russian Federation. Pub-
lishing Center 'Marka', [in the year] "yyyy"
5 1995 (enepanbHaa cnyx6a noqToBOf Copyright, Federal service of postal commu-
CBa3H P(. II3,aaTueHTp 'MapKa', nications of the Russian Federation. Publish-
y__yyy ying Center 'Marka', [in the year] "yyyy"
6 1996 1H3WaTIrerrp 'MapKa' Copyright, Publishing Center 'Marka' Federal
(enepainbHoH cnyx6bI norroBofi service of postal communications of the Rus-
CBA3Hl PD. yyyy sian Federation. [in the year] "yyyy"
7 1996 H3aaTueHTp 'MapKa' Copyright, Publishing Center 'Marka', of the
1997 MHHHCTepcTBa CBA3H PO, yyyy Ministry of Communications of the Russian
----______Federation, [in the year] "yyyy"

Table 2: Summary of Phrases Used in Copyright Information Lines

was added to the facility designation, but their many have both. Envelopes, on the other hand,
order numbers remained consistent. In fact, I vary widely in which of the three numbers are
have covers showing that the Perm' facility used shown, depending on the dates of production.
the same order number both before and after One or both of the publication and order num-
the name change. In addition, for envelopes bers were included up through April 1958.
containing congratulatory cards, the printing fa- From 1958 through early 1987, it was rare for
cility is listed as just a factory on the outside of any of these numbers to appear on the envel-
the envelope but the card inside includes the full opes, but occasionally they did get printed on
name as a "printing factory." These facts lead the back. For example, the 1968 catalog of
me to conclude that PFG is the same as PPFG artistic, pre-stamped envelopes identified four
and RFG is the same as RPFG. out of the 672 envelopes issued that year that
contained publication numbers. In the 1980s, a
Printing Numbers third type of number started to appear on some
There appear to be three different types of envelopes; it is this latter number that I am call-
printing numbers shown on pre-stamped, artistic ing a publisher's issue number.
envelopes and postcards. I call the three cate-
gories: publication numbers, printing order Publication Numbers
numbers, and publisher's issue numbers. Publication numbers can be distinguished
Postcards are the most consistent in including at from the other two numbers in two ways. First,
least two types of this information; all have the publication number starts with a letter. In
either the publication or order number, and 1953 and early 1954, the letter at the beginning

60 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Russian Abbr. Meaning

MOCKOBCKOc HeIsaTHO H Da6pHKe MOCK. Fe'. 0-Ke Moscow Printing Factory (MPF)
or MHn
MOCKOBCKOi Oa6pHKe FO3HaK MOF Moscow Factory of Goznak (MFG)
MOCKOBCKOA HeraTHoi Da6pHKe MFI Fo3HaKa Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak
ro3HaKa or MrII' (MPFG)
HepMCKaI D-Ka FO3HaK nrF Perm Factory of Goznak (PFG)
fHepMcKOA HeqaTHoI Oa6pHKe nHH Perm Printing Factory (PPF)
HepMcKOH HeqaTHOH Da6pHKe IH Fro3HaKa or Perm Printing Factory of Goznak
MocKOBCKOfi THHorpa HH MT Moscow Typographic Plant (MT)6
MocKOBCKOH THnorpanni MT FO3HaKa or Moscow Typographic Plant of
ro3HaKa MTW Goznak (MTG)
H3roTOBneHO B MOCKOBCKOH Produced by the Moscow Typography
THnorpadHH FO3HaKa Plant of Goznak
H3roTosnBeHo Ha HepMcKOi D-Ke Produced by the Perm Factory of
Fo3HaKa Goznak
H3roTOBjeHO Ha HepMcKof Produced by the Perm Printing Fac-
HeqaTHOif O-Ke Fo3HaKa tory of Goznak
H3roTOBneHO Ha PADKcKOf I-Ke Produced by the Ryazhsk Factory of
ro3HaKa Goznak (RFG)
H3roTosn.eHO Ha PAXcKoi Produced by the Ryazhsk Printing
HIeqaTHOf O-Ke ro3HaKa Factory of Goznak (RPFG)

Table 3: Summary of Phrases Used to Identify Printing Facilities

of each publication number was an "A." This section). Occasionally, the number is tied to the
letter was switched in 1954 to "I," which production date with the Russian word "OT,"
continued to be used throughout the 1950s. In which means "from." An example of this
the 1960s and up to the end of 1971, the "in" pattern can be seen in figure 2.
was replaced by an "A," while after 1971 an "JI" Publication numbers have other unique
was used. I have seen one exception to this characteristics as well:
lettering scheme: an "AX" was used in the pro- 1. They are either five or six digits after the
duction number on a postcard packet (i.e., a letterss; if the number is less than five dig-
folder containing a set of nine or ten postcards its, zeros are added in front of the number
on the same subject) dated 28.11.86 that fea- to fill it out to five digits. I have one ex-
tured views of the city of Magadan. ception to this: a postcard from early 1968
The second distinguishing characteristic is with a publication number "A 1."
that the publication number always appears 2. Publication numbers appear to be indepen-
immediately in front of the production date (see dent of printing facilities. Over various
the discussion of production dates in the next periods of production, where there is some

Rossica Journal Number 131 61
October 1998

pattern to the assignment of publication zation with the production date, if they existed,
numbers, this pattern is not broken when were minor during that period.
a different printing facility is used. This The year 1966 was the first of many during
points to a higher authority or independent which the publication numbers did not fit this
organization assigning the publication "start-over" pattern, because, in that year, they
numbers, start with publication numbers around 10,000.
3. Publication numbers are uniquely assigned Table 4 illustrates the publication number ranges
to stationery items except under two con- found for a few of the years showing unusual
editions. First, the re-issue of an item may numbering sequences. (Note: Some months
use the same publication number as the don't appear in this table because I have not
original. (I have examples where the re- personally seen stationery in those months with
issued item has the same publication num- publication numbers.) The next strange year was
ber and others where it is a different num- 1972, during which the publication numbers
ber.) Second, all of the postcards in most probably started in the 40,000s. The next year
postcard packets have the same publication was even stranger because it started in the
number. This is understandable if you con- 42,000s then jumped, by mid-January, to a
sider them as a single publication within a range in the 107,000s. Another, even stranger
folder. This may be perhaps disconcerting year is 1979, when the publication numbers
to those who might be hoping to use publi- immediately start in the 102,000 range and then
cation numbers as a unique identifier. These flip-flop twice in the course of the year with an
postcard packets also disrupt any thought 82,000 number.
that the combination of publication number My guess is that large blocks of publication
and order number would uniquely identify numbers, which for many years had been re-
a particular stationery item because both the served for postal stationery, were assigned to
publication and the order number are the other types of publications, i.e., books, maga-
same for all of the postcards in each packet. zines, or unfranked postal stationery. Thus, per-
4. Publication and order numbers have a haps in 1966, A00001 through A10000 were
strong tendency to not be assigned in the never assigned to postal stationery, but the num-
same logical order. For example, I have bers A10001 through A20000 were. In 1975,
several sets of postcards on which all the the allocation of publication numbers (which
postcards have the same production date may have been initially set at L36000 to
and contain sequential publication and order L45000) ran out by November, and so I am
numbers. However, if you try to arrange guessing that the issuing authorities had to skip
the list of these postcards in numerical se- up to L120000 to find a block of numbers to
quence by their publication numbers, the finish out the year. This probably happened
order numbers are out of order; if you ar- again in 1976, as Table 4 shows. Late in 1978,
range them according to the order numbers, the numbers again ran out, but instead of
then the publication numbers are out of skipping to a higher range, it appears the au-
sequence. This tends to confirm that the thorities reverted to a lower range of numbers
two sets of numbers are truly assigned at that were not being used up as fast as predicted
different times and are not related, within the publication type that had been
5. Publication numbers between 1953 and assigned the L80,000 number series. Without
1965 tend to start over at the beginning of further information, the way the numbers were
each year and increase numerically through- assigned in 1979 is hard to explain and remains
out the year. Exceptions to this synchroni- a mystery to me.

62 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

facility. I saw no order number used by
more than one printer.
Production Publication number mo t -op t
ucio uiai num 2. The order numbers are either four, five, or
Year ranges six digits. In general, printing factories used
1966 A 11,000s in Feb-Apr the five- and six-digit order numbers (al-
A 14,000s in May-Jun though several exceptions were found) and
A 15,000s in Sep the Moscow Typographic Plant used just
1972 JI 49,000s in Apr-Sep four digits. An alternate format can also be
__ 50,000s in Oct found occasionally. For example, between
1973 31 42,000s in early Jan 1976 and 1979 the Moscow Printing Fac-
3I 107,000s in late Jan-Jul tory switched its postcard order number
1_ 108,000s in Oct-Dec format to "yy-xxxx," where "yy" is the
1974 3I 64,000s in Apr-May year when the issue was to be released but
I3 65,000s in Jul not the year during which the order was
II 58,000s in Aug made. See Figure 4 for an example of this
1975 JI 36,000s in Jan-Mar format and Table 5 for examples of these
31 37,000s in May-Jul number assignments. Note that as the
11 120,000s in Nov-Dec "year" portion of this alternate format was
1976 I3 67,000s in Jan phased out in mid-1979, the four-digit por-
JI 68,000s in May-Jun tion of the number continued in sequence
I1 69,000s in Aug-Oct (even over publication years) without
J1 138,000s in Dec recycling back to the number one. The
1978 II 91,000s in Jan-Jun Moscow Typographic Plant, which also
3l 88,000s in Nov published postcards during this same period,
31 89,000s in Dec did not use this format during these years.
1979 Jl 102,000s in Jan-May 3. In the 1980s, about half of the order num-
82, s in Aug-early Oct bers started with an "8x" and all of these
-I 82,000s in Aug-early Oct
"31 102,000s in late Oct-Nov stationery items using these 8x numbers
Il 102,000s in late Oct-Nov
n were from the Moscow Printing Factory.
J I1 103,000s in early Dec
1 0 s in De For example, the following order numbers
II 82,000s in late Dec
were used on postcards with production
dates between September and November
1980: 8154, 8179, 81112, 81148. My guess
Table 4: Example Years Showing Publication is that these order numbers are really
Number Range Anomalies sequences of 81 for postcards intended for
release in 1981: 81-54, 81-79, 81-112, and
Printing Order Numbers
"Printing Order Num s 81-148. Additionally, when the order num-
The second type of printing number, what
The second type of printing number, what bers incremented to the next release year
I call the "order number," is usually easy to dis-d the "
(i.e., advanced from 81x to 82x), the "x
tinguish from the other two types because it is recced back 1. This kid of orer-
recycled back to 1. This kind of order-
preceded by the abbreviation "3ax." or "3," which number scheme can be seen in order num-
are shortened versions of the word "3aKa3"
n ,, bers throughout the rest of the 1980s and
meaning order.
meaning order. into the early 1990s.
Order numbers have the following addi-
Sn h 4. During this same period (1980s and 1990s),
tional characteristics:
tonal charactescs: the Perm' Printing Factory used order
1. Order numbers are unique to a printing numbers ranging from the 100, s to the
numbers ranging from the 100,000s to the

Rossica Journal Number 131 63
October 1998

Production Order#
30 Oct 78 79-6172
1 Dec 78 79-6256
8 Jan 79 79-6312
6 Mar 79 79-6374
--- 3 May 79 6392
3 May 79 79-6395
i5 5 Oct 79 6541
18 Dec 79 6647
8 Jan 80 6700
30 Jun 80 6808

Table 5: Examples of Alternate Format
Figure 5: Marka trademark. Used for Order Numbers

139,000s. The number sequences used each Publisher's Issue Numbers
year tended to increase (i.e., from the low The third type of printing number iden-
100,000s in 1980 to the 139,000s in early tified is what I call a "publisher's issue number."
1988) without starting over at the begin- This name comes from the Russian abbreviation
ning of each year. This logically increasing "H43A. No," which usually preceded this type of
sequence broke down in the second half of number. I believe that "H3a. No" is probably
1988 and there were lapses back to earlier an abbreviation for "H3AaTenbCTBO No," which
order-number sequences (perhaps numbers means publisher's number. I added the word
which had not, for some reason, been used "issue" to help distinguish it from the category of
before?). publication numbers. Publisher's issue numbers
5. Between August and October 1976, the may have been used by printing houses to help
Perm' Printing Factory changed their order them identify and keep track of their own
numbers from "10933" to "109330". Every production items. See Figure 6 for an example of
Perm' Printing Factory order number after where the publisher's issue number "88810"
this date ended in zero. appears on an envelope in association with the
6. Although many stationery items have order number "137890." Although this number
unique order numbers, there are plenty of may exist for all stationery items, it did not
order numbers that were used on more appear as part of the printing information on pre-
than one item. Where duplicate order num- stamped stationery until July 1987 for envelopes
bers were seen, the order numbers were and March 1988 for postcards.10 As far as I have
used for only a few weeks or months (see seen, these publisher's issue numbers only
Table 7). The major exception to this is appeared on Perm' Printing Factory stationery
order number 136680, which the Perm' items and possibly also those from the Ryazhsk
Printing Factory used for about 95 percent Printing Factory.
of their pre-stamped postcards between A publisher's issue number of this type, with
February 1989 and June 1994. the leading abbreviation "HaI3. N", also appeared
in the printing identification sections of other

64 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

0OTOKOMtna3HUHR H. frepzu.teea
( MHHHCTepCTBo CSR3H CCCP. 1988. H3.I. Nt 88810. 3. 137890. nnfo ro3HaKa. T. 55 M,1H.
23. 11. 87. Ueia OTKpblTKH C MapKHpOBaHHblu KOHsepTOM 8 KOn.

Figure 6: Congratulatory card printing information.

Russian-language publications, such as stationery
catalogs. In these cases, the issues have a whole
range of numbers and dates, including the
publication, order, and publisher type numbers
being addressed in this article. 17. o2. 8. 88946. uenn KoHpria c KanpT.K,,,l ir .n
I am not sure why this number was xy.,o.1IIIK r. .7um)
introduced, since it had not been included in
the printing information lines during the thirty-
four years prior to its first use. Its sudden
appearance caused me considerable confusion in Figure 7: Publisher's issue number
my attempts to interpret the printing data. This on an envelope.
confusion resulted from two factors:
1. The backs of the envelopes where this issue number, whereas the 130,000s series
number appears never identify it (see figure number is identified as an order number.
7)! The number "88946" is found right Why the Perm' Printing Factory sometimes
after the date but it has no abbreviation in put the order number or the publisher's
front of it to identify its type. I also have issue number on the back of an envelope is
similar examples where these five-digit still a mystery to me.
numbers begin with 89, 90, etc., up to 96. 2. The second confusing factor is that these
Intermingled with these are a series of six- 80,000- and 90,000-series numbers used by
digit, unidentified numbers with ranges in the Perm' Printing Factory appear to be
the 130,000s. At first, I interpreted the very similar to order numbers used by the
number as just two different series of order Moscow Printing Factory in both structure
numbers. It wasn't until I was able to com- and association with the production date.
pare these numbers to the sub-series of Both sets of numbers begin with a number
these envelopes containing congratulatory that looks like it could be identifying the
cards that I was able to ascertain these were intended issue year (i.e., those numbers
really two different types of numbers. The starting with 88 have production dates late
congratulatory cards, which are issued inside in 1987 or 1988 to be issued in 1988, those
the envelopes, repeat and often elaborate on starting with 89 have production dates late
the printing information shown on the in 1988 or 1989 to be issued in 1989, etc.).
envelope in which they are contained. Fig- Additionally, the numbers increased consis-
ure 6 shows the printing information lines tently with the change in the production
on such a congratulatory card. Notice that date. The differences are that the Moscow
the 80,000s series number is a publisher's Printing Factory clearly marked their num-

Rossica Journal Number 131 65
October 1998

bears with the abbreviation "3aK." or "3," or a first-day-of-issue postmark commemorating the
sometimes used only four-digit numbers. subject in the envelope cachet and imprinted
stamp. In this case, the envelope has a pro-
Production Dates duction date of "05.11.83," the first-day-of-issue
Dates on Russian envelopes and postcards postmark date of "30.01.84," and a copyright
are in the European style. That is, day-month- year of "1983."
year. Earlier dates were of the form "yyyy," Beginning in 1971, newly designed, special
"dd/mm-yy," and "dd/mm yyyy," where "dd" commemorative postcards began to appear.
stands for the day of the month, "mm" is the These postcards, referred to in the Russian cata-
month, and "yyyy" or "yy" are for the full and logs as "one-sided," are blank on the side where
shortened versions of the year. The month in the postcard picture normally appeared and have
these older date versions was always expressed in a picture cachet where the message or writing
Roman numeral format, i.e., "I" for January, area would otherwise be. The blank side thus
"II" for February, etc. These older formats were enlarges the area available for messages to be
used until September 1978. Starting in early written. The imprinted image is different and
1978, another pattern was introduced in the original (i.e., not the same design as any postage
form "dd.mm.yy," where periods were placed stamp) for each of these postcards, and is a com-
between the numbers. In this newer date for- memorative design related to the subject of the
mat, the "mm" for the month was always a two- postcard cachet. These commemorative postcards
digit, Arabic number, i.e., "01" for January and could be purchased mint or with one or more
"12" for December. special, commemorative postmarks, and some-
The older dates on envelopes almost always times with a special, first-day-of-issue postmark.
ended with the abbreviation "r.," which is short The standard, generic style first-day postmarks
for "roA." or year. In late 1978, the "r." began are also used on these postcards. In either
to disappear and after 1979, it was gone for case, these first-day cancels show that there are
good. The situation is similar for the postcards, weeks/months between the production date and
In the earlier years, the printers almost never the issue date. One catalog specializing in these
included the "r." at the end of the date. When commemorative postcards" lists them in issue-
the "r." did appear, the printer was almost always date order and mentions the production date,
the Moscow Typographic Plant. Between 1973 and whereas all of the catalogs I have on pre-
1978 the "r." appeared frequently; then in stamped, artistic envelopes list the envelopes by
1979, like on the envelopes, it ceased being production date and do not mention issue
used. dates.12
These production dates probably bear no There is also a possibility that these dates
consistent relationship to the actual "issue" date might be related to the time the order for the
of the envelope or postcard. One can safely stationery item was made, but I do not believe
assume that it would take several days after this is correct for two reasons. The first reason
printing a particular item, if not several weeks, is that order numbers frequently do not remain
to get those items from the printing facility to in the same order as the dates on the stationery
the places where consumers could purchase and (see Table 6). Second, I have numerous exam-
post them. You can see this once the year- ples of stationery having the same order number
number started to appear in the copyright but different dates. Table 7 gives a few examples
phrase. Those envelopes and postcards first of where this duplicated order number situation
issued early in a particular year would have a arises within a single year and across year
production date in one year and the copyright boundaries.
year in the next. I also have one envelope with In the early years (1953-1962), the produc-

66 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Stationery Order # Dates on
Dates on Order # Tye Stationery
Stationery Postcards 11585 6 Aug 63, 1 Feb 64. & 9 May 64
26 Jan 68 18082 Postcards 11586 28 Feb. 11 Apr. 19 May. 15 Jul,
1 Mar 68 18088 & 23 Jul64
25 Apr 68 18022 Postcards 12085 19 Feb. 26 Feb. & 9 Apr 73
24 May 68 18080 Envelopes 133560 5 Jun & 12 Nov 96
11 Jun 68 13022 Envelopes 136770 28 Apr 89 & 5 Nov 90
Envelopes 195620 21 Dec 89 & 11 Jan 90

Table 6: Example of Out-of-Sequence Table 7: Examples of
Order Numbers Duplicated Order Numbers

tion date and the publication number appear to
be synchronized, but this pattern starts to break
down in 1963 and gets worse in later years.
Table 8 shows two series of postcard production Dates on Publication
dates (one in 1967 and one in 1980) compared Stationery Number
to their publication numbers. In addition to
these examples, I have two issues of the same Example #1
postcard where, although the production dates 25 May 67 A 11110
are a year apart, the publication numbers are the 12 Aug 67 A 10821
same. 12 Aug 67 A 10842
Additionally, there is not much consistency 6 Oct 67 A 13441
in the use of the publisher's issue number mak-
ing it difficult to know for sure if there is a Example #2 --
23 Sep 80 n 38344
correlation (within the printing facility) between 3 Oct 80 1 39806
3 Oct 80 il 39806
these numbers and the production dates. That 16 Oct 80 1 38396
many of the numbers are not clearly identified 23 Oct 80 11 102898
only adds to the uncertainty of any analytical 27 Nov 80 1I 38509
effort on these numbers.
Based on my research, I have concluded
that the date on envelopes and postcards is not Table 8: Two Examples of Out-of-Sequence
strictly tied to any of the various numbers asso- Publication Numbers
ciated with the stationery, but rather is assigned
to the item near the time of actual production 8:55 a.m. Moscow time. Few people knew that
or printing. Sometimes, this date may be ma- Gagarin was scheduled to make the flight. Even
nipulated to make it coincide with an event of those who did also knew that cosmonaut Gher-
significance related to the image on the sta- man Titov could have replaced Gagarin up until
tionery. The case in point is illustrated by a pair the last couple of hours before the flight. Yet,
of postcards (without an indicium) I have these two photo postcards, one black and white
containing a photo image of cosmonaut Yuri and the other with the black-and-white photo
Gagarin. Gagarin was launched on a one-orbit manually "colorized," were both issued in quan-
spaceflight on 12 April 1961 beginning at 7:07 titles of one million each with a production date
a.m. Moscow time. He landed successfully at the same day as the flight!

Rossica Journal Number 131 67
October 1998

Purchase Price on the inside card related to a special occasion:
The purchase price and copyright phrases weddings, birthdays, New Year's, International
were the two printing details most consistently Women's Day, October Revolution, etc. Still
present on all the issues. The price not only others were simply related to a specific city,
covered the value of the indicium (also called an with the interior card containing an additional
imprinted stamp),13 but also the cost of the view of the subject. Some of the greetings of-
envelope or postcard. Occasionally, envelopes fered generic congratulations.
came with a commemorative card inside; these Only the envelope contains an imprinted
envelope-card combinations have a correspond- stamp; the enclosed cards are not pre-stamped,
ingly higher price. In addition to the printed nor do they have any of the other features that
price, a rubber-stamped price may appear on the make them acceptable for mailing by themselves.
back to indicate that the envelope or postcard To emphasize this point, each card has a notice
had undergone some additional processing, i.e., reminding the user of this fact (see the later
getting a special postmark. In these cases section on processing instructions). These special
the rubber-stamped price would override the event envelopes use Types 3, 4, 5, and 6 pricing
printed price. phrases (Table 9).14 There is also a pricing phrase
Table 9 shows the pricing phrases I found printed on the enclosed card reinforcing the
during my research. The column marked price on the outside envelope. These phrases
"years" indicates the years I found the fully reverse the order of the elements to which the
spelled-out pricing phrases. After early 1971, price applies. For example, the envelope might
Types 1 and 2 used only their abbreviations, say that the price is for the "envelope with
Postcards first went to the "IeHa" abbreviation card," while the phrase on the enclosed card
but abandoned this for the even shorter "I." in late says that the price is for the "card with envel-
1973. ope." Examples of these pricing phrases are
The markup between the cost of the shown as Types 7, 8, and 9 in Table 9.
imprinted stamp and the overall envelope/ The pricing varied, depending on whether
postcard price was pretty consistent through the the card on the inside was a single (similar to a
earlier years for the standard artistic issues, i.e., normal postcard with a picture on one side and
those without enclosed cards. Until late 1960, a blank writing area on the other) or a double
the markup was 10 kopecks for an imprinted (size of two single cards folded at either the long
stamp worth 40 kopecks (normal post), 60 ko- or short edge) card. From the 1960s, I have
pecks (airmail), 1 ruble (registered post), and 2 examples with markups of 6 and 11 kopecks,
rubles (registered mail). There was a 15-kopeck i.e., from 4-kopecks face value to 10-kopecks
markup for postcards with a 25-kopeck stamp. total price for some, and 4-kopecks face value to
After the ruble devaluation on 1 January 1961, 15-kopecks total for others. In the 1980s, I saw
the new markup was 1 kopeck for most every three price markups: from 5 kopecks to 8
standard artistic envelope and postcard. When kopecks total (3-kopeck markup), and from 5
the indicium face value for all normal-post-rate kopecks to 10 kopecks total (5-kopeck markup)
envelopes went to 7 kopecks in 1991, the for single and double enclosed cards respectively,
standard markup went to 3 additional kopecks. all from the Perm' Printing Factory. Then there
Pricing exceptions include those envelopes were the ones that increased from 5 kopecks to
that were sold with an associated card. These are 20 kopecks (15-kopeck markup); these were
sometimes called "congratulatory envelopes with almost always from the Moscow Typographic
enclosed card" because both the cachet on the Plant and were for the double-card inserts.
outside of the envelope and the pictures/images Finally, in the 1990s I saw 12-kopeck markups

68 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Type Years Russian Phrase Abbr. Meaning

1953 LIeHa KOHBepTa c MapKOf LenHa Price of the envelope with
1 to imprinted stamp
1958 QleHa xyaoKecTBeHHOfi LeHa Price of artistic card with imprinted
2 to KapTOqKH C MapKOH or U. stamp
1967 LIeHa xynoxecTseHHoro Price of artistic envelope with
3 to KOHBepCra C JIBOAHOH KapTO'KOn double card
1980 IjeHa KOHBepTa c KapTO'IKOK Price of envelope with card
4 to
5 1987 HeHa KOHBepTa c OTKpbITKOfi Price of envelope with picture card
1987 LeHa KOHBepTa c Price of the envelope with
6 to HeMapKHpoBaHHOfi OTKpbITKOiH non-pre-stamped (i.e., unfranked)
1988 picture card
7 1984 leHa KapT0qKH c Price of card with pre-stamped
to MapKHpOBaHHbIM KOHBepTOM envelope
8 1986 IjeHa OTKpblTKH C Price of picture card with
to MapKHpOBaHHblM KOHBepTOM pre-stamped envelope
9 1989 IjeHa KapTOqKH c KOHBepTOM Price of card with envelope
10 1980's ieHa Biyx MapKHpoBaHHbix Price of two pre-stamped
KOHBepTon envelopes
11 1980's LieHa IByx KOHBepTOB Price of two envelopes
1970's [leHa KOMeICKTa LIeHa Price for the complete set
12 & KOMHn.
1315 eHa KOHBepTa 6e3 MapKH QeHa Price of the envelope without
or U. imprinted stamp

Table 9: Summary of Pricing Phrases

over the 7-kopeck imprinted stamp value, i.e., was no fancy or artistic cachet on the envelope.
19 kopecks total for the envelope and enclosed Postcard markup exceptions began in late
card. 1973, when some markups went to 2 kopecks
Another pricing variation observed is shown over the imprinted stamp value. A few markups
as pricing phrase Types 10 and 11 in Table 9. In went to as much as 4 kopecks; these were
order to have a '2-kopeck markup, the envel- generally high-gloss, photo postcards so much
opes were sold in pairs with a 1-kopeck markup gloss that the cards curl slightly and will not lie
over double the face value. This pricing practice flat. Although these exceptions became more
was used on regular issue envelopes where there frequent as time went by, until the end of 1990

Rossica Journal Number 131 69
October 1998

Russian Meaning
XyJIOXHHK or XyLOXKHHKH Artist or Artists
XyAOXKHHKa of the Artist
XyIoxHHK MylbTJIHJIbMa Animated cartoon
XyaoxHHK no3apaBHTeJnbHof Artist who made con-
OTKpbrTKH gratulatory postcard
KoHBepT o4opMneH Envelope designed by
xyaox0HHKOM the artist
FpaBep-xyjoR HHK Engraver-artist
PHcyHOK Drawing by
PHcyHOK xyaoXHHKa Drawing by the artist
PncyHOK KOHBCpTa Designer of envelope
O opMneHHe Design
OopMTIeHHe xyaoxHHKa Design of the artist
ABTOp Author or Creator
ABTOp 3M6neMbI Creator of emblem
ABTOP KapTO1KH Creator of cards
PeaaKTop Editor
XyaoxecTBeHHbIH PenaKTop Artistic Editor
QOTO Photo of
XyaOKHHK- OOoTrpat Artist-Photographer
LjBeTHoe OTO Color Photo of
O(TOKOMOn3HUHAR Photo-composition of

Table 10: Summary of Phrases Used to Give Envelope and Postcard Design Information

there were always postcards available at the 1- have ten separate cards inside the folder, while
kopeck markup rate. Like envelopes, the regular later sets have nine cards inside the folder with
postcard rates went up in April 1991; 5 kopecks the consumer expected to cut out the tenth
for postcards, at which point the markup made card, which is printed as one of the two larger
the price ofpre-stamped postcards increase to 10 flaps of the folder.
kopecks. The pricing phrase used on the postcards in
Postcards also came in packets of ten postal these sets is the same as normal cards, but the
cards (ten different views) relating to a single folder contains a different pricing phrase, shown
city or theme, i.e., Moscow, the Kremlin, radio as Type 12 in Table 9. These "complete sets"
towers. These packets were enclosed in card- are marked up by 2 kopecks over the cost of the
stock quality wrappers that have two flaps the individual postcards, i.e., ten cards with 3-
same size as a regular postcard. A third, nar- kopeck imprinted stamps (which would nor-
rower flap is used to enclose the set of postcards mally sell for 4 kopecks apiece or 40 kopecks for
and to complete the folder. The two larger flaps ten) cost 42 kopecks in the folders. Thus, I
have additional views on the outer side while found such sets selling for 42, 52, and 62
the narrow flap contains printing information kopecks in the 1970s and 1980s. The price of
relating to the complete set. Earlier card sets these postcard packets was the same whether

70 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

there were ten or nine "loose" postcards in the
enclosed set.
When inflation significantly began to affect
the postage rates in early 1992, the markups also nja
took significant jumps. By late 1992, both en- c.y..nTop a n,.....
velopes and postcards ceased to include any P M.,^"'".T ..^T, "" ccc cp, 19
pricing data in the printing information lines. 05. 03 5. Ues. 6 P"C*o),,WORi' I-i luro
This was also about the time that some of the
imprinted stamps were changed to include a
large letter "A" (for envelopes) or "B" (for post- "' ra..... ". ner.pc... *-. ru....
cards) to signify that the stationery would cost
whatever the current postage rate was in rubles
at the time of purchase. Figure 8: Example of boxed artist name.

Design/Image Credits on postcards after late 1980, the credit line
Another of the usual pieces of production information and other descriptive text, if pres-
background data in the printing information ent, will also be vertically printed just above,
lines are one or more lines giving credit to those i.e., to the left, of the rest of the printing
people responsible for the issue's design. Table information.
10 shows the titles for people involved with the By and large, the "xyAoXHHKa" title is the
designs. Presumably, the role of these people is most frequently used form of the artist credit and
only related to the special artistic images, photo- many times it is the only credit given. The
graphs, cachet, or commemorative imprinted "PHcyHOK xyAoxHHKa" form of the artist credit
stamps, if present, because the rest of the envel- was first used in the mid-1970s, but it did not
ope and postcard formats are pretty much set really catch on until the late 1980s. It was used
features and do not change much. Each credit originally to differentiate the cachet artist from
tite is followed by one (the usual number) the architects and sculptors of the statue or
or more names of the individuals responsible, structure featured in the cachet when credit for
Names always include one or more initials and these people was also listed on the back of the
then the last name of the individual, envelope. Starting in 1990, the "PHCyHOK
These ties and associated names normally xyJom70 HKa" description became the norm even
appear on envelopes below or on the same line when there were no other credits given. The
as the date and price information. I noticed only "OdopMJIeHHe xyAoxHHKa" and "Oc)opM-
a couple of exceptions to this on congratulatory ienne" formats are also used, but less frequently
envelopes issued in 1984, where the design and of more recent origin (late 1980s and 1990s).
credits appeared above the printing information "cQOTO" or some alternate form of it frequently
lines. (Note: Those credits printed above the appears on postcards because the artistic image is
printing information lines are almost always part more likely to be a photograph than an original
of the commemorative information; see that sec- design. "(OTo" is also beginning to appear on
tion below.) On postcards, these details are usu- envelopes with increasing frequency as more
ally at the top or bottom of the message writing cachets include photograph-type images. "AB-
area. If there is information in the message area Top" (along with several combination ties using
pertaining to the image or photo on the front of that word) is another relatively new title that
the postcard, then this printing credit infor- began showing up in the 1990s.
mation will be the last lines of that text. In the The identification of an issue's editor began
vertical printing information line format, found with issues in early 1964 and ended in mid-

Rossica Journal Number 131 71
October 1998

1969, but it was not universally used, i.e., does their last names spell out the acronym
not appear on every issue. In two instances, one "LESEGRI".17
envelope and one postcard, I found the only
credit given was to the editor. Circulation Information
One interesting and so far unexplained The annual production of envelopes and
situation is where the artist's name is enclosed postcards in the USSR was tremendous. One
within a box (figure 8). I have seen only one article references an annual production of post-
occurrence of this, even though I have other cards to be 2.5 to 3.5 billion in 7,000 to 8,000
stationery dating from 1976 where the same different issues.18 In another source, the number
person is listed as the artist. The more recent of envelopes with indicium for 1974 included
envelope has a production date of 1985. Perhaps 3,815,000,000 total envelopes with 843 separate
it is some special tribute to the artist or even an designs (issues).19 Issues are produced in quan-
indication that the person died recently when titles as small as 20,000 and as large as 20 mil-
the envelope was printed? lion, the most typical quantity being one million
Identification of who these people are is pieces.
often difficult, especially when only the initials The addition of the printing quantities to
of their first and middle names are given. If you the printing information lines did not start until
keep close track, you can usually follow these 1982 and then only for postcards. Of course, this
names over several issues and/or years and may- was also the situation for pre-stamped envelopes
be even correlate them to Russian stamps that and postcards. Those without imprinted stamps
relate to the envelope cachet or postcard image. began having the printing quantities listed well
Occasionally you might run across famous before this date, at least occasionally. Collectors
people, i.e., cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and who want to know the number of envelopes
Vladimir Dzhanibekov, who also happen to be and postcards in circulation for most issues can
artists, and whose art work is used in envelope find this information from standard catalogs.
and postcard cachet designs. Table 11 shows the Russian terms used to
The strangest artist "name" I found was a report the circulation numbers. Note that the
mystery to me until just recently. This artist credit, Russian word used is "THpax" or "Tirazh,"
printed as "Lesegri" ("JIecerpH"), is always which is related to the French term Tirage
preceded by the plural form of "artist" ("Xygox- meaning circulation quantity. It is usually
mHHH") but never with an initial. It is used as a abbreviated as "THp." or just "T."; the quantities
credit on some of the envelopes and postcards are usually given in thousands ("TbIc." or "T.")
issued during the period February 1961 through or millions ("MmH." or "M."). Occasionally, the
August 1968. This roughly parallels the iden- whole number is printed (i.e., 20,000,000), in
tification of this "artist" as a designer of Russian which case "3K3.," the abbreviation for "copies,"
stamps between April 1962 and August 1968.16 is usually printed at the end of the number.
My guesses were that this was either a printing
term that meant many artists were involved, or Mysterious Printing "Star"
that it was a specific group of artists, going by Pre-stamped postcards occasionally include
the trade name "Lesegri," that was active during one printing feature that I have failed to figure
that 7/2-year period. The latter guess was out. This feature is the mysterious asterisk, or *,
recently confirmed when I was informed that markings (see figures 3 and 4). They occur on
"Lesegri" is really an acronym formed by letters pre-stamped postcards but not pre-stamped
from the last names of the three-member artist envelopes. The marking first appeared in 1958
team: B. Lebedev, L. Sergeyev, and M. Grin- and stopped in 1979. There are three printing
berg. Note that the underlined, initial letters in varieties: one asterisk [*], two asterisks [**], and

72 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

The second category of printing information
found on the reverse sides of envelopes and
postcards is what I call "processing instructions."

Russian Abbr. Meaning I found five types of special processing instruc-
tions on the backs of the envelopes. There are
Numbr of i s instructions related to local letters, postal codes,
Number of items
N r. of i ite congratulatory envelopes, congratulatory cards,
Tupax Tup. or T. printed, circulation
THpa and folder separation lines on postcard packets.
----- -- or quantity The printed phrases relating to these subjects are
MHIIHOH MHn.. or M. Million summarized in Table 12.
TbIicRa TbIc. or T. Thousand
3K3eMIIDIlpbI 3K3. Copies Local Letter Instructions
KOMHneKTbI KOMin. Complete sets Local envelopes were produced during the
period September 1969 to July 1971 and
included only fifteen different issues. These
Table 11: Summary of Terms Relating special-purpose issues were prepared as part of
to Printing Quantities an experiment that apparently did not turn out
well, since they were discontinued. Each en-
the absence of any asterisks.20 Until late 1970, velope had a bold "MecTHoe" or "LOCAL"
the asterisks appeared in the lower-middle of the printed on the top front side. On all but the first
postcard just to the left of the vertical lines) issue, this word was imbedded in a solid-colored
separating the message area from the address stripe that was printed across the entire top of the
lines. Beginning in late 1970, after the printing envelope. This stripe partly extended over onto
information started to be printed vertically the reverse sides (as do the colored stripes used
between the message and the address areas, the on airmail envelopes) so that a mail handler
asterisks appeared in the lower-middle of the could easily distinguish the envelope class from
postcard near the starting point of the copyright the back view of it.
phrase. The two-asterisk variety was used from As mentioned previously, these envelopes
1958 to early 1971, but has not been seen since, were intended for distribution only within the
During the era of the two-asterisk varieties, geographical limits of a consumer's local post
very few postcards lacked the asterisks. Those office. They had no need for postal codes and,
that did not have any were printed at the Mos- therefore, had no postal code instructions on the
cow Typographic Plant. In fact, the Moscow back. What they do have are explanations of the
Typographic Plant produced almost no postcards envelope's purpose and processing instructions
with asterisks, for proper mailing. This information is printed
Speculation about the meaning of the on the back lower flap of most of the envelopes,
asterisks runs from indications of the specific as shown and translated in the Type 1 entry of
printing run (one asterisk for first and two for Table 12.
second?) to the position of the postcard on the Three of the fifteen local envelopes have
production plate. Whatever their purpose, the these instructions printed on the front as a part
reason for their use has been lost and nothing of the envelope cachet. The last two local
visible on postcards printed after 1979 has taken envelopes, printed in July 1971, are supposed to
their place. have the instructions on the lower flap of the

Rossica Journal Number 131 73
October 1998

Type Russian Phrase Meaning

KoHBepTbI C HaIIIHCbIO "MECTHOE" Envelopes inscribed "LOCAL" are for
1 npeAHa3HaqeHbr l aJn nnceM, letters destined within the boundaries of
nepecbniaeMbIX B npeaenax o6.nacTHbx, the region, kray, republic center. Letters
KpaeBbix, pecny6nHKaHCKHX neHTpoB. in such envelopes marked in this manner
lHCbMa B TaKHX KOHBepTax onycKaHTe must only be dropped into the boxes in-
TO.nbKO B AIIMHKH c HannHHCblO "JLIm scribed "For Local Letters", located at the
MecTHbIX IHceM", ycTaHOBIneHHble post office.
__ y OTieneHHH CBS3H.
2 HHAEKC APECA HOIIYqATEJIII Postal code of the recipient's address
3 HHaeKc npeanpHuTHAr cB3H MecTa Postal code of the post office of the
Ha3Ha'eHHA destination
4 HHIleKC H aipec oTipaBHTeJioR Number and address of sender
5 HHneKc npeanpTHRTa CBA3H H aapec Postal code and address of sender
6 BHHMaHHe! 06pa3eu HanHcaHHA Note! Example of how to write postal
HHaleKOB: code:
7 BHHMaHHe! 06pa3eu HaHHcaHHR uHn p Note! Example of how to write postal
_HHjeKca: code numbers:
8 HPOChBA HO3,UPABHTEJIbHblE Request that congratulatory, non-local
HHOFOPOflHHE HHCbMA letters be mailed early
9 OTnpaBnnTb TOnbKO B KOHBepTe Mail only in the envelope
10 OTnpaBniTb no noqTe TonbKO B Mail by post only in the envelope
11 JIHHHH oTpe3a Line for cutting or Line to cut

Table 12: Summary of Processing Instruction Phrases

back.21 However, on the copies I saw the in- Table 12) and instructions on the back, upper
structions were not printed on the envelope, flap (see Types 6 and 7 in Table 12) indicating
neither front nor back. how to properly write the numbers in the postal
code. These latter instructions were actually
Postal Code Instructions printed upside down (see figure 1) so that the
Postal codes were introduced in 1969. The sender could view the instructions from the
first envelope to include a specific place on the front whenever the flap was opened all the way.
front for the postal code of the addressee was Additional text was added also to the normal
produced in July 1969.22 This location, on the formatting instructions for addressing envelopes
lower-front left of the envelope, included in the address section of the stationery. This
dotted-line boxes accompanied by text identi- revised wording is shown and translated in
flying their intended use (see Types 2 and 3 in Types 4 and 5 of Table 12.

74 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Although the postal codes were initiated in Day (8 March), May Day (also known variously
1969, structured locations for the codes did not as Worker's Day or International Workers' Soli-
routinely appear on envelopes until the second darity Day) on 1 May, Victory Day (9 May),
half of 1970. During the first eight or nine and the October Revolution, which was cele-
months, the postal code phrases were shorter brated on 7 November.
(Types 2, 4, and 6 in Table 12). The longer To encourage postal patrons to send these
versions of the phrases (Types 3, 5, and 7 in cards and letters early, the admonition shown
Table 12) started appearing around March 1971. and translated as Type 8 in Table 12 was added
The reason for this change is not known; to the backs of envelopes for the holiday themes
perhaps the shorter instructions were not clear listed above. The first such envelope was pub-
enough. lished in January 1968 for May Day of that year.
Postcard formats were also modified about The text is always in capital letters, appearing in
the same time, to include the structured area for the lower half on the back. It is often printed in
writing in the postal codes. Postcards used the a different color from the rest of the text on the
same descriptive and addressing notations (Types back of the envelope in order to get the sender's
2, 3, 4, and 5 in Table 12), but could not afford attention. The phrasing, even in an abbreviated
room for instructions on how to write the num- version, was never added to postcards, probably
bers and, therefore, these details were never because of space constraints.
included. Like many of the other printing categories
The structured nature of these special pos- I researched, there are exceptions where a
tal-code sections on the stationery and postcards particular envelope is related to a holiday theme
coupled with the need to form the numbers in but the admonition is not present on the back of
a particular manner was all intended to make it the envelope. The catalogs do indicate whether
easier for auto-mated recognition and processing the phrasing should have been on the envelope
by postal equipment. In the first year or so after by including the acronym "IIIHHI03" or
the inauguration of the postal codes, there were "PPIPOZ" in the appropriate envelope descrip-
large quantities of envelopes and postcards that tion. The letters in the acronym are the first
did not have this structured area pre-printed on letters of the six words in the admonition phrase.
them. Some attempts to correct this situation
and to bring these items "up to date" were Congratulatory Card Admonitions
made by rubber-stamping the number-forming The next two entries, Types 9 and 10 in
boxes onto envelopes and postcards. Such Table 12, show and translate additional instruc-
"overprints" are more commonly found on tions that are printed on the actual congratula-
postcards than envelopes, tory cards inside the envelopes. An example is
shown in figure 6. These instructions and the
Congratulatory Envelope Admonition rest of the printing information normally occur
A good many of the pre-stamped envelopes on the reverse sides (for double cards) or the
have cachets and/or enclosed congratulatory message side (for single cards) of the enclosed
cards intended to commemorate holidays or cards. One or the other of these two instructions
special anniversaries. The date and timing of appear on the cards to remind the users that the
some of the most popular of these events is very cards are not suitable (i.e., they have no struc-
constant (as opposed to birthdays, weddings, tured location in which to write the addresses
etc.) and must have caused mail-processing de- and postal code) for direct use in the postal
lays similar to those around our Christmas system and must only be mailed with the card
season. The big mailing events included: New inside an envelope.
Year's Day (1 January), International Women's

Rossica Journal Number 131 75
October 1998

tures, and buildings (figure 8). Table 13 lists the
terms I found relating to these people.
On postcards, this commemorative informa-
Russian Meanin tion is normally found in the upper left comer.
CKynbTrop, CKynbrnropbl Sculptor, Sculptors Occasionally, it will be found on the lower left
Fo 3aMbicy cKynbnrrropa by the idea of Sculptor side. If design credit information is present, then
ApXHTeKTop, ApxHTeKTopbI Architect, Architects it will be printed after this commemorative
XyAOXHHtK Artist information. In the 1990s, this information be-
KOHCTpyKTop, Constructor(s)or gan appearing on the right side of the message
KoHCTpyKTOpbI Designer(s) area and was printed vertically just above the
HHxeHep, HHxeHepbi Engineer, Engineers printing information (if you turn the postcard 90
ABTOpbI naMSITHHKa Author of monument, degrees to read the printing information line).
cKybrrrop sculptor On the backs of envelopes, this commemo-
ABTop, ABTopbI Author(s) or Creator(s) rative information usually appears above the
printing information. I have one exception in
Table 13: Summary of Terms Used which a sculpture credit is printed below the
to Describe People Associated with price phrase and above the cachet artist's title
Monuments/Sculptures/Buildings and name. In this particular case, the sculptor's
name is next to the word "CKyjiLrrypa" or
Folder Separation Line "sculpture of' instead of the normal tide
As mentioned earlier, the nine-card postcard "sculptor." Another variation has two people
packets or folders actually have a tenth postcard listed as "ABTopLI" on the back of one envelope
that is printed as part of one of the two larger with a monument in its cachet while another
sections of the packet folder. The user is re- envelope, with a different view of that same
quired to separate the tenth postcard along a monument, lists those same two individuals again
dotted line which appears across the top of the but one is identified as the sculptor and the other
card just above the postcard's indicium. Printed as the architect. This practice of considering the
along that line and just above the imprinted sculptors and architects as the "authors" of their
stamp are the words "JIUHHH oTpesa," meaning creations was common in the USSR.
"line for cutting" or "line to cut" or perhaps Other types of information appearing on
more simply "cut here." the envelope backs includes: the city location;
name of the monument; and the city and region
COMMEMORATIVE INFORMATION where the monument is located. Examples of
The last category of information found on commemorative information not related to
the backs of pre-stamped envelopes and post- monuments includes two envelopes published in
cards is what I call commemorative information January and March 1974 to mark the 250th
or supplementary information about the subject anniversary of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
featured in the envelope cachet or postcard In both cases, additional information about the
image. Postcards are the most consistent in cachet on the front of the envelope was printed
providing these data. Occasionally, this informa- on the reverse. Additional envelope cachet-
tion is printed also on the backs of envelopes, related data includes: names of plants; fish; trees;
The most consistent information available on and animals; aircraft identification nomenclature;
envelopes is data about those people associated the name of the creator of pottery or wood
with the creation of monuments, statues, sculp- carvings; and holiday dates and names.

76 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

There turned out to be much more to the have this publisher's issue number, starting
reverse information than I anticipated at the in the 1950s.
beginning of this research project. Yet, after all 11. KaTanor OAHOcTopOHHHe IIoTOBbie Kap-
that I have been able to put to words above, I TORKH c OpimmHajaibmMHi MapKaMH
feel that this has only scratched the surface. 1971-1988 (Moscow: Marka, 1990).
Many thanks to those who helped with techni- 12. See for example, XyomxecTsenarie Map-
cal and editorial reviews, especially Vladimir KHpoBamHuie KOHBepTLI CCCP, 1974-
Glasov. Special thanks also to Jean Walton, who 1976 (Moscow: CBA3b, 1980).
shared her insights, photocopies, and actual sta- 13. The formal term for these pre-printed/
tionery items to help me along, imprinted stamp images is indiciaa," which
the Random House Dictionary defines as "an
Notes envelope marking substituting for a stamp."
1. Before postal codes were introduced, the In this article, I have chosen to use the less
address. width ranged from 73 to 77mm; formal term.
after the codes the width ranged from 63 to 14. These pricing phrases and the extra high
67mm. markups are the easiest way to distinguish
2. I. A. Gringol'ts, "International Copyright these congratulatory envelopes from
Convention," The Great Soviet Encyclopedia standard, artistic envelopes. For some reas-
(GSE) (Moscow, 1974): vol. 12, page 384. on, these congratulatory envelopes are not
3. N. N. Polianskii, "Printing House," GSE listed in the Russian catalogs with the stan-
(1974): vol. 25, page 115. dard, artist envelopes and, even worse for
4. N. P. Khrushkov, "GOZNAK," GSE (1974): collectors, do not have any known catalog
vol. 7, page 322. listings of their own.
5. XygooxecTBeHHBIe MapKHpoBamnie KOH- 15. This pricing phrase is added to show a
BepTLI CCCP, 1953-1967 rr, Moscow, similarly worded phrase that some readers
1968. might find on envelopes without imprinted
6. "Printing House," volume 25, page 116. stamps.
7. Karanor OgnHocTopoHme IIoTroBbie Kap- 16. KaTanor IIoTrosBIX MapOK PoccHH, 1857-
TORKH C OppHrHajIbHmIM MapKaMH 1995 (Moscow: IefTpnojmrpadb, 1995).
1971-1988 (Moscow: Marka, 1990). 17. Many thanks to Vladimir Glasov for uncov-
8. The Ministry of Communications dealt ering the meaning of this acronym for me.
with a wide variety of communications 18. M. S. Zabochen' and N. S. Tagrin, "Del-
media including telephone, telegraph, postal tiology," GSE (1974): vol. 27, page 56.
services, etc. In the context of the station- 19. V. A. Orlov & N. B. Orlov, XyoxcecT-
ery discussed in this article, references to BeHHie MapKHpoBaHHie KomIepTb
the Ministry of Communications should be CCCP, 1974-1976rr. (Moscow, 1980), 9-64.
understood to mean the postal services 20. Many thanks to Vladimir Glasov who
division of that organization. pointed this feature out to me and shared
9. Although the Russian-English dictionaries I the data he had on this subject.
reviewed translate this as "printing plant," I 21. XyoxmecTBemHHie MapKHpoBamHie KOH-
have chosen to use the synonym "typo- BepTbI CCCP, 1977-1979 (Moscow: PagHo
graphic" for "printing" to maintain consis- H CBSA3, 1982), 308.
tency with the "T" used in the Russian 22. XygomecTBeHmie MapKHpoBaamH e KoH-
abbreviations MT and MTG. BepITl CCCP 1969 (Moscow: Ha3aTejiCTB
10. Postcards without indicia also appear to CBa3b, 1971), 37.

Rossica Journal Number 131 77
October 1998

Forgeries of the RSFSR's
Second Standard Issue

by Ged Seiflow

The Second Standard Issue of the RSFSR that is visible to the naked eye (once you know
(August-September 1921) consisted of six what to look for). It just seems strange that there
stamps: 100, 200, 250, 300, 500, and 1000 is such great attention to detail, except for one
rubles. The following table shows the total "obvious" mistake. These forgeries are much less
number printed of each denomination: common than the genuine examples, so if you
find one in your collection, you have something
of a rarity. Have fun searching!
Each of the six stamps in this series is illus-
100R 44,391,900 treated as follows: the forgery is shown to the left
200R 4,000,000 of the genuine stamp. This shows very effec-
250R 78,929,150 tively the height difference of the forgery com-
300R 3,000,000 pared to the genuine stamp. To further illustrate
500R 1,071,000 the differences, certain portions of the forgery
1000R 53,869,950 and the genuine stamp have been enlarged next
to each other to show even more clearly the
The majority of stamps issued during this Details on the paper types mentioned in the
period were subject to the forger's attention, and next pages are provided at the end of this article.
this series was no exception. The forgeries of the I would like to thank Alex Sadovnikov for
First Standard Issue (1 ruble through 20 ruble) providing examples of forgeries used in this
were produced on paper that was obviously dif- article.
ferent from the original stamps; the design of
these forgeries was also noticeably different from Note: The first sections of the new Rossica
the originals. Depending on your perspective, Catalog of the RSFSR 1918-1923, which are
the forgeries of the Second Standard Issue were now available (see insert), contain all of the
a significant improvement and were in most information given in this article plus much more.
cases very close in color, design, and paper to Details on the price and availability of the
the originals, various sections of this catalog will be printed in
One fact that does seems a little odd is that the Rossica Bulletin and Journal as they become
each of the forgeries has a fairly significant error available.

78 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998


Forgery Genuine

The paper used for the forgery is rough hori-
zontally wove, vertically aligned (very similar to
the original). The size of the forgery is 25% x
30mm; the genuine stamp is 25 x 2912-29Y4%mm.
There are many small differences between
the genuine stamp and the forgery.
The easiest way to differentiate the forgery is
the curl at the bottom left of the "JI". On the
forgery (left), the curl ends pointing toward 3:30
on a clock; on the genuine stamp, the end of the
curl points toward 6:30.
On the forgery (left) the top of the "B" is
level, while on the genuine stamp, there is a pro-

Rossica Journal Number 131 79
October 1998


Forgery Genuine

SThe paper used for the forgery is
horizontally wove, vertically aligned (similar to
the original). The size of the forgery is 25 x
29Y2mm; the genuine stamp is 25 x 29%mm.
SThe most obvious difference is in the inner
frame, which has pearls on the inside. The frame
is "bent" on the forgery. This is rather a strange
error as the attention to detail in the other areas
is extremely good, yet this error stands out
The height of the letters "PC(CP" is
noticeably less in the forgery. The first "C" is
illustrated, with the forgery shown at left.
Note the "2" in the "200" denomination.
On the forgery, the "2" matches the genuine "2"
almost perfectly.

S80 RossicaJournal Number 131
October 1998


Forgery Genuine

The paper used for the forgery is rough
horizontally wove, vertically aligned (very
similar to the original). The size of the forgery
is 25 x 2912mm; the genuine stamp is 25 x
293mm. This forgery is much less accurate than
the Type I forgery.
The most obvious difference is in the inner
frame, which has pearls on the inside. The frame
is "bent" on the forgery. This "fault" is identical
to the Type I forgery.
In the forgery, the "2" in the denomination
is missing the upward curl at the top, while the
bottom bar is missing in the first "0."

Rossica Journal Number 131 81
October 1998



Forgery Genuine

The paper used for the forgery is rough
horizontally wove (very similar to the original).
The size of the forgery is 25 x 30mm; the genu-
ine stamp is 25 x 2934mm.
The first noticeable difference is the overall
quality. On first inspection, it might seem that
the stamp (forgery) was printed from a very
worn impression. There are other distinct differ-
In the forgery, the right "5" in the "250"
denomination is noticeably different. In addition
to other minor variations, the top bar slopes
down to the right and is narrower in width.

82 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998


Forgery Genuine

M The paper used for the forgery is rough
horizontally wove, vertically aligned (very
S" similar to the original). The size of the forgery
Su is 25 x 30mm; the genuine stamp is 25 x 292-
^ Here, the top illustration is the forgery, the
V 0W bottom is of the genuine stamp. There are many
differences in the details. In general, the forgery
is much cruder in its details. For example, the
top of the second is more angular. Refer to
the arrows for additional differences.

Rossica Journal Number 131 83
October 1998


Forgery Genuine

The paper used for the forgery is very
rough horizontally wove (very similar to the
original). The size of the forgery is the same as
the original.
The most noticeable difference is in the
shading lines in the left side of the hammer
head. The forgery has four diagonal lines that
are the height of the hammer head, while the
genuine stamp has three shorter lines that are
approximately half the height. This variation is
very easy to see with the naked eye.
There is no cross mark dividing the upright
and the diagonal inner frame on the forgery
(left) as there is in the genuine stamp.

84 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998


Forgery Genuine

The paper used for the forgery is very
rough horizontally wove. The size of the forgery
is the same as the original.
The shading lines in the head of the ham-
mer are noticeably different. This difference is
very easy to see with the naked eye.
The top illustration here is the forgery. The
letters on the forgery are much cruder and less i
exact than those on the genuine stamp. Refer to
the arrows for specific instances.


Rossica Journal Number 131 85
October 1998

Definition of Paper Types ficult. The forgeries fall into this latter category.
All the forgeries mentioned in this article The majority of stamps that were printed on
appear on "rough" horizontally wove paper that this type of paper have the weave (dashes)
is either horizontally or vertically aligned. Here, horizontally aligned (see the 1-, 2-, and 5-ruble
I will try to explain the differences between the stamps of the First Standard Issue). Some stamps
two types and also how to detect them. were printed such that the weave is vertically
If the margin portion of the stamp is held aligned (i.e., the dashes are aligned vertically). A
up to a bright light source, small light "dashes" good example of this is the 20-ruble stamp of
(a little less than 1 mm in width) can be seen the First Standard Issue. And, just to complicate
against a slightly darker background. The matters, some stamps were printed on this paper
"dashes" of alternate rows are shifted such that with the weave horizontally aligned or vertically
they appear under the gaps of the previous aligned (see the 100-, 200-, 250-, and 1000-
"row," similar to the following diagram: ruble stamps of the Second Standard Issue). The
most likely explanation for this variation is that
the paper was put into the printing presses
rotated 90 degrees from normal.

I hope that you have found this article
interesting as well as informative. There is so
On some variations of this type of paper, the much information to share, especially on the
"dashes" appear in columns. On other vari- RSFSR issues. Similar articles dealing with other
nations, this pattern is very vague and indistinct, forgeries of the RSFSR will appear in future
thus making a definite identification very dif- issues of the Journal.

Weights, Rates, and Routes, Part II

by A. Epstein

This article is a continuation of the review article) in the particular period. Money letters,
of imperial Russian postal rates that was declared-value letters, parcel mail, and money
published in Rossica No. 127. Based on nominal transfers by telegraph are beyond the scope of
increases, the rate structure became more this article, while rates for money transfer by
complex because of weight grading, registration post are included only if a special stamp or
fees, etc., Therefore, the rates for overweight postal stationery was used. Some items absent
letters are considered here only if special stamps from the list in Part I of this article, such as mail
were specifically issued to cover these rates. with commercial documents and merchandise
Also, mail such as registered printed matter is samples, are included.
not included in this review. These rates can be Here, the rates from 7 kopecks to 14 ko-
easily determined by adding the registration fee pecks are considered.
to the corresponding rate (see Part I of this

86 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Rate From/To Intended Purpose

3 kopecks 20 March 1879-14 August 1917 ordinary local (to 31 December 1890), domestic and
(addenda) foreign mail with samples (minimum)
1 January 1891-14 August 1917 ordinary local mail with business papers for all towns
(except St. Petersburg and Moscow up to 14 March
1909) (minimum)

4 kopecks 1 January 1891-31 August 1917 foreign mail with samples (minimum)

5 kopecks 1 December 1915-14 August 1917 local greeting postcards and visiting cards in open envelopes
(addenda) 1 January 1891-14 March 1909 ordinary local mail with samples for St. Petersburg and
Moscow (minimum)

7 kopecks 20 March 1879-14 August 1917 ordinary letters (to 31 December 1890) and domestic
mail with business papers (minimum)
(figs. 1-5) 20 March 1879-20 September 1914 ordinary domestic letters up to 1 lot (12.4 grams)
20 March 1879-31 March 1889 ordinary foreign letters up to 15 grams
20 March 1879-20 September 1914 registration fee for local and domestic mail *
20 March 1879-31 March 1889 registration fee for foreign mail

8 kopecks 19 June 1875-19 March 1879 ordinary domestic letters up to 1 lot
19 June 1875-19 March 1879 ordinary foreign letters up to 15 grams
(figs. 6-8) 1 September 1917-9 March 1918 ordinary foreign postcards
1 September 1917-9 March 1918 ordinary foreign mail with samples

10 kopecks 1 January 1844-18 June 1875 ordinary domestic letters up to 1 lot
20 March 1879-20 September 1914 registered domestic postcards
(figs. 9-23) 20 March 1879-31 March 1889 registered foreign postcards
20 March 1879-14 March 1909 registered local letters, except St. Petersburg and Mos-
cow, up to 30 grams
1 April 1889-31 August 1917 ordinary foreign letters up to 15 grams
1 April 1889-31 August 1917 registration fee for foreign mail
1 January 1891-31 August 1917 ordinary foreign mail with business papers (minimum)
15 March 1909-20 September 1914 registered local letters up to 4 lots (49.6 grams) for all
21 September 1914-14 August 1917 ordinary domestic letters up to 15 grams
21 September 1914-14 August 1917 registration fee for local and domestic mail *
1 December 1915-14 August 1917 domestic greeting postcards and visiting cards in open
15 August 1917-27 February 1918 ordinary local letters up to 30 grams
15 August 1917-27 February 1918 ordinary local printed matter-business papers (mnurmum)
15 August 1917-27 February 1918 ordinary local and domestic printed matter-samples
15 August 1917-27 February 1918 local greeting postcards and visiting cards in open letters

Rossica Journal Number 131 87
October 1998

Rate From/To Intended Purpose

12 kopecks 20 March 1879-14 March 1909 registered local letters for St. Petersburg and Moscow up
(fig. 24) to 30 grams

13 kopecks 21 September 1914-14 August 1917 registered domestic postcards
(figs. 25, 26)

14 kopecks 20 March 1879-20 September 1914 registered domestic letters up to 1 lot
20 March 1879-20 September 1914 ordinary domestic letters over 1 lot up to 2 lots
(figs. 27-31) 20 March 1879-31 March 1889 registered foreign letters up to 15 grams
1 April 1889-31 August 1917 registered foreign postcards

This fee was collected only for official letters of state
and some other institutions whose ordinary mail was
delivered free.


Figure 1: Ordinary domestic letter from Ruen franked with a 7-kop. stamp of the 1879 issue (horizontally laid paper),
posted on 20 October 1879.

88 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998



Figure 2: 8-kop. postal stationery with a 7-kop. surcharge (1880 issue) used on an ordinary domestic letter from Rezhitsa
on 23 July 1881.

S. ... .

-: N
.-..A: ;," i.


Figure 3, reverse: Ordinary domestic letter from Kiev franked with a 7-kop. (+ 3 kop.) War Chanrty stamp of the 1904
issue, posted on 15 March 1905.

Rossica Journal Number 131 89
October 1998
I R.ssc Jouna Nubr3
Octbe 1998 89.r.

djjQ;%j lT Sh. XfAPrD-Ub,

Figure 4: Ordinary domestic letter from Kherson posted in August 1914, franked with a 7-kop. Romanov stamp canceled
by a mute World War I postmark.

Figure 5: Official domestic registered letter sent from Odessa in August 1914, franked with a 7-kop. Romanov stamp
canceled by a mute World War I postmark of Odessa.

90 Rossica Journal Number 131
SOctober 1998

-. -.


Figure 6: Ordinary domestic letter from Leshava franked with an 8-kop. stamp of the 1875 issue (horizontally laid paper)
and canceled on 10 November 1878.
*(7 u rr^ 2'2 *"1^

Figure 7: 8-kop. postal stationery of the 1875 issue used on 22 November 1878 for an ordinary foreign letter from
Smorgon' to Paris.

R.ossica Journal Number 131 91
October 1998
(fg as^ WEw^ /^Mi^
: __~5i-, w w ks
r 7 ^:P~~c i i *13 //L^^:--.^ f^^g^S~~p4i
^^^^^ ^^^ \^^
"i"~ "/// / '***^/

I0 Z

.2 -
Figure 8: 3-kop postal card of the 1909/10 issue addionally franked with two 2-kop. and one kop arms stamps of
-- ------ -- .. ...

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

..... ........................... .. .... ........;. ; ...... .. ............................... ..... ......... ...... ..... ... ...

Figure 8: 3-kop. postal card of the 1909/10 issue additionally franked with two 2-kop. and one 1-kop. arms stamps of
the 1909 issue, sent as an ordinary foreign postcard from Moscow to Switzerland on 11 October 1917; censored in

Figure 9: Pre-stamp ordinary domestic letter weighing 1 lot and posted on 18 March 1850 at Libava with 10 kopecks
collected for weight (manuscript marking).

92 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

"- f W % r r.


*- ..*.- ,- ,,.* _-^ -,. .-. .:.
-- "- -.... ;

-- : :.

,,,... Q

Figure 11: 10-kop. postal stationery of the 1868 issue used for a domestic ordinary letter from Kibarty on 1. May 1867.

Rossica Journal Number 131 93
October 1998


; a .. -A .
.T '

5 3 3 9 8 .. ; -. ...

....... ..:........ .. ,.....-

......... ".T..K .
.. ..... ....

Figure 13: 3-kop. postal card of the 1909/10 issue registered in Simbirsk on 23 March 1910 and additionally franked
with a 7-kop. stamp of the 1909 issue.

94 Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

Figure 14: Registered local letter from Simbirsk franked with a 10-kop. stamp of the 1889 issue (horizontally laid paper)
canceled on 12 December 1896.

Figure 15: Registered local letter from Antsen, Liflyand Province, franked with a 10-kop. stamp of the 1909 issue

canceled on 22 April 1911.

Rossica Journal Number 131 95
October 1998

Figure 16: 10-kop. postal stationery of the 1889 issue used for an ordinary letter sent on 16 March 1897 from Rappel',
Ehstlyand Province, to Austria.
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A -X '. -' ,

LI T a:'--P 5 t. 147.

Figure 16: front Ordinary foreign letter franked with a -kop. postal stationerystamp of the 1909889 issue used for an ordinary letterman sent on 16 March 1897 Deeom Rappelr 1915

EhsOctoberyand Province, to Austria.1998
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-*S '-,r..- .- fa-" ,,"' i-'.' M -.'-'..;- b' TP CM. .n- 14.7..
:proT -.*.. : ....a ,. s ..--.

96- Rossica Journal Number 131
October 1998

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Figure 18: Ordinary domestic letter franked with a 10-kop. stamp of the 1909 issue and canceled by a postmark of
Finnish TPO No. 10 on 25 June 1917 (new style); censored in Vyborg.

Figure 19: 10-kop. postal envelope of the 1913 Romanov issue used for an ordinary letter from Petrograd on
3 June 1915.

Rossica Journal Number 131 97
October 1998