PRINTED IN CANADA
THE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF
P.O. BOX 5722 Station 'A', TORONTO,
ONTARIO, CANADA, M5W 1P2
No. 5 Nov. 1979
5 Report on "Philaserdica 79"
10 The First CSRP International Meeting
12 Correspondence with Canada
13 Current Philatelic Conditions in the USSR
22 Literary Postcards
24 A Napoleonic Item from Russia
27 South Russia Through a Camera
33 Postage Stampes Issued by the Zemstvos
46 Cerini's Laws of Russian Philately
47 When is a Yak not a Yak ?
51 Just a Rouble
53 The Caucasian Turkish Army Post
55 Four Post-Abdication Covers to Canada
61 Review of Literature
65 Special Warning
66 Philatelic Shorts
75 Collectors' Corner
COORDINATORS OF THE SOCIETY:
Alex. Artuchov &
G. G. Werbizky
P. J. Campbell
Rev. L. L. Tann
Salih M. Kuya
Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank
Publisher and Treasurer: Alex. Artuchov.
Secretary P. J. Campbell.
Editor: Andrew Cronin.
Special and heartfelt thanks are due to Patrick J. Campbell for the additional
duties he assumed in helping to prepare this issue and also to his daughter
Claude, for the magnificent job she did in typing the difficult bilingual
The announcement on page 86 of "The Post-Rider, No, 4" warned about Soviet
forgeries of the Russian DZHAIANOR C.E.R.* postmark used abroad in Manchuria.
Since then, further information has cane to light and the following forged
material is now known, struck from well-made metal markings, all but one with
fixed dates for any particular office:
KORNIIXV (ROPiT oval)
dated 11.4.17 on 5 & 10 r. Arms, including pairs
dated 17.7.15 on 5 & 10 r. Arms, including pairs
dated 6.6.10 on 3J & 7 r. Arms, including pairs
dated 4.9.17 on 7 k. Romanov, also on card
dated 17.9.17 on 5 & 10 r. Arms, including pairs
dated 18.7.14 on 1 r. Arms on piece
dated 11.11.14 on 1 r. Arms on piece, including pairs
dated 12.2.14 on 1 r. Arms on piece
dated 2.10.14 on 3 r. 50 k. Arms, Rmnanovs and on
piece of postal stationery
dated 8.2.17 on 5 & 10 r. Arms, including pairs
dated 3.7.16 on Rcmanovs on pieces and 3 k. charity
stamp on card
dated 7.12.11 on 7 r. multiples on piece
dated 13.2.13 on 7 r. multiples on piece
dated 16.5.14 on forged cover to Vernyi
dated 6.2.11 on forged cover to Vernyi (Alma Ata),
one of the 3 markings having change-
There is now an uneasy feeling in Western philatelic circles that this is
just the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more questionable post-
marks and covers which have cane from the same source. The inspiration for
all these forged markings has apparently been the data given in the wonder-
ful "Used Abroads work by S.D. Tchilinghirian and W.S.E. Stephen. Although
we in the West have had no access to the official archives, our concerted
efforts, coordinated from many parts of the world by the above two authors,
resulted in a comprehensive series of six volumes which revolutionized
Russian postal history. Your editor is proud to have participated in the
preparation of this work.
*C.E.R. means Chinese Eastern Railway, the southern spur that carried
traffic to the Pacific during the period before the completion of the
all-Russian Trans-Siberian Railroad.
It has been learned that Dr. Sheinberg has sent this material to at least
two philatelists abroad and, in one instance, got rare Soviet iters in ex-
change. We should stress here that we are still not sure if Dr. Sheinberg
is directly implicated in the matter or merely the unwitting distributor
of forged postmarks. We do not know how Socialist Legality will deal with
this affair but so far as we in the West are concerned, and especially in
the British Canronwealth and the United States, Dr. Sheinberg must be re-
garded as innocent until proven guilty.
Upon reflection, the implications posed by these new Soviet exports are
enormous. Forgeries have always been with us in Russian and Soviet Philate-
ly. However, quite a few of them were quickly recognizable as the Western
forgers were often not completely familiar with all the peculiarities of
the Russian versions of the Cyrillic alphabet. That loophole has been
closed by these postmark forgeries and a dangerous new dimension has now
been added. The forger(s) may also have found examples of old forms or
old stationery to give a deceptive aura of authenticity to these markings.
It all depends on how the All-Union Society of Philatelists (VOF) and the
state organs of the USSR will act in the matter. Everything must be brought
out into the open and justice must not only be done, it must also be seen to
be done. Otherwise, a whole host of questions will arise. Compared to
conditions in the West, the USSR is a strictly regulated society with an
elaborate system of checks and controls, over all phases of life and work.
These forgeries are executed so well that complicated equipment must have
been used to prepare the cancellers. How could a private Soviet citizen
have gained access to such equipment? Is this the work of just one person
or is it a conspiracy? If the latter, just how far does that conspiracy
extend? Is this part of a Mac hiavellian scheme to repatriate from the
West at little cost very expensive Soviet items, such as the Zeppelin im-
perforate pairs and the North Pole overprint inverted, which are unobtain-
able in the USSR?
The reputation of the VOF is clearly at stake in this affair, since it is
also a member of FIP (International Philatelic Federation). In short, it
has international as well as national responsibilities. We in the Canadian
Society of Russian Philately are monitoring the matter closely through
several and varied sources of information. We expect to have a full report
on further developments in our next issue.
Sane obvious precautions are now in order. Any request, no matter how
innocuous it may seem, from Soviet correspondents for information or for
books about Russian or Soviet philately, should be treated with the great-
est reserve and thoroughly investigated before a decision is taken to send
the material. From now on, eternal vigilance is necessary on our part so
that any information is not used to the future detriment of Russian and
Fortunately for us on this side of the water, contacts between North
American and Soviet philatelists have been and are practically non-
existent. Of course, international cooperation and the maintenance
of contacts between East and West are both noble concepts and we have
been known on occasion to have gone misty-eyed at the thought. However,
we are all living in a tough and real world and we must therefore also
You have been warned.
NOTE: Thanks are due to Dr. R. Casey of Encland and I. Maslowski of
France for information supplied, as well as Monsieur Mo V. Liphschutz,RDP.
POSTMARK FORGERIES...FROM THE LESR WITH LOVE I
"K-1o L t0 -
MYAN 'DUKHEE DZHALAINOR
ULYAS UTA I
MULI YAO O IN
REPORT ON 'PHILASERDICA-79'
by Andrew Cronin 23
Due to other pressing ernageaents and problems, the well-known Canadian
philatelist W.H.P. (Bill) Maresch handed over to the present writer the
duties of Canadian Camnissioner far "PHIIASERDICA 79". The internation-
al philatelic show, under FIP patronage, was held at Sofia, Bulgaria from
18-27 May 1979. Honouring the Centenary of the First Bulgarian Stamp, the
exhibition went to beyond 5,000 frames. It was housed in three separate
buildings, two of which were out of the way, although connected with a
special auxiliary bus service. Our Bulgarian hosts worked very hard to
entertain us and also to provide many facilities, but attendance at the
show was disappointingly low. Due to lack of space and for political
reasons, sane exhibits were not put up on the frames but kept in the Bin
Roan, including "The Postal History of Macedonia," by the present writer.
This was a pity, as the collection included sane Russian items. However,
it received a Vermeil with special prize and the other Canadian exhibits
taken over also did well (Small Gold for Harry Sutherland's "Montenegro,"
Vermeils for Alan Steinhart's "Canadian Special Delivery," and Joseph Di-
Ciammo's "Canadian Large Queens," Silver-bronzes for David Dixon's "Cana-
dian War Tax Issues," "The Canadian Philatelist," and "Judaica Post," and
a bronze far "Hejnal," published by the Polish Philatelic Society of
Canada). The writer was also alternate Canadian delegate at the FIP Con-
gress held in Sofia on 16-17 May 1979 and gained valuable experience at
this important international gathering. The Soviet delegation distributed
at the Congress a special 4-kcpek envelope honoring "PHIIASERDICA 79"
(see Fig. 1).
C(DnnCEPLn M F179
r I r- ..; -j
............. Fig. 1.
t^ "" rcJ- T ADPk-, .
--- -- -- -- a--
There was wonderful material shown in our spheres of interest, although no
such entries from North mnerica and only one from Great Britain had been
submitted for canpetition. In the official class, there were two exhibits
by the A.S. Popov Museum of Cormunications in Leningrad. The first of these
covered Imperial Russia and included the design far the first stamp of
Russia by F.M. Kepler, dated 21st October, 1856; a superb mint pair of No. 1
imperforate with sheet margin at top and right; the 20-kopek perforatedl21
bisected at BERDICHEV, tied with No. 163 "dots" and additional MSS. notation
"NE BYLO MARKIv 10 KCP." and initials, used on letter in Jan. (?) 1863; the
St. Petersburg locals belatedly used philatelically in 1881 on 2 registered
letters to dealers in Breslau and London, as well as other mail addressed
abroad, etc. It would seem fran the composition of the display that prac-
tically all the material exhibited, including the mint pair of No. 1, had
been expropriated during and after the Revoluti frn class en es, wreck-
ers, counter-revolutionary elements, parasites, "lishentsy and other ene-
mies of the people (). The second exhibit from this museum showed interest-
ing Bulgarian material prepared and printed by the EZGB, including essays
of the 1881-1882 period confirmed by Perfiliev, the Director of the State
In the Court of Honour, S.M. Blekhman showed fine Russian and Soviet items
and M.A. Bojanowicz R.D.P. his magnificent Russia-used-in-Poland, includ-
ing items ex-Faberg4. Among the collections of the International Jury etc.,
our subscriber M.V. Liphschutz R.D.P. had a fabulous array of the Russian
Posts in the Danubian Provinces and the Levant and Mme. Theodora Poulie
selected items of Poland 1859-1870 with at least one Faberg6 item.
In the Competition Class, the International Grand Prix was won by Sr. Dn.
Enrique Martin de Bustanante of Spain, for his unique collection of Classic
Peru. There were no large golds awarded to exhibitors in our sphere. How-
ever, they gained 11 small golds, as follows: S.M. Blekhman (USSR) for
selected rarities of Mongolia and Tuva; Dr. Raymond Casey (G.B.) for a
superb showing of Russian Mail from Central and Eastern Asia: two letters
fran Ashikhe in Manchuria, two from Ulyasutai in Mongolia including a post-
master's provisional MSS. "PYW" Surcharge, Gunbad Kabuz-a. 1.4.14 on card
with 3K. Arms sent to St. Petersburg, 4 Peking and Tientsin ovals, etc.,
etc. However, his 10 Straits Settlements King Edward VII perfin on piece
with violet unframed single-line marking "RUSSIAN VOLUNTEER FLEET" almost
certainly denotes fiscal and not postal usage; your scribe has a similar
piece; Pers-Anders Erixon (Sweden) for beautiful items of Russia 1822-1922;
German Gevirts (USSR) for selected Zemstvo stamps and covers; Boris Kaminskii
(USSR) for beautiful Imperials 1851-1879, with a legal letter franked with a
vertical strip of five of 30-kopek and 5 copies of 10-kopek, sent from
Syzran 25.7.74 to Simbirsk; Sven Kraul (West Germany) for lovely Latvia in-
cluding forerunners:a glorious strip of three Russia No. 1 pen-cancelled on
letter, as well as many fine mutes; Adolf Lindenmaier (Switzerland) for his
Russian Empire: Russia Nos. 1-4 mint or unused, lovely Levant and dots in-
cluding truncated triangles Nos. 915, 1052 and 1064 on loose stamps;
Igor Marozov (USSR) for rare Soviet varieties, essays, proofs and extensive
plating of the Consular Airmails. A very intelligent philatelist, but hamp-
ered by lack of access to main sources of information; he thought the bogus
perf. ll on the Dirigible set was a trial perforation; Jan Poulie
(Switzerland) for his magnificent Latvia, with what is probably the finest
collection in existence of usages from the First Latvian Soviet Republic
during Jan.-May 1919; Boris Stenchinskii (USSR) for a truly outstanding
Zemstvo exhibit with three Zemstvo-to-Zemstvo covers, bringing the known
quantity of such franfgsl now up to 19 and, last, but certainly not least,
Valdis Vileruis (USSR) for a wonderful study of Riga markings up to 1917
prefaced by a pre-stamp letter from Stockholm to Riga, dated 1661.
There were 20 vermeils, as follows: Konstantin Bernard (USSR) for his
RSFSR and USSR among which sane Denikin issues n 2 money orders and an
ordinary range of Philatelic Tax stamps on covers; Jif Brejha (Czecho-
zlovakia) for his RSFSR, including 1930 Zeppelin multiples and pairs im-
perforate ; Rudolfs Dedzis (USSR) for very fine mutes of 1914-1917;
Manfred Dobin (USSR) plus special prize for St. Petersburg postal history.
His featuredletter sent from Helsinki 7 Oct. via St. Petersburg with framed
"ST. PETERSBOVRG" cachet and arrival on 11 Oct. at Pernov (Ptrnu) appears
to have been sent in 1767 and not 1761 as he claims. He also had a rare
letter with the St. Petersburg local sent through the 10th City Post Office
on 30 Oct. 1864; Harry von Hofmann (West Germany) plus special prize for
his Imperials, adding fuel to the fire with a letter bearing the unframed
"St. Petersbourg" cachet and sent on 7 Dec. 1757; the year should be 1787.
Another item addressed to Carlsruhe with Ronanovs had a lovely cancel read-
ing "GNADENBURGSKCE KOICN. Ter. 10.12.13 Vol. PRAV." from a German colony
in the Northern Caucasus; Vambola Hurt (Sweden) for his fine Estonia, in-
cluding proofs and essays. Despite repeated enquiries, Estonian philate-
lists have lost track of the proofs, essays and stamps in the Estonian
Postal Museum, the contents of which were sent to Leningrad after WW II;
Samuil Khazan (USSR) for his Outer Space theme; Daniil Lyseqorov (USSR)
for his WW II theme; Andrei Muchaidze (USSR) for his study of Georgia with
many proofs and a cover with 60K. Menshevik printing sent on 23.10.19 and
addressed by typewriter with a Georgian keyboard; Jan Poulie (Switzerland)
for his wonderful Soviet varieties including the 1932 Moscow Philatelic
Exhibition sheet without black marginal inscription; Jan Poulie (Switzer-
land) for his study of the 1918 Vienna-Krakow-Iww-Kiev Airline; & his LITHUANIA;
Vsevolod Pritula (USSR) for his Fifth Ocean (Airmail) display;
nii Sashenkov (USSR) for his Polar theme; Vladimir Snegirev (USSR)
for his Soviet Politics theme; Roger Thomas (France) for a very fine show-
ing of Zemstvos; Nikita Vislenev (USSR) for his Naval theme;
Sergei Vvedenskii (USSR) for his Lenin theme; Bdrje Wallberg (Sweden)
for outstanding Mongolia including the pre-stanp express cover now known
to originate in the Urga (Ulan Bator) area and finally Nikolai Yakimov
(USSR) with a Comnunications theme.
There were 16 silvers, as follow: Enrique Martin de Bustamante (Spain)
for his RSFSR-USSR with nice cancellations. Another silver for his Russia
Classics including a fine cover to New York City with 10-kopek Arms cancel-
led"Fort No. 2 SYR.DAR.-b. 10.4.12:' Senor de Bustamante is an outstanding
philatelist in other areas, and with a little effort, he will become the
same in our sphere too; Dimit'r Dianandiev (Bulgaria) for his USSR 1917-1941,
with many interesting frankings; Oleg Forofontov (USSR) for his letters and
stamps of the RSFSR 1917-22, with some nice postmaster provisionals but in-
cluding 2 mint copies of the speculative Kovrov surcharges; Eugen Kobylanski
(Austria) for excellent Ukraine 1918-1920; Igor Kupalian (USSR) for a
basketball theme; Dimitrii Kuznetsov (USSR) for very fine Zemstvos;
Moisei Levin (USSR) with special prize for his Olympics theme;
Nikolai Mandrovskii (USSR) for Zenstvo entries; Elmar Ojaste (Sweden) for
his Provisional Era of Estonia 1918-1921; Boris Pritt (G.B.) for Russian
Censored Mail 1914-18; Evgenii Sashenkov (USSR) for the book "The Postal
Roads of Outer Space"; Cornel Telecan (Roumania) for the theme "The Letter
from the Sender to the Addressee," including a card to Ypres, franked with
a 4-kopek Arms bearing a beautiful circular steamer marking reading, "KERCH-
2.12.V.1904-2. ROSTOV". This is unrecorded in the definitive article on
"The Steamer Posts of the Black Sea Basin" by Yu. Andrieshin in "Philately
of the U3SR", /79; VOF (USSR) for the monthly magazine "Philately of the
USSR," ; VOF (USSR) for the manual "Soviet Collector
No. 15"; VCO (USSR) for the monthly magazine "Philately of the USSR," and
finally to Il'ya Zbarskii (USSR) for his Soviet airmails.
There were 12 silver-bronzes, as follows: V. Berdichevskii and
A. Osyatin(kii (USSR) WW II Fieldpost; Lev Egel (USSR) Geology
theme; Estonian Philatelic Society (Sweden) for "The Estonian
Phiatelit"; Galina Fetisova (USSR) Outer Space then; Pavel Fiala
(Czechoslovakia) Czechoslovak Fieldpost in the USSR; Vladimi Kartsev
(USSR) Nature theme; Yurii Mostvilishker (USSR) Radio theme;
Yurii Orlov (USSR) for the manual "The Fleet of Our Motherland";
Vladmir Pantyukhin (USSR) Soviet Postal Cards; E pvenii Reshetilov
(USSR) Polar thee; Aleksei Shvedov (USSR) lenin theme; and finally
the late Efim Voikhanskii (USSR) for his book "The Postage Stamps of
There were two bronzes; Yurii Klimov (USSR) for the manual "Art on
Postage Stanps" and Jan Seferolu (Turkey) far his "Russia since 1860" -
quite a creditable attempt.
Finally, a diploma was presented to Spyridon Patsourakos (Greece) for
his bilingual presentation of Soviet issues 1917-1977. This was a pity,
as his display contained sace surprising things, in particular, a rare
New Year greeting card, lithographed in black by W. Kohne & Co. of
St. Petersburg for the General Administration of Posts and Telegraphs
of Russia. It is inscribed in French, with spaces to be filled in by
hand for the country and exact year. It reads as follows: "The Director
General, the Heads of Departments and the Employees of the General Admini-
stration of Posts and Telegraphs of Russia beg their colleagues in'Greece'
to be so kind as to accept their congratulations and their sincere wishes
for the New Year. St. Petersburg, 1st, January 1889" (see Fig. 2).
/ / ,/ /
X_ -'' /s// ,
name of the country and issued for the year 1891, with gold edging around
\, "> I,-k n *. '. | i-
\, ~Y *0~.A:>
FURTHER GEMS SHOWN AT
, K, /"( <,
'> /;' c'
^ / '^ i*/
Fig, 31 A beautiful card
from the German GNADENBURG
COLONY (Tersk region)
10,12.13 (Harry von Hofmann
.... .-.. TW ^ ',-
1 '-. K
L* ';ta rr^^ A
Fig. 4i A very fine cover from "FORT No.2,
SYR DARYA, b, 10.4.12" (Central Asia) to
New York City in the collection of Sr. Dn.
Enrique Martin de Bustamante of Spain.
. *.- ,.
., ..;,, ~
'** ,, .* *<< *-*
f.,, ., .. ... .- > .-
*. .- /' "
*.S3. i^- "
Fig. 5: A most unusual combination cover
sent from VILNIWB (WILNO), the newly
restored capital of Lithuania, on 28 Oct.
1939 and demonstrating the continued
validity of the former Polish postal
issues during that month side by side
with the Lithuanian adhesives. A
remarkable item from the collection of
Mijnheer Jan Poulie of Switzerland.
- -: *~lr*l*r~- -I)~11II
" .- ._
In sumning up, the writer still cannot understand why the All-Union Society
of Philatelists had not sent these or collections of similar calibre for
competition at "CAPEX-78," as they would have scooped the pool of gold
medals. Our Canadian International Exhibition was also under FIP patronage,
and the same international standards applied as did at"PHIIASERDICA79".
Your scribe was very happy to meet old and new Bulgarian friends at the
show, in particular, Eng. A. Antcnov, B. Dechev, D.B. Diamandiev,
C. Dyugmedzhiev, B. Georgiev, Dr. P. Georgiev, I. Kanchev, I. Katalan,
I. Kostov, Dr. D. Kraev, V. Kumanov, Eng. P. Kurdalanov, Eng. L. Naumov,
S. Petrov A. Penchev, P. Petrov, A. Talvi, Dr. M. Vasilev, P. Velinov,
K. Vodenicharov, and I. Vrbanov. They all did their very best to help him
and make his stay in Bulgaria as pleasant as possible.
Also at the international level, it was a great pleasure to meet
J.L. Guerra Aguiar, Mr. and Mrs. R. Bavingtn-Jones, E.M. de Bustamante,
E.W. Blecher, E. Von Boeck, M.A. Bojanowicz, V. Buzoianu, H. Danesch,
Col. J. De Voss, Dr. E. Diena, Eng. L. Dvoii6ek, Mr. and Mrs. J. Fosbery,
Mr. and Mrs. G. Hollings, E. Hugen, M. Huitble, Dr. S. Ichida, S. Khazan,
Dr. G. Khouzam, V. KoCak, N. Kotsis, Eng. S. Kraul, T. & S. Kuyag and
wives, G. Lindberg, M. Liphschutz, A. Mitakis, P. Mazur, R. Odenweller,
Dr. E. Papaioannou, Dr. C. Rachou, J. Sefero4lu, Dr. Tripcovici, M. Siala,
W. Stegmiller, Dr. J. Stibbe, M. Tsironis, Dr. N. Vasdekis, J. Witkowski,
N. Zafirakopoulos, Dr. D. Zanbouras and A. Zanetti.
All in all, a memorable and instructive event.
THE FIRST CSRP INTERNATIONAL MEETING
The first issue of Yanschik was published in September of 1977, with an
editorial announcing the formation of the Canadian Society of Russian
Philately. The editorial went on to point out that the main benefit to
any intending enthusiast would be the Society's journal, and that in fact
there would be no members as such and that the primary reason for the
Society was to publish and circulate the journal to all interested read-
ers. The reason behind that statement is, of course, the tremendous size
of Canada, and the scattered nature of our readership in Canada, the USA
and Western Europe, and goodness knows where else in these days of cheap
copying machines. While it might seem strange to have a society with no
members and no officers, it has turned out to be a good decision as the
journal has appeared quite regularly and been well accepted, and the cost
of belonging is modest when canpared with other international societies.
In fact, many of us have belonged to foreign philatelic societies for
years, and never attended a meeting or met another member.
While the Society has no formal meetings, the founding members have in-
deed met on several occasions, and we are now pleased to report that the
first CSRP International Meeting took place recently in Toronto. This
event came about by sane happy coincidence, and a little arranging, an
the occasion of the visit of the Reverend Leonard Tann from Britain via
Cleveland, to be joined by Barry Hong from Hamiltcn, and Patrick Campbell
from Montreal. The first international meeting was convened about 2:00 p.m.
when Andrew Cronin arrived, to be joined later by Alex Artuchov and the
others. Apart fran general philatelic discussions, it was agreed that the
CSPP would undertake the publishing of Reverend Tann's second major book,
C'The Arms Issues of Imperial Russia, 1902-1920," and perhaps one or two
other books which will be announced in time. The meeting moved on later
to a kosher Chinese restaurant (honestly), and finished in the Board Room
of a Toronto business establishment which shall remain nameless. Here
photos were taken, of which you can see a sample below, and the meeting
broke up by 2:00 a.m., after 12 short hours. Apart from the pleasure of
several first encounters, one of the highpoints was when Andrew Cronin, to
prove a point, produced several carplete sheets of 1913 Rcmanov Tercentenary
issues to show how to separate the canb perforated stamps from the harr;o
Let us hope that there will be other such meetings, in Canada and elsewhere,
and your editorial staff will be pleased to have details for the journal.
30TII PIIOTOGiLHIIS DY COUITi'Y OF DAR[ZY IO:JG.
CORRESPOND E NCE
WITH CANADA b
"Correspondence with Canada" is a regular feature
of this journal. Anyone possessing interesting
Russian mail to Canada is invited to share it /4 .
with the readership, by forwarding a photograph A/ HAAy
or xercx copy of the item, along with same expla-
natory text to the Editor.
... -7'. .--."..-----.. ..... "
"""I .- -, ,
R I .. F 'F .; ... I .. '3
i : "/ -'/ C" ''*'* "' "
William H. Slate, Toronto, Canada
This example is in the form of an illustrated postcard sent from
St. Petersburg, the capital, and with the message to Brockville,
Ontario, dated 8 September 1915 New Style. Bert, the sender,
"franked" the card with a 10-kcpe label of the St. Petersburg
City Administration sold in aid of soldiers and their families.
As this was not a postage stamp, the St. Petersburg 6th Dispatch-
ing Post Office placed its postmark on the left of the stamp on
27 August 1915 Old Style. The card was censored (see bottom left)
and allowed to go through, since obviously no one would know who
"Bert" was in the city. The back of the card, showing a well-up-
holstered Russian type in smae kind of uniform (perhaps an
"izvoshchik" or cabby), also bears a machine postmark of St. Peters-
burg First (?) Dispatch Office and dated 4 September 1915 Old Style.
This was apparently after the card was released by the Censorship.
The only other point is the rate. It should have been 4 kopeks at
the time, unless the sender thought it would be regarded as .a letter
in which case the 10-kcpek foreign rate would have been correct.
Except that Bert did not affix a postage stap
i -, .-.. o
1Ont an7, c1n...c
CURRENT PHILATELIC CONDITIONS IN THE USSR
by An Observer
The pages of Filateliya SSSR give the foreign reader an incomplete view
of philatelic conditions within the Soviet Union, and even personal
visits to that country often fail to reveal the true picture. The latter
condition prevails because of the usual difficulties of frank and open
cacnunication with Soviet citizens, difficulties which include, but are
not limited to, the use of the Russian language by foreigners. In the
course of the past 12 years, I have made several extended visits to the
USSR, and have been able to establish philatelic contacts there, as well
as evaluate front the point of view of a Westerner the conditions under
which Soviet collectors pursue their hobby. To the degree that Western
collectors of Russian and Soviet material maintain exchange contacts and
continue to collect postal history and difficult stamps front this area,
sane new information on the current state of affairs there may be of
Let me establish at the outset that I am discussing matters which pertain
to serious collectors rather than to those who save or accumulate Soviet
and Eastern bloc stamps of modern times. These latter stamps (and many
of the non-stamps fran countries friendly with the USSR) are available in
massive quantities in every corner kiosk in every major Soviet city, but
they are expensive. Still, they are "consumed" in great numbers, as near-
ly every household has at least one individual who saves stamps -- a pas-
time strongly promoted by the Soviet government as a means of (1) acquir-
ing revenue for the State, and (2) disseminating propaganda.
Soviet philatelists are presently organized in a national society which
has branch clubs in nearly every city across the country. It is this
All-Union Society of Philatelists (CF) which publishes the monthly
Filateliya SSSR, holds exhibitions at home and abroad, and which author-
izes the philatelic exchanges undertaken by its members and their foreign
As a momentary aside, let us note the rules under which Soviet collectors
can exchange materials with foreigners. These rules are printed frequent-
ly in Filateliya SSSR, and the December 1978 issue (p. 29) spells them
1. Exchanges must be conducted through a control point of Soyuzpechat
(addresses in Moscow and Kiev are given).
2. MeTbers of the VCF can send abroad stamps and souvenir sheets
amounting to 100 rubles (by the TsFA catalog) each year.
3. In return, they can receive up to 100 rubles in foreign stamps
from abroad, the values being determined from the Yvert, Zumstein,
and Michel catalogs.
4. Each packet sent or received can contain no more than one example
of each item, or one block of four.
5. Members of the VCF can send Soviet stamps abroad no sooner than
three months after they are issued.
6. Each packet must contain two copies of the appropriate authoriza-
7. Stamps cannot be exchanged for other material, including philatelic
literature or accessories.
8. The packet containing stamps cannot contain letters or other items,
but only a packing list.
Implicit in this directive is that only members of the VOF are eligible to
use the control point, and therefore, only members can exchange stamps
While individuals are permitted under Soviet law to exchange goods with
one another, all sales are supposed to be conducted through the State-
owned establishments. Coanission stores for all sorts of used goods are
cannon in the USSR, and in Moscow there is a philatelic store that, in
addition to selling new issues and a very limited (and variable) range of
philatelic supplies, has a commission desk for the sale of stamps. I visit-
ed this store on Ulitsa Volgina several times over the course of five years,
and gained a fairly good impression of what is available. The store, by
the way, is far fran the city's center, about half a mile from the last
metro stop on the line (Belyayevo) that serves the southwestern sector of
Moscow. The entrance to the store is behind the front of the apartment
building, a part of whose ground floor it occupies, and finding it the
first time isn't easy. One clue to its location, at least on Saturdays, is
the large crowd of collectors who stand around the store entrance and in
the adjacent grounds. We will discuss these people below.
At a large table in the store one or two ladies sit with a large pile of
tattered albums before them. There are three chairs on the opposite side
of the table where customers queue up to take a turn thumbing through the
albums, always under the watchful eyes of the clerks. If a collector wish-
es to see foreign stamps, he so indicates, and takes his turn at the appro-
priate albums. Prices for individual items are marked with little tags
of paper. A collector wishing to see Imperial material would normally be
out of luck, for on the perhaps 20 visits that I made over a five-year per-
iod, Imperial Russian material was available only once, and at that it con-
sisted of a few regular arms-type issues of no particular interest. Soviet
material is only slightly better represented, with a smattering of pre-W II
stamps and even a rather poor selection of recent cammanoratives. Now and
then sane good material canes in, but if it ever reaches the albums available
to the public on Ulitsa Volgina, it doesn't last long. Soviet material in
the store sells at the Soviet catalog price, which is lower than street prices,
and speculators buy it up at once. My Soviet collector friends tell me that
any really good material that canes in on commission is siphoned off by
employees of the store (especially the manager), and sold under the
table. I have seen this practice in other stores in the USSR and see
no reason to doubt what my friends say.
Fram time-to-time, entire collections are sold intact, but usually at
very high prices in the range of several hundred or even a few thousand
rubles. (For perspective, it may be useful to note a few contemporary
salaries in the USSR. A bus driver makes about 160 rubles/month, a
cleaning lady about the same, and a store clerk about 110-130. An engi-
neer in Moscow receives about 220, and a university professor 550 ). Apart
from the usual foreign topical issues, heavily weighted toward Cammunist
bloc countries and Arab emirates, the range of Russian/Soviet material I
have seen there may be of interest.
I have seen singles and multiples of canmon Far Eastern Republic stamps,
odds and ends of worker's issues of the 1920's (same with interesting can-
cellations), individual items (but few sets) of WW II issues and camemo-
ratives and regular issues since the War in singles and multiples. Sane
of these have interesting overprints, but all are listed in the standard
Soviet catalog. Things I have never seen include zemstvos, Raoanovs, the
scarce regular issues of ImperiaiRussia, or Russian postal stationery of
any kind. Also, no covers or postal cards of any kind. In the Revolution-
ary/Civil War period, a few arms issues show up, but none of the interest-
ing items no overprints of any kind from this period. Of the Soviet
period, Zeppelins never appear, nor do the scarce and valuable overprints
of the early years. Wartime issues are scarce, and again, covers and pos-
tal stationery are not seen. Basically, for Russian/Soviet period collec-
tors, Ulitsa Volgina is a waste of time. Except for the individuals who
lurk around the stare with their bulging briefcases, dog-eared albums, and
vest-pocket folders. For it is these individual collectors, speculators,
and philatelists who apparently control the trade in postal material in the
USSR, not only in Moscow, but in all the major cities where substantial
numbers of collectors exist.
Having seen the meagre offerings at Ulitsa Volgina, I quickly recognized
that there must be scme other place where Muscovite collectors gathered
to exchange stamps and covers. One day when the stamp counter at Moskovskii
Dan Knigi downtownn on Kutuzovsky Prospect) wasn't too busy, I asked a girl
clerk if she knew where I might find fellow collectors interested in trading
stamps. She replied that somewhere in lenin Hills (near the University) a
few people got together on Saturday and Sunday mornings to trade, but she
didn't know exactly where in the sprawling woods that constitutes the outer
bank of the Moskva River. I ventured out to Lenin Hills early on Saturday
morning on the Metro, exiting at the Lenin Hills station, and walked up
the slope in the general direction of the ski run where athletes train in
the winter. It was early spring, and though the day was bright and sunny,
light coats were needed. There were joggers and walkers in the woods, and
I soon came upon a number of people standing around the trees in groups of
two to four, each with the ubiquitous briefcase that all Muscovites seem to
carry. As I approached, individuals would turn to me and ask, "What have
you got?" or "What do you collect?" I moved on into the thick of the
group and found that sane collectors had laid out an the ground large
panels of cloth with thousands of medals and znachki (badges) pinned
to them. Others sat on blankets on the ground with piles of picture
postcards before them. Still others had coins on display, but I saw
very few stamps. Other people were stealthily showing their wares from
briefcases to two or three others, while still others stopped by and
looked over shoulders. Trades were being made, sales were taking place,
and a lot of bargaining was clearly underway. Several collectors took
ragged stamp stock books from their briefcases and eagerly showed me
what they had for sale or trade. "Foreign? Flora and fauna? Sports?"
"What have you got?" "Do you collect only Soviet? I suppose you only
want mint. No? Well, then, have a look at these ..." And out would
cane the incomplete CTO sets from the 40's, the odds and ends front the
30's, and the usual supply of post-war caO enoratives.
But same good things showed up as I meandered through the crowd. I found
miscellaneous common zemstvos in mint and used condition, several inter-
esting provisional overprints, a few Imperial varieties (the cocem/Booem
error, and several perforatedvarieties), considerable caKmmn Ukraine and
Tuva, sane Far Eastern Republic, and a few good early Soviet overprints.
But most of the forest dwellers that day were not stamp collectors at
all Saturday was the day for coins, badges, and medals Sunday was
stamp day, and I resolved to return the next morning.
The next morning dawned brightly, and I returned to Lenin Hills at about
10:00 a.m., to find sane 300 people huddled together in little clumps in
the woods, all showing their stock books to one another, buying, selling,
trading, and (mostly) talking. A few badges, medals, and coins were in
evidence, but it was clearly stamp day. I had brought with me this time
a fat stock book of American ca emoratives in singles and blocks, and
when I saw sane zemstvo and provisional stamps that I wanted, I brought
out the American material. This floored my colleagues, as I could clearly
see, for they had mistaken me for an Estonian or a Latvian, and were quite
surprised to learn my real origin. My stamps were quickly used up in sane
not-too-vicious trading, and eventually I went away happy with my acquisi-
An hour into the heat of the trading, with all 300-odd collectors winding
among the trees on the relatively steep hill slope, a muffled sound of alarm
passed through the forest and people scurried in all directions, stuffing
their albums in their coats and briefcases as they went. The police! All
buying and selling is illegal, of course if it were permitted, it wouldn't
be taking place in the woods. The alarm quickly subsided, people emerged
frmn their sylvan refuge, albums reappeared and business resumed as normal.
I later learned that the police go through the group each Saturday and Sun-
day morning close to noon and disperse the collectors with modest admonitions;
the old-timers thought that the police had cane early this day. The officials
clearly know what is going po, and though they cannot sanction it, they appa-
rently make no arrests and are content with this mild harassment. But a
foreigner caught in this situation might not fare too well, and on future
visits to the Lenin Hills stamp market I used a measure of caution in my
On a visit to Moscow in 1978, I was taken by a friend from one of the
scientific institutes who is also a collector and a member of the VOF,
to an afternoon trading session sanctioned by the society. This session
began at 4:00 p.m. on a Wednesday in a little circular pavillion deep
within Inzailovsky Park in the eastern sector of the city. We walked
far block after block fran the nearest Metro station, noting the many
people in the park on this warm summer day at a time when many workers
were finishing their day's labors. We reached the pavilion and found
at least 200 people circulating inside and outside the building, haggl-
ing and trading, just as they do outside the Ulitsa Volgina store. But
here, all must be members of the VCF, for a little babushka wanders
through the crowd asking for menership cards. Woe be unto the collector
who cannot show his the wrath of a Muscovite babushka defies description
and must be experienced to be believed! Happily, as a member, my friend
could bring a guest and I was spared any problem of this kind.
Here in lanailovsky Park, the scene was similar to that in Lenin Hills.
Individuals had their wares on display an little tables, benches, and
laps. Stock books came from pockets on demand, and the din of a hundred
simultaneous "what-have-you-got-to-trade's" mingled in what seemed an
ever increasing crescendo in the stuffy enclosure. But this was a trading
session, and buying and selling were officially not permitted. A uniformed
policeman wandered through the crowd, hands folded behind his back, ever
vigilant for transactions involving money. Money was, in fact, changing
hands, but only after a quick look over the shoulder for the police I
found that after a few months in the USSR the over-the-shoulder response
became almost as involuntary and as automatic as it has been for my Soviet
colleagues from birth.
The range of material changing hands at the Ianailovsky exchange was fairly
impressive. There were numerous old picture postcards, including a wonder-
ful selection from Nizhni-Novgorod, a number of which had interesting frank-
ing and cancellations. Revenue and cinderella material from the revolution-
ary and civil war period was fairly abundant, but is apparently of little
interest to Soviet collectors. One man had a large quantity of current
Soviet issues with missing colors, partial perforations, etc., all of which
suggested to me that he had a friend at the printing works. Here were many
partial and complete sets of early Soviet issues, though most of the rare
or scarce issues were not to be seen. I found a lot of forged 7- and 8-kcpek
Levant surcharges (Scott 16-19D), and probably forged special overprints on
fairly recent Soviet issues (Scott 2021 and 2174, for example). I also saw
a mint copy of B41 (bronze "philately for the workers" overprint) that would
have sold for "several hundred rubles". A mint copy of the C68 surcharged
Levanevsky was offered to me for 400 rubles with a "personal guarantee" that
it was genuine. I also saw a faked coceiri/BV em Imperial stamp, and so on.
Numerous foreign stamps were available fran the traders, with heavy emphasis
an Ccmrunist bloc countries. Many Soviet collectors are topicalists, with
particular emphasis on flora and fauna, and space. Sports are less of inter-
est, but desirable. As I mingled with the group, I heard a tall gray-haired
man asking above the clamour, "Anyone have any United States?" I later sought
him out and showed him the franked picture postcards from the period of
1900-1925 that I had with me. After a perfunctory glance through them,
he grunted and moved on.
Many of the faces seen in Imnailovsky Park were the sane as seen on Ulitsa
Volgina and in Lenin Hills. I had bought sane zenstvo stamps from an in-
dividual, taking all that he had in his stock book one day on Volgina.
When I encountered him at the Park, I again asked if he had any zemstvos,
whereupon he produced his book nicely re-stocked with the same issues I
had bought before. After several such encounters, he eventually produced,
one at a time, four copies of the Perm Soviet Deputies post-abdication
issue, several imperforate copies of an issue not listed in Chuchin, and
certain other interesting items. I remember wondering privately if he
had full sheets of these issues at home and was tearing them off one by
one to meet my requirements. I would rather have had the opportunity to
buy the intact sheets or blocks instead of the individual canponents'
The gathering at the Park pavillion was to cease at 8:00 p.m., at which time
in the summer in Moscow there is full sunlight. The officiating babushka
began circulating through the crowd at 7:40 or so, reminding everyone to be-
gin to pack up and move out. By 8 o'clock sharp, she had cleared the entire
gathering, and as the collectors ambled off through the wooded park toward
homes, buses or trains, a few deals were still going on. Those not conclud-
ed could wait for next week, or the next day at Ulitsa Volgina.
What are the main problems confronting modern Soviet collectors? In spite
of the remarks made above about specific items I have seen, the most serious
difficulty is the availability of high quality material of all kinds. Rela-
tively little foreign material canes into the country, largely because of the
stringent rules noted above, and what does appear canes from bloc countries
(usually CTO) or Arab states. Older foreign material of quality changes
hands infrequently, and usually through private deals that which appears
in the single Moscow ccmnission store for resale is most often siphoned off
before it reaches the sales table.
The collector of Russian and Soviet material has a difficult time, too.
While the issues of the post-war period abound, earlier material, especially
mint, is scarce. In 1978, a mediocre used "B'y repoeM (Scott 856) was go-
ing for 30 rubles, and the mint V.P. Nogin of 1934 (Scott 532) was nowhere
to be seen. Covers are even scarcer, except for recent issues on FDC's and
with other special cancellations. Imperial material simply isn't seen, ex-
cept for the common issues. Copies of No. 1 change hands for about 150
rubles when they are available. Apparently, sane good collections are auc-
tioned off at special VCF auctions, but I do not know how these work in de-
tail. While good material clearly exists in the hands of sane collectors
(it is seen at international shows, for example) and some philatelists who
write for the Soviet philatelic publications, the ordinary collector seems
to have no real access to this.
Philatelic publications are a difficulty in that the only significant
periodicals are Filateliya SSSR (monthly) and the annual Sovietskii
Kollektsioner. The former has a running "catalog" of foreign and local
stamps, about three pages per issue on serious philately, exchange offers,
etc. Sovietskii Kollektsioner has many pages of solid philatelic research,
but appears infrequently. ere is no equivalent of a philatelic newspaper
such as Linn's Stamp News, nor are there public auctions, mail sales, dis-
count dealers, etc.
The lack of adequate catalogs of foreign and local stamps inhibits the
growth and practice of philately in the USSR. The catalog issued by the
TsFA (Central Philatelic Agency) includes only Soviet stamps and appears
about every five years in a relatively modest edition considering the
nuiter of collectors in the USSR (100,000 copies each of the 1970 and 1975
editions). The TsFA catalog begins with the 1918 Kerensky "Chaincutter"
issues, includes no locals and few fiscal; it sells at 5 rubles 78 kopeks.
Articles in the Sovietskii Kollektsioner supplement the basic catalog, the
running Imperial catalog by Lobachevskii in issues 14, 15 and 16 being the
prime example. Beyond this, collectors still use the old Chuchin catalogs,
originals of which are very rare.
Catalogs of foreign stamps are a different matter, for there are none print-
ed in the USSR and even old editions of the best American and European cata-
logs are very difficult to find. I have seen ten-year old copies of Yvert
et Tellier (complete) selling in a Moscow used bookstore for 60 rubles, and
two volumes of the 1973 Scott for 45 rubles. Copies change hands privately
for similar suns and because they are prohibited through normal exchanges
by collectors, catalogs of Yvert, Michel, Ceres, Scott and Minkus are among
the most often requested items for surreptitious import. Other items often
requested are copies of foreign specialist literature, such as the journals
published in the West on Russian philately these journals are often con-
fiscated by postal authorities in the USSR when they are mailed to collectors.
There are, of course, some specialized and general monographs on Soviet and
Soviet-area philately (such as the Blekhman book on Tuva), and these help to
fill a real need. Numerous elementary monographs on stamp collecting, especial-
ly on tcpicals, are published in large editions, and these surely aid substan-
tially in ensuring the growth of the hobby.
Soviet and Imperial stamps, especially the stamps of the Civil War period,
are still being forged in the USSR. Provisional overprints and surcharges
are being produced in high quality forgeries and the general lack of an
official expertization committee, with the authority to certify stamps for
the specialized collector, promotes the generation and circulation of forg-
eries. In addition to overprints, it now appears that forged copies of rare
cancellations are now originating in the USSR, according to reports in the
current Western publications on Russian-area philately.
Stock books with acetate pages of local manufacture are the most popular type
of albun used by Soviet collectors, and high quality editions are usually
available. The general area of philatelic supplies, is, however, a problem
for collectors there. Tweezers of high quality are scarce, the best ones
seen being those imported from abroad. One style of local "tweezers" in common
use in 1978 was approximately 8 inches long and most closely resembled a
veterinarian's tool for surgical operations on caribou or buffalo-sized
animals. Glassine envelopes, stamp counting acetates, and other supplies
are not commnly found in the stores or among philatelists.
Our Soviet colleagues are eager and enthusiastic collectors, anxious for
literature, accessories, and stamps fran the West, but thwarted in their
efforts to exchange by the stringent rules established by their government.
Sane Soviet collectors display their antagonism with the West by engaging
in unfair or ne-sided exchanges, but genuine friends with good material
can occasionally be found. It often takes several years and a number of
false starts to establish a mutually beneficial contact, and then the ex-
changes are made difficult by their rules. When a level of mutual under-
standing and beneficial trading results, however, it somehow almost seems
worth the patience and effort required.
Other impressions of the state of philatelic affairs in the USSR can be
found in articles by Stern (1924), Haverbeck (1952), and Verner (1960).
1. Edward Stern. "Philatelic Conditions as I found them in Russia,"
Collectors Club Philatelist, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 1924, p. 106.
2. H.D.S. Haverbeck. "Philately Behind the Iron Curtain," Collectors
Club Philatelist, Vol. 31, No. 6, Novenber 1952, p. 298.
3. Jaroslav J. Verner. "Philately in the Soviet Union," Stamps, Vol. 110,
February 13, 1960, p. 246.
This valuable survey of present-day Soviet philately can also be confirmed
from other sources. The problems he discusses are rooted in Soviet history.
After the expulsion of L.D. Trotsky fran the USSR at the beginning of
February 1929, there was a renewed campaign against the Left Opposition and
Rightist Deviators, with many summary arrests and imprisonment of Cammunists
with shining records of service to the Revolution. It gathered force to
reach its height in 1936-1938, the most tragic years so far in the USSR.
From 1929 onwards, people went carefully through their private archives and
destroyed all traces of any friend or relative who might possibly get on
the wrong side of the State Security Organs (see Eugene Lyons: "Assignment
in Utopia," Harrap, London, 1938, p. 173). The effect on internal holdings
of Russian and Soviet postal history was devastating. The only monthly mag-
azine "Sovietskii Kollektsioner" was throttled early in 1933 and no monthly
publication appeared again for more than 33 years afterwards. Many philate-
lists were arrested and their collections confiscated, stolen, destroyed or
fell into ignorant hands. It is the considered opinion of Western special-
ists that the Soviet philatelic movement can never recover from all those
In short, Soviet philately suffers front a conspicuous lack of continuity
because of political reasons. Thus, the local collectors miss the benefit
of a tradition built up over many years and essential to the informed
growth of the hobby. This has even dawned on the Editorial Board of
"Philately of the USSR," which recently had a meeting with its prominent
contributors at the Home of Scientists of the Academy of Sciences of the
USSR (see "Philately of the USSR," No. 5 1979, p. 48). One of the pro-
blems discussed there was the dearth of research articles for publication.
The fact of the matter is that there are several prominent Soviet collec-
tors with large holdings, but they all lack the wide background of phila-
telic knowledge to allow them to keep examining their material and thus
generate research for new articles. The other problem (apparently not
discussed there) is that would-be authors often cannot get their articles
passed by Glavlit (the State Censorship Authority, which screens everything
to be printed, even down to the inscriptions on matchbox labels) and sane-
times give them to foreign philatelists for publication abroad. Quite apart
front the danger of having this material discovered by the Soviet Customs on
the way out of the country, it would always be advisable to reject such offer-
ings, as we feel that this is an internal battle that these authors have to
fight with Glavlit and we should not get involved.
A further point is of concern to foreign philatelists going to the USSR.
"An. Observer" was lucky to bring in his array of U.S. issues without hind-
rance. Your Editor, who has also visited the USSR, was not so fortunate as
it is apparently illegal to bring in any stamps at all, even for exchanging.
Since he had on him several issues, including a set of Jordan "Stations of
the Cross," Moscow Customs promptly accused him of bringing religious objects
into the country and he was given a rigorous personal search, even under the
testicles. It was an uplifting experience, in more ways than one. After a
prolonged argument, the authorities agreed to return the stamps to him when
leaving the country, after paying a handling charge of 1 r. 4 k. In short,
it would be best for collectors visiting the USSR to go "gol kak sokol"
("naked like a falcon"), as the Russians say.
In conclusion, the best sources of supply for the material we seek to build
up our collections are right here in the Western World. It just takes pa-
tience and persistence to dig it all out.
The Journal Fund
All sales benefit the Society and all orders should be made payable to
"The Canadian Society of Russian Philately".
1. Tann, L.L. "The Imperial Romanov s" (LAST CALLI) $20.00 (U.S.)
2. Soviet 4-kopek envelope for "CAPEX-78" with
exhibition cancel $ 2.00 (U.S.)
3. Yairschik: We still have a few extra copies of1 $3.50 U.S. each for Nos. 1 & 2;
Yamschik Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4. J $4,00 U.S. each for Nos. 3 & 4.
by Andrew Cronin
The writer is not a postcard collector per se, but like many
other Russian philatelists, he has a large number of used illustrated
cards in his collection. The dates of usage and the subjects of the
cards combine to form an interesting commentary on the times. Some
of the early cards are undoubtedly printed in small quantities and
few have survived. Some items of literary interest are described
Please refer to Figs. 1 to 3 for cards featuring the great
Russian writer Lev Tolstoi in the last years of his life. The
first shows him on his estate, the second in a wheelchair and the
third pays homage to his death on 7th Novemver 1910 (old style).
This last card was mailed from St. Petersburg a mere 20 days after
his death, so the publisher must certainly have moved fast to get
it on sale. All three cards are contact prints taken directly from
negatives, with the silver salts used showing signs of oxidation.
The last example (Fig. 4) is the back of a card produced in the
Soviet period. Sent from Leningrad 13. 4. 30 to Berlin, the Russian
text is devoted to Anna Andreevna Akhmatova (1888-1966), one of the
four greatest Russian bards of the last 100 years (Fig.5). A short
biography is given, following by a list of all her works up to the
This is significant since an official decision was taken in
1925 not to publish any more of her verses and this prohibition
lasted until 1940. Further details on her life are too depressing
to be repeated here, but they can be looked up in collections of her
poetry translated into English. She was fortunate enough to have
outlived the late J. Vissarionovich Stalin Esq. and thus achieved
fame and honour in the last few years of her life. This was in
contrast to her great contemporary, the poetess Marina Tsvetaeva,
(another of the "poetic quartet") who was barbarously treated and
driven to suicide in 1941.
The moral of the story is that it pays to examine the cards
(and covers) in one's collection for their possible literary or
historic interest. Details of such examples from other philatelists
would be much appreciated.
by Andrew Cronin.
SAX MA BTOBA AnnHa.
Ax.arTOBa AHHa AnHpeenna fyMnAeBa,
ypo AennHan opeHRo, poaHnaab B 1888 r.
ooAo QAeccbL B ceMbe MOpiKa. OKOHtHAa
blcmlUe Kypct Paesa (B fleTep6ypre). lep-
Boo sblcTynAeHHe B neqarn OTHOCHTCR
K 1907 r., B rpynne ,,CupHyc" (Hapum).
M. A. Ky3MHna noasnAacb B 1912 r.
eBqe p. CrTxn. Hsn.. ex oOTOB", Cn6. 1912 r.
1 e rt n. Crxx. Hs ,,fTnep60peri", Cn6. 1913 r.
oloeAeAee 8-e H- A B CCCP ,AAKoMocr", fl. 1922
n 9.- at EPpoH, BepAnn 1923 r. B e a a c a 9.
CrT H msa. .Hnep6opeR", l. 1917 r. IlocAegnee
uaA. a CCCP .AArCocT", M1. 1922 r. -I o 0 A p o mr
a H K. CTHXH, Ha. CeTponoanH", rI. 1921 r. Y c a-
mu r o p o p m. HoaMa. HM4. .AAXonocT", 11. 1921 r,
AH HO A OH T n MCMXXT. 1H4 nArpon'nwH:",'
n. .2 HIs 2.c. n Ea, iv'.'3 r
A NAPOLEONIC ITEM FROM RUSSIA
by Fr. Huysmans
(Translation of letter from Colonel RFME, camranding the 7th Light Infantry
Regiment to General MICHAD, Governor of Magdeburg. Note the marking in
the illustration, reading BAU Central/Grande Armze or Central Office,
The Bivouac near Swenciany, 5th July 1812.
You have not only allowed me to write to you but you yourself have moreover
deigned to honour me with a letter; may I thank you and here renew the loyal
sentiments of my corps of officers of which I am the leader and whom I have
informed of the interest that you take in them.
I am indeed mortified, my general, by the difficulties I have caused you
for my replacement. As soon as my decision was taken, those decisions which
had up till then been followed were annulled by the government. This as
usual does not fail to cause much delay in receiving these instructions
which however are greatly needed.
The kindnesses that you have shown toward the young and unfortunate Cleve,
have touched my heart and roused my very deepest gratitude. The officer
who commands my small depot at Stettin has informed me that he has rejoined
it and that he has just set out on the march towards the war batallions, as
his present instincts dispose him towards murder. I shall try to keep him
here where I shall be able to submit him to continual supervision for in
sending him back to Poligny the idleness which characterized the young people
of this district will not fail to lead him into sane misdeed.
You are doubtless better informed as to the battle operations than we are,
my general, who can only see the circumstances immediately around us. You
have heard of the speed of our marches but what you will not have been told
is the dreadful disorder that the two armies are in, the one systematically
and deliberately, and the other under pretext of the provisions that it has
been deprived of since the passage of Niemen, with the exception of meat,
which is being squandered dreadfully.
The enemy has not anywhere held firm and if we are to believe the reports
of the local people as well as those of the Polish Soldiers who are all de-
serting the Russian flag, Alexander is to settle on the Dvina and wait for
us resolutely there.
He was here the day before yesterday with about forty thousand men. (The
whole Russian army is divided up into small corps, and holds all the routes
with their retreat.)
The gospodar or nobleman with whan Alexander and Constantine took lodging
reports that the former said in his presence: "I know that the Emperor
Napoleon has forces superior to mine, and that is why I am not risking a
battle, but I shall harm him as much as possible by retreating." On the
other hand, Constantine wanted to fight with all his might, swearing and
cursing his brother whom he accused of dishonouring the army.
What I know for certain is that the Chancellor IBnansov reached Napoleon
two days after we had crossed the river. It was in the middle of my re-
giment before the arrival at Vilna that this ambassador was admitted be-
fore the Emperor but who had his dispatches given back to him without their
being read by the Emperor, who said bluntly, "Let this be given back to
A second ambassador Orloff, tried in vain to make new suggestions on behalf
of Alexander, but it is said that Napoleon will hear nothing before we reach
the banks of the Dvina where we shall be in 4 or 5 days.
I should not like to leave my general in ignorance of the fact that His Ma-
jesty in a review of the division heaped the regiment with honours. Eighteen
chevaliers were appointed and as many canpliments and other rewards prove his
generosity and his favour towards these corps; its colonel received the decor-
ation of officer and an endowment at the same time although he has done noth-
ing to merit it.
Signed: Colonel Rome
*' AND AP^R
"S I 7 3L "A -"
\. ^'\-*^\ / -*
As an interesting addition to Mr. Huysmans' Napolecnic letter, we are re-
producing here a painting done in 1894 by the artist J. Rosen. It is en-
titled, "Napoleon Leaving the French Army at Smorgcni". The reproduction
shown here was done in multi-colour half-tone typography, with each colour
in perfect register, by the Typogravure Boussod, Valadcn and Cie of Paris,
France, and copyrighted by Franz Hanfstaengel of Munich, Germany. The re-
production measures 15 x 22.5 an. Does any reader have any data on this
The postal history of Smorgoni is unusual. In the Russian Empire, it was
known as Smorgon and situated in the province of Vilna (Wilno or Vilnius,
Lithuania). During the early adhesive stamp period, it was assigned No. 29
in the truncated triangle of dots series cancellations.
When the Poles under General ieligowski occupied the Vilnius (Wilno) dis-
trict on 9 October 1920, the town found itself in Central Lithuania (Litwa
Srodkowa) with the name of Smorgonie. See the stamp included in the illus-
tration herewith and dated 3.2.22; it is a rare cancel on these issues.
The town was in the Polish Republic front 8 April 1922 to September 1939.
Since then, this locality has reverted to the name of Smorgon and it is
now in the Grodno district of the Belorussian SSR. Finally, to round
off the picture, the Lithuanian name for the place is Smurgainiai. It
has been famous in days gone by as a training centre for circus animals,
especially dancing bears.
S ... ..2.. .... ... '... .
SOUTH RUSSIA THROUGH A CAMERA
by Michael Rayhack
The following photographs are a labour of love of my South Russian stamps.
Initially, I started with an old camera featuring a bellows and a diopter
supplementary lens and a mathematically complicated formula to overcome
the weak light reaching the film plate. It took a long time and math was
not my comfort when a report card was handed to my parents. Today's cameras
feature a quick and easy method of exposure, a bellows, stand and a short-
mount 4-inch lens with which anyone can become an expert in 10 short minutes.
When the prints came back, I was pleased with the detail shown on the Kuban
surcharges. No longer were they an inky mystery but clear and detailed
signatures of the printer's art.
A pair of South Russia #25 3R. an 4K. rose (Fig. 1) with the numeral "6"
instead of the Russian letter "b" in the word rublya (on the left hand
stamp) also,displays a shortened stroke on left hand leg of the "1" in
rublya (on the same stamp). This is the 79th stamp on the sheet and the
adjoining stamp has a broken top in the numeral "3". Sherlock Holmes
would have been pleased to have had such explicit clues. The reason I
have paid particular attention to this stamp is that only 20 sheets of #25
were printed and this error cannot therefore exist in a quantity of any more
than 20 specimens. I also have a used copy of this variety, and another on
a torn parcel postcard. This postcard (Fig. 2) carried 65 copies of #25 and
a single copy of #21 (upper left of postcard) for a total value of 195 rubles
and 50 kopeks. This rare cover contains almost one 30th of all the #25's
ever produced. Number 21 on the other hand, was produced in a quantity of
..I ---- ,, a '
Having all of these IG clues in front of me in full, glorious color (which
is how I do all of photographs) gives me a great deal of pleasure, If,
God forbid, my stamp are ever stolen, I will have a most detailed record
of my collection.
I hope that the following enlarged illustrations will bring you as nuch
pleasure as they have brought to me.
&-~"4 7 Unknown to many South Russia
collectors, this stamp with
.J one normal and one inverted
S '.surcharge was, according to
the "Soviet Philatelist,"
Tw printed in one complete
sheet for a postal official.
/k [ This stamp originated from
I the collection of Donald Polon,
SIwas fortunate enough to ac-
i squire it before his estate
'i 1I reached the auction market.
wWw WWWWW W WW
This unlisted variety is
difficult enough to find
mint. In used condition
it is a collector's dream.
A rare used piece with sur-
charge missing due to a
paper fold. I have a
similar mint piece, but
am still missing a true
39b (pair with one sur-
A nonral #52 and its rare
black proof at right.
A new, unlisted variety: #20 with a
4., 41 ,
r-'irn i .4 no-I.-oTrrfl
~ s1~9~f~I --r
This money-order fort
tains 9 Armavir provj
It was listed in an z
catalogue as Armavir
lations. Since no or
recognized it, I rane
acquire this piece fc
A rare pair of Don surcharges
cn. stamps with double irpres-
sion. The basic stamp is not
listed in Scott's in imperfor-
ate condition, but is on the
perforated counterpart -
A rare Denikin 5 ruble stanp with a
gutter. I am still looking for a pair
in this condition.
This variety and others resulted in a
"used" second printing. These stamps
are as received directly from the
This double, inverted surcharge of #54
is known but not listed in Scott's.
I placed 54a and b in this catalogue
and hope to place this variety there
A 5 ruble single with a postmark of the
Denikin Army. I have this postmark on
cover. This is the first recorded post-
mark of the White Army Fieldpost and is
featured in BJRP #50.
For the collector that has everything!
This is an inverted surcharge placed on
one of the stamps of the fantastic issue
of the Civil War generals.
A rarity, a used block
Another unlisted variety, #55 with the
"5" missing from the surcharge.
a block of 4 is a rarity but, in-
and used takes the cake.
POSTAGE STAMPS ISSUED BY THE ZEMSTVOS
by Alex Artuchov and G.G. Werbizky
KATARSK (Saratov Province)
30 x 30 im, without inscription or denomination, lithographed in black
on smooth gray paper (0.1 mnm), white gun, imperforate, known only in a
single copy which was apparently a postal department proof.
1. (2 kcp.) black RRRR (1)
Similar to 1st issue, tip of shield at bottom is longer, crown smaller,
cross not connected to crown, 29 x 29.5 rn, lithographed in black on
various kinds of paper, imperforate.
2. (2 kcp.) black on rough grayish-yellow paper (0.12 amr), with
white gum. RRR (6)
3. (2 kop.) black on gray-yellow smooth, stiff paper (0.15 am),
gray white gun. RRR (5)
4. (2 kop.) black on smooth white paper (0.08 amn), saffron yellow
gun. RRRR (1)
Nos. 1-4 were used as postage stamps prior to the issuance of stamps with
denaninations. It is possible that these stamps were used as seals after
the succeeding issues became available.
1872 (January 1)
17.5 x 24.5 mn, lithographed in black on white smooth or white horizon-
tally laid paper (0.07 rm), white gun, inperforate, sheet 5 x 6. Bottom
of shield pointed.
5. 2 kop. black on i
6. 2 kop. black on i
No. 5 with new denamr
Same size as No. 5,
white gun, imperfora
7. 3 kop. black
Forgeries: Poorly &
Description of Minr
A tiny bl
white smooth paper
rhite lined paper
stamps were uncanoelled.
nation and divided fran one another by a single line.
Lthographed in black on white smooth paper (0.07 rmn),
sheet 5 x 6.
muellation or pen and ink used.
ne, coat of arms shield has a short, blunt point
Flaws for Plating Purposes
under right leg of letter "K" in the word "1(1.".
Left separating line near SW corner. A small
c dot in same corner.
bop outline of shield, under letter "M" in the
Left frame line over letter "P" in the word
ick line inside left bottom corner of the shield.
Stamp #6. Break in left side of shield outline, under letter "A" in
the word "ATKAPCIOR".
Stanp #7. Shows no noticeable flaws.
Stamp #8. Shows no noticeable flaws.
Stamp #9. Break in left separating line over letter "K" in the word
"ATKAPCDaR" (second "K"). Black dot under tail of
Stamp #10. Black spots between the body and right wing of the bird
Stamp #11. Tiny black dot inside the letter "0" in the word "noqI "
and a break in top frame line over letter "C" in
the word "SEMC3 R".
Stamp #12. An irregular black hair line extends fran letter "0" in
the word "3EMCKOR", down and across the horizontal
background lines to the fish at right.
Stamp #13. Damaged right leg of letter "I" in the word "nfITbI".
Stamp #14. Black dot under bottan tip of shield.
Stamp #15. Similar to Stamp #14. Also a dot on centre of top outline
of shield, under letter "C" of the word "3EMCIo".
Stamp 16. Black dot under letter "O" in the word "~I".
Stamp #17. A tiny black dot left of top of letter "O" in the word
Stamp #18. Black dot in NE corner of the stamp.
Stamp #19. Break at left, in horizontal centre line of the shield. Nick
in left leg of second letter "K" in the word "ATKAPCU0R".
Stamp #20. Two black dots between top frame line and the separating line
over letters "OH" in the word "3EMCKOR".
Stamp #21. Damaged t
Stamp #22. Break in
Stamp #23. Black dot
Stamp #24. A tiny bl
Stamp #25. Nick in t
Lp of right wing of the bird at right.
he thick, bottan frame line near the SE corner.
between letters "PH" in word "TPH".
ick dot between right wing of bird at right and
ine of shield, under period after the word "lCUTbl".
tick bottom frame line near SE corner.
21 22 23
Stamp #26. Damaged left wing of bird at right.
Stamp #27. Nick in thick bottan frame line near SW corner. A black
dot hnder same frame line, just below letter "P" in
the word "TPH".
Stamp #28. A short line attached to left side (near top) of letter "0"
in the word "ATKAPCR". Black spots on separating
line at left, over letters "CK" in the same word.
Stamp #29. Damaged right leg of second "K" in the word "ATKAPCKOW ".
Black dot outside stamp at bottom under letter "P" in
the word "TPH".
Stamp #30. The thin bottan outer line extends past the thin right cute
line for a short distance.
Similar to No. 7, lower point of the shield is blunt, the birds are
flying lower, 2.5-3 m between stamps. 18 x 24.5 mn, lithographed
in blank on yellowish smooth paper (0.12 rm), brownish-yellow gun,
inperforate, 3 types set horizontally next to each other on 8 x 3
8. 3 kop. black
of the 3 Types
Type 1. Inscription
at left ends li mn
fran top of shield.
Period after word
Type 2. Inscription
at left ends 1 mrn
from top of shield.
No period after the
in "TPH" con-
Cruder printing, bird touches left side of shield, closer
lettering on right side, smaller lettering on bottom.
No. 8 in 2 colours, upper portion of coat of arms 0.5 mn shorter.
18 x 25 an, lithographed in two colours on rough, thick paper (0.16-
0.20 mn), brownish yellow gun with particles of dirt, roughly perfor-
ated 12.5-13, largest known block 6 x 3 with 4 types as follows:
9. 3 kop. indigo
The types differ from
the coat of arms to th
of the former to the u
which type 1 can be di
Similar to No. 9, dist
in larger block letter
Same size as previous
perforated 12.5 x 13,
1st Printing (1881)
each other by the position of the middle line of
Left of the inscription and through the distance
upper frame. Strips with a left dividing line by
tinguished are so far unknown.
ance between stamps 1.75-2.0 rm, lower denomination
issue, lithographed in two colours on white paper,
sheet unknown, 4 printings.
On white thick paper (0.13 mm), yellowish-white gun, no hook over H in
ATKAPCIM?, four types wth the same characteristics as No. 9, known only
as a few singles.
10. 3 kop. blue and brick red
2nd Printing (1881)
No. 10 in different lours and
in four types.
3 kop. dark violet-blue and red-brown
Type 1. Inscription
at left ends 2j mn
from top of shield.
line of shield, if
extended to left,
will point to right
leg of letter "A".
)f the Four Tvoes
Type 2. The same ho-
rizontal line, if
extended to left,
will point to left
leg of letter "A".
Inscription at left
ends l~ mn from top
of shield. The wing
of the bird at the
right almost touches
the shield outline,
which is bent at
Type 3. Horizontal centre
line of shield, extended
left, will pass almost
through centre of letter
"A". The left bird's wing
almost touches the outline
of shield, which at this
point is thicker and bent.
Te 4. The left side of
ield is much thicker and
as on previous issues
3rd Printing (1881)
Stamp No. 11 in different colours and types but white gum, also hori-
zontally imperforate, four types placed at least twice horizontally
and six times vertically, perforated 12.5-13.0, largest known block
8 x 6 where the 4 types occur in regular horizontal order.
12. 3 kcp. dark blue and bright red
Main Characteristics of the Four Types
Tpe 1. Left inscription ends
if m frcm tcp of shield. The
centre line of shield just bare-
ly points to letter "A".
Type 2. Left inscription ends
2 mn from top of shield. No
period at end of inscription
at right. Small dot under the
right wing of the centre bird.
Cancellations: as on previous issues.
4th Printing (1881)
On thinner white paper (0.1 mn), white
perforatedl2.5-13.0, four new types.
13. 3 kop. dark blue and bright red
Type 3. Very similar to
type 1. Period after in-
scription at right; at that
point the shield outline
has a small triangular cut.
Type 4. Left inscription ends
1 mn from top of shield. Line
above this inscription is ir-
regularly thickened. The right
wing of left bird has a dot.
gum, oily permeating print, roughly
Main Characteristics of the Four Types
WType 1. The stroke over th
letter "H" in inscription at
left moved to the right. Lef
inscription ends 1l mn front t
of shield. Horizontal centre
line of shield, extended to 1
will pass between letters "K"
Tpe 2. Without the stroke o
letter "H". Inscription ends
S2 mn from top of shield. The
horizontal centre line, exten
to left, will pass over left
of letter "A".
There is a variety of this ty
with a short foot in letter "I
in the word "3EMCKOC".
Type 2. Type 3. With stroke over "H"
properly placed. Horizontal
centre line, if extended left
I will point to left leg of let
Type 4. The left inscription
closer to the left frame line
which has a small break above
centre of inscription.
Cancellations: as o previous issues.
Distance between sta ps 3.5-4.25 amn, order of four types 2 x 2. Same
size as previous, lithographed in two colours on white paper, sheet
unknown, three printings.
1st Printing (1882)
On white coarse paper (0.09-0.11 ran), yellowish-white gun, perforated
12.5-13.0, known perforated horizontally through the middle and cam-
14. 3 kop. blue, dak blue and red brown 15.00
pe 1. Left bird has dot
under left wing. Left in-
scription ends 2* mn from
top of shield.
pe 2. Letter "b" at
right touches shield.
Type 3. No stroke over "H"
n left inscription. Between
right bird and frame line two
Type 4. The left inscription
ends 1 mn from top of the
as on previous issues.
2nd Printing (1883)
White paper (0.15-0.2 m)), thick yellowish gum, perforated 11.5, known
also with second horizontal perforations, four types in 2 x 2 setting.
15. 3 kop. blue and red, dark red
as on previous issues. Used stamps are known frequently
closely cut with shears.
3rd Printing (188?)
Similar to previous issues but lighter colours, four types.
Main Characteristics of the Four Types
Type 1. The left inscription
ends 1 mn from top of shield.
Centre line of the shield
points to letter "K".
Type 2. The left inscription
ends 2 mn from top of shield.
Centre line of the shield
points to left leg of letter
Type 3. The left inscription
ends 2 mn fron top of the
shield. Centre line of shield
points to letter "A". Right
fish with a double backbone.
Type 4. Centre line of shield
points between letters "K" and
"A". Left fish with a double
Main Characteristics of the Four Types
Similar to previous issues, denanination in thin
after InTHJ, no hook over H in ATKAPCOR.
Size as for previous issues, lithographed in two
paper (0.12 nm), yellowish gun, perforated 11.5,
of 4, sheet of 10 x 6.
1 2 1.2 1 2 1 2 1 2
S12 12 12 12 12
16. 3 kop. dark blu and vivid red
Main Characteristic of the Four Types
white letters, no period
colours on stiff white
four types in 15 groups
Type 1. Both legs f letter "n" Type 2. The left leg of letter
short. Dot outside of stap in ""n longer. Break in outer frame
SW corner. Breaks shield at line at right NE corner.
Type 3. Both legs f letter "n" Type 4. Right leg of letter "n"
long. Breaks in shield at bottan, slightly longer. Breaks in shield
at bottan. Dot on the outside of
stanp at top over "3".
Cancellations: used on previous issues.
Similar to No. 16 but denanination in short thick letters, hook over H
in ATKAPCKOR only on the second type.
This is lithographed in two colours on finely ribbed paper (0.1 mn),
yellowish white gum, perforated 11.5, four types.
17. 3 kop. blue ad dark red RR (16)*
*In his first handbook, Schmidt mentions that he examined 25 copies of
Main Characteristics of the Four Types
Type 1. Horizontal centre line,
if extended to left, will pass
almost through the centre of
letter "A". Large period after "TPH
Type 2. Horizontal centre line,
if extended to left, will pass
through centre of letter "A".
analler period after "TPH IMI".
With stroke over "R" in "ATKAPCIO
Letter "'I" in "'fKlnu" with small
extension at left.
Cancellations: as on previous issues.
Similar to No. 17 but in different colours
Type 3. Horizontal centre line,
if extended to left, will pass
just below the centre of letter
"A". The three birds are fur-
ther away from left frame line.
Type 4. Position of horizontal
centre line as on Type 3. Birds
are closer to left frame line.
The wing tip of bird at left is
even with first letter of inscrip-
tion at left.
and types, hook over R in
Lithographed in two colours on thick white ribbed paper (0.08-0.10 rm),
yellowish-white gum, perforated 11.5, 2 types set horizontally, complete
18. 3 kop. dark blue and dark red
Main Characteristics of the Two Types
Type 1. Top of letter "P" in "TPH"
is less rounded, and the letter "n"
in "KCn" is shorter than in type 2.
The middle bird has no beak. Birds
closer to left side of the shield.
Type 2. The blue field of shield,
at left under letters "OW" bulges
out. Birds are not as near left
side of shield as in type 1.
Cancellations: as on previous issues.
18.5 x 25.5 ran, lith graphed in two colours on white paper (0.1 mn)),
grayish-white gun, perforated 11.5, five types, set horizontally,
complete sheet unknown, two printings.
Plate flaw on first tamp of known 5x 3 block:
*1 2 3 4 5
1st Printing (1885, January)
Spacing between stamps 3.25 mn, on all four sides, more or less notice-
able small guidelines, exist horizontally imperforate.
19. 3 kop. black a greenish blue 1.00
2nd Printing (188?)
Spacing between steps 4 mn, no dividing lines.
20. 3 kcp. black, gray-black and sky blue 1.00
Proofs: Imperforat, no gun:
3 kop. black and ultramarine
3 kop. black and gray-blue
3 kop. back and sky blue
3 kop. black and light blue (aquamarine)
Cancellations: as n previous issues.
Frmn January 1, 188 stamps were withdrawn and the mail was forwarded free
New issues of Russia and Poland supplied at
reasonably spaced intervals at a 20% discount
from low level retail prices.
An up to date price list is available on request.
We handle specialized approvals of early Soviet
* and Tsarist Russia including: various town
cancellations, errors, varieties, Zemstvos and
Offices. Please inquire.
L& F STAMP SERVICE
393 STERLING DRIVE
DIMONDALE, MICHIGAN, 48821
DEALERS.... oJ N
Y- YOUa IV adVe rta is. ur tc?!
FULL Pg .$3500
HALF Pag4 $20.00
CARTER PL 12.50
CERINI'S LAWS OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
by Martin Cerini
IAW #1: No matter ho camon or familiar a stamp is, compare it against
a known standard in thy collection. Same of the biggest discoveries of
errors or varieties have come about as a result of a perfunctory check.
And don't always assume that thou canst "eyeball" differences without a
comparative aid. The mind tends to minimize the camnmcplace, cloaking
the distinctions which lead to discovery. There isn't one among us who
hasn't read of a new variety right after he 'dumped' a like bunch of oammon
IAW #2: Read. Thy kwledge in thy area of specialty is directly propor-
tional to the amount of reading thou investest in the background, history,
and philatelic details of thy chosen subject. Research is not a dirty
word. It is the enjoyable by-product of pleasurable hours spent with in-
IAW #3: Turneth thy nose not up disdainfully at another person's specialty,
no matter how obscure The insights he uncovereth may one day cane back to
rectify the errors in thy own studies. How much poorer our knowledge of
Russian philately would be without revenues, Vignettes, Tannu Tuva, and
other equally unlikely candidates for philatelic respectability.
IAW #4: Camunicate. The legions of oblivion are filled with countless
collectors who careful ly hoarded their discoveries to the grave without
once having made an attempt to let fellow collectors share what they had
found. Not only have they lost the recognition accruing to the discoverer,
but all too often the sanctity of their collection efforts, through an auc-
tioneer's unknowing, dispassionate letting of a lifetime of research into
groupings which defeat the intentions of the original owner and dissipate
the years of study.
IAW #5: Standeth not upon ceremony. This is actually a take-off on Law # 4.
If Uhou hast something to carmunicate, wait not because thou fearest that
limitations of style, adverse criticism, or lack of absolute completeness
will expose thee to he barbs of fellow collectors. There are always sharp-
shooters who read the philatelic publications only to uncover what they feel
are errors, but they are rarely among those who make the lasting positive
contributions. Every publication has knowledgeable editors who screen in-
coming material and make necessary refinements and clarifications to render
the results readable and accurate. If you've got something to say, don't
be afraid to say it.
IAW #6: Obligation. In the same manner that thou didst take the accumulat-
ed philatelic knowledge of generations of collectors as a starting point for
their own undertakings, thou doth owe the starp cammunity-at-large the results
of thy efforts. Only by virtue of the fact that each generation builds on
the edifice erected ky its predecessors is it absolved from re-inventing the
wheel and learning he control of fire. By the same token, it is incumbent
upon thee to pass on thy research so that it can fuel future philatelic find-
WHEN IS A YAK
NOT A YAK?
In my continuing attempt to identify the type & the manufacturer of
all the aircraft depicted on the stamps of Russia, it might per-
haps be of interest to see how one of the questions was solved.
The items under scrutiny started with Scott Nos. 1159 & 1160.
These two stamps were issued in 1947 to celebrate "The Day of Air
Fleet"; they were the 30-kopek deep violet, & 1-ruble bright
ultramarine. Both were tall stamps, 22 x 38 mm, photogravure
with a 121 line perforation. These stamps were reissued as Scott
1246-1247 in 1948, with an overprint "July 1948" to mark the 1948
"Day of the Air Fleet". The 1948 set were said to be on sale for
one day only. According to the Soviet catalogue, the basic stamps
were issued in August (although Gibbons, Minkus, Michel & Sanabria
agree on Sept. 1) with the two values printed in quantities of two
million & one million for two values respectively, while the 1948
overprint print run was only 200,000 for both values; Gibbons &
Minkus say the overprints were issued Aug. 24, which is rather
strange when the overprint says July! Unfortunately, as would be
expected with such a simple overprint, the 1948 issue could easily
have been forged by adding a fake overprint to a relatively cheap
& genuine copy of the 1947 stamps. Expertization would be
required to pick out the wheat from the chaff. Neither of the
issues were honored with special cancels, according to official
Soviet sources, although 'some regular first-day covers were prob-
ably prepared by philatelists.
Now, getting back to the stamp itself (for all four differ only in
color, value & the overprints), we see a normal-looking fighter
aircraft, for the period, with a single liquid-cooled engine, a
low wing, & note that it is flying in loose formation with a
second such machine, over the flag of the Soviet Air Force & the
words "To fly higher than anyone, to fly faster than anyone, to
fly further than anyone". The closer aircraft carries standard
military markings, & careful study showed very few really dis-
tinguishing characteristics. From the time period it could be any
of several fighters, so I looked up the designer of the stamps.
Gibbons, Michel & the Soviet catalogue all agreed it was V. V.
Zavialov (or Savialov); now that was worth noting for V. V.
Zavialov was not only one of the most prolific Soviet designers*
but he was one of the most technically-oriented portrayers of air-
craft, so I could assume his depiction would be pretty accurate.
Now the Soviet catalogue identified the aircraft as a Yak
(designed by Aleksandr Yakovlev) & Michel & Minkus said it was a
Yak-9, but I decided to check their identification more carefully.
The first task was to compare the apparent characteristics with
those of possible candidates.
(a) It could be a
wing shape looked r
outline of the retr,
fairings were too w
nose, & the radiato;
weren't right for a
shield strut. The
some late-model LaG'
likely to be a LaGG
(b) How about a Mi
.avochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3 because the
Lght, & the dihedral looked OK; the dimly-seen
icted undercarriage looked good, but the leg
Lde. It seemed to lack an air intake under the
Sunder the wing. The four exhaust stacks
LaGG-3 & there seemed to be an extra wind-
stamp showed a retracted tailwheel although
3-3's had such a feature ... so it seemed un-
Lntakes on the leading edge & very different
(c) The Mikoyah-Gu evich 1-220, the Sukhoi SU-1 & SU-5 were
quickly disposed of, as was the Tomashevich I-110.
(d) The Mikoyan-Gu
plane seemed too hi
instead of three, t
dihedral was about
pit didn't seem qui
revich MiG-3 looked possible but the tail-
gh, & Zavialov showed four exhaust stacks
he undercarriage outline looked good, & the
right as was the wingshape ... but the cock-
te right; seemed unlikely.
(e) Now the Yakovlev "Yak" series ... this was the most widely-
used Russian fighter, & several points looked good, except that
the lines of the nose ruled out the Yak-1 & Yak-7, & the lack of
leading-edge intakes ruled out the Yak-3. The exhaust stacks were
pretty good for so e Yak-9's, & the pitot tube was shown correctly
on the port wing; but the Yak-9 should have an air intake under
the nose. This wa not clear in the stamp design because that
area was in shadow & obscured by the disc of the propeller. This
leaves the Yak-9 as the most likely, so I would confirm the choice
made by Michel & Minkus.
But wait a minute,
the catalogue ...
stamp came out on
graphed* in dark b
also by V. V. -Zavi
except that a very
study, however, re'
to be a little fla,
of the starboard w.
on the Yak series.
there is another, similar stamp at the back of
the 1948 airmail stamp, Scott No. C-82. This
Dec. 10, 1948, Air Force Day, but was litho-
Lue, 24 x 32.5 mm with 12:12 comb perforation,
alov, & certainly a similar design of stamp
dim third aircraft has been added. Careful
7eals two interesting new facts, there appears
Pole sticking up ahead of the windshield,
& the pitot boom is drawn on the leading edge
Lng, instead of the port wing where it is found
*Footnote V. V. Zavialov designed same 100 Soviet stamps between 1925 &
1938, & a further 350 between 1946 & 1966. This total includes 45 airmail
stamps & several sets Ahich number among the finest in the USSR. V. V.
Zavialov was born in 1906 & his working career spans several decades; in the
early 1950's stamp designs began to appear fran A. V. Zavialov, who I believe
to be the son; further information would be welcome on this remarkable man.
Back to the drawing board.
Well the LaGG-3 has the pitot boom on the starboard wing, but the
radio antenna pokes up behind the cockpit, where it is normally
located. Study of the MiG series aircraft from the Mikoyan-
Gurevich design bureau allows us to rule out the open-cockpit
MiG-1, but the first glance at the improved version, the MiG-3,
shows a surprise, the aerial mast is indeed placed forward of the
cockpit, offset as shown in Zavialov's drawing, & there is the
pitot tube, on the starboard wing, just as he showed it. The
surprising result of our study is therefore that the first four
stamps described illustrate the Yak-9, while the fifth stamp,
Scott C-82, depicts the MiG-3! The MiG series were produced at
Zavod 1 (Factory No. 1) at Khodinka & later at Kuibyshev. Prod-
uction ceased in 1942, after 3,322 of the type had been produced,
for the MiG-3 suffered from the use of the very heavy AM-35A
engine,.which resulted in an overweight aircraft with poor
handling characteristics. While it was used extensively for
quite a period in 1941 & 1942, the MiG-3 was never at its best
because, while designed to fight at relatively high altitudes,
it was usually engaged in battle at lower altitudes where it was
outclassed by the German fighters. Another appearance of an air-
craft of this series is the Dec. 12, 1969 stamp (Scott 3671)
showing a MiG-1 & a MiG-25 Foxbat, a stamp to celebrate thirty
years (1939-1969) of the design office of Artem I. Mikoyan,
chief engineer of Zavod 1, &, strangely enough, brother of
Anastasias I. Mikoyan, sometime Deputy Prime Minister of Russia,
& of Mikhail I. Gurevich. The 1974 Soviet catalogue lists the
designers of this stamp (their No. 3826) as E. Kreiman & E.
Privalov, & shows the print run as 5-million, but identifies the
earlier fighter is a MiG-6!
The five stamps described above exist in several varieties as
Scott 1159a; with a light lilac background
Scott 1159b; on dense, or heavy (plotnoi) paper
Scott 1160a; on dense paper
Scott 1247; on dense paper
Scott C-82; comb perf. 121 x 12
My last check was to see whether the five stamps were airmail
issues, or simply postage stamps with an aeronautical theme. The
result of my research was chaos! The Soviet catalogues of 1955 &
1974 said that the first four were airmails, and the last one was
a regular issue. The Scott catalogue said the exact opposite!
Zumstein & Yvert et Tellier said that none of them were airmail
stamps, while Michel & Sanabria say that they all were! Minkus
says the two overprints were airmail, & the others weren't! We
can leave it to the purist airmail collectors to make their own
decisions, noting only that the first four were issued to celeb-
*Footnote The stamp was a definitive, with an issue the Soviet describes
as unlimited (Massovoi), or rather, in continuous, or uncounted use.
rate a military day
a definitive set.
mail letter of the
true airmail stamps
solid evidence but
By the way, the ans
article is ... "whe
of commemoration, while the fifth was part of
The 1-ruble value was appropriate to an air-
period, whereas the 30-kopek was not. Many
of Russia bear the word "Aviapochta" as real
some do not, so it comes down to a matter of
wer to the question in the title of this
n it's a MiG".
The registered cover illustrated below, froa ME ~ YHAPCIA KHHTA to the
American philatelic house of Stolow is clearly cancelled as 28 August 1948
at Moscow, 8 expedite ia, and was backstamped in New York, 18 September,
and at New York, Radio City Station, 20 Septerber. Now in 1948 the tariff
for an ordinary letter was 50 kopeks, and registration fee 80 kopeks, so
the cover clearly came, correctly stamped, by sea, as there was no regular
air service at that time. It can be inferred that 28 August was the actual
date of issue, and perhaps the only day.
J. and H. STOLOW 0 W
60 WL YT YO! TREE
E 0 (-L ., rHA.P'cAHAH1 itHI rA-
I t' 1b ,
JUST A ROUBLE ...
by Rev. LL. Tann
On Friday, June 15th, Christie's of oIndon held a sale of important
Russian coins and medals. Perhaps at first you might think this an
odd subject for a philatelic magazine, but there is not only a close
connection between philately and numismatics particularly when both
are Russian! but a closer connection which will be noted further on.
There was a fine range of coins from the reign of Dimitri Ivanovitch
(1604-6), Michael Fyodorovitch Ramanov, Alexis and Peter. A Ducat of
the reign of Michael Ronanov with double-eagle on both sides realized
1,300 (U.S. $2,600*). A 1701 ducat of Peter I realized1,000 (U.S.
$2,000). A 1707 rouble piece of Peter I with a bust on the obverse,
inscribed in Cyrillic "Czar Piotr Alexie'evitch V.R.P.," and the re-
verse bearing the crowned double-eagle, "Moskovskii rouble," realized
X650 (U.S. $1,300). A 10 rouble piece of Peter III who reigned for
six months in 1762 before being dethroned by his wife, Catherine II,
fetchedL3,200 (U.S. $6,400).
In the latter imperial period, a magnificent 25 rouble gold coin was
minted in 1876 to honour the 30th birthday of the Grand Duke Vladimir;
only 100 specimens were struck, and one fetched 2,800 (U.S. $5,600).
But the most remarkable pieces were fran the reign of Nicholas II. A
pattern imperial of 15-Russ (a proof coin, only five were struck) of
1895 fetched 3,600 (U.S. $7,200). A 25 rouble gold piece in magnifi-
cent condition of 1896 (only 30 were struck), fetched 2,200 (U.S.
$4,400). The extremely rare 37 roubles 50 kopeks in gold, magnificent
condition, of 1902 (only 25 specimens struck) fetched 3,400 (U.S.
But by far the most interesting items touching on philately were the 1916
proofs of 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopek coins. These proofs bore the imperial
eagle on the obverse in a circle. Round the edge of the coin's face the
figure of value was repeated five times with the word "kcpeiki" in be-
tween. The reverse bore a large figure 1, 2, 3 or 5 also in a circle,
and round the outside the words "Rossiiskaya mcnyeta dvye kopeiki 1916 g."
Prices realized for these were as follows: ik,,700 (U.S. $1,400);
2k,L.850 (U.S. $1,700); 3k,f700 (U.S. $1,400); and 5k, ?600 (U.S. $1,200).
In the first place the currency-stamps or tokens were circulating in this
period, owing to hoarding of coinage. The 10k, 15k and 20k silver coins
were replaced by the October 1915 issue of currency-tokens. In autumn
1916, the lk, 2k and 3k currency-tokens appeared to replace the lowest
value copper coins, also hoarded.
*The dollar is here computed as U.S. $2.00 =-l1 for simplicity in calcula-
The proofs of these d tion coins were not released for two reasons,
it would seem; there was no point in issuing more copper currency if that
too was to be hoardedJ It would only exacerbate the shortage. Possibly
by the time the proofs had been viewed by innumerable officials, the
Tsarist Goverrment was on the point of falling in the March 1917 Revolu-
tion, so there was no point in issuing coinage with the double-eagle.
The double-eagle was removed from the second-republican printing in April
from the low value currency-tokens anyway. However, the first point is
likely to be the stroer of the two.
That these proofs were struck in 1916, yet were unadcpted, in an indirect
way gives strength to my contention that the low value currency-tokens,
the 1k, 2k and 3k, were in fact issued in Autumn 1916, and not January
1917 as is stated regularly by all the major commercial catalogues. There
was a pressing need to replace the hoarded currency. The tokens, I suggest,
went into circulation while new proof coins were being struck.
The auction catalogue also notes similar new pattern proof coins of 10k,
15k, 20k and 25k deninations struck in Brussels in 1911, which were also
unadopted. These were in nickel, while the circulating ones were in silver,
or had a high silver content. The later proofs in copper for the lower
values were therefore probably part of the same projected new issue that
Finally, among the mals sold, am interesting one worthy of note. A
medal was struck in 1 74, to mark the marriage of the Grand Duchess Marie,
daughter of Czar Alexnder II, to Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the son of
Queen Victoria. Their daughter, Marie, married the King of Romania. Their
son succeeded to the Throne of Ronania, and their daughter married the
King of Jugoslavia.
The coin sale reached a total of 169,463 (U.S. $338,926).
THE CAUCASIAN TURKISH ARMY POST
by Salih M. Kuyaf
(English translation of. the article, "KAFKAS ORDUSU POSTASI," written in
Turkish by Salih M. Kuyas, in the magazine "Turk Pulculugu," November 1975,
During the final months of WW I, the Turkish armed forces, starting from
Batum and Mosul (Iraq), and via Iran, began to occupy the Caucasian lands.
The purpose of this operation was to ensure, despite the chaos due to the
Bolshevist Revolution, the full independence of Azerbaijan and Georgia,
whose populations were mostly of Turkish origin (the Georgians will love
that! A.C.), and furthermore, to bring about a greater unification of
the peoples of Turkish origin. At that time, British forces had overthrown
the Bolshevist authorities in Baku and had occupied this very important oil
centre. By the end of their operation, the Turkish forces had occupied
Baku, about 1,000 kilometers east of Batum and the shores of the Caspian Sea
on 15 September 1918.
The Turkish forces consisted of the Caucasian Islamic Army, led by General
Nuri Pasha and the Eastern Armies Group, cannanded by General Halil Pasha,
hero of the Kut ul-Anara battles. Unfortunately, this highly important
event coincided with ruinous days on the Palestinian and Iraqi Fronts and
the surrenders of our Allies. For this reason, it is now considered as an
unsuccessful undertaking. In fact, the Turkish forces could only have stay-
ed for three months in Baku and, in accordance with the Moudros Armistice,
they evacuated the city on 10 December 1918.
Although the Turkish Army, which consisted of about 10,000 soldiers with
many officers and NCOs, stayed in Baku for about three months, postal items
from this front are very scarce nowadays. lhen we take into consideration
the results of a war that ended in defeat and the arguments I set out in
No. 2 of our magazine (March 1975), I think it is easy to understand this
The 20-para postcard shown in Fig. 1, was mailed front Baku and bears a post-
mark inscribed entirely in Arabic lettering, reading, "Kafkas Ordusu Postasi"
(literally, "Caucasus, its Army, its Post" A.C.), and dated 16.10.1334
(1918), being the only document found so far.
The 1-piastre letter-card, shown in Fig. 2, was also sent from Baku on
25 September 1918, and bears the same postmark, which is incomplete. This
obliteration would have been illegible but for the existence of the post-
card shown in Fig. 1, because of the removal of the adhesive placed to the
left of the imprinted 1-piastre design.
Figure 3 shows in three times magnification a cut-square from a 20-para
postal stationery envelope overprintedd with the Crescent, six-pointed
star and year, 1331), which bears the postmark of Batun, dated 10.11.1334
(1918) and which was also mailed front Baku,. and can be seen from the in-
scription in Arabic letters reading, "Baku'dan" (fran Baku). This there-
fore, means that at least a part of the mail emanating from Baku was can-
celled at the Batum pot office, and then dispatched to its destination.
I believe that this is also another reason which explains the rarity of
the "Kafkas Ordusu Posl s" postmark.
As the illustrations are not clear we are transcribing hereunder the
Arabic lettering appeal ing on the postmark to enable collectors to find
further strikes on W I Turkish stamps.
UPPER SEM : IOER SEGMENT:
L -. J J iJ -,
' f jL. --" -
.., _, ,
The rare card at left was shown
by Mr. Kuyaq at "CAPEX-78" and
c ,. j"
I '* r'
FOUR POST-ABDICATION COVERS TO CANADA
by Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank
Four zemstvo covers from the Ust-Sysol'sk zemstvo (Vologda
Government) which have not previously been in the hands of
collectors have recently been found. They were posted in
Russia between July and November 1917, a few months after
Tsar Nicholar II abdicated and through the tumultuous time
of the October revolution in Petrograd. These covers, with
their enclosed letters, are all addressed to a Vancouver,
B.C. resident, and judging from the content of the letters,
this was a relative who had recently left Russia. The covers
were discovered by an athletic acquaintance of mine who, while
taking an early morning run in Honolulu sometime in 1976,
noted these and some other envelopes in an open rubbish
barrel along the roadside. He removed them and several weeks
later made them available to me. The condition of the covers
is poor owing to exposure to the tropics, as well as simple
aging. Because they were mailed during the last months of the
existence of the zemstvo system, and because they contain
markings which I have not seen described on other zemstvo
covers, a description seems appropriate. All dates given are
The first cover (Figures 1 and 2) has three dated handstamps:
16 July 1917, 1 August 1917, and 2 August 1917, all applied
at Ust-Sysolsk. It was delayed for two weeks in the zemstvo
post office, probably because of insufficient postage--a
manuscript note on the reverse says that letters having postage
due (5 kopeks, in this case) cannot be sent abroad. The zemstvo
stamp is the Ust-Sysolsk 2-kopek green of 1915 (Chuchin 25),
and an Imperial 7-kopek with 10-kopek surcharge arms issue is
also included. The cover bears the stamp and paper seal of
Military Censor No. 643 (probably in Petrograd), and boxed
numeral "89" in violet color. The front of the cover also
contains an oval handstamp in black, but this has been oblit-
erated by a pen with violet ink and cannot be read. There is
an additional manuscript note in violet ink at the bottom of
the front side, but it is crossed out and faded so as to be
only partly legible. The first three letters appear to be 06p...
suggesting that this is a note by the postmaster indicating that
the letter was to be returned to the sender, presumably because
of the postage due.
The zemstvo stamp itself is cancelled with a circular seal in
violet reading, "Seal of the Government of Mazha, Ust-Sysolsk
District, Volo da Goverment". Note that this is not one of
the village or ceno oancellationsof the type described by Dr.
Wortman (1,2) because it contains no date and is of a completely
different physical format.
The second cover (not illustrated) was stamped on 31 August
1917 with an oval handstamp of the Ust-Sysolsk zemstvo post.
It also bears the 2-kopek Chuchin 25 stamp cancelled with
the violet handstamp described above. The front of the cover
has a 15-kopek Imperial arms stamp cancelled with a circular
date stamp of st-Sysolsk having the same date as the oval on
the reverse. A violet boxed "29" indicates that this cover also
was censored, probably in Petrograd.
-. if ,, .
The third cover (Figures 3 and 4) was posted in Ust-Sysolsk on
19 October 1917, just six days before the Bolsheviks assumed
power in Petrograd. It is franked with the same Chuchin 25
2-kopek zemztvo stamp cancelled with the violet circular
seal, and a 15-kopek arms stamp cancelled in Ust-Sysol'sk with
a CDS. An additional oval date stamp applied in Ust-Sysol'sk is
also seen. The route taken by the cover is not clear, but it
shows a Moscow CDS of 7 December 1917 on the reverse. It was
at least 50 days, therefore, after initial posting before the
letter left Russia. A circular handstamp in violet on the front
indicates that the cover was inspected by Military Censor No.
80 in Moscow. A "T" in black indicates postage due, but the
additional amount needed is not clear. Both the "T" and a
manuscript )e (two) on the front are crossed out with a faint
violet pencil marking.
I .Fig. 3.
The return addre s on this cover, written in the same hand as
the address, sho s the name of the village as ':jpa. (Madzha),
while the name i the violet circular seal spells it Mama
The fourth cover (Figures 5 and 6) has the zemstvo CDS dated
25 November 1917 on both front and back and no other dated
markings. The violet circular seal of Mazha appears on the
reverse, and whi e there are two Imperial stamps amounting to
15 kopeks, there is no adhesive stamp to the zemstvo. Below
the violet seal s a crude manuscript note suggesting that a
sum was "paid in silver...", perhaps representing payment of
the zemstvo post 1 tariff at a time when adhesive stamps were
not available. Three censor markings, including a paper seal,
show that the le ter was scrutinized. Inasmuch as this cover
bears the same boxed "89" seen on the first cover, it is
probable that th two took the same route. The boxed "89"
stamps are not t e same, it should be noted, for the dimensions
of the boxes are different.
#' 2 C
*. ,~~ .J c *
--- -- -- -
Fig. 5 i ..
I-.. ,, -
Fig. 6 "
.. j |.
'&..------.-_ .,..-. ^^
The letters carried in these covers are sad, reflecting the
loneliness of relatives half the world apart. Besides family
chatter, there are complaints about the price and availability
of food. I looked for some comments about the political
situation, the abdication of the Tsar, the strife in Petrograd,
or whatever, but found none. Either the writers were preoccupied
with the cares of sustaining daily life, or were cautious
about writing to correspondents abroad about anything that
could be considered political. Readers who correspond with
Russians at the present time know that this last condition has
not yet been ameliorated.
The story of the Ust-Sysolsk zemstvo post through 1916 and
the stamp issues are described in the detailed article about
all the zemstvos in the Vologda Government by Rudnikov
(3), while the later years are described by Fedorashko (4).
The zemstvo rate of 2 kopeks for an ordinary letter and 5
kopeks for a registered letter remained in effect in Ust-
Sysol'sk until 1 March 1918. The Zemstvo Council had, in its
meeting of 14 February 1918 decided on the rate change.
This meeting was the last to be held by the Council, for on
23 March 1918, there was formed in Ust-Sysol'sk a Soviet of
worker, soldier, and peasant deputies, and the zemstvo was
abolished. While all other local administrations were liquidated
and replaced with new organizations, the post remained in
service as a regional local post. The new rates put into
effect on 1 March were met with 5- and 10-kopek surcharges
on the 2- and 5-kopek zemstvo stamps, respectively. Fedorashkq's
article illustrates these overprinted stamps. The local post
in the Ust-Sysolsk district was abandoned in 1920.
1. A.H. Wortman, Village Cancellations (1), British Journal of
Russian Philately, No. 49, 18, 1973.
2. A.H. Wortman, Village Cancellations (2), British Journal of
Russian Philately, No. 51, 5, 1975.
3. Yu. Rudnikov, New Information on the Zemstvo Post and its
Stamps, Sovietskii Kollektsioneer, No. 12, 48, 1974,
4. I. Fedorashko, Local Post of the Ust-Sysol'sk District in the
Period of the Establishment of Soviet Power, Filateliya SSSR,
October 1978, 43. (In Russian).
WILLIAM R. LIBERMAN, LL. M.
Bill Libenran was a p aninent and keen student of Greek philately over
the past twenty years or so, and had published a definitive work on the
postmark forgeries of the Russian Posts on the island of Crete. He was
also conducting research on the forgeries of the Imperial Eagle control
mark on the Russian i sues for Crete, which were printed by G. Stangel
and Co. of Athens. We hoe to print his work in the future.
Mr. Liberman was bor on 12 February 1909 in the U.S., received his
L L. B. degree from St. Lawrence University in 1930, his Master's in
1932 fran the same school, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in
London, England. He ent on to become one of the leading patent lawyers
in New York City, and carried his incisive way of solving legal problems
through to philately. He passed away in March this year, and his presence
will be sadly missed in philately. As Bill himself would often say about
legal problems: "Th t is a statement of fact and it will stand up in
court!". He is survived by his charming wife, Sue, to when we wish all
the very best.
n_. [ .:n rt I nr
SAM SHANNC EMISCN
Our subscriber and fine friend was born in Higginsville, Missouri, and
had lived in Houston, Texas for 67 years. He was a retired executive of
the Stauffer Cheic 1l Co., and had travelled extensively all over the
world, including recent trips to the USSR and China.
Sam was a keen collector of the Russian and Soviet spheres, especially
Zemstvos, Mongolia, Tannu Tuva and Russian States. We are certain that
he was working on his stamps right up to the time of his death, which
occurred on 1 May 1.79, at the age of 75. Once more the ranks of
conscientious phila, lists have been thinned and it will be hard to
find someone to ste into his shoes and carry on the good work'. Our
sincere sympathy go s to his wife and family.
MITTEILUNSBLATT Nr. 20 DER BAG RUSSIAND/UdSSR IM BDPh.e.V. (Magazine of
the Russia-USSR Study Circle in the Union of German Philatelists, No. 20).
An 80-page journal in German, available from Herbert Giese, D-5562 Mander-
scheid/Eifel, Friedrichstr. 9, West Germany.
A well-produced issue from our West German friends, featuring a review of
activities in 1978; Society Notes Special Postmarks of the USSR by Dr. R.
Bartmann; the Civil War in Siberia and the Far East as Mirrored in Philate-
ly by S.M. Blekhman; the Russian Posts in Persia by S.D. Tchilinghirian,
and W.S.E. Stephen; Notes on Prices by W. Hermann; Who was the first to
round Cape Chelyuskin? by M. Krieger; Through the Pack Ice in the 21st
Century by F. LIhrich; the 1926 Overprinted Stamps of Mongolia by Dr. A.
Orth; A forgery of the Tsiolkovskii overprint by the Michel Review; Photos
of the 1978 USSR-GFR Bilateral Exhibition; Soviet Postal Advertising Labels
by V. Aloits; the Zemstvo Stamps of the Russian Empire by H. Lanke; Library
List; and rounded off with a comprehensive Aercphilatelic Section put toget-
her by Karl Rist.
All in all, a valuable issue.
RUSSISCH-SOWJETISCHE PHIIATELIE Nr. 21 ("Russian-Soviet Philately" No. 21 -
the new and apt name for the Russia-USSR Study Circle in West Germany). A
58-page journal in German, available as above from Herr Giese.
This issue reproduces a speech by Dr. Heinz Jager, President of the West
German Philatelic Federation; a report on the AGM in Basle, Switzerland
of the Study Circle; Russia, a collecting area with a future a publicity
leaflet prepared by the Study Circle; two interesting Polar covers received
by the Editorship; a listing of the Soviet Philatelic Exchange Rules; Russ-
ian Stamps with Finnish Postmarks by W. Frauenlcb; Screen differences as a
guide to printings by E. Farin; Small Notes on Forgeries, Proofs, Society
News, etc.; sane Notes on PCO Mail by Prof. H. Gachot; Forgeries by G. Heer-
mann; Is the stamp-issuing policy of the USSR really extravagant? by
L. Hummel; Russia and its stamps by A. Kreutzer, Declared Value and Registra-
tion Markings of the USSR by M. Krieger; the "Icebreakers" set of 1978, by
F. Lohrich; A Scheme for Classifying the Soviet Circular Date Stamps by
F. Lihrich; A compilation of references to the Russian Post on Mount Athos,
by Georg Mehrtens (Collectors with Russian Mount Athos items are urged to
send details to him at 2800 BREMEN 33, BUTIANDSWEG 9A, West Germany; he
writes perfect English!); Book reviews; Airmail Services in the USSR by
Z. Mikulski; the Space Station Programme in the Soviet Union by K. Schauritsch;
Airmail Stationery of the Soviet Union by E.G. Stock; Auction Notes and finally
general society information.
A solid effort by our West German colleagues.
POSTAGE STAMPS OF LITHUANIA. A hardbound handbook of 244 pages, published
by the Theodore E. Steinway Memorial Fund of the Collectors' Club, Inc.,
and compiled by members of the Lithuanian Philatelic Societies of New York
and Toronto. Price U.S. $16.00 postpaid.
This is a well-illustrated, caoprehensive and thoroughly documented work,
printed on fine quality paper. It covers postal developments in the
country since the year 1410 and is an absolute must for the serious collec-
tor of the postal history and stamps of Lithuania.
Copies may be ordered from The Collectors' Club, 22 E. 35th St., New York,
N.Y., 10016, U.S.A. or Mr. Vincent W. Alones, 217 MKdee St., Floral Park,
N.Y., 11001, U.S.A.
EESTI FILATEIST No. 24-25/1979. (The Estcnian Philatelist, organ of the
Estonian Philatelic Society in New York and of the Society of Estonian
Philatelists in Sweden.) A paperback of 248 pages, available from
Elmar Ojaste, Mandolingatan 17, S-421 45, VWstra Frolunda, Sweden.
This issue contains the definitive study on the Smith and Weaver stamps
of 1922-28 by Donald McDonald, followed by a note on the designer, J.T.
Bjornstran of Finland. Vambola Hurt writes about a few of the rarities
in Estonian philately and W. Rottger on the German Fieldpost on the occupied
Estonian Baltic Sea Islands in 1917-18. This is followed by Fiscal Stamps
of the German Occupation of Estonia in 1918 by P.A. Taminaru; the Scout
Movement in Estonia before WW II by W. Grob-Sigrist; Imperial Russian Field-
post of 20th Century concerned with Estonia or Estonians (magnificent') by
E. Ojaste and A. Ostrat; Russian Censorship in Estonia by C. Kahrs. V. Hurt
and Elmar Ojaste; Notes on the Bank of Estonia by T.R. Triumph; Estonian
Playing Cards by H. Osi; Estonian Post Offices and Postal Ccmmunications in
1923 by E. Ojaste; Estonian Postal Central Administration and Local Offices
in 1938 by E. Ojaste; Estonian Forerunners, Part IV by V. Hurt; F. von Bell-
ingshausen in Philately and Estonica on Stamps by E. Raid; Regulations re-
garding POW correspondence in 1718 by A.R. Cederberg; TPO cancellations and
Mail Transport on the Estonian Railways 1918-1940 by E. Ojaste and H. Osi;
Hindrek Rikand, the organiser of the Estonian Postal Administration by
E. Ojaste; the Estonian Postal Museum Addendum No. 2 by J. Bleyer; three
Crowned Lions or Leopards by E. Ojaste; Special postmarks of Estonian in-
terest front Sweden and USSR; Small addenda by various contributors and
finally a chronicle of events for 1978.
A truly magnificent effort by our Estonian colleagues.
POCH'OVYE DOROGI KOSMONAVTIKI (The Postal Roads of Outer Space) by
E.P. Sashenkov. A hardcover book of 244 pages, issued by the Svyaz'
Publishers, Moscow 1977, in an edition of 46,500 copies. Price 3r. 20k.
Printed on fine quality coated paper and with many illustration in colour,
this is a re-issue and re-working of the book "Postal Souvenirs of the
Outer Space Era," written by the same author ten years earlier. Mr.
Sashenkov writes in a journalistic style, his material is not well
organized, he keeps repeating both himself and the illustrations and
the text appears to be padded. The Russian expression for this trait
is "watering." In short, Mr. Sashenkov has written a potboiler.
There are interesting data in the book, but they would be more accessi-
ble had they been presented in tabulated form.
ASTROiCtJIYA V FIIATELII (Astronmay in Philately) by Ya. B. Gurevich and
V.I. Shcherbakov. A paperback of 112 pages, issued by the Svyaz' Publish-
ers, Moscow 1979, in an edition of 40,000 copies. Price 60 kopeks.
This is a catalogue-handbook of postage stamps, envelopes, postal cards
and special postmarks devoted to this thnee. It mainly covers Soviet
material, but there is also a section listing items fron other Socialist
and Western countries having to do with Russian astronomy. It is a use-
ful guide for collectors in that field.
SPUTNIK FILATELISTA (The Philatelist's Companion) by M.P. Sokolov and
L.M. Niselevich. A paperback of 152 pages, issued by the Svyaz'Publish-
ers, Moscow 1979, in an edition of 50,000 copies. Price Ir. 10k.
Aimed at the budding collector, this is the third and expanded edition
of this work. Including some illustrations in colour, it presents a
multitude of facts to guide the beginner on his way. Among the many
useful sections, there is a small philatelic glossary in Russian, English,
French and German. It is a very good attempt, but sate of the English
equivalents given are not correct.
An excellent feature of the book is its international outlook, with scarce
and rare foreign items also included. All in all, this is a valuable guide
to someone just starting out in philately.
KTO STUCHITSYA V DVER KO MNE? (Aho is knocking on the door for me?) by
A.A. Mil. This is an 80-page paperback issued by the Svyaz' Publishers,
Moscow 1978, in their "Library of the Young Philatelist" series, in an
edition of 42,000 copies. Price 25 kopeks.
The title is the first line of a famous poem for children called "The Post"
by the well-known poet and author, Samuil Marshak. Aimed at the junior
collector, it includes a survey of Russian postal history, covering such
topics as the function of the postman, ancient letters, the activities of
A.L. Ordin-Nashchokin, the founder of the Russian Posts, extension of the
Posts to Siberia, the Zemstvo Posts and rounding off with a survey of
NARISOVAL KHUDOZHNIK MARKU (The artist designed a stamp) by I. Ya. Vaks.
A 96-page paperback issued by the Svyaz' Publishers, Moscow 1978, in their
"Library of the Young Philatelist" series, in an edition of 50,000 copies.
Price 30 kopeks.
Intended once again for the junior collector, this booklet is basically
an overview of artists and engravers and the stamps they have created.
It is a step in the right direction as sane basic technological facts show.
If this trend is continued in further Soviet philatelic publications,
the local collectors will then accum ulate a fund of knowledge, enabling
them to do new research on the stamps of their country.
NOTES CN THE POSTAL HISTORY AND STAMPS OF MCGOCLIA, INCLUDING THE CHINESE
AND RUSSIAN POST OFFICES, by Peter Holccmbe and George Alevizos. To be
published by the end of 1979. If interested, please write to Mr. Alevizos,
P.O. Box 5159, Santa Monica, California, 90405, U.S.A.
Before the Revolution by Kiril Fitzlyon and Tamara Browning, published by
Allen Lane, London, 1977, 205 pp., hardbound.
This book is a marvellous presentation of pre-revolutionary photographs.
While there is no philatelic content to speak of, this book is an invalu-
able resource for anyone with any interest in Tsarist Russia; so vividly
and graphically displaying the broad spectrum of the Imperial Russian
mosaic. Life during the reign of the last Tsar is depicted from the bust-
ling streetscapes of Moscow and St. Petersburg to pastoral country settings,
from urban workers to bearded muzhiks seated at a meeting of the mir, from
prosperous gentry and merchants to starving Tartar children. There are
glimpses of Jewish, Kirghiz, Georgian and other Asian life. And, oh yes,
there is even a photo of a real yamshchik.
One can read virtual libraries about this period without ever capturing
the insights and human scale this book provides by acquainting the reader
with the faces, surroundings and circumstances of a society not so far re-
moved in time from our own, yet so distinct, different and distant from
contemporary life. The book is captivating, moving and most highly recon-
Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Apologies to our friends at Rossica, but we have got a little behind, so
will review two numbers in this issue.
No. 93, issued in March, 1979
This is a 64-page issue with an interesting article by Joseph Chudoba,
pointing out that Rossica reached its fiftieth birthday on 14 April 1979;
many happy returns! This was followed by A. Fedotosky's article on
Soviet postal rates, Mx Ayer on a tete-beche Azerbaijani item, Marcel La-
moureux on the Od essa famine issue, Patrick Campbell on the Papanin ex-
pedition to the Pole in 1937, the first Ice Island. Gordon Torrey follows
with Russian-U.S. diplomatic mail, Ray Ceresa on Armenia, and a fine article
by Andrew Medwid pointing out sane errors to be found on relatively canyon
Soviet stamps. This should send us all to our collections looking for un-
recognized goodies. It is always a pleasure to discover a relative rarity
in one's own trading material. Gordon Torrey again on a Constantinople to
St. Petersburg card, Dr. Stackelberg on the curious, but bogus, Bukhara
camel post. R. Trbovich with a strange historic cover and finally a joint
article by V. Kaverin and L. Peiskov on canpound perforations. The "Notes
from Collectors" publishes a useful Perpetual Calendar plus a conversion
chart for those who have trouble with Julian and Gregorian dates. In the
Rossica Bookshelf we find sane very kind remarks about our own Yamschik Nos.
1 and 2. Another worthwhile number in a long line.
No. 94/95, issued November, 1979
This double number starts with a warning to collectors, a subject covered
elsewhere in this issue of Yamschik. This surely looks like sane high
level skullduggery. The next article is a blockbuster entitled, "Imperial
Postage Stamps of Russia Issued 1857-1888." It was written by V.V. Lobachev-
ski and published in COBE~TCIM KQOTLEKHOOHEP, Nos. 14 (1976) and 15 (1977).
A ine translation by George V. Shalimoff and Robert Trbovich of Rossica,
and superb photography by Norman Epstein, makes this single volume well worth
the price of admission. It seems that Rossica plan to publish David Skipton's
translation of Prigara's 1941 classic handbook; what else could one ask for?
In Lobachevski's article one is again impelled to dig into the trading material
to find undiscovered gems; the single article covers pages 11 to 94, so you
can judge the volume of material presented. There follows a piece on a U.S.
Civil War cover by Arthur Falk, J. Lee Shneidman on 1921 irperforates,
Dr. Cruikshank on modern diplomatic pouch mail, George Shalimoff on "Bez. Plat"
markings and a second, equally interesting article by Andrew Medwid showing
further Soviet printing varieties, with nice big enlarged photos of all the
stamp so we can detect the differences. Their Rossica Bookshelf starts with
a few thoughtful comments on the responsibilities of an Editor/Publisher who
must choose between trying to keep text lively and even a little controver-
sial, but still try to avoid obvious bias or unfair criticism. The Rossica
editorial board have decided to publish reviews signed by the reviewer, and
assume that the reader will recognize that the work will reflect the biases
and philatelic credentials of the reviewer, yet still retaining the right
to rewrite or exclude any parts of the review that are not in the best
interests of the Society or philately in general. This seems a fair
decision and one we can not easily dispute Swen the reviews finish with
saoe kind comments on our own Yamschik No. 4.
Since the editorial on "Shtempelgate" was written, we have learnt that a
prominent philatelist in the West had received these forged cancellations
from Dr. Sheinberg and given him in exchange Soviet items of great rarity.
When the postmarks were found to be counterfeit, Dr. Sheinberg promised to
make restitution Ten months have since gone by without any action. The
philatelist has just tackled Dr. Sheinberg face to face in Leningrad on the
matter. The latter came back with the old ploy that he had been equally
deceived by "the forgers", whom he would not name. This had not prevented
him from having sent forged items to West German auctions. Meanwhile, the
Western philatelist is hundreds of dollars out of pocket and cannot sell
genuine items at auction. The word has gone around and no one is bidding I
The legal and moral implications of Dr. Sheinberg's refusal to make amends
are, of course, obvious and our readers are hereby warned to have nothing to
do with him. The price of honesty in philately vis-A-vis our Soviet
"colleagues" is eternal vigilance.
Is there a question or point that you'd like to
put across to the readership......is there an
interesting stamp, cancellation or cover that
you'd like to describe....is there an item in
your collection that could use some clarifying
information or might there be some gems of
wisdom that you could impart on some newly
Share your questions, thoughts and wisdom,
in the confines of a couple paragraphs, with
the rest of our readers.!
Dr. Nikolai Poppe, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Re the back of the Mongolian document, now in the Bbrje Wallberg collection
(see Fig. 1), the left two lines mean: "Official Docunent from the heredi-
tary Tiishiye GUng, the Chief of the Khan Uula League."
Notes: "Tishiye Ging" Prince of the 4th rank, i.e., the lowest rank.
"Khan Uula league" corresponds in territory to the former prin-
cipality (one of the four in Khalha or Outer Mongolia) of the TUshiyeti
Khan, in the centre of which Urga (now Ulan Bator) is.
The two lines at right read: "Sent to the Business Manager of
the Jasag Khoshoi Chin Wang, Erdeni Doichin."
Notes: "Jasag" = The Ruling Prince.
"Khoshoi Chin Wang" title Imperial Prince of the first
"Erdeni Doichin" proper name, meaning "Precious Warrior."
i -, -, ---- ,, '
-I-*- '- I
-. '. I
** .** ** *^ s r.
Dr. Poppe is referring to the back of the express envelope featured by
S.M. Blekhman in his handbook on Tuva, presumably as a pre-adhesive item
frno Tuva. We can see from the translation furnished by Dr. Poppe, that
this 1875 cover actually originated from the Ulan Bator area (now in the
Mongolian People's Republic).
Andrew Cronin, Toronto Ontario
(a) Western specialists in Russian postal history have always had a
great respect for the efficiency of the Imperial Postal Service,
and an example is shcwn in Fig. 2. This shows the back of a re-
gistered letter, sent on 12 October 1911 from PRILUKI, Poltava
Province, to Kiev, both in the Ukraine. The postman was unable
to deliver the letter on the 13th and placed a four-line cachet
in violet on the back, reading: "Delivered at 1:40 p.m. and, be-
cause of absence, not handed over. Postman (signature)." The
time "1:40" is repeated by hand above the KIEV postmark, dated
(b) Please see Fig. 3 for an unusual cover from an American medical
doctor, George B. Cormick, attached to the Russian Unit of the
American Relief Administration in 1922. Addressed to Texas, the
letter was apparently given by the doctor in Russia to saneone
returning to England. The forwarder placed a current li d. stamp
on the cover and it was cancelled "TLNDCN SEP. 4, 2:45 p.m., 1922."
Does any other collector have similar usages?
no ayn. Y 3a oVYT.
He caaH. /
Fig. 2. *
(c) Your Editor has always been suspicious of the "MOCKBA A" post-
mark of the early Soviet period as he has only seen strikes on
covers to Kaunas, addressed in the same distinctive handwriting.
The philatelic frankings never correspond to the postal rates
current at the end of 1922. Note Fig. 4, taken from a recent auc-
tion catalogue, dated 6.12.1922 and showing a cover with an imper-
forate pair of the 35 kop. "sword cutting chain" issue. Figs. 5
and 6 show another example postmarked 14.12.1922 and backstamped
at arrival in Kaunas on 19.12.1922. The cover has a copy this
time of the overprinted first airmail stamp, plus 3 other items,
but there are no airmail indications or markings anywhere an the
Other covers with this postmark and handwriting certainly exist
and details are earnestly requested. It is the opinion of your
Editor that this "MOCKBA A" postmark is bogus, that none of
these covers ever went through the mails and that the "Kaunas"
backstamps were added with the connivance of a friendly postal
official in the then capital of Lithuania.
In short, that these covers were concocted by someone in Kaunas,
i.e., outside the USSR, but using genuine Soviet stamps and varie-
ties, so far as we can see.
;,3eorge T.. Cornitk M.,J.
'ARA Russian Unit
( -- .''"'- ,F"/
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Fig. "4.., .
.... Blu, ...tLna i
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o. l .l-i o t te t l t- o -. ..- i h t.
Henry Blum, Torcnto, Ontario
Re the Russian Imperial piece with high franking described and illustra-
ted by Signor Luciano Buzzetti in "The Post-Rider, No. 3," I can quote
an even earlier report from "Gibbons Stamp Weekly," for 14 December 1907,
Vol. 6, No. 24 (Whole No. 154), p. 378:
"There arrived recently in Berlin, an envelope which the German
officials would certainly not take the trouble to weigh; the
letter was franked so generously. On the front side there were
120 starrps, each of 10 roubles; on the other side there were 30
of the 10 roubles, one of 7 roubles, one of 50 kopeks and one of
2 kopeks, or a total of 1517 roubles 52 kopeks; and at the rate
of 2s. lid. to the rouble, the postage came to j160.4s.9d. (equal
to U.S. $758.76 at that time)."
Hilary Norwood, Bexleyheath, Kent, England
For quite sane time, I had been waiting to get sane information frar Marx
House Library about the stamp-like labels of the 1930's. The pre-war
issues of "Russia Today" were in store in sane place other than the Library
itself, and I had to wait until it was convenient for them to be brought
to the Library. This was sane weeks later, and here is what I found in the
monthly publication, "Russia Today".
In the issue for October 1938, there appeared on page 2 an advertisement,
"Our Friends in Spain have issued a series of stamps illustrating
progress in USSR ... "Russia Today" is going to issue a similar
series. The stamps will be sold in sheets of 24 for 1/-, or se-
parately for ld. each. 25% discount to agents."
There were pictures of three "stamps" showing:
1. Soviet sailor playing a banjo.
2. Two youthful figures like airmen looking skywards.
3. Portraits of Stalin and Voroshilov.
Each "stamp" carried an inscription in Spanish, which included the words
"Asociaci6n de amigos de la Union Soviftica," and the price, 10c.
In the following month, November 1938, the journal announced:
"Issued in celebration of the 21st Anniversary of the USSR, 24
stamps in one sheet, all different aspects of life, adcievement
and work in the USSR. Also of Soviet leaders 1/-. Beautifully
produced in photogravure by one of the best stamp-makers in the
And in the issue of January 1939:
"Ideal as a Souvenir of the 21st Anniversary of the Soviet Re-
publics or for propaganda purposes. Sheet of 24 stamps, beauti-
fully produced in photogravure, depicting scenes of Soviet life,
Soviet leaders and personalities. Is. post free. (Samples will-
John Lloyd, West Bergholt, Colchester, England
(a) Further to the "RTD" labels, by the greatest coincidence I was over
at a friend's place, and he placed the sheet illustrated herewith
(Fig. 7) in my hands, saying, "Would you like this? I paid a shill-
ing for the sheet as a kid in school."
Issued on the occasin of the 24 simple
31st Anahavrw y of the Swlti Union. Ith Nmwemrtw, 1938 In a sheet I'-
by "RUSSIA TODAY" or Id. each
pg. ,a4 ." ,,IIm T
Itas ut I Ae uump
', .7 .
The upper sheet margin informs us that it was "issued on the occa-
sion of the 21st Anniversary of the Soviet Union, 7 Novenber 1938
by RUSSIA TODAY," while the lower sheet margin confirms that it
was designed and printed by Harrison and Sons Ltd., London. Also,
as Mr. Norwood found out, the sheet of 24 stamps sold for a shill-
ing, or a penny each for singles. We can see from the sheet that
the two designs missing from the original listing in "The Post-Rider,
No. 1" are as follows: Bridge on Moscow River (No. 7 on the sheet);
Soviet Icebreaker "Yermak" (No. 24 on the sheet).
While on the subject of pre-war labels, the British National Insti-
tute for the Blind issued a sheet of 12 items to cacrn~morate "Out-
standing Events 1938-9" (see Fig. 8). As can been, No. 5 on the
sheet refers to the "Russian Arctic Expedition."
(b) The double card shown in Fig. 9, is a pre-vM II reply card of 30 kop.
value, intended for enquiries to the Address Bureau of the Workers'
and Peasants' Militia (Civilian Police). Since the Militia regulate
the assignment of dwellings and acccaodation in Soviet cities, they
have accurate records of where every inhabitant lives. The card is
printed in blue on green stock, with one-half asking for ccrplete
details of the encruiry and the reply half giving the requested infor-
Extensive work has been done on the Address Bureau cards issued in
Imperial times and it would be helpful to have similar data on their
NATIONAL INSTITIJ' E FOR ThE ELIND
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I ,Af ,Act,,uAm I.. jti a t eatl~" che --a"t ..i4.i c,--hn ... '# &.
there as staen or coin dealers. Stairs cn e urcase at kiosks in p. ack-
ite issued in a given year. Sa~ n e mint and sc. are C. Perhaps s ....
of the beore ctRuon ones were really postally used, hut it is difficult to
Most of my purchases were made at the State-oprated stasr stores, and
were all "mint" although CL O m as also available. They had not only russian
material, hut mint sets frid other Ccrmunist countries, particularly any-
thing which dealt with Coi runist themes such as Lenin, or the Russian
space prgcxram. There were ssof particularly "colourful" itses on the space
program friu scin African nations, which to me seeed outrag0.eously priced.
In fact, Russian material wasn't exactly cheap at o official exchange rates -
and just out of curiosity I checked up o prices of s.e sets when I return-
ed to the States. I found that dealers' advertisements in the U.S. wrvre con- 0
siderably cheaper than prices in the Russian State stores.
bJre l mit ltoB IORaloaai*e evhdno ny usa
That is, of course, at official exchange rates; U.S. $10.00 = 7 rubles. But
no merchant seaman in his right mind would change his money at official
rates. On the black market, which was widespread, one could get fran 40 to
50 rubles for a $20 bill (higher for a $100 bill). But the real currency
for seamen was not U.S. dollars, but American chewing gun. A carton of
chewing gum was going at 25 rubles to dock workers on the ship, which involv-
ed absolutely no risk to the seller. (At official exchange rates that is
around $35.00 per carton of 20 packages of 7 sticks each.) You can get an
idea of the demand for it, when I mention that I saw it being re-sold on the
streets a 1 ruble a stick. I took along a case of chewing gun, and although
we were there quite sane time, had a hard time getting rid of the money.
which was why I wound up spending quite a bit of it at the State stamp store.
There just wasn't much to buy. Except of course, in the State-operated
tourist stores, where one had to pay in "hard" currency, such as dollars,
pounds, German marks or Swiss francs.
All of the activity I saw in respect to collectors of either numismatic or
philatelic material centered around gatherings on Sunday mornings in one of
the public parks. Sanetines a certain enclosed area would be set aside,
with a guard on duty and a nominal admission price (about 10 kopeks). Others
were entirely in the open and without admission charge. A lot of trading
took place, but there were no dealers and few sales for cash. I know, be-
cause I tried to buy smae particularly interesting numismatic items which
were being traded, and was politely informed that such items were for trade
The only selling I saw was in Odessa at what one might term a flea market.
This too was on a weekend, and took place in a huge enclosed carpound. Here
anyone was free to bring any old junk for re-sale, for a nominal entry fee.
There were no tables, and apparently everyone was restricted to the space of
an opened newspaper, an the paved ground, on which the items were displayed.
There was an astounding variety of junk, probably sane of it antiques if I
had known anything about it; sort of grouped into sections. In one place,
there would be such old auto parts as carburetors and gas filters, another
would be plumbing fixtures, others old dishes, pots and pans, cutlery, etc.
After a lot of searching, I finally found one place where old (and obsolete)
paper money was for sale, mostly of the Tsarist and Revolutionary period. One
had to squat down to go through it, and I soon learned that similar stuff
could be purchased in the U.S. for less, particularly those old giant-size
In another section, I found boxes full of covers and postcards, along with
old books in a dozen languages. Sane of the postal material, in fact most
of it, was WW I era, and all of it pre-WW II. All of it was run-of-the-mill
stuff, like one sees in dealers' junk boxes at hame, only in not nearly as
well preserved condition. One imagines that not too much survived the devas-
tation of WW II. The battle of Odessa was particularly bitter and lasted for
a long time. Perhaps sareone knowledgeable would have been able to find
something of interest, but I didn't. To me it was just junk.
Michael Rayhack, 10 Overlook Avenue, Little Falls, New Jersey, 07424, USA
Reward Paid for Information
The clue is a Denikin essay (?) that was bought by me froa Dr. Ceresa in
England. The design (Fig. 10) is repeated in four sizes. Based on the
stamps in my possession, each size is represented by four stamps, each
in a different colour: dark blue, red, rose and green. All the stamps
are imperforate and are printed on paper of various colours.
The largest of the four formats is about four times the size of the normal
Denikin ruble stamps, with all stamps having a 3 ruble value. The next
largest size is slightly larger than the normal Denikin ruble stamps, and
is a 25 ruble denomination. I have only two stamps of this size in red
and rose. The following size is about the same size as the normal Denikin
ruble stamps and has a 3 ruble value. The smallest format is about the
same size as the Denikin kopek stamps and has a 5 kopek value.
It is interesting to speculate what the origin of these stamps is, where
they have been hiding all of these years and if they are Cinderella or
essays. So far, prominent collectors of Russian-related Cinderella mater-
ial have been stumped to provide an answer. If you know, drop ne a line
and I will pay a $20.00 reward. In the case of more than one answer, the
earliest postmark collects.
S--.--- -- ---
Alex Artuchov, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A one ruble Denikin value in my collection of South Russia has an unusual
and irregular shaped 1 at the bottom of the stamp. Figure 11 shows a
split image with the normal 1 at the left and the irregular 1 on the right.
Figure 12 is an enlargement of the irregular 1.
Mr. I.L.G. Baillie, editor of the BJRP, identifies this stamp as being
No. 24 on its pane and No. 44 on the sheet. He further postulates that
the irregular 1 may be the result of a smudge and points out that bottom
portion of PUB. on the left hand side also contains evidence of smudging.
Any readers having a similar copy with an irregular 1 or any further infor-
mation on this matter are requested to write.
* (5i ~ ~ i I*~
* ~ *-' .- 'S
'-.- -, P |
I l "
.. ., ..
THE COLLECTORS' CORNER /
DEAR COLLETCOPS : \
Are you still missing that illusive item frro your
collection or philatelic library.... do you have some '
duplicate material that you would like to trade of sell ?
S We can publicize your want list and/or your duplicates for
the most reasonable rate of 25/line (minimum of $1.- V
maximum of 16 lines) excluding name and address. Ads from
collectors only will be accepted. Dealers are invited to
The Society disclaims all responsibility from any misunderstandings
that may result between exchanging parties.
unless otherwise specified, all numbers listed are Scott.
Martin Cerini, 37 Wycming Dr., Huntington Station, Long Island, N.Y.,
Wanted: Russian revenue, fiscal, vignette, label or Cinderella stamps,
plus revenue and legal paper, paper seals, bill of exchange cutouts and
any revenue documents, intact or otherwise. All periods: Imperial,
Civil War and Soviet. Will exchange or purchase.
Mike Renfro, Box 2268, Santa Clara, California, 95051, USA
Wanted: Imperial dotted numeral cancellations on cover. Buy or trade.
Wri-te describing covers) and asking price or desired trade.
Anatole Kaushansky, P.O. Box 232, Willawdale, Ontario, M2N 5S8, Canada
I have: Duplicates of rare Soviet definitive of the '20's and '30's,
including No. 287 (used) and many others; material issued in the last
S 20 years is available in superb condition. I will trade for coanemora-
tives of the '30's or sell at very reasonable prices.
G.G Werbizky, 409 Jones Rd., Vestal, N.Y., 13850, USA
Always looking for zemstvo stamps. Fair exchange assured.
P.J. Campbell, 17091 Maher Blvd., Pierrefonds, Quebec, H9J 1117, Canada
To buy or borrow: Copy of 4 kop. Soviet postal card of 1973 cacmremorat-
ing 50th Anniversary of Aeroflot, the Soviet Airline.
David M. Skipton, 401B Hideaway Loop, Glen Burnie, Maryland, 21061, USA
Wanted: The following St. Petersburg "fancy" (geometric) cancel numbers
(preferably clear strikes) on cover: #2 (both types), XI, 13, 14, XV,
XVI, XVII and XXXI (both types); please write with description and asking
Claude Lysloff, 568 Marlborough Rd., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11226, USA
Wanted: Russian and Russian-related VIGNETIES, Revenue, fiscal, Cinder-
Pre-Revolutionary (Imperial Russia) Picture postcards mint and used, views
of cities, art and artist, Military, Naval, etc. ... foreign picture post-
cards related toRussian subjects and events.
LITERATURE: I am looking for the "Russian Philatelist", edited by
A. Rosselevitch, No. 2 (1962) and No. 6 (1965), both in English CNLY!
Also Rossica No. 60, in English.
I would be happy to purchase any of the above items. Correspondence in
English, French, Russian or German.
James Mazepa, Box 1217, Oak Park, Illinois, 60304, USA
I am looking for: Polish boxed postmarks of the 1870's period on cover.
Also any Polish postal history material, to buy or trade similar material.
I would appreciate information on the boxed postmarks even if they are not
available for trade or sale.
Andrew Cronin, P.O. Box 5722, Station 'A', Toronto, Ont., M5W 1P2, Canada
Wanted: 1. Soviet covers of 1938-1939 addressed to J.V. Stalin, also
10 kop. Dobrolyubov stamp of 1936 used on cover.
2. Any of the engraved stamps issued by the PSKOV zemstvo, in
Alex Artuchov, P.O. Box 5722, Station 'A', Toronto, Ont., M5W 1P2, Canada
Disposing of: 237a, 559-68 (mint NH), 1938 (bottle error), several Soviet
erf. errors; Off. in Turkey 27 a, 211a; complete zemstvo sheets.
Wanted: zemstvo, South Russia, St. Petersburg "geometric" cancels, dot
and numeral cancels, Imperial covers, Offices in China.
Exchange preferred, sale considered.
Mrs. C. Rosselevitch, 34 henry Drive, Glen Cove, New York, 11542, USA
A few original copies of the "Russian Philatelist" are still available:
In Russian: Nos. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
In English: Nos. 5, 10, 11
Nos. 5, 7 $2.00 each; Nos. 8-11 $2.50 each. Xerox copies of Nos. 1,
2, 4 (Russian) and Nos. 7, 8 (English) $5.00 each.
Barry Hong, Box 869, Caledonia, Ont., NOA 1AO, Canada
Wanted: Rossica in English, Nos. 44-51, 57, 60-64, 66-69, 82-84;
Russian Philatelist in English, Nos. 1, 2, 6, 8.
I have: Rossica Nos. 44-69 in Russian as exchange.