Printed in Canada
THE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF
P.O. BOX 5722 Station 'A', TORONTO,
ONTARIO, CANADA, M5W 1P2
"THE POST-RIDER" No. 15.
2 Editorial: Building a collection in our field
3 Correspondence with Canada Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank
4 The British Military Mission to Siberia Dr. Robert C. Smith
10 The Currency Tokens of Russia Rev.L. L. Tann
14 The "Russian Office" Revenue Stamps W. Thomas Waters
16 Postage Stamps issued by the Zemstvos Alex. Artuchov
26 Romanov usages in the early Soviet period Andrew Cronin
27 Calendars 1800 to 2050 Dr. Denys J. Voaden
28 The Optical Character Recognition Postal Norman J. Sheppard
System of the U.S.S.R.
42 The Italian Presence in Russia during Luciano Buzzetti
WWI and the Civil War
46 Russian Mail to Foreign Destinations John V. Woollam
49 Philatelic Foreign Exchange Tax Stamps Robert Taylor
62 Carpatho-Ukrainian Postal History Andrew Cronin
66 Mail to the Empire: A Hongkong Used Abroad Marcel Lamoureux
Cover sent to Novorossiisk
67 Philatelic Shorts
72 Review of Literature
75 Journal Fund
76 The Collectors' Corner
COORDINATORS OF THE SOCIETY: Alex Artuchov, Publisher & Treasurer
P.J. Campbell, Secretary
Andrew Cronin, Editor
The Society gratefully thanks its contributors for helping to
make this an interesting issue.
BUILDING A COLLECTION IN OUR FIELD.
Your editor once ran into a philatelist at a local stamp show who
collected Russian forerunner postmarks from the Baltic provinces. He
was bewailing the fact that his collection was making no headway and,
during the conversation, he revealed that he had a top limit of $1.25
per used card or cover. That was at a time when the going price for the
commonest marking from the area was around $5.00. In other words, he
had champagne tastes on a beer expenditure. There are many like him.
What it all boils down to is that, if you want to have a good collection,
you have to be prepared to spend money. Generally speaking, the more
money disbursed, the better the collection. But you also have to have a
plan and know where you are heading.
Let us take an example. One of the foremost collectors in our field
decided very early in the game that he would specialise in Russia No. 1:
mint, used and on cover. That object was followed with such
determination that he now possesses the finest collection of No. l's in
the world Not only did he attain that aim, but there were side
benefits also. Among other things, he could now also display an award-
winning exhibit of dots cancellations just on No. l's alone. Another
advantage is that, when such a comprehensive collection is put together,
its value is substantially increased; the whole is greater than the sum
of its parts.
And so, dear children, let us take the above advice to heart and, once
again mixing our metaphors, put our shoulders to the wheel and let the
chips fall where they may !
The views expressed in the articles contained herein in this issue of
"The Post-Rider" are those of the respective authors and not
necessarily those of the Society or its coordinators.
Anything contained in this issue may be reprinted without permission,
provided that the source is acknowledged and a copy sent to the Society.
Members are reminded that all three coordinators of the Society are
fully engaged in earning their livings and thus cannot answer individual
requests or queries. When of general interest to the readership, they
will be answered in "The Post-Rider". Please bear with us
"Corresprdence with Canada" is a regular feature
of this journal. Anyone possessing interesting
Russian mail to Canada is invited to share it
with the readership, by forwarding a photograph
or xerco copy of the item, along with sane expla-
natory text to the Editor.
A SOLDIER'S LETTER TO CANADA
by Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank.
The illustrations on the previous page are of a field post cover, from
a batch (all the others were Zemstvos !) that was recovered from a
garbage can in Honolulu by an early morning jogger friend of mine some
years ago. It was posted by a soldier in the 14th. Sapper Battalion
(Engineers) of the 21st. Corps of the Russian Imperial Army on active
service. The postmarks on the two 10/7-kop. Romanov stamps read FIELD
POST OFFICE No. 24, d, 25.1.17 O.S.
There is a further field post marking on the back of the cover, partly
obscured by the censorship label and confirmed to read CONTROL FIELD
POST OFFICE(CODE)LETTER U 2?.1.17 O.S. The trilingual handstamp
of Helsinki was applied also on the back and is dated 11.2.17 N.S. The
cover appears to have been censored twice, for it bears on the front a
faint red oval handstamp of the Gelsingfors (Helsinki) Military Censor,
dated 14.2.17 N.S. (confirmed by the machine marking on the back) and
the trilingual censor seal of the military censorship in Tornio/Tornea
at the extreme northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia. A further violet
handstamp on the back, with the Imperial Russian coat of arms in the
centre, reads FROM THE ARMY ON ACTIVE SERVICE.
The letter enclosed in the envelope indicates that the soldier was
writing to his brother, who had emigrated to Canada.
THE BRITISH MILITARY MISSION TO SIBERIA 1918-20
by Dr. Robert C. Smith
(This article first appeared in the Journal of The Postal History
Society of Canada and is reprinted here with the approval of the author),
The British Military Mission to Siberia was established in 1918 and
used two distinct designs of postmarks during their stay in Vladivostok,
in addition to a large circular rubber handstamp.1 A correspondence from
a Canadian who was seconded to that organisation for a period of time in
1919 has recently been discovered and it sheds some light on the usage
of these postmarking devices, as well as on the postal activities of the
British Mission. The purpose of the present article is to present this
new information, along with some related material.
The background to these activities in Siberia is presented briefly by
Kennedy and Crabb.2 The 25th. Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment was in
Siberia from August 1918 until September 1919 and the 1/9th. Battalion
Hampshire Regiment from November 1918 until November 1919.
"The British Military Mission (under Gen. A. Knox) remained in
Vladivostok for another month or two...."
"Postal services do not seem to have been provided until mid 1919;
prior to this, mail was handled by the Canadian F.P.O. or by the
local postal service. The address was originally c/o The Canadian
Expeditionary Force, Siberia. Before a regular datestamp was brought
into use, the handstamp type M9 (the rubber stamp) was used as a
postmark (in violet as well as in black). F.P.O. 201 datestamp was
produced in 1917, but was not used then as 67th. Division did not go
to France as intended, so it was a spare available for use; it
possibly superseded the Mission P.O."2
Although the 25th. Battalion Middlesex Regiment was in Siberia from
3 August 1918 until 7 September 1919 and the 1/9th. Battalion Hampshire
Regiment from 28 November 1918 until 1 November 1919, both were
* administered and supplied by the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia)
during its stay there. Control of the 25th. Middlesex, for example, was
not turned over to the British Military Mission until 19 May 19193,
while the 1/9th. Hampshires were controlled by the C.E.F.(S.) until
26 May 1919, when they entrained for Ekaterinburg from Omsk.4 There
nevertheless seems to have been some confusion, even among the General
Staff in Siberia and the Imperial Government, as to who was in charge of
these regiments, due mainly to the fact that large detachments were
stationed at Omsk and Krasnoyarsk, far from the Canadian Headquarters
in Vladivostok. While the C.E.F.(S.) was in Siberia, however, all postal
arrangements for the British regiments and for the British Military
Mission were handled by the Canadian Postal Corps; this included the
units in Omsk and Krasnoyarsk, but not that in Ekaterinburg, since most
of the Canadians had left before that time.5
On His Majesty's iServ Fi t ct a tt
to England, written on 21 Novemb er 1918 by Lt.-Col. John Ward, Officer
man t 2 1
CE R / 06 hp hd bn ig. 2.
s -. /z -/ / y -
e Fig. 1.
This is illustrated by the cover shown in Fig. 1. It contained a letter
to England, written on 21 November 1918 by Lt.-Col. John Ward, Officer
Commanding the 25th. Middlesex in Omsk. The letter was censored and
postmarked only after it had reached Vladivostok, after travelling some
5700 km. (3565 miles) down the Trans-Siberian Railway. The PASSED / BY /
CENSOR / 006 handstamp had been assigned to the Canadian Postal Corps on
9 December 19186 and the steel postmarking hammer No. 1 reading FIELD
POST OFFICE / CANADIAN / SIBERIAN EXP. FORCE had been in use in
Vladivostok since early November 1918.w This cover was postmarked on
Christmas Day, 25 December 1918. Although Canadian administrative
personnel entrained in Vladivostok on 7 December for Omsk to administer
the 25th. Middlesex3, no postal clerks were sent there until 4 February
Quartermaster Segeant Douglas M. Brown, who had arrived in Vladivostok
on 5 December 1918 with the Canadian Engineers, served with that unit
until they were recalled to Canada. The main body of the Engineers left
on 19 May 1919 and Sgt.-Major Brown, who had volunteered to remain in
Siberia, was "On Command" to the British Military Mission from 18 May.
Covers from his correspondence, showing the BRITISH MISSION POST OFFICE/
-VLADIVOSTOK- postmark (a drawing of which is shown in Fig. 2), date
from 13 June to 14 August 1919. Proud-Baileyl indicates that this
marking has been observed dated between 21 May and 18 August 1919 and
Hopkins9 mentions a cover of 19 August 1919.
datestamp of 19 August 1919, the same day as the latest recorded date
of the marking discussed in the previous paragraph and a full month
earlier than the 19 September date quoted by Proud-Bailey as being the
earliest recorded (although Hopkins shows an illustration of a strike
dated 22 August 1919). This leads to the speculation that 19 August
1919 was in fact the last day of use of the BRITISH MISSION POST OFFICE
/ -VLADIVOSTOK- postmark and the first day of use of the FIELD POST
OFFICE / 201 device. No information has been found giving reasons for
the changeover; the earlier marking was certainly atypical of British
military postmarks, while the later one was, of course, very typical.
It should be remarked that strikes of the latter device dated 19 Aug.
and 27 Aug. 1919 show an indicium "B" above the date. All later F.P.O.
201 strikes in this correspondence, beginning on 6 September 1919,
have an indicium "+". Hopkins9 shows a "B" strike dated 22 August 1919,
while Kennedy and Crabb2 show a "+" mark dated 10 December 1919. There
is some body of opinion that such indicia varieties were produced by
different postmarkers. If that is indeed the case, it would be
surprising if an "A" postmarker did not also exist.
Towards the end of 1919, Sgt.-Major Brown transferred to the Canadian
Red Cross, whose Siberian Commission was for a time attached to the
British Military Mission. Letters sent to his mother in Canada
continued to be postmarked with the F.P.O. 201 handstamp and, on
occasion, he used stationery specially produced for the British
Military Mission (Fig. 4). The arrangement continued into the spring
of 1920; the last cover posrmarked with this device is dated 1 April
1920 (Fig. 5). This cover therefore extends the latest recorded date
of usage of the F.P.O. 201 handstamp by about 3k months, with 19 Dec.
1919 being the last date noted by Proud-Bailey.
BRITISH MILITARY MISSION
^t7,7. 27 f -
~Z--L) c-L -
Mission Headquarters inVladivostok, Siberia.
Mission Headquarters in Vladivostok, Siberia.
_ __ __
_~/ c--~C-L]?~-~L~C/ ,--~I~rc~--
In a letter of 21 March 1920, Sgt.-Major Brown remarks: "The (British
Military) Mission will be leaving here by the end of April is the latest
rumour and pretty well confirmed, I believe. But the Red Cross expects
to remain..." On 31 March Brown was off to Chita on the Chinese Eastern
and Trans-Siberian Railways, distributing relief supplies for the Red
Cross to refugees from the Bolsheviks. On the return voyage to
Vladivostok, he wrote on 13 May from Harbin, Manchuria: "Found the last 0
trainload of the British Mission here. They came in yesterday and go
down to Shanghai, leaving at eleven tonight". He was back in Vladivostok
on 19 May and his letters to Canada from that time on were despatched
through a variety of interesting routes; none of these involved the use
of the F.P.O. 201 postmark, of course, because the Field Post Office
would have been closed down when the British Mission departed in early
One arrangement for sending mail to Canada, which was eventually
established and became quite stable, worked through the British
Consulate in Vladivostok. It involved transportation of mail from
Canadian Red Cross personnel by British Consular bag to the Canadian
Pacific Ocean Services agent in Yokohama, Japan, who affixed Japanese
postage stamps to it and placed it in the regular Japanese mail stream
(Fig. 6). The Canadian Red Cross Commissioner in Siberia, Lt.-Col. D.
Douglas Young, was a "friend of Canadian Pacific", according to Brown
who, in a letter of 17 October 1920, explained: "We send our mail in the
Consular bag to the C.P.O.S. agent in Yokohama and it is mailed there.
The bag closes at eleven sharp (on Wednesday mornings), sometimes a
little before 'sharp' and I usually take ours up shortly after ten".
This arrangement remained in effect until Mr. Brown left Siberia in mid-
January 1921, to return to Canada after the closing of the Canadian Red
Cross offices in Vladivostok.
It is only by chance that information on the extension of the recorded
time period during which F.P.O. 201 was in operation and the makeshift
arrangements described in the last paragraph have come to light, through
the long-buried correspondence of the Secretary to the Canadian Red
Cross Commission in Siberia. It serves to illustrate the fact that
information often seems to turn up when and where one is least looking
1. Proud, Edward B., History of the British Army Postal Services, Vol.II
1903-1927. Proud-Bailey Ltd., Dereham, 1980 ?
2. Kennedy, Alistair & George Crabb, The Postal History of the British
Army in World War I-Before & After-1903 to 1929. George Crabb,
3. Public Archives of Canada, Record Group 9,III,vol.373,file 100-4 and
vol. 5056, file 958.
4. ibid., vol. 371, file 27-9: A.A. & Q.M.G. to British Military Mission,
30 April 1919.
5. Public Archives of Canada, RG 3, new vol. 638, file 70762: letter
from G.P.O. London, 5 October 1918.
6. Smith. Robert C., "Markings of the Canadian Expeditionary Force
(Siberia)". PHSC Journal No.36, December 1983, p.4. Reprinted in
The Post-Rider, No. 14, June 1984, p. 33.
7. National Postal Museum, "The Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force
1918-19". The Post-Rider, No. 6, April 1980, p.16.
8. Public Archives of Canada, RG 9, III, vol. 5057, file 960: War Diary,
No. 5 Detachment, Canadian Postal Corps.
9. Hopkins, Adrian, "The Siberian Expeditionary Force, 1918-19". Postal
History Society Bulletin, vol. 64, 1952, p. 68.
.. .. -t .3k3- ... --*4 i
"~~~~~ .:* '' ^ ^w
_" ", + '* .$ ,"+' *^,.- :+ If'' .
1, '. "--+ -.
+. + +.*r :" ^ ',++ -* ", ~' .: -. + .: .S* ^ '
:.' : ,.+-+; ++.''' + '".". ^ +, ,.. ++ :,,-+ St^ ^ .? '
*' .... .". '4 -' r ,_ .
. .. .-- ... w ** ..+ .. -
+ .. +
-- -- ---~- -- -------- -- i- R I __
Fig. 5. Cover postmarked with the FIELD POST OFFICE / 201 datestamp
on 1 April 1919, with indicium "+"; the latest date recorded for
I l,I -+_ -,-. -. I-
9f4t (Sanabtan Eb t QErenro arit g
VWa'osolQ R. M.s "E M PRE SS JAPAN"
'y,;.. t&a^A~sl l
t^- -*- ,..., ^-.
Fig. 6. Corner card of the Canadian Red Cross Society, Vladivostok,
franked with a 10-sen Japan 1914 issue cancelled YOKOHAMA 17.11.20 in
purple and with red instructional handstamp:Per RMS"EMPRESS of JAPAN'"
'~_ ,; -43_Jly-
''' : 5
~7--rec~u ~7 ~-ci~
THE CURRENCY TOKENS OF RUSSIA
by Rev. L.L. Tann.
A past editorial note in our beloved journal YAMSHCHIK ("The Post-
Rider") pointed out that access to all state archive material in the
USSR is not necessary, as many of the directives and postal regulations
will be found duplicated in the archives of Finland. It is surprising
how helpful such a thought is and I have reason to be grateful to the
editorial for the idea in the first place and, in the second, to my
good pen-friend Bo Isacsson of Tidaholm in Sweden, who provided me with
photocopies from the Finnish postal archives, as well as a translation
of the Swedish texts contained therein.
Russia issued three sets of currency-tokens, which I describe thus:-
Cctober 1915: First Imperial Issue. Values of 10, 15 and 20 k.
Autumn 1916: Second Imperial Issue. Values of 1, 2 and 3 k.
(in Jan. 1917, the 1 k. and 2 k. tokens received the
overprints "1" and "2" respectively on the face to
clarify value owing to fraud).
April 1917: Republican Issue. Values of 1, 2 and 3 k.
(the imperial eagle removed from the inscription on the
We are fairly certain of the date of issue of the first imperial set,
as a cover exists with the tokens used in Petrograd on 25 Oct. 1915. It
would seem that these tokens first made their debut around the third
week in October 1915.
The Republican Issue of low values with the imperial eagle omitted from
the inscription must have appeared early in the revolutionary period.
Given the upheavals of early March 1917 and the time it would have
taken to make a new plate of the reset inscriptions for the backs, it
would appear that April 1917 would seem reasonable as the earliest date
The questions that remain are these. When did the first issue of the
low values (second imperial issue) appear ? Why did the low values have
a reissue in April 1917 with a republican-style inscription ? In my
book "The Imperial Romanovs" (Dec. 1977) in the chapter on currency
tokens, I discuss the date of issue of this low-value series. Doctor
Gregory B. Salisbury, the late authority on the Romanov issue,
suggested June 1916, while all the authoritative catalogues and
handbooks give January 1917. As I pointed out then and do so again, had
the tokens appeared officially as early as June 1916, we would have
before now discovered a few at least that bore postmarks of the months
June to December 1916, giving us cause to alter the date of issue as
noted in so many catalogues and books. Dr. J. Lee Shneidman, writing on
the subject in The Rossica Journal No. 78/1970, states: "... the
Government in 1916 and 1917 issued the 1 k., 2 k. and 3 k. money stamps".
Clearly, he too believed that these low values appeared before 1917 had
Thanks to Bo Isacsson, I am setting out below the bilingual (Swedish ahd
Russian) directives from the office of Peter Jamalainen, Postmaster-
General of the Grand Duchy of Finland. I have indicated the relevant
sections and reproduce Bo's translation from the Swedish, adjusting it
to modern parlance. Bo states in his letter to me that the Swedish text
is old-fashioned and bureaucratically clumsy The first two excerpts
are also given in the original Swedish, for the benefit of the readers
S of "The Post-Rider" in that country. It would appear that reference is
being made to "vaxelmarkena" or "the exchange stamps" (which, to avoid
confusion and to establish clearly defined nomenclature, I have always
called "currency tokens"), as they began to come in across the Russo-
Finnish frontier from Russia proper and later detailing the actual
denominations. The Finnish dates are in the New Style calendar. The
Russian Old Style has been added in brackets.
POSTSTYRELSEN I FINLAND.
HELSINGFORS, den 21 oktober 1915.
N:o II. 13,512.
Till samtliga postanstalter.
3. Ehuru de af Finansministeriet i r8relsen utslgppta vAxelmArkena
egentligen &ro afsedda att anvandas uteslutande sasom vdxelmynt och
s ledes icke borde anvandas i stAllet f8r postmarken, b8r emellertid
frankering med vaxelmArken godkdnnas (N:o 8907).
THE POSTAL ADMINISTRATION IN FINLAND. ENGLISH TEXT.
Helsinki, 21 October 1915 (8 October O.S.).
No. II. 13,512. To all the post offices.
3. Although the currency tokens placed in circulation by the Ministry
of Finance are primarily intended to be used only as a medium of
exchange and thus should not be used in place of postage stamps,
franking with currency tokens should, however, be allowed (No. 8907).
POSTSTYRELSEN I FINLAND.
HELSINGFORS, den 18 december 1915.
N:o II. 15,145.
Till samtliga postanstalter.
2. Med hAnvisning till Poststyrelsens allmAnna skrifvelse N:o II.
13,512 (3) 21/10.15 meddelas postanstalterna till kAnnedom och
iakttagande, att de af Finansministeriet i r8relsen utslappta
vaxelm&rkena, enligt numera ing&nget meddelande, icke f& anvandas i
st&llet f8r postmarken till frankering af postf8rsandelser.
THE POSTAL ADMINISTRATION IN FINLAND. ENGLISH TEXT.
Helsinki, 18 December 1915 (5 December O.S.).
No. II. 15,145. To all the post offices.
2. With reference to the general communication of the Postal
Administration No. II. 13,512, paragraph 3 of 21.10.15, the post offices
are informed and asked to take note that the currency tokens placed in
circulation by the Ministry of Finance, according to the recently
received information, should not be used in place of postage stamps for
the franking of postal sending.
* THE POSTAL ADMINISTRATION IN FINLAND. ENGLISH TEXT.
Helsinki, 20 December 1915 (7 December O.S.).
No. II. 15,219. To all the post offices.
The post offices are to acknowledge and hereby carry out the following
regulations advising about the currency tokens placed in circulation
by the Ministry of Finance, namely :-
1. The currency tokens are valid on a par with circulating coins made
of silver or copper.
2. The currency tokens are issued in the same designs as the present
government issue for the Romanov Dynasty Jubilee postage stamps of 20,
15, 10, 3, 2 and 1 k. with corresponding inscriptions on the back (in
Russian), viz :-
"it may circulate on a par with silver coins of exchange", or
"it may circulate on a par with copper coins".
3. Private persons are obliged, as in the same case as coins of exchange,
to accept currency tokens of any amount up to a maximum of three roubles
in one and the same payment. Government cashiers are to accept the
aforementioned tokens to any amount in all payments, except with regard
to customs fees. In that latter case, payment with currency tokens is
permitted for such amounts as specified in the customs regulations for
silver and copper coinage.
4. A damaged currency token should not be accepted as payment when the
design on it cannot be recognized, or when the token is less than three
quarters of a complete item.
It is clear that there was an initial period of confusion as to whether
the currency tokens could be used for postage or not. Indeed, Doctor
Gregory B. Salisbury quoted philatelists in Petrograd at the time of
their issue (October 1915), who were under the impression that the
tokens could serve both as currency and as stamps. If that were so of
people in the capital, how much more could that confusion have been
prevalent among semi-literate people in other parts of Imperial Russia.
Hence the subsequent directives issued to prohibit them from being used
The third circular of 20 Dec. 1915 shows that THE LOW-VALUE CURRENCY
TOKENS (my second imperial issue) WERE PRINTED AT THE SAME TIME AS THE
HIGHER VALUES. As all authorities agree, they were held back to see the
reaction to the 10, 15 and 20-kopek tokens. The hoarding of silver
currency was acute and that for copper did not accelerate until later.
I am convinced that the high values were issued, as is generally agreed,
in October 1915 and the stockpiled low values in November or December
These low values ran into trouble. Forgers recolored them to look like
the 15 k. and 20 k. values issued earlier. As so many quickly became
dirty and torn to the point of unrecognisability, the fraudulent copies
were able to be passed around in hasty exchanges in the market place.
The outcry forced the Government to overprint subsequently with the
figures "1" or "2" on the face to clarify the value beyond doubt. Thus,
the original unoverprinted 1 k. and 2 k.- values command considerable
prices and the overprinted ones the usual few pence/cents. The
considerable stockpile of all six values supplied the banks and the
exchequer. Proofs were being prepared of new copper coinage for the low
values in late 1916. I mentioned these in my article "Just a rouble.."
in "The Post-Rider" No. 5 for Nov. 1979. These proof coins were in the
denominations of 1, 2, 3 and 5 k. The advent of the revolution in March
1917 relegated the coinage of the Tsars to history.
But I have no doubt that the new coinage was intended to replace the
tokens, which did not have public support and which, in themselves, had
dealt confidence in the Tsarist economy a great deal of damage. Thus,
Sthe original 1915 printing had not been supplemented particularly, in
the hope that the new coins would be available "soon" and restore
confidence in the economy. If we review the position as of 1st. March
1917 (the last effective day of the Russian Monarchy), we see low
stocks of all the currency tokens issued that far, the project for the
new copper coins not yet reaching fruition, the printing plates of the
Romanov stamps (1, 2, 3, 10, 15 & 20 k.) badly worn as they had been in
constant use since January 1913, a minor shortage of paper and proper
inks that was to become extremely critical in the revolutionary period
and, finally, perforating machines that were wearing badly. This was
because they were originally Austrian and now had to be repaired
locally, while the issuance of the currency tokens meant that card had
to be perforated rather than paper, which accelerated wear.
The outbreak of the revolution brought about the abdication of Tsar
Nicholas II on 2nd. March and the abdication of the "Tsar for a Day"
Grand Duke Michael on 3rd. March. The project for the new Tsarist
coinage was dropped and necessitated further printings of the currency
tokens. The March-April reissues have the hallmarks of the revolutionary
period: fuzzy and ill-defined portraits, smudgy printing, poor to
atrocious perforations and a number of interesting varieties (imperfs,
shifts, etc.). The worn plates again pressed into service did their best
but, as time went by, the portraits on the tokens became almost
unrecognisable and the clear-cut inscriptions on the back became smudged
and fuzzy at the edges. The figures "1" and "2" still used as overprints
Also became smudged.
At this point, with a reprinting of the tokens imperative, the
opportunity was taken of setting a new inscription for the low values.
This "republican" inscription, omitting the Tsarist arms for the first
time in the whole philatelic history of Imperial Russia, is truly the
only philatelic commemoration of the March Revolution, the real
revolution of Russia.(The later coup d'etat engineered by the
Bolsheviks has been foisted upon us as a popular revolution. It was
nothing of the kind, but merely a seizure of power by a well-organised
armed minority). I suggest that the problems engendered by setting a new
inscription for the low-value tokens was such that they simply used the
old plates for the higher values. They had hailed the revolution, and
left it at that.
I will conclude with the following comments on the currency tokens,
which are an interesting aside in our area of collecting. They continued
to circulate for one or two years more, eventually being submerged in
the flood of paper currency from the Provisional Government, the
Bolshevik regime and the breakaway regions of Russia, which printed
notes in ever spiralling values as inflation rocketed. While one accepts
that the initial period of the revolution was the wrong time to start
thinking in terms of new stamps or tokens, it is curious to say the
least that stamps with the Tsarist arms of the Double Eagle were printed
and issued until mid-1923 With the Richards Zaripg types of the
"Sword and Chain" stamps issued by the Bolsheviks in 1918 (another much
* neglected issue !), one would have thought that these would have been
better than the Tsarist types. And with currency tokens still being
issued and bearing effigies of the Tsarist regime now swept away, one
begins to wonder why they changed the inscription on the low-value
tokens to herald the revolution, leaving the Tsarist portraits on the
front i 13
Finally, we should wonder why on earth in 1915 the authorities, who had
settled on currency tokens of card to replace hoarded coinage, ever
thought of using the Romanov portraits anyway. They were designed as
stamps, the picture on the face bears the word POCHTA (postage) and yet,
as we see from the Finnish postal circulars, they were forbidden for
postage. They wanted people to distinguish tokens from postage stamps,
then used the same designs and the same colours to add to the confusion
And if they wanted letters and cards with the inadmissable tokens to be
taxed as though unfranked, why did they choose types that would have to
be individually examined by every counter clerk ?
The charge is often made that these tokens have no place in philately.
They were issued as coinage and served as such. Only truly used copies
have any place in our field of study and the varieties above all are
printing varieties of coinage. The Lobachevskii study in the Rossica
journals makes this point and relegates the varieties to limbo by
stating that imperforate copies were circulated after the tokens were
demonetised and copies cancelled by obliging clerks upon request. Very
convenient for Lobachevskii, no doubt, but I do not think that such
comments stand up. For example, when were the tokens demonetised ? We
have evidence that the "Sword and Chain" design was contemplated in
1918 for use as a currency token. The British Journal of Russian
Philately No. 40, p. 35, for March 1967, gives details of the "Sword
and Chain" essays for new currency tokens in the reformed spelling,
thus undoubtedly in the Bolshevik era. As to varieties, look at the
stamps of the period I do not think that one can cast aspersions on
varieties of the tokens and not on the stamps. Many were issued and used.
The tokens did not qualify for quality control on the same level as the
stamps. Many varieties slipped out.
I set out to deal with two questions: when did the first issue of low-
value tokens appear and why was the inscription on the low values
reset ? I hope that I have answered these questions and, in the process,
opened up discussion on other aspects of these issues. As a last
tribute, my sincere thanks to Bo Isacsson for the Finnish archive
material and his translations.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: We of "The Post-Rider" would also like to extend our
thanks to Mr. Isacsson and couple it with an appeal to our Finnish and
Swedish readers to keep delving into the postal archives of the Grand
Duchy of Finland. A pressing task and real scoop would be to find the
complete listing of the "dots" cancellations of Imperial Russia up to
No. 1700, as it seems most likely that such information must have been
forwarded by the Postal Department in St. Petersburg to the Finnish
Postal Administration in Helsingfors/Helsinki.
THE "RUSSIAN OFFICE" REVENUE STAMPS OF EGYPT
by Thomas Waters
Searching for material relating to the Russian Revolution, Civil War
and their aftermath has always produced interesting material and often
some pleasant surprises. An unexpected contact with Mr. Peter R. Feltus,
author of the recent publication Catalogue of Egyptian Revenue Stamps
turned up information on two sets of stamps issued in Egypt for
documentary purposes. I quote directly from Mr. Feltus' book: "After
World War I, the collapse of the Tsarist regime and the takeover by
* the Bolsheviks, Russians resding in Egypt became stateless, inasmuch
as the Egyptian and British Governments did not recognize the Russian
Communist Government. When diplomatic relations between Egypt and
Russia therefore ceased, the Egyptian Government decided to retain a
skeleton of the Russian Consulate in Alexandria under the supervision
of the ex-Consul, Mr. Fedorov. The White Russians remaining in Egypt
were obliged to register annually at the ex-Consulate The Russian
Office and to pay modest fees for documentation. The arrangement was
advantageous to the Egyptian Government, as it was easier for the ex-
Consul to keep an eye on the Russians, few of whom spoke Arabic and to
ensure that there were no Communists among them. Any desiring passports
(Laissez-Passer, of the Nansen type) or other official documents from
the Egyptian Government, needed certification of their bona-fides from
the Russian Office; these and other documents entailed small fees and
consequently had Russian Office stamps affixed to them".
1926. The First Issue.
Lithographed by the Survey Dept. of Egypt. Inscribed
at top in Arabic: AL DAWLAT AL MASRIYA (The
Government of Egypt), with the English initials "EG"
Comb-perforated 13h. Watermarked Crown & Arabic F,
No. 493 5 P.T. (piastres) brown ...... $25.00
493a imperf. pair $60.00
494 15 P.T. blue .... $25.00
494a imperf. pair $60.00
495 25 P.T. red $25.00 $25.00
Issued in sheets of 50, with control numbers in the lower right corner.
Three control blocks of four have survived from the Palace Collection,
two of them being imperforate; all show control number A/26.
1949. The Second Issue.
Lithographed by the Survey Dept. of Egypt. Inscribed
at top in Arabic: AL MEMLEKET AL MASRIYA (The
Kingdom of Egypt) and again with the English
initials "EG" immediately below.
Comb-perforated 13. Watermarked Crown & Arabic F,
N AC r m 5, bA
LI 'U J .L I UWIL .uu .U.
497 25 P.T. red $6.00 $6.50
Issued in sheets of 50, with control numbers in the lower right
I was fortunate to purchase copies of Nos. 495, 496 & 497 from Mr.
Feltus. No. 495 was used with a partial circular cancel reading
"Trade Office". I understand that Mr. Feltus has other copies on hand.
* It appears, therefore that the shock waves from the Revolution
resulted in material of philatelic (I use this word broadly) interest
outside the areas already known: Yugoslavia & Turkey (the questionable
Wrangel Post and the very collectable Principal Committee of the Union
of Russian Zemstvos in Constantinople marking: see "The Post-Rider",
No. 7, p. 65). Were other Mediterranean areas compelled to act in kind ?
POSTAGE STAMPS ISSUED BY THE ZEMSTVOS
by Alex Artuchov
(continued from No. 14)
1883 (end of)
Similar to previous issue in changed colours and without types,
lithographed on thin or thick white paper, reddish gum, sheet
of 6 x 6 with transfer block of 4 in a 2 x 2 arrangement which
is distributed evenly on the sheet, imperforate,
30. 5 kop. carmine-red on thin paper (P) 50.00
31. 5 kop. carmine-red on thick paper (P) 5.00
Similar to previous issue with 3 L-kop. stamps 6 5,kop. stamps
and 4 10-kop. stamps in different colours, lithographed on
smooth white paper, white gum, imperforate.
1 Kop. Stamps
Sheet of 6 x 6 with 2 types.
1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1
1 2 1 2 1 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
2 1 2 1 2 1
The Two Types
Type 1 Left bottom 1 is of same thickness from top to bottom,
right bottom 1 is placed exactly in the centre of the circle.
Type 2 Left bottom 1 is narrower at the bottom, right bottom 1
is nearer to the bottom of the circle, the upper left circle is
is thicker under the 1.
32. 1 kop. yellow-brown, brown (P)
33. 1 kop. carmine-rose (P)
34. 1 kop. orange (P)
5 Kop. Stamps
Sheet of 6 x 6 with 2 types, complete sheet unknown.
1 2 2 ? ? ?
1 2 1 ? ? ?
1 2 2
? ? ?
1 2 1 2 1 2
1 2 1 2 1 2
1 2 1 2 1 2
The Two Types
Type 1 Two smalllines with a cross between them are over the
upper left corner, there is a white line between the letters
Y and B in the word YIIBLIA, the letter A of the word HOITA
has a small hook on the right leg.
Type 2 One line and one dot are over the left upper corner,
a white dot resembling a tail is at the end of the A of nHOTA.
Variety: A large white spot on the dragon's tail.
35. 5 kop. yellow-brown (P)
36. 5 kop. carmine-rose (P)
37. 5 kop. orange (P)
38. 5 kop. black 4.00
39. 5 kop. light lilac 3.00
40. 5 kop. light blue 3.00
The 10 Kop. Stamps
A sheet of 6 x 6 with 2 types distributed irregularly on the sheet;
a complete sheet is unknown.
1 ? ? 1 2 1
? ? ? 1 2 2
? ? ? 1 2 1
1 2 1 2 1 2
1 2 1 2 1 2
1 2 1 ? 1 2
The Two Types
Type 1-The upper right numeral 10 has a long and thin 0.
Type 2- The upper right numeral 10 has short and fat 0.
Note: The 3 remaining corner numerals also display minor differences.
41. 10 kop. carmine-rose (P) 10.00
42. 10 kop. orange (P) 10.00
43. 10 kop. black 30.00
44. 10 kop. light lilac 6.00
Similar to previous issues but with the government instead of the
zemstvo coat of arms in the central oval, lithographed on white
paper, brownish yellow gum, sheet of 6 x 6, imperforate and
perforated 11 from Jan. 1890 on.
45. 1 kop. red-violet, light or dark (P) 0.75
46. 1 kop. rose-lilac on rose tinted paper (P) 3.00
47. 5 kop. blue, dark blue 1.00
48. 5 kop. orange-red (P) 1.00
49. 10 kop. greenish-blue 1.00
50. 10 kop. orange-red (P) 1.00
Varieties of the 10 Kop. Stamp
A. A large white spot and a coloured dot on the 1 of the
numeral in the bottom right corner. llth stamp on the
B. A dot after the word YrI3BA. 16th stamp on the sheet.
A nick in the top of the NE corner square.
C. A small white spot is near the SE corner circle. 26th
stamp on the sheet.
Stamps of the 1888 issue perforated 11.
51. 1 kop. red-violet,light or dark (P) 0.50
52. 1 kop. rose-lilac on rose tinted paper (P) 1.00
53. 5 kop. blue, dark blue 1.00
54. 5 kop. orange-red (P) 3.00
55. 10 kop. greenish blue 2.00
56. 10 kop. orange-red (P) 2.00
Similar to 5 kop. stamp of previous issue; the white outline of the
oval and the circles around the numerals contain no vertical lines,
slightly different numerals, lithographed on white paper, shiny
brownish yellow gum, sheet unknown but a partial sheet reconstruction
illustrating the transfer block of 3 types placed horizontally and
with differences of position of corner numerals is shown below,
perforated 11. The Three Types
3 1 2 3 1 2 3
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
2 3 2 3 1 2 3 1
2 3 2 3 1 2 3 1
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
\ Type 1- SE corner
Type 2- SE corner
Type 3- SW corner
57. 5 kop. red (P)
Similar to previous issues, print is less clear, lithographed on
smooth white paper, shiny yellowish gum, sheet of 6 x 6 with 3
new types differ ing in the shape and position of the corner numerals;
the 5 kop. stamp can be considered as a colour error since only
one sheet is known to have been printed, perforated 11.
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
58. 5 kop. carmine (P)
59. 5 kop. violet (P)
The 3 Types
New design but similar to previous issues, larger crown, diamonds
on shield narrower and ribbon on the left side of the shield
forms a hook instead of a loop, lithographed on smooth white paper,
yellowish white gum, sheet of 6 x 6 with a transfer block of 3
types differ ing in the shape and position of the corner numerals,
perforated 11, the 5 kop. blue and 10 kop. stamps are also known
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 '3 1 2 3
60. 1 kop. violet
61. 5 kop. blue, dark blue
62. 5 kop. dark red (P) 2.00
63. 10 kop. light blue 2.00
64. 10 kop. rose 2.00
The 1 Kop. Types
Type 1 Short 1 in NW corner and long thin 1 in NE corner.
Type 2 Numeral 1 in SW corner placed diagonally at a 45"angle.
Type 3 The same numeral placed at a 60* angle.
The 5 Kop. Stamps
Type 1 The 5 in the NW corner has a short flag placed at an angle.
Type 2 The same 5 is narrow; there is a dark spot under the SW
Type 3 The 5 in the NW corner than on the other types and has
a straight flag.
A. There is a white dot to the left of the coat of arms; this is the
13th stamp on the sheet.
B. There is a dot behind the upper right 5; this the 21st stamp on
10 Kop. Varieties
A. There is a dot between the words BOPOPOXCKOrO and YIhISA; this
the 16th stamp on the sheet and a constant flaw.
Similar to the previous issues but with an additional inscription
of value at the top and bottom or either of OnIJIOEHA5 (PAID) or
gOJIOBAR (POSTAGE DUE) inscribed at the top and value at the bottom;
lithographed on various papers, brownish yellow gum, perforated 11.
Stamps With Inscription of Value Only
Smooth white paper, 5 kop. value is printed on both thick and thin
paper, sheet of 15 (3 x 5).
65. 1 kop. brown-lilac or bright rose-lilac (P)
66. 5 kop. blue or dark blue on thick paper
67. 5 kop. blue or dark blue on thin paper
68. 10 kop. brown-red, light or dark (P)
69. 10 kop. orange-red (P)
Plate Positions of the 1 Kop.
2. White spot on NE circle.
3. Tiny white spot at the foot
of the 1 in the NE corner.
5. Spot on the A in CEIbCKAH.
6. White spot near top of 1 in
7. A white thorn touches circle
under 1 in SW corner.
8. An irregular white spot at
the foot of Y of YI3AA.
9. A break in the vertical lines
to the right of the NE corner.
10.Two white spots in NE corner.
11.A white spot between the legs
of K of OXHA K. at the bottom
of the stamp.
12.The 0 of OZHA K. is imperfectly
shaped at the bottom.
13.A white thorn is in the SE
circle and a dark spot is
beside it outside the circle.
14.The left leg of K
at the top of the
15.The E of the word
has a thorn.
of ORHA K.
Plate Positions of the
5 Kop. Stamps
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
10 11 12
13 14 15
1. A white spot extending from
the right from the T of nHTb K.
at the bottom of the stamp.
2. A white spot at the foot of the
T in IHO'TA.
3. A blue line across O of
9 10 11
4. White spots on T in IHOTA and
Ib of YI3hBA.
5. A white dot in front of the 1
of nITb K. at the bottom of
6. Deformed B in BOrOPOACKArO.
7. Deformed leg of A in CEIbCKAH.
8. White spot near circle in SW
9. Broken C in BOrOPOrCKArO.
10.A white spot connects the T
in nO'TA to the outer oval.
ll.White spot left of circle in
12.Blue dot on 5 in SE corner.
13.White dot under 5 in SE corner.
14.White dot under K of IHTb K.
at the bottom of the stamp.
15.Blue line across outer oval
above n in nOqTA.
Variety : A constant variety appears to exist on the 5 kop. value on
thin paper with a break in the upper left hand portion of
the C in BOFOPOJCKAFO. This the 9th stamp on the sheet.
Varieties of the 10 Kop. Stamps
A. The foot of the 1
in the NE corner
touches the circle.
This is the 9th
stamp in the sheet.
B. The 1 in the NW
corner has a thorn.
This the 15th stamp
in the sheet.
C. The 12th stamp in
the sheet has a
white dot at the
right in the SW
ROMANOV USAGES IN THE EARLY SOVIET PERIOD
by Andrew Cronin.
It has been accepted knowledge among Russian specialists that the
Romanov stamps, including the two surcharges, were withdrawn from issue
because of the March Revolution. The immediate result of that first
revolution was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on 2nd. March 1917 in
favour of the Grand Duke Michael, who repeated the act one day later.
When your editor therefore came across a copy of the 10/7k.
Provisional with the surcharge inverted some years ago and
9 R1 bearing a PETROGRAD v.14.v. postmark dated 30.3.18, i.e.
well into the early Soviet era, his knee-jerk assumption
r was that, during the chaotic conditions obtaining in that
year, a Petrograd philatelist had probably had this
1-' 1 particular variety cancelled for him by a friendly
-/ _7.1 postmaster. The item, illustrated here at left, was placed
in the Romanov section of the editor's collection with a
tentative note to that effect and promptly forgotten about.
However, the recent acquisition of the cover shown below has made him
revise his opinion. Postmarked PETROGRAD 10 OTD.v.16.5.18 and
obviously non-philatelic, it was addressed to Citizeness Maria
Novitskaya, 64 Zemlyanka St., Apt. 52 in Moscow, where it was back-
stamped the next day. The cover was franked with a 5-kop. Arms and a
strip of three of the Romanov 10/7k. surcharge, which went through the
post without any rude comments. The rate paid of 35 kop. was correct
for an intercity letter and applicable as of 28 February 1918. We thus
now have records of two 1918 usages of the Romanov stamps, both of them
cancelled in the cradle of the October Revolution. Such usages are
certainly rare, but other examples may exist and it behoves our readers
to reexamine carefully all used copies, used cards and covers in their
collections. Let us hear from you '
MHH1 IRTMEHw rI7BTATE~bHOCTb
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I N D E X .
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1801 1829 5 1857.. 5 1885 5 1913 .4 1941 4 1969. 4 1997 42025 4
1802 6 1630 ..6 1858 .. 6 1886 .6 914 S 1942 5 1970.. 5 1998 5 2026 .. 5
1803 7 1831 7 1859 .. 7 17 7 1915. 6 1943 .6 1971. 6 1999 6 2027 6
1804 8 1832 .. 8 1860 8 1888 8 1916 14 1944 14 1972 14 2000 14 2028 14
1805.. 3 1833.. 3 1861 3 M89 3 1917.. 2 195 .2 1973... 2 2001 2 2029.. 2
1806 .. 4 1834 4 1862 4 1890 4 1918 3 1946 .. 3 1974 3 2002. 3 2030... 3
1807... 5 1835 .. 5 1863 5 1891 5 1919 .4 1947.. 4 1975 4 2003 4 2031 4
180813 183613 1864 164 3 1892 13 1920 12 1948 12 1976 12 2004 12 2032 12
1809 .. 1837 .. 1865.. 1 1893 1 1921 7 1949 7 1977 7 2005 7 2033. 7
1810 2 1838 .. 2 1866 2 1894 .. 2 1922 I 1950 1 1978 .. 2006.. 1 2034 I
1811. 3 1839 .3 1867 3 1895 3 1923 2 1951 2 1979 2 2007 ...2 2035 2
1812 .11 1840 .11 1868 11 1896 11 1924 10 1952 10 1980 10 2008 10 2036 .10
1813 .6 1841 6 1869 6 1897 6 1925 5 81953 5 1981.. 5 2009.. 5 2037 5
1814 7 1842 .. 7 1870... 7 1898 7 1926 1954 6 1982 6 2010 6 2038 6
1815 1 1843 1 1871.. 1 1899 1927 7 1955 7 1983 7 2011.. 7 2039 7
1816.. 9 1844 9 1872 9 1900. 2 1928 1956 8 1984 8 2012... 8 2040 .8
1817 4 1845 4 1873 4 1901 3 1929 ...3 1957 .. 3 1985 3 2013.. 3 2041 3
1818 5 1846. 1874 51902 .. 4 1930 .. 4 1958 4 1986 4 2014. 4 2042 4
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1820 .14 1848.:14 1876 14 1904 13 1932. 13 1960 13 1988 .13 2016 .13 2044 13
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DIRECTIONS FOR USE
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each year is the number of the calendar to use for that year.
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The article reproduced hereunder originally appeared in the
February 1984 issue of "THE N.S.W. PHILATELIST", the official organ
of The Philatelic Society of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
It is now appearing on these pages by kind permission of the author
and that Society, to both of whom many thanks are due.
We are especially pleased to present this article to our readers, as
it is a very fine example of how to make a highly interesting study
out of material that is at present readily available. What is
required in such cases is to have an analytical mind.
THE OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION POSTAL SYSTEM OF THE U.S.S.R.
by N.J. Sheppard
As is the case with other technically advanced countries (and some not so
advanced) the U.S.S.R. has investigated several systems in order to bring a
substantial measure of automation to the handling of.mail within that country;
and as one would expect, has rejected a number of such systems, before finally
adopting the one they. have felt most suited to their own conditions.
The Postal Administration of the U.S.S.R. is part of a wider encompassing
Ministry of Communications of the U.S.S.R., as is shown on the back of various
postal stationery envelopes issued in that country. Thus, for example, an
emission of 1967 carries the following detail (see fig.l):-
(a) Obverse 4 kopek envelope issued in connection with "Floating Station on
Ice, 'North Pole -15' Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research
Institute Board of Ministries of the U.S.S.R.". Postmarked
"U.S.S.R. North Pole Station 15, 31.12.67".
(b) Reverse -.3 line Imprint reading:- An issue of the
Ministry of Communications of the U.S.S.R.,
1967, Moscow. Price of envelope & stamp 5 k.
Artists N.A. Cherkasov. Editor: V.V. Alekseev.
Other, and later emissions include the dates of issue either in the form
28/1-66 (28th January 1966) or 29.11.82 (29th November 1982).
Postcards usually have a centrally placed divider line on the obverse, with
a single-line Imprint along the divider, carrying the information as (b) above,
adjacent to it. It is this information on envelopes and postcards, which helps
to trace the history of the-development of the automatic mail handling system in
An early use of mechanised equipment in the U.S.S.R. is evidenced by the
12 kopek stamp issued 6th October, 1965 as part of the "History of the Russian
Post Office" series (see fig.2). Stanley Gibbons catalogues refers to the
equipment depicted as 'electronic facing sorting and cancelling machines'.
However, A.J. Macmillan in an article published in Indent, the Journal of the
Postal Mechanisation Study Circle, maintains that the units depicted on this
stamp were supplied to the U.S.S.R. in 1960 by the Thrissell Engineering Company
of Bristol, England, being known technically as Single Position Letter Sorting
Machines (SLPM's for short).
This mechanical machine (not electronic ?) handled a maximum of 6,000 letters
per hour, sorted into 120 categories per medium of an operator pressing keys,
sequentially, in accordance with codes memorised, the letters being transmitted
by conveyors to appropriate receivers in accordance with postcodes. Essentially
the modus operandi was similar to that used at the Sydney Mail Exchange, except
that the code applied there assumed the form of fluorescent bars or dots on the
back of the envelopes.
Apparently the experiments with this system did not lead to a final
adoption, because we now know, from postal stationery issued since 1970, that an
Opt'icl'Character Recognition System ---OCR.for short was adopted.
..'- The.early experimental work with this OCR system was carried out in
conjunction with the AEG Telefunken Company, and involved the recognition of
sVk'characters (digits) to be written by the sender,. in an .arrangement of six
double boxes printed toward the lower left segment of the envelopes or postcards.
These are referred to as "Address Index" boxes in the U.S.S.R.; we, in Australia,
would refer to'. them as "'.ps.tcode".boxes '
The first experimental cover we know of, is that mentioned by Indent,
carrying a..portrait of the artist P.P. Konchalovskii, edited by V.V. Alekseev.
Carrying the;date 28/1-66 on the reverse side, the "Address Index" boxes were
made up of solid lines, with diagonals within the boxes likewise solid (see
fig,6A). This: emission did not carry any instructions on the obverse, nor on
the reverse, .as later.became standard practice. AEG -Telefunken, according to
Indent, worked out an "Address Index Instruction Code", this being printed
upside, down on the flap of the envelope, the earliest appearing on the,.Moscow
Exhibition Cover of 1970, which is referred to below (see fig.6B).
The Exhibition Cover was issued at the 1970 Postal Exhibition held In *
Moscow, at which 200,000 specially printed envelopes were handed out to permit
the public to practice writing the -postcodes for the Leningrad Area, where.,the.
codes wete, apparently, first applied. According to "Indent" the "Address
Index" boxes were printed with solid lines, and the solid bar lines above the
boxes were known as "Steering Bars" (see fig.6B). These "Bars" serve to
introduce the digits written by the Sender in the "Address Index" boxes to the
OCR detection equipment, and, in addition, assist in conjunction with' the:--
automatic facing & stamp cancelling operations.
Standardisation of postal stationery size has been of great assistance to
the.functioning.of the OCR system. .Envelope size is invariably within the range
155- 160mm x 110- 115mm, and postcard, size is .145- 150mm x 110- 115 mih'Coded
envelopes on regular issue have always carried the "Address Index Code Instruct-
ion" on the back flap;, as well as publication of design details & dates of issue
on the lower part of the back. In the case of.)postcards, we have not yet seen a
"Code Instruction" applied, and doubt if it ever would appear, because of space
'considerations. Also, in the case .of postcards .the design detail & dates of
issue appear down the centrally placed divider lines on the obverse side.
As already mentioned, "Address Index" boxes together with "Steering Bars"
appear at lower left on both envelopes and postcards. In addition, there is a
single line of admonition below the "Address Index" boxes, as well as "Instruct-
ions to Senders" at lower right in both cases. .
Since introduction in 1970, all the printed details have varied, and the
variations are discussed in detail later, but no claim is made that the listing
The OCR units used in the U.S.S.R. were depicted on a 4 kopek-postage stamp
issued as part of a Postal Communications series on 16th November 1977 (see
fig.3). On the stamp, the equipment is referred to as an ALS unit. Another
4 kopek stamp in the same series shows a postwoman with a letter carrying the
"Address Index" postcodee) 101000 (see fig.4).
'2 I' A vt ^~i...
.... N.M.. Ft o
Lit rr& zai&eUe IO
........... y ssAt.. s ....
Adpec omnp amu e S ..............................................
ctm1AaMI maUSMtIW "
%7 0- I'tc1 -0'T
Aprr tmV P ro M A:-I: w. M(i>
ryrMIC npM e."bTC- Man...... ..<* Q c O
HSiaSSM MlNtNt41cpNer CsLan CCCP.
Igs r. Mgoa. It, konaoptr g mc f* at
XIAemIt 11. A. kIvpc&.
PUr B. X. AusAMe.
a m-- ga r.*..mn I*--
Fig.1 (Obverse & Reverse)
<*!* .. *.'#.
-1~11111~1 -1--- ------- -- -s.- C
--- --------.----------. is*
*rsllrcl~b~l*l~rlprC-~- ----- I
Mechanical and Automated Letter Processing.
("History of Internal Mail Series, 1965 (Oct.6"))
nMml Ui5 f
Automatic Letter Sorting.
("Postal Communication Series (16 Nov.1977)")
Index Speeds up Delivery of Addressee's Letter.
("Postal Communication Series (16 Nov.1977)")
The six-figure digit postcode (Address Index) is similar to the British
Postal Code in that the first three digits are used as an outward destination
code to direct mail to a postal distribution centre, and the last three digits
are an inward destination code, as they direct mail to a district. Thus, for
example, Indent points out that the Leningrad Area has allocated to it the first
series of three digits 187 to 199, the second three digits in the series 000 to
999 being used for the various smaller districts within the Leningrad Area -
thus 187600 is the Code for Leningradskaya and 190004 for Leningrad Postal
Other "Address Indices" recorded both in the Indent article, and elsewhere
Minsk Post Office
- 200 to 213 with Tallinn 200100
and TUri 202810
- 223223 (experimental ?)
Another example of an "Address Index" is that printed on a 45 kopek airmail
envelope addressed to Australia; it was first issued on 29.11.82 and is post-
marked Lvov- 50, USSR, 27.05.83, carrying the first three digits printed as 500
with the last three digits to be filled in by the Sender (see fig.5).
The following types of "Address Indices" have been either seen or recorded,
and we are indebted to Indent for the experimental ones which we have not
1).- Postal Stationery Envelopes -
Type I. (see fig.6A) Experimental. January 1966. Depicts P.P. Konchalovskii
(artist), with V.V. Alekseev as editor.
- 2 lines of Steering Bars above boxes.
Upper lines co-incident with top-of boxes.
Lower lines broken in two, each part being co-incident
with the corner of the boxes.
2 short bars level with those mentioned above, at
remote left beyond boxes.
.3 small solid bars one level with upper lines
one level with upper box frames
one level with lower box frames
Boxes Joined double row of boxes composed of solid lines
throughout including diagonals.
Type II. (see fig.6B)
- Experimental. 1970 Moscow Exhibition Cover.
- 2 lines above boxes.
Upper lines co-incident with top of boxes.
Lower lines broken in two, each part being co-incident
with the corners of the boxes.
2 larger lines parallel with the 2 lines above, at
Boxes Dotted throughout with dots of same weight. Dimensions
of boxes as for Type I.
Type III. (see fig.6C) First recorded by indjgn. as having been seen December
1969. Latest seen by Author used at Great Volga
Philatelic Exhibition, issued 18/11-74, and post-
marked Volgograd l.VI.1974.
Steering Bars Thicker than Types I & II, with the two remote bars at
left raised above general level, the upper one being
same thickness as the others, and the lower being less
than half the thickness.
Boxes Narrower than types I & II, but same height. Diagonals
have six dots, and the corners of each box are delineated
with dots of heavier weight.
Type IV. (see fig.6D) According to Indent, this was used at Murmansk in.1978,
but is the only example we have seen recorded.
Steering Bars As for Type III.
Boxes Delineated by solid lines throughout, and of same
dimensions as type III
Type V. (see fig.6E) Used at Ukraina Hotel, Moscow. Indent records cover
dated 29th March, 1971, and indicates that it was in
,use until 1975.
Steering Bars As for Type III, but with no bars whatever at remote
Boxes As for Type III.
Type VI. (see fig.6F) Used at Ukraina Hotel, Moscow, later than July 1971.
Steering Bars Those above the boxes as for Type III, but there are
Three bars at remote left. The upper one is level
with those above the boxes. The lower one is of the
same thickness as the upper one, and is located in
line with the middle frames of boxes. The middle one
is of a thickness half that of the others, and is
located in line with the upper horizontal frames of
Boxes As for Type III.
- A general issue first seen May 1973, latest seen being
- Thick steering bars above boxes in same line with two
remote bars at left, the upper thick one being at the
same level as the others, and the lower one, of less
than half the thickness of the thick ones, being
located in line with the upper frame lines of the
:'Boxes As for Type III.
Type VIII. (see fig.6H) Earliest seen August 1979 and still in use 28 May 1983.
Steering Bars As for Type VII.
Boxes As for Type III except that dots are all of the same
weight, and the diagonals consist of 4 dots instead of
6 as is the case of Type III.
2) Postcards -
Earliest seen 21.5.1977. Latest seen 25.07.79.
Detail as for Postal Stationery Envelopes.
Seen on postcard issued 05.04.82 with 4K. 1982 Lenin
stamp. Detail as for Envelopes.
MH 9 ope.upUzMW ae w Mcwn USMham
IHIenKc npeOnpuimun M egg=
a a)pec owinpasweume
, -- -- ,-* j f ^ i r r
Fig.5 (Obverse & Reverse)
t l M. ctrpile.oe tasg CC.CPl l12
1 .. 1-2 r m.a 4*6 a n
I- 'Maresieter 111 flopmea a se 4- u Ci s
PAR AVION w sed
*~ lm/=.l, ,-
~X^^ 1 r
ag- am S S = -
.*** *** *** ***" **** ****
MoasgC pewnpanaTs ca usec uaa masu
n ".... '" "..... ". ":.
; ... :... ;a -...J ;*'..; ....
H) MaICc BpjnpeaPHTs Ces 3 Mcts "3"am.aIa
iw r=. 3 !4
a : ... .. **
.. .: ...!...- .
MaHn,, npeAjnpMnsmu cmau Mwae. mImam
Seen only on postal stationery envelopes, and printed upside down for ease
Type AI (see fig.7A) -
TypeAII (see fig.7B) -
TypeAIII (see fig.7C) -
(see fig.7D) -
Reported by Indent as present on the 1970 Moscow
Consists of dotted boxes with dots all of same weight,
and horizontal dimensions longer than vertical. Bold
digits inscribed within boxes, and bold line of
instruction above. Translated into English this reads:
" Specimen of written Index figures."
According to Indent first seen December 1969, and last
seen March 1971.
Present on cover printed by "Voskhod", a Moscow firm,
carrying a 6 Kopek Amundsen stamp, and cancelled
Length 84mm. Width figures 10mm.
Length Inscriptions top line 21.5mm.
lower line 54mm.
Boxes with heavier dots at corners.
General issues, first seen 9/111-71 on 6 K (Red)
Airmail Antarctic Treaty 1961-1971 Issue, and
latest seen April 1974,
Figures: Length 86.5mm. Width 10mm.
Length Inscriptions upper line 18mm.
lower line 62mm.
Boxes with heavier dots at corners.
Specimen of written index figures
(see fig.7E) First seen on 1976 May Day envelope, issued 23.4.76
and postmarked 23.4.76.
Figures: Length 86mm. Width 10mm.
Length Inscriptions upper line 18 mm.
lower line 61.5mm.
Boxes with heavier dots at corners.
Specimen of written index figures.
Word "Attention!" located over Index figures 4 and 5 .
Type!AVI (see fig.7F) -.
First seen 1973. Latest seen on 45 k airmail envelope
issue.of 29.11.82 and postmarked 27.05.83.
Figures: Length 86mm. Width 10 mm.
Length Inscriptions upper line 26mm.
lower line 72mm.
Boxes with heavier dots at corners.
Inscription reads as Type AIV.
Inscription generally heavier, with word "Attention!"
located over figures' 3 to 6 inclusive.
Instruction under Address
Type.BI (see fig.8A) -
TypBII (see fig.8B) -
Instruction to Sender.
TyUeSCI (see fig.9A)
Type CII (see fig.9B)
Tpe CIII (see fig.9C)
Earliest seen December 1969, latest March 1971,
according to Indent.
INDEKS ADRESA POLUCHATELYA.
RECIPIENT'S ADDRESS INDEX.
Earliest seen 9/111-71 (6 k(red) airmail Antarctic
Treaty 1961-1971 issue). Latest seen on 45k airmail
cover issued 29.11.82 and postmarked 27.05.83.
Present also on postcards issued 20.05.77, to Leningrad
INDEKS PREDPRIYATIYA SV YAZI MESTA NAZNACHENIYA.
Dimension of inscription: 51Sm long x lmmhigh.
- Seen on 1970 Exhibition and earlier covers, according
ADRES -OTPRAVITELYA ...
SENDER'S ADDRESS ...
- Earliest seen December 1969. Latest seen March 1971,
according to Indent.
INDEKS I ADRES OTPRAVITELYA.
SENDER'S INDEX AND ADDRESS.
- Earliest seen 9/111-71. Latest seen 10/III-78 (Capex
INDEKS PREDPRIYATIYA SVYAZI I ADRES
Inscription length 51 54mm.
Note: there is slight variation of positioning of
word of 2nd line in relation to upper line. Thus 0
is below E and A below V of SVYAZI on a 600th Anniv.
of Kaluga cover. -Normal positions are 0 below D, and
A below Y.
- Earliest seen 07.09.82. Latest seen 24.05.83. on
45k airmail cover issued 29.11.82.
INDEKS PREDPRIYATIYA SVYAZI
I ADRES OTPRAVITELYA
Dimensions upper line 40mm.
lower line 31 32mm.
OSPA3EU HAMCHOAHHR UHePOBMX MMHAECOS
opaeaq wansamNux nauwatco
BaR uant et
Opeaseq wanwucana qaup unuecena
06pasen Ma weaUM t#uap Uts Oea
06pa3eq manucanus qutipl uedeKca:
060pae wnaucasanua tsuogp oftoea:
WUMEC AJWaPA O08UATU
iNDEKS ADRESA POLICHATELYA.
HHAeKC DpeAnpMINTH CeBUs MCTIA Ha 3ai4eHu
lMaeXC u adpec omapauwmeAn
INDEKS I ARES OTPRAVITELVA
tlHaeK npeOnpuu mi caiau. u aOpec
HndtKc npeonpusmut csmm
a aapec owmpassmass
So far I have never seen a plain envelope with the Address Index, which
leads me to believe that only officially issued envelopes (and postcards) carry
the facilities for this information, although Indent reports the appearance of
a plain envelope with no printed address and stamp, with the address on it and
an 048590 written in.
There is also an indication that some postal stationery issued during the
period do not carry facilities for Address Indices. Thus the 6k(blue) airletter
issued 26/III-70 (design child on skis with dog) and postmarked 14.3.72 at
Murmansk 28, does not have any indication of OCR data.
First Day of Issue covers are not provided with "Address Index" instructions
All of the "Address Index" boxes.with Steering Bars and Instruction below,
seen by the Author are printed in black. However, Indent reports postcards with
Type III Steering Bars printed in maroon, brown, dark green and blue. All are
divided types with printing detail down the divider line. Indent also reports
the existence of official envelopes with Type VI Steering Bars and Type BII and
Type CII Instructions, but without the flap Instruction.
As for airmail postal envelopes, the 6k issue of 12.01.82 with snow scene .
(and postmarked 29.05.83) carries Type VIII "Address Index" boxes and Steering
Bars, Type AVI flap instruction, Type BII "Address Index" instruction and Type
CIV Sender's Instruction.
Another 45k airmail cover issued 29.11.82 (and postmarked 27.05.83)
carries Type VIII Steering Bars, Type AVI flap instruction, Type BII "Address
Index" instruction and Type CIV Sender's Instruction, and in addition has the
first three digits printed in as 500 (see fig.5).
One general comment remains to be made. The U.S.S.R. is a very large
country with a .population approaching 300 million people, made up of some 170
different racial types, which poses -some language problems, especially amongst
older age groups. The OCR system naturally imposes on the population the need
for widespread co-operation, and necessarily requires a universal fluency in
Russian for it 'to effectively operate throughout the enormous territory of the
As a collector, I have sein very few plain envelopes in recent years, which
would suggest that there is a widespread usage of the postal stationery envelopes
(and postcards) issued by the Post Office Administration of the U.S.S.R. From
our standpoint, such an envelope with 4k stamp imprinted is sold to the public
in the U.S.S.R. at the price of 5k over the Post Office counters (and.a 45k
overseas airmail envelope for 46k) is remarkably cheap (the rates have been
increased by a small amount in recent times the first increase since 1961).
The large .number of different postal stationery emissions every year must
indicate that there is widespread usage by the population as a whole.
Details of the General OCR Issues of postal stationery as issued by the
Postal Administration is given below. There are, of course, some minor variations
in the various types, but these are included in the General categories.
1) Type III This was the first General Issue, which appeared in December 1969.
This Type III of Steering Bars and Address Index boxes was
associated with -
Type AII flap Instruction
Type BI Address Index Instruction
40 -Type CII Sender's Instruction
A~ (, F A AV A
- HHE3mawX npednpummuR eeq3u u adpec
.... ... .....
Fig.IO (Obverse & Reverse).4
2) Type III This type of Steering Bar and Address Index box became associated
with altered Instruction Types during 1971 (see fig.10) thus:
Type AIV flap Instruction (first seen 9/III-71)
Type BII -.Address Index Instruction (first seen 9/III-71)
Type CIII Sender's Instruction (first seen 9/III-71)
3) Type VII Level Steering Bars with same Type of Address Index .boxes as
Type III, but with altered Instruction types, as follows:-
Type AVI flap Instruction
Type BII Address Index Instruction
Type CIII Sender's Instruction
First seen May 1973, latest seen December 1978.
4) Type VIII Level steering Bars as Type VII, but with Address Index boxes
with dots of same weight and 4 dots in the diagonals instead of 6.
First seen used in August 1979, and associated with same Instruct-
.ion Types as Type VII.
This Type VIII is still in use.
When this .article was originally i -rough manuscript, during September
1983, the source' of information available to me on the early examples of the OCR
postal stationery of the U.S.S.R., was contained in an article by A.J.S. Macmillan
in Indent, the Journal of the Postal Mechanisation Study Circle.
Since that time, the article has been reprinted by "Philatelic Magazine",
October, 1983, which, being generally readily available to philatelists, becomes
a vital source of information.
THE ITALIAN PRESENCE IN RUSSIA DURING WWI & THE CIVIL WAR
by Luciano Buzzetti
A. The Italian Mission in Russia for Prisoners of War, the "Redenti"
(Irredentist) Legion in Siberia and the Expeditionary Corps in the
The prisoners captured by the Imperial Russian Forces were from the
very beginning of WWI subdivided into nationalities. Already by 1914
the first contacts came about between the Russian authorities and the
Italian Government, which was interested in the fate of the Italian
prisoners originating from the Austrian districts of Trentino and
Venezia Giulia. The Italian Military Mission in Petrograd was hence
first and foremost a Mission that ensured that the prisoners of war
received some amenities. Some thousands of these ex-Austrian soldiers
were transported to Italy in 1916. The principal camps for these POWs
were at Kirsanov in Tambov province and at.QOl.
The events of 1917 prevented the regular return of all the prisoners
who had decided to opt for Italian citizenship. The camps were
evacuated and these "Irredentists" were transported by the Trans-
Siberian Railway at the end of February/beginning of March 1918 to
Peking (500 men), Shanhaikwan (250 men) and Tientsin (1750 men), where
there was already a detachment of the Royal Italian Navy.
On 18 August 1918, the Irredentists were officially enrolled in the
Royal Italian Army and, in the same month, the Royal Italian
Expeditionary Corps in the Far East came into being. A military nucleus
arrived from Italy on 3rd. September and an Italian GHQ was opened in
Vladivostok. The Italian soldiers were billeted 14 km. (9 miles) from
Vladivostok in the localities of Gornostai and Pervaya Rechka.
S In October 1918, the Expeditionary Corps in the Far East was
transferred to Krasnoyarsk where, from May to June 1919, the Italian
soldiers were engaged in action against the Reds, on the side of the
Allied units, which were composed of Czechoslovaks, Japanese, Britons,
Americans, French, Belgians, Serbs and naturally Russians under
Admiral Kolchak (White Russians and the Voluntary Army). The
Irredentists abandoned Krasnoyarsk on 7 August 1919, to be transferred
to Tientsin in .China.The last echelons left Vladivostok at the
beginning of September. These units arrived back at Trieste in the
early months of 1920 and the Expeditionary Corps in the Far East was
The various markings applied in all these phases are shown below and
on the next page. Particular attention is drawn to the first cachet,
which is entirely in Russian and reads: "Italian Military Mission for
prisoners of war of Italian nationality in Russia".
? R. POSTp
Mi'4m ac I cot aN .g cci. Mis5ione ltaban&
AE'1 soe4 Mon~in'ux per I
arbRCKo SH;OKI Mbw.CTe Prisionieri di Guerra
Ici. Ic Russia
.MINSIONS MILTTARE ITALIANA
PR1GiOkLieRFkIT'ft EDfNTI IN J'IM551A
tFUQODf Aitfer DI t0s3slk
RDEmT \A DSIBERIA *
i C;lun o A, 6ll ROeet.
< ITALIANJ 0 ^c^ 0^
'CORPODI f (19ZI ITALIAR O
in siBE Rifl
ed BiERAB! REALI I
-3- SEZE MOjiLlITA
RH POSTE ITAUANE
CORPO DI SPEDIZIONE ITALIANO
., R.f POSTE ITALIA E
1 PA.RUP coMPE TAL!A IN t P, 'ET1f
2 .COMA ,iC.
76 REGGIMENTO GENIO TELEGRAFISTI
....PI tone Autonomo
During this time frame, /. --
many Italian ships made e
calls at the port of \ -)\
Batum. It appears that, 1 1Z MAJ 922
for a certain length of *-- **--- <-
time, Italy was entrusted Z %e
with a sector in this
zone and an Italian presence was still evident there into the early
Soviet period. The first cachet shown above is that of the ITALIAN
MILITARY MISSION IN TRANSCAUCASIA, while the second is a commercial
type, reading MIDDLE EASTERN SYNDICATE OF TRADE, 12 MAY 1922, BRANCH
C. The Italian Military Mission in Poland.
The presence of this Mission in Poland appears
to have been one of the end results of the
failure of the Polish "Eastern Policy",
initiated by Marshal J6zef Pi2sudski. He
announced on 26 April 1920 that the Polish
Army had advanced deep into the Ukraine and
its capital of Kiev was taken on 8th. May.
However, the Red Army under Tukhachevskii hit
back retaking Kiev on 13th. June and eventually almost reaching the
gates of Warsaw. The tide was turned with the despatch of munitions
and British and French Military Missions to the Polish capital. As we
can see from the cachet above, reading ITALIAN MILITARY MISSION IN
POLAND, they apparently also had a hand in the defence of the country.
D. Operation "POlAt Beat".
The Peace of Brest-Litovsk, signed on 3 March 1918, confirmed the
withdrawal on the part of Russia from the Alliance and provoked not a
few fears for the possibility that the way would now be open for the
Germans to cross Finland and get at the great stocks of material lying
in the ports of Murmansk and Archangel.
The English Command sent a naval detachment to Murmansk during Feb.-
March 1918. Allied contingents began arriving in the Murmansk district
beginning in April and they supported the White Russians forces until
September 1919. The Allied Force in this sector may be summed up in
the following tables:-
Forces present in the Murmansk Forces present in the Archangel
sector, under Gen.G.B. Maynerd sector, under Gen.Ironside of U.S.A.
Britons 6832 Britons 6293
French 731 French 1606
Italians 1254 Americans 5203
(a contingent of Canadian artillery is counted in the English figures).
The only country to organise a postal service was England and all the
units participating in the Operation relied on this service. A "Base
Post Office" was established at Murmansk near the railway station and
another at Archangel, near the building of the Academy of Music.
Sedentary offices were opened at Soroka, Kandalaksha, Pechenga, Kem,
Medvezh'ya Gora, Kola, Onega, Bakharitsa, Bereznik, Obozerskaya and
Emetskoe, while a TPO/RPO No. 1 was put into service as of November
1918 on the railway line from Murmansk to Soroka and vice-versa. The
markings of the British Military Post on this front may be
differentiated by the initials "P.B." (= Polar Bear), followed by the
numbers 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14.& 15 and from then with two equal numbers
from 22 to 99. The Travelling Post Office used a marking with the
initials N.R.E.F. (Northern Russian Expeditionary Force).
The Italian participation was concentrated in the period from May 1918
to September 1919. Only three administrative cachets are known used by
the Italian units, as shown below.
M-WR- Mo M iTIiiM"u S'--- On His Majesty's Service.
M MA U-MA Mt 19118
i > ~ -- i .*
by RE: VW
\ ALIA4 %USSI4^.
RUSSIAN MAIL TO FOREIGN DESTINATIONS
by John V. Woollam.
As a follow-up to my earlier article on Russian mail to unusual
foreign destinations or via scarce routes (see "The Post-Rider",No.8,
pp.5-7), I append notes on some covers in my collection.
1. Cover from Odessa 19 May 1873 O.S. to Limasol/Lemesos in Cyprus.
Despite the volume of Russian mail to the Levant, Cyprus is a rare
i--- w -
destination. There were no ROPiT agencies and, so far as I know, their
ships did not call at Cypriot ports. The route of the cover accords
with this position: Odessa-Vienna-Trieste and presumably by Lloyd
Austriaco ship to Cyprus. In short, not the obvious direct route from
Odessa to Constantinople and thence by ROPiT ship. The rate paid was
22 kop. and the letter was stamped OPLACHENO (PAID) in a circle, but
that may have only referred to the overland route to Trieste, as there
is a pencilled "25" on the front. The Austrian post office at Larnaca
di Cipro may have levied a charge of 25 soldi on the addressee for the
voyage from Trieste to Cyprus.
2. A registered letter from Russia to Montenegro and then returned.
Any external mail to Montenegro is scarce. This item was sent from
Petrozavodsk in Karelia 28.2.1878 O.S.(not a leap year !) via Saint
Petersburg 4.3.78 O.S. and Cattaro (Boka Kotorska) 26.3.78 N.S.,
Cetinje in Montenegro the same day, back to Cattaro the next day and
again in St. Petersburg on 24.3.78 O.S., to be finally returned to the
sender. The rate paid was 23 kop.
3. A registered cover from Estonia to Indo-China, with 30-kop. rate paid.
This is apparently an example of a double-weight item for abroad: 10 k.+
10 k. for the weight and a further 10 k. for the registration fee abroad.
With the exception of French mail, Indo-China is always a scarce
destination for 19th. century correspondence from Europe. The cover was
sent from Narva 24.8.95 O.S. overland to Italy TPO/RPO Ala-Bologna 9th.
Sept. N.S., to arrive in Haiphong on 16 Oct. 1895 N.S.
A' f V YO&TALET
4. A RDPiT postcard to French Congo and redirected to France.
This 20-para card was sent from Kerassunde 29.4.1912 O.S. via Lisbon
20.5.12 N.S., Boma in the Belgian Congo 18.6.12, Brazzaville in the
French Congo 22.6.12, to be redirected to Courbevoie and Cherbourg in
Frence, to catch up with a French sea captain. Perhaps the Editor will
allow one exclamation mark for this item !
Now, two queries where readers may be able to provide answers or clues.
(a) Is it exceptional usage for late 19th. century mail from European
Russia to Vladivostok to go via the U.S.A. and the Pacific ? I have an
* 1895 registered cover with a rate of 20 kop. paid, from Khar'kov to
Vladivostok and registration labels of New York and San Francisco,
together with transit markings of Yokohama and Nagasaki. The departure
date was 20 Oct. 1895 O.S. and the arrival 25 Dec. 1895 O.S.
(b) I illustrate an 1876 cover to England from St. Petersburg and
misdirected to the U.S.A. The transit mark is the Belgian ETATS UNIS PAR
OSTEND. I have also seen an illustration of a stampless cover from
Finland, via St. Petersburg to the U.S.A., with the same transit mark,
dated 1878, I think. At first, I thought this was a freak, as Russian
mail to the U.S.A. in that period went via Prussian mail to Hamburg or
Bremen. On the other hand, Spanish-U.S.A. mail in the early 1870s
occasionally went via Belgium under treaty arrangements and received the
same transit mark. Was there a postal treaty or any mail arrangement,
presumably after 1875, which enabled Russian mail to the U.S.A. to go
via Ostend, instead of Hamburg or Bremen ?
PHILATELIC FOREIGN EXCHANGE TAX STAMPS
by Robert Taylor
These stamps, first used in November 1922 and seen up to 1941,
represented a tax placed on the despatch abroad of stamp exchanges by
individual Soviet citizens, either collectors or semi-dealers. The
mailings were usually made from Moscow, by the Soviet Philatelic
Association or its predecessor, to which the individual would forward
his sending for export and pay the appropriate tax. The tax was also
levied on sending coming in from abroad to Soviet collectors. Mailings
are occasionally seen from other Sovietcitiesto abroad, such as
Leningrad, Khar'kov and Vladivostok, but the great majority are from
Moscow, although the senders' return addresses are from a variety of
towns. The stamps were usually placed on the backs of covers and
towns. The stamps were usually placed on the backs of covers and
cancelled with a variety of rectangular cachets (very rarely circular),
detailing the tax and providing space for a control number of the
shipment and an official signature. The small cachet used on the first
issue of 1922-23 also provided space for a date. The signatures were
original up till about 1926, after which time signature handstamps were
used. It is interesting to note that the change to a handstamped
signature coincided with the Soviet catalogue editor F. Chuchin
becoming the responsible official and his handstamped signature is
noted from 1926 until early 1928. There were five basic issues of
stamps used for the philatelic tax, plus a single handstamped
provisional surcharge, which is undoubtedly the rarest individual value.
A recap of these issues, based on the Cercle Philatelique France-URSS
and Michel catalogues, is as follows:-
1. Nov. 1922. The 1918 Chainbreaker issue, overprinted RSFSR/TsKPG/OBMEN
and value. The second group of initials stand for the Central Committee
for Aid to the Starving and OBMEN means exchange. The values are
expressed in 1922 currency.
A. 250 r. on 35 k. blue (Cercle US1, Michel Ia)
B. 500 r. on 70 k. brown (Cercle US2, Michel Ib).
The Cercle notes these stamps exist with overprint "For Collection".
2. Nov. 1923. Imperial Insurance Tax Stamps overprinted "USSR/
Representative for Philately and Paper Money/Foreign Exchange/ and value
in gold kopeks.
A. 1 k. in black on 1 r.brown/yellow (Cercle US3, Michel IIa).
B. 3 k. in black on 3 r.brown/green (Cercle US4, Michel IIb).
C. 5 k. in gold on 5 r.blue/blue (Cercle US5, Michel IIc-a).
a.5 k. in copper " (Cercle US5a,Michel IIc-b).
There are at least two known overprint varieties on this second issue:-
a. The first two Russian letters of USSR, i.e. CC, are in notably
b. The grammatical accent is missing on the final letter of the word
foreign (third line, first word, Russian letter "W').
3. Feb. 1925. The Imperial Charity issues of 1914-15 with a boxed black
overprint and wording similar to that of the second set. The first four
values are on coloured paper and the last three on white.
A. 5 k. on 1 k. (Cercle US7, Michel IIIa).
B.10 k. on 3 k. (Cercle US8, Michel IIIb).
C.15 k. on 1 k. (Cercle US9, Michel IIIc).
D.25 k. on 7 k. (Cercle US10,Michel IIId).
E.50 k. on 1 k. (Cercle USll,Michel IIIe).
F.75 k. on l0k.. (Cercle US12,Michel IIIf).
G. 1 r. on 3 k. (Cercle USl13,Michel IIIg).
Both the Cercle and Michel note various perf. & surcharge varieties.
4. Mid -1928. The Soviet 1921 definitive overprinted CONTROL/SPhA/
FOREIGN EXCHANGE/ and value, all in black. Note that these stamps,
which were originally issued imperforate, have been roughly perforated
11 for philatelic tax use.
A. 5 k. on 100 r. (Cercle US14, Michel IVa).
B.10 k. on 250 r. (Cercle USl15, Michel IVb).
C.25 k. on 300 r. (Cercle US16, Michel IVc).
D.50 k. on 1000r. (Cercle US17, Michel IVd).
E. 1 r. on 200 r. (Cercle USl8, Michel IVe).
The Cercle catalogue notes imperforate, part perforated and surcharge
4A. Dec. 1931. The 25k./300r. value of the previous Set No. 4,
surcharged "10k." in black with a rubberhandstamp. This provisional was
withdrawn at the end of the month and it is therefore the rarest of the
philatelic tax stamps.
A. 10k. on 25k. on 300r. (Cercle US19, Michel V).
5. Jan. 1932 for the 15k., 25k., 50k. & Ir. values and 1 Jan. 1934 for
the 10k., 3r., 5r. & 10r. values. The 1918 Chainbreaker issue
overprinted SPhA/CONTROL/OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE/ and value in red for the
25k. & Ir. values and in black for the others.
A. 5 k. on 70 k. (Cercle US20, Michel VIIa).
B. 10 k. on 70 k. (Cercle US21, Michel VIIb).
C. 15 k. on 70 k. (Cercle US22, Michel VIa ).
D. 25 k. on 70 k. (Cercle US23, Michel VIb ).
E. 50 k. on 35 k. (Cercle US24, Michel VIc ).
F. 1 r. on 35 k. (Cercle US25, Michel VId ).
G. 3 r. on 35 k. (Cercle US26, Michel VIId).
H. 5 r. on 35 k. (Cercle US27, Michel VIId).
I. 10 r. on 35 k. (Cercle US28, Michel VIIle).
J. 10 r. on 70 k. (Cercle US29, Michel VIIf).
The Cercle catalogue notes surcharge and se-tenant varieties.
The earliest use for Set No. 1 in my collection is in January 1923.
The half-dozen or so covers that I have all use the 250 r. value and,
in fact, I have never seen the 500 r. on a cover and can only assume
that its relatively low catalogue value must mean that its typical use
was on larger parcels. All originate in Moscow and the only cachet seen
is translated as AUTHORISED AGENT/TsKPG:.in the VTsIK (i..e. Central
Ciomittee for Help to the Starving, in the All-Russian Central Executive
Committee)/by stamp donation/in Russia aid abroad. It would thus appear
that the origin of the stamp tax was famine relief. The above-mentioned
January 1923 use is in the form of an oversized cover to New York,
franked with a variety of stamps including two sets of the Fifth
Anniversary of the Revolution, the Nov. 1922 Famine Relief issue
complete and two copies of Scott Cl, the first airmail stamp, which is
scarce on any cover. Please see Fig. 1 below.
Another interesting usage is on a Nov. 1923 cover addressed to a well-
known philatelic expert, Dr. Paul Jemtschoujin in Dresden. This cover
is franked with 50 k. in low values in the new Small Head gold kopek
set and originated from a sender in Baku. The 250 r. tax stamp came
from a sheet that had folds in it at the time of overprinting, so that
the overprinted words were broken up and widely spaced apart when the
stamp was flattened out for use. I also have a cover dated as late as
27 Nov. 1923, still using the 250r. tax stamp from the first set.
The second issue of stamp tax exchange stamps is quite interesting,with
its use of Imperial tax stamps in a large elongated format. Multiples
may be seen on covers and I have one with as many as four stamps on the
back, which almost cover the envelope. See Fig. 2 and also note the
signature, which appears to read "..lad. Bruk...". This issue is also
found on covers from the widest variety of Soviet cities where foreign
exchange preliminary acceptancepoints must have existed. I have covers
from Rostov, Khar'kov, Leningrad and Vladivostok, as well as the usual
Moscow. Despite the various cities of origin, I can only determine one
type of cachet used to cancel the stamps and it appears to have been
applied exclusively in Moscow. It is a large rectangle, about 80 mm. by
40 mm., as opposed to the much smaller cachet used on the first set.
The translation of the Russian wording goes something like: "The
enclosure of philatelic and paper money material in the present postal
sending has been received and permitted to pass as (free) export abroad.
Basis:Reselution of the V.Ts.I.K. and S.N.K. of 21.IX.22 and of the
S.N.K.S.S.S.R. of 2.VIII.23", with the last line providing space for a
control number and the signature of the Authorised Agent. This format
differs from that applied on the first issue, where the cachet allowed
space for the date and control number, but there was no signature.
My earliest covers using the second set are dated 31 January 1924.
Interestingly, they are covers prepared consecutively by the exchange
agent. Both originated in Tashkent and were mailed from Moscow, one to
Berlin being sent by registered mail using 60 k. franking and with a
13-k. tax charge, made up with the 3k. and 10k. values. The other,
registered to Riga, used 50k. franking and 6k. in tax. On this second
cover, the 1k. tax has the variety small "c.c." and the 5k. tax has the
missing accent. Both of these covers were overfranked (the normal rate
for registered mail sent abroad was then 40k.), presumably because of
the weights of the sending and, perhaps logically, the heavier
carried the greater tax. Another interesting cover, dated 29 February
1924 and from Moscow to North Dakota, is derived from an Imperial
stamped envelope, the 20k. on 14k. Romanov. The old stamp was again
overprinted with a design and wording that are difficult to make out
and then covered with a 3-kop. Lenin mourning stamp used as part of
the 20-kop. franking. In addition, this cover has been preprinted in
Russian and English as being from the "Commissioner for Philately and
Vouchers etc.." and on the back there is a 13-line advertisement
offering stamps and vouchers from the Commissioner for Philately and
subscriptions to "The Soviet Philatelist" at 3 American dollars per
annum and sample copies at 50 American cents. The figure 3 has been
corrected to 4 and the 50 to 40, both by hand and in the centre of the
advt. there is a 1-k. tax stamp, properly cacheted and signed by the
hand of our old friend F. Chuchin. Quite a bundle of interest, as can
be seen from Fig. 3 just below. Incidentally, this is the only cover
I have that .is actually signed by Chuchin.
A Cexuimm np Bce-
POSTAGE STAMPS and VOUCHERS 4y XO035CTBy BU MK ,
for collections, Wholesale and Retail, variety of choice, offered by t'o !neoon 1-82-35. '
Organization r.f th,, PMMISSinNER fi P1T1T ATPr'V VOUCJ4ERS ( the son,
the Speiil .. .' ..1..m m"v,
1' A D CO i ,3
All other covers originating in Moscow, both before and after the item
months of the third set, are signed in an illegible hand, which is
clearly recognisable by a large oval flourish at the beginning of the
signature. Still another interesting cover was mailed from Khar'kov on
7 May 1924 and registered to Montreal. The cover carries three 1-k. tax
stamps, one on the front and two on the back, each separately cacheted
and with the small "c.c." variety (presumably from the same row or
rows in the sheet that bore this overprint variety). The cover is
franked with two of the scarce 20-kop. Lenin mourning stamps with
narrow frame and the signature appears to read "V.Sam...". See Fig. 4
on the next page.
Now, a mystery in the use of the philatelic tax stamps. An airmail
cover from London, 12 July 1924 to Moscow via Berlin, uses both values
of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition issue as part of the 5d.
franking. The cover carries the dark blue British airmail etiquette
and a Berlin air cachet, as well as the scarce Russian incoming airmail
cachet POLUCHENO VOZDUSHNOI POCHTOI (Received by airmail). This cover
* is addressed to the Authorised Agent (Commissioner) for philately and
paper money (vouchers) in Moscow, for forwarding to V. Mitrofanov,
27 Tverskaya St., Room 30, as seen at bottom front. All of this in
Russian, while, on the reverse, there is a transcription of the
Russian name and address, improperly rendered into English by a non-
Russian as "Mr. B. Sitrofapova, Gourerskaya 27, Moskow". To top it off,
there is also a 3-k. philatelic tax stamp on the back, properly
* cacheted and signed by our friend with the flourish. He also wrote the
word "Vydano" (given out) at bottom centre, with the handstamped date
24 July 1924 below. To the right of all that, the recipient wrote
"polucheno 26/7"(received, 26 July); please see Fig. 5 on the
preceding page. It would appear that this was a case of a Russian,
receiving stamps in exchange from abroad, sent through the Exchange
Agency and taxed accordingly. It would be very interesting if readers
had similar examples of incoming mail which have been charged the
The third issue of philatelic tax stamps, consisting of various
overprinted values of the attractive Imperial Charity issues of 1914-
1915 again add considerable interest and attractiveness to covers
bearing their use. From the considerable number of covers in my
collection, including examples of all seven values, I note very little
multiple use and only one example of origin other than Moscow. I also
cannot determine any correlation between the size and weight of
envelopes, including a number of oversized ones requiring several
roubles in postage, and the tax charged; with the large envelopes being
charged only the minimum tax of 5 kopeks. I would assume that the seven
values, ranging from 1 k. to 1 r., generally satisfied the taxes due,
so there was little need for multiple or combined use. Also, note that,
with the exception of the 1931 provisional, which is unpriced, both the
Cercle and Michel.catalogues price the 75k. and Ir. values of the third
set higher than any of the other philatelic stamps. The cachet used to
cancel the third issue was identical to that applied on the second. The
only exception is the one cover originating outside Moscow, which I
will describe later in detail. This third set was stated to have been
first released in January 1925. My only 1925 examples, one in April,
another in June and the third in July, were all still signed by the
official with the flourish. The last one is shown hereunder in Fig. 6
and shows the reutilisation of the 7-kop. Imperial stamped envelope,
with a further Ukrainian trident overprint handstamped over the die !
As previously mentioned, the tax stamps have the handstamped signature
facsimile of F. Chuchin, starting from February 1926. The Chuchin
handstamp has been noted as late as January 1928. My last two covers,
using the third set in February and March 1928, have the handstamp of a
different official, A. Kuindzhi (an example is shown here in Fig. 7)
and his handstamped signature appears into 1929 on covers using the
fourth set of tax stamps, at least for those originating in Moscow.
/ j Fig. 7.
A particularly interesting cover is the one referred to several times
above. It is the only example I have originating in a city other than
Moscow (Khar'kov) and also the only one using a different cachet from
that described for the second set and continuing throughout the third
set, except for this particular cover. The cover was mailed from
Khar'kov on 19 March 1928 and registered to Wolverhampton, England. It
is franked with 38 k. in stamps (10 k. over the normal registered rate)
and carries the highest value of Ir. as a tax stamp on the back. This
tax stamp is cancelled with a circular marking, which appears to be the
personalised cachet of the sender, N. Steptschenkow, who may or may not
have had official status in Khar'kov. Please see Fig. 8.
The fourth set of tax stamps, overprinted on the 1921 Soviet definitive,
were in use from mid-1928 to the end of 1931. There were five values,
ranging from 5k. to Ir. and overprinted on remainders of the original
imperforate Soviet issue. They were roughly perforated 11l, presumably
to simplify handling for tax purposes. In the case of this fourth set,
the tax values used for overprinting did not always meet the tax to be
charged, so combinations and multiples are often seen. I have covers
taxed as high as 2r., using in one case two of the Ir. value and in
another, 8 copies of the 25k. (see Fig. 9 below, with a new handstamped
signature, reading "Ya. Sav..."). The 2r. charges are on standard
envelopes with minimum franking, so they presumably represented high
face value sending, rather than simply large quantities.
SL I jI
Most of my covers using the fourth set were again posted from Moscow,
but I do have two from Leningrad. The cachet used for cancellation was
slightly different from that applied on the second and third sets. The
wording was similar, but in a different type style and with the
authorising resolution dates changed. The handstamped signature
facsimiles used in Moscow in early 1929 were of the same official as at
the end of the third set (A. Kuindzhi). Three more facsimile signatures
were seen by late 1931. The covers of Muscovite origin in 1929 usually
carried two other cachets also associated with these special mailings.
One was a two-line cachet in Russian, reading "With Philatelic
Material". The other was a small boxed cachet, translating as the
Postal Agency for the Central Office of the S.Ph.A., in two lines in
the upper part of the box and then a line separating these words from a
blank space at the bottom, which was filled in with a handstamp of the
date of sending. These two cachets appear to have been discontinued by
late 1929. In Leningrad, the cancelling cachet was identical to that
* used in Moscow, except for the two-line wording at the base, which
allowed for space at the left for a control number (now disregarded in
Moscow) and at the right for a signature. In Leningrad, this signature
was original and, on my two covers from January 1930 and February 1931,
signed by the same official, G. Bushkevich; please see Fig.10 overleaf.
Leningrad covers of this period are also distinguished by a small
numbered control etiquette (quite different types on my two covers) in
the appropriate position on the back of the cover, so that the
cancelling cachet overlapped this small label in its lower left corner.
Leningrad, as always, enjoyed its postal independence.!
Despite the generalised comments about the Muscovite use of the fourth
set of philatelic tax stamps, the transition year of 1928 from the
third to the fourth sets offers two covers in my collection that were
exceptions to the rule. It should be noted that these are the only two
examples of the fourth set that I have in 1928. The earliest, in Sept.,
using the 5k. on 100r. value, was cancelled with the old cachet applied
throughout the second and third sets. There is no control number and no
signature facsimile. The other, in October, also using a 5-k. tax stamp,
was cancelled with a very unusual circular cachet with the wording
surrounding a central design and reading ALL-RUSSIAN SOCIETY OF
PHILATELISTS. This cover also has the handstamped wording for the
Central Control Point for Foreign Exchange, Moscow G.P.O., P.O.Box 669,
together with a handwritten control number and a new signature, reading
"Vesh...".(see Fig. 11 herewith).
Qeyp sH hOHTP~fl HIS1V t ~ A
o" QKTa- 07
I 15 -M-- ; --
It would be interesting to know if this circular cachet were in general
use between October 1928 and early January 1929, the earliest date that
I have for the standard cachet as previously noted. A March 1930 cover,
* again using the 5-k. tax stamp, is the earliest usage I have of the
pictorial imprinted S.Ph.A. envelope in German, picturing the 40r. value
(Scott 187, S.G. 199, Michel 155, Yvert 143) of the 1921 Soviet issue.
Another interesting usage, on a June 1931 cover to Holguin, Cuba, uses
an imperforate pair of the 10k. on 250r. value, again with the facsimile
signature reading "Ya. Sav..." (please see Fig. 12 immediately below).
1918 Chainbreaker issue, was issued at two different times. The 15k.,
25k., 50k. and Ir. in January 1932 and the 5k., 10k., 3r., 5r, and l0r.
(two types) in January 1934. I have no examples on cover of the 5r. and
10r. values, despite their relatively low catalogue values and can only
assume that they were used mainly on larger packages. Thus, few examples
exist on cover. Multiples are not uncommon, particularly in the earlier
years before issuance of the higher values.
My first two covers, in March 1932, continue to use the same cancelling
together with a new and unreadable facsimile signature (see Fig. 13). By
late April, the printing was changed slightly on the cancellation cachet
and, by June, the cachet was increased in size, with the border now
including the original cachet, as well as the three-line return address
noted above, but wilh the number "3" after Lane No. and the same new
facsimile signature (see Fig. 14 on p.61). Later examples use either of
these types, with a separate handstamp for the S.Ph.A. return address
when the smaller cachet is used.
A mid-1935 cover is the first usage of the second imps, ovrinted SPhA.
envelope that I have seen (large S.Ph.A. in red, with two lines of black
writing in German and heavy red underlining). These covers were used
both with and without the application of philatelic tax stamps,
perhaps depending on whether the sending included stamps or was just
an advertisement. Consistency is difficult to come by, as I have two
registered envelopes using the S.Ph.A. imprint to Zumstein in Berne
and mailed within a couple of months of each other, one with a 15-kop.
tax stamp and the other without. These special envelopes all came from
the Moscow-50 post office, but other mailings from the S.Ph.A. at
Moscow-50, as well as, by 1937, S.Ph.A. use of the MOSCOU ETRANGER
cancel, were found both with and without tax stamp application. By
1938, the S.Ph.A. had been incorporated into the Philatelic Department
of "Mezhdurnaronaya Kniga" and subsequent postings came from the
Kuznetskii Most 18 address of that organisation. That included later
usages of the philatelic tax stamps, which still bear the basic
cancellation cachet and facsimile signature.
Clearly, however, the usage of philatelic tax stamps became blurred in
the years prior to World War II. Their application became more limited
and generally, on covers that I have seen, the tax charge was quite
low; only 5k., 10k. or 15k. (see Fig. 15). The latest usage I have is
on a registered letter of 25 March 1941 to the Scott Monthly Journal in
New York City. The envelope used has the fancy North Pole cachet for
the North Pole set of 1938 (Scott 625-28; S.G. 769-772; Michel 584-87;
Yvert 617-620) and is franked with a lr. 30k. meter impression from
Machine No. 6075 at the Moscow 8th. Despatch Office. On the back there
is the same old 5-kop. tax stamp, as shown in Fig. 16. In both Fig. 15
and 16, the new facsimile signature of that of Ts. Gintsburg, thus
being of interest also to Judaica collectors.
Other members have undoubtedly read definitive articles on the usages
of the Soviet philatelic tax stamps and still others have extensive
holdings of material that would add to this study. I hope that some
correspondence can be generated about this fascinating and colourful
sidelight to Soviet philately.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: A photograph of A. Kuindzhi, who was the
Commissioner for Philately and Paper Money during 1928-1929, will be
found in one of the issues of "The Soviet Collector" for 1928. It
appears from his surname that he came from a well-known family of
Pontine Greeks, i.e. the Greeks who had lived for centuries along the
shores of the Pontos Euxinos or Black Sea.
Readers will find that the usage of the philatelic tax stamps started
to fall off sharply after 1936 and especially after the dissolution
of the Soviet Philatelic Association in 1938. All of that was due to
the particularly tragic repression that took place in the Soviet
Union during that period, leading to the practical cessation of
contact by Soviet philatelists with their colleagues abroad.
Subsequent applications of the philatelic tax stamps were only made
on sending by Soviet official organizations.
The cover in Fig. 7 appears unique in being franked with all six of
the 7-k. commems. surcharged "8/KOP.". So far as your editor knows,
only the Popov surcharge was sold at post offices (700,000 issued)
and the others only available from the Philatelic Bureau in Moscow.
Only 100,000 complete sets exist of these surcharges and covers
showing their proper use are rare. Details from the readership of
further usages would be appreciated.
ICehTrpanbHuH KoHTpOT"bHaA lyn,.t
no za-paHHHHoMy o6MdHy npH C.*,
MocKaa-50, HacTaCbHHCKHxA. na'. ,
J l* ,.. T .-,V' -
^ ______ __ ifW/ Q / T
. -192 r.
V/0 ,,MEZhDP^J,^^;;j 1 ;ii3l
P hi.la.t3ii ; .) artment
Kuznetski cat, 18
. ,et' ,,
*'":.',; i,, tOH ':O, G
THE UKRAINIAN CORNER
This corner will be a
regular feature in v
tribute to the many l
thousands of Ukrainian /
immigrants who, by their
hard work, have enriched
their country of adoption,
namely Canada. As most of
them came from the western
provinces of the Ukraine, we
will be featuring items from
Bukovina, Carpatho-Ukraine & Galicia.
CARPATHO-UKRAINIAN POSTAL HISTORY : ADDENDUM III
by Andrew Cronin
Further illustrations and discoveries in the pre-adhesive era and the
usage of Austrian and Hungarian stamps in the area have now come to hand
and are detailed hereunder.
Dr. B41a Simady of Hungary has sent in the illustration shown just above
of his 1789 letter from Vienna, via Papsau (?) and Unghvar (U.horod) to
Munkacs (Mukacevo). This fine item was referred to at the top of p. 80 in
"The Post-Rider" No. 13 and was addressed to BACSINSZKY Andras (Andrij
Bachin'skyj 1732-1809), who was the Bishop of Munkacs (Mukacevo) from
1772 until his death. He is regarded as one of the enlighteners of the
Carpathian Ukrainians, promoting the use of the local language in
services and founding the local episcopal library of 9000 volumes,
which included an important number of works in the Russian language.
This letter from the Dr. Simady collection is therefore also of great
Mo -)s... .. .r ,.u v in ,h (U ho od T is a
30 J ly 1 4 h .f '-'-io" t bh
'Most Reverend Ivan Churhovych in Unghvr (U horo). There is" a
30 July 1843. The note "franco" at bottom left on the address side
denotes that the letter was fully prepaid. See the illustration above.
The letter shown at the bottom of the previous page is from the Cronin
collection and originated in the village of Bubuliska (Bobovishche in
Ukrainian). It is in the district of Szentmiklos (Chinydd'evo in
Ukrainian), just to the north-east of Munkacs (Mukacevo). It bears on
the back a fine impression in red wax, reading in Latin SIGILLUM C. C.
DIST. BUBULISKENSIS 1833 (Seal of the Catholic Consistory? of the
District of Bubuliska 1833), with a church tower in the centre.
Written entirely in Hungarian and sent on 11 October,1845 through the
nearby post office at Munkacs, with the marking MUNKATS struck in black.
This was an official letter (Hivatalb6l), addressed to His Excellency
and Very Reverend (F8tisztelend8) Vasyl' Popovych, the Bishop of
Munkacs in Unghvar (Uzhorod). This village of Bubuliska/Bobovishche has
only had postal service in the Soviet period. The Hungarians planned a
postal agency there during their second administration of 1939-1944 and
a proof strike of the rectangular bilingual marking is known dated
41.XII.11, but the agency never functioned. The present Soviet code
number is 295403.
Coming to the usage of Austrian issues in the Carpatho-Ukraine, we now
see two examples from TISZA6JLAK (V lok). The first is a beautiful and
rare strip of three of the 2-Kreutzer of the 1850 issue, dated 31/8.
This was Lot No. 104 in the Roger Koerber Auction of 17.2.84, where it
fetched US$460.00 and well worth it The second item is also from a
recent Roger Koerber auction and is dated 15/8 on the 6-Kreutzer of the
The above letter from the Cronin collection was written entirely in
Hungarian and sent front HUSZT (Chust) 11 January 1866 to Mr. SZILAGYI
Istvan, Szigeten (= in Sziget, i.e. Maramarossziget, the capital of
Maramaros county, in which Huszt was also situated). It arrived there
the same day, franked with the 5 Kr. rose of the Austrian 1863 issue.
The question was raised in "The Post-Rider" No. 12, p.63 as to whether
both Hungarian versions of the first postcard were supplied by the
Royal Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commercial
Affairs to post offices in the Carpatho-Ukraine. Dr. Simady of Hungary
-i -. -
has been able to confirm that such was indeed the case, as seen from the
two examples shown above. The first one, with the German inscription
"Correspondenz-Karte." and the Hungarian coat of arms below it, was
sent from Huszt (Chust) on 24 March 1871 to Kaschau (Kassa or Kosice,
now in Slovakia).
The second item, with the inscription changed to the Hungarian
"Levelezesi lap.", was sent from Munkacs (Mukachevo) on 8th. January,
also to Kaschau. Similar examples must also exist from the other two
cities in the Carpatho-Ukraine, i.e. Beregszasz (Berehovo) and Ungvir
(Uzhorod), not to mention smaller localities. A real coup would be to
discover whether any particular post office ever received and sold BOTH
variants of this first postcard '
The next installment in this series of articles will treat in detail
* further features of the Hungarian administration from 1867 to 1919 in
MAIL TO THE
Russian philatelists in the Western
World have many examples of Imperial
mail directed abroad and have, in \ I
fact, ensured the survival and mineplii
loving preservation of practically
all such items. However, mail
addressed to the Russian Empire is
a horse of another colour, as
terrible things have happened since \
the collapse of that Empire and .
many magnificent philatelic items
were subsequently destroyed.
Contributions to this section will
be welcomed from our readers.
A HONGKONG USED ABROAD COVER SENT TO NOVOROSSIISK
by Marcel Lamoureux
China did not become a member of the Universal Postal Union until 1914.
Prior to that date, Chinese mail going abroad had to be transmitted
via one or other of the foreign postal administrations that had
established agencies in China, especially in the so-called Treaty Ports.
Great Britain was so represented through the postal service of its
colony of Hongkong, which had set up offices during the 19th. century
in various Chinese cities, including the treaty port of Shanghai. The
cover shown directly below is a typical example of sending mail abroad
from China through the Hongkong post office functioning in that port.
*-. *, I,
_ I~--- ----- -- ----------------
- -I _,i" -
In this particular case, we have a letter franked with one copy each of
the 2 and 5 stamps of Hongkong and addressed to the Black Sea port of
Novorossiisk in the Russian Empire. The first-step rate charged by the
Hongkong postal service at that time for a letter going abroad was 10,
so the cover was thus underfranked by 3, when posted in Shanghai on 23
March 1894 N.S. The deficiency was noticed while still in the Hongkong
mail stream and a notation in blue pencil "fro. 15c" was made directly
below the two postage stamps. The abbreviation "fro." apparently stands
for "franco" and it is assumed that the 3 deficiency was then equal to
15 gold centimes.
The letter was backstamped in Hongkong (Victoria) three days later and
was in transit through Odessa on 20 April 1894 O.S. At that point, the
standard "T" marking in a circle,used by the Imperial Russian postal
service for mail to or from abroad, was applied on the front of the
cover and, just below it, the familiar internal oval DOPLATIT' cachet,
enclosing the calculation of double the deficiency in local currency,
i.e. 12 kopeks. That sum was then equal to 3d. sterling, 6 Hongkong or
U.S. or 30 gold centimes. Thus, the letter tells quite a story !
Is there a question or point you would like to put
across to the readership; is there an interesting
stamp, cancellation or cover that you would like to
describe; is there an item in your collection that 0C, o'
could use some clarifying information, or might there ooo o
be some gems of wisdom that you could impart on some 000 O
newly acquired item ? o% ".o
Share your questions, thoughts and wisdom, in the confines
of a couple of paragraphs with the rest of our readers
P.J. Campbell, Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada.
I have two examples of the controversial
oval marking of the Warsaw Railway
Station in St. Petersburg post office,
also illustrated and listed under No. 18.4.13
188.8.131.52 at the top of p.42 by Herr -
Heinrich Imhof in his study of the p -- -
postmarks of St. Petersburg. My first
example example is dated 21.3.13 on the 3-k. Romanov and the second
18.4.13 on the 1-k. Romanov. In all cases, including the illustration
given by Herr Imhof and dated 7.-2.13, the inscription at the bottom of
the cancel reads VECH.-VARSH.VOKZ. Some say that the abbreviation VECH.
stands for "vecher" or "evening", but others claim it to be an error,
which should have read VIEN. (BEH. in Cyrillic) for the post office in
St. Petersburg at the Vienna-Warsaw Railway Station. Reviewing the
evidence, it seems certain that the inscription was an error. Such
mistakes are rare on cancellations of the Imperial period and are
interesting items to add to a collection.
RARITIES FROM RUSSIAN ARCHIVES
HERETOFORE ON DISPLAY ONLY IN
MOSCOW GOVERNMENT MUSEUM
We have had the exceptional opportunity to acquire from the Rus-
sian Government the complete supply of these stamps. In our pos-
session and available for infection is proof of the exact number of
stamps of each variety issued, as below indicated.
Scott $327 water.
marked, now offered
SI J a y without watermark,
only 245 copies in ex.
SOur price $8.00 eah.
Scott (635 perforated, now offered imperforate, only 125
copies in existence. Our price $7.00 each.
The foregoing stamps taking into account their popularity and
scarcity should have large appreciation in value. The above prices
are fractions in comparison with pieces prevailing for similar limited
Pairs, Sarip, and Blocks o) Four are iml.ibl In pries pre roa.
MAIL AND PHONE O4fIt S FDMlU)
L. BAMBERGER & CO. DEPTH. N. 22
'ONE OF AMERICA'S GREAT STORES
NEWARK, N. J.
PRICES NO LONGER VALID '
Andrew Cronin, Toronto, Ont., Canada.
(a) Where were you when the Soviet
rarities shown at left were offered
by the Philatelic Department of L.
Bamberger & Co. of Newark, N.J., USA
in this their advertisement printed
in the issue of 14 October 1944 of
the American weekly magazine "Stamps"?
Even allowing for the fact that the
cost of living and associated wage
levels were much lower 40 years ago,
the material offered in this advt.
was still a bargain st the prices
indicated. Please do NOT immediately
put pen to paper and start ordering
these varieties; they were sold out
years ago and now in 1984 bring far
higher prices at auction sales.
1.5 -10 20 0
Nukentejusial nuo ka ,
RAbVISIS S noc-rpaeaswti
I I- OOi BOIHW
(b)The Lithuanian cover here shows a
few interesting features, as follow.
First of all, the date of 16 May 1918
is impossible, as the first stamps of
this country were not issued until 27
December 1918 (the First Vilnius
Issue), with the 20-sk. and 30-sk.
values of the Second Vilnius Issue
following quickly thereafter and the
balance of this second set by 31st.
December. What we have here is the
complete Second Vilnius Issue on a
philatelic cover, registered and
erroneously backdated with the help
of the obliging postmaster or postal
clerk in Radviliskis. Moreover, this
type of canceller was supplied to
Radviliskis well after the appearance
and exhaustion of the first issues.
To top it all off, there is a bilingual label tied to the cover at
bottom centre, reading first in Lithuanian literally as "The Suffering
from war Lithuanians", followed by a Russian version meaning "To
Lithuania suffering from the war". In the bottom right corner of this
label there is a reproduction of the Lithuanian flag, the bars of
colour for which should be in yellow, green and red, from top to bottom.
This particular and unusual item was offered in a Spanish auction
several years ago and its present whereabouts are unknown.
(c) The postcard now -------- -
originally featured in TA
the Queries & Answers
section of "The ',S' -b.
p.846 for Sept. 1982
and we can deduce a
great deal of data
just from the front /
side shown. Firstly, -
this 3-kop. internal
card was sent abroad ______I-_ _
from Kryukov, Poltava'
province in Ukrainia. j---
It was thus underpaid > } / -
by 1 kop., which was .
assessed at double the \ 2%g k t'-4",
deficiency, namely 5
gold centimes, as.seen
*just below the stamp design and confirmed by the Imperial Russian "T"
marking in a circle between the two postmarks. Posted on 24 Oct. 1914
O.S., it was obviously sent by someone whose mother tongue was Yiddish,
as the writer referred to Austria at bottom as "Estreich". Moreover, it
was addressed to Szlojme Riznikoff at the P.O.W. camp in Boldogasszony
in Hungary. After going through the Russian censorship, as shown at top
left, it was for some unexplainable reason misdirected to New York City,
as confirmed by the U.S. marking NEW YORK (FOREIGN BRANCH) N.Y. DEC 2
1914 MISSENT TO N.Y. The amount due had already been correctly
calculated there 5 days earlier as 1 cent, as seen at bottom left. The
card was then forwarded to Vienna in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where
it was again censored and the "megye" or county indicated at bottom
right for the location of Boldogasszony (Pozsony, now Bratislava, the
capital of Slovakia). Boldogasszony means "lucky woman" in Hungarian
and its present Slovak name is probably a literal translation of the
same. The large "G" at top left probably stood for the German "gelesen",
applied either in Vienna or in the P.O.W. camp. "Gelesen" means "read".
Finally, we may assume from the date of 24 Oct. 1914 O.S. that Szlojme
Riznikoff was among the first Russians taken prisoner of war by the
Austro-Hungarian Army in the early days of World War I.
(d) The TASS News Agency reported on 3 May 1983 the death
at the age of 76 of Anatolii V. Lyapidevskii, one of the
legendary pilots involved in the rescue of the survivors
of the Chelyuskin sinking by means of his ANT-4 aircraft.
He was then 27 years old and the first man to be awarded
the title of "repon CCCP" (Hero of the USSR). He is so
described on the 5-kop. value of the Chelyuskin Rescue
set issued on 25 January 1935, the title being in the
plural, as other rescuers also received it. See the stamp
at right, which had a printing of 200,000 copies. 69
a-HC, ,-,' ., .... _
(7_pF lot I ,J
J)bee^l)C ~fl. AC4 'S3
Robert Taylor, Malibu, California, USA.
Here is a photostat of another item, which will help to update the
postal history of the Volga-German Republic. This recently received
cover has an interesting bilingual marking reading in Russian and
German ENGEL'S KIOSK 5 ASSRNP ENGELS KIOSK 5/21.9.36. This was
presumably an army letter, as the illegible purple cachet applied to
both sides of the cover is of a military type, with the words DLYA
PAKETOV (for packages) barely made out in the centre. Addressed to a
lady in Gor'kii, where it was backstamped on 24 & 25 September. The
inclusion of the word KIOSK in the postmark inscription is unusual, to
say the least and we might wonder whether the four preceding kiosks
were also provided with cancelling devices '
Charles Rehwinkel, New York City, N.Y., USA.
IM TA TS
Please see the photostats at the bottom of the previous page of a cover
in response to Mr. Woollam's request at the conclusion of "The Joint
* Russian-Chinese Air Service via Sinkiang 1939-1941" article, in "The
Post-Rider" No. 12, pp.48-51. This was an airmail letter sent from
Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw in Poland) on 11 September 1940 with 35Pf.
postage to Shanghai and with a German censor strip on the back. It was
endorsed in German "By airmail/from Berlin to Moscow/via Siberia, from
Moscow to Shanghai". In transit through Moscow, it received a poorly
struck one-line designation in capitals, reading in Russian VOZDUSHNAYA
(= airmail article). There is a faint Shanghai machine arrival marking
at bottom on the front of the cover, which appears to be dated 3 October
1940 and a further Chinese marking for Shanghai on the back, dated 6th.
October. Shanghai had by this time been under Japanese occupation for
two years. Judging from the name of the sender on the back, this was a
letter from a Jewish woman still living in the Third Reich and writing
to Shanghai, which was a centre for Jewish refugees during that period.
Alexander Safonoff, San Jose, California, USA.
.. -... .
I' .>~ -
In his seminal work "The Arms Issues of 1902-20", the Reverend L. L.
Tann makes the point that there were inverted overprints produced on
the issues of the Russian Offices Abroad, including those in China, in
the turbulent period after the March 1917 Revolution from the genuine
overprinting plates and possibly at the instigation of Spalwe-Blumberg,
a well-known dealer in Moscow at the time.
While that may well have been the case, there were some genuine and
unintentional overprints that occurred on issues of the Russian Offices
Abroad, a case in point being the inverted KITAI overprint on the 4-kop.
red Arms of the 1910-1916 set on wove paper with vertical varnish lines.
The overprint was in blue and the variety has been priced in both mint
and used condition in the second edition of the Stanley Gibbons Stamp
Catalogue, Part 10 for Russia, under No. 27a. I also have this invert
* on a registered philatelic cover, as shown above. It was sent through
the mails from the Russian post office in Shanghai on 7 June 1912 by A.
V. Boljahn, who gave his address as care of the Chinese P. Office. It
went through Kobe, Japan on 11 June 1912 and all this was before World
War I and the subsequent machinations of Spalwe-Blumberg. Does anyone
else have other examples of usages on cover, philatelic or otherwise ?
RVIEW OF / 6 V
IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STAMPS USED IN TRANSCAUCASIA; PART SIX: ERIVAN
GUBERNIYA, KARS OBLAST', by P.T. Ashford. A comprehensive and richly
illustrated soft-bound booklet of 88 large pages, published by The
British Society of Russian Philately, London, 1983. Available from the
author at 9 Pentre Close, Ashton, Chester CH3 8BR, England, for US$5.00
postpaid, in banknotes.
Peter Ashford is Mr. Transcaucasia in our fields of philately and this
sixth part covers the Imperial postal history of what is essentially
the Armenian heartland and the Kars & Ardahan districts, which had
been taken from the Ottoman Empire as a result of the Russo-Turkish War
of 1877-78 and regained by the Turks after World War I. This part will
therefore appeal to a wide range of postal historians and its appeal
will be enhanced by the fact that the author has drawn on a range of
official Russian sources to present a complete listing of the Imperial
post offices and agencies. This latter amenity is especially useful as
it will help the intending postal history to plan his collection and
allow spaces for markings and localities that should have existed, but
from which strikes and mail have not yet been recorded.
The previous five parts of this authoritative series of handbooks are
also still available from the author at US$5.00 postpaid per part. It
is now proposed that the author will produce two further parts to
complete the study: Part VII covering the Elisavetpol' Guberniya and
Zakhatali Okrug and Part VIII covering Baku and Baku Guberniya. No
serious postal historian in our fields of philately should be without
this splendid set of handbooks.
EESTI FILATELIST No. 30 for 1984. A 288-page journal, published by the
Society of Estonian Philatelists in Sweden & the Estonian Philatelic
Society of New York. Available from Elmar Ojaste, Mandolingatan 17,
S-421 45 V&stra Fr8lunda, Sweden.
The editor, Elmar Ojaste, has worked very hard in this issue and is
himself the author of studies on the Uhisabi Essays of 1934-1940;
Jacob Becker and his Post-Ordnung of 1632; with Aksel Vaigur on Swedish
Postal Rates in Estonia 1632-1710 & Postal Services in Haapsalu 1227-
1944; Ship Mail and Mail on the High Seas; Estonian Postal Censorship
1939-1940 & Estonian Field Post Law of 1940; as well as articles by the
following authors: Song Festivals in Estonian Philately, by Evald Raid;
The International Reply Coupons of Estonia, by Paul-August Koch; The
German Occupation of Tallinn in WWI, by W.-D.R8ttger; The 1909 "For the
Benefit of the Postman" Summons Stamp, by Ats; Postal Tariffs in
Occupied Estonia 1940-44,by Vello M&ndvere; The OtepR8 Stamps, by G.J.
Koppermann; Field Post Nos. of Estonian Units in WWII, by Adolph Lell
and "Estonica" Theme by Evald Raid. This fine publication of
international stature rounds off with Society Notes, About the New
Handbook; Additions & Corrections and an In Memoriam notice. Well done
A DOUGHBOY IN THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, SIBERIA, being the
diary of Corporal Jesse A. Anderson 1918-1919. A thick soft-bound
booklet of large pages, published by the author in 1983 and already into
its third printing. Available at US$17.00 postpaid from Jesse A.
Anderson, Veterans' Home E, Yountville, California, USA 94599.
This fascinating and unusual publication was brought to our attention by
our subscriber Dr. Denys J. Voaden. The author is hale and hearty and
into his 94th. year (!), having been born on 7 February 1891 in Santa
Ana, California. The title is self-explanatory and the interest of this
work has been enhanced by the addition of many photographs of the period,
taken by the author with a Kodak box camera. The two sections of the
diary make absorbing reading and provide an interesting background to
the postal history of the Allied expeditionary forces and legions in
Siberia, not merely the A.E.F., during 1918-1919. Strongly recommended !
PROJECT KUZBAS: American Workers in Siberia (1921-1926), by J.P. Morray.
An 192-page paperback, issued by International Publishers, New York,1983.
Available from the publishers at 381 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y.
USA 10016 at US$5.75 postpaid.
* We are once again indebted to our subscriber, Dr. Denys J. Voaden, for
bringing this publication to our notice. It is the story of some 500-odd
American workers, farmers and engineers, who volunteered their skills to
help the young and prostrate Soviet Republic develop its agriculture,
coal and chemical industries in the rich Kuznetsk Basin (Kuzbas) of
Siberia. It is an interesting tale of American involvement in early
Soviet affairs, to which we have been previously introduced by the award-
winning movie "Reds", with magnificent acting by Diane Keaton and Warren
Beatty. Some readers may not like the political orientation of the book,
but it also gives a fascinating account of dissension between the I.W.W.
(Wobblies) and the American Communist Party and names many people
involved in Project Kuzbas. Most, if not all, of these American
volunteers must have written letters to their relatives in the United
States and it would be very much worthwhile to recognize such mail, not
S only for its historical interest, but also because of the varied Soviet
frankings that must have been applied from 1921 to 1926.
LATVIAN COLLECTOR No. 34. Published by Latvian Collector, Inc., c/o
Ivars Rozentals, P.O.Box 5403, San Mateo, California, USA 94402. Priced
at US$3.00 for the US & Canada, US$4.00 foreign countries, postpaid.
The death of Andrejs Petrevics, the founder, managing editor and
prolific contributor of his specialised journal of Latvian philately and
postal history, may leave a void in this area, but also leaves a great
tradition that will be rigourously followed. It is more than fitting
that this issue, now completely in the hands of editor M. Tirums and
managing editor I. Rozentals, should be dedicated to its founder.
Petrevics' well-illustrated and detailed catalogue of Latvian stamps is
continued under a new author, as is "The Standard Cancellations of
Latvia",featuring with this issue town names beginning with "J". A short
article by A. Engels describes the short-lived Riga-Liepaja (Libau)
Airline, while M. Tirums dazzles the reader with covers from Latvia
addressed to various American presidents. For the postal historians, "The
Postmarks of the Duchy of Kurzeme" by N. Jakimovs (translated by R.Kalnis)
neatly describes and illustrated 19th. century pre-stamp markings. The
two excellently reproduced maps of portions of Latvia, the eye-catching
coloured postcard reproduction on the cover, both regular features of
late, as well as the overall professional quality of the journal will
satisfy any reader. The postal histories of Latvia, Russia and the USSR
are so entwined that collectors of Russia will always find something
worthwhile in this journal. George V. Shalimoff.
MARKI IZ STAROGO AL'BOMA (Stamps from an old album), by O.N. Bukharov. A
136-page booklet, issued by the "Radio i Svyaz'" Publishers, Moscow, 1981
in an edition of 60,000 copies. Price 50 kop.
The title is self-explanatory and the work features descriptions and
coloured illustrations of classic Imperial postal stationery and stamps,
interesting historic data on the Wenden district, Zemstvo issues and a
survey of early Soviet emissions. It thus serves as an introduction to
the serious collecting of all this material. Excellent as far as it goes.
MARKI SVIDETELI ISTORII (Stamps the witnesses of history), by 0. N.
Bukharov. An 80-page booklet, issued by the "Radio i Svyaz'" Publishers,
Moscow, 1982 in an edition of 52,000 copies. Price 30 kop.
This same author basically has carried on where he left off in the
previous booklet. He gives background information for selected Soviet
issues, featured in colour from the 1921 definitive to the well-known
30-kop. "Be a hero" stamp of 1941. The aim is the same as before.
ZHIVOTNYE NA POCHTOVYKH MARKAKH AFRIKI (Animals on the postage stamps of
Africa), compiled by V.L. Kartsev and D.M. Bruskin. A catalogue-handbook
of 144 pages in paperback format, issued by the "Svyaz'" Publishers,
Moscow, 1980 in an edition of 40,000 copies. Price 90 kop.
The catalogue has no prices, but is well illustrated and also gives the
full Latin names for all species of animals shown on stamps of the
African countries. Excellent for collectors of that theme.
PODVODNYI MIR V TVOEM AL'BOME (The underwater world in your album), by
N.A. Myagkov. A 64-page booklet in the Library of the Junior Philatelist
series, issued by the "Radio i Svyaz'" Publishers, Moscow, 1982 in an
edition of 30,000 copies. Price 20 kop.
This work has a fundamental approach to its theme, with coloured
illustrations of various stamps and hints on exhibiting such material.
KATALOG POCHTOVYKH MAROK MONGOL'SKOI NARODNOI RESPUBLIKI 1924-1979
(Catalogue of the postage stamps of the Mongolian People's Republic,1924-
1979), compiled by A.I. Vodyanitskii. Issued by the "Soyuzpechat'"
Publishers, Moscow, 1981 in an edition of 30,000 copies. Price 80 kop.
Although well illustrated, this is a rather disappointing paperback, as
it tells us little that we do not already know from Western catalogues
and even omits some rare varieties, such as the 5c.1924 perf.ll. The
listing in the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue of Russia is much better.
The Journal Fun
i,* II All sales benefit the Society and orders should be
Made payable to the CSRP Box 5722 Station-A,
S''::, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5W 1P2. All previous titles
j have unfortunately been sold out.
N. .. SOIM KARPATS'KOYI UKRAYINI, by Dr. Stepan Rosokha.
S. .A fascinating eye-witness account of the birth of
the Carpatho-Ukrainian Republic by a former minister.
'j' Published in Ukrainian, with an English summary
i4 and long out of print. Of great interest to the
Dr.S.Rosokha. Carpatho-Ukrainian collector. Price postpaid US$5.00
THE ARMS ISSUES OF 1902-1920, by the Rev. L.L. Tann. We have a few
copies of this ever-popular work with a xeroxed page pasted onto
one that failed to print,at the bargain price of POSTPAID US$15.00.
The contents are complete and this is a great opportunity.
GEORGIA, by John Barefoot & Andrew Hall. A spiral-bound book of 66
large pages, covering all phases of Georgian philately : stamps,
varieties,forgeries,fantasies,P.O.List. PRICE POSTPAID US$12.00.
FORGERY AND REPRINT GUIDE No. 3(Armenia, 1922 Pictorials), No. 4
(Armenia 1923 Pictorials) & No. 11 (Azerbaijan). All illustrations
are double-size and the differences clearly tabulated. Invaluable
for Transcaucasia cillectors.Set of 3 booklets: POSTPAID US$ 6.50.
* DIE POSTSTEMPELFORMEN IN ST.PETERSBURG VON 1766-1914, by Heinrich
Imhof. This is the definitive study of St.Petersburg postmarks and
is easy to follow, as there are many illustrations and everything is
tabulated. A new supply at a special price. POSTPAID US$ 7.50.
CATALOGUE OF THE GFR-USSR BILATERAL PHILATELIC EXHIBITION 19-22 Feb.
1981 in Essen. A 38-page booklet, mostly in German and a greeting
letter in Russian. Notable for a seminal article by Herr Heinrich
Imhof on the circular suburban train postal markings of Saint-
Petersburg, with latest findings. Price postpaid US $ 2.00.
NERVOUS PEOPLE AND OTHER STORIES, by Mikhail Zoshchenko. You won't
understand the United States of Soviet Russia, i.e. the USSR unless
you read this 452-page paperback in the Vintage Russian Library
series by one of the world's great writers.Price postpaid US $ 2.50.
LEARN TO SPEAK RUSSIAN WITHOUT A TEACHER, by G. Bronskii of Moscow
State University. A 192-page paperback, containing basic Russian
grammar, many phrases and sentences for home study. An ideal manual
for"us monolingual slobs", as one of our readers bluntly it. Great
value for the money. Price postpaid US $ 2.50.
Messrs Colin Harding and Robert Hepworth are pleased to announce that
they have just formed a philatelic company to handle the postal
history, cartography and ephemera of the Russian Empire, its Offices
Abroad, the Baltic Provinces and Republics, etc.,,etc. Their first
illustrated price list of offers is now available- from SCOTIA PHILATELY
TD., 133 Haliburton Road, St.Margarets,Twickenham,Middx,TWl 1PE,ENGLAND
THE COLLECT ORS CORNER \
Are you still missing that elusive item in your
collection or philatelic library; do you have some
duplicate material that you would like to trade or /
sell ? We can publicise your want-list and/or your .
duplicates for the most reasonable rate of 25 / line \
(minimum of $1.00 payment; maximum insertion of 16 '4
lines), excluding name and address. Unless otherwise
stated, all the catalogue numbers quoted are from Scott.
Ads from collectors only will be accepted. Dealers are
invited to respond.
NOTE: The Society disclaims all responsibility for any
misunderstandings that may result between exchanging parties.
FOR a book about the Russian sculptor Mark Antokolsky (1843-1902), I
would appreciate hearing from anyone with letters, articles, photos,
personal recollections from relatives and friends (particularly of
his later years in Paris, from about 1880 to 1902) or knowledge of
any of his works, other than those on display in the Soviet Union.
ELI RAKOW, 320 West 76th. Street, New York, N.Y., USA 10023.
FOR SALE: Egyptian revenue stamps for the RUSSIAN OFFICE. The author
of the Catalogue of Egyptian Revenue Stamps still has available mint O
copies of his cat. Nos. 496-497 at US$12.00 the pair.
PETER R. FELTUS, 5709 Keith Avenue, Oakland, California, USA 94618.
WANTED: Russian revenues,fiscals,vignettes,labels or Cinderella stamps
plus revenue & legal paper,paper seals,bill of exchange cut-outs and
any revenue documents, intact or otherwise. All periods: Imperial,
Civil War and Soviet. Will exchange or purchase.
MARTIN CERINI,90 Third Ave.,Huntington Station,N.Y., U.S.A. 11746.
WANTED: Imperial'dotted cancellations on cover; buy, sell or trade.
Please write, describing covers) & asking price for desired trade.
MIKE RENFRO, Box 2268, Santa Clara, California, U.S.A. 95051.
A FEW original copies of THE RUSSIAN PHILATELIST still available:-
In Russian: Nos. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
In English: Nos. 5, 10, 11.
Nos. 5 & 7 US$4.00 each; Nos. 8 to 11 US$4.50 each.
MRS C. ROSSELEVITCH, 34 Henry Drive, Glen Cove, N.Y., U.S.A. 11524.
FOR SALE:"The Post-Rider"Nos.3 to 11(1 of each)US$5.00 each + postage.
PETER BARANOV, 920 O'Brien St., NORTH BAY, Ohtario, Canada PiB 5X1.
Collectors who can read German and are interested
3t0 rfii ff in this WWI issue and its fascinating postal
v^AeU Vhistory will find a wealth of information
published in two thick bulletins annually. Write to
W.-D. 6TTGER, Am Markt, D-4130 MOERS 3, Federal Republic of Germany.