Printed In ;aad
THE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF
P.O. BOX 5722 Station 'A', TORONTO,
ONTARIO, CANADA, M5W 1P2
"THE POST-RIDER", No. 16.
2 Editorial: Sleepers and Other Wonders
3 Correspondence with Canada
4 Russian Foreign Mail with Adhesives
6 Postage Stamps issued by the Zemstvos
16 Mail to the Empire: Pre-U.P.U. Swiss Mail
18 The First Steps of the Soviet Airmail
Service in 1922
28 The Stamps and Postal History of Franz
45 Developments in Postal Mechanisation in
50 Obituary: Leo Zaikowski
51 Russian Postal Rates 1916-1924
56 The Armoured Cruiser "Avrora" (Aurora)
61 Delayed Accidentally
62 Auction Notes
65 Philatelic Shorts
71 Review of Literature
75 Journal Fund
76 The Collectors' Corner
Allan L. Steinhart
Werner K. Elias
A.J.S. McMillan &
Dr. T.T. Rutkowska
Dr. A.R. Marshall
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.
1 FPOSTR ^IDER
SLEEPERS AND OTHER WONDERS
A philatelic sleeper is a stamp, whose rarity is a good deal greater
than its catalogue value would suggest. There are many such items in
our fields of collecting and a few examples will now be considered.
The grey-blue aircraft design in the Famine Relief set of November 1922 I
is much scarcer than the other three stamps, although one million
copies were printed. It is almost rare used and especially so on cover.
And what about the three Express Delivery stamps of 1932; have you ever
seen them commercially used, as opposed to c.t.o. ? There are several
stamps in the Golden Period of Soviet commemorative design that are
modestly priced, but hardly ever turn up: the 50-kop. MOPR single, the
Ivan Fddorov pair and the Sverdlov-Nogin stamps.
The other side of the coin shows those stamps that are avowedly scarce,
but always seem to pop up. The "Philately for the Children" overprints
are a good example. Only 950 complete sets supposedly exist, but there
were at least two official printings, God knows how many supplementary
ones and your editor would not touch those stamps mint with the longest
barge pole on the Volga. It seems the only safe way to collect them is
on registered covers of the sole day of issue, with appropriate
According to the Soviet catalogue, only 10,000 perforated sets were
produced of the Zeppelin pair of 7 Sept. 1930, but your editor has g
several sets mint and used in both perforations and has never found
them to be scarce. Our subscriber, M. Michel Liphschutz of Paris,
believes there was a second printing of this set and, truth to tell,
the striking design would certainly have guaranteed further sales. What
is rare in these (and other) airmail stamps is subsequent commercial
usage on surface mail, some years after their original issue. The 80-
kop. Zeppelin stamp shown here at top was genuinely postmarked at
Zhlobin, Belorussia on 19 Jan. 1938 and presumably then paid the
registration fee on a letter going abroad. Yea, verily, some strange
things have gone on in our fields of philately.
But do not despair, dear children. Let us rather go forth together
to do battle with the foe, lustily singing a rousing chorus from
"The Song of the Vodka Boatman" (yes, you read that correctly).
"Correspondence 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 xerocK copy of the item, along with sane expla-
natory text to the Editor.
SCarte stale Pst Post Card--n
Cartolin. iSlldr Io .N -+T~ Iv .l pondenca
Cotrrsp lTan7to e n.InIp a E 'o r' f ,I' 0ifwiO
I / y-PM
AN EARLY CARD FROM
Allan L. Steinhart.
on the next
t S. S. Monteagle.
Readers are referred to p. 32 of "The Post-Rider" No.14, where Dr.
Robert C. Smith informs us that the second shipload of Canadians,bound
for Siberia, sailed from Vancouver on 17 November 1918 on the Canadian
Pacific ship R.M.S. Monteagle.
This vessel arrived in Vladivostok on 5th. December and also carried the
boxed censor marks. The illustrations on page 3 are of the front and
back of a card recently acquired and which was sent from the R.M.S.
Monteagle on the outward voyage at Hakodate, Japan on 3rd. December. It
also shows what is probably the earliest known application of any of the I
boxed censor marks, namely "001", just two days before arrival at
Vladivostok. The censor's signature is faintly visible on the front of
the card, diagonally placed between the message and the address.
Another piece has thus been fitted into the overall picture of the
Canadian Expeditionary Force in Siberia !
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Further to the data about the Russian stampless cover
to Canada, described by Mr. Steinhart in this section on pp.3-4 of "The
Post-Rider" No.14, our subscriber, John V. Woollam of England, has now g
come up with the most feasible explanation for the "1/4" rate marking
(one shilling and four pence sterling) placed on the front of the letter.
Mr. Woollam suggests that it was a double-weight letter, which would
have required a doubling of both the English internal rate (2 pence) and
the charge by Canadian packet from England to Quebec (6 pence). We thus
arrive at a total due of 16 pence = 1/4. Very neat !
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MAIL WITH ADHESIVES BEFORE 1864
by Werner K. Elias
John V. Woollam's article on "Russian 19th. Century Foreign Mail" in
No. 8 of "The Post-Rider" came only recently to my attention. I was
particularly interested in his remarks on the subject of foreign mail,
sent before July 1864, that might have been franked with adhesives,
contrary to the regulations then ip effect. Were there such letters ?
If so, what happened to them ?
It would appear that a discussion of this question would have to
differentiate between two types of"stamped covers". If we talk about
letters, for which the entire postage to the foreign destination had
been prepaid by means of adhesives, the chances are that such covers i
never existed, except due to a possible freak accident. Prior to the
Postal Department regulation of 15 June 1864, authorising the use of
stamps for foreign postage and the deposit of letters so franked in mail g
boxes, all foreign mail, collect as well as prepaid, had to be handed to
a clerk at the post office for computation and payment of postage in the
case of prepayment. Any contravention of the postal regulations was thus
It is quite different with the second kind of such letters, i.e. those
for which the Russian postage to the border had been prepaid by means of
a 10-kopek stamp. Originally, Russia had insisted on such prepayment,
even in the case of mail otherwise sent collect. Only slowly did it
relent on this point; postal treaties with Prussia in November 1843 and
Austria in March 1850 provided for its share of the postage to be I
collected abroad. Still, many correspondents continued paying domestic
postage to the border for letters sent collect and they kept on doing
so for many years. Their scarcity is probably due more to the fact
that, by the late 1850s,the Russians had outgrown the old habit of
prepaying the fee, than as the result of such letters having been
considered as contravening any regulations. After all, the 10-kopek
stamp only paid the domestic postage.
S.. . In any case, I can
show herewith a Russian
S/letter that paid the
S/ -~ postage only to the
I border. As the result
S. ; of an agreement between
Members of the Germano-
/ Austrian Postal Union &
I Switzerland in April
S Z .... 1852, the total fee for
a 1-Lot letter (12,8 g.
I or just under h oz.)
S/from Russia to
Switzerland was reduced
I ,.,... ..... to 80 Rappen or 8 Sgr.
or 27 kop.(10 kop. to
S-. -' Russia,3 Silbergroschen
S" to Prussia & 20 Rappen
S. .A -- This letter went from
_- '_ t" = 1 I Riga 21.5.1861 O.S.
) ; I (2.6.1861 N.S.) via the
S// Knigsberg-Bromberg TPO
.. .' -- i 4((Kaliningrad-Bydgoszcz)
Sand Basel 8.6.1861 N.S.
s -t 3. (. 3 .i- c h_ .. de tO e Ss a to Muri near Berne,thus
cl'ec ti R a s by th "0 nat least 6 days in
transit. The sender
St ;:. -. P._ prepaid the Russian
-.ia--s .h.a.s in en...- tt-or b. 1 o R postage by a 10-kop.
stamp of the period.
I Although the Prussian postal authorities marked the letter on the front
as "pto 3" (i.e. 3 Silbergroschen due), the Swiss apparently only
collected their 20 Rappen, as seen by the "20" notation, not the amount
due to the Germano-Austrian Postal Union.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The above article is especially valuable in that Mr.
Elias has, in effect, shown that our beloved No. 1 of Russia, the 10-k.
imperforate, could theoretically have been affixed to letters going
abroad, but only paying the internal postage. Your editor recollects
the late Kurt Adler telling him about 15 years ago that a Russian
I collector in Paris, M. Prejbiano, had seen such a letter, with the ten-
kop. imperforate left uncancelled If that were indeed the case,
where is that letter now ?
A second point concerns currency equivalents in the 19th. century, as
an aid to working out how the rates were split between sending,
transit and receiving countries. Of course, currency values did
I fluctuate somewhat, but readers will find the following equivalents
useful (Prussian-North German zone; franc zone incl. Switzerland;pound
sterling; North American dollar; Russian rouble):- 1 Silbergroschen =
S 12 centimes = 12 Rappen = 1d. sterling = 2 U.S. = 5 kopeks.
POSTAGE STAMPS ISSUED BY THE ZEMSTVOS
by Alex Artuchov
(continued from No. 15) d
Stamps with Inscription OIIJIOEHA (Paid)
On smooth white and various other papers, sheet of 15 (3x5).
70. 5 kop. blue or light blue 1.00
A. White dot above the upper right circle (2nd stamp on sheet)
B. White dot inside the upper right circle (15th stamp on the sheet)
71. 10 kop. gray, light or dark 2.00
(on thick and thin paper)
72. 10 kop. greenish gray, light or dark 2.00
(on thick and thin paper)
73. 10 kop. greenish gray on vertically laid paper RRRR
While No. 73 is listed as noted above by Schmidt, it should be
pointed out that the stamps with laid paper do not belong to the
October, 1892 issue. The more appropriate issue would seem to be
the one at the end of 1892. These stamps furthermore have the
faint white dot after the 10 in the SW corner which is another
characteristic of the issue at the end of 1892.
Stamps with Inscription OinrOBA5 (Postage Due)
Smooth white paper, sheet of 15 (3x5)
74. 1 kop. violet, light or dark (P) 0.50
known imperforate horizontally
3 1st Stamp (on sheet)
Deformed right leg of in ORHA K. at the bottom of the stamp.
White dot to the left of the 1 in the NE corner.
White spot in the background next to the "S" shaped ornament at
I the bottom left corner. There is also a tiny white dot under the
H in OAHA K. at the bottom of the stamp.
There is a white dot at the foot of the 1 in the NE corner.
There is a dark spot in the oval above the crown.
There is a white spot in the background just below the "S"
shaped ornament in the upper right corner.
I A white line connects the 3rd 0 in BOrOPO7CKAFO to the inner
oval. There is a white spot in the NW corner of the shield.
S1 2 4
S6 8 12 14
Thick or thin paper, sheet of 30 (6x5)
75. 5 kop. red or dark red (P)
2nd Stamp (on sheet)
Mutilated 5 in SW corner.
White dot between rosette and C in CEJIbCKAI placed near inner oval.
A white spot inside the 5 in the SW corner.
A coloured spot outside the circle in the SE corner.
A white spot after the 5 in the SW corner.
A white dot between the rosette and the C in CEJIbCKAI is placed
half way between the inner and outer ovals.
Similar to previous issues, inscribed OJOVIEHAR, printed from a
new plate with the horizontal row of stamps measuring 74.5-75 mm
instead of 71.5-72.5 mm changed colour, white paper, yellowish
brown gum, perforated 114, small white dot after every 10 in the
SW corner of every stamp.
76. 10 kop. greenish blue or light gray blue
Variety : A white spot in front of the 10 in the SE corner
appears on the 10th stamp in the sheet.
Similar to previous issue but with the date 1893 under the coat
of arms, inscribed with either OHO3OEHAq or OJnrOBAR, lithographed
on white paper, yellowish gum, perforated 11i.
Sheet of 30 (5x6)
R Tr b;tyiy~i5~:
77. 5 kop. blue, dark blue
- A dot between the n in nHTb and the oval (21st stamp
- Double perforated horizontally
on the sheet)
78. 10 kop. green, light or dark
- Imperforate horizontally
Sheet of 30 (5x6)
79. 1 kop rose, light or bright (P)
- Imperforate at side margins
- Constant varieties on stamps 5,9,13,23
5- NE corner is 9- 1 in NE corner
coarsely retouched is mostly obliterated
and 26 of the sheet:
13- 1 in SW corner
with white spot on foot
23- A white spot 26- 1 in SW corner
in NE circle, is 2 obliterated.
80. 5 kop. red,light or dark (P) 1.00
- Imperforate horizontally
81. 10 kop. cherry red (P) 5.00
On No. 81 the space between stamps is 10 11 mm instead of
6.75 8.5 mm as previously.
The sheet size and format are unknown for No. 81.
Similar to the 5 kop. stamp of the previous issue but printed
from a new plate and with a changed colour, lithographed on
white paper, brownish yellow gum, sheet of 15 (3x5), perforated
It is mentioned that a total of 500 stamps were printed for this
issue. This however, can only be regarded as an imprecise
estimate for the reason that 500 is not a multiple of 15.
82. 5 kop. wine red or wine rose (P) 40.00
The postal rates were changed by the Governor of Moscow on
November 11, 1893 and a new set of stamps were issued in
Similar to the previous issues, oval shorter, coat of arms taller,
wider crown, ornaments in corners are more pronounced, the date
1894 is inscribed in the central oval below the coat of arms,
lithographed on smooth white paper, brownish yellow gum, sheet of
36 (6x6), perforated 111.
|^ For Printed Matter (lJIV BAHEPOJER)
83. 2 kop. dark blue 0.50
I 84. 2 kop. brown yellow, orange yellow (P) 1.00
I Constant Varieties:
-On No. 83- Large blue spot in the SE corner (35th stamp).
-On Nos. 83 & 84- White spot on 2 in NE corner(27th stamp)
For Regular Mail (JUl MHCEMl H OBbHBJEHIR)
85. 4 kop. blue, light blue 1.00
3 -imperforate 25.00
86. 4 kop. red (P) 1.00
I -imperforate 25.00
i For Registered Letters (X9Hl 3AKA3HbIX H JEHEMHHXb nHCEMb)
87. 8 kop. green, light green 2.00
I 88. 8 kop. carmine, carmine rose (P) 2.00
For Letter Packets up to a Quarter Page
(JM lI AKETOB'b Bb JIHCTA)
89. 20 kop. ultramarine, light ultramarine 4.00
90. 20 kop. rose (P) 6.00
Constant Varieties of No. 89:
A- Letter A in IHOTA B- Curved line above C- White spot on inner
with bar extending top of stamp extending oval and letters 3 and
from left leg. from NW circle to just l of YIBS3,A. .
(5th stamp) above 0 in OIJnOYEHAH. (31st stamp)
A miniature sheet containing proofs of five values is known
imperforate and without gum. Same, has also been reported
perforated 11i with extra horizontal perforations through
the stamps. There is apparently another similar sheet on
brownish white paper that is imperforate and without gum.
From January of 1894, trial printings were postally used and
are all known on cover. These were printed in the colours of
the original stamp and in the case of the 2 kop. stamp also
in brown, brown rose, brown red and red. Since they were all
used for postage and are all known on cover they are quite
appropriately listed by Schmidt as follows below. The value
is available on an on cover basis only with all values considered
91. 2 kop. brown (P)
92. 2 kop. brown red or brown rose (P)
93. 2 kop. red (P)
Similar to previous issues, printed on new plates and in new
colours, lithographed on smooth white paper, brownish yellow
gum, sheet of 18 (6x3) for the 2 kop. value and of 17 for the
4 kop. value with the upper right stamp in the otherwise 6x3
format missing, perforated 11i and imperforate,
inscribed AJIM FAHAEPOJER, issue of 1,000 stamps for 2 kop.
value and 340 for 4 kop. value.
94. rose, light or yellowish (P)
95. 4 kop. rose,light or yellowish
Imperforate and ungummed proofs of this issue exist. They
were postally used and exist on cover. The effect of the paste
used to adhere these stamps often resulted in a colour change
converting an otherwise rose colour to aniline rose.
Constant varieties of the 2 kop. value
3rd Stamp on sheet
Coloured spot near
the circle in the
13th Stamp on sheet
Tiny white spot over
the last letter E in
the word BAHIEPOJER.
A limited supplimentary issue similar to the previous issues,
with no inscription at the bottom of the oval, inscribed
OIJIOn'EHA at the top of the oval, lithographed on smooth white
paper, yellowish gum, sheet unknown except for the 4 kop.
value with a 6x3, perforated 11.
Printed in Bright Ultramarine Blue
96. 2 kop.
97. 3 kop.
98. 4 kop.
99. 8 kop.
100. 20 kop.
Printed in Gray Blue
101. 2 kop.
102. 3 kop.
103. 4 kop.
104. 8 kop.
105. 20 kop.
Printed in Yellowish Red, Light or Dark
106. 2 kop. (p)
107. 3 kop. (p)
108. 4 kop. (p)
109. 8 kop. (P)
110. 20 kop.(P)
Printed in Red and Dark Red
111. 2 kop. (p)
112. 3 kop. (p)
113. 4 kop. (p)
114. 8 kop. (p)
115. 20 kop.(P)
Proofs exist in miniature sheets of 4x2 printed in black and with
all values contained on the sheet. The top row consists of the
20,8,4 and 2 kop. values inscribed OJirOBAI (postage due) while,
the bottom row consists of the same values inscribed OIlIOEHAH
(postage paid). A similar sheet perforated 11i and with double
perforations between the first and second vertical rows has
also been reported. The 2 and 3 kop values in the dark red
colour of the originals are known in sheets of 6x6 and are
imperforate. These were postally used in March of 1895 and
are known on covers.
Constant Plate Flaws of No. 103
12th Stamp on Sheet 13th Stamp on Sheet
White oval line above A long white spot above
letter Y of Yrib3qA is the letters Yl5 of the
deformed. word YIbL3XA.
Similar to previous issues, in changed colours lithographed
on smooth white paper, yellowish gum, perforated 11i.
(sheet of 18, 6x3)
116. 2 kop. dark blue, dark slate blue 0.75
117. 3 kop. indigo blue 3.00
118. 8 kop. green 1.50
119. 2 kop. yellow red, yellow rose (P) 0.50
(sheet of 36, 6x6)
120. 3 kop. rose (P) 0.50
(sheet of 18, 6x3)
121. 4 kop. brown red, brown rose (P) 1.00
(sheet of 36, 6x6)
brown rose 10.00
122. 20 kop. dull red, light dull red (P) 8.00
(sheet of 30, 5x6)
-TO BE CONTINUED-
MAIL TO THE
Russian philatelists in the Western
World have many examples of Imperial /
mail directed abroad and have, in Be /
fact, ensured the survival and l peDio
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 ,../ j
many magnificent philatelic items -
were subsequently destroyed.
Contributions to this section will
be welcomed from our readers.
PRE-U.P.U. SWISS MAIL TO THE EMPIRE
by Andrew Cronin.
Six items can be recorded here,as seen from the illustrations on the
next page. Despite such an array, it should not be assumed that such
items are plentiful; it just turned out that, with the exception of the
first letter in the author's collection, all the others have recently
come up in Swiss auctions. Mail of that period from the Swiss
Confederation to the Russian Empire is rare and commands stiff prices
from specialists. Let us look at each item in turn.
(a) The first example is a letter sheet, sent by J.S. Trdmpy of Glarus
on 23 March 1861 and franked with a pair of the 40-Rappen "Strubeli"
issue. The total amount paid, 80 Rappen, thus tallies with the rate
quoted by Werner Elias (see p. 5 of this issue) and agreed to by
Switzerland with the Germano-Austrian Postal Union in April 1852 for
mail from Russia to Switzerland but going this time in the opposite
direction. There is a notation in blue ink on the back of theletter
reading "fr" or franco, thus being prepaid. It was backstamped the same
day on Train No. 14 on the St. Gallen line and at Zurich, before being g
handled the next day by Train No. 10 of the Royal Wfrttemberg Travelling
Post. It was finally backstamped at the Moscow 5th. Despatch Office on
20 March O.S. (1st. April N.S.). Addressed to N. Mollwo there, the
directions were rendered into Russian by a postal clerk as "Moskva, u
Dirzona, Kuznets. most" (Moscow, c/o Dirson, Kuznetskii Most, i.e.
Smith's Bridge, the main shopping street in Moscow). Refer to Fig. 1.
(b) The next letter was official mail, sent from the Federal Council in
Berne on 16 Feb. 1866 with the high postage of sFr. 1,70 in the Sitting
Helvetia stamps. Note the FRANCO and PD (paid to the destination) marks
and that it was addressed to M. Frangois Bonenblust, Swiss Consul General
at St. Petersburg. This was Lot 51944 in a recent David Feldman sale;
the backstamps would also have told us a great deal. See Fig. 2.
(c) The next two items were also from the same sale, being Lots 51955 &
..y-.,-,. ....,. ..-,..- -/ ." -" ,. ,. "*f M "" **
* 1 .,, / ,/,_* / '- .r >f .
/ ,. ",/ ,^''' ,, f.
,,, J ty l 'it
| -f '* "" :,.? :. ,,<
S- Fig. 1.
|-.. Fig 2. .4 .
I Fig. 3 t2.5
Fig. 3. Fig. 5.
51953; the first item is shown in Fig. 3. Both are unusual in that they
are addressed in French (Russie, for the country of destination)and in
Russian to the town of Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Province, to Sof'ya Dmitrievna
Telyakovskaya. The writer numbered the envelopes in the top right corner:
No. 13 was posted at Vevey, 25 June 1866 and No. 14 at Montreux on 29th.
June. Both carry the same franking of 90 Rappen in the Sitting Helvetia
stamps (30 + 60) and also bear the same instructional markings: FRANCO
and a boxed PD. Once again, it is a pity that we do not know the
markings on the backs. U
(d) The letter shown in Fig. 4 was in the auction sale of 29-30 March
1985 of Hans R. Schwarzenbach in Ztrich. It is from the same
correspondence as the official letter described under (b) and with
identical FRANCO and PD markings. It was sent this time from Berne on
9 Sept. 1866 and franked with a strip of three of the 30-Rappen in the
Sitting Helvetia issue. 3
(e) The final item was Lot 1215 last year in an auction sale, held by
the same Zurich firm. It was addressed in French "To the Swiss Consulate
General, St. Petersburg, Empire of Russia", despatched from a branch
post office in Berne on 9 Oct. 1867 and franked with three different
values in the Sitting Helvetia issue, totalling 75 Rappen. Same FRANCO
and PD markings as before. I
So there we have them. Quite an array of letters from a small country
to a huge empire i
THE FIRST STEPS OF THE SOVIET AIRMAIL SERVICE IN 1922
by Robert Taylor
The first Soviet commercial air service, connecting Moscow and Berlin
via K6nigsberg, is said to have inaugurated its first flight on 3 May
1922, carrying diplomatic mail only. Operations were under the DERULUFT
organisation, which was formally Russian, but actually a Soviet-German m
effort, obviously using the German expertise gained during World War I.
In his rate study, V. Karlinskii states that the first airmail rate,
effective 4 June, was published by the People's Commissariat of Posts &
Telegraphs on 31 May and set at 20 roubles 1922 currency, in addition
to the regular postal rates. This rate is confirmed on my cover of
earliest use, dated 13 June (see Fig. 1 on the next page) and sent from
Moscow. It bore the correct registered airmail rate of 60 roubles; note
the interesting airmail cachets of K8nigsberg and MUnchen (Munich), as
well as the transit airmail marking of Berlin, dated 19 June 1922.
The airmail rate was increased on 1st. July to 45r. and this is i
confirmed by two covers in my collection, posted in Moscow on that date.
One of them is shown in Fig. 2; it was addressed to Munich and went via
K8nigsberg & Berlin. Note the air cachets of K8nigsberg and Berlin, as
well as the interesting strike on the back of "Postuberwachungsstelle *
Berlin W. 8" (Postal Supervision Office, i.e. censorship). The correct
registered airmail rate of 135r. 1922 currency was paid with Imperial
issues,all at face value in roubles (133r.) and all the RSFSR stamps at
1/10,000 in 1922 roubles, for a total of 2r.! Karlinskii states that the
airmail rate was increased to 75r. on 25th. October and other sources
have indicated a further rise to 150r. on 1st. Nov., to conform with I
other rate increases of that date. However, examination of many airmail
.m m m m M M mm M m m m -
I ..' ~e)I---i- y
'F ~i~l~SB~B~L~t~ ~~,
._, !~b; `i. ...
covers on into December 1922 clearly shows that the 45r. rate
established on 1st. July was never actually changed.
It is interesting to note that the "5th. Anniversary of the October
Revolution" commemorative issue, which included a 45r. value overprinted
with the outline of an aircraft (Scott Cl) and intended for the lst.July
rate change, was not issued until 7 or 8 November (there is some
conflicting information as to the first day of issue). My earliest
airmail cover using this overprinted stamp is dated within a day or two
of issue, i.e. a single-digit number, but I cannot be sure of the exact m
date (see Fig. 7). December 1922 must have been a warm winter in Moscow,
-as late season covers extend into mid-December and occur again with
airmail markings as early as mid-January 1923. However, the legitimate
airmail use of the overprinted 45r. stamp was obviously limited to only
those late season flights of 1922 and perhaps to those in early 1923.
The first Soviet airmail cachet, a boxed "Mit Luftpost", identified by
both Reynolds and Speers in two different types, is also stated to have
been used from the inauguration of the service in May 1922. One can come
to a variety of conclusions as to whether the boxed "Mit Luftpost"
cachet, applied in 1922 and 1923, came in different types or merely
represented deterioration and repair of the rubber stamp to account for
the degree of serration in the border of the box and smearing, to account
for the variance of several millimeters in size. My own conclusion is
that there are no real differences in the cachets as used in 1922, so I
differ from Reynolds and Speers in this opinion. I also strongly disagree
with the stated timing of the first usage of the "Mit Luftpost" cachet.
My covers of 13 June, 1 July and various other dates throughout most of
July show no sign of the cachet. I have a cover, posted in Moscow on 27
July and arriving in Berlin on 3 August, which does not have the cachet.
I also have a cover, posted in Moscow on 29 July and arriving in Berlin
again on 3 August (presumably the same flight), which does have the
boxed "Mit Luftpost" cachet. Please see Fig. 3 immediately below.
20. ..::. -- .' .
Fig3 3.p -/ .
Fig. 3 (back),
I: 1. I prepayment of
I the correct
| ; ".. .i registered air
V i! mail, i.e.
i Every o135 roubles in
1922, ss." 1922 currency,
t wondeful hing allo paid with
one 5r. and 13 x
:. I .l l. 10r. Imperial
S Every other airmail cover, originating in Moscow from this date on in
1922, shows the same cachet, as can be noted, among other weird and
wonderful things on the item illustrated in Fig. 5. It seems clear that
the cachet first came into use on covers posted in Moscow for airmail
despatch on either 28 or 29 July 1922. Prior to that time, the only
airmail cachets to be seen were the German ones applied in K(nigsberg
and subsequently in Berlin and other cities in Germany.
The other known airmail identification in 1922 is the very interesting
I and quite scarce etiquette affixed to airmail covers originating in
Leningrad (still known as Petrograd in 1922 and 1923). This etiquette,
a boxed "EnvoyM par la / post adrienne" (note the diaresis" above the
S first "e" of "aerienne", as against the modern "adrienne" spelling), in
two lines in black on a red, or perhaps more accurately cerise, label
(Miller No. 1) was printed on the backs of some bilingual (Russo-French)
postal form. The first example in my collection is on a cover dated 8
September 1922 (see Fig. 4 on page 22, where it comes out poorly). I have
no idea as to the actual first day of usage. Note that airmail covers
originating in Petrograd, with the appropriate airmail etiquette, all
I ent via Moscow, but did not receive the "Mit Luftpost" cachet applied on
covers posted in Moscow. The Petrograd etiquette is also known with the
rare error, whereby the second "n" in the word "asrienne" is inverted to
read "agrienue" I have not seen this error on a 1922 cover (I have two
examples from 1923), but presume that it may well exist.
(EDITORIAL COMMENT: In order to preserve continuity, we are interpolating
here to state that the "aerienue" error does indeed exist affixed to a
1922 cover, being one of the results of shrewd buying over the years at
international stamp auctions by Air Force Colonel Asdribal Prado of Brazil.
I It is illustrated overleaf and we can see that it was applied to an
airmail cover, sent from Leningrad, ist. Despatch Office, on 30 September
1922, with 90r. postage paid with a block of 9 of the 10r. Imperial Arms.
A Petrograd cover,
sent on 8.9. 1922
with the cerise
Note marking of
12.9.22 + 3 solid
transit on back &
franking 2 x 3k.
Arms + 6 x 7r.Arms;
other stamps absent
to make up the rate
of 90r. Received in
London on 18 Sept.
See also English
EXPRESS FEE PAID.
Mr. Stinton J.
J 0 E S..
1.1 soum Station Building.
'. `3, high Folborn,
L 0 i2..i
*-^ 1 ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Ira., a. N t s
r. ~n / ~ 8~I
I~~IA:~.~h'*~ :.wS L I 3k
22 Fig. 4a: The "arienue error in the C. Asdrbal Prado Collection.
22 Fig. 4a: The "aerienue" error in the Col. Asdrubal Prado Collection.
W -CI M W mm = =mom- M ==M=m an=
.--'- ----- -; -- :S..-
5 ^ -.^-,^ ^^ .. .- ^., l */, ^, .
I; Ct .d ~s /
A. t- V ^ .' -
Fig. 5. This shows the front of an extraordinary registered airmail cover from Moscow,
26.9.1922 and transit MOSKVA EKSPEDITSIYA + 3 solid triangles, dated 26 Sept. and
BERLIN LUFTPOST 30 Sept. to Bergen aan Zee, Holland 7 Oct. Franked with 30 stamps each
front & back, totalling 135r. 40k. Thus overpaid by a mere 40 kop., with the Rostov-on-
Don Famine Relief stamps invalid. Note also the boxed "Mit Luftpost" cachet.
0 rtI HH
0 3 H-)
r (D i(D
H- PV i 0
Lq p- It 0
P. rt' .
0 LQ CD :
-0 rt( :1 0
(D E 0 0
(D (D W
(D P) 1 t
0 rt ) (I-
Pi 5( (D
0 rt (D
r- (D N rt
0 d (D
o-hV o tr
-'rd- H Pi
(D Pi W W
o 0 &
0 tr rtkQ
0 0 (D
Miller also identifies, but does not illustrate,a black-on-rose etiquette
for use on covers originating from Kiev. I question this for any normal
use, as all covers from Soviet cities that I have seen throughout 1922 &
1923 (other than Moscow and Petrograd) show no special cachets or
etiquettes, but only the handwritten identification that the cover is to
go by airmail. Moreover, although presumably routed through Moscow, they
do not show the "Mit Luftpost" cachet.
An interesting further note on the 1922 airmail rates is that, not only
did the 45r. air surcharge remain in effect throughout the balance of the
year, but the evidence from various covers in my collection clearly seems
to support the fact that airmail letters in the first few weeks of
November 1922 were allowed to pass at the letter and registration rates
of 25 October (75r. for a letter and 75r. surcharge for registration),
rather than the 1 November rates, which were increased to 150r. for a
letter and 150r. registration fee. I have eight airmail covers originating
in Moscow between 2 & 20 November and the rates are all consistent: 120r.
for an airmail letter (75r. + 45r. air surcharge) and 195r. for a
registered airmail letter, i.e. an extra 75r. for the registration fee;
see Fig. 6 just below and also Fig. 8.
Moscow 6 Nov.
Berlin 17 Nov
(6* zII 4d
t~de :- ~I- /
'- i -a--
Franked with I
5k. = 5r. 1922
+ 19 x 100,000r.
1921 = 190r.
Conversely, among my surface covers for the same period, I have one
from Khar'kov, 3 Nov., registered to Constantinople at the correct rate
of 300r. effective 1st. Nov.; also one on 7 Nov. by ordinary mail from
Voznesensk, Kherson Province to Pittsburg at the correct new letter rate
of 150r. and one from Petrograd registered to New York City on 9 Nov.,
again at the correct 300r. rate, etc. We can thus see the inconsistency
between airmail and surface where, for a period of about three weeks, it
was cheaper to send a letter by air A final comparison is a registered
airmail letter from Moscow to Berlin on 13 Nov. at a rate of 195r. and,
on the same day, a registered letter from Petrograd to Berlin by surface
at a rate of 300r.
Let us now consider a very early use of the first Soviet airmail stamp,
with the outline of an aircraft applied by overprint, on an airmail
letter from Moscow, 9(?) Nov. 1922 to Berlin, as shown here in Fig. 7.
The total rate paid was 120r. and it was sent by David Shlyamovich Ryba,
who endorsed the cover on the front at top right in Russian "cherez
erplan", intending to mean "by aeroplane". The correct word, even at
that time, would have been "samolttom" = by aircraft. Note the German
cachets on the back, relating to failure to deliver the letter.
fe .. 3 5r.. ig "'. ,. ^ %. t
My first airmail cover to reflect the correct rates as of 1st. Nov. 1922
was sent from Moscow, 23 Nov. by registered airmail to Switzerland at a
late season ail letters in mid-December, they all reflected the
rates of 1st. November, together with the 45r. airmail surcharge (see
Figs. 10, 11 & 12 on the following pages). It would seem that the
Moscow post office clerks failed to apply the rates of 1st. Nov. until
someone brought them to their attention some three weeks later !
Comments would be welcomed from other enthusiasts in this fascinating
field of Soviet airmails. Further articles are in preparation to cover
later aspects of the Soviet airmail services and will appear as they
become available in future issues of "The Post-Rider".
soeoebrugtthm o thei atetonsm hrewes ae
Comments~ wol ewecmdfomohrenhsat i hsfacntn
field" of~ Soie aimis ute rilsar npeaaint oe
latr spct o te ovetaimal erice adwil l apara te
becoe aailblein utue isuesof ThePos-Rier"
9 -- ,-
-. ~"fj .-
/ ., I,
9---- Ub i
Note nice combo. of
1921 = 10r. 1922 &
4 x 45r. 1922, to
total 195r. 1922.
N __ __ __ .'-' ,
- /70 Z71Zo .
frk^c6i *I 3
Fig. 9. Moscow 23 Nov.1922 to Buchs, Switzerland,l Dec. My earliest airmail
cover to reflect correct 1st. Nov. postal rate change to 345r. 1922.
Fig. 10. Note
top right front.
Berlin. Note block
of 4 airmails,with
total 195r. 1922.
7 to Berlin Dec.10.
registered rate of
345r. 1922, made
up of Ir.Imperial
= Ir. 1922, 2 x
20r. 1922 and a
block of 12 x 27r.
on the front.
~~!$";' .,; !:~(r.I, ,
Note the two-line green
cachet struck diagonally
on the front and reading:
Office, KBnigsberg /
9 Dec. 22, 8 to 10am).
Fig. 12. Registered
airmail letter Moscow,
? Dec.1922 to Berlin
10 Dec.,with correct
345r. rate made up of
2 x 100,000r. 1921 =
20r.1922 and 13 x 25r.
1922. It bears the
"Mit Luftpost" cachet
1 :i re
THE STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY OF FRANZ JOSEF-LAND
by Andrew Cronin
Franz Josef-Land is an archipelago of about 100 islands, with a total
area of 18,940 km.2 (7385 sq.miles), lying between 79045' & 81050'
latitude N and 42010' & 650 longitude E. It is thus well within the
Arctic Circle, the furthest land north in the Eastern Hemisphere and
with the northernmost island, originally Crown Prince Rudolf Land, a
mere 800 km. (500 miles) from the North Pole. Please see the map in
Fig. 1 to get a general idea of the area, in relation to the rest of the
The archipelago was discovered on 30 August 1873 by the Austro-Hungarian
North Pole Expedition of 1872-74, with a total crew of 24 men, including
the leaders, Senior Lieutenant Julius Payer and Ship's Lieutenant Carl
Weyprecht (see Fig. 2), aboard the s.s. TEGETTHOFF, of 220 tons
displacement and fitted with auxiliary sails. The area was named after
the reigning Emperor of Austria, Kaiser Franz Josef I and many
topographical features there still bear Austrian names to this very day.
I -p" K1 j(A N> A GE
\/ Konmkui allrbanka
VM.- Iad Illlngh.h..
TLANTIC A / AS"" 'K, ATi
I <7,\ -- ,,'*. "^ B.rrowt -k: J
OCFAN, GREENLAND 4 ke-o-ru / I"
v I _- I "U-
R.ykj.vlk, Ma, ARC TI C /
..... n A ': ,.1 ,+POLE
-Iburh OCEAN .
U.K R 1(O OR 1G \A
\LNDON .jj A A K \
l.qno O V Franz KI \
Per rZsterdanO Z agadan
i.t 0a0 J o s e f-- 'Sl A\
Hmburg. SWED 1N Land. X_ s
SF.DtR .Copenhge.n.- dvNk r NKunT ,
Berlineo\-I..RNn &D ',FA CEA KHOSK MK
7i 'Ir; 4 / SI ER MN, N
0 7PLA TEA
W \.rsaw Tk ommot -
"-lyy 0 p
V.oogda Sal Eki chan nka
Shereme lo tyvkar WEST EE A i" ..m "
Apt North Kot SIBERIJ m
Kiev.* MOSCOW Khanty- PLATEAU O
anslysk Baykit t i ur I) SA 7
t Po kaenn y k )lrensk CHINA JAPAN
Lt. Carl (Karl) Weyprecht was born .
in Michelstadt im Odenwalde, which .* .
the present author has been unable
to trace. However, Sr.-Lt. Julius .
Payer (sometimes referred to as von
Payer) hailed from Teplitz bei
Sch8nau, now Teplice-Sanov in
Czechoslovakia and he was thus a .
Teplitzer Bai (Teplitz Bay, on T"' '
Rudolf Island) was named in honour
of his birth-place. He wrote a '
book about the expedition, entitled
S Nordpol=Expedition in den Jahren
1872-1874", Verlag von Alfred
H8lder, k.k.Hof= und Universit&ts=
BuchhAndler, Wien 1876, which our
German-speaking readers will find
most interesting to consult.
The archipelago may be divided into
three sections: the easternmost,
bounded by the Austria Sound and
1| the islands of La Ronciere, Graham
Bell (the great Canadian inventor
of the telephone) and Wilczek-Land;
S the central, or largest group of
islands, between the Austria Sound W.
and the British Channel and,
S Wiffsieultenantl Weerpi31. 29
finally, the western group beyond the British Channel and containing the
two largest islands: Alexandra-Land and Prince George Land. The
archipelago is 90% covered with ice.
Sr.-Lt. Payer published a partial map of the area in his book (see Fig.3
on the next page) and it is evident that this Austro-Hungarian
Expedition only explored the topography of the Austria Sound and, by
sled, as far north as 830 latitude. Many expeditions have since followed
and helped to correct and fill out the details of the archipelago. 3
As can be expected from the location, the climate is severe, with an
average temperature of -240C in January and warming up to 1.50C in July.
The islands are normally uninhabited, except for some polar bears,
walruses and arctic foxes that wander in on the ice from the mainland.
There are also large colonies of birds in the southern part of the
The Austro-Hungarian ship, s.s.TEGETTHOFF, was caught and crushed in
the pack ice, as can be seen on an Austrian commemorative, issued on the
centenary of discovery, 30 Aug. 1973. The crew had to abandon ship and
make their way south across the ice. They were rescued by the Russian
ship NIKOLAI, Captain Voronin commanding and returned as heroes in 1874
to Austria-Hungary. 3
One of the results of their return was the issuance of five imperforate
commemorative labels by Sigmund Friedl, an enterprising Viennese stamp
dealer, in two basic designs in 1874:-
(a) Triangular "Cape" type, modelled on the classic Cape of Good Hope
design, with dates "1872-74" at right and "FRANZ JOSEPH LAND" in the
bottom panel. No indication of value. See Figs. 4 & 5 just below.
Fig. 4. Fig. 5.
1. Orange design, inscribed "CAP WIEN" in the left panel. The crowned
female figure in the centre represents Austria, with the Austrian
arms on the shield.
2. Yellow-green design, inscribed "CAP PEST" in the left panel. The
female figure in the centre wears the famous crown of St. Stephen of
Hungary. She is holding a sword upright in her right hand and, at
her left, we see a shield emblasoned with the Hungarian coat of arms.
NOTE: Consulting Payer's map in Fig. 3, we see that he has placed CAP
WIEN (Cape Vienna) at latitude 830N & longitude 57030' E and CAP PEST
(Cape Budapest) at latitude 8205' N & longitude 610 E. Reference to
later and more detailed maps will show that NEITHER CAPE EVER EXISTED .
They.were just points in the pack ice, as were also areas such as
PETERMANN-LAND and KONIG OSKAR-LAND.
Describing the above designs in "Phantom Philately", the noted English f
philatelic writer F.J. Melville stated that there was also one printed
in light brown. That colour has not been seen by the present writer, so
he is unable to state the "cape" to which it can be attributed. Any
clarification from the readership would be greatly appreciated.
KAISER FRANZ JOSEF LANDES
ainidamr nit .u.k.thmfiar- -eoxriatchB Jnrftnn'.
i I IA
KONI OSKAR LANo
\CAP WIEN,830 N;
Y. #VTLRMANN LAND
- --..- -
Si i- li 31
Ik. IH** **.^_ *_*
Vertical bi-coloured designs, imperforate, with
the portrait of the Emperor Franz Josef I in the
,centre and dated 1874. Two of the labels bear a
face value of 25 Silberkreuzer, with the arms of
S Hungary in the top left corner and those of a
Austria in the top right (Fig.6). The third
label has the inscription "Er.M d.N.P.E. 1874"
Fig. 6. Fig. 7. in the value tablet and the arms are reversed
(please see Fig. 7). Also roughly perforated.
4. 25 SILB. KR., with blue centre and carmine frame. (Fiq.6).
5. 25 SILB. KR., with mauve centre and dark pink frame (Fig.6).
6. No value, with mauve centre and green frame (Fig.7). 3
The initials in the value tablet for No. 6 stand for "Erinnerungs=Marke
der Nordpol=Expedition" (Commemorative stamp of the North Pole
Expedition), while the initials "W" and "B" in the lower spandrels
refer to Weyprecht and Bayer (the latter a mistake for Payer). The
above triangular and rectangular labels were sold by Sigmund Friedl,
affixed to sheets bearing the inscription "Erinnerungs-MARKEN an die
Franz-Joseph Land Nordpol Expedition 1872-74", thus paralleling the
abbreviated inscription on Label No. 6, which has no value.
Another label, apparently referring to this same expedition and which I
may be bogus, came up in a Robson Lowe sale for May 1962 and was also
listed by M. Georges CHAPIER, an eminent investigator of Cinderella
issues, in his work "Les timbres de fantaisie et non-officiels" (p.163,
Bischviller, Bas-Rhin, 1963).
7. 10 Kreuzer; imperf.square design in black on yellow paper, with
sailing ship in the centre and inscribed FRANZ JOSEPH / LAND /
ESKIMO POST / Via NordPOL. Never seen by the present author and
any further data would be appreciated. 3
With the return of the expedition heroes to Austria-Hungary, another
and rather elaborate series of vignettes was issued by the Grillparzer
Verein in Vienna. Franz Grillparzer, 1791-1872, was a famous Austrian
dramatic poet and has appeared on several stamps of that country. The
designs are again triangular, with one German inscription reading: (DER)
GRILLPARZER VEREIN IN WIEN / BEGR8SSUNGSFEIER DER / NORDPOLFAHRER
WEYPRECHT u. PAYER (Grillparzer Union in Vienna / Greeting celebration
of / the North Pole explorers Weyprech & Payer). The same allegorical
female figures for Austria or Hungary are shown in the centres, as
with the two trianqulars issued by Sigmund Friedl and all are dated
"26 SEPT.--1874" in the bottom panel, which also contains the
designation "CAP WIEN" or "CAP BUDAPEST" (see Figs. 8 & 9 below).
These labels were stamped out singly with embossed dies in different
colours for the centres and frames, on various surface-coloured papers
or on metal foil. The centres are listed in the first colour and the
following combinations are known to the author :- i
F"g. H. "BENGS R
"BEGROSST DIE HEIMKEHRENDEN" "BEGRUSS6NGSFEIER DER"
CAP WIEN (Fig. 8): centres in the first colour
b 8. a. Black and red on white paper.
b. Black and red on yellow.
c. Blue and red on yellow
I d. Blue and red on lavender.
e. Pale blue and red on white.
f. Dark blue and red on white.
I g. Dark blue and red on rose.
h. Brown and red on yellow.
i. Green and red on white.
j. Green and red on pale green.
I CAP BUDAPEST (Fig. 9) :-
9. a. Black and orange on white.
b. Black centre on gold foil.
c. Blue and brown on white.
d. Dark brown and light blue on white.
I e. Red-brown and light violet on white.
f. Bronze and bronze on white.
g. Gold and light red on white.
I h. Purple centre on silver foil.
i. Purple and red-brown on white.
I Corrections and additions to the above combinations are requested from
the readers. By the way, none of the labels listed under Nos. 1 to 9
are easy to find; they are all much sought after by Polar specialists.
SNeedless to say, any letters sent by members of this first expedition
would be of great historic and philatelic value and any details would
I The exploits of the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition naturally
inspired other explorers and Leigh Smith led a team to Franz Josef Land
in 1880-1881. The author has no record of mail or labels emanating from
S that expedition. However, the English explorer, Frederick George
Jackson, was sponsored by Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) to
outfit the Jackson-Harmsworth Polar Expedition in 1894, sailing in the
S.Y. "Windward". Among other things, special envelopes were prepared
I with the crest of this expedition, as shown overleaf in Fig. 10. This
letter is a marvellous and probably unique item, offered as Lot No. 70
in the Robson Lowe Postal History Sale No. 441 on 7 October 1977. It
I was written by Frederick Jackson on 8 April 1895 at his base camp at
Elmwood, Cape Flora, in the south-west part of the Franz Josef Land
archipelago. Addressed to James Paterson, Esq., of London, England, it
bore at top right of the front of the envelope an imperforate label,
S produced by photography and showing the S.Y. "Woodward" in the ice-
bound sea. Because of its colour, the label did not reproduce well in
Fig. 10, but it has the initials "J H P E" (Jackson-Harmsworth Polar
I Expedition, with one letter in each corner and the inscription "FRANZ
JOSEF LAND 1894" along the bottom frame. The front of the envelope also
bore a violet s.-l. cachet, reading "FRANZ JOSEF LAND". Robson Lowe's
g put a valuation of r250 on this lot in 1977 and it realized A550, then
equivalent to about US $1000; very well worth it !
Frederick Jackson stayed for three years in the archipelago, so there
S is a distinct possibility that other pieces of mail will turn up from
this expedition in the future. He wrote a book about his experiences,
entitled "A Thousand
Days in the Arctic", -
London, 1899. An
expedition to the
North Pole by the
Norwegians Johansen &
Nansen took place in
Jackson was in Franz '3 -
Josef Land and he met -
them in 1896 after they .-
had returned from their
record dash to 86014'
latitude N, a little
under 400 km. (250 miles)
from the North Pole.
There is therefore a
possibility that mail RA .C.
from Johansen & Nansen
was given to Jackson in
Franz Josef Land and S.Y.WINDWD.
forwarded to destination
from Cape Flora by the
annual supply ship. Fig. 10.
The next expedition to be considered is the Second Walter Wellman
Expedition, which went to Franz Josef Land from Troms0, Norway, on 26
June 1898. It was endorsed by The National Geographic Society and
advised by a committee,which included Alexander Graham Bell. They landed
at Cape Tegetthoff on Hall Island on 30 July and established an advance
base at Fort McKinley on Wilczek Land. The original intention was to
push on to the North Pole, but Wellman injured his leg on 20 March 1899
and an icequake two days later caused the expedition to lose much of its
supplies and equipment. The second-in-command, a meteorologist named
Evelyn B. Baldwin, then continued to explore the archipelago and
discovered a large new island to the east of Wilczek Land, which was
given the name of Graham Bell. Readers should be on the look-out for
mail from this expedition.
An Italian expedition then followed in 1899-1900, led by Luigi Amedeo,
Duke of the Abruzzi and Captain Cagni. The Duke wrote a book in 1902
about his experiences, entitled "La 'Stella Polare' in mare Arctico". It
is up to our Italian readers to find mail from this effort.
We now come to a most interesting item, emanating from the expedition to
Franz Josef Land, led by the German Polar explorer, Captain W. Bade, who
hailed from the port of Wismar in Mecklenburg (now in the province of *
Rostock, German Democratic Republic). Please see Fig. 11 on the next page
for details of a postcard held by Mr. Frank Bakker, a Polar enthusiast in
The Netherlands. It was written by a Dutch member of the expedition and
reads as follows:-
"Between Franz Josef Land and Spitzbergen, 30 Aug. 1900.
My best wishes to you and your family from the Far North On
the 25th. of this month, I was very lucky, being off Franz Josef Land, to
shoot my first polar bear. I hope to show it to you some day when I get I
it stuffed. It came a cropper, shot by a Mauser bullet at a distance of -
25 Vll 0 Fig. 11.
"A *y ; J0 : Figx 17l
...^ .. 7 .
25 VIII 0 \a
rA. m. is,'6 "" :
ev" -i' Po a rr .d1 / m Ps, 'B
H -h. .h ...' .. .. 4 \ -- i -.. .( '
/ / OVA
k : A A., .'
paces. Yesterday, Bear No. 2 was shot by an Italian. We have been busy
for 12 days now, forcing our way through the ice and trying to land at
Fr. Jos. Land. We changed our course a few days ago to Spitzbergen and
hope to shoot some more polar bears and reindeer. n 15th. Sept., we
have to be back in Trondheim, from where we started on 5th. August.
From there I go to Namsos (write to me there c/o Captain Juell before.W
20th. Sept.) when I hope to reach Aker and have a few minutes there.
So far I have been seasick only once, but it could come again. How has
it been in Wiesbaden ? I think warmer than with us here. The thermometer
stands at justerday, Bear 00, sometimes was shot below and italian. We have been btinuously,
for 12 days now, forcingward to some way through the ice and trying to lv.W.d at
Fr.S. We got as farWe changed our course a few days agongitude E to 78012tzbergen and
latitude N & 67040' longitude E and shoot some more polar bears and reindeer On all.5th Sept., we
have to be back in Trondheim, from where we started on 5th. August.
From there I go to Namsos (write to me there c/o Captain Juell before
20th. Sept.) when I hope to reach Aker and have a few minutes there.
So far I have been seasick only once, but it could come again How has
it been in Wiesbaden ? I think warmer than with us here. The thermometer
stands at just above 0, sometimes below and it is snowing continuously,
so I am looking forward to some warmth. Adieu, H. Pauw v.W.
P.S. We got as far as 81o15' latitude N & 38o30' longitude E to 78o12'
latitude N & 67o40' longitude E and shot 4 bears in all."
The upper half of the view side of the card has a printed maritime scene,
with a German inscription below, reading "In the Arctic Ocean between 800
and 900 latitude N / with the Polar explorer Capt. Bade a.D. (= ausser
Dienst, i.e. retired), Wismar on the Baltic". There are two strikes at
left on the address side, dated 25 August 1900, reading at top in German
"Arctic Ocean" and at bottom "800 latitude North". There is a further
German cachet at top left, reading "Expedition to Franz Josef Land /
26 AUG. 1900 / Capt. W. Bade, Wismar in Mecklenburg". The 10-ore
Norwegian stamp at top right was cancelled in Trondheim on 10 Sept. and
the card received in Maarsen, province of Utrecht, Holland on 14 Sept.
A wealthy American backer now appeared on the scene, William Ziegler by
name. He financed an unsuccessful expedition to the North Pole, led by
Evelyn B. Baldwin during 1901-1902. He established a base at Teplitz Bay
on Rudolf Island, the northenmost part of the archipelago and the obvious
jumping-off point for a dash to the North Pole. The expedition used
official stationery, headed: BALDWIN-ZIEGLER POLAR EXPEDITION. / Steam
Yacht ,,.America" / 60 Liberty St, / New-York, U.S.A. Judging by the
typically Northern European punctuation used, especially in designating
the ,,America", the printing job was probably done by a firm in Tromso,
Norway. Anyway, the expedition was back in Tromso by 17 August 1902, at
the very latest.
The second Polar expedition, backed by William Ziegler, is much the more
interesting one for us, lasting from 12 August 1903 to 5 August 1905. It
was commanded by Anthony Fiala, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who had 38 men under
him. There were 34 Americans in the expedition and, of the five others,
the most important one for us Canadians was "un vrai quebbcois", Pierre
LeRoyer of Trois-Rivibres, Field Department Assistant in charge of dogs.
Finding any mail sent by him would be quite a scoop The other four men
formed part of the crew of the S.Y. "America" and included Alfred Beddow
of London, England and three Norwegians from Trondheim: Peter L. Tessem,
carpenter and Augustinsen Hovlick & Sigurd Myhre, both firemen. 3
Once again, Teplitz Bay on Rudolf Island was the main base of operations,
as the purpose of this second Ziegler expedition was also to try to get
to the North Pole. The site was the one used originally by the Italian
Duke of the Abruzzi and was named Camp Abruzzi in his honour. Weather
conditions steadily got worse, the ship quickly froze in and finally was
crushed by the ice on 21 December 1903. The attempts made to reach the
Pole were unsuccessful, but an enormous amount of scientific work was
carried out, including the first comprehensive mapping of the islands in
the archipelago. Camp Ziegler was established on Alger Island in the
south and some members of the expedition reached Cape Flora on
Northbrook Island, as the chance of being relieved by a ship was best
there. Despite the hardships, the expedition had been well supplied and g
an amusing Arctic newspaper was periodically published to keep up morale.
SF.J.LAND POSTAGE It was called "The Arctic Eagle" and one of its cuts
showed a number of running polar bears against a black
1 p9 background. The smallest of these was cut off with a
0 carpenter's saw and chisel and the latitude of Camp
S' Abruzzi, 810 47' N,was cut into the dark zinc
i 'IS'S a background with a pocket-knife. Type and printer's
L TWO C.NTS- rule were then set around this design, to read : 2
PAC-SEOF SA D F.J.LAND POSTAGE 2 / 1905 / 2 TWO CENTS 2, as shown
sD ^AT CA = iO here in Fig. 12. The illustration has been taken .from
Mi.AND r s Fiala's book "Fighting the Polar Ice", Doubleday,
Fig. 12. Page & Co., New York, 1907 and further data were given
in the newspaper "The New York World", as well as in "Mekeel's Weekly
Stamp News" on 9.11.1907 & 4.7.1908. About fifty stamps were printed in
red and blue inks and given to the men at Camp Abruzzi to be affixed to
the letters they were writing to their comrades in the southern camps
at Cape Flora and Camp Ziegler. To complete the job, the First
Assistant Scientist and Artist in the Field Department of the
expedition, Russell W. Porter, cut a cancelling device out of a rubber
eraser, so as to postmark the mail. The letters left Camp Abruzzi on
Tuesday, 11 April 1905, with Assistant-Quartermaster John Vedoe of
Boston, Mass.; Spencer W. Stewart, the Assistant Commissary of Brooklyn,
N.Y. and the Norwegian carpenter, Peter L. Tessem,on two heavy sleds,
each pulled by a team of seven dogs. Does anyone in our readership have
any examples of this unusual issue ? To round off this phase of the
exploration of Franz Josef Land, William Ziegler, the American backer,
died in New York City on 24 May 1905.
With all this foreign activity going on
comparatively close to its shores, it was
inevitable that the Russian Empire would also /.\
eventually take an interest, both in the
archipelago and in the attempts to reach the
North Pole. By March 1912, a remarkable and
great Russian naval captain in the Imperial
Hydrographic Department, Georgii Yakovlevich 7
Sedov, had taken a prolonged leave of
absence to lead a. Russian expedition to the 4P I
North pole. The Organising Committee
issued a special vignette, 28mm. in diameter,
embossed in white letters on a blue background Fig. 13.
and with a face value of "1 p.", i.e. one
rouble, then equal to 2/1 sterling, 2f. 10c., or 50 North American
currency, which was a sizeable amount of money in those days. An
enlarged illustration of this rare vignette is shown here in Fig. 13.
It is inscribed in Russian: S VYSOCHAISHEGO soizvoleniya utverzhdennyi
KOMITET dlya snaryazheniya ekspeditsii v sev. polyus i issled. russkykh
polyarnykh stran (The Authorised Committee, sanctioned by His Majesty,
for equipping an expedition to the North Pole and exploring the Russian
The "Svyatoi Martyr' Foka" ("The Holy Martyr Phocas"), a steamship with
auxiliary sails, was equipped and sailed from Archangel on 28 August
1912, with a crew of 22 men. The expedition did not get to Franz Josef-
Land until 31 August 1913, where it wintered at Bukhta Tikhaya (Quiet
Bay) on Hooker Island, in the southern part of the archipelago. A few
months later in the depths of the Arctic winter and although by now
seriously ill, Georgii Yakovlevich decided to try to get to the North
Pole. He left with two sailors and three teams of dogs, but did not
even reach Rudolf Island, when he died on 20 Feb. 1914. Several other
members of this expedition, which had worked for two years under
appalling conditions, also died and the survivors returned to Archangel
at the end of August 1914. Mail from the expedition would obviously be
rare, as the members worked in isolation from the outside world.
The outbreak of World War I obviously interrupted further Polar
exploration and it was not until 15 July 1926 that Franz Josef Land
officially became Soviet territory under a decree "Regarding the borders
of the Soviet Union in the Far North", issued by the Council of
People's Commissars of the USSR. The archipelago was back in the news
two years later when the dirigible "Italia" of the Polar expedition
led by General Umberto Nobile crashed on the ice near Spitzbergen on
25 May 1928, killing half the crew. There were three Soviet ships within
the rescue flotilla and one of them, the ice-breaker "Krasin" found and
saved the survivors. During this operation, the crew of the "Krasin"
also formally planted the Soviet flag at Cape Neele on Prince George
Land in the western sector of Franz Josef Land (see the Soviet map in
Fig. 14 on the next page). Needless to say, any mail from the "Krasin"
would be very desirable property.
We will now consider a familiar area in our field, the Polar flight of
the "Graf Zeppelin" and its rendezvous with the Soviet icebreaker
"Malygin". Both the Weimar Republic and the Soviet Union prepared
special stamps for this event; the Germans overprinted the current 1, 2
and 4 RM airmails in the upper left corners with a 3-line inscription,
reading POLAR-FAHRT 1931 and the Russians issued the well-known set of I
four airmails, perforated and imperforate and inscribed in French at
top: URSS POLE DU NORD 1931. The Soviet rates were Ir. 30k. for a
registered airmail postcard and 2r. 35k. for a registered airmail
letter. The icebreaker "Malygin" was to leave Archangel on 18 July 1931 I
and be ready to rendezvous with the "Graf Zeppelin" in Bukhta Tikhaya
(Quiet Bay) on Hooker Island in the southern part of Franz Josef Land
on 27 July. All the mail carried by the "Malygin", with a total weight I
of 120 kg. or 265 lbs., bore a special 3-line cachet in German, reading
'Mit Eisbrecher "Malygin" / und Luftschiff "Gr. Zeppelin" /
ARCHANGELSK-NORDPOL-FRIEDRICHSHAFEN'. A further German marking was
added in the top left corners of the mail, presumably after the meeting
took place and reading : LUFTSCHIFF GRAF ZEPPELIN / POLARFAHRT 1931.
There were two options from the
Si .. German side: mail with the
Especially overprinted POLAR-
FAHRT 1931 stamps,leaving Fr.-hafen
,\ s i 24 July and a further pick-up in
r \ c% ^ Leningrad the next day of mail
.. .U'3/Z a bearing the Soviet issue. The
:,eIcfri v', total amount of mail accumulated
.dLgectif f rive,
nAee, Cli.i on the "Graf Zeppelin" came to
Grf eppel .A. 50,000 pieces, weighing more than
riedrichshafen e drop 300 kg. or 660 lbs.! The trick on
t- Josep.'s L. -." the German side is to find mail
with the 1 or 2 RM stamps,showing
the rare "missing hyphen" variety,
Fig. 15. or to find a cover with a
notation referring to Franz Josef
Land. The item shown here in Fig. 15 is one such example, interesting
in that it erroneously refers to "St Joseph's Land" (!)
Re the Soviet issue, only the imperforate stamps were ready to frank
the mail going by the icebreaker "Malygin" on 18 July. By the time the
"Graf Zeppelin" had reached Leningrad, a supply was also ready of the
perforated stamps but, as time was short, very few pieces of mail had
them affixed. They therefore bring high prices at auction from airmail
enthusiasts, but collectors should be on the lookout against clever
forgeries, where the imperforate stamps have been lifted off a card or
cover, carefully perforated and restored to their original positions .
By the way, an interesting account of the meeting between the "Graf
M=-- M M = M M M MM
Details of Crown
Map of Bukhta Tikhaya Prince
Hooker ... (Stille Bucht 3EMAR MPAHIA HOCHIIA r.-"1*Rudolf
Island t'.\ % or Quiet Bay). i. Island
Details of voyages and
flights 1872-1935, incl.
"Graf Zeppelin" (LZ 127,
NOT 129 as above) to
o Bukhta Tikhaya 27.7.31.
" is 0 t "
1936 SOVIET MAP OF FRANZ JOSEF LAND.
Zeppelin" and the icebreaker "Malygin" at Bukhta Tikhaya on Hooker
Island is given by the well-known Hungarian writer, Arthur Koestler, in
the first volume of his autobiography ("Arrow in the Blue", Macmillan &
Co., London, 1952). There were 56 men on board the "Graf Zeppelin", 40
of them crew members under the command of Dr. Ing. E.H. Hugo Eckener
and the others making up the Polar Expedition, under the direction of
the Soviet Professor R. Samoilovich and who had directed the operations
of the "Krasin" in 1928, when it saved the survivors of the crashed
dirigible "Italia". The other members of the Expedition included the
noted Soviet radio operator, Ernst Krenkel', who was a Baltic German,
born in Tartu/Dorpat; the American Polar explorer Lincoln Ellsworth and
Arthur Koestler, who was covering the expedition for the Ullstein
publishing empire as a reporter. Two men were kept working day and
night to apply markings to the 300 kg. of mail and the "Malygin" was
sighted in Bukhta Tikhaya on Hooker Island just after 6pm. on Monday,
27 July 1931. Two canvas buckets were thrown down on ropes into the
water of the bay, to act as anchors and the nacelle (gondola) of the
"Graf Zeppelin" soon came to rest there. A distance of more than 200
metres had to be maintained from the "Malygin", to avoid being set
alight by the sparks coming from the latter's smoke-stack. A boat from i
the "Malygin" and including General Umberto Nobile in its crew
immediately made fast alongside the nacelle and the exchange of mails i
quickly took place. All of a sudden, Dr. Eckener gave the order for I
the "Graf Zeppelin" to take off, as it had alighted on a current that
was taking the airship towards huge blocks of drift-ice. As Koestler
graphically put it: 'The whole adventurous rendezvous had lasted
exactly thirteen minutes. As the bay began to veer out of sight, the
"Malygin's" whistle broke into a long, plaintive howl, like an
abandoned bride'. Quite a story behind that Monday, 27 July 1931
The icebreaker stayed at Bukhta Tikhaya until 31 July, then made its
way north up to Rudolf Island, its course being also shown on the 1936 g
Soviet map in Fig. 14. It got back to Archangel on 20 August, covering
8000 km. (5000 miles) in its 33 days of voyage. Needless to say, any
letters posted on the "Malygin" after the exchange of mails on 27 July
would be very desirable property.
The next wave of exploration affecting Franz Josef Land was the Second
International Polar Year of 1932-33. The first such year had been the
inspiration of Carl Weyprecht and took place in 1882-83. The Soviet
Union issued for the Second Year the well-known set of two airmail
express stamps, including two rare perforation varieties, on 26 August
1932. That was the only date that ever properly appeared in used
examples of these stamps and was linked to the First Polar Air Flight
of 1932. The only marking ever officially applied on these stamps reads
SSSR at top, with a representation of an aircraft on skis immediately
below, the date 26 VIII 32 and, finally, at the bottom, ZEMLYA FRANTSA
IOSIFA (Franz Josef Land); see Figs. 16 & 17 on the next page. The
rates were 50k. for airmail express cards and Ir. for letters. At least
two new issue services in Germany prepared specially printed cards and
covers for this International Polar Year; the two examples in Fig. 16
in the John Lloyd collection were apparently prepared by Hermann Sieger
of Lorch, Wtrttemberg, while the card in Fig.17 was issued by the
Behrens New Issue Service in Braunschweig (Brunswick). The flight was
from Franz Josef Land to Archangel, where cancellations in two types
were applied indiscriminately to the cards and covers as transit markings. *
See Figs. 18 & 19 for clearer details of these "b" (=v) and "3 (=z)
In his book "Polyarnaya Pochta" ("Svyaz'", Moscow, 1975), the Soviet
Polar philatelist E.P. Sashenkov relates that he had consulted all
editions of the newspapers "Izvestiya" & "Pravda", as well as all the
Bulletins of the Soviet Arctic Institute for the years 1932-33 and the
Arctic explorer Ernst Krenkel' and found no reference or recollection
about this special Polar flight from Franz Josef Land to Archangel. He
therefore concluded that the flight NEVER took place and that all the
cards and covers serviced for onward transmission had been prepared
exclusively at Archangel by the Soviet Philatelic Association. Well,
the present writer has news for Comrade Sashenkov |
GruB von der DERULUFT Q
npHNse or AEPynQY0TA /
^, / il J -50
S /------- -I-----
/Fig. 20. .. .-- ,. I
V .'. .. I- -
Pig. 20. ....20 for an amazing card in.... the Moshe Shmuely collection,
--.- ,. l --.- 1-. ..j' .
oKlck.-Flugwug Konigsberg-Moskau Dornier-Merk., CdloeT Aop..e Mep.yp, .pc.pyom,. i
Please see Fig. 20 for an amazing card in the Moshe Shmuely collection,
the only one so far seen with a message, in this case in the old German
Gothic script and reading as follows :-
"Stille Bucht, d. 22.8.32.
Kaiser Franz Josef Land.
Herzliche GrUsse aus dieser Gletscherbucht. Es ist grandios. Leider
gibt's hier keine Ansichtskarten,daftr diese aus meinem Vorrat. Grisse
Minna. Dein Onkel, Arthur."
( Quiet Bay, i.e. Bukhta Tikhaya, 22.8.32.
Emperor Franz Josef Land.
Hearty greetings from this glacier bay. It is grandiose. Unfortunately,
there are no view cards available here, hence this one from my stock.
Greetings to Minna. Your uncle, Arthur).
The card is also endorsed by the writer, Arthur, in Russian "Vozdushnaya
pochta" (= Airmail), so he certainly knew on 22nd. August at Bukhta
Tikhaya (Quiet Bay) on Hooker Island that the flight was going to take
place. The card is properly franked with the 50k. Airmail Express stamp,
which he could only have obtained locally and, once again, the card
bears two strikes of the special postmark with the sole known date of
26 August 1932 and with the "2" of "26" characteristically placed higher
than the "6". There is also a faint strike at top centre of the card of
the special triangular cachet relating to the flight and reading VTOROI
MEZHDUNARODNYI POLYARNYI GOD 1932-33 / PERVYI VOZDUSHNYI POLYARNYI REIS
1932 (SECOND INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 1932-33 / FIRST POLAR AIR FLIGHT
1932). The card is addressed to Mr. Gerd Perlis, Berlin-Steglitz,
Grinewaldstr. 29a. It would seem that Arthur was a German scientist,
working with the Russians at Bukhta Tikhaya on Hooker Island and it
should be possible on further investigation to find out exactly who he
was and what were his functions at that time. Uncle Arthur's card is
also important in that it fixes the point on Franz Josef Land from which
the flight took place. It was received at Berlin-C post office on 25 Sept.
By 1936, the Large Soviet Encyclopaedia was able to report under its
heading for Franz Josef Land that there were 11 persons wintering at
Bukhta Tikhaya in 1934 and that an icebreaker arrived annually from
Archangel to relieve the party. There was a large building there for
living quarters, a radio and power station, a magnetic pavillion, an
astronomic observatory, an air base with two light planes, a bath-house
and several sheds. The map in Fig. 14 shows the routes of the main
expeditions up to 1935, when there was another Soviet one to Franz Josef
Land under the code name of "Sadko". There have been many since, but
mail from expedition members in the 1930s is practically non-existent,
as that was a particularly tragic period in the USSR; many people
destroyed the letters they had received, so as not to be accused of
having links with enemies of the people and so a great deal of valuable
postal history was irrevocably lost.
Things have obviously improved since 1953 and one can occasionally find
QSL cards from Soviet ham radio operators, temporarily operating in
Franz Josef Land, including from Ernst Krenkel'. It is easier to collect
non-Soviet items relating to Franz Josef Land and it
is interesting to note that the centenary of the
Weyprecht-Payer North Pole Expedition was first
commemorated in the Federal Republic of Germany at
the BIELEFELD '72 Philatelic Exhibition with the
special marking shown in Fig. 21. This oval marking -.
was applied at Bielefeld-2, dated 11 May 1972,
inscribed "WEYPRECHT-PAYER EXPEDITION VON 1872-1874"
and showed the s.s.TEGETTHOFF at left,
Fig. 21. 43
with a polar bear on the
ice at right. The Austrian
waited until the centenary
of the discovery of Franz
Josef Land on 30 Aug. 1973
to issue the special stamp
and cancellation shown
here in Fig. 22, the latter
by courtesy of "Ice Cap
News", the organ of the
American Society of Polar
L PAR AVI
Fig. 23. r. Andrew Cronin
S) Box 5722,Station A
4 ,A Canada Li5W IP2
o, X0Noth America
For its part, the Italian Post issued in 1978 an attractive 200-lire
aerogramme to commemorate the 50th. anniversary of the flight to the
North Pole of the dirigible "Italia". A used example is illustrated
above in Fig. 23 and the map of the Polar region also includes the
archipelago of Franz Josef Land.
So far as is known to the
present author, there is still
no post office on any of the
islands in the group, but by
1982 at the least, there was a
scientific station operating
on Hayes Island & named after
Ernst Krenkel'. It applied the
two oval cachets in violet or
violet-black that are shown
here in Fig. 24. The location
of the island is approximately
given on the two cachets as latitude 81ON and longitude 580E. The
island is actually around latitude 80040' N and directly to the west of
Wilczek Land. The two cachets are NOT applied to cancel the postage and
are merely indications of origin; the postal details, including any
registration or other requirements are handled in transit at the post
office on Dikson Island in the Krasnoyarsk Region.
By the way, it takes a long time even now to get mail back from Franz
Josef Land and since there is a huge volume of philatelic requests,
there is a good chance that the sending will be returned by the Soviet
Postal Service with a rectangular cachet in Russian, reading :
VOZVRASHCHAETSYA./ POCHTA SSSR / FILATELIEI / NE ZANIMAETSYA (To be
returned. / The Postal Service of the USSR/ does not concern itself /
with philately). There is at present an umbrella organisation, composed
of the Moscow Section of the VOF, the Moscow Branch of the Soviet
Geographic Society and the "Polarphil" Club and they have combined
forces to issue a new magazine by duplicator, entitled "Novelties of
Polar Philately" and with E.P. Sashenkov as editor-in-chief. Should any
of our readers be interested in further details, they should write to :
Moskovskii filial geografichestva SSSR, 103012 Moscow K-12, ulitsa
25 oktyabrya 8/1.
It is obvious that much more remains to be written on this subject and
the present author would welcome details from the CSRP readership.
DEVELOPMENTS IN POSTAL MECHANISATION IN THE USSR
By A.J.S. McMillan and Dr. T.T. Rutkowska
K a r. MOCHBA. ILEHTP,
Ka........... .. ........ABOHEMEHTH .
RLLMH 96 962
Koxy ............ ._.......
Adpec omnP--aeownej- o -o-1.-.-...V.o.o .....o..
... ... .....
m ~ ~ ~ -: m mmm
In the first article, McMillan (1982), quoted in Sheppard (1984),
developments up to that date were covered. Since then, fresh material has _
come to hand and there has been some publication in Soviet journals.
The first item of interest is the only known example of the exhibition
cover that has been postally used (see Fig. 1 on the previous page).
This is addressed to Office No. 1, Moscow Centre, P.O. Box No. 962. It
is postmarked KOTKINO, Archangel province on 2 March 1969 and received
in Moscow on 9 March, according to the backstamp. However, the index is
not correct for Moscow, the indices we have for this city being in the
range 10100 to 111150 and we have found that 164--- is the index for
Archangel province, which is included in the address of the sender. g
(Editorial Comment: It seems likely that, by mistake, the sender put in
the index for Kotkino, rather than for Moscow !). Nevertheless, however
it arose, it is the only postally used cover seen of this type.
Several variations that fit in quite well with the previous I
classification have turned up. An Estonian cover, dated 3/V-71 with type
IIa steering bars, has type B2 rubric below the address index boxes
(this is earlier than the previous date of July 1971 listed) and no type m
C rubric. The back flap instructions are normal type A3a. Another
interesting variant is a cover with no printing details or picture on
the front. This has type V steering bars with type B2 rubric, but no
type C and the back flap instructions have the same wording as A3a, but
in a different type face (see Fig. 2 directly below).
06paaeu HanHcaHHRa Iup HHneKca:
Fig. 2. B123H56VH 6
It was posted at Finow, German Democratic Republic, on 21 March 1978
with Interkosmosprogram stamps of the 1978 issue and we think it worth
recording as type A3c.
Some interesting photocopies have been sent by Mr. van Scheijen
(secretary of the UV Nederland Studiegroep voor Postmechanisatie). One
shows a cover from Estonia, dated July 1979, with no type B or type C
instructions. The most interesting one, however, is from Murmansk and
postmarked 29 March 1975. This has type II steering bars, but the bars
are hollow and the boxes solid. This is illustrated as type IIc (see
Fig. 3 at the top of the next page,having been redrawn from the photocopy).
Two items that break new ground are in different languages. Several from I
Lithuania have printing dates 1979 and 1983 on the back; the other, a
Ukrainian postcard, has a printing date of 22.01.80. The rubrics are [
recorded as types B3a and B3b & C4a and C4b respectively (see Figs 4 & 5):
B3a. Gav4jo pasto indeksas. (Lithuanian).
C4a. Pasto indeksas ir siuntejo adresas. (Lithuanian). g
B3b. Indeks pidpryyemstva zv'yazku mistsya pryznachennya (Ukrainian).
C4b. Indeks pidpryyemstva zv'yazku i adresa vidpravnyka (Ukrainian).
The back flap instructions on the Lithuanian cover are also different
and recorded as type A4 :-
A4. IndeksV rasymo pavyzdys.
PR-a. PecT'opD- .Ancor' o3eLa iroaon. A
PSlT. Pecyc-pd" ./licoow;0 6.n o0c3CC Kaoa'on. ADBIA
'' i' BIC Tr:iin S
IfH)eKt nprinpuqmuln cenR3u u aper
Indeksp ralymo pavyzdys
Gavjo pato deks. .a
... ... ... ... ... .* '... :. ... ..*
Gav6jo paito Indeksu
KpHn. Aayunra. BuAn a Po06THHIHin KVTOqOK.
KpbaM. AjnywTa. BuA na PaGoi'Hfl yrOJlOK.
OOTO P. RKuAMeica.
KL' we I C
paC~XIU&it C Bfc^/fA S
Y b^per<< 1'*^e 2~, 'L^^i
Paito Indeksas ir slunt6fo adresasm
CCc P wuo(GH o
^. a>.^-p ^ -
IHi im m m3 icR i
c n .ianp UcTa R. Ky i.C. R ...H3
IHACKc ninnpHCMCT8a 3B*'3Ky MiCUXR nPH31aqenHR
Kya. A.- 7Y^e ?u p
E Y10 6'Ja
IndeKc nidnpueMcrea 3S'3Ky
i aapeca eidnpaenuKa
HIAcU> upnpcnH cBUJII Mecu aunII aIMHa.
The nomenclature we have used so far is not altogether correct and we are
glad to have the official terms in an article by N. Gurevich, Deputy-
Director of the Research Dept. of the Ministry of Communications
(Gurevich 1983). The whole area of the boxes and steering bars is called
the code zone. The bars on the left are called the starting marks and
those above the boxes are the centering marks. He distinguishes three
types of starting marks: our type II (above the line) is Ksh-1, our type
IV is Ksh-2 and the current type (V and VI) since 1973 is Ksh-3 (Ksh. is
an abbreviation for "Kodovyi shtamp").
The postal system of the USSR is on such an enormous scale that it can
only work if some degree of standardisation is introduced. The Head of
the Central Administration of Postal Communications of the Ministry of
Communications, N.A. Afanas'ev, wrote (Afanas'ev 1983): "... the units of
our Postal Service process about 10 milliards (U.S. billions) items of
mail every year....To expedite delivery of the mail to customers, I
automatic sorting complexes are being introduced in Moscow, Leningrad, U
Riga and (according to recent information from the Central Philatelic
Agency of the USSR) in all 'uzly' (junction post offices). They can only
work efficiently if standard-sized envelopes and cards are used. For this
reason, a new system was introduced on 1 January 1983, in which all
letters are to be sent in envelopes 162 x 114 mm. and postcards 148 x 105
mm. are to be used in ordinary posting boxes. All letters in envelopes of
sizes 229 x 324 mm. and 162 x 229 mm. should only be posted in special
boxes at pochtamts (main post offices), junction post offices and post
offices, or handed over the counter". These dimensions were first
introduced in two standard specifications: GOST 9327-60 and GOST 34-73,
the latter being held up by changes in the standardisation of the code
zones until the later part of 1974.
It is important that the address index (postal code) should be written
correctly in the boxes provided on the envelope template, according to
the instructions on the back flap. A book, "The Alphabetic List of the
Post Offices of the USSR", which lists the address indices for the I
republics, krais (regions), oblasts (provinces), capitals, towns,
districts, district centres and village post offices, is provided by the g
pochtamts. In the Russian six-digit code, the first three digits are for
oblasts, capitals, towns and district centres, the fourth is for one of
ten zones in the oblast', the fifth for one of ten sectors in the zone
and the sixth for one of the post offices of the sector. In addition,
envelopes for foreign mail have the code "500" in the first three boxes,
thus allowing foreign mail to be segregated at an early stage. A similar
system is used in Canada, where "phantom codes" are used to segregate
foreign mail in several of the areas, e.g. South Ontario uses M5M 5M5 and
M8M 8M8 for this purpose.
The information about the address indices given by Mr. Sheppard on p. 32
(Sheppard 1984) is not quite correct. The Estonian SSR has codes 200---
for Tallinn, with 202--- and 203--- for other places. We have not yet
seen any items with the code 201---. Similar arrangements are used in the I
other Baltic republics. These republics are not divided into oblasts. The
Kiev town codes are 252---, while the oblast' is covered by 255--- and
256---. The Murmansk code cannot be 252110, as this is a Kiev code.
Murmansk town is 183--- and the oblast' 184---. The first three digits
"500" are used as a director as stated above and it is not necessary to
fill in any further digits for foreign mail.
Mr. Sheppard said he had seen very few plain envelopes recently. We have
a number used internally and for foreign mail with various dates up to
1979; even an officially printed first day cover for the 1974 Brezhnev
visit to Cuba (Gibbons 4257) had no boxes or instructions. The use of
plain envelopes is obviously still a problem and a cover was issued in
1983, showing a caricature of an angry letter-box accepting standard,
coded envelopes and rejecting irregular covers. The inscription says
"Please send letters only in postal envelopes of standard size". It
has been suggested that non-standard mail should be returned to the
sender if possible; in Hungary, it is surcharged double the postage by
the application of postage due labels. He also said that the OCR system
'necessarily requires a universal fluency in Russian for it to operate
effectively throughout the enormous territory of the USSR'. However,
many inhabitants of the country do not speak Russian and this is why
digital codes are used, as they are effective even if the user does not
understand Russian. We have already illustrated two other language
rubrics in this article and expect to find more.
Some important changes have been introduced from 1.1.1984. A bar is
printed above the flap instructions and a logo "DIEZPO" is shown with
the rubric (C) Ministry of Communications of the USSR 1984 (see Fig. 6).
This cover also has a change in
BHUanHuel the address box rubric, which now
06pa3eq nanucamu quwp uadexca: has the word "Pishite" (Write) in
front, recorded as :
8"jQ0 9 i7 B B3 numinTe KNAeKC npeAnpAfrnM eT n CI mec0 T nasuKn sM
i.e. Write the code of the postal
facility of the place of
0 Mua crepCTeo cB3.N CCCP, 1984
20. 07.84. umeia. xyxom .a. V1*apo We hope to be able to write about
nPOCbSA n03APABHTEiJbHblE HHorOPOAHHE InCbMA the actual OCR machines and
OTnPABJ1Tb 3AGsAroBPEMEHHo sorting, facing and cancelling
.isro...... .. nep.cxo .. e. rosMa.. operations and some early
experiments in a later article.
Afanas'ev, N.S. (1983). "O konverte dlya pis'ma". Nauka i Zhizn, No. 2.
Gurevich, N. (1983). "Pochta i filateliya". Filateliya SSSR, No. 8.
McMillan, A.J.S. (1982). "A Survey of Postal Mechanisation in USSR".
Ident, Vol.V, No.l, pp.5-9 (reprinted in 'Philatelic Magazine', Vol.92,
No.l, pp.32-33, Oct.1983 as MACMILLAN, A.J.S., "Postal Mechanisation in
McMillan, A.J.S. (1984). "Postal Mechanisation in the USSR Part 2",
Ident, Vol.VII, pp.20-22.
Sheppard, N.J. (1984). "The Optical Character Recognition Postal System
of the U.S.S.R.". The Post-Rider, No.15, pp.28-42 (reprinted from 'The
N.S.W. Philatelist', Vol.6, No.l, pp.1-15, Feb. 1984). Mr. Sheppard's
acknowledgement was incorrectly given as "Indent", not "Ident". "Ident"
is the journal of The Postal Mechanisation Study Circle, editor J.Lush,
9 Leighton Avenue, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 3BW, England.
Leo J. Zaikowski
We were very saddened to hear
about the recent passing of Leo I
Zaikowski, who succumbed to a
Leo was born and spent his early
years in Detroit, ilichigan. He was
a graduate chemist who spent a
year in the USSR working for the
Ford Motor Company in Gorkii.
During the Second World War, Leo i
served overseas in the United
States Army, achieving the rank
After the conclusion of the war,
Leo settled in Grand Ledge, Michigan
where he was a director and part
owner of a laboratory. In 1969,
Leo moved to Lansing where he
assumed the position of Milk Laboratory Certifying Officer for
the State of Michigan.
Philatelically, Leo first appeared as one of the two partners
operating L and F Stamp Service. When his partner moved,Leo
retained the name and specialized in Russia and Poland and to
lesser degrees in the Vatican and United Nations.
Leo treated his stamp business as a hobby. He was always a
willing and consistent source of the wide range of material of
the Russian sphere. It was never too much to ask, for Leo to
find a long missing item or to take duplicates off one's hands.
He always stood behind his product, unwaveringly accepting the
return of material bought from him earlier, always giving fair
value in return.
One collector that was referred to Leo by this writer was amazed
to find a voluminous selection of valuable covers arriving on his
doorstep by ordinary mail, on the heels of his initial contact
with Leo. Another well known dealer, was amazed to find Leo
conducting his end of their transactions by cash in unregistered
mail. When he asked Leo about the wisdom of this practice, Leo I
replied that he had yet to lose an item in the mail or be taken
advantage of by a collector. There was a gracious and forthright
earnest and trustworthiness about Leo that was an example which
could only be admired.
To Leo's wife Rosetta, his son Jerry and the remainder of the
Zaikowski family we express our deepest sympathies and convey
that Leo's loss extends beyond their family circle.
RUSSIAN POSTAL RATES 1916-1924
by Dr. A.R. Marshall
This is a paper, derived from talks and displays on the postal rates in
the Inflation Period of Russian philately, which have been given at a
number of philatelic societies in New Zealand.
The period 1916 to 1924 covers some of the most important historical
events in Russian history.
- Abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917.
- Provisional governments under Prince L'vov and Alexander Kerenskii,
- Seizure of power by V.I. Lenin 7 November 1917 and the establishment
of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic: R.S.F.S.R.
- The Civil War, December 1917 to November 1920.
- The establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: the
U.S.S.R., on 6 July 1923.
The postal services in this period were considerably disorganised by the
Revolution, the Civil Wai and the aftermath of famine and confusion.
Matters were further complicated by a rapid depreciation of the currency.
- On 1 May 1922, a new 1922 rouble was introduced, being equal to 10,000
- On 1 January 1923, a new 1923 rouble, equal to 1,000,000 old roubles,
- Attempts were made to stabilise the rouble, with the introduction on
20 August 1923 of a gold rouble, but this also rapidly depreciated.
- On 1 October 1923, the Soviet Government stabilised the currency on a
new gold standard.
Postal rates reflect this depreciation. Between August 1917 and October
1923, postal rates rose by 300,000,000 times from 15 kopeks to 45,000,000
roubles (45 roubles 1923).
PHILATELIC AND POSTAL HISTORY ASPECTS
1. A variety of stamp issues is involved :-
the last issues of Imperial Russia.
stamps of the Provisional Government.
the first issues of the U.S.S.R.
issues for the Transcaucasian Federation of Armenia, Azerbaijan and
2. Mixed frankings on envelopes, with stamps of different governments
and of different values and currencies: kopeks, roubles, 1922 roubles,
1923 roubles, Transcaucasian roubles.
3. Rapidly changing postal rates, due to depreciation of the currency
and requiring large numbers of stamps for postage, to cause confusion
with many postage errors.
4. The introduction of free inland postage under 15 grammes of weight
(roughly oz.), between 1 January 1919 and 15 August 1921.
5. The separation of, and introduction of, new rates for inland and
6. The use of home-made envelopes and re-used envelopes, reflecting the
paper shortage. d
Information on postal rates was not readily available, but the two
sources of information located were :-
- "Les Timbres-Poste de 1'URSS", by the Cercle Philatelique France-URSS,
published 1969 in French (CPFU).
- "Soviet Inland & Overseas Postal Rates 1917-1971", published in The i
British Journal of Russian Philately", No. 60 for October 1983 (BJRP).
This article by V. Karlinskii, was translated by Dr. T.T. Rutkowska
and reprinted from the "Soviet Collector", No. 9 for 1971. The
original sources for this article were the Bulletins and rates issued
by Narkompochtel RSFSR (People's Commissariat of Posts & Telegraphs).
There are some differences between these references on postal rates. I I
have concentrated on the rates for foreign mail, both for ordinary and
registered letters, as these form a high percentage in the collection.
The table on the next page sets out:-
1. Foreign mail rates from the BJRP.
2. Foreign mail rates from the CPFU from August 1921.
3. Inland rates to August 1921 from the CPFU, as these rates were the
same as the overseas rates.
4. Postage rates observed for complete covers (34) in the collection, i
for the period to 16 October 1923, excluding those with postage I
COMMENTS ON THE RATES
1. The BJRP reference in the notes under Foreign Mail states that "In
1918 until 25 August 1921, the foreign mail from the RSFSR in many
instances was sent according to the Inland rates".
2. In the period August 1921 to July 1922, there is broad agreement with
some date variation, but the BJRP reference has two more postal rate
changes than the CPFU reference.
3. From July 1922 to October 1923, the rates agree in each reference,
but there are minor date variations.
4. Three of the BSRP dates have a question mark following, indicating
5. From 1 July 1922, the postal rates are in 1922 roubles.
6. From 1 January 1923, the postal rates are in 1923 roubles.
7. From 16 October 1923, the rates are in the newly stabilized currency.
COMPARISON OF COVERS IN THE COLLECTION WITH PUBLISHED POSTAL RATES
1. Of the 34 covers, 22 have the correct postage: 8 ordinary and 14
2. Two ordinary letters (references D and I) have been sent with the
postage for the preceding period.
3. One (reference E) has been sent with the postage correct for the
Inland postage rate.
4. Three letters, two ordinary and one registered (references A,B,C)
have been sent at rates that do not correspond to any listed. These
rates appear to be 70k. ordinary and lr.40k. registered. These are dated
between 12 June 1919 & 7 August 1919 and may indicate a further postal I
m m m I m m =m mn
TABLE 1. POSTAL RATES FOREIGN MAIL 15 AU1917 16 OC 1923.
BJRP FOREIGN CPFU INLAND/FOREIGN COLLECTION
DATE LETTER REG. DATE LETTER REG. DATE LET. REG. LETTER REG. REF.
1 SP 17 20k 40k 15 AU 17 15k 35k 40k
10 MR 18 30k 60k 28 FE 18 35k 1.05R 1.05R
19? 2R 4R 15 SP 18 25k 50k 70k,70k 1.40R A B C
7 JE 20 O1R 20R 1 NO 19 1R 4R 1R (D) 1OR D
21? 20R 40R 10 ICMR 20 5R 11OR
25 AU 21 100R 2000R 15 AU 21 100OR 2000R
21 NO 21 5000R 10000R 21 NO 21 5000R 1000OR 5000R 10000Rx2
?20 FE 22 10000R 20000R 22 FE 22 15000R 30000R 7500R E
I MR 22 15000R 30000R 30000R
1 AP 22 30000R 60000R 1 AP 22 30000R 60000R 60000Rx2
20 MY 22 50000R 10000R 30 AP 22 200000R 400000R 400000R M
1 JE 22 200000R 400000R 400000R
1 JL 22 45R 90R 1 JL 22 45R 90R 45Rx2,50R H
15 OC 22 75R 150R 25 OC 22 75R 150R 150R
1 NO 22 150R 300R 1 NO 22 150R 300R 150Rx2
1 DE 22 250R 500R 1 DE 22 250R 500R 150R 250R 500R I
1 JA 23 3.50R 7R 10 JA 23 3.50R 7R 3R J
25 MR 23 5R 10R 10 MR 23 5R 10R 5R 7.2R K
6 AP 23 6.50R 13R 1 AP 23 6.50R 13R 13R
8 MY 23 1OR 20R 8 MY 23 10R 20R 20R,33R L
20 AU 23 15R 30R 20 AU 23 15R 30R 15R
I SP 23 20R 40R 4 SP 23 20R 40R
16 SP 23 30R 60R 17 SP 23 30R 60R
1 OC 23 45R 90R 30 SP 23 45R 90R
16 OC 23 20k 40k 16 OC 23 20k 40k
5. Of the others with the incorrect postage, two are under the rate (J &
K), while four are overfranked (F,G,H & L).
6. One registered letter (reference M) was posted 29 May 1922 with
400,000r. paid. This is the correct postage by the CPFU, but not by the
BJRP, although the latter reference includes the statement: "Because the
official notices were directed to the post offices well in advance, some
of the local post offices used the new postal rates one to three days
before the official date".
7. The number of stamps used to prepay postage varies on the covers from *
1 to 55, with an average of 14.
8. Four of the 34 envelopes are home-made and one is a re-used envelope,
indicative of the paper shortage.
one from 1920 is made from a typewritten letter of 1918. 3
one from 1922 is a recycled envelope, used earlier in 1922.
one from 1922 is constructed from a coloured Singer Sewing Machine
one from 1923 is made from a photograph of a young man.
9. The destinations of the addresses on the envelopes are:-
Germany 12, Switzerland 10, England 2, Estonia 2, Sweden 2, U.S.A. 1,
France 1, China 1, Denmark 1, Latvia 1, New Zealand 1.
Any study of the postal rates of the Inflation Period must take into
account the rates in existence in the last years of the Imperial Russian
Government and those in use during the Provisional Governments. It is
likely that the postal rate increased from 7 kopeks to 10 kopeks for
ordinary letters and from 14 to 20 kopeks for registered letters during
1916. The Romanov 10 on 7k. and 20 on 14k. overprints were issued in
September 1916, when existing stocks of the 10k. and 20k. stamps were
running low. The postal rates during the Provisional Governments from
3 March 1917 to 14 August 1917 were probably the same as those rates
applying in the first period of the RSFSR, i.e. a letter rate of 15k. and
a registered letter rate of 35k. This is based on the one franked cover
in the collection for this period. Confirmation of these rates would be
appreciated. The postal rates are summarised in Table 2 below.
POSTAL RATES FOR MAIL TRANSITION PERIOD.
Government Date Letter Letter
Imperial Russia 1879 7k. 14k.
Imperial Russia 1916 10k. 20k.
Provisional 3 March 1917 15k. 35k.
RSFSR 15 August 1917 15k. 35k.
back to Prov.Govt)
The postage on envelopes is sometimes difficult to evaluate. This is
because stamps were sold at times for values other than face. In a
decree of 10 March 1920, the Arms type stamps of 1 to 20k. were
authorized for sale at 100 times face value, with those values above 20k.
retaining their original validity. In April 1922, the Arms type stamps
were authorised for sale at 1 million times face for the kopek values
and 10,000 times face for the rouble values.
This paper has discussed postal rates for foreign mail from Russia and
made comparison between these rates and the postage on complete covers
in the collection. A complete study would also include similar treatment
- Inland mail: postcards, local letters and inland letters, all both
ordinary and registered.
- Foreign Mail: ordinary and registered postcards.
- Inland airmail: postcards and letters, both ordinary and registered.
- International airmail: postcards and letters, both ordinary and
- Transcaucasian Federation of Armenia, Azerbaijan & Georgia: the
various types of postal articles.
- Russian Refugee postal services.
At the present time, the numbers of these covers in the collection are
not yet sufficient for a meaningful comparison of postage to be made
with the published postal rates. Readers are invited to check their
collections of this type of material and all comments will be welcomed
by the author, Dr. A.R. Marshall, P.O. Box 7, Otorohanga, New Zealand.
-.... Foreign letter
.. from Petrograd
Sf correct rate of
: JI, 150r., as of
1 November 1922.
13r. in 1923
as of 1.4.23.
A registered letter from Lipovets 5.5.23 to Berlin (in author's collection).
THE ARMOURED CRUISER "AVRORA" (AURORA)
by Barry Hong.
This is the most famous of all Russian and Soviet naval vessels, as a
result of its participation in the October Revolution in 1917. However,
its history is much greater than one event, spanning three wars and a
The "Aurora" was built under the Programme of 1895. Its name was entered
on the Navy List on 6 April 1897 O.S. It was laid down on 23 May 1897 at
the New Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, launched on 29 April 1903
and commissioned on 3 July that year. It was named after the Spirit of
Dawn in classical mythology. The "Aurora" and its two sister ships, the
"Diana" and "Pallada", were called the "goddesses" in the Imperial Navy.
The "Aurora" had the following characteristics, as of 1 January 1914:-
406 ft. waterline and 416 ft. overall length.
55 ft. waterline and overall beam.
21 ft. 6 ins. forward and 22 ft. 9 ins. aft draught.
10 x 6-inch 45 calibre guns.
12 x 75 mm. 45 calibre guns.
4 x 3-pounder quick-firing guns.
Machinery: 24 Belleville boilers; three shafts; vertical triple
Fuel: Normal 749 tons coal; augmented 965 tons;
maximum 1500 tons.
Radius: 3200 km. (2000 miles) at 11 knots.
Complement: 12/19 officers; 365/540 other ranks (peace/war).
The career of the "Aurora" began with the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.
It was ordered to the Pacific upon completion in 1903. Joining up with
other Russian ships in the Mediterranean under Rear-Admiral Virenius,
they got no further than Djibouti when war broke out in February 1904.
They were ordered home the following month.
The "Aurora" became part of Admiral Rozhdestvenskii's Second Pacific
Squadron, which was dispatched from the Baltic in late 1904. The force
engaged the Japanese Fleet under Admiral Heihachiro Togo in the Battle of
Tsushima Straits on 14-15 May 1905, after the long voyage east. The
"Aurora", in company with the cruisers "Oleg" and "Zhemchug", became
separated from the other units during the night of the 14th. May.
Prevented from rejoining the fleet in the night action with the Imperial
Japanese Navy, the three ships returned to Manila in the Philippines,
where they were interned. The "Aurora" suffered light damage in the
action, receiving two shell hits and having 17 killed and 80 wounded.
It left Manila on 15 October 1905 and arrived at Libava (Libau, Liepaja
in Latvia) on 19 February 1906. After a thorough refit, it was assigned
to training duty for naval cadets in 1907. Three foreign cruises took it
as far away as Siam (Thailand). A fourth cruise was terminated early,
as the major European powers mobilised for war.
The "Aurora" was assigned to the Second Cruiser Brigade, with the task
of protecting the approaches to the Gulf of Finland. It carried out
patrol operations into 1915 and may have suffered machinery problems by
the following year. It entered the Franco-Russian Works for a major
overhaul in November 1916, when it was re-boilered and rearmed. The six-
inch guns were replaced with ten new 130 mm. guns. In 1917, while still
being refitted, the crew became affected by Bolshevik propaganda.
During a disturbance, they killed the commanding officer, Capt. of the
1st. rank Nikol'skii and wounded the executive officer Ogranovich. Lieut.
Sr. Grade Erikson was elected commanding officer on 22 October 1917. The
Provisional Government, headed by Alexander Kerenskii, ordered the
cruiser to put to sea on 24 October to conduct machinery trials and then
to proceed to Helsinki. However, the Bolshevik Central Committee of the
Baltic Fleet "Tsentrobalt" countermanded the order.
The Bolshevik takeover of power began during the
evening of 24 October. By nightfall on the 25th.,
the Winter Palace was the last major building in
Government hands. The "Aurora" cast off from its
moorings at the Franco-Russian Works and moved to
the Winter Palace bridge. A boat was sent to the
opened bridge to have it closed. The military
cadets guarding the bridge fled. At this time at r c
9 pm, the "Aurora" fired a single blank 130 mm.- -----
round as a signal. The defenders of the Winter Fig. 1.
Palace surrendered to the overwhelming number of
persons storming over the bridge, as shown in Fig. 1. The searchlight
beam from the "Aurora" is seen in the background.
The "Aurora" completed its overhaul and left for
Helsinki on 28 November 1917, conducting machinery
trials en route. It returned to Petrograd on 27 Dec.
and lay frozen in the ice of the Neva from January to
March 1918. There was widespread desertion from the
Baltic Fleet at that time. Also, sailors with
revolutionary convictions left to fight ashore on I
Fig. 2. other fronts. Fig. 2 shows sailors fighting ashore,
with the "Aurora" in the background.
By an order of 29 July 1918 (from now on, all dates are New Style), the
"Aurora" and many other Baltic Fleet ships were sent to Kronshtadt, to
be laid up for "long-term safekeeping". The cruiser was mothballed
during late 1918, lying alongside the training ship "Okean" for four W
years in Kronshtadt harbour. By October 1918, its normal crew of 569
men had been reduced to ten, with the last leaving by 1919.
Restoration repairs on the "Aurora" began on 17 November 1922. It was
recommissioned on 23 March 1923, as a training ship for naval cadets.
Capt. Lev A. Polenov was given command, with Alexander A. Olenkin as
political commissar. On 11 July 1924, the cruiser,with 400 officers and
men, left Leningrad in the company of the "Komsomolets" (ex-"Okean").
The "Komsomolets" was commanded by Evgenii Sergeevich Veletskii and
carried 400 officers and men, as well as 200 midshipmen. The ships
visited the Norwegian ports of Bergen and Trondheim on 15-18 July 1924,
before returning to their home port on 24 August. This was the first
foreign cruise made by the Soviet Navy.
The "Aurora" served as the flagship of the Second
S Detachment of the Baltic Fleet, during the latter's first
major postwar exercise in June-July 1925. The People's
Commissar of Defence, M.V. Frunze (see Fig. 3), commanded
the force of 30 vessels on that occasion. Following the
fleet exercise, the "Aurora" conducted another cruise to 1
Bergen in August. The new commander was Vice-Admiral Orlov,
with Dombrovskii as Chief-of-Staff. During the visit, the
Communist Party in Bergen organised great festivities, U
family gatherings, concerts and public dances for the crew.
Fig. 3. The cruiser departed for Kronshtadt on 26 August.
.... The Presidium of the Central I
9 Sg Committee of the USSR awarded the
SOrder of the Red Banner (Fig. 4) to
the "Aurora" on 2 November 1927. The
"Red Banner" flag was raised aboard
ship on 7 November, as it lay in the
SNeva where the 1917 action had taken
S- place. A memorial plaque was placed
.. on the forecastle gun which had fired
the initial round of the revolution.
Fig. 4. Fig. 5. The vessel made another foreign
cruise in August 1928, calling at
Oslo and Copenhagen. The ship visited Swinemunde, Germany in August
1929, in the company of the newer Soviet cruiser "Profintern" (ex-
"Svetlana", ex-"Klara Zetkin" and later renamed "Krasnyi Krym"; see
Fig. 5). The "Aurora" made its fifth and final foreign cruise in July-
August 1930, sailing from Kronshtadt to Archangel and return. The
vessel continued to serve as a training ship for officer cadets from
1931 to 1940. By the late 1930s, the boilers were in such poor
condition that the ship had to be towed to Kronshtadt each summer for
training duty and returned to Leningrad for the winter.
After the German invasion in June 1941, the "Aurora" was moved to
Oranienbaum (now Lomonosov), opposite Kronshtadt. The ship's guns were
removed and mounted on Pulkovo Heights, where they contributed to the
defence of the city. The historic forecastle gun was mounted in the
armoured train "Baltiets". The 76 mm. anti-aircraft guns were left
aboard to assist the city's defences. The ship was damaged by German
bombers and was scuttled in shallow water to prevent capsizing.
The "Aurora" was raised in 1944
and taken to Leningrad for
repairs after the war. The old
cruiser made its last passage up -- ., "
river on 17 November 1948 to a
permanent anchorage in the Neva, I
where it is a monument to the
"Great October Socialist '.....
Revolution". In 1950, some of
the compartments were turned
into museum spaces, dealing with
the October Revolution. It
underwent a major overhaul Fig. 6.
before the 40th. anniversary of
the October Revolution in 1957.
It remains open to the public to
this day, as shown in Figs.6 & 7.
An interesting aspect of the
"Aurora" as a floating museum is
that it is armed with 14 x 130mm.
guns. Although it was intended .
to be armed with 14 guns during I/
the 1916-17 refit, photographs
of the "Aurora" in 1924 & 1929
show no more than 10 x 130mm.
guns. It is thus more heavily
armed as a museum than ever it
was on active duty !
Philatelically, the "Aurora" is
the central theme on two stamps.
Fig. 8 shows the "Aurora" as it Fg
appeared in service with the
Soviet Navy, while Fig. 9 has it
as a museum, with the additional .........
130mm. gun mounts. It is also no4TA
shown in silhouette as part of P
the souvenir sheet design for
the 40th. anniversary of the F.
October Revolution (Scott 1943a)
and again on the souvenir sheet w .J. .
for the 50th. anniversary OPAEHOOCHbI KCE
(Scott 3331a). K_ ABPOPA
The "Aurora" is shown on many postal stationery items. Fig. 10 shows it
as part of the stamp design for two commemorative envelopes. The covers
in Fig. 11 show the ship as part of the cachet design. It is also the
central theme on the reverse of two postcards in Fig. 12. All these
represent only a few views and representations of the "Aurora" on
1. Christopher C. Wright, "Soviet Cruisers", Warship International,
Vol. XV, No. 1, 1978, pp.10-41.
2. Arne Ingar Tandeberg, Warship International, Vol. XVIII, No. 3,
3. Jurg Meister, "The Soviet Navy", Garden City, N.Y.; Doubleday &
Co. Inc., 1972.
Iftln'Kr lnpfi)np~tenuua ren, t adplre
iinip" nniilr I
MlteN nptlpn-u cn)n mnt- a awavens
ABI4As 25 -irt '
------- I I-
C n a o Hr T n p t01
"'... -. ^
A -' j
A 'V,,h, r-."'/ ,, ";:./," ,"--,^ '< ,'
A'l' )i! '
L *. ,/" .'. 7 ,A/ < /', i.
i i` .r I
SFig. 12. -
by Michel Melot.
I The Southern Lands are decidedly the French territory most truly at the
bottom of the world. It is therefore not astonishing when, in spite of
vigilance and devotion of all those entrusted with the despatch from
there of the mail of the philatelists and of the few temporary
residents living on the Antarctic continent, it sometimes happens that
unusual adventures befall the letters franked with the stamps of the
French Southern and Antarctic Territories (Terres Australes et
Antarctiques Frangaises TAAF).
-- i? C b.' .l --b r
So far as one can reconstruct this particular odyssey, here is what
happened. From what we can learn from Postal Despatch No.12, some mail
was entrusted to the Soviet ship ANAKLIYA, when it left Port-aux-
Frangais in the Kerguelen Islands on 10 Feb. 1981. For unknown reasons,
this mail was not deposited as expected at the first port of call,
I which was not specified and it was therefore considered as lost until
the day when, by the intermediary of the Malagasy Government, it was
handed over to the French embassy at Tananarivo. The embassy in turn
I forwarded it by diplomatic pouch to Paris. There were 25 bundles of
philatelic mail, i.e. around 150 covers, that arrived at the GARE DE
LYON post office, which was entrusted with forwarding the letters to
their destinations.This same office made up a special cachet, reading:
COURIER DEPOSE / A MADAGASCAR PAR / NAVIRE SOVIETIQUE / ET RETARDE /
ACCIDENTELLEMENT (Mail deposited / at Madagascar by / Soviet ship / and
delayed / accidentally) on 12 Jan. 1984. This explained the
exceptionally long delay in forwarding the mail, i.e. 2 years and 3 I
months for these letters which had been believed lost.
It's enough to make the many philatelic enthusiasts of the stamps of
the French Southern and Antarctic Territories go green with envy
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The above article has been reprinted from
"TIMBROSCOPIE", No.3 for May 1984, p.44, by kind permission of the
Editorial Board, to whom many thanks are due. This beautiful magazine
"of active philately", printed throughout in colour and launched in
March 1984, has since gained a solid place, not only in the French-
speaking world, but also internationally. This same issue No.3 for May
1984 also contains on pp.62-64 a lovely article on our beloved No.l of
Russia, showing in colour many gems from the collection of our
subscriber M. Michel Liphschutz, President of the French "Acad6mie de
Philatelie" and also the famous mint blocks of four he possesses of Nos.
2-4, which were originally featured in the Baron von Scharfenberg
collection. Interested readers should send US $3.00 in banknotes to
"TIMBROSCOPIE", 35, rue de Chazelles, F-75017, Paris, France, to obtain
a copy of this particular issue. The magazine is, in the words of M.
Liphschutz "un bon journal de vulgarisation, qui pourrait amener a la
philatelie un public nouveau" (a good journal of propagation, which
could lead a new public to philately) and is still available in the
following issues: Nos. 1-4 & 6-9 at US $3.00 each postpaid and from No.
13 at US $4.00 postpaid (Nos. 5, & 10-12 are sold out). The annual
subscription is 230 French francs postpaid (US $25.00 in banknotes);
this is a great way to obtain an international view of philately and
also to brush up on your French '
We have reports from two sources, as follow:-
(a) The KRONENBERG AG auction of "Russia Specialised", held on 28-29
March 1985 in Basle, Switzerland. The high points of the sale, with the
prices realized in Swiss francs, are given below:-
Lot No. Description Realisations
239 No.l on letter Reval (Tallinn) to Pernau (Parnu) 3100.-
240 No.1 on letter Sumy (Ukraine) to St. Petersburg 3000.-
241 No.1 part sheet margin, letter Dorpat (Tartu) to P&rnu 3600.-
285 Nos. 2 & 5 on letter P&rnu to Riga; rare mixed franking 3600.-
295 No.3 on letter Vil'na to Riga 3000.-
554 5k. City Post on piece, late usage but with the retouch 440.-
565 Ditto on letter SPB 12.11.1863 to C.A. Gedda (an ancestor
of the celebrated opera singer Nikolai Gedda ?) 7000.-
566 Ditto on reg. envelope to Paris 29.4.1881, late usage 380
but still very desirable, as the realisation shows 3800.-
870 The 14k. 1889 issue, with centre inverted, used 4400.-
885 The 3r.50k. 1902 issue, with centre inverted, used Batum 5600.-
894 The 25k. Arms centre inverted, used 5200.-
F//~c.l~ .-E.,a /~
P -~-- e'
k-I A eac,~. ~ iltv
~r0 X~L, dsJJV\ J
1250 Levant 1866 2pi. on letter Latakiya to Beirut
1288 Levant 8/7k. on letter Constantinople 24.3.77 to Taganrog
1402 5r. Romanov clearly used URGA IN MONGOLIA, unpriced T&S
1449 5r. Romanov, 2 copies, used Urga, but less clear strikes
(apparently a small find has surfaced, used in Urga on this
value, as also shown in Lot 4598 of the Merkurphila Auction
for 30 May-1 June 1985; realisation not yet known; rare ')
1454 Letter Khandaokhetszy 2.5.14 to Frankfurt a/Main; rare I
Bidding was spotty, however and many lots L
went for as low as 20 Swiss francs each(!).
Some blatant give-aways included a block of :
15 mint 5k. City Post for sFr.95.-; Kashgar
declared value letter 1918 at sFr.60.-; six .
copies Russia No.5 on piece used abroad at
Constantinople for sFr.100.-; Romanovs on
reg. cover from Tabriz at sFr.55.- and the 14541
15k. Dirigible engraved perf. 14 on a 1958
reg. cover from Tartu for sFr.35.- (I). We
will be considering the subject of pricing .
in the editorial for "The Post-Rider"No.17. :
There was at least one questionable item in :-
the sale, namely Lot 1732. This was an
but tied to piece with an impossible MOCKBA (Moscow)
cancellation, dated 2 VII.23 and giving at bottom a
Ukrainian postal code designation "20-Y-l". These codes
were not introduced in the Ukraine until almost ten years
later. The postmark is therefore completely bogus.
(b) The Heinrich K8hler Auction No. 246 for 29 May-i June 1985 offers a
fascinating range of rare
material in our fields of
collecting, but three lots
are of especial interest.
S. -.~' Lot 4427 ties in with
SMIA Robert Taylor's article
; 'I herewith on early Soviet
S''airmails and shows the
first, overprinted stamp
"' .UI|*^'y^r ]l for airmail in a die-proof
block, with a Russian note
S .,in pale blue ink, reading:
i i ", (enko?)". Undoubtedly
unique and it should never
S",have got out of the Soviet
S-------- postal archives. Estimated
SI .' / at DM 5000.-.
: u4455 Lot 4456 shows the wide "5"
airmail stamp with 10-kop.
gold surcharge plus a 4 kop.
Worker on cover to pay the
normal surface rate going
4427 abroad to Austria. The
postmark reads POKROVSK OB.
N.P.d.20.11.26, i.e. from
the capital of the Volga
German Province, before the name was changed to Engels. This is the very
cover, found by the late Franz See of Vienna and sold to the late Kurt
Adler for a nominal sum, based on the catalogue value of the common i
narrow "5" stamp I It was previously mentioned in "The Post-Rider", No.8,
at the top of p.59. Estimated at DM 6500.-.
Lot 4471 is tricky and formed part of
t l the exchanges of Soviet varieties on
is i covers that the late John Barry, for
L many years Secretary of the BSRP, had i
with his correspondent A. Ionov, Poste
Restante (General Delivery), Moscow-5.
R uosco. ~ It purports to bear a tied imperforate
.ss ~7ca.P m copy of the 15-kop. First International
Air Post Conference commem., issued on
1 Sept. 1927. The cover was posted by
') registered surface mail from Moscow-82
on 27 Feb. 1949 and this imperforate
0I7 '.rady s "b has NEVER been reported anywhere in
the literature. Bearing in mind that
both stamps of this set were perforated only with a comb machine, which
did the two short sides and an adjoining long side for all the stamps in
a particular row, it is the considered opinion of your editor (and it is
an opinion only) that, in the case shown here, the perforating comb did
NOT go through the top margin of the sheet to finish off the last long
side. In other words, all the stamps in the top row were left with
fantail margins along the upper side and, by trimming off the
perforations on the other three sides, one could create "imperforate"
varieties. It is significant that Comrade Ionov made sure that all the
necessary postage was covered by the two contemporary "Miner's Day"
commems. affixed at bottom left, i.e. 50 kop. foreign surface rate +
80 kop. foreign registration fee. You have been warned. This lot was
estimated at DM 500.-.
PHILATELIC SHORTS V.
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 thatfo
could use some clarifying information, or might there 0j o 0oo
be some gems of wisdom that you could impart on some o o000
newly acquired item ? 00 0
Share your questions, thoughts and wisdom, in the confines
of a couple of paragraphs with the rest of our readers
Reginald Hindley, West Yorkshire, England.
One worry: do Dr. Voaden's calendars, as printed on p.27 of "The Post-
Rider", No.15 apply to both the Julian and Gregorian systems, with
adjustments when Russia changed over? How do we determine the exact days
for Russian dates before the Revolution?
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Mr. Hindley's points are well taken and the answers
are to be found in an excellent article "The Two Russian Calendars", by
Dr. Howard L. Weinert, "The Rossica Journal" No.90/91 for 1976,pp.40-48.
The Gregorian Calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII when 5th.
Oct. 1582 became 15th. Oct. and the century years not divisible by 4
were not leap years. These extra ten days should be added to Julian
dates up to 28 Feb. 1700, after which it becomes 11 days until 28 Feb.
1800. The Gregorian Calendar was adopted in England in September 1752,
where it caused riots among people who thought their lives were being
shortened! Twelve days should be added to Julian dates between 29 Feb.
1800 and 28 Feb. 1900 and 13 days from 29 Feb. 1900 O.S. to date. One
should be careful when adding days in late February in Julian dates such
that 29th. Feb. should not be counted UNLESS THAT YEAR IS A LEAP YEAR
IN THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR, i.e. 27.2.1900 O.S. is 11.3.1900 N.S., but
27.2.1896 O.S. is 10.3.1896 N.S. When changing over to the new system,
the Soviet Government decreed that the day following 31.1.1918 O.S.
would be 14.2.1918 N.S.
In general, if one has a Julian date, add the necessary number of days
for conversion, find the exact day on Dr. Voaden's tables and then
count back the same number of days to get the exact day in the Julian
system. Readers should also remember that on Used Abroad markings, some
were in the Julian calendar and others in the Gregorian; if one has
cards or covers with transit markings, it is a simple matter to
determine what system that particular Office Abroad was using. If
anyone comes across any errors in dates, we would appreciate having the
Dr. Denys J. Voaden, Maryland, U.S.A.
Re the note in "The Post-Rider" No.15, p.69 about the death of A. V.
Lyapidevskii, I can advise that Mikhail Mikhailovich Gromov, the
commander of the 2nd. Non-Stop Flight Moscow-USA via the North Pole
with an ANT-25 on 12-14 July 1937, passed away on 22 January 1985. He
was born in 1899 and was the 8-th. person to receive the Hero of the
Soviet Union star. He reached the rank of Colonel-General of Aviation
in the 1st. Air Army during the operations in Belorussia in the first n
half of 1944. He is featured, together with his comrades on the non-
stop flight,A.B. Yumashev, pilot and S.A. Danilin, navigator, on a set
of three stamps issued on 13 April 1938.
Philip E. Robinson, 29 Dykes Hall Rd., Sheffield S6 4GN, England.
I have during the past few years begun to form a collection of
Siberian postal history and am now compiling data for a book on this
subject that will be published towards the end of the year or early in
1986. A Soviet friend has provided a wealth of information from Russian
library sources, e.g. I have a card index of well over 1000 Siberian
post offices which operated prior to 1918, with dates of opening etc.
The weak point of the book will be postmark information, although I
have received a great deal of cooperation from collectors here and in
Europe. If any of your readers has a substantial amount of material, I I
could send a photocopy of the postmark data I have so far, for
comparison and additions or amendments etc. Any help would, of course, I
be acknowledged in the book, a free copy of which would be given to
anyone supplying a substantial amount of help in its preparation.
Please write to the address given above.
Dr. Peter Michalove, 307 S.McKinley, Champaign, Illinois, USA 61821.
David Skipton and I are collaborating on a book dealing with pre-Soviet
postal censorship. We are covering the history of clandestine
perlustration of the mails, pre-1914 military censorship and a catalogue
of all the WWI-period censor marks and associated control and routing
marks we can get our hands on. During the time we have been working on
this project, the scope has grown to dimensions far beyond anything we
originally imagined. We are looking for any unusual or unreported
markings or usages and need good-quality xeroxes or photos, especially
of censored field post, peace-time civil censorship, court or prison
mail. All contributions will be acknowledged.
Please write with the details to the address given above.
David Skipton, USARI, APO NY 09053, USA.
I read P.J. Campbell's brief article on the St. Petersburg "VECH.-VARSH. I
VOKZ." oval cancellation in No.15 of "The Post-Rider" and would like to
jump into the fray in this controversy, but on the other side. It seems
very unlikely to me that the "VECH." could stand for anything other
than "evening" and certainly not "Vienna", for the following reasons:-
(a) In order for there to be an error in the spelling, TWO letters must
be at fault, not just the "CH". In the old Cyrillic orthography, Vienna
would have appeared as "BbHA", not "BEHA". The "E" and "CH" would thus
both have to be in error, so that we would have "BtH.-BAPM. BOK3".
(b) On every other cancellation of the eight types that preceded this
one, there is no mention of Vienna. The railway was called the St.
Petersburg line throughout its existence.
(c) It should be kept in mind that St. Petersburg was the site of the
Main Post & Telegraph Administration. If this cancel were indeed an
error, is it reasonable to assume that the MPTA would have permitted it
to stay in use for the better part of four years (1910-1913)? There
were literally thousands of different cancellers in use in St.
Petersburg from 1763 to 1914, but I have seen only one error and that
involved an upside-down date, rather than a spelling fault. It is not
unreasonable to suppose that spelling errors did crop up now and
again on St. Petersburg cancels, but they would not have seen use more
than a few times before being replaced.
(d) Other cancellations, notably of the 6th. Despatch Office, had
"Vech." or "vecher" in them, although admittedly this practice ceased
in the early 1900s and the datestamps were used as arrival marks,
rather then cancellations.
I do not have a St. Petersburg train schedule at hand, but there was
probably an evening postal train that carried late mail in the direction
of Warsaw. If there were no such train, then the error theory gains more
credibility. "VECH." = evening seems the more likely at the present time.
Eric Peel, Harrow, Middlesex, England.
There was no such thing in St. Petersburg as the Vienna-Warsaw Station.
Reference to the 1914 Baedeker makes that clear. Moreover, the S.P.BURG/
VECH.-VARSH.VOKZ. oval exists with 4 serial letters: a,b,v & g, as does
the succeeding PETROGRAD oval. From examples in my collection, these
were in use at least from 1909 to 1917 and probably to 1923 and to
assume an error in 8 datestamps uncorrected for that length of time is
not feasible. Imhof correctly lists the VARSH. VOKZ. ovals with serials
* a & b and the VECH.-VARSH.VOKZ. ovals with v & *g, with the two
lower serials for the day trains and the higher two for the night
trains (similarly for the PETROGRAD ovals that succeeded them). However,
I have an interloper in this system which is not in Imhof; a VECH.-VARSH.
VOKZ. a-a dated 20.7.13, so we can therefore guarantee 5 datestamps!
EDITORIAL COMMENT: To round off this interesting discussion, which seems
to have solved the "VECH." question, we are showing below a registered
cover from the Warsaw Rly. Station in St. Peterburg with the serial v
of the VECH.-VARSH.VOKZ. oval, dated 2.4.10 from the Campbell collection.
Robert Taylor, California, USA.
Shown at bottom right on the previous page is a piece from a letter
sent from Petrograd 34, serial "a" on 19 March 1918 and including a
7-kop. Romanov stamp in the franking, to overpay the proper rate of
35k. by one kopek. This is from an extensive correspondence between
Petrograd and the Crimea and has part of the receiving postmark on the
reverse, so there can be no doubt of its legitimacy. Prior to the
article about Romanov usages in the early Soviet period in "The Post-
Rider", No.15,p.26, my piece was the only example I had ever seen,
other than a couple of philatelic covers using Romanov currency stamps.
1 P LO
~ c .u ic /d~ 'cr
; ; '!' U ;.
d r: .~rry.
s, -~"' r~
~j~iiC~ -- ;.-.
Rev. L.L. Tann,
I recently bid on two
in London. It was only
when I got them that I
importance of one. The
Petrograd 1 Despatch
postmarks are dated
14.10.15, thus placing
it earlier than the 25
mentioned in my
article in "The Post-
Rider" No. 15. The
late Dr. Salisbury
reported covers dated
-6.10.15 & 20.10.15,
but I have not seen
illustrations of them.
Will readers please be
on the look out for
even earlier dates, so
that we can eventually
determine the first
day of issue of these
f1 ~ ri .grad,. i <>a-^Oao (b) The Finnish tgte-
S------- bche pair on piece
...-..................... ..... -----.......... -- with trilingual
postmark of JAKOBSTAD/PIETARSAARI dated 3.VIII.83
., and shown here at left was recently purchased
; .. privately in the USSR and offered by an English
Dealer. The comments by a Finnish specialist, Mr.
Si Jeffrey C. Stone of Scotland, were that the
JAKOBSTAD trilingual cancellation was not
introduced until 1893 and that the 1885 impression
S ^ seems likely to be false. He also wondered as to
ti ......, whether one would still have a tete-beche pair if
the two stamps were to be floated off the piece of
paper! In short, one can never be too careful and, on the evidence of
the postmark, one must assume that the item is a forgery.
John Lloyd, Essex, England.
Shown directly below are two U.S. covers in actual size, addressed to the
Automobile Dept., Ministry of Finance, Teheran, Iran in 1942, apparently
going by way of Egypt and Baghdad, Iraq. The first went by surface on 2nd.
Feb. and, in addition to the familiar circular Anglo-Soviet-Persian
Censorship No. 2, also received a boxed 23 x 70mm. mark in grey-black,
reading in Russian: NOT EXAMINED / Sov.-Engl.-Iran.-Censorship. The second
cover left New York on 12 June and went by way of Egypt and Baghdad 13th.
July to arrive on the 20th. At bottom right, there is a similar Russian
marking, struck in blue and measuring 12 x 54mm. and a larger cachet in
English, 21 x 54mm. with the same text and also struck in blue, reading:
NOT EXAMINED/BY/ANGLO-SOVIET-PERSIAN/CENSORSHIP. Details of further finds
would be welcomed from other readers interested in these markings.
John V. Woollam, Merseyside, England.
The illustrations below are of the front and back of a special envelope
which had contained a sample without value (mostre fira valoare), sent
by C. Solomonovici of a Lido Perfumery Co. in Targovigte, Roumania on
26 April 1940 by registered mail to Wlada Majewska in Ziocz6w (Zolochiv,
Ternopil' province in the Western Ukraine). It went through Bucharest on
30 April and reached Moscow on 21 May. It was held up there, receiving
on the front and back an oblong cachet 19 x 72mm. and reading in French:
INTERDIT/par le service des Douanes/pour insertion vente (FORBIDDEN/by
the Customs service/on account of saleable insertion). A further 4-line
unframed cachet in Russian was applied on the front and reads: Back to
abroad because of/enclosure of trade article forbidden/as an unlicensed
import/Inspector..So poor Wlada did not get her free sample of perfume,
which was returned to Targoviste, but the exact date is unreadable.
SP RAA VALOARE' N. |
R --.' those o- pe e.a o
I ; ...
-''' -:- : *
'. .. ..... .. --_ -- .. ..... C s. > *
The views expressed in the articles 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 acknowledgement is made 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 any I
queries. They will be taken up in following issues of "The Post-Rider".
I- ** V -11212
':' ... ... '......' .'. '.. ,
... "" ,
'. c :i.*
,~ 4 2, '
Marcel Lamoureux, Rhode Island, USA.
I was particularly interested in the item described in "The Post-Rider"
No.15,p.48 "A ROPiT Postcard to French Congo and Redirected to France",
as I have a registered cover from the same correspondence, sent through
the ROPiT post office at Kerassunde on 14 Jan. 1912 O.S. to Captain
Modest at B6tou in Fr. Congo. It went thro' Constantinople 20 Jan.O.S. &
Brazzaville on 11 March and was redirected via Paris, 7 April to the
port of Cherbourg, where it arrived on the 10th. It would appear from
the redirection written on the front that M.Modest was a captain in the
1st. Colonial Regiment. It is a small world'
THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY, No. 61 for December 1984. A
72-page magazine, issued by the British Society of Russian Philately.
Available from the Treasurer, A.T. Blunt, 27 Newlands, Langton Green,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.
The new editor is R.L. Joseph and he has served up a large helping,
starting with details of a proposed Handbook of the Imperial Russian
Post Office, followed by details of a Forgery of the 3r.50k.1902,by
Dr.E.Kossoy; Finnish Ship Postmarks,by R.P.Knighton; 1921 Pribaikal
Surcharges,by G.S.Miskin; 1921 Volga Famine Issue,by H.Norwood; Notes
from Members,by V.Marcilger & O.Faberg4; ST PETERSBOVRG Handstamp,by
Dr.Krassowsky; New Info. on 1905 'Bez Plat'; Used Abroads, by A.
Speeckaert; 1903 Circular on Cancels & Seals; Lake Baikal Icebreakers &
Transbaikal Rlwy,by J.G.Moyes; Polish Field Posts 1918-21, by W.
Kowarzyk; Polish Field Posts 1919-20,by A.Clement; Zemstvo Paper Seals,
by G.Murdoch; Soviet F.P.O. in Siberia,by R.L.Joseph; Siberian Postal
History,by P.E.Robinson; Russian Maps,by G.Murdoch, to conclude with
Historic Stamps of the Crimea, News from Members, Two Town Maps, Notes
on Maps & Literature, Cyrillic Transliteration and an enclosed map of
the Ushpol' district. Quite a lot of material to digest!
IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STAMPS USED IN TRANSCAUCASIA, Part 7, The Elisavetpol'
Guberniya and the Zakataly Okrug, by P.T. Ashford. Published by the
British Society of Russian Philately and obtainable from the author at
9 Pentre Close, Ashton, Chester CH3 8BR, England for US $5.00 postpaid
Mr. Transcaucasia has come up with another sturdy part in this erudite
study of the complex postal history of one of the most fascinating
areas in the world. This 64-page soft-bound journal is jammed full of
data, both from the author's collection and those of 20 other
enthusiasts, past and present and including many members of our own
Society. Just looking at the illustrations of the choice cards and
covers shown (and there are not many of them) makes one realise how
small the volume of mail must have been in those years and how
desirable such items really are. There is always the chance of making
a wholly unexpected find, to add to or confirm the store of knowledge
so painstakingly gathered in this series.
Copies of all the Parts are still available from the author at the
same price each as for the above volume. He expects to complete the m
series with a final Part 8, covering the postmarks of the city of Baku
and the Baku Guberniya.
RUSSIAN ZEMSTVOS, by F.G. Chuchin. A reprint of the English edition,
with a spiral binding that enables one to open out the book easily.
Published by J. Barefoot Ltd., P.O. Box 8, York YO3 7BE, England and
available for US $10.00 postpaid.
This is a book of 90 large pages of A4 format, in three columns and
far easier to read than the original edition, as the illustrations are
inserted in their proper places throughout the text.Even better, many
have been replaced by superior figures from various sources, including
by courtesy of Robson Lowe Ltd. The first stamp of Okhansk, shown pen-
cancelled, was originally featured in the Herrick book and is now in
the Jacques Marcovitch collection. This is No. 15 in the publisher's
series of volumes on European Philately and its usefulness has been
enhanced by the addition of the Soviet issues for Cherdyn, Luga and
Perm, as well as the 1857 6-kop. local stamp for the Tiflis City Post.
Wonderful value for the money and it should be on the bookshelf of
every serious collector in our field.
FORGERY GUIDE No. 16: THE WESTERN ARMY EAGLES. A 20-page booklet in A5
format, with the research done by Andrew Hall. Also published by J. I
Barefoot Ltd., P.O. Box 8, York YO3 7BE, England and available at US
$1.50 surface mail or US $2.50 airmail.
The originals, reprints and forgeries treated here are of the unissued
Bermondt-Avalov stamps of 1919, ordered from a printer in Berlin and
intended for use in Latvia, where the Germans were trying to maintain
their interests. An invaluable booklet to help you find your way
through the maze.
THE JOURNAL OF THE ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY, No.104-05 for
1984. A 128-page magazine, available from Dr. K.L. Wilson, 7415 Venice
St., Falls Church, Virginia, USA, 22043.
This issue contains Life of the Society & Minutes of the 1984 Rossica
AGM; Obituary of Boris Shishkin; Postal History of the Mongolian PR, by
S.M. Blekhman; Mao-Ershan Cancel, by G.Woodley; Additional Flaws on 35
& 10k. issues of 1902-22, by G.Shalimoff; Vremennoe Revisited (very
interesting), by D.Skipton; FPOs during 1898 Manoeuvres, trans. by D.
Skipton; Lobachevskii Catalogue Translation Errata, by K.Wilson;
History of SPB Post, by M. Dobin, trans. by G.Shalimoff & D.Skipton;
Three Clich4 Types of Russia Scott 603A, by P.Arvan,trans. D.Skipton;
Fantail Warning, by D. Skipton; A 1907 Circular about Fake 7-kop.stamps,
by Y. Lurye; The Seven-Day Postal Rate, by W.Shinn; Members' Adlets and,
finally, Notes from Collectors. A lot of ground has been covered.
GOLDEN GATE TO GOLDEN HORN, by Colonel William S.Strobridge. A 98-page
stapled journal, issued by the San Mateo County Historical Association,
undated and out of print.
Sub-titled "Camp Fremont, California and the American Expedition to
Siberia of 1918",this work was brought to our notice by our subscriber,
Matthew Hedley of San Mateo, to whom many thanks. "Golden Gate" refers,
of course, to the entrance to San Francisco Bay and "Golden Horn" to
the well-known promontory in Vladivostok Harbour. It can be regarded
as a companion volume to the diary of Jesse A. Anderson 1918-1919,
which we reviewed in "The Post-Rider", No.15, p.73. Such reminiscences
supply a valuable background to the postal history of the Allied
Intervention in Siberia immediately after the end of World War I.
THE AMERICAN PHILATELIST, monthly journal of The American Philatelic
Society, one of the largest stamp-collecting organizations in the
world. Copies are available from the Society at Box 800, State College,
Pennsylvania, USA 16801.
The September 1983 issue prints on pp.828-30 an article by Dr. J. Lee
Shneidman, entitled "Questions on the Postal History of Karpato-
Ukraine". His interest was mainly in the postal rates and since the
1945 issues did not indicate the currency, correlation of the postal
rates and other matters was impossible. Our Hungarian contributor, Dr.
Bela Simady, came to his rescue in the November 1984 issue, pp.1098-99
& 1145 with "Answers to 'Questions on the Postal History of Karpato-
Ukraine' "in a well-reasoned and authoritative study. He was able to
prove from a 1945 registration receipt that the only currency then in
circulation was the Hungarian peng6o.(This word has an interesting
derivation, from the verb "pengeni"= to tinkle, hence pengo = something
that tinkles, i.e. a silver coin).He also gave valuable information on
the postal rates at the time, based on material in his collection and
talks with philatelic veterans in the province, which he has visited.
Hungarians are to this day the largest minority in the province (16%).
ZEITSCHRIFT FOR RUSSISCHE/SOWJETISCHE PHILATELIE (Magazine for Russian
& Soviet Philately). The official journal of the Russia-USSR Study
Group in the Federal Republic of Germany. All enquiries to Herr Joachim
Schneider, D-7000 STUTTGART 75, Melonenstr.56,Fed. Republic of Germany.
No.35 for Sept.1984 has 74 pages with Society News; Functions of the g
Forwarding Agents,by V.D.Vandervelde; Russian Imperial Postal Rates, by I
V.Marcilger; Two Forged Kiev Cancels,by F.Gerst; The R.Jahn Activities,
Postal History of German Settlers in Russia before 1914, Validity of
Inflation Stamps, New Soviet Catalogue 1918-1980 & Auction Notes,all by
J.Schneider; Soviet Postal Coding,by K.W.Geier; Airmail Flights, by A.
Seiler; FDCs & Their Dates,by H.Schmenkel;Envelope Error,by M.v.Kooten;
New Picture Postcard Set,by W.Weidner; Literature Reviews; Advertising
Letter Sheets,by W.Herrmann; Memories of Sven Hedin,by H. Dietrich, etc.
No. 36 for Dec.1984 has 70 packed pages, covering Society Notes & News; *
Further Notes on Forwarding Agents,by G.Brandtner; Letters of Advice,
Postal Sorting Marks A Postcard Enquiry,Soviet Special Cancels, U.S.
Money Remittances & F.G.Chuchin, all by J.Schneider; Russia Ist. Issue
Printings,by B.Kamenskii; Two Hamburg UPU Covers,by A.Gottspenn;Foreign
Colonists in the Steppe,by D.M.Wallace; Collect Stamps,but how?,by H.G.
Dietrich; Soviet Posts in Latvia 1940-41 (beautiful I),by M.Shmuely;
British Censor Mark on Russian Letter Card,by J.Schneider;Soviet Card
from Kbnigsberg,by A.Cronin; Soviet 1983 Rate Increases,by K. Geier; u
Sputnik Notes,by A.Maier and, finally,"Radio de Filintern" excerpts.
No. 37 for April 1985 again covers Society Notes & News; also several
excerpts from the German Imperial Archive for Posts & Telegraphs with
translations from Russian sources; U.S.Money Remittances, by Dr. R.
Bartmann; Soviet Famine Relief Stamps,by A.Kolesnikov; Siberian Postal
History,by P.E.Robinson; 30th.Soviet Antarctic Expedition,by E.S.Anasir;
A Subordinate Marking,by J.Schneider; Members' and Literature Notes.
SCHWEIZER BRIEFMARKEN-ZEITUNG (Swiss Postage Stamp Magazine), official
monthly journal of the Federation of Swiss Philatelic Societies.
The issue for January 1985 has on p.14 an interesting article in German
by our subscriber Helmut Weikard on a "Special Postmark and Postal
Stationery Envelope of the Jewish Autonomous Province of the USSR",
giving a capsule history of the area and showing three delectable
markings. Two are from Birobidzhan and tie in with the 50th. anniversary
of the "E.A.O.",dated 07.05.84, while the last reads: RADDE EVR.AVT.OBL.
OBLUCHENSKOGO, referring to the German explorer and ethnographer, Gustav
Johann Radde (1831-1903). OBLUCHENSKOGO="of the Obluch'e District".Lovely!
KATALOG POCHTOVYKH MAROK SSSR 1918-1980 (Catalogue of Postage Stamps of
the USSR 1918-1980). A two-volume set in hard covers, issued by the
Soyuzpechat' Publishers, Moscow, 1983 in an edition of 200,000 copies.
Priced at 5r. 15k. for the two-volume set.
This work is an update of the 1976 edition and shows in comparison some
stiff price increases. An attempt has also been made to start listing I
some of the more interesting plate flaws and varieties which was a
project long overdue and the compilers under the editor, M.I. Spivak,
still have a long way to go. Frankly speaking, though, the Stanley
Gibbons Part 10 Catalogue of Russia & Associated Territories is still
more comprehensive and more compact. Keep trying, comrades I
s Te Journal Fund
All sales benefit the Society and orders should be
made payable to the CSRP Box 5722 Station-A,
Toronto, Ont., Canada M5W 1P2. All previous titles
have unfortunately been sold out.
SOIM KARPATS'KOYI UKRAYINI, by Dr. Stepan Rosokha.
A fascinating eye-witness account of the birth of
the Carpatho-Ukrainian Republic by a former minister.
S' Published in Ukrainian, with an English summary
Sand 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$15.00.
The contents are complete and this is a great opportunity.
FORGERY AND REPRINT GUIDE No. 3(Armenia, 1922 Pictorials), No. 4
(Armenia 1923 Pictorials) & No. 11 (Azerbaijan). All illustrations
are double-size and the differences clearly tabulated. Invaluable
for Transcaucasia collectors.Set of 3 booklets: POSTPAID US$ 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. We have the last few copies left! 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.
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IN WAR'S DARK SHADOW (The Russians before the Great War), by W. Bruce
Lincoln, author of "The Romanovs". A 573-page fascinating history in
hard covers of the reign of Tsar Nicholas II by a Presidential
Research Professor at Northern Illinois University and invaluable for
philatelists collecting material from that period. Published by The
Dial Press, New York, 1983. Great photos Price postpaid US $ 12.00.
I I n s gI U||*II I| | | | | | | | | ||Imn nI ii n n , ,
THE COLLECTORS' CORNER
DEAR COLLECTORS: d
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 Z
duplicates for the most reasonable rate of 25 / line
(minimum of $1.00 payment; maximum insertion of 16 I
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 on the Independent Georgian Republic of 1918-21, I would
appreciate hearing from anyone who has books, documents, photographs
or other material.
ERIC LEE, Kibbutz Ein Dor, D.N. Yezreel 19335, Israel.
FOR SALE: Bound copy of "The Philatelic Journal of America", by C. H.
Mekeel,Vol.VIII for Jan.-Dec.1892; 430 pages,illustrated,approx.6"xl0".
This is original, not a reprint and in very clean condition.
P. J. CAMPBELL, c/o Box 5722 Station-A,Toronto,Ont.,Canada M5W 1P2.
RUSSIAN VIGNETTES & REVENUES: Have duplicates of Air Fleet labels, also I
vignettes listed in Marcovitch & Trachtenberg for sale or trade. Also
Forbin listed & Soviet revenues. Looking for Russian, Jewish & Polish
seals on and off cover.
ROSLYN WINARD, 4308 Farmer Place,Fort Washington,Maryland, USA, 20744.
WANTED: Examples, illustrative material & information for a catalogue:
Latvian Revenue Stamps. Especially require municipal revenues, Russian
revenues used in area before independence &.Soviet ones in area since
independence. Would also like to know quantities held to assist in g
valuing these items. Also documents with revenues, varieties & details
of usage and rates would be helpful. Exchange or offer made. Would also
like to borrow items to photograph for catalogue.
WILLIAM APSIT,Box 15, 260 Adelaide St.E,Toronto,Ont.,Canada M5A INO.
A WORKING AID designed to help identify cancels where the first few
letters of the place-name are missing will soon be available. "Imperial [
Russian Postal Place-Name List, Reverse Sort (1858-1915)" consists of
18 pages of introductory and explanatory text & 361 pages of entries
(18,187 place-names,cross-referenced), printed on one side only. Price
will be determined by the amount of demand. Please write to: I
DAVID M. SKIPTON, USARI, APO NY 09053, USA.
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 or 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) and asking price for desired trade.
MIKE RENFRO, Box 2268, Santa Clara, California, U.S.A., 95051.