Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Editorial: The Canadian contribution...
 Correspondence with Canada
 The activities of the field posts...
 Zemstvo varieties - tenth...
 Special note: The Central Railway...
 About the "Povenets" covers
 Mail of the rank-and file of the...
 Some investigations of the postal...
 Something about PW postmarks of...
 Post-packets of the Russian postal...
 Tuva: Means of postal payment
 Supplementary notes on Tuva
 Thomas Cliffe and Tuva
 Defining more clearly and adding...
 The 1902-1906 imperial arms...
 Postage stamps of the Zemstvos
 Japanese POWs in the USSR
 The special stamp issue for the...
 Some data on the 5-kopek city post...
 Some notes on the 5-kopek city...
 The April 1922 second issue of...
 About the Soviet posts in the incorporated...
 The local issues of formula...
 More about the TPO/RPO route Nos....
 Some "Germanica" items from the...
 Another "Paris commune" naval stamp...
 Further data on the 1923 famine...
 Philatelic shorts

Title: Yamshcik = Post-Rider
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076781/00050
 Material Information
Title: Yamshcik = Post-Rider 25th anniversary edition, 1977-2002
Series Title: Yamshcik = Post-Rider
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Canadian Society of Russian Philately
Publisher: Canadian Society of Russian Philately
Place of Publication: Toronto
Publication Date: June 2002
Subject: Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00076781
Volume ID: VID00050
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


This item has the following downloads:

00050 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Editorial: The Canadian contribution to Russian philately
        Page 2
    Correspondence with Canada
        Page 3 (MULTIPLE)
    The activities of the field posts & telegraphs during the Great Manoeuvres. Russian text furnished by Alexander Epstein
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Zemstvo varieties - tenth instalment
        Page 9
    Special note: The Central Railway Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
        Page 10
    About the "Povenets" covers
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Mail of the rank-and file of the Soviet navy (1918-1941)
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Some investigations of the postal history of the Volga Germans
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Something about PW postmarks of the branch line Poti-Samtredi; English text on p. 44
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Post-packets of the Russian postal service
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Tuva: Means of postal payment
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Supplementary notes on Tuva
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Thomas Cliffe and Tuva
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Defining more clearly and adding to the article on Tuva by G. Williams
        Page 71
    The 1902-1906 imperial arms issue
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Postage stamps of the Zemstvos
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Japanese POWs in the USSR
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The special stamp issue for the city posts in St. Petersburg and Moscow
        Page 92
    Some data on the 5-kopek city post local stamp
        Page 93
    Some notes on the 5-kopek city post stamp
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    The April 1922 second issue of the Armenian SSR
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    About the Soviet posts in the incorporated Romanian territories 1940-1941
        Page 103
        Page 104
    The local issues of formula postcards
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    More about the TPO/RPO route Nos. 97-98 Samtredi-Poti and Poti-Samtredi
        Page 111
    Some "Germanica" items from the Volga region
        Page 112
    Another "Paris commune" naval stamp on cover (plus comment by V. Berdichevskiy)
        Page 113
    Further data on the 1923 famine relief issue of the Ukrainian SSR
        Page 114
    Philatelic shorts
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
Full Text

Printed in Canada



P.O. Box 5722, Station "A",
Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1P2

CSRP Web Site: http://www3.svmpatico.ca/postrider/postrider/
E-mail: postrider(a),smpatico.ca
"THE POST-RIDER" No. 50. June 2002.

Contents of our Silver Jubilee Issue:
2 Editorial: The Canadian Contribution to Russian Philately
3 Correspondence with Canada
3 The Journal Fund
4 The activities of the Field Posts & Telegraphs during the Great Manoeuvres. Russian text furnished by: Alexander EpStein
9 Zemstvo Varieties: Tenth Instalment G.G. Werbizky
10 Special Note; also on ;pp. 40 and 110.
11 About the "Povenets" covers Vladimir Berdichevskiy
16 Mail of the Rank-and-File of the Soviet Navy (1918-1941) M. Kossoy & V. Berdichevskiy
36 Some Investigations of the Postal History of the Volga Germans Meer Kossoy
41 Something about PW Postmarks of the Branch Line Poti-Samtredi; English text on p. 44 Dr. V.G. Levandovskiy
45 Post-Packets of the Russian Postal Service L.G. Ratner
53 Tuva: Means of Postal Payment. A personal assessment by: Alan Leighton
62 Supplementary Notes on Tuva Andrew Cronin
67 Thomas Cliffe and Tuva Gwyn Williams
71 Defining more clearly and adding to the article on Tuva by G. Williams (in "The Post-Rider" No. 49) V.N. Ustinovskii
72 The 1902-1906 Imperial Arms Issue Rabbi L.L. Tann
77 Postage Stamps issued by the Zemstvos: Starobelsk Alex Artuchov
83 Japanese POWs in the USSR Andrew Cronin
92 The Special Stamp Issue for the City Posts in St. Petersburg and Moscow late V.V. Lobachevskii
93 Some Data on the 5-kopek City Post Local Stamp Assistant-Professor David A. Jay
94 Some Notes on the 5-kopek City Post Stamp Andrew Cronin
100 The April 1922 Second Issue of the Armenian SSR Dr. Arkadii M. Sargsyan
103 About the Soviet Posts in the Incorporated Romanian Territories 1940-1941 V.Yu. Malov
105 The Local Issues of Formula Postcards V. Vinokur & M. Lam
111 More about the TPO/RPO Route Nos. 97-98 Samtredi-Poti and Poti-Samtredi Dr. V.G. Levandovskiy
112 Some "Germanica" Items from the Volga Region Professor A.S. Ilyushin
113 Another "Paris Commune" Naval Stamp on cover (plus comment by V. Berdichevskiy) Robert Taylor
114 Further Data on the 1923 Famine Relief Issue of the Ukrainian SSR Alex Sadovnikov
115 Philatelic Shorts Rabbi L.L. Tann, Alexander Epstein, Arno Kamapke, V.N. Ustinovskii & Andrew Cronin.

Coordinators of the Society: Alex Artuchov, Publisher & Treasurer.
Patrick J. Campbell, Secretary.
Andrew Cronin, Editor.
Rabbi L.L. Tann, CSRP Representative in the United Kingdom.

Copyright 2002. Copyright by The Canadian Society of Russian Philately. All rights reserved. All the
contents of this issue are copyright and permission must be obtained from the CSRP before reproducing.

The opinions expressed in the articles printed in this issue are those of the individual authors and are not
necessarily those of The Canadian Society of Russian Philately or of its Coordinators.


When, in June 1977, a small group of us held a meeting in Toronto to launch our Canadian Society of
Russian Philately, we had no idea just how far such a project would take us. Here we are 25 years later,
celebrating our Silver Jubilee with 50 issues of "The Post-Rider" behind us and with more than 4000 pages
of solid and original research on record. Our high international reputation is an established fact and we are
particularly thankful to the Editor of the BJRP, Lenard Tiller Esq., for his very kind words of
congratulation in the editorial for BJRP No. 87.

Many things have changed during the past quarter-century, including the ending of the Cold War in 1991
and the transformation of our neighbours on the opposite side of the Arctic Ocean into much more open
countries. We have a flourishing Russian-speaking community in Toronto, serviced by four Russian-
language weeklies, all of which are free, as their incomes are derived from their advertising revenues. Long
may that trend continue, as we all stand to benefit in the long run, especially in the fields of Russian and
Soviet philately and postal history. As previously pointed out in these pages, Russia is always in the news
and there are as a result more societies outside the mother country devoted to its philately and postal history
than for other collecting areas. Moreover, our own Society is the only one abroad to include substantial
Russian text in its journal "The Post-Rider".

Needless to say, the CSRP could not have grown without the encouragement and selfless support given by
our contributors and donors of good will. They are too numerous to mention individually, but they have our
sincerest and most grateful thanks. In addition, some of our articles have been reprinted in other journals
and we have also been consulted by auction houses and individual philatelists about the status of various
philatelic items.

A special message of appreciation is in order for our dealer-members. They are among our most faithful
readers, as they examine carefully the contents of each issue of "The Post-Rider", so as to be able to offer
their stocks in the best possible manner. After all, that is their bread and butter.

As we go forward into the new Millenium, we will also continue our policy of publicizing forthcoming
events of Russian cultural and historical interest, as we believe that such exposure will help members to
appreciate their material more than they do now. The Russian Federation and Canada are the two largest
countries by area in the world, but we have only 30 million inhabitants and we try to project a modest,
moderate and objective impression on the international scene. The intent of the CSRP is to follow suit in
the areas of Russian and Soviet philately and postal history. With the help of our esteemed contributors, we
will maintain those worthy standards.
*~ *


"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 S
forwarding a photograph or clear Xerox copy of the
item to the Editor, along with some explanatory text.

S -...... ..........................^. ,^ A SOVIET FLIGHT FROM
"i "-: .^/~-*'---.t''- MOSCOW TO THE U.S.A.
BO03AYttWHAR !o.. a, ,
"T" K 92 ..f -Z .., WHICH CRASH-LANDED
Par avion ...-,.... ......... .... IN CANADA (I):
,,; r,-, l, .. ^ /f i. ,, ^ ,,f by Aleksandr Ivakhno.
ne4BIAQC I{BAur~Pn-CIL1.' .-.,-- rIN CANADA 011):
7',. 144e( by Aleksandr Ivakhno.

Further to the sending previously advised under this heading in "The Post-Rider", I can now record a
postcard with registration No. 92, addressed to Mrs C.N. Ilijin, c/o The Amtorg Trading Corporation in
New York City. This was Lot 2380 in the Harmers (London) Auction Sale of 6 December 2001, being part
of the Collection of Wreck, Crash, Balloon Post and Disaster Mail formed by G. Howard Longden, O.B.E.

The sender, who was probably an employee in the Philatelic Department of Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga in
Moscow, is given as V.A. Glenevsky (not Hlenevsky, as previously stated), Rozhdestvenka 19 in Moscow.
The amount of total possible registered dispatches still remains at 89 items.
.* *
Please make all orders payable to the CSRP, Box 5722 Station-A, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5W 1P2.

POCCHII 1992-2000: A 218-page catalogue of Russian Federation stamps, special cancels and postal
stationery. Very detailed in Russian and easy to follow with colour illustrations. Price postpaid USD 20.00.

CJIOBAPb rEOrPADI)IMECKHX HA3BAHHI CCCP: A 296-page Gazetteer of Soviet place-
names in Russian, issued in 1983 and ideal for postal historians. Price postpaid USD 9.00.

KHIIIHHEB 9HIJIHKJIOIIEiHH: A 576-page encyclopaedia on high quality paper, devoted entirely
to the city of Kishinev, capital of Bessarabia and Moldova. Issued in 1984 with many colour illustrations
and highly detailed, with old street plans, etc. Price postpaid USD 10.00.

CSRP reprint of this 1932 Kharkiv work on the world's first postal code system. Thousands of postal codes
listed alphabetically and numerically. Ideal for Ukrainian postal historians. Price postpaid USD 20.00.

June 2002

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448 pages in German and English with 399 illustrations and a postal map. Price USS 48.00 plus postage.

Lettland vor dem

und als Teil vom Generalpostkommissariat OSTLAND

Herausgegeben im Auftrage der Forschungsgemeinschaft Lettland im BDPh von Harry v. Hofmann unter Mitarbeit
zahlreicher Philatelisten. 448 Seiten mit 399 Abbildungen und einer beigelegten Karte, zweisprachig deutsch / english,
Format 16,9 x 24 cm, flexible Broschur, 54,00 plus Versandkosten.
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Poststempel (DDO, aptierte lettische, deutsche fiir Lettland, Absenderfreistempel, Notstempel, Falschstempel etc.);
Besondere Vermerke (Aus dem Briefkasten, Nachgebuhr, Zuriick, Rtickbriefstelle, KZ, Zensur etc.);
Formulare (Einschreiben, Quittungen, Telegramme, Paketkarten, Postanweisungen, Zahlkarten, Postscheck,
Postsparbticher, Telephon, Zeitungsdienst, Briefdienst, Rentendienst, Rundfunk etc.);

* *

Postorte (Ortsverzeichnis, Ortsumbenennungen);
Dokumente (Lettische Bestimmungen, deutsche Bestimmungen etc.).
: * * *

* *




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June 2002


Handbuch Philatelie, Kommunikations- und Postgeschichte

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By G.G. Werbizky.
This is a continuation of Zemstvo varieties, started in "The Post-Rider" No. 40. When a given Zemstvo is
omitted, it means that I do not have varieties from that Zemstvo. It does not necessarily mean that varieties
do not exist. It is hoped that readers will send in their discoveries from that and other Zemstvos. What is
shown here is what I have in my collection.
Zolotonosha, Poltava province.
All the stamps of this Zemstvo depict the district coat of arms, consisting of a cross in the middle of a
shield. The first issues were printed locally and the design is simple. In 1902, the printing of the stamps was
shifted to the Government Printing Office (33FB) and the design, while essentially the same, became a
great deal more elaborate.
FI 3 M 1- U 1 A Vor L -. A t, FA 0K. A o
3il i UiT il, ,Z.).il n i LT A I f TOBAMAPRKA nOlTOB MHAPKA
..i 301 aH.3)EMCTA 3 En0 Wc3t TBa I

,A '.||U ^ A]'I. L1 On.01 I -f'i

a | i' n t a'.' n *j A2 K011.
Fig. 1. Chuchin No. 2 with the centres shifted to the right, upwards and downwards.

_3 l:j .I. f
t.,HA2Kon. utnHA2Kon. Af 2Kon. uan 2Kon. i UtHA 2Kon. 0LH .A 21on
Fisg2 Chuchin No. 2 with the centres shifted upwards and downwards to the right.

30shoTOHwn. MA i Enis on piece and there is onjM
-I rI

owner or dealer: E, von der B k in 1-

Moscow. Is this an expertising mark?' i ifl '

Fi m In 1891, the 2-kopek stamps were ID IjT P
surcharge by hand to 3". The exampleock of
shown here is on piece and there is on
the back the whandstam sin at sred h of the!" -" '!
owner or dealer: E.von der Beeck in 1[4_ i1 jaj .' 0 .=== rl

7- -

,,_IP U- lOBA!.41y4I.:u.
Msurch by h J1andt"'.Th ex sample ar i [Rb 1 :ir1 A 6

4Fi:_4 Chuchin No. 11 in a block of I ^ W1 IT ---
44with a significant shift of the LJP :i L. i r 9
vertical perforations and also I-. .i-.-
imperforate horizontally. --t J Lj

June 2002

Fig. 5 The pair at left is
imperforate vertically
and the one at right is
imperforate horizontally.




.i" i

Zmeinogorsk, Tomsk province.

Fig. 6: Chuchin No. 3a, shown ., T O.B A R f' : .b0I '.
enlarged here as a tete-beche .
pair. This is a very scarce item. ..
l ,: ; :c,.. .
?... .. I .. ;....

Editorial Comment: Zmeinogorsk ("Snake Mountain") was apparently the only Siberian Zemstvo to issue
stamps. We do not know exactly when the tete-beche pair shown here appeared, but the pre-1918 spelling
and the relatively high face value of 35 kopeks point to some White authority operating during the Civil
War. If we examine this tete-beche pair and note specifically the dot inside the top left "5" of the design, as
well as other minor flaws, it can be postulated that both stamps were printed from the same cliche.

In other words, the stamp at either left or right was printed first, then the slip of paper turned around 180
degrees to receive the second impression from that very cliche, creating a tete-beche pair. Some differences
in the printing of the design indicate that the type-set cliche was not securely locked into the printing forme,
resulting in shifting of the type. It could also be suggested that the printing press and/or its operator had
seen better days! Does any other member have examples of this rare and intriguing issue?

The Central Railway Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Located at Sadovaya Ulitsa 50, postal code 190068, telephone (812) 315-1476, the Museum is housed in
the converted Warsaw Railway Station and near the Baltic Railway Station.
The first Russian train ran from the capital at St. Petersburg on 30 October 1837 for a distance of 22 km.
(14 miles) south-west to Tsarskoe Selo. The oldest of the 85 steam locomotives on display was built in
1897 and had a speed of 32 kmph (20 mph); it was still working down in Groznyi in the 1980s. The last
passenger steam locomotive was built in 1956 in the USSR.
Between 1932 and 1941, there were 3211 goods (freight) "F.D." locomotives built, displaying a prominent
red star on the front. The initials refer to Feliks Dzerzhinskii (1877-1926), of Polish gentry by birth and
Chairman of the Cheka/GPU until his death.
When in beautiful St. Petersburg, Travelling Post enthusiasts will find much to interest them at the Museum.

June 2002

'' '~AA a- A A.
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by Vladimir Berdichevskiy.

Fig.1. 1."

I saw in the article by R. Taylor: "Eight further covers of the 1923 Ukrainian Famine issue" [reference 1] a
cover with the postmarks reading "nIOBBHEITb" (see "The Post-Rider", pp. 61-62) and I was most
surprised. The fact is that, several years ago, I had come across a very similar registered cover addressed
abroad (Fig. 1 above; we will call it Cover NJ 1), sent from Povenets to Kaunas (the former Kovno, in
Lithuania). It was recognized at first glance to be a "philatelic" item. Moreover, I was interested in the
Ukrainian set of charity stamps, with which the cover was franked. The RSFSR set of charity stamps
without face values was also of note. The result was that I originally did not pay any special attention to the
point of dispatch, having assumed that "Powenez" (as inscribed in the lower line of the red registration
cachet with J 132) was an inhabited locality somewhere in the central or western areas of the Ukraine.
However, I did know that these Ukrainian stamps were sold only in nine towns of the Ukraine and that the
place-name "Powenez" was of course missing in the listing of those sales points. Nevertheless, I assumed
that these stamps could have been bought in one of the nine towns and sent from another inhabited locality
on the territory of the Ukraine. After I had secured the cover and began to study it more carefully, a mass of
questions immediately began to appear.

The first of these was to determine from where the letter had been sent on the territory of the Ukraine (and I
did not doubt that it had to be from somewhere there) from the inhabited locality called "Powenez" in 1923.
It seemed to me that there was a Polish trail in the place-name Powenez, since one can find the letter "W"
(pronounced like the English letter "V") at the beginning, middle and ending of words quite often in the
names of inhabited localities on the territory of Poland. Some examples are WARSZAWA, SUWALKI,
SOKOLOW and WLOCLAWEK, while the Russian names of inhabited localities are spelt with a "V", e.g.
VLADIVOSTOK, KISLOVODSK and KIEV. By the way, in the English-language sources [1] and in the
Raritan Auction Catalogue MNo 8 (about which more later), the spelling is given as "Povenets". Anyway, for
the above reasons, I began to look for the "Powenez" in the western regions of the Ukraine, but my efforts
ended without result and I could not find it anywhere in the Ukraine. I finally located it in Karelia and
everybody to whom I turned (P. Robinson, A. Cronin, M. Kossoy and others) all kindly informed me that
they only knew of one "Powenez", namely in Karelia.

Let us now look at where Povenets is located and as to what was its population at the beginning of the 20th.
century. We find a reference [2] to it in 1916 as the "town" (? V.B.) of Povenets in the Olonets province,
with 1482 inhabitants. The nearest railway station at Zvanka at the 512-v'rsty stop on the Northern
Railway Line could be reached by water or with horses. It was included in the railway route No. 153
Petrograd-Vologda-Vyatka. By the way, one versta was equivalent to 1.0668 km [3] or roughly 5/8 mile.
The Great Encyclopaedic Dictionary [3] states the following about POVENETS: "Settlement of town status
June 2002

in Karelia, Russian Federation on the shore of Lake Onega; 4100 inhabitants in 1993. Starting point of the
White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal".

A.V. Kiryushkin and P.E. Robinson furnish data about Povenets and its postal facilities in their book [4].
They inform us that Povenets is situated in the Povenets county of Olonets province in Karelia and near
Lake Onega. The post office at Povenets was opened before 1 January 1830. Its status was changed to a
postal station (oT aneHie) from 1 June 1878 and it was raised to a "postal and telegraphic office" from 1'.
September 1878. It remained in that category at least until 1916.

The next question which I tried to answer was the meaning of the mysterious address of the sender- "C.K.T.
KOM. IIoBeHe'". I tried the version: "CeJIbCKOxo3aIcTBeHHas TpyAosBa KoMM~yIa IIoBeHeu
(Agricultural Labour Commune at Povenets), but it did not fit in with the first question in any way. As was
shown later on [1, p. 62], my attempt at deciphering was not correct. I then gave up looking at the matter
and did not even take into consideration that "Powenez" could be found in Karelia. The presence of the
Ukrainian stamps did not allow me to agree with such a version.

A further line of investigation was a comparison of the franking and the rate in force in June 1923 for a
registered letter going abroad, which totalled 20 roubles (10 r. for a surface letter and a further 10 r. for the
registration fee). Several ways of calculating the franking were possible and let us look at three of them:-

(1) The case where the surtax was not taken into account for the RSFSR charity stamps without face values
and for the Ukrainian charity stamps. In such a case we obtain a total of 14.4 roubles.
(2) The case where the surtax was taken into account for both sets, to total 15.7 roubles. That would have
been the maximum franking for all the possible cases.
(3) The case where the Ukrainian charity stamps were not taken account, to give a total of 11.7 roubles.
As we see, all these cases did not even reach the postal rate then in force

If doubts did not arise, it could be said that the cover was clearly sent (or prepared) on the date specified on
the postmarks. Or, in any case, at that period long ago, as noted by the paper and the discolouration of the
ink of cancellation.

The application of a postal canceller of a pre-revolutionary type with the place-name in the old spelling:
"IIOB'HELTb" (with the letters 3"B" and "'T") and the serial letter "a" would not give rise to any
suspicion, since we know that such cancellers were utilized for quite a long time after 1917. Nevertheless,
the dates on the postmarks also give rise to questions. The month and year of dispatch can be made out
without doubt as "-7.23", but the day is illegible on most of the cancellations. It can be suggested that it
was "21" and thus the full date of dispatch would have
been 21.7.23.
We should note now the arrival marking of KAUNAS,
on which we can see the day of arrival as "12". The
month cannot be read and the year appears to be "23". .. .,

Thus, I was short of the mark, as I could not obtain
acceptable answers to the questions that arose
within me. Cover N2 1 was therefore set aside.

I then looked through the Heinrich Kohler Auction '.'. \- ,
Catalogue M' 309 of 6.6.2000 and noticed Lot 444, -
for which the back of a cover with stamps was
illustrated (Fi.2 Cover XN 2) and postmarked with
the known "nOB'bHEI'b" canceller. Unfortunately, Fig. 2.

June 2002

Fig. 3. Fig. 4.
my attempt to obtain an illustration of the address side of this cover was not crowned with success. The
description of the lot said that it was a registered cover, sent from Povenets to Kovno (Kaunas) 11.3.24. We
see pictured on the back of the cover three perforated stamps of the 1924 mourning issue of the USSR, in
memory of V.I. Lenin, with the face values of 6, 12 and 20 kopeks (Michel Nos. 239B, 240B & 241 B) and
three charity labels of the "Allrussian Committee of Aid to War Invalids", with the values of 5, 15 and 50
roubles 1923 currency. All the stamps are postmarked with cancellations of"IIOBT'HEL~' 11.3.24" with
serial letter "a". The arrival marking of KAUNAS (with badly readable date) is placed on two of the charity

We should note that, on the day of dispatch of the letter, the rate in force for a registered surface letter
going abroad came to 40 kopeks, while this Cover No 2 was franked with stamps totalling 38 kopeks. That
was a mere two kopeks short of the tariff. Indeed, it cannot be excluded that the missing stamp would have
been on the address side of the cover.

A few months later on 21.10.2000, there appeared in the Nagl Auction Catalogue XN 12 in Germany under
Lot No 346 the illustration of the address side of a registered letter going abroad (Fig. 3 Cover No 3) with
the markings already known to us, namely "R/ POWENEZ No 323" and "IIOB-BHEL'b 11.4.24" with
the serial letter "a". The cover was franked with the complete imperforate Lenin mourning set of 1924 in
the face values of 3, 6, 12 and 20 kopeks, as well as with a 25-rouble 1923 currency charity label of the
"Allrussian Committee of Aid to War Invalids". On this occasion and in contrast to Cover N 2, each stamp
was cancelled with a separate strike of the canceller and the letter was addressed to Riga.

I was able to obtain an illustration of the back of this cover and it turned out that there was no arrival
marking of Riga (which would have been obligatory for registered mail), but the sender did state his
address, although the upper part was trimmed in opening and it could be hypothetically established as
"Poste Restante [General Delivery], C(?), Povenets". On the day of dispatch (11.4.24), the rate for a
registered letter going abroad came to 40 kopeks (20 kopeks for a surface letter and a further 20 kopeks for
the registration fee) and, as the franking of the letter came to 41 kopeks, it more than fulfilled the

Another six months went by and up came the Raritan Auction Catalogue No 8 of 29.5.2001, in which there
appeared the illustration of a cover (Fig. 4 Cover N2 4), which was a "twin" of Cover No 3. It was stated

June 2002

in the catalogue under Lot XN 1750 that this registered letter was sent from Povenets in Karelia to Riga. The
only slight differences between Covers XN 3 and Cover XN 4 were that Cover N_ 4 was franked with the
same complete Lenin mourning set but perforated and that the No 329 (3M 379?) was inscribed in the
registration cachet. The same cachet on Cover XN 3 bore the N_ 323. The date on the cancellations of
dispatch may be read with difficulty, but appear to be deciphered as 11.4.24 and the serial letter "a" is the
same as for the previous strikes. I was able to obtain a photocopy of the back of the cover and, once again
as with Cover Ne 3, there is no arrival marking of Riga. However, the address of the sender may now be
clearly read as: "Poste Restante [General Delivery] C. 501, Povenets". It now became clear that the same
address of the sender had been written on the back of Cover N 3.

ItI', "L _' : .-,' F. '5 .
-#-i .-:I & ." -/ .' .,., ':. -' ., '--".; ] '- .. "' .. .. '"3 .'-. .. -. --
.. .: :. .. ...
I a

'. l.- - - .- -

Fig. 5.

The last example in this series of "Povenets" covers can now be given in Fie. 5 as Cover ,N 5, which had
already been mentioned in the article by R. Taylor [1]. As can be seen from the illustrations, it is very
similar to my Cover N2 1. Both Cover XNe 5 and Cover N2 1 were franked with complete sets of the charity
stamps of the Ukrainian SSR and of the charity stamps of the RSFSR (Michel MN0 197-200), as well as
"star" surcharges and various definitive of the RSFSR. It was sent on the same day as Cover N- 1, i.e. on
21.7.23 and struck with the same registration cachet of Povenets with e, 135 written therein, postmarked
with the same Povenets cancellations of dispatch with serial letter "a" and bearing the arrival marking of
Kaunas. It was addressed to the same recipient and has the address of the sender coinciding exactly.

Let us now look at three cases of calculating the franking of Cover nJ 5, in the same way as for my Cover
X 1:-
(1) The case where the charity surtax is not taken into account for the RSFSR charity stamps without face
values and for the Ukrainian set. For that example, we obtain a total of 11 roubles.
(2) The case where we take into account the charity surtax for both sets. We obtain a total of 12.3 roubles,
which is the maximum franking for all the possible cases.
(3) The case where the Ukrainian set is not taken into account, with a total of 8.3 roubles.

We thus see that for this cover, as well as for my Cover Ne 1, all the cases of franking are lower than for the
tariff then in force.
And so, what kind of assumptions can be drawn from all the above and what sort of covers are these?

(1) We must obviously agree that the"Povenets" we have been examining is situated in Karelia and that the
abbreviation "(C.K.T. KoM." must stand for the "Soviet Karelian Labour Commune" [1].
(2) In accepting Point 1, it follows that there was absolutely no basis for the franking of Covers NoM 1 & 5
with the Ukrainian charity stamps, since A. Cronin has pointed out in his comment to [1] that these stamps
were utilized only (!) on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR.
(3) The five "Povenets" covers known to me may be divided into two groups: f.3N 1 & 5 in the first group
and sXoN 2, 3 & 4 in the second. Covers rN faN 1 & 5 were sent (?) in July 1923 and franked with complete

June 2002

sets of the Ukrainian charity stamps and of the RSFSR charity stamps without face values, while the rest of
the covers were dispatched (?) in March-April 1924 and franked with both versions (perforated and
imperforate) of the Lenin mourning set of 1924. It can be asserted with a great amount of probability that
there must still exist a minimum of two further covers of the first group (judging from the registration
numbers of dispatch between 132 and 135) and a minimum of five further (possibly even more) from the
second group (being assigned registration numbers of dispatch between 323 and 329).
(4) All the five "Povenets" covers were prepared as registered items. The same registration cachet was
struck on all of them (with the possible exception of Cover N2 2, for which we do not have an illustration of
the address side). All of them were postmarked with the same cancellation of dispatch, bearing the same
serial letter "a". In addition, it could be suggested that if there existed in Povenets a canceller with such a
serial letter, then markings with other serial letters may also have existed.
(5) There is no doubt that the Ukrainian charity stamps were not sold at the Povenets post office. It seems
difficult to suggest that complete sets were sold there of the perforated and imperforate versions of the
Lenin mourning stamps, as well as sets of the RSFSR charity stamps without face values. Who would have
thought of preparing for dispatch covers with these sets and even adding to some of them charity labels of
the "Allrussian Committee of Aid to Invalids", transport them to Povenets (or even send them there by
post), in order to dispatch them abroad from there to Lithuania and Latvia? Or bring them to Povenets on at
least two occasions in 1923 and 1924, so as to prepare and send them from there? Not to mention taking
into account the distance from the railway line and the general chaotic conditions (including for
transportation by rail) that must have taken place in Russia in 1923 and 1924 after the end of the Civil War!
Would not everything have been simpler to prepare the covers (as well as with the stamps) in the Ukraine,
where all the utilized stamps were actually to be found in circulation?

I am therefore putting forward the suggestion that the covers were in fact not dispatched from Povenets and
I can explain their appearance in the following way. Whoever he was (to judge from the return addresses on
Covers N&_N 1 & 5, it was I. Bernshtein), he lived during those years so long ago in Kaunas (or somewhere
else in Lithuania), obtaining a pre-revolutionary datestamp of Povenets, or even getting (if it were still in
existence) or preparing a Povenets registration cachet for international mail (there is always that suspicion,
linked with the name inscribed in Latin letters as "POWENEZ"), so as to start putting together "Povenets"
covers with their help. By the way, the suggestion of a possible "Polish" source in the inscription
"POWENEZ" may easily be explained by the fact that the Polish language was spoken quite widely on the
territory of Lithuania. The covers addressed to Kaunas may have been postmarked by the forger for greater
conviction with the datestamp at the post office as the arrival marking of Kaunas. It cannot be excluded that
such an arrival marking may have even been at his disposal and for that reason he may not have needed to
go to the post office. It should also be noted here that A. Cronin stated in his comment on the article by R.
Taylor [1] that: "If the arrival marking of Kaunas was actually applied on the example shown here".
The forger did not have a Riga datestamp at his disposal (or was not able to organize the postmarking of the
covers at the Riga post office) and so, whether the registered letters were sent to Riga, they were not
marked with an arrival postmark.

In view of the foregoing, I regard the "Povenets" covers as forgeries, fictitious and bogus, as they say in
English. It is possible that my assumption and its explanation may be commented on by some investigator
as not answering the question "To whom and for what was all this necessary?", but I think that what I have
suggested has validity. It would be interesting to know if any collectors have registered letters from
Povenets with such datestamps and registration cachets, but franked with ordinary stamps and having gone
through the post up to the Revolution at the beginning of the 20th. century.
LITERATURE 1. R.TAYLOR. Eight Further Covers of the 1923 Ukrainian Famine Issue. The POST -
RIDER (5MIUHK), 2001, XN49, p.59 62.
2. MmmccrepcrBo lyrefi Coo6meHma. OnwuaunanMmi yxa3aTeam xeae3HOAopox~Hax '
apyrax naccacnpcKnx coo6em uil. nlog pegaictHefi YnpanieHHir ean3Hbx Aopor.
AeifcTyer c Hno6ps 1916 roAa. MocKBa, 1916.
3. Bojnator 3amsHKone AHecKHii cnoBaph, 2 e uH3., nepepa6. H Aon., MocKBa, PoccuM,
maaaTejibCTBo "Bojbmaa PoccHilcKaA 3amHHKoneIHa", 1997.
June 2002

by M. Kossoy & V. Berdichevskiy.

One of the interesting, but little known sectors of the postal history of the USSR, is the dispatch of mail by
the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy from the period at the end of WWI (for Russia, that was when the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed) up to the moment when the USSR entered WWII (22 June 1941). The
present article is in fact a continuation of our study which has been published previously in "The Post-
Rider" Nos. 47 & 48, where similar questions were examined about the dispatch of mail of the rank-and-
file of the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1914-1918 period.

We will be examining in the present article the rules for dispatch and composition of mail of the rank-and-
file of the Soviet Navy in the 1918-1941 period. The modifications in the rules in force are illustrated by
examples of the mail then being sent. The authors would like to point out that they do not know of any
censorship markings on the mail of the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy in the 1914-1918 period (except in
extremely rare cases linked with the Civil War period and shown in Figs. 2 & 6). It is necessary to note that
very little has been published in the philatelic literature about the dispatch of mail of the rank-and-file of
the Soviet Navy, especially regarding the 1918-1941 period now being examined.

The first article published that should be mentioned about this subject is that ofV. Sinegubov [reference 1].
The fundamental normative rules and principles are set out in it for the dispatch of mail of the rank-and-file
of the Soviet Navy during the period under review, but it does not have any illustrations. Such rules are also
described in part in the article by M. Kabanov [2] and in the Catalogue of Postage Stamps of the USSR [3].
Some data on this particular subject are also given in the article by A. Vinokurov & D. Galishnikov [4].
Furthermore, interesting material about the "Red Fleet" stamps utilized in the dispatch of mail of the rank-
and-mail, serving on the battleships of the Baltic Fleet, may be found in the articles of Ya. Vovin [5] and V.
Berdichevskiy [10].

From the beginning of WWI in August 1914, the mail of the rank-and-file of the Imperial Russian Army
and Navy on Active Service was sent post-free, both from the front to the rear and in the opposite direction,
in the form of postcards and ordinary letters up to 30 grammes in weight (a little over one ounce). In the
years of revolution and civil war (1918-1922), several modifications were applied to the rules for mail of
the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy. The mail from the naval rank-and-file directed to the rear continued to
be sent post-free upon the presence of strikes of the cachets of the ship or naval unit. The mail sent from the
rear to the Fleet had to be prepaid, as before from 1.2.1917, in accordance with the postal rates then in
force. The only exception was the period from 1.1.1919 to 15.8.1921, when the mail (apart from registered
items) was sent post-free within the country.

It should be taken into consideration here that "a decree of the 'CHK' (Council of People's Commissars)
was issued as of 5 April 1918 about the organization of the Administration for Postal and Telegraphic
Affairs and that a Department for Military and Naval Communications was set up in the
'HapKoMnoqTen (People's Commissariat of Posts and Telegraphs) in May of that year" [4]. It is therefore
evident that, for the first 3-4 months of 1918, it would be difficult to envisage the existence of alterations or
differences in the system previously in force for handling the mail. The sole actual difference came about in
the alterations in several instances of the cachets of ships and units from the old pre-revolutionary names to
the new. It could also be assumed that there were many infractions of the rules then in force, in the
conditions of disorder and chaos in existence at that time.

As an example of the mail sent from the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy to the rear, we see in Fig. 1 a
postcard with a strike in violet of a circular official cachet prepared before the Revolution, showing the
Arms of Russia with the Imperial Crown and with the text "TPAHCFIOP T OBCHI4IAH'b".
According to the message on the card, it was written on 23 January 1918 and apparently sent from Revel'
(Tallinn). That is confirmed by a statement in the book [6 p.106], saying: "In February 1918, [the
June 2002

Fig. 1. Fig. 2.
'Obsidian'] completed the transfer from Revel' (Tallinn) to Helsingfors (Helsinki), where it was sunk by
the crew... in April 1918". We can see that when the postcard was being written, the transport was still at
Revel'. The card was addressed to Helsingfors and a portion of the arrival marking showing that place-
name may be seen to the right of the cachet of the transport. The part of the marking with the date of arrival
is absent from the card.

Fig. 2 shows the back of a cover with a strike in violet of the official circular cachet with the text "5-a
poTa/ JIHHEIIHAFO / KOPABJIAI / PECIIYBJIHKA" (5t. Company of the battleship-of-the-line
REPUBLIC), which was called "Emperor Paul I" up to 16.4.1917. The letter was sent from Petrograd on
8.1.18 and it bears the arrival marking of Kadnitsy Nizh.(egorodskoi) 13.1.18. The censorship cachet No.
1640 of the Petrograd Military District (I.B.O.) is also on the back of the cover. Attention should be
directed to the official cachet. It can be assumed that this marking was prepared before the Revolution, as it
shows the old name of the battleship. After the name was changed, it would appear that the cachet was re-
engraved and the old name "Emperor Paul I" was changed to "Republic", with the Imperial Crown and the
two heads of the eagle excised.


Fig. 3. Fig. 4.
Fig. 3 features a postcard with a strike in violet of a circular marking with the inscription: "*CygoBOfi
KOMHTCT TpaHcn.(opTa) 6a3bi 'KAMA' 6pnr.(anbi) Tpai.(eHHr)*" [Ship Committee of the base
transport 'Kacha' of the Trawling Brigade]. There is an anchor in the centre of the cachet. It is evident from
the words "Ship Committee" in the text that it was prepared after the February 1917 Revolution. The card
was sent from Sevastopol'(see the part of the message marked by the arrow) to the Dolinskaya Station on
the Southern Railway Line, with the arrival marking reading: "Dolinskaya Kher.(sonskoi) G.(ubernii) 12.
1?.18. The transport "Kacha" was the former German cargo ship "Etty Rickmers", which had been interned
in August 1914 at one of the Russian ports and it was enrolled in the composition of the Black Sea Fleet as

June 2002

Transport No. 84 "Kacha". It was re-equipped during the war years and utilised as the base of the Trawling
Brigade [6]. The text of the cachet speaks about that, as well as the address of the sender, which is specified
on the card by the arrow. The "Kacha" was seized by the German forces at Sevastopol' in May 1918.

Fig. 4 shows the back of a cover with a strike in violet of an official circular cachet with the text
"TPAJIbIlIHK'b '16'" (Trawler T-16). The letter was sent from Solombala, a suburb of Archangel and
whose postmark is on the address side, being received by the addressee at Astrakhan' on 10.3.18. The
trawler formed part of the Arctic Ocean Flotilla and it was based at Archangel, with the roll-call of its crew
amounting to 32 men [7]. :*. '
........ .-.-.- .., .:.
_0_.31.1 POCCII. MUM

S................ .

"* porp.(a ,ecKOe ) cygHO 'C.Moe-'* Be H Je- (.) CT .- I. vaH [*Hy*~ophic ship

was sent from Kronshtadt 8.5.22 and received by the addressee in Petrorad the next day. This is an
?Ila ,Ao .--Z

the Civil War, thus ensuring the right of the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy to send mail "post-free.
Fig. 5. g 6

We see in Fig. 5 a postcard with a very faint official circular cachet, struck in violet with the inscrption:
"*c n porp.(abld peKoe ) cyano 'CaMoe"'* BHeimHsC JIeH.(?) AIncTaHUep [*H4dro D aphic ship
"Samoed"* Internal Band () of Distance]. The arms of the RSFSR are in the centre of th cachet. The card
was sent from Kronshtadt 8.5.22 and received by the addressee in Petro eead the next day. This is an
extremely rare example of the application of the cachet with the arms of the RSFSR in the last months of
the Civil War, thus ensuring the right of the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy to send mail post-free.

A very interesting cover is given in Fig. 6. There is on the anka of the cover a strike in violet of an official
cachet in the old spelling te Ciing: "*4 HBHosiot-r CTOpOam eBX-ii b KaTepOBab*) [4th. Division of the
Patrolling Cutrters] ed pstcar was sent from Sevastopol' 10.10.19 (with the despatch marking applied on
the address side) and received by the addressee in Simferopol' on 14.10.19. There is at the left of the
official cachet the censorship marking "KOHTPOJIb" (Contro)checking) and the personal circular
marking of the censor, in which the word ";eH30op-" (Censor) may be read, as well as his listing. This is
one of the few items referring to the period of the White Government in the Crimea and featuring mail from
the fleet of Baron P.N. Wrangel.

As was also the case during WWI, registered mail of the rank-and-file of the Soviet Na y (and Red Army)
was not accepted during the Civil War for post-free transmission. It was despatched from the nearest post
offices and paid for in accordance with the rates then in force. An example is shown in Fig. 7 on the next
page of a registered postcard, which was sent from Helsingfors in April 1918 to Moscow. The address of
the sender is written in two places as indicated by the arrows. The first instance at the bottom left comer
may be read as "FTejbCHrcpopc, CnyaKGa CBS1H ceB.(epHoro) pafioHa, rnuporp.(buHecKoe) c vno
'BOCTOK" [Helsingfors, Communications Service of the Northern Hydrographic Ship "Vostok"], while the
second, in the centre of the card, says: "TejibCHHrcpopc, cyAHO 'BOCTOK', 3 anp.(eIn) 1918r."
[Helsingfors, ship "Vostok", 3 Apr. 1918]. The card was franked with a 20-kopek Arms type (M1ichel No.
116). In accordance with the postal rates in force in the period from 15.8.17 to 28.2.18, the charge for
sending an ordinary postcard was 5 kopeks, with the registration fee at 20 kopeks [8, p. 119]. As we can

June 2002

Fig. 7. Fig. 8.
see, the 20-kopek stamp only covered the registration fee and this card was sent post-free as military mail,
in accordance with the address. The registration label with the No. 394 confirms that, quite apart from the
corresponding face value of the stamp, this card was a registered item. The stamp was cancelled with the
postmark of despatch, reading Helsingfors 3.4.18 and the arrival marking of Moscow is dated 6.4.18. It
should be noted that, in spite of the fact that a new set of postal rates went into force as of 28.2.18 (20
kopeks for an ordinary postcard and 70 kopeks for the registration fee), this particular card was franked and
went through the post at the tariff previously in force. This deviation from the proper rate may be explained
by the fact that Finland had already received its independence by that time and the postal regulations of the
RSFSR (which was now another country) could not be observed on Finnish territory. It is interesting to
observe that the card was sent from Helsingfors during the days of the departure from there of the second
detachment of ships of the Baltic Fleet as participants of the "Icy Expedition". The message on the card is
interesting in this regard and reads in part: "Just at the beginning of April and I am already on the ship.
That is very early in this year and there are many reasons for that, etc...". By the way, the "Vostok" with a
crew of only 11 men did not participate in the "Icy Expedition" and remained in Finland [7].

In the beginning period in 1918, mail addressed to the Fleet included the actual designation of the unit,
specifying its location and even the duties and calling of the addressee. Such an example is shown in Fig. 8,
which was sent from Rzhev (Tver' province) 13.3.1918 and addressed as follows: "Helsingfors, Battleship-
of-the-line 'Sevastopol' Mechanical Engineer Ivan Vasil'evich Sokolov" and received by the addressee in
Helsingfors 18.3.1918, with the arrival marking on the back of the cover. The letter was franked with a 35-
kopek Arms type (Michel No. 118), which corresponded completely with the rate in force in the period
from 28.2.1918 to 15.9.1918 for the despatch of an ordinary interurban letter [8, p. 119].

The postal regulations were changed to some extent in March 1919. Mail sent to the Fleet continued to
include the name of the ship or unit but, in order to maintain secrecy, it was forbidden to indicate the
location. It is necessary to bear in mind that, in the years of the Civil War (1918-1922, mail to the addresses
of the rank-and-file of the Soviet Navy was transmitted according to the Field Postal Service of the Red
Army and Fleet, being in turn established on the basis of the Field Postal Service, which operated in Russia
during WWI (1914-1918).

Markings of the Field Postal Service during the period of the Civil War (1918-1922) are encountered quite
rarely on mail. An example is featured in Fig. 9 on the next page in the form of a postcard, which was sent
to the Fleet with the following address: "Town of Kronshtadt, Minelayer 'Narova', to Adam Alekseevich
Tarasenko". The card was sent from the hamlet of Salivonki in Kiev province 21.12.21 and received by the
addressee in Kronshtadt on 2(?).1.22 (weak strike in the centre of the card). Very great interest is
demonstrated by the marking in oval form struck in the bottom left corner of this card and reading:
"IETPOrPAJ nHOJI.(EBOf4) COPT.(HPOBOMHbIHf) IYHKT -A- 2.1.22" [Petrograd, Field
Sorting Point, serial letter "d", 2.1.22]. This marking confirms the information given in reference [4], where
June 2002

it is stated that: "the cancellers of the post
offices on several fronts were also utilised EU'.,.T:...1. :. .: 1
in a transit capacity in the middle of 1920,. _
namely on the South-Western Front. The
date-stamps of a later period of field postal
sorting points at Petrograd, Samara and ,
other cities could apparently also be .
placed in this same category of transit
markings". It is not excluded that we ,--
have here an example of such a situation. -' ^ .__" I.":
By the way, the point of location of the
ship was stated in the address, in -, \ -
violation of the postal regulations.
Fig. 9.
The postcard was franked with a 5-kopek
Savings Bank stamp of Russia (Michel No. lb). The Savings Bank stamps in all denominations of the pre-
revolutionary issue went into circulation on 15 August 1921 at 250 roubles each, regardless of the original
face value [8, p. 120] and were withdrawn on 15 September 1922 [8, p. 121]. The postal rate for the
despatch of an ordinary postcard in the period from 15 August 1921 to 31 January 1922 came to 100
roubles [8, p. 120]. It is therefore evident that the card was sent much overpaid by 2 V2 times (that could be
explained by the absence of stamps in the needed face value) and went through the field postal sorting point
to fall into the hands of the addressee.

After the end of the Civil War in 1922, the Field Postal Service was dissolved and it was ordered that the
postal facilities for the rank-and-file of the Army and Navy be offered by the post offices of the "HKFInT'
(People's Commissariat of Posts and Telegraphs), which were situated in the same localities as the military
or naval units. In April 1922, the mail going to the Army and Navy had to be addressed with the current
name of the unit or subdivision of the Fleet and specifying its point of location (as of March 1919, it had
been forbidden to state the names of the points of location).

In 1925, there went into effect a "Codex of Laws about the Exemptions and Prerogatives for the
Servicemen of the Army and Navy and their Families in Peacetime". There was a chapter in it with the title
of "Postal Exemptions". In connection with this document, the rank-and-file of the Army and Navy were
granted the right to send free of charge through the post three ordinary letters per month, with the weight
not exceeding 20 grammes (roughly 2/3 ounce), or three postcards. All letters up to 20 grammes. in weight
addressed to servicemen and specifying their ranks could also be sent free of charge [1].

It should be noted that, with the stipulation for the post-free despatch of mail from the rank-and-file of the
Soviet Navy, there was a requirement that the cachet be present on it of the ship, unit, establishment or
educational institution of the Fleet. Such a cachet served as the basis for waiving the requirementfor the
postal rate on mail. In addition to the presence of the cachet on the postal sending, it was also required to
fulfill yet another condition: such mail had to be presented at the post office by the commander of that unit
in which the sender served.

As already stated above, the rank-and-file of the Fleet were permitted to send free of charge in peacetime
only three letters or postcards per month. That regulation led to noticeable difficulties in calculating the
quantity of letters sent per month by each naval serviceman. Such difficulties manifested themselves
especially on the large ships, which had crews of 1000 men or more. In connection with this problem, the
necessity came about of issuing a special circular No. 118 "Regarding the supervision of the order in
presenting to the post the letters of the naval rank-and-file and the checking to ensure the correct
application of the conditions for despatching letters free of charge", which the People's Commissariat for
Military Naval Affairs of the USSR published in 1927.

June 2002

The solution to the problem of calculating the quantity of letters sent per month was found in the issue and
utilisation of special "Red Fleet" stamps bearing the name of the ship. Each member of the crew was given
three such stamps. If such a stamp were affixed to a letter, then that signified that it was being sent as one
of the three permitted items and therefore entitled to transmission free of charge. For further details about
the "Red Fleet" stamps and their utilisation, see the articles of Ya. Vovin [5] and V. Berdichevskiy [10].

As already noted above, a condition for the post-free transmission of the mail of the rank-and-file was the
presence upon it of the cachet of the ship or naval unit. The requirement for the calculation of the quantity
of letters (not more than three), which each serviceman of the Soviet Navy had the right to send free of
charge each month, gave rise to specific difficulties. That was the reason why this restriction on the
quantity was removed in 1929; military and naval servicemen could send any number of letters post-free.

---'/-" ""- **^ -'-'"- ; **'T ''"" "
g_ _,_ ........... .,4"

Fig. 10.
We see in Fig. 10 photocopies of the front and back of a cover (in the collection of I. Druzhinin in
Moscow), which was sent from the squadron torpedo-boat "Rykov" of the Baltic Fleet. That is confirmed
by the notation "KpacHoqbAomcKoe (Red Fleet letter) in the upper right comer of the address side of the
cover (underlined, so as to draw attention) and a strike in violet of the official cachet of the squadron
torpedo-boat with the inscription: "*3cKagpeHHbiI M4HOHoceOi 'PbIKOB'* Hap.(oHbI4)
KoM.(HccapiaaT) no BOeH.(HbIM 1). Mop.(cKHM) JeJI.(aM) BaRTpJIOT." (*Squadron torpedo-boat
"Rykov"* People's Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs Baltic Fleet). The letter was sent from
Kronshtadt No. 2 post office on 25.1.29 and received by the addressee in Moscow 26.1.29, per the arrival
marking on the back of the cover. The address of the sender is also on the back: Kronshtadt, t-b "Rykov"
and name.

Fig. 11.

June 2002

The official cachet ensuring the right to post-free transmission was sometimes applied not on the front, but
on the back of the envelope. An example may be seen in Fig. 11 on the previous page, in the form of copies
of the front and back of a cover in the collection of N. Druzhinin of Moscow, which was sent from the
Fleet. That is confirmed by the inscription top right front, reading: "KpacHocAomccKoe ("Red Fleet
letter"; underlined, so as to draw attention) and the text of the return address at bottom front: "MUIImIiI
3arpanwTejb '25 OKTSi6pa" (Mine-layer "25 October"). There is on the back a strike in violet of a
circular cachet with the inscription: "MMHHHbi 3arpagnTejb '25 OKTr6pa' H.(apoaHbli)
K.(oMHccapHaT) no B.(oeHHbIM) H M.(opcKHM) ).(ejiaM) BaJiTnfIoT" (Mine-layer "25 October",
People's Commissariat of Military and Naval Affairs Baltic Fleet). This was the former minelayer
"Narova", which was renamed on 8.9.24; see Fig. 9. The letter was sent from Kronshtadt 20.7.26 (postmark
on the front) and received by the addressee in Alushta (see the arrival marking of Alushta, Crimea 23.7.27

on the back).
As stated above, students of the naval educational
institutions also had the right to post-free
transmission. As an example, we note in Fig. 12 a
postcard in the collection ofN. Druzhinin of
Moscow, with the notation "KpacHoqb.omcKoe"
in the upper right corer, as well as a strike in
violet of an official circular cachet with the text
"*H.K. no B. n M.A. r. JIeHHHrpag* BoeHHo-
MopcK.(oe) HIIxKeH.(epHoe) YqanHJIIe HM. T.
(oBapHiua) A3epXKHHCKoro" (*People's
Commissariat of Military & Naval Affairs, city
of Leningrad* Naval Engineering School named
after Comrade Dzerzhinskii). The card was sent
from Leningrad 14.5.29 and received in Moscow
three days later.

f 10 qT 0 BA 5jJq

W. .-. e *.6-..
.rC~e;L4.-~ -
1_ Z. 41U--A

a -~
is *" Z!
ri~:-~="--~ ~ 4 '.H.
~ II 2-CL;(YW ~ 4 LZ-a- -'--

Fig. 12.

Fig. 13.

In accordance with the postal regulations then in force for ensuring the right to post-free transmission, it
was necessary to place on the mail the official seal of the ship (naval unit, etc), or substitute it with a
special marking, in which the words ")fJISI HAKETOB" (For packets) appeared, instead of the coat of
arms. Fig. 13 features copies of the front and back of a cover from the collection of N. Druzhinin of
Moscow, which was sent from the Fleet. Here again we have the notation "KpacHocf.omcKoe" at upper
right front, underlined to attract attention and a strike in violet of a circular cachet with the inscription:
"*3cKagpeHHbIif MHHOHOCeiU 'PbIKOB'* Hap. KOM. HIo BoeH. Mop. Ien. BajITpjioT / rJI5I
IAKETOB". The letter was sent from Kronshtadt No. 2 post office 1.3.28 and received by the addressee

June 2002

in Moscow 2.3.28 (arrival marking on the back). On that same side, the sender wrote his return address:
town of Kronshtadt, t-b 'Rykov' and name.

S" : .
._ '' '""

Fig. 14.

,- /At r
p 1u

.....* ,.. .,

Fig. 14 shows the address side of a cover in the collection of I. Bryun of St. Petersburg and sent from the
Fleet. The word "KpacuHoAnomcrcoe" (underlined to attract attention) has been placed in the upper right
corner. The cover was hit with two strikes in violet of a circular cachet, reading: "MamnHHaH IIKOJia
Yqe6Horo OTpAga M.(opcKHx) C.(HJI) B.(aJITHicKoro) M.(opS) H.(apoAHbIii) K.(oMnccapHaT)
no B.(oeHHbIM n) M.(opcKHM) j.(eJaM) / AJI5I / TIAKETOB" (Machine School of the Educational
Detachment of the Naval Forces of the Baltic Sea People's Commissariat of Military and Naval Affairs /
FOR PACKETS). The letter was despatched from Kronshtadt No. 2, 11.12.28 and received by the
addressee in Leningrad on the next day, with the arrival marking on the back.

The presence on mail of a strike from a cachet with the designation of the naval unit, as well as the system
of including in the address the name of the ship or naval subdivision, together with the location, led to the
disclosure of those particulars and that was inadmissible. That was the reason why the People's
Commissariat of Defence, which was formed in 1934, took energetic measures, as one of its preliminary
tasks, to maintain secrecy in carrying out postal operations. In order to maintain secrecy in addressing mail,
it was forbidden to specify the name of the ship, naval subdivision and the point of location. It was also not
permitted to apply cachets bearing names referring to the Fleet or Army.

Under the new system, the delivery of mail to the ships and naval units was carried out through the post
offices at the nearest inhabited places, where the naval units rented special post office boxes. In this period,
the addressing of mail to naval or army units was carried out by stating the name of the inhabited place and
the box number at the post office there. Those same details were also specified in the return address on the
outgoing mail.

/y~' -jfl C~v

* -' a .* *i,":- '

^ : :..- .
.'-^ .% -. ^ ^ -t -

; : "',,'/0 ;. -" ....- .

It could be suggested that the system of addressing
mail by using a post office box number had been
adopted by the Fleet even earlier. As an example, we
note in Fig. 15 the front of a cover which was sent in
1931 from the squadron torpedo-boat "Karl Marx" of
the Baltic Fleet (up to 14.6.1915, it was called
"FpOMOHOcerab" [Thunder-bearer] and up to 31.12.22
"Izyaslav"). The notation "KpacHocpnaomcKcoe",
underlined as before, is in the upper part of the cover
and the violet strike of the cachet is inscribed:
"*3cKagpeHHbIl MHHOHOceu 'KAPJI MAPKC' *

.- -- Hap.(oAHbii) KoM.(HccapHaT) no BoeH.(HbIM) H
,:.. ,'' .. n-. .. M Mop,(CKHM) jej.(aM) / KOMAH1RP / POTbI"
:-', -.-'; (Squadron torpedo boat "KARL MARX People's
Commissariat of Military and Naval Affairs /
Fig. 15. COMMANDER OF THE COMPANY). The letter was
sent from Kronshtadt and was received by the
addressee in Moscow 21.3.31 (arrival mark on back).
Note that the return address was written at bottom as "Kronshtadt, P.O. Box No. 54, Red Fleet man, name".
June 2002



/ I? n


It can be seen that there is still a strike on the cover of the cachet with the name of the ship, but the address
was already stated by using a post office box number. Hence, it could be deduced that the system of
addressing by specifying a P.O. Box number had been introduced, not in 1934 as V. Sinegubov states [1],
but somewhat earlier and, at the very least, in February 1931.

Fig. 16.

As a confirmation of the deduction set out just above, the front of a cover is featured in Fig. 16 from the
collection of I. Bryun of St. Petersburg, which was sent in 1931 from the cruiser "Chervona Ukravina"
["Red Ukraine"] of the Black Sea Fleet (up to 26.12.1922, the cruiser was called "Admiral Nakhimov").
The notation "KpacHuopnomcicoe" is written in the upper part of the envelope, underlined as before and
there is a violet strike of a circular cachet with the inscription: "KPEICEP 'MEPBOHA YKPAIHA' !
[JJIA / IAKETOB" (Cruiser "Red Ukraine", For Packets). The letter was sent from Sevastopol' and
received by the addressee in Leningrad on 6.6.31 (arrival marking on the back.). The return address is
specified at bottom left front and corresponds exactly with the new system of addressing the mail of the
Navy rank-and-file, whereby the inhabited point and the number of the post office box had to be
specified.as: "Sevastopol' / Box 131, 1st. Comp., Name".

It should be noted that, while the letter in Fig. 15 had been sent from Kronshtadt (Baltic Fleet), the cover in
Fig. 16 was despatched from Sevastopol' (Black Sea Fleet). What that means is that in 1931, the new
system of delivering mail to the rank-and-file of the Navy was already haphazard and carried out in a broad
way in the different fleets.

Fig. 17.

June 2002




-L CV'.' '
C..- h.2


/ ~i .;.

I ~ /1 'I
"S I.:

_F_1_1;U: K;

'Ci.~S. ,., *e

)- ~W 4L i

(r 1 .

.,c -d -. C

I.. -- .
J .
? 'V


N N-



at L:''-U- -2.
~:~~~~Laii ~''
~..: ..i

~'" 'Y'~"~"~

As already stated earlier and in order to maintain secrecy, it was forbidden to apply on the mail of the Navy
rank-and-file cachets with the names of the ships and subdivisions of the Fleet. There is shown in Fig. 17
on the previous page the front of a cover in the collection of I. Bryun of St. Petersburg, on the upper right
part of which we have again the underlined notation "KpacHoc b.omcicoe", while the return address is
specified at bottom left, as in Fig. 16: "Sevastopol', Box 131, Name". But instead of the name of the
cruiser ("Chervona Ukrayina"), an oval cachet with jagged ornamentation was struck on the cover in violet
and reading: "H.(aponHbIfi) K.(oMHccaplaT) B.(oeHHo-) M.(opcKoii) / l.(oqTOBblii) / III.(HK) N2
131". The letter was received by the addressee in Leningrad on 29.9.33 (arrival marking on the back).

The cover shown in Fig. 17 demonstrates that, already by 1933, special markings without the relevant
names were being applied on the mail from some ships, instead of the cachets with designations. It should
be noted that the cachets in oval form did not enjoy further distribution and were replaced by the same in
triangular form.

As has been stated above, the new rules for addressing the mail of the Navy rank-and-file required the
indication of the name of the inhabited point where there was a post office and the number of the post
office box. A cachet is described below, the text of which completely fulfilled this requirement.

*i .. ." ,./,a.t

'"- ''i- '" .__ _
l Q -" O. i ,.,.

'. ,-L ; ..
",.',, "-"^/v."' *'-"
. -'nw,' ', ...** -
*- .- *e. i ',~ '.-
i -. ... ,

I ,
i -" t ',

I "


Fig. 18.

",," ;-^'-1

X : IJ ', .*/ '
-' ; c :,: -, "4 ,- ,- '- ''
,. *' ,; ,. .. -

.' '" '- :} 7 ": > "-r. -
I .

1 ,. .: -
'.- -.. .


~ .. '.



I ..-" 2

-'---- --
-?A1 -QY Co


Fig. 19.

Fig. 18 features the front of a cover with a violet strike of a circular cachet with the inscription:
"HAPKOMBOEHMOP. r. CEBACTOIIOJIb / InOHTOB.(bIf4) / I5IIHK / N 2191." (People's
Commissariat of Military and Naval Affairs, town of Sevastopol', P.O. Box 2191). As given in the text of
the cachet, the letter was sent from Sevastopol' and received by the addressee in Kotel'nich, Gor'kii
province 16.11.34 (arrival marking on the other side). This type of circular cachet, with the designation of
the P.O. Box number and intended for the post-free transmission of mail, did not subsequently enjoy wide

Fig. 19 shows the front of a cover, upon which there is the violet strike of a circular cachet with the
inscription" "1-f ]HBH3IHOH Bpuranbi TopneAH.(bIx) KaTep.(oB) MCHM. / HJII / IIaKeTOB" (1st.
Division of the Brigade of Torpedo Boats of the M.S.CH.M. [Naval Forces of the Black Sea ? Translator]
/ For / Packets). The letter was received by the addressee in Kotel'nich on 21.1.35 (arrival marking on the
In comparing the covers in Figs. 18 & 19, we see that they were sent to the same address and written in the
same hand, i.e. mail from the same person. Moreover, the dates of despatch are very close to each other. It
June 2002


_ --. -! -_ .~: -

can therefore be suggested that differing cachets on mail could belong to one and the same naval unit. For
that to be true, we would have to exclude the possibility of the transfer of the sender from one location of
posting to another during the two-month period we are examining.

L CC.P u lc' ,Ul.

.. >- <, j_.

Fig. 20. Fig. 21.

For towns where a large number of post offices were operating and where it was difficult to specify where
the post office box was located, another address system was sometimes utilised. In such a case, the P. 0.
box number was not stated, but there were specified the post office number and a serial code letter assigned
to the ship or naval unit. We see as an example in Fig. 20 the front of a local cover, upon which there is the
violet strike of a circular cachet with the inscription: "*Yqe6HbIl~ Orpan IoflBogHoro TLiaBaHma*
Hap.(oAHbli) KoM.(HccapHaT) O6opoHbl CCCP. / AJISI / BOHCKHX / fIHCEM" ("Educational
Detachment of Submarine Navigation* People's Commissariat of Defence of the USSR. / FOR THE
LETTERS OF SERVICEMEN"), as well as the return address: "City of Leningrad, Post Office No. 115,
code letter B, sender's initials". The arrival marking of Leningrad 11.3.35 is on the back of the cover. It
should be noted that the specific purpose of application has been given in the inscription as "For the letters
of servicemen". Such a designation is rarely found and the normal text was "JJ151 IAKETOB" (For

It is necessary to state that, in spite of the prohibition going back to the beginning of the 1930s of applying
cachets with the names of ships or naval units in the transmission of mail, such markings continued to be
utilised even up to the beginning of the 1940s and even in the period of WWII. The example in Fig. 21
shows the front of a cover sent from the Fleet. Once again we have the underlined designation
"Kpacnoq.aomcKoe" at upper right and, to ensure the right to post-free transmission, an official circular
cachet in violet was applied to the cover with the inscription "*Yqe6Hbrfi Kopa6nb '_lHEIP'
M.(epHoMopcKoro) p.(noTa)* / HKBMQ CCCP / AJII / rIAKETOB" (*Training ship "Dnieper" of
the Black Sea Fleet* / People's Commissariat of the Naval Fleet of the USSR / FOR / PACKETS). The
date-stamp of despatch Sevastopol' Crimea 17.7.40 is on the front, as well as the return address:
"Sevastopol' 147/131" and that of the recipient: "Benopyccna, r. Ynna, 126-i HAIA" (Belorussia, town
of Ulla, 126th. Air Force Fighter Regiment). The arrival marking Ulla BSSR 20.7.40 is on the back. The
return address of the ship is given on the cover in fractional form, with the numerator designating the post
office number and the denominator that of the post office box. There is also on the cover an official circular
cachet with the name of the ship. That was a violation of the postal regulations, as it did not maintain
secrecy and it was thus easy to ascertain that the ship "Dnieper" was stationed at Sevastopol'.

Fig. 22 on the next page shows the front of a cover, upon which there is a strike in violet of a circular
cachet with the inscription: "*33 HliHeHepHbiH 6aTaJnbOH KpacHo3H.(aMeHHoro) BaJnT.(HuicKoro)

June 2002

___________________ ^AJ- W-.LA.iA 7eiC

.J' L &- ','..;-. '--'N\, '. .

Fig. 22. ;Fig. 23.

(AI)oTa* / HKBMC CCCP. / nJIM / IAKETOB" (*33rd. Engineering Battalion of the Red Banner
Baltic Fleet* / People's Commissariat of the Navy of the USSR / FOR / PACKETS). The despatching
postmark of Leningrad-301, 13.4.40 is on the front and, on the back, the arrival marking of Malakhovka,
Moscow province 17.4.40. The return address is given on the cover as: "Leningrad / City Post Office 301 /
P.O. Box 229/1, Red Fleet serviceman, name". It is evident from the address that the naval unit specified on
the official circular cachet rented a P.O. box at Leningrad Post Office No. 301. Further naval mail is known
whereby No. 301 is specified in the return address, or some other immediate number, such as 302.

A cover is shown in Fig. 23 with the same official circular cachet of the 33rd. Engineering Battalion, sent to
the same address and from the same Red Fleet serviceman, as for Fig. 22. In comparison with the cover in
Fig. 22, the one in Fig. 23 was sent almost seven months later from Leningrad-302, 6.11.40, arriving at
Malakhovka, Moscow province on 10.11.40. It should bthe that the sender had to change not only
the post office number (302 instead of 301), but also the P.O. Box (289 V instead of229/I).Thus, the
system of naming a specific unit of the Navy was also changed: No. 229 was qualified by the number "1"
and for No. 289 by the letter "V". As can be seen for the post office numbers, 301 was followed by 302.

It could be suggested that the post offices with these numbers were set aside for the acceptance and
handling of mail of the rank-and-file of the Baltic Fleet. It is also possible that, while these post offices
were provisionally linked with the city of Leningrad, they actually may have been located elsewhere. The
authors of this study know of a cover from the mail of the Army rank-and-file, with the postmark of the
Leningrad-316 post office and dated 19.3.40, but there is not any data that would confirm whether there
existed post office numbers in the interval between "302" and "316".

Before the war and apparently in 1939 and in the first few years of WWII, triangular cachets for the post-
free transmission of mail were distributed and they gradually replaced the circular markings. They were
normally inscribed with the name of the town, post office number, post office box number and an
attribution of the unit to either the Fleet or Army.

As an example, a cover is shown in Fig. 24 at the top of the next page, which was sent from the Fleet. As
before, that is confirmed by the underlined notation "Kpacuo .aonacoe" on the upper part of the cover,
together with a strike in violet of a triangular cachet on the back with the inscription: "r. CeBacTonost
nIOTOBbII4 AIIIEIK No 147 /*/ H.K. / B.M.d. / CCCP" (Town of Sevastopol' POST OFFICE BOX
No. 147 People's Commissariat / of the Navy / of the USSR). The return address is written as
"Sevastopol' 147/131". The letter was sent from Sevastopol' 13.6.40 and was received in Ulla, Belorussian
SSR on 23.6.40 (arrival marking on the back of the cover.
June 2002

j. -^U2.t. .-- ...

SK.2. ^ yi* -
JTo- .... -

Fig. 24.
In comparing the covers in Figs. 21 & 24, (they have the same addresses of the sender and receiver, at
times of one month apart), a difference can be seen in that the official circular cachet with the name of the
ship has been replaced by a triangular marking. It could be assumed that, in the original period of being
supplied, the triangular cachets intended for post-free transmission had the same inscriptions as for the
circular markings. In other words, the name of the subdivision of the Navy and its attribution to the Fleet
were specified in the text of the cachet. A characteristic peculiarity of such cachets was the inclusion of the
term ")JI IIAKETOB" (For Packets).

As an example, a cover is featured in Fig. 25, which
was sent from the Fleet. As before, that is confirmed
by the underlined notation "KpacHo ) omccoe" in
the upper right corer of the envelope, together with
a strike in violet of a triangular cachet inscribed:
"IIIKOJIA BOIMAHOB BM naKeToB" (School of Boatswains of the Navy /
For / packets). The address of the sender is written I sl
on the cover as "Karelo-Finnish SSR, town of
Sortavalo [it should be Sortavala], P.O. Box No. 64,

It should be noted that the letter was sent from': -.W/
Leningrad 15.6.41 (applied on the flap) and it was u -
received in Gor'kii two days later (arrival
postmark also on the flap).

Fig. 26 on the next page shows the front of a local _
cover from the collection of N. Lindrot of St.
Petersburg, where there is a strike in violet of a .i
triangular cachet with the text: "IjeHTp.(anbHbMi) I-_
AHcaM6JIb K/Q) (KpacHonJIoTcKoi) necHH H -
niacKH BMQ CCCP / AJI / naKeTOB" (Central a -0 .. ...
Ensemble of the Red Fleet Song and Dance of the .-., :-_ .;-:-::-.-_ -
Navy of the USSR / For packets). The letter was Fig. 25.
sent and received in Leningrad on 10.2.41.

The triangular cachets, which were inscribed with the names of subdivisions of the Navy, were not widely
distributed, as they did not ensure the preservation of secrecy of the points of location. Such markings in
triangular form for post-free transmission are frequently found, where the name of the town, P.O. Box No.
June 2002

Fig Fig. 27..
strike in violet of a triangular cachet with the inscription: OBK 470 r. Ce6e 6 / /

CCCP / HKBM (Post Office Box No. 470, town of Sebezh-6 / / USSR / People's Commissariat of the
C P.

vFig. 26. Fig. 27.
and attribution to the Fleet. In addition to these details, the number was also indicated of the post office in
which the post office box was rented.

As an example, we see in Fig. 27 the front of a cover in the collection of I. Druzhinin of Moscow, bearing a
strike in violet of a triangular cachet with the inscription: TYIOlTOBbIB ~IqHK N2 470 r. Ce6ex X_ 6 / /
CCCP / HKBM(I" (Post Office Box No. 470, town of Sebezh-6 / / USSR / People's Commissariat of the
Navy). The letter was sent from Sebezh-6, 22.3.41 and received by the addressee in Moscow on 26.3.41
(arrival marking on the back of the cover). The address of the sender is given as Kalinin province, town of
Sebezh, Postal Station No. 6, serial letter "H" (CH), name. It can be seen on comparison that the inscription
on the triangular cachet practically repeats the address of the sender with a few changes and the P.O. No. 6
designation is even present on the date-stamp. It could be suggested that Postal Station No. 6 was
specifically assigned as the office to handle the transmission of mail of the Navy rank-and-file and that P.O.
Box No. 470 and the serial letter "H" designated the naval unit in which the sender was serving. There is
on the cover to the left of the triangular cachet yet another inverted marking with the number "401". That
was apparently the number of the postman or postal official who carried out the handling of this particular
letter or performed checking functions.

,. .. ^ ,^ "7 ,,'- ,2 1

.. Af. L .. J... .

Fig. 28. Fig. 29.
Fig. 28 shows the front of a cover in the collection of N. Druzhinin of Moscow, which has in the upper
right corner the underlined notation: "KpacHoapuMeei cKoe" (Red Army letter) and a strike in violet of a
rectangular cachet, reading: "JIEHHHFPAP n/o 301 n/h N2 249 KpacH03HaM.(eHHbil) BaJIT. (HtCKHi).

June 2002

__ 1___ _1 __ I_


(JIOT / CCCP / HKBMI," (Leningrad postal station 301 P.O. Box No. 249 Red Banner Baltic Fleet of
the USSR / People's Commissariat of the Navy). The letter was sent from Leningrad-301, 27.8.40 and
received by the addressee (arrival marking on the back). The cachet differs from most of the ones known in
that there is specified in the text not only the city (Leningrad), but also the postal station (301) and the box
number (249). Those details correspond completely with those stated in the return address. The cachet is
also inscribed "Red Banner Baltic Fleet". It could be assumed from the designation on the triangular cachet
of Postal Station 306 (we have already seen this number in the return address on the cover shown in Fig.
22) that it was actually not an ordinary civilian postal station, where the military unit had rented a post
office box, but rather a special office for the transmission of Navy mail. It is also possible that it not only
served Leningrad, but also ships and units of the Baltic Fleet, situated in other places. Moreover, this
number is missing in the listing of the postal stations in operation in Leningrad [9].

Support for this assumption may be gleaned from the cover featured in Fig. 29 on the previous page, where
the addresses of the recipient and sender are specified in the same way as in Fig. 28. Also, although
"Leningrad p/s 301" was noted in the return address, the letter was sent from Tallinn, i.e. in the Estonian
Republic occupied by the former USSR. That is shown by the machine postmark of despatch, reading
TALLINN EESTI 27.3.41. The arrival marking of Moscow 41, 29.3.41 is on the back of the cover. The
word "KpacHoapMeiicKoe" (Red Army letter) is written on the front of the cover, but the cachet for post-
free transmission is missing. An oval marking with the inscription "rOIIJIATHTb MOCKBA" (To pay ;
Moscow) was therefore placed on the cover and the amount of postage due written in as "60" kopekss),
which corresponded to double the deficiency for the transmission of an ordinary letter. It could be assumed
that the specialized Postal Station No. 301, and others like it, were set up only as of 1940. Up to that time,
the Navy and Army units rented post office boxes preferably at the General Post Office or at other postal
stations in Leningrad and its province.


-,,/ ,, -rF- -7-,t"6-S t
Fig. 30. / 7

l ^ ~---------- ZZ '' "

As an example, we see in Fig. 30 the front of a cover in the collection of N. Lindrot of St. Petersburg,
which was sent from the Fleet. That is confirmed by the notation on the upper part of the envelope, reading
"KpacHogbnomcKoe" (Red Fleet letter) and a strike in violet of a triangular cachet with the text
"noToBT-Mi aImHK NX 257 r. JIeHHHrpan / / H.K.B.M.,. (Post Office Box No. 257 city of Leningrad
/*/ People's Commissariat of the Navy). The letter was sent from Leningrad and received by the addressee
in Khar'kov on 1.10.39 (arrival marking on the back of the cover.). The address of the sending was given as
"JIeHHHrpan 1, n/a 257, n-V-8, I>aMHnlna" (Leningrad 1, P.O. Box 257, P-5-8 [the "V" in the Russian
address stood for the Latin numeral = 5], Name). The numeral "1" normally referred to a complete post
office, while P.O. Box 257 was also stated in the triangular cachet and the code P-5-8 stood for the specific
designation of the Navy unit.

A cachet is known with the inscription practically identical to the one featured in Fig. 30, but differing
from it in the sizes of the triangle, lettering and in the shape of the little star. We see in Fig. 31 on the next
page the front of a cover in the collection of N. Lindrot of St. Petersburg, where there is a strike in violet of

June 2002

' -: '. '*7
.. ,.o. .,-.:..---. .. ^, _

Fig. 31.! Fig. 32.
-- --".. -'.. ...: -

the cachet in Fig. 30 was lost and a new one was prepared in its place, as shown in Fig. 31.

the cachet in Fig. 30 was lost and a new one was prepared in its place, as shown in Fig. 31.

Notations and cachets are sometimes found on the mail of the Navy rank-and-file, which were
characteristic for letters from the Army, rather than from the Navy. Fig. 32 demonstrates the front of a
cover in the collection of N. Lindrot of St. Petersburg, which has the same addresses of the sender and
recipient as in Figs. 30 & 31. However, in contrast to those covers, a strike in violet of a triangular cachet
has now been applied on this one with the initials "H.K.O." instead of "H.K.B.M.4." [H.K.O. stood for
"People's Commissariat of Defence" Translator]. At the same time, the underlined notation
"KpacnHoqbc omcKcoe" clearly indicated the enrolment of the sender in the "B.M.Q." (Navy) and not the
Army, as we have already seen from his earlier sending in Figs. 30 & 31. The letter was received in
Khar'kov on 8.3.39.

J.-. ...... .
r "~I
.. I "=
1 ;I I i6i

a1c t.. .L~ z~ .i
-." ... ..

-. ~ ~ ~ ,x-'4 .",
Fig. 33.

As an additional example, the front of a cover
is featured in Fig. 33 from the collection of N.
Druzhinin of Moscow, in the upper part of
which there is the notation "BoHHcKoe"
(Military letter) and a strike in violet of a
circular cachet, reading: "*BoiicKOBaa acTb
N- 8742 KpacHo3H.(aMeHHoro)
Ba nT.(HiicKoro) .JI.(oTa) HKBM4 CCCP
/ jAn / naKeTOB" (Combat Unit No. 8742 of
the Red Banner Baltic Fleet People's
Commissariat of the Navy of the USSR / For /
packets). The letter was received by the
addressee in Moscow on 19.2.40.
An analysis shows that the letter was sent
without doubt from the Fleet, as witnessed by
the text on the cachet. Moreover, the notation
"BoHHCKoe" on the cover (instead of the

normal "KpacHOilnoTCKoe" for such mail) and the general naming of the unit "Boi~cKOBaA qaCTb N2
8742" in the text of the cachet, instead of the characteristic name for a naval unit, are all indications
inherent in mail from the Army and not from the Fleet. That system of maintaining secrecy received

June 2002

further wide distribution (especially during the war years of 1941 to 1945) and it was utilised in general in
addressing mail.

S. --. -. .-

The front of a cover in the collection of I. Bryun of St. Petersburg is shown in Fig. 34, bearing a strike in
-- -_-^~. --. -; ..

violet of a rectangular marking, reading "BOHHCKOE" ("Military") and a further triangular cachet with
the text: otIosBbIi HIAH K 20 rop.(on) CTapbii rieTeprocb / / H.K.B.M.Q." (P.O. Box No. 20 -
town of Staryi Petergof /*/ People's Commissariat of the Navy). The letter was sent from Vyborg (Viipuri)
and was received by the addressee in Leningrad on 16.6.40 (arrival marking on the back of the cover). The
address of the sender is specified as: "Town of Vyborg, Main P.O., P.O. Box 72, Name". The triangular
cachet has different indications: "town of Staryi Petergof, P.O. Box No. 20". It could be assumed that P.O.
Box No. 20 served a group of naval units, which were also stationed in Vyborg (Viipuri).

2 ." !'- -

Fig. 36.

V 24-Yi nuPaRere/e *

Fig. 35. C:c-" -Z --.
J,- I i- ~-.__. __-(l4- --- .-=-- v.

transmission and reading IO0TOBbl4 AII K X- 264 r. BaKy / H.K.B.M.O." (P.O. Box No. 264 -
town of Baku / People's Commissariat of the Navy). The address of the sender is stated as "Town of Baku-
16, P.O. Box 264, subdivision 31, name". It was received by the addressee in Leningrad on 12.12.40
June 2002
Fig 35 ..... th..nto ..ovr. nw.c.hrei..trk _n iltofatinglrcchtfrpofe

Jun 2002 ? o -.-:--::: -:

An interesting letter is featured in Fig. 36. In contrast to the ones previously described, this so-called
"triangular letter" is shown in half opened-out form on the previous page. Up to WWII, such letters were in
an excluded category. However, they enjoyed wide distribution in the years of war 1941-1945 since, in
transmission, they did not require envelopes which were in short supply. Such letters were easily opened,
thus permitting and expediting their passage through the censorship. There is on the back of the letter a
strike in violet of a triangular cachet for post-free transmission, inscribed "A6oHeMeHTHbIii IIAHnK MX 23 r.
MoIOTOB / H.K.B.M.A." (Rented Box No. 23 town of Molotov [since then back to its original name of
Perm'] / People's Commissariat of the Navy). The letter was sent from Molotov 24.7.40 and received by
the addressee at Aleshinka Station, Vologda province on 28.7.40. It should be noted that, while the majority
of the known triangular cachets are inscribed "Post Office Box", the one in Fig. 36 reads "Rented Box No.
23" and the return address is written as: "Town of Molotov. P.O. Box 23/3" (post office box and not
rented). The last figure "3" was possibly linked with a particular Navy unit.

.roYAPCg ... ....

A postar io f
A ., .o N "':2"2 "

WA. -w ,,0i -e -

triangular cachet, reading: "jnsi .nce. i naKeTOB r. on.pHoe s n/ M 1008" (For letters and packets -
Fig. 37. Fig. 38.
A postcard in the collection of I. Bryun of St. Petersburg is illustrated in Fig. 37 with a strike in violet of a
triangular cachet, reading: ",aq nnceM H naKeTOB r. 1iojiApHoe /.na/JX2 1008": (For letters and packets -
town of Polyamoe / pb / No. 1008). The card was sent from Polyaroe in the Murmansk province, one of
the main bases of the Northern Fleet and received by the addressee in Leningrad on 10.9.39. This cachet is
interesting, not only because it has the non-standard text of "For letters and packets", but more importantly,
on account of the term "pb No. 1008", which may be regarded as one of the fundamental designations in
organising Navy mail in the war years of 1941 to 1943. In that period, all Navy postal stations had numbers
starting from 1001 (Baltic Fleet at Kronshtadt) to 1009 (Northern Fleet at Archangel) and including 1008
for the Northern Fleet at Polyarnoe. By the way, the correct spelling for that last place-name was
"LionJpHHbi" and not "HojnspHoe".

As has been stated above, such cachets for post-free transmission are normally found in triangular form, in
which the name of the town, number of the post office or rented box and naval link were specified.
However, there exist cachets for post-free transmission in which the name of the town is missing from the
text. For example, Fig. 38 shows the front of a cover with a strike in violet of a triangular cachet for post-
free transmission, reading: "lor'TOBbai alUIHK N2 2 (?) /*/ HKBMd CCCP" (Post Office Box No. 2 [?] /*/
People's Commissariat of the Navy / of the USSR). At the bottom of the cachet and within the inner and
outer triangles, the letter "r" can be seen. The letter was postmarked with the machine marking of despatch,
reading "TALLINN EESTI 16.V.1941" (see the similar example in Fig. 29) and received by the addressee
in Leningrad on 17.5.41 (arrival marking on the back of the cover). It could be suggested that, in
connection with the frequent changes in location, cachets for post-free transmission were put into use
without the name of the points of location of Fleet units. It is possible that it had been intended to write in
such names by hand and, for that reason, the abbreviation "r" (short for "town") was placed at the bottom
of the triangular cachet and not the name of the town.
June 2002

Y6' --

-J-- ----.-- ------ : -

Fig. 39. Fig. 40.

It could be suggested that the circular and triangular cachets for post-free transmission (and especially the
triangular ones) were prepared, not at a central point, but under local conditions. That led to many-sided
variations of the inscriptions, their emplacement and of the fonts, etc. As an example, we see in Fig. 39 the
front of a cover in the collection of I. Bryun of St. Petersburg with a strike in violet of a triangular cachet
with the text: '"fIOTOBbI4 \IIIIHK HKBM N2 19 /*/ JARJI / -II4CEM" (Post Office Box of the
People's Commissariat of the Navy No. 19 /*/ For / Letters). The letter was sent from Ovruch and received
by the addressee in Moscow 30.12.40 (arrival marking on the back of the cover). The address of the sender
is given as: "Ukrainian SSR, Zhitomir province, town of Ovruch, postal station 1, Poste restante [General
Delivery], initials of the sender". There is a circular marking with the figure "44-9" lightly handstamped
over the figure "1" in that address of the sender. It is assumed that this was the number of the postman or
postal official who handled this particular letter or carried out checking functions. The name of the
inhabited point was not specified in the text of the triangular cachet and, in the initials referring to the
People's Commissariat of the Navy, the final letter "4" for Fleet is missing. Moreover, the lines forming
the outer rim of the cachet do not meet at the corners.

The front of a cover is given in Fig. 40 with a strike in violet of a triangular cachet for post-free
transmission and reading: "TIOHTOBVI4I AIIIH14K 209 / BMG" (Post Office Box No. 209 / Navy).
The letter was sent from Kardla (on the island of Hiiumaa), with the postmark of despatch reading
KARDLA EEST 4.V.41 and it was received by the addressee in Malakhovka, Moscow province four days
later (arrival marking on the back of the cover). This cachet was clearly prepared in an unprofessional
manner. It differs from most of the known markings by its text: there is no name of the town and, more
importantly, there is an elementary grammatical mistake at the end of the word, given as "HOsTOBFI3It"
it should be "l'OqTOBbIifI". It could be suggested that it was engraved in a hurry, when the forces of
the USSR occupied Estonia.

We have already mentioned that, as of 1925, letters addressed to servicemen were to be sent free of charge.
However, there were exceptions sometimes and mail can be found addressed to the Navy rank-and-file and
franked with stamps. Such cases can be possibly explained in the following manner:-

(1) Insufficient knowledge by the public of the right to the post-free transmission of such letters.
(2) The hope that, by putting a stamp on a letter, it would ensure the certainty of delivery to the addressee.
(3) The usual habit of sending letters franked with stamps.

Other reasons may also have existed.

June 2002

As an example of franking with stamps the mail
Addressed to the Navy rank-and-file, we see a cover in
.... i Fig. 41 with the address: "Kronshtadt t/b [torpedo
S" boat] 'Yakov Sverdlov"'. The letter was prepaid with a
10-kopek stamp (Michel No. 193), in accordance with
SnI/J fthe postal rate then in force. The stamp was cancelled
/ ./ -- with the despatch postmark of Leningrad 26.9.29 and
there is on the back the arrival marking of Kronshtadt
P, ^-" 72Conclusion:
The examples shown above of mail of the Navy rank-
and-file do not cover all the existing material on this
particular subject. The authors hope that there are
similar items held by other collectors and would be
Fig. 4.happy to receive any supplementary information.
Fig. 41.
The authors express their deep thanks to the philatelists I. Druzhinin, I Bryun and H. Lindrot for affording
us the possibility of viewing their collections and permitting the publication of material from them.
r rpaMM
r. ropog
CHK CoBeT HapoAHulx KoMuccapoB
HapxoMnoqrejm, HKITHT Hapoaimihi KoM1ccapHaT nOqT H TejnerpacoB
H.K. no B. H M.A)., HAPKOMBOEHMOP HapoAHbmi KoMnccapHaT no BoeHnbmM H MopCKHM
HKBMO CCCP HapoAHb~ir KoMHccapHaT BoeHHo MopcKoro OJnoTa CCCP
n/3i, (na.) nolTOBBIfi itr cS
n/o noRTOBoe oTreJieHHe
HKO HapoAbitm KoMHccapnaT O6opomH

1. B.CHHEFYBOB. Ee3MapomHbIe nHcbMa BOHHOB. HjinaTejmn CCCP, 1981, No5, c.45 47.
2. M.KABAHOB. 06 HcnoJI 30BaHHH MaTepnanOB BoeHHo-noJIeBof nom I B QHAIaTeJIcTHqec-
KHIx pa3pa6oTKax. CoBeTcKCli KojuiexiionHep, MocKsa, "PamAo H CBa3b", 1987, X624, c.3 15.
3. CneimaaJm3HpoBaHHbIi KaTanor InoqTOBbIX MapoK. TOM 5, qacTL 1. CCCP, 1923 1940. Ilon
o6meii peAaKiMeie B.B.3AFOPCKOFO. CaHKT HeTep6ypr, CTaHnapT- Kojunemia, 1999.
4. A.BHHOKYPOB, A.FAJIHIIHHKOB. BoeHHo-no-eBaa noqTa CoBercKOii pecny6iHrM B
nepnoa FpaxacaHCKoii BoiiIhb H HHocTpaHHOj HrTepBeHqHH. DEnHiaTeJIm CCCP, 1987, N24,
c.34 -37.
5. I.BOBHH. BecnnaTHoe KpacHOIJIoTCKoe IIcbMO. ODnJaTeIma CCCP, 1969, N24, c.11 13.
6. Kopa6jm H BcnOMoraTeJibHsie cyaa coBercKoro BoeHHo MopcKoro OjiOTa (1917 1927 rr.)
(CnpaBOHHIK)/ C.C.Bepeaimoi, T.A.JIsicHKOBa H Ap. MocKBa, BoeHH3AaT, 1981.
7. C.H.MOHCEEB. CnHcoK xopa6neii pyccKoro napoBoro n 6poHeHocHoro J(iOTa (c 1861 no
1917r.). BoeHHoe H3a BO MHHHcrepcTBa Boopyxwce mix CHn CCCP. MocKBa, 1948.
8. Cnewanjsm3HpoBainliti KaTanor noITOBbix MapOK P.C.Q.C.P., 1918 1923 rr. IIon o6meii
peAaKaHeii B.B.3ATOPCKOFO. Camer Ierep6ypr, CTaHaapT KonjIeKniLa, 1997.
9. JI.PATHEP. 13 HCTOpnH nOqTbI feTporpaga JIemmrpaga. CoBercKHii KojneKIarOHep,
MocKBa, "PaAno H CB3IS", 1987, Jo25, c.3 35.
10. V.BERDICHEVSKIY. About the "Red Fleet" stamps of the USSR. The POST RIDER, 2001,
NX49, p.40 51.
June 2002

by Meer Kossoy.

In the article by Robert Taylor [reference 1, there were published two postmarks from inhabited points on
the territory of the ACCPHTl (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Volga Germans). One of these
markings, inscribed "ENGELS KIOSK 5 9NTEJIbC KHOCK 5 ACCPHn / 6.1.40" attracts attention
because of the unusual word "KIOSK / KHOCK". That word is not known in the philatelic literature and it
is even difficult to suggest at first glance what it might denote on a postal marking. However, on the basis
of analysing the additional material on hand, it was possible to attempt to decipher the meaning of the word
"Kiosk", but some information should first be given regarding the rules for transmitting the mail of the
servicemen of the Army and Navy during the period of application of this [postmark.

From the beginning of the 1930s and up to the entry of the USSR in WWII in 1941, the delivery of mail to
the Army was carried out through the postal stations of the nearest inhabited points, where the military
units utilised special post office boxes, which were sometimes called "rented" boxes. In that period, the
addressing of mail to the units (subdivisions) of the Army was performed according to the place-name of
the inhabited point and the specific number of the post office box, which was assigned to a given unit.

In towns where there were many postal stations, it was difficult to denote in which one the military unit
was renting a post office box. In such a case, it was ordered not to specify the post office box number in
addressing mail, but rather the number of the postal station together with yet another special designation,
which was assigned to a given unit. The specific designation was composed of the post office box number,
a capital serial letter or a number, normally in the form of a fraction. Such a designation ensured the
distribution of mail to a particular military unit within the general mass.

The Army and Navy servicemen were granted the right to send free of charge through the post ordinary
postcards or letters, not exceeding 20 grammes in weight (about 2/3 ounce). Registered mail was
transmitted fully prepaid, in accordance with the current postal rates. A condition for the post-free
transmission of mail of the Army and Navy servicemen was the presence upon it of a cachet of the military
unit. Such a cachet served as the basis for waiving the postal rate for the mail. In order to maintain secrecy,
it was forbidden to apply cachets, whose texts bore the name of the military unit or subdivision.

It would appear that, in place of the cachets, triangular markings for post-free transmission received wide
distribution, beginning in 1939. The inscriptions on the latter specified the name of the town, the post office
box number and the relationship of the armed unit to the Army or Navy. Apart from those details, the
number of the postal station where the post office box was being rented was sometimes given on the
marking, or some other information.

In connection with the situation described above, Fig. 1 on the next page shows a cover, which was sent to
the same address as for the letter in [1]. That is confirmed by the same address on both covers, as well as
the addresses themselves, which were written in one and the same handwriting. The cover in Fig. 1 has a
despatch postmark, which is similar to that in [1] and it reads: "ENGELS KIOSK 5 9NTEEIbC KHOCK
5 ACCPHnI / 7.6.39" (Engels Kiosk 5 Volga-German ASSR / 7.6.39). In contrast to [1], the cover lacks a
postage stamp, but there is a strike of a triangular marking for post-free transmission, as described above.
The inscription reads: "'TIOTOBbIJ4 / KHOCK JN' 5 [?] / r. 3HFEJIbC ACCPHII / five-pointed star,
HKO" (Postal / Kiosk No. 5[?] / town of Engels Volga-German ASSR / five-pointed star / People's
Commissariat of Defence). There is at the bottom of the cover the address of the sender: "Engels 7. p.o. box
No. 10, Family name". The letter was addressed to Gor'kii and its arrival marking of 10.6.39 is on the
back of the cover.

A simple analysis shows that this particular letter was a postal sending from the rear of the Army. That is

June 2002

".. ,.'." a,.,

-. ... "- ..... *" . : i -- ..-. ." __

clearly evident from the absence of a stamp on the cover, as well as the presence of a strike of a triangular
marking for post-free transmission, on which there is a text designating the relationship to the Army and
including the initials "HKO" (People's Commissariat of Defence). Moreover, the return address specifies
that it was at Post Office Box No. 10. Taking into account the inscription on the triangular marking and the
designated return address, it could be assumed that the word "KIOSK" on the marking corresponds to that
for "BOX" in the return address.
S- As a confirmation of such an assumption, a
... .... .:: cover is shown in Fig. 2, sent to the same
.: ..' ". ....'. address as in Fig. 1. There is on the envelope
the same postmark of despatch: ENGELS
21.3.40, as well as a triangular marking for
/ 7. post-free transmission with the text:
U-nJ^H n.OHITOBbIhl / ,II5IHK No 6 / r. 3HreJ bc 7,
.... '. ACCPHn / HKO (P.O. Box No.6 / town of
^' c. :.,. -Engels 7 / People's Commissariat of Defence).
/ '" There is at the bottom of the cover the return
/ J ,' } address of the sender: Engels 7, p.o.b No. 6,
S// J./ .' family name. The letter was addressed to
Gor'kii 26.3.40 (arrival marking on the back of
S. "- the cover).
S. In comparing the triangular markings for post-
S :. : free transmission featured in Figs. 1 & 2 and
Fig. 2. taking into account the fact that these covers
bore practically the same return address, it may be deduced that the term'TIOHTOBbIHI KHOCK"
(Postal Kiosk) on the cancel of 7.6.39 was later changed to "nIORTOBbIi 5IHImHK" (P.O. Box) on the
postmark of 26.3.40.
A cover is featured in Fig. 3 on the next page, which was sent to the same addressee as for the letters in
Fig. 1 & 2. This third cover was sent as registered mail, as witnessed by the word "3aKca3Hoe" at the top of
the envelope and it was underlined to draw attention. The letter was sent from a military subdivision, as
confirmed by the return address of the sender: "Kiosk No. 5, P.O. Box 38/4". Such military registered
letters were sent fully prepaid at the postal tariff then in force, which in the period from 25.2.33 to 16.2.38
came to 40 kopeks. In accordance with the rate, the letter was franked with two 20-kopek stamps (Michel
No. 373). Neither a special cachet nor a paper label for registered correspondence is present on the cover,
but the figures "420" are written in pencil at upper left, being apparently the consecutive number for that

June 2002

registered sending. The stamps on the cover are cancelled with the postmark "3HFEJIbC KHOCK 5
ACCPHII ENGELS KIOSK 5 / 24.9.36". Although the text of this particular postmark corresponded
completely with those in Figs. 1 & 2, there are differences in the placing of the inscriptions in Russian and
German in Fig. 3, which start in Russian and end in German. In Figs. 1 & 2, it was the other way around:
German first and then Russian. Also, the postmark in Fig. 3 has additional "fretwork" in the segments
above and below the date-bridge. The letter was addressed to Gor'kii 27.9.36 (arrival marking on the back).

A standard 20-kopek postal stationery envelope of the 1937-1939 issue is featured in Fig. 4, nhich was
cancelled with a postmark reading: "9HFEBbC KHOCK 5 ACCPHII ENGELS KIOSK 5 / 7.5.38".
The text of this particular marking corresponds exactly with that in Fig. 3, but there is a difference: the little
star separating the inscriptions in Russian and German is missing. It would appear that the postmark in Fig.
4 is a variety of that in Fig. 3. The letter was addressed to Gor'kii 10.5.38 (arrival marking on the back).
.- ..: -. -'

".Fig. Sa.

Fig. 5.
The front of a cover is shown in Fig. 5, with the postmark of despatch on the 20-kopek stamp (Michel 373)
reading: Gor'kii 20.2.39. The letter was addressed to the Engels-7 postal station, which handled the
transmission of military correspondence. That was additionally confirmed by the fact that the recipient of
the letter was a "KypcaHT" (student of a military college). In the period from 6.2.39 to 16.9.48, the rate for
an ordinary intercity letter was fixed at 30 kopeks (until then, it was 20 kopeks). The letter was franked with
June 2002

a 20-kopek stamp and an oval postage due marking was therefore applied with the inscription:
"AOnJIATHTb / COPMOBO HI>K. (EFOPOACKOE)" [To pay / Sormovo in the Nizhnii-Novgorod
district, the capital of which was renamed Gor'kii in 1932]. The amount of the deficiency, which came to
20 kopeks, was not written in, as the letter was addressed to the Army.
The arrival marking on the back of this particular cover demonstrates exceptional interest, as it reads:
"KHOCK XN 5 ACCPHI KIOSK NR. 5 25.2.39", together with the star at top with the hammer and
sickle and the initials "CCCP" (USSR) see Fig. 5a on the previous page. This postmark differs sharply
from all the others shown above, although the inscriptions are similar. The important differences featured
on the postmark in Fig. 5a may be explained by the fact that it was prepared in accordance with a
declaration in 1938 of the People's Commissariat of Communications of the USSR about the new style for
the date-stamps, which included the requirement of showing in the upper part of the canceller a
representation of a five-cornered star with the hammer and sickle therein and accompanied by the initials
"CCCP". It should be noted here that the cancellers of the old type were not replaced by the new and
continued to be utilised up to 1940 or later; see Fig. 2.
The front of a postcard is seen in Fig. 6, with
-.- ". .... A A the postmark of despatch reading:3HrEJIbC/
n oTOBART KAPTO A ACCPHn ? / ENGELS; it also has the five-
-- -' "' pointed star with the hammer and sickle,
S. initials CCCP and the date 23.9.41. This
S. postmark differs from all the others shown so
.............. ........................................ ....... ....... ... far in that it does not have the designation
.... ...... ...... .... .... "KIOSK", which was a characteristic feature
.Komy: ..... "... f: : : ::.. for military mail. It was in fact a standard type
flOJ.1S3.Yh Ao.. .- .: of the cancellers in the new style and
......E A A P E C HO. o o o a .n.o.o .. .A E .. ..... c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f o r i n h a b i t e d p o i n t s T h e
pr,.. :... : inscription on the postmark has the name of the
S,:.. inhabited point "Engels" specified in two
L languages, as well as its location: ACCPHII
Fig. 6. (Volga-German ASSR). The postcard was sent
from the Army and that is confirmed by the
specification in the return address of the field postal station No. 17, as well as the name of the military
subdivision: "rTa6 Kopnyca" (Staff of the Corps). It could be assumed that this card was not sent through
the special postal station "Kiosk 5" for military mail, but was dropped into the letter box of a postal station
in the town. However, the possibility cannot be excluded that the "Kiosk 5" cancellers were replaced in
1941 by the standard type of postmarkers, as featured in Fig. 6. The card was addressed to Valuiki, arriving
on 28.9.41.

In analysing the covers featured in Figs. 1, 2, 3 & 6, the following deductions and assumptions may be
(1) On the basis of an order issued by the People's Commissariat of Defence in 1934, a new system of
delivering mail via a postal station to the Army came into being in the town of Engels, whereby each
military unit rented a special post office box. It is possible that many military units may have rented boxes
at the postal station and special premises in the form of a "kiosk" may have been put at their disposal. In
actual fact, the designation "kiosk" may have corresponded to the term "postal station". As the postal
station was situated on the territory of an autonomous republic, then in accordance with the rules then in
force, the inscription on the postmark had to be in two languages: Russian for the purposes of State and
German as the speech of an autonomous people.
In addressing military mail in accordance with the system noted above, it was required to specify the
inhabited point, i.e. the town of Engels, the number of the postal station where the military unit
(subdivision) received its mail at "Kiosk 5" and also the specific designation assigned to that particular
unit: P. O. Box 38/4 and Name. See the address of the sender on the cover in Fig. 3 for such details.

June 2002

The postmark of despatch on that cover had the text in two languages and it included the name of the town
"Engels", where it was located: "in the territory of the Volga-German ASSR", as well as the number of the
postal station: "Kiosk" and the date: 24.9.36.
(2) It could be assumed that, by 1939 or even earlier, the special postal station "Kiosk 5" then in existence
for military mail was renamed "Postal Station 7" and that required changes in the system of addressing
mail. Instead of "Kiosk No. 5", "Postal Station No. T' or the abbreviated term "Engels T' was specified in
the address and there was a further designation of Post Office Box No. 10, specifically allocated to a
particular unit and followed by a name. All these details may be seen in the address of the sender on the
cover in Fig. 1. In spite of the changes, which may be seen in the address of the sender, the postmark of
despatch reading: "KIOSK 5 / 7.6.39" and the triangular marking for post-free transmission with the word
"KIOSK" continued to be utilised.
(3) The system for addressing military mail was not changed at the beginning of 1940, but the alteration of
the number of the post office box from "10" to "6" may be explained by the transfer in service of the
addressee from one subdivision to another. The canceller of despatch reading "KIOSK 5 / 21.3.40"
continued to be utilised without change, but the inscription on the triangular marking for post-free
transmission was altered from "Postal Kiosk No. 5 [?]" to "Post Office Box No. 6" and, in addition, the
number "7"of the postal station was inserted after the name of the town of "Engels". In that way, the
modified inscription on the triangular marking coincided completely with the return address on the cover;
see Fig. 2.
(4) Not only was there a special postal station designated "Kiosk 5" for military mail, but there were also
other postal stations operating in the town of Engels see Fig. 6.

Robert Taylor: "Two Volga-German Postal History Items", "The Post Rider No. 49", pp. 111-112.

Editorial Comment: Many cordial thanks are due to Mr. Kossoy in clearing up the reasons for the "kiosk"
designation in the Volga-German ASSR. The possibility cannot be excluded that such designations for the
mail of military units may also have been applied elsewhere in the USSR. It would also seem from the
cover in Fig. 5 that the addressee V.P. Senichkin, a student in the military college, was also the sender of
the letters addressed to Gor'kii in Figs. 1 to 4.

Quite apart from the military aspect, this present article is also a valuable contribution to the postal history
of the Volga-German ASSR, whose existence was terminated on 28 August 1941, as a result of the Nazi
invasion of the USSR on 22 June. We can see from the cover in Fig. 6 that the "ACCPHTI" postmarks
continued to be applied after the Republic was dissolved and, in fact, such markings are known dated as
late as 1944.

Cancellations from the Volga-German ASSR constitute an important sector of"Germanica" and ourjournal
"The Post-Rider" was the first one to treat this subject in detail (see No 8, May 1981, pp. 50-61). The study
was subsequently reprinted in the journal of "Russland / UdSSR" Philatelic Society in Germany. Further
contributions to this area of postal history are always welcome.
Russian Airmails 1922-1950 at the "Royal 2002" National Show in Edmonton. Alberta.

Our national federation, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, held the above event on 22-24 March and
has exchange agreements for judges and exhibits with the philatelic federations in Australia and New
Zealand. Our member Norman Banfield in Wellington, N.Z. entered his Russian Airmails and, together
with his wife Jenny, they collared two Gold Medals and four Special Prizes at the exhibition. The
Edmonton Stamp Club Prize for the best Aerophilatelic exhibit was a magnificent picture, now hanging on
the dining room wall of the Banfields! Not bad for a small, but very beautiful country with about four
million inhabitants and our heartiest congratulations go to both of them.

June 2002

(English text on p. 44).
POTI in the "P-R" No.49 xoqy coo6mrnTb 06 HMeIolHMxca B MOei KOJUIeKIa H HHTepecHbix H paHee
He onHcaHHbiX A1Byx oTnpaBJieHHHx coI mTeMIneJIMH yKa3aHHOro MapmpyTa, npOTJKeHHOCTh
(4parMeHTbI 3KCno3HIHH aBTopa <<)Kejie3Hoaopo)KHbie mTreMneia PoccficKoil nMnepHH 1852-
1. Underpaid postcard (Fig. 1) 1905 from Poti to Tuapse (25/VII), Chernomor. gub. bearing
vertical pair of 1 kop.cancelledby oval postmark POTI 98 SAMTREDI / (18.7.05) ,charged
postage due of 2 kop. with due mark ROIJIATIHTb / BATOHb NJ2 98. Cyaa no BceMy,
KajeHaapHbifi oBajibHblI mTeMnejmb nIIOTOBorO Barona (IIB) HaH6ojee paHHHri H3 H3BecTHbIX (y
Kiryushkin-Robinson-Han6onee paHHHiH-aBrycT 1906), a aonnaTHoii mTeMnejm c pa3MepoM
BHemllHeHro Basa 28,5x20 MM yHHKaieH KaK THn: B HH)KHerl ero IacTH ecTh TOJILKO CJIOBO
BATOH'b 6e3 cjnoa fHOqTOBbIh HJI ero coKpameHHil. no KpainHef Mepe, noIo6Hmix
aorInnaTHbIX mTeMnejiei TIB aBTOpy HeH3BecTHbi. B JIio6oM cjinyae, MbI A.OJDKHH G6hIT 6AaroAapHbI
oTnpaBHTejiO 3a TO, TTO OH, )KeJna C3KOHOMHTh 1 KOn., o4)OpMnj oTKpbhTKy KaK HEtIATHOE
oTnpaBneHHe (CM. HaAnHCb B JIeBOM BepxHeM yrny), HaKJieHJi cooTBeTCTBeHHO MapoK Ha 2 KOn., HO
HapyuHIn nOTOBbie npaBHna H HanrHcan JIHnmHnH TeKCT Ha "JHUeBOH CTOpOHe OTKpbITKH, a TaKoKe
KOTOpbIH HaoJnKHji AonAjaTy c acnoJnsoBaHHeM TaKoro HHTepecHoro AJIr Hac ImTeMnJM.
2. BTopoe oTnpaBjeHHe (Fig.2) HMeeT He MCHee yHHKarJIbHHle muTeMnerm.
Postcard 1914 bearing 3 kop. Romanov cancelled by the oval postmark POTI 98-97 *
SAMTREDI/ (16.8.14) sent to Kiev. YHHKaJIbHOCTb 3TOTO BarOHHoro mITeMnejlI 3aKjIoqaeTcA B
TOM, qTO 3TO eflHCTBeHHbLi H3BeCTHibiI aBTOpy H paHee HeonHCaHHbiH THI OBaJIbHOrO mlTeMneJIM
IIB III nepHoaa c ABO HbIM HOMepOM, BbIpaKeHHbIM HOMepaMH o6paTHoro H npaMoro MaprmpyToB
qepes geHiic. ABOHHaa HyMepaumH npnMeHrajacb B 1867-1881 r.r. AJu Kpyrnmix mTeMnenefi B I
nepnona c TpexcTpouqHo l aToiH, c Toil jinm pa3Hmume, 1TO Ha nepBOM MecTe CTOSjH nppMoii, a Ha
BTopOM o6paTHmi, HOMep MapmupyTa. B npaBOM BepXHeM yrjy paccMaTpsBaeoi nOTKpbiTKH CTOHT
TalOKe paHee HeonHcaHHbIrl TpaH3HTHbIH OAHOCTpO'HbI IIITeMnejib pa3MepOM 19x5,5 MM
naaTopMbi MAKAPEHKO EKaTepnHHHCKOil 2KeJIe3HOil AoporH, HaxolAMiimeca Ha paccTOaHHH
OKOJno 400 KM IorO-BOCTOqHee KneBa.
IqTO KacaeTca ABOHHOrO HOMepa MapmpyTa, TO nja o6o6uIeHHa H KJIaccHHKIauHH THInOB
OBaaJbHbLX ITeMnejiei IB cqHTaIo yMecTHbIM 3Aecb OTMeTHTb, HTO H3BeTeH eIRe OAHH
(Kiryushkin-RobinsonR25/26.2), npHIeM npamoMi o6paTHblf MapimpyTM KOToporo pa3seneHbi
npocToirH po6bio. 3To rmTeMnejib PAHHUIA-30MBKOBILbI 25/26 COCHOBIHIb/ A,
npHMeHABHIuHCA B 1912-1913 rr. Ha BapmaBo-BeHCKOii mejee3HOi aopore, npelcTaBIeH Ha
postcard (Fig.3) sent 28.8.1912 from PW GRANITSA-ZOMBKOVICHI 25/26 SOSNOVITSI to
TaKHM o6pa3oM, B HaCToaLmelc CTaTbe BnepBbie orIcaHbI:
Han6onee paHHHH H3 H3BeCTHbIX (18.7.05) KaneHnlapHbin OBasanHbii mTeMneJs
norTOBoro BaroHa rIOTH 98 CAMTPEAH / *;
paHee HeH3BeCTHbIH aorJIaTHOi mLTeMneIb yKa3aHHOFO noITOBoro BaroHa
paHee HeH3BecTHbIH KaneHaapHbI OBaJIabHhi mTeMneIImb noqToBoro BaroHa c ABOHjHO
HyMepauiiei nOTH 98-97. CAMTPERH / *.
ABTOp 6yaeT HCKpeHHe npH3HaTeJIeH 3a AonoJIHHTeCJbHyio HH)opMauaiuo o aTpoHyrbIM
BonpocaM. Doctor of technical sciences
Valentin Levandovskiy,
THE POST-RIDER/IaMIlHK N 50 e-mail: levandovski@mtu-net.ru
June 2002 41

Postal Wagons of the Transcaucasian Railway

,, 3. /.

? .23 .7X


The postmark has
not been recorded

7 kop. brown stationery
envelope 1916 from Tiflis
to Telav (03.OS), Georgia
up-rated 3 kop. canceled
by oval d.s. ,Ko333 (Tiflis

*A&O4. ^ Y ^*^,*.U /'
6 .y-"c c! r. ^

.-.,Jnion Postale Universele RuA'&,

/ -
OTKpb1Toe: ..NCbMO. Carte

.. .. .. ... -..

M0u01"eOa.V Phototyie Scheref, Nabholz & Co,MO
Fig. 1.

Postcard 1914 from Saritkamish
(01.12) to Petergof (OS.12) via
PWX"o 270 < Alexandropol (has not been

Underpaid postcard 1905 from Poti to Tuapse (25.7), Chernomor. gub. bearing 2 kop.
canceled by oval d.s. PWXo 98 aPoti-Samtredib (18.7.), charged postage due of 2 kop.
with due mark oDOPLA TIT/ VA GONAX 98) (has not been recorded)
June 2002

P Jul.1905-Aug.1906

. . .


PW's oval postmarks with double route number

U nj zzoO o 1912-1913

.t.v,., c .0'T*. Type I (route

o 's p Ej written in

two lines)

^ T 7 z :1J.Q
........ .. ........ .. .. .

Fig. 3. Postcard from PW Na25/26 < Sosnovitsi0T (29.8.1912) to Krakov

< 98- 97 |MAA |K

S' Type I (route
S" .. written with

h Z\ .... .- a hyphen)
.... ..'. Note:
I have since acquired
...Fig. Postcard from PW N99 o m\r (1.... 1. vi S. a picture postcard with
11+2 kop., cancelled with
Makren-koPlatm. ot an earlier oval postmark
TH ,'/M -' 54POTI*98-97*SAMTREDI
S-30.07.14, sent via Tifis
i01.08.14 to Signakh, Tiflis1
1 ,province 02.08.14.

Fig. 2. Postcard from PW N98-97 < Makarenko Platform of the Catherine Railway (one-line postmark)
June 2002

by Dr. V.G. Levandovskiy.
Regarding the article by Rabbi L.L. Tann: "The Branch-Line TPO/RPO SAMTREDI-POTI" in "The Post-
Rider No. 49", p. 101, I would like to set out the details of two interesting and previously unrecorded
sending in my collection with postmarks of that particular route, the length of which only came to about
65 km. (about 40 miles). Items from the exhibit of the writer "Railway Postmarks of the Russian Empire
1852-1917" are being utilised to illustrate the present article.

1. Please refer to the underpaid postcard in Fig. 1 (at the bottom of p. 42 herewith), sent from Poti to
Tuapse 25.7.05 in the Black Sea province and bearing a vertical 1-kopek pair, cancelled by the oval
postmark POTI 98 SAMTREDI 18.7.05 and charged postage due of 2 kopeks with the oval mark
OnIJIATHTb / BATOH'b N2 98. Judging by everything, the oval date-stamp of the postal wagon is
the earliest so far known (the earliest date known by Kiryushkin & Robinson dates from August 1906),
while the postage due marking with the internal oval dimensions of 28.5 x 20mm.is unique in type: there is
in the lower part of the postage due cachet only the word BATOH' and not preceded by the term
1IOHTOBblH or its abbreviation. At the very least, such due markings for postal wagons are unknown to
the author. In any case, we should be thankful to the sender who, in trying to save one kopek, designated
the card as printed matter (see the inscription in the upper left corer) and affixed the relevant 2-kopek
stamp. However, he violated postal regulations by writing a personal message on the view side of the card.
Thanks must also go to the vigilant postal official on the postal wagon of the Poti-Samtredi route, as he
levied the amount due with the application of that marking so interesting for us.
2. The second sending (shown in Fig. 2 on p. 43 herewith) also bears a postmark that is no less unique. This
item is a postcard bearing a 3-kopek Romanov stamp, cancelled by the oval postmark POTI 98-97 *
SAMTREDI 16.8.14 and sent to Kiev. The uniqueness of the waggon postmark arises from the fact that it
is the only one known to the author, being a previously unrecorded oval marking of the Third Period for
Postal Waggons with a double number, showing the hyphenated numbers for the return and outbound
routes. The double numeration system was utilised from 1867 to 1881 for the circular postal waggon
postmarks of the First Period with the date in three lines, the only difference being that the outgoing route
number was placed first, followed by that for the return journey. There is also in the upper right corer of
the card that we are examining a strike of a hitherto unrecorded one-line transit cachet measuring 19 x
5.5mm. of the platform at MAKAPEHKO (Makarenko) of the Ekaterina Railway Line, situated about 400
km. (about 250 miles) south-east of Kiev.
I regard it appropriate to note here that, with regard to the double number of the route and for the
generalisation and classification of the oval postalwaggontypes, there is known yet another quite rare type
of the oval postal waggon markings to be found with a double number (see Kiryushkin & Robinson
R25/26.2), in which the outgoing and return routes are given in fractional form. That postmark, inscribed:
FPAHHI4A -30OMBKOBIH4I bI 25/26 COCHOBHIh1bI / A, was applied in 1912-1913 on the
Warsaw-Vienna railway line and is shown on the postcard in Fig. 3 (herewith on p. 43), sent on 28.8.12 on
postal waggon GRANITSA-ZOMBKOVITSY 25/26 SOSNOVITSY to Krak6w.

We can thus see that the present article describes for the first time the following items:-
The earliest known marking, dated 18.7.05 of the oval mark of the postal wagon POTI 98 SAMTRDI / *.
A hitherto unknown due cachet given as OflIJIATHTb / BAFOH'b M_ 98 of a specific postal waggon
A so far unknown oval date-stamp of a postal waggon with double number: POTI*98-97*SAMTREDI/*.
The author would be most grateful for any further information about the questions touched on here and he
may be reached by e-mail at: levandovski@mtu-net.ru.
Editorial Comment: The exhibit of the author received a Gold Medal at "LONDON 2000". In addition to
the material described in Figs. 1 to 3, there are also two very interesting items from his collection shown on
p. 42 herewith, namely PW Route Nos. SARYKAMYSH 270 ALEKSANDROPOL' and TIFLIS 333
TELAV (a very high number and undoubtedly among the last to go into service during the Imperial
Russian period).

June 2002

by L.G. Ratner.
As of 1758, the work of the postal offices in Russia was indissolubly linked with the handling, transmission
and opening of packets of mail, enclosed in an outer cover of paper and such packets were called "post-
packets". There were transmitted in them most of the ordinary, insured, registered and valuable letters,
packets of money and remittances, some wrappers of small weight and dimensions, as well as many
accompanying documents. Upon completing its mission, the paper outer cover of the post-packets was
destroyed and that is evidently the reason why so few of them have been preserved. At the present time,
little is also known about the postal regulations, setting out the procedure of distributing post-packets. In
fact, those regulations have never been mentioned in the philatelic literature. While not pretending to be a
complete disclosure of the subject, the present article examines several questions about the practical
utilisation of post-packets in the Russian Postal Service.

The basic mission of the post-packets was the separation of mail, prepared for despatch to various towns.
The original requirement for the separation of mail proceeding to various towns appeared during the reign
of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna in October 1758. In the ukase "About the sealing of packets and letters
in various outer covers, to facilitate their distribution in the towns", it was stated that: "letters and packets
are to be enclosed according to each town they were intended for, in various buntyy'" [1] (Author's note:
according to the Dictionary by Vladimir Dal', a '6yHmr' was a bundle or parcel).

In the documents of the Postal Administration of Russia, one of the first designations of the term post-
packet and specifications of the procedure for its application are given in "The Outline of Postal
Regulations" of 1801:-
"27. A post-packet is a collection of many letters and packets for a specific town, fortress or locality,
according to their addresses.
28. Regardless of how they are accepted....they are always to be sent in a special post-packet.
Note: The mail must be enclosed in post-packets separately for each town.
29. Post-packets are to be set up in the following manner: all letters and parcels for
despatch... separately... are to be bound together with thin rope and wrapped up in strong paper;... after
having been bound together with thin rope, they are to be sealed at the rope ends with an official
cachet; the post-packets must then be suitably inscribed" [2]. The normal inscription on the post-
packet always stated whence and to where it was to be sent.

The post-packets addressed to the post offices situated at places where the roads branched off were
regarded as "gathered", i.e. more small post-packets were done up in them, which were addressed not only
to a particular post office, but also to others, located on a branch road. Post-packets, addressed for further
despatch to other postal stations were regarded as "in transmission". Depending on the class of mail being
despatched in them, the post-packets were designated as ordinary, registered or valuable and the post-
packets with documents for parcels were called "for sending". As of the beginning of the 1900s, post-
packets with money orders were sometimes called "transfer post-packets".

In the "Project of the Postal Statute" of 1830, it was mentioned as being already in operation a regulation
for the enclosure in a separate post-packet of money letters, valuables and insured letters going to a specific
town, even when there was only one postal sending. Also, it was obligatory to specify the total sum of the
money or items of value enclosed in valuable post-packets.

Parcels were sent in "parcel post-packets", i.e. simultaneously with accompanying documents for such
sending, but those parcels were packed separately in trunks, portmanteaux, bags or bales (depending on
the size and weight). The number of the parcels and their general value were designated on the outer cover
of the post-packet being sent. In order to verify those particulars, the post-packets containing parcels were
despatched unsealed.
I (Co6paHHe 3aKOHOB no ynpasjenmlo norTOBOMy (1649 1762)>, TOM 1, Camcr-Herep6ypr, 1846r., c. 359.
2 Apxm neHTpaimnoro myueA CBsiH HMemH A.C. Honona ( ApxAn I[MC), (poIa nlora, onnch 2, geno 40 dHaiepraHme noITroBuM npaBHIaMi,
1801r., nucr 81, 82. THE POST-RIDER/IMIIIHK M 5045
June 2002

The order of handling and despatching post-
packets was the same for all parts of the
Empire. For example, in describing postal
activities in the Kingdom of Poland, it was
stated that: "A post-packet service was set
up to each postal point. The mail to be
sent there was enclosed in a post-packet....
There is to be placed on each post-packet
an official seal of the despatching office
sending the mail [3].

"The Situation about the Establishment
of Postal Affairs" of 1830 specified the
necessity of indicating the weight on
the post-packet. Shown herewith is one
type of the document, designated for
recording the despatch of post-packets
(Fig. 1). The post offices located on the
route followed by the transmission of
mail wrote on this form the post-packets
handed over by them.

It is mentioned in the regulations ratified
at the end of 1848 for the transmission
of mail by rail that: "The mail must be
fastened separately at every railway
station, in... post-packets with clear
addresses [4]. During the transmission by
rail, the post-packets containing ordinary
mail could be sent both in a packed and
also in an open state, i.e. without being.
enclosed in bags, satchels or portmanteaux.
Up to the middle of the 1870s, post-packets
containing other mail were packed in bags,
satchels or portmanteaux. Fig. 1.

No 9.
O II 1 C b

nforcni-razenrar., omnpan-eeHHwun r3b cfIpoac a ,1o Carnr-Eepiyp-
ra 1-ruo Io.a 1851 roaa.


1. BD Poanatoga, Bopncorat6cmii cm accrr- B-b Poranost nc.-mEmi
i:anisiim 2,555 pyuaeA nu cepe6pocra 6 pyG-, .a trcir 1-ro Ia.i-
Jeu 80 xonteKhn H npornbamia nc taum-!.j lomn eucrnmer s maxol-
Rpn nein; rocauxa a a 25 py6&ea. i o:
2. Bz I!lorvexonoH ce upocnmamn rnErCLarn.
S3. jB Prn 6an.i, nm, ac cnrna4inam na 10,565' B. PESrnurx nnrne-
py6. n upocmLuam nHchmama. j( ni i q roar 2-r
b= I .o I nownie2seme

5. a ywcm-oamy cm nponemmm imcima Bi nom. sEP nc-eTrsm
6. B1, BEosepcKb ci. accurnaiqm na 100 n i amkioC 4-ro Im vm.
pyv6e. norn mresemep mraxoz-
J mo:

7. Ba C-omi- noeuxta na 15 py6_iel. -an.ayena n~. erOCE=
5-ro Jomaj. Hnor' ale-
cmep ai, ix.o-m.o:

1 maa i?.a.1te annacnaa Bce, smo catAyen- Ao Cawnrmncmp-
6ypra, a smo Aa ape, aApeconamr m. ceA ropoA. A norno, onic x ,oa-
aemH nIoammnieCllepi. noA.icamLn. rnlocI moro xasaoe uc;ieo rprZ-'
cblaemfn cnoH nocmni-naxearim mraxnm o6pacina.:

lesfJ Pazriwnca

Bi, Taxa,sIa, c- accrnmraiNJA na 5550 1
py6Ael. I
B2, Iy40oeo ci. rrpocrnuma nmncbraim. m

Ba .A.a,ozy c-i accurHairrlaiir na 150 pyf. -
(:113-. M aniinuiaea an, O.oHerqs:) 1

Ba Taxezi na-3rre
no0~-rne e=3ep- marx; -

Ci. m-lr, o noy,-hUema
rac-cxam 8-ro Iam.X
nosem ~o-

IoirmrAeciriepi maro~ir-mo:

For quite a long time, the post-packets with ordinary and insured letters, both private and official, were
secured with one wax seal and for money and valuable sending with five wax seals. The paper utilised for
the post-packets had to be clean and not crumpled or hard.

H3-b C. HeTep6ypra

(Kjab (MocKOB. ry6)

Great changes in the order of handling post-packets were introduced in 1871 by
the 18t. Circular of the Postal Administration. The Circular permitted the following-
-the utilisation for the outer covers of post-packets of paper with partial writing or
-the flaps of the post-packets containing a small amount of ordinary mail to be
. affixed not with a wax seal, but with paper wafers bearing a post office marking.
-the utilization of printed paper labels to indicate the destination, showing the points
of despatch and receipt,,as here at left.

3Apxnn AMC, 4h. IIora, on.2, p.410
SPOCCHiClKH rocygapcmeHT A'ropwiecKHfl apxmB (PFHA), 4ona 1289, onmcE 1, nenio 836 C-fexep6yprcKo-MoKOBCKocB ci Xee3iinoi opore), .mcr 32.

June 2002


A post-packet is to be seen in
Fig. 2, the flaps of which were
sealed with paper wafers of the
Kaluga post & telegraph office.
As of 1887, paper labels began
to be affixed on the flap side of
S- ordinary post-packets with the
indication on them of the points
-- of despatch and reception. Such
labels served both as a seal
(replacing the paper wafers) and
__-- for showing the address.
The order of transmission of
_-* ,---_...',_ /{5- S, .-_L. ordinary mail was henceforth
constantly simplified, starting in
S1874 with the permission to
.send single letters without their
being packed in post-packets,
resulting in the almost complete
Fig. 2. abolition of post-packets for
ordinary mail in 1916.
"The Provisional Regulations for Postal Affairs", which went into service as of 1 January 1872, permitted
the enclosure of registered letters in post-packets together with ordinary mail, but there had to be on such
post-packets the notation "with registered letters".

As of 1874, registered letters began to be recorded in a special register. It was stipulated in an instruction of
the Postal Department that: "All post-packets, bearing the notation 'registered' and proceeding to a specific
point, had to be recorded at the end of the register... Thereupon, the register with the registered letters and
registered post-packets had to be inserted in a further overall post-packet, upon which ....the word
'registered' had to be placed and the total weight shown". It was also stated in this Instruction that "The
officials and sorters accompanying the posts in the mail coaches and on steamers are obligated... to verify
on the relevant documents the registered post-packets handed to them and, upon opening those addressed to
a particular mail coach or steamer, carry out an examination of their contents according to the
documentation which must be present in each post-packet" [5].
Je-- .- --- -- -T The notation "registered"
on the post-packets was
3A KA3 HO N sometimes done by hand,
A A 3 A b9 r. T but various types of
.-. t.... ,-handstamps were often
Fig. 3. Fig. 4. utilised (Figs 3-7). A
post-packet containing
registered mail was put
Si together even for only
KA SEASHO SAKASHO one sending. Also, it was
permitted that both
Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. registered and ordinary
post-packets could be closed, not by a wax seal but with a printed paper wafer bearing the marking of the
post office (later by means of a label, specifying the points of despatch and reception). However, registered
post-packets are known, closed with wax seals.
5 PI'HA, 4.1289, on.1, a.3948 nepecumnc 3aiaKH3x imcem), n.2.
June 2002

The impression of the wax seal on money post-packets was applied with the
S QQ copper cachet used for insured mail. Black wax was utilised at the St.
Petersburg G.P.O. for sealing money post-packets. Up to the end of 1894,
circular copper cachets with a diameter of 30mm. were applied there for that
A. n R purpose, showing the arms of the Postal Service and inscribed in the centre
nee "CTP. KOP." (Insured Mail); in the upper part : "C.I.B. IIOHTAMTA
9KCI. nIP. H LLITAK: (SPB G.P.O. Despatch Office for the Acceptance
of Money and Valuable Packets) and at bottom: "J1-IS IIOCTh-
Fig. 8. nIAKETOB'b" (For Post-Packets). For the Despatch Office at the St.
Petersburg G.P.O. which accepted money and valuable packets, there were ordered at the end of 1894 20
examples of the cachet "to seal post-packets, with corresponding numbering" in the new form (Fig. 8 ) [6].
The post offices, sending post-packets to various places in the Empire, could not utilise labels with the
names printed thereon of numerous destinations. In practice, there were applied labels upon which part or
all of the inscription was done by hand (Fig. 9). As of the 1890s, many post offices applied cachets on
ordinary and registered post-packets (Figs. 10-14). The shape and sizes of the cachets were diverse, being
struck in black, blue or violet. Such cachets were placed either on separate slips of paper, which were then
affixed to the post-packets as a label (Fig. 15), or on the outer cover of the post-packet (Fig. 16).
U ~---


v.. *2 J"

i3ib ryraHc6axa, /IAnf,

Fig. 11.

Fig. 14.

Re TL~
B-T 1T. T]

B-b j


Fig. 10.

1 31b IEBBE 3CTJI.
B b ----------------- ---- --- -1-------

Fig. 12.


Fig. 13.

1 IeHnpajrmn.mi rocygapcTBenumH rrcropmecKil apxnH Carnrr-HeTep6ypra, 4.1543, on. 2, A. 353 <06 H3Menemnm 1opIa nesrer H
rreMnejefl, ynoTpe6ngjeMblX B 3KCIICnealfH npleMa leHeCZiHXix H CIInHHx naKeroB JrM olneqaIhLIamo npHHm naeMOH Koppecnos.aeHimH a
oneaTMlBaeMbix nocr-naKeTOB), 3, 12. THE POST-RIDER/IMIIUHK N2 50
48 June 2002


"PkI.rA E

i i(

, -. -- l


.- ~ ..1 Fig. 16.

Fig. 15.

Judging by the condition known to the author of the post-packets and documents of the Postal
Administration, the standard of handling ordinary and registered post-packets declined around the middle
of the 1870s. Almost any kind of paper began to be used: pages from old recording books, blank forms of
the accompanying documents, outer covers of post-packets which had previously gone through the post etc.
The inscriptions on the address side were often applied carelessly and read only with difficulty. As the
Director of the 5". Department for the conveyance of mail on the railways wrote in February 1875: "Some
post offices enclose registered mail in old or even poor quality paper, do not apply clear inscriptions on the
registered post-packets and, in general, do not seal the registered post-packets, restricting themselves to a
light application of glue "[7]. The Postal Administration repeatedly insisted on "the devotion of special
attention to the clear and precise indication on the labels (if these latter were not printed) of the points of
despatch and reception..." (Circular No. 42 of 1887 from the Director of the 'TFYInT' [Main
Administration of Posts & Telegraphs] and, in an Order No. 5 dated 3 August 1900 from the Director of
FYIInT, it was stated that "Inscriptions ...should be applied exactly and without fail in ink... It should be
strictly observed that there were to be no old labels, even if crossed out, on the outer covers of ordinary and
registered post-packets".

Fig. 17. Fig. 18.

However, it is evident that these requirements were often violated. We see in Figs. 17 & 18 the front and
back of a post-packet, made from sheets taken a book of No. 8 forms, which were originally intended for

recording the receipt of registered mail. The post-packet had been used twice and the address portion had
been allowed to remain on both its sides.
7 PFHA, 4).1289, on. 1, g.4112 <<06 on-cpmT Ri nepeaae npocmx H aanmcmx nocT-naKeroB Memray noDrroIAM ympeakeHu m BaroHamw>,

June 2002

~-r ~`'-~.-;--- S ..-. M

i ----';Pit '-=.;


.../ -_ ,g 1 -.

.' Fig. 20.

On the post-packet in Fig. 19, the label is handwritten, the inscription being inaccurate and hard to read.

Post-packets, which were not packed on being handed over in sacks or portmanteaux to a mail coach, were
struck with the datestamp of that particular van (TPO / RPO). Fig. 20 shows the back of a post-packet,
accepted by Mail Van No. 34. The regulations specified that: "there should be applied... on all mail and
documents arriving at the van the datestamp with the indication of the year, month and day and the number
of the station, where the mail or documents were accepted at the van" [8]. In the transmission of collected
post-packets, consisting in turn of small post-packets being sent in the same direction, the latter were to be
enclosed in a large post-packet and the postmark of the mail van was naturally applied only on the large

Fig. 21. 3n. A U b... 3b Fg 10.

The procedure for handing over mail to the post offices, accepted originally at the mail vans was repeatedly
changed but, in addition to their other duties, the officials travelling on the mail vans handled the
preparation of post-packets. In the book "St. Petersburg: The Imperial Post....", partial strikes of markings
are shown [9] applied in mail vans for the.preparation of post-packets (Fig. 21).

The postmarks of the mail vans (TPOs/RPOs) began to be applied on money post-packets as of June 1874,
when the Postal Department permitted the presentation in an open state to the mail vans of post-packets
with enclosures of money up to 100 roubles and they were not enclosed in satchels or portmanteaux. As of
February 1885, money post-packets with sums of up to 3000 roubles were sent in an open state and, by
1894, the open transmission was established for some mail vans of money post-packets without limits on
the amount enclosed therein.

The postmarks of steamers on money post-packets appeared in 1881, when the open transmission was
permitted of post-packets with enclosures of money up to 50 roubles for the steamship lines along the
Volga and Kama rivers, as well as on the Black Sea-Sea of Azov basin. In 1883, the limit for money
enclosures in post-packets, sent on steamers in an open state was increased to 100 roubles, in 1887 to 300
roubles, in 1889 to 500 roubles and in 1892 to 1000 roubles. There was a corresponding increase in the
number of money post-packets, sent openly on steamers. For example, steamers on the Kazan'-Astrakhan'
and Nizhnii-Novgorod-Perm' lines conveyed the following quantities of such post-packets:-
1881: 7025 pieces; 1884: 25,879 pieces; 1887: 37,160 pieces and 1889: 42.782 pieces [10].
8 9 Ian LG. Baillie & Eric G. Peel "StPetersburg: The Imperial Post its postmarks and other postal markings. 1765 1914", Kemi6pa, 2001r.,
t' PIHA, 4. 1289, on.2, n. 1230 <06 ycTaHOBJeHHH OTcphrrofi nepecsijcH Ha napoxonax noco-naKeroB H IIOCLLTOK eCHIHOCThlo o 300 p6.tesfin,
n.4; t.1289, on.2, .2295 06 ycTaHOBJieonH OTKpbiTAi nepecauiinn Ha napoxogax eeHexclmix nocr-naKeTOB IIeCHIbX nIIocLII Ha CiM1 1000
50 py6jier, J.5. THE POST-RIDER/IMIIMIK NO 50
June 2002

In March 1899, the open transmission was permitted on all steamship lines of money post-packets with a
value of not more than 3000 roubles, excepting for the steamers of the Volunteer Fleet.
Post-packets with money orders were regarded as
SAHA3HOIR OGT -f-flAHETb being in a registration category and were sent as
c nn registered post-packets. However, the labels affixed to
C' EirP E 04 ArH them, with an indication of the type of post-packet and
tB r'u A UO nn designating the points of despatch and reception, were
W3" J D r E-BA f Up ,11. in red colour. In 1911, Circular No. 58 of the Director
of FYITIT (Main Administration of Posts &
'b,..-- __..________ Telegraphs) dated 28 September, permitted: "the
substitution... of affixing labels on the post-packets
3A A1nb BA3b being transmitted by the application of cachets in such
i. 2 a way that... the applied markings were of large size,
struck clearly in red and contained therein the same
indications, which had been present... in the labels" (Fig.22).

Excluded from the rules were the money orders, accepted on some steamship lines as of 1913. On these
latter, they were packed together with money sending and they were therefore handled as money post-
packets. In accordance with an order of the Director of the Perm' Postal & Telegraphic District, who
controlled the transmission of the posts on the Rybinsk-Perm' steamship line, "the money orders, together
with money accepted on the steamers will be enclosed in the money post-packets and handed over to the
nearest post office ashore" [11].

There were no post-packets, which handled cash-on-delivery mail. In connection of that limitation and as
noted in some books (for the listing of insured or registered mail) and recording the acceptance of
correspondence, such mail was transmitted in money or registered post-packets.

In St. Petersburg, the post-packets were also utilised in exchanging some classes of mail between the
G.P.O. and the city post offices and postal-telegraphic stations and, up to 1904, also in interlinking
exchanges: between the G.P.O. and sections, as well as between sections and telegraphic offices.

Upon arriving at their destinations, the post-packets were examined and recorded. After the post-packets
had been opened, the mail contained therein was verified and recorded in the relevant books. There existed
several sets of rules for the various classes of mail transmitted in post-packets. For example, it was stated in
the instructions of the Moscow G.P.O. regarding the opening of registered post-packets that: "During the
verification, it is necessary to see carefully to it...that all registered sending had numbered labels affixed
thereon and that the correspondence from mail vans (TPOs/RPOs) and steamers had numbers written in by
hand" [12].

The Postal Administration energetically tried to simplify the transmission of mail and, towards the end of
the period being covered in this article, some of the correspondence (most of the ordinary letters, individual
money post-packets, etc) were forwarded without being enclosed in post-packets.

At the present time, the outer covers of ordinary and registered post packets are very rarely to be found,
while examples of those for money, parcels and money order sending are unknown to the author of this
article. The post-packets demonstrate undoubted interest for collectors involved in studying the postal
history of Russia, as they shed light on the salient features of various classes of mail.
n rocynapcTBemnmit apxHB epMcKoi o6jiacm, q. 110, on. 1, 56 <,Ieno c uHpKynjapaMH H 6yNaraMH K pyKoBonacry ...), n. 113.
12 ((HHCpyKmwI qHHaM 3KccelHnHH FopoacKOio IIoTrms MocKOBCKoro noqTraMa>, MocKBa, 1907r., crp, 10.
Editorial Comment: Further usages and references to post-packets are shown on the next page, including
in the Soviet period (taken from: B.M. PomecTBeHcKaa "MexKyHapoAHbii 1iOMTOBbIfi 06MeH",
CBsi3bpauonsH3aT, MocKBa 1938, cTp. 45 H 70).
June 2002

A way-bill for mail
with a printed
reference that it
accompanied a
ROPiT post-packet
to Mt. Athos, where
it was received on
8 March 1909.
There were 29
letters listed
on this way-bill.

4'opMa AB 1i

lnpocTon nocTnaeeT
B A eHunapaA-Mex)cayHapo,4Ha mUTemnen
. ....-. ................................................ M1 3 3aAeaKu
3aaeiblBaaj HBaaHo

3aKa3HoA IocTnaKeT


KyAa XapbKOB-aoKsa.A
fIIlTeiI niJi
MexC.yn. BxKcneAuguR H3 aean

3aAeabman Il-empoe

Ending on an exotic note, here
is a label for sending of the
newspaper "PRAVDA" from
Krasnoyarsk to the post office
at Kyzyl, Tuvan Autonomous
Province. There is a printed
request at top left to return
urgently the empty sacks!

This label is shown in actual size.


Examples of Soviet post-packet labels.

At left: A label for an ordinary post-packet
going to the Leningrad International P.O.
Below that, a registered post-packet label going
to Khar'kov Rhwy. Stn. International Despatch.


HJf 172
nHc. 10 6aHA. 7

B THpacnonb

Ha KHeBa-BOK3. 3SaenfibIan (noOnucb) 10.1.35 r.

Label for a registered international post-packet
No. 172 from Kiev Rlny. Stn. to Tiraspol',
then the capital of the Moldavian ASSR and
presumably the transfer point for international
mail to and from Southern Europe.

June 2002

: : .


F u1 i I 1,- i" r a i .-

(Eullctin d-. ccrrEc-ond-ncr:)
--ilocnr Daher1 P 0 n H T B ... -- -- ..

BepHHTe cpoqHo -_ -34

< K bI 3 bI JI

a. o.


7 0o L T E
Ko.iii.-. 'ecT
Ifex 3KcnentupoBaHmHi neqaTl


- -

Vadim Nikolaevich Ustinovskii, "Tyea: 3naKu Hommosofi Onsambt" (Tuva: Means of Postal
Payment) A Personal Assessment by Alan Leighton.

Word reached me late last year of a new handbook on Tuvan philately, authored by Vadim Nikolaevich
Ustinovskii, who has published many interesting and authoritative articles on the subject in various Russian
periodicals. The news that he had produced an entire handbook, illustrated, word had it, in "glorious
Technicolour on high-quality chalk paper" left some of us Tuvan aficionados gasping for air and reaching
for our heart medication. This was exciting news indeed. The yardstick for any book on Tuvan philately
must be the famous handbook by S.M. Blekhman, which has been the standard reference work in the field
since its publication in 1976. Now I have Mr. Ustinovskii's book in hand how does it measure up?

What struck me right off the bat was the superior printing quality. All the illustrations are marvellously
clear and many are indeed in colour-this is truly a most attractive production, marred perhaps only by the
"perfect" binding technique, which is a complete misnomer. The pages, glued individually at the spine may
tend, with repeated turning to detach and fall away. That has already become a problem for me in the
couple of months I have owned this work, for I have been thumbing through the book almost daily. Several
of the pages are loosening and a few have indeed detached.

After a short introduction to the history of Tuva and the Tuvans (including a finely reproduced Russian
map of Tuva originally published around the turn of the 20 century), Vadim Nikolaevich launches us on a
philatelic journey of this fascinating area. The first station is Tuvan postal markings and Mr. Ustinovskii
divides his essay on this subject in three parts: (1) Russian posts in Tuva until the establishment of a Tuvan
postal service in 1927, (2) Postmarks of the Tuvan postal service proper [1927-1944] and (3) Registration
and other postal markings of the Tuvan postal service.

The first section explores the beginnings of the Russian postal service to Tuva, which developed ad hoc, as
the area was gradually opened up to settlement by Russians from Siberia. The routes by which mail
travelled are outlined and illustrated by cancels of Minusinsk, Grigor'evka and Krasnoyarsk and by covers
and postcards, which originated in Turan, Kyzyl-Khoto and from the Byakov homestead in the Khemchik
Valley. The establishment of a Russian post office at Belotsarsk is given due prominence and several pages
are devoted to what the postmarks from that office were probably like, including illustrations of two
conjectured circular date stamps. The famous KRASNI ENIS *a* cds rounds out this section.

Regarding the postmarks of the independent Tuvan postal service, which functioned from 1927 to 1944,
Mr. Ustinovskii illustrates all the cancels known to date (including several unique items discovered or
publicised in the 1990s) and also includes details on their measurements, colours of ink used, known dates
of use, which stamps were cancelled by each cds and where the information on each cds was first
published. Mr. Ustinovskii touches upon the tantalising possibility of further discoveries of genuine
postmarks. It is especially mystifying that no postmarks of Ustinovskii's third series are known from
Chadan one of the main population centres of Tuva

A most welcome aspect of this discourse is the inclusion of duplicate, philatelic and bogus circular date-
stamps and how to tell them from each other and from the originals. Valuable as this information on fakes
and duplicates is, I have noticed a few unfortunate omissions. As a few of these omitted cancels are more or
less likely to be encountered by collectors in the West, I will mention them here,
using Mr. Ustinovskii's numbering system
SFirst, a bogus version of cancel 0.1 (KIZIL TOUWA), which occurs only with the
(31 ) Fl date 31.6.30 (Fig. 1). Either the forger put the year first (meaning 30 June 1931), or
he forgot that 31 June 1930 is an impossible date, since June has only only 30 days.
The form of the letters and the ridiculous date immediately betray this cancel. The
outer diameter is about 30-32mm.; the diameter of the inner circle is about 16-
Fig. 1: bogus cds 0.1 18mm.; the distance between the horizontal date bars is about 10mm. and the date
June 2002

numbers are about 4mm. tall. I have found this bogus cds primarily on stamps of the first issue and
occasionally on stamps of the second and third issues as well.

Fig. 2 shows a bogus version of the Turan type 3.8, different from the ones that
Mr. Ustinovskii illustrates. Only the date 29 11 35 is used, though only the early
strikes show the "5" intact. Later, the canceller was used on stamps issued after
1935, so the forger damaged the last numeral beyond recognition, as shown in
the accompanying composite drawing. Note the broken letters and lines. The
outer diameter is about 31.2mm.; the diameter of the inner circle is about 19 /%-
20mm.; the distance between the horizontal date bars is about 9 '/-10mm. and
the date numbers are about 4mm. tall. Found so far on the 7t., 8t. & 9h. series.

I hereby submit a more complete tracing of the bogus Turan cancel with the
narrow date frames (Ustinovskii Fig. 43a, my Fig. 3). It is found mainly
on stamps from the 7th. issue and occasionally on stamps of the 8 issue.
(Even though the narrow date frames immediately betray this cancel, I can
give the following dimensions for the record: outer diameter about 34mm.;
diameter of the inner circle about 22mm.; distance between the horizontal
date bars about 5.2mm.; height of the date numbers about 3mm., except for
the "8", which is about 3.5mm. tall).

Fig. 2: bogus cds 3.8, T. 3

Fig. 3: Ust. fig. 43a

It should be noted that the dates shown on CTO strikes of the duplicate and philatelic cancels are rather
more numerous than the listings indicate in Mr. Ustinovskii's table on pp. 38-40. However, to list all the
dates noticed so far, and on which stamps they occur, would waste space here and so must wait for separate
publication at a later date. That applies also for the exact descriptions of a third type of Mr. Ustinovskii's
<11I 3.8 (Turan) cancel, found on stamps of the 10th. and 11 t. series (so far only with the date 10 ml 35)
and of a presumably bogus version of III 0.2 (the famous bilingual cds), found on stamps of the first three
issues and usually with the date 29 VI 30.

An interesting sidelight in Tuvan philately is foreign cancels on Tuvan stamps. The Swiss field post cancel
has been mentioned in the literature; Mr. Ustinovskii repeats that reference here and illustrates the cancel.
Richard Clever reports the "Registered" series cancelled with a cds from Mongolia. Unfortunately, no
pictures are available.

Fig. 4: MOCKBa 65 cds. Fig. 5:MocKBa cds.
I have seen two Tuvan stamps which were cancelled in Moscow. One was illustrated in an Internet auction
and it is shown here (the colours have been manipulated to suppress the orange of the underlying 1-kop.
stamp from the "Registered" series). Not having seen the stamp at close range, I can make no further
comment upon it (Fig. 4).

The other Moscow cancel was a fortuitous find among my own duplicate stock. The slightly scuffed
appearance of the stamp points to genuine usage to or from Moscow, but who knows? The cds seems to
read MOC[KBA] / 2 / A3EP)KIH. Y3EJI / -- / -3 5 [3]6 3. Perhaps one of our readers can identify the
cancel and its post office (Fig. 5).
June 2002

---; .-'-- p- --... '" \ -,.
'""9 "-- "-

: .. ..

Fig. 8: Bogus "TbBA
Fig. 6: presden cds. Fig. 7: Napoli cds. POSTA" cds.
More unusual are two other cds impressions that I found in a bulk purchase. The stamps were all cancelled
on the edges in such a way that no one stamp shows enough of the cancel to raise suspicions-but the
opportunity of picking through a large number of the stamps allowed the secret to be exposed. One of the
cancels reads DRESDEN / A24 y / and the other reads PORTO D'ISCHIA / NAPOLI /
14.9.36. These stamps are probably the result of some unscrupulous dealer of 60 years ago trying to satisfy
the demand for "used" Tuvan stamps, possibly with cancellers which disappeared from their respective post
offices in the course of the European chaos of the mid-20 century. See Figs. 6 & 7 above.

Finally, a cancel which is so bogus it is absolutely breathtaking. Fig. 8 above at right shows a composite
tracing from a set of the 8th. issue, bought via the Internet from a stamp club in Australia. On each stamp,
the cancel was quite faint or only on a small comer but, using stamps from the whole set, it was possible to
piece together enough of the cancel to draw a few conclusions. First of all, the text TbBA POSTA seems to
have been taken from the inscription on the stamps themselves and seems absurdly out of place on a
postmark. Secondly, all the impressions are so weak as to be barely visible; certainly no accident. Thirdly,
the half-moons show vertical strokes absolutely atypical for Tuvan cancels, but quite common in many
European countries. Again, I suspect that somebody was trying to create "used" Tuvan stamps (outer
diameter about 31mm.; diameter of the inner half-moons about 17mm.; distance between the horizontal
date bars about 6mm.; height of the date numbers about 2.8-3.2mm., but because they are tipped or slanted
to the right, their height perpendicular to the date lines is about 2.5-3mm.).

An even more bizarre twist in the postmark saga is the occurrence of Tuvan cancels on stamps of other
countries. Stamps of Georgia postmarked with the Turan cancel No. literature, but that was omitted by Mr. Ustinovskii. Apparently, some worker at the Soviet Philatelic
Association reached for the wrong canceller when producing Georgian CTO stamps.

To round off the section on postal markings, Mr. Ustinovskii describes the registration handstamps, a
fascinating subject completely ignored in the Blekhman handbook. Various boxed and unboxed varieties
from Kyzyl and Turan are shown and some provisional markings by hand are also illustrated. A great help
was Mr. Ustinovskii's comments on and descriptions of fake registration marks and also his explanation of
the exclusively philatelic usage of two familiar marks (applied in Moscow, no less). On p. 51, Mr.
Ustinovskii also raises questions regarding the OUSINSKOIE / YCHHOKOE "transit" cds. I personally
find the conclusion inescapable that the "transit" cds was in fact applied in Moscow in order to simulate
genuine usage from Tuva, as mentioned by Mr. Ustinovskii also in "The Post-Rider No. 47" for Nov. 2000,
p. 75. This section is concluded by illustrations and descriptions of several
miscellaneous markings, including the company handstamp and the handstamp .
of the great seal of the Tuvan Ministry of Communications, unfortunately N
mistakenly identified as being of the TAR Government Printing Office.

It is a pity that Mr. Ustinovskii did not include a reference to an extremely
interesting postage due handstamp, of which he is perhaps unaware. A cover
with this handstamp now resides in the R. Clever collection, from which Fig. 9 Fig. 9: Postage due
is taken. At the top of the oval we see the Tuvan word TOLEER (roughly: handstamp.

June 2002

"To Pay") and, in the bottom field, there is a diagonal line, to the left of which the post office employee
could note the amount paid and to the right of which he/she could write in the total amount for the letter.
Unfortunately, that diagonal line is obscured by a blob of ink on the one example with which I am familiar,
but it seems that the postal employee did not enter either of the two values. The United States Post Office
Department evidently did not charge postage-due to the recipient of the envelope in Elgin, Illinois.

The next stop on Mr. Ustinovskii's philatelic tour of Tuva is the explanation of various aspects of Tuvan
stamps: surcharges, perforations, local printings and proofs.
The section on surcharges outlines the many overprints on Tuvan stamps (some of which are extremely rare
and will never be seen by mere mortals), including a lengthy description of the many varieties of the
famous fiscal overprints. This is extremely valuable, as these stamps are indeed commonly offered for sale
or auction in the philatelic trade, sometimes for exorbitant prices. It is nice to know where you stand when
confronted with such offers and Mr. Ustinovskii's signposts do much to point the collector in the right

Next follows a fascinating essay on the perforation varieties found on Tuvan stamps, including fake
perforations, mixed perf. varieties and so forth. Mr. Ustinovskii's theory on the origin of the many varieties
of No. 23 remains, of course, speculation and it is up to other collectors to decide for themselves whether or
not they find his theory plausible. The variation in size of many of the Tuvan pictorials is illustrated and the
danger this presents by enabling the "manufacture" of perforation "rarities" is indicated- It is a point well

Mr. Ustinovskii then moves on to describe at length the locally printed issues of 1942-1944 and, especially
valuable, he provides detailed explanations and illustrations of "reprints" made by the artist Vasilii
Dyomin, as well as of fakes made, apparently in the 1960s and 1990s. Some of this material is merely
repeated from Blekhman, but much of it is new. Its importance can hardly be underestimated, considering
the crude printing of the original stamps and the consequent relative ease with which a forger could chum
out fakes. A few pages on proofs, essays and specimens finish this section. That subject is treated again in
much more depth (and with colour illustrations) later on in the book, leading me to wonder why the short
section was left here.

The next major station on Mr. Ustinovskii's tour is a visit to the designers and researchers of Tuvan stamps.
Short biographical essays are given of O.F. Amosova-Bunak (who designed the "ethnographic" series of
1927), V.V. Zav'yalov (who designed most of the colourful pictorials, especially those of high
ethnographic value) and V.F. Dyomin (who designed the locally printed issues of the 1940s). Though it
seems to be the case that many Tuvan stamps were designed at Goznak by committees or production teams,
who must remain anonymous for the most part, it would have been nice to include a few words about
I[l'ya?] Sokolov. He actually initialled a few of his designs and has therefore escaped the complete
anonymity of some of his colleagues ("I.S" seems to have specialised in the more political or
propagandistic designs: the 80 kop. and 1 or 2 aksa of the 1936 "Jubilee" issue, for example, but he was
apparently also responsible for the marvellous Naadym scene on the 70 kop. stamp of the same series).

The researchers who merited essays are: V.K. Golovkin (who pioneered research in the 1920s-1930s), V.V.
Sokolov (who carried the torch forward in the 1940s), S.M. Blekhman (the leading light of Tuvan philately)
and Andrew Cronin (the editor of these pages, responsible for awakening interest in Tuvan philately in the
West and setting the standard for its investigative research there). Unfortunately, there is no recognition in
the handbook of the major contributions of James Negus, who published many outstanding and important
articles, or of V.N. Ustinovskii himself, who perhaps felt it would be inappropriate to include himself. The
reader does not appreciate his modesty and would have preferred to see a few lines about this prolific and
important authority.

The next station on our tour of Tuvan philately consists of a catalogue of stamps of the Tuvan People's
June 2002

Republic: regular issues, provisionals, charity stamps, some of the fiscal stamps, postal stationery (stamped
envelopes), proofs and colour trials. This is the section which will be most useful to those enthusiasts of
Tuvan philately who do not read Russian, for the colour illustrations of every Tuvan stamp speak volumes
in themselves and, helpfully, each illustrated stamp is identified according to Mr. Ustinovskii's numbering
system, which he seems to have developed himself The pictures of the common stamps are familiar
enough, but the colour illustrations of rare and even unique stamps are truly a feast for the eyes [1]

Of course, all the known stamps are listed, including perforation varieties and many minor colour variants,
although the front endpapers illustrate a stamp not listed in the catalogue (I am referring to the 2-
mung./kop. stamp of the first issue overprinted with a red Mongolian "8"). Each stamp in the catalogue is
assigned a value for mint CTO and postally used, employing a point system apparently intended to reflect
relative rarity. Here, however, the reader in the West will note some curious point assignments, arising
presumably from differing rarities for some material in Russia and the West.

For example, Mr. Ustinovskii's No. 58 (the imperforate 20-kop. fox hunt stamp of the "Registered" series)
is given 1400 points in mint condition, whereas No. 135 (the green sable stamp from the "changed colours"
series) is given 700 points in genuinely used condition. Collectors in the West can get the fox hunt stamp
mint imperforate for anywhere from US $0.10 to $1.00, but it is the lucky collector indeed, who can find a
used "changed colour" stamp at any price! Many more examples could be cited of such skewed
relationships, but suffice it to say that the point assignments are, to my mind, the one weakness of this
handbook. Fortunately, current retail prices among Moscow clubs are given in the appendix and these
dollar values tend to reflect more accurately the value and relative rarity of Tuvan stamps.

Extremely valuable are the sections on the early (Mongolian script) fiscal stamps, the "OKTE" charity
labels and the "Posta" overprints on the fiscal stamps. The listings imply that a unique example of the 35-
kop. large numeral surcharge has been found in mint condition. That stamp was noted only in used
condition in previous handbooks and articles (including the extensive treatment in the magazine
"HniaTejnRa" by Mr. Ustinovskii himself, upon which this section is largely based).

Specialists should note that, in the 14th. issue, Mr. Ustinovskii lists and illustrates a stamp missing from the
Blekhman catalogue: Ust. No. 120: "30" [kop.] on 3 ak a of the 13th. issue, with profiled obliteration of the
old value, similar to the "05" [kop.] on 2 aksa of the 12 issue. The stamp is listed as unique, so it will not
be offered on eBay soon!

In the 15th.issue, I notice that No. 124, the "10" [kop.] black surcharge on No.
66, the 1-tug. stamp of the 8th. series (airmail animals) is listed and illustrated as
perf. 12 '/2 (that agrees with Blekhman's illustration, though not with his listing).
S Fig. 10 shows a stamp with the black surcharge, but perf. 14 and I suggest that,
.y" in reality, all surcharges on this stamp (i.e. Ust. Nos. 118, 124 & 127) could
i have been made on stamps of either perforation and that the question of which
Stamps were saved for posterity was one of pure chance. Perhaps there are other
Stamps lurking in some remote corer of Russia of which we have, at the
Fig. 10: black surcharge, moment, absolutely no inkling.
perf. 14
One disappointment is that the illustrations of the two types of ornament of the 10 kep. camel caravan stamp from the "registered" series
were not newly scanned from stamps for this edition. Good clear pictures would clear up some of the confusion regarding these common
varieties. In the hopes that monochrome scans might help in this regard, I present three pictures here. As Mr. Ustinovskii points out on p. 130,

note 2, the important criterium is the colour of the ornament in comparison to the colour of the sky in the background of the scene below. In
Type 1, it is identical; in Type 2, it is darker irrespective of whether it is a light print or a dark print.

Type 1 Type 2, light print Type 2, dark print 57
June 2002

Following upon the catalogue of Tuvan stamps is a detailed listing of the few known Tuvan postal
stationery envelopes. There were six main types, a few of which have been found to have variations in the
colour of the imprinted stamp, or in the patterns printed inside the envelopes. Each of the main types is
illustrated in full colour. This is the stuff of philatelic dreams!
The final station of Mr. Ustinovskii's philatelic tour of Tuva is an in-depth treatment of essays, proofs, and
colour trials, with elaborate and informative tables and glorious colour illustrations.

Having arrived at our final destination, it remains only to peruse., some "statistics" of the areas we have
traversed here in the form of several helpful appendices.
Firstly, there is a table giving points of relative rarity for genuine Tuva cancels.
There is next a table of missed perforations (fantail margins and pairs imperforate between) and double
perforations. On the former, see below for further comments.
A concordance then follows of catalogue numbers, coordinating the Ustinovskii, Blekhman, Kanak, Yvert,
Michel, Stanley Gibbons and Scott catalogues. Unfortunately, this table is only of limited value, because
some of the entries are wrong. A careful cross-checking with the original catalogues before the Handbook
went to press presumably would have done much to avoid these mistakes.
The fourth appendix is a short treatment of the recent "stamps" bearing the name of Tuva. While some of
them had the blessing of the Tuvan regional government (though never of the Russian postal system and
thus were never valid for postage), most of them are the products of unscrupulous "stamp" dealers trying,
successfully it seems, to part fools from their money. It is unfortunate for Tuva that its name is being
tarnished by this flood of colourful labels, depicting subjects having nothing whatsoever to do with Tuva,
such as Teletubbies, for God's sake. Poor Tuva!

An extremely helpful addendum (showing current prices in Moscow philatelic clubs late in 2000), an
extensive bibliography and a three-page English summary of the Handbook complete this volume.
However, this review would not be complete if I did not take the liberty of filling in a few omissions and
correcting a few errors in Mr. Ustinovskii's listings:-

(1) The symbol featured as the main motif of the first issue is not the "Wheel of Fortune" or the "Wheel of
Eternity", or even the "Wheel of the Cycle of Nature", but is the Dharmacakra (the "Wheel of Truth'), the
"victorious wheel of a thousand spokes". As presented here, in a version seen quite frequently in details on
temple facades, in temple paintings and in scroll pictures, the thousand spokes have been reduced to eight,
thereby symbolising wonderfully the symmetry and completeness of the eightfold path: the centre and
circumference represent perfection (solar energy); the spokes represent the eightfold path (rays) to
perfection. The wheel is the symbol of the preaching Buddha, who "sets the Wheel of Truth into motion". It
is one of the Eight Noble Symbols and also one of the Seven Gems: all together fourteen auspicious
symbols having great religious significance in Buddhism. The wheel has also retained its pre-Buddhist
significance as a symbol of sovereignty, making it a fitting subject for the first stamps of the newly
independent People's Republic of Tannu-Tuva [see reference 2 at the bottom of this page].
(2) The oft-repeated criteria for determining the first and second printings of the first issue are, three-
quarters of a century later, not particularly helpful. The "white" gum may have mellowed with age,
"smooth" gum may have cracked and the paper may have changed with time. In fact, it appears to me that
many stamps simply did not fall clearly into either category and the suspicion must be that there were in
reality many more then two printings of this issue (and for other issues as well, for that matter).
2[Helmut Hoffman, Symbolik der tibetischen Religionen unddes Schamanismus (Symbolism of the Tibetan religions and of shamanism)
(Symbolik der Religionen [Symbolism of religions], ed. by Ferdinand Herrmann, vol. 12, Stuttgart: 1967), pp. 42, 54-55, and 56; Gertrude
Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore and Symbols (New York: 1961), 2:1670, s.v. "Wheel of Law", and 2:1675, s.v. "'Vheel ... Eight
spoked wheel"; John Krueger, letter to Alan Leighton, 2 Oct 1996; Valrae Reynolds and Amy Heller, Catalogue ofthe Newark Mluseum Tibetan
Collection (2nd ed., Newark, N.J.: 1983), vol. 1, p. 67; L. Austine Waddell, The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism. 2" ed., 1934 (Reprint
Cambridge: 1958), pp. 389, 390, and 392, and also p. 132, n. 2 (citing T. W. Rhys Davids, Buddhism: Being a Sketch ofthe Life and Teachings
ofGautama, the Buddha [London and New York: ? 1878], p. 45); Michael Weiers, ed., Die Mongolen: Beitrdge zu ihrer Geschichte undKulzur
(The Mongols: Contributions to their history and culture) (Darmstadt: 1986.), fig. 8.]

June 2002

What the different qualities of these printings may be can probably not be determined at this point unless,
by some miracle, information is lurking in the printer's archives, waiting to be discovered and publicized
by some enterprising researcher. I am not holding my breath.
(3) While Mr. Ustinovskii describes the sheet layout of the early issues, he does not mention this
information for the pictorial issues (starting with the "Registered" series) perhaps because these stamps
were sold in the main to foreign stamp dealers. My own knowledge is incomplete, but I can contribute the
following sheet layout information:-
Seventh issue ("registered" series): 1 & 2 kop., sheets of 80 stamps (10 rows of 8 stamps); 3 & 4 kop.:
sheets of 70 stamps (10 rows of 7 stamps, tilted to one side to make a rectangular sheet), 5 kop. to 20 kop.:
alternating rows of four and three stamps (not known how many rows in total, therefore the number of
stamps per sheet is also unknown). Thanks go to Andrew Farberov for much of this information.
Eighth issue (airmail animals): diamond-shaped stamps (1, 5, 15 & 50 kop, 1 tug.): sheets of 70 stamps (10
rows of 7 stamps, tilted to one side so that the sheet is rectangular) with guide marks (a large "+") in the
centre of the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet; small triangles (10, 25 & 75 kop.): presumably
sheets of 140 stamps in the same layout as the square stamps, except that each square would be divided
diagonally into two triangular stamps (tete-beche pairs); 2 tug.: (large and small triangles): unknown.
Tenth & eleventh issues: unknown.
Twelfth issue ("25h. Jubilee" series): 1, 2 & 3 kop.: sheets of 63 stamps (9 rows of 7 stamps tipped to the
left or right) with guide marks in the centre of the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet; 4, 5, 6, 8,
10, 12, 15 & 20 kop.: sheets of 80 stamps (8 rows of 5 tete-beche pairs), with guide marks in the centre of
the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet; 25, 30, 35, 40 & 50 kop.: sheets of 54 stamps (18 rows of
3 stamps), with off-centre guide marks in the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet; 70 & 80 kop.:
sheets of 50 stamps (10 rows of 5 stamps) with guide marks in the centre of the margins at the top and
bottom of each sheet; 1 alka: sheets of 55 stamps (5 rows of 11 stamps) with guide marks in the centre of
the margins at the left and right of each sheet; 2 akla: sheets of 50 stamps (5 rows of 10 stamps) with guide
marks in the centre of the margins at the left and right of each sheet; 3 & 5 aksa: sheets of 55 stamps (11
rows of 5 stamps) with guide marks in the centre of the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet. The
guide marks are always a large "+".
Thirteenth issue ("25h. Jubilee" airmail series): 5, 10 & 15 kop.: sheets of 126 stamps (9 rows of 7 tete-
beche pairs) with guide marks in the centre of the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet; 25, 50 & 70
kop.: sheets of 84 stamps (6 rows of 14 stamps) with guide marks in the centre of the margins at the left
and right of each sheet; 1, 2 & 3 akla: sheets of 80 stamps (20 rows of 4 stamps) with off-centre guide
marks in the margins at the top and bottom of each sheet. The guide marks, as before, are always a large

Seventeenth issue ("changed colours" series): unknown, but presumably identical to similar stamps of the
previous series.
(4) The stamps of the "Registered"
series not assigned a point value for
CTO condition do exist in fact. For
.,', .' .' example, Fig. 11 shows the 10 kop.
< Type 1. The date of the familiar
z i^ bilingual KIZIL cds is 12 IV 34, as
.',.10 < on the other CTOs of this series and
can be seen a little more clearly in
]Fig. 1l:Ust. no. 48 CTO. Fig. 12:12 IV 34 Fig. 12.
(5) The problems with Mr. Ustinovskii's point-value scheme have been touched on already, but I feel that I
must mention three specific evaluations of stamps of the 8th. series (airmail animals):
No. 66A (the 1 tug. perf. 12 1/2) is not inordinately rare in mint condition in the West. It certainly
does not rate 750 points, equal to the much scarcer genuinely used condition of that stamp.
The 2 tug. stamp, contrary to Mr. Ustinovskii's listing and also contrary to all the catalogues except
Sassone, is much more common in the West in the large size, than in the small. I understand from
correspondents in Russia that the situation is reversed there. Also, at least in the West, the small-size

June 2002

triangle is extremely rare used (even CTO) and is certainly not the most commonly found form of that
stamp, as Mr. Ustinovskii's point scheme might lead one to believe.
(6) Fig. 13 shows Mr. Ustinovskii's No. 7313 (the 10t "Landscape" issue,
15 kop., perf. 14:14:14:10) in used condition. The partial cancel seems to
be from the Moscow duplicate of the bilingual KIZIL cds.
(7) Mr. Ustinovskii is perhaps unaware of a possible colour error involving
the 1 aksa stamp of the 12 ("Jubilee") issue. Two copies in my collection
and a further three copies in a collection in Israel show this stamp in the
carmine-red colour of the 2 aksa stamp from the same series (all five are
mint). One of my copies has suffered water damage, but the other is
pristine, showing normal gum, paper and perforations for this issue. Fig. 13: 73B used
Besides this, several other factors lead me to believe that these stamps are colour errors and not proofs or
colour trials: the colour is identical to the 2 aksa shade (the same brilliant red, without a hint of the yellow
or orange of the 1 aksa colour, as confirmed by the Expertisation Committee of the CSRP); the identical
designs of the 1 and 2 akga stamps (which could have facilitated a slip-up at Goznak); the almost total lack
of proofs or colour trials of this issue (on p. 170 of the Handbook, Mr. Ustinovskii reports only one known
proof, namely of the 35 kop. stamp and stuck on cardboard) and finally, the fact that I found these stamps
lurking in otherwise perfectly normal and mundane collections offered on eBay (implying a true slip-up
and, with the publication of this information, I kiss goodbye to any chance of finding such stamps on eBay
again at such a cheap price!). ---
(8) I am aware of two mixed perforation stamps ..
of the 12th. issue not listed by Mr. L .
Ustinovskii: the 4 kop. perf. 14:14:1 '
(Fig. 14 in the A. Farberov .- F
collection) and the 10 kop. perf. Fig14:
11:11:14 (R. Clever collection).. perf.14:14:1
(9) As can be seen from some -. -
of the comments above, one .
exciting aspect of studying ,. ... ; ,
Tuvan philately is that new "" --- -- ..-.
discoveries can still be made. The field of "missing perforations" (that is, fantail margins and pairs
imperforate between) is particularly rich in this regard. A few such stamps I have seen or heard of, but
which seem not to have come to Mr. Ustinovskii's attention are the following:-
Eighth issue (airmail animals): 25 kop. mint, fantail at right (Fig. 15, in the A. Farberov collection);
25 kop. mint strip of three with the centre stamp imperf. between at bottom and at left (R. Clever
collection); 25 kop. mint pair imperf. between at left (inferred from the R. Clever strip of three); 75 kop.
CTO, fantail at left (Fig.16, in the A. Farberov collection).
SFi. 17.

between on the left side (Fig. 17, scan, courtesy ofE. Slone); 25 kop. mint, fantail at right (Fig. 18, in the
Eleventh issue ("Zoological" series): 3 kop. mint, fantail at left (Fig. 19); 10 kop., mint pair imperf.
between on the left side (Fig. 17, scan, courtesy of E. Slone); 25 kop. mint, fantail at right (Fig. 18, in the
A. Farberov collection); 2 tug. CTO, fantail at left (believed to be in the R. Clever collection) and 2 tug.
CTO, fantail at right (R. Clever collection).
June 2002

,............ .... ....... ..

Fig. 21. Fig. 20
Twelfth issue ("Jubilee" series): 4 kop. perf 11 CTO, fantail at left (Fig. 21, scan courtesy of E.
Slone); 5 kop. perf. 14 CTO, fantail at right (Fig. 22); 35 kop. perf. 11 CTO, fantail at top right (R. Clever
collection)); 70 kop. perf. 11 CTO, fantail at right (R. Clever collection); 70 kop. perf. 14 CTO, vertical
(10) On p. 121, note 3, Mr. Ustinovskii states that the 40 mung./kop of the "Ethnographic" series does not
exist perf. 10:10 /2 (contrary to Blekhman's information). Mr. Bo C. Olsson informed me that he had.such
a stamp, but I have not seen this variety, so I cannot say if it is not perhaps the product of reperforating a
wide-margined example [My last news from Bo Olsson is that he set that stamp aside because it was
special, but now he cannot find it!! Arrrgh!!].
(11) On page 121, note 6, "23-38" should of course read "23-28".
(12) On p. 134, note 3, Mr. Ustinovskii states as fact what can only be conjecture: that the 10 kop.
"Landscape" stamp illustrated by A. Cronin in "The Post-Rider No. 1" of September 1977, p. 19, Fig. 12 is
the product of trimming a stamp with wide margins. The stamp as illustrated shows a cds applied only in
Kyzyl, implying that the stamp was genuinely used. Who can say for sure that a sheet, partly or entirely
imperforate, did not find its way to Tuva? I believe that if such a stamp were used postally, it would look
like what we see in the 1977 illustration and thus the possibility must remain that the stamp is genuine.
Besides, R. Clever reports that an imperforate pair of this stamp has been offered at auction. Unfortunately,
there is no picture available to check the width of the outer margins.
(13) On p. 141, stamp No. 117 is listed as being surcharged on stamp No. 112, whereas the illustration
clearly shows the surcharged stamp to be No. 105.
(14) On p. 145, note 2, quantities of stamps of the 17t. ("changed colours") issue delivered to Tuva are
given, but unfortunately, they seem to have been copied from the Blekhman Handbook, which had a few
typographic errors. It is my understanding that documents in the Tuvan archives attest to the following
figures: 5 kop. (green sable): 29,964 stamps; 10 kop.: 137,920 stamps; 15 kop.: 29,920 stamps; 20 kop.:
49,920 stamps and 30 kop.: 42,350 stamps. I can think of three explanations as to why the number of 10
kop. stamps should be nearly equal to the numbers of all the others combined: (a) the numbers of the
stamps for the other values were under-reported; (b) the number of 10 kop. stamps was over-reported, or (c)
they really did receive that many more 10 kop. stamps for reasons that cannot be fathomed today. It must
be stressed that the figures given here are for stamps delivered to Tuva for postal purposes. It is not known
how many stamps were sold mint via the Soviet Philatelic Association in Moscow, though judging by how
much more common the stamps of this series are in mint rather than used, the number must have been
(15) On p. 149, the figures for Nos. 148IA, 148Iaa, 149IA and 149Iaa (perforation varieties of the locally
printed 25 and 50 kop. stamps) were omitted. Fortunately, it is simple to extrapolate them from the listings
as they stand.
(16) On p. 159, the postal stationery envelope K5 is mislabelled as K3 on the caption.
(17) On p. 165, I believe that something is awry with the list of colours in the upper table of known proofs
of the 8th. (airmail animals) series. I have several proofs, stuck onto the usual grey-brown cardboard, which
did not fit into the colour scheme as given. They are: 10 kop. yellow-brown; 25 kop. bluish-black; 25 kop.
June 2002

brown-lilac (could possibly pass for lilac) and 75 kop. black. In addition, I have seen gummed and
imperforate essays (as in the second table) of the 5, 15 & 50 kop. stamps-in rose-carmine (R. Clever
(18) Finally, a curious omission must be noted: Tuvan postal rates are mentioned nowhere in the
Handbook, even though Blekhman published rates in his 1976 book (including tantalizingly, rates for
reply-paid postcards, none of which have survived in any collection, to my knowledge).

These final comments and, indeed, all my criticism are not intended to belittle the incalculable value of this
Handbook. I feel that it is the best single resource yet for Tuvan philately and any enthusiast of Tuvan
stamps must have this book at hand. Congratulations and many, many thanks are due to Vadim Nikolaevich
Ustinovskii not only for this volume, but indeed for his matchless energy in disseminating philatelic
information on this little-known and often misunderstood country.

Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the new Tuva Handbook by V.N. Ustinovskii can contact the author of
this review, who has acquired a quantity of them from Moscow for resale. Postal address: Alan Leighton,
Im Stapel 42, D-44879 BOCHUM, Germany; e-mail: Leighton@gmx.net.

by Andrew Cronin.

Alan Leighton has raised some important points in the foregoing assessment of the V.N. Ustinovskii
Handbook and your editor will now add some further data under the following headings:-

Dubious cancels on Tuvan stamps: ,

Fig. 3

Fig. 1. Fig. 2.
Mr. Leighton has nit the nail on the head by referring to cancellers, which disappeared from their original
post offices during the chaos of WWII. Shown above in Fig. 1 are the 5 & 30 kop. stamps of the first issue
with the German postmark of"... STETTIN 1 / 31.2. ?.1. 8 b" (!). Since WWII, Stettin has become the
Western Polish town of Szczecin and the German canceller was obviously souvenired from that office.

F 2 shows the 18 kop. value from the "Ethnographic" set, which may turn out to be a forgery of the
bilingual KIZIL postmark, as the letters and numerals seem appreciably thicker than normal. Fiz 3 features
the 1 kop. of the first issue with a partial strike from a Soviet canceller for an office in Tuva, while the 1
kop. "Jubilee" bears a partial transit strike of the Soviet MINUSINSK postmark It seems that, in both
cases, the markings had been applied deliberately at some time after Tuva had been absorbed by the USSR.
By the way, there is a spelling mistake in the inscription on the last stamp, namely in the third word under
the initials "TAR": it should read PROLETARLARb and the designer obviously confused the Cyrillic "P"
for the Latin "P".

621Fi -------- ---

62 Fig. 4. Fig. 5.

June 2002


Two Azerbaijani stamps are pictured in Fig.4 at the bottom of the last page with very faint strikes of the
"TURAH" CTO, which was apparently applied in Moscow by employees of the Soviet Philatelic
The 5 kop. "Jubilee" with an indecipherable violet dotted marking over the right corer is seen in Fi. 5.

Questionable imperforate stamps.
With the exception of the first issue, the 1 to 5 kop. values of the "Ethnographic" set and the fiscal, all the
other Tuvan stamps were completed by utilising single-line perforators. It is important to remember here
that the application of printing is a simple one-step operation, which immediately produces a sheet of
stamps. Line perforation is a much longer process and, in finishing sheets of, say 100 stamps, a total of 22
applications are required from a single-line perforator. Adding to that the nightmare of frequent
adjustments so as to perforate triangular and lozenge-shaped stamps, it is no wonder that pairs imperforate-
between, fantail margins and stamps with wide margins occurred during the rocking motion of the line-
... -- ---------

'. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ -------W- -' ," *'lL

Fig. 6. L

Three examples of the results of missing perforations on the 3 & 5 kop. and 3 tug. of the "Zoological" set
are shown here in Fig. 6.

Fig. 7.

Fig. has examples of apparently imperforate stamps, being possibly trimmed from a fantail variety (25
kop. airmail animals), or from wide margins (10 kop. "Landscapes", 3 and 40 kop. "Jubilees"). The
"Landscape" variety is possibly genuine, since a mint pair has been reported by R. Clever as having been
offered at auction, as well as the used copy originally held by your editor. Also, the veteran Canadian
dealer Casimir Bileski of Winnipeg offered back in the 1950s imperforate multiples of some values of the
"Jubilee" set, but your editor did not have the money to buy them at the time. It seems that, to be sure such
varieties were indeed imperforate, one should collect them in at least strips of three or blocks of four, to
avoid suspicion of trimming.
June 2002

Other perforation varieties. ......... .. .......... ...
Fi. demonstrates the correction to .
a fantail margin on the 15 kop.
"Landscapes", by applying a
line-perforator in another gauge to
create the compound perforation of
14:14:14:10 2. Note also the double
vertical perforations on the pair of
the 3 kop. "Zoological" series, . -'-...
caused by malfunction of the line- Fig. 8.
perforator and possibly resulting in pairs imperforate between elsewhere on the sheet.

The "changed colours" issue.

Fig. 9

Used copies of these stamps are very hard to find, often being in poor condition and with unreadable
postmarks. Some examples are illustrated here in Fi. 9, with only the 15 kop. bearing a postmark in violet
reading KbZbL TbBA (the date cannot be made out).

The "Cliffe" covers.
The left side of Fig. 10 on the next page reproduces a Soviet bilingual (Franco-Russian) Verification Form,
taken from the work "International Postal Exchange" by V.M. Rozhdestvenskaya, 3d. corrected and
expanded edition, p. 64, Communications & Radio Publishing House, Moscow 1938. This example
includes the names at bottom left of two Soviet postal officials: Jidkow, Nossow. Your editor once owned
one of the Tuvan covers addressed to Ernest Cliffe, which had affixed to the back another setting of such a
verification notice, signed by "Nossoff' (HOCOB !) and addressed to the Manchester post office (see the
right side of p. 65). Written in excellent French, it reads as follows:-
"Enclosed is the registered letter No. 659 from Kizil, addressed to Manchester 2 in the name of Ernest
Cliffe, which has been received at the post office in Moscow in bad condition, having the edges of the
envelope torn. Moscow, 15 November 1935. Nossoff".

The inference is that the cover was in bad condition because it had travelled for some distance prior to
having been handled in Moscow. The question now remains as to whether it had actually passed through
the Soviet border point at Usinskoe and had in fact been backstamped there. Turning again to the book by
V.M. Rozhdestvenskaya, references on pages 153 & 169 (see Fig. 11 on p. 66 herewith) confirm that the
Soviet postal point at Barbakkhak exchanged mail daily with Tuva except on Sundays, after the
correspondence had been transported by motor from Minusinsk and that the approximate period of
transmitting the mail from the Soviet exchange point to Tuva varied from 1 to 3 days!

The postal point at Barbakkhak is not listed in the 1977 edition of the "Nomenclature Internationale des
Bureaux de Poste", issued by the U.P.U. in Berne, Switzerland and it may have been renamed. In any case,
readers are now invited to turn to pp. 67-70 for a truly excellent analysis by Gwyn Williams of the Tuvan
registered covers sent to Ernest and Thomas Cliffe in 1935. Finally, any further information on Tuvan
philately and postal history is always welcome from philatelists interested in that area.

June 2002

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by Gwyn Williams.
Back in autumn 1998, I spotted a Tuvan cover in the catalogue of a U.S. auction house. It took my eye at
the moment because it was addressed to the U.K.: Mr. Thomas Cliffe, Colwyn Bay, England (even though
Colwyn Bay is actually located on the coast of North Wales!). The cover was offered with a "bilingual
Ousinskoie Nov 4 Siberian bkstp proving usage from Tuva". Unlike most Tuvan covers, which tend to
have a multiplicity of stamps, this one had a single stamp: SG67, the 50-k. "hunter" value from the 1935
Landscape series. This hinted at the possibility of commercial use, despite the Latin script address in
English. Intrigued, I bid for the cover and was successful (Figs. la & lb on the next page). However, on
receiving the cover there came disappointment, for the reverse also bore a Soviet Philatelic Association
handstamp not mentioned in the auction catalogue. So, was the cover posted in Moscow after all?

Later, in 1999, a UK auction house advertised a similar cover addressed to Mr. Ernest Cliffe, 19
Brazennose Street, Manchester 2, England in similar handwriting to my cover. This too bore a single 50-k.
"hunter" stamp, cancelled KIZIL / TOUVA with, on the reverse, an SPA handstamp and an OUSINSKOIE
cds, -6.11.35 (Figs. 2a & 2b on the next page). The same US auction house also offered several other
covers addressed to Ernest or Thomas Cliffe, most of them with stamps of the "Landscape" series, but a
few with those of the "Zoological" series (Table 1).

Since then, the provenance of these covers has been thrown into even sharper relief following publication
of the recent handbook by V.N. Ustinovskii, which comes down firmly on the side of the covers having
been fabricated in Moscow by the SPA. In his view, the boxed "R KIZIL" registration mark and
OUSINSKOIE cds were sure signs of this (see in particular his Fig. 58, which features the SPA address and
bilingual Ousinskoie cds from a cover of the "Cliffe" type and is captioned: "Counterfeit transit postmark
OUSINSKOIE with an indication of the address of its origin").

So, what is the story behind the Cliffe covers?

The Cliffe covers
As will be seen from Fig. la, the front of the Thomas Cliffe bears the 50-k. "hunter" value from the 1935
"Landscape" series, with a violet Cronin Kyzyl I1 / Ustinovskii 111 1.1 cancellation dated 29.10.35
[references 2,3]. It is registered, with a boxed "R" handstamp and the registration number "763" entered by
hand. It is also crossed in hand-drawn blue crayon a registration mark almost certainly applied by the
British Post Office [4]. The reverse of the cover (Fig. lb) bears a bilingual "Ousinskoie" cds dated --
4.11.35, as well as an oval Colwyn Bay registration mark. The date of this latter mark is faint and
fragmented, since the canceller appears to have slipped as it was applied, but it can be deciphered as
27.11.35. This suggests a transit time of 6 days from Kyzyl to Usinskoye and 23 days from Usinskoye to
Colwyn Bay; a total of 29 days in all. As mentioned above, there is also an SPA handstamp on the reverse
of the cover. As outlined above, the Ernest Cliffe covers are very similar, although the examples I have
seen did not have the GB registration cancellation.

As yet, it is difficult to establish a firm figure for the total number prepared of the "Cliffe" covers.
Information from Edward Proud (see below) confirms a lower limit of around 100. Examination of those
registration numbers on the covers that I have seen (Table 1) suggests two sequences of 639-774 and 63-84
for dates between 24.10.35 and 3.11.35, making 156 covers in all, assuming that these sequences are
unbroken. Cronin [2] noted cancellations dated for a slightly longer period of 24.10.35 to 5.11.35, so it is
probable that the total number prepared was somewhat higher. Any additions to Table 1 would be

Real or not?
Four factors point to these covers being posted in Kyzyl.
June 2002

Fig. la.

.USS r
-Ass '
A 'IDr-

Fig. 2a. Fig. 2b.

June 2002

Firstly, both Cronin and Ustinovskii are agreed that there is no evidence of the Kyzyl II canceller
(inscribed "KIZIL / TOUVA") having been used in Moscow [2,3].
Secondly, in contrast to many Tuvan covers, they bear an appropriate franking 50 k. was the correct
payment for an international registered letter at that time: 20 k. for the registration charge, plus 30 k. for an
international letter up to 40 grammes (roughly 1 1/3 ounces) [5].
Thirdly, the total transit time of 29 days for the Thomas Cliffe cover was a reasonable interval for it to have
travelled from Tuva to the U.K. in the mid-1930s. For comparison, a philatelic cover of the 1934
"Registered" series, with a Moscow transit mark, took 25 days to travel from Kyzyl to Genoa, Italy [6].
Covers of the "Landscape" series produced in and despatched from Moscow had a far shorter transit time:
usually 17-18 days for European addresses [7]. If these covers had been despatched from Moscow, one
either would have expected similar short transit times, or for the SPA to have covered its tracks by
extending the transit times for the obviously Moscow-produced covers too! The phasing of the transit time
for the Cliffe covers between Kyzyl and Usinskoye and between Usinskoye and Colwyn Bay also seems
fully consistent with transmission through the regular postal service. In addition, the British Colwyn Bay
registration cancellation and blue crayon cross constitute supporting evidence that the cover did go through
the post and that such covers were simply not produced by the SPA in Moscow and sent direct as a single
bundle to Britain.
The fourth factor is more controversial: the presence of the Ousinskoie cds. As Ustinovskii points out,
application of this handstamp was not usual practice at that time [8]. Given that the Kyzyl HI cancellation
shows that the cover entered the mail in Tuva, it seems probable that this cancellation was applied to
underline that it had indeed travelled from Tuva, which is ironic now that this very cancellation is causing
the pedigree of these covers to come into question! Ustinovskii also notes that the cancellations were
applied very accurately and that the date plug appears incompletely engraved, set within a perfect stamp.
However, it seems unlikely that the dated cancellation was applied at Nastas'inskii Lane as Ustinovskii
suggests, given that the Ousinskoie cds date coincides so well with the overall transit dates of the covers.

Apart from the Ousinskoie cds, Ustinovskii's other objection to these covers is the boxed "R KIZIL" mark,
which he has invariably found on philatelic covers applied by the SPA in Moscow. It seems very likely that
SPA officials facilitated preparation of the covers in Moscow, before they were sent on to Kyzyl for
posting. Thus, the registration mark could have been applied as part of the preparation of the cover, in
addition to affixing the stamp and addressing the envelope. However, it is equally possible that postal
officials in Kyzyl applied the registration mark at the time of cancellation of the stamp. Other evidence
helps to support the second view: that there were duplicate registration marks in use in Moscow and Kyzyl,
as suggested by Cronin [2]. For example, the "Fritz Sommer" covers, prepared by Sommer in Switzerland
and sent by him to the Postmaster in Kyzyl for registration and returned, bear a boxed "R KIZIL"
registration mark. As discussed in "The Post-Rider No. 48" [9], the transit times of these covers suggest
that they did make it to Kyzyl, rather then being intercepted and returned from Moscow.

Putting all this together, there is no doubt that these covers are philatelic in character and that the SPA had
a major hand in their preparation. However, I believe that there is little doubt that they did enter the mail in
Tuva and thus are of considerable added interest over the usual SPA philatelic covers mailed from
Moscow. Ustinovskii seems somewhat harsh in describing these "Cliffe" covers as fabricated or
counterfeit, when they appear to have postal service from Tuva and, as such, are far more genuine than
most productions of the postal administrations of today. But this still begs the questions as to why they
were produced.

So, who was Thomas Cliffe?
In parallel with philatelic investigations into these covers, I sought to learn more about Thomas Cliffe.
Enquiries to the Colwyn Bay Library drew a blank. Then, in a Stanley Gibbons magazine article by Edward
Proud about the remaindered stamps of the British East African Company, I found that Cliffe was the
"well-known stamp wholesaler in North Wales" [10]. I wrote to Mr. Proud, asking if he could tell me more

June 2002

and received a most unexpected reply:-
"Thomas Cliffe was one of the largest wholesalers before the war and in the post-war period up to circa
1960. He imported at the time a large quantity of Tannu Tuva, which met with a hostile reception by the
philatelic world so that he, along with several foreign wholesalers, arranged for letters to be sent to them to
prove that the stamps were being used postally. On a visit to him many years ago, I purchased about 100
covers which were on his shelves and had been left there for the past 30-40 years and it is probable that the
cover you own came from this lot" [11].

All fell into place. Like Bela Szekula for the U.S., Cliffe was the main importer of Tuva stamps to the U.K.,
preparing attractive packets of pictorials for Woolworth's and other retailers on a large scale. In 1931, for
example, he purchased well over one million remaindered Ethiopian stamps [12]. Many children in Britain
were introduced to stamp collecting by Cliffe's "XLCR Stamp-Finder", first produced in the 1930s and
published in various editions until the 1960s. The company was originally based at Colwyn Bay, but moved
during the 1930s east along the North Wales coast to "The Philatelic Factory" at Rhyl. It is not clear to me
whether Cliffe marketed these covers during the 1930s and that Proud had purchased the remaining stock,
or whether Proud bought the bulk of the covers that Cliffe had held back from the market for some reason.
Whichever, they remain a fascinating legacy of an attempt to prove that Tuva did indeed have a legitimate
postal service.

As yet, my enquiries about Ernest Cliffe have drawn a blank. He was presumably related, but whether he
was in the stamp trade I do not know; any information from readers would be appreciated.
Table 1: Details of "Cliffe" covers recorded by the author 1998-2002.
Address; Reg. Date Kyzyl Date Ousin. Franking
no cds cds
Ernest 639 24-10-35 28-10-35 Landscapes 50k
Thomas 763 29-10-35 04-11-35 Landscapes 50k (fig la/lb)
Thomas 769 29-10-35 06-11-35 Landscapes 10k,15k;
Zoological 25k
Thomas 774 29-10-35 ? Zoological 50k
Ernest 63 ? 06-11-35 Landscapes 50k (fig 2a/2b)
Thomas 84 03-11-35 06-11-35 Landscapes 10k,15k, 25k
1. Ustinovskii V.N. 2000a. "Tuva Tokens of Postal Payment", Moscow.
2. Cronin A: "Tannu-Tuva and the new Blekhman Handbook". "The Post-Rider 1:5-28 and per comm.
3. Ustinovskii V.N.: 2000a, p. 32.
4. Cronin A. 2000. Editorial Comment on Ustinovskii V.N. 2000b. "The Post-Rider" 47:74.
5. Blekhman S.M. 1997. Trans. RT. Hogg: "The Postal History and Stamps of Tuva". Second Edition.
Tannu Tuva Collectors' Society Inc., Lake Worth, Florida, U.S.A.
6. Williams G.M. "Selected Tuvan Covers". "The Post-Rider" 49:32-33.
7. Calculated from data in Cronin 1977.
8. Ustinovskii V.N. 2000a, p. 51; also Ustinovskii V.N. 2000b. Commentary on the article "The KbZbL
'a', 'b' & 'c' postmarks applied in Tuva", "The Post-Rider" 46:111-112 & 47:73-75.
9. Williams G.M. 200 b. "The KbZbL 'c' Puzzle". "The Post-Rider" 48:95-97.
10. Proud E.B. 1999. "Forgeries not cancelled to order!". Gibbons' Stamp Magazine, March 1999:33-35.
11. Proud, E.B., in letter of 6 May 1999.
12. Anon. 2002. Bela Szekula and Ethiopia. TbBA 25:2.4.
I would like to thank all those who have assisted me in the preparation of this paper, especially Messrs John
O'Sullivan for translating parts of Ustinovskii's Handbook, Andrew Cronin, James Negus, Edward Proud
(Proud-Bailey & Co. Ltd), David Beech (British Library) and Victor Short (Editor, "Philatelic
Paraphernalia", the Journal of the Philatelic History Society).

June 2002

("Tuva: More on the mystery of the 15-k. Provisional" The Post-Rider No. 49, p. 31)
by V.N. Ustinovskii.
1. The "15"/6k. & "35"/15k. surcharges on the fiscal stamps of Tuva were in fact utilised from the end of
1932 to the end of 1933 in Kyzyl without any intervention whatsoever on the part of Moscow and they
were prepared by the Tuvans themselves in accordance with a decision of the Tuvan Government. These
stamps cannot be called "Postmaster Provisionals", as the Tuvan People's Republic was a state which did
not form a part of the USSR at that time. These stamps were an official state issue, albeit even temporary
and were not the product of a local postal administration, acting on its own.
2. As with every regular issue, the surcharges were applied without a fixed quantity in mind and as a
necessary measure, in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Communications of the Tuvan
People's Republic and without any political motives in mind. The issue of these surcharges was specified
only for postal requirements.
3. The surcharges in Arabic numerals came into being because the Classic Mongolian numerals and
inscriptions were not only incomprehensible to the great majority of the population in Tuva, but they were
also not understood by the postal workers of those countries, to which mail from Tuva was directed.
Moreover and so far as the Tuvans themselves were concerned, one of the principal deficiencies of the first
issue of postage stamps and of the fiscal was the presence of Classic Mongolian inscriptions.
4. The application of the surcharges was terminated at the end of 1933, with the arrival in Tuva from
Moscow of a sufficient quantity of the original 7h. and 8t. issues, thus doing away with the requirement for
the surcharges.
5. The application of the word 'PoTta" was necessary, so as to convert the fiscal into postage stamps. By
the way, calling the surcharged stamps fiscal is not exactly correct, since even without overprints they also
had to perform duties, which were not fiscal functions. In the Catalogue-Handbook of Russian Non-Postal
Stamps (authored by A. Bova, A Luk'yanov & Yu. Turchinskii) and included as a running supplement in
the journal "4HjnaTeeji", they are clearly referred to as fiscal (see No. 12 / 1996 of that magazine).
6. The reissued surcharges were prepared in 1936 on the initiative of the Soviet Philatelic Association.
There was at that time no postal necessity whatsoever for these surcharges. The reason for the reissue was
neither political nor economic and the background for their appearance is now no longer a secret. It was in
fact an attempt on the part of the Soviet Philatelic Association to earn money by deluding collectors and
thus taking advantage of the interest shown by philatelists. We should give the Management of the Soviet
Philatelic Association their due, as the attempt. worked then. It took many years of investigative work to
determine that these stamps of the second issue were bogus, or more clearly reprints. And editor A. Cronin
was absolutely right in suspecting in his commentary that the Soviet Philatelic Association had fabricated
the Kyzyl covers with the date 29.9.36. It should only be made clear that all these covers (see "The Post-
Rider" No. 48, pp. 96,97) were prepared in Moscow with the application of a registration cachet of
"KIZIL" (without the word Tuva), which had never been in Tuva and that even some of these covers had
been transported to Tuva (so as to give the appearance of "authenticity") and sent from there through the
post to Moscow. There were various fictitious addresses on the covers, which did not correspond in
location with the strikes on the backs of the arrival markings of the Moscow regional mail centres.
In addition to this series of fabricated covers, there are also known covers which actually went through the
post with postmarks of 1936 and bearing not only the reprints, but also genuine stamps with surcharges of
the 1932-1933 period. They were prepared privately by known philatelists, with relatives in the Soviet
Philatelic Association Management and they were sent together with the Soviet Philatelic Association
material to Kyzyl, from where they were sent back through the post to the addresses of these collectors.
However, such philatelic sending are very rare, as very few of them were prepared at that time.
7. There remains still a question for which the answer still remains a secret. There is a suspicion that the
numbering machine with small figures left Kyzyl in 1935 (after the preparation of the 9th. temporary issue)
and arrived, together with the "Posta" cachet, at the Soviet Philatelic Association in Moscow. Detailed
investigation is indicated but, at the very least, it can be tentatively stated that such a transfer did take place.
Editorial Comment: Classic Mongolian was used, as the Tuvans originally had no alphabet. The reprinted
"small" surcharges were valid for postage and could be bought at the State philatelic shops as late as 1940!
June 2002

To celebrate the centenary of this issue
by Rabbi L.L. Tann.
Allow me a few opening comments to pay a very richly deserved tribute to our esteemed editor Andrew
Cronin and his Yamshchik colleagues. We have reached Issue No. 50 of this excellent journal, celebrating
25 years of publishing. In its 50 volumes there is crammed a huge amount of fascinating material across the
vast spectrum of Russian philately: not only news and views, but a stunning array of groundbreaking
investigative articles, many of which will be the definitive bedrock in those fields and others which will
spur further studies in areas not hitherto thought of "Yamshchik/The Post-Rider" undoubtedly holds a
unique and enviable place in our fields of philatelic study. It has been a privilege and honour for this
particular writer to contribute I hope usefully. We wish Andrew and his comrades good health and
strength to continue publishing this outstanding journal LLT.
One hundred years ago, a new issue of Imperial Arms stamps made its debut. It is sobering to think that an
issue which appeared in the very early 20 century is now 100 years old! And it is true too, that this 1902-
1906 issues pales into the background against the earlier 19th. century issues and the more glamourous 1909
issue, because it extended through to the Great War and Revolution and the Romanov Jubilee issue of 1913
the only commemorative issue of Imperial Russia. This article looks at the stamps (Part 1 herewith) and
usages (Part 2 in No. 51).

In very general terms, for the issues of the 19th. century from No. 1 in 1858 onwards, stamps of different
values were produced and inserted into existing sets as needed. Rates varied and, as Russia joined the UPU,
new rates and values were created. In the final issue of the 19th. century, i.e. of 1889-1894 on horizontally
laid paper (some call it 1889-1892), the posthorns under the Arms in the centre with the lighteninge
flashes" (thunderbolts) constituted a full set, matching values and including values fulfilling specific rates
and requirements. Just as an aside, although outside the scope of this study, there was an equally useful and
balanced set of postal stationery: wrappers and imprinted postcards and envelopes.

Why was there an apparent gap from 1894 until 1902? Unlike today, where stamps are in continual
production to provide for the many millions of all values required, a set was printed and over the years of
official issue the stockpile was enough. More could be printed from the plates as required, so that the set
was printed initially during 1889-1894 (or -1892 according to others), the quantities were stockpiled after
supplying the post offices and more sheets were printed upon requisition orders from head post offices
across the Empire. No doubt some considerable quantities were printed and supplied from 1894 until
beyond the turn of the century, which spanned also the demise of Tsar Alexander II and the accession of
Tsar Nicholas II in Oct./Nov. 1894. I am certain that, by late 1900, the old plates were wearing down and
thoughts were already turning to a new issue. The 1902-1906 issue was born.

Building on the developments of the earlier issues, the lower values in this set as issued fulfilled specific
functions. In other words, it was intended that, for the basic postal requirements, multiple uses were
unnecessary. Where two stamps or more are found on postcards, covers, registered items etc, one presumes
that the sender had a selection of stamps on hand and made up the required rate. If the stamps were bought
at the post office counter, the clerk would have needed to issue only one stamp. If the item already has a
stamp affixed because the sender had one/some, the clerk would sell a stamp to make up the required rate.

The principal set of 1-kopek up to the magnificent 7-rouble value was issued during 1902-1905. Two major
values, 5 r. & 10 r., were added in 1906, but also on the same paper and in the same type. They therefore
belong to the set and are hence included by referring to the issue as that of 1902-1906. New plates were set
up and the paper prepared. The white wove paper was the same as the earlier type with a watermark of
wavy lines and the Cyrillic letters "933B" for the Office of Printing of State Papers (Imperial State
Printing Office) interwoven across the paper. However, the straight lines which were part of the watermark
June 2002

that ran across the paper define it as being horizontally laid (1889-1894 issue), because it was set for the
lines to run left to right. For the new 1902 issue, the paper was prepared as before, but was turned 90
degrees, so that the straight lines ran top to bottom and the paper for this issue is thus vertically laid. Hence,
the two issues cannot be confused. Simply hold the mint stamp(s) up to the light with the face away from
you and you will clearly see the lines of the watermark. When stamps are affixed to a postcard, cover etc, if
the item is held to the light at an angle, you can clearly see the watermark with the lines running
horizontally or vertically across the stamps. We ought to be grateful to the long-gone planners of these
issues for making the watermark so clear for us.

Essays and proofs were made. There was no intention of departing from the styles, colours or designs as
used hitherto. Quite a number of proofs exist for this new issue in blocks and sheetlets. All were produced
originally in black, to test the plates as much as to see the proofs, but not all are known today thus. Some
were produced in colour on thin cigarette-type paper with the imprint of the State Printing Office, while
others were produced in single print on glazed paper or card. Blocks exist with the overprint or perforation
"OBPA3EI'b" (= SPECIMEN) and a sheetlet exists with four examples of the 7-kopek blue in vertical
format. Proofs exist of the later 5 r. & 10 r. printed on horizontally laid paper, but were of course issued
like the rest of the set on vertically laid paper. A proof of the 5 r. frame and centre exists in black without
background shading. The 15 k. was tried out in blue: blue frame and blue centre (and such a proof appeared
again in 1908 for the later 1909 issue), but was rejected. Some of these proofs appear at auction from time
to time and they fetch very good prices. They are certainly instructive of the preparations for this new issue.
There was no change from colours previously issue and standard colours, certainly for the basic values of
these sets were retained for two reasons:
* The people of Russia were used to certain colours for certain rates. To change would have confused them.
* Certain basic values and colours were laid down by the UPU, particularly the 4 k. in red for ex-Russia
postcards and 10 k. for ex-Russia letters.
(Allow me to suggest as an off-the-cuff comment, that it may well be why the 4 k. & 10 k. of this set were
of the same design but in the required colours of red and blue respectively; they were primarily intended for
ex-Russia mail).

One slight difference between the older and newer issues is this: the centres bore the Romanov crowned
double-headed eagle as the Russian State Arms (as it has staggeringly [!] become again today). On the
higher values from 14 k. upwards of the 1889 issue, the eagle is embossed so heavily on the central oval
that you can make out the feathers on the wings and the tiny eagle-heads very clearly. On the new 1902
issue, although embossed likewise, the embossing is not so heavy.

Before coming to the stamps themselves and associated interesting varieties, let this be added: the 5 & 10 r.
values prepared in 1905 and added in 1906 were designed by Richards Zariris (Richard Sarrinsch). He was
a brilliant stamp designer from the Baltic provinces of the Empire and continued to work on stamps until
mid-1917 when, having designed the "Sword & Chain" set for Revolutionary Russia, he then returned to
his native Latvia, designing its stamps up to the 1930s. He had worked with Arnold Baldinger in the 1880s
on the design of the 1 r. value and now designed these two new high values. They must be seen as "large
editions" of the later 1909 low values, which were his work too.

The values issued in 1902 were: 1 k., 2 k., 3 k., 5 k., 7 k., 14 k., 35 & 70 k., 3/2 & 7 r.
The values issued in 1904 were: 4 k., 10 k., 20 & 50 k., 1 r.
The values issued in 1905 were: (January) 15 & 25 k.
Added in 1906: 5 & 10 r.

There were of course overlaps in post offices and general usage. Stamps of the old 1889-1894 issue were
often used in tandem with the new issue. Post offices used up supplies as they came to hand and people
who had stamps of different values used them up, so there are cards and covers that have mixtures of the
two issues, as one gradually gave way to the other. Although it may not be possible initially to tell them
June 2002

apart on cover or card, holding them up to glancing light will show up the watermark clearly.

The supervision and checking of sheets at the State Printing Office was strict. It has to be understood that,
in any printing establishment, there are offsets and misprints, paper gets caught in machines, machines are
over-inked, there are human errors of all kinds and a great deal finishes up in the bins, on the floor to be
swept up, or half-blank sheets are put to one side to be used as scrap paper. No less so in an establishment
that prints stamps. In the ordinary course of events, none of this reaches the general public. Anyone who
has bought a book that has pages missing, or a set of pages repeated, or a blank page, or a page with
smudged ink, will recognize that it is at most one of only a handful thus [I once had a prayer book with a
whole bunch of pages printed twice, but I was sure the Good Lord did not want me to repeat those prayers;
He had heard them the first time!]. But despite the strict supervision, there were a number of beautiful and
delightful errors and varieties of this issue that did "escape" to brighten up the album pages.

The major errors were imperforate items. Many of the values are listed in the general catalogues as existing
imperforate and there are pairs, blocks and strips of several of the values. Most are mint/unused, but a few
exist used. The 7 k. covering the inland letter rate was probably the most used stamp of the series and it
exists imperforate, including several items used at Riga. At a guess one would say that at least one
imperforate sheet was despatched to the Riga central post office, where the clerk who had the sheet
assigned to him simply chopped it up with a pair of scissors!

The inverted centres are probably the rarest items. In one of the attributes to human error, as are all these
varieties, freaks and flaws, a sheet was fed into the press, printing the centres upside-down. The result: one
sheet of 100 stamps with centres inverted in relation to the rest of the design. One has to look carefully to
see that the Imperial Eagle is inverted in relation to the design. The few examples that there are of these are
all singles. Of the kopek values known with inverted centres, there is no multiple of the variety: not even a
pair! There is a chance that, in fact, one cliche in the plate had been inserted inverted by accident, thus
producing a single inverted item in each sheet. The checking procedure might have spotted this error, the
offending sheet withdrawn and the cliche corrected, thus producing only one or two examples that escaped.
It must be stated that there is one multiple item of an inverted centre: the famous block of four of the 7 r.,
which was in the Baughman collection and whose present whereabouts are unknown. This indeed would
have been an entire sheet. Probably because the values were intended to fit rates so that one never needed
more than one stamp for any one purpose, they were sold singly and thus only exist in singles. It is believed
that there are only two examples of the 35 k. inverted centre and no more than a bare handful of the 25 k.
inverted centre, two of them known with the Kolomna postmark.

The omitted centre, where the central oval is blank, is hardly less scarce. There are a number of items with
the centre omitted, namely a famous block of four of the 14 k., in which three of the stamps are normal and
the fourth has no centre. There is also a corer marginal pair of the 25 k. where one stamp has a blank
centre, but there is a colourless imprint of the Imperial Eagle on the blank centre, but sideways. That is
certainly due to the corer of the sheet, with that part of the stamp being caught up and folded over the face
of the sheet. The plate printed the centres: the coloured oval was printed on the back of the sheet margin
that was in the way, the embossing process imprinted the colourless imprint and, hey presto, an omitted

All the kopek values were perforated in one process. Some times the sheet was too far to one side or the
other and sheets were misperforated, with the stamps bisected by the perforations. But the five rouble
values of the set, namely 1, 3 1/2, 5, 7 & 10 r. were perforated by a machine that did one line at a time,
hence called a line perforation. The sheets were fed into this machine that perforated line by line. The sheet
was then turned 90 degrees and the other lines of perforation were added. Occasionally, the machine
hiccoughedd" hiccuppeded"; which spelling do you prefer, as both are correct?) and a line was missed;
occasionally, two lines were missed. Thus for the rouble values we get the variety "pair imperforate
between". That can be a horizontal pair lacking the vertical in-between perforations, or a vertical pair
June 2002

without the horizontal in-between perforations. These are all scarce, particularly one or two items with a
"double imperforate between", because two lines of perforation were missed. The 5 r. is known imperforate
in the base margin, where the final line of perforations separating stamp from margin was missed. The 7 r.
is known imperforate between used, which is scarcer than mint examples.

The 1 r. is recorded with two types of perforation measurements on individual stamps: the standard 13/2
measurement on two or three sides and 11/2 on the remaining side, or a combination of these. Scarcer is the
1 r. with the perforation measurement of 11/2 on all four sides. These resulted from sheets where
imperforate between occurred (as described above), but were detected at the security checking. Since the
standard perforation machines were in use, these sheets were then fed through another perforation machine
usually reserved for fiscal stamps etc, in order to perforate the missed rows, but giving the perforation
measurement of 11 1/2as required, on one side, two or all around.

Finally, minor varieties, which are not less interesting, because they too bear witness to the ancient
principle of "if it can go wrong, it certainly will": part-prints, shifts of background shading, paper folds,
centres misplaced, offsets of colour on the back... These all add great interest to an exquisite set of stamps,
which bears tribute in its magnificence, as well as in its errors, to the Imperial Russia of 100 years ago.

Note: All illustrations shown in the two parts of this article are from the collection of the author, unless
otherwise credited.

4. 14k corner stamp. Fold of
corer over face of stamp
caused 85% of centre
........ ......to be omitted.
1R. 2 examples showing
misplaced centres. '

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

5 Marginal pr 7k, imperf& with huge
shift of background shading.

2. 20k pr, misplaced centres.

Sl'"6. Corner pr of 7k. Foldof '
-. v corer has caused corer ..
-. *stamp to have part-print.
.: -- .,'- '.* V*- .-' .

3. Piece of cover, used Riga 1904. 7k single,
imperf& showing huge shift of
background shading.

June 2002

7_ 14k block showing
shift of centres.
8. Money-transfer order from
Brichany, 1907, franked with
70k with centre shifted to left.

10. 7k pair obstruction caused most of frame & centre to be omitted.
11. 7k pair paper creased before printing.
12. 15k. a fold or obstruction has caused half of centre to be omitted.
13. 3k pair double print of frame & centre.causing blurred appearance.
14. 2k top corner pair fold of corner over sheet has caused part-print.
rr .- r 7 '. .,......

15_ 1R vertical pr imperf between the pair.
16. 1R extreme shift of centre & value figure.
17.10k top corner pr extreme shift of the background shading.
18.3k imperfpr.

June 2002

By Alex Artuchov
(Kharkov Province)

Starobelsk is located in the southeast portion of the province of Kharkov about 125 miles
southeast of Kharkov. In 1897 the population was 13,128.

Horse and cattle raising were the principal agricultural activities. By way of industry the
city had some small foundries and distilleries.

Starobelsk issued stamps between 1876 and 1895.

Coat of Arms Colours:
Top and Middle: The Coat of Arms of Voronezh with a dark double headed eagle on
a golden background on top and a golden vessel spilling the blue
waters of the Vorenezh river on a red background.
Bottom: Black horse on a golden background.

1876 (Jan. 1)
21 x 27 mm, lithographed on stiff white paper 0.12 mm thick, yellowish white gum,
sheet consisting of 2 panes of 7 x 7 and an single vertical row of 7 with a space
separating the panes and the row, the space separating the panes is wider than the space
separating the single row, 7 types arranged horizontally, the types are mixed on the
vertical row, imperforate.

1. 3 kop. blue


June 2002

2. 3 kop. yellow (postage due)

(5 known)

The Sheet

The 7 Types:
Type 1 Nick in the lower half of the vertical stroke of the letter P in the top of the oval.
Type 2 Tiny blue dots between the letters OrT of the word IIOHTA
Type 3 A small blue dot after the letter O of the word CTAPOBIbJICKATO, blue
dot outside of the right outer zig-zag frame line above the letters bC of the
same word


Type 1


Type 2

Type 3

Type 4 Tiny blue dot over the back of the letter b of the word CTAPOBIbJICKATO
Type 5 A triangular blue spot over the right vertical stroke of the letter Ib of the word
Type 6 The right outer zig-zag frame line is damaged in many places
Type 7 The letter P at the top of the oval has a small bump on top and at the left bottom
of the vertical stroke

Type 4

Type 5

Type 7

June 2002


21 x 27 mm., similar to the first issue except that the numeral of value 3 is replaced with
the text TPH KOI On each of the 12 editions the corer numerals and inscriptions of
value in the oval were re-cut over and over producing new types each time.

I. Stamps with the letter H in the word TPH

First Edition (1876, June)
On white grayish blue toned paper 0.09 mm thick, light brownish yellow gum, sheet of
11 x 7 with 3 types arranged as shown below.

3. 3 kop. lilac blue



4. 3 kop. golden yellow (postage due)

The Sheet

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
2 1 3 3 2 3 2 1 3 2 1
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

The 3 Types

Type 1 Horizontal stroke on the numeral 3 in the NE corer is quite thick and with only
a suggestion of a serif. Several dots which form the background of the bottom
half of the oval to the left of the letter T are joined and appear as a line

Type 2 The horizontal stroke of the numeral 3 in the NE comer is thin and has a well
defined serif. There is a nick in the outline of the thick inner oval just below the
left end of the double horizontal centre line. The background with 3 k in the
NW corer touches the second link from the top of the chain like frame line on
the left

Type 3 The horizontal stroke on the numeral 3 in the NE corer is quite thin and has a
short serif. The background with 3 k in the SE corer touches the 3rd and 4th
links of the chain like frame on the right. There is a tiny dot to the right of the
bottom of the letter C in the NW comer

June 2002

Type 1


Type 2

Type 3

Second Edition (1876, end)
Similar to the first edition but in slightly lighter colours, on a white lightly toned yellow
rose paper 0.1 mm thick, brittle brown gum, sheet of (?) x 10 unknown, from known
multiples it has been established that a transfer block with 4 types was used which was
apparently repeated twice in each vertical row, the 3 kop yellow postage due stamp is
presumed to have been issued but has yet to be found.

5. 3 kop. light lilac blue 15.00

6. 3 kop. yellow (postage due) ?

The 4 Types

Type 1 Blue spot under the left end of the double horizontal centre line. The thick inner
oval frame line is thinner under the right end of the double horizontal centre
line. There is a bulge in the blue background over the letters '53 of the word
Type 2 Bulge in the blue background over the letter 3 of the word YB3JlA
Type 3 None of the flaws apparent on the other types. Spots of colour under the letter
A of the word 3EMCKASI inside the inner oval outline
Type 4 Bulge in the blue background over the letter T and over the space between the
letter A and C of the inscription in the NW corer

Type 1


Type 2

Type 3

June 2002

Type 4


Third Edition (1877, beginning)
Similar to previous editions, changed types and shades of colour, on white paper 0.09
mm thick, shiny white gum, only single copies known with 5 types found to date.

7. 3 kop. violet blue

8. 3 kop. dark golden yellow (postage due)

RRRR (?)
(3 known?)
(7 known ?)

Fourth Edition (1877, middle)
Similar to previous editions with changed types and shades of colour, lightly tinted rose
paper 0.08 mm thick, white gum, only single copies known, 3 types found to date.

9. 3 kop. dark lilac blue

RRRR (?)
(1 known?)

RRRR (?)
(3 known ?)

10. 3 kop. dull orange yellow (postage due)

B. Space Between Stamps 3 3.5 mm, Perf 11

a. Corner numerals without outlines

Fifth Edition (1878 ?)
White paper 0.08 mm thick, shiny white gum, only single copies known in 8 different
types in indeterminate positions, stamps are known with imperforate sheet margins.

11. 3 kop. bright blue

RRRR (?)
(2 known ?)

(17 known ?)

12. 3 kop. brownish olive yellow (postage due)

b. Corner numerals with outlines

Sixth Edition (1878, August)
White gum 0.09 mm thick, white gum on blue stamps and brownish gum on yellow
stamps, sheet unknown, larger multiples indicate 5 types placed horizontally, tete beche
pairs are known consisting of type 1 + type 1 indicating that the sheet contained 5 or 10
stamps in each horizontal row with the left half of the sheet inverted, type 1 is also known
with the left sheet margin and printed right side up indicating that not all sheets were
necessarily printed with inverted stamps, some printings are the product of over inked
plates and outlines that are barely visible.

13. 3 kop. bright blue

(2 known ?)

June 2002

14. 3 kop. greenish olive yellow (postage due)

Seventh Edition (1879, May ?)
White paper 0.08 mm thick, light brownish gum, in different types and colours
particularly the blue stamp, known only in single copies and in 5 types.

15. 3 kop. sky blue RRR
(7 known ?)

16. 3 kop. dull olive yellow (postage due)

(2 known ?)

Eighth Edition (1880, middle)
On white paper 0.06 mm thick, gray brown gum, corer numerals are carelessly
executed, single copies known in 8 different types.

17. 3 kop. bright cobalt blue

(10 known ?)

(5 known ?)

18. 3 kop. light canary yellow (postage due)

IL Stamps with N instead of H in TPH

Ninth Edition ( 1881, beginning)
On white lightly grayish tinted paper 0.10 mm thick, brownish gray gum, perforated 11
with the yellow stamps mostly imperforate, to date 5 different types have been identified,
types 1 and 3 are known with the left sheet margin which seems to indicate that the types
were arranged in a vertical row, on this and later editions no traces of corer numeral
outlines are found.

19. 3 kop. violet blue

(10 known ?)

(13 known ?)

20. 3 kop. orange yellow (postage due)

To be Continued

June 2002


by Andrew Cronin.
This is a highly interesting and very moving subject. For those reasons, the sources are listed first, with
additional notes where necessary, as there will be constant references to them. Here we go.

1. Dr. Tashimoto Arai & Kaiichi Ogiwara: "A Tentative Proposal for the Classificatioon of POW cards of
the Soviet Union" "Izumi Magazine"No, 199-X, 1980. A very useful analysis in Japanese, kindly
supplied by Mr. Fumihiko Yano (see reference 8 below).

2. Alvin D. Coox: "Nomonhan Japan against Russia 1939", Stanford U.P., 1985. A very comprehensive
account of the Khalkhin Gol War in two volumes with many Japanese archival references, by an acclaimed
and recently deceased historian.

3. Louis Fischer: "Russia's Road from Peace to War Soviet Foreign Relations 1917-1941", Harper &
Row, New York City, 1965. Very useful for his careful attention to historical facts and exact dating.

4. Frank Gibney, editor & Beth Carey, translator: "Senso: The Japanese remember the Pacific War"
(selections from 1100 letters to the leading Japanese newspaper 'Asahi Shimbun', as received in the period
from 10.6.1986 to 29.8.1987). Very revealing social history and available from M.E. Sharpe Inc., 80
Business Park Drive, Armonk, N.Y. 10504 USA.

5. MapHHa AneKcaHApoBHa Ky3bMRHa: "TIJIEH" (Captivity), Hi3aTejIbCTBO KoMCOMonbCKorO-Ha-
AMype FocynapcTBeHHoro rneAarorHqecKoro 4HCTHTyTa, 1996 rog. Marina Aleksandrovna is the
authoress of six books since 1987, an accomplished journalist and she runs the "Marika" Travel Agency in
Komsomol'sk-na-Amure, 681021, ul. Shikhanova No. 10. Based on archival materials and interviews with
Russian participants, her 156-page book is an exhaustive treatment of the presence of Japanese POWs in
camps and graves in the Khabarovsk Region. A highly organised investigator, she also includes her
corrections to maps of Japanese grave sites and is the Secretary of the local branch of the "Russia-Japan
Society". Many statistics, diagrams and illustrations are given, including in colour.

6. Iwao Peter Sano: "1000 Days in Siberia", U. of Nebraska Press, 312 N. 14th. St., LINCOLN NE 68588-
0484, 1997. This book relates the experiences of a highly perceptive Nisei (Japanese-American), caught in
Japan by the outbreak of WWII, drafted into the Kwantung Army in Manchukuo, and taken into Soviet
captivity at Chichihaerh in August 1945. He even mentions on pp. 162-164 being exposed in Siberia to the
English edition of a Soviet best-selling novel "Port Arthur" (about the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905),
which we will also examine one of these days, as it contains some philatelic references. In correspondence
with your editor, he stated that he was given a two-part Soviet POW card twice while in Siberia, but on
return to Japan on 13 June 1948, he found out that his family had received only one such card.

7. The late Dr. H.F. Stich & W. Stich: "Prisoners of War and Internees in the Pacific Theatre of War: Postal
History", Vancouver, 1991 (?), pp. 189-194. It includes data kindly supplied by Mr. Fumihiko Yano of
Japan (see reference 8 immediately below).

8. Personal correspondence with Mr. Fumihiko Yano of Sakai City, Japan, who was also a POW in Siberia
for nine months, then for a further nine months in the Soviet Zone in Korea (North Korea). He was given a
Soviet POW card for mailing while at the Balei gold mine in Chita province, but it never reached his home;
there were probably no censorship facilities available. Mr. Yano is a philatelist and has written a booklet in
1990: "Japanese Military Personnel Prisoner's Mail in the Philippine Islands" He much appreciated the gift
from your editor of a copy of Mr. Sano's book.
9. Professor M.M. Zagorul'ko, editor: "BoeHHoniIenHbie B CCCP 1939-1956" ("POWs in the USSR
1939-1956"), "Logos" Publishing House, Moscow 2000. An enormous collection of official documents and
statistics on 1120 pages, 20 x 26mm. Sponsored by the George Soros Foundation.
June 2002

Historical Notes.
Japan was one of the intervening Allied Powers in the Russian Civil War in the Far East and did not finally
leave the northern part of Sakhalin Island until 15 May 1925, after obtaining oil and coal concessions there,
as well as fishing rights off the Soviet Far Eastern coast. Tension between the two countries rose again
when Japan invaded China to set up the puppet state of Manchukuo on 1 March 1932 and Japanese
colonists then poured into the area. Among other things, the changed political situation led to the forced
sale by the USSR of the Chinese Eastern Railway Line in Manchukuo to the puppet state on 23 March 1935
for a paltry US $35 millions. There really was no choice in the matter.

Japan now had forces stationed along the border with the USSR and there were worsening incidents
between the two sides from 1935 onwards (117 clashes in 1937 and a further 166 in 1938). By July-August
1938, there was heavy fighting between the two parties in the Lake Khasan area, abutting on the
northernmost tip of Korea, Manchukuo and Siberia. This was also known as the Changkufeng Incident,
where the Japanese Army suffered 1350 casualties [3, p. 315-316]. No prisoners were taken by either side.

Things came to the boil on 12 May 1939, as the result of a boundary dispute between the Mongolian
People's Republic and Manchukuo in the Khalkhin Gol (Khalkha River) area near Chiangchunmiao. That
all-out struggle was fought by both sides with aircraft and tanks and was known to the Japanese as the
"Nomonhan Affair". The Soviet Commander was General G.K. Zhukov (the future marshal) and as many
as 38,000 Japanese servicemen were thrown into the battle, with the 23r. Infantry Division suffering more
than 11,000 casualties [3, p. 316]. In short, a disaster for the Japanese Kwantung Army and a vital victory
for the USSR, as it convinced the military leadership in Tokyo that any projected advance into the Soviet
Far East was simply not feasible. The rest, as they say, is history. Two Mongolian cavalry divisions fought
on the Soviet side and the Mongols subsequently struck a medal to commemorate the battle, inscribed
"BH14H IJIAB" (= We won).

The Russian prisoners were returned by the Japanese to the Soviet authorities on 27 September 1939 [2,
Vol. 2, illustrations]. Very few of the 3000 Japanese POWs came back, except for some severely wounded
officers and men, who had not been able to retreat to their own lines [2]. The Kwantung Army regarded
falling into the hands of the enemy as being completely unacceptable; many of these unfortunates were
severely punished or even hounded by peer pressure into committing suicide [2]. The 3000 POWs in Soviet
hands realized that they were expected to take their own lives rather than go back to their own forces and
some 600 of them were reported to be in a camp at Chita on 26 April 1940. Other POWs were said to be in
a camp at Semipalatinsk in that same year and reference [2, Vol. 2, pp.949-951] stated that a Japanese
survivor of wounds suffered at Nomonhan (Khalkhin Gol) was discovered in March 1946 in the
Amurskaya suburb of Khabarovsk. He had been released from captivity, became a naturalised Soviet
citizen, took the surname of Ivanov (!), married a Russian woman, had two daughters and said he had not
encountered any racial prejudice. He stated that two other Nomonhan veterans were living in Khabarovsk
and that many others were scattered all over Siberia. Another Nomonhan veteran was an acting plant
manager of a bakery in Komsomol'sk-na-Amure, had married a Russian woman and had two children.
Nomonhan veterans were reported in 1945 as residing all over Ulan Bator in Mongolia, at least one of
whom having married a Mongolian woman.. He and all other Nomonhan veterans were "unregistered" and
could not go back home, whereas the 1945 POWs were "registered" and would eventually be repatriated-
Due to the militaristic mentality prevalent in those years, none of the Nomonhan POWs ever attempted to
write home, as they knew that would bring great shame on their families. Hence, no Japanese POW mail is
known as a result of the Nomonhan/Khalkhin Gol disaster.

We now come to the declaration of war on 8 August 1945 by the USSR on Japan, as previously agreed to
by I.V. Stalin in concert with his Western Allies. The battle-hardened and very well-equipped Soviet Army
swiftly attacked the Japanese forces in the Kuriles, Manchuria, Northern Korea and Southern Sakhalin and
the war was basically over in the first ten days of operations. The relatively poor showing of the Kwantung
Army was mainly due to the diversion of its best units, air power and equipment to fight the war in the
June 2002

Pacific [6, p.37)]. Some 640,105 Japanese servicemen including 148 generals were taken prisoner and
577,194 men were finally repatriated by 1956 [5, pp. 24 & 87].
The Japanese soldier was traditionally taught
[3 .....* ,.': that the rifle issued to him and bearing the
-- -Imperial Crest should therefore be regarded as
.^ ( sacred and never to be abandoned under any
circumstances. It was thus a great humiliation
to hand in his weapon to his Soviet captors, as
can be seen from the picture herewith, taken at
Harbin in Manchuria on 29 August 1945.

One salient feature emerges from the body of
literature on Japanese POWs in the USSR after
WWII, namely perpetual hunger [6, pp. 71-
82]. For at least four years after the devastation
Sof WWII, the entire Soviet Union was starving:
captors, captives, the civilian population in
... general and even the draught animals. A former

POW recollected being marched with his unit to a camp in Siberia, when some black dots approached on
the horizon. They turned out to be emaciated horses of the Japanese Kwantung Army, who had recognized
their former masters from afar and came up neighing and nuzzling the pockets of the prisoners [4, p. 219].

The Japanese POWs were not only stationed in Siberia, but also at Camp No. 5 in the centre of Ulan Bator,
Mongolia, where they constructed many buildings: the University and Central Government offices, the
Foreign Ministry building, the Opera House, a hotel, apartments and they even laid out the main square.
One witness stated that there were 13,000 prisoners in Ulan Bator, of whom 1600 died during his two years
of captivity there [4, p. 223].

In general, the Soviet guards displayed no particular animosity towards the prisoners and did not even
regard them as enemies, since the war with Japan had been very short and fought on foreign soil (the
Kuriles, Manchuria, Northern Korea and Southern Sakhalin: [6, p. 65]). Also, the prisoners were used to
taking orders, worked diligently and they have been remembered very warmly to this very day by Siberians
for the skills in construction, especially at Komsomol'sk-na-Amure, where 26,086 of them were encamped
[5, p. 27]. It is ironic to note that the prisoners suffered much more at the hands of their own officers, who
were trying to curry favour with the Soviet guards. -

One survivor related the story of his unit being marched from North Korea to Siberia. The men were
warned that stragglers would be shot and they heard firing thereafter. After they had reached camp at a
collective farm schoolhouse, a Soviet soldier appeared with two exhausted elderly Japanese hanging on to
each of his two arms and their four knapsacks were on his back. He had fired the shots into the air to make
it appear that he was following orders and had thus saved the four men [4, p. 220]. By contrast, the Soviet
treatment of German POWs in Siberia was far different, as practically all the guards had lost relatives in the
BOB (World War II). They severely punished German prisoners whom they caught avoiding work [6, pp.
65, 149-150].

The Soviet captors were highly impressed with the almost total literacy of the Japanese POWs, especially
since the latter had learned thousands of Kanji (Chinese) characters, as well as two syllabic alphabets:
hiragana for grammatical reasons and katakana for the transliteration of foreign words. Such mastery
reflected great credit on the Japanese education system, as it does today [6, 64]. The Soviet authorities thus
published a weekly newspaper "Nippon Shimbun" ("Japanese Newspaper") for the POWs [9, p. 268].
Under normal circumstances, the Japanese POWs would soon have been released after WWII, mainly due
June 2002

to food shortages in the USSR [6, p. 98]. However, Japan was also in the same position in trying to cope
with demobilization and was so badly damaged by the U.S. Air Force that repatriation from all areas was
delayed [6, p. 97]. Your editor was a pharmacist in Sydney, Australia after WWII and he remembers
Australian soldiers on leave from BCOF (British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan) buying up
large bottles of saccharine, which they could resell for one yen per tablet, as all the Japanese sugar
refineries had been bombed out!

One POW veteran expressed great resentment at the debriefing process carried out by Occupation officers
and Nisei (Japanese American) interpreters, who feared that the prisoners had been brainwashed during
Soviet captivity and even threatened them with "reverse return" [4, p.280]. In another reminiscence, a
Japanese family repatriated from Southern Sakhalin remembered the gratitude of their Soviet neighbours,
to whom they gave their household goods when departing. They were also horrified at seeing Russian black
bread being thrown into the sea from the returning ship, as they knew how hard Soviet citizens had to work
to earn that bread [4, p.271].

Not all the "registered" POWs were allowed to return to Japan, probably for various bureaucratic reasons.
"The New York Times" for 12 April 1998 ran a touching story of a veteran, captured as an Imperial
Japanese Army code breaker on Southern Sakhalin and who was in a camp until 1953. He was then
released to a collective farm in Siberia and his application to go back to Japan was refused. He married a
Russian girl, whose family was very kind to him and they have three children, who consider themselves
Russians. He was eventually traced at age 77 in 1998, visited Japan for ten days, applied for a military
pension and then returned to his family in Siberia. Now at 57 years after WWII and 63 years after the
Nomonhan / Khalkhin Gol Battle, there must be very few such cases left in Russia.

In concluding these historical notes, it can surely be said that, in the Far East, the 20th. century contained
elements of great tragedy for both Japan and Russia. Marina Aleksandrovna Kuz'mina and her associates
are greatly to be commended for their efforts in locating and identifying the graves of Japanese POWs in
Siberia for their grieving relatives. Let us hope that the 21st. century will prove to be of great benefit for
both peoples.

The present writer would also like to express his deep thanks for the help and cooperation extended to him
by Marina Aleksandrovna Kuz'mina, Iwao Peter Sano and Fumihiko Yano in the preparation of these
notes, as well as supplying invaluable information about the postal history of this subject.

A tentative listing of the camps containing Japanese POWs.
The classification that follows has been compiled by comparing the data given in references [5] and [9] and
it does not pretend to be complete. The latter source includes an NKVD report of 26 February 1946, stating
that Japanese POWs were being held in the eleven following areas [9, pp. 240-241]:-
Altai Region Kazakh SSR Primorskii (Maritime) Province
Buryat-Mongol ASSR Kemerovo Province Turkmenian SSR
Chita Province Khabarovsk Region Uzbek SSR
Irkutsk Province Krasnoyarsk Region
The numbers of men were quoted for each of the above areas, but were obviously incomplete, as the grand
total only came to 321,565 captives, whereas we know from reference [5, p. 24] that 640,105 officers and
men were taken prisoner by the Soviet Army as a result of WWII. The reason for the discrepancy was
probably that many POWs were still in staging areas in the Kuriles, Manchuria, Northern Korea and
Southern Sakhalin, while awaiting transportation to their final camps. Moreover, reports can be quoted that
Japanese POWs were also being held in European Russia, as well as the 13,000 men already mentioned as
stationed at Camp No. 5 in Ulan Bator, the capital of the Mongolian People's Republic ("MHP" in Russian
initials, "MPR" in English and "BHMAY" in Mongolian; see reference [4, p. 223]).

The tabulation that follows gives NKVD data on the camps in the 1943 to 1951 period [9, pp.1029-1037].
June 2002

Camp Province, Region
No. Location of the Camp or Republic Period of existence
1. Komsomol'sk-na-Amure Khabarovsk April 1946 to May 1948
2. Sovetskaya Gavan' Khabarovsk April 1946 to March 1947
3. Dal'nevostochnyi Amur April 1946
3. Bureya Amur May 1948
4. Izvestkovyi Khabarovsk April 1946 to January 1949
5. Urgal' Khabarovsk April 1946 to January 1949
5. Ulan Bator (separate No. system?) Mongolian P. Republic 1946-1948 (?)
6. Buryat-Mongol'skii (Ulan Ude?) BMASSR April 1946 to March 1947
7. Taishet Irkutsk April 1946 to May 1948
9. Nakhodka Primorskii April 1946
10. Tetyukhe Primorskii April 1946 to March 1947
11. Suchanskii (Rudnik) Primorskii April 1946 to May 1948
12. Artemovskii Primorskii April 1946 to March 1947
13. Vladivostok Primorskii April 1946 to January 1949
14. Voroshilovsk Primorskii April 1946 to January 1949
15. Iman Primorskii April 1946
15. Semenovsk Primorskii March 1947 to May 1948
16. Khabarovsk Khabarovsk April 1946 to August 1951
17. Obor Khabarovsk April 1946 to March 1947
18. Vostochnyi Khabarovsk April 1946 to May 1948
19. Raichikhinsk Amur April 1946 to January 1949
20. Blagoveshchensk Amur April 1946 to May 1948
21. Nikolaevsk-na-Amure Khabarovsk April 1946 to March 1947
22. Yuzhno (?)-Sakhalinsk Sakhalin April 1946 to January 1949
23. Bukachacha Chita April 1946 to March 1947
24. Chita Chita April 1946 to January 1949
25. Sretensk Chita April 1946 to March 1947
26. Andizhan Uzbek SSR Nov. 1944 to March 1947
28. Dzhidin BMASSR April 1946
29. Pakhta-Aral'skii Kazakh SSR March 1943 to March 1947
30. Ulan Ude BMASSR April 1946 to May 1948
31. Cheremkhovo Irkutsk April 1946 to Jan. 1949
32. Irkutsk Irkutsk April 1946 to Jan. 1949
33. Abakan Krasnoyarsk April 1946 to March 1947
34. Krasnoyarsk Krasnoyarsk April 1946 to May 1948
36. Chesnokovo Altai April 1946
37. Balkhash Kazakh SSR April 1946 to March 1947
39. Dzhezkazgan Kazakh SSR April 1946 to May 1948
40. Alma-Ata Kazakh SSR April 1946 to January 1949
44. Krasnovodsk Turkmenian SSR April 1946 to May 1948
45. Ust'-Kamenogorsk Kazakh SSR April 1946 to March 1947
46. Birobidzhan Khabarovsk April 1946 to March 1947
47. Lesnozavodsk Khabarovsk April 1946
47. Vanino Khabarovsk March 1947
48. Lezhnevo European Russia Ivanovskaya Nov. 1944 to March 1950
48. Yuzhno (?)-Kuril'sk Sakhalin April 1946
52. Cherovka Chita April 1946 to May 1948
118. Lada European Russia Tambov 1946 (?)
128. Bamaul Altai June 1945 to May 1948
188. Radin -European Russia [9, p.268] Tambov March 1943 to April 1946

June 2002

Camp Province, Region
No. Location of the Camp or Republic Period of existence
222. Aktyubinsk Kazakh SSR March 1947
347. Leninogorsk Kazakh SSR April 1946 to January 1949
348. Kantag Kazakh SSR April 1946 to March 1947
468. Kzyl Orda Kazakh SSR March 1947
503. Kemerovo Kemerovo June 1945 to January 1949
511. Rubtsovsk Altai June 1945 to May 1948
525. Novokuznetsk Kemerovo April 1946 to January 1949
526. Anzhero-Sudzhensk Kemerovo April 1946 to May 1948

According to Folio la, Inventory 15, Subject 35, Sheet 377 held at the Special Archive of the Main
Archival Administration in Moscow, the numbers of Japanese POWs held at selected camps in the Soviet
Far East as at 1 June 1946 were as follows:-
CampNo. 1: Komsomol'sk-na-Amure 26,086 Camp No. 19: Raichikhinsk 10,927
Camp No. 2: Sovetskaya Gavan' -17,336 Camp No. 20: Blagoveshchensk 9748
Camp No. 3: Dal'nevostochnyi 4380 Camp No. 21: Nikolaevsk-na-Amure 5116
Camp No. 4: Izvestkovyi 23,452 Camp No. 22: Yuzhno(?)-Sakhalinsk 1627
Camp No. 5: Urgal' -18,145 Special Camp No. 45: 227
Camp No. 16: Khabarovsk 10,191 Camp No. 46: Birobidzhan 6388
Camp No. 17: Obor 6642 Camp No. 48: Yuzhno(?)-Kuril'sk 1000
Camp No. 18: Vostochnyi 11,408 Total number of POWs: 152,149

Sheet No. 37 in the same Folio and Archive listed Special Hospitals for POWs in the same general area, as
at 1 June 1946 with a total of 7563 patients, as follows:-
No. 131: Okha-na-Sakhaline No. 1339: KuI'dur No. 2929: Birobidzhan
No. 878: Nikolaevsk-na-Amure No. 1407: Tyrma No. 3099: Kato
No. 888: Kuibyshevka-Vostochnaya No. 1449: Poni No. 3475: Mongokhto
No. 893: Komsomol'sk-na-Amure No. 1893: Khor No. 3762: Start (!)
No. 1327: Pereyaslavka No. 2017: Zavitaya No. 4923: Evoron

(a) The duplication in numbering appears mainly to be due to the relocation of camps, taking their original
designations with them.
(b) The last batch of "registered" POWs, amounting to 95,461 men, was repatriated to Japan by the end of
1949. The remaining detainees had apparently fallen foul of the : Soviet authorities for one reason or
another and were to be sent to trial [9, p.876]. In a report dated 24 November 1956 to the Central
Committee of the CPSU and signed by N. Dudorov & A.A. Gromyko, the sentenced Japanese personnel
were stated to have been freed and finally repatriated to the home country [9, p. 912].
(c) The distinction made between the two classes of captives is important, as we will see below that the
mail arrangements were different for each category.

POW postal stationery.
The only postal facilities available were in the form of double postcards, issued by the "COI03
Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent of the USSR). They were similar in settings to the bilingual
Russo-French double cards distributed to Axis POWs captured on the Eastern Front. The double cards
issued to Japanese POWs were bilingual Russo-Japanese types and bear in the last two lines of the bottom
half an inscription in Hiragana and Kanji characters which, transliterated into Romaji (Latin) letters, reads
as follows:- "Hon hagaki ni kinyu surukoto. Hon hagaki de nakereba jushin-nin ni todokimasen bunshowa
uramen ni kinyui saretashi" ("Written message only on postcard. Only by postcard, or it will not be received
at the destination. The text of the message to be written on the other side"). These two lines are a somewhat

June 2002

approximate translation of the French inscription printed in the same place on the cards given to European
Axis POWs: "Priere d'6crire sur carte postal, autrement ces lettres ne seront pas remises au destinataire.
Lettre au verso".
Two different printing orders have been observed at bottom right on the upper and lower parts of the POW
double cards, namely:
(a) "F-22345. 3aK. Xo 613.", which was the normal imprint for at least five settings. In this type, the prefix
letter "F" possibly stands for "Fo3HaK" (the State Printing Works in Moscow). The symbols of the Red
Cross and Red Crescent were printed in that colour at the top left and top right covers of the upper and
lower cards in two settings, but they were omitted in three subsequent settings.
(b) "3aK. 87", which has been noted in only one setting, without the Red Cross and Red Crescent symbols.

The general layout of the double postcards in Type (a) is set out here through the kind help of Mr. Yano [8].
POW Postcards issued by the Union of Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent of the USSR.
Upper Half:
Boxed "BUJ" =
Postcard from POW.
rOHLTOBafI KapTOIKa BOeHHOnineHHOrO THO Freeofcharge.
M-# A 9 XA ft (Mury no).
KbMy ( f A) ^^^^ To whom.

Kyna ( ) ....... To where.

(cTpana, ropoa, ynaia, M abua, oKpyr, ceao, AepefaH)

i n e (n ) Sender; Full
a-i1 oieHHonneHHoro____ Name of POW.

Sa oeHHOnnenHHoro cr.ti C ZZ -ZO 9-. -'L Postal address
71' __"-- ofPOW.
Sr-.22345. 3ax. Xo 613 Printing Order.
U.S. Army Censorship.
CO103 OBuUCCrB hPACHOrO ,PECTA Lower Half:
Postcard to POW.
flowTOBaa HapTo'4xa soeHHonneHlHOMy BecnnarTH Free of charge.

Komy (CfA) -___ To whom.
Kyna (wf it) INfi'I k To where.

(crpana. ropoa. yanua. M aoua. oxpyr, cejo. alpeaH)
0 T n n b Sender: Full
Ownpasurenlb (fgfA)
*aMHn H H M moTnpasBHen name of sender.

lonorou.l a pec or IpaBse Postal address
_of sender.
-x' t:rai- r = E o e--ks~ tr-ettrfCAfl-? i rt fA, Write only on the
3ttIIIf6:XA a Ihf L back of this card.
r- a 3- mG 6m Printing Order.

June 2002

All the above cards were for the use of "registered" POWs, the last of whom were repatriated by the end of
1949, as already noted. The remaining Japanese internees held by the Soviet authorities were also given
double postcards issued by the Union of Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent of the USSR, but all
references in Russian and Japanese to prisoners of war were removed. It would seem that there was only
one setting of this type and it did not specify a printing order. It remained in use until November 1956,
when the detainees were repatriated during the Khrushchev administration.

The foregoing classification is somewhat sketchy, in spite of the fact that Dr. H.F. Stich and W. Stich state
that about one million cards actually reached Japan [7, p. 189]. However, it turns out that any such cards
are very hard to find and bring stiff prices at auction. Some examples are certainly in the hands of surviving
relatives of the men who died in captivity, but that does not explain their rarity.

Finally, in comparing all the settings with those on cards for European Axis POWs, it appears from the
similarities that all of them were produced in Moscow and mainly at the State Printing Works.

POW mailing addresses.
The addresses allotted to Japanese POWs were based on post office box numbers given in fractional form.
They were therefore somewhat similar to the fractional indications assigned for Soviet Armed Forces mail,
as already described by Meer Kossoy and Vladimir Berdichevskiy in the article on pp. 16-35 herewith.
However, there were some essential differences, as follows:-

(a) The post office box numbers were set aside for the Soviet Red Cross/Censorship authorities at
Khabarovsk and Vladivostok, in contrast to the addresses for European Axis POWs, which indicated
routing through Moscow.
(b) In the post office box fractional designation for Japanese POW addresses, the final figures in the
numerator would apparently include the camp complex number, presumably corresponding to the listing
worked out by the present author on pp. 87-88 above. The denominator would refer to the specific camp or
barracks in that particular area.
(c) After the final repatriation of "registered" POWs by the end of 1949, the numerators were prefixed with
a further number: 5, 6 or 7 to designate the camp complexes where Japanese internees and sentenced
defendants were still being held until released to Japan by November 1956.

We will now test the above assumptions by looking at the known fractional post office box numbers [1, 7]:-

(a) For the Soviet Red Cross/Censorship authorities at Khabarovsk:
P.O. Box No. 5120/41 (in the year 1955). This appears to have referred to Camp Complex No. 20 at
Blagoveshchensk and specifically to Camp No. 41 in that area.

CCCP JIAFEPb XN 7016/ (USSR. Camp No. 7016/). Note that the terms "P.O. Box" and "Camp" were
sometimes interchangeable, where the inmates were Japanese. This designation has been seen as a
handstamp with provision for the denominator, which was notfilled in. It apparently was assigned to Camp
Complex No. 16 for internees/sentenced men at a particular camp somewhere in the Khabarovsk area.

(b) For the Soviet Red Cross/Censorship authorities at Vladivostok:
The assumptions break down for this important port, as the post office box numbers cannot be matched
with known Camp Complex numbers [1]. The following examples have been noted: P.O. Box 32 on
28.11.1947; P.O. Box 99/1 on 4.3.1947 ,P.O. Box 501/2 in 1946 and P.O. Box 535 on 21.1.1947.

It is obvious from the foregoing that the identification of Camp Complex addresses in the Vladivostok area
cannot proceed much further until we see many more cards. Given their general rarity, the prospects for
solving this problem are not bright.

June 2002

Postmarks and Censorship Markings.

serial "D"

The censorship markings so far seen, as set out below, all appear to have been applied in Vladivostok on
cards to and from Japan. As with European Axis POW mail, most of the lozenge-shaped cachets were
poorly struck, such that the censor numbers cannot be read. Also, it cannot be excluded that at least some of
the Soviet censors had originally been Japanese servicemen taken prisoner at the Battle ofKhalkhin Gol in
1939 and could therefore not be repatriated after World War II, as they were "unregistered" POWs!

BoeHHoR UetO.ypo'
by the Military

Checked /
Military Censor.
Nos. 2,3,5,7,8,
11 & 12 seen.

by the Military
No. 132.

"03" also seen.

"BU" =

Needless to say, the author would welcome comments and additional data about any part of this article.


The Zemstvo Post of the Poltava District

by P. P. Ganko

The CSRP is pleased to announce that a limited quantity of this
very rare publication has been reprinted and is available for
sale to our readers. This publication of approximately 100
pages is the notorious postmaster's own catalogue which even
to the present remains as the most detailed accounting of the
issues of the zemsto post in Poltava. In Russian.

$25.00 (US) postpaid, payable to the Canadian Society of
Russian Philately, at the Society address.

June 2002

Post Office,
serial letter
"a" = "z".

G.P.O. with
serial "JIF".,

Postmarks are known from Khabarovsk and
Vladivostok, as shown here. Note especially the most
unusual Vladivostok G.P.O. postmark with the
abbreviation "JIF" (= JIAFEPb = Camp) below the
date-bridge and seen with dates 4.3.47 to 17.11.48.

Reference [1] also shows a card with a faint strike of a
postmark in Russian, reading BJIAHI4BOCTOK
nIOTAMT 21.1.48 (?) "5b" [Vladivostok G.P.O.,
21.1.48 (?), serial letter "f"]

-- ( e by the late V.V. Lobachevskii.
(Translated by gracious permission from the compendium "3HaKn HIIOTOBHi OmnaTbi
PocecnicKofI HMnepin CnpaBBOmmHHK 4)HaTejcTa" compiled in 1999 by Miron Lam of
SIsrael, to \whom many grateful thanks are due for making available this information. The
compendium is based on the catalogue prepared by the late V.V. Lobachevskii, but it also
contains much additional data, collected by Mr. Lam).
At the time when all ordinary letters between towns in the Empire were paid for as of 1858 by postage
stamps or imprinted envelopes, which also permitted the utilisation of mail boxes, letters handled by the
City Postal Service in St. Petersburg and Moscow could be deposited in mail boxes without prepayment of
the postal rate then in force only if they were enclosed in imprinted envelopes of the City Post. The rate for
sending a letter within city limits was fixed at 5 silver kopeks, regardless of weight. Up to 1863, there were
no stamps with that face value. The smallest face value on a stamp came to 10 silver kopeks. Local letters
sent in ordinary envelopes or wrappers had to be handed in at reception points of the City Post, paying each
time the postal rate of 5 kopeks in cash per letter. That antiquated procedure precluded the possibility of
utilising mail boxes for sending letters in ordinary envelopes and wrappers and was very inconvenient, both
for the postal workers and the letter writers.

On 21 May 1863, the Director-General of the Postal Department turned to the State Council for permission
to introduce for letters, sent within the City Postal Service in St. Petersburg and Moscow special five-kopek
stamps according to an approved model. In examining this proposal on 17 June 1863, the State Council
accepted the opinion about introducing stamps for the City Postal Service in both places. The opinion of the
State Council was sanctioned by Tsar Alexander II on 15 July 1863.

On 27 May and thus even before the decision of the State Council, the Postal Department had ordered
500,000 copies of such a stamp from the "33FB" (Imperial State Printing Office) and they were ready as
of 25 July 1863. In a Circular of the Postal Department to the GPOs in St. Petersburg and Moscow it was
stated that "... immediately upon receipt of the stamps, they were to be put on sale in the same General Post
Offices, as well as at the city post offices and also at other reception points of the City Postal Service". This
announcement of the Postal Department was sent on 2 August 1863 to "The Northern Bee" and other
newspapers, saying mainly that "...In order to improve the existing method of sending letters in the City
Postal service, His Imperial Majesty has permitted the introduction of special postage stamps for this class
of mail and they may be affixed to ordinary envelopes or even without envelopes to the letter contents.
Apart from the introduction of these stamps, the method of sending letters in imprinted envelopes will
continue to be honoured. The sale of the postage stamps will be carried out daily, except on Sundays, both
at the two General Post Offices and at other reception points of the City Postal Service". On 1 August 1863,
the Postal Department gave a written order to the official Galaktionov "...to accept without delay from the
'33FB' 500,000 postage stamps". It can thus be said that the stamps were put into circulation at the
beginning of August 1863.
After the issue in 1864 of 1, 3 and 5-kopek stamps in the general State design, the City Post stamp was
taken out of circulation in August 1864 by a special order of the Postal Department. However, it was
permitted without restriction to prepay interurban internal and foreign mail right up to 1884. As several
literary sources state, the stamp was possibly utilised by the city post offices in Astrakhan and Kazan',
which were opened in 1886. In the records for the first six months of activity of the Kazan' City Postal
Service, it is stated that 2920 5-kopek stamps were sold and 1795 letters sent franked with 5-kopek stamps.
However, it is doubtful that these were City Post stamps, but rather of the general State issue.
An intercity letter is known sent from Tver' to St. Petersburg and franked with a 5-k. City Post stamp with
the cds "TBEPb 1 MA5I 1864", i.e. during the period of activity for the City Posts in St. Petersburg and
Moscow. In 1909, 111,900 copies of this stamp were destroyed and 7600 handed over for safekeeping to
the Postal and Telegraphic Museum. They were sold by "TYTInT" (General Administration.of Posts and
Telegraphs) in 1911 to the Berlin dealer Philip Kosack.
Note: Many thanks are especially due to the Rossica Society of Russian Philately as copyright holders for
their kind permission to reproduce the above data, originally presented by the late V.V. Lobachevskii.
June 2002

by Assistant-Professor David A. Jay.

First of all, our readers are referred to an interesting article on the subject, namely "Postal Use of the Town
Post Stamp of 1863", by Martin Siegler and Hans Dietrich ("Journal of Classical Russian Philately", No.
2/1998. pp. 17-21). The two authors included original research and comments by Ing. Zbigniew Mikulski
showing that, during the summer months of June to August in 1863-1864, the City Post local rate of 5
kopeks was extended to outlying localities in the St. Petersburg City area.

I have one such example, sent as a letter sheet written in German by C.F. Neuenkirchen from Petergof, 23
June 1864 (black postmark on the stamp) and addressed to K.K. Schiitt on the Moika at the corer with
Kirpichnyi (Brick) Lane in St. Petersburg where it arrived the day at 4pm (red SPB postmark ; see also
below). Another letter-sheet from the same correspondence surfaced as Lot 3926 in the 130t. Corinphila
Sale of 4-8 October 2001, being sent on 6 July 1864 from Petergof and reaching the estimate of CHF
7500.- (USD 4690.00).

Just to complicate matters, Martin Siegler and Hans Dietrich illustrate a third example, still from the same
correspondence, but with the address partly erased and bearing the 5-kopek local stamp cancelled Petergof
7 November 1864! As Ing. Mikulski points out, that was after the summer rate had lapsed and thus with the
rate underpaid by 5 kopeks. To emphasise that point, Ing. Mikulski has a fourth letter, again from the same
correspondence franked with a pair of the 5-kopek local and bearing two strikes of the Petergof cds, dated 2
November 1864 and hence correctly prepaid.

Data from readers on any more letter-sheets from this correspondence,
kopek City Post stamp \would be most \welcome.


June 2002

by Andrew Cronin.

This subject will now be examined under the following headings:-

Characteristics of the postal issue.
This stamp was printed by the typographic process in two colours, with the frame plate in black also
incorporating an intricate geometrical design as a protection against forgery and a second plate set up for
applying the background in blue. Issued in post-office sheets of four panes (5 x 5 stamps per pane), great
care was taken to ensure that printing from both plates was in perfect register. As a result and soon after the
stamp appeared in 1863, the British philatelic press of the period commented most favourably on the
technical excellence of the finished product, the stamps also bearing well-centred perforations.

The main variety on this issue is the so-called "retouch", which occurs on .: :..
the first stamp of the last row in the upper right pane. It should be noted -I 0J
that retouches to a printing plate are made by hand to correct some ,. ,
imperfection and, no matter how carefully applied, the result always : >
shows some evidence of distortion. That is not what happened here, but r 1 ;"i"
rather the intricate geometrical background appears printed more
prominently in black in the area to the bottom left of the letter "LU" in [ -
"IT'BHA", as shown herewith. Such a variety could possibly have come
about in one of two ways:- -,.^ .S,~ .

(a) An accidental blow to the back of the frame plate, resulting in the printing surface at that point
protruding slightly above the rest of the plate.
(b) In affixing the frame plate to some backing surface, the head of a nail inserted during the process of
attachment may have pressed against the underside of the plate.
Whatever actually happened, it is a nice variety and your editor has unsuccessfully looked for years to find
it used on cover!

A complete sheet of this stamp may be seen on the next page and the following features should be noted:-
(a) The dots on colour in the centre of the top and bottom margins, which were inserted to ensure that
printing from the two plates would be in perfect register.
(b) The frame plate flaw on stamp No. 21 in the upper right pane, which has already been described.
(c) The plate marking placed in the bottom margin under stamp No. 22 in the bottom left pane.

To round off this section, mention should also be made of proofs of '- ...
this stamp, with the background in a paler shade of blue and on very '
thick paper, one imperforate and two perforated. One of the latter is
shown here also punched with a small circular hole. All three were ---- V- -
originally in the Breitfuss and Faberge collections and constituted I ;i ;I
Lot 301 in the Robson Lowe Sale of the H.C. Goss Collection on :.=
19-20 February 1958.

Pen Cancellations.
The following usages have been seen:-
(a) Your editor possesses a cover addressed to "Dmitrii Ivanovich Gipius at Moiskov(?) Lane, in his house"
and the local stamp is cancelled by pen with the number "24". This item is backstamped "MOCKBA 1
FOPOJ. IIOITA / 9Z OKT. 1863" (note the inverted "26"), as shown on the next page. The present
author has a book on the streets of Moscow, but has not been able to trace this particular lane.
(b) The interesting thing is that a similar usage, addressed to "Anna Vasil'evna Rukina in the parish of the
Virgin of Kazan', at the house of Kurtener" was Lot 31954 in the David Feldman Sale of 13-16 Sept. 1990.

June 2002

Cj- -2z C 0

Two stamps with
illegible pen

Backstamp in
actual size for
the cover above.


Pen cancelled "104" and backstamped Moscow 29 April 1864.


The local stamp was pen-cancelled with the number "104", in what appears to be the same handwriting (!)
and the cover was backstamped with a Moscow cds dated 29.4.1864 (see p. 95). The only possible
explanation that can be offered for such an unusual coincidence is that the Moscow City Postal Service kept
a daily tally of Local Post mail for statistical reasons in 1863-1864. Two
loose copies of this City Post stamp are also shown on p. 95 with illegible
St pen cancellations, the first of them with an additional Moscow cds.
S\ Comments are invited.

^ (c) The story does not end there, as the present author also has this stamp on
S piece, pen cancelled in red ink "14 CeH. 87T' and accompanied with a St
Petersburg VIIth. Despatch Office cds with the same date of 14.9.1877. This
Site was discussed with Ing. Mikulski at "MOSCOW '97" and he seemed to
*- think that the pen cancellation was bogus. Whatever the case, the nice thing
7, about this item is that the stamp is from position No. 21 on the top right pane,
i.e. it bears the variety noted from the damaged portion of the frame plate!

A further possible summer rate usage of 5 kopeks in the vicinity of St. Petersburg.

In addition to the data on the summer rate already supplied by David A. Jay on p.93, the
present author can show herewith a loose copy of the stamp with the No. 10 rectangle of
dots postmark of Tsarskoe Selo, situated at 22 v'rsty (about 22 km. or 14 miles) south-west
of St. Petersburg. Usage on cover is needed to prove the assertion, but this postmark on a
loose stamp is still a desirable item. By analogy, it seems likely that the summer
concessional rate would have also been extended nearby to Pavlovsk.

Further usages in the 1863-1864 period.

-" ,' 4 -e

i C. ... f. .-
~ / .-o .y S'/ / *'P -' *r" '" -.

/^ rt to -
fte^ '?-s. y^,/^. ,

,, .* .. '.

A unique cover with two singles of the 5-k.
cancelled St. Petersburg City Post 11 Nov.
1863, 7pm. and paying the internal 10-k.
rate to the Russian border. Note also the
red "PD" (= Paid to destination) and MS.
"4" (Silbergroschen via Prussia?). This
was Lot 1747 in the Cherrystone Auction
of 25-26 October 1995. A glorious item!

Letter sheet with red cds of St.
Petersburg City Post, 2 pm.
16 Sept. 1863 and addressed
to a local doctor of German
origin. Ex Frederick T. Small
and now in the collection of
Gavin Fryer FRPSL, President
of the Royal Philatelic Society
London, to whom many thanks
for the colour scan.

June 2002


I ^l

A local letter, endorsed at extreme left "BecbMa Hyxcoe" (very urgent) with the 5k.
local cancelled in red SPB City Post 2pm on 12 November 1863 and addressed
to Khristian Aleksandrovich Gedda at the Smol'nyi Monastery in the Grey Court of
Clockmaking Affairs, to the watchmaker. One wonders if the addressee was an
ancestor of the well-known operatic singer Nikolai Gedda! This was Lot 565 in the
Kronenberg Russia Specialised sale of 28-29 March 1985 in Basel, Switzerland.


postage and with the red cds of the SPB City Post, 4pm, 10 Jan.(?) 1864.
Addressed to the Editorial Board of the Medical Journal, at the Vyborg Side,
7 Samara Street.

1 I ': '

SeThis was Lot 258 in the Boughman Sale with
S o a vertical pair of the 5k. local cancelled in red
1864" (Moscow, 2pm., 22 Aug. 1864) and
paying the internal rate to Sumy. Lovely item!

June 2002




I -, .

This is a partial illustration of a cover in the
Frederick T. Small Sale, Lot 110, with the
SPB City Post cds in red of 16 January 1864
and addressed locally to Aleksandr
Nikolaevich Palibskii (?).

. / : .-/ .. /
/ -. "- -. ,' .". -'- ..-

A letter from Alfred Henley in St. Petersburg
to the Management of the Russian Company
for Navigation and Trade (ROPiT), at the
corer of Nevskii Prospect and Troitskii Lane
at the Rostovtsev House, with the 5-kopek
local cancelled in red on 15 May 1864 and
originally in the H.C. Goss Collection.


t, 10
____ a-/ e. ., Jy

The 5k. local on
piece with black
SPB dotted oval
cancellation of
the period.

The 5k. local on
piece with red
cancel of the SPB
City Post cds, 8am.
of 5 May 1864.


~c~ e /~- %

Additional usages after the withdrawal of the 5-kopek City Post stamp in 1864.
(a) A paif on piece with the cds of the
I 7 1 Moscow 5t. Despatch Office,
S"* | dated 18 Dec. 1868 and obviously
paying the internal rate. Ex
(b)" Boughman and now in the
S. collection of the present author.
S (b) Martin Siegler and Hans Dietrich
show a letter to Paris from the
SPB 7t. Despatch Office 30 Jan. 1872 with a total franking of 30 kop. for the pre-UPU rate, including a
copy of the 5-k. City Post stamp (see the Journal of Classical Russian Philately No. 2, p. 19).
(c) The part illustration above at right is that of an SPB 5-kop. envelope of the 1864 issue, to which has
been added a pair of the 5-kop. City Post stamp, cancelled SPB 1st. Despatch Office 23 March 1885 and
,addressed to the Merchant House, Varvarka St., Kitai-gorod district in Moscow and overpaid by 1 kopek.

The Friedrich Breitfuss covers.

Friedrich Breitfuss was an ethnic German, fluent also in English and Russian,
;, a resident of St. Petersburg and a citizen of the Russian Empire. He was a
leading philatelist of great international stature in the last quarter of the 19".
century and sold his collection, with outstanding world rarities, to Stanley
Gibbons of London in the early 1900s. He corresponded extensively,
including on postcards and had a distinctive handwriting, sloping slightly to
the left. His international mailings of registered letters in 1881-1882 also
featured the 5-kop. City Post stamp in the rankings and the present author
.has records of the following seven sending, always postmarked with the cds
S "1 C. FIETEPBYPFb 1 / 3KCrI. HP. HHOCT. KOPP." (1 St.
.- Petersburg 1 / Office for the Reception of Foreign Mail):-

(a) 26 Feb. 1881 to Bologna and overpaid by I kopek. See the illustration on the next page.
(b) -March 1881: partly illustrated in the Boughman Sale as a 10-kopek narrow tail eagle die 1863 issue, to
which a 5-kop. City Post stamp has been added for a registered sending to London. Overpaid by 1 kopek.
(c) 7 March 1881 to Brussels with a strip of three plus one single of the 5 kop. and 3 x 1 kop. Arms on a 5-
kop. SPB Local Post envelope 1864 issue to total 27 kopeks, hence underpaid by 1 kop. for a triple-weight
registered letter. This was Lot 201 in the Kurt Adler Sale of 14-15 August 1874. Unusual!
(d) 29 Apr. 1881 to Paris. Properly prepaid at 14 kop. for a registered letter, as seen on the next page.
(e) 8 June 1881 to Zirich with the 5-kop. Local Post stamp on a 5-kop. envelope and additional postage to
total 27 kopeks, hence underpaid by 1 kopek for a registered double-weight letter. See below at left.
(f) 1 Aug. 1881 to London and properly paid at 14 kop. for a registered letter. See illustration on next page.
g) 8 Jan. 1882 to Dresden with 5-kop. Local Post pair and properly prepaid at 14 kop. See below at right.

__- "_____ ,_K J -

SAdditional data from readers
would be most appreciated!
98 THE POST-RIDER/ IMIM JN~ 50 See also p. 119!
June 2002

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