Printed in Canada
THE CANADIAN SOCIETY
OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
P.O. Box 5722, Station "A",
Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1P2
CSRP Web Site: http://www3.sympatico.ca/postrider/postrider/
"THE POST-RIDER" No. 53. November 2003.
2 Editorial: The International Reputation of "The Post-Rider"
2 Special Note; also at 3, 5, 32, 66, 68, 92 & 117
3 Correspondence with Canada: A registered letter to Canada, redirected to the U.S.A. Dr.Andr6s Jorge Schlichter
4 Zemstvo Varieties Thirteenth Instalment G.G. Werbizky
7 Russian Imperial Air Unit Free Franks of World War I Dr. G. Adolph Ackerman
26 The Utilisation of Franking Cachets of the Soviet Posts (1924-1940) L.G. Ratner
49 A Philatelic Portrait of Mikhail Vasil'evich Lomonosov Gregory Epshtein
53 The Soviet Express Post and Sendings of Importance Robert Taylor
58 Some Early Soviet Varieties Alex Sadovnikov
61 More on the boxed "R KIZIL" handstamp of Tuva and the Cliffe covers Gwyn Williams
64 Some remarks and additions to the Tuvan book by V.N. Ustinovskii & to the A. Leighton O.P. Sel'nikov
article in XN 50 of "The Post-Rider"
66 Notes on the Finnish material published in "The Post-Rider" M 52 Charles Leonard
69 The Bukharan "Horse-Post" stamps in the Aleksandr Mramorov Collection Aleksandr Mramorov
70 The Posts of the Volga Germans Meer Kossoy & Vladimir Berdichevskii
93 Postage Stamps of the Zemstvos Alex Artuchov
98 Registered & express mail sent by postal wagons of Russia in the Soviet Period after 1917,Dr.V.G. Levandovskii
117 Where were these covers registered? (Part II) Rabbi L.L. Tann
118 More Railwayana Rabbi L.L. Tann
119 The April 1922 Second Issue of the Armenian SSR Dr. Arkadii M. Sargsyan
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 2003. 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.
THE INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION OF "THE POST-RIDER"
It should, be evident that, with the publication of the Cumulative Index to Nos. 1 to 50 of our journal
"The Post-Rider", as compiled so ably by Mr. Socrates Bosovitch, librarian of the Hellenic Philatelic
Society in Athens, our Canadian Society of Russian Philately has now been able to provide a guide to more
than 4000 pages of solid and original research on a very wide range of subjects since our inception in
September 1977. Moreover, we have further absorbing facets lined up for CSRP members in future issues.
Among the results of our efforts are the respect and reputation that we have gained internationally
over the years. Such reactions are emphasized by the fact that articles originally appearing in our journal
have subsequently been listed as references in studies published elsewhere. Needless to say, the high
standards of research that we have attained have been dependent upon those of our contributing authors and
we are proud to have them in our Society. May they continue to offer their stimulating articles in whatever
language they feel comfortable; translation is not a problem!
It should be stressed here that we try to be as objective as possible, to the exclusion of any political
aims. In short, ours is a journal of record and we hope that it will continue to be a trustworthy source of
reference for succeeding generations of specialists, both philatelically and culturally.
On a final note, we strongly recommend that our members complete their runs of our journal; just
tell us what numbers you are lacking and we will make you an offer that you cannot refuse. And do not
forget to tell your philatelic friends about us!
SPECIAL NOTE 2nd. Symposium of Latvian Postal History at Tukums on 9 August 2003.
Chaired by Herr Harry von Hofmann, FRPSL, AIEP, BPP, this is a compendium of five articles on
72 pages, 16.8 x 24 cm. in softbound format and printed in Latvian and German, as follows:-
1. Dr. Parsla Petersone: "Communication Possibilities in Kurzeme (Kurland) during the Northern War".
2. Juris Galviri: "Postmarks of the Kurzeme (Kurland) Province 1797-1800".
3. Heinz Lukaschewitz: "The Mail over the Armistice Lines to and from Russia regarding Vidzeme
(Livonia) and Kurzeme (Kurland) in 1917-1918". Among other things, this is a splendid expansion of the
study "Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail" published in "The Post-Rider" No. 36.
4. Harry von Hofinann: "The Early Years of Airmail from and to Latvia 1920-1925".
5. Aivars Cimermanis: "The Types and Utilisation of Postmarks in Latvia 1944-1990", being a thorough
classification of the Soviet cancellers in that period.
This most useful publication is obtainable from the Harry von Hofmann Verlag, Postfach 560156,
D-22551, HAMBURG, Germany, at 12 Euros or US $13.00 postpaid.
2THE POST-RIDER/MMIIHXK NM 53
CORRESPONDENCE WITH CANADA
"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 a
forwarding a photograph or clear Xerox copy of the/
item to the Editor, along with some explanatory text.
A REGISTERED LETTER TO CANADA, REDIRECTED TO THE U.S.A.
by Dr. Andr6s Jorge Schlichter.
St S p t r t 1 C tt i t a o 2 t .3465
', 2 ." "
four lines: "RECEIVED AT MONTREAL / VIA NEW YORK / RE(U A MONTR AL i VIA NEW
YORK". Meanwhile, the Rev. Snegireff had moved to 401 Hamilton St. in Syracuse, N.Y. and the letter
letter up to 20 grammes (roughly 2/3 ounce), plus 14 kopeks for the registration fee. It is assumed that the
The illustrations above have been reduced to 50%, as the envelope is large and the letter must
remaining 30 kopeks paid covere beyond three successive weight step. Sent from Leningrames at 10 kopeks each1928, ith a
maximum of 80 grammes for this heavy letter, which probably contained documents.
addressEditorial Comment: The Rev. Snegireff, a priest residing ather of Leonid Snegiret in Montreal, a proving on 28 Octot member
There is at bottom centre a very faint and inverted strike of a bilingual unframed cachet in violet, reading in
four lines: "RECEIVED AT MONTREAL / VIA NEW YORK / REqU A MONTREAL / VIA NEW
YORand pMeanwhileeist for many years in the Rossica Society. Dr. Snegireff in Sseed, N.Y. and the letter
was forwarded via Utica, N.Y. 30 Octob interpreter at the historic meeting with the Soviet Army. Vy on 27 April 1945 at
The rate paid was 10+18+30 = 58 kopeks. The charges then were 14 kopeks for a surface foreign
letter up to 20 grammes (roughly 2/3 ounce), plus 14 kopeks for the registration fee. It is assumed that the
remaining 30 kopeks paid covered three successive weight steps of 20 grammes at 10 kopeks each, with a
maximum of 80 grammes for this heavy letter, which probably contained documents.
Editorial Comment: The Rev. Snegireff was the father of Leonid Snegireff, M.D., a prominent member
and philatelist specialist for many years in the Rossica Society. Dr. Snegireff served in the U.S. Army
during WWII and acted as an interpreter at the historic meeting with the Soviet Army on 27 April 1945 at
Torgau on the River Elbe. He subsequently visited his land of birth, but was not allowed by the Soviet
authorities to go to his native village, probably because it had still not recovered from the appalling damage
suffered by the USSR in the BOB (WWII). Other Russian covers exist, addressed to the Snegireffs.
SPECIAL NOTE: "Wissenwertes fiir Russland-Philatelie" / "Facts on Russian Philately".
This is the second revised and expanded compilation in German by our member Dipl. Kfm Michael Kuhn,
Schiffbauplatz 2B, D-96047 BAMBERG, Germany, on Russian collecting areas, literature, auction catalogues,
journals in our area, philatelic biographies and about Russian 19th. Century members of the "Internationaler
For ordering details of this interesting and useful work of 233 pages in A4 format, please contact Burkhard
Schneider, Neuer Weg 29, D-63571 GELBHAUSEN, Germany or at e-mail: Infoa@philabooks.com.
THE POST-RIDER/iMIHK N2 53 3
ZEMSTVO VARIETIES: THIRTEENTH INSTALMENT
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.
Kuznetsk, Saratov province.
#EUl ATSr E4~A[lk I V%
Chuchin No. 1: Two vertical pairs at left,
imperforate horizontally; horizontal pair,
imperforate vertically at upper right and,
below that, a single stamp misperforated
Laishev, Kazan. province.
Chuchin No. 1:
Nolinsk, Vvatka province.
g TP i! on. H '
Chuchin No. 2:
General Comment: When reproduced
in black and white, Chuchin Nos. 17-25
are not distinguishable by colour.
Varieties will therefore only be
described and not identified by the
Chuchin catalogue number.
Varieties exist on all numbers.
This strip from the bottom
portion of the sheet shows
misalignment during printing,
thus resulting in the stamps
overlapping each other.
THE POST-RIDER/LMIIIIK N_ 53
Horizontal strip of five, misperforated horizontally and vertically.
***** r* n* *
33on*A 1 0 .
Horizontal pair with a
paper fold at bottom
right, resulting in
printing on the back and
void on the front.
* f *
Calling all collectors of Ukrainian postal stationery.
I am Oleksandr Ivakhno at P.O. Box 4933, 49101 Dnipropetrovs'k, Ukraine and I am deeply interested in the postal
stationery of the Ukrainian Republic. I have already issued in separate Ukrainian and Russian versions a "Project for
systematising the revaluation cachets on postal stationery of the K;fv/Kiev Postal-Telegraphic District", which
includes previously unrecorded material and I wish to continue the project to cover the entire field of the postal
stationery of the Ukrainian Republic. Interested philatelists and possible collaborators are cordially invited to get in
touch with me at the address given above.
THE POST-RIDER/ZIMIIIK MN 53
K: 9TA nOUAqTAT U09TA
-ion. ,1r I"P .P1. E .1 1 : ,.
3EMCKART IIOqTA OJITABCKATO Y3JHA
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.
-V.Lb JI t-
.10T TA :.
Bobrov, Voronezh province.
Chuchin No. 4: The sheet contains 4 x 6 units and the varieties consist of
different frames and the length of the wording. All five frames are different
vertically and are repeated. An exception is for stamp No. 3, where the left
bottom portion of the frames is missing.
Q5 : -t: i-'
Z -t. -
This reconstructed sheet is shown courtesy of Mr. Leon Finik.
6 THE POST-RIDER_/HK i 53
I ~ ~ 1iicx~ 8i~V1eF
Thisrecostrctedshet isshow cortes ofMr. eonFink
6M THDR. -IE(I~llK &5
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL AIR UNIT FREE FRANKS OF WORLD WAR I
by Dr. G. Adolph Ackerman.
A number of special free franks used on correspondence sent by various Russian Imperial aviation and
aeronautic units and pilot training schools during World War I are presented. Few such postal items bearing
these air unit markings have survived the ravages of time, war and strife. Russia was one of the first
countries to use special designated free franks/postal markings for communiques from military air units.
Such postal material serves to document a significant phase in the early growth of military air power in
Russia. However, the philatelic literature concerning this topic is essentially non-existent, due to the
scarcity of material available for study and, perhaps, a lack of interest by Russian philatelists and postal
historians. Cronin (8) lists a number of these aviation/aeronautics free franks seen in Melhikov's exhibit
shown in the early 1980s; Pritula (21) also describes several additional examples. Russian air unit postal
documents are far less frequently seen than WWI Russian army field post markings and postal documents
of the Allied Intervention Forces. Hopefully, this report will serve as a baseline for future studies and will
interest others in this area of aviation postal history.
This report is divided into three primary sections: (1) Overview; (2) Aviation Units (referring to airplane
units); (3) Aeronautic Units (refers to balloon units) and (4) Aviation Schools.
Overview: The Eastern Front in World War I extended -1800 miles from the Baltic to the Black Sea -
over three times the length of the Western Front of the Allies. Thus, the Eastern Front presented a different
kind of war, with Russian military units scattered along the front lines, rather than forming a continuous
line of deep trenches. As with other countries, a military air capability was just making its inroads in Russia
at the start of the War (August 1914) and Russia's aircraft industry and pilot training facilities were in their
infancy. Aviation schools were established at Gatchina, Sevastopol', Odessa and near several other cities as
interest and commitment to military aviation began to flourish.
From its earliest beginnings in 1910, Russian military aviation and the number of trained air personnel
grew rapidly in the short years before the onset of WWI. A 1911 photocard documents a group of Russia's
first military airmen with a Farman biplane (Figure 1). Military air exhibitions were held in several Russian
cities testing new airplane design and attempting new aviation records in distance, speed and altitude. To
the dismay of the watching military command, the world's first vertical aerial loop was performed in Kiev
by Lt. Nesterov in a French-built Nieuport IV aircraft in the late summer of 1914 as hostilities were about
Russian air strength at the start of WWI included over 200 aircraft and trained pilots and observers (Figue
2), plus 46 kite-balloons and associated personnel and 12 airships and crew. The number of Russian aircraft
available was comparable to that of the German command, although the Russian aircraft soon became
outdated or were poorly maintained or in disrepair. Russia bought most of its military aircraft from France
and England; aircraft made in Russia were basically of foreign design, although significant strides were
made by Russian aircraft designers, i.e. Gakkel, Grigorovich, Lebedev, Sikorskii, as the War began.
Gakkel won the military aircraft design competition in 1911 and Sikorskii won the next year for his S-6B
biplane (Figure 2). During this pre-war developmental period, public funds were solicited by the All-
Russian Aero Club to complement governmental funding for aircraft design and construction (Figure 2).
However, as the War evolved, the quality of German aircraft and pilot capabilities generally outstripped
those of the Imperial Russian Air Force.
In the early stages of the War, airplanes functioned as reconnaissance and communication links. Airplanes
(and manned balloons) flying over the front lines could observe, photograph and drop military
communiques as needed (Figure 3). Long-range reconnaissance and bombing missions began in 1915 with
the development of Sikorskii's II 'ya Muromets giant airplanes (Figure 2) and evolving air tactics. Fighter
THE POST-RIDER/IMIIHK a 53 7
planes and aerial combat missions along Russia's Western Front did not begin until the late stages of the
War (Summer 1916) (Figure 3).
The means to the front lines were mainly on dirt and mud-soaked roads; trains to the front lines were few
and far between. Thus, the transport of supplies and equipment to the front lines was severely compromised
during most of the war. These problems undoubtedly had a role in the paucity of surviving air units postal
Needed military supplies, replacement parts, aircraft and foodstuffs had problems reaching Russia from
France and England via the Baltic. And later via the Mediterranean with the closure of the Dardanelles
following the British withdrawal from the region; The internal political upheaval in 1915/17 caused
additional problems for communication and supply to the front lines. The conflict ended soon after the
Bolsheviks usurped power in 1917. The elite military command and well-to-do airmen were removed from
duty and replaced by peasants and the uneducated. Russia's military structure and its aviation were
fundamentally disemboweled. Thus, Russia's participation in World War I withered and died.
Army Aviation Units: As the War began, the front-line air strength of the Imperial Russian Air Service
(IRAS) was impressive with over 260 aircraft, divided into 8 fortresses and six aviation companies with 31
field units (detachments/squadrons) with over 200 trained pilots and observers (see Blume (5), Durkota (9),
Duz (10), George & Sheppard (12), Maslov (19)). These numbers compared favourably with Germany.
However, many front-line aircraft were obsolete or in disrepair; damage during take-off and landing was a
common occurrence. Both enemy and friendly gunfire caused considerable damage to Russia's aircraft.
Most aircraft on the front lines were old imported Nieuports and Farman planes. Commanders complained
about the planes' capacity for modem warfare. At least sixteen different types/models of airplanes were in
use along the front lines and proper parts were in short supply. As the War progressed, Russian air factories
gradually began to provide new planes of both foreign and domestic design, but were unable to keep pace
with the losses and damage inflicted. Special bomber, fighter and reconnaissance groups were formed
(1916). In 1917, 1500-2000 planes were produced with a total wartime production reported to be 4,700.
Also in 1917, there were 461 pilots in front aviation units with 106 assigned to air park commands.
By late 1914, the IRAS had 8 Aviation Fortress Companies, each having one air detachment (squadron):
Brest-Litovsk (at Warsaw); Osoviets (at Warsaw), Novo-Georgevskii (at Warsaw), Kovno (at Vilha),
Grodno (at Vilha), Sevastopol' (in Odessa), Kars (in the Caucasus) and Vladikavkaz (in the Caucasus).
These fortifications were under the command of the Fortress command staff while the 31 Field and Corp
Detachments were under command of the military district commanders. Fortifications were to be staffed by
9 pilots and with 8 aircraft. Other detachments were staffed by 7 pilots and with 6 aircraft. Some
modification in the IRAS organization took place in 1916 and 1917.
Aviation Company (or Park) Commands were responsible for assigning aviation personnel and supplying
aircraft and equipment to the front lines. Nine Aviation Companies (AO) were formed at the start of the
War: the 1st AO at St. Petersburg (with the 1st, 5th, 16th, 18th, 22nd KAO (Corps Aviation
Detachment/Squadron)); the 2nd AO moved from Sevastopol' to Warsaw (with the 14th, 15th, 19th, 23rd
KAO); the 3rd AO at Kiev (with 3 field squadrons and the 9th, 11lth and 12th KAO); the 4th AO at Lida
(with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 20th, 21st KAO; the 5th AO at Bronnitsa (with the 13th, 17th and
Grenadier KAO) and the 6th AO at Odessa (with the 7th, 8th, 24th, 25th KAO plus the Siberian Fortress
with the 1st Siberian KAO (at Irkutsk) and 4th Siberian KAO (at Chita), and the 5th Siberian KAO (at
Khabarovsk). Also, the Grodno Fortress AO (later became the 28th KAO) and Vladivostok Fortress AO
(later became the 2nd Siberian KAO) (see Blume (5), Durkota et.al. (9)).
Ajphotocard sentduring the late stages of the war (1917) has the 5th Aviation Park Command .free%
frank (Komanda 5-go Aviatsionnago Parka'(Figure 4a),The violet double circle free frank has an Imperial'
Eagle in the centre, surrounded by the command designation. This unit was stationed near Bryansk during
8 THE POST-RIDERI/MME K XN53
most of the war. Another photocard from the first months of the War is shown that was sent by an airman
attached to a Special Air Squadron of the 10th Army stationed along Russia's North-Western Front near
Lyck, East Prussia (Figure 4b). This card was sent to Vil'no (Lithuania) in late 1914. The violet free frank
has a double circle design with a central winged propeller and enclosing text "Special Aviation Squadron"
(Osobyi Aviatsionnyi Otryad). This special air unit was composed of volunteers from the I.V.A.K.
(Imperial All-Russian Aero Club) school, who were sent to the front lines and attached to the regional
Army headquarters. After bitter fighting, the Russian Army was advancing rapidly at this time along the
Polish front (November 1914). This aviator's unit was stationed near the German town of Lyck,which had
already changed hands five times. The card's text states that half of the houses had been burned as the
result of bombing and that he expected his unit to move forward soon. This photocard shows the Lyck
market place. Photocards were the most common postal items sent by military personnel during the War.
These cards usually showed the town or a landscape near where the person was stationed; specific
designation of the location of the army unit was prohibited.
Photocards with two different free franks of the 1st Aviation Company, Hunters' Detachment, Air Fleet
Department are illustrated (Figure 5). These cards were sent from Petrograd in November 1915 and May
1916. The first card was sent to Front-Line Army E13B, 11th Motorised Company, Samara Province. The
second card was sent to the Ivashenkovo Explosives Factory, Chemical Laboratory in Samara Province.
The sender of the second card was assigned to the Polytechnical Institute Section, Air Fleet Command,
Hunters' Detachment. The Command Headquarters of the (IRAS) Air Fleet was centred at the
Polytechnical Institute. The Institute with the Aeronautic sub-section also was involved in the didactic
training of both military airmen and aeronauts and in the supply of personnel to front line units.
Another photocard was dispatched by an airman with the 6th Aviation Corp, apparently located near
Vitebsk (photo of Vitebsk on reverse), to his wife/friend in Petrograd (Figure 6a) In addition to the
circular violet free frank, there is an indistinct rail station postmark on the card dated September 1915. A
photocard from the 3rd Aviation Company stationed near L'vov/L'viv is shown that was dispatched to
Kiev in early 1915 (Figure 6b).
By the end of 1915, an estimated 350 aircraft were on the front line. Although aviation schools were
training -100 pilots each year, the total number of viable fliers on the front lines was inadequate, due to the
25-30% casualty rate. Flying was a hazardous business due to superior aircraft and pilots of the German
air force and the poor maintenance of Russian aircraft. In any event, by late 1915 and early 1916, the use
of aircraft extended beyond that of liaison and reconnaissance flights.
The World's first strategic bomber squadron was formed in the spring of 1915 and was composed of four
giant Sikorskii Il'ya Muromets airplanes. The unit operated on the northern front with Russia's 1st Army.
This elite unit was under the direct control of the Imperial Supreme Command. Later, four I 'ya Muromets
Battle Groups were formed and served on various fronts.
The successful completion of a bombing mission deep behind enemy lines proved the value of these
aircraft beyond the scope of simple observation planes deployed along the front lines. A total of 42 (of 85
built) served at the front;the others were used for training. The II'ya Muromets Squadron missions included
the bombing of bridges, trains and troop concentrations, as well as observation deep behind enemy lines.
Because of their size, these planes were called Flying Ships and the term was used in their free frank
(Escadra Vozdushnykh Korablei EVK or Escadrille of Flying Ships). As the German front moved
forward, the unit was displaced from Biatystok to Pskov in late 1915 and 1916, and finally was sent to
Vinnitsa (Ukraine) by war's end. Two cards with the special violet Escadrille of Flying Ships designation
and the Imperial Eagle at centre are shown, one from mid-1917 and the other from late 1917 (Figure 7).
Aircraft workshops and mobile aircraft repair units were essential for keeping front-line airplanes in
working order. However, availability of appropriate replacement parts for the damaged aircraft
THE POST-RIDER/IMIMHK NJ 53 9
compromised their work during much of the war. A postcard from a Mobile Aircraft Repair Company
(Podvizhnaya Aviatsionnaya Masterskaya Rota) located near Dvinsk/Daugavpils in 1916 illustrates one of
these important support facilities (Figure 8). A card mailed in 1917 showing an ill-defined free frank strike
for the Moscow Warehouse for Aviation and Aeronautic Supply unit also has been noted (18); this card
also has a red oval handstamp reading "For Freedom" (Za Svobodu) reflecting the early post-Tsarist era.
With the onset of WWI, France supplied aircraft to Russia as part of the Allies war effort. Later, France
sent airmen to Russia to help train pilots in air combat and to fly combat missions. Most of these airmen
were assigned duty on the South-Western Front, while officers assigned to the 7th Aviation Division and to
headquarters units were posted to Petrograd. An "Aviation Militaire' cacheted cover and a photocard
illustrate the French Aviation Mission participation in Russia during the war (Figure 9). The cover has the
special circular free frank with the'Aviation Frangaise en Russie"designation. The stamped photocard was
sent from Moscow (23 July 1916) and has the Russian 7th Aviation Division free frank.
Several additional examples of the Imperial Aviation Unit free* franks that have been published are
reproduced here (Figure 10). The first free frank is that of the 23rd Detachment Aviation Squadron, which
was located near Petrograd; the card also has a Field Post Office postmark dated 4 August 1915 (6). Three
other redrawn free franks are from sending reported by Vsevolodov (25). The first free frank is that of the
7th Aviation Division (located near Petrograd). This free-frank cardwas sent to Petrograd and had an arrival
postmark dated 23 July 1916. The second free frank is from a card from the Aviation Squadron of the
Guard Corp stationed at L'vov/L'viv. This card was sent to Odessa and has an arrival postmark dated 27
August 1915. The third item originated from the 1st Glider Squadron at Kars and was sent to the Sludyanka
Station of the Trans-Baikal Station.
Siberian army aviation units were part of the 6th Aviation Company. These military groups were involved
with guarding Russia's southern frontier during the war and later participated in the civil upheaval and with
the Allied Expeditionary Forces. An interesting example of the 1st Siberian Aviation Detachment's free
frank is shown on a card sent by a Czech pilot during the summer of 1918 from Chelyabinsk to the 2nd
Czechoslovak Reserve Battalion (part of the post-WWI Allied Expeditionary Force) in Omsk (Figure 1).
With emerging problems resulting from the War and civil unrest, a reevaluation of the organisation of
Russia's military aviation and its future development was planned for 1917. However, with the take-over of
government and the military by the Bolsheviks, this National Assembly never took place. A special violet
free frank was used by members of the Organising Committee of the All-Russian Aviation Congress for
their communiques during the planning stages for this event (Figure 12).
Naval Aviation Units: Initially, land-based airplanes were assigned to naval bases on the Baltic and Black
Seas (Figure 13) but flying boats soon were the preferred aircraft for flying along the coastal waters.
However, some naval commanders preferred the use of airships over airplanes because of their longer
range. By 1912, the Russian naval aircraft consisted primarily of Curtis float planes purchased from the
United States but, by late 1914 as the War began, the Curtis aircraft were being replaced by the Russian
designed Grigorovich M-series flying boats which became the main aircraft used by the navy during WWI.
At the start of the War, the Black Sea fleet had only a dozen pilots divided between two air groups, one at
the large naval base at Sevastopol', the other in Kilen Bay. By 1917, the Black Sea Fleet air arm had grown
to about 50 pilots with nearly 150 aircraft; the Baltic Fleet air arm had a similar number of pilots with
approximately 70 aircraft.
During WWI, Russian naval aircraft provided aerial reconnaissance along coastal waters; naval seaplanes
also participated in several combined air and naval attack missions. The Baltic Fleet Aviation Group was
organised into two brigades, each with 3 divisions with three air detachments or squadrons consisting of 5-
6 pilots. Each brigade had three air stations and six airfields. Individual aircraft assigned to the Navy
10 THE POST-RIDER/aMIHHK 'M 53
between 1913-1917 have been recorded and included the Curtis, Nieuports, Grigorovich models and anrlya
Muromets giant four-engine bomber in the Baltic zone. Twenty-five naval aircraft were lost in enemy
action in the Baltic zone but only four in the Black Sea arena. The inability of the Russian government and
factories to supply aircraft and spare parts greatly impeded the effectiveness of naval air activity,
particularly in the Baltic region.
Naval air stations were located at key sites along the coast allowing flexible shifts of air units or aircraft to
various sectors. Some stations had only wooden docks and sheds, others were more extensive with hangers
and cement ramps. The naval air stations at Revel' and Sevastopol' were well equipped for aircraft repair.
Several naval airfac:ilities and aircraft have been illustrated by Durkota, et. al. (9) and Maslov (19). From a
philatelic standpoint, I have yet to find examples of free franked mail from Russian naval air stations, air
squadrons and air brigade commands.
Naval Seaplane Carriers: Shipboard aviation began in early 1915 with the conversion of three ships in
the Black Sea (the Almaz, the Imperator Aleksandr I and sister-ship, the Imperator Nikolai I) and one in the
Baltic (the Orlitsa) into seaplane carriers. These carriers could carry between 4 and 8 seaplanes. Seaplanes
were hoisted onto the ship's fore and aft decks with take-off and landing on the sea surface. The Almaz was
a converted small cruiser, while the other three were converted merchant ships. Structurally, the Aleksandr
I and Nikolai I were essentially identical. The Black Sea carriers took part in task force operations off the
Turkish European coast and Bosphorus. In 1916, aircraft from these carriers sank a Turkish merchant ship,
the largest merchant ship lost to an air attack in WWI. In mid- to late 1917, after the Revolution, the
Nikolai I was renamed the Aviator and the Aleksandr I became the Respublikanets. The Orlitsa served
primarily in the Gulf of Riga in defence against German naval forces. Its seaplanes also were based on
inland lakes and made sorties against the German army. Cards dispatched by airmen/crew members of the
seaplane carriers Respublikanets and Orlitsa during the final days of Russia's participation in WWI are
shown (Figure 14).
Military Aviation Schools: The first military aviation school was established by the Imperial War Ministry
in 1910 at Gatchina, on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. Several months later, the second military aviation
school opened at Sevastopol'. During the winter months, the aviation school at Gatchina moved to the
warmer climate in Sevastopol'. Additional military aviation schools were formed near Moscow, Kiev and
in the Crimea by the onset of the War. Civilian aero club training facilities came under military control as
the War began. Aircraft used in pilot training at these schools were primarily older out-dated machines,
e.g., the older Farmans, Nieuports and later Voisin aircraft; newer aircraft were sent to the front lines.
Crashes on landing and take-off were common. Discipline at the flying schools generally was lax and as
students progressed, flying commonly took on a barn-storming aspect. In addition to learning to fly,
students received training in the fundamentals and technical aspects of flight, as well as gaining experience
in reconnaissance methodology while aloft. Command and staff personnel received additional practical
training at the Officer Aviation School in Odessa. At least 100 pilots were trained each year, but the
number was insufficient for the war effort due to the high casualty rate on the front line, which had risen to
25-30% by the end of 1916. Military aviation schools also were training aircraft mechanics and by 1917
about 300 were trained that year.
Several examples of mail posted from the Imperial aviation schools are shown. The first item is from the
Military Aviation School Command (Voyennaya Aviatsionnaya Shkola .- Komanda .) at Gatchina and sent
to Moscow, card dated 24 March 1915 (Figure 15a). Three cards are shown from different units of the
Grand Duke Aleksandr Mikhailovich Higher Military Aviation School in Sevastopol' in 1916/17. One card
has the Drill Team designation (Figure 15b); another card has the Technical Company designation (Figure
16a) and the third card is from theBei'bek Crimea Section (Figure 16b). Advanced military officer aviation
and observation training was done at the Aviation School in Odessa near the Anatra aircraft factory. Two
cards are shown, one with the free frank of the Aviation School for Aviator-Observers School in Odessa
THE POST-RIDER/aIMHi K N 53 11
sent in 1916 (Figure 17a) and the second from the Naval Aerial Combat School near Petrograd also sent in
1916 (Figure 17b).
Russia's first special naval aviation school the Naval Officers Aviation School -.opened in Baku
(Azerbaijan) in November 1915. The Navy wanted a port for their seaplanes and for pilot training that
would be least affected by the winter weather. Three hangers were built on the city's largest wharf. Thirty
officers and administrative personnel staffed the school and excellent naval pilots and specialists were
trained between 1915-1917. Before the opening of the Baku Aviation School, pilots assigned to naval air
bases or seaplane carriers had been trained primarily at the Sevastopol' Aviation School. Two photocards
with the Baku Branch Naval Officers Aviation School free frank are shown (Figure 18); the reverse of one
shows a photograph of a group of naval officers in front of one of the school's seaplanes (Figure 19).
Army Aeronautical Units: Russian military air mindedness began in the late 19th C. when the potential of
stationary manned balloons for observing enemy troop movements and coordinating artillery fire along
enemy lines was recognized by Russia's military commanders. A special military aeronautic section was
created to develop and organise aeronautical units as part of Russia's armed forces. The first Army balloon
school was established in 1885 at Volkov Field outside St. Petersburg (Figure 20a). The balloons were of
either spherical or elongated (kite) design, with attached observation platforms. Three Army observational
manned balloon units were formed and participated successfully in the Russo-Japanese War (1904/5).
These aeronautical battalions were assigned unit designated free franks. Four postcards with violet "East
Siberian/Aeronautical Battalion" free franks sent from the Far Eastern front in 1904/1905 have been
documented (6, 7, 21, 23), the one reproduced herein was dispatched to Gatchina (Figure 20b).
Russian naval forces in the Far East also had ships that could launch observational balloons in the hope of
sighting advancing warships. The transport ship Kolyma and the armored cruiser Rossiya were used to
deploy observational balloons, both spherical and kite types, from their decks during the conflict. These
ships with balloons aloft have been illustrated (see Durkota, et. al. (9)).
Succeeding years saw the expansion and deployment of aeronautical units to both army field divisions and
stations along Russia's coastal waters. Ten army kite balloon units were formed by 1912, and by the end of
1913, thirteen aeronautical companies were active. This number increased as hostilities began. By 1914, the
army had 46 stationary kite balloons with observational baskets attached. The following aeronautical units
were in operation at the start of the war: Brest-Litovsk Aeronautical Battalion (at Brest-Litovsk); Siberian
Aeronautical Battalion (at Spasskoe) and 9 Aeronautical Companies (the 3rd at Lida, the 4th at Kovno, the
5th at Grodno, the 6th at Osoviets, the 9th at Lida, the 10th at Berdichev, the 1lth at Novogeorgievsk and
the 1st Caucasian at Kars and the 4th Siberian at Chita.
The balloons were hydrogen-filled and attached to horse-drawn winches; later in the war truck-driven
winches became available. The primary duty of the balloons along the front lines was to observe enemy
troop movements and monitor artillery fire. One or two aeronaut observers occupied the attached gondola.
The balloons had a short life due to damage and deterioration; obtaining adequate hydrogen supplies also
became a problem as the war progressed. Each artillery battalion was assigned an aeronautic company
composed of 60-100 men and had 2-3 balloon units, each with two balloons. Manning an observation
balloon was risky and many balloons and men were lost, due to enemy gunfire from below and aerial
attacks from the air. Army aeronautic balloon schools trained personnel in observational techniques and the
mechanics of balloon maintenance. Several reorganizations involving the aeronautical companies took
place during the war.
Several examples of aeronautic unit free franks are illustrated herein. A card sent from the Grodnenskaya
(Grodno) Fortress (Garrison) Aeronautical Company (Grodnenskaya Krepostnaya Vozdukhoplavitel'naya
Rota) during the early days of the war has the violet company free frank. This card was sent to Riga and
2 THE POST-RIDERIMIIuHK X 53
has an arrival postmark dated 28 December 1914 (Figure 21). Another photocard showing the Warsaw
market place is from the 9th Aeronautical Company and was dispatched to Petrograd with the arrival
postmark of 13 January 1915 (Figure 22b). An interesting censored cover with the violet 23rd Aeronautical
Company, 1st Observational Station free frank was sent to the Russian Section of the Danish Red Cross in
Copenhagen, Denmark in 1916 and is illustrated (Figure 22a). Another photocard originating from the 24th
Field Aeronautic Company stationed near Nesvich was sent by an officer serving as treasurer of the
Aeronautic Group to his family in Moscow in 1916 (Figure 23b). This card also has a Field Post Office
#11 dated postmark. A Central Aeronavigational Station on Russia's southwestern front was formed in late
1915 as part of the aerial observation and communication service. A postcard sent in 1917 has been
illustrated (21) with this station's designated free frank.
Two additional aeronautic unit items have been described. The first is a photocard sent in 1916 and has a
poorly defined "Rear Aeronautics Park Armies of the South-Western. Front/Main Warehouse" free frank
and shows a view of the town of Kursk on the reverse (18). The second item (Figure 24) is a censored
cover with the "Osoviets Fortress Aeronautical Company/Commander of the Observation Station" free
frank that was posted in 1917 (7). The existence of this Osoviets Fortress after 1914 has been questioned by
Pritula (21) who indicated that this fortress was converted into the 1st Company of the 1st Aeronautical
Battalion and had five airships placed under its command.
In early 1915, other fortress aeronautical companies were converted into a number of field companies and
placed under the control of artillery commands (21). With this reorganization, the new regional directorates
of aeronautics and aviation were created and were given new official free franks/seals. Pritula (21) suggests
an evolving change in the style of the aeronautic free franks/seals during the war, similar to those displayed
in the the present article. However, a definitive discussion of these variations seems risky in view of the
paucity of material available for study.
The last view card presented was sent in December 1914 by an officer attached to the disbanded 2nd
Aeronautical Company of the Rear Army to his friend attached to the 4th Aeronautical Company stationed
near Berdichev, Ukraine (Figure 23a). The view card shows the town of L'vov/L'viv, indicating that the
sender was stationed somewhere in this region. Letters/cards were not permitted to give information related
to military activities; however, the text on this card provides some interesting insights about the sender and
the first months of the war:
Address "To His Excellency Ivan Arsenivich Krich at Berdichev". Text: "29 November 1914 Well, finally
something ..... Poruchik (Lieutenant) and I long expected the demise of the aeronautical company and so it came to pass. But
why are you still stuck in Berdichev? Or is it only the HQ that now remains? Please thank Tadeush. for me for the kind memory
the rumors of my death reached me too, but I am still alive and well. Why is it that everybody starts to love you as soon as you
are dead? November 13th by the Czar's order I was awarded a (St.) George Cross (i.e.., exemplary bravery medal), although I
don't think of myself as worthy. Our living here is great, although we are still in trenches, there is plenty of warm underwear
and sufficient supply of food nothing fancy, but never mind, I remember the times when we had to munch on raw potatoes like
rabbits. The cursed Austrians have a very advantageous strategic position but we plan on pushing them out soon nevertheless.
Day and night their cannons are sending "candies" our way but so far doing little harm. They are just big fools! Hardly any
grenade of theirs hits the target, mostly over or under. Our airplanes return the favour you should see all the hell breaking loose
when they fire cannons, machine guns and even rifles at our planes flying overhead! Anyway,so far they didn't hit any........
Interesting examples of the items with the free frank of the Osoviets Pigeon Post Station also have been
illustrated (7, 21). This pigeon post station was established in early 1917 at the Osoviets Aeronautical
Fortress which, in contrast to Pritula's statement, apparently still existed. Sections of the Osoviets Fortress
1917 cover and the Pigeon Post Station card are shown herein (Figure 24).
Airships: Russia had fifteen airships available during the early part of the war; several are illustrated by
Durkota, et. al. (9). Airships were of various designs; some manufactured in Russia and others were
purchased from France before the war. These airships were attached to several of the aeronautic companies;
THE POST-RIDER/HMIImK N 53 13
However, they were used only sparingly during the war due to their vulnerability to ground and aerial
attacks resulting from their slow speed, lack of mobility and low altitude of flight. The amount of gas
required to fill an airship could maintain several kite balloon units for a month. Further, the material
forming the covering rapidly deteriorated when the airships were docked for long periods in the open fields.
These problems resulted in the phasing out of piloted airships near the end of 1915. It is unlikely that these
airship groups had independent free franks since they were part of the aeronautical companies. Airships
were assigned to the 2nd (at Brest), 3rd (at Lida), 4th (at Berdichev), 9th (at Riga) and 12th (at Salizi-
Gatchina) Aeronautical Companies.
Hopefully, this potpourri of WWI Russian aviation and aeronautical unit free franks will provide some
insight for the reader regarding the great potential for further research and will allow the collector some
focus for his search for potential philatelic material in this elusive area.
1. Ackerman GA: Via the Red Skies. The Development of Soviet Air Mail 1922-1945. Publ. by author, Worthington, OH, 2001.
2. Ackerman GA: Imperial Russia and its flying machines: History and philately. Rossica J., 134:5-19, 2000.
3. Ackerman GA, Blume AG: Early Russian aviation, aero clubs and exhibitions. Post Rider, 52:46-57, 2003.
4. Blume AC: Air war east: Bombing and reconnaissance on the Russian front 1914-1917. Over the Front, 11:132-154, 1996.
5. Blume AG: Correspondence on the Early Development of Russian Aeronautics and Aviation. The Russian Military Air Fleet
1910-1917., in press, 2003.
6. Bofarull S: Imperial Russia airmail 1915. Brit. J. Russ. Philat., 10:14, 1991.
7. Cherrystone Auctions Galleries, ed. Buchsbayew P., New York, September 26, 2002, p. 229
8. Cronin A: (Melinikov WWI and Civil War aviation markings). Post Rider, 11:6-7, 1982.
9. Durkota A, Darcey T, Kulikov V: The Imperial Russian Air Service. Famous Pilots and Aircraft of World War I. Flying
Machines Press, Mountain View, CA, 1995.
10. Duz, PD: A History ofAeronautics andAviation in the USSRfor the Period 1914-1918. Moscow, Oborongiz, 1944.
11. Epstein A: Field post offices of the Russian Army in WWI 1914-1918. Brit. J. Russ. Philat. 71:48-67, 1991.
12. George M, Sheppard V: Russia's air forces in war and revolution, 1914-1920, part 1. J. Soc. First World War Aviation
Historians, 17:145-153, 1986.
13. Greenwood JT: Russian and Soviet naval aviation, 1908 96. In, Russian Aviation andAir Power in the Twentieth Century.
Eds., R Higham, JT Greenwood and V Hardesty. F. Cass Publ., London, 1998.
14. Grolier Library of World War I. 1914-1917: The Eastern Front. Grolier Publ. Co., 1997.
15. Hardesty V: Early flight in Russia.. In, Russian Aviation and Air Power in the Twentieth Century. Eds., R Higham, JT
Greenwood and V Hardesty. F. Cass, London, 1998.
16. Layman, RD: Before the Aircraft Carrier. The Development ofAviation Vessels 1849-1922. Naval Instit. Press, Annapolis,
17. Lovett CC: Russian Soviet naval aviation 1908-96. In, Russian Aviation andAir Power in the Twentieth Century. Eds., R
Higham, JT Greenwood and V Hardesty. F. Cass Publ, London, 1998.
14 THE POST-RIDER/MMI~HK J 53
18. Lurye Y: personnel correspondence.
19. Maslov M: Russian Aeroplanes 1914-1918. Icraus Aviation Publ., Old Sayrook, CT, 2002.
20 Nowarra HI, Duval GR: Russian Civil andMilitary Aircraft 1884-1969, transl. A. Myes, Fountain Press, London, 1971.
21. Pritula V: Pochta vozdukhoplavatel'nykh rot Rossii. Filateliya 10 (Oct):12-15, 1991.
22. Riaboff A- Gatchina Days. Reminiscences of a Russian Pilot. V. Hardesty, ed., Smithsonian Instit. Press, Washington
23. Robinson PE: When the balloon went up. Rossica J., 134:4, 2002.
24. Tann LL: Imperial air mail. Post Rider #10:61-63, 1982.
25. Vsevolodov V: .Early imperial aviation and mail carrying planes in World War L Filitalya SSSR, 6:16, 1971.
26. Akhundov A, Fischeva N: Biplanes and seaplanes beginning of aviation in Azerbaijan.
Internal. Summer 1986;
27. Olshevski S: (http://www.sadcom.com/pins/article/index.html)
28. Toppan A: Haze Gray & Underway World Aircraft Carriers List and Photo Gallery: Russia & The Soviet Union.
Figures (See Fig. 1 overleaf at the top).
Fig. 2: (a) Painting of Russian airman Lt. Eduard Pulpe of the 10th Squadron (southwestern front) with airplanes
and hanger in background. Used on cover of The Sun magazine (September 1915).
(b/c) Imperial Army aviator badges.
(d) Postcard with Sikorski's S-6B biplane, winner of the Military International Aviation Competition (1912).
Insignia cachet (top, left) is that of the Imperial All-Russian Aero Club (I.V.A.K.) the imperial governmental
organization for Russian civil and military aviation. Postcard used to solicit public funds for the Imperial Air
Fleet. Three-line text (lower left) "Issued by the Committee in Receipt of Donation to Build Russia's Air Fleet."
Sikorski's success as an aircraft designer was made at this competition. The S-6B aircraft were flown by military
pilots during WWI.
THE POST-RIDER/SMIIHK N253- 15
Fig. 1: Photocard showing a group of Russia's first military airmen with a French-built Farman biplane. Card
dated 1911, M.P. Mazur, Sevastopol'
Fig. 3: (a) Photocard showing Russian airmen; one is photographing enemy installations,
(b) Grigorovich M-5 seaplane, tarp hanger and officers on wharf (courtesy S. Olshevski).
(c) Postcard illustrating aerial combat. The Russian airmen are flying in a 2-seater French-model Deperdussin
aircraft. Aerial combat began in the late stages of the war -1916.
(d) From picture postcard showing a Russian Imperial Air Squadron with Nieuport IV aircraft.
(e) An Il&a Muromets giant bomber-reconnaissance aircraft, type "Veh" (B) -1915. (Courtesy Gennadi Petrov via
16 THE POST-RIDER/HIMIIHK No 53
A1y -- IL-E 8
.. .......... ...
Fig. 4: (a) Photocard with blue double circle and Imperial Eagle, reading Command of the 5h. Aviation Park (Komanda 5-go
Aviatsionnago Parka) free frank sent via Yur'ev/Tartu, Estonia 9 August 1917 to Kavast Koose, 10 August. Text of card dated 6
August 1917. The reverse shows a Ukrainian peasant farmhouse, suggesting that the card was sent from the Ukraine. Note the
"Command of the 5h. Aviation Park" free frank at top left after the removal of cancel/background.
(b) Free frank in violet of the Special Aviation Squadron (Osobyi Aviatsionnyi Otryad) of the 10'. Army on the Russian Western
Front. Card send from Lyck, East Prussia to Vil'no/Vilnius, Lithuania with arrival postmark 11(7) November 1914; No date in
the text on the card. The market square at Lyck shown on the reverse of the card.
IO Tiouua. poTaM.
O)TI. BoaA, QIAoTr~'1
Fig. 5: Photocards with free franks of the "1". Aviation Company, Hunters' Detachment, Air Fleet Department" [1-ya
Aviatsionnaya Rota / Komanda Okhotnikov / Otd. Vozd. Flota]. (a) Card sent from Petrograd 30 November 1915 to the Front-
Line Army El3B, 1 h. Motorised Company, Samara Province. The card has a 3-line free frank in black.
(b) Card sent from Petrograd 9 May 1916 to Ivashenkovo Explosives Factory, Cheinical Laboratory in Samara Province 1 June
1916. The card bears a boxed 4-line free frank in violet. The reverse has a photograph of the Electrical Laboratory, Polytechnical
Institute the assignment of the sender.
THE POST-RIDER/MIHHKI NJ 53 17
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Fig. 6: (a) Photocard with violet free-frank of the 6th Corp Aviation Squadron / For Dispatch (6-go Korpusa,
Aviatsionny Otryad / Dlya paketov) sent to Petrograd. Note black oval partial rail station arrival pmk. 22
September 1915. Reverse has photo of Vitebsk (northeast of Minsk near Latvian border) suggesting card sent from
(b) Photocard with violet 3rd Aviation Company/ Stamp for Dispatch (3-go Aviatsionnaya Rota./ Pechat' dlya.
paketov) free-frank sent to Kiev 23 February 1915 via Reserve Field Post #114 postmark 20 February 1915.
Reverse has photo of L'vov suggesting card sent from this region (courtesy S. Hrebenichenko).
Eo-rIPHnA noTD*uShi coioa oci' /. ,~-
UllO POTIIWO u UNIVINllA lSU IL .
OTHRPbTE MCbMO.- OARTE POSTAL.
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Fig. 7: Two photocards with the free-franks of the Escadrille of Flying Ships (:Eskadra Vozdushnykh Korablei).
(a) Card sent to Verro (Lifland Govt. Estonia) 4 June 1916 arrival pmk. This card has two different EVK free-
franks, one with the imperial eagle center design and the second a double circle type without the imperial eagle,
both with encircling designation Escadrille of Flying Ships (courtesy S. Lurye).
(b) Card has the violet EVK eagle free-frank with text dated 22 November 1917. Card probably sent from base
in Vinnitsa (Ukraine) to Karbelshof Station of the Valk-Perov Railway (Estonia).
18 THE POST-RIDER/IfMIIHIK N 53
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Fig. 8: Photocard with violet Mobile Aircraft Repair Company Podvizhnaya Aviatsionnaya Masterskaya Rota)
circular imperial eagle free-frank probably sent from near Dvinsk to "vailk, Liflandia (Estonia) with indistinct town
arrival pmk. Card inscription dated 10 January 1916. Reverse photo shows Dvinsk train station.
i Vaguem.txt (th o F e, -As
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Fig. 9: (a) Official imprinted French "Aviation Militaire" greenish envelope with Bl6riot airplane cachet. Cover
sent from Petrograd to Marseille, France (1916). Blue free-frank of the "French Aviation Mission in Russia" (left)
with center 2-line text reading "Vaguemestre" (the postal officer). Also, "French Aviation Mission in Russia"
inscription along top of the cover.
(b) Card sent by French airman attached to Russian VII Aviation Division to Marseille, France. Note blue double
circle Russian Imperial free-frank "VII Aviation Division (VII Aviatsionnyi Divizion) / For Packets" (lower,
center on card). Postage cancel Moscow 23 July 1916. Text gives address for communication as French
Attach, French Embassy, Petrograd (Russia) Aviation VIIth Army in Campaign, VII Division of Aviation.
THE POST-RIDER/lMIM HK M 53 19
Fig. 10: Redrawn Aviation Unit free-franks: (a) the 23rd Detachment Aviation Squadron (6); (b) the 7th
Aviation Division (25); (c) Aviation Squadron of the Guard Corp (25); (d) 1st Glider Squadron (25).
I LI t I :
Fig P August 1918 by a Czech pilot while in Chelyabinsk to the 2nd Czechoslovak Reserve
(courtesy J. Veer).
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... R E,, .PoSTA L
Fig. 12: Postcard sent by L.G. Kalinin (member of the Aviation Congress Committee) in Moscow 13 July
1917 to his father the Murmansk Railway Administration Warehouse in Petrograd. The violet free-frank has the
'; 4 .. ..-..
JI1;~ A~ItMU(I C- '
'THE POST-RIDER/"MI "HK N2 53
S:. 'November 2003
Fig.11: Postcard sent in August 1918 by a Czech pilot while in Chelyabinsk to the 2nd Czechoslovak Reserve
Battalion in Omsk: Card has the 1st Siberian Aviation Squadron (1-go Sibirskago Aviatsionnago Otryada)free-frank
A-c~RTiE- PoSTA L E'.^:_. x"7 / '-
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Fig. 12: Postcard sent by L.G. Kalinin (member of the Aviation Congress Committee) in Moscow 13 July
1917 to his father in the Murmansk Railway Administration Warehouse in Petrograd. The violet free-frank has the
eagle emblem of Moscow with surrounding designation Organizing Committee of the All-Russian Aviation
THE POST-RIDER/HMIIDHK N_ 53
X IC 1.1 .:I.. ..- r. 1 i. *,,: i .
Fig. 14: (a) Postcard with
the Seaplane Carrier Orlitsa
free frank in faint violet,
korabl' Orlitsa" (arrow) to
Sereda 5 April 1917.
(b) Postcard with violet free
frank of the Seaplane
Carrier Respublikanets and
processing Field Post
Office No. 158, 28 October
1917 in black. Card sent by
a seaman from Sevastopol'
to Petrograd. The naval free
frank has a central anchor
and encircling designation
Fig. 13: Photocard (1914) showing a Russian destroyer
flotilla with a land-based Bleriot airplane overhead.
Fig. 15: (a) Photocard with
free frank of the Military
Aviation School Command
at Gatchina and sent to
Moscow.. Card text dated
24 March 1915. Violet
double-ring free frank with
Aviatsionnaya Shkola /
Aviation School Command)
(b) Photocard from student
at His Imperial Highness
Grand Duke Aleksandr
'Aviation School in
Sevastopol', showing a
Farman VII aircraft. Card
arrived in Revel' / Tallinn,
Estonia 1 February 1917.
Violet free frank of HIH
Grand Duke Aleksandr
Mikhailovich (abbreviation) Aviation School (Aviatsionnaya Shkola). Centre designation: Drill Team (Stroevaya Rota).
THE POST-RIDER/SIMIHIHK 1 53
Fig. 16: Two post.'cards sent from His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Aleksandr Mikhailovich (Military) Higher
Aviation School (a) Card from the school's Technical Section to Petrograd February 1917.
(b) Sent from the school's Bel'bek Crimea. Section to Moscow. Text dated 3 February 1916.
THE POST-RIDER/MIMHWK JN 53
Fig. 17: (a) Photocard with the free-frank of the Aviation School for Aviators-Observers (Aviatsionnaya Shkola
Letchikov-Nablyudatelei) in Odessa to Mogilev 12 January (?) 1916 (courtesy S. Lurye).
(b) Postcard with the Naval School of Aerial Combat (Morskaya Schola Vozdushnago Boya) sent to Petrograd via
Merekyulya, Estonia 1916 (courtesy S. Lurye)..
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4 .. .. l' .
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Fig. 18: Two different violet free-frank of the Baku Officers' Naval Aviation School near Petrograd.
(a) Undated photocard dispatched to Petrograd with double line free-frank text "Baku Branch Officers School Naval
Aviation (Bakinskoe Otd. .Ofits.Shkoly Moro. Aviatsii Otd.) /By His Highness Decreed Special Commission for
Strengthening the Military Fleet by Charitable Contributions (from ref. 7)
(b) Undated card from school to Moscow with double ring free-frank designation reads Baku Branch Officers' Naval
Aviation School (Bakinskoe Otd. Ofits. Shkoly Moro. Aviatsii O.V.F) with an inner designation Stamp for
Fig. 19: Back ofphotocard (figure 18b) shows a group of naval officers of the Baku aviation school in front f a
seaplane and hanger.
THE POST-RIDER/IMIIHK M 53
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Fig. 20: (a) Picture postcard showing a spherical balloon in a hanger, presumably at Volkov Field near St.
Petersburg in the late 19th C. Card sent from St. Petersburg to Paris, 1902.
(b) Card from the East Siberian Aeronautic Battalion in Manchuria sent during the Russo-Japanese War (1904) to
Gatchina near St. Petersburg. Card inscription date (top, It) 28 Oct 1904. Note, free-frank (top, rt.) of the East
Siberian Field Aeronautical Battalion (abbrev. "Vost.-Sib. Polev. / Vozdukhoplav. Bat."). Note, Russian Post
Office pmk. in Harbin 28 Oct 1904 and Gatchina pmk. 18 Nov 1904 (courtesy P. Robinson (23)).
Fig.21: Postcard with the violet free-frank of the Grodnenskaya (Grodno) Fortress (Garrison) Aeronautical
Company (Grodnenstoi Krepostnoi Vozdukhoplavitel'noi Roty) sent to Riga, Latvia with arrival postmark 28
/ .- ,
i. "- .-'- R ,. ,.a stJt. l l f" ,? '' '
Fig. 24: (a) Part of censored cover with Osoviets Fortress Aeronautical Company/Commander of the Observational
Station free-frank and censor handstamp sent to Saratov, 1917 (from ref. 7).
b) Part of postcard with Osoviets Military Pigeon Post Station free-frank sent to Petrograd, 1917 (from ref. 7).
(c/d) Free-franks from items a/b.
THE POST-RIDER/IMMII( K Ns 53
: 'C. JO~fY
,/s OTKPblTOE rlHCbMO CARTE
7/79 ..... Poczl6wka .-:
W *. 1 6i < -
-I,,-V-^ ,tfl A ,'- /'-h),,_ -J./ .. .- ...
I 5.^-j^ -tAi/ sA */-
**^z *tt.'L '.J k ( I /
'A ^ t-/ T// t^-
i^^.v^/r c- f s. /Q uu'L jff -'.
];- ^ ^ .rS? 2- w,^ ^j
p. **. ;' i
POSTAL / "-".
. .. ... ... .. . .
S" "" """"
Fig. 22: (a) Cover with the violet 23rd Aeronautical Company, 1st Observational Station (23-aya
Vozdukhoplavatelhaya Rota) free-frank addressed to the Russian Section of Danish Red Cross,Enquiries from
:Relatives, Copenhagen, Denmark with Petrograd postmark 16 January 1916.
(b) Card has the violet 9th Aeronautical Company (9-aya Vozdukhoplavatelaya Rota) free-frank with text dated 10
November 1915. Card sent to Petrograd with arrival postmark 13 January 1915.
Fig. 23: (a) Card with red Rear Army, 2nd Company free-frank with Field Post Office #126 handling postmark
dated 30 November 1914 and sent to the 4th aeronautical Company at Berdichev 8 December 1914. Card text
describes some activities on front lines.
(b) Card sent from the 24th Field Aeronautical Company (24 Polevaya Vozdukhoplav. Rota) to Moscow via Field
Post Office #11 30 January 1916. Photo on reserve shows view of Nesvich.
THE POST-RIDER/IJHM HK No 53 25
THE UTILISATION OF FRANKING CACHETS OF THE SOVIET POSTS (1924-1940)
by L.G. Ratner.
Franking cachets were applied by the Soviet Posts from the end of 1924. Specific instructions about the
procedure of using such markings were included in a series of regulations as time went by. However, the
instructions which were introduced were of a fragmentary character and only a little over 20 franking
cachets were described. The present author had already concerned himself with this subject on a previous
occasion, but new documents and philatelic material now permit him to return again to this topic. Data are
set out in this article from printed and archival documents of the Postal Administration of the USSR
regarding the franking cachets of the Soviet Posts from 1924 to 1940 and more than 100 examples of these
markings have been brought to light.
The franking cachets consisted of handstruck and machine markings, confirming the collection of the postal
rate for sending, which were not already prepaid with postage stamps, or only partly so. In other words,
franking cachets designate the payment of a postal rate.
Franking cachets began to be utilised in international postal communications after the 7h. UPU Congress in
Madrid, which permitted their application. The first franking cachets were introduced on 20 December
1920 by the German Postal Administration and they were applied widely in many countries from the 1920s.
KHu Hd 'bil arai raa3Tbl ,.3KOHOMHECKRA fH3Hb-'.
I ._ M ., ins. lerlt. IIS
S. -- 0 "B .....4|
L : u- 'I.V9 -f. t :L '"
B CYMME J Et,
23-IX 24 ,
Fig. 1. Fig. 3.
Franking cachets began to be used in the USSR from November 1924 at the Moscow G.P.O., where
wrappers were accepted which were similar in appearance and weight and presented in quantities of no less
than 100 pieces (the so-called "bulk" wrappers), without having postage stamps affixed thereon. It was
stated in an instruction from the People's Commissariat of Posts & Telegraphs (HKIFIT) contained in
Circular No. 34/1030 of 17 November 1924 that stamps were being replaced "by the application of a postal
cachet.....specifying the sum that had been collected and the date of receipt" . An example is shown here
of a handstruck franking cachet for wrappers in bulk (Fg. 1). A wrapper is demonstrated in Fig. 2, which
had been accepted at the Moscow G.P.O. during the first days of utilising franking cachets.
A similar procedure for the acceptance of wrappers in bulk was introduced in January 1925 at the
Leningrad G.P.O. and at Khar'kov in April of the same year. Also in several towns later on and registered
wrappers in bulk began to be accepted in the same way (Fig. Wrappers with franking cachets were paid
for in cash in that period.
26 THE POST-RIDER/5IMIHIHK N 53
V *- _.' ,l ,r<\S^ nOCbI6.1KA '.'"
'/"." '. "r: -. -. S OnIAAHEHA -: ., .- .
"/?i"r /"'u a l :'po Bof CYMME "7 cle ''
csfrtedepcon c ndit t59 Kon wap" 2
// 7 .^- MOCKOBCKMi
6'Q d ^ I 23-1 X-24.
-, -,- Y TA' 6-
h -o w mo n wa.... .- .y
-. :;OT ,':"t.K OP* 'le "HNrp --4e .rp, m j- : *. "
Fi" 4. "
mail at the post of je -
Fig. 5 o Fig. 7.
It is stated in the "Regulations for the Postal Sector" issued in 1925 that the Directors of Communications
Districts could allow the post offices accepting in bulk wrappers of the same kind "to collect charges in
cash for their despatch on the condition that a franking cachet would be applied on each wrapper" ,
In order to avoid uncertainty in future explanations, it should be noted that there were two methods of
payment in collecting postal fees in cash:-
in hard cash, where the amount was brought in by the organisation immediately upon handing over the
mail at the post office;
upon cashless account (an account ofpayment in advance), where the organisation had brought in an
advance at least half a month beforehand to cover the amount for the sending of that particular
The Postal Administration of the USSR set up a distinct procedure for the application of franking cachets,
depending upon the method of payment, and although there are deviations known from that procedure.
The utilisation of handstruck franking cachets of the style used in 1924 (and intended for wrappers)
basically came to an end in 1929, but isolated applications of them are known up to 1932. Many of these
cachets differed from the style set out in the regulation contained in Circular No. 34/1030 in form, sizes and
text. As of the second half of the 1920s, some post offices utilised these cachets for the franking of written
correspondence, namely letters (including interurban mail), announcements, notices, etc. In connection
with such cases, the word "wrapper" was often omitted from the text when engraving new cachets. In order
to facilitate the handling of the mail, the total sum of the postal rate which had been charged was replaced
on the cachets with the inscription "paid in hard cash" (see Fig. 4 above). There are known from the
Moscow G.P.O. examples of cachets with the same inscription and serial letter, but which had been
engraved several times. Strikes from them, similar in design and with the same serial letter, show slight
differences in size and in the mutual arrangements of the letters, in the height of the arc above the serial
In the spring of 1927, the Moscow G.P.O. began to apply on the parcel cards the cachet "Accepted without
payment on account of a previous advance". Impressions from the German "Francotyp" franking machine
began to be applied on parcel cards and packages as of November 1927 at the same post office.
Later on and in an announcement from the Postal Department of the People's Commissariat of Posts &
Telegraphs (HKFIHT) an impression of a strike from the "Francotyp" machine was shown ( Fig. 5 above).
TE POST-RIDER/M0fl0 K s 53 27
It was also noted there that: "The first cachet (at the left) specifies the place and time of acceptance of the
sending, after which comes the consecutive number for the franked parcel cards of that day....and, finally,
the last space shows the sum of the fees charged for the despatch of the sending and, at the same time, if
there are three zeros in the space intended for the designation of the sum of the fees, then....the sending
should be accepted on trust and all the fees for it should be levied upon delivering the sending" .
As of 1928, some post offices in the country, which had the "Francotyp" machine on hand, began to place
an impression on the parcel cards in the manner described above and, in the absence of such a machine, a
strike of the franking cachet handstamp. The illustration of such a cachet (Fig. 6 on the previous page) and
the instruction to the effect that a franking cachet in the specified form be applied "on the parcel cards on
account" were set out in the "Regulations for the internal handling of postal sending" .
Handstruck franking cachets, without an indication of the class of mail being accepted, were also applied
upon the receipt of parcels. We see in Fi. 7 on the previous page a cutting from a parcel card, accepted at
Rostov-on-Don in 1928.
As of 1931, handstruck franking cachets began to be applied upon the acceptance of parcels. The postal
fees began to be levied in postage stamps, which were affixed to the parcel cards in the space where the
franking cachets had formerly been applied.
no'Hroo obim. f noLT
.17 c.EoP 2 KOn. -cSoP2-
17 XI 26 B' 6b Bs bC K.Ft IaH -2 B3 c
MOCKBA l o H ^MHbt-MM -. Mn "Li
Fig. 8. Fig. 9.
In 1927, the HKIInT (NKPiT = People's Commissariat of Posts & Telegraphs) expanded the area of
application of franking cachet machines. In the "Regulations" mentioned above, it was stated that the
franking cachet machines would now be permitted to accept for despatch not only wrappers, but also other
classes of written mail that were similar by sight and weight and an exemplary strike was also set out of the
franking cachet with the designation of the amount paid made by these machines (Tig8 . Such an
arrangement did not catch on, but the portion at right (i.e. there where it replaced the postage stamp) was
utilised repeatedly in the future.
In 1928, the Postal Department of the NKPiT announced that: "As of 15 February of this year, the State
Bank in Moscow will be paying for its postal sending by applying impressions of postal fees in various
denominations by means of a franking machine specially set up for that purpose" .
That was the first occasion supported by documentation, whereby a machine for franking postal sending
was installed, not at a post office, but in an organisation which was sending mail. The installation of
franking machines in enterprises received wide application. Upon receiving an advance payment, a post
office would put a machine into operation. The amount of the postal rate for franking postal sending was
set up by special rollers in the machine. Impressions were made of the amount presented in advance, after
which the machine would automatically shut down. Upon the receipt of a new advance, the post office
would put the machine back into operation.
In the middle of 1928, the Postal Department of the NKPiT announced "for information" the form of the
impression of a mechanical datestamp applied at the Moscow G.P.O. (Fig. 9), while the Leningrad G.P.O.
used a franking machine with values of 6, 8 and 18 kopeks. Moreover, already by the end of 1927, the
Moscow G.P.O. was using a cachet similar to the one shown above, but including the phrase "IIoqTosblif
c6op B3bICKaH HaJII EHIMH (Postal rate paid in cash). Later on, a matrix reading "C6op (IIoqTOBBIi
c6op) B3aIcKaH no paceeTy" (Rate [postal rate] charged on account) was being utilised.
Post offices used not only special franking machines with franking designations, but also postmarking
machines. Organizations, which were not postal in character, could only have franking machines installed.
In acquainting oneself with the operating principles of franking machines and the utilisation by them of
franking matrices, it is often possible to specify what kind of machine was being used for franking a postal
sending. The franking matrix, an impression of which is given in Fig. 10 at the top of the next page, was
28 THE POST-RIDER/aIMMI K a 53
8Em"M KIWI Q I
S_ i Fig. 10.
installed in machines of the "Francotyp" type and, for the one shown in Fig. i in machines of the "Postal
Frankers" type. Six matrices (dies) with the values of 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 18 kopeks were inserted in the
franking drum of the "Postal Frankers" machines.. The required matrix/die was inserted in the machines
with a special tool. The procedure for utilising the "Postal Frankers" machines is explained in a book by A.
Markov with the title "Machines for handling the mails" in cases where the amount of the postal fee did not
coincide with the franking specified on the matrices/dies. For example, if the postal rate required the
emplacement of four franking dies, then three impressions would be placed in turn by moving the
datestamp, and the fourth one applied together with the datestamp. The question here arises as to what to do
"in the case of a change in the postal rate, as to whether the dies could be taken out and replaced with new
ones" . In practice, a matrix/die is known with the franking value of 10 kopeks, which was not indicated
in the book noted above.
The highest machine franking known to the author on a postal sending is 952 kopeks. Meters were installed
in all types of the machines for recording the total amount of the postal rate and the number of franked
postal sending. The consecutive number of the franked sending was placed in the central portion of the
franking impression for the "Francotyp" and similar types of machines. The following features appeared in
the franking cachets of these machines:-
For post offices, only the consecutive number was placed above all in the central portion of the cachet,
although there are known impressions with the name of the postal outlet placed under the number.
For non-postal enterprises, the name of the organisation was printed under the number and sometimes its
In 1928, the NKPiT noted that, for interurban letters, which were franked only by machines, handstruck-
franking cachets were to be applied and it also required that franking cachets prepared in violation of the
regulations should be taken out of use. As an analysis of the impressions shows, that latter requirement was
A new stage in the utilisation of franking cachets began with the issue of a circular of the
a NKPiT dated 15 April 1929, proposing the allotment of the exchange of mail with
1M12 organizations having a separate structural unity and, on 10 April 1929, "Temporary
Sr. instruction for the exchange of mail with collectives". This "Temporary instruction"
specified that the delivery of mail to organizations receiving a large quantity of written
F& 12. postal sending would be set aside for a special delivery and that the postal workers
providing the mail to the organizations would be assigned at the same time for the acceptance of mail from
them. There was also shown here the design of a handstruck franking cachet (Fig.12) introduced into the
post offices for noting the payment of the postal rate. It was stated in the instruction that: "In order not to
prepare new datestamps, an incision should be made at the top of an ordinary date canceller, upon which
there should be screwed in and fastened with screws a circular washer upon which the phrases "c6op
B3bicKaH" (fee charged) and "no pacqeTy" (on account) would be engraved. It was further specified that
"franked international sending are permitted... only by passing through a corresponding franking machine.
If a machine were not on hand, the post office would affix postage stamps to international sending" .
THE POST-RIDER/IRMIHK N2 53 29
In practice, they were used as cancellers, similar in design to that specified above, as well as in other styles.
In July 1930, the NKPiT issued an "Instruction for the exchange of mail with collectives", where it was
stated that a Special Department of the City Post called the City Official Post (GSP or ropoAcKas
Cayx)e6HasI 1-o1ra) was being organised in towns. "The delivery and receipt from the collectives of
postal sending of all classes of mail are included in the functions of the rCII (GSP), with the exception of
especially important sending.
Written postal sending are to be passed through the franking machines and if such a machine is not on
hand, an impression is to be applied by hand of a special franking cachet.
The collectives which have franking machines should put the written mail being despatched through such
Originally, the aims and tasks of the GSP were set out in 1927 in the "Rules for the internal handling of
postal sending" but, as it turned out, they had already been formulated earlier in 1925 in the regulations of
a department of the 5h. Despatch Office of the Moscow G.P.O. The GSP was intended to centralise the
exchange of local mail, but it also handled interurban correspondence. Judging from the strikes of the
franking cachets, the GSP existed up to the middle of April 1929 and also in several other cities.
After the issue of the "Instruction", the GSP quickly
Began to take root in many towns of the country. For
S~. example, the GSP was organised in Leningrad on 1
-- --- February 1931 and, by 1s. May of that year, it was
Handling the postal correspondence of 194
organizations. In April of that year, 443,070 pieces of
ordinary mail and 33,489 registered articles were
-' delivered via the GSP and the numbers of items
accepted from the organizations came to 185,289 and
/o A 20,964 respectively .
SIn the large towns, the GSP was set up in several of the
Y ,4 j ,ff bigger post offices and, in the small towns, the GSP
-, r a~~ruraMT- existed within the General Post Office there.
s y- a: 16i 3. Some organizations served by the GSP included that
a S4 7 designation in their postal addresses.
a eW. i
: ", ; :.:.: .r
. -. i ; : *. : .0"
.* !. ." ? ''. "e. ,> ---,'S^ ''
M^y k/Q. .-\
"4 :.2:' ',.^?^::
* : ,' "^ *
-.', .' / 1. -. .. l i ~ .F 1 9 j
THE POST-RIDER/JIMIHS K 53
THE POST-RIDER/HMIHHK NM 53
51 i -i.
5 Or Ir ,r
JL- .~ : '2a"-
With the passage of some years, handstruck
franking cachets were officially utilised for
various classes of local and interurban mail
(apart from especially important sendings. We
see in Figs. 13 to 16 examples of ordinary,
registered, C.O.D. and express letters
respectively, accepted with the application of
the corresponding markings.
The GSP served the organizations for a
supplementary payment. It was stated in the
"Rules of internal handling of postal sending"
that: "The amount of payment is to be
designated ...in agreement with the Organs of
State, but in the accounting basis there should
be set out the principle of no loss in a specific
The supplementary payment for the services of
the GSP was the reason why at some post
offices served by the GSP we find the cachet
"c6op BsaIcKaH" (fee charged: see Fig. 17) on
mail paying the postal rate in stamps or having
the free frank privilege.
As of 1 April 1933, the HKC (People's
Commissariat of Communications) changed the
payment of interurban postal sending into
hard cash and they began to be prepaid with
postage stamps. The utilisation of franking
machines was continued for the interurban mail
of organizations liable for payment by cashless
account (by advance).
The utilisation of handstruck franking cachets
was sharply limited, as only the local postal
sending handed in by the organizations could
be franked by them. In addition, the activity of
the GSP was curtailed as of the second half of
the 1930s. That was provoked by a variety of
reasons: the increase in the rate for mail sent
through the GSP, the opening of a large
quantity of postal stations and agencies set up
within the premises of workshops, factories,etc.
In connection with the ever increasing
installation of franking machines, the utilisation
of handstruck franking cachets was in practice
curtailed over the years. The latest impression
of a handstruck cachet known to the author
dates from October 1936.
The machine franking cachets utilised from the
second half of the 1930s to the beginning of the
1940s in non-postal organizations were
basically of two types (Figs. 18 & 19).-
Franking machines continued to be used for
that purpose at the post offices (see Fig. 20).
In the "Postal Regulations" issued in 1936, there was already no mention of the handstruck franking
cachets. It was stated there that: "Instead of paying for written postal sending with postage stamps, it is
permitted to frank the sending with franking machines" . That same formulation was confirmed in the
"Regulations of Postal Execution" in 1940.
The illustrations for some handstruck franking cachets are included in FiEs. 21 96 and data about them in
Tables Nos.1 & 2. The machine franking cachets are shown in Figs. 97 109 and in Table No. 3
~nrO-~ WiM4-~2I' p' u~' -,
FAEH bi EUKPA"
IYPHAJbHmO.rA3ETNOro 0EbJEAmHEHNN -
M*CKBR_ CTVBIIwA 6 -p. ii-Y-l & Ia 32
. -br~ -- .
-A.. 060P D
Fig. 19. Fie. 20.
Latvia: Air Mail 1920 1940
by Harry v. Hofmann (AIEP, BPP, FRPSL), published on behalf of the Latvia Study Group (Bund Deutscher
Philatelisten), translated by Philip E. Robinson (FRPSL).
400 pages 16.9 x 24 cm with nearly 300 illustrations, bilingual German and English, softbound, 68.00 plus postage.
Price post-paid for orders sent elsewhere: US $ 85.00 or covertable equivalent.
Chronicle and Documentation;
The routes (arranged by year): Western direction; Northern direction; Eastern direction: Southern direction; Route to
Sweden; Domestic routes;
Combined Air-Ship Mail to the USA;
The Second World War and its effects on air mail in 1939 and 1940;
Air mail postmarks (arranged by issue);
Air Mail labels;
DERULUFT souvenir "airmail" letters;
Air Mail Tariffs;
THE POST-RIDER/IMII[HK N- 53
6 A1,. Epo Anb
I O UAEHA I
B blCK AH
S........ .. .K
BCYMME 05 K
THE POST-RIDER/ISMIMHK N 53
B CYMME 02K.
23 2 30
... .....P.. 10 K
14 MAS 1929
56 57 58 59
THE POST-RIDER/ MIIMHgK N 53
THE POST-RIDER/mMlH4K NM 53
S 11 6.29 -39 0
4630 20233 i *
/5 f ".;, \
Sno-, 0A ct
91 92 93 94
Editorial Comment: Fig. 93:
08.8 7 This is a most interesting
9 o O bilingual marking for Ufa,
0 o 2 as it shows the earliest
-5732 usage seen so far (11.6.29)
of the Unified Latin Turki
Alphabet for the town
/OA,/ name: OFO. The alphabet
is shown on p. 62 herewith. :
36 THE POST-RIDER/SIMII(HK J 53
j c.c. C.>
(- 19000 O40 030oKo
CSOP 1 KOfn.
B 3 b CKAH
THE POST-RIDER/IMII~EK N 53
nFOHTDOBbl fl oLIT
csoP2 KOn. Csop2.
B 3 bl C KA H ll28 BO3blC
HA 14MMH HbMM 1M AJ11 M1Y
5 on 5
S8.01 C.... C .Q .
* 20 7 30 KOHOc~HAIHAT Hn?*005Kv9
Y_^ ^ ^
THE POST-RIDER/AMIMHWK Je 53
B3blCKAH 14.1958 B3bl
nO PAOHET* O10 PA
-\ 10TOBbIH CBOP oCK\
IXB 3 bCL C KA"H IX 30
CLx B3blCKAH EC T i
L PO PAICHETY 7
S14.5.537 0o1O 0
^ 18 V 28
Ta6mnua .N 1. Py'Hbie CpaHKHpOBOHHble WTeMneJni nepBoro nepHnota
Table No. 1. Handstruck franking cachets of the first period.
SS SaTa '
Pa3Mep arTa HoMep
.* Place of usage Colour Serial Nos; appeH eHRm pHcya IlpHuMeammn / Notes
60 M r. r.
Size in mm. Period of use Fig. No.
1 Moscow black' 1 23 x37 1924 21
2 Moscow black, 1 24 x 39,5 1925 26 22
3 Moscow black I 25 x41 1927-29 23
4 Moscow black 011 25 x 42 1928 24
5 Moscow .black 1 24 x 41,5 1927 29 25 Height of serial No.: 5 mm; of the arc above the serial: 7 mm.
New engraving of cachet No. 5 with the same serial. Enlarged
5a 1 24 x 40 1928 29 25a portion of cachet shown in Fig. 25a. Height of: serial 4.5 mm.; of
the arc above the serial: 6 mm.
New engravine of cachet No. 5 with new serial. Enlarged
5b 12 24 x 41 1928 256 portion of cachet in Fig. 25b. Height of serial: 3 mm.; of arc,
,above serial:. 5 mm..._
6 Moscow .Ablack 1 24 x 44 1929 26
7 Moscow .black -- 24,5 x 41 1928 -29 27
8 Leningrad black 1 26 x 39 1927 28
9 .Leningrad. .black 1,2,3 25 x 35 1927 -29 29
10 Leningrad black 1,2 32 x47 1928 30
10a 1 30 x 50 1929 New engraving of cachet No. 10
10b 3 31 x50 1929 New engraving of cachet No. 10.
11 .Leningrad i black 1,2 36,5 x 50 1929 31
Place of usage Colour Serial Nos. Pa3Mep npHMeHemM ep
00u.1 nprHmetaHRA /Notes
' MM pHCyHKa
SSize in mm. Period of use Fig.No.
12 Voronezh black 1.2 29 x 34 1929 32 32
13 Kiev black. 1 28 x 40 1929 33
14 Kiev violet 1 32 x 46 1930 34
15 Orel black.
15 Orel iolet 1,2 25 x39 1928 35
16 Rostov ion Don violet i; 1 36 x 40 1928 36
17 Rostov on Don violet -- 35 x 44 1928 29 37
18 Rostov ;on Don .violet -- 35,5 x 44 1929 38
19 Khar'kov : black 1 40 x 73 1928 39
20 Khar'kov black 2,3 27 x42 1929 30 40
Table No. 2. Handstruck franking cachets of the second period.
Ta6nmia N, 2. PyM'Hbc (ljpaHKIpoBOIHbie LuTCMneCUI BTOporo nepHoan
SPa3Mep ta Ta
Place of usage Colour Serial MMep npHmeeHHA IpHMeHarm /Notes
letters r. r.
Size in mm. Period of use Fig.No.
1 Moscow black 20 1929 41
2 Moscow black y 41,5 1929 42 Height of the letters in "c6op B3bicKaH no pacqeTy": 2.5 mm.
2a e, x *Height of the letters in "c6op B3b CKaH no pacqeTy": 2 mm.
SPaaMep aTa pMeam /Notes
Place of usage Colour Serial PMMep npHMHeHH I
MM o o
letters r. r.
Size in mm. Period of use Fig. No.
3 Moscow black. a 42 1929 43
3a 1934 44 Time of receipt specified, instead of the year
4 Moscow black A, 29 1929-30 45
4a a 31 1929 30 For cachet, see Fig. 45,
46 black B 26,5 1930 For cachet, see Fig. 45
5 Moscowblck 6 26,5 1930 46
5 ~~~rMoscow ed -__________
6 Moscow blue 32 1930 47
7 Moscow black -- 28,5 1930 48
7a 32 1934 For cachet, see Fig. 48; "Moscow 34" at top
7,b 27 1934 For cachet, see Fig. 48; "Moscow 145" at top:
8 Moscow black -- 29,5 1930 49
9 Moscow black r 29 1931-32 50
10 Moscow black -- 29 1932 51
11 Moscow black 6 31 1933 52
12 Leningrad black -- 20 1929-30 53
13 .:Leningrad black. a 24 1929-30 54
14 Leningrad black a 40 1930-31 55
15 Leningrad black 6, a 41,5 1931-32 56
SPlace of usage Colour Serial Nos. MM rpHMeHea lpM /Notes
or letters Size in mm. Period of use Fig.No.
16 Leningrad black. a 40 1930 57
16a a 40 1930 -32 See Fig. 57 for illustration of cachet, but "3" instead of"20"
166 6 40 1932 See Fig. 57 for illustration of cachet, but "11" instead of"20"
16B a 40 1932 See Fig. 57 for illustration of cachet, but "60" instead of "20"
16r 5 40 1936 See Fig. 57 for illustration of cachet, but "130" instead of"20"
17 Leningrad black a 41,5 1930 58
18 Leningrad black:. -- 30 1930-32 59
19 Leningrad black 6 34 1933 60
20 Leningrad black 6 32 1934-36 61
21 Leningrad black 32 1935 62
22 Arkhangel'sk violet :B 37,5 1929 63
23 Berdichev black A 32 1929 64
24 Gomel' black 38 1930 65
25 Ivanovo- black a 37 1930 66
26 Ivanovo- violet- a 37 1930 67
27 Ishim black E 34 1929 68
28 Krasnaya Etna black -- 29 1929 30 69
29 Mariupol' black 33 1930 70
Pa3Mep npMeara e
SPlace of usage Colour Serial MM rpMeera nIpHea /Notes
H letters r. r.
Size in mm. Period of use Fig. No.
30 Minsk black -- 28 1930 71
31 Novosibirsk black n 43,5 1929-30 72
32 Orenburg black .r 31 1930 73
33 Orel black a 34 1930 74
34 Penza black e 36,5 1929 75
35 Perm' black" y 42 1929 76
36 Rostov black B 44,5 1929 77
37 Rostov black K 44,5 1929-30 78
38 Rostov black 44 1932 79
on Don 44 19327
39 Rostov black -- 30 1932 80
40 Samara black o 37 1930 81
41 Saratov black n 40 1929 82
42 Sverdlovsk black e 36 1929 30 83
43 Sverdlovsk red -- 33 1932 84
44 Smolensk black a 39 1929 85
45 Smolensk black a 39,5 1932 86
46 Taganrog -black -- 31 1930 87
Tbilisiick-red 35 1929 88
47 T brick-red --5
If ^ Aara
Pa3Mep np&Menea, I'i otes
| Place of usage Colour Serial Nos. MM npeHCM pmneanam/Notes
or letters. r. r
orleters. Size in mm. Period of use Fig. No.
48 Tver' black -- 43 1930 89
49 Tula black a 40 1930-31 90
50 Tyumen' black 29 1930 91
51 Tyumen' black -- 33 1933 92
52 Ufa violet 39 1929 30 93
53 Khar'kov black 1,3 37 1930 94
54 Shuya black a 37 1932 95
55 Yaroslavl' black n 43,5 1932 96
Table No. 3. Machine franking cachets (postage meters).
Ta6njia .N 3. MaunurHe H (paHKnpoBOm ne urreMnein
SPa PaMep ara
Place of usage Colour np eHeHHea pIMnanH /Notes
SeSize in mm. Period of use X
0_ -5 __Fig.No.
1 Moscow + red 75 mm. long 1927 97
2 Moscow + red, black 78* mm. long 1927 30 98
3 Moscow + red, black 78 mm. long 1928 -29 99
3a 'black 78 mm. long 1928 29 99a An insert known with a value of 5 kopeks
4 Moscow + red 22 x 25 1928 29 100 Strikes are known with the values of 5, 8 & 10 kopeks
Used in many organizations. Applied with various ;:
S Moscow + red 8889 mm. long 1928 40 101 datestamps. The ornament before the figures in the itranking
part of the imprint is in the form of a little star, snowflake, etc.
Applied together with various datestamps. Strikes known ,
5a + 1928 -40 101a showing the sender, or without specification,;(only with.
consecutive number) -
TMe franking portion of the cachet applied with datestamp of:
6 Moscow + red 70 mm. long 1928-31 102 6 Despatch Office in same style. Strikes known with values
of 2, 5, 8, 10 & 18 kop,....
7 Moscow + red 71 mm. long 1928 103
S Moscow + red 78-82 mm.long 1930 -38 104 Applied with differing datestamps. Size and contents oftext:
S___ black .-. ___ insert varies. .. .....
9 Moscow + red 78 mm. long 1930 105
S M violet 77 mm. long 1930 -38 106 Applied at Moscow G.P.O. in accepting letters. A strike
10 Moscow + violet 77m.long 1930-38 106 kno with the value of 20 kop...
11 Moscow + red 92 mm. long 1938 40 107 Used in many organizations. Applied together with various
11 Moscow + black datestamps- -----
12 .Leningrad + red 74 mm. long 1937 108
13 Rostov on Don + red 68 mm. long 1928 109
IIpHMeMHaie. *) 3Aechb H Aanee B MamuHHbHMX mreMneJrIx AInma mrreMneJi He ABJIAeTCa nIOCTroHHro, TaK KaK 3aBHceJia oT THna npHMeHAeMofi
MaIumbI H napaMerpon ee HacrpoiiKH.
Note: (*) From here onwards, the length of the machine cachet is not constant, as it depended on the type of machine used and
the parameters of its adjustment.
2. Frank markings
-*'_ Taking into account the seals, inscriptions etc., strikes exist
on postal sending of the 1920s, which differ markedly in
S design from the "franking cachets" authorised by the Postal
Administration of the USSR. They have been placed in a
special group in this article and called "frank markings".
The meaning of the term "frank markings" is conditional, as
these strikes were not postage stamps in the accepted sense
(in contrast to the "franking cachets" intended for that
purpose) and they only indicated the procedure or amount of
payment for mail or defined more accurately the procedure
for such payment.
It should be noted that, in the 1919-1921 period, the post
offices in several cities (Batum, Kobulety, Sarapul, etc.),
utilised markings, stating with variations in the text that:
"the fee has been levied in cash because of the lack.... of
postage stamps ... ". The application of such markings came
about for other reasons, apart from the absence of stamps at
i the post offices and they are not being examined in this
S The reason and mode of utilisation of the frank markings are
not always understandable and data about them practically
do not exist in the postal documents. Judging
::- from the indications on mail, it is evident that
-..-. the "frank markings" were sometimes applied
: .''in the role of "franking cachets" (Figs. 110-
-..t LcZc : 111). Postal workers made a distinction
between the "franking cachets" and "frank
markings". At the least, that seems to be the
case because the strikes of "frank markings"
are pre-eminently in violet, while the
impressions of handstruck "franking cachets"
S:; were mainly applied in black
:.,-^, :The illustrations of some "frank markings"
are set out in Figs. 112-128 and the data
about them in Table No. 4.
: Note: The illustrations of all postal sending
shown in this article have been reduced to
from 48% to 80% of the actual sizes.
Ha ~ul~r c'-
1424 r. bi uxpL7ln-
r4 H.' K. FL- mT
cr 16 ceT. 7924 r
H. il. m T. n '0. MI
F73 r. N3o.
The author has presented data on more than 100 "franking cachets"
and "frank markings", utilised in the USSR in the 1920s-1930s.
Information about most of them has been lacking up to now. It is
likely that the listing of the "franking cachets" and "frank markings"
applied in the country during that period can be extended
considerably, as they were used in many towns, post offices and
governmental organizations. Unfortunately, there existed for a long
time the opinion that franking cachets were only of interest for
collecting purposes after being cut out of the covers of postal sending
and most of the strikes of such cachets therefore exist only on piece.
THE POST-RIDER/MII(IHK N 53
(continued on p. 49)
lnom. c65p a cyxxe p._ KC.
Ofn/IAMEHO .......... KOn.
OKPY)KHAA KDHTOPA CB~3H
POST-RIDER/RIMIIHK M' 53
nepecbiblaeTCle 6e3 OflJaTbh
onAambl mapka O no AO-
roBopy c HHA. okpyAHoA
HcunoBojacmi ropoTAel CBqs3I
.Onj .fl MO
S...-.. -" ........... r.
0 FIA9EHA H
npMHsrro no paceTry
Table No. 4. Frank markings
Ta6mjia XN 4. cOpaHKHpoBnoqHbe nrraMaM
S. aTa IIpwMeHea ..
Place of usage Colour Size in mm. r. r. Fig. No. IIpHMeHami
Period of use /Notes
Similar meters were used in other towns for the mail ;
1 Moscow, Astrakhan' black' 71 & 73 mm. long 1927 7 112 of State Bank branches. They differ slightly in size and
Violet engraving of the letters'
2 Saratov 7 violet 76 x 23 1929 113
3 Nizhnii-Novgorod; violet 45 x 21 1929 114
S 4 Pyatigorsk '. violet 27 1930 115
5 Tobol'sk violet 32 x 19 1930 116
6 Moscow violet 40 1931 117
7 Leningrad black 39 1932 118
SMoscow violet 375 193234 119 Meters in a single type are known with differing.
violet 1 37,5 1932-34 119 account numbers
9 Yaroslavl' .V. violet 42 x 18,5 1933 120 Similar meters were applied in other towns
10 1 Kislovodsk black 72 x 24 1937- O 121
11 Moscow black. 54 x 15,5 1940 122
12 Moscow ; violet: 21 x 27 7 123
13 :Zhitomir black. 60 x 34 7 124
14 Slavgorod violet: 36 ? 125
15 Shakhty ': violet -' 54 x26 7 126
16 ? black- 47 x31 127
17 7 black: 48 x 14 7 128
The "franking cachets" are sometimes linked with the labels or markings indicating the post-free despatch
of a postal sending (Figs. 129, 130 at the bottom of p. 46). The allocation of franking cachets contradicts
the purpose of such labels or markings. While the first category designates the payment of a postal rate, the
second group specifies that the postal rate does not have to be paid. The investigation of the postal usage of
labels and markings for post-free mail of the USSR would be a separate subject for an interesting article.
The author would be grateful to collectors, who could supplement in a decisive way the information on
"franking cachets" and "frank markings", utilised by the Postal Administration of the USSR.
diojiuerem, HKIhITh 45, 1924 r., c. 7.
2 dlocranoBneHas no noxrosofi vac=r. qacr 1. IIpasnaa BHyrpeHmx norroBnux cHomemHi>, MociBa, 1925 r.,
3 EIoJnMerem, HKInT>>, XN 35, 1927 r., c. 319.
4 ITpasBna BayrpeHHef o6pa6oTn nouroBax ornpamaiemi>, 'acrm 2, MocKBa, 1927 r., c. 19.
STaM xce, c. 20, 64.
6 IouieTeWm HKIIT>>, XN 4, 1928 r., c. 48.
7 A. MapKOB MarrNHH a o6pa6o0na nownm. BamycR II. CBasTexuaaaT, MocxBa, 1934r., c. 50, 51, 65.
SdBiomnereim HIInT>>, .N 7, 1929 r., c. 64 65.
9 >, 14,1930 r., c.148 -149.
lo .epanrmig rocygaperemmni apxHB Cami-Ilerep6ypra, Q. 947, on. 5, 27, ji. 54.
SIIpaBHna Bsyrpemefi o6pa6ornc noTronux ornpaBnemxi>, Hacnr 2, MociBa, 1927 r., c. 62.
12 >, MocKBa, 1936 r., c. 6.
A PHILATELIC PORTRAIT OF MIKHAIL VASIL'EVICH LOMONOSOV
by Gregory Epshtein.
Lomonosov was a great man. Between the
reigns of Peter I and Catherine II, he was the
only original champion of enlightenment. He
founded the first university. It would be more
accurate to say that he was our first university.
M.V. Lomonosov belongs in number to those few universal people, who reverberated in their creative
powers all the diversity of world culture. He was born in the era of Peter I, an epoch of radical changes in
the country, an epoch when merchants and manufacturers had their activities disrupted and when energetic
people were drawn into the leading role of the state.
Mikhail Vasil'evich Lomonosov was the first Russian scientist and natural philosopher of universal status;
a poet, laying down the principles of the present-day Russian literary language; an artist and historian and a
defender of the development of Russian education, science and economics. He was born in November 1711
in the village of Denisovka (now the village of Lomonosovo) in Arkhangel'sk province. There are very
fragmentary and unreliable data about the origins and early years in the life of Lomonosov, but it is known
that Mikhail Vasil'evich grew up in a relatively well-to-do family. His father had maritime interests and
commercial relations with foreign merchants. He sailed along the White Sea and Arctic Ocean, often
together with his son. The frequent dangers faced by'fishermen at sea physically upset the young boy and
the influence of nature in the Russian North is easily visible in the language used by Lomonosov. Questions
about travel in the northern seas, the formation of the Northern Lights and the impact of the sea on the life
of the coastal regions were all among the wide circle of his scientific interests.
There appeared in 1961 in the USSR a set of three stamps (Scott Nos. 2544-2546) in connection with the
250 anniversary of his birth. A sculpture of Lomonosov is shown on one of them, set up in front of a new
building of the Moscow State University and created according to the designs of the sculptor N. Tomskii
Supplementary details about the basic directions of his activities are given on the stamps, in addition to the
portraits and sculpture. A souvenir envelope was issued at the same time and a special cancellation was
provided in Moscow, Leningrad and Moscow (see Fig. 1 on the next page). A postage stamp connected
with this anniversary was also issued in Romania (Scott 1447 see Fig. 1),
Lomonosov displayed a desire for knowledge already at an early age and he received his primary education
at an "Old Believers" school. For him, the "Doors of Learning" were the acquisition from somewhere of a
Grammar by Smotritskii and a book on Arithmetic by Magnitskii (a postcard was issued in Russia about
THE POST-RIDER/IIMIIHK N2 53 49
* CIJLTURALE t9b1 P03TA
R*P.R M INA
Celeonnaaesr ae la Ciencis L
M5 f925~ ~
- - - -
PRO R 1
~e Q _~P-S~LiWilli C
50 TME POST-RW)ER/WMEvnMM Ng 53
- MOCKOBCKHR rOCYAAPCTBEHHbl .R
SHMEHH M. B. AOMOHOCOBA. .
'* ".. . .. ...
O KTA,, stMCCCP:
THE POST-RIDER/fMIM4MHK N2 53
that manual), as well as the "Poetic Psalter" of Simeon Potocki. Being desirous at the age of 19 to receive a
contemporary education, Mikhail Lomonosov set off with a fishing baggage train for Moscow and entered
into the Moscow Slavonic, Greek & Latin Academy in 1731, where he lived and studied for about five
years. In spite of the difficult conditions for the students and the material deprivations, the arrival at the
Academy was a great help to Lomonosov. He read with unlimited thirst the books of Aristotle and
Demosthenes, as well as the works of the Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, which he found in
library of the monastery.
Lomonosov stood out from the other students by his superior qualities and diligence. He was promoted
from the first to the second class after six months and then to the third class after another half-year. During
that period, he mastered Latin and Greek and even wrote verses in Latin.
The completion by Lomonosov of the courses at the Slavonic, Greek & Latin Academy coincided with his
education in the first years of activity of the Russian (St. Petersburg) Academy, founded according to a
ukase by Peter I in 1724. In fulfilling the wish of Peter I "to seek out from the Russians, those who are
learned or inclined in that way", the Academy selected 12 smart students for the continuation of their
education in Europe and among them was M.V. Lomonosov. Together with two other students, Lomonosov
set off for Germany and Holland for tuition in Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy, Chemistry and
Metallurgy and he stayed abroad for five years. In Marburg, he worked under the direction of Professor
Wolf, who was well-known and who mainly facilitated the passage to Russia of European scientists. The
mathematicians L. Eiler and N. Bernulli were recommended by him as members of the Russian Academy.
During his years of study in Europe, Lomonosov not only acquired a wide knowledge in the fields of
Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Mining, but he also defined for himself a general form of scientific
contemplation of the world. While in Germany, he married Elisabeth Zilch and his family life was
apparently quite peaceful. After his death, Lomonosov was survived only by his daughter Elena from
among his children.
Lomonosov returned to Russia in June 1741 and was soon appointed to the Russian Academy as an
Adjunct in Chemistry. From then on, all the scientific and literary activities of Lomonosov were linked
with the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. The Academy was based at that time in one of the best
detached premises of the disgraced Vice-Chancellor P. Shafirov. The well-known architect Carlo Rastrelli
took part in the refurbishment of that building. The Academy of Sciences was moved to Moscow in 1934.
As a result of the efforts of Lomonosov, the first chemical laboratory was opened at the Academy in the
building of the Cabinet of Curiosities of Peter I, as shown on a Soviet stamp (Scott 1322). The Museum of
M.V. Lomonosov was opened in this Cabinet in 1949 and a set of Soviet stamps was devoted to that event
(Scott 1320-1322 see Fig. 2). Lomonosov conducted exercises in Chemistry and Physics with his
students, gave lectures in Russian (which was not acceptable at that time) and did translations from the
books of European scientists. A Department of History was set up in the Academy in 1748 and Lomonosov
participated actively in its work. His study "Ancient Russian History" played a great role in the
development of Russian historiography and he presented a series of projects with the aim of "leading the
Academy of Sciences up to a high standard".
Sets of stamps were issued in the Soviet Union in 1925 and 1945 in connection with the 200h. and 220'.
anniversary of the Academy of Sciences (Scott 326-327, 987-988 Fig.3). There is on Nos. 326-327 a
portrait of Lomonosov done by the painter Miropol'skii, with the building of the St. Petersburg Academy
of Sciences in the background. There are on the stamps of this set perforation and gum varieties and they
were printed both on watermarked and unwatermarked papers.
The years of work at the Academy were especially productive for Lomonosov. He stood in fact at the
source of several fundamental directions in science. The works of Lomonosov in the study of the nature of
heat transfer and of the gaseous state of matter were of great significance for science. The book published
by him on "The Elements of Mathematical Chemistry" is regarded as the basis of Physical Chemistry and
as the most important investigation at the juncture of two fundamental sciences. There are recognized
works of Lomonosov in the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere and a treatise on the formation of
icebergs. A Cuban stamp (Scott 3717) was devoted to the study by Lomonosov of electricity in the
atmosphere. He issued a "Short Guide to Rhetoric", which constituted the first scientific investigation of
the Russian language and his most important work was his "Russian Grammar", where he delineated for the
52 THE POST-RIDER/IMIHIHK N2 53
first time the boundary between the Russian and Church-Slavonic languages. In 1956, a stamp with the
portrait of Lomonosov was issued in the set "Writers of Russia" (Scott 1898 see Fig.4).
The main compositions in the poetic works of Lomonosov were the odes dedicated above all to Imperial
personages and the most well-known of them was the ode "On the day of the ascension to the throne of the
Empress Elisaveta Petrovna" in 1747. After the ratification by the Empress Elisaveta of the new
constitution of the Academy of Sciences and of the Academy of Fine Arts, Lomonosov wrote the ode "The
Happiness and Exclamations of Thanksgiving of the Russian Muses". At a festive session of the Academy
of Sciences in 1749, Lomonosov pronounced a "Eulogy to the Empress Elisaveta Petrovna", which enjoyed
a great success.
The University of Moscow was founded in 1755 upon the initiative of Lomonosov and with his direct
participation. Basing himself on the "institutions, statutes, proceedings and practices" of foreign
universities, Lomonosov drew up the constitution of the University of Moscow, its structure and staff.
There were three faculties in the University: those of Law, Medicine and Philosophy. Lomonosov prepared
a programme of exercises for many specialties, directed the Chair of Chemistry, supervised the duties of
the Department of Geography and worked out the system for the selection of students from the Slavonic,
Greek & Latin Academy, where he himself had studied. The 200th. anniversary of the University of
Moscow as one of the centres of world science was celebrated at a festive session in 1955 and the Postal
Administration issued on that date a set of two stamps (Scott 1786-1787). The first building of the
Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg was again shown on the 40-kopek value and the premises of the
Moscow State University on the Lenin Hills are featured on the 1-rouble value, the stamps being issued in
souvenir sheets of four stamps each (Fg. 5 Moscow State University often stages international
congresses, which are attended by scientists from many countries. An International Congress of
Crystallography took place at the University in 1966, in which I also took part (see Fig. 6 for the special
postmark applied for that event).
From among all the important scientific work carried out by Lomonosov in the field of the Russian
language and his active academic achievements, his main attainments should be regarded as his
investigations in the field of Natural Sciences. He was elected a member of the Swedish Academy of
Sciences and as an Honoured Member of the Bologna Academy. As the noted mathematician L. Eiler said:
"All the scientific studies ofLomonosov are not only well done, but even superb".
On a final note, please see at the bottom of p. 51 the same portrait of M.V. Lomonosov being used for a
stamp of Romania (Scott B360 Fig. 7) and of the USSR (Scott 5509 Fig. 8).
SOVIET EXPRESS POST AND SENDING OF IMPORTANCE
by Robert Taylor.
In September 1922, the HKHnT (People's Commissariat of Posts & Telegraphs) authorised the
establishment of a new class of mail delivery, to be identified as "CIIEIIIHASI IHOTA" (Express Post)
and going into effect on the 15th. of that month. Initially, the service was available only for postal sending
originating in Moscow, or specifically noted for transit through Moscow and only for a handful of cities,
such as Petrograd, Tula and Orel. The minimum postal rates, to be paid for in cash, were initially set at 150
r. for wrappers and 200 r. for cards and letters. These minimums were based on weight charges of 10 r. per
20 grammes for wrappers and 40 r. per 20 grammes for cards and letters, so it can be clearly seen that the
."" .. service was originally intended for the rapid
oei o nos niu. 1 delivery of larger parcels and the great majority of
--r-. ON.. ^_-- these were inter-governmental mailings between
,- various government departments, trading agencies,
S banks etc. Early Return Receipt cards have been
,, .. noted, consigning Express Post deliveries. They are
'. .To.I L/x _._/_. properly cancelled, but carry no franking and only a
"CHIEIIIHAS HOI TA" label, as shown here.
With these initial rates established in 1922 roubles
I' :ea .~~~m1oa n/ aJc// (1/10,000th. of old roubles) and the then current rate
M a omu emopoift'mweni mww aopem oemnpiumcui
S".. for a registered minimum-weight cover at 25 r., we
THE POST-RIDER/IIMIIMHK X 53 53
can see that Express Post rates for minimum weight letters were almost ten times that of a registered letter
and thus far beyond the means of most citizens for routine correspondence. In addition, the original Post &
Telegraphs instructions required a "coloured" label to be affixed to Express Post mailings.
By December 1922, it appears that the Express Post system was considered successful. Rates were
increased to 500 r. 1922 currency in line with the general increase in postal rates, and service was expanded
from the original 25 cities up to 100. Cities with Express Post service were authorised to create their own
labels, with the colour red now being specified. Although there were some restrictions on the number of
Express Post items that could be placed in the mail delivery service daily, the expansion continued, with
Petrograd for example, initiating a thrice daily delivery of Express Post mail. Early in 1923, the service was
expanded to beyond the end of railway routes, thence by horse up to a distance of 10 km. (= 6.25 miles) !
One of the more interesting aspects of surviving Express Post mail is the variety of labels noted. As
previously mentioned, early regulations specified that they be both "coloured" and "red". Although very
little material seems to have survived from the first six months or so of the Express Post system, we see by
late 1922 the small red on white labels inscribed "P.C.O.C.P./ CTEIIIHASI / IIOMTA / H.K.I.T."
(RSFSR / EXPRESS / MAIL / People's Commissariat of Posts & Telegraphs). These distinctive labels,
both perforated and imperforate, are noted with some frequency in the first few years of the Express Post
service and somewhat less so thereafter, but they are occasionally seen even in the 1930s. We observe a
variety of small printing differences, clearly indicating that these labels were often printed locally by city or
regional postal administrations. Moreover, we note in 1923 and 1924 the introduction of Express Mail
labels individualised for various cities, with a space for post office identification and a numbering system to
record mailings. These labels come in both a red-on-white format and in black on various shades of pink,
violet and red papers. Of course, many towns did not have any Express Mail labels as such and used other
methods of identification such as handstamps, sometimes in the format of the early red-on-white labels,
sometimes just a straight-line cachet, as well as various handwritten notations in conjunction with
numbered labels (of the type used on money orders and package receipts). Also, simply the standard
registration labels and handstamps to provide the post office and numbering details, although always with
the Express Post indication.
Since much of the surviving material consists of correspondence between various governmental agencies
and organizations, we also see that many of these organizations prepared their own handstamps to indicate
to postal clerks the services requested, such as Express Post and Airmail. Thus, many covers carry both an
Express Post handstamp applied by the sender, as well as official postal markings.
By late 1925, the HKITHT (Postal Administration) authorised the printing of black-on-pink labels with a
large Russian "B" (= English "V") in the centre for use on Express Post mail. These labels, both perforated
and imperforate, also come in different printings from pink to red and it was assumed that the Russian "B"
intended to signify "B1nMamHe" (the Russian word for "Attention"). Early on, many in the West presumed
that the "B" stood for "Vozdushnaya" or "Airmail", but we now know that to be incorrect, although the
"B" labels are occasionally seen on airmail covers (see the Editorial Comment below for the official answer
to that problem on p. 57).
In 1926, further labels were authorised using the Russian word "HAPOHHbIM" (= by special messenger)
and these are often noted later in a bilingual format with the French word "EXPRES", usually printed on
pink paper of various shades.
Finally, let us take a look at the Express Post postal rates during the life of the service from September
1922 to early in 1938, when the Express Post was abandoned as a separate class of mail, having become
duplicative of the Registered Airmail Service, with both classes of mail costing a minimum of 80 kopeks
since the early 1930s. V. Karlinskii included a brief Express Post rate table in his extensive study published
in "CoBeTcKaH KojiJeKTIaoHep XN- 9" in 1971. His information was substantially repeated by Yu.
Rudnikov in his review of the Express Post service in "Q HjaTenia CCCP 6/79". There has always been
some question as to the rates in the 1922-1923 Inflation Period, with Karlinskii indicating a starting fee of
200 r., followed by 90 kopeks (gold standard) in October 1923. With the other postal rates stated in both
1922 and 1923 inflationary roubles and changing every few weeks throughout that period, as documented
by Karlinskii, it seems highly illogical that there would not have been some corresponding increases in
54 THE POST-RIDER/1MIIR K JM 53
Express Post fees. Prolific author and archivist, Alexander Epstein of Tallinn, Estonia took it upon himself
-to review in the St. Petersburg Library early issues of the "Bulletin" of the HKfIHT (People's
Commissariat of Posts & Telegraphs). To his surprise, he found under the Special Services section of the
"Bulletin" a series of Express Post increases that had been overlooked by V. Karlinskii and others.
Alexander indicates that these increases were expressed as percentages over previous rates and we have
incorporated these in the Express Post Rate Table below, together with several other alterations as noted.
SPESHNAYA POCHTA (EXPRESS POST) RATES
15 September 1922
1 December 1922
1 January 1923
10 March 1923
1 May 1923
20 May 1923
10 June 1923
5 July 1923
20 August 1923
1 September 1923
16 September 1923
1 October 1923
1 January 1924 (confirmed by Alexander Epstein)
1 August 1924 (confirmed by Alexander Epstein)
21 December 1926
15 July 1928
1 August 1931
200 r. (1922 currency)
500 r. (1922 currency)
12 r. 50 k. (1923 currency)
18 r. 75 k. (1923 currency)
25 r. (1923 currency)
37 r. 50 k. (1923 currency)
50 r. (1923 currency)
75 r. (1923 currency)
90 kop. (gold) = 117 r. (1923 currency); Note *1
90 kop. (gold) = 180 r. (1923 currency)
90 kop. (gold) = 297 r. (1923 currency)
90 kop. (gold); Note *2
60 kop. (postcard; regular rate + 50 k. fee)
73 kop. (postcard by air)
68 kop. (letter; regular rate + 50 k. fee)
83 kop. (letter by air); Note *3
65 kop. (postcard; regular intercity rate + 50 k. fee)
70 kop. (letter; regular rate + 50 k. fee)
50 kop. (postcard); Note *4
80 kop. (letter)
1. On 20 August 1923, all internal Soviet rates were stated in gold roubles. However, with no gold rouble
currency or postage stamps in existence, the postal rates were paid by conversion to 1923 inflation roubles.
Thus, with the conversion value on 20th. August being 130 roubles (1923 currency) to 1 gold rouble, the
required minimum fee for an Express Post letter was 117 r. (1923) or 130 x 0.90 = 117. The internal rates
were again adjusted upwards on 1 & 16 September to reflect further inflation, with conversion values of
200 and 330 respectively, thus equalling Express Post rates of 180 r. (1923) and 297 r. (1923), as stated
2. On 1 October 1923, continued inflation demanded a further increase in the postal rates denominated in
1923 roubles, in order to meet the gold-rouble rate-scale established on 20 August. Henceforth, it was
decreed that the gold rouble postal rates were to be converted daily to 1923 inflationary roubles at the
conversion value to be published daily. That situation was to continue through the months of October and
November as long as the postage stamps denominated in both 1922 and 1923 inflationary roubles were still
valid, despite the important fact that the first values of the gold kopek definitive issue were released on
11 h. October. The Conversion Table shown by V. Karlinskii for the months of October and November is
given here at the top of the next page.
It is interesting to note that Express Post mailings after 30th. November that were paid in cash still reflected
the daily conversion values in order to collect the required 90 kop. (gold), when the only existing currency
was denominated in 1923 roubles. Thus, a cover from Tashkent Station to Moscow on 2nd. December
indicates that 1278 r. (1923) were collected, which would translate to a conversion value of 1 gold rouble to
1420 r. (1923) on that date. Another from Tiflis Station on 18th. December collected 25,650,000
Transcaucasian roubles, which would indicate a conversion value of 1 r. gold to 28,500,000 r. (Transcau-
casian) on that date. Wow!
THE POST-RIDER/SMImI(HKs 3 55
EXCHANGE RATES FOR 1 GOLD ROUBLE IN 1923 CURRENCY IN OCTOBER & NOVEMBER*.
Hucao OKTa6ipb Hos6pb rHcjno OKTSa6pb Hon6pb
Day October November Day October November.
1 400 700 17 535 950
2 410 710 18- 550 980
3 415 725 19 565 980
4 425 750 20 585 1010
5 435 750 21 610 1040
6 445 765 22 610 1070
7 460 775 23 620 1100
8 460 775 24 630 1130
9 475 790 25 640 1160
10 482,5 805 26 650 1160
11 490 820 27 660 1200
12 498 820 28 675 1240
13 505 845 29 685 1280
14 518 865 30 685 1320
15 518 890 31 690
16 525 920
*Taken from the data in "The Proceedings of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee" for 1923.
3. Complicated official Express Post rates are said to have become effective on 21 December 1926 and to
last almost two years. These required premiums for air service, over and above the rates based on
registration plus a 50-kop. Express Post fee. I have yet to see a franking that would comply with the stated
Express Post airmail rates for that period and would be most interested in any examples readers might have
franked at the 83-kop. rate.
4. Official records indicate the 80-kop. Express Post as being effective on 15 May 1932, but covers
examined clearly indicate the 80-kop. rate in use as early as 1 August 1931.
V. Karlinskii Manual "CoBeTCKEi KojuieKiwoneep N 9", Moscow 1971, pp. 48-61.
Yu. Rudnikov Magazine "cHiHnaTenna CCCP XN 6 -1976", Moscow, pp. 41-47.
Editorial Comment: First of all, Jeffrey Klein really started something when he advised us in "The Post-
Rider" No. 52, p. 117 of his cover with a large "B" marking. Your editor started digging and found the
answer to that designation in the Soviet postal manual by I.P. Sibov & I.D. Glukhov: "IHoToBaA H
TejierpaHsIaa CBa3b B areHcTBax CBH3H qacTb 1" (Postal and telegraphic communications in postal
agencies Part 1), pp. 20-21 & 22-23, "CBas3bTexas3aT" Publishers, Moscow 1935. The excerpts in
Russian from that valuable source have been combined on p. 57 herewith and we learn that the "B"
designation stood for "BaEHoe (= "Important" [matter]) and that there was even an Oco6o-Bax.oe" (=
"Especially important") category! Following upon that discovery Robert Taylor came
S .. through with his article above and a magnificent
tz. -e- *"-'. array of 37 cards and covers, referring to the
---- ""Express Post", "Important" & "Especially
SImportant" classes of mail. They will be examined
in detail in No. 54 of "The Post-Rider" and
members are kindly asked to send in full-size
Z~( .4-J photocopies of any Express Post. Important &
|= ;: *.-- eL9 "-. t3- -' Especially Important usages in their possession, so
S- ./ .. that we can present in No. 54 as extensive a survey
as possible. One of the key items in the Robert
I._ ... Taylor holdings is a correct usage of the 80-kop.
SExpress Post stamp (Scott E3), sent from Leningrad
S17.11.32 to Moscow. There were 200,000 copies
/< -, r printed of that stamp but, for some reason, it is a
"--eae/-- _o, y, .Cc__. ., / ., howling rarity used properly, or for other purposes.
56 THE POST-RIDER/SIMIIMK JN 53 (continued on p. 58)
17. flpasuTenbcTBeHHbie OTnpaBneHHR
IloTroBoe ornpaBieHHir, nofasaexuHe BHcniHMH a8EOHOAaTeaT -
HHM~H u AHpeRTIBH&MH opraHaM H HX pyKOBOIRTeEJixH, a Ta.Rme
OTIIpaRBeBH, nocuIaemue Ha HMa 8THX oprano ByipezA eHnHma
H opraHH3agaHri o606IgecTBseHHoro ceKTopa,-c'IraMTcH n pa-
K BHCrIIM 3aEOHOAaTeJILHuM LHpeXTHBHHM opraHaBx H
py oBOZHTeisrj OTHOCWTCa.
a) IeHTpajinebe HcnoJMI TexLHHe KROM TeTH COOP H co~aBHU
pecny6maK, H npeHceaZTejiH H ceKpeTapH.
6) COBeTH HnapoHHUX KOMHCCapoB COOP H coIoaSHz pecny6inHi
Ha X npeAceDCaTejIH H aaMeCTHTeJIH.
B) CTO, SC00C-H EOMHCCHH COBeTCEOrO EOHTpOJIH.
r) AK BIII (6) H IK HanouMinapTHc cooanux pecny6JxHE H H%
A) KoM ccHH napTlhHOro KOHTpoI aH n n upeAcenaTeia H
cexpeTrpH, cexpeTapH BIICIIC, npeAcefaTeJea COBeTOB Ipo0oco 0aoB-
Ha sangox npaBHreJIbcTBeHHOM OTfpaBJeHaK: Hna aupecHof.
OTOpoHe Bsepry oaJImHa 6LIT HHaIeCi ,nIpaBHTeBrCTBBHHoel".
3T OTrpaaueHH9a onIaanBaBoTca no0 Taece, ycTaHOBJIeHHofl AJI
IIpeAensuBtN Bee H paaMep JIra npaBHTejinsTBeHHIX oTnpas~eBHj
ycTanoBJIeHU TO me, ITO H iJna o6HnHOBeaHHR o6o6inecoBJieHHoro
ceETopa..B alpece nx nouIOHn HaHMeHOBaHHa H Ino0po6HOro axpeca
nojyia8Tea H oTIpaBHTeJIa fonaJzHH yaaIHBaTLbc HOMepa 6yMar,
nepecbHaexMH B EaAoAm CAaBaeMOM Ha nIO'ITy OTIIpaiBenH.
IIpaBHTejna CTBeHeHe OTrpaBJIeHHa AojizRs cJgaBaTLca TOJILKO
aB npeanpnITHe CBaJIH JIH cejThcOMy nIHCbMOHoCIy. OHH o6pa-
6arTHBRlTCH, nepecUJIaIOTrca H OCTaBIEaBTC e BHe BEcacOl ovepeaH.
Ha afpecHoi cTopoHe ax aB eBOM BepxHeM yray HaEJeenBaeTc3s
spanbK 4). No S c 6yKBoAt ,B", ITO oanaqaeT ,BaHoe".
IIpaBHTenjbcTBeHHHe OTnpaBneHnE aapecoBaHnHe B ynyHYTh,
rAe ycTaHOBjxeH npieM H AOCTaBK& cnemHHx oTnpaBJeHiaf, sageaIH-
BaIOTCS BMecTe c noCjieBHHMH C nepeHc1I eHC HeM B peecTpe 4. J~ 11
oTejibHoft py6pHcofi. ,qocTaBRa 8THX OTIpaBJIeHHfl B faHHOM
cjry'ae IIPOaSBOeHTCR BMecTe co cnenHHHMH.
IIpaBHTeaJoTBsHHn e oTnpaBJieHEn, aApecoBanHHe B InyHTL, rie
He yCTaHOBieH npneM cnemHux, nepecUJaibora B oTZJeaBHuX
nocT-naKeTax Ao agpecnoro nyHETa upH an60oM RKoJIHecTBe OTIpa-
BaeHHnf o npHnnHCKOl r peecTpy p. N2 11-c y3asaHHeM na nocT-
AocTaBKa IpaBHTeSjCTBeHHHx X OTpasBJeHHfr B aTHx InyHETax
IpoH3BOJBHTCH Ba nepByo oiepeAb c BLsareA afpecaTam nouA
20. Oco60-BamHbie nHCbMa
B3T IIHCLMa ycTaHOB3IeHu ai nepecHjaH noKyMeHTOB H co06-
igeHnu, Ere HXolux oco6o-BaaHoe sHaneHHe. IlpaBox Hnoa~I aSro.
( poaa nHceM rnoIByITCaJ Bcee opraHnaagan o6o6igecTBneHHoro ceRE-
O6ojortsa Ha ocodo-BamHLiX i HCMax Aon a 6H 6HTb Ha HXOTHOf
6ynarH; afpec--HanHcanH 'reTo, TOJTEO:IepHHnaMH aHx cMo eHHiu
.KiMHXecEHM RapaHAaROM 6e8 EBce zaHr paBaeHHn, a"'a e rTnoy -
'rpa4) xncKMM cnbucooaj X aI na efi "
: -Ha appeenofl CTopoe CBepxy AenaeTR HanIcIC ,,Oco6o-0 Ba, 0%oe"
S.'HaRIeHoBaHHe afpecaTa nHmeTcr non ocTrao 6ea corpaineniF-.
OTnpasenHHa C yCenoBHsa H 6y.BeanHnH aS InHpOBHMH o060o-
'RaqeHanmH B azipece ne UpHHHMBoSTCH. CoKpanxenHHi alpec Aony-
ceaeTca TOna0 JIa o061eHaBecTHhLX ylpeacenaHl H opranHaagni:
IHIK, BLUHK, OGH, IAK BRII(6), BAGCIIO, paiHcnoeinEO, PHR, ceXb
COBeT H T. II.
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Ha BOHBepTe oco60-BaacHoro DHCLMa A01KHEI 6HTB DpoCTaBjIeHsL
HoMepa AoOKyMeHTOB HJH nepenHCEH, BaoeJIHHnH BHyTpb.
IIpeAel[ jHxifl se oco6o-BaaHux nHcex-2 at, a Jasx yMpem;AeHn
Ko}mccapHaTa o6opoHz-65 tz.
Oco6o-BazHue inHbMa oneIaTULBaIOTCS cypryHHO0 lneiaTLb oTipa-
BETeJIe (AonyCEiaeTCJ HajiomeHHe MacTBmHHOf IIeiawTH).
IIaTa aa nepecHJiy BBaHCHBaeTCa Haji HHHMH ACHLraMH. 3a nep-
BHe 20 z-80 Kon., aa Eaa~gle iocjeDyieigHe IoaJIHHe H HenoJHHe
20 9 as HHoropoAHHne no 10 non. H no 5 rIon. 3a MecTaHe. C6op
aa saasa He Ba4LHCBaeTCa. Bec H cyMma c6opa ya3HLBaoTClJ Ha
o6opoTe nHcnMa. 3a nHCbMa y'peaJseHHl KoMHccapaaTa o6opOHu
BecoM no 5 ct-BecoBaaH nIaTa aa 500 z BsaHCHBaeTcs no TaRce
LIJS nHceM, a aa OCT8ajIHyjo qaCT, Beca-no TasCe IraII nocuHIOc.
Oco6o-BaaHHe nHCsLa AOJIaHH npeABapHreJiTHO OcMaTpHBaTbca
A.n onpeneJeHHn HonpaBHOCTH o6ono iE H IpaBIHJo1HCTH HIaIHca-
Hws aApeca. 3aTem OHn aan8HlBaioTCa B TeTpaanL cp. No 1. HoMe-
palaz B OTOi TeTpa8XH BeAeTCJ nIOMecaHo. IpoMe nopRAKOBoro
HOMepa B Telpa~a yKas3HBaIoTc pox oTrpaBIeHia--,,oco6o-BasHoe",
aspecHoe npeanpHaTHe CBasH, HaaHeHOBaHHe u noppo6sbft aapec
nojiyiaTeju, HOmep nixoAnsinie 6yMarH, yaaaHHLfl Ha odoJnoiKe
nHCLMa, HaHmeHOBaHHe OTIpaBHTeJJI H cyMMa BHuCKiaHHX aa nepe-
chwny c6opOB. IOaJInHHHnf atK3exuJiap aannHH oTpNHaeTca H noanIH-
cHBaeTC a pneMnHKROM, Ha o0opOTHOA CTOpOHe cTaBHTCJI SICHhR
OTTEHCr EaJ~eHaapHoro mrTemnejaI H BsaaeTca noaaTeiio. Ha rrHcbMO
Ha.aeHBaeTCH qpnuxHE N2 8. Ha aflpecaoi CTopOHe HazaaXuBaeTca
OTTHOCE EaneHapHoro mTeMnena, H HHCLMO CcRTaeTca npHHiTHaM.
1 Oco6o-BaacHHe,inHca, npHaHMaeMue IInHCLOHOCIaMH Ha yIacT-
nax, sanI cBaD)TCE B TeTpagrl 4). X2 4 C yaanaHHeM Tex me CBe-
A eHHu, KOTopHe nonaauBalOTcI H B TeTpafH (p.-N 1, 0 TOf aImsh
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Mopmbl RpnblKoB HIn K8aJ'yKOBMX IUTaMnoB
'[aa sazaa3Bx ,/i cneminx Jaxn npaBH snecIae UHLx
KAJIHHH TAWKEHT AJIMA-ATA
1* .. n -
The only other record so far of a correct usage has been made by V.B. Zagorskii of St. Petersburg in
Volume 5, Part 1 of the Standart Collection series, p. 105, where he shows this stamp on an Express Post
cover from Kazan' 10.1.35 to Moscow.
A recent Cherrystone Auction featured this stamp used to pay the registered airmail postage on a cover
from the Moscow-9 post office 15.2.34 to Konstanz, Germany. The rates at that time were 15 kopeks for a
foreign surface letter, 20 kopeks registration fee and 40 kopeks airmail surtax to Germany. The letter was
thus overpaid by 5 kopeks, but it is still a very desirable item (see above at left).
Finally, your editor has only one Express Post cover with a perforated "B" label on pink paper, as featured
above at right. That item is unusual in that the letter was addressed abroad from Khar'kov-2 post office
4.9.28 to Riga, in what was then independent Latvia. Note also the serrated "CITEIIIHOE / No .... /
XAPbKOB 2" cachet at bottom centre and also the postage paid, which was only 58 kopeks. Comments,
SOME EARLY SOVIET VARIETIES
by Alex. Sadovnikov.
THE POST-RIDER/fIMIIHK N_ 53
5s 1sm -nnr ,..-
Pos. 18: some Panes *
0 ^ ---
10 i ---
Pos. 17- Top Pane
Pane of 25 :
THE POST-RIDER/lMIMIHK Ns 53
JI. P8 (74)
A. P 1(70)
P- C.K.56 Ka
__ imPos. 18
___ in some
._ ...of 25
I gf il
PEL* rf 3.XI.1922
.t;~~~~1 1A xlmnh
I III ~L ~'iL~' Ij:~~~k! r~Pane
__ *1 ~ T1~TVarl-
I'- Ia T~Ia'iI~
60 THE POST-RIDER/MUnMIK N2 53
MORE ON THE BOXED "R KIZIL" HANDSTAMP OF TUVA AND THE CLIFFE COVERS
by Gwyn Williams.
1.The Boxed "R KIZIL" Registration Handstamp.
Readers of the recent "Post-Rider" articles on Tuva will be aware of the significance of the boxed "R KIZIL"
registration handstamp of Tuva. V.N. Ustinovskii (1,2) argued that the Soviet Philatelic Association (COA) used this
handstamp only in Moscow and that it had never see use in Tuva. Thus, its presence on a cover provided a reliable
indicator of dubious origin. In contrast. A. Cronin (3) argued that there were duplicate registration marks in use, both
in Moscow and Kyzyl. In consequence, we should be less hasty in dismissing such covers as not having done postal
service from Tuva, an analysis I supported in my "Post-Rider No. 50" paper (4).
Since then, further compelling evidence has emerged to support this second view: that the "R KIZIL" did indeed see
genuine postal service in Tuva. This is in the form of three covers, one of which is described for the first time
Cover A. Postal Stationery envelope to Messrs Whitfield King & Co, in Ipswich, England
This stationery envelope of Blekhman 2/Ustinovskii K2 was once in the collection ofW.H. Adgey-Edgar of England.
It was described and illustrated by J. Negus in his famous "Ugliest Duckling" article of 1960 (5), as well as on p. 97
of the Blekhman English translation (6). It is addressed by hand in English in Latin script to Whitfield King, Ipswich,
England, but the sender's address is in the Unified Latin Turki script as "TbBA Arat Respublik, TAR, Xarblzaa
Ergeleer, Kbzbl-Xooraj" (Fig. 1). That was the contact address for the Tuvan postal authorities, as advised by the
SphA to the U.S. professional philatelist Albert Harris in 1937. As well as the 20-kop. imprint in the design of the 5-
kop. value of the 1934 "Registered" series of a yak being milked, the envelope bears a 70-kop. adhesive of the 1936
"Jubilee" series, tied to the cover by an Ustinovskii Mi3.2 "KbZbL e" cancellation, dated 22.9.37. There is on the
reverse an Ipswich backstamp of 13.10.37, giving a transit time from Tuva to the U.K. of 23 days. Significantly and
given these Tuvan credentials, it bears a boxed "R KIZIL" registration handstamp, No. 492.
Cover B. Cover prepared by Herr Theo Klewitz.
J. Negus also described this cover in his 1960 article (5). Herr Klewitz prepared a cover using ten stamps from the
1934 "Registered" and "Airmail" series and despatched it to Tuva for cancellation and return. I suspect that he got far
more then he anticipated!
The cover is cancelled with the Cronin Kyzyl III/Ustinovskii IIl.l postmark, for which there is no evidence of its
use other than in Tuva. The reverse of the cover also bears the "OUSINSKOIE" transit cancellation and a "FULDA"
(Germany) receiving mark. The transit history as recorded by these cancellations is Kyzyl 25.10.35, Usinskoe
30.10.35 and Fulda 25.11.35, so the entire passage from Tuva to Germany took 31 days. The cover bears a boxed "R
KIZIL"registration No. 691 (Fig. 2
Fascinatingly then, this cover fall into the mid-registration sequence of the Cliffe covers described in "The Post-
Rider" Nos. 50 & 51 (4,7) and bears similar cancellations to those. There is little doubt that the cover travelled from
Tuva; the only question is whether it was intercepted in Moscow and inserted into the "Cliffe" series there, or
whether that occurred in Kyzyl.
Cover C. Commercial cover from Kyzyl to Moscow.
The third cover is a recent addition to my collection (Figs. 3a & 3b). Addressed in Russian, it was sent to Anna
Petrovna Ligvinskaya in the suburb of Solyanka, Small Ivanovskii Lane No. 11, Apt No. 39 an area of Central
Moscow. The heavily stylised diacritics suggest that the writer may have been a young girl. However, the cover does
not bear the name and address of the sender, which might have helped to confirm this. The face of the cover bears a
10-kop. value of the "Jubilee" Airmail" series and, on the reverse a 30-kop. value of the "Changed Colours" series:
40 kopeks were sufficient payment for an international surface letter weighing up to 20 grammes (approx. 2/3 ounce),
plus registration. Both stamps are cancelled with a Cronin V/Ustinovskii 1113.1 "KbZbL a" cancellation dated
17.4.41 and backstamped Moscow 5.5.41, a transit time of 18 days. There is nothing to suggest that this cover did
other than regular commercial postal use from to Moscow.
Taken together, this leads me inescapably to the view that A. Cronin was correct in the view that duplicate
registration marks were available both in Moscow and Kyzyl. While the boxed "R KIZIL" handstamp is a good
indicator of SphA involvement, that is not invariably the case. At least Covers 1 and 3 provide little doubt that the
Tuvan postal authorities had access to the boxed "R KIZIL" handstamp, even if use of the unboxed "R KIZIL
TOUVA" handtstamp was more usual.
THE POST-RTDERISIMIIK N 53
2. The Cliffe Covers.
First, a further addition provided by Richard Clever in the tabulation of the Cliffe covers, compiled by Alan Leighton
(7). Address Reg No Date Transit Arrival Franking Source
Kyzyl date date
Ernest 56 _11 35 6 11 35 No cds Landscape 10k,15k,25k Clever
This is of great interest, as it further helps to estimate the total number of covers produced for Thomas Cliffe. There
still appears to be two registration series, now established as being 56-134 and 631-775, making 222 covers in all and
thus an increase of 66 over my previous estimate of 156, again assuming that these sequences are unbroken.. As
before, any further additions would be appreciated.
Further research has revealed that Ernest Cliffe was not in the philatelic trade. The 1935 "Kelly's Street Directory"
lists "Ernest Cliffe ARCA, chartered accountant" as having offices at 19 Brazennose Street, Manchester 2. It thus
seems likely that Thomas Cliffe utilised Emest's Manchester office as a straightforward accommodation address.
I am very appreciative of the help given to me by Richard Clever, Andrew Cronin, Alan Leighton, the staff of the
Local Studies Unit of the Manchester Public Library and, for his invaluable assistance with Russian translation, John
1. Ustinovskii, V.N. 2000a. Tuva Tokens of Postal Payment, Moscow.
2. Ustinovskii,V.N. 2000b. Commentary on the article "The KbZbL 'a', 'b' & 'c'" postmarks applied in Tuva.
"The Post-Rider", No. 49:32-33.
3. Cronin A. 1977. Tannu-Tuva and the new Blekhman Handbook. "The Post-Rider" 1:5-28.
4. Williams G. 2002. Thomas Cliffe and Tuva. "The Post-Rider" 50:67-70.
5. Negus J. 1960. Philately's ugliest ducklings: rehabilitating the 1934-1936 issues of Tannu-Tuva. "The
Philatelic Journal of Great Britain", 70:67-70.
6. Blekhman,. S.M. 1997. Trans. By Ron Hogg. The Postal History and Stamps of Tuva. Tannu-Tuva
Collectors' Society, Lake Worth.
7. Leighton, A. 2002. A tabulation of the Cliffe covers sent registered with Tuvan postage. "The Post-Rider"
Editorial Comment: The following notes would seem appropriate for the covers in Figs. 1 & 3:-
(a) The Tuvans speak a language in the Turki family, which is separate linguistically from neighboring Mongolian.
However, some borrowings from Mongolian have taken place and in the last line of the sender's address we see the
words "Xarblzaa ergeleer" = Chief of Communications (i.e. Postmaster), from the Mongolian "Khariltsaany
erkhlegch". The word "arat" is also Mongolian and means a "herdsman". In 1930, a Unified Latin Turki Alphabet
was introduced for all the Turki languages in the USSR and Tuva and it is used here, both in the address and the
printed text. The full alphabet is given at Aa .Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff G g Olo o I
right and was replaced by Cyrillic in 1941: 1955,p. 618)., Kk LI Mm Nn -n Oo e Pp Rr Ss
(Taken from the Tuvan-Russian Dictionary by A. PaI'mbakh, Moscow- Tt Uu Vv Xx Yy Zz Zz bLb
(b) Gwyn Williams has made an important point in that only the addressee has been designated. It was standard and
obligatory practice in the USSR for the name and address of the sender to be stated also and normally at bottom
front. Also, the "KbZbL a" postmark just does not look right. The "K" in the KbZbL a, b & c cancellers was in
Cyrillic style, with the horizontal bar just over half way up the font. In the three strikes seen here in Fi. the
horizontal bar is further up. Also, the registration cachet resembles the one used by the SPhA, with a distinctive
frame in its mass mailings from Moscow of covers going abroad and it looks newly made.
The final and most important point is the Moscow arrival strike on the back of the cover. It should be borne in mind
that Soviet postmarks can be divided into two basic groups: those made before or after the Great Purge of 1936-1938.
Prior to the Purge, the postmark types existed in an enormous variety of styles and many were probably made by
local postal districts. As a result of the Purge, the engraving of cancellers was centralised in Moscow, with a general
diameter of 25 mm., the initials "CC CP" at top, separated by the Soviet star, hammer & sickle and having a
completely enclosed date-bridge, The post offices in Moscow got special attention in that style, especially the 8th.
Despatch Office, which monitored international mail to and from abroad, including Tuva. Instead of such a strike on
the back of the cover, we see an impression of the Moscow 1t. Despatch Office with serial letter "a", which could
not have existed in 1941. In fact, your editor has never seen a Moscow marking in that type and especially with the
serial letter "a similar to that for the "KbZbL a postmark. Nevertheless, your editor has an open mind on the
matter and comments are invited from the membership. Please see also the Moscow arrival marks in Fi. 4
62 THE POST-RIDER/MI5IW Np 353
2.-L. Cfr 44'-
1IN-i t d
~ .-. -'* 2
i: 79 iq I: :Rkw~I~
'4: I .in ~-'"
.- .c N, I r-'~.O~~W
At d1 j P )Q;C
Fi. V, '
I 6 .l
Fig 3a. THE POST-RIDER/aIMIIIHK N 53
Note: Figs 3a & 3b are shown in natural size
as an aid to investigating these postmarks.
, .'*. .t- .^ ? 2 "' -: z "- -
e .. tt -.. .i.. _
,." -. 9 ... "'," ,'
'-,.'~ bl^f~c. ci'z .. -'- --'
L.Jr. Y%v4.. :...
,~ & 2: :
SOME REMARKS & ADDITIONS TO THE TUVAN BOOK BY V.N. USTINOVSKII AND TO THE A.
LEIGHTON ARTICLE IN N2 50 OF "THE POST-RIDER" by O.P. Sel'nikov.
Some 24 years have gone by from the time of the publication of the book by S.M. Blekhman "The postal
history and stamps of Tuva" to the appearance of the manual by V.N. Ustinovskii: "Tuva: the postage stamps".
SDuring that period philatelic material was found that had been previously unknown to S.M. Blekhman and which
affected the grades of rarity of the stamps described by him, as well as the great service rendered by V.N.
Ustinovskii, where he attempted on the basis of his opportunities to revise the data known to him.
V.N. Ustinovskii has performed an undoubted service in his detailed selection and classification of the
numerator surcharges "15" & "35" on the fiscal stamps of Tuva, as well as the classification by order of rarity of the
18-kop. value in the third "Ethnographic" set of 1927 and listed under X2 23 in his book, together with other data (his
numbering will be used throughout this article); many thanks are therefore due to V.N. Ustinovskii.
However, there are also some inconsistencies and it would be desirable to supplement his Handbook by
including some corrections, both to that work and also to the article by Alan Leighton as published in MN 50 of "The
Post-Rider". Such remarks and additions do not pretend to be the last word on the subject and I would be most
grateful to all those who could supply and supplement any data. We will now start with the postmarks, as classified
by V.N. Ustinovskii:-
1. Postmark 111.0.1
In an article Ipublished in "(HnaJaTena CCCP XJ2 2/1991" and subsequently in the Handbook, the statement is
made that strikes of this postmark are known with the dates of 8.2.27 to 22.5.33, with the earliest date of 8.2.27 being
regarded as the first day of usage of the first Tuvan stamps. In analysing the covers and the available literature known
to me, the following facets have come to light:-
The previous "KPACHLIfr" canceller was applied until December 1926 and later dates of utilisation are not
known to me.
The stamps of the first Tuvan set appeared in Kyzyl and were cancelled on the first day in the style of l.O.1 on
8.2.27 upon covers, which were apparently prepared in Moscow. An example of such a cover is shown in Fig. 1.
The known covers with that date were addressed to F. Chuchin, B. Babitskii and L. Eikhfus respectively.
Who were these people?
F. Chuchin was the President of the Board of the All-Russian Society of Collectors (BOK).
B. Babitskii was the Vice-President of the BOK.
L. Eikhfus was a founding member of the BOK.
Covers with other addresses and that date are unknown to me. Who has such examples? Was Tuva without a
canceller from December 1926 to 8.2.27? In contrast to the philatelic overs dated 8.2.27, stamps of the first set of
Tuva cancelled on non-philatelic covers generally dropped out of sight until August 1927 (see Fig 2) and stamps of
the first definitive issue of the USSR were used to frank mail. In fact, the next date of usage known to me is 5.4.27,
on a cover in the M.V. Liphchutz collection and paid with stamps of the first Soviet definitive issue. The normal
postal utilisation of stamps of the first set of Tuva is known to me only from August 1927. What can we now surmise
from the foregoing?
a. In my opinion, the canceller was forwarded from/made in Moscow and the covers were also prepared there with
the postmark dated 8.2.27.
b. The printing issue of the first set of Tuva arrived in Kyzyl considerably later than the date specified immediately
above, judging from the covers known to me.
I would stress that this is my subjective opinion and I leave it to more experienced collectors to correct me.
2. Postmark 111.0.2 (Bilingual "KIZIL / TOUVA" type)
Everything would be in order with this marking in spite of the declaration by V.N. Ustinovskii, that it sometimes
took on the role of a transit marking. Unfortunately, I have not been able to come across this particular marking used
for that purpose either on covers or in the literature. It would be helpful if V.N. Ustinovskii would supply an
illustration for that assumption. See Fig. 3 for an example of a transit marking..
3. Postmark 111.1.2. (Inscribed: "KIZIL TOUVA / KOHTROL").
As V.N. Ustinovskii knows about this marking with the date 3.7.35 only by hearsay, I am assigning Fig. 4 to it.
4.Postmark III..33.(Inscribed: "KbZbL / TbBA with 'c' serial letter").
The earliest date of application for this marking is 31.7.36. Other examples will be found in referring to the manual
"CoBeTCKHfi KoJneKITCIOHep N 24/1986" see Fi ..
5.Postmark 111.2.2 (Inscribed "KbZbL-MAZALbK*TbBA").
Are the known dates 30.11.41 and 11.12.44? See Fi. 6.
Now about the overprints on Tuvan stamps.
The grammatical accent under the letter "s" (Fi 67a in the Ustinovskii Handbook) with the Type 1 overprint has a
somewhat different outline see ig. 7.
64 THE POST-RIDER/IIMHKm M 53
"...', CC4"Ufy- .- ,..
7 '. o 3 1-I*flr.'ak-aga Jamd5
r- ,i --,
V K .Z-t--H ,-....
Fig Postmark inscribed: "MiZil :Touwa a, :8.2.27"
Fg. i. Postmark Tnscribed: "1iZil Touwa- a, 8.2.27"i.
Strikes of the
bilingual "KIZIL /
--'r 40. -; ,1; .***--' -o
-. "-." '
-,1 *' 7 ,i' /.' -' ,".-t^.' -"-'
, /L ?' ,- :.. ..e '.
- ". -i .4^ ,- "_ -.',,. ,- :.
. _. -.. .. .-. .
S .. 7 .- .- ,. -',.._-
> .. 1. ... ,. .
-. K g l .C r .- -. 0..-_ -
____ t.-r :v...-.,
Pee, l;'in:;n.lstU "4 en p g.fia'." '; ',
.J AP V Vt r; ,r. T. T vr 3U i6yI ., _-- '
(Inscribed: "KIZIL TOUVA / KOHTROL").
First Kyzyl postmark, dated 7.8.27.
Fig. 5. Earliest usage of the "KbZbL / TbBA-c" canceller
THE POST-RIDER/SIMIIHK MJ 53
under the "s"
(to be continued)
NOTES ON THE FINNISH MATERIAL PUBLISHED IN "THE POST-RIDER" o 52
by Charles Leonard.
I am setting out hereunder photocopies and explanatory text to supplement the data previously published.
Figs. 1 & 2: "H3'b 1HHJIIH11IH".
In the book on St. Petersburg postal history by LL.G. Baillie & E.G. Peel, the comment on this handstamp reads:
"...we presume was applied in St. Petersburg 7 Otdyel to mail entering St. Petersburg from Finland, possibly by sea,
but perhaps more likely as loose mail off the T.P.OJR.P.O. from Helsingfors to St. Petersburg...". I believe this to be
an accurate assessment and I show here photocopies of -1899 and 1900 postcards from HelsinkilHelsingfors to
Germany, which support the "by rail" usage.
Figs. 3. 4 & 5 The Turku/Abo "Ship" datestamp.
In 1912, new trilingual datestamps (Swedish/Finnish/Russian) and depicting a ship were issued to postmasters
operating the sub-post offices, which had been opened on board the vessels used on the Turku/Abo-Stockholm
service. The abbreviated inscription reads "TURKU/ABO steamship abroad" and three distinct types can be
identified by the ornaments used to separate the three languages. The official date of introduction was 1". May. The
Finnish Post Office Circular JNo 8, which authorised the introduction of these sub-offices, refers specifically to
agreements with the F.A.A. (Finska Angfartygs Aktiebolaget) and Bore Lines and the vessels employed on the
TurkulAbo-Stockholm service at that time were the "Wellamo", "Oihonna" and "Uleaborg" (all F.A.A.) and the
"Bore I", "Bore II" & the "Nordstjeman". The beginning of World War I brought an end to these services and many
of the ships were commandeered by the Russians, including the "Wellamo", which was sunk by a German
submarine. After Finland gained its independence, the datestamps were again put into service, but with the Russian
inscriptions cut away and, in this state, they continued to be used at TurkulAbo on incoming foreign mail until 1950.
These cancellations are usually seen on mail incoming from Sweden and cancelling Swedish stamps; use on Russian
stamps is much rarer.
My first example is a 1912 advertising envelope for the 8th. Scandinavian Labour Congress at Stockholm, addressed
to Maim in Finland and bearing a Russian 7-kopek stamp. It was presumably written by a Finn returning home after
attending the Congress. The next is a 1913 postcard to France, written on board "the paquebot from Abo (Finland) to
Stockholm" and correctly franked with a pair of 2-kop. Russian stamps for the international postcard rate. That
cancellation is most unusual on outward mail; it would normally have been cancelled at Stockholm and a "FRXN
FINLAND" cachet applied. Finally, one for the Canadian connection: a 1935 registered letter from Trail, British
Columbia to Vaasa/Vasa in Finland, stained and damaged in transit (via Great Britain & Sweden), where the
datestamp has been used to authenticate the Finnish "Officially resealed" labels.
A lovely "hold to the light" advertising envelope for the Bore Line, posted on board one of their vessels, the 5 x 2-
kopek franking showing the usual exploitation of anomalies in the exchange rates. Cancelled on arrival at Stockholm,
where the "FRAN FINLAND" cachet was applied.
Fig. 7 -the oval "Ship" handstamp of Turku/Abo, cancelling a 1900 7-kopek "Rings" envelope to St. Petersburg.
Fig. 8 a 1904 postcard to Sweden.
It was written at Hita at the mouth of the Sipoo/Sibbo River and put on board a coastal steamer to
Helsinki/Helsingfors, where the "Ship" cancellation was applied. Correct use of the 4 x 1-kopek Russian stamps for
the international postcard rate.
Fig. 9 a 1910 postcard to Germany.
Franked with a Russian 4-kopek stamp and showing the scarcer "Ship" cancellation of Savonlinna.
Fig. 10 a 1915 envelope to Denmark.
Again with the 5 x 2-kopek franking (a single 10-kopek stamp is much scarcer), but affixed inserted as a protest
against Russification, Carried by steamer to Helsinki/Helsingfors, where the "Ship" cancellation was applied and
then overland to Sweden via TorneS, where it was censored.
Figs. 11 & 12.
On 8 September 1929, the steamer "Helmdall" of the Svea Line (Stockholms Rederi AB Svea) ran aground and sank
near Vaxholm in the Stockholm Archipelago, while en route to Turku/Abo and Helsinki/Helsingfors. On 10
September, divers recovered 209 bags of mail, which was returned to Stockholm and dried. After drying, it was sent
onwards, with most items bearing the explanatory label, as shown on this postcard from Odessa.
SPECIAL NOTE: More interesting Russian Web Sites
Soviet Leadership Documents 1954-65 www.millercenter.virginia.edu Declassified Soviet Documents
M. Post Collection of Russian Art www.hillwoodmuseum.org Formed by Marjorie Post
Moscow Performance Arts Centre www.mndm.ru International Performances
"Gazeta" News Service www.gazeta.ru News in Russian
66 THE POST-RIDER/SIMIIMHK MJ' 53
tiNJ;ON hO)d.L.c UNiVERSILL "
POSTIKO!,:TI CARE POSTAL -- i REFK
THE POST-RIDER/HMIUHK Ns 53
Fig. 9. Fig. 10.
Fig. 11. Fig. 12.
* *n i. .,. ... .
*' ** *
PECIAL NOTE: The "~" (=Spanish tilde) variety on the 10-kopek Spartakiada stamp Scott No. 564.
... Listed unpriced as No. 697a in Gibbons, it is noted as the 11th. stamp on the sheet in
the Standart Collection catalogue Part Five, edited by V.B. Zagorskii under No.
S 41 lKa. Tt popped up recently in a Cherrystone Auction with an estimate of USD
H 150.00, which does not seem excessive, as your editor has looked for it over many
I ,* years without success. The possibility cannot be excluded that it was noticed at some
-" '" stage during printing and retouched to make the "~" disappear. That would certainly
:S- explain its rarity and would put it in roughly the same category as the retouch to the
S -7- A I' "PY IIIEB" error on Scott No. 2047. Comments, please.
THE POST-RIDER/IMIInHK 53
THE BUKHARAN "HORSE-POST" STAMPS IN THE ALEKSANDR MRAMORNOV COLLECTION
(Editorial Comment: This is probably the finest array of these rare stamps in existence, with values apparently in
1923 roubles. The earliest record of this issue is by A. Sudakevich: "HosBre ByxapcKHe MapKH" in "COBeTCKHnt
ujinaTemncr", 2/1924,p.8, The stamps were lithographed on poor greyish paper and issued ungummed).
The -rouble stamp MapRa H3 neoro p-.a .JIcra. The 3-rouble stamp is
is in greyish-yellow 1-rouble stamp in olive-green and has a
and shows the from the left side Russian error: "MAPK" The 3-rouble
"Chahar Minar"= of the sheet instead "MAPKA". The' stamp from
"Four Minarets". Kalan Mosque is. the bottom
shown here. of the sheet.
The 3-rouble stamp
with partial violet
oval bilingual cancel.
stamp is in
Famemae: ..YCTAPAI, YVXAPA 29.9.23(?)"
Postmark: OLD BUKHARA 29.9.23(?)
rameaie: "BYXAPCKA5I KOHHO-IIOHTOBA5I CTAHIIHa".
-. i- .
V: .-(. c
'~ rr. ---~r.
The 1-rouble stamp with violet oval bilingual
cancel reading in Turki: "Bukhara ata (?)
postasi" and in Russian: "BYXAPCKA5I
KOHHO-TfnOTOBAT CTrangtn" =
"Bukharan Horse-Post Station".
Note: Further excerpts from this interesting exhibit will be given in future issues of "The Post-Rider".
THE POST-RIDER/RMIIHK X 53 69
THE POSTS OF THE VOLGA GERMANS
by M. Kossoy & VL Berdichevskiy.
1. A short historical review:
The settlements of Germans in Russia appeared in the second half of the 18a. Century during the reign of the
Empress Elisabeth II (1729-1796), who had been a German princess prior to her marriage. Upon assuming power in
1762 and upon her-initiative, a decision was taken to settle the empty lands of the Volga Region with immigrants and
colonists. Peasants from the German Principalities were among those preferably invited. The settlers put down roots
in a compact mass in Russia, establishing new settlements and colonies. The first of such colonies appeared in the
Saratov province in 1765 and received the name of"Sarepta".
The colony of Sarepta was founded by 120 immigrants from Bohemia, to whom Elisabeth II bestowed in perpetuity
5870 desyatins of land (around 8500 hectares or 21,250 acres), free of all kinds of taxes for a period of 30 years. She
also allowed them the right to independent administration, as well as some exemptions and privileges. By the
beginning of the 20th. Century, there were already 6000 inhabitants in this colony, who owned around 24,900
hectares (roughly 62,240 acres) of land .
In many instances, the German settlements were established side by side with already existing inhabited points,
where the Russian population was dwelling. Later on, such "neighbours" sometimes merged into one inhabited point
with a mixed population. In such cases, the previous Russian name was retained, or a new German one appeared.
On 25 October 1917 (7 November in the Gregorian Calendar), revolution broke out in Russia and thereafter, the
national policy of the new state was directed towards granting territorial autonomy to those nationalities who were
living there in solid masses. As a result of that policy and by a decree dated 19 October 1918 of the Council of
People's Commissars of the RSFSR, the territories mainly settled by the German colonists were allocated as the
Labour Commune of the Volga Germans and the latter in turn was renamed the Autonomous Province of the Volga
Germans (from now on in the text: APVG). By a further decree dated 19 December 1924 of the All-Union Central
Executive Committee, the APVG was transformed into the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Volga
Germans (from now on in the text: ASSR VG), with its capital in the town of Pokrovsk (later called Engel's).
According to the results of the 1939 census of the population, the ASSR VG had a territory of 28.800 sq. km., where
605,000 persons lived. Of them, more than 60% were of German origin and descendents of the settlers [2, p. 874].
After the establishment of autonomy for the Volga Germans, some of the Russian names of the inhabited points were
changed to German, or linked with German historical personages. As an example, the place where the "Pokrovskaya
sloboda" (such was the name for settlements, the inhabitants of which were temporarily exempt from obligations)
had been founded in 1747, was now established as a German colony. In 1914, this "sloboda" was raised to the status
of a town with the name of Pokrovsk and that in turn was changed to Engel's in 1931 [2, p. 1544].
A large German colony was established in 1765, receiving later on the status of the Town of Ekaterinshtadt and
subsequently Baronsk until 1920. In that year, the name of the town was changed to Markshtadt and, after 1941, it
was called the town of Marks [2, pp. 112, 762].
After the beginning on 22 June 1941 of war between the USSR and Germany, the Soviet Government was concerned
about the possibility of the existence of a "Fifth Column" in the centre of the country on the Volga, which would be
able presumably to help the enemy. That was the reason why the ASSR VG was abolished on 28 August 1941 and
most of its German inhabitants were deported to distant regions of the country (Kazakhstan, Altai Region, Omsk
2. A short survey of the philatelic literature and the search for new information:
The postal history of the Territory of the Volga Germans has long attracted the attention of philatelic investigators.
For example, an interesting article by A. Cronin was published as far back as 1981 in "The Post-Rider" No. 8 , in
which he presented maps of this territory and a tabulation of about 90 names of inhabited points, as well as showing
postal markings from 12 points in that listing and five labels for registered mail.
The subsequent philatelic quest was continued by L.L. Tann, A. Cronin and R. Taylor  and brought to light
another seven postmarks, including from three new inhabited points and three further registration labels. Interesting
information and 11 postal sending were shown by Dr. A.H. Wortman and A. Cronin [5,6], with postmarks of five
new inhabited points and of a travelling postal route. In addition, R. Taylor  displayed a postmark with the text
"ENGEL'S KIOSK 5 ASSR VG". He directed attention to that inscription and raised the question of the utilisation in
the postmark of the unusual word "Kiosk". It was not until 17 years later in 2002 that M. Kossoy in his article 
was able to give an answer to that question and also featured six variations of markings with that text.
It is important to note the significant break of 14 years (1985-1999), during which period there was no information
printed about that question. It was only in 1999 that the publication was begun anew about that subject; see
references  to . In spite of the considerable break of 14 years, there were printed six articles in a space of four
years. showing six new postmarks in all from inhabited points, with features already known and two new registration
70 THE POST-RIDER/flMI HKJ 53
A simple analysis shows that, over a 20-year period of philatelic searching based on the listing of 90 place-names, it
has been possible to discover and publish the postmarks of 23 inhabited points (taking into consideration one and the
same points, but with changed names). All that leads to the following deductions:-
1.The postmarks of the Territory of the Volga Germans are encountered comparatively rarely.
2.There are still great possibilities for further discoveries, especially if it is taken into account that, for each of the
inhabited points, there were postmarks both in the pre-revolutionary and Soviet periods. Those markings differed
sharply from each other not only by types, but sometimes also because of name changes after the establishment of the
ASSR VG. For instance, the town of Pokrovsk was renamed Engel's, the town of Baronsk (or Ekaterinenshtadt)
went to Marksshtadt, the town ofGolyi Karamysh to Balzer, etc.
Some name changes were also introduced after the abolition of the ASSR VG in 1941. As a result, the names of
inhabited points having postmarks with the text in Russian and German were replaced by types, with new names only
in the Russian language. Some of these renamings were shown by E. Sashenkov . In that article, the information
that was of the greatest interest to the present authors was the fact that 190 inhabited points were incorporated in 22
cantons (districts) to form part of the ASSR VG. If we consider that there were listed only about 90 inhabited points
in the article by A. Cronin , i.e. less than half then it becomes clear that information about the 100 unknown
points could extend greatly the boundaries of philatelic searching and culminate in success. That is why the present
authors decided to regard it as a primary task that they should begin searching for a complete listing of the inhabited
points, which were included in the ASSR VG.
The present authors were able to discover such a Listing , which is set out in Attachment N2 1. That Listing
(containing data as at 1 April 1940) exceeded all the expectations of the authors, since it included a tabulation not just
of 190 inhabited points, but of 282 towns, small labouring villages and rural councils on the territory of the ASSR
VG, included in 22 cantons (districts) and two towns of Republican subordination. The listing also provided some
short information about each of the 22 cantons: its territory; distance from the capital of the Republic; from Moscow;
the nearest railway station; the name of the district centre, etc.
However, we not only found a Listing , but what was even more interesting and important, a detailed map of the
territory of the Province of the Volga Germans in the Russian language , issued in Pokrovsk in 1922 and which is
shown in Attachment J2 2. This multi-coloured map shows the borders of 14 cantons as at 1922 and comprised all
the inhabited points there, both towns and villages. The tabulated indications on the map showed what inhabitants:
Russian or German, were living in each of the villages. Both the Russian and German names were given for some
Another discovery of the present authors was a detailed map of the territory of the Republic of the Volga Germans,
issued in 1930 in the German language , which is featured in Attachment JN 3. The boundaries are shown for 12
cantons, which existed in that year. As can be seen, the number of cantons changed during the years of existence of
the Autonomous Province of the Volga Germans (APVG) and for the subsequent ASSR VG. The territorial
boundaries of several cantons were also modified, as well as the assignment to them of rural councils.
The presence of two detailed maps, issued in the Russian and German languages, has allowed the present authors to
carry out a comparative analysis, the results of which are set out in the form of 22 tables see Attachment N2 4. In
performing the analysis, the present authors also studied and compared the disposition of the inhabited points in a
specific canton on the maps [16 & 17]. In each table, the names of all the rural councils are shown, which were
included in that specific canton in accordance with the Listing . The name of a village is subsequently given with
an indication of the inhabitants living there (Russian or German) in accordance with the map in  and the name of
that same village in the German language, per the map in . The names were not found on the map for some rural
councils and they have not been specified for that reason. There are also some differences in the names of the rural
councils and villages.
As it turned out, it should be noted that E. Sashenkov overlooked an inaccuracy in , where he apparently utilised
as a source the 1939 edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia. As stated in that Encyclopaedia [18, column 593],
190 colonies were established over a period of 100 years from 1764 to 1864 (!) and that 22 cantons were to be found
on the territory of the ASSR VG, according to the data as at 1939-1940. The fact is that these figures refer to
different periods. In determining the number of cantons and inhabited points in the ASSR VG, the data in
Attachment MN2 1 should therefore be referred to.
3.The classification and description of the postmarks of the Territory of the Volga Germans.
The aim of the present article is to continue searching and describing the postmarks of the Territory of the Volga
Germans known to the present authors, as well as the systematisation of these postmarks, based on the materials
published in the literature. During that process, it is necessary to take into consideration that such markings could
belong to three different periods, each of which has its own characteristic peculiarities.
THE POST-RIDER/IMIHHKM N2 53 71
The first period up to 19.10.1918, when standard datestamp cancellers of Russia were utilised in the territory of
the Volga Germans, then situated in the Saratov and Samara provinces. The specified distribution of places also
determines the paths for further philatelic searching, whereby each postmark with the designation of an inhabited
point has to be checked for its location in one of these two provinces in the territory under examination. If such
verification could formerly be carried out on the basis of the listing in reference , which comprised of the place-
names specifically of 90 inhabited points, then we now have a Listing which includes 284 inhabited points up to the
year 1940; see Attachment JN 1I The possible changes in the place-names of the inhabited points will be seen in
Attachment !N2 4. It should be noted that the dated cancellers of the first period in Russia on the territory of the
Volga Germans sometimes also continued to be applied later on. For example, cancellers are known with the
inscriptions "EKATEPIHHOPAl'b CAMAP.(CKOII) 28.1.24" or "rOJIblbI KAPAMbIlI'
CAP.(TOBCKOII) 26.2.25" .
The second period (19.10.1918 to 19.12.1924) corresponds with the period when the compact masses inhabited by
the German settlers received the status of autonomy under the title of "OBJIACTb HEMIJEB IIOBOJDKbJI"
(Province of the Volga Germans). In that period, the postal cancellers of Russia were replaced by new ones on this
territory. In their inscriptions, which were only in Russian and after the place-name of the inhabited point, the status
of autonomy was specified in an abbreviated form in the style of "OB.H.II." or "OBJI.H.IIOB",
e.g."KPACHIHI KYT OB.H.I. 1.2.27" or "MEA. KP. BYEPAK OBJI.H.IIOB 22.12.24" see . It is
evident from that latter example that cancellers with the inscription "OBJIACTb HEMIIEB IIOBOJIDKbI" also
continued to be utilised later on, namely in 1927.
The third period (19.12.1924 to 28.8.1941) corresponds with the period when the autonomous "Province of the
Volga Germans" received the status of the "Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Volga Germans"
(abbreviated to ASSR VG) within the confines of the RSFSR. The postal cancellers were again replaced by new ones
in that period. Their main distinguishing feature was that the name of the inhabited point was given in two languages:
Russian and German and the autonomous status was specified in abbreviated form only in Russian in the styles of
"P.H.nI.", "A.P.H.II." and "ACCPHII.", e.g. "FOJILIH KAPAMbIII A.P.H.II. / BALZER 24.3.27" or
"rYCCEHBAX GUSSENBACH ACCPHII 9.4.37" see . Markings are known from the first years of the
ASSR VG where the inscription was set out only in Russian, or the designation of autonomy was given in
abbreviated form only in German, namely "'OJIbIIH KAPAMbIIII PECII. HEM. IIOBOJDKbI 20.2.25" or
"KAMEHKA 11.O. / KAMENKA P.O.R.N.P. 15.3.26 see . Later applications of the cancellers of the third
period are also known, namely in 1943.
A tabulation is laid out in Attachment N2 5 for reference with a Listing of the settled territories, the postmarks for
which have been described in the literature up to the moment that this article was prepared.
After the abolition of the ASSR VG on 28 August 1941, the cancellers were replaced by new ones. The inscriptions
on the new cancellers were only in Russian, the German names for the inhabited points being replaced by Russian -
The railway markings may be separated out into a special group, with regard to the station postmarks on the territory
of the ASSR VG and of the postal vans that ran on that territory. Such railway postal markings are encountered quite
The railway station postmarks are known only for the station at Urbach. An early circular type reads "YPBAX'b /
)KEJIT'3HO)OP(OXHOKE) 0.(T'SJIEHIE) 24.3.19-03 (date in cross format and with serial X2 1) see [3,
pp. 54-55]. For the oval type of the station postmark "YPBAX' / BOK3.(AJIb) 17.2.11" with serial letter "a",
see [4, pp. 56-57].
In accordance with the data supplied by N. Luchnik , the following numbered routes of the postal vans ran on the
territory of the ASSR VG:-
NNo2 151-152: Pokrovskaya-Ural'sk (from 1895) XNo 157-158: Urbach-Aleksandrov-Gai (from 1899)
Urbach-Ural'sk (from 1909) Krasnyi Kut-Aleksandrov-Gai (from 1908)
Saratov-Ural'sk (from 1915) Urbach-Aleksandrov-Gai (from 1910)
XNo_ 287-288: Saratov-Astrakhan' (from 1911)
The most complete information on the railway postmarks of Russia is set out in the book by A.V. Kiryushkin and
P.E. Robinson , together with the supplements . Those materials have been recorded on the basis of studying
the literature and examining the best-known collections. The data in references [20 & 21] about the markings of the
postal vans running on the territory of the Volga Germans are featured in Attachment NJ 6.
In the opinion of the present authors, a special section should also be set aside for the censorship markings, which
were applied on the territory of the Volga Germans. The town of Pokrovsk was one of the centres in World War I
(1914-1918), which carried out the military censorship of the mail of prisoners of war.
Information on the censorship markings of Russia (1914-1918) are given in the book by A. Speeckaert , together
THE POST-RIDER/IMMImK J 53
with the supplements . The data have been described on the basis of the collection of that author, who had
reviewed the literature and examined the best-known collections. The information from references [22 & 23] about
the censorship markings of Pokrovsk is shown in Attachment NJ 7.
The postal markings known to the present authors and described in this article are set out in chronological order in
accordance with the periods and groups referred to above.
Descriptions of the postal sending and markings of the First Period.
The cover of an interesting registered letter in the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow is featured in Fig. 1 It is
franked with 21 x 1-kopek stamps (Michel 18) and a further 7-kopek value (Michel 25), to total 28 kopeks. In
accordance with the postal rates of 1879, the charge for sending an intercity letter was 7 kopeks for each lot or 15
grammes, with a further 7 kopeks for the registration fee. It can therefore be assumed that the weight of the letter
exceeded 30 grammes and the letter had therefore been franked correctly at 28 kopeks in accordance with the rates.
The stamps were cancelled with the despatch postmark "Pokrovskaya P.(ochtovaya) S.)tantsiya) Samarsk.(oi)
G.(ubemii) 20 Fev.(ralya) 1881" (the date in three lines and with serial '1'). The letter was addressed to Samara and
the arrival marking reads "Samara / 24 Fev(ralya) 1881" with the date in three lines. This particular postmark from
the territory of the Volga Germans bears the earliest date known so far.
We see in Fig. 2 a postcard with the despatch postmark reading: "Volchansk Khar'k.(ovskoi) / G.(uberii) 3.9.1911".
Going by the text, the card was addressed to the "Pokrovskaya Sloboda / of the Samara Province / opposite the town
of Saratov / to Andrei Drozdov for Kapa". That last word is an abbreviation for "Kapitolina". The card was sent
unfranked, as there were no stamps affixed and an oval postage due cachet was applied with the word
"HOIIJIATHTb" and the amount of double the deficiency "6 k." (= 6 kopeks) was inserted in black ink. The card
was delivered to the address, as confirmed by the arrival marking in the upper right corer and reading:
"Pokrovskaya Sam.(arskoi) / 6.9.11" with serial letter "6" and a diameter of 28 mm. The deficiency of 6 kopeks was
paid upon receipt of the card.
However, it appears that the card was received, not by the actual addressee, but by one of her relatives dwelling at the
same address, since at that time she was already living in St. Petersburg, to where the card was readdressed to her as
Kapitolina Andreevna Drozdova. The old address was crossed out for that reason and the new one written above it
as: "St. Petersburg, City Kalinkinskaya Pharmacy, to Kapitolina Andreevna Drozdova". The postage due cachet was
crossed out with black ink and the card was franked with 1- & 2-kopek stamps (Michel 64,65). As the 1-kopek stamp
was affixed over the arrival marking mentioned above, it was not postmarked by the despatching canceller. The
visible traces of the surroundings in the bottom left corer of the 1-kopek stamp clearly shine through its paper. The
2-kopek stamp affixed in the upper left corer was cancelled with the despatch postmark, reading: "Pokrovskaya
Sam.(arskoi) / 7.9.11", with serial letter "g" and a diameter of 30 mm.
The strike of the canceller shown in Fi. 2 with the serial letter "g"does not have either an inner circle or a horizontal
date-bridge, although the outer circle and the date are clearly to be seen. The two postmarks of "Pokrovskaya"
present on the card are of interest, as they are of arrival and despatch, which differ not only by inscription and serial
letter, but also by diameter. Examples of readdressed correspondence are also quite rarely encountered, which bring
about the franking of the card. A postmark is shown in [5, p. 39] of an arrival marking similar to that in Fig. 2 but
with serial letter "d". Finally, there is no arrival marking on the card readdressed to St Petersburg.
A postcard appears in Fig. 3 in which the 3-kopek stamp (Michel 66) was cancelled with the despatch postmark
reading "Pokrovskaya Sam.(arskoi) / 4.1.12", with serial letter "g" and a diameter of 30 mm. The card was addressed
to St. Petersburg to the very same Kapitolina Andreevna Drozdova (as with the card in Fig. 2). The arrival postmark
reads: "St. Petersburg / 7.1.12".
In contrast to ig. 2 the strike of the despatch marking in Fig. 3 has an inner circle and a date-bridge. If there are
some clear elements in the strike of a canceller and such elements are lacking in other cancellers, then it can be
assumed that the absence of such elements is the sign of a variation and not the result of a poorly applied strike. It is
possible that, in this case (note that the serial letters on both the cancellers are the same), the canceller shown in Fig.
was taken out of use and that the canceller in Fig. 3 began to be applied in its place.
The cover featured in Fig. (the details are taken from an Internet auction) is an interesting money-letter or packet
with an enclosure of 35 roubles, sent from Krasnyi Kut in Samara Province to Steglitz in Germany. The cover is
franked on the back with 2 x 14-kopek stamps (Michel 46) and a 20-kopek value (Michel 53), to total 34 kopeks.
The stamps are cancelled with a despatch marking reading: "Kr(asnyi) Kut Sam/(arskoi) / 22.11.06" with serial letter
"a". The indication of the year in the inscription is not very clear, but it can be taken as "00". However, the "payment
with postage stamps of money- and valuable packets was to be introduced as of 1 June 1904 in accordance with a
regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs of 1". May of the same year" [24, p.48]. For that reason, the year can
only be 1906. In accordance with the postal regulations, "there should be placed on the flaps on the back of the cover
no less than four wax seals of the sender of the money packet and, in the centre the seal of the post office, while the
THE POST-RIDER/IMII[HK JN 53 73
word "money" should be placed on the address side and there should be written in full letters the amount included of
money and valuables" [25, p. 11]. A paper label was affixed to the address side of the envelope, enclosing in a blue
frame the inscription "N2 170 / Krasnyi Kut" and with the canceller of dispatch applied to postmark the stamps. Such
labels with blue borders with the designation of the place of receipt and number according to the ledger of dispatch
were introduced on 1 August 1904 on the basis of Circular M2 72 of 14 April 1904 issued by the Main Administration
of Posts & Telegraphs (TFYrHT) and affixed to the money letters and packets of valuables [24, p. 50]. Krasnyi Kut
was a village of labourers of cantonal (district) rank and the population was Russian .
The address of the sender given on the cover is interesting: "postal station of Eckheim village, Krasnyi Kut in the
Samara Province". Eckheim was a village in the canton of the same name (according to references [16 & 17]
belonging to the canton of Krasnyi Kut and the population was German. That village, as well as most of the villages
in the territory of the Volga Germans did not have at that time their own postal stations and, for that reason, Krasnyi
Kut was specified as the nearest office. The letter was addressed to Germany, with the arrival marking of Steglitz
12.12.1906 on the back of the cover.
A cover is seen in ig. 5. on the address side of which there is the postmark of dispatch "Rudnya Sarat.(ovskoi) /
14.7.00". Rudnya was a village in the Krasnyi Kut canton and the population was Russian. The letter is franked on
the address side with two 3-kopek stamps (Michel 43) and 2 x 7-kopeks (Michel 45), to total 20 kopeks, which
corresponded with the rate for the dispatch of an international letter weighing above 15 grammes (roughly V2 ounce).
The letter was addressed to Leipzig in Germany, with the arrival marking dated 31.7.00 on the back.
Fig. 6 features the cover of an interesting money letter (packet) enclosing twelve roubles and sent from Rudnya in the
Saratov Province to Neusalz in Germany. The cover is franked on the back with 10- & 20-kopek stamps (Michel 52
& 53) to total 30 kopeks. The stamps were cancelled with the dispatch marking "PYAjHI CAP.(ATOBCKOI ) /
20.12.05" with serial letter "a". Four wax seals of small diameter were placed on the back of the cover over the flaps
in accordance with the postal regulations and reading: "PYAHIH.(CKAI) II.(OqTOBO) -
T.(EJIErPAQDHA4I) K.(OHTOPA) / qACT.(HAI) KOP(!)EC.(nfOHEHMIU1) -1. There is in the centre
where the flaps meet a larger wax seal, reading: "CTP.(AXOBASI) KOP.(PECHIOHJEHIjSI) / PYAHI /
CAPATOB.(CKAA) r.(YIBEPHIA) / ITOxTOBO-TEJIETP.(AA HAlI) KOHTOPA 1". The notation
"money-" is handwritten on the address side and the amount enclosed is stated in full letters as twelve (12) roubles. A
paper label with a blue frame is also affixed to the front and reads: "X2 281 / Rudnya p.t.o.", together a strike of the
dispatching canceller. The arrival marking of Neusalz 14.1.06 is on the back of the cover.
Fig. 7 shows the address side of a registered international letter in the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow,
where the dispatching postmark reads: "Ekaterinenshtadt Sam.(arskoi) / 27.12.14 6", while the label of registered
despatch is inscribed as "R / Baronsk / XN 758", with the figures written in by hand. That is the earliest designation of
this town, which is rarely to be seen on the postmarks. As the sending was international, the inscription on the
registration label is in the Latin alphabet in French. That rule was rarely complied with, as most postal stations did
not have registration labels with a foreign text. The back of the cover is franked with stamps totaling 20 kopeks,
which corresponded with the rate for sending a registered letter abroad. The cover was addressed to Stockholm in
Sweden and its arrival marking is dated 20.01.15 on the back.
Fi. 8 demonstrates an ordinary international letter, the address side of which bears the despatching postmark:
"BEPXHJ5I KYJIAJIHHKA CAP.(ATOBCKOII) a / 31.7.15". Verkhnyaya Kulalinka was a village in the
Dobrinskii canton and the population was German. For that reason, it bore the German name of Holstein, which is
listed in reference . The address of the sender on the back is given as "From a settler(?) in the village of
Buidakov Buerak, Saratov Province, Kamyshlov Region". According to the 1922 map, that village was located in the
Kamenka canton and later in the Dobrinskii canton, the population being German. It thus also had a German name -
Schwab, which is listed in . It is assumed that there was no postal station in that village and that the letter was
sent from Verkhnyaya Kulalinka, which was nearby. The back of the cover was franked with a 10-kopek stamp
(Michel 70), in accordance with the rate in 1914 for sending an ordinary letter abroad and cancelled as indicated
During the period of war (1914-1918), the letters addressed to the Red Cross and specifically to Copenhagen in
Denmark, were examined by the military censorship. That is confirmed by the oval censorship marking (of
Petrograd), reading: "BCKPbITO / BOEHHOAI / 1UEH3YPOIi", together with the name of the censor N2 15 in a
rectangular cachet with a facsimile of his signature [22, p.155]. The arrival marking, reading Kjabenhavn 25.8.15
N.S. is on the back of the cover.
Fig. 9 features an interesting postal sending from Russia to Germany. This is in the form of a postcard of the 1884
issue of Russia, with a 3-kopek die. As it was sent abroad, the card was additionally franked with a 1-kopek stamp
(Michel 41) to total 4 kopeks for the international rate and each item of postage was cancelled with the dispatch
marking: "Margentau Samar.(skoi) G.(ubemii) / Pocht.(ovoe) Otd.(elenie) / 15.11.1900 1". In order to be
74 THE POST-RIDER/IMIIMHK Ne 53
forwarded by rail, the card was delivered to the station at Krasnyi Kut and postmarked with the canceller "Krasnyi
Kut Sam.(arskoi) G.(ubernii) / Pocht.(ovoe) Otd.(elenie) / 16.11.1900 1" and was then placed in "Postal Van MJ
158, 17.11.1900, serial number 2". From 1899, that van ran along the route "Aleksandrov-Gai-Urbach" . The
card was received by rail in St. Petersburg on 20 Nov. 1900 and then went on to the addressee in Hamburg (?).12.00.
The card displays exceptional interest since it has three postmarks from the territory of the Volga Germans with the
dates in crosswise fashion; such markings are rarely encountered, especially on railways. Margentau was a village in
the Gnadenflur canton and inhabited by Germans. Russians dwelled at both the railway station and village of
labourers of cantonal (district) subordination at Krasnyi Kut.
The cover of a money letter (packet) is displayed in Fig. 10 with the enclosure of one rouble, sent from Margentau in
Samara Province to Neusalz in Germany. The cover was franked with a 4-kopek stamp (Michel 51) and a 20-kopek
value, to total 24 kopeks. The stamps were cancelled with the despatch marking "Margentau Samar.(skoi) G.(uberii)
/ Pocht.(ovoe) Otd.(elenie) 28.12.1907, serial number 1". There is a handwritten notation "money" on the address
side and the indication in full letters of the amount enclosed (one rouble, with German equivalent = 2 Mark 15 Pfg.),
side by side with a cachet in blue reading "Morgentau / X2 112" (the figures handwritten) and all in a rectangular
frame. Four wax seals of small diameter have been placed over the flaps on the back and reading:
"MOPFEHTAYCKOE I.(ONTOBOE) O.(T-bJIEHIE) / HACTH.(AI1) KOP.(PECHOH]EHIIISI) A
larger wax seal has been placed in the centre where the flaps meet, with the text "CTP.(AXOBASI)
KOP.(PECIIOHAEHIJSI)/ MAPrEHTAY / CAMAP.(CKAI) F.(YBEPHII / IIOIT.(OBOE)
OTA.(BJIEHIE) The arrival marking of Neusalz / 20.1.08 is on the back of the cover.
Fig. 11 shows the cover for an ordinary letter, sent from St. Petersburg to Astrakhan'. A 7-kopek stamp (Michel 69)
has been affixed to the envelope and cancelled with the despatch marking of St. Petersburg 22.5.11, with the
Astrakhan' arrival marking of 25.5.11 on the back. The cover is addressed in an interesting way: "Astrakhan',
Bacteriological Station, to Dr....in the team of Dr. Goss". It should be stated here that there was an epidemic of
cholera in the Astrakhan region at that time and a team of doctors had been sent there to fight it.
The postman in Astrakhan' could not hand over the letter to the addressee, as the latter had departed for Krasnyi Yar
(a regional town side by side with Astrakhan') and a report was set up to that effect: "The addressee lives in Krasnyi
Kut in the Astrakhan Province; reported by the postman (signature), postal-telegraphic official (signature)". It should
be defined more accurately here that in the region we are looking at, there were known to us three inhabited points
with the same name of "Krasnyi Yar".. One of them was to be found in the Ilovatskii canton  in Samara Province
and almost at the junction of the former boundaries of the Astrakhan', Saratov and Samara Provinces. Therefore, the
possibility cannot be excluded that another Krasnyi Kut has been mentioned here.
In accordance with the postal regulations regarding the departure 'of the addressee to another place, the mail would
have been forwarded to him at the new address, namely at Krasnyi Yar. With that aim in view, the word "Astrakhan"
was crossed out with red ink and a directive was written in black ink, reading: "Send to Krasnyi Yar to the Regional
Police Inspector, so as to be forwarded to the proper party". The arrival postmark reads "Krasnyi Yar
Astr.(akhanskoi), 29.5.11". By the time that the letter was received in Krasnyi Yar, the addressee had already
returned to Astrakhan'. The report of the postman confirmed that with the note: "He lives in Astrakhan'". Once again
in accordance with the postal regulations and the report of the postman, the letter was returned to Astrakhan', with
the arrival postmark dated 8.6.11.
However, by the time that the letter had been returned to Astrakhan', the addressee had apparently already gone off
to Sarepta (please refer back to the beginning of this article, where we had stated that this was the first German
settlement in the Volga Region). That was confirmed by a report of the postman, saying: "Place of residence /
Sarepta". Again in accordance with the postal regulations and the note of the postman, the letter was sent to Sarepta.
Because the previous report of the postman had said "He lives in Astrakhan", it was therefore crossed out. There was
no arrival marking applied at Sarepta, but there is a transit postmark reading: "Krasnyi Yar Astr.(akhanskoi) / 9.6.11.
The possibility cannot be excluded that it became known to the Postal Service that the addressee was already not to
be found in Sarepta, but in Krasnyi Yar, to where the letter had also been sent. In that case, the postmark of Krasnyi
Yar would have been that of receipt and not a transit marking. Such a large number of readdressings is not often
Fig. 12 shows the address side of a registered international cover in the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow,
with the despatch marking reading: "Golyi Karamysh Sar.(atovskoi) / 21.2.(?).23(?)", with serial letter "6" and also
a registration label inscribed "N2 363 / Gol.(yi) Karamysh". It bore that name up to 1926, then called Balzer until
1942 and now Krasnoarmeisk [2, p.586]. It was a town of cantonal subordination and the population was German.
Unfortunately, information is lacking about the back of this cover and, for that reason, we do not know the quantity
and total value of the postage stamps, which had been affixed. It is possible that they were more than five in number,
judging from the address side of the cover, but we cannot determine whether it was franked in accordance with the
THE POST-RIDER/SMIHKM J 53 75
rates then in force. In addition to that, it is possible to determine the period of approximate despatch of the letter. It
appears that it was franked with five stamps of the RSFSR (total face value unknown) from the set "Fifth
Anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution". That set was issued in November 1922 and withdrawn on 31
March 1923 . The letter could have been sent during that period.
The address of the sender on the cover is given as "village of Klyuchi... Golyi Karamysh station, Province of the
Volga Germans". It can be assumed that there was no postal station in the village of Klyuchi and the letter would
therefore have been sent from Golyi Karamysh nearby. The German name for the village of Klyuchi was Moor and
situated in the Golyi Karamysh canton according to the 1922 map (and later renamed Balzer), with the population
noted as German. A postmark of the First Period, which also specified the "Saratov Province" was struck on the
cover and the address of the sender already specified the new territorial division: "Province of the Volga Germans".
The letter was addressed to Liepdja (Libava) in Latvia, which was an independent country from 1920 to 1940.
Fig. 13 features a cover (with the information taken from the Internet) of an interesting registered international letter,
sent to Germany. The despatch postmark reads "EKATEPIHOrPATL CAMAP.(CKOfl) / 20.3.22" with serial
letter "6" and there was also a strike in black of the registration cachet of despatch "3 / M 989 (figures handwritten) /
MAPKCIIITAjT'". That cachet with the text in Russian was intended for internal mail, but applied here for an
international sending in this case. The letter was franked with 30 x 1000-rouble stamps of the RSFSR (Michel 161),
to total 30,000 roubles. That was in accordance with the rate in force for the despatch of a registered international
letter in the period of 1.3.1922 to 1.4.1922. The address of the sender is given on the back as "Marksshtadt". The
cover is interesting, in that it was cancelled with a date-stamp marking of the First Period and the registration cachet
had already taken into account the renaming of the town. The arrival marking of Zeithain 10.4.22 is on the back of
Fin. 14 shows the cover of a registered international letter, sent from Russia to Germany.. The envelope is franked on
the back with 30 x 10-kopek stamps (Michel 70), to total 3 roubles.. The stamps were cancelled with the despatch
marking reading "JIIsCHOIf KAPAMbIIII' CAP.(ATOBCKOII) / 25.1.1923", with serial letter "a". A
registration label was affixed on the address side with a frame in black and the letter "R" in red, together with the
inscription "Lesn.(oi) Karamysch / .N 559" (figures handwritten in violet ink). The sending was international and it
was for that reason that the text on the label was in Latin letters. Lesnoi Karamysh was a village in the Kamenka
canton (according to reference  in the canton of Golyi Karamysh) and the population was German. However, it
also had a German name: Grimm, which is listed in . The address of the sender is given on the cover as "Lesnoi
Karamysh, Saratovsk.(oi) Prov.(ince)".
In determining the rate, it is necessary to take into consideration that definitive stamps of Russia from 1 to 14 kopeks
were being utilised at their face values (withdrawn on 31 March 1923; see reference ), in this case in the amount
of 3 roubles. That was far from the rate then in force from 1.1.23 to 24.3.23, then fixed at 7 roubles for a registered
international letter, but close to the charge for an ordinary international letter (3r. 50k.). It can therefore be assumed
that the letter was paid for at the ordinary international rate, due to an error on the part of the postal clerk. There is no
arrival marking on the envelope.
Fig. 15 features the cover of a registered international letter, sent from Russia to North America. It is franked on the
back with 10 x 200-rouble stamps of the RSFSR (Michel 207A), to total 2000 roubles. The stamps were cancelled
with the despatch marking "POBHOE CAMAP.(CKOfI) / 22.6.1923 and with serial letter "z". The registration label
has been affixed to the back with a black frame and the letter "R" in red with the text "Rovnoje / XN 482" (the figures
handwritten in black ink). As the sending was international, the text on the label was given in French (?), which was
the official language of the Universal Postal Union. Rovnoe was a village in the Seelmann canton (according to
reference  located in the Rovnoe canton) and the population was German. It therefore also had a German name:
Seelmann,which is listed in . The address of the sender is given on the cover as "Village of Nem. Shcherbakovka,
Province of the Volga Germans, Golyi Karamysh Region, Saratov Province". Nemetskaya Shcherbakovka (German
Shcherbakovka) was a village in the Dobrinskii canton and the population was German. It therefore also had a
German name: Mlhlberg, which is listed in . It can be assumed that there was no postal station in Nemetskaya
Shcherbakovka and, for that reason, the letter was sent from Rovnoe nearby.
In determining the rate, it should be borne in mind that from 1.1.1923 a new scale of prices came into effect: 100
roubles 1922 currency were now equal to 1 rouble 1923 currency. The total value of the stamps on the cover was
therefore 20 roubles, which corresponded with the rate then in force from 8.5.23 to 20.8.23. The arrival marking on
the cover is dated 21.7.23 N.S. It should be noted that in the Listing given by A. Cronin  there is the place-name
Shcherbakovo, while Dr. A.H. Wortman records "Rovnoe". However, there were no postal sending shown with
postmarks of those inhabited points.
Fig. 16 illustrates a postal sending in the form of an "Acknowledgement of Receipt" in the collection of N.
Mandrovskii (money-order receipt card) There is in the upper left corer of this blank postcard a rectangular cachet
76 THE POST-RIDER/IaMliIK Ns 53
with a coat of arms and a text, reading "Blank of the Moscow G.P.O.". This is a formula card of the "old type", i.e. of
an issue up to 1922. During the period from 1922 to 1924, cachets of various forms (circular and rectangular) were
applied on blank cards issued up to 1922, which specified them as being forms referring to a corresponding postal-
telegraphic district. With the presence of such a cachet, the formula card became an official postal issue and could be
sent in accordance with the rate then in force for postcards. Without such a cachet, a formula card had to be
forwarded according to the postal rate for an ordinary letter .
The "Acknowledgement" was sent as a registered article from Moscow together with a money order (the postmark of
despatch cannot be read). For that purpose, a strike was placed on the card with the word "3AKA3HOE" (=
Registered) and it was franked with a 12-kopek stamp of the USSR (Michel 240). It is interesting to note that a
mistake popped up in the word "3AKA3HOE": instead of the last letter being an "E", there appears the letter "9",
but turned around the other way to resemble the Ukrainian "e" or Greek lower-case "epsilon" (a similar example may
be seen in [3, p. 60], which also originated in 1924). It should be noted that almost all (!) the similar items already
described in the literature, as well as in this present article (see further on) were despatched from Moscow as
In the period from 15.12.1923 to 1.9.1924, the rate for sending a registered postcard came to 9 kopeks, while an
intercity registered letter cost 12 kopeks. As can be seen both here and further on, this particular "Acknowledgement
of Receipt", as well as others already known and which will be described later on, were all despatched according to
the rate for an intercity registered letter. After the money order had been paid out to the addressee/recipient, the
"Acknowledgement" was returned to the sender. That was confirmed by the postmark "JI'TCHOII KAPAMbilITb
CAP.(ATOBCKOfI) 21.5.24" with serial letter "a" and the presence of the registered label of despatch, reading
"XN2 264 / JIecH.(ot) KapaMLim". The despatch postmark of Lesnoi Karamysh has the spelling in the pre-
revolutionary orthography: see the letter "-" in the word "JIt-cHo" and the hard sign "'" at the end of the word
"KapaMbnnm ". The text on the registration label is in the new Soviet spelling. The arrival marking of the return to
Moscow of the "Acknowledgement" is dated 28.5.24.
Fig. 17 shows the front and back of an "Acknowledgement of Receipt". The formula card, with which the
"Acknowledgement of Receipt" was sent, has been set up in the same manner as for Fig. 16. The acknowledgement
together with the money order was despatched as a registered sending from Moscow. That is confirmed by the
postmark of Moscow 4.8.23 on a 200-rouble RSFSR stamp of 1922 (Michel 207A). As of 1.1.1923, that stamp cost 2
roubles in 1923 currency. There was apparently yet another stamp in the uipper right corer, whih is now missing and
it is thus impossible to determine what postal rate was paid. The text on. the back of the card states that "The postal
sending accepted under receipt X .....at Krasnyi Yar(Nemetskii) in the name of....for 20 (twenty) American dollars
has been received in person signature". The "Acknowledgement" was returned to the sender as a document relating
to the payment of money to the addressee and it was sent as a registered article for greater security. That was
confirmed by the despatching postmark on the back of the card and reading in the old spelling: "KPACH.(bIH)
IPT' HI-MEIU K.(IfI) CAM.(APCKOIf) 11.8.23" with serial letter "a", as well as by the registration label on
the address side, reading: "M 271 / KpacniHu SIpi, H-M.(eKifi)". Krasnyi Yar (Krasnoyar) was a village in the
canton of the same name and the population was German. Another village with the same name was situated in the
Ilovatskii canton, but its inhabitants were Russians. It was for that reason that the designation "German Krasnyi Yar"
was specified in the postmark inscription.
In contrast to Fig. 16 the text on the registration label in Fig. 17 was given in the pre-revolutionary spelling with the
letters "s" and "%". The canceller of the First Period for Krasnyi Yar was also applied on the "Acknowledgement".
There is a handwritten note on the back of the "Acknowledgement" at the top and reading "Province of the Volga
Germans, village of Zvonarev Kut, to be forwarded". Zvonarev Kut was a village in the Krasnyi Yar canton and the
population was German. It therefore also had a German name:"Stahl", which is listed in . The arrival marking of
Moscow 19.8.23 is on the back of the returned "Acknowledgement". The registration label of acceptance for this
"Acknowledgement" is shown separately in [4, p. 60], but without indication of despatch.
Fig. 18 illustrates the front and back of yet another "Acknowledgement of Receipt". The formula card used to send
the "Acknowledgement" was set up in the same way as the one shown in Fig. 16. It was despatched from Moscow
together with the money order as a registered sending. That is confirmed by the handwritten notation "NJ 643",
together with the postmark of Moscow 14.2.24 on 2 x 6 gold-kopek stamps of the USSR (Michel 223). The total
amount of 12 kopeks covered the postal rate in effect from 1.10.1923 to 1.9.1924 for the despatch of an intercity
registered letter. The arrival of the "Acknowledgement" in Krasnyi Yar" is confirmed by a postmark on the back,
reading: "KPACH.(bfI)-5IP' -HSBMEIK.(If) CAM.(APCKOfI) 25.2.24" with serial letter "a". The text on
the back of the "Acknowledgement" states that: "A postal sending accepted under receipt J ....at Krasnyi Yar
Nemetskii in the name of... .in the amount of 15 (fifteen) American dollars". The "Acknowledgement" was returned
to the sender as a document relating to the payment of money to the addressee. However, in contrast to the ones
THE POST-RIDER/IMIHIHK 53 77
normally returned registered, this one was despatched as an ordinary postal sending. That is confirmed by the
despatch postmark on the address side, reading: "KPACH.(bIf)-IPb-H MEHI K(IlI) CAM.(APCKOIf)
26.2.24" with serial letter "a". There is a handwritten note on the back of the "Acknowledgement", reading:
"Province of the Volga Germans, village Zvonarev Kut, to be forwarded". The return arrival in Moscow of the
"Acknowledgement" is dated 29.2.24 on the address side.
The front and back of a further "Acknowledgement of Receipt" are shown in Fig. 19 The formula card by which the
"Acknowledgement" was despatched was set up in the same manner as the one given in Fig. 16. The card, together
with the money order was despatched from Moscow as a registered sending. That is confirmed by the "3AKA3HOE"
cachet and the "MOCKBA 23.10.24" postmark, applied on two stamps of the USSR, each with a face value of 7 gold
kopeks (Michel 248) in order to frank the "Acknowledgement" with a total of 14 kopeks. That corresponded with the
rate for the despatch of an intercity registered letter. The text on the back of the "Acknowledgement" states that: this
was a "Postal sending, accepted under receipt XJ 920 at Linevo Ozero, Province of the Volga Germans in the name
of....., with the amount of 10 (ten) American dollars received personally (signature)". The "Acknowledgement" was
returned to the sender as a document relating to the payment of money to the addressee and it was sent as a registered
article for greater security. That was confirmed by the despatch postmark with a diameter of 27 mm. and reading:
"JIHHEBO 03EPO CAP.(ATOBCKOI) 8.11.24. as well as by a registration cachet in three lines in violet
applied on the address side and reading: "3 / JIaneBo Osepo / 06o.(acrb) HeMa.(eB) IIoBOJnDrb / XN 57". Linevo
Ozero was a village in the Frank canton (according to , it was located in the Medveditskii canton) and the
population was German. For that reason, it also had a German name; Hussenbach, which is listed in . The arrival
marking of Moscow 4.12.24 for the returned "Acknowledgement" is on the address side of the card. It is interesting
to see as a transitional variation the date-stamp of the First Period, while the postmark cancelling the registered
sending is already from the Second Period.
Fig. 20 features the front and back of yet another "Acknowledgement of Receipt". The formula card used to send the
"Acknowledgement" is set up in the same way as shown in Fig. 16. The "Acknowledgement" together with the
money order was despatched from Moscow as a registered sending. That was confirmed by the "3AKA3HOE"
cachet and the "MOCKBA 20.2.25" postmark, applied on two stamps of the USSR, each with a face value of 7 gold
kopeks (Michel 248) to total 14 kopeks and franking the "Acknowledgement". That corresponded with the rate for
the despatch of an intercity registered letter. The text on the back states that this was a "Postal sending, accepted
under receipt N 5029 at Golyi Karamysh, Province of the Volga Germans, village of Grechishnaya Luka in the name
of...., with the amount of 19 roubles 37 kopekss), the equivalent of 10 USA dollars sent...and received personally
(signature)". Upon receipt of the money, a fiscal charge of 6 kopeks was also paid, as confirmed by the revenue
stamp added. The "Acknowledgement" was returned to the sender as a document relating to the payment of money to
the addressee and it was therefore sent as a registered article for greater security. That was confirmed by the despatch
postmark, reading: "MEA.(BEJHIUKO) KPECT. BYEPAKCKOE CAP,,.C'(ATOBCKOII) 23.2.25" with
serial letter "a" and a diameter of 27 mm (as shown in [4, p. 60]), together with a registration label on the address
side, reading: "JN 49 / MesB. Kpecr. Byep. / CapaT. Koirp. IIai," (similar to the one shown in [3, p. 60]). The
postmark on the fiscal stamp has a diameter of 29 mm. and is barely readable. Medveditsko-Krestovyi Buerak was a
village in the Frank canton (according to , it was situated in the Medveditskii canton) and the population was
German. It therefore also had a German name: Frank, which is listed in .
The arrival postmark of Moscow 27.2.25 for the returned "Acknowledgement" is on the address side of the card. It
should be noted that, in this case, the canceller of the First Period continued to be used with the pre-revolutionary
designation, even after the change of status from the "Autonomous Province of the Volga Germans" to the "ASSR of
the Volga Germans".
The postmarks of the District Administrations (BojiocrHiie llpaBnemHa) are encountered relatively rarely and, for
that reason, the present authors consider as a great success the discovery of a District Administration Postal Service
also on the territory of the Volga Germans. In short, the history of mail services in the District Administrations was
as follows . In order to improve postal communications in rural localities, there were sanctioned by His Imperial
Majesty on 24 January 1900 temporary rules for the creation of postal operations in District Administrations (the
"BonocTr" was an administrative territorial unit of Russia and part of an"y63yi-,"or region, where the peasant
population mainly lived. The District Administrations were organs of local peasant self-rule and they came into being
in Russia after the Reform of 1861, but were abolished in the Administrative and Territorial Reform of 1923-1929).
In accordance with these rules, "the District Administrations had the right to carry out the receipt and handing out of
ordinary and registered mail and the sale of postage stamps". The District Administrations had their own dated
cancellers in order to perform postal operations. Such postal operations were normally carried out by the scribe of the
District Administration. It was in this manner that a new type of a rural postal service appeared in the District
Administrations. Special premises and a staff of officials were not required for the work of such a postal service.
78 THE POST-RIDER/JMIIHHK X- 53
Fi. 21 demonstrates a postcard, on which the 3-kopek stamp (Michel 66) has been cancelled with the despatch
postmark reading: "JIHHEBO-O3EPCKOE CAP.(ATOBCKOfI) / BOJI.(OCTHOE) IIP.(ABJIEHIE)
11.6.13" with a diameter of 31 mm. The card was addressed to Tsarskoe Selo and bears the arrival marking of
"UAPCKOE CBJIO 14.6.13". The address of the sender is given on the card as "Saratov Province, Al'ma (?)
Kamyshlinsk. Region. Via the postal station at Rudnya. Linevo Ozero". We see here two place-names already
recorded by us for the territory of the Volga Germans, i.e. Rudnya and Linevo Ozero.
Fi. 22 shows a card, specially issued for the mail of prisoners of war and with the despatch postmark reading:
"KOTOBCKOE CAP,(ATOBCKOfI) / BOJI.(OCTHOE) IIP,(ABJIEHIE) 7.3.16" with a diameter of 31
mm. The card also bears the violet marking of the Petrograd censorship. Kotovo was a village in the Saratov
Province and, according to , it was located at a distance of a few kilometres from the boundary of the Kamenka
canton of the Autonomous Province of the Volga Germans. At the present time, it is the centre of the Kotovo district
of the Volgograd Province. There are now some villages within the confines of this district, which were part of the
Kamenka canton. For that reason, it is likely that the "volost"' of Kotovo was also situated in the territory of the
Volga Germans. The card was addressed to Germany, but there is no arrival marking.
Description of the postal markings and sending of the Second Period.
Fig. 23 features a cover of an ordinary intercity letter, sent from Pokrovsk to Moscow. The cover is franked by 2 x 5-
kopek stamps (Michel 379) to total 10 kopeks, in accordance with the rate in force from 15.7.1928 to 1.6.1931 for the
despatch of such a letter. The stamps were cancelled with the despatch marking reading: "IIOKPOBCK
OB.(JIACTL) H.(EMIUEB) II.(OBOJDK}LI) 16.3.30(?) and with serial letter "z"(?), but there is no arrival
postmark, while the year is read with difficulty. However, the stamp was issued in 1929 and the 10-kopek rate for
that class of mail was in force from the middle of 1928 to 30.5.1931. In other words, if we accept that the franking
was in accordance with the rates, then the letter must have been sent in 1930 or 1931, hence 6 or 7 years after the
transformation of the Autonomous Province of the Volga Germans into the ASSR of the Volga Germans.
Description of the postal markings and sendings of the Third Period.
Fig. 24 has the cover of a letter in the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow, sent as Express Mail from Pokrovsk
to Moscow. The cover was franked with 3 x 2-kopek stamps of the USSR (Michel 340), a 4-kopek (Michel 341, 2 x
8-kopek values (Michel 344) and a 50-kopek stamp, to total 76 kopeks. They were cancelled with a despatch
marking, reading: "IIOKPOBCK P.(ECfIYBJIIKA) H.(EMIEB) IIOBOJDKKbI) / POKROVSK R.N.P. /
6.9.28" with serial letter "xe'. The canceller missed three stamps affixed to the left upper corner. A red label was
additionally placed on the cover, reading: "HAPOHHLIM / EXPRESS", together with an interesting registration
label on yellow paper inscribed in Russian and German: "N 261 / IIOKPOBCK / nI.(OHTOBO)
T.(EJIEr PAIA HAI) K.(OHTOPA) / POKROWSK / P.T.K.". The label differs from the known types, as it does
not bear the characteristic designation of the letters "3" or "R", while it is inscribed in two languages: Russian and
German and, in this case, the German version is in the Gothic script. An analysis shows that the franking of the letter
with stamps totalling 76 kopeks provided for the despatch of the correspondence as Express Mail (in the period from
15.7.28 to 14.5.32, the rate for sending such a letter came to 70 kopeks ).
The address of the sender of the official letter is also interesting, as the inscription confirmed even further the
autonomy of the Volga Germans, reading: "People's Commissariat of Agriculture / town of Pokrovsk, ASSR of the
Volga Germans", thus proving that there was such a Commissariat there. The arrival marking of Moscow 8.9.28 is on
the back of the cover.
Fig. 25 shows the cover of a letter from the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow, which was sent by Express
Mail from Engel's (the new name of Pokrovsk after being changed in 1931) to Vienna in Austria. The cover was
franked with a 30-kopek (Michel 374) and a 50-kopek values (Michel 375) to total 80 kopeks. The stamps on the
cover were cancelled with the despatch marking reading: "3HTEJIbC A.C.C.P.H.II ENGELS / 9.10.32", with
serial letter "6" (?). A special characteristic of the marking is the presence of hatching instead of dots in the area
between the inner circle and the date-bridge and also the partial alterations in the text, e.g. "A.C.C.P.H.II." instead
There is on the cover a strike in black of a rectangular cachet for registration of a sending inscribed: "3 / XN 1466
(figures handwritten) / 9HTEJIbC / A.C.C.P.H.TI.". That cachet with the inscription in Russian was intended for
internal mail, while international correspondence required the application of a cachet in the French language or Latin
letters. Such usages were regarded as official by the Universal Postal Union. For that reason, a strike in violet of a
rectangular cachet was applied on the cover, inscribed "R NM" for a registered sending and filled in by hand as
"Engels / 1466". There is at top left the inscription: "CIEIIIHOE / Express!". As of 15.7.28, Express Mail was sent
by air and, for that reason, a strike in violet of a rectangular cachet reading "Mit Luftpost" was applied on the cover
in Engel's. The letter was forwarded by air via Germany, which is confirmed by the circular postmark in red of the
Airmail Post Office in Berlin.
THE POST-RIDER/IMIIHHK Ji 53 79
An analysis shows that the franking of the letter with stamps totalling 80 kopeks corresponded with the postal rate for
sending Express Mail, i.e. the rate for the despatch of such a letter came to 80 kopeks as of 15.5.32 . The transit
and arrival markings of Berlin 11.10.32 and Vienna 12.10.32 are on the back of the cover.
Fig 26 features the cover of an airmail letter in the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow, sent by air from
Engel's to Leipzig in Germany. The cover was franked with a 5-kopek (Michel 369), 30-kopek (Michel 374) and 50-
kopek stamps (Michel 375) to total 85 kopeks. The stamps on the cover were cancelled with the despatch postmark
"3HTEJIfC A.C.C.P.H.II. ENGELS 21.3.33" with serial letter "6"(?).
A registration label with the text in red and reading: "R / Engels / AN 585" was affixed to the cover. In contrast to the
cachet in Fi. 25. the name of the town was not only printed typographically on the label, but even the consecutive
number. Also, an affixed label was of standard form for airmail, as confirmed by the vertical inscription at left
reading: "QopMa N2 6". That label has a rectangular frame in red and enclosed the printed text: "BO3AYIIIHAIA /
IIOqTA / Par avion". The despatch of the letter by airmail is also confirmed by the circular marking of the airmail
post office in Berlin.
An analysis shows that the franking of the letter with stamps totalling 85 kopeks ensured its despatch by international
airmail (in the period from 3.5.1932 to 1.5.1933, the rate for a registered airmail letter to the countries in Central
Europe, including Germany, was 75 kopeks and for the remaining European countries 85 kopeks ).The sender
apparently did not know the difference or perhaps the postal clerk decided to charge the maximum rate. There is an
arrival postmark on the back of the cover.
Fig. 27 demonstrates the cover of an airmail letter in the collection of N. Mandrovskii of Moscow, sent to Berlin by
airmail from Pallasovka (a village of labourers and the centre of the canton of the same name). The cover was
franked with a 3-kopek (Michel 273) and 50-kopek stamps (Michel 287), to total 53 kopeks. The stamps on the cover
were cancelled with the despatch marking reading: "IIAJIJIACOBKA P.H.II. / PALLASOVKA R.N.P. / 31.5.27"
with serial letter "a". A label in standard form for airmail has been applied on the cover, with a rectangular frame
enclosing a text in red and reading: "BO3AYIIIHAA / IIOHTA / Par avion". The despatch of the letter by airmail
is confirmed by the rectangular cachet in red of the airmail post office in Berlin.
An analysis confirms that the franking of the letter with stamps totalling 53 kopeks ensured the despatch of an
ordinary airmail letter (in the period from 1.5.1927 to 1 May 1928, the rate for sending such a letter to Germany
came to 30 kopeks. It is possible that the sender did not know that rate and had franked the letter with the fee
previously in force, which was equal to 54 kopeks. It is also possible that this was an overweight letter). The arrival
marking of Berlin 3.6.27 is on the back of the cover.
Fig. 28 shows the cover of an official letter in the collection of O. Sel'nikov in Israel which, according to the address
of the sender, was despatched from the "Pallasovka Cantonal Department of Communications / ASSR VG". The
letter was addressed to "Moscow / Central Committee of the Union / of Communications Workers" (i.e. of Postal
Workers). Official mail from post offices was sent free of charge and the letter was therefore not franked with stamps
The despatch marking "IIAJUIIACOBKA ACCPHII / PALLASOVKA 5.4.32" with serial letter "a" is on the
cover. The letter was sent as Express Mail and that is confirmed by the handwritten word "CneumHoe" in the top right
corer of the cover, together with the affixed label in standard form (DopMa JN 5) with the text enclosed by a
rectangular frame and reading: "HAPOHHbIM / EXPRESS". The arrival marking of Moscow 8.4.32 is on the back
of the cover.
Fig. 29 shows a postcard, which acknowledged the delivery of a parcel. That parcel was sent with an
"Acknowledgement" from Germany to Marksshtadt. Upon receipt, 2 x 5-kopek stamps (Michel 369) were affixed to
the card and sent back to Berlin in Germany. The 10-kopek franking on the card corresponded wit the rate then in
force from 1.6.1930 to 1.5.1936 for sending an ordinary international postcard The stamps on the card were
cancelled with the despatch postmark reading: "MAPKCIIITAjT ACCPHII / MARXSTADT / 22.2.34" with
serial letter "2" (?). There is no arrival marking.
Fig. 30 shows a postcard with a stamp die for 3 gold kopeks (Michel P10), which was sent to Germany. It was
additionally franked with a 4 gold-kopeks stamp (Michel 274) to total 7 kopeks. That total franking did not
correspond with the rate in force from 1.6.1930 to 1.5.1936 for sending an international postcard, which was then 10
kopeks. The sender apparently did not know about this rate and had franked the card at the previous rate, which was
then 7 kopeks. The stamps on the card were cancelled with the despatch marking reading "MAPKCIIITAJT
P.H.II, /MARKSTADT R.N.P. / 11,12,34" with serial letter "a". There is no arrival marking.
It is interesting that the dated cancellers for Marxstadt in Figs. 29 & 30 clearly differ from each other, although both
cards went through the post during the same year of 1934. On the first of them (Fig.2) the German name for the
town is written as MARXSTADT and the abbreviated name for the Republic is missing. On the second card (Fig. 30)
we see the German name of the town spelt as MARKSTADT, followed by the abbreviated initials of the Republic.
Fig. 31 features the address side of a cover for an international letter, sent to North America. The cover was franked
80 THE POST-RIDER/MMIIIHK N 53
with 2 x 2 gold-kopeks stamps (Michel 272) and a 10 gold-kopeks value (Michel 268), to total 14 kopeks. The
stamps on the cover were cancelled with the despatch marking reading: "IIPHBAJIbH.(OE) P.H.II. /
WARENBURG R.N.P. / 25.10.26" with serial letter "a". Prival'noe was a village in the Kukkus canton (according to
 it was located in the Rovnoe canton, while  says that it was in theSeelmanncanton) and the population was
German. It therefore also bore the German name of Warenburg, which is listed ii . The address of the sender is
given on the cover as "Village St(epnoe ?), Prival'noe Aut.(onomous) Soc.(ialist) Sov.(iet) Rep.(ublic) of the
Germans of the Volga Region".
An analysis shows that that the franking of the letter with stamps totallingl4 kopeks corresponded with the rate for
the despatch of international mail (in the period from 1.10.1925 to 1.6.1930, the rate for sending an ordinary
international letter was 14 kopeks). There is no arrival marking on the cover.
Fi. 32 features the front and back of yet another "Acknowledgement of Receipt". The formula card used to send the
"Acknowledgement" has been set up in the same way as the one shown in Fig. 16. The "Acknowledgement",
together with the money order was despatched from Moscow as a registered sending. That is confirmed by the
printed word "3AKA3HOE" and the postmark "MOCKBA 5.11.25", applied on a 14 gold-kopeks stamp of the
USSR (Michel 281), which franked the "Acknowledgement". That corresponded to the rate for sending an intercity
registered letter in the period from 1.9.1924 to 1.2.1926.
It can be seen on the back of the "Acknowledgement" that this was a "Postal sending, accepted under receipt MN...".
and sent to Tonkoshurovka, Province of the Volga Germans. The arrival marking reads "TOHKOIIIYPOBKA
P.H.II. / MARIENTAL R.N.P. 11.11.25" with serial letter "a" and a diameter of 29 mm. Tonkoshurovka was a
village in the Mariental canton (according to , it was situated in the Tonkoshurovka canton) and the population
was German. For that reason, it also had a German name: "Mariental", which is listed in .
The "Acknowledgement was returned to the sender as a document relating to the payment of money to the
addressee. For that reason, it was sent as a registered article for greater security. That is confirmed by the registration
label on the address side, with the text in a rectangular frame reading: "3 / N2 385 (figures handwritten) /
Tonkoshurovka". A similar type of label is shown in [4, p. 61]. The arrival marking of Moscow 16.11.25 for the
return of the "Acknowledgement"is on the address side of the card.
Fig. 33 demonstrates the front and back of an "Acknowledgement of Receipt". The formula card, whereby the
"Acknowledgement" was sent, was set up in the same way as for the one shown in Fi. 16. The "Acknowledgement"
together with the money order was despatched from Moscow as a registered sending, being confirmed by a cachet in
violet reading "3AKA3HOE" and the postmark "MOCKBA / (?).4.25" applied on 2 x 7 gold-kopeks stamps of the
USSR (Michel 248) to frank the "Acknowledgement". The total of 14 kopeks corresponded with the rate for sending
an intercity registered letter in the period from 1.9.1924 to 1.2.1926.
It can be seen from the text on the back of the "Acknowledgement" that this "Postal sending, accepted under receipt
XJ..." has been sent to Krivoi Yar, Samara Province. The arrival marking reads: "KPHBOH 3IP P.H.II. /
BRUNNENTHAL R.N.P./ 6.4.25" with serial letter "a" and a diameter of 29 mm. Krivoi Yar was a village in the
Seelmann;canton(according to , it was located in the Rovnoe canton) and the population was German. For that
reason, it also had a German name: "Brunnenthal", which is listed in .
The "Acknowledgement" was returned to the sender as a document relating to the payment of money to the
addressee and, for that reason, it was sent as a registered article for greater security. That is confirmed by the
registration label on the address side, with the text in a rectangular frame reading: "3 / IN 110 (figures handwritten) /
KPHIBOIH IP'b" and the despatch marking of Krivoi Yar, also on the address side of the "Acknowledgement". The
inscription on the registration label is in the pre-revolutionary spelling with the hard sign "'b". The arrival marking of
Moscow 16.4.25 for the return of the "Acknowledgement" is on the front of the card.
As has already been stated above, the ASSR VG was abolished on 28 August 1941. However, the postal markings of
the inhabited points there were not immediately taken out of use everywhere. According to data held by the present
authors, they continued to be applied until the end of 1943. In that way, an unusual situation came about in that,
while the ASSR VG no longer existed in fact, it was still alive on the postal markings. As an example, we see in Fi.
34 a cover of a registered letter from the District Military Commissariat at Krasnyi Kut and addressed to Field Post
Office Nb 75624. The back of the cover was franked with a 60-kopek stamp (Michel 857). During the period of
wartime (1941-1945), ordinary mail from and to the Soviet Army was sent post-free. However, registered mail had to
be paid for to its full extent in accordance with the postal rate then in force (in the period from 6.2.1939 to 15.9.48,
the rate for sending an intercity registered letter was fixed at 60 kopeks). The stamp on the cover was cancelled with
the despatch marking reading: "CC*CP / KPAC.(HbbIf) KYT ACCPHII / KRASNY KUT / 4.8.43" with
serial letter "6". That style of a postmark is rarely encountered on mail of the Volga Germans, as it was authorised
only in April 1938  and incorporated the following features:-
1. In the upper part of the postmark, the emblem would consist of the hammer and sickle within a five-pointed star
THE POST-RIDER/I MIHIHK N 53 81
and the letters "CC CP".
2. The diameters of the cancellers would be 30 mm. for the post offices of the national republics and provinces and
25 mm. for the remaining postal stations.
3. The engraving is permitted of the place-names on the cancellers of the post offices located on the territory of
national republics and provinces both in Russian and in the national languages.
A strike in black of the registration cachet, reading "3 / KPACHIAIA KYT / JN 212" (figures handwritten) was
applied on the address side of the cover. The arrival marking "IIOJIEBA$I IIfOTA X 24441 / 15.8.43" is on the
back of the envelope.
Fig. 35 shows a "Notification for the Receipt of a Parcel", which was sent from Chimkent 25.11.41, according to the
postmark. The parcel was addressed to the "Bezymyannaya Station, Saratov Province, Keppental postal station, P.O.
Box of the Military Unit". That address is of interest, since the village and the railway station of the same name
together formed the centre of the Lisanderhei canton  and Keppental was the point of the same name for the
Village Council in that canton. Its population was overwhelmingly German. It may be assumed that there was no
postal station in Keppental at that time, or perhaps it did not function (Editorial Comment: There was a postal station
at Keppental in Imperial times as of October 1902 and upgraded to a post & telegraphic office in September 1914,
according to the "List of Post Offices of the Russian Offices" by A.V. Kiryushkin & P.E. Robinson). In any case, the
parcel arrived at the nearest postal station. The arrival marking reads "CC*CP / JIH3AHEPTFEfI ACCPHTI /
LISANDERHOH 16.12.41". It would seem that, because of wartime conditions, the parcel was not handed over to
the addressee and, after being held for a long time, it was sent to the central postal station. That is confirmed by the
postmark "CC*CP / 3HFEJIbC 3 rOP.(OaCKOE) OTA.(EJIEHHE) ACCPHII ENGELS 3 STADT ABT
13.2.42 (date inverted on the canceller), with serial letter "6".
No. 36 demonstrates a "triangular" military letter, consisting of a sheet of paper folded into a triangular form, with
the text of the letter written on one side and the address on the other. These "triangulars" were widely used during the
period of the war (1941 to 1945), as they did not require envelopes, which were hard to come by and it was easy to
open and close them upon being checked by the censorship. The letter was not franked, as military mail was sent free
of charge. Among the features of the letter is the address of the sender, given as "Town of Engel's-3, P.O. Box 10/4".
We see this same text in the triangular cachet applied to post-free military mail and reading: "Post Office Box 10/4,
town of Engel's-3, People's Commissariat of the Navy". The despatch marking of Engel's has been struck on the
triangular letter and is of exactly the same type as the one described in Fig. 35 but dated 17.2.42. The arrival
marking of Frunze 28.2.42 is on the back of the triangular letter.
At the end of this section, it seems logical to us to show examples of the cancellers prepared and put into use on the
already previous territory of the Volga Germans after the abolition of the ASSR VG in August 1941, although they
do not fall chronologically into the period under examination
As an example, we see in Fig. 37 a postcard with an impressed 20-kopek stamp die (Michel P 161.05). This item was
utilised as a post-free formula card, as it was addressed to the Field Post Service and such mail was sent free of
charge. The stamp design on the card was cancelled with the despatch marking: "CC*CP / IIOIIOBKA
CAPAT,(OBCKOI) 26.10.42". That village (according to the 1922 map in , it was situated in the Golyi
Karamysh canton, but in the 1930 map of  it was already in the Balzer canton) had a German population. It
therefore also had a German name: "Kutter", which is also listed in . It should be noted that, according to the
address on the card of the sender, the village of Popovka (formerly Kutter) was already by October 1942 in the
Tatishchevskii District of Saratov Province.
The card was addressed to the Field Post Service, to where it was directed via the "Military Postal Sorting Point NJ 4
/ 29.10.42". The card was checked there by the military censorship (censor "4/71") and then delivered to the
addressee. The arrival marking reads "IIOJIEBAAI fIIOTA XJ_ 1571 / 3.11.42".
As stated above in short and as is evident in Fig. 37 the new cancellers put into use after the abolition of the ASSR
VG differed sharply from those applied during the period of autonomy of the Volga Germans; the main features
1. Their inscriptions erased the adhesion of the inhabited points to the ASSR VG, which were then specified as being
in the Saratov or Kuibyshev (formerly Samara) Provinces.
2. The names in German of the inhabited points were taken out of the inscriptions on the cancellers.
3. The diameters of the cancellers were reduced from 30 mm. to 25 mm.
Descriptions of the Railway Cancellers,
Fig. 38 shows an illustration of a pre-revolutionary card, referring to the Ryazan'-Urals Railway Line. Two stations
can be seen on it, which were situated on the territory we have described (Pokrovskaya Sloboda and Urbach).
Fig. 39 features a postcard, which was deposited for despatch in the letter-box of Postal Van XN2 288. That is
confirmed by the oval marking in black, reading: "ACTPAXAHb 288 CAPATOB' 15.5.11". The card was
82 THE POST-RIDER/SIMIIMHK X 53
addressed to St. Petersburg, but there is no arrival marking. The route of Postal Van NJ 288 went partially through
the territory of the Volga Germans.
Descriptions of the Censorship Markings.
Fig. 40 demonstrates a postcard specially issued for the mail of prisoners of war and bears the despatch marking of
Saratov 8.8.17.There is a censorship cachet in violet on the card, reading: "IfpocMOTpa no BoeH.(of) geHnypof /
r,(opoRg-) IIOKPOBCKb / BoeHHMiA geH30sopb N 199" and also the cachet of the censor with the initials
"H.K.O.". The card was addressed to Kolomyya (in Eastern Galicia/Halychyna, previously in Austro-Hungary and
now in the Western Ukraine). There is no arrival marking, but a triangular cachet in red of the Austrian Military
Censorship in Vienna is in the upper right comer.
It should be noted that the censorship marking shown in Fig. 40 is a previously unrecorded variety (see Attachment
JM 7. The text of this marking has an abbreviation of the word "BoeHHno".
In conclusion, the present authors would like to express their deep thanks to the well-known philatelist N.F.
Mandrovskii of Moscow, Russia for furnishing us with information.
Editorial Comment: Re the unusual "triangular" military letter referred to by our two esteemed authors in Fig. 36 it
is interesting to note that the Czechoslovak fighting units serving with the Soviet Army during the BOB (WWII)
referred to such triangular mail as "satecky" = "hankies"!
Special thanks are also due to Messrs M. Kossoy & Vl. Berdichevskiy for confirming in this article the authorisation
of the new Soviet cancellers in the CC*CP type as of April 1938, as they were also applied subsequently in Moscow
on mail incoming from Tuva and are thus an aid in expertising such items.
3HI OIJTnEAIHECKHl CJIOBAPb Q.AEPOKEAY3 H AE.EOPOH. C.lerep6ypr 1900,
COBETCKH14 3HI.uHKIOEmfli4MqECIKH CJIOBAPb. Hanane 3-e, MocKaa,
"CosercKas *Hwaaone2~'", 1984.
ACRONIN. VOLGA GERMANPOSTAL HISTORY. The POST RIDER (SMIMIK), 1981,
MORE ABOUT THE VOLGA GERMANS (LLTANN, ACRONIN, RTAYLOR) The POST -
RIDER (SIMII1K, 1981,N9, p.56- 61.
DR AH. WORTMAN. THE GERMAN ENCLAVES ON THE VOLGA. The POST RIDER
(lvMIII K), 1983, NI2,p.37-41.
ACRONIN. EDITORIAL COMMENT. The POST RIDER (IMII~lK, 1983, A12, p.41 -
R.TAYLOR THE INTERESTING MARKING. The POST RIDER (SIMIHK), 1985, X215,
MKOSSOY. SOME INVESTIGATIONS OF THE POSTAL HISTORY OF THE
VOLGA GERMANS. The POST -RIDER (SMIIIHK), 2002, No50, p.36 -40.
ACRONIN. THE VOLGA GERMANS HAD THEIR OWN BANK! The POST -
RIDER (1MIIIHK), 1999, K44, p.95.
DR IVO STEUN. A NOTATION ABOUT THE MOBILE POST AT MARKSSHTADT IN THE
VOLGA GERMAN PROVINCE 22.324. The POST RIDER (SIMIUK), 2000, K46, p. 118 -
PJ. CAMPBELL AN IMPERIAL CARD FROM THE VOLGA GERMAN AREA The POST
RIDER (IMIHHK), 2001, Xe48, p.l 12.
RTAYLOR. IWO VOLGA GERMAN POSTAL HISTORY ITEMS1 The POST -
RIDER (5MII K), 2001,N49, p.Ill-112.
A.S.ILYUSHIN. SOME GERMANICAA" ITEMS FROM THE VOLGA REGION. The
POST- RIDER (IMIIHK), 2002, N50,,p 112-113.
* ECAEIEHKOB. IK)IOOBblE IIEMnIEJIR PEAEMHJIIHmPYEIM? vIRIATEJIH (Poca)
1991, B10, p.52-53.
PCOCP. ABMHHHCTPATHBHO TEPPHTOPHAJItiHOE AEJIEHHE (HA 1 AIPEJiI 1940
1rOA). Mocaa, 1940, cTp.400 403.
TEOfPAOHqECKO ALMHHHCTPATHBHAHI KAPTA TPYAKOMMYHbI
OEJIACTH HEMIEB nOBOJDKb. Floa BCK, 1922.
17 KARTE dAutonomen Sozalistischen Rate-Republic dWolgadeutschen Pokrowsk AS.RRd
18 EOJIbIIIAAOBEICKAI 3HUJGIOEIR. Mocaa, 1939, TM 41.
9 HJIVqHHIK KETIE3HOOPOXHAAI IITOTA POCCHI. Coneraio
Kaomeumonep, Mocsa,"Camr.", 1974,N l1,c.37-67.
20 A.VKIRYUSHKINANDPEROBINSON.RUSSIANRAILWAYPOMARKS 1994.
21. AV.KIRYUSHKIN AND P.E.ROBINSON. RUSSIAN RAILWAY POSIMARKS. Lis of
Addenda and Corrigenda, 2002.
22. SPEECKAERT A. RUSSIAN POSTAL CENSORSHIP 1914 1918. Koninklijke
Postzegelvereiniging van het Land van Waas, St. Niklaas (Belgium), 1990.
23. SPEECKAERT A. RUSSIAN POSTAL CENSORSHIP 1914 1918. SUPPLEMENT.
24. E.KAMHHCKHR IO 9TOBbIE TAPHILI OPEBOJIIOIHOHHOB POCCHH.
CoBCTCKHfl KomnneHOHep, MocKsa, "CB33,", 1987, N25, p.p.36 54.
25. B.KAMHHCKH. IIOTTOBbIE TAPH05>I OPEBOJIOLHIOHHOf POCCHH.
CoBercldt KojmenmonHep, MocKBa, "CBH31", 1986, No23, p.p.3 16.
.26. CnElHAJIH3HPOBAHHbIl KATAJIOF InOiTOBbIX MAPOK P.C.0.C.P., 1918 -
1923 rr. llon o6nmel penaiuneft B.B.3AFOPCKOrO. Camcr Herep6ypr. Craaapr -
27. A.3mIITERH. UEJIbHIE BE=IH B KARECTBE 0OPMyJIIPOB. CnMaTenu
CCCP,1988, X10, p.p.41 -43.
28. JI.KOJIOCOB. rIOqTA rIPH BOJIOCTHbIX IIPABJIEHHIDX. IuOaTenmm CCCP,
1974, N1l1, p.p.40-41.
29. B.KAPJIHHCKHf. 0HJIATEJIHCTHrECKOE HCCJIE]OBAHHE ,PAHKHPOBKH
IflCEM PCCCP H CCCP (1917 1971). CoBercKHii KonneeKmoHep. MocKB,, "CB3b".
1971, N9, p.p.48-61.
30. JI.TL ATHEP. COBETCKHE KAJIEHMAPHIE IIITEMfIEJII OBPA3UA 1938 rOJA.
Caer nreTep6ypr, CTaiaapr- Konnexmwl, 1997, al l, p.p.2 3.
K2 AuyaRY5.4ue wlremnens, ynoype~nniuuiecs WyeMnens
n/n I ACCP Hn CapaToOeCKo o0n.
I. MaPKCWTaAT Marxsfadt MapKC
2. Sanbabep Baizer Kpac~oapMeilcK
3. rHaAecpflo op Gnadenflur flepsoMakcKoe
4. CpNPAeHcN4enbA Friedenfeld KoMcoMonbcKoe
5. MapmeHTauiI Mariental CoeeTcKoe
6. PoaeH4cenbA Rosenfeldr' lyWKMHO
7. 3enbma H Selmann PoB-oe
8. YHTepsanbAeH Unierwalden noAnecHoe
THE POST-RIDER/IIMIIHK Ns 53
84 THE POST-RIDER/AMIIHK ZN 53
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THE POST-RIDER/SIMIIHKMJ g 53 85
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THE POST-RDER/MIIHK JgoI 53
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THE POST-RIDER/ IMIIHK M. 53
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THE POST-RIDER/SMIII(K N2 53
Fig. 34. Fig. 36.
THE POST-RIDER/aIMIIHK ? 53 91
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Note: The Attachments
to this outstanding study
will be published in
2M 74 of "The Post-Rider".
92 ,. .i ,anpost Oi .
* *u *.f *M
(a) An unusual franking for the Zenppelin Flight of 10.IX.1930 from Moscow.
The rates for this flight were 10 kopeks for a surface foreign
postcard with 40 kopeks air surtax and 15 kopeks for a surface
foreign letter plus 80 kopeks air surtax. The cover shown here is
addressed to the well-known German dealer Philipp Kosack in
Berlin, but with a pair of the 40-kopek surtax for the airmail letter.
Unusual rankings were a prominent feature for this flight, as we
have already shown in "The Post-Rider" Nos. 31 and 32.
(b) German Airmail P.O. cachets on airmail from the USSR
S Our esteemed German colleagues have doubtless already
S evaluated these interesting cachets but, for us, the scales of rarity
S must be different, as Soviet airmail went to Germany during two
S'0 o distinct political periods: the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) and
S the Third Reich (1933-1941). The Berlin C2 Air P.O. markings
d are seen all the time (Note Fis. 25-27. pp. 89-90 in the article by
S M. Kossoy & VI. Berdichevskiy herewith), but the air cachets of
other German destinations are much scarcer, especially on items
handled by two German airports. Details of their holdings in this
area would be much appreciated from our members, so that we
can determine the grades of rarity on airmail sent from the USSR.
THE POST-RIDER/IIMIIIK N' 53
-, ., o. Y .2 ,;?. %
4 ,.. o ." '
A .- A
Non f.Qr^ j i
Postage Stamps Issued by the Zemstvos
By Alex Artuchov
(continued from the previous issue)
18.5 x 24.33 mm, lithographed in black on coloured paper, sheet of 6 x 6, perforated
11.0 12.5 in all possible combinations, 2 editions.
First Edition (1884, May)
Light blue paper 0.1 mm thick, light brownish gum.
22. 5 kop. black on light blue paper
Second Edition (1885)
Dark blue paper 0.09 m thick, white gum.
23. 5 kop. black on dark blue paper
18.5 x 24 mm, lithographed in black on coloured paper, 2 editions.
First Edition (1887, March)
On rose paper 0.09 mm thick, sheet of 9 x 4, perf. 11.5.
24. 5 kop black on rose paper
Second Edition (1887, September)
On dark violet paper 0.08 mm thick, sheet of 6 x 6, perforated 11.25 11.5 .
25. 5 kop. on dark violet paper
THE POST-RIDER/lMIIIIHK N2 53
19.75 x 25 m, lithographed on coloured paper 0.07 mm thick, white gum, sheet of 11 x 6,
perforated 11.5, 2 editions.
First Edition (1888, February 9)
On salmon coloured paper
26. 5 kop. black on gray and red on salmon coloured paper
Second Edition (1888, middle)
On light green paper.
27. 5 kop. black, blue and red on salmon coloured paper
19.5 x 25 mm, lithographed in 5 colours on white
sheet of 9 x 9, perforated 10, 2 editions.
paper 0.11 mm thick, white gum,
First Edition (1889, August 1)
The bottom corer numerals and circles are in white
28. 5 kop. black, red, blue, gold and silver
Second Edition (1890, July 1)
The colours of the coat of arms are reversed, the bottom corer numerals are in gold and
the circles in red.
29. 5 kop. black, red, blue, gold and silver
THE POST-RIDER/MInlHK N3s 53
20 x 25.25 mm lithographed on white paper 0.12 mm thick, white gum, sheet of 6 x 6,
perforated 11.5 13 in all possible combinations, stamps known perforated horizontally
through the middle, issue of 5,000 stamps.
30. 5 kop. black, red, blue, greenish blue, gold and silver
Without the blue garland and the blue diagonal lines in the background
21.5 x 25.5 mm, lithographed on white paper 0.08 mm thick, white gum, sheet of 10 x 6,
perforated 11.25 13.0 in all possible combinations, issue of 5,000 stamps.
31. 5 kop. black, blue gray, red, gold and silver
Imperforate and without gum, perforated, in the colours of the issued stamps.
20 x 25.33 mm lithographed on white paper 0.08 mm thick, yellowish white gum, sheet
of 10 x 6, perf. 10 and imperf., issue of 5,000 stamps.
THE POST-RIDER/MIIHHK N5 53
32. 5 kop. black, green, greenish blue, gold and silver
39.5 x 27.25 mm lithographed on white paper 0.08 mm thick, white gum, sheet of 6 x 6,
perforated 10, 5,000 stamps issued.
33. 5 kop. black brown, brown rose, light or dark green, gold and silver
1894 (end of)
18.5 x 24.66 mm lithographed on white paper 0.1 mm thick, sheet of 9 x 4, perforated
11.25 13.0 in all possible combinations.
34. 5 kop. dark blue and green
Imperforate and without gum, printed in the colours of the issued stamps.
Similar to the stamps of the previous issue with the year of issue printed in the middle of
the stamp dated 18 on the left side and 96 on the right side, in changed colours,
lithographed on white paper 0.08 mm thick, white gum, sheet of 10 x 6, perf. 10, 6,100
THE POST-RIDER/MIIIHK N~ 53
35. 5 kop. black, rose red and gold
Similar to the stamps of the previous issue, on white paper with changed numerals of
value and the year, transfer block of 2 x 2 with 4 types which differ in the position and
the direction of vertical lines in the network background, these lines are bent to the left on
types 1 and 2 and to the right on types 3 and 4, perf 11.5, 7 editions which differ in year
dates and colours.
First Edition (1896, January 1)
Dated 1896, white paper 0.09 mm thick, perforated 11.5 and imperforate, sheet of 12 x 7.
36. 3 kop. indigo blue, red, blue and gold 2.00
Imperforate and without gum, printed in the colours of the issued stamps, these stamps
were distributed directly to collectors from the printer and did not reached the zemstvo
Second Edition (1896, November)
Dated 1896/97, on white paper 0.08. mm thick, sheet of 12 x ? vertical strip of 5 known,
known with diamond shaped perforations-horizontally; 6,800 stamps issued.
37. 3 kop. indigo blue, greenish blue, blue and gold 1.00
Printed in the colours of the issued stamps, overprinted OBPA3EI(b diagonally,
upright or inverted.
Imperforate, without gum, printed in the colours of the issued stamp
(to be continued)
THE POST-RIDER/MHMIIHK N 53
REGISTERED AND EXPRESS MAIL SENT BY POSTAL WAGONS OF RUSSIA IN THE SOVIET
PERIOD AFTER 1917 by Dr. V.G. Levandovskiy.
The present article is a logical continuation of the previous study by the present author  and is devoted to
the description and analysis of registered and express mail of Russia, sent by postal wagons in the Soviet period,
as well as the classification of registration notations, the "3"-cachets and the labels of postal wagons (PV),
surveying at the same time their dated cancellers and routes. The Soviet period is conventionally reckoned from the
day of the Bolshevik coup of 1917, i.e. 25 October in the Old Style or 7 November New Style, until the dissolution of
the USSR in 1991. All the postal sending and documents described in the present article are from the collection of
Registered and express letters of the Soviet period and sent by postal wagon constitute one of the most
interesting and difficult areas for collectors. Until the appearance of the present work, it has been a poorly studied
sector of the Railway Posts of Russia. Moreover and in my opinion, such letters demonstrate an unusual philatelic
charm, in conjunction with rare dated cancellations of the postal wagons and interesting routes, the additional
rankings and the official registration notes and/or stickers.
It is appropriate to set out here some basic conditions, taken from the Postal Regulations (General Section),
regarding the handling of registered mail and which practically do not diverge from the historical epochs:-
"Condition 103. The postage stamps, affixed to a registered postal sending, which has been accepted, are to be
postmarked with strikes from the dated canceller. In a space in the upper left corer of the address side of the
sending,, the postal worker is to affix an 'p. 3' label which must show the consecutive number of the sending and
corresponding to the receipt number in the '4p. 3' ledger, together with the name of the postal establishment
accepting the sending. Instead ofa label, it may be replaced by a numbering machine or cachet" .
1. Handwritten registration notations.
The absence in postal wagons of the required "3" registration cachet or "3"-labels, as a consequence of
changes in the Regulations regarding the recording and/or the place-names of towns and inhabited points, because of
social and political cataclysms in the country, economic or organisational reasons on the one hand and the
punctuality of the postal workers following the relevant regulations on the other, all led to the appearance of specific
variations in handling registered mail with the aid of official handwritten registration notations. The most extensive
variation was in handling the recording of registered letters on postal wagons practically up to the 1950s, whereby the
travelling mail officer on a postal wagon would, as a rule, preferably place by indelible pencil on the address side of
an envelope, in the form of an ordinary fraction, the registration number of the letter as the numerator and the route
number of the postal wagon as the denominator.
In order to shorten the description of the greater part of the mail and the relevant registration notations and
postmarks, they have been set out in tabular form and chronological order, together with the following abbreviations,
designating how the official endorsement was carried out: q= ink;Kp= red ink; K= graphite pencill;KpK= red
pencil; 'CK = blue pencil; IIpK=ordinary pencil and rfM:typewiitei.Where necessary, the-notes under some lines of
the tables are designated by an asterisk "*". The names quoted of the railway lines correspond to those, which they
bore in the year of a specific dated canceller. The stretches of the postal wagon routes have been determined from the
official manuals of passenger traffic [3, 4]i, from the timetables of the railway networks  and from an album of the
layout of the railway lines of the USSR .
1.1. Handwritten registration notations in arbitrary form for the numbered postal wagon routes.
The description of letters with registration notations in arbitrary form for numbered postal wagon routes is given in
Date and Registration notations Consec.
Sending PW canceller / Ink or Arrival date/ 'N /
station Rate Route stretch Inscription pencil Type of letter IFig. N2.
8.10.19/ 50 MHHCICK*42* 3aKa3uHe IlerporpaA/ 1A/- "
CT. MocKOBCKO- KOn. MOCKBA/ ne 42/.N 2 HK 11.10.19 /
BantdicKoiiH ___ .
12.10.19/ 50 *MOCKBA-41- 3aKa3Hoe Ilerporpa / 1/-
CT. MocKoBcuo- KOn. MHHCKb/ A o 3/n6 41 'K 15.10.19 /
EBarrmiicroi C.A. 750 KM
*Pre-Revolutionary (up to 1917) type of PW canceller with the letter '"b" at the end of the town name.
98 THE POST-RIDER/AIMH HK NV 53