Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Honored member
 Officers of the society
 Representatives of the society
 Editorial - writer's bill...
 Life of the society by Gordon...
 Chapter roundup
 Stamp world '89 by David Skipt...
 The Soviet air fleet semi-official...
 Treasurer's report by Norman...
 Imperial Russian postal receipt...
 Submitting articles of the journal...
 The emperor's mail by David M....
 The earliest Archangel cancel--1822?...
 From pages of the past (II), translated...
 A fake station hailasu marking...
 Postal operations at Modaoshi by...
 The Asobny Atrad design theme by...
 From "Khronika" in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika...
 "V" crayon marking by V. Popov
 Tomsk provisional by V. Popov
 The airpost congress issue - spots...
 Soviet occupation of W. Ukraine...
 A collect-on-delivery question...
 Nova Odessa in Brazil by R....
 Retouching history by Robert F....
 The nationalities question and...
 When stamps are not to be had by...
 Handstamp for sale by David...
 Russian Christmas seals? by George...
 Travels of a Tientsin POW cover,...
 U.S. postal censorship and the...
 Was it a newspaper? by George...
 Unusual covers to Russia by Melvin...
 Postal communications, the fundamentals...
 When washing clothes simply wasn't...
 The Far East question
 On to China
 The Rossica library
 Reviews of recently published...


Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235/00041
 Material Information
Title: Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Physical Description: no. in v. : illus. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Creation Date: 1990
Publication Date: [n.d.]
Frequency: unknown
Subjects / Keywords: Stamp collecting -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Postage-stamps -- Periodicals -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
Funding: Made available to the University of Florida Digital Collections under special distribution agreement with the <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a>.
 Record Information
Source Institution: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Holding Location: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB2397
lccn - 59037768
issn - 0035-8363
System ID: UF00020235:00041

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Honored member
        Page 2
    Officers of the society
        Page 2
    Representatives of the society
        Page 2
    Editorial - writer's bill of rights
        Page 3
    Life of the society by Gordon Torrey
        Page 4
    Chapter roundup
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Stamp world '89 by David Skipton
        Page 7
    The Soviet air fleet semi-official stamps by G. Adolph Ackerman
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Treasurer's report by Norman Epstein
        Page 23
    Imperial Russian postal receipt forms by Daniel W. Levandowsky
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Submitting articles of the journal by Gary Combs
        Page 31
    The emperor's mail by David M. Skipton
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    The earliest Archangel cancel--1822? by Melvin Kessler
        Page 56
        Page 57
    From pages of the past (II), translated by Daniel W. Levandowsky
        Page 58
    A fake station hailasu marking by V. Popov and G. V. Shalimoff
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Postal operations at Modaoshi by V. Popov
        Page 60
    The Asobny Atrad design theme by R. Polchaninoff
        Page 61
    From "Khronika" in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika Svyazi" translated by Dave Skipton
        Page 61
    "V" crayon marking by V. Popov
        Page 62
    Tomsk provisional by V. Popov
        Page 63
    The airpost congress issue - spots and plate varieties by G. Adolph Ackerman
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Soviet occupation of W. Ukraine and W. Belorussia 1939-1941 by Peter A. Michalove
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    A collect-on-delivery question by V. Popov
        Page 74
    Nova Odessa in Brazil by R. Polchaninoff
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Retouching history by Robert F. Minkus, M.D.
        Page 83
    The nationalities question and how it manifested itself in postmarks by Ivo Steyn
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    When stamps are not to be had by George Shaw
        Page 87
    Handstamp for sale by David Skipton
        Page 88
    Russian Christmas seals? by George Shaw
        Page 89
    Travels of a Tientsin POW cover, 1916-17 by Melvin Kessler
        Page 90
    U.S. postal censorship and the USSR
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Was it a newspaper? by George Shaw
        Page 93
    Unusual covers to Russia by Melvin Kessler
        Page 94
    Postal communications, the fundamentals by David Skipton
        Page 95
        Page 96
    When washing clothes simply wasn't good enough
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    The Far East question
        Page 101
        Page 102
    On to China
        Page 103
    The Rossica library
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Reviews of recently published material
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
Full Text


No. 113/114 1990

The Journal of the

Rossica Society of Russian Philately

ISSN 0035-8363


No. 113/114 for 1990

Chief Editor: David M. Skipton
Layout and Production: Gary A. Combs
Editorial Board: Norman Epstein, Leon Finik, George Shaw, Denys Voaden,
Howard Weinert

Article Page

Editorial Writers' Bill of Rights 3
Life of the Society, Gordon Torrey 4
Chapter Roundup 5
Stamp World '89, David Skipton 7
The Soviet Air Fleet Semi-Official Stamps, G. Adolph Ackerman 8
Treasurer's Report, Norman Epstein 23
Imperial Russian Postal Receipt Forms, Daniel W. Levandowsky 24
Submitting Articles to the Journal, Gary Combs 31
The Emperor's Mail, David M. Skipton 32
The Earliest Arkhangel'sk Cancel..1822?, Melvin Kessler 56
From Pages of the Past (I), translated by Daniel W. Levandowsky 58
A Fake Station Hailasu Marking, V. Popov and G. V. Shalimoff 58
Postal Operations at Modaoshi, V. Popov 60
The Asobny Atrad Design Theme, R. Polchaninoff 61
"Khronika", translated by David Skipton 61, 89 and 91
"V" Crayon Marking, V. Popov 62
Tomsk Provisional, V. Popov 63
The Airpost Congress Issue Spots and Plate Varieties, G. Adolph Ackerman 64
A Collect-On-Delivery Question, V. Popov 74
Soviet Occupation of W. Ukraine and W. Belorussia, Peter A. Michalove 75
Nova Odessa in Brazil, R. Polchaninoff 81
Retouching History, Robert F. Minkus, M.D. 83
The Nationalities Question, Ivo Steyn 84
When Stamps Are Not To Be Had, George Shaw 87
Handstamps for Sale, David Skipton 88
Russian Christmas Seals?, George Shaw 89
Travels of a Tientsin POW Cover, 1916-17, Melvin Kessler 90
U.S. Postal Censorship and the USSR 91
Was it a Newspaper?, George Shaw 93
Unusual Covers to Russia, Melvin Kessler 94
Postal Communications, The Fundamentals, David Skipton 95
When Washing Clothes Simply Wasn't Good Enough 97
The Far East Question 101
On to China 103
The Rossica Library 104
Reviews of Recently Published Material 106
Advertisements 112


Joseph Chudoba


President: Dr. Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, MD 20016
Vice President: George Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127
Acting Secretary: George Shaw, 7496-J Lakeside Village Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042
Treasurer: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226
Librarian: David Skipton, 50 D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Auditor: Leon Finik, P.O. Box 521, Rego Park, NY 11374

Board of Directors:

Dr. Raymond Ceresa, Fairview Cottage, Quarry Lane, Gorsley, Ross-on-Wye,
Hereford BA9 7SJ, Great Britain

Lester Glass, 1553 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

Alex Sadovnikov, P.O. Box 612, San Carlos, CA 94070


Washington-Baltimore Chapter: Dr. Gordon Torrey
Northern California Chapter: George Shalimoff
Midwest Chapter: James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304
Great Britain: Dr. Raymond Ceresa

Anything in this journal may be reproduced without permission. However, acknowledgement of
the source and a copy of the reprinted matter would be appreciated. The views in this journal
expressed by the authors are their own and the editors disclaim all responsibility.

The membership dues are $20.00 annually, due on January 1st for all members. Application
forms are available upon request from the President, Secretary, Treasurer or Librarian. Member-
ship lists will be sent annually. Please make all checks payable to:


c/o Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY 11226 USA.

Copyright 1990
The Rossica Society


Joseph Chudoba


President: Dr. Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, MD 20016
Vice President: George Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127
Acting Secretary: George Shaw, 7496-J Lakeside Village Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042
Treasurer: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226
Librarian: David Skipton, 50 D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Auditor: Leon Finik, P.O. Box 521, Rego Park, NY 11374

Board of Directors:

Dr. Raymond Ceresa, Fairview Cottage, Quarry Lane, Gorsley, Ross-on-Wye,
Hereford BA9 7SJ, Great Britain

Lester Glass, 1553 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

Alex Sadovnikov, P.O. Box 612, San Carlos, CA 94070


Washington-Baltimore Chapter: Dr. Gordon Torrey
Northern California Chapter: George Shalimoff
Midwest Chapter: James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304
Great Britain: Dr. Raymond Ceresa

Anything in this journal may be reproduced without permission. However, acknowledgement of
the source and a copy of the reprinted matter would be appreciated. The views in this journal
expressed by the authors are their own and the editors disclaim all responsibility.

The membership dues are $20.00 annually, due on January 1st for all members. Application
forms are available upon request from the President, Secretary, Treasurer or Librarian. Member-
ship lists will be sent annually. Please make all checks payable to:


c/o Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY 11226 USA.

Copyright 1990
The Rossica Society


Joseph Chudoba


President: Dr. Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, MD 20016
Vice President: George Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127
Acting Secretary: George Shaw, 7496-J Lakeside Village Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042
Treasurer: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226
Librarian: David Skipton, 50 D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Auditor: Leon Finik, P.O. Box 521, Rego Park, NY 11374

Board of Directors:

Dr. Raymond Ceresa, Fairview Cottage, Quarry Lane, Gorsley, Ross-on-Wye,
Hereford BA9 7SJ, Great Britain

Lester Glass, 1553 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

Alex Sadovnikov, P.O. Box 612, San Carlos, CA 94070


Washington-Baltimore Chapter: Dr. Gordon Torrey
Northern California Chapter: George Shalimoff
Midwest Chapter: James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304
Great Britain: Dr. Raymond Ceresa

Anything in this journal may be reproduced without permission. However, acknowledgement of
the source and a copy of the reprinted matter would be appreciated. The views in this journal
expressed by the authors are their own and the editors disclaim all responsibility.

The membership dues are $20.00 annually, due on January 1st for all members. Application
forms are available upon request from the President, Secretary, Treasurer or Librarian. Member-
ship lists will be sent annually. Please make all checks payable to:


c/o Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY 11226 USA.

Copyright 1990
The Rossica Society

EDITORIAL lishing Expert, and this issue's "look"
is largely his effort. Philatelically he
brings a mania for St. Petersburg and
Rossica members will notice some new things Moscow cancellations to our enter-
in this issue: new editors, new names on a perma- prise, as well as postal history, and any-
nent editorial board, new double-column format, thing with a cancellation on it.
and authors' pictures (when available). What is Norman Epstein our photography man
not new is the lateness of this issue. It was and all-around business consultant.
brought about by the inevitable delays and con- Norman's expertise on Imperial and
fusion that go with a changing of the guard, and Soviet stamp issues is well known.
we ask our members' indulgence and patience as Leon Finik another stamp connoisseur,
we, the editorial board, get our bearings. At- modern Soviet postal history buff, and
tempting to produce journal almost from scratch a stamp-dealer.
during November and the December holidays George Shaw-veryknowledgeable on all
hasn't been easy, but we hope you'll think this things Inflationary.
issue was worth the wait. We solicit your com- David M. Skipton our chief editor, as
ments on everything from content to format if well as library reference-checker/dig-
you don't like something in the journal, but ger-upper, other duties as assigned,
neglect to mention it to us, most probably you'll and Imperial postal history fanatic.
get more of the same! And if you like it, let us Denys Voaden-airplane expert and geog-
know anyway; then you WILL get more of the raphy fanatic.
same. Howard Weinert- our otherDesktop Pub-
The three major objectives of the editorial board lishing expert, with an intense interest
are: in Siberian, Central Asian and Cauca-
1. getting the journal out to the member- sian postal history.
ship at regular intervals,
2. ensuring content quality, and As president, Gordon Torrey is our ex-officio
3. making each issue as presentable in 8th member of the board, and he provides an
appearance as possible. encyclopedic knowledge of Offices in the Le-
vant. Whenever necessary, we will not hesitate
To these ends, we've put together a permanent to tap the expertise of other members, some of
editorial board consisting of members located whom have already graciously volunteered to
entirely within the Washington, D. C. New serve as consultants. One such members George
York area. This was not done because there is no Shalimoff, whose contributions to this issue were
expertise anywhere else. Rather, the arrange- considerable. Not only has George supplied us
ment facilitates board meetings where most or all with top-notch photographs, but he's had a hand
of the board members may attend. Problems can in a number of articles. For the most part that
be thrashed out and decisions made in a single hand has been invisible, so we'd like to take this
afternoon, in a single place. If we're going to opportunity to thank him publicly for all his
have a reasonable chance of producing a quality work.
journal under a deadline, we can't afford to be This issue has been proofread to death. A few
scattered over a continent or two. There is a lot typos may have slipped through, but we hope
of talent and diversity of philatelic knowledge on they'll be few and far between. And we promise
the board: that the Russian, wherever Cyrillic appears, will
be close to exact or perfect as well. In addition,
Gary A. Combs in charge of layout and we have a wide base of language character sets
production, is ourresidentDesktopPub- for use in the journal. These include Polish,

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 3

Czech, Ukrainian, German and several others. LIFE OF THE SOCIETY
The board will make every effort to put two
journals out per year, in the mail by April and By Gordon Torrey
October. (This year, due to the lateness of #113,
we've combined it with #114 to get ourselves on The form and appear-
schedule. The next issue will be sent to the anceofthisRossicaJour-
printers in September.) immediately
A few words are in order about editorial policy. strike our members as
Without contributors, people willing to share being different from pre-
their knowledge in print with others, this journal vious issues. It ismeant
could not survive. You, the writers, are what to be so, since we have a
makes this journal tick, and we believe you new editor, David Skip-
deserve a prompt and fair shake. Hence, we ton, and co-editor, Gary Combs. Also, we have
present this "Writers' Bill of Rights". It contains reconstituted the editorial board and decided that
three articles as follows: it will meet to consider the publication of every
number of the journal. It has been decided to
1. If you submit an article, you will be introduce several new features in forthcoming
notified of its receipt as soon as possible issues. One of these is to revive the series on
either by mail or telephone. In most forgeries and phantasy/bogus issues, as well as to
cases, where the telephone is used the try to get the journal published on a more regular
chief editor will call you himself. basis. We also intend to publish some larger
Please include your phone number with journals in order to catch up on the backlog of
the manuscript. This will make any ne- articles that have been submitted for publication.
gotiations under article #2 below proceed There is little news to add to the very fine
more quickly. bulletin recently written and distributed to the
2. No contextual changes or additions will members by Paul Spivak, our new bulletin pub-
be made without FIRST consulting with lisher. I am certain that this change will relieve
the author. It's your work, and changes greatly our past newsletter publisher and vice
should be with your permission. The president, George Shalimoff. George has done a
editors will confine themselves to typos, splendidjob on this for many years and expressed
grammatical mistakes and syntactical er- a wish to be relieved of the job. I want to thank
rors. About the only thing we may change George very much for his toils on the newsletter.
without notification is an obvious Rus- Rossica's application for non-profit status is in
sian translation or transliteration error. the hands of the Internal Revenue Service and we
If, forwhateverreason, we can't orwon't should be receiving notice from the IRS in the
use the article as is, you will be told why. near future. Already they have sent us the forms
3. If we can use an article, we can't always for income tax reporting.
make a definite promise as to when it will A small number of Rossica members are plan-
appear, but we'll certainly try. ning to attend "London '90", the international
philatelic exhibition, next May. I am looking
Anyone contemplating an article or two, please forward to it with much anticipation. Of course,
see the guidelines in this issue for submitting we are looking forward to getting together with
manuscripts, then start writing. our British Society of Russian Philately col-

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114,1990 4

Rossica entered a one-frame exhibit at World collection.
Expo '89 held during the Universal Postal Union "Peter Bylen has been active as our Commissar
Conference. This has elicited several queries for Agitation and Propaganda, sending copies of
about joining Rossica. the newsletter to numerous sources in the na-
There has been a suggestion that Rossica insti- tional philatelic press. Peter's efforts yielded a
tute a Rossica Society mail auction. This, of good write-up in LINN's and a mention in an
course, is contingent upon obtaining a volunteer editorial of STAMP COLLECTOR, which
to run it. Anyone interested please contact the generated several inquiries frominterestedread-
president. ers. Unfortunately, the picnic planned at Jim's
Rossica's 1990 Annual Meeting will be held at home had to be cancelled because of scheduling
BALPEX '90 over the Labor Day weekend. problems.
Two additions to Rossica's growing list of "On May 28, Igor and Yuri Ackerman, Rob
publications are Dave Skipton's "Imperial Rus- Bell, PeterBylen, Mike Carson, Jim Mazepa and
sian Postal Placename List, Reverse Sort (1858- I met at COMPEX in Chicago. Yuri gave a
1915)" compilation, and the Table of Contents program on Russian erinophilia, concentrating
reproductions for "Rossica" #'s 44-112. Please mostly on Red Cross and patriotic labels from
see the ad inserts in this journal. the early twentieth century. He illustrated the
In closing, I wish to thank past editor Ken talk with beautiful examples from his own col-
Wilson for his long service and efforts as editor election.
of the Rossica Journal. "On July 9, Jim Mazepa hosted a picnic for the
chapter at his home, and Igor and Yuri Acker-
man, Peter Bylen, Mike Carson, Tom Chastang,
CHAPTER ROUNDUP Maria and Jay Hammell, Steve Thomas and I
came to enjoy the delicious food, fun and good
company. And on May 21, Jim gave a talk
THEM WESTCHATERbefore the Chicago chapter of the Ukrainian
Philatelic and Numismatic Society. Jim spoke
e f g r o t M C on exhibiting, with emphasis on the Ukraine. In
(The following report on the Midwest Chap-
recent exhibitions, Tom Chastang received a
ter's (MRC) activities was gleaned from issues r t Tm r d
S*vermeil at the Plymouth Stamp Show for his
4-6 of their quarterly bulletin. A lively 4-pager il a the mouth Stmp Show for his
display of the workers issue of the 1930s, and
edited by Peter Michalove, it deals with Russian
I'm pleased to say our newsletter won a bronze
philatelic topics as well as chapter "goings-on". at the 13th Annual Cardinal Spelman Philatelic
" members resn o e te Mat the 13th Annual Cardinal Spellman Philatelic
Rossica members residing outside the Midwest
Literature Fair this past April.
who'd like to be on the mailing list may write to "INDYPEX 1989 in September was a great
"INDYPEX 1989 in September was a great
Peterat 307 S. McKinley, Champaign,IL61801.)
success for our chapter. We had hoped for a
"I'm happy to report that the Midwest Chapter
strong Russian showing at the exhibit, but the
of Rossica is thriving and busy. Yuri Ackerman, strg Russn s ing a the h t the
result was overwhelming. Adolph Ackerman
Peter Bylen, Mike Carson, Tom Chastang,
r BL i a o a an won a gold for his early Soviet airmails and also
Raimundas Lapas, Jim Mazepa, Bob Pauk and I
Raimundas Lapas, Jim Mazepa, Bob Pauk and I garnered the APS research award, the J. David
(PM) attended the meeting at POLPEX on Feb- d the h r, c
ary 12. The Bourse was thin on Russian Baker award and the Postal History Society
ruary 12. The Bourse was thin on Russian
medal. Adolph also won a vermeil and Collec-
material, but our meeting was a success as Mike m -
tors Club of Chicago award for his Russian
gave a fascinating program on the Soviet infla- t C o C
S. Arctic exhibit. Max Ayer received a vermeil for
tion period. Jim's Kingdom of Poland exhibit .
ion peGrd. J i no, his Azerbaidjan October 1919 to October 1923,
won the Grand Award at POLPEX, and we all
won the Grand Award at POLPEX, and we all and Jay T. Carrigan received a silver-bronze and
enjoyed the "tour" he gave us of his outstanding Society of Czechoslovakian PhilatelyFirstPlace
Society of Czechoslovakian Philately First Place

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 5

for his showing of the Carpatho-Ukraine 1944- his early Soviet airmails. And, at the Chicago
1945. Mike Carson gained a silver for his Collectors' Club non-competitive show Sep-
display of the Soviet inflation era. Tom Chas- tember 1-3, Jim again showed his Kingdom of
tang picked up a vermeil plus the INDYPEX Poland exhibit.
20th Century award, the ISC Johnny Appleseed "At the Champaign-Urbana Stamp Club, I gave
award and the INDYPEX Kurner second place a program on August 21 about the Soviet occu-
award for his collection of the workers issue of pation of Poland and the Baltic States (just in
the 1930s. Russell Ott won a vermeil, the APS time for the 50th anniversary of the Hitler-Stalin
post-1940 medal and the ASPP second place for pact). With all this, the MRC is doing its part to
his Russian North Pole Drifting stations. And, in spread the word on Russian philately!"
the junior category, Michael Sharp received a
silver-bronze for his topical exhibit of US and THE WASHINGTON CHAPTER
Russian space exploration. Wow! Congratula-
tions to all. Rossicans in the D. C. area turned out in force
"In addition, the MRC presented its first Award to welcome Philip E. Robinson (of Siberian and
of Recognition. The Grand Award went to Imperial Postmarks fame) to town. Seven
Adolph Ackerman for his early airmail display, members braved the ominous threat of Hurri-
Second place went to Russell Ott, and third place cane Hugo and fought their way through high
went to Tom Chastang for their exhibits listed winds to Bethesda's China Coral restaurant,
above. This is a new award the Chapter has there to fete Philip and his friend, Frank Scheer.
established to encourage excellence in all areas Only one well-known Rossica light in the area
of Russian and East European philately. The failed to show, but in consideration of his embar-
winners receive a certificate printed on parch- rassment at actually having believed that morn-
ment paper with a blue border. ing's weather reports, his name shall not be
"On Sunday of the show, Adolph, Peter Bylen, divulged. All present at the table, however, felt
Mike, Tom, Jim Mazepa, Russell Ott, and Jay that even in a hurricane, 500 Stoneleigh Road in
and Denise Stotts gathered for an MRC meeting Baltimore wasn't THAT far away.
where Adolph gave a program on his Soviet Philip quickly sold out his small portable stock
airmail display, pointing out many rare and of"Postmarks" books, graciously autographing
unusual items. them for a demanding public, and the lazy susan
"Two of our members exhibited at Bulgaria with 10 different dishes turned almost as fast as
'89, and both won golds: Jim Mazepa for his the conversation. (It's a sad commentary on the
Kingdom of Poland, and Adolph Ackerman for lack of Russian restaurants in the area when a
Rossica bunch has to go Chi-
(Clockwise from left: Mike
Tihomirov, Quinn Shea (de-
"spite this picture's mute tes-
timony to the contrary, he
really does have a whole
face! Sorry about that,
Quinn.), George Shaw,
"Denys Voaden (staring in-
tently at helping #12), Gary
Combs, Gordon Torrey,
Dave Skipton, Philip Robin-
son and Frank Scheer.)

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

An accountant's nightmare ensued when the history "superbooth" a near-constantmob scene.
check arrived, but amid much shouting and For those suffering from fiscal exhaustion, there
wailing a consensus was reached on who owed was a magnificent Court of Honor, with upwards
what. A slightly reduced contingent thereupon of 400 million dollars' worth of international
made off to the Torrey residence, and proceeded grands on display. Alas, no Russian material
to discoverlong-forgotten treasures in the host's graced the frames, although a glorious Finnish
voluminous shoe boxes of material. By 10 P.M., exhibit provided a link with our collecting field.
both Hugo and the philatelic wrecking crew had In another area of the show, many societies put up
exhausted their welcome, and the assembly a frame apiece to advertise their existence and
dispersed. Our thanks to P. E. Robinson for collecting areas, and Rossica was no exception.
providing a good excuse for such an enjoyable But just try to do justice to the whole gamut of
time, and good luck to him and Mr.Kiryushkin Russian, Soviet and related-areas of philately in
on their latest book. 14 pages!
Local and a few not-so-local Rossica members
reduced their wallets and Russian stocks dra-
matically, but saved just enough for a Saturday-
NOTICE night bash in Chinatown. Two reconnaissance
missions prior to Saturday night had turned up an
Anyone interested in the postmarks and postal unassuming establishment a mere two blocks
history of St. Petersburg is invited to come to the from the Convention Center, barely within the
BSRP room at London Stamp World '90 on Chinatown gate. Food and service excellent.
Monday, May 7th, to discuss the foundation of Twelve stalwarts of the Society and two mem-
a St. Petersburg society, bers-to-be enjoyed the food and hospitality of the
Chop Stick Restaurant: Albert Ash, Gary Combs,
SGlenn Cucinello, Norman Epstein, Michael
Gutter, Al Kugel, Dan Mayo, Livio Penco, Dave
HAVE YOU MOVED? Skipton, Webster Stickney, Joe Taylor, Denys
Voaden and Bill Welch.
If so, and you haven't sent a change-of-address A number of other Rossica members turned out
card to the treasurer, your bulletins and journals for the show, but unfortunately they could not
are in grave risk of disappearing into postal attend the dinner.
limbo. If they are returned by the USPS, you will
have to pay $2 for remailing a journal. Please IMPORTANT PHILATELIC EVENTS
notify Norman Epstein of your new address as
soon as possible; we don't want you to miss
anything you've already paid for! STAMP WORLD LONDON '90
3-13 MAY 1990

By Dave Skipton

The 17-day extravaganza at the Washington,
D.C. Convention Center is over, and for aching
feet not a moment too soon. Most dealers re-
ported doing a land office business during the
first few days of buying frenzy, with the postal

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 7

The Soviet Air Fleet Semi-Official Stamps
Their Role in Postal History and the Development of Soviet Aviation

by G. Adolph Ackerman

e.g., the Russo-Japanese conflict, World War I
and the invasion of Allied Forces in the North,
Ukrainian and Siberian sectors, plus territorial
"disputes along its southern border. Thus, na-
tional defense provided a major impetus to
development and expansion of an aviation
Virtually unknown today, even to ardent aero- complex within the U.S.S.R. during the 1920s
philatelists, are the Soviet Air Fleet semi-offi- and 30s.
cial stamps/vignettes and postal cards of the By early 1923, a fledgling civil airline service
1920s and early 1930s. These stamps and cards was established in the Western Sector of the
describe an important historical chapter in the U.S.S.R. An embryonic aircraft construction
early development of both civil and military industry was in operation, although during the
aviation in the U.S.S.R. In spite of important 1920s civil and military aircraft generally were
pioneering efforts in aircraft design and air- purchased from outside the U.S.S.R., primarily
related activities in Russia prior to World War I, from Germany. To stimulate public interest in
the development of an aircraft industry, aero- aviation, encourage its youth in the various
dromes and even airroutes essentially was stalled aspects of aviation and air defense, and to further
by the political upheaval, Civil War, famine and public support for air-related activities and
rampant inflation following World War I and the maintenance, the Soviet government, on the
October Revolution. Thus, Soviet aviation initiative of Trotsky (4) sponsored the active
severely lagged behind Western Europe and the formation of aviation clubs or societies (March,
United States in the manufacture and design of 1923). These clubs were formed initially in
aircraft for military and civilian use, and in Moscow, but rapidly extended to the major cities
establishing civil airlines and internal flight and districts throughout the Soviet Union (6, 10,
service. 14, 15). These aviation clubs were loosely
The new Communist regime soon recognized federated under the Central Committee in
the need to develop its military and civil air Moscow as the 'Society of Friends of the Air
capabilities in order to provide rapid communi- Fleet' abbreviated ODVF (OEIIIECTBO APY3EF
cation links with its distant and inaccessible BO3AYIIIHOrO JIOTA). By mid-1925, the
cities. An air capability was essential to ef- ODVF had 3 million members (3). This group
fectively guard andproviderapid troop transport was joined in 1925 (3) with the 'Chemical De-
to its vast territories and borders. Expansion of fense' units under the acronym 'Osoaviakhim'
both military and civil aviation received high ('Society for Defense of the Soviet Union and
priority as political stability was gradually the Development of Aviation and Chemical
achieved in the U.S.S.R. Plans for forming a Industries').
formidable air capability and designing an ex- ODVF/Osoaviakhim aviation clubs were basi-
tensive air network within the Soviet Union cally organized into district units. However,
were greatly influenced by Russia's recent past, these districts did not conform exactly with the

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

Soviet governmental district oblastt') bounda- Thus, nearly 200 Air Fleet stamps and varieties
rieswithintheU.S.S.R. Based on ODVF district have been recognized, not including Air Fleet
name and/or initials appearing on Air Fleet special membership stamps/receipts. The Air
stamps, and by noting the cities of origin of a Fleet stamps illustrated herein will follow the
number of covers, Speers (10-13) subdivided order mentioned above.
the Air Fleet stamps into the following district/ One of the major activities of the ODVF was to
sector chapters of origin (the number of Air Fleet help generate funds for the governments' avia-
stamps issued for each area, as listed by Speers, tion programs (1, 7, 9, 13, 14). The Central
is indicated in parenthesis): Committee and the local chapters were author-
1. Moscow Central Committee (32); ized to design, issue and sell special 'stamps' or
2. Moscow Local (11); vignettes in order to generate public funding for
3. The Lenin issues (7); these aviation programs. Although the Air Fleet
4. Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Repub- stamps/labels were not valid for postage, they
lic did help publicize the campaign to 'Build the
RSFSR (4), Red Air Fleet'. If desired, the Air Fleet stamps
Kostroma (1), could be used to decorate postcards and enve-
Pskov (8); lopes much as Christmas seals are used today.
5. Northwest District (including Leningrad Examples of Air Fleet stamps on covers, espe-
(16); cially when tied by postmark, are scarce and
6. Byelorussia (7); particularly desirable today (figs. 1-3).
7. Ukraine Ukraine Soviet Socialist Re- Members of the ODVF not only purchased the
public Air Fleet stamps themselves, but sold them to the
Kharkov (14), public along the city streets, as well as from
Kremenchug (4), windows in the local post offices (14, 15). While
Kiev (7), purchase was not compulsory, some early issues
Ekaterinoslav (1), were printed on the back "compulsory sale
Poltava (2), prohibited" to reinforce this point. The ODVF
Odessa (6), program was even publicized in Soviet newspa-
Georgia (1); pers, where daily listings of funds generated
8. Crimea (5); from both individuals and organizations were
9. Ural District (11); published during the first year of the program
10. Southeast Districts (5). As indicated, funds derived from the sale of
Rostov (14), the Air Fleet Stamps were turned over to the
Novocherkassk (7), Soviet Government and used to build civil and
North Caucasus (1), military aircraft, air support facilities, and for
Kabardinian-Balkarian training pilots and ancillary aviation personnel.
Autonomous Republic (5); These funds also supported local ODVF air-
11. Middle Asian Section related activities. The Air Fleet 'stamp' pro-
Tashkent (15), gram proved a most effective means of income
Tadzhik Republic (1); generation and, during the first year, monies
12. Western Siberia obtained by the ODVF funded the building of an
Zlatoust (5), entire squadron of nineteen new Soviet-built
Omsk (1); Polikarpov R-1 biplanes (2). This military squad-
13. Eastern Siberia (Chita)(7); ron was named the Il'ich Squadron to honor
14. Far Eastern Republic (1). Lenin, who had died six months earlier, and
helped provide additional publicity for the Red
Air Fleet and Soviet air programs. Several Air

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

Fig. 1. Air mail cover -
"Tashkent to Berlin (15 Sep-
tember 1925) with
cancelled 3-gold-kopeck
(yellow, lower left) and 10
gold kopeck (blue, arrow)
of the 1924 Moscow Local
ODVF series.

Fig. 2. Air mail cover -
Moscow to Wiesbaden, Germany
(6 April 1933) with multiple Air
se aIt E Fleet stamps plus definitive post-
age. Note 1-gold-kopeck (blue
with light pen cancel, left center,
arrow) 1924 fourth series of
Moscow Central Committee
SODVF. Large 5-kopeck (blue)
and 25-kopeck (orange/black)
" featuring 2 monoplanes over the
-e Uralfactories anda large biplane
Mit Leftpost PI^ respectively from the 1924/5 se-
Par Wso ries of the Ural District ODVF.
Also (top center), a 1917 World
War I loan issue from Fellin tied
by a cancel.

Fig. 3. Kamenets to Berlin (21 October
S1923) with Kamenets cancel on 5-ruble
1923 Khar'kov (red andpurple) Air Fleet
issue on back ofcover. Khar'kovAirFleet
stamp inscribed "For the Air Fleet";
printer's legend(bottom margin) indicates
it was printed at'Khar'kov, 2nd Govern-
ment Lithography [Printing Office], 3rd
series, 1,200,000' [printed].

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

Fleet stamps were specifically designed featur- generated by the sale of these stamps was turned
ing Lenin and the slogan "Build a Squadron for over to the government. Therefore, the Soviet
Il'ich" (figs. 4-5). Thus, the Air Fleet stamp Air Fleet stamps should be considered as semi-
program allowed a unique cooperative effort official in nature (6); not unlike governmental
between the Soviet people and the Soviet gov- controlled revenues issues or the U.S. postal
eminent during the early period of the Soviet defense stamps.
regime and its civil/military aviation ventures.
By 1928, the ODVF/Osoaviakhim funds had
spent 6 million rubles on aircraft and chemical
warfare development, including the purchase of
160 aircraft, the building of 35 aerodromes, and
the presentation of many flying exhibitions (3).
It is reported that by 1928 the parent Moscow
Osoaviakhim Society had formed 32,000 affili-
ated air and chemical clubs throughout the coun-
try (3).


Fig. 5. 1923 15-kopeck (dark red, no gum)
Lenin Air Fleet issue from Moscow showing
Lenin in front of the cockpit of an aeroplane
with an aviator pointing to a formation of
aeroplanes overhead. Inscription "ForIl'ich's
Squadron". Letters 'OAVUK' at top.

Fig. 4. 1923 25-kopeck (brown on light tan
paper, no gum) Lenin Air Fleet issue showing
Lenin looking atfactories with aeroplanes over-
head Inscribed "For Il'ich's Squadron".
Letters 'OA VUK' (top left building) are initials
for the 'Ukrainian and Crimean Association
for Aviation and Aeronautics' (2). Similar
stamps also exist without these initials. Fig. 6. 5-ruble (orangeldark violet on yel-
lowish paper, no gum) 1923 first issue of the
Soviet Air Fleet stamps differ from the air Central Committee featuring a monoplane,
labels or seals issued by non-governmental clouds, sun rays and a vertical balloon. In-
groups in other countries, since the ODVF/ scribed "SSSRIODVF/Friends of the Air
Osoaviakhim and its activities were under gov- Fleet". No outer frame around design; large
ernmental supervision and control; the money "P" of "CCCP" variety.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 11

The first Soviet Air Fleet stamps (fig.6) were and, on several issues, featured airships (figs.
issued by the Moscow Central Committee in the 15, 20). Printed by lithography on varying
Spring of 1923, and initially distributed through- qualities (and colors) of paper, the Air Fleet
out Russia. The Moscow Central Committee issues appeared in single or multiple colors,
continued to design and issue several series of showed variations in color shades, and com-
Air Fleet stamps during the 1923-1924 period only have shifted positioning or register of the
(figures 1, 2,7-9). Almost immediately after the design. Most stamps were perforated (11 1/2) -
first issues of the Air Fleet stamps by Moscow others were distributed imperforate. Perfora-
Central, local ODVF chapters were established, tions were commonly crude (figs. 1-2,6, 13,26),
and were encouraged to issue their own distinc- incomplete (figs. 13, 15), or were shifted, cut-
tive Air Fleet stamps. As indicated, some 26 ting into the design (figs. 13, 23). Many Air
ODVF district/city chapters were eventually Fleet stamps were issued ungummed; while the
formed (10-13). Each chapter and/or district type and quality of gumming of the 'gummed'
placed its name or initials on their stamps: stamps varied from a clear gum to an uneven
dark coarse gum. Dates of issue were not placed
Moscow Local (MODVF) (figs. 1, 10-12), on the Air Fleet stamps, therefore the year of the
Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Re- release of some issues has been determined by
public (R.S.F.S.R.) (fig. 13), the monetary (kopeck-rubles/gold-basedkopeck/
Kostroma (KODVF) (fig. 14), rubles) printed on the stamps (figs. 6, 8, 10-12,
Pskov (PODVF) (fig. 15), 14), and from dated postmarks on postally used
Northwest District (figs. 16-18), items. It is apparent that a number of the Air
Ukrainian District Khar'kov (fig. 3), Fleet issues underwent additional printings,
Kiev (figs. 19-20), which resulted in color shade varieties and, in
Poltava (fig. 21), some instances, even differences in stamp/frame
Odessa (OODVF) (fig. 22), design sizes. Surcharges appear on several of
Southeast District Novocherkassk (fig. the early ODVF issues (fig. 7), which reflect
23), inflationary changes. A given surcharge (fig.
Ural District (fig. 2), 33) or special cachet (fig. 26) can identify stamps
Don District, North Cauc. Krai (fig. 24), of several ODVF districts. The Air Fleet stamps
Middle Asian Section Tashkent (fig. 25) exist both mint and with pen/crayon cancel used
Ural District Zlatoust (fig. 26). to prevent resale, and occasionally individual
stamps can be found with city postal cancels.
Soviet Air Fleet stamps were generally quite Most Air Fleet stamps were issued between
colorful and came in many sizes. The number of 1923 and 1925 and a few in 1926-1927; some
stamps printed of a given design or value varied issues also were distributed by several Oso-
from a few thousand to several hundred thou- aviakhim chapters in the early 1930s. Imprinted
sands. In most instances, however, the number propaganda postal cards (figs. 27-28) with
of stamps printed for a given issue is unknown. Osoaviakhim designs including airships, as well
A printer's legend is present along the margin of as civil and military aviation themes, appeared
several issues (figs. 3, 22-23) indicating the site during the 1930s. In addition to the stamps
of printing and, in the case of several of the issued by the government-sponsored ODVF and
Khar'kov issues, indicate the number of stamps Osoaviakhim chapters, several independent aero
printed (fig. 3). clubs sold their own motif stamps (vignettes) in
Designs featured on the Air Fleet stamps were the early 1920s with funds being used for their
quite diverse but simple in nature. They usually activities. Early in the government's aviation
featured one or more stylized airplanes, an occa- program, funds also were solicited for the Air
sional air-relatedallegorical design (figs. 23-24) Fleet by the Industrial-Commercial Bank of

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

i ,,4.-"" ^ "" I- I

Fig. 7. 25-ruble black surcharge on 2-ruble
(blue, clear gum) from 1923 second issue ofthe
Moscow CentralCommittee. Basic design simi- Fig. 8. 50-gold kopeck (black/red, light gum)
lar to figure 6. Stamp has outer frame line, from 1924 fourth series issue of the Moscow
tilted balloon and shaded clouds/sun rays. Central Committee, featuring a center circle
with grouped aeroplanes. Initials 'ODVF/
SSSR' and gold kopeck (abbreviation) in Rus-
sian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian and Georgian.

^& ^^^^^^-- ~--_ _______


Fig. 9. 1-ruble (dark green/red/yellow/black, Fig. 10. 1-goldkopeck(purple, lightgum)from
light gum) from 1924 fourth series of the first 1924 series of the Moscow Local ODVF.
Moscow Central Committee, showing a mono- The first issues of the Moscow Local used
planeflying overthe Kremlin. Initials 'ODVFI ODVF (no periods) as their abbreviation.
SSSR' and gold kopeck (abbreviation) in Rus-
sian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian and Georgian.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

Fig. 11. 5-gold kopeck (dark green) of late
1924 series of the Moscow Local ODVF. Note
1924 series of the Moscow Local ODVF. Note Fig. 12. 50-gold kopeck (salmon/black, light
change of 'ODVF/SSSR' to 'MODVF' (no
change of 'ODVFSSSR' to 'MODVF' (no gum) of the 1924 Moscow local issue with a
periods)design similar to that shown in figure 8; peri-
ods between the initials 'MODVF'.

TPFLH UMECI .C..C..P Fig. 13. RSFSR 1923 issue (red/
black on tan paper, no gum) with
no value indicated. Inscription -
'Workers of the RSFSR/Create
Your Air Fleet'.

Fig. 14. 5-gold kopeck (blue on buff paper, Fig. 15. 5-ruble(orangelgreen-bluelblack,yel-
light gum) is the only issue (1924) from the lowishgum) 1923 issue ofPskov chapter of the
Kostroma chapter of the RSFSR. Biplane RSFSR, featuring an airship, monoplanes
design similar to 1924 Moscow local issues flying above the city, and the sun. Inscribed -
(figure 1). Inscription 'RedKostromich'plus 'RSFSR/For the Air Fleet/Pskov ODVF'.
initials 'KODVF'.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990


Fig. 16. 5-ruble (yellow/violet/black, no gum)
of the 1923/24 series of the Northwest District
ODVF featuring a biplane and borders with
propellers. Inscribed 'SSSR/ODVF/North- Fig. 18. 25-ruble (red/black/moss green, no
west District'. gum) of the 1923/24 series of the Northwest
District surcharged 10-kop. (black).


Fig. 17. 15-ruble (red/blue/black on white-buff
paper, no gum) of 1923/24 series of the North-
west District ODVF, showing two biplanes in
the sky and a red star with rays. Inscribed -
"SSSR/ODVF/Northwest District'.

Fig. 19. 5-kopeck (purple, no gum) of the 1925
Kiev Air Fleet issue showing workers (one with
banner) and factories with aeroplanes over-
head. Inscribed 'For the Air Fleet' with the
initials for the Ukrainian District.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 15

4r n 1, ,.., .J4,B

Fig. 22. No value (gray-blue/red/black/buff,
no gum) of the 1923 issue of Odessa, Ukrain-
ian District showing a fleet of aeroplanes cir-
cling the globe/USSR. Initials '0 (Odessa)
DVF' below top right inner frame. Odessa
printer's legend (lower edge).
Fig. 20. Large 10-kopeck (purple/red/gold on
pink paper, no gum) of the 1930 Kiev, Ukrain-
ian District Air Fleet issuefeaturing an airship S
over factories. Inscription 'Workers

0 Fig. 23. 3-gold kopecks (red-brown/yellow/
toSngthen black, no gm) of the 1924 series of Novo-
0D 0TAB RM HA cherkassk, Southeast District. Stamp features
shil igT. PiHi For. Chairman of the USSR Central Executive
Committee Kalinin sowing seeds that grow into
aeroplanes. Initials (top) 'ODVF' andthose of
'the Southeast District.. Novocherkassk issues
Fig. 21. 10-kopeck (red-brownbluelblack, no look exactly like the Rostov series except the
rFig. 23. 3-gold kopecks (red-brown/yellow/

gum) of the 1927 issue of Poltava, Ukrainianthe 1924 series of Novo-
District showing a plane flying over a coun-District. Stampfeatures

try village. Inscription "For Your Air Fleet'. offsetprfrao sor a portion o the lege;
1BTPRboffset perforations Chairmashow a portion of the lExeutivend

at the top and bottom of the figure.
Rossica Jouexactly like the Rosto series excal
Number 113/114, 1990 16

Fig. 25. 15-ruble (gray on course tan paper, no
gum) of1923 series ofTashkent MiddleAsian
Section ODVF (initials at top). Inscription -
Odobaeaxu AoUn e 0orp. 'p Society for Friends of the Air Fleet'. Small
inscription above the sun rays 'Working
People, Build the Air Fleet!'. These stamps
were surcharged with different values and in
Fig. 24. No face value (blue on grayish white twosurcharge sizes during the inflationperiod.
paper, no gum). This is the only issue of the
Don District (date of issue uncertain, probably
-1924). Large stamp shows a monoplane, star,
seal ofthe aviation-chemical club and a farmer,
a worker and a soldier holding hands; scrolls
inscribed 'Strengthen Defense' 'SSSR'. Two-
line inscription for Osoaviakhim of Don okrug
and North Caucasus Krai. 0 s

Fig. 26. 20-kopeck (orange on coarse yellowish paper, thick coarse brown gum) issue of the Ural
District with violet circular Zlatoust cachet showing a biplane and sun rays. Cachet inscribed -
"Zlatoust Soc. of Friends of the Air Fleet'. Cachet was placed at intersection offour stamps.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

Ol -

Fig. 33. Airmailregistered coverfrom Kiev (29
May 1926) via Moscow to Berlin. 1923 diago-
nal black 100-ruble surcharge on the 10-ruble
(gray-green) of the Moscow Central Commit-
tee's second issue prepared for Chita, Eastern
Siberian sector, on the back of the cover. This
variety also has an unreported second violet
numeral '25' surcharge added.
Fig. 27. Imprinted Osoaviakhim postal card
(Yalta to Simferopol' -15April1932)featuring
the airship 'Osoaviakhim SSSR'flying over a
farm and tractors. Card inscribed 'Everyone
Must Participate in Building Soviet Airships'.


4 12

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 18

Fig. 28. Imprinted Oso-
aviakhim postal card
(Moscow to Berlin 25 May
1931) featuring biplanes
flying over a farm and trac-
tor. Inscription proclaims
"Kolkhoz Men and Women!
Strengthen the USSR's De-
fenses, Buy Tickets in the
5th All-Union Lottery of the
Osoaviakhim!'. Card
franked with 1921 Airship
Construction air mail issue.

Fig. 29. Large 1923 Industrial-Commercial
Bank of Moscow label (red/yellow/blue/black)
showing a propeller and machine wheel with
the inscription for the Bank's emission and a
printer's legend. Soviet postage was placed (as
shown) in the outlined box indicating a dona-
tion to the Air Fund

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 19

Moscow (fig. 29), several factories (e.g., Tri- Fig. 30A. (First paragraph:)
angle Factory which produced aviation materi- "Accepting the challenge of Genichesk Post-
als, and two match factories) and the Railroad and-Telegraph office workers, the Manager of
Transport Union. These groups produced their the Far East Communications District S. I.
own special stamp-receipts for public donations Chernyi (Khabarovsk) contributed 3 rubles
(13) to the air fund. For Osoaviakhim member- towards the "Pochta i Telegraf" plane, and in
ship receipts for dues, a series of small stamps turn challenged V. V. Frolov of the Khar'kov
with differing values and designs, including the Comms Dist., F. N. Chmykov of the Blagove-
Osoaviakhim coat-of-arms (fig. 30), aviators shchensk P-T-K, A. T. Galat of the Nikol'sk-
and aeroplanes, were distributed; these stamp- Ussuriiskii P-T-K, and B. S. Yunenkov of the
receipts were to be placed in the individual's Khabarovsk Comms Dist. to follow his ex-
club membership booklet (9, 13). ample."
Fig. 30. Small 20-kopeck (Last paragraph:)
,IL.T 2 (red) Osoaviakhim member- "As of 24 June this year [the following
"ship receipt-stamp showing amounts] have been collected for the Air Fleet
S an Osoaviakhim sealfeatur- and paid to the ODVF: 173, 221.25 rubles in
ing a machine wheel, star, Soviet currency bills, 542.79 rubles in gold
crossedpropellor blade, rifle, coins, 155 5-ruble gold bonds, 1 25-ruble gold
and a gas mask. bond, 23 coupons totalling 3.45 rubles, one
The People's Commissariat of Posts and Tele- bread-loan bond ofl pood and two bonds for 5
graphs (NKPT) also participated in fund-raising poods, 11.11 rubles in postage stamps, 75 ko-
for the Red Air Fleet. This exhortation and up- pecks in silver coin and 71 kopecks in copper
date on collections was one of several that ap- coin." (ZhTS #6, June 1924, p. 2.)
peared in "Life and
Technology of Com- KpaeaHiH BOs3AyUIHbIH 4nJIOT.
(ZhTS) during 1924. HawlM. BsO38l.
Monies gathered
went to one airplane, C. H. lepublt,.XadaposcK.,YnpaBn. A.-B. oKp. CBa.3, no auaoay padoTin-
KOB reHHiecKoR n.-T. K-pu, BHec Ha caMOneT ,rioqTa H Tenerpa)' TPH py6. H B
the "Pochta i Tele- coIo o'Iepeb Buua3baer B. B. OponoBa, XapbKOBCK. OKp. CBs3H, (Q. H. HMuxoBa,
graf". (fig. 30A) BaaroeuteHcK, n.-T. K-pa, A. T. ranara, HHKonbCK-YccypHIcKIaf, n.T. K-pa,
Local ODVF/Oso- B. C. loHeHiOBa, XadapoBcK. OKp. CBn3..
3aaoT AeuMqHH, BOJuH. r., H. CymKo H Ynon. Coioaa CB3H A. CaqeK BHC-
aviakhim clubs were CAH Ha CaMOACT 04Tra H Tenerpa(PI oAHy niTHpy6neByio o6niraL(mo sonJOT. Bu-
gradually dissolved MrphiWH. SaAia m C cooeg CTOPOHlu BhablBaiOT nocnegaoaTb HX npHMepy 3aBKOHTa
yby te S t g AHOB BonbiH. r. r. Cepreeaa, 3aaora KopoBHne4 H. BoraTKo, 3aaoTa ParopoAoC
by the Soviet gov- HMaHnoHa H 3aaora BepxoneBso EKaTep. r. A. ManKo.
ernment as the So- 3aseAyioulAn BenoqepKoacCKof n. T. K-poil Tpo4)HM raB.n. KonApaTIOK, no
viet Union's air net- hb30By 3aBKOHnTa WUeneTOBK T. lepKaccKOro, BHeC Ha camojneT ,4loTa H Tene-
rpa4"' Aae n nrrpy62ieaux o6j1HraqHH 3onOT. 3afiMa H B CBOmK o4epeAb B3lB&laeT
work and air defense ry6HHa, 3aaKonr npHBOiK3&abHOA KHeacKof K-pu, KOHApaToaa, 3aBae.nb KCea,
programs became KYHA3HHa, 3aanOKOHT KHea, KpeMHHcKoro. rioMHaoKp KHea, HraaTIOKa, 3aBKOHT
firmly established in OacToB, KoaaKa, 3aeKoHT BorycaaB, Ko6ulnaluKoro, 3aBKOHT KopcyHb, Xplcroce-
BHIa, 3aBOT CTaBHUie, Kinona, 3aorT PaKHmo, KapBHHaoa, 3aBonHT ropoAme,
the late 1920s, as the KHeBCK. ryL. H, KpoMe Toro, npHmrauaer roa. lepiaccKoro BHeCTH pa3aHHy.
political climate
changed and the Ha 24 ImoHn c. r. co6pauo Ha Boaayxonaor if sHecea B
OLBD coB3aaiaMn-173.221 py6. 25 Kon., epBooHHux 542 py6.
79 Kon., o6iaraui 30sJIOT. 3arua narITpy6JIeBoro aocTOuHCTra-
155 ruT., 25-ni py6Aeaoro locroncrTBa--1 uT., 23 !,yPLua tia
cymuy 3 py6. 45 xon., 1 o6mrr. xje6noro salina a 1 nya H 2
o6Jnr. no 5 nya., noqTroBbI1 MapamHi 11 py6. 11 orn., cepe6pa-
Hol OHCerTOrI 75 Kon. i MeAlHof 71 Kon.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990

government sought to consolidate its manage- issuance of special air-motif airmail postal is-
ment of the Osoaviakhim. However, public sup- sues. These commemorated the Graf Zeppelin
port for certain aviation projects was still needed Moscow-Friedrichschafen flight (1930), the
for the Soviet government to continue its air net- combined Russian/German arctic venture of the
work expansion and to initiate a major airship icebreaker Malygin and Graf Zeppelin (1931)
construction program. These plans required a and the issue of a special airmail airship con-
much greater level of public support than was struction set in 1931 in which stamp designs
possible by the existing Air Fleet stamp program were selected from public competition (fig. 28).
in order to compliment governmental resources. The airship program was disbanded in the mid to
Government-sponsored Osoaviakhim propa- late 1930s due to construction problems, several
ganda post cards (figs. 27-28) apparently were to accidents of their prototypes, and safety consid-
prove a better source of public funding and erations following the Hindenberg disaster. By
stimulating public awareness of Soviet military the mid-1930s, Soviet aviation and its military
and civil air programs than Air Fleet stamps. In and civil support programs had matured. Soviet
addition, Osoaviakhim lotteries became popular aviators were setting records in altitude, speed
by the end of the decade (3) and in the early and distance flights, a number of which were
1930s, and were advertised on some propaganda commemorated on Soviet postal issues. During
postcards (fig. 28). Special Osoaviakhim stamp- this period, local Osoaviakhim clubs were grad-
like lottery tickets bearing air-related motifs ually phased out. The last Osoaviakhim Air
were sold for these events (fig. 31). Fleet stamp was issued from Moscow in 1933
(fig. 32). In more recent
times, despite their early
impact on the Soviet avia-
tion programs, both the
ODVF and Osoaviakhim
-1 and their colorful stamps
have slipped into obscurity.
As indicated, Soviet Air
at'd Fleet stamps commonly
*b p m a -dca- ,show crude designs, shifted
Sn a un and/or incomplete perfora-
S y of an c. tions, variation in size and
""rP color shades. Since these
1. 8- Copam .1- i 25615 Paay.AT stamps were not issued as
postage or as "true" reve-
nue stamps for compulsory
payment and "decorating"
Fig. 31. 1933 1-ruble Osoaviakhim lottery documents or products, they have not enjoyed
ticket showingagiant4-engine aeroplaneflying inclusion in the philatelic catalogs, and informa-
in front of a hangar, city, and factories. In- tion and awareness regarding these unique stamps
scription 'Support the Air Fleet Through have been limited.
Work andDefense' (top), 'Strengthen Defense For the philatelist, the Soviet Air Fleet stamps
SSSR/Osoaviakhim' (center), and '8th All- can provide a stimulating and unique venture for
Union Osoaviakhim Lottery' (bottom). study and the challenge of the hunt. Today,
Soviet Air Fleet stamps are scarce and extremely
Additional public funding and propaganda for difficult to acquire outside the Soviet Union.
the Soviet airship program occurred through the Still the Air Fleet stamps are not depicted in the

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 21

30e LZ~', -. ./_. Fig. 34. UnreportedAirFleet 1-ruble
2 -/ ft .93 stamp (brown on yellowish tan paper)
S /9_ ^ /> ^featuring a biplane and the inscrip-
Stion- 'Strengthen Defense'(top); 'Ev-
"eryone into the Ranks of Oso-
I aviakhim!'(bottom). Yearandorigin
are unknown.

Fig. 32. Vyatka to Berlin (2 March 1934) cover
featuring the 1 O*opeck (bright red) of the 1933
Moscow Local Osoaviakhim issue and show-
ing Maxim Gorky and a giant 4-motor aero-
plane. Inscribed 'We Shall Build a Giant
PropagandaPlane Maxim Gorky'. This stamp
is considered to be the last Air Fleet stamp

philatelic catalogs, and few dealers are aware of
their nature or existence. Air Fleet stamps on
cards or covers are particularly uncommon, and
are most desirable when tied to the cover by a
postmark. The most complete cataloging, in-
cluding a relative pricing index, of the Soviet Air ....:.
Fleet stamps to date is reported in a series of J
articles by Speers (10-13). Perhaps the most
comprehensive collection of the Soviet Air Fleet
stamps, vignettes and ancillary air-related labels Fig. 35. Large black on purple label of the 3rd
was sold at a Cherrystone auction in 1986. This District (no value indicated) showing a mono-
collection was compiled from the collections of plane. Inscription 'Commission for Volun-
several outstanding Russian philatelists and tary Collection of Donations for the Red Air
apparently included much of the material stud- Fleet 3rd Regional Committee'. Year un-
ied by Speers. As might be expected, it is most known; location of 3rd Regional Committee
exciting to find Air Fleet stamps (figs. 33-35) or unknown.
stamp varieties/clich6s unlisted by Reynolds
(9), Nicklin (6) or Speers (10-13).

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 22

References: Treasurer's Report
by Norman Epstein

1. Aronson, H. L.: Aerophilately. XII. Avia- The following is a breakdown of the Society's
tion Propaganda Labels. Russian Amer. financial status as of the end of calendar year
Philat. 12 #5, 1944. 1989:
2. Campbell, P.: Airmail Labels of Oso- Income
aviakhim. Rossica, 89: 49-51, 1975. Dues 6,384.50
3. Mitchell, W.: Russian Aeronautics. The Sale of journals 1,267.50
Forum. 80: 107-111, 1928. Ads 33.00
4. New York Times: Russia celebrates aero- Expertizations 267.90
chemical gain. July 15, 1925, p.2. Donations to Library 84.95
5. New York Times: August 5, 1923, section Returned postage 60.60
VII, p. 6. Sale of books 1,281.80
6. Nicklin, J. W.: Russia The Air Fleet TOTAL INCOME $9,380.25
Stamps 1923-1924. Aero Philat. Annals,
6: 39-50, 1958. Expenses
7. Nicklin, J. W.: Russia The Air Fleet Journal:
Stamps. AeroPhilat. Annals, 10: 101-103, Printing 3,110.57
1963. Typing 150.00
8. Posell, J.: Printing varieties of Soviet Air Postage 653.88
Labels. Rossica, 76/77: 74-76, 1969. Supplies 358.86
9. Reynolds, J. H.: Russian Propaganda Bulletin:
Labels for Aviation. Part 3 Non-airlabels Printing and supplies 110.15
depicting aeronautic symbols, p. 39-44. Postage 199.62
Cambridge, 1956. Camera system:
10. Speers, F. W.: Russia Air Fleet Labels. A Film 83.89
revised listing (Part 1). Aero Philat. An- Parts and supplies 426.80
nals, 15: 57-68, 1968. Computer system:
11. Speers, F. W.: Russia Air Fleet Labels. A Parts and repairs 61.43
revised listing (Part 2). Aero Philat. An- Copy machine:
nals, 15: 95-112, 1968. Supplies 57.26
12. Speers, F. W.: Russia Air Fleet Labels. A Parts and repairs 390.53
revised listing (Part 3). Aero Philat. An- Library:
nals, 16: 19-28, 1968. Supplies 109.80
13. Speers, F. W.: Russia Air Fleet Labels. A Postage 83.79
revised listing (Part 4). Aero Philat. An- General:
nals, 16: 49-53, 1968. Printing and stationery 346.71
14. Krasnin andTurchinskiy: Voluntary Postage 924.82
stamp receipts to help build aircraft (1923- Supplies 20.98
1936). Soviet Coll. No. 24:154-156,1987. Refunds 130.00
15. Wolski, E.: The Chronicle Stamp An air- Overdraft 9.26
mail label as a record of history. Rossica, Truck rental 91.87
88: 61-62, 1975. TOTAL EXPENSES $7,320.22

Bank balance as of 31 December 1989

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 23

Imperial Russian Postal Receipt Forms

by Daniel W. Levandowsky
Several Imperial Russian postal forms are All the underlined portions are printed text on
described here in the hope that others may be the form with the rest [filled in by hand]. There
able to add information about them since, other is no text on the back. In the lower left comer,
than what is written on them, very little is known. on the text side, there is a smudged marking of a
The items are postal receipts for insured mail, double-headed eagle within black double ovals.
letters with money or documents posted in 1848- The text between the ovals is indecipherable.
1849 and 1863-1864. It is interesting to note that the heading
Figure 1 shows the printed side of one form "ROSPISKA" is an older form of the spelling.
with the heading "ROSPISKA", meaning "re- In modern Russian, as well as the old orthogra-
ceipt", and a small imperial emblem of the phy Russian, which was changed in 1918, this
crowned double-headed eagle holding an orb word is spelled with the second letter being an
and scepter in its talons. The text on the form is "A" instead of an "O".
printed with spaces between words to allow In itself, the text of this receipt makes it an
written insertions. This particular form reads as interesting postal paper, but an additional bonus
follows: was the appearance of a watermark showing the
"In the Kherson Post Office for dispatch there word"ROSPISKA" and large crowneddouble-
was accepted and in the book recorded on the headed eagle above crossed posthors (fig. 2).
25th day of February, 1849 under No. 346 to The eagle-and-posthors watermark is the same
Dinaburg to Alexander Malivid a letter with type and appears to be about the same size as the
one hundred rubles silver from Second Lieu- watermark on the 1848 embossed stamp enve-
tenant Malivid. lopes. (See Higgins and Gage Postal Stationery
Collected: for weight rub. 10 kop.. for insur- Catalog Nos. 1-6.) This emblem was the coat of
ance 1 rub. kop.. and fees of 3 kop. in silver, arms of Tsar Nicholas I.
Postmaster The receipt form is about 150 x 200 mm. The
Assistant (signature)" paper is off-white and smooth, but slightly po-
rous and fragile.
Another identical receipt
Pr o c n 1 c K A. for a letter containing 15
rubles sent from Drog-
ichin to St. Petersburg in
t /t *t/'e,'< A. -,: e, 1- ,/1.KA. is/ rO.A ..MA x -//" .U---. xerox in fig. 3. This item
-L cay, c ,<'' ,t- r, ar .. ,: is in the collection of Mr.
//,-tc I-/ A, ,A-,,- e,-/t ,. ;'- The interesting thing here
"* is that in the first line the
; uaa: =.... n)/I 'i., ,s.. / rp,.- ..... U word "KONTORA" (of-
g am. "rpe6pmm
"fice) of"POCHTOVAYA
Iapick. *" KONTORA"(postoffice)
,' K, 1 is crossedout andthe word
)7 "STANTSIYA" (station)
is written above.

Figure 1.
Rossica Journal 24
Number 113/114, 1990

which reads "for the receipt, 5 k.".
The printed text is slightly different than
the previous form and it reads as follows:
"In the SPB [St. Petersburg] Pochtamt
[Main Post Office] for dispatch there was
accepted and recorded in the book on the
10th day of October, 863 under No. 30 to
Simbirsk to the Civil Court House eight
rub. and a petition.

Collected: for weight rub.40 kQp
for insurance rub. 8 kd.
fees 3r
total 53
Figure 2.
Forwarding Agent
In addition, the words "POCHTMEISTER"
(postmaster) and "POMOSHCHNIK" (assistant) Receiving Clerk (signature)"
are crossed out, too. The title written in front of
the signature is "SMOTRITEL' "or station mas- In the "fees" line, a "5" has been written over the
ter, obviously a lower level of authority. "3".
The face side of a third receipt is shown in fig. This form also has a watermark (fig. 5). The
words "POCH-
S- Aappear curved
"across the top. In
'- -L ma- ".' .. ,,* p" _u the center there
"' .wrorA0 & ornpaseul. n upnam
S. .... is a crowned
'- ,_ double-headed
.-- *" -- eagle with an orb
7 1.- -. ... and scepter and
"crossed post-
horns below.
S,I..' -pa I -. z n.. The watermark
"mnu .3on. p4. reads normally
from the reverse
"side of the re-
ceipt. The wa-
termark eagle is
not the same as
shown in the
1849 form in
Figure 3. figure 2. It appears to be the type on the water-
4. It too has the word "ROSPISKA" at the top marked embossed stamped envelopes of 1863.
with a small imperial emblem beneath it. In (Higgins andGage CatalogNos. 18-19 orAscher
addition, there is a boxed handstamp in red Catalog Nos. 10-11.) This emblem is the coat of

Rossica Journal 25
Number 113/114, 1990

Du* '/... ..,.

Figure 4.
.. a.: .se.r, pyd. --

3~cuA ,- suP. PCUCA.U1p I
uur ajia

J. 4, ". .. .,. .

Figure 5.

Rossica Journal 26
Number 113/114, 1990

arms of Tsar Alexander II. amount of weight and insurance fees and the
A set of "PRAVILA" (rules) is printed on the charges for receipts. The sender or person
back of this form, revealing more details about acting on behalf of an illiterate sender must
Sthe purpose and procedures (fig. 5). It is written only confirm such an entry in the book with
in a 19th-century bureaucratic manner with long their signature.
sentences using formal terms and words, with Footnote 2. In postal establishments abroad,
numerous clauses and punctuation marks that where the senders are mainly foreigners who
oftentimes resist easy translation. do not know the Russian language, it is
allowed, when money, parcels, documents
"REGULATIONS and other insured items are accepted for
GOVERNING ACCEPTANCE OF dispatch, to have the contents of the record in
MONETARY, INSURED AND PARCEL the log book written by the hand of the re-
CORRESPONDENCE AT THE POST ceiving clerk, while under that the sender,
OFFICE. with his own hand, shall describe in his own
language the items being sent and confirm
1. In each postal establishment a book for re- everything with his signature.
cording monetary, parcel and insured corre- 4. The senders, without expecting any remind-
spondence is made available. ers, are obliged to see to it themselves that
2. In these books the senders are themselves the rules set forth above in paragraphs 2 and
required to write down the items they are 3 are complied with and to demand the log
sending by regular or express mail, the books for the required entry of their dis-
monetary enclosures, parcels, documents and patched items.
insured letters as well as the ordinary letters 5. The senders of insured items, monetary and
sent by relays: the weight of the letters must parcel correspondence are obliged to receive
be declared and also the payment for mailing specific-purpose receipts signed by the Dis-
them, the weight charges, fees and charge patcher of the Main Post Office [Pochtamt]
for a receipt; and all of this must be con- or of the Postmaster, and to pay 3 kopecks in
firmed by their signature. In case the senders silver for each receipt.
are illiterate, they must bring in a person 6. Such receipts, which have indicated on them
from the outside. Post Office employees are the N [no.] under which the dispatched item
forbidden to enter into these books any of the is entered in the record book, are issued to
above information or to confirm it with their the sender so that they know exactly when
signature on behalf of the sender. they submitted their items to the post office.
3. Persons who do not know the Russian lan- 7. In the event of loss of the dispatched items,
guage are allowed to make entries in the the Postal Administration is obliged to sat-
record books only if their language is under- isfy the sender by reimbursing him for the
stood by the P.O. clerk or dispatcher who lost money or the [value of] the parcels only
accepts the correspondence. Otherwise, the to the amount for which they were insured,
sender must bring someone from the outside and this is done only if at the time of dis-
as is done with an illiterate person. patching of these items all the rules de-
Footnote 1. In the Main Post Offices [Pochtamts] scribed in paragraphs 2 and 3 were followed
of the [two] capitals and in the Odessa P.O., and executed, that is, when the sender in his
where the flow of patrons can be consider- own hand had written into the record book
able, it is permitted for the postal employees his dispatched items or confirmed such an
themselves to write into the record book the entry by his signature. For insured letters
[accepted] correspondence, recording, at the containing letters of credit, promissory notes,
same time, the weight [of the item], the debt obligations and other documents, re-

Rossica Journal 27
Number 113/114, 1990

corded on [official] stamped paper, for which words in the first line read "In the Postal
at the time of their acceptance only a double Kontora [Office]" whereas, on the form shown
weight charge was made but not any insur- in fig. 4 it reads "-- Pochtamt".
ance charges, the Postal Administration does On these receipt forms used in the 1860s (figs.
not suffer any monetary responsibility and 4, 6), the original fee for the receipt was 3 kop.,
only inflicts on the officials responsible for but this was overwritten with a "5" in accor-
the loss a specific reprimand and obligation, dance with the handstamped marking on them.
if the sender desires, to send at his [the offi- Figure 7 is a xerox of the face side of a similar
cial's] expense, in place of the lost items, receipt issued by the St. Petersburg Pochtamt on
another letter or package." June 13, 1864, but now the lower left corer on
the line marked "Fees" has "5 kop.".
One can see from these rules that there was For fine illustrations of the two watermarks as
considerable responsibility on the part of the they appear on the postal stationery, see Plate II,
sender to see that his insured mail was properly figs. 6 and 8 ofPrigara' s book "The Russian Post
recorded to validate any subsequent claim, in the Empire, Turkey, China, and the Post in the
The paper of this form is thinner and more Kingdom of Poland", 1941, (also D. Skipton's
porous that the previous examples, off-white in translation, 1981) or the article "Stamped Enve-
color and very fragile. The printing is not crisp lopes of Imperial Russia 1st Period 1848-1863"
due to the paper texture. The form is about 120 by O. Faberge in Rossica Journal No. 62, 1962.
x 200 mm, and appears to have been printed Figure 8 shows another type of receipt form
several times on a large sheet that was cut apart. used in the St. Petersburg Pochtamt in December
Traces of the printed headings"ROSPISKA" on 1864. It is un-watermarked and smaller in size
the front and "PRAVILA" on the back are found (73 x 97 mm) and has the St. Petersburg initials
at the lower edge. A portion of the watermark "C.HJ.." printed on the form. However, the cost
also repeats at the bottom of this particular form. of the receipt is not printed, but simply written in
A similar receipt, with the rules printed on the by hand "5" kopecks. This receipt was also for
back, is shown as a xerox in fig. 6. This item is a heavy uninsured letter to the Simbirsk Civil
in the O. Faberge collection. It is a receipt for a Court containing a petition.
letter with 78.50 rubles sent in September 1864
from Novogrudok to Viborg. On this form the

st VarnM '{1 wen W,&a
444I nl -s
"" v .. -- .,

cr* s. i --py Y M. 1

.n f.. < w

Figure 6.

Rossica Journal 28
Number 113/114, 1990

hm'uuary -A -I2 Us w a '
*- -cn y- ^. 9aw'

1 "7 < ^ ^ F^Kr L/ cf X l Figure 7.
S.t, Se a( ......
-. -w 7-
. -. -- .. 4ii. --- -' .

C_.,,,,. C: POC> HC AC .

npHino n C. u.-.m
^^4^^(a I""*


IVpa$U 0 118paIAKS NPIONA XOISMOn^, cTpA10801 9 Evotothhl0

C3 uaN, AOSYNoCRa a UmCbC capalopun, a Tame I apocrue
Cb aCTaIeraSs orupaaszeMuM. ozanU OUi saomcuiaeuma ao-
TORIIJm upicmanoaaux a-& ycrauosseanius soah, &i spacyrIisi
cauoa i6 sotas3r8cic.
2) Uno rasoso1 IauNCt. BaMWue cS NoA)aLAeaCI 0oiroazs
uaarTcM oauaRawycTa EpiCUnDNONS 3m1 ThiOt SoAamareIDSgol
nr, oopu a r Itaus a aerc T Figure 9.

01 aNAt pocuaea, Co MuCaKlX euM as IMero -r 50 otes
8) 3&.yrpaqenoua ma lout ieunrs a socuirs 11o0ro1
YpRa mee: yAoCToperI UPAISTsa caaameol poc fc.

nO 889o00oV9 YAOCTOstpiehi aMuIOCTI ero,'3TOI CyNNIe, waxae
uJa acTpapoxanas. 3a ncia ae crpaosus, ap. opi

5ox11 DauagrOc9 AloI IcoBu, O CTpazOii AepU___ a, -
Ilorouloe I opata Iplcro MICaeriO, ctpnisoi yrpart -.l
ifppepccmlllel l ell JilDlillITMTIlIll.
1) s Oenptil oiPeuuAt c nol aa lin a orarsc act, eaciu
C}uMu, HOsyuesTu oICkXI cpaxoilu, 8 TKle OpOcTul*
cti arTIrcII opll>llileNi, xIJ inu OTL 111a4o1ceiu r01-

TOI iuaeII Di(loKe TiiI OTIpaDaI S CtCON CTS AprOe ic CL

Rossica Journal 29
)Number 113/114,IOI i t 1990e c
lIlTore OailllaiOi *pieiiCEllnOi nl TliOmt *I Oillejio'l0
IHSf, IOiOpiul It tit lul ))kiiuelc* lurr|erc Doxlui Figure 9.
>i. *ix41 pcrunnea, co uucamieur I3 ero brT sootesi".
3) 3 yrpaiemour na noIIt AeukrH *ocujr UoIToKm
Ynpnlmele ylomjeTiopmrc, npeA'irrTej* caoinuol pocnfier,
no MKOBonioo yl'OcTOrtfplia llne err o,'Ton Cyil, KXlol
iul CJa TpIaOIaMI. 3a Dlciil we crprilou, *pn opier t
ronxl urlioin xioluuri Itcoliu, o Ha crpiolul jleoir,-
Doiloloe naIiajCTeO ioxlepTr*Ti IiiIOIHXI nI yiprt wl.
BOIBlBKOl OopljenlluMii 1WUCIUilll 0 * *,1" ei aoc ej. lorlejaelf, oTplllti I cOl clei uyroe. ,JM el

Rossica Journal 29
Number 113/114, 1990

The printed text has been shortened and reads at his [the official's] expense another letter
as follows: or parcel."

"RECEIPT In comparing these rules with the previous
set, we see that the task of recording theinforma-
Accepted in the S.P.-B. Pochtamt at the 2nd tion in the record book is simplified, and now
City Otd. [Branch Office] 17 December 1864 (in done by the postal clerk not the sender. An
the book [under number] 663) to the Simbirsk illiterate sender no longer needs to bring a liter-
Civil Chamber a petition, ate agent with him to perform this. In paragraph
2 of these rules, it specifically states that the re-
Paid: for weight charges 1 r. 75 k. ceipt fee is 5 kopecks, although this is not speci-
for insurance charges fled on the front of the receipt, and is filled in by
for the receipt 5 hand at the time of acceptance of the particular
piece of correspondence.
Receiving clerk: (signature)" It is interesting to note that, on the face side of
all three receipts issued at the St. Petersburg
A set of rules appears on the back of this smaller Pochtamt, there is handwritten at the top the
receipt form, shown in fig. 9. Compared to the Cyrillic inscription "Lit." [JIHT.] with the Cyril-
example shown above, the rules are simplified lie script letter "V." [B] (fig. 4), "A." (fig. 7) and
considerably, although they are still written in a "S." [C] (fig. 8). The abbreviation "Lit" stands
bureaucratic style. These rules read as follows: for "letter". The recording books were main-
"Regulations GoverningAcceptance of Mone- tained in chronological order and lettered in
tary, Insured and Parcel Items of Corre- Cyrillic alphabetical order in the post offices
spondence in Pochtamts of the Capitals. that had large volumes of mail and required
several books in the course of a year.
1. Sums of money, documents and insured In comparing the various forms, we see the
letters dispatched by mail or with express terms "POCHTOVAYA KONTORA" (post
service as well as ordinary items sent by office) and "POCHTAMT" (Main Post Office)
relay must be recorded by the postal receiv- printed. We conclude from this that in those
ing clerks in the books provided, in the times an important consideration was given to
presence of the senders, the precise indication of the type of postal estab-
2. At the time of such recording, the postal fees lishment which issued the receipt. Special forms
received from the senders are written on the were used for post offices and others for
coupon in the sender's book, which is then pochtamts. The proof appears to be the 1848
cut off and given to the sender as a receipt, example where "KONTORA" is stricken out
for which he is charged 5 kop. and "STANTSIYA" (station) is written in ink in
3. For money or parcels lost in the mail, the its stead. This may indicate that there were no
Postal Administration reimburses the pre- receipts printed for Postal Stations at that time,
senter of the above-mentioned receipt, after and perhaps none later as well.
legally verifying his identity, with the amount It seems also that special receipts for
for which it was insured. As for insured "POCHTAMTs" would have existed from the
letters those which at the time of acceptance very beginning. Since the postal system was so
were assessed a double weight charge, but carefully structured, it is hard to imagine the
not any insurance fees, the Postal Admini- functionaries of the pochtamts using the receipt
station inflicts on the postal officials re- forms of the "plebeian" postal offices. Perhaps
sponsible for the loss a specific reprimand a receipt form of the 1840s for a pochtamt will
and obligation, if the sender desires, to send someday surface.

Rossica Journal 30
Number 113/114, 1990

[The author thanks Mr. Oleg Faberge for the use (both modem and old orthography), Polish,
of several items from his collection in this article Czech, Ukrainian, German (but not script),
and for his discussions about these receipts. He French and English.
also thanks G. V. Shalimoff for the photographs ART. Art is considered everything from a
and composition of this article and D. M. Skip- simple table to a complex drawing. If you have
ton for the explanation of the written notations a Macintosh, art files created in MacPaint,
"Lit. A.", etc.]. MacDraw and MacDraft can be submitted in
normal, .pict or .tif formats. In addition, please
send a copy of the art.
Submitting Articles to the Journal If you do not have a Macintosh and desire art in
your article, please submit the drawing in a
By Gary A. Combs clearly understandable format or create it your-
self and send as an original. Please keep them
Several members have asked how to submit an simple since I do not make my living as a
article for publication in the Rossica Journal. graphics artist. I can't even draw a straight line
The question is fair and deserves an answer, with a ruler!
There are several methods available for mem- PICTURES. If you photograph a stamp, cover,
bers to submit articles for publication. To keep cancel, etc. that you wish used in your article,
things as simple as possible, I have divided the please follow these guidelines:
methods into text, art, and pictures.
First, a brief description of our capabilities is in Use only black and white film. The scanner
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around a Macintosh IIcx computer and a Laser- Make sure the print is not "washed out" or
writer IINT printer. The publication package overly dark. I can sometimes correct these
currently in use is Pagemaker by Aldus. Infor- two items, but it takes a lot of time in trial-
mation can be entered into the system from and-error mode.
floppy disks, from the keyboard (by yours truly), Make them big enough to illustrate your
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MacWrite as well as IBM/clone MS-DOS ASCII try to envision how your picture will fit
files and MS-DOS Microsoft Word files (3.5 within the text of your article.
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Word files created on an IBM/clone, please tell send a "high quality" reproduction (black
me if there is a style sheet associated with the and white) or, if you desire, send the original
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If you do not have a computer, or yours is not poses as there is then no chance of photos
compatible with my system, information can be being "washed out", off focus or too dark.
submitted in typewritten format (double-spaced
please). Lastly, if you send a floppy disk, picture, or
If your article contains foreign language char- original and want them returned, please enclose
acters, and your system has the capability to sufficient money to cover postage, etc.
produce them, feel free to do so. If your system If any of our members want more information,
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where. Current capabilities include Russian to do so. This is "OUR" journal.

Rossica Journal 31
Number 113/114, 1990

The Emperor's Mail

By David M. Skipton

Emperor Nicholas I in 1853. (From "IstoriyatsarstvovaniyaImperatoraAleksandraII. (VKarti-
nakh)", St. Petersburg, 1884.)

Rossica Journal 32
Number 113/114, 1990

Many articles have been written on how private I. Royal mail as reflected in laws and de-
individuals, merchants, the military and tsarist crees.
officialdom sent and received their mail, but
royal correspondence, by and large, has been No postal system could have been more
ignored. One excellent reason for this is that exclusive than the one pushed on Tsar Aleksei
letters to or from Russia's rulers are elusive, and Mikhailovich by Jan van Sweden, who in 1665
collecting a frame of them might take a lifetime. "arranged" and ran a line from Riga to Moscow.
Perhaps another is that imperial mail was pre- Its primary purpose was to rush Western Euro-
sumed almost sacrosanct, far above and apart pean "courants" (newspapers) to His Russian
from the common postal system, and therefore Majesty, so that news of events might not escape
little could (or should) be said about it. him. Van Sweden's talents at organizing postal
In the first decades of Muscovy's stumbling communications were not on a par with his
steps toward an efficient, regular service, this ambitions, and the awful mess he helped create
"special service" aspect was true to a great and then neglect soon became news in its own
extent. Later, however, imperial correspon- right.2
dence became less and less independent of nor- Things improved after the Peace of Andrusovo
mal postal procedures, and eventually reached a (1666) gave birth to aline running from Smolensk
point where only a few articles in the "Compen- to Moscow. Now it was the Foreign Department
dium of Postal Instructions and Regulations" that supervised the line, and benefited most from
(1885) mentioned it specifically. By the time it, though it only maintained contact with Po-
1909 rolled around, the "Decrees on the Postal land. Whenever the tsar wished to send orders to
Administration"publishedinthatyearcontained subordinates throughout his domains, couriers
not a single article concerning royal mail.' from the "Yamskoi Prikaz" (Postal Relay De-
In this study, we will explore the gradual less- apartment) were dispatched.
ening of preferential treatment for the emperors' Perhaps the most bizarre of all the postal sys-
mail, focusing on: teams ever employed by Russia was Elizabeth I's
"fruit post", established in 1742. The empress'
1. decrees and laws from the early days up sweet-tooth got the better of her on August 13 of
to the 1830s, regulations and instruc- that year, when she sent a decree to the Senate
tions up to 1909, and ordering that a post running from Astrakhan' to
Moscow be set up. Horses, carts and men raced
2. postmarks and usages of the "Director's from Tsargrad to Moscow with their precious
Office" and its apparent successors, the "mail" after boats had hauled it up the Volga
"Imperial Mail Delivery Section" and from the orchards of Astrakhan'. Soldiers, driv-
the "Government and Diplomatic Mail ers and horses were to stand ready at all times, so
Delivery Section". that the peaches, grapes and whatnot could be
conveyed "day and night without delay, as fast
It should be noted that there are gaping holes in as possible, lest the fruit spoil on its long jour-
our knowledge of this subject. Key items such ney".3' It is difficult to imagine how fruit could
as the 1869 Compendium and (presumably) the arrive in any condition other than spoilt after
official section of the Post-and-Telegraph Jour- being jostled, jolted, bounced and flattened over
nal are unavailable at present. Without them, we a 1000+/-kilometer journey in the dead of sum-
will need further research. mer, and apparently the results were less than
satisfactory. Two years later, on 20 July 1744,
some adjustments were made. Now Elizabeth
wanted the route to go west to Tsaritsyn, heading
through Cossack settlements and the Slobodsk

Rossica Journal 33
Number 113/114, 1990

and Malorussian regiments to Kiev. Postal sta- According to Bills Delivered By It to the
tions were established at 20- to 30-verst inter- Cabinet, for Foreign Correspondence
vals, to prevent some long stretches from over- Conducted By All Members of the IM-
tiring the horses and causing delay, not to men- PERIAL Family.
tion rotten fruit. Six carts and drivers with one
soldier were quartered at each relay stage (it "WE command that for all foreign
must have been a LOT of fruit), the men and correspondence conducted by mem-
transportation coming from the old line to bers of the IMPERIAL Family as
Moscow. The route from Tsaritsyn to Kiev well as OUR own [mail], money
alone stretched for more than 760 versts.4 The shall be paid out by the Cabinet
"fruit post" was certainly an exclusive service, immediately against bills submitted
with better maintenance and staffing than most by the GPO; at the same time WE
other Russian posts of the day. Unfortunately, shall be shown, through normal
this is one aspect of postal history that must channels, the amount paid out." 6
remain forever closed to the collector. Proving
that imperial teeth had sunk into the dried, shriv- June 15, 1801. Imperial Ukaz to the
eled rind of a fruit conveyed along this route over Main Postal Board On Payment for
240 years ago would be a stupendous challenge. Relays (Ehstafety) Sent From the Impe-
Though the Post served the State and mer- rial Family.
chants almost exclusively for many years, the
government could not completely ignore the "To ease the expenditures
costs incurred by the Post in carrying official overburdening OUR Cabinet, WE
mail and travellers. The stationmasters and command that the debt of 88,542
postriders who formed the backbone of the sys- rubles and 25 kopecks owed to the
tem had to be paid their wages, else the system St. Petersburg GPO for correspon-
would collapse. Even couriers from or to the dence and relays sent from OUR
Tsar were obliged to pay at least their travel fare court (from January 1, 1800
to the yamshchiki. On 12 November 1712, for through May 1, 1801 inclusive) be
instance, Peter's Senate issued a decree stating forgiven. Moreover, in considera-
that postal transportation fees were not required tion of these circumstances, WE
of individuals sent from the Tsar, his family or deign [to command] that hence-
the Senate Chancellery to St. Petersburg, or forth, correspondence and relays
from Riga to the army or Moscow. Three dengas sent abroad from US and from
per 10 versts had to be paid to the postriders, OUR entire IMPERIAL Family
however.5 shall be exempt from domestic
Whenever the financial pinch on the royal postage up to the borders; payment
pocket became too painful, some way to reduce for international postage shall
postal costs would be found. (The Post was remain as before. Only those
never in any position to object.) Alexander I travel allowances (progony) for re-
started his reign with a most generous gesture to lays payable to the coachmen and
the Post, but a few months later thought better of stationmasters throughout Russia
it and retracted some of the charges he and his shall be billed to the Cabinet, nor
father had incurred. Compare the following shall any further charge for the
decrees: postal treasury be made below (sic)
the verstage tax for post-horse
April 17, 1801. On Payment of Weight orders (podorozhnyya). Every
Rates to the General Post Office (GPO) three years the GPO shall present

Rossica Journal 34
Number 113/114, 1990

its bill to the Cabinet, with OUR could, however, be issued free by the tsar if he so
confirmation of its immediate desired. The one shown in fig. 1 is a photocopy
payment.'" of a very rare order issued during the few days in
Put bluntly, the Post as an institution could be 1825 when Constantine Pavlovich rather than
stiffed for payment whenever an emperor or Nicholas was considered emperor. It reads "By
empress decided it, but the lowest-ranking postal Order of His Sovereign Majesty Emperor
personnel were paid their due "wages". In a CONSTANTINE PAVLOVICH, Autocrat of
sense, abolishing imperial debt to the Post was a All the Russias, etc., etc., etc. From St. Peters-
paper exercise, moving money from one pocket burg to Taganrog, Aide-de-Camp of His Impe-
to another, for the Postal Administration was rial Majesty, Colonel and Cavalier Shkurin 2nd,
considered to be one of the tsar's "regalia". (A Dispatched on the Most Urgent Official Matters,
regaliss" was any institution, organization or [shall] henceforth be given three horses and a
place which provided income directly to the guide from the post, at the established travel pay
crown, and for many years postal revenues went rates without delay. [Given] in St. Petersburg
directly to the Treasury. From this income the this 7th Day of December, 1825." No fee for the
Post was allocated a certain amount each year order itself was collected.'
for its operations, but it was never enough to af-
ford all the
badly needed
roads, stations
fices,norcould CAMOAEPailA BCEPOCCIf7CKAro,
it adequately XPnY,. a po.a,. X po. a.
supply salary o- k 0 .t, cy/ a-. cA'-
increases for o atwre' / Su, f- Co .,
postal employ- -Z y L

live in near- / 1 ,
destitution. It Y/ @A*,,uu r po 6" J4tpaidr
was these, the e r.*,.
postriders, rz'`0-1` :9 c
w ho got paid --A.- '". f
the travel al- Z" -".'-
lowances, for
they could not C a c p-PO0
afford to trans- '
port the em-
peror's couri-
ers and courti-
ers for free.)
Still, it was a financial setback for the Postal Ad- Figure 1. Order for post horses -
ministration. "podorozhnaya". Thtfine print at bottom left
Orders for post-horses usually bore the name of is partially missing due to tight binding of the
the emperor himself, so that this aspect of the book. From N. K. Schilder's "Imperator
Post, transportation of people, was a source of Aleksandr Pervyi", VoL I, No. 10.
income for the tsar (via the regaliss"). They

Rossica Journal 35
Number 113/114, 1990

Instructions and Regulations to 1909. charges for the letters were then levied, and the
mail was directed to the Foreign Affairs Colle-
Another example of imperial privilege could gium.12
be found in the censorship laws. Article 556 of A new low was reached during the Russian
the 1885 Compendium of Postal Regulations campaign against Turkey in 1828-1829. In
and Instructions forbade any postal censor from January of 1829, General-of-Infantry Rota had
applying his caviaree" to "printed works ad- mailed a box containing military plans and
dressed to members of the IMPERIAL Family, packets through the field post, addressed to the
Viceregents, Governor-Generals and Provincial High Command and the Emperor. When it
and Oblast' Governors".9 reached the border post office at Izmail, the
Article 691 of the Postal Statute specified the officials there refused to dispatch it because the
exact number of horses demanded of station- box was improperly wrapped for mailing, and it
masters for imperial relay couriers: "Relays from lacked the necessary approval seal from Quaran-
THEIR IMPERIAL MAJESTIES must be tine. They returned it. Needless to say, this
dispatched with three horses, while relays from caused no end of heartburn among the Army's
[others] of the IMPERIAL Family must be planners. Their displeasure was quickly con-
allotted two horses and carried with all possible veyed down the chain of command to the Postal
speed.10 Department and the Ministry of Internal Affairs,
As the Post gradually became more bureaucra- coming to rest squarely on the heads of the un-
tized under the 1782 reforms of Catherine the fortunate Izmail postal officials. The Novoros-
Great, Paul's 1799 reforms, and finally the 1830 siisk and Bessarabian Governor-General con-
"upheaval" under Nicholas I, it became less ducted a "severe investigation" into the matter,
concerned with carrying royal or government but the officials' fate had not been resolved by
mail and more involved in moving and deliver- the time Nicholas issued his clarifications to the
ing the growing volumes of private and com- Malorussian Postal Director. Henceforth, the
mercial mail." Fewer of the Post's meager border P.O.s were to forward without delay all
resources could be spared to await the emperor's mail from the front addressed to Nicholas or the
pleasure, and routes like Elizabeth's "fruit post" High Command, regardless of whether it was
had long since become a thing of the past. properly wrapped or not. The only action the
Inevitably, the increasing thicket of postal regu- post offices could take was to fill out a form
lations necessary to deal with more categories of attesting to the breach of regulations, and send it
mail and service created some confusion about along with the offending item."
imperial mail, necessitating clarifications. It It appears from these instructions and the few
was one thing when a postillion of Old Muscovy covers available to us that mail from AND to the
had to be beaten for failing to deliver something tsars and tsaritsas was treated similarly in the
to the sovereign through laziness or inattention, early days. If true, it was probably due to the fact
but quite another when scrupulous adherence to that most mail carried by the Post in those times
postal rules resulted in no mail for the Tsar. was either official or commercial in nature, and
On March 14, 1800, Paul had to order Orenburg therefore important to the sovereign. That began
Military Governor Bakhmet'ev to permit Tatar to change with the spread of literacy and the
petitions to the Emperor in accordance with rising volumes of private mail. When anybody,
Paul's letter and promise to the Kirghiz Horde even peasants, could write to the ruler (usually a
sultans, elders and people. Apparently these petition), mail TO the Tsar became much less
petitions had been returned or simply destroyed important than mail FROM him. As an example,
by Orenburg postal officials because the letters fig. 2 shows a folded letter addressed simply "to
had not conformed to postal regulations, and the His Imperial Majesty, [to be delivered] into His
natives were miffed. Ordinary weight rate Own Hands". The reverse side shown in fig. 3

Rossica Journal 36
Number 113/114, 1990

bears a nice strike of the St. Petersburg City Post, #52 of October 27, 1831, which lived on in 1885
April 16, 1848,2 p.m. Letters of this sort must as Article 692:
have been rather frequent, and increasingly so as
the years went by. To treat all such letters as "Mail sent by relay to HIS IMPERIAL
"royal mail" deserving the same handling as MAJESTY shall be dispatched accord-
papers from the emperor's own hand was impos- ing to the normal rules.""
sible, and a dichotomy between incoming and
outgoing mail developed. It is most evident in Article 239 specified that
several articles contained in the 1885 Compen-
dium. "Registered letters addressed to the Emperor
and presented to the Post
are subject to the same
0 a f- y Au rt MJ regulations as all other such
letters, insofar as their ac-
ceptance by the Post is con-
cerned. Payment of post-
age shall be by means of
..* -. affixing postage stamps to
"the envelope, or by enclos-
SC.-rgu .i -L ,8-r41 ing the letter within a
... ..--- stamped envelope of the
proper amount. (Ukaz ap-
pended to the Provisional
Statute [1871 -DMS], p.
Figure 2. (D. Skipton collection)
SArticle 185 extended this even-handed treat-
_- =-ment to non-registered mail and, other than the
S-admonishment to cancel the stamps carefully
I pOPO I T' and clearly, there was nothing special in the
S--' handling.

-- "Letters addressed to the Emperor that
are presented to the Post or extracted
S.from mailboxes are subject to the same
regulations established for this category
of correspondence [i.e., ordinary and
S-registered DMS] in general. Stamps
shall be very carefully cancelled with the
normal handstamps, and after that other
-datestamps showing time of receipt are
-- -- ""__ -- -- unnecessary. (Circular #17 of 1871.)"16

By 1885, even the distinction of "to" and
Figure 3. "from" royal mail was beginning to blur. Relays
One of the earliest was formulated in Circular FROM the imperial family were not treated that
differently from normal relays:

Rossica Journal 37
Number 113/114, 1990

Article 697: RIAL MAJESTIES as lacks an ad-
"Payment is not required to be col- dress, or which does not reach THEIR
elected from relays dispatched by HIS MAJESTIES at the place specified by
IMPERIAL MAJESTY and Person- the address, must be sent to the Postal
ages of the IMPERIAL Family at the Director."1
time of their departure, but the amount
of postage due for the relays must be Figure 4 is a formular "statement" from the
communicated to the Cabinet of HIS Vil'na Post Office, ca. the early 1900s. It reads,
IMPERIAL MAJESTY, so that post- "Register / of Imperial Correspondence, posted
age owed may be transferred from from" (place to be filled in). The table reads
Cabinet monies to the Postal Admini- from left to right:
stationn" (Postal Instructions; Para- column 1 "Number(s) in serial order";
graph 141; Postal Statute, Article column 2 "What exactly is being sent";
494.)17 column 3 "To whom [the mail] is ad-
Article 701: column 4 "Weight in units" (e.g., lots,
"Relays dispatched from HIS IMPE- pounds, etc. DMS);
RIAL MAJESTY and Personages of column 5 "Special remarks".
the IMPERIAL Family shall be sent The word at bottom is "Total". Since the Vil'na
at the regular travel charges, but no Post Office's name does not appear on the reg-
verstage fees shall be collected." ister, this form may have been produced cen-
(Postal Instructions, paragraph 141.)18 trally and distributed to many post offices.

Blurring or no, some special treatment .
of the emperor's mail remained.
Article 186 (Circular#9183 of May BUcoIuAflmEt oppecnosesiso, orap.zeeol ass
29, 1876):
"Upon receipt of correspon- ...
dence addressed to the Emperor,
the manager of the postal estab-
lishment shall prepare special
letters (otnosheniya) or state-
ments (predstavleniya) for the
St. Petersburg Postal Director ; :
and send them together with
the mail in question. This pro-
cedure is required for any corre-
spondence addressed to the
Emperor or Empress [sepa- r o r
rately]. Correspondence ad- *'
dressed to THEIR IMPERIAL ...... -.
MAJESTIES [together] must be
accepted according to the regulations
established for private mail in gen- Figure4. Registerforimperialcorrespondence,
eral, with the exception that only such from the Vil'na post office. (D. Skipton collec-
correspondence to THEIR IMPE- tion)

Rossica Journal 38
Number 113/114, 1990

There must have been problems arising from stamp is from 1862, and we have no sources
the growing number ofpetitions addressed to the which refer to this office in the intervening
imperial family in the 1870s, due primarily to years.
poor handwriting or improper addressing on the The Director himself may have continued at-
part of the petitioners. Once an item with an tending to royal correspondence, as was done in
illegible return address was dropped into a every reign from Peter the Great to Alexander I.
mailbox, there was no way the Post or the His was the #2 job in the hierarchy of postal
Emperor could respond to it. Circular #17 of ranks, and for several decades the Postal Depart-
1871 cited above did not prohibit placing letters ment Director position (#2) was fused with that
to the emperor in mailboxes, but by 1880 such a of the GPO Director in St. Petersburg. He was
restriction was in effect. an important man in several ways, and his im-
portance increased beginning with Peter the
Article 118: Great, around 1714-1718. Not only did he
"These specific rules apply for the supervisetheoperationsofRussia'spostalroutes
handling of letters addressed to His emanating from the northern capital, he was the
Imperial Majesty the Emperor. Such one who looked after the black chamber at the St.
letters are not permitted to be put in Petersburg pochtamt, where private, official,
mailboxes. Instead, they must be and diplomatic mail were clandestinely opened,
handed over immediately at a post read, and resealed or confiscated. This was a
office, where a postal clerk shall see major intelligence gathering function, one that
to it that the envelope seal is intact supported the police, the Ministries of Internal
and easily legible, and that the peti- and Foreign Affairs (after their inception in
tioner's first and last names, rank, 1802), the General Staff and, of course, the
profession and place of residence are sovereign. Given these responsibilities, and
clearly indicated. The letter can then given that the imperial court was located in St.
be weighed, the appropriate postage Petersburg, any mail sent there would certainly
affixed thereto, and dispatched to the come through the capital's "pochtamt", and who
St. Petersburg Postal Director with a better to deliver it than the top postman in the
form made out by that particularpost city, or one of his deputies? How long the GPO
office."m Director personally delivered the tsar's mail is
unknown, but it is certain that all the correspon-
H. The Postal Director's Office. the Imperial dence went through his "kantselyariya". No
Mail Delivery Section. the Government ordinary postillion would have knocked on the
and Diplomatic Mail Delivery Section. door of the Winter Palace seeking to deliver that
and their postmarks, kind of mail.
Whatever the precise duties of the Postmaster
The history of the Director's Office appears to General's special postal chancellery, it could
begin in 1824, when Postmaster General very well have been the same as the one we shall
Aleksandr Nikolaevich Golitsyn requested from deal with below. If it had its own handstamp, it
Alexander I that a "special chancellery" be es- didn't apply it to the cover addressed to Nicholas
tablished to help him with paperwork. Alexan- I (figs. 2-3).
der granted Golitsyn's request, and allocated Evidently at some point in the reign of Alexan-
15,000 rubles peryearfrom the StateTreasury to der II, the Director's Office began using hand-
coverits expenses. ActualState CouncilorPopov stamps on mail, although the reason for this is
became the chancellery's first chief.21 Whether unclear. The GPO's dispatch offices
this office thereupon handled the emperor's mail (ehkspeditsii) accounted for the date of arrival or
is unknown, because the earliest recorded hand- departure with their postmarks (although even

Rossica Journal 39
Number 113/114, 1990

that did not always hold true), so the
Director's Office mark would not have oW;I|( y '' .UitU rAl
been necessary for ascertaining how L i.t, 9ea-. / /. j
quickly the letters were delivered. t
The second earliest example of Type -4 CW.fl/" ^"
1 the author has seen is shown in figs. ///L. ,, '
5-6, a registered cover addressed to uu '"/.
Alexander II, reading "To His Impe- t -
rial Majesty, Sovereign Emperor of 2/i, z/ , .
All the Russias, [from] a peasant of the X ,, '-^."' <
Kaluga Province, Mosal'sk District, :
Borovenskaya volost', Tovarkovaya
village, Sergei Dmitriev Lukin, A petition to St. Figure 7. "To His Imperial Majesty
Petersburg." The Office's datestamp appears on Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, in St. Petersburg,
the reverse, with the text "S. Peterburg a petition. From the Krestetskii petty bour-
Kantselyariya 12 Okt. 1879". (As an added geois Afanasii Ivanov, who resides in the city
attraction, the 20-kopeck stamp is the "t-in- of Kresttsy in his own house." Posted in
dvadsat'" variety!) Novgorod. (N. Epstein collection)

'"" ........... Mr. Imhof lists one for 12-XII-1880 in
his book2, and a fine cover in the Nor-
"man Epstein collection (see figs. 7-8)
Gives us another, similar petition with
this postmark. (The earliest Type 1
thus far is from July 18, 1862, on a
,- cover sighted in Euro-Yu's stock at
World Stamp Expo '89.)

Figure 5. (D. Skipton collection)

Figure 8. On the reverse "S. Peterburg
Kantselyariya ,, 14 Sep. 1881.

The Skipton and Epstein examples show usage
on "petition mail" to the tsar, while Imhoff's
cover appears to be from a prince or count
("CHusTemcTro" Excellency) who probably
Figure 6. belonged to the royal court.

Rossica Journal 40
Number 113/114, 1990

Alexander II. (From "Istoriya Tsarstvovaniya Imperatora Aleksandra II...")

Alexander II in the Crimea, being conveyed (as was established in regulations) "at a gallop".
(From "Istoriya Tsarstvovaniya Imperatora Aleksandra II. (V kartinakh)", St. Petersburg,

Rossica Journal 41
Number 113/114, 1990

The fifth recorded Type 1 gives another usage The datestamps underwent a change at some
variety, this to non-Russian royalty (who might point between 1884 and 1890, so that now they
well have been related). The English cover in read "S. Peterburg Kants. Pocht. Direktora"
figs. 9-10 was addressed to Her Royal Highness (Office of the Postal Director) in a double circle
the Duchess of Edinburgh, who had left the pal- (Type 2). Figures 11-12 show a registered letter
aces and gardens of Peterhof for London, and addressed to Grand Duke Aleksandr Mikhailov-
then moved on to the Isle of Wight before the ich on his yacht at Colombo, Ceylon. It was
letter could catch up with her. It too bears a taken to the Office on December 9,1890, and
Chancellery marking, applied after the 5th Dis- from there to the 5th Dispatch Office, where the
patch Office of the GPO had received it in the stamps were cancelled and the letter forwarded
day's incoming foreign mail bags, on July 27, through Brindisi (on Christmas Day...) to
1884. As the latest recorded Type 1, this gives Colombo. Once in Ceylon it was sent to the
us a range from 18-VII-1862 to 27-VII-1884. A Russian Consulate, which presumably notified
fifth recorded example will be addressed later. the Grand Duke of its arrival, or had it brought to
Kurt Adler wrote of two he'd obtained, both ad- him instead. The Epstein collection contains a
dressed to Prince S.A. Dolgorukii (6&12 Dec. similar cover, written in the same hand and
1880), showing that at least high-ranking mem- posted 10 days later to the same Grand Duke
bers of the imperial court also got their mail (figs. 13-14). This cover also bears a manuscript
through this office.2 Type l's are hard to find, "From the Chancellery of the St. Petersburg
and are often not the clearest of strikes. Postal Director" at bottom front. This datestamp
too is elusive, and therefore how long it was in
use is a puzzle. For now, December 1890 must
dL,' /o k ", suffice.
S1 / A full decade separates Type 2 from Type 3,
S/" -J / which differs only in format, not text. Rather
i.'be J-)Uc I. than sport a 3-line date, this has the cross-date
style, and the inner circle of Type 2 has been
discarded. For this sole recorded sighting we are
-r ~ indebted to Mr. Eric Peel, who sends us the
S. outstanding cover shown in fig. 15. Posted in
Peterhof on June 20, 1900, by "A." to a sister in
Figure 9. (G. Torrey collection) England, the card went back to St. Petersburg
and the Postal Director's Chancellery before
being sent on by the 5th Dispatch Office. This
-. Type 3 must be very rare to have eluded com-
ment for so long.
"By 1905 we see the entry of Type 4. Figures 16-
S18 are reproduced from "Rossica" #96/97 ", fig.
( : 18afrom the Rand Collection. The latter cover
.-- on was sent via the Main Headquarters FPO in
"H. .S ea Lodion. Manchuria to St. Petersburg, arriving on May
__. v___ ...__ 10, 1905. This cover postdates another in the
Epstein collection by 10 days, an Austrian Of-
Figure 10. This covers also noteworthyfor the fices Abroad letter from Smyrna to Nicholas II
placement of the Director's Officepostmark- (fig. 19). Only six examples have been recorded,
at the LEFT on the reverse, rather than on the all used as arrival marks, but there ought to be
right, more. Three magnificent covers in the Casey

Rossica Journal 42
Number 113/114, 1990

"" f.op 41v --

L^--*- -1, gC1b. 9 '

Figure 11. (D. Skipton collection)


Figure 12. Note the usual placement of the arrival mark on the right.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 43

S .; .. .. ? .

"(" ~

S n I i l ..... .."

Figure 13. "Registered, to his Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of
Russia, Colombo, Ceylon, the yacht "Tamara", Russian Consulate." (N. Epstein collection)

,4eo t

-^ .,-

Figure 14. Reverse

jia(j( M lilf nolTOitJill Cf0o.36. POUCCL I.

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

Hi Sm6l omapoDN nruumWeC mo0.rxo aojpw. WIo r-rci .uciui n'tclrw

Figure 15.

Rossica Journal 44
Number 113/114, 1990

collection, addressed to Empress Maria Fe-
dorovna from Chefoo and Port Arthur, should be
indication enough that this marking could be a
"common rarity". Maria Fedorovna's philan-
thropy and work with the Red Cross must have
generated a good amount of mail, especially
during the Russo-Japanese War. That, together
with the usual bureaucratic and imperial corre-
spondence, would make quite a pile awaiting

F .Figure 18a (reduced)

HS^0 "'"/ ''M The successor to Type 4 presents us with
a problem. From at least 1862 to the early
,., -/ .,, 1900's, imperial mail was handled by the
^. I Office of the St. Petersburg Postal Direc-
."C1 c0 -,. tor, but at some point after that a new
S" organization (or the same office under a
new name?) with the same function was
____ _formed the "Imperial Mail Delivery
Figure 16. (M. Lamoureux collection) SPONDENTSI'). No longer is there mention
of any Director's Office, nor subordination to it.
Where before the datestamps told us WHAT the
organization was simply "Office" or "Office
/, of the Postal Director"- now we have a mark-
ing telling us precisely what it DID: deliver
Figure 17. imperial mail. This is Type 5 and is illustrated in
11. .1905 On reverse fig. 20.
S(enlarged) Were these offices the same? The evidence,
Type 4 such as it is, leads us nowhere. For one thing, a
change in name from a "Kantselyariya" of the
Postal Director to a mere "Otdelenie" would
seem to be a downgrading in status. Yet
the "Otdelenie" continued the role of the
,--. "Kantselyariya". The only evident dif-
S. :.. ,ference was in the people and institu-
tions they served. During the
AS V "Kantselyariya" era, the only usages we
have recorded (and the emphasis is on
"'*': ______ "recorded", for there may very well be
others) are for imperial mail, a stray
Figure 18. Reverse (reduced) foreign duchess, court mail, correspondence of

Rossica Journal 45
Number 113/114, 1990

U-. I I

Figure 19. Type 4. (N. Epstein collection. Note Figure 20. Type 5.(From
the "A.R."-Avis de reception -mark on the Imhofs "Die Poststem-
stamp at right. pelformen...", p. 24.)

the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), and the demise before the assassination of Alexander II
Third Section, the political police. In subse- in 1881. On this cover, there is no marking of the
quent years during the heyday of the "Otde- Postal Director's Office, even though it is going
lenie", foreign diplomats and perhaps servants to a component of the emperor's chancellery. It
of the imperial family enjoyed its use. The bears only a normal St. Petersburg arrival mark,
following chart will illustrate the point, dated 23 September 1841. The same is true for
Imperial Russian Foreign Political Foreign
Family Nobility Royalty, MVD Police Diplomats Other
(extended) (Court) Nobility

Type 1 4 2 1 1 1
Type 2 2
Type 3 1
Type 4 6
Type 5 1
Type 6 1 2 1
Type 7 1

Admittedly this is not a large sampling, and any the cover shown in fig. 22, an envelope ad-
conclusions drawn from it are tentative at best, dressed to Aleksandr Romanovich Drentel'n,
but there does seem to be a tendency towards the last chief of the Third Section. Most probably a
bureaucracy and diplomats. IF the distribution police agent's report posted with no return ad-
shown in the chart proves correct, then the con- dress, registered and dropped in a mailbox on 31
clusion that the "Kantselyariya" was watered January 1880, it too lacks a chancellery post-
down to an "Otdelenie" which handled rather mark. The logical conclusion to be reached is
more mail from distinctly non-imperial sources that as yet police mail didn't qualify for a
will gain strength. A look at the philatelic "Kantselyariya" marking. Unfortunately for
evidence may serve to confuse, but here it is. that thesis, at least some Third Section corre-
The cover shown in fig. 21, an envelope ad- spondence did indeed receive the attentions of
dressed to "The Third Section of His Imperial the Postal Director's Office, as proven by J.G.
Majesty's Own Chancellery", is a case in point. Moyes' cover in fig. 23. Posted from Moscow
The Third Section was the tsar's investigative, on October 24,1879, it was addressed to the very
political police from its inception in 1826 to its same A. R. Drentel'n, "Chief of Gendarmes",

Rossica Journal 46
Number 113/114, 1990

Figure 21.(D. Skipton collection)

and received the "Kantselyariya" arrival mark
the next day (see fig. 24). This letter is also likely
to be an agent's report as it lacks a return address
and contains numerous spelling errors. (Many of
the detectives and "tails" assigned to surveil
people were semi-literate.) Why a letter from
October 1879 should have been given a Chan-
cellery marking and another from February 1880,
from the same city to the same individual, should
not is unknown. Whatever the reason, it seems
Figure 22.
& September 4, 1881, it went to the Min-
Sister of Internal Affairs. This is our
earliest MVD destination with a
S e "Kantselyariya" arrival mark (7-9-81),
Io' for at the time the Drentel'n covers
were mailed, the Third Section was a
part of the emperor's cabinet, not the
SMVD. When the Third Section wasre-
"placed by the Department of State

Figure 23. (J.G. Moyes collection)

that the Imperial Chancellery with at least one
and probably all of its sections qualified to ;
receive royal treatment of its mail, regardless of
how lacking in blue the blood of the recipient
And then there is the matter of the cover in
fig. 25, a dollop more of mud in the water. A
secret report from the Provisional Odessa
Governor-General, Figure 24. Reverse

Rossica Journal 47
Number 113/114, 1990

2peexgarmo Oxeocraro
resepU.ZLTy6epxaTops .

Figure 25. (E. Peel collection)

Figure 26.

Rossica Journal 48
Number 113/114, 1990

Police (it soon was called simply the "Depart-
ment of Police"), the MVD absorbed the police
functions, so that any mail to the Department
was in actual fact MVD correspondence. 4
This cover shows that at least as early as 1881
the status of "imperial mail" had been conferred
on high-level MVD bureaucracy correspondence,
mail that the emperor and his family didn't see.
Figure 26 shows a nice strike of Type 1 on the Figure 28. Reverse
reverse of this cover.
As we have seen evidence of foreign royalty Another "foreign embassy" usage is illustrated
usage of the Director's Office with Types 1 and by figs. 29-30. This well-travelled registered
3, Type 5 on a cover to a British naval officer cover left Kishinev on 10/23 May 1916, ad-
should not be a surprise. It is, though, as the dressed to a Dr. Young in Belen, Texas. The
IMDS postmark has been used as a cancel. good doctor had already left when the letter
arrived on 29 July, so the Belen postmaster put
a 5-cent U.S. stamp and two labels on
S. it, showing that the addressee was
"now at the American Embassy in
Petrograd, and forwarded the letter.
SFor some reason, it went first back to
> Kishinev (24 August/6 September),
and only on 29 August/11 September
.-'/ did it finally reach Petrograd. There
the Imperial Mail Delivery Section
-* got into the act, applying its date-
S. 7 -- stamp at lower right in fig. 30.
"" Whether this and the "HMS Superb"
j7 ?cover were just one more aspect of
service to the MVD (responsible for
S. surveillance of foreigners in Russia),
or evidence of support provided to
Figure 27. A most unusual cover, with Type 5 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is unknown.
used as a CANCELLATION on the front and Figure 31 displays a report from the Vyatka
as a dispatch mark on the back. Evidently Provincial Administration to the Police Depart-
mailed from a member of the diplomatic corps ment headquarters in Petrograd, posted January
in Petrograd (probably a British embassy offi- 17, 1917. The cover bears an average strike of
cial),thiscoverwassentto a RoyalNavyofficer the Section on the back (Type 6, with "Petro-
aboard H.M.S. Superb of the 1st Baltic Squad- grad" rather than "S. Peterburg" at top).
ron. The fact that it bears no other marking The Minister of Internal Affairs got his mail
suggests either that it was carried directly to the through this Section too, as shown by the cover
IMDS by the sender, or the Petrograd GPO's in figs. 32-33. It is addressed directly to him
Dispatch Office neglected to cancel it, and the from the Moscow 25th City Post Branch Office.
IMDS caught the error. (D. Skipton collection) Since both the Minister of Internal Affairs and
the Department of Police in that Ministry made
use of the same IMDS, other departments,
administrations and main administrations within-

Rossica Journal 49
Number 113/114, 1990

Figure 29. Obverse (N. Epstein collection)

Figure 30. Reverse

Rossica Journal 50
Number 113/114, 1990

S the Ministry may also have
7. << ^.' had their mail routed through
Sr the Section. It may also be
S.that only security and police
functions in that particular
Ministry were granted this
special treatment.
Jack Moyes records a strange
7 <. -usage of the IMDS in figs. 34-
S'-, 35, a registered cover from
Rovno, Volhynia province, to
the Russian Administration of
,, the Danish Red Cross (located
-- -- .- -' at the Winter Palace) in Petro-
grad, January 26, 1916. If
something so "lowly" as an
administration, which ranked
beneath ministries and main
ify for IMDS services, then it
seems that most of the other
government establishments at
that time would, too. Support
S_____i for this reasoning comes from
the successor to the IMDS, the
Figure 31. "To Petrograd. To the Department "Government and Diplomatic Mail Delivery
ofPolice. 73. (TypeSPetrograd"OrA. Aocr. Section (GDMDS)". In the few months of its
Bucoy. Kopp.,21-1-1917".(D.Skiptoncollec- existence, the Provisional Government would
tion) not have done much more with the IMDS that
drop the "Vysochaishchei"in its name.
Its functions most probably remained
f f ^- essentially the same, but with a con-
siderably expanded clientele.
Figure 36 shows a rare example of
Sthe GDMDS marking, applied to a
postcard addressed to a Mr. Lewis in
care of the British Military Attache in
Petrograd, September 8, 1917. This
postmark is Type 7.
Sj ] While Type 7 cannot lay claim to
any usage on imperial mail, I include
it here because the GDMDS was the
last vestige of the old"Kantselyariya",
Figure 32. (Reduced) "Petrograd. Registered a lineal descendant.
To His Excellency the Minister ofInternal Af- One last aspect of collecting imperial mail
fairs." (D. Skipton collection) responses to petitions. The detachable re-
ceipt shown in figs. 37-38 is one such response.

Rossica Journal 51
Number 113/114, 1990

S. ". .. ,

Figure 33. Reverse.

These rare forms were used by the emperor's people who had begged the Tsar for money. Un-
chancellery to pay out charitable donations to fortunately, the receipt portion shows only that

lEO pyd Mon.

Ba paapmiweme Bawew npo-
HMn KaHtenApiN ErO HMfnEPA-;
UCIL Mp AL ieunii, Bama wnanavew oma
npUHRTio npoive"i-.
MonpNHTioa unedpoma eduno-
rierporpaui. MaplHHCxlA ABopeAm. |
apeMeuHoe nocodie 6s pab PSI

Figure 37. "Detachable receipt./ Figure 38. "In granting your pe-/
50 Rub....kop./ From the tuition, You are awarded from/
Chancellery of His Imperi-/ the Monarchal bounties a one-/
al Majesty for/ receipt of time allowance in the amount
petitions./ Petrograd, Mariinskii of Fifty/ rub.".
Palace./ Written text on the
back of the receipt."
(B. Evans collection)

Rossica Journal 52
Number 113/114, 1990

}- -/-- Z Figure 34.

;I 20 *yIS o

Figure 35.
... "i,,. .C:" "

j7 CPA[ v^
T '

Fg e 3 Figure 36. (D. Skipton collection)

Rossica Journal 53
Number 113/114, 1990

it was sent from Tsarskoe Selo through the Pet- signed to deliver all state and diplomatic
rograd Second Dispatch Office, which handled mail in Petrograd, even if only from late
money orders and money letters." It is most cer- March to late October of 1917, should
tainly imperial mail, and the January 1917 date have produced quite a pile of postmarks.
should have qualified it for an IMDS marking.
Perhaps that was applied to the money order The checklist of recorded types and ranges is
form itself, but until the other part of one of these presented in the hope it will quickly be rendered
forms surfaces, we can only guess. obsolete.
In summary then, we know the following about
these markings and the clients of the chancel- (My thanks to Norman Epstein and Gordon
lery, the Postal Director's Office, the IMDS and Torrey for photographing the covers in their
the GDMDS: collections, to Clyde North for graciously part-
ing with the "HMS SUPERB" cover, over which
Postmark types 1-6 were applied to the I had uncontrollably drooled, to Eric Peel, Jack
emperor's mail, that of his extended Moyes and Raymond Casey for the photocopies
family and servants, the MVD, Court of their outstanding covers, and to my wife
mail and the political police's corre- Cathy for the translation of Article 118 of the
spondence. "Post-Handbuch".)

"* Types 4-5 may also appear on diplo-
matic mail and perhaps other govern- CHECKLIST OF IMPERIAL AND GOV-
ment mail, although this latter category ERNMENT MAIL DELIVERY OFFICE
is thus far posited on the basis of what CANCELS, (WITH RECORDED RANGES)
the Type 7 postmark says and one Type
6 cover to the Russian Administration of P
the Danish Red Cross. (Does anyone 7 i
have letters to other ministries and ad- CEH.
ministrations?) Almost invariably, the 1881
postmarks are used as arrival marks, and
almost always they appear on the back of
the cover, on the right hand side.
Type 1
"* Type 3 seems to be a very rare fowl, but 18-VII-1862 to 27-VIII-1884
Type 4 is rather more numerous, perhaps
thanks to the Russo-Japanese War. There
is a nine year gap between Types 4 and 5,
so the scarcity of Type 5 relative to the
others is difficult to assess. *

"* Type 6 should be the easiest of all these
markings to find, since so much more
mail was being handled by the IMDS
than its predecessor, the Postal Direc-
tor's Office. Type 2
9-XII-1890 to 19-XII-1890
"* Type 7 may be the scarcest of the lot. If
true, this is puzzling, as a section as-

Rossica Journal 54
Number 113/114, 1990


Sl ] 1) "Postanovleniya po Pochtovoi chasti", St.
Petersburg, 1909.
TA 2) Vigilev, "Istoriyaotechestvennoipochty",
vol. I, Moscow, 1977, pp. 120-122.
Type 3 3) "Sobranie zakonov po Upravleniyu
21-VI-1900 pochtovomu", Vol. I, pp. 246-248, St.
Petersburg, 1846-1852.
MYPy\ 4) Ibid, Vol. I, pp. 265-267.
5) Ibid, Vol. I, pp. 92-93.
x12 NP.1905 6) Ibid, Vol. III, p. 1.
^ 7) Ibid, Vol. III, pp. 4-5.
A* px 8) Schilder, "Imperator Aleksandr Pervyi,
Ego Zhizn' i Tsarstvovanie", vol. 4, St.
Petersburg, 1897.
Type 4 9) "Sbornik postanovlenii i rasporyazhenii
23-II-1903 to 11-V-1905 po pochtovomu vyedomstvu",St. Peters-
burg, 1885, p. 242.
"B 10) Ibid, p. 327.
d 11) Bazilevich, "The Russian Posts in the XIX
(4 6. 14) Century", transl. by D.M. Skipton, Ros-
l sica Translation #2, Dexter, Michigan,
CTOm 1987, pp. 6-8, 79.
12) "Sobranie zakonov...", Vol. III, p. 326.
Type 5 13) Ibid, Vol. HI, pp. 233-234.
4-VI-1914 to 19-IX-1914 14) "Sbornik postanovlenii...", p. 327.
15) Ibid, pp. 66-67.
9?_ 16) Ibid, p. 44.
/l i17) Ibid, p. 328.
(19. 5. 15) 18) Ibid, p. 329.
19) Ibid, p. 44.
20) von Hanenfeldt & Roehsler, "Vollstaendi-
ges Post-Handbuch, bearbeitet fuer das
Type 6 Publicum", Riga, 1880, p. 38.
19-V-1915 to 12-1-1917 21) "Sobranie zakonov...", Vol. III, pp. 297-
22) Imhof, "Die Poststempelformen von St.
Petersburg, 1766-1914", 1976, p. 24.
22A) Adler, "More Scarce Postmarks", in
"BJRP" #19, Dec. 1955, pp. 580-581.
23) Lamoureux, "A Postmark of the Imperial
Chancellery", in "Rossica" #96/97, 1979,
pp. 117-118.
24) Evans, "Problems of Russian Philately,
Type 7 1908-1917", in "Rossica" #76/77, 1969,
8-IX-1917 pp. 23-24.

Rossica Journal 55
Number 113/114, 1990

The Earliest Archangel Cancel--1822?

by Melvin Kessler:

Some years ago I acquired some of the corre-
spondence of the American merchant, John D.
Lewis, who conducted a trade business in St.
Petersburg in the 1810s and 1820s. I have five
pieces from the correspondence, one cover of
which lacks the contents. It was written in 1822,
and addressedfrom Philadelphia to JohnD. Lewis
in St. Petersburg and forwarded through England
with manuscript dues and a HAMBURG transit
mark. Two of the five folded letters are ad-
dressed to Lewis's brother William in Philadel-
phia, both originating in MEMEL, dated 1819
and 1828. The other two folded letters were
written from RIGA in 1819 and Archangel in
1822 to Lewis in St. Petersburg.
By far the most important of the five folded Figure 2.
letters from the postal history aspect, and even
the social aspect, is the one written from ARK- (1823) from Moscow by a year. I know of no
HANGEL'SK. It was sent from a pastor to John other early ARKHANGEL'SK cancellation; and
D. Lewis in St. Petersburg (fig. 1). The folded that it predates that of the Moscow cancellation
letter bears the double-circle ARKHANGEL'SK from the second largest city in the Russian empire
is quite a postal history revelation.
Aside from the postal history aspect of
the cancellation, the contents of the letter
"".C1 ,,L 4 C ,. to Lewis from pastor R. Manhall is not a
S// business correspondence, but that of a
C,4 /1 e,,- f t friend. The contents of the letter reveal
; Manhall's unhapiness with his assign-
ment in Archangel. The letter reads:
S/ "Archangel [Russia] May 1822
,r y, (No date given in the letter)

S-. r p My dear Sir,
"You are right Lewis, I cannot
bear canting, if I could have canted, I
Figure 1. should have been much richer than I am -- but I
am going where, I hope & believe riches are not
cancellation with clear date 1822 May 10 (fig. 2). necessary to obtain approbation, or reward.
Next to the cancellation is a manuscript "10". We are of the same mind, I would will-
Could this be the rate 10 kopecks for a letter to ingly meet you halfway and perhaps accompany
St. Petersburg? I believe that this double-circle you to the land of Li--ty [Liberty].
cancellation predates the earliest known mark Without canting, I may thank God, that I

Rossica Journal 56
Number 113/114, 1990

am at last, as doctors say, convalescent. Two and be off to America as soon as you can. The
months I have been very ill; and three weeks winters [here] are too long & cold."
confined to the house. I hope I shall escape with
my life. The question arises: what denomination of
Two months from this date I leave this pastors or priests served in Russia from abroad in
place (God willing) at present, I think for Bor- the early 19th century assigned, presumably, to
deaux, where my departure was much regretted, Archangel, an outlying post? To be sent where
where I have many friends, and where my health English was very little spoken (an assumption)
was uninterruptedly good, good reasons for re- would require a person to have a sound knowl-
turning. edge of Russian or possibly the dialect spoken in
Murray still continues his kindness, and northwest Russia. I find this unknown fascinat-
his visits. He is one of those few persons who ing.
improve upon acquaintance -- a good classical The Lewis correspondence to and from Russia
scholar and well read in modern literature, has not appeared before in postal history publica-
Some years ago I should have been very tions as far as I am aware. Suffice to say, the
happy to have been placed in Mosco [Moscow], correspondence is intriguing, and shows that
but I believe the time is now gone by. I should not American merchants were in Russia in the early
like to go upon speculation -- if the English were 19th century. (The other letters from MEMEL
to send for me, knowing that I shall leave this and RIGA concern trade of goods from Russia,
Town, perhaps even now, I should be pleased to and instructions in the one full folded letter from
be their pastor -- and certainly would give good Philadelphia.)
lessons. If any reader has comments or other informa-
Is your brother arrived? If he be pray, tion about the Lewis correspondence or on the
pray present my best regards. cancellation described, kindly contact me at 526
During my illness some of my Parishion- Cheshire Avenue, NW, Fort Walton Beach,
ers extended their kindness to me, one, by send- Florida 32548.
ing a Pennyworth of calves feet jelly, and another
three halfpennyworth --- immense generosity --
- but till I am gone, Mum! Mutual friends in 8 June 1904, No. 105
Archangel who are they?
When it is settled to what place I go, by "On dispatch of letter mail to Turkey"
what ship I go, and with whom I go --- I shall As an addendum to the Circular of 23 February
intrude on your kindness for a letter or two. If I [1904], No. 26, in which the method of sending
were going from Cronstadt I should beg half a letter mail to Turkish ports visited by steamers of
dozen bottles of your excellent Madeira, to the ROPiT was set forth, I am informing all post-
strengthen my stomach which I know you would and-telegraph administration [offices] that letter
give me. I suppose I shall be favored with a letter mail addressed to other places in Turkey is sub-
soon. ject to transshipment through Germany or Aus-
tria, depending on the place of [the mail's] origin,
Yours (not in the common and not through Odessa, even though the sender
acceptation of the words which might have written "via Odessa" on the flap side.
mean just nothing at all)
very sincerely, and faithfully Signed: Acting Main Administration Chief
R. Manhall Countersigned: Section Chief Bilibin
I wish you a good round (?) number or add of (fromofficial Post-and-Telegraph Journal, 1904,
ships -- and valuable cargoes -- save your Life page 456.)

Rossica Journal 57
Number 113/114, 1990

From Pages of the Past (II) rubles or more for each, depending on the rarity,
or rather according to the number printed.
(A letter originally printed in the Russian maga- How many of them are released is probably
zine "MARKI" (Stamps) #9, p. 134, 1896) known only to the one in charge of the post.
Translated by Daniel W. Levandowsky But where do they come from? Is it possible
that the stamps are printed at the printery[sic]
Bogorodsk. Moscow Guberniva (from a corre- (the Bogorodsk stamps are printed at Lamakin's,
spondent of the magazine "MARKI") who is Chairman of the Bogorodsk Zemstvo
Council) without any kind of control, and thus,
The Bogorodsk Zemstvo Post released new stamps of the same design, value and period of
postage stamps again on July first of this year. time appear, but with completely different col-
They were: ors? After all, these are not stamps of some
private individual. They are stamps of a postal
Prepaid Postage Due institution the Zemstvo post founded in con-
2 k. emerald 2 k. yellow brown nection with the state post. One can suppose
3 k. emerald 3 k. rose that, among a large consignment of ordered
4 k. dark indigo 4 k. brown stamps, there may be a sheet which, due to
8 k. yellow gray 8 k. ochre carelessness of a worker, will not be machine
20 k. blue 20 k. rose perforated. But to obtain imperforate sheets for
practically every issue should seem very strange
The design of the stamps is the same as the to everyone. There can be only one of two
previous issue, with the addition of the date reasons: either such stamps are made at the
"1896" in the lower part of the prepaid stamps request of someone (such a case occurred in
and in the oval under the coat of arms on the another Zemstvo post) or this proves how little
postage due stamps, attention is paid in carrying out work orders.
Since January 1, 1894, the Bogorodsk post, to As a result of this, collectors must be more
the joy of collectors, has released altogether 47 careful when buying stamps that were issued
different kinds and colors of stamps, valued at 2 without need, and not provide an incentive for
to 20 k., totalling 3 r. 53 k. speculation. The only stamps that should be put
If we suppose that collectors buy only 600 into collections are those which actually serve or
copies of each type of stamp (it should be more, served for franking letters, and not colored pieces
since I know that one collector alone buys 300 of paper.
and more copies of each type), then this already
is a sum total of 2100 rubles a rather attractive
incidental income for the Zemstvo posts, in
addition to their ordinary postal income. A Fake Station Hailasu Marking
But this is only for the stamps known to collec-
tors. For practically all these issues, there exist by V. Popov and G. V. Shalimoff
stamps of completely different colors or very
distinct shades, as well as stamps without perfo- Hailasu is a station on Line 261-262 of the
rations, which are very seldom seen. Chinese-Eastern Railroad located 459 versts from
One cannot obtain these stamps at the (Zem- Manchuli. According to Tchilinghirian and
stvo) board itself. However, one can acquire Stephen in their book "Stamps of the Russian
them from the secretary of the board, located (at Empire Used Abroad", Part V, a marking for this
that time) in the office of the Chief of the station should exist, but none was available to in-
Zemstvo post. The prices [for these stamps] are elude in their book. The marking was rated very
not their face values, but range from 50 k to 2.5 rare (RRR). Supplements to the "Used Abroad"

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 58

From Pages of the Past (II) rubles or more for each, depending on the rarity,
or rather according to the number printed.
(A letter originally printed in the Russian maga- How many of them are released is probably
zine "MARKI" (Stamps) #9, p. 134, 1896) known only to the one in charge of the post.
Translated by Daniel W. Levandowsky But where do they come from? Is it possible
that the stamps are printed at the printery[sic]
Bogorodsk. Moscow Guberniva (from a corre- (the Bogorodsk stamps are printed at Lamakin's,
spondent of the magazine "MARKI") who is Chairman of the Bogorodsk Zemstvo
Council) without any kind of control, and thus,
The Bogorodsk Zemstvo Post released new stamps of the same design, value and period of
postage stamps again on July first of this year. time appear, but with completely different col-
They were: ors? After all, these are not stamps of some
private individual. They are stamps of a postal
Prepaid Postage Due institution the Zemstvo post founded in con-
2 k. emerald 2 k. yellow brown nection with the state post. One can suppose
3 k. emerald 3 k. rose that, among a large consignment of ordered
4 k. dark indigo 4 k. brown stamps, there may be a sheet which, due to
8 k. yellow gray 8 k. ochre carelessness of a worker, will not be machine
20 k. blue 20 k. rose perforated. But to obtain imperforate sheets for
practically every issue should seem very strange
The design of the stamps is the same as the to everyone. There can be only one of two
previous issue, with the addition of the date reasons: either such stamps are made at the
"1896" in the lower part of the prepaid stamps request of someone (such a case occurred in
and in the oval under the coat of arms on the another Zemstvo post) or this proves how little
postage due stamps, attention is paid in carrying out work orders.
Since January 1, 1894, the Bogorodsk post, to As a result of this, collectors must be more
the joy of collectors, has released altogether 47 careful when buying stamps that were issued
different kinds and colors of stamps, valued at 2 without need, and not provide an incentive for
to 20 k., totalling 3 r. 53 k. speculation. The only stamps that should be put
If we suppose that collectors buy only 600 into collections are those which actually serve or
copies of each type of stamp (it should be more, served for franking letters, and not colored pieces
since I know that one collector alone buys 300 of paper.
and more copies of each type), then this already
is a sum total of 2100 rubles a rather attractive
incidental income for the Zemstvo posts, in
addition to their ordinary postal income. A Fake Station Hailasu Marking
But this is only for the stamps known to collec-
tors. For practically all these issues, there exist by V. Popov and G. V. Shalimoff
stamps of completely different colors or very
distinct shades, as well as stamps without perfo- Hailasu is a station on Line 261-262 of the
rations, which are very seldom seen. Chinese-Eastern Railroad located 459 versts from
One cannot obtain these stamps at the (Zem- Manchuli. According to Tchilinghirian and
stvo) board itself. However, one can acquire Stephen in their book "Stamps of the Russian
them from the secretary of the board, located (at Empire Used Abroad", Part V, a marking for this
that time) in the office of the Chief of the station should exist, but none was available to in-
Zemstvo post. The prices [for these stamps] are elude in their book. The marking was rated very
not their face values, but range from 50 k to 2.5 rare (RRR). Supplements to the "Used Abroad"

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 58

published in the British Journal of Russian Phi- appear small traces of less black ink. These
lately also do not illustrate any markings for this traces can be seen on the high contrast enlarge-
station. One can imagine our excitement upon ment shown in fig. 2. Another small trace of this
seeing a perfect strike on a picture postcard, ink appears under the letter "Zh" within the
shown here in fig. 1. But closer examination double circle on the card.
quickly indicated we were dealing with a clever These observations suggest the Hailasu mark-
fake. ing was applied to a previously lightly-cancelled
stamp pasted on the card.
S- A The message on the card is a friendly greeting
e.-s T IVERSELLE and congratulations written in a cultured hand -
AJl 5 a rJJTALE Tar.A
a rather unusual message from such an unusual
-" place. On the other side of this French commer-
'' cial postcard is a glossy photograph of an attrac-
',0 r *. tive woman. Careful examination of this pho-
t, _.-.- tograph under glancing light revealed indenta-
,-r ___i7 .^^ jtions of another postal marking. In addition, the
surface of the photograph showed light abra-
Sa '- s- "sions in the region of these indentations, sug-
gesting a deliberate attempt to erase the mark-
ings. We could not tell if there was a stamp on
Figure 1. the photograph side of the card.
A dark xerox copy of the postcard's photo-
The perfect marking appears bright and fresh, graph reveals the faint traces of two double
whereas the Orenburg arrival mark and the post- circles with a wavy pattern of six broken lines in
age stamp appear dull and old in comparison, between along one edge of the card. The letters
Under high magnification, the Hailasu marking "C", "II", a small letter "a" and the number "1"
appears on top of the Orenburg arrival mark, and were visible in the glancing light that allowed
the perforation teeth of the stamp appear stiff identification of this marking. It was a marking
and firmly pasted down without any loose fibers of St. Petersburg, the same as illustrated in "Die
at the edges. Poststempelformen in St. Petersburg von 1766-
1914" by H. Imhof, 1976, shown here in fig.
"-" : 3. The xerox of the photograph is shown in
S-ERSELE fig. 4 with its faintly visible marking near
ERSELLE the top in line with fig. 3.
'ALE 1aje So, in addition to our previous questions
about the genuineness of the Hailasu mark-
Pos.karte Bri ,. ing, we can add the question of how could a
postcard from Station Hailasu in Manchuria
'rcset du destinal addressed to Orenburg in central Russia re-
SL ceive a marking of St. Petersburg in the far
"northwest part of Russia? It seems more
probable that the card was sent from St.
Petersburg to Orenburg and that the stamp
Figure 2. on the address side was not canceled or very
lightly cancelled and that the card was inadver-
Just above the double circle markings, as well tently postmarked on the-photograph side. This
as within the double circle on the stamp, there marking on the glossy surface of the photograph

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 59

was easily removed to some extent, and then a Postal Operations at Modaoshi
fake Hailasu marking made in the manner of
many Chinese Eastern Railroad markings was by V. Popov
applied to the "clean" address to create a rarity.
In Part V of Tchilinghirian and Stephen's (T&S)
"...Used Abroad", pg. 445, it states that a post
office was in operation by 1914 at Modaoshi, a
station on the Chinese Eastern Railway, although
no markings were recorded. The postal card
illustrated here suggests there may not have
been postal operations even in May 1916.
The card is addressed to the assistant station
master at Station Modaoshi. It was posted at
Verder, Estland Province, without stamps. An
oval postage due marking with "6k" written in
the center is at the right. In the center is a red
censor marking of the Irkutsk military censor. A
double circle arrival mark reads: St. [station]
e k "EKHO" across the top and "KIT. VOST. ZH.
D." (Chinese Eastern Railway) across the bot-
Stom. It is dated 13-5-16.
Along the right edge of the card, written in
Figure 3. purple ink by another hand, is a notation that
partially reads "...EKHO for the nearest distri-
bution..." This
was all that was
Slegible, but sug-
4f ? r sgests that the card
( 1 should be dropped
off at Station
EKHO, which
was the stop prior
". to Station Mo-
daoshi, 16 versts
: A away. It seems
:" .. ,- reasonable to as-
sume, from this
.4 iOY Ati ^ e"notation and the
1.J'j St. EKHO mark-
ing, that there
erations at Mo-
daoshi at this time.
Figure 1. The double circle "ST. EKHO" marking is not
given in T&S, but it was reported in the British
Journal of Russian Philately No. 28,1960 by Mr.
A. Prado of Brazil.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 60

The Asobny Atrad Design Theme as Zarinsh's example for the Asobny Atrad de-
sign. On the right hand side, in the center, two
by R. Polchaninoff figures are shown quite similar to those on the
ail In Rossica Jour- The caption of the illustration reads "Charac-
nal#106/107,W. teristic landscape of the Byelorussian country-
Lesh provided a side and scenes from the life of the Byelorus-
detailed article sians ofpre-revolutionary Russia. Below are the
on the Asobny legendary hidden treasure, the devil and a witch."
AtradIssueofthe The drawing is from an album entitled "Illyus-
B i e 1 a r u s i n trirovannayaRossiya" (llustratedRussia),vol.3,
(Byelorussian) page 252, published in 1897. The illustration
r National Repub- was reproduced in the magazine "Rossiiskaya
lic (BNR). The Nezavisimost" (Russian Independence),
BNR issue con- Brooklyn, New York, VIII-X-1962, No. 19.
Figure 1. sisted of 5 values
depicting a couple in native dress in a garden
setting (fig. 1). The design was attributed to R.
Zarinsh (also spelled Zarrins elsewhere) who is
From "Khronika" in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika

translated by Dave Skipton

S. 1) New postroad from Yakutsk to the railroad.
Far-off Yakutsk proposes to connect with the
railroad by the shortest postroad possible 1200
kilometers in addition to the present 2,954-
kilometer Yakutsk-Irkutsk road. The new route
from Yakutsk to Toen-Arinskaya Station runs
along the old road for 158 km, but then it turns off
to the Aldan Mines, where a postal branch office
will be opened. It then proceeds over the taiga to
"the Lebedinskii Mines on the Tyumpton River,
XapaKtepmair nefitsuc 6eopyccKoa aepenut x mce- where another postal branch office will probably
mtI 3a i K3Hn R 6e.'opycco, 9opebo.noOunoHOHOI Poc-
eUm. Bs.3y .'ereHnapme anpi.mHie coKpos.ma. be opened. From there ot goes to Rukhlovo
"epTr X WJA&. PHCyROK 113 a.160xa ..HJIAAoCTpH-
pobauu Pbec.",, T. 3-. er. 2S, ..M3- 1sa r. Station on the AmurRailroad. The distance from
Toen-Arinskaya to the Aldan Mines (Tamot) is
Figure 2. 350 km; from Tamot to the Lebedinskii Mines it's
400 km, and from there to Rukhlovo another 300.
well known for his work on many Imperial is- This route will function normally only during the
sues, the Romanov Tercentenary issue, and the winter. It is intended to supply the route with 4
allegorical Sword Cutting the Chain, the first is- pairs of horses to carry the mail 3 times per week.
sue of Soviet Russia. (No. 11, November 1924, page 173.)
The illustration shown in fig. 2 may have served

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 61

The Asobny Atrad Design Theme as Zarinsh's example for the Asobny Atrad de-
sign. On the right hand side, in the center, two
by R. Polchaninoff figures are shown quite similar to those on the
ail In Rossica Jour- The caption of the illustration reads "Charac-
nal#106/107,W. teristic landscape of the Byelorussian country-
Lesh provided a side and scenes from the life of the Byelorus-
detailed article sians ofpre-revolutionary Russia. Below are the
on the Asobny legendary hidden treasure, the devil and a witch."
AtradIssueofthe The drawing is from an album entitled "Illyus-
B i e 1 a r u s i n trirovannayaRossiya" (llustratedRussia),vol.3,
(Byelorussian) page 252, published in 1897. The illustration
r National Repub- was reproduced in the magazine "Rossiiskaya
lic (BNR). The Nezavisimost" (Russian Independence),
BNR issue con- Brooklyn, New York, VIII-X-1962, No. 19.
Figure 1. sisted of 5 values
depicting a couple in native dress in a garden
setting (fig. 1). The design was attributed to R.
Zarinsh (also spelled Zarrins elsewhere) who is
From "Khronika" in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika

translated by Dave Skipton

S. 1) New postroad from Yakutsk to the railroad.
Far-off Yakutsk proposes to connect with the
railroad by the shortest postroad possible 1200
kilometers in addition to the present 2,954-
kilometer Yakutsk-Irkutsk road. The new route
from Yakutsk to Toen-Arinskaya Station runs
along the old road for 158 km, but then it turns off
to the Aldan Mines, where a postal branch office
will be opened. It then proceeds over the taiga to
"the Lebedinskii Mines on the Tyumpton River,
XapaKtepmair nefitsuc 6eopyccKoa aepenut x mce- where another postal branch office will probably
mtI 3a i K3Hn R 6e.'opycco, 9opebo.noOunoHOHOI Poc-
eUm. Bs.3y .'ereHnapme anpi.mHie coKpos.ma. be opened. From there ot goes to Rukhlovo
"epTr X WJA&. PHCyROK 113 a.160xa ..HJIAAoCTpH-
pobauu Pbec.",, T. 3-. er. 2S, ..M3- 1sa r. Station on the AmurRailroad. The distance from
Toen-Arinskaya to the Aldan Mines (Tamot) is
Figure 2. 350 km; from Tamot to the Lebedinskii Mines it's
400 km, and from there to Rukhlovo another 300.
well known for his work on many Imperial is- This route will function normally only during the
sues, the Romanov Tercentenary issue, and the winter. It is intended to supply the route with 4
allegorical Sword Cutting the Chain, the first is- pairs of horses to carry the mail 3 times per week.
sue of Soviet Russia. (No. 11, November 1924, page 173.)
The illustration shown in fig. 2 may have served

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 61

"V" Crayon Marking It is felt that, although these cards were ac-
cepted by the post office, they were never for-
warded to their destinations.
by V. Popov

The three postal cards
shown here originated
from Alupka and
Nikolaevka in the Cri- f1OHT j(
mea in March and April A" Tb
1918. The dates are a n \. -
few weeks after the sign- K Figure 1.
ing of the Brest-Litovsk de"O k/E2i r*< d 4'
Treaty when the area was ,L ", Ah /,
occupied by Germans. -\.
The message on one of /" uc -. .'
the cards mentions the r t,. _,
German occupation and
states that the people
there will now become

Peoples Republic. ,
The first is an Imperiali (
postal card addressed to
Italy with eight kopecks
total postage. A postage
due marking with 24 ko- Figure 2.
pecks written in was
scratched out. The sec-
ond card is also an Impe- e/r/ u t /
rial postal card with 33 9,
kopecks postage ad-
dressed to the USA. The
third is a card of the Pro-
visional Government ad- .
dressed to Argentina with
15 kopecks in postage.
All three cards have a
large blue "V" written in ,j
the center with a strange Figure 3.
script letter or stylized ... ....
initials, probably as "As", ,^ .44 -
written above. All mark- .'s. .,,-- -- ."- .
ings appear to be written ..
by the same hand. There .
are no other markings on
either side of the cards.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 62

Tomsk Provisional postal employee.
This provisional overprint stamp is among the
by V. Popov rarest of the Civil War issues and fake overprints
on loose stamps are found.
Among the back-of-the-book varieties is .loss. ts ae T"
the Tomsk Provisional 20-kopeck overprint i ,. EBOA' fl0O rOT
on the 1909 14-kopeck that mimics the 1916 V 2 j "
Imperial overprinted issue. Only a few un- u --
used copies are known. The stamps are '
found used, mainly on postal money orders
or parcel address cards, canceled with black, "'AT .
or occasionally red, Tomsk marking. An ex-
ample of a money order card is shown in fig. i t
1, dated July 31, 1920. -r
The overprint (fig. 2) was handstamped two
stamps at a time. The two cliches were posi-
tioned one above the other. The handstamp- 2
ing accounts for why the overprint does not C "

different copies., .A.
According to an article by S. Blekhman in !,**: ofa Filateliya SSSR No.2, 1978, on the issues of -
the Civil War in Siberia and the Far East, the -
stamps were apparently issued at the begin-
ning of 1920 and sold at face value, but those .
now known used were canceled after March 10,i
1920, and were revalued to 100 times "face"
value and used for payment of 20 rubles in
postage fees. The date of issue and numbers of
issue are not known. All of the above details ""
were initially given by P. Krynin in Sovetskii
Filatelist No. 3-4, 1923.
The stamps are occasionally seen at auction.
Three lots in the 1974 F. D. Small sale included
an unused vertical pair and two lots of money
order card pieces with one and two Tomsk
overprinted stamps respectively.
The Blekhman article comments that one can-
not exclude the possibility that this stamp is a
fake to defraud the post. This may be difficult to'
accept, since most used examples are found on
money order cards where the stamps were surely
applied at the Post Office. However, the USSR
Catalog of Postage Stamps published by the
Cercle Philatelic "France URSS" in Paris in
1969 suggests fakes to defraud the post may Figure 2.
have been possible with the connivance of a

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 63

The Airpost Congress Issue Spots and Plate Varieties

by G. Adolph Ackerman

On September 1, 1927, the Soviets released four corners of the enclosing frame differ. The
their third air mail issue, the Airpost Congress corners feature the postal value enclosed in a
set, which consisted of two stamps of identical square box (lower left), the year in an octagonal
design with values of 10k and 15k. The release box (lower right), initials 'CCCP' arranged in a
of these colorful commemorative stamps coin- diamond pattern set in an octagonal box (upper
cided with the opening of the International Air- left), and the Soviet Arms design enclosed by an
post Congress being held in The Hague, The outlined shield (upper right). An inscription is
Netherlands, 1-10 Sept. 1927. The Airpost con- located in the upper and lower border panels.
ference was convened to discuss the develop- The top inscription reads '1Afl
ment and expansion of civil aviation/air mail MECAYHAPOAHAJI' (1st International) and the
service with a focus on international coopera- lower inscription reads 'ABHO-IIOTTOBAJI
tion. It was held under the auspices of the KOH(DEPEHIIHII' (Air-Post Congress).
UniversalPostalUnion (UPU), and was strongly The 10k value has an intense dark glossy blue
supported by the Soviet authorities (3; see foot- frame, corner designs and central biplane with
note). The Soviets were the only country to the hatched lines of the outlined map colored an
prepare and issue stamps for the occasion of this orange-brown. In contrast, the 15k value is a
major international conference. At the time, the bright glossy red and the map hatching, olive-
USSR was making major strides in commercial green.
aviation and was developing an extensive air Stamps were printed by lithography on a rather
network linking the Far East and Central Asia to fibrous, glazed, white, chalky, un-watermarked
the western sector of the Soviet Union. Air paper and were comb-perforated 12 1/2 x 12.
routes connecting Russia with western and east- Imperforate varieties, occasionally noted in
ern Europe passed through a central air "hub" in auctions, have been considered fraudulent and
Moscow. In 1927, due to the political climate, represent trimmed fantails(5).
the only air link connecting the USSR to "west- The Airpost Congress issue was printed in
ern and eastern" Europe was from Moscow via sheets of twopanes each with 40 stamps perpane
K6nigsberg, East Prussia to the central airport arranged in 5 (horizontal) x 8 (vertical) rows
facility in Berlin, where mail, freight and pas- with a gutter between panes. A total of 200,000
sengers were dispatched to their proper destina- stamps were printed for each value equaling
tions. 2,500 sheets or 5,000 panes for each value (7).
Specimens of these stamps have been noted on
The Airpost Congress Stamps: a cover to England (seen in an exhibit at
The Airpost Congress issue not only is striking Since different values have been reported for
and colorful, but provides the collector with an the perforations of the Airpost Congress stamps
issue that is rather plentiful and that shows sev- (e.g., 13 x 12 Scott catalog; 12 1/2 x 11 1/2 -
eral plate varieties and a wide range of cliches. Speers (8); 12 1/2 x 12 Aronson (1), and
The 10k and 15k Airpost Congress stamps Campbell (2)), careful measurements were made
have identical designs, developed by O. Amo- in this study on 40 10k mint stamps (including 4
sova, featuring a Tupolev ANT-3 biplane flying of the broken '7' variety) and 35 of the 15k value
over an outline hatched map of the world. The using a Linn's Multi-Gauge lined perforation
design is enclosed by a wide frame. Each of the gauge and an 8-power hand lens. The horizontal

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 64

perforation fell midway between 12 1/2 and 12 sible to determine cliche position unless it was
3/4, while the vertical perforation was precisely found paired with a cliche of known position
12. No differences in perforations were noted (determined from Nepomnin's study). Relative
between the 10k and 15k values or between the constancy can only be surmised by finding
common 10k and broken '7' varieties, as has multiple examples of a given cliche. Two 10k
been indicated by Speers (8). blocks of 4 and one block of 4 of the 15k value,
plus both horizontal and vertical pairs of the 10k
AirDost Congress Plate Varieties and value which included the broken '7' variety
Clich6s: were examined in this study. In addition, both
10k and 15k pairs on covers were studied. Well
This article is designed to document a number over 100 individual stamps of each value were
of varieties/clich6s for both the 10k and 15k examined both on and off cover during this
values of the Airpost Congress issue. Most study. All but one of the unreported varieties/
cliches reported in this study have not been cliches described in this study were noted on
previously described. Nepomnin (7) made the single stamps, and determination of pane posi-
most detailed study of the Airpost Congress tions, except in one or two instances, was not
cliches in 1928 and stated that he examined "a possible.
very large number of sheets". He identified two Relative constancy of a given cliche was de-
constant varieties for the 10k value: rived by finding multiple examples of the spe-
cific cliche or definitive evidence compatible
1. the incomplete or broken '7' in the with the cliche actually representing aretouched
date '1927' (located in the first verti- area on the transfer plate (a "true" plate variety).
calrow, third stamp from bottom po- Thus, in regard to most of the 'white spots'
sition #26); described, it is truly a matter of speculation as to
2. the adjacent stamp (#27) which had a the printing constancy, with absolutely no way
white spot in the lower border cover- to check many original sheets as was done by
ing a portion of the left stem of the Nepomnin. It is also probable that Nepomnin
letter 'II' of 'nIOTOBAJI'. missed a number of the less obvious clich6/
varieties in his original study of the Airpost
These cliches have been repeatedly confirmed Congress issue.
(1,2,4,8). The printed number of these constant
10k varieties (e.g., the broken '7' and the spot on
the 'n') can be calculated to be 5,000 each (viz., ****************************
I/pane or 2/sheet). Subsequently, Aronson (1)
illustrated two additional varieties of the 10k The following article was extracted from the
stamp: publication "Sino-Soviet Aviation" from Janu-
ary 29, 1941.
1. a broken line under the date on stamp

2. some stamps of the broken '7' vari- "The local press reported the possibility of
ety that have a white spot in the speeding up the Chungking-Moscow air service
lower border over the top of the let- to five days, and that air mails to Europe may be
ter 'A' of 'ABHO'. forwarded from the Far East via this city. -
International News Agency."
No sheets or panes were available for examina-
tion in this study. Thus, it was virtually impos- ****************************

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 65

aUM_A"" 212 i 10 aI3[

Figure 1.

The 10k Airnost Congress Varieties:

A. Probable Constant Plate
Varieties of 10k Value:

1. Broken '7' variety position 26, both
panes (fig. 1). Also note, this stamp has Figure 2.
a tiny partial break in the upper octago-
nal frame line above the letter 'C' of
'CCCP'; the break was seen in all copies
showing the broken '7' cliche exam- -
ined in this study). -

2. Broken '7' variety (as above) plus a
white spot on the top portion of the
letter'A' of 'ABHO' position 26 (fig. 2).
Described by Aronson (1) but appar- ** *o *o ***
ently inconsistent since this major cliche
was not listed by Nepomnin (7). A
number of examples of this cliche have *
been reported. It is unknown if this va-
riety appears on both panes.

3. A white spot on the bottom left arm of
the letter 'I' of 'HnOTOBAII'- position
27 (fig. 1.). Described as a constant
variety by Nepomnin (7), and probably Figure 3.
appears on both panes, though his de-
scription does not make this absolutely into the cockpit-fuselage) position
clear. 21 (fig. 3). The position was deter-
mined from a vertical pair of stamps il-
4. Floating head of co-pilot (a white spot lustrated with the broken '7' variety.
on the body of the co-pilot extending Since several examples have been

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 66

found with this cliche, it is suggested the border frame and the letter 'I' in the
that it may represent a constant plate lower inscription (fig. 6). Several ex-
variety. samples have been seen of the 'broken'
strut variety. It is also believed that the
5. Floatingheadof co-pilot (same asabove) 'broken strut' cliche may represent a
plus a white cleft in the front center of the constant variety.

Figure 6.

B. Probable Inconstant Varieties
of 10k Value:
Figure 4.
1. 'Broken strut' variety as described above
6. 'Feathered' head of co-pilot (fig. 5). plus:
Several examples of this cliche have a small white blotch on the top right
been seen. Each looks alike, and can upper arm of the letter 'H' in the
easily be overlooked. This probably lower inscription,
represents a constant cliche variety rather a nick in the top of the aeroplane
than being the result of plate wiping rudder,
between prints in the printing process. an irregular white spot between the
Letters 'O' and '%' in the top inscrip-
R- a tiny break in the right top of the
number '7',

". the number '2' in the date (fig. 7; one
Sevea m example).

Figure 5.

7. A white spot obliterating most of the. h
strut to the wheel of the landing gear;
plus a white spot on the upper arm of the
letter 'K' in the lower inscription joining
the inner line of the border; plus a thin
diagonal white line (scratch) through Figure 7.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 67

2. A white spot causing a notch in the 5. White 'feathering' between the letters
trailing edge of the rudder plus: 'A' and 'H' of 'ABHO' in the lower
a slight notch in the inner frame inscription (fig. 11; several examples
between the letters 'D' and 'E' in the seen).
lower inscription (fig. 8; one ex-

--_V W--~

i .

Figure 8. Figure 11.

3. A white spot on the upper inner
region of the number '0' of '10'
(fig. 9). Two examples seen, an-
otherknown. The illustrated stamp P -
also has a tiny white spot on the /
letter 'nI' of 'KOII' plus:
a tiny white spot to the right of
the letter 'A' in the top inscrip-
tion, L 7
a tiny white spot connecting L am ,
the top of the number '1' to the
inner frame line.
SFigure 12.

; i 6. A white spot on the fuselage between the
pilot and co-pilot (fig. 12; one example
seen on cover).

Figure 9.

4. A comma-like white mark on the upper i .
right wing of the aeroplane plus: :i .
a tiny spot on top of the inner frame
line to the right of the letter 'A' in the
top inscription (fig. 10). Figure 10.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 68

7. A white spot in the underline below the 2. Short right (top) stem in the letter 'H' of
'1927' date Inconsistent variety re- 'ABHO' (fig. 14) This must be a
ported by Nepomnin (7). constant plate variety, and as such would
be expected to occur on one image of the
8. Small blue ink flecks found over various transfer plate. Thus, stamps of this vari-
places of the background (figs. 1, 10, 11, ety would be expected to be as numerous
12). as those of the slant 'A' type. Pane
positions are unknown. This distinctive
The 15k Airost Congress Varieties: plate variety has been noted on several
stamps in this study, but was not listed by
To date, only Nepomnin (7) has reported plate Nepomnin (7).
varieties/cliches for the 15k value. The most sig-
nificant, and a constant cliche, is the slanted top
of the letter 'A' of 'ABHO'. This slant 'A' variety
occurs only in the last vertical row (both panes), W.
in every other horizontal row starting at the top.
(positions 5,15,25,35), thereby making a total of
20,000 stamps of this variety. Additionally,
Nepomnin noted several other cliches of the 15k
1. a 1 1/2 mm break in the straight line
border of the lower inscription of
some stamps of the lower pane, Figure 14.
position 13,
2. a white spot in the letter 'A' (top B. Probable Inconstant Plate Varieties
inscription) on some stamps, posi- of the 15k Value:
tion 40 of the upper pane and,
3. a white spot in letter 'Y' of the top 1. Large (11/2 mm) break of the frame line
inscription of some stamps of the above 'II' in the lower inscription (fig.
upper pane, position 34. 15). Listed by Nepomnin (7) on some
stamps in position #13.
A. Probable Constant Plate Varieties
of the 15k Value:

1. Slant 'A' of 'ABHO' constant, posi- ,,
tions #5,15,25,35 of both panes (fig. 13).

.--.- --. --

Figure 15.

Figure 13.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 69

2. Large (1 1/2 mm) break in the right
frame line (fig. 16; one example).

n Figure 18.

Figure 16.

3. Break in the the upper frame line above .
and between the letters 'E' and 'C' of
the upper inscription plus:
a break in the lower frame line above
the letter 'II',
a white spot on the upper left tip of the
corer of the outer frame (fig. 17; two
examples). Figure 19.

S ~ 7. White spot on the right tip of the horizon-
tal arm of the number '5' in '15' (fig. 20;
Stwo examples known). The stamp illus-
trated also has a thin right stem in the
letter "H' of 'ABHO'; compare with
fig. 19. This very slight difference in
i. 'H's also can be seen in other stamps

Figure 17.

4. Break in the lower line of the octagonal


5. White mark on the top right wing of the
aeroplane (fig. 19; two examples). i : f : '. .

6. White spot on top of the left wing of the
aeroplane (found once; not illustrated). Figure 20.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 70

8. Prominent red ink blotch on the upper 11. Scratch through the letters 'OH' in the
line of the enclosing box of the number lower inscription plus a break in the
"5' (fig 21; found once). frame line below the letter 'I' (fig. 24).

Figure 21. Figure 24.

9. Short white line mark between the letters 12. White mark on the letter 'E' in the lower
'YH' in the upper inscription (fig 22; inscription (not illustrated; found once).
found once.)
13. White spot in the letter '4' (top inscrip-
tion) on some pane stamps, position 40
p ME Pof the upper pane (listed by Nepomnin
"r .:'. 2 (7); not illustrated or seen).

14. White spot in the letter 'Y' of the top
inscription of some stamps in the upper
Spane, position 34, listed by Nepomnin

15. White spot in left center frame plus a tiny
Figure 22. white spot at the edge of the underlined
lower border of the letter 'I' in the
10. Slant 'A' variety with a smeared letter lower inscription (not illustrated; found
"X' in the top inscription (fig. 23; found once).
16. Tiny white spot on the left line of the
inner box adjacent to the letter 'K' of
5 'KOI' (not illustrated, seen once).

17 Red ink flecks in background can occa-
sionally be found (figs. 14, 24).

Figure 23.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 71

Plate and Printing Features of the Airost particles or dirt lodged in grooves on the plate
Congress Issue: may nullify parts of the design as un-recessed
portions of the plate are wiped clean of ink prior
The original transfer images were reproduced to printing and will show as white streaks or
10 times to make the basic transfer plate of 2 'blobs' on the final printed stamps. In addition
horizontal rows of 5. This transfer grouping is to the white spot type cliches, several plate
based on Nepomnin's study (7) which stated that scratches also seem to have developed at some
the slant 'A' occurred in alternate horizontal point in the printing runs and account for the
rows of 5. The slant 'A' variety must be the cliches evident in figs. 7, 8, and 13.
result of a retouch of the image (position 10) on Problems also are evident in the bonding of the
the transfer plate before making the final com- ink to the hard shiny surface of the paper. The
posite printing plate. A similar retouching of the mottling of the surface of many stamps in this
transfer plate (position 6, 9) also would explain series is evident (e.g. fig. 7), and an examination
the short stem 'H' variety of the 15k stamp. of the back of many stamps in this series shows
Separate transfer border plates must have been the presence of adhered blue (or red) ink. Stick-
made from the basic design, one for the 10k, the ing or adhesion of these stamps to one another
other for the 15k values, with the substitution of can still be found today when these stamps have
both numerals rather than just the last numeral of been improperly stored. Careless separation of
the value. This conclusion is based on the adhered stamps leaves a mottled surface over the
observation that the alignment of the numbers primary colors where the ink has been detached.
'1' for the '10 and the '15' on these stamps Perhaps such adhesions also occurred at the time
differs slightly in relationship to the underlying of gumming, when the sheets were stacked on
'K' of "KOIr" and on the separation between the one another before the gum was totally dry, or if
number and left box border (figs. 1-24). Other the room environment was particularly humid.
letters and designs of the border and aeroplane Print mottling also may result from improper
seem to be identical in shape and position, pressure between the printing plate and the paper
The constancy of the white spots on the '7' and or improper consistency of the ink at a given
'l' of #26 and #27 (and probably the 'floating period during the printing run. The shallow
co-pilot', the 'feathered co-pilot head' and the penetration of the ink into the surface of the hard
obliterated 'strut' cliches) of the 10k stamp (figs. shiny paper certainly seems a primary problem
1-8) are probably attributable to defects on the with this issue.
final printing plate. These white spot defects It is apparent that the various cliches noted for
most likely resulted from an overetching or the Airpost Congress stamps are the result of
bleeding of the etching material which produced several quality control factors or problems oc-
unwanted low places on the plate. These de- curring during the lithography transfer and sub-
pressions prevented proper inking of that region sequent printing process (position 6, 9). It is
and an inability of the ink to make contact with clear that a large number of different cliches
the paper in these focal areas. The underlying with variable constancy must exist for the 10k
causes) of the inconstant appearance of white and 15k Airpost Congress stamps. Further, it is
spots is less clear, but less drastic imperfections assumed that most of the cliches reported in this
in the focal etching process may be considered. study would be found only on some stamps from
Basically, anything that interferes with the proper a given pane position produced during the print-
or complete even inking of the plate (e.g., dirt, ing run. It is also apparent, in examining many
bubbles, thickened ink or a non-sticking surface of these stamps, that many tiny variations/spots/
on the plate) may leave 'un-inked' defects on the marks can be found and that the reporting of
stamps. A dirt particle print defect appears as a significant individual variations becomes the
'doughnut' (fig. 7, spot on 'K'). Extraneous judgement of the philatelist.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 72

Shifts in the register of the printing colors are a Footnote: Notes about the Airpost Congress of
conspicuous feature of many stamps of both 1927 extracted from Codding (3): Airmail serv-
values as are variations in inking density of the ice was originally discussed by the Universal
stamps. The described cliches all relate to the Postal Union in 1920 (Madrid) and in 1924
primary color (blue/red) of the borders. None (Stockholm) at a time when air service was both
have been mentioned concerning the aeroplane expensive and erratic. These early conferences
or the outline map background, although one or established that charges for air mail service for
two examples show slight, but noticeable, dif- all members be uniform, with the rates agreed
ferences in the color shade of the hatching of the upon between each administration. By the latter
background map of the the 10k value. In spite of half of the 1920s, air transport in Europe and
all of the quality problems attendant on the Air- North America had formed an international
post Congress issue, it remains as one of the network that was proving to be rapid and more
most striking and colorful stamps issued during dependable than in the preceding years. At an
the earlier years of the Soviet regime, and one International Chamber of Commerce Confer-
with which the philatelist can have fun. ence in Paris in 1926, the air transport committee
proposed that a restricted official conference be
held regarding air mail services under provi-
References: sions of the UPU. The postal administration of
the USSR championed this conference, calling
1. Aronson, H. L., 1927 Air Post Congress for the UPU to poll its member nations on the
Issue. Russian Am. Philat., 10:28-9, 1943. advisability of such a conference. Twenty five
2. Campbell, P., ANT-3. Rossica, 106/107:17- postal administrations responded and a special
20, 1987. air mail conference was called at The Hague on
3. Codding, G. A. Jr., The Universal Postal September 1, 1927. The Airpost Congress was
Union. Coordinator of the International held from 1-10 Sept. 1927. It included 38 postal
Mails., New York Univ. Press, New York, administrations from all the European countries
pp. 56-60, 154-156, 1964. (and their major possessions), the U.S. and
4. Cronin, A., Soviet Arms Type Commemo- Canada, Japan and African/Asian countries
ratives. Rossica 84:19-22, 1973. bordering the Mediterranean. Fourteen airtrans-
5. Cronin, A., Auction Notes. The Post Rider, port companies from Europe also participated.
16:64, 1985. The purpose of the Airpost Congress was to
6. Easton, J., Postage Stamps in the Making establish
(F.J. Melville), Farber & Farber, Ltd, Lon- 1. uniform and cheap air postal
don, 1949, pp. 127-146. rates,
7. Nepomnin, E., Peculiarities of Avia-confer- 2. regular transshipment of air mail,
ence Stamps. Soviet Philat., 4:19,1928, 3. a just compensation system for air
transitt. G. V. Shalimoff, personal commu- navigation companies and
nication, 1985). 4. a simple system of international ac-
8. Speers, F. W., Notes on Soviet Airmail counting.
Stamps, 1922-44. Rossica, 71:10-31, 1965. An agreement on air parcel post also was formed
9. U.S. Bureau NavalPersonnel NavyTraining as part of the conference agreements. The agree-
Course. Lithography. U.S. Government ments formulated by the Airpost Congress were
Printing Office, Washington D.C., pp. 128- formally adopted by the UPU the following year
217, 1965. in London (1929).
Thus, the Hague conference established a low
and uniform postal air rate set at the rate of
ordinary surface letters plus a surcharge based

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 73

THE SOVIET OCCUPATION OF THE 1. Postage Stamps and Franking Policies.
BELORUSSIA 1939-1941 Did Polish stamps and rates continue to be
valid after the Soviet takeover? This is a contro-
versial question with no clear answer, but my
by Peter A. Michalove own inclination is to be highly skeptical. After
the occupation of the Baltic states in the summer
On September 17, of 1940, stamps and rates of the old independent
1939, the Soviet Red Baltic republics continued to be valid for several
Army moved into east- months into the Soviet period, but the philatelic
ern Poland, annexing evidence suggests that the Soviet authorities
that territory to the were not so lenient with the highly nationalistic
S USSR. Most of eastern Poles.
S Poland was incorporated Reference 1 states that the newly acquired
into the Ukrainian Re- territory was incorporated into the Western
public, but a small area in the north was given to Ukraine on November 1, 1939, and the incorpo-
the Belorussian Republic, and these areas were ration into Western Belorussia must have been
now referred to as the Western Ukraine and around the same time. If there was a period when
Western Belorussia. The Germans had occu- Polish stamps and rates were still valid, it must
pied western Poland with their invasion of Sep- have been between September 17 and Novem-
tember 1, so at this point Poland ceased to exist ber 1. Despite some loose Polish stamps and
as a nation. pieces cancelled before November 1, I have yet
This first Soviet administration lasted only to see a complete cover from the period which
briefly, until the German invasion of June 1941, went through the mail with some or all of the
making the 1939-41 period especially interest- franking accepted in Polish stamps.
ing for its transitional characteristics and for the For the period after November 1, Soviet can-
scarcity of philatelic material. The topic of cels on Polish stamps, including covers with
Soviet mail from this period has been dealt with mixed Soviet/Polish franking, continue to ap-
in some detail in the references cited, and those pear but become much more blatantly philatelic.
articles include extensive listings of Polish and The likelihood that these stamps were actually
Soviet postmarks. This paper, therefore, will accepted for postage seems even more remote.
focus on three particular aspects of this period: Shmuely (reference 2) has examples of covers in
the later period in which Polish stamps are
"* postage stamps and franking explicitly denied franking value and are re-
policies, placed by Soviet stamps.
"* postal markings and linguistic Figure 1 shows an unusual item from Novem-
policies, and ber 1, 1939, the date of incorporation into the
"* additional postmarks. Western Ukraine. Mailed from L'vov to Sianki
in German-occupied west Poland, it was back-
While the mixture of languages is one of the stamped at Sianki on November 3, but returned
most interesting and appealing aspects of col- to L'vov as undeliverable and cancelled again
lecting his area, it can be a source of confusion, there on November 7. Thus, we are sure it went
too. In this article, I will spell names quoted through the mail, although it was probably cre-
directly from postal markings or from the Polish ated as a philatelic item. It may even have been
post office listing in the original language, intentionally mis-addressed to be sure it would
Otherwise, names will be given in transliterated come back to the sender.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 75

"6" is pronounced something like the vowel
sound in the English word "look". The few
Soviet registration cachets prepared in this
t 'period were monolingual Russian pieces (ig-
S..__l_-_i !noring for the moment the Stanislav Oblast',
which we will discuss shortly).
The only exception to this rule that I have
-1 XI 39 13 seen is shown in fig. 3. The registration slip
S -- at the top is a Russian 3aKa3Hoe, and the
ST/' lower one gives the Ukrainian JIbBIB. This is
__C- the only example of a Ukrainian-language
ny Borowieo Pranciszek
U r registration cachet I have seen from this
R UK period outside the Stanislav Oblast'. (The

Figure 1.

The cover is franked with 20 kopecks
in Soviet postage and a 15-groszy Pol- '
ish stamp, but it appears doubtful that
the Polish stamp had any franking value. / e
The manuscript "6" on the front may be O Ci <6
an indication of postage due, but if so,
the total intended is unclear, since the c LC-.,. 0
normal Soviet foreign letter rate was 50
kopecks (even without the registration '
charge). Any further information on
this would be most welcome.

2. Postal Markings and Linguistic Figure 2.

Figure 1, an early example (from November
1939), shows the continued use of an old
cancel from independent Poland. However,
new Soviet cancels were introduced by the end
of 1939 for the Western Ukraine with bilingual
markings in Russian and Ukrainian, and the I -
old Polish cancels became much more diffi-
cult to find in this period. Figure 2 is a typical ,:A '
example of the new type: the city of L'vov is '/
given in the Russian/Ukrainian cancel as [ rs1 7
For the most part, however, the Soviets did
not prepare new registration cachets, and the
Polish cachets continued to be the norm, as in the Figure 3.
Lw6w cachets in figs. 1 and 2. The Polish letter

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 76

Tlusten'ke registration mark from the Tarnopol' replaced immediately after the Soviet occupa-
Oblast' shown in reference 1 (Rossica #85, p.42) tion, with Russian-language markings, and no
as fig. 7 is ambiguous; the name of the town is bilingual types appear to have been introduced.
spelled the same in Russian and Ukrainian: Figure 5 is a typical example. This cover from
TnycreHLKe.) Pinsk has a Russian cancel IlHCK/BCCP. But, as
in the Western
Ukraine, the Polish
.. .cvvtf o registration mark is
still typically in use.
Figure 6 is an
"d G--6 ^ unusual case from
"Belostok. Here the
0 6b ,# .l7.- p.4,L-~ ; cancel was applied
on the flap, and the
I A -stamp is defaced in
S,-- -- ,,.. blue pencil.

i'i : i, ,.,-. 3. Additional Can-

i3 f The following list

of new cancels I can
add to the ones listed
Figure 4. in the references. New serial or subscript num-
bers on cancels similar to types already reported
The Stanislav Oblast', in fact, was unique in its are not considered here.
linguistic policy. After the Soviet occupation,
monolingual Ukrainian postal
markings were created for this /
area and were soon replaced
with monolingual Russian
ones. According to the data in
reference 1, the change to
Russian markings was carried
out between March and July EAS AA ..... -
1940. I do not have any ex- -P b 'i b.... C .
amples from the early period, ) 001 ...
but fig. 4 shows a cover to the '. """s ..
U.S. with a Russian-language AV ..... .
CJIAB. OBJL and a similar Rus- -
sian registration cachet. It is oWm,, .. i Fi.Ck r .t .../
dated January 11, 1941. HAl 3 t ........ ..... .
Monolingual Russian cancels
were also typical of Western
Belorussia. Here, the Polish cancellers were Figure 5.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 77

Ys*amuiio a a nocniKy ..

o .i:e. B eHa 3bi.cKaIRni C60po

Figure 7a.

0 Ksurt *. 7
.' 7 / <-TpaI po .-
AIflPEC KH OlC JIRE -" -- -

- -.i 0- CneMO .... .
^c o6 -,ne.o .O_.___ JU_ w .

Rossiaa Ripea

N.... 1, I ti ..o. 9- 7.
K L c l

Figure 7b.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 78

Figure 6.

00 ROITA, 1( nQ4TA

Figure 8.


Figure 9.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 79

Western Ukraine (Russian language) registration marking from
Ol'kovichi. This cover was mailed June 23,
Kostopol', Rovenskaya Oblast' 1941, the day after the German invasion. It is
Figures 7a and 7b show both sides of a parcel backstamped at Vileika on June 26 with a cancel
post receipt card with two different cancels of similar to the one illustrated for that city in
Kostopol', both dated August 5, 1940. reference 3.

Nadvorna, Stanislavskaya Oblast' Skribovtsy, Baranovichi Oblast'
The Nadvorna cancel and registration mark Figure 11 shows our first cancel from this city
shown in fig. 4 are new. and identifies it as being in the Baranovichi
Oblast'. The July 1, 1936, post office listing
Peremyshl', Peremyshl' Territory given in reference 3 lists this office not in the
Figure 8 shows a very incomplete strike of a Baranowicze, but the Szczuczyn Powait in pre-
rare cancel from Peremyshl'. This city was war Poland, so the city was evidently reassigned
divided between German and Soviet administra- at the time of the Soviet occupation. Both
tion in the 1939-41 period and was returned to powaity had been in the Novogr6dek
independent Poland after the war. Philatelic Wojew6dstwo in the Polish period.
material of the 1939-41 period is very hard to
find from this area.

Zabarazh, Tarnopol'skaya Oblast'
The cancel illustrated in fig. 9 and dated April
14, 1941, is the backstamp on the reverse of the
cover shown in fig. 3.

Western Belorussia

Ol'kovichi, Vileiskaya Oblast'
Figure 10 shows a cover with a new cancel and

Figure 11.

"a.... / <~~~. ....>. n/.... < ....... ... ..

Figure 10.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114. 1990 80
Number 113/114, 1990 80

on weight, distance and long-distance service A Collect-On-Delivery Question
whose upkeep required extra expense. All
members agreed to accept airmail and to deliver
it as rapidly as possible on the first available By V. Popov
delivery after its arrival. If no air service was
available, air mail letters were to be dispatched On a fragment of a parcel-post address card
by the most rapid means possible. covered with stamps, we see that a 5.2-kilogram
parcel was addressed to the Dnepropetrovsk
[Editor's note: The term "Airpost Congress" has Steam Engine Repair Shop at the Dnepropet-
become widespread in the literature, even though rovsk station. The tariff for weight was 4 rubles,
the Russian "ABHO-IInOTOBAl ICKOHDEPEHITl" for insurance 1 ruble, and for collect-on-deliv-
should be translated as "Airmail Conference".] ery 50 kopecks, for a total of 5 rubles 50
kopecks. (fig. 1)
The card was postmarked "Moscow 20.7.39",
then marked Dnepropetrovsk 1.8.39. At least
nine 5 ruble stamps (and possibly more) were at-
tached and postmarked
.. 21.8.39" (fig.2).
i ,' Do these attached
*f o(y .& j stamps represent the
r .. .I. amount collected on
Figure 1. --- delivery, and are, there-
fore, a receipt to the ad-
S.dressee for the amount
..... .t. collected? Since no
3- return address is visible,
Should this be on the cut-
off portion at the top?
How does the sender
receive his money? A
description of the
C.O.D. process would
.ET A be helpful.

Figure 2.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 74

Tykotin, Belostokskaya Oblast' Nova Odessa in Brazil
Figure 12 illustrates a new cancel of November
20, 1940.
by R. Polchaninoff

In my collection of postal markings,
there are seven markings for Odessa in
/ various states of the USA and Lake
C -i Odessa in Michigan. Recently, I added
*L .. a marking of Nova Odessa, Brazil,
Sl shown in fig. 1. Nova Odessa is located
approximately 130 km north of Sao

C16129 83

Figure 12.


1. Editorial Board. "Soviet Posts in the Western Figure 1.
Ukraine 1939-1941." Rossica # 85 (1973),
pp. 32-34. Mrs. G. K. Feofiloff, who lives in Ozasko near
2. Shmuely, M. "Soviet Posts in the Western San Paulo, visited Nova Odessa and, with the
Ukraine 1939-1941." Rossica # 106/107 permission of the city administration, obtained
(1985), pp. 85-93. xerox copies of material on the history of Nova
3. Shmuely, Moshe and Andrew Cronin. "The Odessa. She translated them from Portuguese
Soviet Posts in Western Belorussia 1939- into Russian and brought them to me. For this,
1941." The Post Rider # 14, June 1984, pp. I express my sincere gratitude.
4-32. "The History of Nova Odessa" (Edicao his-
4. Waugh, Allen S. "The Western Regions of torica de Nova Odessa) published in 1957, is a
the U.S.S.R., 1939-1941." British Journal of voluminous book with many illustrations. It
Russian Philately #52, December 1975, pp. includes not only the history of the city, but the
21-24. history of the European immigration to Brazil
5. Welvaart, Anton. "Philatelic Shorts." The since 1850, and tells about a number of families
Post Rider #23, December 1988, p. 76. that contributed to the development or fame of
the city.
In 1850 slave trading was abolished in Brazil.
Soon there was a noticeable shortage of workers.
"Beginning in 1875, Slavs Poles, Ukrainians
and others started to arrive. Dutch, Hungari-
ans, Lithuanians and Latvians began arriving in
1890 as well. The Hungarians, Lithuanians and
Latvians were officially counted as Russians in

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 81

the official statistics since they were citizens of 1905, in England recruited 11 Russian Jews.
the Russian Empire and had Russian documents" They arrived in the port of Sao Paulo on 9 May
- this is stated in the Nova Odessa history. [The and, after 15 days stay in a camp for immigrants
author of the original history errs here. Hungari- in Sao Paulo, were taken to Nova Odessa. On29
ans could not have had Russian immigration May, they are mentioned in a worker's diary:
documents, although they may have known the "They worked, pulling out stumps in the pas-
language and settled with other Russian-speak- ture".
ing immigrants. R. P.] In the city archives, there is a letter written by
"This large influx of foreigners [it further states] the first administrator of Nova Odessa, Candido
became so large that a department was estab- de Albuquerque, dated July 13, 1905, naming
lished in 1875. It was subordinate to the Min- Doctor Prokopiy Davidov director of the Rus-
istry of Internal Affairs, and was concerned with sian colony.
the transportation and distribution of immigrants On August 12, 1905, 379 more Russian Jews
at the expense of the treasury. This department arrived in the port of Santos. They were distrib-
had offices in Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo. Si- uted among different settlements, includingNova
multaneously, there appeared private agencies Odessa. After examination of the papers of this
supportedby theofficialorganizationsconcerned group, it was established that these were people
with the reception and distribution of immi- of various professions, but there was not one
grants." farmer among them. Inasmuch as Nova Odessa
Nova Odessa was founded on May 23, 1905. A was established as a farming settlement, these
monument to its founder is located in the city. immigrants soon left for the larger cities.
The history says this about it: "On 23 May 1905, Nevertheless, desiring to settle Russian farm-
by decree No. 1286, core colony Nova Odessa ers in particular at Nova Odessa, the Brazilian
was established. Without doubt, the founder of government turned directly to St. Petersburg
Nova Odessa was Carlos Jose de Arruda Botelho, with a request for permission to recruit Russian
secretary of the agricultural section of the state peasants desiring to emigrate to Brazil. In a
ofSaoPaulo. He not only created the conditions reply letter dated August 31, 1905 (State Ar-
possible for the development of a new city, but chives No. 4682), the Minister of Foreign Af-
also looked after the influx of immigrants as fairs saidthat the Russian governmentwas against
well." the emigration of its subjects abroad, but ap-
In the paragraph "Name of the City of Nova proved of and promoted the exit of Jews.
Odessa", it states "On one of hisjourneys abroad, In spite of this, Joaos Gutman was sent to Riga
Carlos Botelho visited Odessa, on the shores of to recruit Latvians, and Julio Malvis was in-
the Black Sea in the Ukraine, Russia, and he volved in the settling of Latvian families from
liked very much the wide straight streets and the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina to Nova
houses in the gardens. Deciding to create a core Odessa.
colony for Russian immigrants, he named it In 1906, Latvians began to arrive in Nova
Nova Odessa and planned it after the layout of Odessa, creating showcase farms there. Their
Odessa. There is no basis to attach any signifi- descendants, as well as descendants of settlers
chance to other versions relative to the naming of from the Ukraine, still live in these areas.
the city, other than that given above."
It is known that not one true Odessan got to the (Originally printed in Novoe Russkoe Slovo,
Brazilian Nova Odessa. The first inhabitants of June 23, 1985, New York, and printed here with
Nova Odessa were Jews from Russia, as well as the permission of the author.)
11 pure-blooded Russians. An agent of Carlos
Botelho in New York, in March 1905, recruited
Russians to Brazil, and someone else on April 3,

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 82

Retouching History In the 1951 Russian edition of the Great
Soviet Encyclopedia, we learn that the artist
Vladimir A. Serov painted the scene in 1947 and
by Robert F. Minkus, M.D. was awarded the Stalin prize for it in 1948. This
same edition of the encyclopedia showed a col-
When I saw the 1987 stamp showing V. A. ored print of the picture that is duplicated on the
Serov's painting "V. I. Lenin Proclaiming So- 1954 stamp, complete with the faces of Stalin,
viet Power" (fig. 1), I was immediately reminded Sverdlov and Dzerzhinsky and all other details.
that the painting had been used before on a 1954 It is as if the stamp's artist simply traced the
stamp in a series commemorating the 30th anni- original picture.
versary of Lenin's death (fig.2). The interesting From the 1976 Russian and English editions of
thing is that the figures with the discernable the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, we learn that this
faces standing behind Lenin had been painted 1947 painting is now in the People's Republic of
over or altered. On the 1954 stamp, one could China, and that a variant painted in 1962 is now
readily make out the faces of Stalin, Sverdlov located in the State Tret'yakov Gallery in
and Dzerzhinsky, while on the 1987 stamp these Moscow. Apparently Serov, who died in 1968,
faces were missing. Since the 1987 stamp ap- repainted his famous painting and carefully
pears to be a photo offset, I wondered if the removed the recognizable faces of Stalin,
original painting was retouched. Sverdlov and Dzerzhinsky and altered some of

B.M. ACeHi nPoBoarAauaeT CoeeTCKyio SAacTb

Figure 1. Figure 2.

The painting represents Lenin's appearance at the other details as well. As we know, Stalin was
the second meeting of the soviets on October 25, denounced in 1956 and a period of de-Staliniza-
1917. Comparing the painting on the two stamps, tion followed. This may have been the reason
we notice numerous differences. For example, for Serov's second painting. There remain two
on the 1954 stamp, Lenin's left hand is forward, questions. Is the painting reproduced on the
clutching some papers. On the other, the left arm 1987 stamp the second Serov painting now in the
is extended back. The flag bearer on the right is Tret'yakov Gallery, and why is the first painting
visible in one, but hidden behind an upraised arm in China? Perhaps someone familiar with the
on the other. The gun strap at the left is bent dif- history of Soviet art can answer that for us.
ferently. Positions of the foreground figures dif-
fer. There is a sailor in the center foreground on
one picture but not in the other.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 83

THE NATIONALITIES QUESTION AND gian postmarks transcribe as TBILISI. Batum
HOW IT MANIFESTED ITSELF IN becomes BATOMI, Kutais changes only slightly
While the Georgian postmarks did remain in
By Ivo Steyn use for years after the Georgian National Repub-
lic had been reconquered by the USSR (1921),
After seemingly re- they were joined in the early 1920s by bilingual
maining dormant for Cyrillic/Georgian postmarks. An example for
.. decades at least in the Tiflis' 6th Town Post Office is shown in fig. 1.
S-Western media- the age- The Georgian inscription in the lower half reads
oldnationalitiesquestion "TBLISI K.' 6 P.T'.G.", which no doubt will
has resurfaced to form make perfect sense to those of us who know
one of the greatest crises Georgian.
the Soviet Union now
faces. It seems almost criminal to reduce such an /^- 0t p
important question to a trivial investigation of
postmarks, but the fact remains that national A 23626'
identities have featured prominently in the postal
markings of the Soviet Union, particularly be-
tween the World Wars. Examples of bilingual
postmarks can be found from the imperial period, Figure 1.
notably those of Finland and the Baltic prov-
inces, but by and large Russian prevailed. When A similar process took place in the Ukraine.
the Civil War allowed peripheral areas in the old The Russified names in the Imperial postmarks
Russian Empire to become independent how- were replaced by their Ukrainian equivalents. In
ever briefly we see languages and alphabets this way, KIEV became KIIV, KHAR'KOV
other than Russian and Cyrillic appear, became KHARKIV, etc. Fortunately, the alpha-
Probably the best-known of these early separa- bet used in the Ukrainian language is a close
tist postmarks are the postmarks inscribed in the cousin to Cyrillic as used in Russian, so we can
graceful letters of the Georgian alphabet, which decipher these Ukrainian postmarks without
was taken into use in Menshevik Georgia not undue problems. Here, too, bilingual postmarks
long after it declared independence in 1918. (Russian/Ukrainian) were introduced in the early
However, while the Georgian alphabet is cer- 1920s.
tainly graceful, it is also pretty uninformative to Before looking at other areas of the USSR, a few
a layman. I think most of us have by now become words must be said on the organization of the
familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, but over the state. The USSR is, formally speaking, a Union
years I've only learned to recognize two or three of 15 states, the "union republics". When the
of the Georgian "squiggles", although I have no USSR was created in December 1922, there were
doubt that specialists in Georgian and Batumi only 4 union republics:
philately will have done better. The Georgian
alphabet and its transcription can be found in RSFSR (most of Imperial Russia)
Andrew Hall & George Barefoot's book on Transcaucasian Socialist Federa-
Georgian philately, but additional problems in tive Soviet Republic
deciphering a postmark arise when the Georgian Ukrainian SSR
name for a town is different from the name used Belorussian SSR
in Imperial Russian times. The most obvious
example is, of course, Tiflis, of which the Geor-

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 84

Later, the Uzbek, Turkmen (both 1924) and to 1926, and an ASSR from 1926 to 1936 before
Tadzhik (1929) SSRs brought the total to 7. "graduating" to union republic status in 1936.
Under the so-called Stalin Constitution of 1936, The present Tuvan ASSR was an AO from 1944
the USSR consisted of 11 union republics. The to 1961 and a (nominally) independent state
Transcaucasian SFSR split into the Armenian, before 1944!
Georgian and Azerbaidjani SSRs, and Kazakhstan A more drastic change in status has befallen two
and Kirgizia also became union republics. The ASSRs. Both the Crimeans and the Volga Ger-
threeBalticrepublicsandMoldaviabecameunion mans had their own ASSRs before WW II, but
republics during WW II, bringing the total to the their alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupa-
present 15. tional forces lost them this status entirely. These
Within the union republics, certain areas may days, both areas are simply parts of union re-
have some autonomy. This autonomy comes in publics, without any autonomy whatsoever, al-
three gradations. At the top of the autonomy though the situation may change in the future.
scale are the Autonomous Socialist Soviet Re- Obviously, the three Baltic republics made a
publics (ASSR), of which there are 18 at the late and involuntary entry into the Soviet Union
moment. Slightly less autonomous are the Au- as union republics in 1940. Again, this situation
tonomous Oblasts (provinces, AOs), while the in now under active some would say too active!
lowest form of autonomy is given to the National discussion.
Okrugs (districts, NOs). See tables 1-3 for the Before we return to the postmarks, it must be
situation in 1970. said that all this autonomy is mostly cosmetic. If
we realize that most of this structure evolved
Table 1 ASSRs 1970 under the rule of the erstwhile Commissar for
Karelian Chukchi Chuvash Adzharian Nationalities, Joseph Stalin (despite his Geor-
Komi Tuva Mordovian Dagestan gian, or more accurately Ossetian, background a
Udmurt Buryat-Mongol Tatar Nakhichevan Great Russian Chauvinist), it will be obvious that
Mary Kara-Kalpak Bashkir
MYakut North O ian hkirh n any overly enthusiastic expression of nationalist
Yakut North Ossetian Abkhazian
feelings by one of the non-Russian peoples was
dealt with quickly and severely. Thus, national-
iT 170st uprisings in Georgia were put down with
Table 2 AOs 1970
considerable loss of life during the 1920s.
Adyge North Ossetian And yet it is this period which spawned the
Khakass South Ossetian bilingual postmarks, surely an expression of
Gorno-Altai Jewish nationalist sentiments? Well, no. Like the struc-
Aga-Buryat-Mongol Nagorno-Karabakh
Cherkess Gorno-Badakhstan ture of the USSR itself, the bilingual postmarks
were more of a sop to nationalist sentiment than
a meaningful concession. It is

Table 3 NOs -1970 rL 4

Nenets Taimyr
Koryak Ust-Orda Buryat-Mongol 7 5 50
Yamal-Nenets Evenki a

Over the last 69 years, several areas have been
changed in status, sometimes more than once. Figure 2.
For example, the present Kirgiz SSR, a union
republic, was an autonomous oblast' from 1924

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 85

easy to be generous in the matter of postmarks as Bilingual postmarks become even more inter-
long as any more important concessions are firmly testing when an unusual alphabet was used for the
withheld, second language. The example of Georgian
Returning after some delay to the politically in- postmarks has already been mentioned, and
nocuous subject of postmarks between the World Armenian postmarks were, of course, in Russian
Wars, bilingual postmarks soon sprang up in (Cyrillic) and Armenian during this period. Figure
most areas where a language other than Russian 5 shows a handsome postmark from
was spoken. Thus in the Autonomous Karelian Verkhneudinsk, the present Ulan Ude. It was
SSR, postmarks in Russian (Cyrillic alphabet) then the capital of the Buryat Mongol SSR,
and Finnish (Latin alphabet) appeared. An ex- which was, despite the name, not a union republic
ample is shown in fig. 2 forPOVENETS AKSSR/ but a mere ASSR. The postmark is in Russian
POVENTSAN. Note that the Finnish name is not and Mongol.
just a transcription of the Russian name this is Since many of the ethnic minorities in the USSR
a true bilingual postmark. use a Turkic language, a special alphabet for
Figs. 3 and 4 show two more bilingual post- those languages, the United Latin Turkic alpha-
marks, for Alatyr' (in the Chuvash ASSR) and bet, was introduced in 1929 by Soviet philolo-
Minsk (in the Belorussian SSR, a union republic, gists. It much resembles the Latin alphabet, with
of course). Don't be deceived by the latter post- a few alterations and additions (see Yamshchik
mark's unusual layout. This strike is dated 1934, #9, p. 49-50, for a description), and was taken
1st of October, 5 o'clock in the afternoon. into use in a large number of SSRs, ASSRs, etc.
The case of the Crimean ASSR has been treated
Sin great detail in Yamshchik #9 by Andrew
Cronin, and figs. 6 and 7 show examples of this
alphabet from Kazan' (Tatar ASSR) and
Ashkhabad (Turkmen SSR, a union republic).

Figure 3. 8 34

-I i17
43r. .Figure 6.

Figure 4.

Figure 5. Figur

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 86

Finally, the most newsworthy little town in Khankendy, Elisavetpol' Guberniya in Imperial
Transcaucasia, Stepanakert in the mountainous times.
Karabakh AO, yielded fig. 8, taken from a 1925 Obviously, this complex subject cannot be re-
registered letter. I have no idea in which lan- viewed in depth in this brief article. I will close
guage the inscription in the lower half is sup- this bouquet of oddball postmarks with the obser-
posed to be, or indeed which alphabet! By the vation that the smaller, single-ring postmarks,
which were introduced in the late 1930s in the
SUSSR, offer less scope for collecting, particu-
larly since it appears to be harder to find nice
9 2 85 A strikes of those smaller postmarks. By compari-
son, the larger, double-ring postmarks illustrated
here offer a telling illustration of how the nation-
alities problem pervaded the USSR almost from
Figure 8. the start. Let us hope that it does not lead to new
way, Stepanakert was known (but not to many) as bloodshed in the future.


by George Shaw

Recommand m

,-U^AEITO ~ ^1. o
A -. .y i t/o f

Indicia removed from Soviet postal cards and Aviator design from the late 1930s affixed to an
envelopes are sometimes seen affixed to an un- envelope that was sent from Riga to Rzeszow,
franked envelope. Such items are usually phila- Poland on October 27, 1960. The cutouts were
telic and often wind up on internationalmail. The evidently valid for postage and are seen both
illustrated example has fourcopies of the 30-kop. before and after the 1961 currency reform.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 87

HANDSTAMPS FOR SALE "The Engraver A. Muss'

by Dave Skipton Vast Warehouse and Plant for Mechanical and
Rubber Handstamps
Philatelists have often wondered where the Main
Post-and-Telegraph Administration hadits hand- St. Peterburg, Morskaya St. #19,
stamps and seals made, especially in St. Peters- Telephone No. 2219.
burg. Speculation ranged from private sources to
some small office within the Administration it- Telegraph address: Shtempel'muss-Peterburg
self, but now at least some of the questions can be
answered. (Various seals and datestamps)
The following advertisement appeared several
times per year in the official edition of the "Post- Handstamps and seals required
and-Telegraph Journal". The engraving firm of by the Post-and-Telegraph
A. Muss apparently did a thriving business with Administration
the post office in the capital, and it should not be are supplied at the following prices:
stretching things too much to suppose that some
outlying towns also engaged the Muss company All-steel seal with large or
to make their handstamps. Figure 1 is a reproduc- small eagle 2 rubles 70 k.
tion of the ad as it appeared every few weeks in Steel seal with wooden handle,
1904: large or small eagle 2 rubles
Steel seal with wooden handle
OBsIaPHlrSuIII OaaKWlqa H oBMXAHHISCHXl H HEJIAa MABPEK ,for private insured
correspondence 1 ruble 90 k.
rPABEPA A. V CC Steel postage-due handstamp 2 rubles
Cno. Mopoan yI. NA 19. Tetomir Nt 2219. Steel handstamp for notice of
AAI.LCI re .rparMmi: w iiit1!i.ycI,.-ikTpypn..v receipt with letters "A.R." 1 ruble 50 k.
Steel handstamp for money
orders 3 rubles
Datestamp (with tumblers) for
correspondence and receipt
P logbooks, with tumblers
[/o -5 M.. showing 31 days, 12 months
12.10.03 1210.03.6-7.Y. and 5 years, with holder
4S and tweezers 7 rubles
noTPr6Hue ihoToso-Teerpauaolmy BtAoraomy uennen a ne.rIa Similar datestamps for railroad
MOTOMuIANTC no ct tAyOINm.11U Itm:M'
nerra oo cTajbH.. CL bo.ia.Hi. lau MaJIb opo- .. p. 70 K. mailcars, with the same
Ile4aTb cTramA. CL epea. pyqK. c cb ojILb. MnH an mi.
opAOuM . . . ... . appurtenances 8 rubles 50 k.
pnu'4a m CT ..bH A CTpa. K. c.p. .C... 9o Individual tumblers 10 kopecks
OtaTu .mne. TI.C. aA oOpa..o. cdy. 6 A. R. Lead-coated steel tweezers
UlTexineb CTjbra. w nepenoaOB ....... with engraved inscription 8 rubles
Ha6opH. mrTCMII. (co KJIALA.) AAR Kopp. II KBHT. KHb wit engrave inscription rues
CO BKlJaA. 03Ha4. 31 qmIja, 2 mic. 5 roR. c Automatic nmberin machine
rot um. If uHaH .. . . 7- Automatic numbering machine
Utl(roK. H UWIIIIKIIKAMH........... ....7 n
TaKie-Kme mIUCMi. .IOir. INFIIIIb 'h TaKIIMH-e for acknowledgements and
pP6.. ................. .P.. 50a
o1t1J0N W1KAfhI TLA1H- . ...... Na .. S 10 receipts 20 rubles"
lbjou&. utmna craTUbH. c-b BrrpaBHpoa. HaAnHCbIO 8 8 2
AeroMaT. HoMepalopIs, Lx ICRHT. II pOCrllCOwb. .. 20 *
Figure 1. If this engraver did supply the St. Petersburg
GPO and many or all of its branch offices with

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 88

handstamps, it would explain why there are so From "Khronika" in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika
few errors found in SPb cancellers: one manufac- Svyazi"
turer would have a limited set of dies kept in
constant stock, with none of the freelancing so
common in the provinces.
Another interesting aspect of this advertise- translated by Dave Skipton
ment is the datestamp for correspondence, with
only 5 years available on the year-tumbler. Ei- 1) The Post a collector of taxes. In Kursk
their they did not expect an ordinary steel hand- province acceptance of agricultural taxes col-
stamp to survive the capital for more than 5 years elected by the VIK's [volost' executive commit-
and 365 days (the maximum amount of time tees TR] has been established at post-and-
which the tumblers could handle), or additional telegraph offices as well as at those places where
tumblers would have to be ordered. No matter the [mobile] posts call. (No.11, November 1924,
what the explanation, Mr. Muss was likely to see page 175.)
further profits.
2) For the populace's convenience. In order to
afford the best service to people living at [and
Russin Cs S ? near] railroad stations on the Belgorod-Kupyansk-
Russian Christmas Seals?
junction and Belgorod-Sumy sections, the
Belgorod RR PO has established [a system
by George Shaw
whereby] registered, ordinary and postage-due
correspondence may be handed out directly to
It seems that the Soviet postal authorities are resden a ee station ro tra
,. residents at these stations from mailcars trav-
subject to citizens affixing labels in lieu of stamps. eing on the w sections. (o. 1 cmr
selling on the two sections. (No. 12, December
This problem, familiar to United States collec- 1924 pp. 151-152.)
1924, pp. 151-152.)
tors who have seen Christmas Seals used instead
of stamps to mail letters, is illustrated on an
envelope sent from
Moscow to a Polish
stamp journal on
The label has a
lengthy inscription: .
"WorldForumofthe .
solidarity of youth KyRa 6AC,.' L
and students in the .vcLo 2K 2Z
struggle for national --i ('ts Za
independence and -
liberation and for Koy O
peace." Thanks to
Dave Skipton for the IIIIIII I 1111111 11111111111111111111111
help in translating A,- -s,
the inscription. k u o k

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 89

The Postal Travels of a Tientsin Prisoner of Cancellations and Notations follow:
War Cover, 1916-1917 1. TYAN'TSZIN RUSSKAYA POCHTA,
serial "a", dated 1-7-16 (1 Jul 16). Cancella-
by Melvin Kessler tion Tchilinghirian Type 6.
2. TIENTSIN I.J.P.O. (Imperial Japanese Post
German prisoner of war (POW) covers of World Office), 7-17-16 (17 Jul 16). (See No. 3
War I from China with Japanese cancellations below)
are not too common, and some are moderately 3. CHANCHUNG I.J.P.O. (Imperial Japanese
scarce. The cover described in this article with Post Office), 17-7-16 (17 Jul 16). That the
pictures of both sides illustrates vividly the trav- Japanese IJPO cancellations were used seems
els this cover encountered in almost a year's unusual since the cover was destined for
journey to track down Albert Tosch to transfer Russia.
to him six rubles. Let's take a postal trip with this 4. DAURIYA ZABAIK (Transbaikal), serial
cover destined originally for Dauriya, Transbai- "a", ?-7-16 (? Jul 16). On the addressee side
kal Oblast', Battalion 6 Company, a POW camp. DAURIYA was crossed out, but not
Figure 1 is the front of the cover and fig. 2 is the Battalion 6 Company (the words in abbrevia-
reverse side. Some of the cancellations are tion).
clustered, but they have been identified [in the 5. Another DAURIYA ZABAIK, Serial "b",
flesh, definitely in a photograph it is difficult dated 3-9-16 (3 Sep 16). The cover lan-
ED]. The stamps are four Russian 7-kopecks guished for about a month and a half here.
with lozenges, KITAIoverprints with wax seals, 6. KOLA [ARKHANGEL'SK province],
one affecting one stamp. The envelope is the 27-9-16 (27 Sep 16). It is assumed that our
standard POW Money Transfer to prisoners. POW Tosch was assigned to this locale.
7. M U R M A N
S.. 3-2-17 or 13-2-17 (3 or 13 Feb
: gene des prisonntiers de rre./ 17). Again the cover languished.
H ....8. On the cover front are manu-
Herrn '._- --- .. scriptdates 21/VI/17(21Jun 17)
_A -4 '* and 1-8-17 (1 Aug 17).
,-. /-.. 9. Between the dates noted in
"-3aIKl Toe nIchbMO c o6 -bniaenlH fl i[tuoHoc I, No.8 above, on the cover back
Bb p,'p 6 nef 6)' with the seals and thecancella-
oeHfonjItHnoMv tions is a heavy TYAN'TSZIN
J- 15 "7", dated 24-6-17 (24 Jun 17).
S/ The cover returned to its place of
S I ......... .. origin!

.'" ".6. ... Despite its travels, the cover is
a.Jaiwx otJ.,ncme
.. ,. .-- .... in remarkably good condition as
POW covers go from China.
Figure 1.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 90

Figure 2.

Twice across the width of Russia under war con-
ditions where care for pieces of paper would
seem to be secondary. Any comments would be
appreciated. Address your comments to me at U.S. Postal Censorship and the USSR
526 Cheshire Avenue, NW, Fort Walton Beach,
Florida 32548. The following article is from declassified U.S.
Government document and is quoted only for
historical purposes.

From "Khronika" in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika
Svyazi" (The question is asked.)

translated by Dave Skipton "THE OFFICE OF CENSORSHIP
4) Letters from Poland to Leningrad and the WASHINGTON, D.C. 25
Northwestern Oblast' have begun to arrive in
direct, sealed postal packets as of 18 October.
For the most part, they come from Vil'no and February 2, 1945
Warsaw, and take 3-4 days. Up 'til then, all such
mail to Leningrad went through Moscow and Mr. Francis Colt de Wolf,
took 8-9 days to get from Warsaw to Leningrad. Chief, Telecommunications Division,
(No. 12, December 1924, p. 152.) Department of State,
Washington 25, D. C.

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 91

Dear Mr. de Wolf: (The question is answered.)

In regard to the problem of reopening commu- "DEPARTMENT INCOMING DIVISION OF
nications with the Baltic States, Bessarabia, and TELEGRAM CENTRAL SERVICES
Eastern Poland, Postal Censorship proposes that STATE TELEGRAPH SECTION
the following be incorporated in any cablegram
sent to Moscow for the purpose of eliciting nec- DGC-48
essary information prior to the resumption of
such communications: Moscow

U. S. Postal censorship has no interest in the Dated March 10, 1945
USSR's treatment of its own mail, but it is vitally
concerned with the channels of communication This telegram must be closely paraphrasedbe-
transiting the territory of the USSR to and from fore being communicated to anyone. (SECRET)
Japan since these channels connect with others
to and from the Western Hemisphere. For this Rec'd 9:35 a.m.
reason, answers to the following questions are
desired: Secretary of State,
1. With which countries is the Soviet public 694, March 10, noon
permitted to correspond?
The Embassy has obtained from the Soviet
2. What treatment is given by the USSR to the postal authorities the following answers to the
mail of neutral countries which transits the numbered questions contained in the Depart-
USSR? ment's 324, February 13, 11 p.m.

3. What treatment is given to the mail of enemy-
occupied areas which transits the USSR?
Nine. Soviet citizens may have postal commu-
4. What treatment is given the mail of liberated nications with all countries of the world except
areas which transits the USSR? those at war with the Soviet Union and areas
occupied by the enemy.
5. Are there any language restrictions on inter-
national postal communications of the USSR? Ten. Mail crossing Soviet territory in transit
from neutral countries is not subject to censor-
6. What are the principal routes of surface and ship. Transit mail from enemy-occupied coun-
air mails through the USSR to Japan and what is tries is not admitted into the Soviet Union.
the length of time involved for the passage of
mails by each such route? Eleven. International mail may be written in
any language designated by the sender.
Sincerely yours,
In addition the Soviet postal authorities have
N. V. CARLSON, stated that air communications have not been
Colonel, G.S.C., established between the USSR and Japan. Postal
Chief Postal Censor" exchange is by rail, the main route being as
follows: Moscow-Shita-Otpur-Manchuria. Mail
is exchanged at the station Manchuria. The time

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 92

required for the transshipment of mail on this The following was extracted from the publica-
route is from 9 to 10 days. tion "Sino-Soviet Aviation" from July 11.1940.

It is unlikely that the Embassy will be able to NEW SOVIET SERVICE
obtain any specific information concerning the
organization and methods of Soviet censorship. "The longest Soviet seaplane non-stop regular
We have been watching incoming mail for weeks passenger service was opened to-day when a
and have noted that only an insignificant num- plane left Habarovsk for Petropavlsk, near
ber of the letters received by the Embassy actu- Kamchatka. The route flies over the Amur River,
ally bear indication of censorship. Some letters Sakhalien Island and the Okhotsk Sea, and cov-
from inside Russia of from liberated areas do in ers 1,400 miles in approximately 10 hours. -
fact bear the legend "examine by military cen- United Press."
sorship". No Russian censorship legend how-
ever have appeared on letters coming from the
United States. It is likely however that most of Was it a Newspaper?
the mail coming from abroad is censored with-
out indication that it is done.
by George Shaw
The Embassy has learned from practice that
Soviet postal regulations require that letters Postal stationery is often an intriguing com-
mailed to a foreign country must be presented at bination of collecting varieties and postal his-
the post office in an unsealed envelope by the tory. This cover is a pair of 1-kopeck wrappers
sender. The postage stamps are affixed by its from 1890 arranged at right angles to form a con-
post office clerk. In addition the envelope must tainer for a document that was subsequently re-
be addressed in the Russian language and also in moved. It was mailed from Tyvrovo on Novem-
the language of country of destination. ber 7, 1901, to Rotterdam with an additional 56
kopecks in stamps affixed to cover extra postage
HARRIMAN and registration. Has any Rossica reader seen a
WFS" similar item?

-. .
; !

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 93

Unusual Covers to Russia It seems that Russia had medical contacts in
Somalia and even in Ethiopia. Russia as a
by Melvin Kessler destination from Somalia is quite scarce, espe-
cially in the 19th century.
It seems not much has appeared in the Rossica The second cover (figs. 2 and 3) came from
Journal about covers of an unusual nature sent to Siam (now Thailand) to Russia in 1912. The
Russia from countries that had little contact
with it during the imperial period. With this i
in mind, I thought that the membership "'
would find the two covers described here of /, S "0
some interest. Of further interest are the ad- Cj. 4h, -4 GO-L -.
dresses. Alas, if only we had the letters to
go with the covers.
The first cover (fig. 1) originated from the Qf...Pt a J Jt
French Somali Coast. It is registered and
franked with a beautiful Scott No. 16, and is 7
cancelled DJIBOUTI POSTES, 3 Mai 96.
The cover went by French Paqueb6t No. 5, S ..
Ligne N, postmarked 4 May 96. Addressed l
to Dr. Fedor Semenovich Enkhoff, District
Military-Medical Administration, River Walk Figure 2.
at the Semenovski Bridge, the cover boasts two
ST. PETERBURG arrival marks on the back. Siamese stamps on the back are Scott Nos. 139
The full one in magenta and the other, a partial and two of 141, cancelled BANGKOK 13-6-12.
datestamp in blue, are both dated 6-V-96 (o.s.) Also, on the back are two Russian arrival marks,
which was 18 May in New Style dating. The one distinct and the other less so. The distinct
magenta cancellation was applied at 3 ch" (3 datestampreadsKRASNOESELOS.P.B.,dated
p.m.). 3-7-12, serial "b". The indistinct postmark has
[PAVLOV]SK S.P.B. and is
also dated 3-7-12. The cover
took 33 days to reach St. Peters-
U'uq burg.
Of particular note is to whom
.... the cover is addressed: Count
S/ Michael Grabbe, General in the
S.,.. .. ., Entourage of H is M ajesty the
Emperor of Russia, Comman-
Sdant of the mixed Cossack
F x"-4 Regiment of the Guard. The
|,. city of destination was
41,". & -o e-_' *PAVLOVSK, but that was
l "n/ crossed out and ST. PE-
TERSBOURG was written
instead. Above the address is a
manuscript notation "D.
Figure 1. Kr(asnoe) Selo der(evnya) Nikolaevka. Who
was Count Michael Grabbe? Why the corre-

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 94

spondence with Siam? Do any of our members postal services are made available to rural in-
have some information about this person? As I habitants by means of mobile post offices, aux-
said, if only we had the letter to this and the other iliary communications workers [i.e., individuals
cover described. Again, mail in the imperial not listed on the staff of any communications
period from Siam to Russia is very scarce. office DMS] and a huge army of mail carriers.
"There are over 600,000 mailboxes in
our country; more than 430,000 of those
S are in rural areas, and there is not a single
K v locality without [some] postal service.
"Many large, highly mechanized postal
Establishments have been constructed in
p. our country over the past few years, in-
cluding ones in Arkhangel'sk, Baku,
Baraul, Kiev, Moscow, Novgorod, Sara-
tov and Ul'yanovsk. Mechanization and
S automatization have undergone wide-
.. spread development, even at already-
S"'" existing post offices, and a large number
of buildings for communications centers
and branch offices are planned.
Figure 3. "...At present, the postal network is an amalga-
mation of various communications enterprises
(post offices, communications centers, mail trans-
portation sections, and branch offices), which
"receive, sort, carry and deliver mail. Railroad
"POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS- THE mailcars, planes, helicopters, automobiles, sea
FUNDAMENTALS OF POSTAL OR- and river ships all transport mail over the entire
GANIZATION IN THEUSSR" distance from sender to addressee.
"...The following categories of postal com-
munication belong to the organizational system
by Dave Skipton of the postal network: main-line, intra-oblast',
intra-raion and city.
The following excerpt was extracted from "MAIN-LINE (magistral'naya) postal com-
"Spravochnik Nachal'nika Otdeleniya Svyazi" munications support service between the capital
(Handbook for Communications Branch Office of our country, Moscow, and the capitals of un-
Chiefs), 3rd ed., "Radio i svyaz'" publishers, ions and republics, the territorial (krai) and ob-
Moscow, 1981, pp. 49-52. It provides a very last' centers, as well as between the republic,
general overview of how the Soviet postal sys- territorial and oblast' centers themselves.
tem is organized today. "INTRA-OBLAST' (vnutrioblastnaya) postal
"...Currently, the postal communications net- communications connect territorial and oblast'
work consists of 140 city post offices centers, and autonomous republic capitals with
(pochtamty), a like number of railroad terminal raion centers of a given territory, oblast' or
post offices and mail transportation branch of- republic. They also tie the capitals and centers
fices, more than 3,500 communications centers with cities subordinated to the oblasts, as well as
(uzly svyazi), and over 85,000 communications raion centers and the aforementioned cities
branch offices. Of these latter, more than among themselves.
62,000 are located in rural villages. In addition,

Rossica Journal
Number 113/114, 1990 95