Postage stamps and postal history of Russia
- 1 Early postal history
- 2 Postage stamps
- 3 Revolution
- 4 Stamps of the Soviet Union
- 5 Stamps of the Russian Federation
- 6 See also
- 7 References and sources
- 8 External links
Early postal history
Records mention a system of messengers in the 10th century. Early letters were carried in the form of a roll, with a wax or lead seal; the earliest known of these seals dates from 1079, and mentions a governor Ratibor of Tmutarakan. The earliest surviving cover was sent in 1391 from La Tana (now Azov) to Venice.
By the 16th century, the postal system included 1,600 locations, and mail took 3 days to travel from Moscow to Novgorod. In 1634, a peace treaty between Russia and Poland established a route to Warsaw, becoming Russia's first regular international service.
Peter the Great enacted reforms making the postal system more uniform in its operations, and in 1714 the first general post offices opened in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. “Regular post service” was established along the Moscow and Riga routes. In February 1714, the postal service started biweekly runs from St. Petersburg to Riga; in June it started runs from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The field post office was founded in 1716, and the so-called ordinary post service in 1720, for fast conveyance of state ordinances and papers. Regular delivery of private parcels (the so-called heavy post) was organized in the 1730-40s. In 1746, parcels and private correspondence were first delivered by courier, and starting in 1781 money, too, could be delivered to one's door. The earliest known Russian postmark dates from July 1765; it is a single line reading "ST.PETERSBOVRG" (in Latin letters), but the first official recommendation to use postmarks did not come until 1781.
Post coaches appeared in 1820. In 1833, the St. Petersburg City Post was created, and the city was divided into 17 districts with 42 correspondence offices, which were located in trade stores. In 1834, reception offices appeared in the suburbs (in St. Petersburg there were as many as 108). Periodical press delivery in Russia was organized in St. Petersburg in 1838. The Department of Coaches and T-carts was opened in 1840 at the Moika Embankment; light cabriolets carried surplus-post, coaches delivered light post, and T-carts dealt with “heavy" post. Green coloured street mail boxes were installed in 1848, the same year stamped envelopes were issued; orange mailboxes for same day service appeared near railway stations in 1851, and post stamps appeared in 1857. In 1864, the City Post started sending printed matter and catalogues, and in 1866, they sent packages.
Postal stationery made its first appearance in 1845, in the form of envelopes that paid the 5-kopeck fee for local mail in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The idea worked well, and was extended throughout Russia on December 1, 1848.
The postage stamp idea had already swept much of the world when, in September 1856, the Russian authorities decided to follow suit.
First Russian postage stamp
In 1851 transportation manager Charukovsky was sent abroad to study the experience of using stamps. Visiting England , France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Austria , Switzerland, Germany and gathered a lot of information , he returned to Russia in 1852 . However, innovations in the postal area prevented the Crimean War . Only in 1855 Alexey Prohorovich filed supreme commander of the postal department VF Allerberg project detailing the activities to introduce glued brands in Russia. According to the plan Charukovskogo, Russian postage stamp had to have a circular shape with a perforation around the picture on it should portray printed using several colors, with state emblem. Furthermore, paper grades necessarily had to be protected from forgery. The project was approved November 12, 1856.
Meanwhile, July 30, 1856 under the supervision of the department manager typographical Expedition of government securities Y. Reikhel's first essays were made "stamp" brands are two types: the national emblem and the head of Mercury. Stamps were round in shape. Besides, according to Charukovskogo, messy stamp pasted on the envelope rectangular angle may hurt for a box or other letters and peel off. This, in turn, could lead to a return of letters correspondent ad about it in newspapers. Each type will be printed in four colors: green, blue, black and carmine. However, these brands were not approved.
New drawing first Russian postage stamp rectangular created senior engraver EZGB FM Kepler and handed it to the October 21, 1856. Creating your sketch marks Kepler carefully read all materials brought Charukovskim abroad, among whom were the original designs and brands in different countries. As a prototype for the creation of Russian postage stamp Kepler took a sample of the Prague firm "Gottlieb Haase and Sons" (German: Gottlieb Haase Söhne), proposed for the Austrian stamps rectangular shape.
October 20, 1857 by Alexander II approved three two-color pattern printed in denominations of 10, 20 and 30 kopecks. November 9 Emperor "enjoin Majesty deigned to call them instead of punching stamps." In November, began manufacturing the 10-kopecks stamps. The first postage stamp was printed by Russia on a white stiff paper hand-made with a watermark in the form of a figure "1" height of 15 mm. Since punching machine, ordered in the Vienna court Publishing (German Österreichische Staatsdruckerei), received only on November 19 and in a state of disrepair it was decided to leave the Postal Department and delivery in the provinces of the print run 10-kopecks stamps unperforated.
Printing stamps produced in two printing presses. One was discharged from Berlin, under strong pressure printed blue oval with embossed emblem of the post office, on the second - brown picture frame.
The first Russian postal stamp was issued on December 10, 1857 by the circular of the Postal Department "On the bringing of postal stamps for the common use" with the following content: "Starting from the 1st January of the next year 1858 usual private letters to all the places of the Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Finland brought to the post in usual envelopes or without envelope at all just with addresses written on the letter itself should be sent only with the stamp corresponding to the letter weight". The first stamps went on sale 10 December 1857, but officially people started to use stamps to pay internal correspondence in Russia from January 1, 1858 (from March 1, 1858 – in the Caucasus, Transcaucasia, and Siberia). Since this time all private letters have been sent only with postal stamps that were cancelled by the cross underlining.
The first value was a 10-kopeck to be used for letters weighing up to one lot (about 12.8 grams). It was an imperforate stamp depicting the coat of arms of Russia, and printed using typography in brown and blue. This was followed on 10 January by 20-kopeck and 30-kopeck perforated stamps using the same design but in different pairs of colors, along with a perforated version of the 10-kopeck stamp. The paper was originally watermarked with the numeral, but this was soon abandoned, and later printings in 1858 are on regular wove paper.
Since supply postmarks to the numerous post offices took a while, the Postal Department ordered to extinguish the brand pen and ink, following the example of clearing stamp envelopes.
Postal authorities of Soviet Union and now Russia (Russian Post) repeatedly made issues commemorative stamps, blocks, postcards and other philatelic materials and organized philatelic exhibitions and other memorable events. Research on the history of the first stamps of the Russian empire is a subject of numerous publications including newspaper articles, books.
A 5k stamp for local postage was introduced in 1863, and in the following year a new common design, with the arms in an oval, was introduced for 1k, 3k, and 5k values. These were used to make up complicated rates for international mail, which had previously required cash payments at the post office.
After 1866 the stamps were printed on watermarked with a pattern of wavy lines, "EZGB" in Cyrillic plus a set of more or less horizontal lines [13 for the height of the letters!] and vertical lines running through the letters and halfway. Apart from that the "grain" of the paper was always perpendicular to the watermark text! In the early years the horizontal watermark prevailed, but for a minority of each value the grain was vertical. In later years the vertical watermark prevailed. Contrary to common perception among collectors there was NO laid paper involved. The "stripes" were always part of the watermark.
The coat of arms design was changed in 1875, and used for 2k and 8k values, and a 7k in 1879. The 7k was also printed on revenue stamp paper watermarked with a hexagon pattern; these are quite rare.
A new issue of 14 December 1883 featured an updated design, lower values printed in a single color, and new high values - 14k, 35k, and 70k. January 1884 saw the introduction of 3.50-ruble and 7-ruble stamps, physically much larger than existing stamps.
In 1889 the designs were changed again, this time to introduce thunderbolts across the posthorns underneath the double-headed eagle, and in printings after 1902 the usual grain of the paper was changed to be vertical.
In 1909 a new series came out, using a mix of old and new designs, all printed on unwatermarked wove paper, and with lozenges on the face to discourage postage stamp reuse.
Russia's first series of commemorative stamps appeared 2 January 1913 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The 17 stamps featured portraits of the various Tsars, as well as views of the Kremlin, Winter Palace, and Romanov Castle. But in 1915 and 1916, as the government disintegrated under the pressures of World War I, several of the designs were printed on card stock and used as paper money. 7k and 14k stamps were also surcharged 10k and 20k due to shortages.
The period of the Russian Revolution is complicated philatelically; post offices across the country were thrown on their own devices, and a number of the factions and breakaway republics issued new kinds of stamps, although in some cases they seem to have been as much for publicity purposes, few genuine uses having been recorded.
Entities issuing their own stamps include:
- Army of the Northwest
- Far Eastern Republic
- South Russia
- Transcaucasian SFSR
- West Ukrainian National Republic
In 1917 the Provisional Government reprinted the old Tsarist designs, but sold them imperforate. The first stamps of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic appeared in 1918, as two values depicting a sword cutting a chain. While great quantities of these stamps survive, they saw little use, and used copies are worth more than mint.
The next stamps appeared in 1921, after inflation had taken hold. The set's values range from 1 to 1,000 rubles. By the next year these stamps were being surcharged in various ways, with face values of up to 100,000 rubles.
A currency reform in 1922 that exchanged money at a 10,000-to-1 rate enabled new stamps in the 5r to 200r range, including a set marking the 5th anniversary of the October Revolution, Tsarist stamps surcharged with a five-pointed star containing a hammer and sickle. Stamps with portraits of a worker, peasant and soldier also appeared this year; variations on these portrait designs would continue to be issued throughout the 1920s.
Finnish occupation of Aunus
At 1919–1921 there was Aunus expedition where a group of Finnish volunteers occupied parts of East Karelia (Aunus in Finnish, Olonets Karelia in Russian). There were stamps issued for Aunus troops by local authorities. They were Finnish definitives from 1917 with overprint Aunus.
Stamps of the Soviet Union
Leningrad post office
By the late 1930s, 203 post offices operated in Leningrad. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, communication between the front line and the rear was provided by the Field Post. In the first year of the Siege, there were 108 post offices working in Leningrad. The Leningrad Post Association was created in 1988, and included the General Leningrad Post-Office, 13 regional post offices, 345 post offices, 11 automatized post offices, and a fleet of cars.
Stamps of the Russian Federation
Since 1992, produced six issues of standard grades. The first post-Soviet edition was held in February 1992. In the first stamps of the Russian Federation nominal value of 20 cents and 30 were depicted George and the monument "Millennium of Russia". In the early and mid-1990s, this series of stamps continuously expanding, which was due to hyperinflation and a corresponding change in postal rates. Many brands reissued in the same design with a modified rating. For example, the face value of the brand with faylmena Golden Gate in Vladimir "grown" from 10 cents to 150 rubles, that is, in 1500. The growth of nominal figure marks confined to 5000 rubles.
The second and third issues of definitive stamps were held in 1997-1999. Orientation marks replaced with a "landscape" to "portrait", the second edition includes 12 denominations, the third - 15 denominations. By design, the brand of two issues were not different from each other, the need for the third issue was caused by a 1000-fold of the Russian ruble denomination and later, to the 1998 retirement of the second issue of stamps. The third issue is fully repeated all of the second grade (except abolished par value $ 0.75), and supplemented them with four other denominations, including the denominations of 50 and 100 rubles, have not found practical application.
The fourth edition (2002-2003) was different from the previous use of more convenient for senders kinds of self-adhesive stamps series of palaces and parks of Russia. Number of denominations were reduced to nine, from 1 to 10 rubles. The problem was solved using the fractional rates remaining outstanding marks the third issue.
Stamps "animalistic" fifth edition (2008) have ceased to be self-adhesive and went back to standard size. Number of ratings again increased to 15, a number of fractional denominations (15, 25, 30 cents) is of dubious practical value. Maximum rating increased to 25 rubles.
Sixth edition, "the Kremlin" (2009) represents a return to the self-adhesive stamps with pre-nominals. The difference from the fourth edition of a similar topic was the expansion of denominations up to $ 100, and the availability of additional degrees of protection
- British Society of Russian Philately
- List of people on stamps of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
- Rossica Society of Russian Philately
- Russian joint issues
- Russian philatelic forgeries
- Soviet Union stamp catalogue
- Zemstvo stamp
References and sources
- See, for example, http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/Langenberg/Zemstvo.html.
- Dobin, Manfred Postmarks of Russian Empire (Pre adhesive period). St. Petersburg: Standard Kollektion, 1993. ISBN 9785853870222
- Encyclopaedia of Postal Authorities
- Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986. ISBN 0-356-10862-7
- Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
- Скропышева, В. Г. (1990). Карлова Е. Л. К вашим услугам - почта: Справ. пособие (Charles E.L.K. at your service - the post). 2-е изд., перераб. и доп. М.
- Кутьин, В. А. (1997). Санкт-Петербургский почтамт. СПб (St. Petersburg Post Office). I. A. Bogdanov.
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