A map of the Transcaucasian region during the Soviet era.
The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (Russian: Закавказская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика – ЗСФСР, Zakavkazskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsalisticheskaya Respublika – ZSFSR), also known as the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian SFSR and the TSFSR, was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union that existed from 1922 to 1936. It consisted of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As they were separated from Russia by the Caucasus Mountains, they were known traditionally as the Transcaucasian Republics.
The three successor states lasted until the end of the Russian civil war that was being fought across the mountains, when they were made Soviet Republics by the Red Army, and reorganized as a single republic in March 1922. It was incorporated into the Soviet state in December. In 1936, the republic was dissolved and divided among the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan SSRs.
Names in the languages of the constituent republics
Armenian: Անդրկովկասի Սովետական Սոցիալիստական Ֆեդերատիվ Հանրապետություն
Andrkovkasi Sovetakan Soc‘ialistakan Federativ Hanrapetut‘yun
Azerbaijani: Загафгазија Совет Федератив Сосиалист Республикасы
Zaqafqaziya Sovet Federativ Sosialist Respublikası
Georgian: ამიერკავკასიის საბჭოთა ფედერაციული სოციალისტური რესპუბლიკა
Before 1923, each of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan issued its own postage stamps. The Federation began issuing its own stamps on September 15, 1923, and superseded the separate republics' issues on October 1. The first issues consisted of some of the stamps of Russia and Armenia overprinted with a star containing the five-letter acronym of the federation inside the points. Massive inflation having set in, this was followed by an issue of the Federation's own designs, four values of a view of oil fields, and four with a montage of Soviet symbols over mountains and oil derricks, values ranging from 40,000 to 500,000 rubles. The 40,000 руб and 75,000 руб were then surcharged to 700,000 rubles. On October 24, the stamps were re-issued with values from 1 to 18 gold kopecks. Starting in 1924, the Federation used stamps of the Soviet Union.
Most of the stamps of the Federation are not especially rare today, with 1998 prices in the US$1–2 range, although the overprints on Armenian stamps range up to US$200. As might be expected from a short period of usage, used stamps are less common than unused and covers are not often seen.