In 1858 the postal department of the Kingdom of Poland, under the control of the Russian administration, decided to issue a set of two Postal Stationaries to be used within the area of Warsaw. This issue was first notified by the postal regulation N°26098 of December 18th, 1858. Two values were prepared in red color (1.50 kop. & 3 kop.) and delivered; they were valid for postage from January 1859 until the 16th of September, 1861.
Second Type: No Inscription Under The Postal Horns
Two types have been recorded (with or without inscriptions under the postal horns). Furthermore, those envelopes are known in several sizes: the small envelope (1.50 kop) measures 98x57mm, while the big envelope (3 kop) measures 141x38mm. A very interesting feature is that two postal officials of Warsaw, Kurmanowicz and A. Bobinski, apparantly have been required to sign then countersigned the backflap of each envelope to officialize their validity. That speaks for their limited printed run (the envelopes, not the officials), as I doubt these postmasters would have signed, one by one, say 10.000 copies.
The Famous Postmasters Signatures On The Back Flap
Those 1859 local postal stationaries are rare unused. Due to the very short time of their validity, combined with their very limited usage to the sole Warsaw area (and don't forget the massive destruction of Warsaw during WWII, which led to the probable destruction of the few remaining copies in the local archives), genuine used copies are rarities (around 10 copies recorded to date). In my previous post I have illustrated one of those used envelopes (ex Kossoy).
Actually, many collectors are unaware that the 1859 stationary envelopes are the FIRST (and rare!) printed pre-paid postal material issued in and for Poland: the famous first Polish stamp will be issued only a year later, in 1860. Hence, they are essential items not only for the Russia, but the Poland collector as well.
The item above just arrived in my stock today. It is a fine unused example of the 1.50 kopecks red, of the second type (no inscription under the postal horns), size 98x57mm. As mentioned above, the postmasters Kurmanowicz and A. Bobinski have signed it on the interior. There are a couple of light vertical folds (well clear of the indicium), and other small imperfections, totally insignificant regarding the scarcity of that piece.
Those items are indeed rarely offered. The last unused copy was sold at Cherrystone during the Kossoy sale this year, and fetched the cosy price of 1380$. My copy is for sale and, good news, at a much lesser price. After all, I am writing this post just two days before Christmas :-) Just contact me if you are interested.