Russian stamps 10 kopecks imperforate, strip of five, largest multiple known. Ex Fabergé

Russian stamps 10 kopecks imperforate, strip of five, largest multiple known. Ex Fabergé

May 29, 2013

Russian Railway Postmark: Early Franked Cover, August 1858




17 August 1858. Folded entire franked at the 10 kopecks rate [Michel #2, January 1858 issue] and adressed to 
a ‘respectable merchant and citizen’ [Почетному Гражданину и гильдий купцу] at the famous Nizhni Novgorod Fair [Въ Нижнегородской Ярмарки].

Special dotted hexagonal railway postmark “1” from the St Petersburg Nikolaev railway station. 
Possibly one of 4 or 5 railway postmarks covers known during the first year 1858.
(author's stock)
.

Railway postmarks were introduced in the Russian Empire during the pre-adhesive period, in the 1850s. The earliest cover recorded is a postal stationary sent from the St Petersburg Train Station to Sominsk, dated 8 December 1852 (collection Valentin Levandovskiy).

With the introduction of the first Russian stamps in January 1858, franked covers were of course still accepted for transportation via the railway system; during the first half of 1858, there was no specific change regarding postmarks or cancellations for train station post offices. The 26 February 1858, the official circular N°138 introduced the first set of dotted cancellations (circular dotted postmarks, used for the Gubernya towns), nevertheless it is only with the cicular N°1847 of 31 May 1858 that a special set of dotted devices were officially announced for the rest of the offices. 

With that May 1858 circular, hexagonal dotted postmarks were attributed to the railway post offices of St Petersburg ("1") and Moscow ("2"). There is a third circular (N°157) dated 17th August 1858 that gives some additional information about those cancellations.    

Those covers bearing Russian stamps cancelled with a railway postmark are rather scarce in the early 1860s. Their scarcity dramatically increases as you get back in time, and very early covers (prior to the end of 1858) are definitely very rare. According to my experience, as well as the personal communication with Philip Robinson, there are possibly less than 4 or 5 railway franked covers with the hexagonal dotted postmark used during the first 6 months (mid-1858 till end of 1858). 






If you wish to learn more about Russian Railway Postmarks, I would highly recommand the viewing of the Levandovskiy collection, which has kindly been made available on the Rossica Virtual Gallery. Enjoy!

Maxime Citerne

May 27, 2013

Positive Thinking & Harmers Auction SA, Switzerland


There is a natural inclination in the human behaviour to attach itself to the negative happenings that are making up what we call 'life'. We reload again and again the same bad movie in our mind, as if we needed (we don't) to re-experience the same trauma. Needless to say, this leads to nowhere.

Personally, as a professional alternative medicine teacher and healer, I am very aware of that pattern, and try my best to point it out to myself whenever it catches me again. A useful method to fight against negativism is, of course, positive thinking. And a good way to nourrish that positive thinking, so important as it has been demonstrated by many modern research studies on the brain, is to point out the good, pleasant and positive things in our daily life.

Back to philately: any dedicated philatelist has his/her own bag of bad experiences with some auction houses. Some companies can be very tricky or disrespectful to their customers (comes to my mind a very unpleasant happening with the very unfriendly communication of Lugdunum Philately, from France).

A few months ago though, I did purchase from Harmers Auction, Switzerland, a rare registered Zemstvo cover from the Belebei district, one of 3 or 4 known. Upon receipt, it appeared that although the cover is genuine, the Belebei stamp does not belong to that cover, therefore greatly reducing the value of the item. As I waited quite some time before asking for a refund, I was expecting some hassles and inconvenience from the auction house (yes, this is the negative thinking pattern I mentionned earlier).

To my great delight, not only Harmers Auction SA, Switzerland did replied positively, but they did not even asked me a counter-expertise certificate, and, cherry on top, refunded my purchase (375 €) immediatly, without waiting to have the item back into their hands. Just great. The icing on the cake was certainly the very friendly exchange with the team, especially Silvia Cavaciuti. In her own words 'in this wild world we certainly want to give a good service to our customers, they are our best asset!'.

So congratulations, Harmers of Switzerland, for providing an excellent and friendly customer service, as well as the opportunity to feed my training with positive thinking!

Maxime Citerne

May 8, 2013

Fake Alert 2 - Arkhangel Allied Intervention AEF Overprints





Good or Bad? Don't Lose Time & Money!


  
DO NOT BUY FAKE RUSSIAN STAMPS & COVERS 
OUTSMART THE FAKERS & BAD SELLERS!






As you know, many faked and forged stamps & covers are offered on the market, especially on Ebay. Without a proper knowledge, it is often difficult for the collector to seperate the wheat from the chaff. We have decided to include that section to spot the wrong items on the market and to help our fellow philatelists to avoid some bad deals.

If you spot some fakes elsewhere on the internet, you can contact us and we will include any item, if appropriate.

--------------------


Offered on Ebay May 2013 ||  Seller  rogbon  ||  Ohio, USA

Civil War 1919 - Arkhangel USA Allied Intervention


BEWARE! Several lots are offered. All stamps have bogus overprints to deceive the collector (unrecorded overprints, unknown on covers, overprints ON postmarks, wrong spelling, etc.)








The Fake Alert 1 - Zemstvo Laishev Cover




Good or Bad? Don't Lose Time & Money!


  
DO NOT BUY FAKE RUSSIAN STAMPS & COVERS 
OUTSMART THE FAKERS & BAD SELLERS!






As you know, many faked and forged stamps & covers are offered on the market, especially on Ebay. Without a proper knowledge, it is often difficult for the collector to seperate the wheat from the chaff. We have decided to include that section to spot the wrong items on the market and to help our fellow philatelists to avoid some bad deals.

If you spot some fakes elsewhere on the internet, you can contact us and we will include any item, if appropriate.

--------------------


Offered on Ebay April 2013 ||  Seller  alex78_2012  ||  Moscow, Russian Federation

Zemstvo - So called 'Laishev' cover


BEWARE! This cover was part of the Laishev section of the David Feldman sale (2012). It was not sold as a single lot, and for a good reason. It is possibly a fake and, at best, an extremely doubtful item. The Zemstvo stamp probably doesn't belong to that cover. Please see below the detail showing how both lines of the manuscript cancellation extending over the envelope don't fit exactly with the stamp cancellation. The word 'сентябрь' (September) is incorrect as well (!).The seller has been contacted but avoids to mention this 'detail' on his description and answers with the usual 'some philatelist told me it is genuine' etc.