The Samovar

Latvia "Service Suspended" 1919

Lescol - 6/17/2015 at 15:30

Hi All, I hope that someone will be able to help me with a recently acquired cover.
A cover bearing two Latvian stamps postmarked 11 Sept 1919.
The 20k stamp is of the third issue and that was issued on the 27 February 1920 so alarm bells ringing there.
At the correct postage rate of 25 kopek for inland and foreign mail for the period 06 Aug to 12 Sept 1919.
The postmark is in cyrllic ЛЕМБУРГЬ - Lemburg present day Lviv in Western Ukraine but at that time run by the Polish after the Polish- Ukranian War ended in July 1919. So not in the Latvian sphere.
I cannot read the address but have been told that it is in the Kharkov area of Southern Russia. The story being that after the letter was posted it was taken by British Warship in a supposed route via London to the Black Sea and into Southern Russia via Odessa or similar. After arriving in London it received the "Service Suspended" cachet as all routes to Southern Russia were being blocked during the Russian Civil War.
So is it a forgery and if it is why?

img006.jpg - 168kB

Duck - 6/19/2015 at 01:15

Lviv is Lemberg
and here Lemburg is a Liflyandsky province (modern Latvia)

Alep - 6/20/2015 at 02:50

The 20 kop stamp is from the April 1919 rather than 1920 issue; thus, there is no problem.
The letter is addressed to a settlement in Pereyaslav uezd, Poltava gubernia, i.e. in Ukraine at that time under the 'White' Volunteer Army. The South Russian area under the Whites (Denikin) had no official postal communications with abroad; therefore, the cachet "SERVICE SUSPENDED".
The cover is genuine.

Lescol - 6/24/2015 at 13:46

Many thanks for your input I couldn't think of any reason why it would be forged, so I am glad that both my concerns were groundless.