The Samovar

The elusive 6 Poezd

David Jay - 8/24/2017 at 00:34

Ian Baillie provided (in his 1991 BSRP article) a definitive list of the St Petersburg Local RR postal markings of the "Poezd" and "Pochta" types known at that time, a total of more than 150 that could be classified and another 23 for which too little information was available to allow classification by type. The "Poezd" and "Pochta marks are small circular "sorting marks" (for want of a better description) of unclear function, used from 1870 to 1904 and possibly until 1907. Given how much mail was carried in the St Petersburg area on the local trains and the period of use of the marks, it still seems strange, 25+ years later, that there are so few examples of these curious marks. Clearly most mail sent via the local railroads in this period did not receive these marks, but the reasons that some items did and some did not are unclear, because no documentation describing their use has been found. Baillie grouped the known marks into 7 types (Series A to G), of which types B and C were the least scarce. The trans numbers in the various series ranged from 1 to 6, with only the B series having all six trains. Of the 6 Poezd, only one example, from October 1903 was known, but in red rather than the usual (for Series B) black. In the 2004 B&P St Petersburg cancel book, it is speculated that the 6 Poezd should perhaps be placed in Series C rather than B.

I have now found a second example of this mark, shown below. Judged by diameter (17 mm rather than 15-16 mm), color (red rather than black) and use (outbound on the SPB to Tsarskoe Selo line), it should indeed be classified as C6 rather than B6. Only the date of use (Nov 1903, whereas other series C marks were used between 1876 and 1894) would suggest Series B. Dobin (2004) does list this type of mark used in 2003, in the part of his categorization that corresponds to Series C.

Interestingly, the two known 6 Poezd marks were sent in the last quarter of 1903 and addressed in the same hand. Both were send from the 47th Gorod Pocht Otdelenie as 7k letters, canceled with a mark (B&P 4B11.47.1) that is know only from these two examples. Other items sent by the same person are known posted at different offices with B3 and B4 marks.

C6_letter300DPI.jpg - 269kB