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Author: Subject: An unusual "Due" mark
David Jay
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[*] posted on 8/17/2011 at 23:59
An unusual "Due" mark


This letter, to Manchester, England, is franked with a 10/7k arms and postmarked 17/8/1917, at the Petrograd, 15th City Office. The "8" is a bit squished at the bottom and almost looks like a "2", but it is an "8". There is a Petrograd 19/8/1917 1 Eksp. mark on the rear, along with a fainter 29/8/1917 6 Eksp. machine mark, and some English language censor tape (mostly ripped off). The faint purple, boxed Petrograd censorship mark on the reverse has been damaged in tearing off the English censor tape to read the letter, as the censor tape was partly over the Petrograd mark.
The purple, boxed "91" on the front is 1 Eksp. Type 27, according to Tony Speeckaert's great book.

The most interesting point about this letter, though, is the Doplatit' mark in read. There is a text in the center of the oval, ending in "ya" that I can't read, but it appears the amount was to be written above the line at left in the center oval. This looks more like Soviet period marks than other imperial marks.
The amount due is 10k. Up to 15/8/1917, this would have been correct, as the foreign letter rate (according to Rossica 92) was 15 (so 10k =2 times the underpayment). However, the rates changed 15/8/1917 to 20k, so the due amount should have been 20 (= 2 times 10k), unless the postage due calculation also changed. It seems most likely that, in confusion of the war and political situation of the time, the change in rate was not noted by the clerk, so the change in rates (only two days old) was not applied.

Petrograd_1917.jpg - 287kB
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Alep
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[*] posted on 9/21/2011 at 01:25


Actually, the inland letter rate was changed on 15/8/17 to 15 k and the foreign rate on 1/9/17 to 20 kop from 10 kop. Thus, it seems that the cover was franked correctly but the clerk confused the foreign rate with the domestic one.
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northstar
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[*] posted on 10/15/2011 at 06:49


Only in October 1914 the Otdeleniya had been provided with postage due marks and registration books. Until 4th of October, 1914 postage due mail had been forwarded for registration and further processing to the Head Post Office. (cf. Dobin/Ratner 2004, p. 306-310).

The letters in the middle of the postage due mark should be КОП for kopecks (see scan of postage due stamps of the 53 and 64 otd. attached). Due to the blurred application it seems that the last letter of the mark on your cover is a Я.


Pgd 53_Nachgeb_1915.jpeg - 39kBPgd 64_Nachgeb_1915.jpg - 34kB
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David Jay
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[*] posted on 10/30/2011 at 17:45


Thanks
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