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Author: Subject: Latest Rossica Dymshits article on Moskva Post
David Jay
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[*] posted on 11/15/2019 at 01:15
Latest Rossica Dymshits article on Moskva Post

As always, the latest Rossica has much to be interested in. The first article that attracted my attention was the M. Dymshits article on the Moskva Post.
There was much new research kere. In particular, there is a new interpretation of the oval numbered marks with dots: 1-9 (mostly used in the 1870s) and the geometric marks (1-3) of 1885-1900. The novelty here is the idea that these marks did not designate specific offices, but something more like functions or directions of dispatch -- where the items were going. There is not a list of the specific for the 1-9 dotted marks, but the author provides a list for the later geometric marks of where the item should go:
1 in triangle: to the City Post Branch Offices
2 in diamond: delivery by the branch office of the Central SubOffice
3 in triangle: out of town domestic mail
None of these sound appropriaate for items meant for foreign dispatch.

It is also mentioned that the size of the item may have played a role, with small size playing a role. These cancels would then have arisen when there was uncertainty in the correct postage.

Looking at the 13 items with 1 in triangle, 8 with with 2 in diamond, and 23 with 3 in triangle, the role of size and franking seems dubious. Cards and letter cards are hardly a difficult problem with franking, and many of the items I have are actually large letters, 140x110 or larger envelopes. Most of the smaller items are simply small postal stationery items with indicia. As long as they are used correctly used (5k city post vs. 7k for other letters), there is not a lot to be dubious of, unless weight of letters was uncertain.

Also, the proposed destinations (essentially the next office) do not seem consistent with the observed fate of the letters -- in particular, there seems no provision for foreign mail,prominent in the fate of items bearing the geometric 2 and 3 marks. Still, there is some relationship to item destination, as none of the geomtric 1 marks are on letters going abroad.
More specifically:
geometric 1: 6 to Moscow, 6 to other domestic locations, 1 to Finland, still part of the empire.
geometric 2: on letter to Paris, two local, and the remaining to the empire
geometric 3: 4 foreign, 5 domestic and the rest Moskva

All bear a Gorod Pocht mark of some sort. I'm not quite sure of what to make of all this, or even if I have interpreted the article correctly, but the mystery of these marks seems unresolved. The existence of letters/cards abroad seems particularly a problem.

I would also add that the previous dot numeral marks 1-9 also sometimes appear on foreign mail, and I have one to Constantinople also.
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