Polish Post Station Marks

by David Jay

In January 2000, Rossica posted this discussion forum as a featured item. We eliminated the featured item category when we developed the Articles and Discussion page. This discussion forum is closed as of July 4, 2000. Further comments and photos can be sent to [email protected] for inclusion in this article.

There is a whole family of boxed two-line post-station marks from Poland, all from Petrokov Gubernia, with one exception noted below. I can confirm an additional St. Meshkov mark, 20/9/1878. The attached images are:

1) an official letter from St. Klomnitzy (15/10/1876) to Novoradomsk via Lodz. There is a seal on the back that has the same wording as the blue two-line mark on the front.

2) a 1/7/1877 letter from St. Lyutomersk via Lodz, TPO 25-26 and 31-32 to ?

3) a letter from St. Rokitsiny 16/7/74 (note the blue boxed cancel and blue "1067" dot-numeral post-station cancel) to Warsaw where it arrived 26/7/74. The slowness of delivery is curious, especially as the merchant stamp top left says 7/8 /74 (presumably 8/7/74?) -- the letter seems to have been in transit for 18 d. I don't think we are dealing with a difference in calendar here.

4) Another of the distinctive Polish Post station marks, but NOT from Petrokov Province. It is Ozorkov, Kalish Province, Lenchtsa uezd. Note the handwritten date.

Polish Post Station Marks

added by Philip Robinson

David has provided us with some interesting data on these unusual postmarks. In our book "Russian Postmarks" we showed a single example of this type of mark (Fig. 86) but could not give any further information. Since the book was published, a couple more postmarks of this type have come to light, from the same region. It is now clear that they are restricted to Poland, and are presumably the product of a particular postmark manufacturer, or the result of a notion on the part of a senior postal official who wanted to make his postmarks "distinctive". This would certainly be a subject that could repay careful study, and an article about these marks could perhaps be prepared for the Rossica Journal. Over to you, David, or maybe we could both gather data and see what we can come up with! Details of any similar marks that anyone could provide would be most welcome, in any event.

Another Example

added by Miram Lam

More images

added by David Jay

At first it seemed that this was a fad for certain POs in Petrokov Gub, but now it seems that it is more widespread in Poland --- Kiletz, Kalish, Petrokov and Warsaw (maybe). So what about Radom, Plotsk, etc.? At present, the situation is awkward. There are enough examples that they cannot be written off as an eccentricity of one or two offices. Yet there is no reason as to why these marks should be so scarce, if they were standard procedure in Poland. Clearly they are not the standard. Another odd point is the dates, 1874-78. At the early end of this period, they coexist with the dot-numeral cancels, and one of the examples on the Rossica web site shows the dot-numeral and the boxed cancel used together. They also coexist with the two-line marks w/o the box, that are a lot more primitive in terms of their appearance and quality control. Apparently, the dot-numeral marks were phased out in 1875 in Poland, so perhaps these marks were introduced to replace the dot-numeral marks, but were then found to be too expensive to use generally??? Thoughts?


Even More images

added by Alexander Safonoff

Unfortunately I can not add any information of my own to these two examples, although Philip Robinson previously made the following comment upon viewing the above scan - "The overall design of  your Mishkino postmark is similar to that of the Ozorkov mark illustrated on Page 15 of "Russian Postmarks" (Fig. 86). It is therefore a post-station mark, used at Myshkino in Petrokov province.  There was also a railway station at Myshkov, but this only handled ordinary mail, and so was not supplied with postmarks, therefore it is not included in the list of stations in "Russian Railway Postmarks" (this is mentioned briefly on Page 11)."


Even More images!!

added by Ed Laveroni

Ed adds two covers from the Kalish Gub. from 1878.  The first St. Sompolno, 13/1/1878 and received in Warsaw 14/1/1878.  The second cover:  St. Zlunskayavola with an unreadable date but received in Warsaw 10/10/1878.