Invitation to the Hunt

by Philip Robinson

As far as I know, 1895 was the year in which it was first permitted to send picture postcards via the Imperial Russian postal service - can anyone confirm this? I have seen a reference to postcard views of Moscow railway stations with postmarks of November 1895. The postcard shown here is the earliest I have seen, with a postmark dated 24 August 1896. Addressed to "Baron Felix Mengden", the card was sent within Liflyand guberniya, now part of Latvia, and the "three-line date" cancellation reads LEMZAL LIFL. G. / POCHTOVO-TELEGR. KONT.

This card is of particular interest as it was sent between members of the Baltic German aristocracy. Signed by a Baron Campenhausen, it is a pre-printed card, inscribed entirely in German, inviting Baron Mengden to a three-day hunt.

The hunt is described in German as a "Jagd-Parcours" which evidently means a coursing event. The inscription translates as follows, with the pre-printed words in brackets:


(to the) coursing (hunt)

(for Mr) Felix Baron Mengden

(on the) 16th, 17th and 18th September (18)96.

(to hunt��..)

(Venue) Lemsal, Ladenhof and Wilkenhof castles.

(Assemble) on the 15th September, Hotel Dobihn.

Tegasch (on the) 23(rd) August (18)96.

J.A. Baron Campenhausen

The Barons Campenhausen and Mengden were neighbours, their respective estates of Tegasch (Latvian Tiega�i) and Eck (Ķipenes) being about 5 miles apart in the Volmar region.