The Samovar

Polish post station postmarks

ameis33 - 8/13/2009 at 16:18

Let me make a resume of some topic i`ve opened in the past, but which have gone (partly) lost. This topic has been inspired to an article written by David Jay (BTW! Where are you?)

The conclusion are just based on my observation on letters and postmarks in my collection, but there is not, as far as i know, a reference which can support them.

From Prigara

... On 15 December 1870 the Emperor approved the opinion of the State Council concerning a reorganization of the Postal Establishments in Poland, following which, on 1/13 January 1871, the Administration of the Western Postal District was abolished, and in its stead were established the offices of Postal Unit Managers in the provinces of:

1) Warsaw
2) Piotrkow, Kalisz and Kielce
3) Lublin, Radom and Siedlce
4) Lomza, Suwalki and Plock

This last reorganization of the Postal Administration in the Polish provinces finally united it with the rest of the Empire on a common basis, and all reorganization after 1871 belong to the history of the Post through-out Russia.

If i understand correctly, in 1871 began the end of the Polish Post Administration and its authonomy from the rest of the Empire. This change didn`t not take place at once, but went on gradually. From a postmark point of view, the most evident aspect is the progressive vanishing of the characteristic polish postmarks, from the ones with four concentric rings to all the others, changed in a first moment with provvisional postmarks and, later on, unified with the postmarks used in the rest of the Empire.

In the provinces of Piotrków, Kalisz and Kielce, all belonging to the same postal unit, some particular postmarks was born, which the same Prigara, in the chapter dedicated to the Kingdom of Poland, in the section "rectangular postmarks", classifies as "Type 3":

... Type 3: three-line inscription in Russian, inside a rectangular frame with rounded corners. These were used at Postal Stations. Color: blank. (...) They were in use from, apparently. 1871 to 1877.

The Postal Stations which Prigara referred to must not be confused with railway stations. They are just connection points along postal trakt, where mail collected from post offices were delivered, and incoming mail distributed.

The first image is a postal stationary from Piotrków to Zawiercie. The year should be 1877.
Looking in detail the Zawiercie postmark, we can see:
In the first row, Ст ЗАВЬРЦЬ (Zavyertzye, NB! Russian before 1918 reform)
There should be a second row, but it is not visible. It should indicate the province (gubernia), in this case Piotrków.
Third row is the date stamp. The year is partly moulded in the postmark (187), but the last digit is left blank to be filled in by hand.

B46 Fronte.jpg - 132kB

Second letter

ameis33 - 8/13/2009 at 16:21

The second letter is still a postal stationary, from Działoszyce to Breslau, in 1874.
The postcard has been canceled with a russian triangular pointed postmark, whose number, even if not very visible, should be 1103 - Działoszyce.
There are two side stamps FRANCO. The blu one should have been applied at the delivery. The color infact is similar to the rectangular postmark of Działoszyce applied on the back. The second should have been applied entering in Germany.
There is a path adnotation: througth Sosnowiec-Katowice to Breslau.
On the back, the rectangular postmark of the Działoszyce station and postmarks applied at the arrival in Breslau. You can see the same elements of the previous one:
- First row: Ст ДЗЯЛОШИЦЫ
- Second row: Kielce province, Келец. г. for Келецкая губерния
- Third row: date. Year 187 (4)

B47 Fronte.jpg - 215kB B47 Retro.jpg - 150kB

Third Letter

ameis33 - 8/13/2009 at 16:27

The third row is a letter from Reichenau bei Zittau to Pabianice. Still you can notice the same elements of the previous.

B28 Fronte.jpg - 131kBB28 Retro.jpg - 120kB


ameis33 - 8/13/2009 at 16:29

This last postcard complete the set. Dzialoszyn, kalisz province

B40 Fronte.jpg - 116kB

And in the other provinces?

ameis33 - 8/13/2009 at 16:32

I don`t ahave anything from Lublin and Suwalki, but i can show you this postal stationary dated 1876, from Gombin to Płock. The cancel is a triangular dotted postmark, number 997 - Gombin.
On the right side, in the bottom, a linear postmark which, even if is not so clear, shows the same elements of the other rectangular postmarks
- The name of the postal station (well, this is a guess, as it is not so readable, but seems likely)
- The province (...варшгуб, Varsh Gub, the Warsaw province)
- Date stamp, with the year partly moulded but last digit to be filled by hand.

B07 Fronte.jpg - 242kB B07 Annullo.jpg - 44kB B07 Timbro lineare.jpg - 58kB

Catalog note. The last two postal stationary (Gombin and Dzialoszyn) have been issued in june 1875. The Standard Catalog classifies them as PK3. The first (Dzialoszyn) should be the base type, the second (Gombin) the type without point on the left inscription.

jlechtanski - 8/14/2009 at 17:53

Postal stations were small establishments with low volume. Imperial post office budgets were minescule according to various articles and books I’ve seen. Inexpensive postmark devices, some without removable dates, would be a reasonable choice.

If the guberniyas of Piotrkow, Kalisz and Kielce were under the same frugal “postal unit manager,” similar postal station postmarks would be understandable.

Out-of-the-ordinary postmarks used by postal stations are not without precedent. According to Dobin:

“Most of the Baltic post stations had postmarks, but they had special designs: in Lifland Government they were oval with the text in German, in Kurland they were circular with the name of the stations in Russian, and in Estland they were single-line postmarks with the names of the stations in Russian.”

I don’t think your example from Warsaw Guberniya is a postal station postmark. For one thing, it is not boxed. I think it is an example of the Polish two-line postmarks in use from 1871-1890. (Prigara Table 13, illustrations 13 and 18).

Nice posting!

Boxed Polish marks

David Jay - 8/22/2009 at 20:56

It is a useful observation that the three provinces that have most of the boxed marks were in
the three provinces, Kalish, Petrokov and Kielce, that constituted a postal district ca. 1870. These marks came
in to use a few years later. As far as I know, there is no known administrative edict specifying these marks, and no authoritative list of all examples. There are some examples of this type of mark from Warsaw Province. I would hazard the guess that the unifying factor is a particular manufacturer. I also wonder if there were similar marks in Austrian or German Poland, that might have been imitated? If the other parts of Poland had such marks, we should look elsewhere for inspiration.
Attached is the list of material that I have with the boxed post marks -- six locations from Petrokov, six from Kalish, six from Kielce and three from Warsaw. I call them "two-line, boxed" marks, though in reality, there is a small line in between the more pominent ones, with the province name.

Some are on loose stamps, including all from Warsaw. At least one of the Warsaw marks (Ct. Tsekhotsinskaya) is distinctive enough to be definite, even if most of the name is missing from the stamp.

It is interesting that the Baltic is the other area with lots of eccentric post station marks -- maybe a common thread of lots of small villages?

Now as to the real two-line marks, those without a box -- I don't think there is any particular connection to Poland, or to this time period. They were used widely since the 1850s, maybe earlier. By the 1870s, only post stations used them, and they disappeared, along with hex dot numerals and Polish boxed marks, when post stations were given circular marks.

Attachment: Polish_2-line_marks.doc (27kB)
This file has been downloaded 483 times

ameis33 - 8/23/2009 at 07:18

Could you post the images of the ones from the Warsaw province and perhaps some image also of the ones outside Poland? And could someone post some image of postmarks in use in Lublin/Suwalki in the same period?

For my knowledge, there is no similar postmark in use in the other partitions of Poland.

PS! Could you tell me also which is the Dobin`s book you refer to?

jlechtanski - 8/24/2009 at 14:29

The Dobin Book is:

"Postmarks - The Russian Empire Pre-Adhesive Period"

Unfortunately it does not cover the Kingdom of Poland.

Examples from Warsaw Province

David Jay - 8/24/2009 at 15:44

Here are the three Warsaw cancels on loose stamps.

As I think I noted, the Ct. Tsekhotsinskaya may not have a box,
and it may (as I just noticed) has a somewhat closer line spacing.
This indicates it may not have the province in small print between the two lines of larger print. Thus, it may an example of another,
older type of post mark, with two lines of print, the top one larger. Bojanowicz doesn't show anything of this form for earlier Polish post station cancels, so I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it was of the same provenance as the rest of the boxed cancels. The Kiryushkin list of post offices does not suggest another post station that fits the letters visible, either, so I think it is a mark from Warsaw Province.

I've attributed the 30k to Ct. Tarchin', Warsaw, despite other possible candidates, mainly because of the second line, that seems to say "__V. G:" (or possibly "__B. G:". This doesn't fit Kalish., Kelets. or Petrokov. Provinces. I see no offices in Lyublin. Province that end in "CHIN". Ct. Korchin' and Ct. Trombchin' Kelets. Province have the right letters in the name, but the lettering on the second line should then be "__TS. G:". There is also Ct. Drogichin' in Grodno, but there is no other evidence of use of such cancels there. Also, there is Ct. Drogichin' 2 in the same location, so I would think some distinction between the two would have been needed, but perhaps that would appear only on the cancel Ct. Drogichin' 2,
not Ct. Drogichin'. Finally, there are other possible fits in Vilna and elsewhere, but there is no reason to think any of them would have had this type of mark.

The last one has only four letters, Ct. KR" of the first line and one of the second. This might seem hopeless, but the letter on the second line is definitely "V" (looking carefully with a 10x glass), though this not obvious in the scan, because the doughnut holes of the "8" on the stamp look like the legs of a "K". There is Ct. Krosnevitsi in Warsaw G. There is no candidate in Kelets. G. or Kalish. G.

So in summary, there are three examples that seem to stem from Warsaw province, and two of them are definitely of the boxed, three line type. The other shows some characteristics of these marks but not all.

Warsaw.jpg - 117kB

More on Post Station marks

David Jay - 8/24/2009 at 17:10

Not sure I understand the rest of the questions. The Dobin question doesn't refer to my post, I guess.

I've attached an image of front and back of a two-line, unboxed mark from Frampol' Lyublin G. to somewhere in Suvalki, via Lyublin. This was sent 12/11/1877 and arrived 17/11/1877. I don't seem to have any examples of two-line unboxed post-station marks from Suvalki G.

As to the rest of the empire, I would refer readers to the Cherrystone Mikulski Auction of June 7, 2006. There are a number of examples of two-line unboxed marks from diverse locations on Russia #1. And the most spectacular of all Russian covers (lot #278) has three examples of #4 and a #1, all tied by this type of Mark, from Ovruch,, Volinsk, 21/4/1858 (along with a couple of pen marks). Since Ovruch, had been a PK since 1831, this illustrates that these marks were used widely, including by larger offices. K&R (1989) indicate that these marks were available from 1843 and obtained from the Postal dept's own workshop. The rest of their information is not altogether accurate, as they clearly were used as more than just backstamps before 1877. My earliest example is from Valk, Lifl, 1n 1841, then a PK. My first examples for post stations are in 1872 for both Poland and Lifland G. In Poland, use as cancellers and receiving marks extends to 1878. In the Baltic, they were used somewhat longer, my latest example being a dispatch mark for Uddern for 1887.

Elsewhere in the empire, I have a two-line un-boxed marks that seem a bit out of the ordinary from:
1) (I think) Novoselitsa PK, Bess for 1850 or 1856
2) Ct. Mikailov Pogost, Pskov, 1866 and 1869, as cancelers (ex-Faberge).
3) A two line boxed mark (no intermediate line with Province name, unfortunately) from what may be Arkhangelscaya, Olonets from July 1889 on a loose stamp. Could be some other location.
4) A receiver "Poluch. B' Kameshki/r13Feb 1875" (a PS in Saratov. G). Larger offices has receivers of this style (Dobin lists some), but I hadn't seen one for a post station before this one. Probably, they also had a dispatch mark in the same style.
5) Then I found a similar example, "B' Syumsinskaya Stan./ Poluch. 25July1872g" (Vyatka province).
6) El'zasskoi Pocht. Ct./?nr25/Avgust/1866g, in Kherson G. This would, from the name, (Elsass= Alsace) be a German outpost.

Somwhere, I'm supposed to have an example on which one post station used two different examples of this type of mark, but it is not stored with the post station cancels, so I didn't
find it.

Finally, based on Mikulski, such marks were used on Sc #1-4. I have them on the next issue (Sc 8-10). They are seen all the way through the 1883 issue, Sc 31-38. My last example is a loose 3k Sc #33 with a poor "__ 1887" date. The most common stamp that bears this mark is the 8k of 1875, while 7k of 1879 shows rather few examples. this does tend to indicate a change in use of these marks in the late 1870s, when they larely disappear from use in Poland.

Frompol_F&B_small.jpg - 271kB