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Excerpts from the Rossica journal
In April 1922 through the initiative of the South East Commission for the Relief of the Hungry, a set of four stamps was issued. Although the issuance of these stamps was approved by the Commissioner of Narkofin (Peoples Committee for Finance) of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) for the South East Region of the RSFSR, it was without the approval of Narkompochtel (Peoples Committee for Posts and Telegraphs).
The stamps included the word ”pochta” or ”post” in their design and had to be added to all registered letters, parcels, and money orders in addition to the regular postage. Receipts from the sale of these stamps went into the Fund for the Hungry . Therefore, this was one of the forms of local tax initiated by the Commissioner of the South East Region of the RSFSR and put into operation by the post office. It was obligated to sell these stamps to collect, in addition to the regular postage, 2000 rubles for registered letters, 4000 rubles for money orders, and 6000 rubles for parcels . Actually, these starnps should be considered as revenues or postal tax stamps.
They were lithographed from designs of philatelist A.L. Manerick and printed in two colors (red and green) in sheets of 133 stamps. The left two- thirds of the sheet was printed in green and had Scott numbers B30 and B33, while the right one-third of the sheet was printed in red and had Scott numbers B31 and B32. They were printed on white unwatermarked paper and issued imperforate. The total printing was 740 sheets
These stamps were issued on April 19, 1922 and sold in Rostov on Don, Novocherkask, Millerov, Nakhichevan, and other cities of the South East region.
None of these cities had complete sets of four on sale. This makes any cover with all four very dubious
B30 2000 r. green No.per Sheet 54 Total issued 39,600
B31 2000 r. rose No.per Sheet 27 Total issued 19,980
B32 4000 r . rose No.per Sheet 24 Total issued 17,760
B33 6000 r . green No.per Sheet 28 Total issued 20,720
Properly cancelled stamps of this issue are scarce and those on covers are rarities .
On May 2, 1922 Narkompochtel of RSFSR ordered these stamps to be withdrawn from use and returned.
Narkompochtel ordered all of the unsold stock of these stamps to be sent to the Soviet Philatelic Association in Moscow which, at that time, sold stamps of Russia and the States wholesale and retail.
The total number of each stamp returned was;
2000 r. green 34,200
2000 r. rose 14,207
4000 r. Rose 15,384
6000 r. Green 16,976
The Soviet Philatelic Association listed these stamps for sale for a long period of time. The price list for 1935 still offered them for sale in quantities of 10 and 100 sets.
It is interesting to note here that a complete sheet of these stamps, in the usual colors, were reproduced half size and included as an enclosure at the end of the 1933 catalogue of the postage stamps of RSFSR and USSR.
Unfortunately, many copies of this catalogue no longer contain this sheet because they were removed and found their way into stamp collections or dealers’ stock
Because of the great demand for these stamps, they were extensively counterfeited. The largest number of these counterfeits was made in 1924 by Kull who used zinc cuts (line etching). These forgeries are well executed. In addition, it is mentioned that another set of forgeries was produced around the same time and one apparently in Russia in 1969.
The features of the genuine above;
57.5 X 47 mm.
1. & 1a The left “P” is different than the right one and the same height as the other letters.
2. All the letter have a dot after them
3. Note the shape & direction of lines of hair strands
4. Note the shape of the collar
5. Note the lines on the arm and the sleeve
6. Note the shape of the boot and the rock on the ground
7. Circles are generally complete (I have seen some partial)
8. The top of the “A” is broken
9. The sickle is in front of the hammer and note the shape of the handle
10. The left “2” is wider and larger than the right one
11. Note the size of the top bar on the “T” and the dot afterwards
12. The stem on the right is larger than the one on the left
B30 F1 Forgery
B30 F2 Forgery
This forgery overall is well done but on cream colored thicker paper.
1. The face features do not match the original
2. The collar is different
3. The boot lacing and ground structure are different
4. Incomplete circles
5. Sickle appears in the back of the hammer and the handle is crude.
6. No break in the “A”
B30 F3 Forgery
Ceresa mentions this 3rd forgery which is very well done but the key is the multiple small breaks in the frame line.
Note also the small “T” without a dot on the left bottom
The frame line below the “T” is broken
The face and hair features are not consistent with the original
This leads to this final one
Many of these multiple prints are offered at a premium but many question their legitimacy as “errors”. Some russian catalogs make no mention of them.
These forgeries were well executed and only a few traits are distinguishable
The areas of concern are;
The shape and lines in the headdress
Where the lines are positioned vs the semi circle frame
I have also noted that all the genuine ones appear to have the 2 dots above the inner top frame.
B31 Forgery F3
Very simple to match forgery traits with the design above it.
B32 Forgery F2
Ceresa again mentions a very well done forgery with small breaks in the outer frame
This sample may fit this description
There are also some very minor variations in the letters.
Another multiple print
From online auction – genuine or attempt to increase the value 5X by forging cancels
Unusual similarity and quality of cancels, in particular the one top right with a date after the issues were pulled ??
l. Soviet Stamps of Pomgol- A. Kolesnikov Soviet Collector, 1966 No . 4
2. Check to the Forgers, 1935.
3. Handbook for Expertising Soviet Postage Stamps, Vovin 1972
4. THE POSTAGE STAMPS OF RUSSIA, 1917 – 1923 – Cerusa
5. Various Rossica articles.