Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Žagarė 1924

This is a Russian new year's postcard locally used in 1924 within the town of Žagarė. I know the card is not in perfect shape but I bought it anyway because it is damaged in a right way which gives somehow an authenticity of the antiqueness. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly. Žagarė is definitely not a big town so it is in a way unusual to see a locally used card. But why use a new year card on 29th of February? hm... beats me... I know that the Russians used to celebrate new year in January 17 (or are they still?) according to the Gregorian calender but still there is a big gap between February 29.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Šakiai 1941

prewar Šakių „Žiburio“ gimnazija

Šakiai 1941

This is a postcard sent in 1941 from Šakiai to Berlin - Steglitz, Germany, during the first Soviet annexation. The picture of the postcard is Šakių „Žiburio“ gimnazija („Žiburys“ gymnasium in Šakiai) taken sometime in prewar period. This gymnasium still exists today in Šakiai and is still up running. The red hand-stamped seal is the Third Reich censorship seal. Postcards during the first Soviet annexation 1940-41 is pretty rare, especially when it comes to regional towns.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way 2014

Issued on 23 August 2014, 30000 copies

I'm not a big fan of modern Lithuanian postage stamps but this one caught my eyes because the attractive design. It is a souvenir sheet commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Baltic Way (Baltijos Kelias in Lithuanian), also called the Baltic Chain. It was a peaceful mass demonstration involving over 2 million people forming a human chain of 670 km stretching from Tallinn, Estonia to Vilnius, Lithuania via Riga, Latvia. This has been one of the major event that drove the political atmosphere towards the independence of the three Baltic Republics.
This souvenir sheet is a joint issue with other Baltic Republics. The denomination of the stamps are in Lithuanian Litas and Euros because Lithuania has joined the Euro in 01.01.2015, 3 months after the issue of this sheet.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Smalininkai 1906

Schmalleningken (now Smalininkai) - Hotel Deutsches Haus and the pier

TPO Bahnpost Pogegen - Schmalleningken / Pagėgiai - Smalininkai

This is a postcard sent in 1906 from Schmalleningken (now Smalininkai, Lithuania), East Prussia to Санкт-Петербург / Sankt-Peterburg, Russia. Schmalleningken was an important center on the eastern edge of Memelland having a pier facing Memel / Nemunas River and a railway connection. The postmark is a railway post (Bahnpost) of the line Pogegen (now Pagėgiai, Lithuania) - Schmalleningken. The picture of the postcard is also interesting as well, with the large steam boat "Herold" with lots of passengers getting ready to leave the pier in front of the hotel Deutsches Haus.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kaunas 1920 - Postcard of Zapyškis

This is a postcard of Szapjeshischki (now Zapyškis, Lithuania) sent in 1920 from Kaunas to Germany. The German name Szapjeshischki probably comes from the Polish name of Zapyškis which is Sapieżyszki. The church you see on the picture is what makes this little town with a population of 250 famous, one of the finest surviving example of a gothic structure in Lithuania. If you ever have a chance to visit Kaunas by your own transportation, I would strongly recommend to make a short detour through Zapyškis to see this church of St. John the Baptist.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Panevėžys 1953 - Postcard of Preila (former Preil, Memelgebiet)

Settlement of Preila by P. Karpavičius

This is a postcard of Preila (former Preil, Memelgebiet) published in 1948, sent in 1953 from Паневежис / Panevėžys, Lithuania SSR to Киев / Kiev, Ukraine SSR. Preila is a small settlement on the Curonian Spit (Kuršių Nerija) between Nida and Klaipėda, In recent years Preila became a popular tourist destination with numerous cozy small hotels using renovated old houses like the ones you see on the picture of the postcard. I very much recommend if you ever have a chance to spend a night in the region.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Vilnius 1960

Registration label and the postmark of Вильнюс/Vilnius 24

Arrival cancel of София ц. / Sofia c. (central), Bulgaria on the back of the cover

This is a registered postal stationery cover sent on the new year's eve 1960 from the post office Вильнюс / Vilnius 24 to София / Sofia, Bulgaria. One of the thing I don't really want to get into it, is the branch post offices of Vilnius because I know it would consume a lot of time and funds. I just happen to find this cover for a Euro and I couldn't pretend I didn't see anything. For the moment, I think I would like to stick with the branch post offices of Šiauliai and maybe in the future I will think about collecting Vilnius.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Recent Acquisitions

Here are some of the recent acquisitions of stamps:

WWI German occupation with a postmark of Schaulen (now Šiauliai, Lithuania) 1916
a stationery cut out (what a pity!) with a postmark Heydekrug (now Šilutė, Lithuania) 1895

Polish occupation period with a part of machine cancel of Wilno 2 (now Vilnius, Lithuania) 1938

Soviet stamps with a postmark of Vilnius C. 1941 during the first USSR annexation 

Postmark: Lekėčiai 1929

Postmark: Višvilė 1928 (present Viešvilė, former Wischwill, Memelgebiet)

Postmark: Alunta 1937