Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vilnius 1939

I've been pretty busy lately and was unable to update this blog but I'm back!
Today I'm gonna post a registered mail used in 1939 during the last stage of the Polish occupation within Wilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania).  It has been sent from the post office Wilno 6 to Wilno 1. It has a nice arrival cancellation of Wilno 1 on the back. The sender's address is actually not in Wilno but in Widze (now Відзы/Vidzy, Belarus) which was also part of Wilno region at that time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kaunas 1936

These are 2 receipts of postal money order sent in 1936 from Kaunas to Surviliškis, a small town near Kaunas with a population of little over 300. I have decided to post those because the postmarks are very clear! The left one has been sent on March 6th from Kaunas centr. (centrinis paštas/central post office) to Surviliškis arriving on the next day, the right one on March 26th from Kaunas - Gelež. Stotis (geležinkelio stotis/railway station) to the exact same destination. The numbers with the inscriptions "Lt." (Litas) and "ct." (centas) on the top are the amounts (1 Litas = 100 centas) sent.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cancellations of the post-Soviet Republic - 01 FDC

Palanga 2001 - This is one of the 3 stamps of the  joint issue with Latvia and Estonia

Personally, I very much like the design of this postmark!

Panevėžys 2002 - Narrow gauge train

There is a train even in the postmark!

Panevėžys 2003 - 500 years anniversary of the city of Panevėžys

Coat of arms are one of my favorite topical subject, it reflects history

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Elektrėnai 1992

with the inscription: Литовская ГРЭС / Litovskaya GRES

Today I'm posting another Soviet cover, this time with a meter franking of Elektrėnai sent in 1992 to Vilnius. This meter stamp was used by the company Lietuvos VRE (valstybinė rajoninė elektrinė) used to be known as Литовская ГРЭС / Litovskaya GRES (Государственная Районная ЭлектроСтанция) during the Soviet time. The term ГРЭС/GRES is commonly used in Russian, it signifies thermal power station. The town of Электренай/Elektrėnai was newly created in 1961 between Vilnius and Kaunas as a site of a massive thermal power station as you can imagine from the it's name. You can even see it on the illustration on the cover itself. Over 90% of the population of the town was working somewhere related to the power station.
The cover was sent in 1992 which is after the restoration of independence of Lithuania in 1991 but the language of the meter stamp is still in Russian. This is because part of the key infrastructures was still under Russian control until 1993 when the Russian troops left the country.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Klaipėda 1957

This is a registered cover sent in 1957 during the Soviet rule from Клайпеда/Klaipėda to Ilford, Essex county, UK. There are few reasons why I have bought this cover, first, because of the price of 1.80 Euro and second was the Soviet commemorative stamp of the 1956 Antarctica expedition which is on my list of wanted Soviet stamps (I love the design!). Soviet stamps of the 1940's and 50's with Lithuanian cancels are pretty difficult to collect, most of the time you end up with either Moscow, Kiev, Odessa or Riga CTOs. The left end stamp is also nice, it is one of the sports series issued on 1948.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Kulėšai 1918

My latest acquisition Kolletzischken 1918
This week I felt so lucky to be able to find a postmark of Kolletzischken (now Kulėšai, Lithuania) 1918 buried among thousands of other Germania stamps. According to Memelgebiet section in Michel Spezial, Kolletzischken is one of "postmark collector friendly" post office that had only one type of postmark which is the one you see on the above scan. Memelgebiet post offices usually made new postmark when it went under French administration but the one in Kolletzischken apparently did not care or was in lack of funds and kept using the old pre-Memelgebiet ones.

the same postmark used in 1923 during the Lithuanian administration
As far as I know there is only one postmark that preceded this one which has probably been used in the second half of the 1850's by the Prussian postal authority, I have never seen it yet but it is spelled Koletzischken with a single "L".
This post office was later closed down on January 1924 and neither the Lithuanian nor the 1939 German re-annexation administration ever reopened it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

's-Gravenhage Stamp Exhibition Estonia - Latvia - Lithuania 1938

This is the first time I'm posting a Dutch cover on this blog! It is a cover with a commemorative postmark of 's-Gravenhage (also known as Den Haag/The Hague) Postzegel Tentoonstelling (Stamp Exhibition) of Estland/Estonia Letland/Latvia and Litauen/Lithuania held in 1938. I can understand that people of Poland, Germany, Russia or Latvia showing interest in Lithuanian philately because these countries are closely associated with Lithuanian history but Netherlands does not have any direct connection nor significant immigration of Lithuanians like the US, Canada or Australia, and still managed to gather enough people interested in Baltic philately to held an exhibition during the prewar period. I must say I'm impressed by the Dutch people.
The author probably addressed the cover to himself but then changed his mind and wanted it immediately by rewriting the address to Tentoonstellingen (exhibition ground). According to Google Books, there is even a publication about this exhibit, titled: Tentoonstelling van postzegels van Estland, Letland en Litauen te 's-Gravenhage published in 1938, the author is credited to Jan Hendrik Peursem, Vereeninging Nederland-Balticum. The content has only 36 pages but I would definitely like to take a look if I would ever had a chance to do so one day.

Monday, April 14, 2014

German stamps in Lithuania

When I write "German Reich stamps in Lithuania", most philatelist probably comes up with Memel related stamps or the occupation issues such as Postgebiet ob Ost. or Ostland. Well, I should say that's the right reaction but that is not all. There were some regular German stamps that have been used in Lithuania under different circumstances. I have mentioned before in this blog that I do collect Soviet stamps but having difficulties because of the criteria of my collection: all non-Lithuania themed stamps must be cancelled in Lithuania. The exact same criteria applies to the regular German Reich stamps as well, which makes again, collecting German stamps very difficult. There are several cases when these stamps were used in Lithuania, I would like list those in chronological order.

1. Pre-Memelgebiet stamp
99% of the regular Reich stamp that has been issued before 1920 could have been used in the Memel region. When I search German stamps in an internet auction, I usually ignore post-1920 Reich stamps up to 1939 to go faster. However, this does not mean that there is absolutely no way to find any postmark of the Memel area on a Reich stamp between 1920 and 1939 (for example, railway postmark Insterburg-Memel used in Tilsit could be on a post-1920 Reich stamp).
Pre-Reich stamps or also called Old German states' stamps were used in Memel region as well but only the stamps of Prussia and the North German Confederation.

Memel postmark of 1886 on a Reich stamp
2. Postgebiet Oberbefehlshaber Ost area
These areas occupied by the Germans during World War I basically used German stamps overprinted "Postgebiet ob. Ost" but in some cases, regular Reich stamps were used mainly by the private postal delivery services. It is very difficult to find. Believe me... 

3. Re-Annexation of Memel region
Nazi Germany re-annexed Memel region on March 1939 and used regular Reich stamps until the Soviet armies took the region in 1945. I would not say "frequently found" but those are relatively easy to find.

4. Ostland
Ostland had its own overprinted stamp but regular Reich stamps were also valid through out the territory. As a result of the mass-production of Ostland stamps, the use of regular Reich stamps were limited. 

Postmark of Schaulen (Šiauliai, Lithuania) on regular Reich stamps
Schaulen postmark used for precancellation or also for parcel

Those were the 4 cases where regular Reich stamps were used in the present territory of Lithuania for postal use. If I'm missing any cases, please feel free to comment on this post.