Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kuliai 1914

Merry Christmas to everyone!
Today I'm posting a postcard sent in 1914 from Кули / Kuli (now Kuliai, Lithuania). Kuli also appears in its Polish name "Kule" in many of the records during the Imperial Russian time as well. The illustration of the card itself has nothing to do with Lithuania (a bridge in a park in Yelagin Island in St. Petersburg)  but it has been written and sent from a certain Grigory Kissel in Kuliai to Lüneburg, Germany. The alphabet "Ков" right after the name of the town in the postmark is an abbreviation of Ковенская Губерния / Kovenskaya Guberniya meaning Kovna (Kowno in Polish) Gubernia which Kuliai was part of at that time. It is interesting that there is some kind of business seal of G. Kissel on the back. The used stamp is another new addition of Russian stamp in my collection, one of the series commemorating the 300 years of the Romanov Dynasty issued in 1913, 2 Kopecks with a portrait of Tsar Alexander II.

Wishing you a happy New Year!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Recent Acquisitions

Lately I haven't been able to have enough time to neither acquire new covers nor time for posting threads... However, here are some stamps I have found recently in various sources.

Memel Local issue
Postmark Memel 25.03.1939

Not new to this blog but another copy of Fuhrer's 50th anniversary
 with an illustration of the Municipal theater in Memel

Central Lithuania (I personally prefer to translate it "Middle Lithuania")
Postmark Troki (now Trakai, Lithuania) 7.1922

Вилыкомıр/Vilkomir (now Ukmergė, Lithuania) 15.IV.190?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kaunas 1969

Postmark of the first cover

Postmark of the second cover

Section of Michel showing the souvenir sheet
What a beautiful piece!!
Another addition to my Soviet stamp collection today. Like I've mentioned many time in this blog before, in order to add Soviet stamps in my collection, it must have a Lithuanian topic on the stamp or having been cancelled in Lithuania. This souvenir sheet shown in the above image has been long time in my wish list but I wasn't able to get a copy cancelled in Lithuania. Not exactly how I wanted but I have finally managed to get at least 2 covers with a stamp cut out from the souvenir sheet in question. The 2 identical covers have been made by a philatelist on the occasion of the VII th philatelic exhibition held in Kaunas on 1969. Why did I buy 2 identical covers? Well... but why not...
The stamp itself has been issued for the philatelic exhibition held in Moscow on 1957 showing the Lenin library where the exhibition has been held. The one I have posted corresponds to Michel number 1979 which has a better color than the 1978 one. Coincidentally, Michel 1979 corresponds also to number 1979 in Scott as well.

Is that all??
I must say it is very poorly informed comparing to Michel, not surprisingly...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Prienai 1994

This is a small souvenir sheet commemorating the 100th postage stamp of Lithuania, cancelled in June 16 1994 in Prienai main post office. It is a small town just 40 km south of Kaunas, according to Wikipedia, first mentioned in historical record as early as 1502. The face value of the sheet is 10 Litas but it was sold at the price of 12 Litas which you can see on the right upper corner of the sheet. The design of the stamp has also been used for the first set postage stamps after the restoration of the independence of Lithuania in 1990.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Air post 1921

This is an air post set issued on November 6 1921. This set is actually the third of its kind after the first issue of July 26 1921 and then the second on October 5. According to Michel, the angel is holding a Junker F-13 which was actually used for the early Lithuanian air postal service. 100000 copies were printed each, I personally very much like the Lithuanian stamps of this period, especially how they used the colors. For some unknown reason, all 3 of the Baltic republics managed to issue many multi-colored stamps (most of them dual color) which were not so common comparing to other countries' issues in the 1920's. You can see that Poland only issued single colored stamps during the prewar period and so did the Scandinavian countries except for the early classic definitive issues.

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. 

Coat of Arms series - 3

 2003 issue is an unusual issue of 5 stamps with the coat of arms of 
Gargždai Kretinga Palanga Papilė and Rietavas

 2004 issue with Mažeikiai Radviliškis and Ukmergė

2005 issue is a dual issue with Druskininkai and Vabalninkas

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cancellations of Lit.SSR - 09

Плунге/Plungė 1962

Вильнюс-ОПП/Vilnius-PPS Machine Cancellation 1967
It has a nice picture of the village of Likėnai

Алитус/Alytus Machine Cancellation 1971
Advertisement of the Soviet national carrier Aeroflot

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Šiauliai 1966

This is an illustrated Soviet military field post cover sent in 1966 from the post office Шяуляй/Šiauliai 2. The envelope has some nice pictures of Друскининкай / Druskininkai. Most of the field post sent from Šiauliai has a postmark of Šiauliai 4, because this post office was in Zokniai where the biggest military facility in the city, Zokniai military airport (presently used by NATO) was also located. However, Šiauliai 4 has opened sometime at the end of the 1960's so any mail prior to that was posted more from Šiauliai 2, one of the two post offices located in the center of the city.

Monday, April 7, 2014

1968 Opening of the Polish Airline LOT line Warszawa - Wilno - Leningrad

This is an interesting first flight card sent in 1968 from Warszawa/Warsaw, Poland to Vilnius, part of the Soviet Union back then. There is a nice commemorative cancellation with the inscription "Otwarcie Linii Lotniczej PLL LOT Warszawa Wilno Leningrad" meaning: Opening of the flight line PLL LOT Warszawa Wilno (Vilnius) Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia). PLL is "Polskie Linie Lotnicze", the Polish Airline and LOT is the name of that airline.
It seems like the sender sent it from Warszawa to get this special postmark to Vilnius as "poste restante" but for some reason did not pick it up. There is a arrival cancel of Vilnius opp. Lit. SSR and sent back to Warszawa. The sender didn't fill out the returning address where it should have been but the Polish Post have noticed later (that's probably why it is handwritten in red "retour" above the inscription "retour inconnu" which means: return address unknown) and sent back to Racibórz, where the sender live. It must have been such a "trouble maker" card from the postman's view but certainly interesting for us collectors.
Racibórz is a Polish town just few kilometers from the Czech border which also has a very interesting postal history going through Austrian, German, Czech, Polish rule but unfortunately this blog is about Lithuanian philately so I won't discuss it.

Kaunas 1934

Postally speaking, this cover might not be a particularly interesting one but the fact that it has been sent from the Direction Générale des Postes et Télégraphes de Lithuanie (Directorate General of the Post and Telegraph of Lithuania), makes it attractive.  Sent in 1934 from the central post office in Kaunas to the headquarters of the L' Union internationale des télécommunications or in English: International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U.) which has been created in 1865 but since 1947 a part of the United Nations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Air post 1922

Since I've already posted all the stamps of the Lietuvos Vaikas issues in this blog, there are actually only 4 triangle air post stamps left umposted. So I thought I might wanna post the rest to complete it. There is something about these triangle air post stamps that makes them very attractive... I just can't describe it well.
These stamps were originally intended to be issued for the commemoration of the establishment of the air postal service on the 25th of June 1921 but they were never issued. The incription "Oro pašto įsteigimas" (Air post opening) was modified to "Oro pašto ženklas" (air post stamp) by overprinting the last word. The date 1921 VI 25 (bottom left side of the illustrated airplane) was overprinted by a silhouette of a city skyline. 3 stamps were issued first on July 16 1922 with the value of 1, 3 and 5 Auksinas ("Auksinai" in case of pluriel). Then after the currency denomination, "Litas" replaced "Auksinas" and the one with the overprint "1 Litas" has been issued on October 10 1922.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Raguva 1937

This is a cover sent in 1937 from Raguva, Lithuania to Cicero, IL in the US. Raguva is a small town in Panevėžys county with a population of little over 600. The author of the book writes "Ciecero ILL" in the address but it is most probably Cicero IL. The town's second biggest ethnic minority (after the Hispanics) are the Poles which explains the presence of Lithuanians.