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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Vilnius 1944

The sender's address: Kreis/Powiat Wilno (Vilnius), Ostland

Vilnius C. (Central post office) 8. 4. 1944

Last month I have posted a WWII German POW stationery card used in September 1940 when Vilnius was under Soviet occupation. This card is visually identical but this time Vilnius is under German occupation. It is a detached answer part of a round trip double POW porto free stationery sent on 8 April 1944 from Vilnius, Ostland to Stalag IV A in Hohnstein, Sächsische Schweiz / Saxon Switzerland (not "the" Switzerland, it was part of Germany and still is now), Germany. On July 1944, Vilnius has been recaptured by the Red Army which marks the end of WWII in Vilnius but it was only the matter of one occupation being replaced by another.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Šiauliai 1990

Registration label Šiauliai - 8

The inscription USSR (CCCP) and Lit. SSR is omitted, only Шяуляй (Šiauliai) is left

Почта (Post) with the inscription USSR (CCCP) omitted 

I'm sure you have already heard of provisional stamps or postmarks but, what about a provisional meter franking? This is a registered cover sent on 9 May 1990 from the post office Šiauliai 8 to Vilnius, with a rare provisional meter stamp. Everything that relates to USSR (CCCP) is omitted and on the top of the advertisement space, "Lietuvos Respublika" is added. Lithuania declared the restoration of independence on March 1990 but it wasn't until 1991 that the USSR and the international community recognize it. So when this cover was used, Lithuania was in kind of a state of limbo, no one knew for sure if it was in fact an independent state or not. Some post office kept using Soviet name (especially in the Polish speaking region near the border of Belarus) but some like Šiauliai 8, chose to act as the Lithuanian Post even if they were dependent on Soviet postage stamp and currency. The first post-Soviet Lithuanian stamps were issued only on October 1990.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Zarasai 1906

This is a postal stationery of the Russian Empire sent in 1906 from Ново александровск / Novo aleksandrovsk (now Zarasai, Lithuania), Ковен.Г.(Ковенская Губерния/Kovna Gubernia) to Giessen, Germany. Zarasai was called Novoaleksandrovsk from 1836 until 1918 to honor Alexander II who became Tsar of Russia in 1855.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Vilnius 1959

This is another Soviet maximum card commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Komsomol. Komsomol, according to Wikipedia, was the youth division of the Soviet Communist Party. It is actually an abbreviation of Коммунисти́ческий сою́з молодёжи (Kom-munisticheskii So-yuz Mol-odyozhi). The postmark is a regular Vilnius cancel of 1959, so it means that it wasn't the 40th but 41st anniversary when this card was made since the stamp was issued on 1958. I very much like this card, it visually has "the typical" look of a communist propaganda poster of the 1950's.

Vilnius 1959 - Alexander Pushkin

This is a maximum card of Alexander Pushkin cancelled in 1959 in Vilnius. A maximum card is a postcard with a cancelled postage stamp with the same topic. This one is about Alexander Pushkin, probably the best known Russian poet. Pushkin is actually not totally irrelevant to Vilnius, his great-grand father Hannibal (or Gannibal), a black African believed to be from somewhere in Cameroon, came to Vilnius with his master the emperor Peter the Great and was baptized there in 1705. The church where he has been baptized, St. Paraskeva Church, still stands today in old town of Vilnius and has a memorial plate of the event on the outer wall. Although Alexander himself never lived there, the Pushkin family house and estate (his son Gregory and the wife Barbara lived and died there) is preserved and now serves as a museum of the poet.
The postmark commemorates the 100 years of the establishment of telegraph in Vilnius.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vilnius 1931

Wilno Katedra by J. Bułhak

A postcard of the Vilnius cathedral sent in 1931 from the post office Wilno 2 to Myszkowiec, Poland. The picture is a work of a famous Polish photographer Jan Bułhak (1876–1950), described in Wikipedia as a pioneer of the Polish photography. I have seen many postcard using his work, who knows how many there are. The Polish postal authority even issued a stamp of his work.

Picture of the St Casimir chapel inside the Vilnius Cathedral

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Raseiniai 1941

These are 3 Soviet stamps cancelled on the 22nd of June 1941 in Raseiniai. It has been clearly soaked from a paper but I guess these are CTO. CTO is a postmark used on stamps even though it has not been postally used, generally for collector's need. 22 June 1941 is actually the last day of the regular service of Soviet post office in Raseiniai because the following day on 23rd, the Germans arrived and thus began the famous battle of Raseiniai. There are also overprinted local Raseiniai stamps using the exact same CTOs but personally speaking, it does not make any sense to me. Why would you want to cancel a stamp with a postmark of the former occupier, especially when it comes to "liberation" issues. It's kinda weird to me and so far I haven't heard or read any "satisfactory" explanation. So, for this reason, I love those 3 stamps above which make more sense to me!

Raseiniai local issue with a Soviet postmark, authenticated by Dr. Gerhard Krischke

Friday, March 13, 2015

Šiauliai 1940

This is an airmail cover sent in 1940 from Šiauliai to Ostende, Belgium. The company Semlinas (or simply Semlin) owned 1 of the 2 biggest factories in Šiauliai in term of number of employees, along with the shoe making company Batas during the interwar period.
It is also interesting that there was a Warsaw (Varsovie in French, Warschaustraat) street in Ostende. I wonder if they didn't have any Vilnius street.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Vilnius 1910

Gate of Dawn / Aušros Vartai / Ostra Brama

A very nice postcard of the Gate of Dawn (Aušros Vartai in Lithuanian and Ostra Brama in Polish) sent in 1910 from Вильна / Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania) to München/Munich, Germany. The description of the postcard is in Polish which was the major local language back in that time. The gate has a famous pilgrimage chapel in the upper floor so it is often described as Kaplica Ostrobramska in Polsih (Kaplica is chapel in Polish).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Raseiniai 1916

to Czenstochau, Rußland

This is a German military field post (Feldpost) card of Rossienie (now Raseiniai, Lithuania) sent in 1916 from the field post station of the 78th Reserve Division to Czenstochau, Rußland (now Częstochowa, Poland) also occupied by the Germans during WWI as well. The German name Czenstochau was also spelled Tschenstochau. A district commander's headquaters was located in Raseiniai so even though it was never a major town (and neither is now), it had a Soldatenheim (a sort of officer's club) and a casino like it is shown in the above picture.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Daugavpils-Šiauliai Railway post 1977

ПВ Даугавпилс - Шяуляй / Daugavpils - Šiauliai

I know it's not really a beautiful looking cover but it definitely has a very attractive postmark: ПВ (Почтовый Вагон / Pochtovy Vagon) Даугавпилс - Шяуляй / Daugavpils - Šiauliai. The cover has been sent in 1977 from Rokiškis railway station to Vilnius. ПВ (Почтовый Вагон) literally means "postal wagon" which is used to designate TPO. I have posted in the past on this blog, a Soviet railway postmark of Panevėžys-Šiauliai, the one I'm posting today is the extension of the same line.

Railway map of Šiauliai to the direction of Daugavpils

Monday, March 9, 2015

Salakas 1898

Солоки/Soloki, Ковенская Губерния / Kovenskaya Guberniya (Kovna Gubernia)

Arrival cancel of Вилыкомıр / Vilkomir

Таврогины/Tavroginy Volost administration office

This is a stampless official administrative cover sent in 1898 from Солоки / Soloki (now Salakas, Lithuania) to Вилыкомıр / Vilkomir (now Ukmergė, Lithuania). The sender is the Таврогины / Tavroginy (now Tauragėnai, Lithuania, not to be confused with Таурогенъ/Taurogen - Tauragė) Volost administration office which Salakas was part of. It has a nice seal on the back with a coat of arms of Kovna Gubernia. Volost is a Russian administration subdivision which roughly corresponds to a county.