Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Stamps by Class and Gender: St Petersburg Residence Permits
Click on image and use Magnifier to enlarge
Anyone interested in "social philately" should take a look at the St Petersburg residence Permit stamps in use from 1889 until the downfall of the Romanovs. The fee varied by social class (Rank) and by sex and this required 10 separate stamps: five for men and five for women, and within those two groups, one each for the five classes (#1 is the upper and most expensive class).
In my illustration, you can see the 1889 issue for Men, complete, and the 1892 issue for women, complete. I cannot complete the 1889 issue for women because I don't have the stamp for women of the second class which is rare (£350 in the Barefoot Russian Revenues catalogue). In my experience of these first two issues, it is the stamps for the second class which are scarcest and for second class women, scarcest of all.
The final issue of 1908 retains different fees for different classes but there are no longer separate stamps for men and women. In my experience, this issue is the scarcest of the three regular issues. The low values of this set ( 1 and 2 kopecks), I have never seen - but Barefoot prices them at just £5 each.
These stamps were affixed to what one can think of as internal passports or identity cards and can sometimes be found on complete documents.