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Sunday 2 June 2013

Peter Ashford collection 4: Azerbaijan forerunners

After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas, the Transcaucasian guberniyas developed forms of autonomy and co-operation before eventually declaring individual independence. In this transitional period, postal services appear to have functioned as before - though subject to war -time disruption, especially in Armenia. But postal history material is hard to find. This may have a simple explanation: before the introduction of distinctive postage stamps, such mail does not immediately identify itself as from the transitional period and in the bad old days, any covers were no doubt used by dealers and collectors simply as things from which common stamps could be torn off...

The cover below is from independent Azerbaijan, but a month before Azerbaijan's own "Musavat" stamps appeared. It was registered from Baku on 24 9 19 and arrived in Tiflis on 27 9 19: it would have been carried on the Baku - Batum railway. The already-high franking of 1 rouble 70 kopecks is worth noting. It is a business letter with no philatelic inspiration but is sent to a member of the Rokhlin family [see previous Blog], in this case Zachary Jakovlevich Rokhlin- who I think was Serge Rokhlin's father.

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