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Thursday 15 November 2018

Single Frankings

One way to combine stamp collecting with doing postal history is to collect covers with single frankings, one cover for each stamp issued. It should be easy – after all, stamp denominations relate to tariffs. Or do they? Inflation is the main enemy of single frankings. Another is the inability of Supply departments to get the right stamps into the post offices at the right times.

For Imperial Russia, there are really a very small number of stamps to collect from one kopek to 10 rubels, which is just like the range 1 cent to $10. Ignore the rubel values and surely the kopek values will appear as single frankings….

It’s actually very difficult to complete this relatively small set. It seems that collectors quite often get stuck on the 70 kopek, so here is a cover to prove that 70 kop single frankings exist.

BUT it’s a use in Bolshevik Russia in September 1918 – and a very unusual one. This is a registered court envelope sent from Petrograd to Sestoresk. There is a cachet on the back and a number (450) bottom left of the cover which together entitle this letter to a privilege. The Court did not have to pay for the basic letter ( a 35 kopeks tariff at the time) ONLY for the Registration fee (70 kopeks at the time).

If you have interesting single frankings at 70 kop, send me a scan and we can expand this section …

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Added 17 November 2018: Here's a very fine cover from Howard Weinert (USA). This 70 kop franking from 1916 represents a sixth weight step ( 6 x 10 kop) plus 10 kop registration fee on a large envelope from Tiflis to the Psycho-Neurological Institute in Petrograd. Mail to this Institute does turn up in dealer boxes so at some point I guess its archive was sold off.

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Added 19 November 2018: Here's a very nice 1911 registered cover scanned to me by Henri Taparel (France), this one going abroad. Note that this cover shows an early printing of the 70 kop in a paler brown. Howard Weinert's cover above shows a later printing of the 70 kop in a darker brown:

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