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Saturday 24 January 2015

Armenia: Imperial "Erivan" cancellations

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Stefan Berger (ArGe Russland), Edward Klempka (British Society of Russian Philately) and I are making a study of Imperial Erivan cancellations which continued in use after 1917. In particular, we are interested in the common and much-forged ERIVAN "d" shown above in an early state. I will add to this Blog any examples, genuine or forged, which readers send me to

We are particularly interested in 1917 -1925 uses. As with other Imperial cancellations of this period ( for example, for Baku), the date uses a style in which there is a dot (punkt) after the month but not after the day, so in the above example 24 4. 15  Forgeries do not always get this feature right. However, it may be that for a short period , the dot after the month is missing (maybe it fell out). We would like to see examples that may show this variety. The cancellation is normally found in black or grey-black. However, for a short period a violet or violet-black ink pad was used and we would like to see examples of this use. Thank you! 

Added 2 February 2015: Here is an unusual philatelic cover, cancelled with ERIVAN "d" on 21 4. 20. At this time, favour cancellations on framed Z stamps were often made with this canceller using a fairly intense black ink, though one which is probably diluted in comparison to the 1915 ink. The name  ERIVAN prints crisply but the two stars *  * at the bottom of the cancellation are no longer sharply defined as in the 1915 cancel above and nor is the "d". The dot after the month is  clearly visible. Because of the date similarities between the 1915 and 1920 cancellations, it can also be seen that the same numerals are in use - look at the first closed "2" and the open "4" of the month:

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The cover is interesting because made by a British visitor to Erivan. Commander Luke also visited Baku and at one time I owned a similar cover, which I bought from Eric Peel, similarly self-addressed, but franked with a set of Musavat stamps. I forget who bought it from me but I would welcome a scan of it in order to confirm Commander Luke's handwriting. Interestingly, none of the framed Z overprints on this cover are in violet and none are values which one associates with Serebrakian's activities at this time - for example, 7 and 10 kop stamps. So Peter Ashford may be right in his suggestion that Commander Luke simply bought what was available at the counter. Maybe he used up the money in his pocket to arrive at a franking of 56 roubles 34 kopecks

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