Arago: Exhibits

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Zadonsk and Kotelnich

Eventually about one hundred and fifty Zemstvos were recognized as having issued postal stamps within the fifty-two year period of the Rural Post’s operation, 1865 - 1917. The one major restriction specified that mail destined beyond the Zemstvo required Imperial Postage.

In the beginning, the infrastructure and resources available to many of the Zemstvos were meager. As a result many of the stamp designs were very basic and they were printed on whatever paper stock was available. Some Zemstvos perceived a need to control the initial issue of stamps; either as a means to ensure the payment for service or to ensure delivery of the item. Whatever the determined need, these Zemstvos assigned numbers to the stamp, as they were issued, and/or attached a counterfoil or “talon,” thus comprising a form of early registered postal delivery.

5k Zadonsk rural post single

Zadonsk issued stamps from 1878-1914. The first five issues had Counterfoils, the first of which was 5k, black and pale olive-green. The number “2025” was written in at the post office recording who mailed the letter.

3k Kotelnich rural post single

Kotelnich issued stamps from 1869-1916. Its first four issues had “Talons” or “Counterfoils” to record usage. There are only ten known used copies of the black and yellow 1870 3k issue.