In 1913, just four years before the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the Russian Empire issued a 17-stamp set to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. Edward Klempka looks at the issued stamps, stationery and overprints with particular attention to their usage.
Russia issued a series of stamps from 1 kopek to 5 roubles on 2 January 1913. This issue celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Tsars and Empresses who had ruled Russia. Nobody could have guessed that the country would soon thereafter become engulfed in World War I and the dynasty would shortly come to an end with the abdication of the Tsar Nicholas II in 1917. These events led to the Russian Civil War, the consequences of which are still with us today.
The stamps issued were pictorial, of high quality, which stood out as being exceptional, when compared with contemporary stamps. Postal stationery (newspaper wrappers, postcards, lettercards and envelopes) was also issued, incorporating the designs used to print the postage stamps.
Tsar Peter I
The 1k. brown-orange and 4k. carmine-red show the portrait of Tsar Peter I. He lived between 1672 and 1725 and is commonly referred to as ‘Peter the Great’. Born in Moscow on 9 June 1672, Peter was the 14th child of Tsar Alexis. He was the joint ruler with his brother Ivan V from 1682 and upon Ivan’s death in 1696 he was declared Tsar of all Russia. He created a strong navy, reorganised his army, secularised schools and introduced new administrative and territorial division of the country. He is best remembered for his extensive reforms which established Russia as one of the great nations.
The 1k. stamp was mainly used as a make-up value but served a postal purpose as being the tariff for local business card delivery and local newspapers and was issued in postage stamp and newspaper wrapper format . The 4k. carmine-red stamp paid the foreign postcard rate and was issued in both postage stamp and postcard formats.
Edward Klempka explores the whole set and explains their usage, in the November issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly