Zemstvo Paper Seals
Concerning the nature of Zemstvo Seals: Like many offices of
the Central Administration of Imperial Russia, local offices also
have been granted the right of Free-Frank Mail. Official letters,
therefore, could be sent without stamps on the front, but had to
be identified on the backside by special marks of rubber
handstamp or by paper seals. Both had to indicate clearly the
person or the office entitled to the right of Free-Frank Mail.
Furthermore, paper seals were also used from other bodies without
such rights. In this case, the seal was just used to seal the
cover and to make some advertisement (e.g. for an insurance
company, a manufacture etc..
Zemstvo Offices on all levels had also the right to use free-frank seals (Wolost, Ujesd, Gybernya and the sub-division in the Ministry of Interior concerned with Zemstvo Affairs). In some cases, however, additional franking was required.
As in the case of stamps, the rarity of Zemstvo items is much higher than of Imperial Seals.
Last update on 10.05.07
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