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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