Rainer's Zemstvo Pages


Richard Vanger vanliric@netvision.net.il wrote on 15. April 1999
Shalom Rainer,  Sorry it took me a while to get back to you but we have been busy at work,  following the Holidays, and this is my first chance. I think that  your links  are an excellent idea for new Zemstvo collectors. I am more  fortunate, since I  have the catalogue you recommended and I read Russian. Anyone starting out in  this region should find your work a great help, in my opinion . Keep up the good   work.

Greg Ioannou greg@e-mend.com  wrote on 15. April 1999:
I'd never even seen pictures of these stamps before, let alone had their background described. It is always interesting to find a whole new area of philately -- some of those mysterious old Russian stamps may actually start to make sense to me now.
Rainer, you are creating a wonderful resource! Thank you so much.

Roy Keeeley rkeeley@dibbs.net wrote on 16. April 1999.
Lord a mercy, it looks like a great start, curious to see where you are going to go with it.
You should be encouraged.

Valentin A. Katranovsky vkatr@alvis.ru wrote on 16. April 1999
Your site looks great....

Terry Page wrote on 19. April 1999
I visited your Zemstvo ID guide and think you are very much on the right track. You can't do everything and, therefore, need to focus on a particular area. You have chosen to target the beginner, someone perhaps who has heard of Zemstvo stamps but who has little or no knowlege. If this project stimulates interest, then it will probably be even more beneficial to the hobby than an erudite study in a specialist journal! This is because there are so few of us, we need new collectors and hopefully you will stimulate interest by giving potential newcomers a taste of what it's all about.

A collector friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote me on 21. April 1999
As you know, one of my primary objectives is to open all communications channels among philatelists in our area of interest. Talk of scarcity or rarity or relative market value is not for the faint of heart in any niche of Russian philately. Throw in forgeries, bogus items, etc. and most people turn elsewhere for fun. As a long time collector, I can clearly state that there  is very little for the novice collector to provide assistance until they have read the literature, such as it is, and experienced the items. Novice collectors are also easy targets for those wishing to sell bogus items.

There are several catalogs of Zemstvos available for the collector, each with its own flaws. However, catalogs deal with how much an item cost and the pictures are usually terrible. Some people live by these catalogs. Numerous articles have been published about the Zemstvo stamps, but they usually deal with oddities rather than basics.

I think that what you are doing is an excellent way to approach a novice. A picture is definitely better than a lot of words. Leave scarcity and rarity to those who feel they are better qualified for whatever reason. Their egos prevent them from "seeing through the eyes" of a novice. I know there are people who will lambaste your efforts as "stupid" or other words. Let them stew in their own narrow world's juices. Keep up the good work.

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