PRIVATE MAIL OF THE GERMAN - BALTIC COMMITTEE OF PETROGRAD (1918)

By Alar Pastarus

Although there are many unknown or unexplained details, evidence exists that a private mail service functioned between Petrograd and Tallinn sometime between the end of December 1917 and the end of March 1918. The service was organized by the German Baltic Committee which was housed in the former palace of Prince Yussupov at 94 Moika.

Description of the stamp:
The outer frame is 47 x 47 mm. Lithographic print on manille paper. The printers are unknown. Stamps are gummed but not perforated.

Usage:
Circular 33 mm diameter rubber cancellers were used with German or Russian text of "The Baltic Committee * Petrograd", for cancelling the stamps. In the centre of the cancel is an unclear design. Red or violet ink was used. This private courier mail service was used by the numerous Baltic-Germans living in Petrograd at the time, for communicating with their relatives and friends in the Baltic area. It is likely that the stamps were used only in the Committee rooms, and that the stamps were applied to both incoming as well as outgoing letters. The sender or receiver paid 1 ruble to cover the cost of running the service.

Literature:
Harold Osi. Petrogradi Saksa-Balti Komitee erapost 1918. (Private Mail of the German-Baltic Committee of Petrograd 1918), Eesti Filatelist #27, 1981 (in Estonian, with summary in English).