TARTU (DORPAT) LOCAL PROVISIONALS 1918

Russian stamps of 1909 with a single line black OPT of the new value in German currency. The 20 Pfg. value was issued for postcards and the 40 Pfg. value for letters.
Issued by the newly opened Imperial German Civil Post Office in Tartu by order of the local German commander. Typographed by Carl Mattiesen in Tartu.

  Overprinted Sold over
the counter
Remainders
20 Pfg. 30.000 4.952 25.048
40 Pfg. 28.100 5.810 22.190

The OPT is clear and glossy. Vertically strongly shifted OPT's can be found. There are horizontal and vertical gutter pairs and center stars in existence. 5-6 sheets of the 20 Pfg. value were overprinted on the blue (instead of dark blue) stamps.
The issue was valid within the Tartu district only. Mail to Germany or to the rest of the occupied Baltic area was forwarded to Riga by the German Field Post (the local commander being the official sender) and there free of charge provided with the current Ob.Ost stamps and cancelled with "Riga e" canceller.
In Tartu the stamps were cancelled with a single line "DORPAT" (29 x 7 mm) cancel. Several other cancellations are known, but appear only on covers or on stamps cancelled to order.
All mail was censored in Tartu. Genuine covers carry the red "geprüft" (=passed) and the initials of the censor in manuscript. Mail via Riga carried also the marking of the censorship of Riga and/or Königsberg. Over the counter sale was from March 4-14, 1918. Officially valid until March 16, but later cancellations are known.
On March 22 the Ob.Ost stamps arrived in Tartu and during the next few days mail leaving Tartu was provided with the additional Ob.Ost stamps there, cancelled with a former Russian bridge canceller (the name Jurjew being eliminated).
Remainders of the issue were sold to the public.
Most covers and cancelled stamps are of philatelic origin.

Forgeries of OPT's and cancellations (incl. the Riga markings) are known.

 

20 Pfg./10 Kop.

Dark blue 30:- 50:- 200:-
  Light blue 100:- 175:- --
40 Pfg./20 Kop.   30:- 50:- 200:-

Please note that all prices are estimates in USD, based on the average retail market of 1985, when the original catalogue/handbook was written. The prices are considerably higher today.