The G.H. Kaestlin Specialized Collection

Zadonsk and Kotelnich

(Russian: Задо́нск and Коте́льнич)

5k Zadonsk rural post single
Zadonsk issued stamps from 1878-1914. The first five issues had Counterfoils, the first of which was 5k, black and pale olive-green. The number “2025” was written in at the post office recording who mailed the letter.

Eventually about one hundred and fifty Zemstvos were recognized as having issued postal stamps within the fifty-two year period of the Rural Post’s operation, 1865 - 1917. The one major restriction specified that mail destined beyond the Zemstvo required Imperial Postage.

In the beginning, the infrastructure and resources available to many of the Zemstvos were meager. As a result many of the stamp designs were very basic and they were printed on whatever paper stock was available. Some Zemstvos perceived a need to control the initial issue of stamps; either as a means to ensure the payment for service or to ensure delivery of the item. Whatever the determined need, these Zemstvos assigned numbers to the stamp, as they were issued, and/or attached a counterfoil or “talon,” thus comprising a form of early registered postal delivery.

3k Kotelnich rural post single
Kotelnich issued stamps from 1869-1916. Its first four issues had “Talons” or “Counterfoils” to record usage. There are only ten known used copies of the black and yellow 1870 3k issue.