Kursk Zemstvo postmark

by Terry Page

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The Kursk District Zemstvo operated a postal service but it issued no stamps because mail was handled without charge. The cover shown below is possibly the only recorded item from Kursk. The marking is very faint and may not scan well, it is, however, totally legable upon close examination.

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Boxed datestamp (55 x 38mm.) with the date in an inner fancy box. Struck in violet. ZEMSKAYA POCHTA / 4 APR 1915 / KURSKAGO UEZDA on a locally addressed envelope with a Volost cachet on the reverse: TROITSKAGO VOLOSTAGO PRAVLENIYA KURSKAGO UEZ.* surrounding the coat of arms.

Whenever anyone says "This is the only known this" or "The only recorded that" he can almost guarantee being shot down in flames as other previously hidden examples start to creep out of the woodwork. So I am modestly claiming that this Kursk item, may be, just may be, the only known cover with a Kursk Zemstvo Postmark, and thus is the source proving the existance and operation of such a service. I am asking whether anyone out there has ever seen or heard of another Kursk item, or was aware even that this postal service existed. There may be other covers, say, in the Fabergé collection (all will be revealed in December!), or the Liphschutz collection or somewhere in Mother Russia.

I would be grateful for any information, even if it is purely anecdotal.

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