Latvian Philately

Map Stamp - First Day and Riga cancels

First Day

On 1918 December 17 the first Latvian postage stamps were delivered to Latvian postal authorities in Riga's main post office. At this time, Latvian postal staff used the building, but the German military continued to control the building until leaving on December 26. On 1919 January 2 the Latvian government evacuated Riga and on the following day, January 3, Soviet Latvian troops occupied the city.
   There was no official first day. Cancels dated before December 27 are uncommon, but not rare. Some consider December 27 the first day of Latvian postal operation.
   However, the German civilian post in Riga required people to deliver and pickup mail at the main post office. Prior to January 3, Latvia's postal service was quite certainly similar; that is, postal services were poste restante only.

Riga cancels

Horizontal pair of 5 kap Latvia map stamps for the 10 kap local mail rate; perf. 11.5, large perf. holes; cancelled with Czarist Russian Riga, РИГА, 27 12 18, * * X. It was addressed to Mr. Stutzer, who would visit the main Riga post office to pick it up, just as he would visit the main Riga post office to pickup mail during the preceding German occupation.

Block perf. 11.5 large perf. holes; Russian Riga CDS, РИГА, 20XII1918, *   *, and straight-line Riga. Some call this straight-line Riga the first Latvian cancel; others believe it is of German origin.

Block of 9, perf. 11.5 large holes, overpaying the local letter rate, so probably philatelic. Straight-line Riga cancels and Latvian RIGA. / LATWIJA CDS 301218. The last line of Mr. K. Kalnins address, šeit, is Latvian for on this spot.

Riga cancels on map stamps mapsides of Riga cancels

German Gothic straight-line Riga, rare;
Czarist Riga 20 dot, РИГА, 28 12 18, #  #  #;
Czarist Riga, РИГА, 24 12 18, #  #  K, on map K19 Retowo.

The circular date stamp on this cover is the first Latvian CDS. It was used for a few days, until 1919 January 2, when the Latvian government evacuated Riga and left this date stamp in the post office. On the next day the Soviet Latvian forces captured Riga and took control of the main post office and this CDS. The Soviet government used this CDS to cancel mail during its occupation of Riga.

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Updated Wednesday, 2014-05-07 , copyright © 2001 to 2014.