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Latvian Philately

Map Stamp - Jelgava and Liepāja cancels

Jelgava cancels

After leaving Riga on 1919 January 2, the Latvian government moved to Jelgava [in German, Mitau]. Soon afterward, with the retreat of the German army and advance of the Soviet Latvian forces, the government moved to Liepāja.

straight-line Mitau
German straight-line Mitau cancel in Gothic script; very rare; often faint. It exists in different orientations.

straight line JELGAWA LATWIJA
Latvian straight-line JELGAWA LATWIJA; very rare; about 5.9x0.4cm. It exists in different orientations. This pair also shows part of a boxed German censorship mark of Königsberg, Prussia, which processed mail from Latvia to Germany.

CDS JELGAWA wheat/elk design 1918 * LATWIJÂ *
29.   12.   18.
 * JELGAWÂ *

Jelgava CDS; design with three ears of wheat above and an elks head, the traditional symbol of Jelgava, below. The year appears as 18. and the date line is open on both sides.

This CDS also exists with blank space in place of the date line.

CDS JELGAWA wheat/elk 1919* LATWIJÂ *
29.   12.   18.
 * JELGAWÂ *

The CDS changed in 1919, when the year appears as 1919. and the date line is closed on both sides.

The use of these cancels ended in 1919 January 8-11, when Soviet Latvian forces captured Jelgava, occupying it until 1919 March 18.

Liepāja cancels

straight-line Leepaja cover

Straight-line Leepajâ cancels on strip of three, paying the 15 kap. rate for mail abroad, to Berlin. The boxed censor mark is from Königsburg, where Germany censored mail from Latvia. The Soviet Latvian forces never occupied Liepāja.

straight-line Leepaja cancels
This provisional cancel is quite common and appears in different orientations. Single stamps usually show partial blurry and faint cancels, due to diluted ink. J. Ronis [†] explained that, with a severe shortage of ink, the postal authorities continued adding water to the remaining supply.

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Updated Thursday, 2002-08-15 .