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Russia "Received in Damaged Condition" cachets

The cover illustrated here, sent registered airmail from Leningrad to England originally franked with three stamps including the remaining 1r "Telegraph Office", has an interesting cachet on the reverse reading in French "Received at Leningrad, in damaged condition, the flaps of the envelope messily sealed". This is one of a number of cachets found on outgoing international mail from the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s indicating that the mail had been received by the Postal Authorities in damaged condition and were applied at Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev.

It is believed that these markings indicated censorship of foreign bound mail. As the censors tried to open the mail clandestinely, they frequently damaged the envelopes and these markings apparently served to explain away traces of clumsy handling.

Many of these "damaged condition" covers seem in good condition or with some wrinkling to the flaps which suggests that the flaps were steamed open. This probably explains the Authorities need to specifically mention flap damage "Received at Moscow with the flaps poorly sealed" or as in this case "Received in Leningrad, in damaged condition, the flaps of the envelope messily sealed".

Similarly the Air mail and Registration labels have been lifted and replaced and the missing stamps were either removed in the search for secret messages or to add to the distressed appearance of the letter upon arrival at its destination.

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Lot Number: 3093
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 550 - 700
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Lot Number: 3094
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 200 - 225
  • Currency guide (USD): 264 - 297
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Lot Number: 7555
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 220 - 250
  • Currency guide (USD): 290 - 330
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Lot Number: 7556
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 90 - 100
  • Currency guide (USD): 119 - 132
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Lot Number: 3095
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 60 - 70
  • Currency guide (USD): 79 - 92
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Lot Number: 7557
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 50 - 60
  • Currency guide (USD): 66 - 79
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Lot Number: 1075
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 40 - 45
  • Currency guide (USD): 53 - 59
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Lot Number: 7558
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 180 - 250
  • Currency guide (USD): 238 - 330
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Lot Number: 7559
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 60 - 70
  • Currency guide (USD): 79 - 92
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Lot Number: 7560
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 180 - 200
  • Currency guide (USD): 238 - 264
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Lot Number: 7561
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 350 - 400
  • Currency guide (USD): 462 - 528
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Lot Number: 7562
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 65 - 76
  • Currency guide (USD): 86 - 100
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Lot Number: 7563
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 110 - 120
  • Currency guide (USD): 145 - 158
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Lot Number: 6188
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 750 - 800
  • Currency guide (USD): 990 - 1056
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Lot Number: 6189
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 90 - 100
  • Currency guide (USD): 119 - 132
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Lot Number: 5083
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 60 - 70
  • Currency guide (USD): 79 - 92
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Lot Number: 6666
Closing: 06 November 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 1000 - 1200
  • Currency guide (USD): 1320 - 1584
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