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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: 7647
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7648
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7649
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7650
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 884
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 885
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 886
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 887
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 3088
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 3089
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 889
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 888
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7651
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 890
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7652
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 891
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 892
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Lot Number: 3090
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Lot Number: 7653
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 893
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 3091
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7654
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 894
Closing: 23 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7655
Closing: 30 January 2018

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Lot Number: 7656
Closing: 30 January 2018

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