In 1870 the Russian Imperial Government legalised the Zemstvos posts, some of who had been issuing stamps since 1865. The Zemstvos was a provincial assembly with representatives of landowners and peasants that regulated many local taxes and services. The stamps allowed a range of local post services plus delivery to the wider world through the nearest Imperial Post Office, the Zemstvo post quickly became an essential part of an integrated postal system covering substantial portions of European Russia.
The stamps range from crude monochrome lithographs to spectacular 6 colour works of art including silver & gold plus a multitude of colourful papers. Even the most common stamps are difficult to find as few were printed (at the time only a tiny proportion of Russians could write in comparison to Western Europeans) and now many Russian collectors eagerly hunt down these elusive issues stamp by stamp. Lot 7861 in Sandafayres 7th December sale is a magnificent comprehensive collection that we hope you will enjoy, including a video presentation.