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International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics

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Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsEdit

  • The first meter was installed in 1928. All stamps are inscribed “CCCP” either in the frank or the town mark. The Union collapsed into its constituent states in 1991. For issues since the break-up, see BELARUS, ESTONIA, GEORGIA, KAZAKHSTAN, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MOLDOVA, RUSSIA, TURKMENISTAN, and UKRAINE. Some Soviet meter designs continued to be used unaltered for months and even years after the break-up.
  • The stamps are grouped according to appearance of the frank and usage:
A - Rectangle with simulated perforation border
B - Rectangle with straight-line border
C - Horizontal octagon
D - Upright octagon
E - Without frank frame, value figures only
F - Frank with dentate (toothed) sides
PP - Special stamps for Parcel Post
PV - Public, self-service vending machine stamps

NOTE: Some stamps listed here (DA5, DC1, DD1, DD2, and possibly others) continued to be used after the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991. Therefore they also belong under Russia, Ukraine, and perhaps other ex-Soviet nations. Because the stamps are inscribed "CCCP" they have been cataloged under USSR.

GROUP A: Rectangle with simulated perforation borderEdit

A1. Universal “NZ” (FV-3), earliest date seen 22 February 1928.

Central design is hammer and sickle over “CCCP” over globe.
“ПОЧТА” at top and value at bottom.

TM: Wide solid blocks with rounded outer corners above and below date. Date with two curved lines at each side
Values:  2  [$80]
Values:  6, 8, 18  [$400]
Values:  5, 15  [$500]
a. Frank without town mark used on cover  [Add $100]


  • Two denominations (3K and 12K) exist as essays. The essays have different inscriptions at bottom for each denomination and have town mark of six wavy lines with date above “MOCKBA”.
  • The meter was used only for a short time in the Moscow offices of the State Bank of the Soviet Union.

A2. Universal “Midget” (LV-6), 1930.  [Extremely rare, value unknown]

Nearly identical to Type A1 but with a double circle town mark and the value set is different.
Values:  1, 2, 5, 10, 15

GROUP B: Rectangle with straight-line borderEdit

B1. Francotyp “A” (MV), 1929.  [$5]

Horizontal frank with double line border.
“C C C P ” curved at top, hammer and sickle at bottom, “КОП” at sides above short columns of horizontal dashes.
S# high or centered between TM and frank.
Date without stops.
A. "C C C P" without stops
B. "C.C.C.P." with stops
C. "C C C P." with stop after "P" only
V/F:   000

Description of the cover at right:

The large circular marks are not postal cancellations or censor marks. The text says "УСМО * Московская расчетная контора * За счет соглашения № 4852" and translates as "USMO * Moscow accounting office * On account of agreement number 4852". УСМО = Управление Cвязи Московской Области = Moscow Oblast' Directorate of Communications. An 'Oblast' is the equivalent of a province. УСМО had a factory in Moscow which was evacuated to Shadrinsk in the Cheliabinsk Oblast' in November 1941 because of the war. It is still there. A smaller factory was re-established in Moscow in 1942.
The word "расчетная" in the circular mark relates to "postage-on-account" mail originating from a number of Soviet institutions and enterprises in the 1920's and 1930's. The procedure followed is described in an article in the Post Rider, the journal of the Canadian Society of Russian Philately.[1]
The cover shows an unusual use of this service, combining both a meter frank (15k being the international ordinary letter rate) and the use of the "on account" mark. It is conceivable that the meter frank was applied by an automated machine located on the enterprise's grounds and then the circular cancel applied by a supervisor to validate its use. The meter-franking machine would be periodically checked by the post-office to assess the total sum owed by the enterprise.

B2. Francotyp “B” (MV).  [$5]

Nearly identical to Type B1 but wider spacing, 74-75 mm between centers of date and value figures.
"C.C.C.P." with stops.
The date has stops after D and M.
V/F:  000

B3. Francotyp “C” (MV).  [$5]

As Type B2 but slightly wider (77-79 mm between centers of date and value figures).
"C.C.C.P." with stops. Date without stops and the value figures are somewhat smaller.
V/F:  000

B4. Hasler “F88” (MV).  [$10]

Upright rectangle with inner box around value figures.
“CCCP / ПОЧТА” at top, “КОП.” at bottom.
V/F:   000

B5. Postalia (MV).  [$15]

Narrow upright rectangle with double-line border.
“CC CP” at top, “ПОЧТА” at bottom.
V/F:  *,00

GROUP C: Horizontal octagonEdit

C1. Kaluga Electromechanical Plant (MV), 1934.  [$10]

Frank with double line outside border and shield-shaped inner border.
“ПОЧТА CCCP” flanking star at top. Hammer and sickle above "K" at sides.
Impression counter number high between TM and frank.
Found in both red and black.
Date without stops.
TM: BIC, SC with date in rectangle
V/F:    000
a. With date only, no town mark

This stamp appears to be a Francotyp model "A" meter but it was actually produced in Russia. Possibly the Kaluga factory used a Francotyp meter as their design model. Meters from the Kaluga factory have a reputation for being unreliable.

C2. Francotyp “B” (MV).  [$300]

As Type C1 but spacing is wider (74-75 mm between centers of date and value figures), and date with stops after D and M.
V/F:  000

C3. Pitney Bowes “R” (MV).  [$5]

Small frank with double outer frame line.
“CC☆CP” above “ПОЧТА” at top.
Date figures raised in relation to value figures.
Value figures with “K” at both sides.
TM:  ≋000

C4. Pitney Bowes-GB “5000” series (MV).

Very similar to Type C3 but frank is larger, and town mark and date figures are different.
V/F:  ≋000

C5. Pitney Bowes-GB “6300” series (MV).

Frank as Type C4 in size but with inner box around value figures and with “ПОЧТА / CCCP” at bottom. “CC☆CP” at top.
Date and value figures on same level.
V/F:  ≋000

C6. Pitney Bowes-GB “6300” series (MV).  [$20]

Frank identical to Type C4 but date and value figures are on same level as with Type C5.
TM lowered.
This appears to be a hybrid stamp, a 5000 series die fitted to a 6300 series meter.
V/F:  ≋000

NOTE: Type C6 was used unchanged in Russia long after the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.

C7. Frama (MV).

As Type C5 but much larger.
“ПОЧТА / CCCP” very small at bottom.
Value figures thick.
TM: DC, SC with date in frame
V/F:  0000

C8. Pitney Bowes-GB “6300 series” (MV).

Small octagon no wider than it is tall.
With single-line outer border.
“K” only at right.
TM: DC with inner circle flat at top and bottom
V/F:  ≋000

GROUP D: Upright octagonEdit

  • Stamps of this group that come from Perm machines are usually printed in black with other colors being rare. Red, brown, and light purple stamps are known.

Sub-group DA: ПОЧТА / CCCP” at bottomEdit

DA1. Kuibyshev "MM-48" (MV), 1949.  [$20]

Double outer frame line and inner box around value figures.
Small “CCCP” above star containing hammer and sickle at top, “ПОЧТА” curved.
A. Star at top and "“ПОЧТА” at bottom are clear of the value box
B. Star at top and "“ПОЧТА” at bottom break the lines of the value box
Found in both red and black.
V/F:  000 (G)

  This stamp appears to be from a Francotyp model "C" meter, but it is from a Soviet meter built in Kuibyshev. The factory began production in the early post-WW2 years. As with Kaluga (see Type C1) Kuibyshev probably used Francotyp meters as their design models. Many of the stamps previously attributed to "Perm" meters (Types DA2-DA5) are now identified as coming from the Kuibyshev factory.

DA2. Kuibyshev (MV).  [$10]

As Type DA1 but frank is narrower and with single-line outer border.
A. "CCCP" at top is straight, and the star logo is negative
B. "CCCP" is curved, and the star logo is positive
V/F:  000 (O,G)

DA3. Kuibyshev (MV).  [$15]

As Type DA1 with double-line outer border, but “ПОЧТА” at bottom is straight.
With or without S# high between TM and frank.
TM: BIC, SC with box around date.
A. Inner box around value figures complete, star logo at top is negative
B. Inner box open at center of sides
C. As A but the star logo at top is positive
V/F:  000 (O)
V/F:  000 (G)  [$15]

USSR Types DA4 and DA5 have been re-cataloged as Ukraine Type A1 and Russia Type A1.1.
Although both stamps have "CCCP" in the frank they were first used after the Soviet Union was dissolved.

DA6. Postalia (MV).

As Type DA3 but very narrow spacing between TM and frank.
Value figures thin and narrow.
V/F:  000  0000

DA7. Krag (MV).

Fairly large frank without inner box around value figures.
V/F:  0000

Sub-group DB: “КОП” at bottomEdit

  • “КОП” can be large or small, with or without stop.

DB1. Perm (MV).

Frank with single line outer border and inner box around value figures.
Hammer and sickle in star at top.
“ПОЧТА” and “CCCP” stacked at sides.
Value figures stacked, and date figures vertical.
Size of frank inner box and inscriptions variable.
V/F: 000
a. Narrow frank with narrow lettering
b. Date figures vertical but rest of town mark is horizontal

DB2. Kuibyshev (MV).

As Type DB1 but date and value figures are horizontal.
V/F:  000

Sub-groups DC and DD have been deleted as the stamps were first used after the Soviet Union was dissolved.
Type DC1 was moved to Russia Type A2.1. Types DD1 and DD2 were moved to Ukraine Types A3 and A4.

Sub-group DE: “ПОЧТА” alone at bottomEdit

DE1. Pitney Bowes-GB "6500" (probably) (MV).  [One example known at present. Value uncertain]

Frank with double line outer border open at left to the inner box around the value figures.
Hammer and sickle in star at top, "K" at right.
V/F:  000

GROUP E: Provisional stamps without frank frameEdit

E1. Kuibyshev (MV).

Frank without frame used provisionally in Vladavostok a few months before the transition from USSR to Russia in 1991.
Value and date figures horizontal.
V/F:  000
a. Used without town mark

GROUP F: Frank with dentate (toothed) lines at sidesEdit

F1. Pitney Bowes-GB "5000" series (MV).  [Extremely rare. Value uncertain]

Frank with "C.C.C.P." at top above "K" centered above the value figures.
Sides of frank have notched "teeth".
The frank frame is identical to Netherlands type CA19 except for the lack of a meter number at bottom.
Only one example is known.
V/F:  000

GROUP PP: Special stamps for Parcel PostEdit

PP1. Unknown (MV), 1929.  [Extremely rare, value unknown]

Frank at left and town mark at right.
Square frank with straight double-line border.
“ПОЧТОВ. СБОР." (postage) at top of frank above value figures with five horizontal lines below.
At left of frank is “ЦЕН.” above a number and at right “ПОСЫЛКА” (package) (meaning "ценная посылка" = 'insured parcel') above what appears to be a registration number with “C.C.C.P.” and hammer and sickle below.
One example known.
TM: BIC (inner line under town name at top)
V/F:    00P00K

PP2. Unknown (MV).  [Extremely rare, value unknown]

Very similar to Type PP1 but with inscriptions in Ukrainian: “ПОШТОВ.СБIР” (postage) at top of frank, “ЦΙН.” at left, and “ПОКУНОК” (package) (meaning 'insured parcel') at right above what appears to be a registration number with “C.C.C.P.” and hammer and sickle below.
One example known.
TM: SC with text below
V/F:    00P00K

GROUP PV: Special stamps from public, self-service vending machinesEdit

PV1. Undetermined, probably Perm, 1938.  [Extremely rare, value unknown]

Small, nearly square frank with saw tooth outer border, straight line inner border, and inner box around value figures.
“C.C.C.P.” at top, “ПОЧТА” at bottom, and “K”s at the sides.
This stamp was generated by an automat machine used for three days during the Exhibition of Socialist Communications in Moscow in 1938.
Only one example is known to survive.
TM: large DC
One value seen:  15

PV2. Perm, 1973.  [Extremely rare, value unknown]

Frank is simple upright rectangle, inscribed “10” above “КОП” (KOPECKS) with “УПЛАЧЕНО” (PAID) across the bottom.
Between the town mark and the frank is a boxed cyrillic letter “З” and a vertical number.
Used for self-service registered mail.
Date figures read down.
Two examples known, one with town mark "ХАРЬКОВ" (Kharkov) and the other with post office name unengraved.
One value seen:  10


  1. Post-Rider. Canadian Society of Russian Philately, Issue: 38, June 1996 - 'Postage on Account Mail'. 

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