The ELEJA issue was in use between 20.10.1919 – 7.11.1919, and consists of Latvia documentary state revenue label # 45, 15 k orange and 47, 30 k green 1919 design perf / imperf and # 52, 15 k orange perf.
The lower label part is removed. And the upper label part is hand stamped PASTMARKA in pink-red. These local stamps are provisional postage stamps issued in ELEJA Latvia in 1919.
The different stamp catalogues and other sources states that there are among 2700 to 4000 pieces of the stamp all together as follows:
- 15 k imperf orange 200 - 500
- 15 k perf 11 ½ orange shades 1000- 1500
- 30 k green shades 1500 - 2000
The stamp is cancelled with crude made postmarker of wood without a date, two rings with inner centre bridges and with the text ELEJA plus tree uneven dots. The date in the cancel is hand written and in all the specimens I have seen the handwriting is definitely different, or from the same person. The used pieces are also side cancelled with the RIGA war sensor stamp witch are “Kara zensors L. No. 4.”, in violet colour. The censor cancel was used under WWI in Riga.
Also ELEJA 24.10.1919.
From the book of post offices and postmarks of Latvia 1918 – 1945 by N. Jakimovs - 1988,
From more old catalogues -
The only catalog who mention FORGERYS..............
If you know anything moore, feel free to email me, and use images free/no copyright here on this pages.
The situation in ELEJA, and Latvia at that time!
The First World War was raging and every suppressed country or small state, even small districts as ELEJA is fighting for their own existence, brotherhood and peace.
WWI and the military situation in Latvia early year 1919. ELEJA a small village situated south in district of JELGAVA and in Kourland.
ELEJA was a little village in 1919 situated in situated 30 km south of Jelgava (Mitawa) and about 5 km north of the Lithuanian border. There were not more than about 800-1000 inhabitants. The village is maked at the map.
In spring of 1915 the German army conquered southern Latvia in WWI. In the liberation war of 1918-20 war again blasted through the village. First in the winter of 1918 as it was occupied by the Bolshevik-forces, later in July 1919 as the area was retaken by the forces of the Latvian army. In October 1919 the village was in fact liberated and under the control of Latvia, but the village was practically isolated from the rest of the country. Probably life was easy and calm in the village as the war activities went on in the north and east of Latvia. Mostly war ran north towards Jelgava. General Awalof – Bermont and his Russian German army was in control but heavily engaged in furious combat south of Riga. Towards the east was the Latvian Bolsheviks’ front, some 30-40 km away. In the south Lithuania was having enough with its own problems. To the south was a terrestrial opening towards Courland and Latvian controlled area but there was nothing there along the Lithuanian border except wilderness and badlands. So it’s doubtful that there could have been any postal service at all in the village called ELEJA.
Is this ELEJA issue real or fake?
It’s always easy to forge stamps and postmarkers. All you need is an opportunity and a good idea, and the right tools. Who can do this? There’s always a stamp dealer looking for easy money, a postmaster in need of stamps, or an eager stamp collector, all who want to make fast and easy money. The issue has never been verified by the postal authorities in Raseiniai or in Latvia, or by any serious postal history or stamp collector.
Did anyone of this have the opportunity to do so? Let’s take the postmaster first. Yes, if he had access to so much as 3-4000 of the state revenue stamps. And would he make a rubber or a wood postmarker? Probably not, unless the ordinary postmarkers in use were destroyed or missing because of the war. Would not the rest of the post office also be gone then? What was the possibility of censorship in Riga if all post shipment was impossible, and what was the need of this stamp then, if it was not possible to send a letter with this stamps, but only locally, in a city with only 900 inhabitants all occupied by the war games.
That brings us o the stamp dealer, could he have got the hold of 4000 unused state revenues? Probably not? Unless he stole it or got from a friend in Riga court house.
But accordingly to a well known stamp dealer I Riga at that time, this stamp was actively issued from the post office in ELEJA and some were used there between October 20th and November 7th 1919. This stamp dealer Mr. Eduard Schneider reports that the following quantities had been issued
- 15 k imperf orange 500 stamps
- 15 k perf 11 ½ orange shades 1500 stamps
- 30 k green shades 2000 stamps
The amount, 4000 stamps, is out of proportions as one must consider that this war ridden village must have had very few inhabitants living there as it was almost totally in ruins. Anyway 3-7 letters are known sent from ELEJA to Riga and locally in the area.
ELEJA 30.10.1919 with; Kara zensors L. No. 4. Hmmm , yes .............questionable, yes a piece with no addressee / half cut away.
Witch next brings us to the postal history or stamp collector. Could he or she have made this? Probably yes and no……..unless he is a stamp dealer!
Then it leaves us the stamp forger. Could he have made this? Yes if he was in possession of the stamps, but again probably not, a stamp forger has always forged an already made stamp and postmark, like Sperati, Fournier, and others.
Well I can’t answer this question. Either is the issue made by the postmaster in Eleja in need of stamps or it is made of a stamp dealer who had the opportunity. Or it is made of neither of them, or both, or……..please goes mad, and thats some of the fun in philately.
I will hold me to the fact that the stamps are registered in Michel catalogue and several others and thus are genuine and belongs in a collection of Latvian postal history and stamps. With the conclusion, that the postmasters of Eleja made it only for the sake of his own stamp collection and friendship with a stamp dealer in Riga. And how many of this stamp may be in collectors and dealers hands, if postally used. Usual maybe 1-2 %, that is about a few hundred. And if this issue was made by a dealer maybe as much a 50 %- 80 %?
Letter from a stamp dealer/collector:
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Anyway nice stamps, cancels and history.........
Found on WWW do not remember where.