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Consular fifty kopecks

«Consular fifty kopecks» — philatelic name of one of the stamps in the series (CPA № ОС6; Yver № 7). Red ink overprint of the text «Воздушная почта Р. С. Ф. С. Р. 1200 герм. марок» it was made on stamps of consular duty with a nominal value of 50 kopecks. This is one of the rarest postage stamps of the RSFSR, its approximate circulation is 50-75 copies.

Consular stamps, or stamps of consular duty, — type of fiscal stamps for payment of consular fees when processing entry and exit documents. In Russia, they have been used since 1913. They were also used as postal services. “Consular” stamps are also called a series of official airmail stamps of the RSFSR of 1922.

In 1922, after the formation of the joint Russian-German Society of air communications  (нем. Deutsche Russian Luftverkehr), the first international air line in the RSFSR — Moscow — Konigsberg-was opened. Although the company’s planes delivered only diplomatic mail, its charter provided for the possibility of sending private paid correspondence, paid for when sent from Moscow with Soviet stamps, and when sent from Germany — with German ones.

During this period, a number of representative offices of Soviet trade and industrial organizations were located in Berlin, but they did not have diplomatic status. Having a lively correspondence with Moscow, these organizations were inconvenienced by the fact that the official procedure in Germany for receiving mail in the RSFSR with a two-week interval led to delays in the ever-increasing official correspondence. With the aim of eliminating these delays, on the initiative of the Soviet representative in Berlin, M. V. Krestinsky was asked to send the mail of Soviet missions along with diplomatic correspondence. However, unlike the diplomatic service, the mail of the trade missions had to be paid properly, taking into account the current airmail rates.

To account for these payments, in July 1922, the stock of consular stamps of the Russian Empire, which was available at the Embassy of the RSFSR in Germany, was made a typographic red overprint of the new affiliation and nominal value. The series included stamps of eight denominations from 12 to 1200 Deutsche marks. The stamps were supposed to be used as postage stamps for franking official correspondence of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR and other Soviet organizations sent by air mail to Moscow.

Since this release was carried out without the consent of the People’s Commissariat of the RSFSR, the initiative of the diplomatic mission was not approved in Moscow. Soon after the arrival of the first flight with the mail in the capital, an order was issued to withdraw the stamps from circulation, and the circulation was requested in Moscow.