Recent Additions – the gutter block

The latest addition to my collection is this horizontal gutter block (a pair is only two stamps). The basic stamp is the 2000 ruble value from the unissued first Essayan set. With all the pictorial sets it is important to check that you get the genuine print. Reprints and forgeries exist in large quantities. Often exotic variations like gutter, tete beche and inverted centers or other irregularities are quite common among the forgeries and reprints but very rare within the genuine material. You can check eBay, Delcampe and even regular (old school) auction houses and find the less rare forgeries listed – for the price of the genuine ones.

Multiples with gutter are quite rare. It seems the carefully separated the stamps back then. Probably also due to the difficulty handling (storage, transport) of the complete sheets.

These are a nice addition to any collection of the pictorials.

essayan 2000 rubles gutter block small


On the back is a signature which looks like this:

essayan 2000 rubles gutter block signature on back small

I am reading J. (?) LEE SHNEIDMAN. I do not recognize this signature. If someone knows about this signature please leave a comment.

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4 Responses to Recent Additions – the gutter block

  1. Ivo Steijn says:

    I think he was (is?) a Rossica member some time ago, based in New York. He wrote a very ambitious overview of the problems affecting mail in the early RSFSR that filled most of an issue of the Rossica Journal which you can find here:

  2. Stefan says:

    Thanks Ivo. It seems I read the signature correctly. A shame he used ink that penetrated to the surface…
    The Rossica article is pretty interesting though. I found another link to his name

  3. Dr. Ray Ceresa says:

    My original 200 sheet tete-beche printing of this value has long since passed to at new owner.I purchased my tete beche-sheets from a dealer Mr. Richards in New York, many years ago. It was not a complete set of sheets but about 2/3rds of the set, all early printings. Once I had recorded them in an early section of my handbook on Armenia, in the series “Postage Stamps of Russia 1917-1923” I sold them on as they were too difficult to handle and display.

  4. Hans Grigoleit says:

    I have a number of stamps signed J.Lee Shneidman. As far as I know he is a collector in the US.

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