Important Persons

Souren David Serebrakian

Mr. Serebrakian was born in 1900 in Tiflis, the capital of Georgia,  but of Armenian origin. Having graduated in Leipzig in the 1920s he became a cigarette factory manager in the Netherlands. He went to Brussels around  1930, where he was a full time stamp dealer. S., who had began stamp collecting as a boy, also participated in international exhibitions. When World War II broke out he moved to New York, continuing his stamp business. He died in the USA in 1990.

Serebrakian was member #273 of the Rossica society.

What also is interesting to know; his wife, Herla Marie Serebrakian (born in Austria), had two sisters, Michaela Elizabeth and Annuschka who married the dealers Julius Stolow and Harry Stolow respectively.

Serebrakian worked for some time in the Post Office of the young Armenian Republic. I think till 1920. During this time he used his position to create many covers and also varieties of overprints. This is a cover made by Serebrakian – you can see the large violet cachet “Serebrakov” on the left – and sent to his brother in Tiflis. You can find parts of this signature on the back of Armenian stamps and this is actually a good sign. You can expect to have an genuine item. The picture of the cover is from Cherrystone Auctions.

When Serebrakian left Armenia in August/September 1920 he took a serious stock of Armenian stamps with him. Most of the stamps were framed and unframed Z type. The last reminders of this where sold in an Cherrystone Auction after his death. It is possible to detect most of the now called “ex Serebrakian” made overprints because of certain design elements like impression and position. For instance, he liked to “play around” creating varieties with several impressions on the same stamp and also often with rotated placement of overprints. This is sometimes quite helpful when checking for genuine overprints.

Paul Melic Pacher also Melik Pasha or Melik-Pashaev

In late 1920 Mr. Pasha, coming from Tiflis, arrived in Erivan and offered his services (assistance, consultations etc) to the young and unexperienced postal authorities of Soviet Armenia. He brought with him stocks of Imperial stamps. He was admitted at the post offices and prepared a number of reprints on his own and remaining post office stocks using the genuine hand stamps. The Soviet-Armenian authorities had still access to the hand stamps used before. He is also  known as the perpetrator of the so-called first Armenian SSR issue (overprint of Soviet star and new values) that was prepared for speculative purposes (officially!) but never came to postal use. When finally the Russian-Soviets took over he was thrown into jail. Nothing is known of him after that…

Mr. Pasha ordered the overprinting hand stamps to be cleaned and the previously little used ERIVAN “k” cancel was used to authenticate sheets (often back dated). Also non standard combinations of stamp and overprint were produced. For instance, stamps that were used for 10 rubles uprating, got a 25 rubles overprint.

Here is a nice example which he signed himself.

Just the signature.

This is the overprint that was prepared by order of Mr. Pasha, but never came into use. Canceled to Order Erivan.

A. Rosselevitch


Dr. Ray J. Ceresa