Stamps of Three Armenian Republics

Stamps of Three Armenian Republics

For each country, it is important to properly organize postal traffic, and the main role in this is given to postage stamps. So the question arises – how did the development of Armenian postage stamps occur?

The first Republic of Armenia was born in 1918 in the most difficult conditions. Armenia was opposing the Turkish aggression and, in fact, was from scratch establishing state institutions.

In a country that had just gained independence, it was necessary to organize postal traffic. It is noteworthy that for these purposes, stamps of Tsarist Russia that had gone out of circulation were used.

They were put into circulation in the years of the First Republic, and in order to at least somehow “Armenize” them, an Armenian letter “Հ” was imprinted on them. This is the first letter of the name of the Armenian state (Armenian: Հայաստան, Hayastan).

The first state stamps were printed only in the beginning of 1920 in the Paris printing house “Chassepot.” They were sketched by famous artist Arshak Fetvadjian. The printing with great difficulty was transported to Yerevan. It reached the Armenian capital only in November 1920.

However, at that time, Armenia was in a state of martial law and the stamps were sent for storage. The First Republic would never put them into circulation.

On the stamps created by Arshak Fetvadjian, a spinning wheel, an eagle, and Mount Ararat were depicted. The stamps were of varying shades and had two layouts – horizontal and vertical. In total, 10 types of stamps with a nominal value of 1 to 100 rubles were issued.

Nevertheless, these stamps eventually fulfilled their “mission”: before the stamps of Soviet Armenia appeared, the new Soviet authority introduced the redesigned “Parisian” stamps of Fetvadjian with the image of Soviet symbols, the hammer and sickle, in 1921.

In 1921-22, the first official stamps of Soviet Armenia artistically designed by Sargis Khachaturian were issued in the Yesayan publishing house in Constantinople. The stamps with medieval Armenian ornaments were especially eye-catching among them.

In more modern days, the first official stamp of the Third Republic of Armenia – “Mount Ararat and the Tricolor” – was issued in 1992. Its author was artist-designer Harutyun Samulyan. It was his work that won the competition of the first stamps of independent Armenia.

Ruben Shukhyan

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