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USSR Stamps

Commemoratives of 1932-1933


Leningrad Philatelic Exhibition


The Commemorative USSR stamps of 1932 and early 1933 honor important people, anniversaries, and two philatelic exhibitions!

In 1932 and 1933, free enterprise may have been stifled a bit under the Communist system of government in the USSR, but PHILATELY was very much alive and doing very well!



The two commemorative USSR stamps shown above were issued in 1932 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Maxim Gorky's Literary Activity.

The common design features a portrait of Maxim Gorky and his signature.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 15 K.  (1932 - Sc. #470) - Dark Brown.
  • 35 K.  (1932 - Sc. #471) - Deep Ultramarine.

Alexei Maximovich Peshkov (1868-1936), also known as Maxim Gorky, was a Russian and Soviet writer and a political activist, and he was a five time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Gorky was also an associate of Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) and Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

Living in exile, Maxim Gorky returned to the USSR from Fascist Italy in 1932, at the personal invitation of Josef Stalin (1878-1953).  Upon his return to the USSR, he was given two residences, a mansion in Moscow and a dacha in the country.  His Moscow home is now a museum.



The seven pictorial USSR stamps shown above were issued in 1932 to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the October Revolution.

The catalog attributes and design descriptions are as follows:

  • 03 K.  (Sc. #472) - Lenin addressing the people.
  • 05 K.  (Sc. #473) - Storming the Winter Palace in Petrograd (Leningrad).
  • 10 K.  (Sc. #474) - Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Station.
  • 15 K.  (Sc. #475) - Collective farm.
  • 20 K.  (Sc. #476) - Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant in the Urals.
  • 30 K.  (Sc. #477) - Radio tower.
  • 35 K.  (Sc. #478) - Asiatics saluting the Soviet flag.



The two pictorial USSR stamps shown above were issued on December 5, 1932 to publicize the First All-Union Philatelic Exhibition in Moscow.  The 15 K. denomination stamps is perforated 12 1/2.  The 35 K. denomination exists both perforated 12 1/2 and perforated 10 1/2, with the later perforation gauge being worth twice as much.

The design features the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, where the exhibition was held.  Only 302,000 of the 15 K. denomination were issued, and only 100,000 of the 35 K. denomination were issued.

The stamps were sold for three times their face value, to cover the costs of the exhibition.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 15 K.  (1932 - Sc. #485) - Black Brown.
  • 35 K.  (1932 - Sc. #486) - Ultramarine.



The souvenir card shown above is actually an invitation to the First All-Union Philatelic Exhibition, the first philatelic exhibition of the USSR.

The bottom of the card is inscribed "People's Commissariat of Communications of the USSR", in both Russian and French. 

Only 500 of these cards were produced, and they are exceedingly rare.  In my 2011 edition of the Zagorsky Catalog, the card has a value of €20,000.00. 

Twenty-five of the cards were overprinted with the names of individual participants and awarded to them for their contributions to the exhibition.  One of these cards was auctioned in 2008 for $776,250.00.



The three pictorial USSR stamps shown above were issued in March 1933 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Karl Marx (1818-1883).

The catalog attributes and design descriptions are as follows:

  • 03 K.  (Sc. #480) - View of Trier, the birthplace of Karl Marx.
  • 10 K.  (Sc. #481) - Grave of Karl Marx at the Highgate Cemetery in London.
  • 35 K.  (Sc. #482) - Portrait and signature of Karl Marx.



The two Moscow Philatelic Exhibition USSR stamps of 1932, shown above, were overprinted and revalued on March 20, 1933 for the All-Union Philatelic Exhibition in Leningrad.

The overprint reads "LENINGRAD  1933".  Only 100,000 of the 30 K. on 15 K. denomination were issued, and only 50,000 of the 70 K. on 35 K. denomination were issued.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 30 K. on 15 K.  (1933 - Sc. #487) - Black Brown.
  • 70 K. on 35 K.  (1933 - Sc. #488) - Ultramarine.





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USSR Stamps - Commemoratives of 1932-1933






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The pictorial USSR stamp shown above (Sc. #479) was issued on November 5, 1932 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the International Red (Revolutionaries) Aid Association.

The design shows an allegorical representation of a Worker Liberating the Prisoners of Capitalism.