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 Typical Types of Russian Flax and Hemp Bale Seals

 Click on a name (Archangel) to go down the page to information on deciphering (Archangel) seals

Archangel

1806 - 1889

Baltic States

18th - 19th Century

Riga Cross Keys

18th - 19th Century

Arms Customs Seals

19th Century

(ЛД=LD) NP Flax

(P, NП, ИП, ИP) 1754 - 1828

(ДA=DA) WK Flax

(with WU) 1754 - 1828

(ЛД=LDSPB Flax

1829 - 1850

 (ЛД=LDCПБ Flax

1829 - 1850

RH Rein Hemp

1737 - 1747

(ПД=PD) SPB Hemp

SP, SPB   1740 - 1828

 (ПД=PD) CПБ Hemp

1829 - 1841

ПИЛПД Hemp

SPB, CПБ  1829 - 1841

Numbers Only Seals

Flax & Hemp 1747 - 1761

Paired Inspectors

Early 19th Century

Hills & Wishaw

Vologda Region 1860's

T, Star & Crescent

1770 - 1792

 

Circular Dated Seals

Russian Crosslet Seals

Pavlov Star

19th C.   St Petersburg

Hands of Friendship

19th C.   St Petersburg

Inland Trading Seal

18th/19th Century

Dutch Customs Seals

18th/19th Century

Railroad Seals

19th Century

Soviet Gostorg Seals

20th Century

 

Click Here for all the Project Site Maps and Links

 

 The difference between a Bale seal and a Bag seal

This site is for the identification of BALE seals ..  so what is the difference between a bale and a bag seal. A bag seal was used to fasten together bags of smallish items like cement, manure, tea, flour, sugar etc. Sugar for example was bagged in a machine which churned out thousands of bags an hour and fastened them together with an identical seal such as "Tate & Lyle Sugar" bag seals..   A bale seal however was used specifically to fasten together huge bales of raw vegetable material such as hemp and flax plants. These seals were applied one at a time by a port inspector and gave unique information like the inspector's name. the post where they worked, the name of the port, the initials of the previous grower/owner or agent, the quality and grade of the flax and the date it was graded. Whereas identical bag seals were produced in the 1000's .. the flax seals were an individual item .. actually touched and applied by the inspector who's name is on the seals ..some 200 years ago. with 1000's of different individuals. The social history gleaned from this information of the 18/19th century Industrial revolution is priceless .. bringing to life the names of  those forgotten common people who made Russia and Britain great. The picture shows these people working on the quayside in Riga, Latvia.

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 Deciphering Archangel Seals ..  example

obverse

APX. БPA
ДECЯT
AHДPѣИ
ПЛOTHIK

 

= ARCH. BRA  Archangel bracked (Quality Inspected).

= DESYAT  Inspector, Quality Control Officer.

= ANDREW   The Christian name of the inspector.

= PLOTNIK The Surname of the Inspector.

reverse 

APX.ПOP
KУДѣЛЯ
1"COPTЪ
Я. K.

1867

 

= ARCH. PORT  Archangel Port.

= KUDEL (TOW) Coarse broken flax after Heckling.

= 1st SORT  The first grading of the flax.

= Ya.K.  previous Grower/Owner/Agent initials

= Graded in 1867.

 Notes:- variations are numerous

 

   The Obverse (Front) of the seal.

 APX. БPA = Archangel Brack . variations are APX. БP,  APX. БPAK,  APX. БPAKЬ.

 A bracker was a BRAKOVSHCHIK and БPAKOBЩИK was to Pass Inspection.

 
 ДECЯT was a Quality Control Officer selected by the
 brackers who worked under

 their direct supervision to carry out the inspection and certify on their behalf the

 bundle to which the seal was fastened.  The variations are  ДЕС, ДЕСЯCK, ДЕСЯТ,

 ДЕСЯТC, ДЕСЯТCK, ДЕСЯТH, ДЕСЯТHИKЪ, ДЕСЯТЬHИKЪ, ДЕСЯЦK,

 ДЕСЯЦKO, ДЕСЯЦKOИ,

    

  AHДPѣИ ПЛOTH = ANDREW PLOTNIK was the name of the this inspector.

  We have hundreds of different inspector names.

  - - - - - - - - -

    The Reverse (Back) of the seal.

 APX. ПOP = Archangel Port .. variations are A.П (A.P).

 A = Archangel ..  APX, APXA, APXAH, APXAHГ, APXAHГEЛ, APXAHAГЛЬCK

 

 KУДѣЛЯ = KUDEL is the coarse broken part of hemp or flax after the Heckling

 and Scutching processes. .. variations are KУДEЛЬ,  KУДѣЛЬЯ, KУДEЛЬH

     This could also be ПAKЛЯ = PAKLYA (Scutching Tow), CODILLA (Broken flax

 from the first heckling), ЧESKA (CHESKA = lowest grade heckled flax), or ПAKЛЯ

 ЧECKA (Heckled Codilla) or ZABR, ZABRACK, (ЗAБP, ЗAБPAKЪ) lowest quality.

 1"COPTЪ = 1st SORT (grading) .. could be 2nd, 3rd or even 4th Sort.

 Я. K. = Ya K.   Initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent;

 1863 = the date of the grading.

   To return to TOP of page click HERE

 

 
 Deciphering Baltic States Shield Seals ..  example

obverse

Crossed

Shield

with

pellets

The shield has the flat part at the top and is split into quarters by a large cross. Inside each quarter are pellets numbering from 0 to 9 which indicate the control area or port of shipping (unknown at present).

Sometimes the pellets are tiny circles called annulets.

 reverse

CR

12K

CR are the initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent.

There are lots of different initials.

12K means there are 12 heads of top quality Crown flax

in the bale. This can be 12K, 9K and 6K which equates

to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sort.

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

 

 There is no way of dating these seals except from association with other seals with

 which they have been found .. 9K and 12K seals are late 18th / early 19th Century

 whereas 6K seals (found only in Denmark and Sweden) are thought to be 16th century.

 

     To return to TOP of page click HERE        

 

  Footnote:- only a very small proportion of these seals have holes through them

      and it is a mystery how, or even if, they were attached to the bales.  There is a

      strong possibility that these seals were customs tax seals for individual towns.

Lots of these seals have parts missing and this may be where the hole was located.

 

 
 Deciphering Riga Cross Keys Seals .. example

obverse

Crossed

Keys with

+

 The crossed keys are the Arms of the City of Riga, but

 also of other cities. To be a Riga seal there must be a +

 between the keys, at the top, and a number 1, 2 or 3

 between the keys at the bottom to indicate the grading.

 (A cross in the form of a X may indicate another city)

 reverse

 

blank

The reverse of a Riga seal is usually blank. We do have a couple of

 examples of X types with a 4, (which could be 4 band quality hemp) and Pst which could suggest St. Petersburg for the X seals.

  The City Arms are used on their own for Driebandt (Threeband) flax in Memel and this

  could well be the case for Riga and other Baltic States ports.

 

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

  From the late 18th Century Riga had a method of grading flax for sale on the world

  markets which, unfortunately, was committed to paper, and not put on the seals.

   Project member Sebastian Graham located reports in the Belfast Linen Trade Circular

  for 1863 which gave the grades of flax available from Riga to the UK for that time.

    In order of quality and price, WFPHD (White Fine Picked,Yellow Threeband flax),

  WFPK (White Fine Picked Crown flax), HFPK (Yellow Fine Picked Crown flax)

  FPK (Fine Picked Crown flax), PK (Picked Crown flax whilst a bundle from the port

  of Koenigsberg was FWPCM (Fine White Picked Crown Marienburg flax).

    The letter on the right of the group was called the base letter to which other letters

  were added at the front to further describe the flax.

  The code for Riga grades and types which was also used at some other ports is ..

 

  3 = Threeband

  4 = Fourband is superior to 3-band , both exported to England from Libau & Memel.

  A = cleaned.

  B = Badstuben, a type of Threeband (Drujaner & Coupland flax)

  BG = Badstuben Geschnitten, Badstuben Cut (as above)

  CM = Crown Marienburg.

  CR = Courland Rakitzer was not as good as the other Rakitzers

  CPH = Crukken Pass Hemp .. preferred types are from Russia and Poland

  D = Driebandt, Threeband. The City Arms used alone for Threeband flax in Memel.

  DC = Druana Crown from Tilsit

  DD = Drujaner Dreibandt, Drujaner Threeband .

  DR = Druana (Drujaner) Rakitzer, High Quality White Russian .

  DRD = Drujaner Risten Dreibandt, Drujaner Bundle Threeband, fine fibre, moderately long,

  clean, soft, white, silver coloured and fit for spinning the finest yarns. .

  DW = Dreibandt Wrack, Threeband Brack

  F = Fein, Fine

  FHD = Fein Hoff's Driebandt, Fine Hoff's Threeband;

  FPHD = Fein Puik Hoff's Driebandt, Fine Picked Threeband. (Portuguese)

  FPK = Fein Puik Kron, Fine Picked Crown.

  FPSD = Fein Puik Slansky Driebandt, Fine Picked Slanitz Threeband, Fine Pink

   Slansky threeband.

  FWPCM = Fine White Picked Crown Marienburg flax from the port of Koenigsberg. 

  G. German

  G = BEST from Pernau

  G = Geschnitten, cut rejected crown.

  G = Grau, Grey.

  GRD = Geschnitten Risten Dreibandt, cut bundle threeband.

  GW = Giligen Brack, Low Grade Threeband.

  H = Hell, Heel, Light, Yellow.

  H = Heide, TOW when used as the base letter  . 

  HD = Hoffdreibandt, Hoff's Threeband (English) from Livonia, Light Driebandt.

  HFPK (Hoff) Yellow Fine Picked Crown flax. 

  K = KPOHЪ (Kron) Crown is high quality long strong filament flax. Better grades are

   PK, FPK & ZK.

  KPC = Konigsberg Podolia Crown from Tilsit

  KRK = Kourland Rakitzer Kron, High Quality Courland Rakitzer Crown.

  LC = Lithuanian Czukken hemp is as Rein Hemp but less oily and soft.

  LD = Leiden Dreibandt, Lieden Threeband.

  LD = Lithuanian Dreibandt, Lithuanian Threeband.

  LD = Livonian Dreibandt, Lindlandischan Threeband from Livonia

  LH = Livonian Hoffdreibandt, Livonian Threeband Hoff from Livonia

  LOD = Livonian Ordinary Driebandt, Threeband, or Low Ordinary Driebandt.

  LR = Lithuanian Rakitzer, High Quality Lithuanian flax but not as good as the other Rakitzers

  LRK = Lithuanian Rakitzer Kron, High Quality Lithuanian Krown flax

  LS = Lithuanian Slanitz .. dew retted via Riga .. also called Wellish Slanitz or Wiasma Slanitz

  M = Marienburg or Marienburg Clean, High grade Crown, source of best quality

   Livonian flax for Riga.

  MБ possibly Marienburg Badstube, a second grade flax from Riga .

  MG = Marienburg Geschnitten, Second Quality Marienburg.

  MR = Marienburg Rakitzer = equivalent quality to Rein Hemp, Rhine Hemp

  MRC =  MC = Mohilow Russian Czukken hemp

  MRD = Marienburg Risten Dreibandt, Marienburg Bundle Threeband.

  NB = Notabene is another name for Paternoster

  NC = Newstadt Crown from Memel

  NP = Paternoster is also Badstuben Cut (Sent to Portugal)

  O = OTБOPHЬII (OTBORNI) is Select grade

  Obsolete Russian Measurement

   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsolete_Russian_units_of_measurement 

  OC = Oberland Crown from Tilsit

  OD = Ordinary Driebandt, Threeband.

  OH = OUTSHOT is short second sort hemp. 

  P = PICKED,  Puik (Pink)

  PD = Puik Driebandt, Picked Threeband,   pink threeband.

  PH = Puik Heide, PIicked Tow flax

  PH = PASS HEMP .. usually from Lithuania or Samogitia.

  PHD = Puik Hoff's Driebandt, Picked Threeband. (French) Pink Threeband from Livonia.

  PK. Pass Krown (flax) is very short but clean and  free of woody particles.

  PK = Picked Krown (Pink Kron) flax.

  PLD = Puik Livonian Dreibandt, Picked Linlandischan Threeband, Pink Livonian

  Dreibandt from Livonia.

  PSD = Puik Slansky Driebandt, Picked Slanitz Threeband,  pink Slansky threeband

  PW = Puik Wrack, Picked Brack, Pink Wrack flax

  PZ (ПЗ) is possibly ПEH ЗAБPAKЪ lowest quality hemp codilla.

  R (chista = clean) from Hemp seal of 1733

  R = Risten, bundles

  R = Rakitzer

  R = Risten, Bundle.

  RC = MRC = Mohilow Russian Czukken hemp

  RG = Rakitzer Geschnitten, lowest grade of Crown Cut Rakitzer.

  RH (MR) Rein (Rhine) Hemp is the longest best hemp, oily, strong and free of

    Codilla and woody particles .. sometimes listed as MR = Marienburg Rakitzer

  RSC = Russian Slanitz Crown from Memel

  S. Select is soft, silk-like flax in 3 grades

  S. Spinning grade

  S. Superior grade

  S = Sanft, Sweet, Superior

  SD = Slansky Driebandt, Slanitz Threeband.

  SFHD = Superior Fine Hoff's Threeband.

  S G = cut

  SH = Slansky Heide, Slanitz Tow

  SPK = Superior Picked Krown

  TR = Thiesenhausen Rakitzer, a type of High Quality Lithuanian flax grown on the estate of

  Count Thiesenhausen was of long harle, strong, even, clean, white and soft.

  W = Weiss, White .. is made up in bundles of 12, 9 and 6 heads called bobbins.

  W = Wrack (Brack) Bracked flax

  WC = Wilna Crown from Memel

  WFPHD White Fine Picked, Yellow (Hoff) Threeband flax

  WFPK White Fine Picked Crown flax

  WK = Wilma Krown on reverse of seals replacing NP

  WS = Wellish Slanitz or Wiasma Slanitz

  XHDX = Extra Hoff's Threeband flax

  XRX = Extra Rakitzer flax

  ZABR, ZABRACK, (ЗAБP, ЗAБPAKЪ) lowest quality hemp

  ZK = Zinc Crown (Zins Kron) flax

    To return to TOP of page click HERE

 

 

 Deciphering Russian State Arms Customs Tax Seals

obverse

Russian

State Arms

 The easy ones have an impression of the

 Russian State Arms on the front.

 (On city customs seals this is the arms of

 the city, such as St Petersburg or Riga.)

reverse

BEPЖБ.

cross

1873

 Here the city is BEPЖБ.  an abbreviation

  for VERZHB.(OLOV) which is modern

  day VIRBALIO in Lithuania .. 1873.

 There are a variety of different crosses.

   Less common types associated with flax and hemp are ..

obverse

1806  ЮБT

 A large single letter or symbol has

 on either side and this is a substitute for

 the missing State Arms Customs Logo

 where the reverse is blank.. The date is

 (1806) with letters around the rim.

 reverse

 

blank

 The reverse on these seals is always blank.

 The letters around the rim of the obverse

 are T*ПEPHOHCKOИ where the T is for

 TAMOЖHЯ = Customs Tax, & the rest

 Pernonskoi is a company or city name.

    Notes:- variations with the above seals are numerous.

  These are the Letters and Symbols for known dates

no photo

1803 eye

1804 bell

1805 A

1806 Б

1807 B

1808 Г

1809 Д

1810 E

               

  Similar City State Customs Tax Seals have plus the city name.

  obverse

1792  Ю(*)T
crimping tool

  The symbol* in the centre is the City Arms

  for St Petersburg. The letters around the

  edge say CAHKT ПETEPБПOT which is

  St Petersburg Port. Others are for Riga.

reverse

 

blank

 The reverse on these seals is always blank.

  Some have symbols on the obverse with

 seal crimping tools being common, keys,

 fish, and stylised ship's hulls, and more.

     To return to TOP of page click HERE  

 


   Deciphering NP Flax Seals 1754 - 1828 ..  example

  NP was the state control used for flax seals before 1829 by all ports.

obverse

ЛД
Ф:КОC
ТИНЬ
H32

 ЛД = LD = L'nyanoy Dosmotr = Flax Inspector
 Ф:КОC = F:KOS (first part of the name).
 ТИНЬ = TIN (second part of the name).

 total name F.KOSTIN (Ь is end of name).

  H32 = N32 = the post number.

 reverse

NP

AP12H

1799

 NP = Used for flax until 1829 by all ports.

 AP = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 12H = 12 flax heads in a bale. (This could be 6H,

 9H or 12H  .. also 6K, 9K, 12K would be best

 quality K (kron) Crown grade heads in the bale.

 1799 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

           

 NP are the most common types of seals with many 1000's found throughout the UK .. there

 are a few confusing P, NП, ИП, ИP seals out there mis-carved by the seal maker.

P mis-carved NP  mis-carved NP    ИP mis-carved NP

 

     To return to TOP of page click HERE       

 

 

 Deciphering WK Flax Seals 1754 - 1828 ..  example

   WK and WU follow the same rules as NP seals

obverse

ЛД
И.ПEЛ
EПEЛ
H129

 ЛД = LD = L'nyanoy Dosmotr = Flax Inspector

 (early seals have ДA Desyatnik = Quality Control Officer
 И.ПEЛ = I.PEL (first part of the name).
 EПEЛ = EPEL (second part of the name).

 total name is I.PELEPEL.

  H129 = N129 = the post number.

 reverse
WK
ИФ12K
1827

 WK = the state control used until 1829 by some ports.

 ИФ (IF) = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 12K = 12 Crown grade flax heads in a bale. (This could

 be 6K, 9K or 12K  .. also 6H, 9H, 12h would be the

 ordinary grade heads in a bale.

 1827 = date of the inspection, grading or "brack".

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

 

  ЛД (LD with) WK  ДA (DA with) WK  Number Only Seal with WU

 

  WK, WU are a smaller state or company district control than the normal NP control.

    It is thought WK stands for a high quality Wilma Krown flax.

 

     To return to TOP of page click HERE

 

 

 Deciphering SPB Flax Seals 1829 - 1850 ..  example

  SPB = state control used for flax seals after 1829 by all ports.

  SPB was used by Non-Russian traders and CПБ by Russian traders.

obverse

ЛД
B:BОЛ
KOBЬ
H78

 ЛД = LD = L'nyanoy Dosmotr = Flax Inspector
 B:BОЛ = V:VOL (first part of the name).
 KOBЬ = KOV (second part of the name).

 total name V.VOLKOV (Ь is end of name).

  H78 = N78 = the post number.

 reverse

SPB

NP_1

I.C.

1829

 SPB = Used for flax after 1829 by all ports.

 NP_1 = Flax Grade No.1 (or NP_2 and NP_3)

 I.C.= initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 1829 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

        

    To return to TOP of page click HERE        

 

 


  Deciphering CПБ Flax Seals 1829 - 1850 ..  example

  CПБ (SPB) = state control used for flax seals after 1829 by all ports.

  CПБ was used by Russian traders and SPB by Non-Russian Traders

obverse

ЛД
B:BОЛ
KOBЬ
H78

 ЛД = LD = L'nyanoy Dosmotr = Flax Inspector
 B:BОЛ = V:VOL (first part of the name).
 KOBЬ = KOV (second part of the name).

 total name V.VOLKOV (Ь is end of name).

  H78 = N78 = the post number.

 reverse

CПБ
HoП.2
A.Б
1829

 

CПБ = Used for flax after 1829 by all ports.

 HoП.2 = Flax Grade No.2 (or HoП.1 or  HoП.3)

 A.Б (AB) = initials of previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 1829 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

  Notes:- variations are numerous. CПБ is the Cyrillic letters for SPB.

        

  To return to TOP of page click HERE       

 


 Deciphering RH Rein Hemp Seals 1737 - 1747.

The earliest dated lead seals are hemp seals with SPB, RH and a date.

 RH meaning Rein (Rhine) Hemp and not the usual inspector initials.

 

 

obverse

SPB
R:H
1747

 

 

 

 

 

 

 SPB = Used for hemp seals by all ports.
 R:H = REIN (RHINE) HEMP.
 1747 =
the date of inspection.

 On paper .. MR = Marienburg Rakitzer is used

 for Rhine Hemp but it is not on the lead seals

 

 reverse

always

blank

 

 THE REVERSE IS ALWAYS BLANK

  However there can be elaborate shapes in the form

 of ornate C or y shapes (not  letters) to either side

 of the initials RH on the obverse above the date.

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

SPB RH 1737 SPB RH 1739 SPB RH 1741 SPB RH 1744 SPB RH 1746 SPB RH 1747

 

     To return to TOP of page click HERE         

 


 Deciphering SPB Hemp Seals 1740 - 1828 .. example

  SPB = state control used for all hemp seals at all ports until 1828

  after which the labelling of hemp seals was restricted to a very few

  ПИЛПД= PiLPD type seals 1829 -1840.
  SPB was used by Non-Russian traders and CПБ by Russian traders.

obverse

ПД
И.ШEP
AПOBЬ
H31

(Hemp Seals must be ПД = PD,  not ЛД = LD flax)

 

 ПД = PD = Penkovy Dosmotr = Hemp Inspector
 И.ШEP = I.SHER (first part of the name).
 AПOBЬ = APOV (second part of the name).

 total name I.SHERAPOV (Ь is end of name).

  H31 = N31 = the post number.

 reverse

SPB

АЧРН

1818

SPB = Used for all hemp until 1828 by all ports.

АЧ = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

РН = Pass Hemp (or Puik Heide, Picked Tow)

1818 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

  Notes:- variations are numerous. (SPB also shortened to SP in rare cases)

        

  

   To return to TOP of page click HERE        

 


 Deciphering CПБ Hemp Seals 1829 - 1841.. example

  CПБ = state control used for all hemp seals at all ports from 1829

   ПД = Penkovy Dosmotr = Hemp Inspector with grading as ПEH.1, 2, 3 grade hemp.. 

   or  ПИЛПД = PiLPD = Hemp and Flax Dockside Inspector .. with ЛЗ2H (LZ2H) where

   LZ are the Agents initials and 2H is 2nd Sort Tow (Heide).

obverse

ПД
П:CO
MOBЪ
N6

Hemp must be ПД = PD or ПИЛПД = PiLPD

 

 ПД = PD = Penkovy Dosmotr = Hemp Inspector
 П:CO
= P.SO (first part of the name).
 MOBЪ
= MOV (second part of the name).

 total name P.SOMOV (Ь is end of name).

  N6 = N6 = the post number.

 reverse

CПБ
ПEH.1
ГБ
1834

 

CПБ = Used for all hemp from 1829 by all ports.

ПEH.1 = PEN.1 = Grade 1 Hemp.

ГБ (GB) = initials of previous Grower/Owner/Agent

1834 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

  Notes:- variations are numerous.

        

  ПД (PD with) ПEH.1,2,3     ПД (PD with) ПEH.1,2,3        ПИЛПД 1, 2, 3 grade Tow

 

     To return to TOP of page click HERE      

 


  Deciphering PiLPD Hemp Seals
1829 - 1841.

  PiLPD (ПИЛПД) seals were introduced in 1829 to cater for hemp

  as the vast majority of  SPB and CПБ seals after 1829 are flax.

  All the known PiLPD (ПИЛПД) SPB and CПБ seals are hemp.

  PiLPD (ПИЛПД) = Penkovy i L'nyanoy Portovy Dosmotr

  = Hemp and Flax Port Inspector or "Dockside Inspectors."

obverse

ПИЛПД
П.KAЛT

УШKИH

H9

 

 ПИЛПД = PiLPD = Hemp and Flax Port Dockside Inspector
 П.KAЛT
= P.KALT (first line of name)

 УШKИH = USHKIN (second line of name)

 total name = P.KALTUSHKIN

 H9 = N9 = post number

 

reverse

CПБ
ЛЗ2H
1833

 

 CПБ = and SPB used with PiLPD by all ports.

 ЛЗ (LZ) = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 2Н = 2nd Sort Tow (Heide)

 1833 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

reverse

SPB
ЛЗ2H
1819

 

  SPB = and CПБ  used with PiLPD by all ports.

 ЛЗ (LZ) = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 2Н = 2nd Sort Tow (Heide)

 1819 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

    To return to TOP of page click HERE         

 

  Deciphering Numbers Only Seals 1747 - 1822.

  Numbers Only seals are for flax with NP, WK or for hemp with SPB.

obverse

N
49

 N 49 = Number 49 post

 Some numbers are written No 49

 There are at least 66 known Numbers Only Posts

reverse

NP
AN12FE
1760

 

 NP = used for flax seals.

 AN = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 12FE = 12 Fein E??? grade flax

 1760 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

reverse

WK
SB12AO
1757

 

 WK = used for flax seals.

 SB = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 12AO = 12 A clean, O Otborni select grade flax

 1757 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

reverse

SPB
ARHN
1759

 

 SPB = used for hemp seals.

 AR = initials of the previous Grower/Owner/Agent

 HN = possibly Yellow Notabene Tow hemp.

 1757 = date of inspection, grading or "brack".

   Note :- there are no CПБ Numbers Only seals that we know of to date

 No 4 NP No 9 NP No 10 NП  N 20 SPB No 24 SPB N 25 WK No 60 WK

  

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 Deciphering Paired Inspector Seals -
early 19th Century

   These inspectors worked in pairs when assessing the quality of the flax or hemp. It is said

 they were paired by drawing lots. Personally I think these could well have been experienced

 managers with apprentices. Most paired seals do not have dates or ports of inspection but

 some of the junior inspectors went on to have their own SPB flax seals so these seals were

 more than likely after 1829 when the system changed (and are like ПИЛПД = PiLPD seals)

 ЛПC (Flax Dockside Senior inspector) ППC (Hemp Dockside Senior inspector)

 ЛП (Flax Dockside {Port} inspector) or ПП (Hemp Dockside {Port} inspector)

 

ND

002/3/4
Bentham

ЛПC = LPS

П.БAЛOБAHOB

(P.BALOBANOV)

H2 (flax)

ЛП = LP

B.COMPEKOB

(V.SOMREKOV)

H2 (flax)

Cr

002

Cromarty

ППC = PPS

H.ГAVAЛГИHЬ

(N.GAVALGIN)

H.2. (hemp)

ПП = PP

HABATOBЪ

(NAVATOV)

H 2. (hemp)

 

 A Paired Company seal of Fedosei Damatskoi with Hills and Wishaw  - 1847

IDS
6
82

AB ДAMAЦKOИ
1847  CПБ 
ФEДOCEИ

HILLS &
II
WISHAW

 

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 Deciphering Hills & Wishaw Seals -
early 19th Century

   Hills and Wishaw (ХИЛЛCЪ И BИШAУ) set up businesses in Archangel in 1842.

  They used the flax from a district of Russia called Vologda (BOЛOГДA) and put this name

  on their Archangel seals. Their notation was I.I. instead of the normal AP (Archangel Port).

   They also had premises in St Petersburg where they were in partnership with a company

   called AB Damatskoi (ДAMAЦKOИ) in the late 1840's and had paired company seals.

 

Folly
Ghyll
Man
FG01

I.I.

ХИЛЛCЪ

И BИШAУ

1862 П

KУДEЛЬ

1" COPT (1st Sort)

BOЛOГДA

IDS
681

I.I.

ХИЛЛCЪ

И BИШAУ

1864 П

KУДEЛЬ

1" COPT (1st Sort)

BOЛOГДA

JS 241

DMP 07

no photo

I.I.

ХИЛЛCЪ

И BИШAУ

1864 П

no photo

KУДEЛЬ
1" COPT (1st Sort)
BOЛOГДA

 

 A Paired Company seal of Fedosei Damatskoi with Hills and Wishaw  - 1847

IDS
6
82

AB ДAMAЦKOИ
1847  CПБ 
ФEДOCEИ

HILLS &
II
WISHAW

 

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 Deciphering T, Star & Crescent Seals 
1770 - 1792

  Some early seals have mysterious symbols, not all have known meanings.

 

NP
HP12H
1786
*T*

   Some seals have an unusual *T* notation under the date.

 The reason for this is not clear but it may be a seal maker's

 mark or it could indicate a Customs Tax seal where

 T = TAMOЖHЯ (Tamozhnya) = Customs.

NP
CFK12K
1786
(Crescent)

   Another seal has a horizontal crescent under the date, which
 is the base of an anchor signifying the Owner anchor their
 faith in Jesus Christ.

*NP*
AMK12H
*1777*

  Most seals have star designs on them, or could they be flax

  flowers, and they were thought to be just space fillers, however

  they're separators of block of information. NP*AMK12H*1777.

   .. except as below ..

ПД
Н.СЕ
ЛИНЬ
*

  When a * replaces a post number under the inspectors name

  and the designation is ПД (hemp inspector) it confirms that

  the seal is in fact a hemp seal. Useful when ПД is missing.

     

         

  Other symbols are a fish, keys, ship's hull, seal crimping tool and many more.

 

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  Deciphering Circular Dated Seals - Russian Crosslet Seals

  Circular Dated seals are custom tax seals. CПБ.TA.OTP.TOB is a for St Petersburg.

  CПБ (St Petersburg) TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) OTPACЛЬ (Department) TOBAP (Goods)

  The date is read in a clockwise direction starting with a 1 that is followed by a 7 or 8.

 

IDS
262

*C.П.Б.T.OT.TO
1853

Thistle

blank

St Petersburg

IDS
681

???T.PИ? (Riga)

1815

shield with crescent

blank

 

Riga

 

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    Deciphering Pavlov Star Seals

   One of the rarer seals .. the 18 known Pavlov Stars have all

  been found in the seal fields at Bentham Mills

  The obverse has a central six pointed Star of David with Ф.ПABЛOBЬ (F.PAVLOV)

  in Cyrillic and P.H.PAWLOW in Latin. All the seals are identical, except in condition.

 

star
001

Ф.ПABЛOBЬ
(F.PAVLOV)
P.H.PAWLOW.

S. PETERSBURG
Caduceus

  The reverse has a Caduceus with flax flowers and S. PETERSBURG in Latin.

  Many Jews in St Petersburg were involved in the Flax trade and other traded goods..

  The Caduceus is the winged staff of the messenger god Hermes who was the patron

  of  trade & journeys. A suitable logo for a company shipping trade goods overseas.

 

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  Deciphering Alexander Shubin Friendship Seals

  Very rare seal .. the 13 known Alexander Shubin Seals have all

   been found in the seal fields at Bentham Mills

  Obverse . AЛEKCEH ШУБИHЬ,  ANCHOURER, LEPOTASTPETERSBOURG.

          (ALEXANDER SHUBIN, ANCHOR MAKER, THE PORT OF ST PETERSBURG)

  The anchor was an important part of the City Arms of St Petersburg.

  (Schourer being a family name from German or French Elsass, possibly a Jewish name,

   and Le Port a St Petersbourgh is French for The Port of St Petersburg)

 

ALT
01

AЛEKCEH ШУБИHЬ
(ALEXANDER SHUBIN)

ANOCHOURER

EPORTASTPETERSBOURG.

WREATH
CLASPED HANDS
ALTAR or ANVIL

  The reverse has a wreath of flax flowers, with clasped Hands of Friendship, on what

  could be an altar or a blacksmith's anvil.

 

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   Deciphering   Inland (Selo) Trading Seals

 ДЕРЕВНЯ (Derevhya) in Russian means village, countryside, hamlet, settlement.  Whereas CEЛO (Selo) is specifically a village only. These are Selo seals.

   Selo Goritsy, Dunilovo, Pavlovo, Pistsovo, Pshenichnovo, Teilkovo, Zaichina and

 several others merged as a trading block dealing with flax products. raw fibre, seeds.

 Also the Kobel'kov family in Selo Goritsy were heavily involved in the fur and pelt

 trade and these seals could be for the fur trade, including hare pelts and sheep skin,

 fur coats and hats, feathers and down, horse hair, ox & cow horns & bones, wool,

 and even bear skins. The names are traders not "export" flax inspectors ..

  Obverse:- CEЛO ГOPИЦЫ  (SELO GORITSY)

JS

CEЛO ГOPИЦЫ

(SELO GORITSY)

ИC
KOБEЛЬKOBЬ
(IS. KOBEL'KOV)

  Reverse:-  ИC KOБEЛЬKOBЬ  (IS. KOBEL'KOV)

 

  Obverse:- C ДУHИЛOBO (Selo DUNILOVO)

 IDS

423

C ДУHИЛOBO

(Selo DUNILOVO)

ДУДИHЬ
(MG.DUDIN)

  Reverse:-  MГ ДУДИHЬ  (MG.DUDIN) 

 

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  Deciphering   Dutch Customs Tax Seals

Dutch Customs Tax Seals are

a common find throughout the

country.  The obverse has the

crowned Dutch shield bearing

the rampant lion of Holland.

 On the reverse the number of

 a customs post and the letters

 R & A = Regten en Accynsen

(Customs and Excise).

 Some of these seals could be associated with flax and hemp but they were used

for a huge` variety of imported goods.

    For more Dutch Customs Seals  .. click HERE. 

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  Deciphering  Russian Railroad Seals

   The Russian railway system merged nearly 20 major railway lines in the second

 half of the 19th century. Goods were transported in special sealed packages or

 even sealed wagons and they are found in abundance all over the Russian Empire.

   The arrival of the railways diverted huge quantities of goods away from the smaller

 flax exporting ports in favour of the direct overland transportation to Germany.

  Seals have been found throughout the UK but not in any great number.

 The principal commodities transported for the export trade were iron, copper,

 hemp, first, second and third sort flax, codilla, cordage, tallow and tallow candles,

 wax and wax candles, soap, potash, hemp seed oil, linseed oil, isinglass, tobacco

 leaves, horse hair, treacle, bristles, Muscovy leather, sole leather, tar, pitch, linen

 yarn, mats, feathers and down, wool, caviar, tea, hops, horsetails, hare skins,

 Morocco bear skins, calve skins, deals, spars, quills, hats, ox and deer tongues,

 glass of different kinds, sailcloth, ravenduck, drillings, different kinds of napkin

 cloth, wheat, rye, linseed, flems, linen of different sorts, ox and cow horns and

 bones, and other lesser goods.

 

   СТ. = СТАНЦ. = СТАНЦИЯ = Station   //   Ж.Д = Zh.D = Railroad

RR01

CT.
2 IЮH 15
CУДЖEHKA

 TOMCK
Ж.Д
F314
№1

 Station / 2nd June 1915 / Sudzhenka ... Tomsk / Railroad / F314 / №1

  

RR06 СТАНЦ.
26 ABГ 1903
TAГAHAШЪ

KONTPOЛ
A 767
K.X.C.Ж.Д

 St / 26th Aug 1903 / Taganash .. Control / A767 / Kursk-Kharkov-Sebastopol R.

   

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   Deciphering   Soviet "Gostorg" Seals

 The first ‘gostorgs’ were set up in the USSR [in Russian, CCCP] in April 1922 and

 were responsible for the export of Soviet goods and the import of foreign goods into

 the Soviet Union. The word Gostorg is made up of parts of two Russian words:

 GOSudarstvenya (State or Government) and TORGovlya (Trading Company).

     

 The initials HKT (HKBT) stand for the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Trade.

IDS

322

H.K.T  ГOCTOPГ

(H.K.T GOSTORG)

Г.П.C.K  XOЛOДИЛЬHИK
(G.P.S.K KHOLODIL'NIK)

 People’s Commissariat of Foreign Trade Gostorg.  SoleTrader GPSK.Kholodil'nik.

  

Gos

002

ГOCTOPГA

(GOSTORGA)

БACA (BASA)

        'BASA GOSTORGA'. is 'the warehouse/storehouse of the Gostorg'.

   

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Lead Trading Token Types from West House Mill

 There are hundreds of different lead trading tokens dating from the 12th century

 and although they have similar designs these were made in the 18th/19th century.

     

 Types of Tokens commonly found at West House Mill and Apprentice House are

 more than likely Lead Trading Tokens but are possibly Gaming counters.

1P

12

Ring &

 Pellet

Blank

13.8 grams

23x20x4.5

+

21

+ Cross

4 pellets

Blank

12.5 grams

22x22x4

x

01

X Cross

5 pellets

Blank

7.3 grams

18x17.5x4

H

01

3 pellet

checker

hybrid

blank

8.8 grams

23x23x2.5

##

17

Checks

Blank

11.2 grams

24x21x4

6P

09

6 pellets

heavy design

Blank

14.8 grams

20x20x6.5

SW

01

5 Petal

Flower

Blank

12.8 grams

23x20x4.5

HM

07

Royal

Crown

I.M

35.9 grams

30x30x7

SW

03

Pizza

8 slice

Blank

10.9 grams

26x26x3

 

   There are other designs in lesser quantities

    To return to TOP of page click HERE  

    For more Trading Tokens - 18th/19th Century           

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Copyright 2020 © Ged Dodd

 aka PeaceHavens Project

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