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History of Riga

 Click Here for the database of Crossed Key Seals

  Riga was first time mentioned in written sources in 1198 as a town at small river Riga (Ridzene) in the land of Livonian people (Finnish tribe). City rights were granted in 1201 by the bishop Albert, initiator of christening and conquest of Livonian and Baltic people. He introduced also an explanation of city name as derived from Latin "rigata" ("irrigated"). It should symbolize an irrigation of dry pagan souls by Christianity.   The first known picture of the city arms is from 1225 seal. It contains the main elements of arms: city gate with towers and two keys. The gate symbolizes city rights and keys symbolize St. Peter, first patron of Riga.   In the upper part there was also a bishop's sceptre. It was replaced with the cross of Teutonic Order, when Riga fell to this Order. 

1225 1368 1586

1707

 This element of the arms was most flexible: every new senior of the city replaced it with his own symbol: Swedish king's or Russian emperor's crown, and the communists' five-pointed red star.
   The lion's head in the city gate was added after 1621, when most of Latvia fell to the Sweden. The Lion symbolized dependence to the Swedish Kingdom.
  Two supporting lions were added to the arms no later than in 16th century. Meaning citizens' power and bravery. The lions were derived from the Swedish national arms. Lions were substituted by halves of Russian eagle in the time of Russian empire (from 1710 to 1914).

1788 1904 1925 1988

In 1923 the lions were restored. In 1925 the new design of the arms was adopted. The arms were abolished in 1940, when Latvia was annexed by USSR. In 1968 efforts were taken to restore the arms with soviet-style adaptations. In 1988 the arms were restored similar to the arms of 1925, but with red five-pointed star.  In 1990 the design of 1925 was confirmed again.

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 History of Riga Warehouse District

 Riga in 1612 - http://www.spikeri.lv/en/spikeri-2/history/

 

The Riga Warehouse district between present Maskavas, Turgeneva and Krasta Street, until the liquidation of Riga fortress (from 1857 to 1863), was located outside the ramparts of the fortress and was known as Lastadija – which in German means cargo loading and unloading place. The first time Lastadija was mentioned in historical materials was in 1348 when boatmen, raftsmen, merchants, and peasants that had run away from their serf-owners lived in Lastadija and built here their huts. It was in the swampy lowlands, along the main road that led to the East, the first barns, warehouses and pubs began to appear. The first legal building in Lastadija was constructed only after 1582, when the building wood-only houses was allowed at sufficient distance from the city walls and ramparts. These rules were valid until the liquidation of the fortress. Mills, barns, warehouses, workshops, residential buildings, merchant's` farms, pubs, schools and churches have been built here. Exports of goods from the East to the West through Riga have played a significant role in making the city rich. Exports of such goods as grain, hemp, flax, mast trees and fat – dominated, but in the 18th century leaf tobacco, timber, sailcloth and other goods gained importance as exports. Demand for spars, barrel staves, the flax and hemp necessary for ship rigging was promoted by the growth of ocean navigation as a result of the major geographical discoveries, as well as by direct sea wars between maritime nations. The principles of good sorting and weighing were strict in Riga and they gave high incomes to the city. City scales have been set in the market places in Riga since the middle Ages; scales having to be used compulsory for the weighing of goods for export. The New scales placed in Lastadija became a special place, because it was not possible to re-weigh all goods using the Old scales in the Town Hall Square. In the 18th century, in Maskavas Street in the Red Sheds quarter the Hemp scales were located, and at the end of Kārļa Street the General Goods scales were located.  On the Riga map in 1803, along the bank of the river warehouses are shown: potash, tobacco, wool, lime, hemp sheds, as well as other sheds for storage of different materials which were used  for about a century

Riga Excise Duty Seals

IDS
828

A.G.RUHTENBERG
RIGA

K.KUCHCZYNSKI Co.

RIGA

eBay

IDS
1268

A.G.RUHTENBERG
RIGA

 K.KUCHCZYNSKI Co.

RIGA

eBay

IDS
1269

A.G.RUHTENBERG
RIGA

 K.KUCHCZYNSKI Co.

RIGA

eBay

IDS
1805

A.G.RUHTENBERG
RIGA

 K.KUCHCZYNSKI Co.

RIGA

eBay

   The Rutenberga tobacco factory was founded in 1839, and was created by the firm "Koffsky & Kuchczynski", which owned 100% of the company's shares. Originally, the company was named Dibinatajfirmas but one of the founding members - Konstantin Kucinska, 1861, died in 1864, whereupon Kucinska R.Simons, AG Rutenbergs and V.Feldts bought shares . In 1877 and 1880 AG Rutenbergs bought out the other two companion's brands and in 1881 AG Rotenberg's company name was changed from "K.Kuczynski & Ko." to the "AGRuhtenberg".  In 1905 the factory was inherited by Rotenberg's three sons. Until 1890 the factory produced cigars, but in this year it also started to make cigarettes  and cigarette tobacco. In 1907 the factory had 2 gas engines, 7 tobacco cutting machines, 8 cigarette wrapping machine, 2 paper cutting machines.  At the beginning the factory had 700 workers. Rutenberga cigarette factory can be described as women's business, because it employed 630 women.  The turnover in 1907 was 1,060,000 rubles, of which 516 thousand rubles was paid in Excise Duty to the government.

Click on a thumbnail to see some of Ruhtenberg's cigarette brands

 

Riga Excise Duty Seals

    The German Connection at Riga

   During many centuries of war and changes of power in the Baltic, and despite demographic changes, the Baltic Germans in Riga had maintained a dominant position. By 1867 Riga’s population was 42.9% German. Riga employed German as its official language of administration until the installation of Russian in 1891 as the official language in the Baltic provinces, as part of the policy of Russianification of the non-Russian speaking territories of the Russian Empire, which included Congress Poland, Finland and the Baltics, undertaken by Tsar Alexander III.

  More and more Latvians started moving to the city during the mid-19th century.

IDS

1286

ДРЕИМАНЪ
& БЛОКЪ
РИГА

DREYMANN
& BLOCK
RIGA

Latvia

IDS

1287

ДРЕИМАНЪ
& БЛОКЪ
РИГА

DREYMANN
& BLOCK
RIGA

Latvia

IDS

1500

ФАБРИКА (factory)
Ф.ЛУДВИГА (F.Ludviga)

въ РИГѢ
(Head Office in Riga)

blank

product
unknown

IDS

1583

RIGA

KOTELLDA

Latvia

IDS 1583  KOTEL may be the Western Wall or Wailing Wall of Solomon's Temple in the

 city of Jerusalem  .. there were certainly many Jews in Riga in the 18th/19th century.

IDS

1584

Crossed Keys
oval bows suggest
early18th/late 19th century

Ш П З

(Sh P Z)

Latvia

 

The Adolph Sellmer Company

 Adolph Sellmer resided at 11 Boulevard Nicolai in Riga - counter at number 5 of the Wallstrass (Adressbuch 1877 Riga) and was an import/export merchant who,  like many other merchants of Riga, was doing Trade with Western Europe.  It is thought he was a German Jew. 

IDS

1296

A.SELLMER
RIGA

1886

UK

IDS

1297

A.SELLMER
RIGA

1887

Nigel Nicholson
UK Bagseals.org

IDS

1298

A.SELLMER
* RIGA

1903

Wim de Sutter
East Flanders
Belgium

 

JR & Company (Import Export)

IDS

1299

J R & Co
RIGA

1891

 Wim de Sutter
East Flanders
Belgium

IDS

1300

J R & Co
RIGA

1925

  Wim de Sutter
East Flanders
Belgium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Riga Black Balsam Seals click here RIGA BLACK BALSAM

 

     More Russian State Arms Custom Seals for Riga

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail  

IDS
700

 

 

blank

Riga (detail)
Customs Seal

PIЖAПOPTA

Riga Port  1787
Ю   T    (key)

Falkirk

1 FALKM: 1985.74.4

see
IDENT

BR
Cust
001

blank
Customs Seal

PIЖOПOPTA
Riga Port  1781
Ю    T
  see
Brompton

IDS
342

blank
Customs Seal

PI*ЖAПOPTA

Riga Port   1792
Ю  arms  T

  see
IDENT

IDS
637

blank
Customs Seal

PIЖOПOPTA

Riga Port  1782
Ю arms   T

Adam Daubney
Gainsborough
see
IDENT

IDS
1195

*РИЖОИ.ТА.ПЕН.Т
large oval
1808

Blank
Riga

large oval
(ПЕН = Hemp)

    РИЖОИ = Riga

TAMOЖHЯ (Customs)

ПЕНKA = Hemp

TOBAP = Goods

IDS
1376

РИГСК.ТА.ОТ.ТО

182(9)

shield in centre

two pellets

usually blank

Riga

Kenneth Olsen
Vestfold
Norway

РИГСК (Riga)

TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) OTPACЛЬ (Department) TOBAP (Goods)

IDS

1471

ПОРТА PИЖСКОЙ
Riga Port
1788  Ю
Russian arms T
(padlock)

The reverse usually has the double

 headed Russian State Arms. When blank there is a Ю symbol on the obverse ., a small   Russian State Arms Symbol, and a T for tax.

Arjen Spieß Winkel
Flensburg, Germany

IDS
1599

РИГСК.ТА.ОТ.ТО
1804
Ю bell T

usually blank

William
T Spencer
UK

РИГСК (Riga)

TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) OTPACЛЬ (Department)

 TOBAP (Goods)

RR18

М.Ж.Д  (M.Zh.D)
MOSKOW RAIL ROAD
РИГА (RIGA)

16 // IV
16th APRIL

eBay

Latvia

RR19

М.Ж.Д  (M.Zh.D)
MOSKOW RAIL ROAD
РИГА (RIGA)

18 // IV
18th APRIL

eBay

Latvia

 

The Crossed Anchor and Grapnel Seals                  

It was mistakenly thought that the Crossed Anchor & Grapnel represented ONLY Saint Petersburg.
 Well it does but only when it is crossed with a Sceptre making it the capital of Russia but on their

own the Crossed Anchor and Grapnel have another meaning which is used for many cities with ports.

  The anchor on the left represents the sea, while the grapnel on the right represents the river.

Together they mean that the city has both river and sea ports.

IDS

1478

?ТРАНПОРТАРИЖСКОИ?
TRAN PORT RIGA
1788  Crossed Anchor/Grapnel

(padlock)

blank

found by
Arjen Spieß Winkel
Flensburg, Germany

IDS

1479

РИЖ/СКО/???/ПРТ
RIGA PORT
1787  Crossed Anchor/Grapnel

(key)

blank

found by
Arjen Spieß Winkel
Flensburg, Germany

 

Other ports with the Crossed Anchor and Grapnel on the database include

                     

           Archangel 1795      Novgorodskoi 1780      Kronshtadt 1779

see http://www.peacehavens.co.uk/BSRIVERSEA.htm

 

 

19th Century Riga State Arms Custom Seals

In Russian   РИЖСК  = Riga        TAMOЖHЯ = Customs Tax

 Latvian MUITINE  Таможенные органы  The CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES

 

20th Century Riga State Arms Custom Seals

In Latvian  RIGAS MUITA is Riga Customs Tax Authority

Our Project Member Jacek Staniszewski suggests these small seals

were used  for packages of postal documents, because those used for

Rye/Flax/Hemp/Flour/Railway and by Merchants are usually twice the size.

 

Riga City in 1650

 

  

 

 Riga waterfront in 1861

 

 

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Director of The PeaceHavens Project.
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