In Russia the currency is the rouble = 100 kopecks. At that time there was a silver and a paper currency (assignate). Some conversions:

In 1822:
1 silver kopeck (Копейка, Kopejka) = 6 kopeck assignat (paper kopeck).
1 German gute Groschen = 1½ Dutch stuiver = approximately 4 silver kopecks = 24 kopecks assignat.

In 1838: 1 Silbergroschen = 3 Prussian or Polish Groschen = approximately 3 silver kopecks.
In 1840: 1 silver kopeck = 3½ kopeck assignat.
In 1843: 1 Silbergroschen = 1¼ kopeck assignat.

Time reckoning

Until February 1918, the Julian calendar was used in Russia, the Gregorian in Finland. From March 1800 to the end of February 1900 our Gregorian calendar is 12 days later and from March 1900 13 days.

Dating of a letter in Julian and Gregorian calendar, 9 September and 21 September 1849 respectively.

Postal rates

As of 8 October 1816, the postage calculated by Russia for letters from the Netherlands was determined as follows:

  1. postage from the Netherlands to the Russian border office Polangen (is 471 kopeck assignat) +
  2. postage to the main post office Saint Petersburg or Riga +
  3. distance sport to the post office at the addressee's place.

On 12 December 1821, a postal treaty was concluded between Prussia and Russia which came into effect on September 1, 1822..

For letters from Russia to the northern part of the Netherlands, the postage to be paid for the first weight class up to 1 lead via the Russian Border Post Office Palanga (German: Polangen) and the Prussian office Immersatt in the place Nimmersatt (Memel):

  1. the Russian inland rate to the Russian Border Post Office Polangen +
  2. the postage from Polangen to Memel ad 1½ Prussian Groschen = ½ Silbergroschen = 9 kopeck assignat +
  3. the Prussian transit postage from Memel to the Emmerich Border Post Office (postage list 1822: 264 kopeck assignat = 44 silver kopecks = 44 Prussian Groschen = 11 gute Groschen x 1½ = 16½ stuiver) +
  4. the postage from the Prussian border office in Emmerich to the Dutch Border Post Office in Arnhem (1814-1817: 2 stuiver and 1 gute Groschen respectively) +
  5. the Dutch inland postage to the place of destination.

Handstamp of the Prussian Border Post Office MEMEL.

Hammer handstamp PRUISSEN / A of the Border Post Office in A = Arnhem.

Mail could also be sent via the Russian Border Post Office Tauroggen in connection with the Prussian in Schmalleningken (Tilsit).

According to a rate list from Memel dated 30 September 1822, the postage to be paid by a sender was all the way to the destination Zwolle: the Russian domestic rate to the border office Polanen + from Polangen to Zwolle 345 kopeck assignat.

From 1830 there were also regular sailings with mail transport by steamer between Kronstadt (port city near St. Petersburg) and Lübeck and from 1843 with Stettin. The rates were the same as overland via Memel.

Advertisement in Journal de La Haye, 15 April 1835.

As of 1 November 1837, the Prussian share from Memel to Emmerich became 17 Silbergroschen = 45½ Prussian Groschen = 105 cents.

Due to the Russo-Prussian postal convention of 2 June 2 1843 (Russian Julian calendar: May 21, 1843) and the Dutch Circular 331 of 19 October 1843, it was no longer compulsory to frank letters in Russia up to the Dutch border. The addressee in the Netherlands then had to pay: 17 Silbergroschen Prussian transit share = rounded up to 105 cents + the Dutch inland postage.

As of 1 January 1844 (postal treaty Prussia-Russia) the postage for a letter from Russia up to a Cologne lead (14.6 grams) consisted of:

  1. Russian postage up to the border: 10 silver kopecks +
  2. transit postage for Prussia: 10 Silbergroschen = 32½ silver kopecks +
  3. Dutch postage to the place of destination: 4 Silbergroschen = 13 silver kopecks.

On December 13, 1849, the Prussian transit postage became 26 silver kopecks = 8 Silbergroschen and with the entry into force of the DÖPV in 1850 3 Silbergroschen = 10 silver kopecks.

In 1856 Eydtkuhnen became the Prussian Border Post Office. This place was closer to the railway line to Königsberg and Berlin.


According to Circular 331, postage for letters from the Netherlands to Russia could also be fully or partially prepaid from 1 November 1843. The rate for a letter up to 16 wigtjes or grams (Dutch weight progression; from 1 September 1850 15 wigtjes) consisted of the Dutch inland postage to the Border Post Office + ƒ 1.05 transito postage + 20 cents to any place in Russia.

From 1 April 1852, the rates in the Netherlands for letters to any destination in Russia or Finland and also to Poland, were up to 15 wigtjes:


Dutch share in cent
German share
in Sgr

Russian share
in Sgr

In total in cent
5 / 10 *)
45 / 50 *)
2 / 3 **)
25 / 30 **)
20 / 30 ***)

*) For destinations in the Netherlands up to and including 30 km from the border, lower rates applied until 1-1-1864; for the 1st weight class: 5 cent less.

**) rate for sent prepaid / received unfranked.

***) closed mail

Finland belonged to Sweden until the early 18th century. Finland became a Grand Duchy in 1809. The first Grand Duke was Alexander I, the Tsar of Russia. Finland thus retained a lot of autonomy. In 1917 it became an independent republic.

Until 1 December 1863, the Russian rouble was the currency, then the own markkaa = 100 penniä.

The postal connection with the Netherlands was usually via Turku (Swedish: Åbo), Eckerö (Åland) and Grisslehamn in Sweden and onward via Denmark and/or Germany to the Netherlands. See also the section on Sweden. The connection was also possible over land, around the Bothnian Sea via Tornio (Swedish: Torneå) and Haparanda, but that took a few weeks. Due to blockades during the Crimean War (1854-1856), the route via Åland could not be used and the long route had to be chosen.

The mail was also sent via Saint Petersburg via Prussia to the Netherlands.

German share
in Sgr

Netherlands share
in Sgr

In total
in penniä


Last update 27.09.2023 8:59 PM->

Copyright © 2019 - G.L. van Welie FRPSL
Secretary of the Nederlandse Academie voor Filatelie
Representative of the Royal Philatelic Society London for the Netherlands

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