VOSTOK-1

The flight of Yuri Alexeevich Gagarin on April 12, 1961 is probably the most vivid and complex subject in Soviet/Russian astrophilately. Thousands of stamps and covers have been dedicated to the First in space all over the world. There is even a special term in Russian – Philatelic Gagariniana – collecting Gagarin related philatelic material. I will not write anything on the topic – there are books and many articles by respectable collectors and researches that cover the subject thoroughly. By default I do not collect varieties of paper or stamps but possibly colors of cancellations. A lot stuff is missing due to loose focus - dealing with other topics, but I am adding covers to all areas including this one. I do not pretend on any full or partial coverage and not willing to build any exhibit, just showing what I have…

Moscow
Moscow

Mezhkniga cover with official black cancellation

Moscow
Moscow

Mezhkniga cover with official black cancellation

Moscow
Moscow

MGOK (Moscow City Collector Society) cover with official red cancellation

Leningrad
Leningrad

serviced cover with special postmarks

Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa
Stanislav
Stanislav
Krasnodar
Krasnodar
Krasnodar
Krasnodar
Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad
Frunze
Frunze
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev

"serviced" postcard with forged cancellations

Kiev
Kiev

"serviced" postcard with forged cancellations

Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk

1961

1962

1963

Moscow
Moscow

MGOK (Moscow City Collector Society) with official cancellation

Leningrad
Leningrad

serviced cover with special postmarks

Karaganda
Karaganda
Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk
Sverdlovsk
Sverdlovsk
Perm
Perm
Krasnodar
Krasnodar
Dneprodzerzhinsk
Dneprodzerzhinsk
Stanislav
Stanislav
Tambov
Tambov
Kiev
Kiev
Riga
Riga
Tomsk
Tomsk
Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa
Krasnodar
Krasnodar

souvenir sheet

Kiev
Kiev

Young Collector Club

Kiev
Kiev

Young Collector Club

Kuibyshev
Kuibyshev
Shauliai
Shauliai
Nikolaev
Nikolaev
Moscow
Moscow

Nice Gagarin cover with overprint and special cancellation dedicated to the first soviet astrophilately exhibition "To Stars"

Simferopol
Simferopol
Simferopol
Simferopol
Khabarovsk
Khabarovsk
Magadan
Magadan

2nd anniversary of Gagarin flight

Poltava
Poltava

2nd anniversary of Gagarin flight

Gagarin 1y postcard.jpg

1971 - 10th anniversary of 1st space flight

Moscow
Moscow
Gagarin town
Gagarin town
Kaluga
Kaluga
Star City
Star City
official souvenir sheet
official souvenir sheet
Praha-Moscow-Baikonur flight
Praha-Moscow-Baikonur flight

I believe this is just a nice astrophilatelic souvenir

1976 - 15th anniversary of 1st space flight

Khmelnitsky
Khmelnitsky

club cover

Khmelnitsky
Khmelnitsky

club cover

Moscow
Moscow
Moscow
Moscow
Gagarin town
Gagarin town

souvenir sheet for the philatelic exhibition

1981 - 20th anniversary of 1st space flight

There is an interesting story behind Vinnitsa pictorial machine cancellation for 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin flight. Boris Vainer, known soviet collector and dealer who lived in Vinnitsa, prepared a special cancellation and arranged it to be used in the post office machine to postmark the covers. Many covers received this “private machine cancellation” and as a result there was an outburst and succeeding trial for interfering soviet postal system. Vainer was not jailed but his life got much complicated and in early 90s he left to Israel. Boris Vainer was also known for collecting postal cancellation devices and used them to create backdated “rarities” like 4.10.1957 Sputnik covers.

Gagarin town
Gagarin town
Star City
Star City
Kaluga
Kaluga
Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa
Vinnitsa

private machine cancellation

Khmelnitsky
Khmelnitsky

card issued for 20th anniversary of Gagarin flight stamp and cancellation are not related

this cover issued in 1982 - 25the anniversary of Gagarin graduation from Orenburg military flying school stamp and cancellation are not related

1984 - 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin

Moscow
Moscow
Gagarin town
Gagarin town

1986 - 25th anniversary of 1st space flight

Baikonur
Baikonur
Kaluga
Kaluga
Moscow
Moscow
Moscow
Moscow

25th anniversary special cancellation

Baikonur
Baikonur
Star City
Star City
Gagarin town
Gagarin town

combo cover for 25th anniversary of Gagarin and Glenn flights cancelled in Baikonur and Cape Canaveral

55th anniversary Gagarin town

1991 - 30th anniversary of 1st space flight

Baikonur
Baikonur

To Stars-91 philex cover

Moscow
Moscow
Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad
Kirov
Kirov

Tsiolkovsky museum cancellations and cachet

Kirov
Kirov

Tsiolkovsky museum cancellations and cachet

Chisinau, Moldova
Chisinau, Moldova

Gagarin postcard issued as an attachment to the “Kodry - Moldova Literature” journal, serviced to Moldova capital – Chisinau in 1992.

1996 - 35th anniversary of 1st space flight

Kaluga
Kaluga
Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar
Kaluga
Kaluga

Cosmonautics Day

Baikonur
Baikonur
Kirov
Kirov

Tsiolkovsky museum

Star City
Star City
Moscow
Moscow
Murmansk
Murmansk
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Ulyanovsk
Ulyanovsk
60th Anniversary
60th Anniversary

Ulyanovsk club cover

2001 - 40th anniversary of 1st space flight

Star City
Star City
Severomorsk
Severomorsk

G&G cachet

Saint-Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg
Severomorsk
Severomorsk
Severomorsk
Severomorsk

reverse

Moscow
Moscow
Baikonur
Baikonur
Moscow
Moscow

Federation of Cosmonautics cover

Gagarin town
Gagarin town

G&G cachet

Korolev
Korolev
Gagarin town
Gagarin town

45th anniversary

Kaluga
Kaluga

2004 - 70th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin

Soyuz TMA-3
Soyuz TMA-3

postmarked aboard ISS on March 9, 2004 and signed by Soyuz TMA-3 commander - Alexander Kaleri

Baikonur
Baikonur
Moscow
Moscow
Gagarin town
Gagarin town
Star City
Star City
Orenburg
Orenburg
Orenburg
Orenburg
2008 - Pskov
2008 - Pskov

40th anniversary of Gagarin death

2009 - 75th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin

Orenburg
Orenburg
Safonovo
Safonovo
Moscow
Moscow
Moscow
Moscow
Pskov
Pskov

postmark is not relevant

2011 - 50th anniversary of 1st space flight

ISS board postmark
ISS board postmark

used in Baikonur for private collectors cancellations private design cover signed by the Russian crew of Soyuz TMA-21 "Yuri Gagarin" - Aleksandr Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko

Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Kaluga
Kaluga

commemorative cinderella

Kaluga
Kaluga
Kaluga
Kaluga

official card with overprint

Korzunovo
Korzunovo
Korzunovo
Korzunovo
Saint-Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg
Murmansk
Murmansk

Space Week on Lenin ice-breaker

Murmansk
Murmansk

Space Week on Lenin ice-breaker

Saint-Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg
Safonovo
Safonovo
Mirny, Antarctics
Mirny, Antarctics
Star City
Star City
Safonovo
Safonovo
Barneo station, North Pole
Barneo station, North Pole
Klushino
Klushino
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Barneo station, North Pole
Barneo station, North Pole
Engels
Engels

Novosibirsk Philatelic Society cachet on the backside of the card

Saratov
Saratov
Zhelezhnogorsk
Zhelezhnogorsk

Reshetnev design bureau special cancellation

Baikonur
Baikonur

2014 - 80th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin

Baikonur
Baikonur

BaikonurSvyazInform special postmark

BaikonurSvyazInform
BaikonurSvyazInform
Klushino
Klushino

Gagarin birthplace village post office cancellation on the private card

Star City
Star City
Baikonur
Baikonur

BaikonurSvyazInform special postmark

Baikonur
Baikonur

BaikonurSvyazInform special postmark

Star City
Star City
Pskov
Pskov

club cover

Gagarin 80y birthday - Engels
Gagarin 80y birthday - Engels
Gagarin 80y birthday - Kaluga
Gagarin 80y birthday - Kaluga
Saratov
Saratov

Gagarin joined the club in 1954 and in 1955 performed his first solo flight in Yak-18 airplane. 80th anniversary of Saratov flying school official postmark

Gagarin monument Houston
Gagarin monument Houston

Gagarin monument

Houston 2015
Houston 2015
Lubertsy
Lubertsy

Gagarin college

Lubertsy
Lubertsy

Gagarin college

2016 - 55th anniversary of 1st space flight

2016 marked a 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight, that triggered a major astrophilately event in Russia. Twelve and a half thousand full sheets of 2009 Gagarin stamps were overprinted (total 125,000 stamps).

Special postmarks were issued for seven cities and towns, Moscow got two. Additional three alternative postmarks were used in Baikonur, Gagarin, Smolensk and on boad ISS. Moscow Planetarium held special cancellation ceremony on April 11. Several types of official cards and covers were issued plus numerous private designs.

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Due to the small amount of available overprinted stamps many covers got only the clean 2009 values instead of the new ones. As far as I know the full sheets were sold only to the members of the Russian Philatelic Society and then appeared on the market for the much higher prices. Some regions did not get the stamps at all, so to get the covers with 55 years of Gagarin flights cancellations over new stamps proved to be a tricky business (at least for me). As usual many fakes appeared, featuring various anomalies like double overprints etc.

Moscow
Moscow

official stamped cachet

Moscow
Moscow
Star City
Star City

surprisingly - no official cancellation, just private stamped cachet

Moscow Planetarium
Moscow Planetarium

A special event was held a day before - Apr 11th, thus many covers did not get official postmarks or overprinted stamps. This is much less than perfect serviced cover, although have a good "cosmonautics" presentation with red Planetarium stamp.

Moscow
Moscow
Klushino
Klushino
Moscow
Moscow

overprinted stamp

Moscow
Moscow

overprinted stamp

Moscow
Moscow

overprinted stamp

Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnodar
Krasnodar

overprinted stamp on the official card

Sochi
Sochi
Gagarin town
Gagarin town

Gagarin town of Smolensk district got alternative solution - it used the postmark issued for 50 years of Gagarin flight that was adopted for 55th anniversary by changing 0 to 5.

Engels
Engels

official stamped cachet

Engels
Engels
Engels
Engels

overprinted stamp

Kaluga
Kaluga

Kaluga official postcard issue and special postmark. Anyone who applied the postmark in Kaluga post office could get a special official vignette presented below.

Baikonur
Baikonur

BaikonurSvyazInform issued its own cards and special postmark. Here is a serviced piece with Cosmonautics day cancellation and overprinted stamp.

Baikonur
Baikonur

another BaikonurSvyazInform serviced card

Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Cherepovets
Cherepovets

nicely designed private cover with stamped cachet and vignette

Cherepovets
Cherepovets

another private design

Gagarin town
Gagarin town

Gagarin readings

Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Star City
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk

Reshetnev design bureau

Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk

Reshetnev design bureau cover backside

Kirzhach
Kirzhach

place of Gagarin's death