World Stamps

Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Belarus Marc Chagall souvenir sheet in demand

April 24, 2017 07:00 PM

  • The 1993 Belarus Marc Chagall souvenir sheet of one (Scott 54) is in demand in mint condition and a good buy in the $15-to-$25 price range.

Stamp Market Tips — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller 

Belarus is one of the successor states that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Landlocked, it borders on Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, and Poland. The name means “White Russia.”

Belarus, then known as the Duchy of Ruthenia, belonged to Lithuania and later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, until it was absorbed by the Russian Empire in the three Polish Partitions.

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Since 1994, Belarus has been ruled by the authoritarian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

On Oct. 12, 1993, Belarus issued two stamps and a souvenir sheet of one commemorating modern artist Marc Chagall (Scott 52-54).

Chagall (1887-1985), birth name Moishe Zhakarovich Shagalov, was a Lithuanian Jew born in Vitebsk, Belarus.

The 2018 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the stamps as a mint se-tenant pair (Scott 53a) at $10. The mint souvenir sheet (Scott 54) is valued at $40. Both values are italicized, which means the Scott editors do not have sufficient market data to establish firm retail values.

The mint se-tenant pair and the souvenir sheet are in strong demand from topical collectors, but the demand is heaviest for the souvenir sheet. It is an excellent buy in the $15-to-$25 price range.