For the most part I am not a proper philatelist, just a hoarder of pretty stickers. However I am developing an interest in the period after the end of the Russian empire in 1918. All along the border, from Ingermanland to Tuva, various small nations asserted their escape from tsarist rule with issues of postage stamps in their own national styles. Most of these independent states only lasted for months before they were reabsorbed into Soviet republics and eventually the USSR, so large quantities of unused stamps were dumped on the philatelic market and are still relatively cheap and easy to find.
This stamp of 1919 is from the Georgian national republic (1918–1921). Inscribed in French, the official language of the Universal Postal Union, and Georgian in its fascinating Mkhedruli script which merges so well with the ornament. It is described in the catalogue as 1 rouble but the denomination in Georgian says მან for Maneti, the Georgian Rouble at the time.
Oh for the days when there were such distinct national styles in design! Nowadays stamps the world over look the same, just photographs with a number in the corner.