Stamps of the Kingdom of Italy

by Tony Clayton


Overprinted Definitive Issues.


The Parmeggiani Definitive Issues <<-- : -->> The Garibaldi issue of 1910

Main Index


As postage rates changed and stamps became redundant, it made sense in a poor economy, such as the Italian, to use up surplus stocks of unwanted denominations by overprinting them. Here are some examples.


1878 2c on Former Official Stamps

When the use of Official stamps was discontinued all eight values were overprinted 2c as this was the most common rate in use. Both overprint and stamp come with two distinct shades for each denomination. Inverted overprints are rare.

2c on 10.00 lire

2c on 10 Lire
Sassone 36

2c on 0.20 lire

2c on 20c, inverted overprint
Sassone 31b
Image courtesy of the Italy & Colonies Study Circle.

2c on 2.00 lire

2c on 2.00 lire, inverted overprint
Sassone 34b
This overprint is almost certainly a forgery


1865 20c on 15c Issue

When the basic letter postage rate went up from 15c to 20c in 1865, the 15c stamps were overprinted with a horseshoe style design

20c Type 1

20c on 15c type 3 - 12 dots
Sassone 25

Further information on this stamp can be seen here


1905 15c on 20c Issue

The basic letter postage rate went back down to 15c in 1905. Early overprintings are blurred - later ones are sharp.

15c on 20c

C. 15 on 20c orange, issued 1st September 1905
Sassone 79

15c on 20c

15 C. error on 20c orange
Fake overprint - the 15 is wrong and the stop round instead of square
Sassone 79d


1916 20c on 15c Issue

The basic letter postage rate went back up again eleven years later. This stamp is also known additionally overprinted for use in Italian PO's and the Aegean Islands.

20c on 15c

CENT. 20 on 15c grey-black, issued 8th January 1916
Sassone 106

20c on 15c

CENT. 20 on 15c grey-black, overprint inverted
Sassone 106a


7½c Overprint on 85c

On 1st January 1924 the rate for printed matter sent direct from the publishers was raised from 1c to 7½c. The 85c had been for insured letters but the tariff had been short-lived.

In October 1927 a modified overprint was used, which is much scarcer than Type I, and particularly elusive used..

7½c on 85c

Cent.7½ on 85c red-brown
Left: Type I. Right: Type II

Sassone 135 and 136

7½c on 85c

Cent.7½ on 85c red-brown
Overprint both offset and displaced

Sassone 135ab


10c Overprint on 1c

The 1c was overprinted 10c and first issued in 1923, in anticipation of the decline in use of the 1c for the rate for printed matter sent direct from the publishers.

Inverted overprints are not too uncommon.

10c on 1c

10 CENTESIMI on 1c brown
Left: normal. Right: inverted overprint

Sassone 137 and 137a


50c Overprint on 40c

The 40c was overprinted 50c and first issued in 1923.

Here there are two interesting varieties.

50c on 40c

'Cent.50' on 40c brown
Overprint displaced vertically and horizonatally

Sassone 139h (horizontal shift mentioned in footnote)

50c on 40c

'Cent.50' on 40c brown
Unusual error in the left stamp. Unlisted, so is probably transient

Sassone 139


25c Overprint on 60c

In 1921 the foreign letter rate was raised to 60c. By the time the 60c stamp was issued in 1923 the rate had risen further. In addition it was the same colour as the current 25c of the same design. Overprinting it 25c made sense!

Used examples of the 60c without overprint are scarce.

25c on 60c

Cent.25 on 60c blue
Left: Type I, thick long bars. Right: Type II, thin short bars

Sassone 178 and 179

Sometimes the overprint can be found severely displaced

25c on 60c

Overprint displaced both vertically and horizontally
Sassone 178h


The Parmeggiani Definitive Issues <<-- : -->> The Garibaldi issue of 1910
Main Italian Stamp Index
Kingdom of Italy Index


Stamps of Italy - Overprinted Issues
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
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