Postage Stamps of Italy

by Tony Clayton


The Republic of Italy


Postwar Kingdom Issues <<-- : -->> Venice Art Festival
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Democratica Definitive Issue


After the end of World War Two Italy issued a new series of definitive stamps ranging up to 100 lire, all up to 50 lire having perf 14. However, the 100 lire comes with a wide range of perforation varieties, varying between 13¼ and 14¼, and watermark orientations, some of which are very rare.

The set utilised seven designs, two of which are related. The first six used watermark Winged Wheel Type I in a variety of orientations, on one or both of two types of paper and gum.


Design 1: Hammer Breaking a Chain, representing Freedom


Designed by A.Lalia.

10c

10 centesimi red-brown.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 543

50c

50 centesimi violet.
Issued 3rd July 1946.
Sassone 547

80c

80 centesimi carmine.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 549

8l

8 lire blue-green.
Issued 19th January 1948.
Sassone 557

10l

10 lire grey.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 558

The 10 lire grey was extensively forged to defraud the Post Office, so it was withdrawn on 3rd April 1948 and replaced by the 10 lire vermilion in Design 2 (see below).


Design 2: Family Group and scales, representing Work, Justice and the Family.


Designed by R.Garrasi.

20c

20 centesimi sepia.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 544

5l

5 lire blue.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 555

10l

10 lire vermilion.
Issued 20th October 1947.
Sassone 559


Design 3: Hand Holding a Torch, representing Enlightenment.


Designed by P.Paschetto.

25c

25 centesimi greenish blue.
Issued 10th October 1946.
Sassone 545

1l20

1.20 lire brown.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 551

3l

3 lire red.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 553

4l

4 lire orange.
Issued 10th May 1946.
Sassone 554

20l

20 lire purple.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 561

30l

30 lire blue.
Issued 16th October 1947.
Sassone 563


Design 4: Hand Planting a Sapling, representing Regeneration.


Designed by M.Melis and A.Mazzotta

40c

40 centesimi grey.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 546

1l

1 lire grey-green.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 550

6l

6 lire violet.
Issued 5th May 1947.
Sassone 556

15l

15 lire blue.
Issued 3rd July 1946.
Sassone 560


Design 5: Worker Tying Sapling to a Stake, representing Forestry.


Designed by P.Paschetto.

60c

60 centesimi green.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 548

2l

2 lire purple-brown.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 552


Design 6: Figure and sprouting treestump, representing Peace.


Designed by R.Garrasi.

25l

25 lire deep green.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 562

50l

2 lire brown-purple.
Issued 1st October 1945.
Sassone 564


Design 7: Larger version of Design 2.


Designed by R.Garrasi.

The 100 lire was printed with two plates, examples from the second having a distinctive notch in the border. The normal watermark is Type II winged wheel with orientation CS (inverted, wing to left as seen from the back of the stamp).

100 l

100 lire, dark carmine.
This copy is plate 1, has perf 14 and the normal watermark orientation CS. Sassone 565

100 lire

100 lire, bright carmine.
This copy is plate 2, has perf 14×13¼ and the scarcer watermark orientation NS. Sassone 565/I

100 lire types

100 lire. Left: first plate, no notch; Right: second plate, notch in right margin near the top


Paper Types

The early printings of the initial issue were printed on a greyish paper with a dark matt gum which is generally brownish in colour, while later printings were on whiter paper with a clear smooth gum. It must be said that the papers are difficult to distinguish, especially for used stamps, and both paper and gum show variations in appearance between these extremes.

dark

Dark matt gum

clear

Clear smooth gum


Postwar Kingdom Issues <<-- : -->> Venice Art Festival

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Democratica Definitives
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v5 20th April 2015
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