Stamps of the Kingdom of Italy

by Tony Clayton

Overprinted Unity/Jubilee Issue of 1913.

Venice Campanile issue <<-- : -->> 1915 Red Cross Issue

Main Index

Stamps printed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Union of Italy, and also the Rome-Turin Fair, were issued in 1911. Although these stamps do not indicate it, they were sold with a 2c premium which made them unpopular.

As a result there were surplus stocks, so they were overprinted 2c (except for the original 2c value) and issued for the printed matter rate on 1st March 1913. As it happens the rate was increased to 5c on the same day!

For the 5c and 10c values the same composition was used for the overprint, and on these two values all stamps in the fifth column have the numerals 15½ mm apart instead of the usual 13½ mm.

2c on 10c

2c on 10c red
The left-hand stamp is from column 5 and has the wide spacing.
Sassone 100b and 100.

The overprint on the 15c is more variable. The normal spacing is 12½ mm, but stamps in positions 5 and 15 show 12¾ mm, while 55 and 65 show 14½ mm. The stamp in position 65 has the left-hand 2 noticeably lower than the right-hand 2.


2c on 15c grey
Wide spacing on right-hand two stamps.
Sassone 101 and 101b

displaced overprint

2c on 15c grey
Overprint displaced to the right
Sassone 101e

The stamp illustrated below looks like a real issue, but was in fact a private production sponsored by a stamp dealer. It was intended to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Italian Republic, and illustrates the Memorial to King Victor Emmanuel II. Despite the Poste Italiane inscription it was never adopted by the Post Office. It is known both with and without the SAGGIO overprint and is also known imperforate.


15c blue and brown

Venice Campanile issue <<-- : -->> 1915 Red Cross Issue
Main Italian Stamp Index
Kingdom of Italy Index

Stamps of Italy - Overprinted Unity Issue
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
v4 18th June 2016
Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional