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PARMA 1859 issue

Return To Catalogue - Parma 1852 and 1857 issue - Italy

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:

With thanks to Lorenzo, (check his excellent website on Italian States!) who kindly set some of his images at my disposal.

An grand duchy in Italy until 1860 when it was united with Sardinia (Italy). It was composed of the two duchies of Parma and Piacenza.

For the Parma 1852 and 1857 issue click here.


1859 Arms, Inscription STATI PARMENSI, issued for the provisional government, imperforated

Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo 6 c black on red 9 c black on blue Image obtained from Lorenzo 20 c blue Certified genuine Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo

  5 c green
  6 c black on red (Newspaper tax stamp)
  9 c black on blue (Newspaper tax stamp)
  10 c brown
  20 c blue
  40 c red
  80 c yellow

The two newspaper tax stamps were a kind of revenue on newspapers coming from abroad.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
5 cRRRRShades of green; yellowish or bluish green
6 c***RRR 
9 c***R 
10 cRRR 
20 cRR 
40 cRRRR 
80 cRRRRRR  

For the specialist: the 5 c green exists in two shades of green (blue green and yellow green). The 40 c exists in brown red and vermilion red. All these stamps are more valuable in used condition than unused (except the 6 c black on red and 20 c blue). The 5 c and 40 c are very rare used. There are only 1 letter and 5 single used pieces known of the 80 c! The 10 c, 20 c, 40 c and 80 c exist with wide or narrow '0'.

Typical cancel: circle with city name (in black or red):

10 c brown, typical cancel


Forgery detection

Excellent forgeries exist (see examples below). The genuine stamps should have the following characteristics:

1) The upper right part of the 'I' of 'STATI' is missing (it looks like a '1'),
2) There is a bar under 'PARMENSI', it extends from the beginning of the 'N' of 'CENTESIMI' to the first 'I' of this word,
3) There is a break in the inner frame line just besides the 'I' of 'PARMENSI' (not always visible),
4) Note the shape of the letters, especially the 'S' and 'A' of 'STATI'.


Sperati forgeries

Sperati made at least three different forgeries of the 80 c (called reproduction A, B and C).

(From left to right reproductions A, B and C)

In reproduction A the '0' of '80' is partly missing. The dots and breaks in the framelines seem to appear at the same places for each forgery for this particular reproduction.

(A Sperati forgery, obtained from Richard Frajola's website http://www.seymourfamily.com/rfrajola/Sperati/speratiindex.htm)

I think the above forgery is reproduction B. Note the broken frameline above the 'A' of 'STATI' and below the '80'. The upper part of the 'E' of 'PARMENSI' seems to be broken.

Sperati forgery, reproduction C
(A Sperati forgery, obtained from Richard Frajola's website http://www.seymourfamily.com/rfrajola/Sperati/speratiindex.htm)

I think the above forgery is reproduction C. Note the broken bottom parts of the 'E' and 'S' of 'CENTESIMI' and the fat leg of the 'R' of 'PARMENSI'.

I've been told that the next two stamps are also Sperati forgeries:

Note that the same dots and imperfections appear in the same places in the above two forgeries. Sperati forgeries are not often met with and are quite expensive.

Simpler forgeries can be detected with the 'I' of 'STATI': this 'I' has no cross-stroke at the top. Also the value number are quite different in some forgeries. The outer frame consists of three seperate lines. The middle line is closer to the outer line than to the inner line.

First forgery of Album Weeds

The above stamp is the first forgery described in Album Weeds, the outer line of the outer frame is about 10 times thicker than the other 2 lines of the frame. There is no line at all below 'PARMENSI', this can be used as a very easy test to detect this forgery. The 'A' of 'PARMENSI' is below the center of the 'S' of 'STATI'. The 'P' of 'PARMENSI' touches the frame line. The shorter lines of the octogonal frame are straight, instead of being bent slightly inwards. I have seen the values: 5 c, 9 c, 20 c, 40 c and 80 c of this forgery. There is a bogus value of 60 c of this forgery:

(Bogus value of 60 c, reduced size)

Second forgery of Album Weeds, made by Spiro (?)

Forgery! Forgery! 80 c yellow, forgery! Forgery!

I think the above stamps are the second forgeries described in Album Weeds. This forgery is cancelled with a square of dots or rectangles as shown here (these cancels never existed in Parma). The 'I' of 'STATI' has a large top stroke. Note the strange shape of the 'M' of 'PARMENSI'. Fournier offers these forgeries in his 1914 pricelist; the 5 to the 80 c (5 values) for 1 Swiss Franc and the two newspaper stamps for 1 Swiss Franc as well. He offers them as second choice forgeries.

(A whole sheet of Spiro forgeries, showing the different kinds of cancels used)

Fournier forgeries

Fournier forgery with 'PARMA 9 AGOS 58' in a single circle as cancel

It should be noted that Fournier also sold better forgeries (though they are not in his 1914 pricelist, but images can be found in Fourniers album of philatelic forgeries). A cancel that can be encountered is (among others): 'BORGO 6 FEBR 59' in a single circle (this cancel can be seen in 'Fournier's album of philatelic forgeries'). Other cancels that are shown in this album are: 'PARMA 13 AGO 1858' in a single circle, 'PARMA 9 AGOS 58' in a single circle, 'PARMA 15 MAG 1858'? in a single circle, 'TERACINA 4 APR 67' in a double circle, 'FOLIGNO 20 DIC 68' in a double circle and 'CALDAROL' in a straight line.

(Fournier forgeries, the second forgery is actually an 'enhanced' Spiro forgery; the dotted Spiro cancel can still be seen at the left bottom side)

(Fournier cancels, reduced sizes, actually listed in the Fournier Album as being used in the Papal States)

In the next forgeries, the 'C' of 'CENTESIMI' is almost touching the frame line.

'C' of 'CENTISIMI' almost touching the border


Two other forgeries, also with the 'C' very close to the left border frameline:

Two other forgeries, apparently made by the same forger:


Other forgeries

All the stamps below are probably forgeries also (note especially the value numbers, which are different from the genuine stamps):

Forgery! 40 c red, probably a forgery! The '4' is different Forgery! 9 c black on blue, note the strange 'A' of 'STATI'

(Note the strange cancel)

Forgery(?) with very broad 'A' of 'STATI', image obtained thanks to Mark Toft

Some forgeries with a 'cross' cancel:

Could be a forgery

(Reduced size)

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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