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PAPAL STATES (Stato Pontificio), 1867 issue, VATICAN CITY and miscellaneous

Return To Catalogue - Papal States, 1851 issue - Italy

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1867-1868 Arms, Value in 'CENTESIMI' Perforated or imperforated

I've been told that this stamp is genuine

  2 c black on green
  3 c (TRE) black on grey
  5 c black on blue
  10 c black on red
  20 c black on lilac
  40 c black on yellow
  80 c black on rose

Block of four:

Note that the 'T' of 'CENTESIMI' always seems to be lower than the 'N' of the same word in the 'TRE CENTESIMI'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
2 c***R 
5 c***R 
10 c*** 
20 c*** 
40 c RRR 
80 cRRR 
2 c***** 
3 cRRRR 
5 c****** 
10 c** 
20 c**** 
40 c***R 
80 c***RR 
All valuesvc- 


(I've been told that this is a postal forgery, note that the '0' of '10' is more rounded than in the genuine stamps)

A philatelic forgery of the 80 c is known, probably made by Spiro (sorry, no picture available yet).

More dangerous than the forgeries are the reprints (the forger Fournier probably also offered these reprints).


ATTENTION: most of the centesimi stamps of the Papal States have been reprinted in large quantities. They are very hard to distinguish from original stamps. The only easiest way to distinguish them seems to exist for perforated stamps (imperforate reprints are very difficult to distinguish from genuine stamps): genuine perforated centesimi stamps should have the perforation 13 1/4 (irregularly). Unofficial reprints were made by:

Usigli (1878) 2, 3, 30, 40 and 80 c (thick paper, colours different and different gum), imperforate or perforated 11 1/2 or 12. He also made essay-strips with all values together on one sheet (thus also creating stamps with background colour different from the genuine stamps), for an example see: 'Philatelic Forgers Their Lives and Works' by Varro E. Tyler, page 53.
Moens (Brussels, 1889): All values, imperforate or perforated 12
Gelli&Tani (Brussels) (Bonasi?): All values, some different colours, perforated 11 1/2 to 13 (very regularly)
David Cohn (1890):All values (with or without gum), shining paper, imperforate or perforated 11 1/2, printed in enormous quantities, these are the most common reprints.

I've been told that the next stamps are Gelli and Tani reprints:

These reprints are almost worthless and can still be found in large quantities today. Many of the stamps shown above are probably reprints.

Fournier offers forgeries of these stamps in his 1914 pricelist (perforated 13), I presume he offered one of these reprints, but I'm not sure.

(Fournier forgery? overprinted 'FAUX')

Older stamp albums often had premade spaces where to put the stamps. Some of the stamps were cut to shape to fit into these albums. Examples:


A description of how to detect the forgeries and reprints can be found in the books:

1) 'Roman State forgeries - the issue of 1852' by Frederik J. Levitsky;
2) 'Roman State forgeries - the issue of 1867-68' by Frederik J. Levitsky and Rev. Floyd A. Jenkins;
3) 'Roman State essays and reprints - the issue of 1867-70' by Rev. Floyd A. Jenkins.

These books are published by Triad Publications 30 Drabbington way, Weston, Ma 02193 USA (with thanks to Lorenzo who passed this information to me)


From 1929 on Vatican City issued stamps, examples:

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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