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SARDINIA (Italy), part 2


Return To Catalogue - Sardinia, part 1 - 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.

For stamps issued in Sardinia before 1855, click here.


1855 Victor Emanuel II, Head embossed, Inscription 'FRANCO BOLLO' imperforated:

5 c green 10 c brown 40 c red 80 c yellow 3 L brown

  5 c green
  10 c brown
  20 c blue
  40 c red
  80 c yellow
  3 L brown

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
5 c** 
10 c** 
20 c*** 
40 c**** 
80 c*R 

Perforated stamps and an imperforated stamp of 15 c in the same design are issued in Italy in 1862. The 3 L is rare in cancelled condition. The 10 c exists in many different colour shades.

Typical cancels:

Rare red cancel 'SARDEGNA'

Inverted centers:

Stamps with inverted heads exist, they are either printer's waste (some very rare ones have been postally used) or forgeries.

Forgery! Obtained from Rodolphe Fischmeister (France)
(inverted head)

Fournier offered these inverted heads in his 1914 pricelist as first choice forgeries (all 6 values for 2 Swiss Francs). By the way, he also offers the 'normal' serie (same price).

I know that Sperati also has made forgeries with inverted head (at least the 5 c and 10 c). He bleached out the design of a genuine stamp, leaving the embossed center intact and then printed a new design, inverted, on top of it. In this way the experts were fooled; they tried to establish if the embossing was genuine (and it is in these forgeries!):

Sperati forgeries, images obtained from Richard Frajola's website: http://www.seymourfamily.com/rfrajola/Sperati/sitaly.htm


The above stamps could be proofs, the embossed head is much smaller than in the normal stamps. I have also seen a 10 c blue in this design.

Another 'mystery' stamp 5 c green with much larger inscriptions than the normal stamps, another proof?


The plates of at least the 5 c, 20 c and 40 c ended up in the hands of a certain David Cohn of Berlin (source: 'Focus on forgeries' by Varro E. Tyler). Reprint-forgeries were made with these plates by him after some retouching. The differences are small but can be seen, the colours are different from those of the genuine stamps. For example, in the 5 c reprint-forgery there is a break in the ornamental design at the left upper corner surrounding the ellipse (below the asterisk). In the 20 c there is a blue dot to the right of the upper right ornament surrounding the ellipse with the portrait of the king. In the 40 c there is a small break in the outer curved line of the ellipse just in front of the king's forehead and in the upper right corner with the ornament, the horizontal line is broken. These 'reprints' also exist perforated 11 1/2 to turn them into the first issues of Italy (however, the genuine stamps of Italy are perforated 11 1/2 x 12).

(Distinghuishing characteristics for the reprint-forgeries of 5 c and 40 c)

(Distinghuishing characteristic for the reprint-forgery of 20 c; small dot)

Note that the 5 c perforated was never issued in Italy, this is a bogus reprint!

There seem to be another reprint-forgery made by Usigli in Florence, I have no further information.

Fournier forgeries:

A forgery with 'FAUX' overprint (possibly Fournier forgery?):


There seem to exist 'misprints' of the 20 c in the colour yellowish brown (instead of blue). This is however achieved through the application of certain chemicals. I haven't seen this forgery.

Other forgeries:

(Reduced size)

In the above 3 L forgery the letters of the inscription are different.

(And another forgery of the 3 L)

(Forgery of the 3 L stamp, the '3' is placed too far to the left)

(Forgeries of the 40 c and 80 c, probably made by the same forger, the '40' and '80' are not positioned properly)

(A perforated 3 L stamp, probably a forgery)

(Forged cancel)

I've seen a forgery of the 3 L with the word 'FRANCO' inverted (sorry, no picture available).

Newspaper stamps

1861 Inscription 'GIORNATI STAMPE FRANCO BOLLO', Number embossed in center

  1 c grey
  2 c grey

A 2 c stamp in yellow was issued in Italy in 1862. Misprints with the embossed '1' on the 2 c frame and the embossed '2' on a 1 c frame exist (very rare).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
1 c** 
2 c***** 

Postal stationery

1819 Duty covers, so called Sardinian Horses or 'Cavallino'


(Reduced sizes, probably reprints or forgeries)

  15 c blue
  25 c blue
  50 c blue

The same stamps but embossed

certified genuine

(Could be a forgery)

  15 c
  25 c
  50 c

These covers are the first postal stationary to be issued in the world. Forgeries were made of these duty covers (in 1875 by Usigli in Florence using the original plates).

The next cover is forged:


Non issued stamp:

(Image obtained thanks to Lorenzo)

Other non-issued stamps exist.

Special cancels

Certified genuine

The above stamps are cancelled in Aix les Bains, nowadays situated in France. Aix les Bains is part of the Savoie, which was transferred from Italy to France in 1860.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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