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Preview of Stamps Catalogue: VOLUME 2

SARDINIA (Italy), 1855 issue


Return To Catalogue - Sardinia 1851 and 1853 issue - Sardinia forgeries of the 1851 issue - Sardinia 1854 issue - Sardinia miscellaneous - Italy

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Sardinia 1851 and 1853 issue
Sardinia forgeries of the 1851 issue
Sardinia 1854 issue


1855 Victor Emanuel II, Head embossed, Inscription "FRANCO BOLLO" imperforate

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

  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
Value Unused Used Remarks
5 c * *  
10 c * *  
20 c ** *  
40 c * ***  
80 c * R  
3 L R RRR  

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'

I've been told that this 'ANNULATO' is a cancel from Sicily

I'm not certain if this fancy 'RESCELLO' cancel is genuine or not

A French numeral large "2240" cancel from Marseille and a small "1896" cancel also from Marseille (French arrival cancels).

A San Marino cancel and a Vergato cancel.

A Sicily cancel on a 10 c Sardinia stamp.

Genuine stamp with forged inverted center and forged cancel? Possibly done by the forger Oneglia?

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).

Fournier inverted head forgeries.

Sperati also made forgeries with inverted head (the 5 c, 10 c, 20 c and 80 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

Reproduction "B"
Sperati 'proofs'.


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 and a 10 c black in this design.

Reduced size
Some other 'mystery' stamps with much larger inscriptions than the normal stamps, sometimes sold as proofs but I think they are forgeries? Note that all the "O"s are very rounded. This might be the non-issued set mentioned in the Serrane guide under Italy. Apparently this set was prepared, but not issued due to a robbery, the remaining stock was burned. They also exist with inverted center.


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:

Fournier forgeries are rather deceptive. A 3 L forgery with 'FAUX' overprint (most likely Fournier forgery):

The '3' is different. Also note that the "CO" of "FRANCO" is very squarish (as mentioned in the Serrane guide).

A perforated 3 L stamp, probably a Fournier forgery. Next to it a 10 c Fournier forgery with the forged "TORINO 13. GIU" cancel as shown below. Note that the corner ornaments appear to be smaller than in the genuine stamp. Also a 80 c with a "PIACENZA 6 OTT 57" forged cancel (see below). And a 3 L with "BOLOGNA 21 GEN 59" cancel (see below).

Fournier inverted head forgeries.

Distinguishing characteristics of the Fournier forgeries:
5 c: The "Q" of "CINQUE" is different
10 c: The "1" of "10" should have a flattened top part, also the triangular ornament under the "PO" of "POSTE" should be broken in the genuine stamps, in the Fournier forgery, it is intact.
20 c: The "N" of "VENTI" is too wide.
40 c: The "Q" of "QUARANTA" is an "O" and the "4" is more open on top than in the genuine stamps
80 c: the first "A" of "OTTANTA" is slanting backwards
3 L: in my opinion, the "3" is too small

The forged cancels used by Fournier as shown in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic forgeries', I don't know on which issue Fournier applied these forged cancels. Reduced sizes. The "TORINO 13. GIU" cancel and "FOLIGNO 20 DIC 68" (see below or also Papal States) was used on forgeries of this set. Another forged cancel that was used by Fournier is "BOLOGNA 21 GEN 59" (see Papal States)

The "FOLIGNO 20 DIC 68" forged cancel as shown on a Fournier Album page.

'Italy' page of the Fournier Album with the "PIACENZA 6 OTT 57" forged cancel and the "BOLOGNA 21 GEN 59" cancel that were used above on Fournier forgeries.

Fournier forgeries with "FOLIGNO 20 DIC 68" forged cancel.


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 kind of forgery.

A doubly printed 10 c with no center embossing; probably printers waste.

Other forgeries:

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

Forgery of the 3 L stamp, the "3" is placed too far to the left. Also the same forgery with a "ALBA 22 LUG 61" cancel.

Forgeries of the 20 c, 40 c and 80 c, probably made by the same forger, the "20", "40" and "80" are not positioned properly, "QUARANTA" is written as "OUARANTA" with an "O". The forged cancel "DA ANCONA A BOLOGNA 12 APR. 60 (1)" appears on other forgeries as well. Also "TODI 10 APR. 62 UMBRIA". Could these be Oneglia products?

Similar perforated forgeries, pretending to be some of the first stamps of Italy. Some of them with a forged "TODI 10 APR. 62 UMBRIA" cancel.

I think this tete-beche pairs were also made by the same forger

This perforated 3 L stamp with wrong inscription "C.POSTE 3" instead of "L.POSTE 3" might also have been made by the same forger. It also exists imperforate. It has a "TODI" cancel?

Forgery of the 3 L with different lettering, for example the "C" of "FRANCO" is much more closed and the "S" is more squeezed. There is no "-" in front of the "3".

(Forged cancel)

I've seen a forgery of the 3 L with the word "FRANCO" inverted:

3 L forgeries with the word "FRANCO" inverted and "C.POSTE 3" instead of "L.POSTE 3". It seems like they have the (forged) Austrian(?) cancel "ZEITUNGS EXPEDITION"?

Unclear printed 5 c stamp; most likely a forgery.

20 c with "1" in the center instead of the head of the king.

A forged cancel "LANGENAU 8 2 60" (from Wurttemberg!) exists on some of these issues. Also on the 3 Lire of thenext issue, see http://www.ilpostalista.it/falsi/falsi015.htm

80 c stamp with forged "LANGENAU 8 2 60" cancel from Wurttemberg. Also a forgery with inverted head and forged "SUSA 14 LUG ??" cancel. Next to it a forgery with no embossing and another forgery with perforation. All presumably from the same source.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer