Custom Search

Italian States Stamps

Italy in 1843
From: Wikimedia Commons

Italian states stamps are those issued by the individual kingdoms and duchies of the Italian Peninsula, before and during the Italian unification and before the emergence of the Kingdom of Italy, with Rome as its capitol.

When the first adhesive Italian postage stamps began to appear, the states with their own independent postal systems were:

  • Austrian Imperial Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.  First stamps issued in 1850.  Lombardy was ceded to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1859, and Venetia was ceded to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
  • Duchy of Modena.  First stamps issued in 1852.
  • Duchy of Parma.  First stamps issued in 1852.
  • Former Papal State of Romagna.  First stamps issued in 1859.
  • Papal States, also called Roman States.  First stamps issued in 1852.
  • Kingdom of Sardinia.  First stamps issued in 1851.
  • Grand Duchy of Tuscany.  First stamps issued in 1851.
  • Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.  First stamps issued in 1858.

The Two Greatest Philatelic Rarities of Tuscany
The images shown above are of authenticated and
examples sold through major auction houses.

Due to their classical beauty and philatelic significance, the stamps of the Italian states have been very popular with specialists and collectors around the World since the earliest days of stamp collecting.  Some of these stamps were issued in very limited quantities, and they were becoming rare, even during the late 19th Century!

To satisfy the ever increasing collector demands for these stamps, famous forgers, such as Fran├žois Fournier (1846-1917) and Giovanni de Sperati (1884-1957), began making excellent quality imitations of these early Italian stamps.  Some of the states themselves made later "reprints" of their stamps, as well.  Forged postmarks are also abundant, for stamps that are worth much more in used condition than they are in mint condition.

Over time, these forgeries, reprints, and stamps with forged postmarks have made their way into the mainstream philatelic marketplace, turning the collecting of the stamps of the Italian states into a philatelic "minefield"It is not unusual for even very old collections of the stamps of this era to often contain more forgeries and reprints than they do the original stamps, if they do contain any original stamps at all!  Some modern-day sellers, that are not well educated in identifying these stamps, may not even be aware that they are selling forgeries and reprints of them to collectors as being authentic.  As I suggest in most of the classical stamp pages of this website, the collector, that is not an Italian states expert, should only purchase higher-priced stamps that have been properly authenticated and / or certified.

For each of the Italian states subject pages in this category, I will attempt to include the tables from the Serrane Guide, as an aid in determining the often subtle differences between the originals, forgeries, and reprints of the Italian states stamps.

January 8, 1860 Folded Letter from Bologna to Mantova

Links to historical articles and reviews of the postage stamps of the Italian states will eventually appear at the top of the third column of this page.

eBay Auction and Store Links

Italy Postage Stamps

The following links feature category-focused affiliated seller listings on various eBay sites worldwide. They may enable visitors to shop for and to buy specific items for the particular collecting subject they've just read about. 

The affiliated eBay seller auction lots provided by eBay, Inc. are not the responsibility of the management of this website.  On high priced material, make sure the lots you are buying are properly authenticated.

Remember that the lots on European eBay sites are priced in EUROS.  Shipping charges may be more, and the lots may take longer to arrive.  Also, make sure the foreign seller ships to your country, before bidding on or buying his lot.


Return to Home Page from Italian States Stamps


Italian States

Page Links



Papal States





Two Sicilies