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Stamps of Italy

Commemoratives of 1935

The commemorative stamps of Italy for 1935 celebrate an athletic event, an aeronautical event, and the passing of one of the great operatic composers.

The three stamps of Italy shown above (Sc. #342-44) were issued on April 23, 1935 in honor of the the University Contests.

The three designs feature a Man holding a Fasces, a Standard Bearer and Bayonet Attack, and an Eagle and Soldier.

The University Contests was a program of competitive cultural, educational, and sporting competitions, at the university level, during the 1930's.  Competitions were held to determine the winners in various specialties.  These university contest winners then went on to provincial, and ultimately, national competitions.

The set of five charity stamps shown above (Sc. #B39-42) were issued on July 1, 1935 to benefit the Work of the National Militia.

The designs are as follows:

  • 20 C. + 10 C. - Militiamen at ceremonial fire.
  • 25 C. + 15 C. - Standards -- representing the pride of the militia.
  • 50 C. + 30 C. - Representation of the militia guarding the immortality of Italy.
  • 1.25 L. + 75 C. - Militia passing through the Arch of Constantine.

  • 50 C. + 50 C. - Allegory of the Air Force.

The set of stamps shown above (Sc. #345-48) was issued on October 1, 1935 to publicize the 1st International Aeronautical Salon.

The two designs feature an allegory of flight and Leonardo da Vinci.  Leonardo was one of the first people to come up with the idea for a flying machine.

The 1935 Aeronautical Salon or Air Show was the first of its type to be held in Italy.  The big European Air Show is the Paris Air Show, which has been held every other year since 1908.  The show is a commercial event designed to demonstrate military and commercial aircraft to potential customers.  All major aircraft manufacturers, as well as military representatives from many countries, usually attend the shows.

The eleven stamps shown above (Sc. #349-54, #C79-83) were issued on October 15, 1935 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Death of Vincenzo Bellini.

The designs are as follows:

  • 20 C., 30 C., 50 C., 1.25 L. - Vincenzo Bellini.
  • 1.75 L. + 1 L. - Bellini's Piano.
  • 2.75 L. + 2 L. - Bellini's birthplace in Catania.

  • 25 C., 50 C., 60 C. - Muse playing a harp.
  • 1 L. + 1 L. - Angelic dirge for Bellini.
  • 5 L. + 2 L. - Scene from Bellini's opera La Sonnambula.

Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini  (1801-1835) was an Italian operatic composer that was known for his long flowing melodic lines, for which he was nicknamed the Swan of Catania.  Bellini spent much of his short life outside of his native Catania, living and composing in Northern Italy and in Milan.  He died from acute digestive issues, while staying in Paris in 1835.

Bellini was highly praised by Giuseppe Verdi for his flowing melodies.   His 1831 opera, Norma, was one of the favorites of the young, English, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, the future Queen Victoria.

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