Auction Roundup — By Matthew Healey
In Italy, Vaccari held a sale May 6, primarily featuring Italian-area stamps and postal history. Three covers stood out.
Prior to the unification of Italy in the 1860s, several independent states issued their own stamps: Sardinia, Two Sicilies, Roman (or Papal) States, Tuscany, Romagna, Parma, Modena, and Lombardy-Venetia. (The last is listed under Austria in the Scott catalogs.)
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was a monarchy made up of the island of Sicily and the southern regions of mainland Italy.
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For historic reasons, both parts had been referred to as Sicily, and there were two capitals: Palermo and Naples. They each also had their own stamps.
A remarkable 1859 cover from Naples to Marseille was franked with five different stamps totaling 87 grani: the 2g, 5g, 10g, 20g, and 50g (Scott 3-7), canceled with a boxed “Annullato” (Canceled) marking.
A small manuscript “3” shows that the cover’s weight put it in the third rate step — each step being charged 29g.
The cover, described as a scarce franking, sold for €9,250, or about $10,300. Vaccari does not charge a buyer’s premium.
A large piece of an envelope bearing a Roman States ½-bajocco gray-blue stamp (Scott 1a) was notable for the date of its Ferrara postmark: Jan. 1, 1852, the first day of issue for the pope’s first stamps.
Unfolded to show the Jan. 5 receiving postmark from Adria, the item, with two certificates, went for the equivalent of $7,800.
A registered money letter sent to Florence in 1855 was described as one of the prettiest covers extant from the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. With a pair of the 1-crazia (Scott 4) and two pairs of the 2cr (5) paying the 2cr postage and 8cr registration fee, the cover was endorsed as containing 40 lire and 15 soldi.
The middle pair of stamps has a Scarperia postmark, while the others are canceled “Per consegna,” meaning registered. The cover sold for $11,700.
Matthew Healey reports on results from Kelleher, Siegel International, and Harmers International in the June 19 monthly edition of Linn’s. To keep up with the latest stamp auction news and so much more, subscribe to Linn’s digital or print edition today!