Today in Postal History


Scarpanto to Trieste
January 8, 1913

This registered cover would delight most collectors even though it is unabashedly philatelic.
It was mailed from the Aegean island of Scarpanto off the coast of Turkey.
Look closely and you can see the black overprints on each stamp.
This includes all seven of the first stamps issued for Scarpanto (Scott 1-3, 6-9).
Bolaffi states the issue date for these stamps as December 1, 1912.*

There are seven colored CDS for Scarpanto - one for each stamp.
There is also an Italian transit mark for the Italian Post Office in Rhodes (Rodi, Egeo) on the reverse.*
Note also the Scarpanto handstamp on the registry label.

Scarpanto was one of the Dodecanese ('twelve islands') Islands.
It is almost the most southerly of the Islands and lies southwest of Rhodes.

In the 16th century, the islands came under Turkish rule.
However, as a result of the Italian-Turkish War of 1911-12, they were seized by Italian forces.
Although the peace treaty required the Italians to return the Islands to Turkey, this was not done.
A secret treaty with Great Britain gave the Italians permanent
possession of the Islands in return for joining the Allies in World War I.

After World War II, the Islands were passed on to Greece.
Scarpanto is now Karpathos.

*Thanks to Paul for providing the issue date for these stamps.
Thanks, too, to David for identifying the transit mark on the reverse.


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